Author Archive

pole position at the front of the grid

Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

Sat in pole position at the front of the grid ready to make a speedy exit from the Pride of Hull. The car deck has lots of bikes. Motorbikes. Mostly off to the Isle of Man for TT Week one assumes. We will see them there 🙂 

I booked a club stateroom. Double bed, fully stocked minibar, bathroom with bath and shower, TV. The TV is supposedly relevant because the other room types don’t have one but I only watched it for a couple of mins and switched off. 

The other thing that comes with the room is a concierge who collects your luggage from the car and shows you to your room and does the same in return on departure. He also picks up your duty free. And you get priority disembarkation, hence my front of grid position. When we landed in Rotterdam I did not have any of this and it took an hour to get through passport control. We shall see how different the experience might be today.

Amazing how many car alarms are going off. This is despite multiple warnings to switch off your alarms. I have to admit I’m not sure I know how to even switch it on. My key is one of those old fashioned car keys that opens the door by inserting it into the lock and turning and ditto for switching on the ignition. This being THG’s car she has possession of the remote control key fob that also sets the alarm. Hey I know my place…

Punters are now streaming onto the car deck. They must have broadcast a message. Being on the front of the grid they got me here early, presumably to make sure I was there when the doors opened and didn’t block the smooth disembarkation of the ferry.

It being notionally a seven ey em arrival time I didn’t bother with breakfast on board. I need to stop off at Waitrose en route home so I’ll either get some nosh there or include some breakfast items in the shopping. At seven sixteen we have arrived but the door before me has not yet been opened. I can hear some activity outside. The odd whirr and clang.

I would definitely book this type of service again. We are off to Caen in July and I checked. We have it going to France but not coming back. No availability. I’ll keep my eye on it for cancellations. The Caen trip is a combo of rugby sevens at the Olympics and following in the footsteps of Dick Winters and Easy Company around Normandy.

The getaway from the ferry worked like clockwork. I was first off, through passport control in no time and back home almost before I’d be just leaving the port had I not had priority disembarkation.

Duty free gin was proper duty free prices on the boat. Fifteen pounds fifty nine pence or simlar for a litre of Tanqueray. In front of me in the queue some bloke bought five hundred quids worth of ciggies. Paid cash. The cashier alerted him to the fact that the amount was over the duty free allowance but that didn’t phase the guy. P&O seemed happy to sell cigarettes in pre-pack sizes that would automatically be over the limit. Woteva.

Back home I am happy to report that my peas are poking through and the wildflower meadow seems to be coming along nicely.

The big news of the day (yesterday in fact but I was busy travelling), and it won’t be news to any of you, is that old Dishi has called a General Election for the 4th of July. This is both good and bad. You can make your own mind up what is good about it. People will have different opinions. The bad bit is the fact that we are now going to be overwhelmed by election coverage for the next six weeks. I’ll be ignoring the news even more than I normally do. Bores the tits off me. In fact it annoys me. 

That’s all folks. Cue Looney Tunes music…

wearing my old specs

Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Currently wearing my old specs. This is because I left the shed yesterday wearing my reading specs and couldn’t be arsed to go back and swap them. Had an offer of a lift off THG so time was of the essence. Instead I keep my old Oakleys in the kitchen for when I go swimming and wore them to meet the boys in the Strugglers. 

Excellent pint of Landlord in the Strugs. Unfortunately it ran out and we had “Evolve” for the last pint which clashed a bit with the taste of the Landlord. First world problems. THG also gave me a lift back. What’s not to like? And she cooked a curry!!

Although today is a Saturday I have some work to do. This afternoon I am headed to Hull to catch the Rotterdam ferry and have a few bits and bobs of prep left. Looking forward to my sea journey. Seemed to be less of a faff than the train which involves LNER, Eurostar and a local Belgian service with connection time in between. 

The boat is an hour or so drive from Lincoln, a sleep and then ninety minutes at the other end. There is also the bracing sea air to look forward to 🙂 Plus the onboard brasserie though I can’t imagine the nosh is anything special. 

THG was coming with me on the boat but instead has elected to go by Eurostar with Tom so that she can go to Olivia Ford’s book launch in Lincoln on Sunday. I’ve used up all my Eurostar points on the two of them for this trip. That’s what they are for. Tom and Hannah are speaking at the same conference. I wonder who arranged that? 🤔They are good 🙂

So now I’m just sat in the kitchen waiting for the right moment to stick the bacon on. There is no science to choosing the right moment. This being a weekend there is no urgency involved. There are no sausages this morning but bacon, egg, mushrooms and tomaytoes will be fine. Accompanied by some sourdough toast and a pot of char.

Got home from the pub last night to some good news. They have fixed our solar powered irrigation unit. I sent it off for repair on Thursday and it’s already been sorted. Result. Thirty quid! A new unit would have been ninety five.

This is important as we will be off to the Isle of Man at the end of the month and need a working irrigation system in the greenhouse. Don’t want the precious tomato crop shrivelling from thirst do we? It is quite satisfying to hear the irrigation pump kick in every now and again. With the doors of the shed wide open in the summer I hear it starting up.

Five forty six

Friday, May 17th, 2024

Five forty six. Early morning mist but doesn’t look as if it has been raining. I awoke before five wondering why it was so light but of course that’s what it is at this time of year. I heard the milkman at eleven minutes past four. It was still dark at that time.

As I lay there listening to him open the porch door and deposit his bottles of milk a thought entered my mind. He comes in all weathers. Rain or shine. Not sure about snow but I don’t ever recall noting the non arrival of milk due to the weather.

As if the light just changed to green, at six ey em the traffic has started outside. The noise has already died down. It is intermittent and governed by the lights down the road near Tesco. Although it is a main road out front it is always easy to get in and out of the drive as the traffic only comes by in short bursts. 

Except that is when the treadmill trudgers are released from the shackles attached to their desks and allowed home. At that point the various sets of lights on Wragby Road result in long queues of frustrated commuters desperate to get home, into a pair of shorts and crack open a tinnie. Depending on the weather obvs.

Quite excited with the progress of my flower meadow, now quickly growing. I’m sure I could spot the progress during the day yesterday even though it was chucking it down for most of the day. 

Fortunately by the time Will arrived to borrow the trailer the rain had stopped. Took a while to get it operational. Looking at the numberpate it hadn’t been used for at least eight years. When he has finished with it we are going to sell it. Daxara 158 with an Erde hard top and roof bars if anyone is interested. Perfectly good trailer and served us well. They go for around £1,250 new without the spare wheel but we would be willing to listen to offers.

death on the golf course

Thursday, May 16th, 2024

Ankles bitten to death on the golf course yesterday evening. That hasn’t happened before. Either it’s because of all the rain we’ve had or perhaps I haven’t worn trainer liners before when playing golf. Will have to get the Avon Skin So Soft going next time. Anyway a good time was had by all and we ended up in the Frenny (Friendship Inn) for the traditional pie and chips. I lost a quid. Not too bad. I took the money last time 🙂

I’m supposed to be emptying the trailer today in anticipation of Will picking it up this evening but the weather forecast ain’t good. Gotta be done. It’s full of old camping rubbish that mostly needs taking to the tip anyway. The garden is looking very lush with all the rain of the past few days. A far cry from the perfect weather of last week and the weekend.

THG has brought me a pot of tea as she sets off on her rounds of the estate. Checking up on the plants yanow. It looks as if we will be in for a bumper apple crop this year. Last year’s was not particularly good, especially the cooking apples but this year they were later flowering and are looking good. On the other hand it looks as if we may only have six apricots. That tree was an early blossom job.

I’m told we have one dead slug next to the beer trap behind the raised beds. It is a start. It died happy. Need to get a supply of cheap lager in as the stuff I put in has now been heavily diluted in the rain. We do have a load Strongbow cider in the garage fridge (orrible stuff left over from various parties) but I’m not so sure that cider works against slugs and snails. Will give it a go. Cyberdoyle advised that I need to bury the containers down to ground level which I will do.

the creeping dawn

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

Dawn creeps steadily forward as we hurtle towards the longest day. Only five weeks away now wot! The purpose of the opening remark was to allow me to say that when I awoke, shortly after five, I didn’t hear the dawn chorus. Either dawn was earlier or the boids had gone somewhere else. Now, at shortly before six, I can hear avian activity but it is not nearly as intense as at dawn.

The milkman came at three twenty one, fair play. Well before dawn. I expect he has to get back before daylight as he turns into a yo’ gurt, or something like that. I wonder what flavour.

Sat in the conservatoire. Grass needs cutting again, I note, and it is fairly dull out. I’m playing golf this evening and I think the rain will stay away. We are fairweather golfers nowadays. When I were a lad I’d play in all weathers with me dad. We would only not go if the course was closed.

At my desk by nine twenty five. What’s the rush. I did do an hour’s worth of toil in the conservatory but that does seem like a long time ago now 🙂. THG has gone hunter gathering and I have two conference calls before lunch. The shed doors are shut today. Not so warm and I am wearing a fleece.

The wildflower meadow is emerging nicely. I expect a carpet of greenery by the time I get back from Antwerp next Thursday.

Il pisseth down d’aujourd’hui

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

Il pisseth down d’aujourd’hui on the empire of Tref. No need to water the new strip of flowers in front of the shed or my newly planted peas. This is fine, no pun intended. This is the UK. Ironically we are off swimming at nine thirty where it will also be very wet. Sfine. Sgood 🙂 In the shed the rain thunders down on the roof causing a shiver to run down my spine and bringing a smile to my face.

I wore my Tilley hat for the journey from the house to the shed. Just to keep the rain off my specs. It is perhaps a little understood side effect of my disability. The fact that poor eyesight gets worse in the rain. When we did the Coast to Coast walk on the first day there was a raging gale. Horizontal driving rain. I took my specs off because I could see better without them. Put them in my waterproof coat breast pocket. 

Unfortunately by the end of the day they were lost. I had kept putting a map or similar in that pocket and the continual act had dislodged the glasses somewhere along the route. Fortunately I had a spare pair. We got lost on the final leg of that first day. I got my phone out to use GPS but the rain rendered it unusable. Every time I looked at it the raindrops on the screen made the phone think I was touching something on the screen and it went haywire. Fortunately we made it thanks to navigator Tom.

My first meeting today is not until noon so I have some time to read after the swim.

The shed is a v relaxing place in the rain. Doors are wide open. It is not cold.

The rain has moved on and the birds sound quite chatty. “Glad that’s done dickie, innit”. Shed doors still wide open but without socks my feet are a little on the cold side. I’m not ‘ard enough obvs. Off out in a bit, on shanks’ pony so will need to don socks. One of the dividends of living in warm countries, which this ain’t, is the ability to wear sandals or flip flops. For me today is a flip flop day. You have to grab the opportunity whilst you can. However I’m not going for a walk in flip flops.

Swung by to see Wildthing this afternoon. St Barnabas Hospice. He is in there to stabilise his medication and fortunately is coming out on Thursday. When people go into a hospice it is normally a one way trip.

Now watching the Spurs v Man City game in the shed. Bloody boring.

Back in the conservatory

Monday, May 13th, 2024

Back in the conservatory for my pre tea making diary session for the first time this season. Another day ahead with a southerly wind so the warm weather continues.

It is a monday morning. Unusually I am quite busy this morning with three conference calls. This afternoon I am going to put more peas in the ground. I added compost to the raised bed yesterday afternoon and today will put it to work. Shouldn’t take long to plant a few rows peas. It’s the putting up the anti pigeon netting that takes time. Will also put down some beer traps for the slug population to fill its boots. I’ve got one or two cans of some weird beer that will never get drunk so it will be a good use for it.

This afternoon I am going to empty the trailer in readiness to take most of the content to the tip sometime this week. We are going to sell the trailer. It served its purpose when our family holidays involved four offspring and campsites and there was no room left for anything in the car. 

Now that those holidays are distant memories it makes sense to free up some space in the front drive. Not that we lack space in the drive considering we only have THG’s little Peugeot. We could probably fit eight of them in the drive as it is. 

This is a continuation of the urge to purge. The garage is still in desperate need of purging. It’ll appen 🙂

Planted about 60 peas just after lunch. Suspect there are too many for the space but sod it I like peas and I’m going to risk it. Next job is to put down the beer traps. Wouldn’t normally consider using good beer for such a purpose but there are a couple of bots/cans I have where I don’t like the contents so feels reasonable to use for them.

Lunch btw was a very excellent roasted tomato soup prepared by that very excellent chef THG. Now listening to  an electro house EP with influences from the Berlin and London underground scenes. As one does.

What’s your fave cocktail. I know it is a long way away but I’m looking at how to make the last trefbash an even more special one than usual. Bearing in mind the theme is tropical trefbash we need to think of some tropical cocktails. Ideas? Remember it is on the 12th December, trefbash 15. Probs needs to be not too hard to make in large batches.

idyllic morning on the deck

Sunday, May 12th, 2024

We are talking idyllic morning on the deck in front of the shed. When I say idyllic I mean totes idyllic from which the sound of the traffic on the road in front of the house does not detract. 

The birds are in an ecstatic mood with the robin and the wren in full voice, joined just now by a sparrow. Then a dunnock. A small long tailed bird flitted silently in one of the apple trees, jumping from branch to branch. I couldn’t quite make out what it was. Got the camera out to zoom in but it chose that moment to fly at me and settled in the branches of the beech above the shed. A noisy crow has just flown out of the sycamore. Good. Go and crow elsewhere.

THG is getting ready for church. I am not. She picked up some more compost yesterday so I need to spend  time digging some of that into the raised bed where the peas are going but twill not occupy much of the day.

It is without a doubt the best time of the year. I need to put some effort into finding my sandals. A long period of hibernation means I’ve forgotten where they went. I may not even know where they went if they were tidied up by another. The rest of the household has been questioned regarding this without success and no offer of assistance. Fair enough.

Just caught my tea before it went cold. Today is a day for wearing silk shirts made whilst were in Thailand. I chose the silk from a factory outlet in Chiang Mai and got the tailor in the hotel basement to make me five or so. It is time we went back to south east asia to stock up with more togs. Not been to Singapore for quite a few years. A paradise in that part of the world. We shall see. Not rushing into it.

The shed doors are open as wide as they will go and Spotify is calming me with classical. My desk is in the standing position. This is partly because I shut down my mac mini on Friday as something had frozen and it is easier to switch back on from the raised position. I have left it in place for now (didn’t last long).

It is Sunday the twelfth of May. Twenty twenty four. Remember this. Each day is important 🙂 Enjoy all of it, to the full. Tell that special him or her how special they are.

I feel as if I could get on with a job or two. The trailer needs emptying, the garage and potting shed need tidying. The latter is almost impossible to get into such is the amount of gardening junk chucked in randomly. It all belongs there. Just needs a bit of order. We haven’t used it as a potting shed this season as the shelves in the greenhouse do the job.

Tuesday has been identified as the day to sort out the trailer. It’s a team effort, particularly as we need THG’s wheels to get the stuff to the tip. It’s all crappy old camping gear. The good stuff was removed to the garage years ago. Not that we go camping nowadays. We prefer nice hotels and cottages. Call me a wimp. Renting a MoHo for the Nile Rodgers and Sting gigs in June.

Saw a blackbird eating a worm

Friday, May 10th, 2024

Saw a blackbird eating a worm this morning. Nature in action. It is similar to the time that Hannah and I saw a pride of lions eating a buffalo but completely different obvs 🙂. The    avian varmints have been pecking away at my newly seeded strip of flowers but it doesn’t look to be a major problem. Most seeds are hidden/buried and there are a lot of them.

It is such a lovely morning I’ve been sat outside on the deck reading a book and listening to birdsong. The usual members of the choir although we did have a blue tit today which isn’t always on the list. Best time of year.

I have a fairly relaxing day ahead. Couple of conf calls, a stroll to a local shop to purchayse some salad for lunch. WIll also fire up the bbq later as we have some keebabs to consume. It will only be the second or third time this season but I sense we will start using the bbq more often from now on.

I’ve started wearing the safari hat I bought in Cape Town. Perfect for this weather. A mix of cotton canvas with some leather. I have to wear a hat in the sunshine. It’s a killer yanow, the sun. The deck is nicely shaded but still warm and a perfect place to relax.

The milkman came at four seventeen this morning. I was asleep but apaz THG heard him.

called the dairy to cancel Friday’s milk

Thursday, May 9th, 2024

THG called the dairy to cancel Friday’s milk delivery to be told that they were planning on bringing double the usual amount due to there being no deliveries on Monday. Odd. It isn’t a bank holiday. Maybe Sunday is the annual milkman’s picnic and none of them would be in any state to drive their floats in the wee small hours of Monday morning.

I once rocked up at some provincial airport in the USA one Sunday evening only to find it was the annual taxi drivers’ picnic. There was just the one van working who made a killing. He would charge everyone the going rate even if there were three of you going to the same destination. Billy no mates probs otherwise he’d have been at the picnic. Either that or by now a multi millionaire.

Looks like another beeootiful day in prospect. Am out and about this morning but a bit of gardening on the cards this pm. Most of northern Europe is on holiday so communication channels will be quiet.

Up and at it early

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024

Up and at it early. It isn’t even my turn to make the tea! I have a busyish week ahead so no harm in getting a head start. We are very much  in to the best time of year in the UK and the weather for the week ahead looks great. It must be coming up to exam season 🙂

Feels like a Monday morning. My eyes are still full of sleep. They need a good rub. Despite an early rise an injection of enthusiasm is also required to start the day. Energy. I guess it was a busy weekend. Long. 

We had a good time, THG and I. Probably done East Anglia now, for a while. Our next adventures will be further to the west. Apart from Antwerp which is across the North Sea. Big port, Antwerp but not served by any ferry company useful to my cause. Instead I am sailing  to Rotterdam further to the north. I like the idea of catching a boat to the continent. Feels as if there is more romance to the journey going by sea. Going by boat to the Paris Olympics. Just like they did in nineteen twenty four. In the movie. Whatever it was called. I can hear the music.

Eight o’clock and in the shed. THG’s home made granola at my desk. She makes a fab granola and I have to say when combined with yo’ gurt and berries it is probs my fave breakfast. Never thought you’d hear me saying that. I also like crusty white toast with butter and marmalade. Trouble is you never know when to stop when it comes to toast and marmalade and it doesn’t fit into a keto diet.

At some stage THG will swing by for a visit on her round of the estate. This is no different to a shepherd keeping an eye on the sheep. Plants need encouragement to grow 🙂

Last night we watched the snooker until the close. If Wilson hadn’t won when he did we were going to call it a day and hit the hay. Nerves all round on the green baize. Might see if I can get tickets for next year as we haven’t been to the Crucible for a while and it looks as if the venue might lose the tourney when the current contract is up.

Found a mouse in the greenhouse yesterday when we got back. It seemed pretty lethargic so must have been something wrong with it. Soon shifted it outside. Better out than in. Usually the problem is slugs and snails in there. I keep an eye out for them on the cctv. 

So I have a couple of hours before my first scheduled meeting.

grotty hotel breakfast

Sunday, May 5th, 2024

As hotel breakfasts go ours was down there: 🙂Pretty grotty. Didn’t really have any expectations as we booked this palace for proximity to last night’s Pink Martini gig. The gig was fantastic. Tbh my expectations of hotel breakfasts anywhere are not high and this place met them

Now sitting in the window of Room 101 watching the marine traffic go by. A pretty historic place really, the Thames estuary. You can imagine the number of ships that have passed by here over the centuries. From all over the world. The Empire.

I find the British Empire a fascinating subject. On the one hand its global reach and diversity was phenomenal. On the other hand, with hindsight, it was all wrong. I guess you play the hand you have at the time. The unfortunate thing is that some people in the UK, mostly politicians, cling on to the dream of Empire and the influence that came with it. They will mostly not be around after the next election.

I quite like the fact that to travel across the Empire it had to be mostly done by boat. Slow travel. Given the choice those travelling in this way would have preferred a quick ten hour flight, or twenty four hours at a push. They clearly don’t understand the baggage that comes with long haul airline travel. The jostling for an upgrade, can I get into the lounge etc etc.

So this morning we kiss goodbye to Southend On Sea, a place that didn’t gain universal approval of everyone in the travelling party and move along the coast briefly to Leigh on Sea and then Aldeburgh. I quite liked Southend on Sea. It is a classic British seaside resort with ice cream kiosks, chippies, a fairground and the world’s longest pier. Somewhere you could spend a day out.

We did wait forever in a cold wind for a taxi that never materialised but then I blagged my way onto the open top bus to drop me off a mile or so along the prom near to our hotel. Actually I didn’t have to do any blagging. When he found out I only wanted to go one stop the driver let me on for nothing. THG had already left to go back to the hotel.

It must be said that being in Essex almost feels like being in a different country.

I am off to Manchester at the end of the month from Lincoln. A single train ticket costs £29.85 on LNER. No advanced purchase options. Anytime single only. 

However trainline.com offers me a place on the 09.15 for £12.95. Advanced purchase. Is there something wrong on the LNER site? I buy most of my tickets using LNER but can’t see it happening in future if you are so much more expensive.

There must be a software problem?

So we’ve arrived in Aldeburgh. A few observations immediately spring to mind. The place is full of day trippers. Posh day trippers. This is totally at odds with Sarfend which although also had many day trippers, I imagine, few of them if any being posh.

It was pointless even to think about finding a free table in a caff. I queued outside an ice cream shop for what seemed like twenty minutes to get my double scoop vanilla and honeycomb. The kid in front of me in the queue said his family usually took a cottage nearby for four weeks. I didn’t bother looking into the posh kitchen shop, knowing its prices would not be targeted at me.

I’m hoping many of the day trippers will have buggered off home by four fifteen which is when we have to move the car. The free parking in front of the hotel begins to empty at this time, apaz.

We do have a nice room facing the sea and looking down over the petanque pitches, or whatever a boules playing area is called. There is a fish smokery directly outside the hotel and the pebbles on the beach are so nice they would be very suitable for our front drive. Obvs that’s not going to happen 🙂.

I am currently enjoying a cup of tea lovingly prepared for me by THG with, and wait for this, with a small packet of digestive biscuits for dunking. Digestive biscuits! This must be a good hotel. The only way they could better this were they to be bourbon creams.

Aldebough also seem to be home to quite a few Adnams pubs, all of which look to be worth a visit. Will have to see how it goes. Our dinner reservation is for eighteen thirty. Eating in the Brasserie as opposed to the attached curry house as Sunday is the one day they are closed. Huh.

Number of visitors and the scarcity of parking spots aside there is a sword hanging over Aldeburgh. The sword of the Sizewell nuclear power station, very visible up the coast to the north. Now I’m sure everyone has different views about nuclear power.  I wonder why Winscale changed its name to Sellafield. Also I note that when I was a student, the manger of the Wylfa nuclear power plant in Anglesey lived in Chester according to one of our lecturers who was a mate of his.

Enough! I have to go and move the car.

It must be said that the Conservative Party is a spent force in British politics. We have had four disastrous Prime Ministers – Dave Cameron, Treesa May, Boris, I’m an inveterate liar and totally useless at governing but have a way with words that cons a lot of people, Johnson, Liz, I’m not only totally useless but also very dangerous, Truss and now an ineffective lame duck called Dishi Rishi who could call an election but who is clinging on for as long as possible hoping for an unlikely miracle.

The Tories believe their only hope is to move further to the right in the belief that this is what will win them back votes. Reality is that it is only a vociferous minority whose votes this will attract. Most “ordinary” people are just totally fed up with them. 

They can’t see that people who are poorer now than when the Tories came into power don’t want to vote for them. They are destroying the NHS and the education system. Doctors, nurses and teachers are leaving the profession like never before.

Government ranks are populated with third rate people who are only there because at some time they expressed support and admiration for BoJo. Most competent Tory politicians are no longer on the scene.

The hope is that the ranks of Tory MPs will be totally obliterated in the forthcoming general Election and the party will have to start again. Low grade extremists with a voice such as Suella Deville Braverman would better find their natural home in the Reform party and be relegated to a rightful obscurity, forgotten by history.

a sunny Chelmsfordian Saturday

Saturday, May 4th, 2024

We awake to a sunny Chelmsfordian Saturday. The kitchen is a hive of activity as Hannah prepares breakfast and THG has wandered out to survey the garden, natch. My only responsibility is to poach the egg 🙂 Radio 2 entertains. Can’t remember when I last listened to it.

There is no urgency to the day. At some stage we will meander to Leigh on Sea and thence Southend where we have reserved a sea facing room at the Muthu Hotel. Our plan is to dine at the Southend Pavillion before the Pink Martini gig. I wouldn’t normally stay at the Muthu Hotel. It doesn’t rate particularly highly on booking.com or tripadvisor but there wasn’t much choice and it is only a three minute walk from the pavillion. It will do the job. Wasn’t particularly cheap but I suspect rooms were going fast due to PM fans needing somewhere to stay.

This morning I understand there is a plan to go to John Lewis in town. It is a shop. As such the ladies will make their own way. It is a short walk from Hannah’s. I could spend an hour or two watching Essex CCC but there is no game today. As a member of Notts I can get in for free by reciprocal arrangement.

George is away on rugby tour but Joe is with us and is good company. Unless he wants to go to John Lewis. A bit of time spent on your own is good for the soul. Inward reflection 🙂 Mind you I get a lot of that in the shed.

Quite a funny incident last night. The Ring app on my phone told me there was someone at the front door so I took a look. Turned out to be some yoof running up to the door, ringing the bell and running away again. Had to laugh.

A humble sausage sandwich

Friday, May 3rd, 2024

A humble sausage sandwich for breakfast. The evidence has been destroyed in the usual way. I say humble but not sure the sausages expressed any humility as they went down. Go on, eat me. Might as well. 

Perhaps I meant a simple sausage sandwich. Certainly not majestic. The sausage, as the product of common endeavour, couldn’t claim to be majestic. The majestic pig? George Orwell revisited.

This morning’s chorus was brought to you by a chaffinch, robin, blue tit, sparrow, wood-pigeon, dunnock and blackcap. Milkman came at 03:50.

We are now southbound at the speed of the Silver Bullet. THG driveth. I’m treating today as a weekend day as is oft the case. Bank Holiday. As you know we are off to Sarfend to see Pink Martini, manăna. Sarfend Pavilion.

As you may know I no longer have a car and although I am happy to share the driving where appropriate/relevant/required I also like sitting in the passenger seat doing stuff.

As we drive down the Great North Road the countryside is coming into leaf. Blossom adorns the roadside hedgerows. It is the best time of year. A mild drizzle is evident as we race past Stamford. This is why our land is green and pleasant. I quite like the rain.

finally some book news

Thursday, May 2nd, 2024

The garden is alive with birdsong this morning. The usual blackbird, dunnock and chiffchaff but now with a blackcap thrown in for good measure. Am wondering whether the blackcap song is similar to the blackbird and therefore Merlin mixed up. I’d prefer to think not. Not sure I’d even heard of a blackcap before.

Busy enough morning but broken the back of it/delegated and now sat with a cuppa having actually done some tidying and filing. The stuff for filing, which dates back a couple of years, has either been moved onto my spare desk for filing, or onto a different pile for shredding. The stuff I want to keep is mostly scanned in anyway.

I was prompted to do a bit of tidying because I knocked a glass of water over on my desk and soaked some stuff that didn’t want soaking. Normally I do try and keep a tidyish desk but the last couple of weeks has seen stuff piling up and now it is not. Still got a few plastic boxes full of stuff to sort/dispose of. One day I’ll probably just chuck the lot.

Local elections today. Just heard a car drive past with a megaphone blaring out vote Labour or similar. We already did a postal vote. I see no point in having to physically go to the polling station. It isn’t as if I’m still agonising over who to vote for and leaving it until the last minute. TBH I have no idea about the police commissioner.

My new carving set and gloves have been tidied into the “projects” chest of drawers. It’s gone into the same drawer as the brand new and as yet untouched watercolour paint set purchaysed during some lockdown or another. The easel is lying on its side next to the beer fridge! Will not lie unused for too long obvs 🙂

Starting to get excited about the Pink Martini gig on Saturday. Just booked the restaurant at the venue for a pre show dinner. This being the Southend Pavillion it won’t quite be the same as the Royal Albert Hall VIP package we had when we last saw them but I’m sure it will be good. Had to prepay for the meal. Clearly they are a dodgy crowd in the Sarfend area.

The snooker is now on. One of the very few daytime TV programmes I’d admit to watching. Semi finals. The quality of the snooker has been steadily improving as we get through the rounds. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing sloppy snooker from people from who one demands perfection or as near as. I’m not very good at it meself.

And finally some book news. My order of Droppings Dung and Scats of Southern Africa has been delayed as the publication date is now November of this year. Wossgoinon?! I guess they might as well wait to make sure all the relevant poo is covered, so to speak. However the good news is that my “Easy Company Soldier” with Sgt Don Malarkey is out for delivery today. Looking forward to that 🙂