sixty one

I was born in sixty one and am sixty one years old. I think 🙂. Couple of things spring to mind. I’m a lot stiffer nowadays and I have to scroll a long way down when inserting birth year online. The two are unrelated apart from the age link. 

Just looked and apparently a pint of beer was 2s 1/2d in 1961. That would have been of no interest to me at the time, particularly as my birth month was December as regulars at trefbash will know. Presumably we are talking ordinary bitter here. A pint of beer nowadays is a lot more and is very much dependant on where you are.

A pint of milk was 8d, something a lot more relevant to me at the time, I’d guess although I’m pretty sure I was breast fed.

The scrolling down might be annoying had I not had 61 years to get used to it and it has crept up on me over time. It does however annoy me when I have to scroll down to select ‘United Kingdom’ when the country at the top is ‘United States’.  Tossers. There, you can see I’m annoyed.

early one morning

blurry eyed

Somewhat blurry eyed this morning as I await the departure of the 07.30. Usual seat, E5. Brussels bound. One night only.

I say ‘usual’ seat but it isn’t as if I have a regular commute. It wouldn’t be much of a life if I had to catch the 07.30 every morning. Get used to it I suppose.

Waiting for the bacon rolls to be dished out. I can smell the bacon which, considering we still have 15 mins before departure, ain’t necessarily a good thing. Don’t want the bacon sat there do we? Could do with a cup of tea.

In all fairness they brought the tea ten minutes before departure, and the orange juice, and my bacon roll order has been taken with the promise of a yo’ gurt as well if they have any left. Don’t ask don’t get. Innit.

Bit of a result this morning. No chatty woman sat in my seat having reserved the one next to me in a carriage that was otherwise fairly empty. Yet! Also the bacon sandwich was served the second the train left the station, fair play.

It’s my first trip to Brussels this year. Time was I’d be over once a month or so but covid killed that off. I’m booked on an afternoon train back tomorrow but might change it to an earlier train as I’m really only over for a meeting this pm. Buggered if I’m going there and back in a day though. It’s a long old trip.

The bacon roll isn’t really enough. It’s a paltry effort. Will grab a croissant et un cafe in the Eurostar lounge. Probablement. Latte. I like dunking my croissant in the coffee.

As we run along the banks of the Trent into Newark I see lots of fishermen out and about, each with a van parked up behind them. Has the season just begun I wonder or is it simply that it’s the first warm enough day. I dunno. Lots of newly planted trees which is good I suppose.

The journey between Lincoln and Newark has only taken 20 minutes. The timetable suggests 25 but that is always conservative. Feels very slow on this Azuma train. The 25 minutes is designed for slow cross country chuggers. Feels as if I’ve already been on the train for ages.

The bloke opposite me on the aisle is going to Peterborough. I detected this from the seat reservation details above him. I’ve read all the Sherlock Holmes books so am good at stuff like that. The same seat is reserved from Peterborough to Stevenage but is available after thereafter.

You might also wish to note that they aren’t serving hot drinks at the cafe bar this morning as no paper cups were delivered. I’d be somewhat dischuffed if I was travelling in standard class. They can still serve coffee and tea if you have brought your own cup! Not in the same cup obvs. Leaving Newark I’m on my second cup of tea.

In the distance three windmills turn purposefully pumping power into the grid. Windy out there. Monday. It could be brighter. Miserable day really.

From the conversation with the train manager checking the tickets it looks as if the bloke with the reservation to Peterborough is the same person occupying the seat to Stevenage. Must have been a cheaper deal to get two separate tickets. Might have a play with that sometime, if I can be bothered. Advanced tickets are usually pretty cheap anyway especially with, ahem, a Senior Railcard. Mind you I have yet to book my return train – wasn’t sure what time I’d be getting back from Brussels.

I note that a film called Everything Everywhere All At Once has won a lot of Oscars. If anyone would like to tell me the plot you won’t be spoiling it for me as it is unlikely that I will get to see it. I only know because the media is full of it this morning. 

This, I suppose, is a good news story. I can’t complain. I’m always whinging about the fact that they only normally dish out bad news. I’ll not mention it again then. Still won’t see the movie, probs.

The name of the movie is a bit of a coup (or maybe not) for EE who started off as Everything Everywhere but quietly dropped the tagline/brand for EE as it was not only a bit of a mouthful but a daft name. When they first launched EE they used the domain extension. The .com was already taken by a small engineering organisation in the USA. Just looked now and the .com does not resolve. It is still owned by someone but their identity has been withheld. Woteva. Maybe EE should have been EEAAO? Fair bet the dot com was available

Just passed a yellow digger dredging a drain. Quite a wide drain. Just south of Yaxley if you know the area, which I don’t. In fact Yaxley is new to me. I’ll never mention it again, not because I have anything against Yaxley but it seems fairly innocuous and I only looked it up to find out where I’d seen the digger which will, I’m sure, be of interest to many. Feels as if we are travelling on a different line to the usual one but I may be wrong. Checked realtimetrains but I can’t really tell. I’ve probably just never been looking up when travelling on that line.

Lots of flooding in the fields around Huntingdon. Avoid flooded fields. Bloke with a blue coat walking his dog.

We must be nearing Stevenage as the bloke with the seat reservation has packed his little rucksack. Done the zip up. Fitted his still half full free small bottle of water into the top of the front zipped pocket. He is off on one last trip to the loo before getting off. I’ll be doing that myself in a bit having had three cups of tea innit.

Nearly in London. Gotta go. See ya.


10.06 E2

Sat on the 10.06 seat E2. First to get served from the trolley. Not that I’ll want much more than a cup of tea. It’s been a full-on three days in London. Really I’m in a state of trance. Never got round to my planned visit to camden market yesterday. Breakfast started at 8am and finished at 10.30. Lunch then started at noon and finished at around 5.30. Ma gurd. An early night is called for. 

A French woman is holding a loud conversation on her speakerphone. We are about to hit some tunnels so hopefully that will sort her. Otherwise I’m going to say something. Huh, harrumph.

I still have a few things to do this pm that I need to gather the energy to sort. Meetings, meetings, meetings. Not much reely. Just need to tick a few things off the list.

The Frenchwoman has stopped but has been replaced by someone on the next table who is a wedding organiser. At least I can only hear her end of the conversation although that in itself is quite irritating. I’m also getting the hello? can you hear me? I’m on a train.

Vaughan Williams to the rescue. I happen to know she gets off at the borough of Pete but that is an hour away.

Sorry if I’m boring you as I periodically have a bit of a rant about other people’s loud train conversations. I suppose it is why some folks have private jets 🙂I’m not about to get a private jet. Nowhere to keep it for one thing. You can’t get anything in our garage as it is.

It has been snowing in Lincoln and the house will be cold. I may repair to the shed where, before leaving for the South, I just turned down the heating rather than switching it off.

Now listening to a Mozart Horn Concerto No 4 in Eb Major K495 I. Allegro maestoso. It isn’t really doing it for me. Let’s move on to Bizet. Carmen. Actually no, let’s not. Donna Summer Hot Stuff. Raise the tempo.

Kid opposite is still working his way through his bacon roll. Finished mine ages ago.

I’m glad to be leaving London behind. Full on big bad fast paced city. Not a place for the faint of heart, or the weak. That said, we are returning for five nights in June. The lure of the bright lights. Hoping to make our fortune, or spend it. Will find somewhere more convivial to stay than the Doubletree Angel.

The norther we get the greyer it seems to get. A smattering of snow still on the ground. I invented a new word there. Norther. Seems reasonable. I don’t really care whether it is liked by the grammar gestapo. Ve haff vays of making you spell.

Just to spoil a different, politically correct party I should at this point tell you that I identify as Tref. Not he/him/it or duck billed platypus or any other description you care to apply. Came up in conversation yesterday. Occasionally I am addressed as Sir but that is premature and I am quick to correct anyone that makes this mistake. My name is Tref. Glad that’s settled. Or Huw. My full name is Huw Trefor Davies. Call me what you like.

As the sleepy hamlet of Grantham gets nearer the landscape gets whiter. Horse drawn sleighs glide silently through the picture postcard streets of the ancient market town. Smoke billows from the chimneys of cottages lining the road on the way north. 

The train has ground to a halt to the south of the station awaiting a signal change. Owen the Signal, on secondment from the Meirioneth and Llantysilio Railway Company, wakes up with a start from his untimetabled nap, gets up and pulls the lever. The train begins to move again.

We are thirty five minutes away from Lincoln and the train’s final destination. The spire of St Wulfram’s Church disappears to the rear.

early one morning


Interesting deals, to be had. Dinners to book. Nights out to look forward to. Thoughts to process. Total switch off. Relaxed living. The notion of being totally a man of leisure. How does that compute? Books to write. Grass to mow. Wine to drink. No flights.

At 05.58 this morning the birds started to sing. No point setting your clock by them as it will probably get earlier every day except when the clocks are artificially changed in order to extend the day for agricultural workers during the first world war at which point there will be a dislocation.

I have 1,120 Tier Points with British Airways. Just 380 away from Gold status. Quite achievable before May 8th if I desperately wanted to. I don’t. If I flew a lot it might be worth the effort but my points have been accumulated on relatively few flights and the benefits of being Gold are relatively few over and above those of Silver.

The future of travel is in surface transportation. A longer and more expensive mode, certainly for anything other than a bus journey. We humans were not designed to fly 🙂If you only use ground transportation then status with an airline is irrelevant.

Next weekend I have some free time on the Sunday and will be available to do jobs. I realise that such activity would be in breach of centuries old Sabbath rules so before a final decision is made on this subject it will need some careful consideration. The same is true for Saturday which is also a Sabbath but I am not planning on doing any jobs on that day but will be watching rugby instead.

The beauty of not subscribing to any one of the many religions available to me is that I can pick and choose Sabbaths to suit my own needs. The same thought processes, on a more restricted scale, were going on in the minds of Davieses in the eighteenth century. My 4x great grandfather Daniel Davies was excommunicated for letting his farm hand work on a Sunday. They let him back in after a few years but it would have caused quite a stir at the time. This, as I recall, was around the year 1792 when Daniel was a founding minister at the Baptist Church in Llandysul. 

As an aside it is a little known fact that the Baptist church in Llandysul is not in Cardiganshire where the village itself lies but over the river in Carmarthenshire. How about that then!

Many sabbaths have been and gone since I uncovered that little gem. I am overdue another stint of family tree research. Because I don’t live near Llandysul this has to be mainly Internet based. 

The great thing about the internet is that it helps promote choice and this is certainly true when it comes to finding a religion that fits your need, ie which day is the Sabbath, assuming that’s your bag. 

You do have to take care as there is a lot of misinformation out there. Fake accounts etc. Sounds too good to be true? Reminiscent of being approached on Facebook by gorgeous scantily clad females looking for friendship. Fact-check which day is their Sabbath would be my advice or you could find yourself scammed. #collectionplate #cashextraction #everydayisasabbath.

If anyone has a reliable source identifying religions with a Sabbath on Mondays to Fridays feel free to share.

Just looked up. It’s six thirty and it is light out. The birds were right. 

By gum, by ‘eck, by zantium


the merry month of March

Left the heating on in the shed overnight thinking we were in for a big freeze. Doesn’t seem to have rocked up. I now have the door ajar to the garden.

Tis a Monday morning in the merry month of March. March is not a particularly merry month but I’m trying to raise your spirits. Cheer you up a bit. I realise it is a little presumptive of me to think that your spirits need raising but even if they don’t there’s no harm in upping them a bit more. You might move from a state of happiness to being ecstatic. What’s not to like?

In reality March is quite a miserable month. It offers a sniff of spring and better times ahead whilst reminding us that we are not quite there yet.

As I write a robin is chirruping merrily on an apple tree branch. I expect it will particularly be looking forward to the good times ahead. I must buy some mealworms. Robins like mealworms. 

I quite like the idea of burying myself in gardening activities. There is something quite wholesome about it. Better to be worrying about greenfly than the shenanigans that life otherwise throws your way. Need to get some grass seed anyway and to deploy the scarifier that I borrowed from Lee yesterday.

The main issue over the next couple of weeks is that I am pretty much booked up. 4 days in London this week and the rugby on Saturday. Then next week it is 2 days in Brussels, one in Bangor for the Annual Engineering Lecture and Dinner about which I am v excited, and finally two days in Cardiff before dashing back for the 6 Nations Super Saturday. All go innit.

early one morning

The Shipping Forecast

Last night we discovered we were both awake when we shouldn’t have been. Usually if I happen to be awake I try to lie still so as not to disturb Anne and vice versa. On this occasion we decided to turn on the wireless set on a timer – that usually gets us back into the land of nod.

During the night Radio 4 is basically the long wave broadcast as far as I can see and on this occasion it was on the World Service News (I think – I wasn’t that awake). We got talk of meetings to discuss diplomatic approach to dealing with China and an article about a Pakistan woman rugby player (international?) who drowned on a boat trying to get to Italy to get her kid an operation.

That wasn’t going to get me to sleep again. Fortunately the Shipping Forecast came on. Result. What a great news item. I rarely hear it nowadays because our kitchen radio (wireless) is DAB and doesn’t have long wave. I suppose I might be able to find it on DAB?

The point is that the Shipping Forecast is so reassuring. Doesn’t matter what the weather is like. It is the fact that this has been broadcast all my life. It is a constant. A monotone delivery makes it very relaxing.

Now this morning’s forecast was not particularly good news 4 – 2 falling with rain but the content is irrelevant, unless you are on a boat.

This got me back to sleep but before it did it reminded me that a few years ago I came up with a project to write down a year’s worth of BBC traffic and travel bulletins. The plan was to consolidate each bulletin so that all roads mentioned during the year would be included once.

The country would have been gridlocked. This is still a valid project. Just needs planning and executing. In an ideal world I could source a year’s worth of bulletins in one go rather than painstakingly wait for 12 months. Probs never happen but the idea is good.

I eventually nodded off and woke up at six forty five.

early one morning


As I glanced at the clock on the bedside table this morning it ticked noiselessly over from 05.29 to 05.30. As an experiment I stared at it, thinking it would seem to take forever to move on to 05.31. It didn’t. Same for 05.32.

My god, I thought. I might as well get up if time goes that quickly. Don’t want to waste it lying in bed. This isn’t always my approach. Our bed is v cosy but I am often awake at this time and if I can’t nod off again I head downstairs.

It isn’t that I fill my day with activity. Sometimes I sit there doing nothing but then realise I’m bored and start tidying the shed, or simlar. Doing my expenses perhaps. Or planning a trip or stuff.

For the last week I’ve been inviting people to a dinner I’m hosting in town next week and the other day I filled up some time buying tickets for next year’s Olympic Games in gay Paree. 

This process took a lot longer than you might imagine. Not because it was a terrible experience waiting for hours in a queue in the way it was for the Rugby World Cup in France. It was because I hadn’t been expecting the email which basically said ‘Oy tref we are giving you 48 hours to fill your boots with tickets for three events’.

Took me a while to realise that this was the organising committee telling me the tickets were mine if I wanted them and was in a position to hand over some dosh. I hadn’t even been planning to go to the Olympics in 2024 and had only registered my interest because they kept chucking ads at me on Facebook and figured I might as well do it as not.

When the email arrived it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss so I delved. Took the plunge, although I hadn’t given any thought as to what sports I might want to see. It even took me quite a bit of staring to find out how to start the process. I did eventually spot the ‘BOOK NOW’ button or similar slap bang in front of me on the website but this was after scrolling up and down a few times clicking on non-existent links. Oy Paris2024 – you need more than one BOOK NOW button.

Then of course I had to decide what sports to see. I went straight for the men’s 1,500m and 100m finals but either these tickets had already gone or they had not yet been made available. Not all sessions for every sport seemed to be up for grabs in this release. Would probably been prohibitively expensive anyway especially as they were letting me buy 6 tickets for each session. No point in going on my own is there? I ended up spending a few bob on eighteen tickets for three sessions – two rugby sevens and one basketball. The rugby will be a very sociable couple of days out.

The cost of the tickets, whilst not particularly cheap, pales into insignificance compared to the cost of staying in Paris when the games are on.At least it was on AirBnB. Robbing bastards. It was the same in London in 2012. It is actually too far ahead to even book hotels right now, at least with Hilton, so I might be being a bit unfair on them but I doubt it.

When we stayed in London during the Olympics in 2012 we did opt for a very last minute hotel room – Kings Cross Travelodge (I know, I know!) and booking for the next day was surprisingly a lot cheaper than trying to book months in advance. I guess there could have been lots of cancellations as people’s teams were knocked out of different events.

When we strolled around Covent Garden that Saturday morning the place was eerily quiet. Much quieter than on a normal Saturday. Everyone was either still in bed or had gone to the games.

Anyway, plenty of time to plan for the Olympics. Lots of things to do before then like making the tea which is what I’m going to do now 🙂

early one morning

Diffused light

Up by five twenty this morning. I’d lain in bed pondering whether I could squeeze in another hour’s kip. Decided no. Wasn’t worth the effort. I was wide awake and had already put my specs on. This brings focus to the darkness. A relatively modern and artificial construct. It wasn’t total darkness as the street light diffuses through and around the curtains. Seemed to look a lot brighter this morning but I must have imagined it.

Now I am sat downstairs, in the darkness, although the light from the laptop reveals shadows in the room. Bookcase. Table lamp.

I have not yet looked to see what is happening out there. Who is saying what? This is difficult as social media and news media are addictive. I bought a newspaper on Saturday but have not yet read it all. There is a scenario whereby that is all you need. A paper once a week at the weekend where you might notionally have time to read it. Or where you can take the whole of the following week to read it.

Why not? I don’t think I could do it although it might be an interesting experiment, for the next month say. I’ve just upgraded my broadband connection and wifi network to speed up my already fast access to the web. The answer would be to go on holiday somewhere where there is no connectivity. Keld for example, in Swaledale. One of our fave spots. Google The Keld Lodge Hotel and book a visit.

The other night I lay awake for a good hour but it was too early to get up and I did eventually drop off again. Whilst I was awake I did pick up the phone and write “The Good Hour” down as I figured it would be a great idea for a poem. However that page still sits there blank awaiting inspiration. You will see it when it’s ready. Ditto “Not a pot, on offer” and “Hieronymus Nosh – food philosopher”. 

You have to write these notions down when you think of them or they are gone forever. Now the rest of you might look at “Not a pot, on offer” and “Hieronymus Nosh – food philosopher” and think ‘der Tref’s losing the plot’. You could be right. Not even sure where they came from. 

I think Hieronymus was my incorrect answer to a question on University Challenge last night. Didn’t get many right. Usually I might get half a dozen or so but it was a generally low scoring round so the brainy students on the telly must have also struggled.

It’s a bit like a pub quiz but totally different. I’m totes crap at pub quizzes because they often focus on popular culture, of which I am no expert, and are also very dependent on how the brain of the person setting the questions works.

If you want to know more about ole Hieronymus look him up on Wikipedia. There’s a classic arty intellectual write up on him. It’s not for me. I don’t know much about art but I know what I like 😂.

I doubt there are any kids named Hieronymus these days. Not looked it up. Missing a trick there folks. It could be the next trendy kids’ name after Brooklyn Bridge and Moonbase or whatever Frank Zappa’s son was called. 

I believe Frank’s kid changed his name by deed poll. He is probably now a Dave. Don’t blame him. Being called Dave will help him disappear into the crowd after a childhood no doubt spent in the full glare of his father’s publicity or at least its diffused light which is how my own day started, as you know.

Gorra go. Tea to make and it’s not even my turn!


de dendisd

I dusd been do de dendisd. Was nod a gread experiende. My moudd is sdill numb. A well.

Check up booked for one year hence. No availability before then anyway! Wtf!! Hygienist booked for about a months time. £75! Wtf!!! My old dentist used to tag it on for nothing at the end of a check up. Ok he was a pal of mine and he died a few years ago so that avenue of joy is no longer available.

It was a very tense experience this time for some reason. I’m normally fairly relaxed about such visits. You can just picture me lying back on the chair, mouth wide open, with two masked heads peering down at my face. Grinding, drilling, whirring, sucking. Shudder 🙂

Walked back up Steep Hill at a very measured pace. The measured pace is because Steep Hill , if you aren’t familiar with Lincoln, is bloody steep. I even go down it slowly. A classic candidate for an escalator were it not for the fact that it is in a very historic place and some jobsworth would frown at the proposition 🙂

Home now.


Yes we have no tomatoes

Yes we have no tomatoes

Feasted well this morning on half a grapefruit, half an orange and half a clementine with some yo gurt. The other half will be consumed tomorrow. Quite invigorating. No mint though which was in the recipe but its absence did not detract from the experience.

The day ahead is a busy one with earth moving, sunday lunch cooking and lane swimming on the menu. The bag of “enriched organic soil” delivered on Thursday needs moving from the front drive to various raised beds in the back garden. The only way to do this is one wheelbarrow at a time as the bag is too heavy to lift and shift. I did start on Friday afternoon but yesterday was too cold and rainy for me to drum up any enthusiasm for the job.

Before I start on the soil I have a chichen to stuff and pigs in blankets to ‘roll’. ie wrap the bangers in bacon. My fave daughter Hannah is swinging by for lunch with boyf George.

No tomatoes will be used in the preparation of the meal. Nor lettuce. We do have lemons but they will not play a part. I prefer to stuff the chichen with sage and onion rather than the citrus alternative occasionally observed in recipe books and online. I won’t be cooking turnips either although we do occasionally have them in a roast vegetable bake accompaniment.

The first half of France v Scotland will feature this afternoon but lane swimming at 4pm precludes the viewing of the denouement.

There you go. The day ahead in two hundred and fifty nine words. A concise summary of a tiny part of my time on planet earth. Beam me up Scotty.

Beeootiful afternoon in Lincoln. Done some jobs and now watching France v Scotland. Both sides down to 14 men


The milkman doesn’t come on a Thursday

The milkman doesn’t come on a Thursday. He usually brings two pints of milk on Mondays, Wednesdays on Fridays. Drops them off anytime between three thirty in the morning and four thirty. Sometimes I hear him, sometimes I don’t. A snapshot of Lincoln life in the year twenty twenty three.

I doubt that many people have their milk delivered anymore. Sometimes we supplement it with more milk purchased from the supermarket but ordinarily two pints keeps us going. It is mainly for tea with the occasional splash on breakfast cereal.

We don’t get anything else delivered, other than online purchases. There was a time when we received a Sunday paper but it is rare for us to buy hard copy these days. 

This is a shame really. It is partly a reflection of the way society has moved. Buying a Sunday paper means you, presumably, spend time sitting down to read it. It was quite handy when it came to lighting the fire, especially when you needed to block off the opening to create an updraft. I might light the fire today. See how it goes.

I have been considering taking the Weekend Financial Times. It is a very good paper. Not just financial shit in which I am increasingly disinterested. Once met the technology editor of the FT in a hotel bar in Tokyo, fwiw. We got on well enough and arranged to meet the following evening in the same spot. He stood me up! Bumped into him on the bus to the airport and he was most apologetic. The editor had asked for ten thousand words on a very tight deadline so he had to drop everything.

That was two decades or more ago. Ma gurd. This cannot be so! I remember it like it was yesterday. I don’t really remember much about Tokyo. It seemed a bit of a dump to me. Concrete jungle. I do remember cellar bars and restaurants and not being able to understand any of the street signs. Navigating around Tokyo without a minder was, at least back then, not the easiest proposition. Ditto Taipei.

Singapore on the other hand was a paradise for Westerners. English signs and fantastic food and drink. I stayed a couple of times at the Hyatt Regency on Orchard. Great bar, like a gentlemen’s club, and fabulous rooftop pool. 

Went to a sales meeting in Indonesia once. It was only a 30 minute ferry ride from Singapore. Air conditioned rooms but the public areas of the hotel were open at the sides. We were only sixty miles or so from the equator and spent every evening drinking pineapple daiquiris on the deck looking out at the blackness of the South China Sea. An occasional ship steamed slowly by, visible only because of its navigation lights.

I’d go back to Singapore although there are probably other destinations in the region higher on my list of priorities. It is a non-existent list to be honest but I’ve never been to Vietnam or Cambodia so if headed out there and wanting to visit Singapore it would have to be a two centre trip.


Street Life & gin

Street Life & gin. Lost in music. I look up and the light has gone. The spin of the planet has moved me into a different place and time. The mood lighting is on in the shed and I spend my time communicating with offspring. They might as well be in a different galaxy. Doesn’t matter so much these days. Economic migrants at the other end of a photon. Beam me up daddy.

Home is good. Life is surreal. Elsewhere there are palm trees and warm waters. There are icebergs and pyramids and vast plains filled with the roar of lions and the thunder of wildebeest. I don’t really understand any of it.

I’ve ordered a 900 litre bag of enriched topsoil for the new raised beds in the greenhouse. Gritty reality. Earthiness. We will shortly be planting tomatoes in the heated propagators. Feet away in the shed, tonight we will watch Liverpool play Real Madrid. Anne and I together. Real not surreal. Surreal Madrid? No. Surreal that we can watch it in the shed.

Modern life. Modern living.

Someone I knew just died. I didn’t know him well but he was someone in the wider internet community. His last few years were tough. He wasn’t one of life’s winners. My list of Facebook friends has a growing element of people who are no longer with us. I haven’t deleted any of them.

Spring is very much in the air. The shed doors are flung open. Not very widely flung but open nevertheless. I just threw in a flung for dramatic effect 😄

There are signs of new growth in the garden. The apricot bush has started to blossom which is a bit of an issue as we had planned to prune it. We just needed to figure out how to do that. Suspect it may be too late but will consult an oracle or almanac.


Nags Head car park

Sat in the Nags Head car park biding my time, no wine. I saw no goats and had no truck. I repeat. No goats and no truck although mist blew our way from the waterfall. Thunderous cloud through cleft cliff, hewn by time geological. A father sits on the shingle shore watching  son throw stones at the grey glass sea, flattened by no wind. Then clasps the boy tightly. A bird unprofitably pecks window and flies another coop. Cars flee from fond farewells.

Later the Dibbinsdale buzzes. The restaurant appears to be full. Unfortunately, in the bar,  I seem to be sitting, alone, in a sweet spot to hear one person’s conversation. It isn’t interesting. Distracting. Sounds as if it might be a works night out but I could be mistaken. I’m trying to blank it out. It isn’t as if I am listening to a CEO discussing a potential acquisition or some similar interesting topic. Certainly not at the Dibbinsdale. It’s someone discussing what it might be like to work at other companies. I’m also hearing aubergine, mushroom bruschetta and goats cheese pizza.

I’m down here on my own because I had a couple of beers with dinner earlier (at the Nags Head) and don’t want to fall asleep. Beer is the answer. We are off out to some friends’ down the road a bit later. Staggering distance.

Tots phenomenal night last night at the snooker btw. Historic occasion. Nail biter. Mistakes by both players showing the pressure. That kind of night.


Llandudno dawn

This morning, in the shadow of the Great Orme, the Irish Sea is calm. Waves pound gently but rhythmically on the stone beach. Occasional walkers catch the breeze. Hardy swimmer in blue bobble hat puts on her leggings under blue and white striped towel. Bloke in bright orange swim shorts and black and grey top.

I am sat on a comfortable sofa in the lobby of The Imperial Hotel, Llandudno gazing out at the promenade. The view is not as idyllic as it could be as a large Pay and Display sign is the most prominent feature outside the bay window. In the distance, wind turbines whirl. Modern times.

There is a proliferation of palm trees on the prom, a suggestion that Llandudno might be in its own microclimate on the North Wales coast. I imagine they have all self seeded from coconuts washed ashore by the gulf stream 😉

The sea front is getting busier. Guests assemble in warm coats and hats in the hotel lobby. The main topic of discussion is the sourcing of change for the pay and display machines. Charging starts in three minutes at ten o’clock (ante meridian). I have already paid and displayed and moved the car nearer to the hotel. Result! although not as much of a result as had I been able to find space in the hotel car park.

I feel no compulsion to head out and explore the town. Done it before. Quite surprised at how many people are in town. The hotel is full of snooker fans like us. Today is the final. Anne passed Ronnie O’Sullivan on the stairs on her way out. He isn’t in the final. Cue tip problems. She also spotted Sean Murphy in Starbucks. He is in the final. Relaxing before a high pressure afternoon. Llandudno is the place to be to spot snooker players.

Ronnie just walked past me headed for breakfast. Just sayin’ 🙂

It’s quite a luxury having a couple of hours in the hotel all to myself. For some reason it doesn’t feel like a Sunday although I have no idea what any day should feel like really. A white convertible with red soft top drives past the window. Orange life belt on post. Has it ever been used in anger?

Behind me the receptionists babble. They like working here. Imagine spending your whole life working in a hotel reception in Llandudno. Why not? If that’s your thing. Is it really anyone’s thing? Bloke just walked past me in shorts. A month early. I start wearing shorts when the clocks change. This is Llandudno mind you 🙂

Interesting to stroll around on your own. Other strollers are a mixed bag of couples, small family groups and other singletons. I get very lonely if i have to spend an extended time on my own.


Saturday morning, as the crow flies

It is nine thirteen on a Saturday morning, as the crow flies 🙂 The fast has been broken and I am sat without a cup of tea indulging in some relaxation prior to getting ready for the day. This will involve the usual performance of ablutions and getting dressed and then sauntering in the general direction of the shop to purchayse picnic supplies.

For today we set the compass bearing west to Llandudno, the Imperial Hotel and the Wales Open Snooker Championship final. We will see two out of the four semifinalists do battle for the trophy on Sunday.

The semi finalists are Shaun Murphy, Robert Milkins, Pengfei Tian and Junxu Pang. This is mildly disappointing as I’ve only heard of Shaun Murphy. All the other big names have been knocked out wtf! Including Ronnie!!! Presumably we will be watching a new star in the making. I woz there!!!

Gorra go. Ablutions etc…