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fusion

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thoughts

Watercolours

One misty morning in October. Thank God It’s Friday. Frankly my dear I don’t give a centime. RTYUI. Part of the charm. Why so much traffic? Firenze frenzy. Untitled document. Amazingly my diary has cleared today. It’s as if a bow wave has run through the calendar pushing all meetings aside. What shall I do? I could paint a picture. Watercolour. Watercolours. Or sort out dad’s tax. Finish my book. Not much left to read. Mourt’s Relation. V interesting. Listen to a symphony. Beethoven. One of his finest. Breakfast is something to look forward to. Must order some logs. Haircut? Avoid avoid avoid. Bury head in sand. Put on thick jumper. I’ve been in Southern California after the rain. You can see the mountains. Someone unplugged my Sonos. Heavy rain here. Lightning and thunder. The correct order. Avoid, avoid, avoid. The shallow politician. All shallows in short. Swirling words struggling with focus. Weeeth foe cus. A day of a gratuitous nature. It’s not about champagne it’s about which champagne. Look down upon the high sierra. Fighter or quitter? 😁 Switch off ears. Bruce bonus. Body pump booked. Class. I like fried bread but have no bread to fry. A fry down. No bread to fry. Fry away Trefor. Which tomato 🍅. You say tomato tomato 🍅. I say tomato tomato 🍅. Suffered a one off shock. Every other sentence. Life sentence. Significant other. The manager has been sacked. It’s a brutal business. I. Aye. Eye. Why? It’s about the party. Don’t slip on that skin. Slip me some skin. High four. Hi there, hiya. Steak  for dinner. Let us break bread. I. Who did you kiss in the moonlight? Wait and see.

I like the concept of breaking bread. Eating a meal can be done alone but breaking bread has to be some with someone else. It goes with drinking a beer or opening a nice bottle of wine.

What constitutes “a nice bottle of wine”?

No bread to break, no bread to break, no wine in the bottle, no bread to break.

Salad with a steak, salad with a steak, no wine in the bottle, no bread to break.

The youngest drinkers in town. Hannah and I were in Waitrose and repaired to the caff for a peppermint tea and a lahtay. There was a queue. They were all blokes. Old blokes.Their wives were sat holding spaces at tables. As was Han. I like going to Waitrose and occasionally frequent the caff if I’m with an offspring or pal but I never want to get into a habit of going there especially when all around are preparing for death. The slow but steady decline into a care home and oblivion. Maybe Friday morning is OAP morning. I dunno. It’s a mental thing. Preparing for death.

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opinion poetry

Ren

Ageless, forever young, liver of life, lovely tiki loving Joe lover, disc spinning colourista, friend of many, wine drinker, foodie, traveller, Shiraz appreciator, Devotee.

Happy Birthday Ren

Categories
thoughts

A good time to dilute

That moment when you realise you need to cull your t shirt collection. There are, I’m sure, many at the bottom of the pile that never get worn. It is time. Time they saw the light, momentarily. Fleetingly.

This is not a high priority job and should be reserved for a rainy day when I’ve run out of other things to do and feel sufficiently motivated to get on and do it. It ranks below spraying the shed with its annual coat of preservative and certainly behind the tidying up of the garage bench, which naturally happens when you realise that you can’t find anything anymore.

Today is a lovely sunny day. It has that fresh smell of early summer and the sense that the birds have full bellies after their early worms and are now sitting contentedly on the branches adjacent to their nests chatting to their neighbours.

Cleared some of the jobs off my list although not told Anne I’ve sorted the ebike insurance – she might read this and find out 🙂 Sbeen a v chilled afternoon. A perfect summer’s day really. Shed doors wide open. Shorts t shirt (one of many as you know) and flip flops.

Cleared more ivy from the border near the shed and was followed around by a robin who basically filled his boots behind me. Lots of tasty looking grubs, if you’re a robin. Seems to be a theme today. Avian eating.

Robins don’t wear boots obvs but it felt like a suitable expression for the moment.

As I sit now, in the shed, watching Tombstone on DisneyPlus without the sound, the birds are hitting evensong. I assume that’s what they call it. It is evening and they are in song. Nothing religious about it. Snature.

It is approaching 8pm. The shed doors are still wide open. The tall grasses growing in front of the deck, heavy with seed, are moving gently. Not swaying, just moving. Gently. Fluttering. That’s a better way of putting it. Perceptibly.

Cleared the deck. Layered with detritus but no more. It was. Dead leaves, seed cases, duty discharged. New hope. Stiff brush the job.

Outside, the swoosh of the hosepipe prevails. Thirsty plants draw deep. A good time to dilute.

Categories
ideas

the art of being

05.45. Couple of vapour trails cross the clear blue sky, destination unknown.  London probs. 

At this time of the morning I assume they are at the end of a long flight. Cabin crew will be clearing away after what claims to have been breakfast and the skipper will have nudged the passengers into last minute preparations before they all have to belt up for landing. A queue appears outside the toilets.

On terra firma pesky woodpigeons whoop and a fearless robin lands on the bench outside the conservatory.

I am awake.

It was light well before 5am this morning. I recall not the specific time of the observation but I was momentarily awake before drifting back for perhaps another half hour’s nod. A fine day in prospect. A good day to shut out the wider world and enjoy being.

The art of being. The act of being. Wonderful being. Sipping a cup of tea. Sitting in a chair listening to birdsong. Smelling the morning. The closed piano, waiting for the right moment. The clock on the wall, two minutes fast. Never noticed that before. It isn’t really there to tell the time anyway. It looks nice in a useful space above the piano. Beating time. Metronome for life.

Now that I’ve noticed the clock I can hear it tick. Never heard that before.Traffic on the road in front of the house. Where are people off to at this time of day? I specifically want to know. Early voices coming from next door’s garden. I assume. Early, like I said, but what is early?

I may never again not notice the clock ticking. Interesting that. I may never again stay at the hotel on the beach in Venice. What’s that all about? Straying to the philosophical here.

Our lemon tree has many flowers. This is the first time I have noticed. It’s a small bush not a tree. It will never be a tree, trapped as it is in its terracotta pot devoid of any nutrition and only occasionally watered.

The glass panelled door to the living room is half open. The way I left it. There is a lot to take in. There are millions of blades of grass in our back garden alone, let alone on the whole planet.

Six neatly ordered chairs around a table cloth of green. The flowers outside the conservatory are motionless but a light breeze shakes the leaves at the top of the sycamore tree. When did the leaves appear?

The art of being.

Categories
fusion

The short lived 5am debate

I daresay most of you will only devote a contemptuous millisecond to my anguish at 5am this morning when I glanced at my bedside alarm clock and noted the time. Anguish doesn’t really properly reflect today’s early morning emotions. All I did was clock the time and conduct a very short lived debate with myself regarding whether I should get up and head downstairs to do something useful or sit it out (lie it out) and assume that I would get back to sleep until the display showed a more sensible time for a Saturday morning.

The debate didn’t really involve me presenting two arguments and weighing one up against the other. I was simply thinking that it was early, it was bloody cold out and the heating wasn’t due to come on for ages yet and I was very cosy in bed. Although each incident in the debate was very short lived I know it went on, and off, for a good thirty minutes because the last time I remember seeing was five thirty.

The next time I looked the clock said six thirty and I knew that staying in bed had been the right decision. At six forty five I got up, went downstairs to make the tea and was safely back in bed by five to seven.

Now up I have breakfasted well on ham, eggs, tomaytoes and mushrooms washed down with a couple of mugs of char. Mixing my vernacular there but this is allowed. Good phrase that: to mix the vernacular. Truth is to call bacon ham is only borderline vernacular and entirely dependent on your viewpoint. Also tomaytoes is merely adding an accent to tomahtoes that suggests the author is either well travelled or watches too much junk TV. I’ll leave that to you to decide. Both could apply.

Categories
fusion

shred that sheet

I woke up this morning and said to myself “made it through another night”. I sometimes think this. The whole pandemic sitch together with the ageing process makes you look at life differently. At 60 I am an orphan. Fortunately I have a great support structure around me. A very patient wife and 4 kids who still talk to me.

Yesterday we had a nice day out in Louth. Well not a whole day out. Louth ain’t that big but we had a nice stroll and had nice lunch in a nice caff. I also bought some books off a market stall.

Upon arriving in Louth the first thing we did after parking was have a coffee in a different caff to the nice one we ended in for the nice lunch. It too was nice. A couple plonked down at the table next to us and once settled she asked him what day it was. He responded that it was Wednesday and that she had asked him that yesterday. I pointed out that yesterday it was Tuesday not Wednesday. 

This caused general mirth in the cafe – it was a small cafe. There also followed a debate about how nobody could ever remember what it was, including the waitress who had apparently turned up for work the previous day thinking it was a Wednesday.

Today, as the astute amongst you will have gleaned, is a Thursday. There was evidence of an early frost as I walked to the shed although it felt almost springlike. Working day today! No rush though. I do feel that a fourth cup of tea might be appropriate but I’d have to go back to the house to source and it won’t do me any harm to delay a little.

The news is I have deferred my jury service to August. It suddenly clashed with a dinner I want to go to in London. The process was simple enough although I had to listen to 3 ½ minute of messages and options beforeI made it through to a person. I remember this from the last time I called as this time like then the voicemail message we one person but it was someone different telling me that my phone call would be recorded. Why couldn’t the same bloke have recorded both bits.

When I eventually got through the person didn’t want to waste time chatting. She had a job to do. She didn’t say that in so many words but you could tell 🙂 I could choose anytime in the next twelve months for the deferral so I went for a quiet time when I knew we wouldn’t be away. I say quiet time but actually August is busy for those of us in the campervan rental game but because of that I knew we would defo be in Lincoln.

Funny how people are different innit. A person who didn’t want to waste time chatting is fine to answer the phone for someone trying to defer jury service but would be no use working in a shop where staff might reasonably be expected to be friendly and chatty. Oh go on then yes I will buy that jumper. Or paper shredder.

My paper shredder is out on a van for delivery and arrives sometime today. Fwiw. Bought online not in a shop so no chatty sales assistant. It’s the solution to piles of papers building up in carrier bags in da shed. A fun time to be had. I bought one with a largeish capacity so that I didn’t have to keep emptying it. It will still sit compactly in the corner next to my desk though. Shred that sheet!

Categories
thoughts

tis evening

Tis evening. Outside, the temperature has dropped below zero and all sensible beings have kept to their lairs. It is not a night to be abroad. For some it is their first winter. For many it will be their last. Struggle’s end. A frozen lifeless body. No time to mourn. Survival.

Categories
fusion

Machester to Lincoln

Long old haul back to Lincoln from Manchester really. Quite a full train, not helped I guess by the cancellation of the earlier one. What’s going on on the train network! Some people (yooves) stood up although there are some empty seats. Maybe they are getting off at Stockport which is only a couple of minutes out of Manchester Piccadilly. My bag is on the seat next to me. I will move it if required but the guard said that there is plenty of room in the front three coaches so if people haven’t got the gumption to follow his advice that’s their lookout.

Wearing my Bose phones and am in the zone. Band on the Run. We are in the foothills of the Pennines if such they are. Connectivity is pants. Sheep don’t use the internet. I guess. Weak winter sun shining onto the hills in patches. Horse running along the edge of a field. Running to see the train perhaps. Life in a field must be a bit tedious.

Might drive next time.

We have entered a tunnel. There must be a mountain overhead. A hill anyway. Emerging into the sunlight we are in a valley. Quite picturesque. I wouldn’t fancy climbing the hills right now. It will be dark soon and I have a beer in my hand.

You sense the road to Sheffield takes a different route to the train. The high road.

Passed a small farmhouse on the steep side of the valley. I noticed it after I spotted the stone barn. Not an easy living I imagine.

Now on the delayed 16.38 out of Sheffield calling at all stops to Lincoln Central. Takes 74 mins or so normally. The driver arrived with two minutes to spare but the cheery guard showed up a few minutes late. We were all kept champing at the bit on the platform.

Called two taxi firms in Lincoln to pick me up from the stayshun. Earliest availability was 7.30pm whereas I get in at 6! Hmm. Might have to stick my thumb out.

Categories
fusion

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I realise that Christmas is still a way off but I thought it worth getting a letter across to you early this year in case you are having logistics problems in the warehouse. Elven driver shortages and so on.

My request this year is in my mind fairly simple but I have no idea how much back office work it might involve at your end. It isn’t quite as simple as wanting a few pairs of socks which might actually be affected by the global container shortage. The concept however is easy enough to get your brain around.

All I want for Christmas is world peace, climate change reversal and to know in advance which horse is going to win next year’s Grand National. This is a winning combination. World peace would mean the freedom to travel anywhere without having to worry about local wars, insurrections, piracy (presumably) and border restrictions. Climate change reversal would mean we could enjoy the wonders of our planet wherever we ended up going and winning the Grand National would mean we could do it all in comfort and style. Like I said, simples.

The camel train to Iraq might prove to be a little uncomfortable. We would have to make sure there were plenty of cushions and carpets to go around. The idea of diving amongst the resuscitated coral reefs in the South Seas is very appealing. Easily reachable from the jetty near the villa in the gardens of the hotel, natch.

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Being a man of the people my request for presents is, except for the Grand National bit, for us all so feel free to come up with your own ways of enjoying them. Iraq would face a shortage of camels if everyone wanted to do the same thing. 

As far as the Grand National is concerned if we all bet on the same horse the odds would disappear so I’ll keep that present to myself thank you very much. After all it isn’t unreasonable that everyone gets something personal that is just for them.

Anyway whatever you want for Christmas the big day will come quickly enough so I’d advise getting that letter sent. Just be sensible in what you ask for. If you ask for too much you might end up not getting anything. And remember there is a shortage of truck drivers, food, rubbish toys that looked great on the telly but will only get played with once, CO2, chefs, carers, bar staff, fruit pickers, oh and common sense.

Tref (I’ve been good all year) Davies.

xxx

PS Hope you don’t mind that kiss kiss kiss ending. Not trying to send any signals here. Just rolled off the keyboard.

PPS Can you bung some socks in as well please.

Categories
thoughts

don’t be blue

It was long since ordained that Sunday mornings should be a time of rest. Relaxation. With that in mind I tuned the sonos in the living room to Classic FM only to discover I had arrived in the middle of an ad break. For KFC! Did I hear that right? Fortunately calm has now been restored and I am listening to a bit of Dvorak. Aahhh.

There is a small espresso at my side, fresh off the stovetop and I have time ahead of me to indulge in the required restorative inactivity.

My use of the “Living Room” Sonos speaker was not straightforward this morning. Not compatible with the relaxation it was meant to facilitate. Turns out the Sonos S1 Controller on my macbook needs upgrading to S2. However the upgrade button doesn’t appear to work. I had to resort to using my phone which is fine but it isn’t really acceptable that the laptop version doesn’t work. 

Further investigation has revealed that Sonos don’t have a Mac version of the S2. Hmm.

All appears to be well in the Davies world. I’m not taking into consideration any “external to the bubble” factors here: global warming, a corrupt/inept political elite, food shortages etc. Two of us are up and at it with the third still sleeping off last night’s rum tasting evening at the cricket club. sfine.

In the news this morning is the death at the age of 64 of UB 40 singer Astro. People come and people go and after the flurry of interest has faded away he will fade from our memories but for the moment we think of him, and his family. The issue for me is that he was only 64. Time was, admittedly when I was so much younger than today, 64 was a long way off and not an unusual age at which to die. Now with only a month to go to the big one (oh no six oh!) it is quite a sobering thought.

It makes sorting out your life plan all the more urgent. Mine includes focussing on just doing stuff I enjoy. This means no stressful work and a concentration on creative projects. Easy really. This Christmas will be a watershed.

I’m quite looking forward to my 60th birthday. I really enjoyed my 50th which felt more like what 40 was supposed to be. I have a couple of big parties planned, one, trefbash60,  in London at the usual venue and the other at home in Lincoln. If you are coming to either I really look forward to seeing you. 

It’s the first time the date for trefbash has coincided with my actual birthday. It’s a terrific gig and I typically only remember who was there because we have a photographer which this year is going to be Paul Clarke again. The theme is Pirates of the Caribbean. Better start thinking about your outfit.

Outside, a colour laden washing line sways gently in the breeze. Important to have colour in your life. Don’t be blue or grey. The exception to this is my friend Martin Levy who carries grey very well. Only wearing grey makes choosing his wardrobe easy and his outlook is far from grey.

I am pondering a change in direction with my shirts and jackets. This isn’t one to rush into but I feel a simpler style might be in the offing. We shall see. It may be that the shirts and jackets I seek may not be available in the shops which is not that much different to half the ones I already have so maybe that doesn’t matter. You will find out when I find out.

In the meantime there are pictures to put up and garlic to be planted. It is Sunday morning after all. A time to get the jobs done 🙂

Categories
early one morning fusion

golf

Big end of season golf tournament today. I sat “big” but there are only seven of us. It is a big day out. These midweek days out are the best, when you would normally be chained to your desk, or tools. We are a mixed bunch: a plumber, water consultant (who knows?), NHS manager, mechanic, educational sector business development, a gentleman of leisure and me.

Our common denominator is that we are mostly ex rugby players. I say “ex” rugby players but reality is you can never be an ex rugby player. A rugby player never hangs up his boots. It’s just that the gap between games gets longer. I’m currently at 12 years, a mere pause.

The weather today is going to be dry but cold. 9 degrees celsius with a North North Westerly. A good wind if your destination is the Azores but a cold one if you are playing golf. I’m sure it won’t be as bad as I make out but it is the first cold snap of the season and a reminder of the winter ahead.

You know when winter is a coming when you have started making arrangements for the festive season. The parties that were put on hold are being restarted and there has even been talk of Christmas presents in the Davies household. Still plenty of time but all I can say is don’t leave it until Christmas Eve like I did one year with disastrous consequences. Also when you both agree that you won’t buy each other a present this year just ignore it and go ahead and buy her one anyway because she will definitely be buying you one.

It is ridiculous that deciding what we want for Christmas should ever be a problem which it always is because we don’t really need anything. In fact we are not wanting for anything either which I accept is a very lucky situation to be in. The electric bike I’ve just splashed out on is in theory a joint 60th birthday and Christmas present to myself but in reality I’ll want something to open on Christmas Day and it ain’t going to be a bicycle pump.

I will be content with everyone having a relaxed and happy time. Last year we all got together against government guidelines and had our usual family Christmas albeit without the traditional carols at the Morning Star and our Christmas Market Party which had hitherto gone uninterrupted for over thirty years. I’m sorry Boris but there was no way the kids were staying in their pokey flats in London for Christmas and you had anyway by then lost all vestiges of credibility when it came to covid rules and example setting.

Last year was important because it was our last Christmas with Dad who passed away during the summer. I kind of sensed it at the time as he was getting increasingly frail with lots of needs. We had a good time with him and had lots of cuddles and I’m sure he enjoyed being with us. This will be our first Christmas without both sets of parents which I am sure Anne and I will dwell on for a while. 

It reminds me that we have a fairly huge task ahead of us in the need to sort out some of mam and dad’s effects. I’m talking photos, letters and other important family mementoes such as mam’s nursing qualification certificate. My idea is to scan all these in and keep them online in a family archive. The nice surprise was in the number of letters we have to work through. People don’t write letters like they used to and fortunately mam kept them all. 

I have a plan to write letters myself but it hasn’t got very far yet, entirely due to the speed at which I can put pen to paper compared with the “lightning” flow of my fingers across a keyboard.

This Christmas should represent a watershed in that I have determined to stop full time work and to focus on doing things that I like. This will still involve some work but only doing stuff that I enjoy. Anne’s Vans is also going to take up more of my time which is really cool. It’s such a lovely business to have. When returning customers thank you for the fantastic time they have had that is really uplifting. Lots happening in the Anne’s Vans world which I’m sure you will find out about soon enough.

One of the side effects of the growing success of the business is the need to move our holidays from the summer to either side of the season. This isn’t a hard and fast rule as we fortunately have Coops our mechanic and business partner to fill in any gaps when we aren’t around but it does mean we are less likely to spend long times away during the summer period.

That said we are off to the IoM TT Races this year and the Euro-IX get together in Tempere follows on directly after that. I’m really pleased to have been invited to Euro-IX. We will also miss the start of the season because of our big trip across the pond. 3 ½ weeks or so taking in tobago, Miami, the Big Apple and Boston. A great itinerary but one that will test our constitution with all those hotel nights and dining out. I dare say you will see lots of pics from the trip.

The other big trip already in motion is to do a month following the rugby in the South of France in September of 2023. We are planning to go in one of the vans with occasional breaks in hotels to recover. Already have some match tickets for Nice. Cmon Wales, and Italy for those are the two games I have tickets for and I have already invited an Italian friend. We haven’t figured out what to do about the vans for that month yet but there is a scenario where we only hire to people wanting to take them for the whole month that we are away. We shall see.

Time to make the tea and to upgrade to Monterey 12.0.1…

Categories
fusion

The written word

Upon my soul

When did you last see your father?

Wallop is a word with multiple meanings

In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty.

We certainly live in uncertain times but has it not ever been thus? 

Some people pray before hitting the hay. Pray before hay!  In my mind we should perhaps give thanks whenever we wake up as opposed to before we go to sleep although I guess there is no particular rule on what people pray for at any time of day. It’s either thanks for making it through the day or thanks for making it through the night.

The exception to this is if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep in which the phrase “thank you very much” may not be considered a genuine expression of gratitude.

I’ve never prayed for anything. It’s a personal thang. If praying is your thang then that’s fine. I do religiously listen to the wireless in bed, both at night and in the morning. Actually I don’t really listen to it. At night it’s there for soporific effect. In the morning it’s more about habit than listening.

Have you ever considered how the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle has affected your life? If you are uncertain as to the answer that is probably part of it.

Categories
thoughts

Interesting

Interesting that the “country needs an opportunity to let its hair down”. Note so does the opposition.

Interesting that politicians come out of the woodwork as football fans, make speeches about it in the House of Commons and wear England football tops newly sourced for the occasion. Don’t they realise the contempt this engenders.

Interesting to see the unleashing of a drunken nationalistic fervour.

Interesting to watch the periodic build up of hopes and expectations – beware they are mostly dashed in the final analysis.

Interesting to observe the lack of understanding when English people find that Scots, Welsh and Irish are ambivalent to the outcome of the final.

Interesting that cheating seems to be accepted as part of the modern game (they should introduce the sin bin).

Categories
thoughts

the bus pass

Raoul Castro has finally taken his bus pass. I have visions of him travelling around on the front seat of a rickety old 1950s bus taking in the sights of Cuba. And why not? After a long career in public service people need to be able to finally put their feet up before they pop their clogs 🙂 I wouldn’t have thought they play much golf in Cuba so he will probably have to find other things to keep him busy. Writing in to the Havana Times and similar.

That’s the sort of thing I could envisage doing. After my breakfast of boiled egg and soldiers washed down with locally grown coffee, sat outside on the patio, I’d get my writing pad out and pen letters on subjects close to my heart. Complaints about the bus service. Stuff like that.

I’d probably stroll into town, maybe catch a bus, and meet my pals in Cafe Arcangel. It is one of the city’s best coffee shops. The sort of place you can while away the hours, glancing occasionally over the top of your newspaper at people going about their business in the street outside. The owner Joao always has a cheery smile.