Archive for the 'journal' Category

Tree Cut

Before and After

Before and After

The neighbours seem particularly allergic to the leaves from our tree, so we have to get it cut every now and then just to keep everybody happy. Except me, because now the ridiculously bright new street light prevents me from seeing any stars at all from the garden. It was advertised, before they installed it, as being turned down at night – but it blazes away like a full moon after the sun has gone nova.

I miss the Milky Way.

Latitude, attitude: Part 1

With Glastonbury taking a year off, Latitude was an easy choice this year. After last year’s rain, it was bound to be sunny in 2012, right? We bought pre-sale cheap(er) tickets in October and were well chuffed when Elbow were announced as headliners.

42/365 20120712First BeerThursday was sunny. We set up camp and waited for Latitude to open so we could get a beer.

It started raining around 11pm, and there wasn’t much on so we retired around 11:45. None too soon, because it absolutely tipped it down and earplugs, always useful when sleeping at festivals, became a necessity to deaden the sound of rain on canvas.  I woke up at 3:45 to turn over (I hate sleeping bags) and noticed that the inner door on the tent was open. I had this ridiculous idea that Wen might have opened it because she was too hot, but she said it wasn’t her. I looked outside and the side door to the tent was open too. Waking up a little, I saw something on the floor: my trousers, which had been next to me in the inner tent. The wallet in my pocket was gone.

Robbed! Professionally, too – on the first night when we had all our money for beer and food for the weekend. They didn’t take my phone or Wen’s purse, so we started testing the various credit and bank cards out-of-hours stolen card support lines. (Winner: the police lady on “101” who fished her Barclaycard out of her own bag to read us the number; Loser: Barclaycard, who asked three times for the card number from a dodgy line to an Indian call centre. I don’t know – it’s been stolen!)

Coffee and TeaI got a call on my mobile in the morning from a bloke just a few tents away (the flag was useful again) who had found my wallet. All the credit cards were still inside. But worthless. We only had enough money for one day’s food and beer.

Luckily, Tim was coming to Latitude, but not until Friday afternoon. We called him at work and asked to borrow £150. We might eat yet! And it had almost stopped raining. Time for a nice cuppa before we popped into the arena and into the Comedy Tent and the Finalists for the Chortle Student Comedy Awards, who were surprisingly good.

The rest of the day we saw LLoyd Cole, Punch Brothers, The Antlers, Mark Watson, Janelle Monáe, Lana Del Ray, Metronomy, White Lies and John Hegley.
Lloyd ColePunch BrothersThe AntlersMark Watson43/365 20120713Lana Del RayMetronomyWhite LiesJohn Hegley
And in the afternoon we met Tim who lent us enough money to eat and drink like kings.

Nearly hit by 2 trucks!

On the way to work this morning I went via Tesco to get milk. I was in the traditional and daily queue of stationary traffic on the inside lane of the A14, actually second from the back, when a great big articulated lorry came by – still shaking and wobbling from massive braking as it swerved into the fortunately empty next lane.

“That was quite close,” I thought, but observed that I had left enough room between me and the car in front to drive into the lay-by at the side – if I’d noticed it in time. Two more cars arrived behind me, and then I noticed in the mirror another big lorry steaming down the road obviously going too fast to stop.

Putting into action the very plan I had just been considering, I started to move into the lay-by. The car two behind had the same idea but with more urgency and was already in the lay-by. This time there was no room in the next lane, so I re-considered when I saw that the truck was also attempting to use the lay-by as an escape route. Sadly for him, the lay-by was also now blocked, so the tanker (I could now see) went by us on the grass and then tipped gently into the ditch. Where it certainly still is now. We got out to see that the driver was OK – he gave us the thumbs up as he was already speaking to someone on his mobile (“Yes, I’m in a ditch. Again.”) and got out of the cab.

It didn’t seem right to take a photograph, so I didn’t. As the truck had actually managed to miss everything, there was no need for witnesses – so we all drove off, once the people in the inside lane let us out.

How was your trip to work?

Round-Up Robin

I’ve been very lax. Busy, but that’s no excuse. My excuse is that I wanted to do pictorial fancy reportage of stuff, but that is too burdensome and so to catch up all in one requires a Christmas Round Robin style holiday bragging session, but at least the slideshow is optional.

A promise to take Wen’s parents to catch the Eurostar ended up with us spending the weekend in Paris.

Then we continued at midsummer by going to Glastonbury. We even bought a gas stove and a little kettle. You may recall that it rained. There was also mud. If we can get tickets, and can find some travelling companions, we shall probably go again next year.

At the end of July, we went to Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. It was hot, humid and fabulous.

Then for our Silver Wedding Anniversary (isn’t that something old people have? Don’t I remember my parents’?), Alf & Anne organised a Champagne Tasting Weekend in Reims. We were promised a weekend drinking “more champagne than you’ve ever drunk in your life”. We thought that would be a tall order for Anne, but I think that we managed – certainly more kinds of champage.