Tag Archives: holiday

No1 Son Has a Bad Day

He was supposed to fly from Gatwick yesterday. However, he ended up with a daytrip to Brighton whilst waiting for his flight yesterday and today headed off for a weekend in East Anglia. It’s not the Christmas trip to Innsbruck which he had planned, but he’s better off than a lot of people who have had their plans disrupted.

Assuming that this is an eco-protest rather than a terrorist attack or prank, I’m not altogether out of sympathy with the protest, as we are killing the planet with all our travel.

However, a couple of hours would have made the point without wrecking Christmas for thousands of people.

It now seems that airlines and travel insurance companies may be able get away with taking the money and cancelling the flight as it is “an extraordinary event” and not covered by insurance. Nice work if you can get it, but typical of insurance companies and airlines, who never seem to take their responsibilities too seriously.

I’m expecting a major backlash against drones now, and some questions in parliament about the lack of effective action against the drone.

 

Jute, Jam and Journalism

Today, I’ll start with DD4.

DD is Dundee, and Dundee is famous for the three things in the title. We went there on holiday just over ten years ago and I feel quite nostalgic about it. The kids were still young enough to like their parents and used to enjoy seeing new things. The wilderness years of teenagery and rebellion were still in the future.

We missed the Keiller factory, though we did see fields of fruit canes, which took care of the “jam” element. D C Thomson, publishers of many famous comics and annuals, are also based there. I say “famous” rather than “comprehensible” because it includes Scottish classics such as Oor Wullie and The Broons, which are distinctively Scottish in language. It’s a bit like reading Burns, but with the bonus of pictures.

We did, however, see the “jute“. In fact we saw a lot more jute than we wanted to, as we were forced to endure a lengthy film and display by a stern woman who seemed unwilling to let us go without forcing us full of information on jute. I suspect she’d once been a Gauleiter in the Jute Information Board or some such body.

Though we were interested in the jute, we were actually there for the Tay Bridge and the Discovery.

I’m not sure exactly which postcode it all fell under but Dundee is DD1 to DD4 so it will do. With hindsight we should have spent more than just one day in Dundee as there’s a lot to see.

It was a great holiday in some ways, and a low point in another. At the time someone owed me £1,200, and the recovery process wasn’t going well. After one particular phone call I made life hell for everyone, which really wasn’t fair. It’s one of those things that comes back to haunt me – bad parent, bad husband. Fortunately it was only for part of a day.

The debtor eventually came up with £600. Then he died, with no assets and a gambling problem I’d been unaware of.

He drowned after falling into a ditch and whilst in drink. (Gambling wasn’t his only problem).  There was some talk about a car being seen speeding away from the area where he was found. There was also a suggestion that I’d been involved. And that was why I sometimes tell people I was a suspect in a murder case. (I wasn’t, because the police never contacted me, but it makes me sound more interesting).

The interesting fact about DD4?

Er…

There are three towns in the UK with football stadiums less than a mile apart.

At three – Liverpool and Everton. Under a mile apart.

At two – Nottingham Forest and Notts County – the closest football league grounds in England, just 300 yards apart.

At one – Dundee and Dundee United – the closest in the UK – just 100 yards apart. Look at the map and gasp in wonder. They are close.

 

 

 

Sun, Sea and Sand. And Sunburn.

I’m sitting here with several hundred photographs and experiencing that warm glow well known to bald men who forget their sun hats in the middle of a heatwave. It’s quite sore at the moment, though it’s nothing like it has been for the last few days. I never knew that my scalp flexed so much until it became painful to move.

In just a few hours I returned to a simpler time, to an era when sun wasn’t linked to skin cancer, and I was a carefree youth. I spent a week walking around Norfolk in 1976 and lost the skin off my back and shoulders. Since then I have been more careful – until I hit my second childhood this week. Anyone who is familiar with Swan Vestas will be able to imagine what I look like. (If you aren’t familiar, they are matches with pale stems and bright red heads).

We just had a few days in East Anglia. I’ve been taking more exercise than usual and getting more sleep so despite having plenty of material to write about I’ve not done much. Sorry about. When I eventually change the name of the blog I’m considering The Lazy Blogger as a title. It’s not only an accurate title but it’s pretty close to what Julia calls me all the time.

I’m just getting back into my stride – it was the sort of holiday you need a holiday to recover from. Seven piers, two forts and a nature reserve don’t see themselves. I also had to consume two lots of haddock and chips and a cream tea for the purposes of research. Lesser men would have wilted under the pressure. I merely whined a little.

All will be revealed in due course.

For now I offer a selection of photographs of Julia in holiday mood.

 

 

More Guest Photos

Suddenly realised, at 11.54, that I needed to post before midnight. What should I post? Well, here are some photos from Julia’s trip to Malta. Featured image shows her with offspring, in case you are wondering who the two strange men are. I particularly like the one of the cactus, though the one of Julia isn’t too bad. The Seawater Distillery building is quite interesting too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Theory of Relativity

This morning Julia’s alarm, as usual, went off shortly before mine. They are both on our telephones, which are presumably;y linked to an atomic clock somewhere,  so I’m at a loss to explain the difference. My car clock is set from my watch, which I keep two minutes fast,and it agrees with neither phone.

In the days before mobiles we had a time signal on the radio, and everyone seemed to take punctuality more seriously.

So, having had a disturbed night lay there waiting to fall asleep again. This half hour delay allows her to use the bathroom without feeling hassled and allows me to avoid making breakfast. This is either the mark of a caring husband, or a lazy sluggard. I have censored her actually words, but the last three letters are the same. In another example of relativity I prefer not to subject my readers  to profanity.

Anyway, back to the relativity of time. Normally I fall asleep for my extra half hour. Today I didn’t. It seemed to drag on forever. I started to wonder if I’d been in such a deep sleep that Julia had left without me. But no, When I checked my alarm the “hours” had passed in 23 minutes. The remaining seven minutes also dragged…

Normally I’d love an extra half hour in bed. This morning, mainly because we are resisting the use of heating, I decided to tough it out under the duvet as luxury turned into an endurance test.

And that, if I may be so bold, is my Theory of Very Ordinary Relativity. It’s not about things like time travel, or time moving slower at the tops of high buildings. If it was I’m sure that geriatric scientists would live in tower block, not bungalows.

It’s about very ordinary things, like not all time being of equal value and a week on holiday passing quicker than a week at work.

Unless (a) your wife starts worrying about whether she locked the door properly, or (b), you are spending it in Berwick-on- Tweed. But that is another story.

 

 

The Coming Year (Part 2)

The plan for the year is gradually coming together, which is good, because I want something to take my mind off yesterday.

First, I’m spending time on getting my health in order. This isn’t really an active choice, after the pre-Christmas admission to hospital it was more or less forced on me. I’m in hospital tomorrow, though I’ve already covered that.

Second, I’m doing more exercise and making sure I get out in the open air. We said we would do it and although it’s a bit patchy it’s going quite well. Having blown a few cobwebs away I’m now feeling a lot fitter. Again, it’s not taking a lot of effort as I like getting out with the camera and binoculars.

Third, we’re putting a few plans in place for holidays- a long weekend in the Lakes and a week on Mull. Last time we had a full week the Beijing Olympics were on. Again, it’s not difficult to manage this.

Fourth, we have the permaculture and nature books out and we’re planning the changes in the garden. We’ll start with a good tidy (we’ve neglected it badly over the last couple of years due to the time we’ve spent on the farm) and see how it goes. This is going to take more effort. I’m starting with a wildlife pond and gooseberry bushes. Well, you have to start somewhere.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Washing up basin wildlife pond

Fifth, we need to declutter the house  and do some decorating. (See comments in Four). So far I’ve taken some books to charity shops. Every journey starts with a single step…

Sixth is weight loss. No plan just yet, it’s just sitting their like the elephant in the room. That’s what Julia has started calling me anyway.

The featured picture is a Robin from Rufford Abbey, all puffed up against last week’s cold.  It’s hard to beat a Robin photo for cheeriness.