After years of doing this to non-technical friends of mine who used to complain about computers crashing and so forth while composing webmails or blogging, I’ve taken my own advice and composed this update in a text editor before pasting it into the blog. Hoist by my own petard, some would argue, but they’re not on my Christmas card list. You know who you are… 🙂
Anyway! Now that the drama has passed, I’ve had my bit of a lie down, a relaxing massage and a soothing camomile tea, here I am to tell of my latest exploits. Well, maybe ‘exploits’ is overstating it somewhat (I mean really, my life is not so dramatic, is it?), but tell you what: you decide!
My last update of any significance was the beginning of July, and so much has been going on since then. I’ve been back to Ireland, accompanied by the lovely Fiona, with the intention of showing off the Emerald Isle (and introducing her to everyone back there, of course) – and that turned out quite well, I have to say. To start with, we had a week of hot, sunny weather. Yes, it’s not a typo or a moment of insanity – we had a week of sunshine. Hard to believe, but there you go. I even came back with a tan – go figure!
In my usual heel-dragging fashion, I’ve still not got around to uploading the pictures to the gallery, but keep checking back – they might be up there by November. Careful now… We had the joy of an impromptu upgrade from Hertz, which meant that the boxy group B car we were supposed to have morphed into a Toyota Avensis. A big, comfy, fast car to tour around the West with – and that we did. To the extent that I was all toured out by the time I returned to London – many many miles were covered, believe me. Ventures to the furthest reaches of Connemara to visit the caravan where I spent my childhood summers (yes, it’s still there!) and marvel at how the beach had shrunk (or so it seemed), then into Northern Ireland to visit Enniskillen (Fiona was curious…), eastwards to Mullingar to visit family and friends, then back to Ballina to enjoy the closing night festivities of the Salmon Festival (it rocked, and the fireworks were awesome). Phew!
And so back to Beckenham, to continue the dreary task of packing and moving – in the end the move was a reasonably civilised affair, without too much trauma. Well, I think that ‘er indoors might have had a bit of a turn when she saw the amount of stuff I was shoe-horning into her house, but anyway. All sorted, moved, and then off out for Fi’s birthday – a nice dinner at the Ivy (*rather* fine, don’t you know?), followed by the Frank Sinatra show at the Palladium. Now that show’s had mixed reviews, but I thought it was a good one – screens of various sizes providing the video of Frank singing along to the orchestra on the stage, along with a troupe of performers padding the whole thing out. A good evening, for my money…
So then it was just a case of adjusting to living in a new place, with my girlfriend, surrounded by boxes, trying to get the computer to work, trying to find my tools that I left just there but a few moments ago, trying to squeeze my miscellaneous rubbish into ever-dwindling cupboard space… The adventures go on and on.
We had a break from it, when we went to Alton Towers for my first time ever. We arrived quite early, so queues were either non-existent or quite short. And Fiona headed us straight to her favourit ride, Oblivion, at top speed. Twice, in quick succession. After the second time, I was rigid with adrenaline, so I decided to move on. If you’ve never been, I would have to say that it’s one of the most juice-pumping, pant-wetting rides I’ve ever been on, and I strongly recommend it. Seriously!
And now it’s all calming down and settling into a routine. A barbecue is in the offing, weather permitting, and who knows what else? I’m close to the Mick Jagger centre here, where they have all kinds of musical acts over the coming months (I’m already booked to see Kevin Bloody Wilson in October!); Bluewater is a short drive away, and although I’m not that much of a shopper, it’s got a good cinema and one or two reasonable eateries (and some gnarly ones, but I digress); the countryside is close by for weekend hikes, and when all else fails the M25 is only a couple of minutes away. Great thing about Dartford: lots of ways to escape! 🙂
Of course, there’s my trek up Ben Nevis with Pete next weekend, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Watch this space! I’ll post again at some point, but I’m a little disorganised just now. You know how it is…