We were up in Linclonshire a few weeks ago. The weather was awful. The Other Child’s grandparents have the most lovely garden but it was so dull, rainy and grey that it was pointless taking many pictures of the flowers and plants.
Instead I took some ‘still life’ pictures (which I had completely forgotten about). These are they….
A different sort of garden look…..
Posted in Life, the universe and everything... | Tagged gardens, Lincolnshire, photography, still life, Thimbleby | Leave a Comment »
Picture this Dear Reader. A cold and miserable Sunday morning 8:30. Rain forecast and already drizzle is in the air. I am in the deserted playground of a local school. Deserted that is save for three other learners, an instructor and a Yamaha 125. Yes, this was me yesterday freezing and wet and just a touch confused taking my CBT (for those of you in foreign lands who read this rubbish – that’s Compulsory Basic Traning to ride a motorcycle).
I would be lying to you Dear Reader if I pretended that I had any notion of what I was doing to begin with having NEVER ridden a motorbike IN MY LIFE and this complete lack of knowledge was borne out beautifully by my complete and utter lack of ability to get the bloody thing to move at all. Eventually (and I mean very eventually much to the boredom of my fellow learners – who incidentially were all in their early 20s and whizzing around the playground with gay abandon) I managed to get off the starting blocks . Now I won’t bore you with the frustrating morning that ensued. I shan’t tell you how many times I got it wrong and how many quite interesting swear words were uttered. And I certainly won’t tell you about at one point wanting to cry and go home.
What I will tell you however is that I had the most patient and amusing of instructors who told me that the only real problem was that I was trying too hard. ‘Take a chill pill’ said he ‘ and think of your footwork like an episode of Strictly Come Dancing’. And so I did and found myself several hours later out and about on the roads of the now wet and sodden Isle in my open faced helmet whizzing along at 45 (yes 45!!) miles an hour with the rain like needles in my eyes. There was a point along one of the most notorious stretches of road on the Island where I did think that this might be my last hurrah, but I managed to stay on and not end up under any oncoming juggernauts…always a bonus in these situations.
We got back to base and I couldn’t feel my hands (from hanging on for dear life) and was a touch saddle sore. I also had the most attractive helmet hair in the known motorcycling world. I expected the instructor to say that I’d have to come back and do some more training, but no – apparently I am quite competent on two wheels on the road – which from (literally) a standing start I thought was pretty good going.
Sadly because Martyn the Lambretta (I didn’t name him) is a 200cc scooter, I have to take a theory test and the a big bike test on a 400cc bike before I can ride him on the road – yikes!! Suffice to say that I shall be having more lessons before that takes place!
In any case, I thought to myself last night, I haven’t done anything for a while to challenge me and take me out of my comfort zone so this was a good day in that respect. It’s never a bad idea to learn something new and push yourself. I’m never going to be a biker or scooterer (or whatever the correct term is) and I shall be entirely fair weather pootling about with my picnic and camera along the country lanes. It’s the perfect vehicle for a spot of solitude and that I look forward to as well on sunny Sundays when the golf club is calling TG. In fact as he plays pretty much every Sunday, there will be much solitude. Can’t wait!
Posted in Life, the universe and everything... | Tagged Beaper Shute, CBT, Isle of Wight, Lambretta, motorcycling, scooters | Leave a Comment »
Oh, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road,
And I’ll get to Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.
And so we found ourselves, Dear Reader, TG and I along with some friends attending the wedding of the lovely Ms Emily over the bank holiday weekend on the (not so sunny but still bonnie) banks of Loch Lomond – Luss to be exact.
I used to live up in Scotland as a very small child when my Dad directed numerous episodes of Dr Finlay’s Casebook back in the late 60s but apart from that and a short stint working on the Glasgow Herald (in London) my Scottish connections and visits there end. So it was with great excitement that we set off for a weekend of fun and frolics and frolic we indeed did.
Luss is a very pretty village in a conservation area having been restored in the 90s and is full of slate roofed cottages
We stayed in the Loch Lomond Arms and the staff couldn’t have been nicer and more friendly. In fact, that was true of everyone we met in shops and hotels over the weekend which is so refreshing.
We had such a lovely weekend. Lots and lots of laughs. Some very dodgy Scottish dancing at the reception. The trying on of various tartan articles. Far too much wine. An abundance of haggis with just about every meal. The realisation that heels, a wide planked pier with BIG gaps and a metal grille do not make good friends. A wonderful cruise on the Loch. And a really lovely wedding.
TG and I plan to go back to bonnie Scotland, hire a car and explore. It was a beautiful spot despite the weather and there is obviously so much more to see and do. I can’t wait!
P.S The Bride wore Jimmy Choos. I am beyond envious….
Posted in Life, the universe and everything... | Tagged Jimmy Choo, Loch Lomond, Loch Lomond Arms, Luss, photography, Scotland, wedding | Leave a Comment »
Now it may be that I’m at a funny age Dear Reader (no heckling from the back please) but I have had a hankering for a little red scooter for some time (mid life crisis?). A few years ago a friend suggested that I do my test and all of that stuff but I didn’t get around to it and to be honest didn’t have the time and / or inclination. After the events of last year and my somewhat hermit like state you will know (if you read this insufferable drivel) that I ceased the alcoholic beverages for the month of January this year. Somewhat sensibly for me, I decided put the money that I wasn’t spending on wine into a savings account and save up for said red scooter, take the test in the Summer and have my sunny day transport by the time the weather picked up (the 12th of never the way it’s going at the moment).
Fast forward to the weekend just gone and a conversation with an old friend in the depths of Lincolnshire about the above plan. ‘I have a Lambretta that you can have and it’s red’ said He. ‘Really?’ said I. ‘Yes indeed, I don’t ride it any more and I’d like to give it to you as you want one so much and I know you’ll love it’ said He. There had been an amount of drink taken.
With the dawn of the following day I thought that he might have changed his mind (sobriety and all that) and was quite prepared to let him out of his promise, but no – paperwork signed over and the most beautiful, mint condition, all original red Lambretta is mine.
I am completely blown away by his unbelievable generosity. He would not accept any money at all but only asked that I would love it, not sell it and keep it forever and ever. No problem at all.
In answer to the many questions that I’ve had from various folks over the last couple of days
Why did he GIVE it to ME (a bizarre question) – because he wanted to – no strings apart from the above – he gave me a table years ago under the same rules. I will of course use it – why would I not? No TG will not be buying a matching one – he is not interested. Yes, I am beyond excited about the prospect of having something that I’ve wanted for a very long time. No, I won’t be joining the owner’s club or any other clubs for that matter – not really my scene. Yes I do know how it starts, where the brakes are etc etc etc – I’m not a six year old child. And yes, I am incredibly grateful for this most amazing gesture of generosity from one of the nicest people I know and whom I have known for nearly 30 years – a gent amongst men.
I foresee sunny days pootling around the Island with a picnic on my smart chrome luggage rack (must get basket for this pursuit), the sun on my face and the wind in my helmet. I still have to do my test but I’ll get some practice in up and down the drive first and as TG has already passed his test I can be a glamorous (again no heckling please) pillion passenger in the meantime. I can’t wait. :0)
Posted in Life, the universe and everything... | Tagged friends, generosity, Lambretta, scooter | 2 Comments »
There comes a time in a young man’s life when his thoughts must turn to his apparel. There is no certain age for this and indeed there are some young men who never quite get the hang of what is cool and what is not.
Not so the Smallest Baby Boy who pitched up on Saturday looking every inch the cool dude…
In fact he was a dude so cool that the sunglasses stayed on in one way or another all day
And making daisy chains with Pops
Turning Madam into the Spring Princess
He was loath to remove them for any reason at all. I feel a sartorial boy coming on in the future.
In other news EVERYTHING has finally begun to emerge in the greenhouse and to date there are beans both runner and broad, tomatoes of two different varieties, spinach, broccoli, garlic, chillies, basil, courgettes and of course the obligatory sunflowers. I’m wondering if the veg patch is going to be big enough for it all as there are already potatoes, herbs, rhubarb, red currants and artichokes on the go……watch this greenfingered space! Elsewhere there is finally colour apart from the Primroses and Daffs
These are my Mother’s favourites and were grown from some bulbs that she gave me a couple of Christmases ago
They have withstood all the awful cold weather and are enjoying a bit of sunshine at last and are so delicate and perfect. It makes your heart glad to see that the Winter is finally behind us and we can look forward to sunnier days and warmth on our faces.
Apart from all of that, I have nothing more to impart Dear Reader except to show you the following. Madam and her bunny cakes. Well it was Easter after all…..
Posted in Life, the universe and everything... | Tagged Anemones, cool dude, easter, grandchildren, grandparents, photography, sartorial, spring | 2 Comments »
I have forgotten how it is to be so completely absorbed in a task.
Posted in Life, the universe and everything... | Tagged grand children, photography | Leave a Comment »
Picture if you will Dear Reader, five ladies (and I use that term loosely) in pink wigs and scarves, drinks in hand lurching across the dancefloor on a cross channel ferry to possibly the worst cabaret (and I use that term loosely too) I have seen and you will have some approximate idea of my Friday night… I have never actually been on a hen do before – apart from my own about 20 years ago the net result of which was terrible food poisoning and the dodgy Greek restaurant we had chosen being closed down by the health department – but that is a story for perhaps another day! And so we five headed off of the sunny Isle and across the high seas to St Malo for a weekend of drinking, eating and enjoying with a spot of French shopping thrown in for good measure.
I shall save the blushes of (some) of my fellow hens and not talk about flaming Sambuccas / being turfed out of bars / dodgy dancing and kleptomania and instead tell you that we had a most splendid time and show you some of the more acceptable photos……
There are a few arty farty ones – but I’ll save those for a later date. Wouldn’t want to get you all over excited. Suffice to say, the bride to be enjoyed herself. Her fellow hens enjoyed themselves. And the crew and fellow passengers on the Bretagne quite enjoyed the spectacle!
Posted in Life, the universe and everything... | Tagged blogging, Bretagne, cross channel ferries, France, Hen parties, Saint Malo, travel | Leave a Comment »