Sunday, 26 August 2007

Bank Holidays

The last few days have passed in a spectacular blaze of non-activity. Reading, watching TV and sleeping. About the only useful thing I've done is help to harvest the plums from the tree this morning.

I suspect that when I come to having to do something really useful, getting started is going to be very difficult..... It is just as a Bank Holiday ought to be.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Visitors and the pleasures they bring

Our guests have gone home, Thomas has returned, and for 3 or 4 weeks we shall be back to 5 in number. Thus the housekeeping will be under strain, the electricity meter will be at full bore, and the car will never have any petrol in it. Ah, the joys of the students being at home.

We took our guests to Garden Organic and to the museums of the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. They were particularly astonished by the Jewellery Quarter Museum which was sold to Birmingham City Council in 1981 and looks exactly as it did in 1935 or so. They also managed to purchase the items they were looking for.

It is most satisfying to take people to places that enlighten and delight them, whether it be to look and learn, or to make purchases that mean so much.

As they had to be at Heathrow at 7:30, they rose at a ridiculous hour (and us with them), so I'm pretty sure we are in for an early night tonight.

Friday, 10 August 2007

The Great Shirt Round Up

This warm weather is great, we had another cook-out (as our transatlantic cousins would call it) this evening, and most enjoyable it was. The vegetables came from the garden, so they tasted of something, and the meat came from the butchers in Knowle, so was traceable. All-in-all, Yummy.

Today was the first day of the Great Shirt Round Up and Cull. I have more shirts than I like to admit to. I haven't actually counted them, but there are lots. (they probably number into three figures) Since I no longer work, my need for "work" shirts has diminished greatly. Many unused "work" shirts have been congregating in my wardrobe and today they got sorted. They were duly folded up and placed in the great shirt container under the bed. In so doing I unearthed some old friends and even some unworn new shirts that would suit my new relaxed lifestyle. So, I got some out (8 out v 13 in). A small amount of space has been made in the wardrobe, and some horrid old shirts have been culled. Quite satisfying really. Probably another session or two is required to get the entire collection sorted, but if I do that I'll have no unknown pleasures, or horrors, lurking under the bed. So I think I'll hold off for a while.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007


At long last we seem to be having Summer. The sun has shone and the weather has been warm. All I've been able to do is sleep. I think my body must be wearing out, because for the last few days, all I've wanted to do is lie down, and when I do, I drop off.

I feel rather like our new PM, Gordon Brown, looked on the television last evening. Apparently he came back from his holiday in Dorset to lead the efforts to sort out the foot-and-mouth outbreak. All I can say is that he should go back to his family in Dorset and relax. You have ministers for that sort of thing, Gordon, and Hilary Benn appears to be one of the better ones. Let them deal with it, you look as though you need the rest.

Similarly, Ron Dennis, head of the McLaren F1 team looks pretty shattered. I applaud his ideals and values, but I'm sure they are making his life running that team more difficult. I see he is off to Barbados or somewhere nice for his hols, so in the meantime the team can sort out their differences. I find it hard to believe that Alonso thought he would get preferential treatment, but it seems he is finding out the hard way.

With the start of the football league season on Saturday, I hope we can look forward to some really hot weather, and my wife's annual hope that several players expire due to heat exhaustion.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Week off

I spent last weekend with my elderly mother and I'm having a week away from London.
A back injury, sustained on Monday, has laid me low this week, but the silver lining was the gorgeous lady chiropractor who gave me the once over on Tuesday morning. She jumped on me to free my back, with more enthusiasm (and therefore force) than I thought was strictly necessary, but the treatment handed out seems to have done the trick. I'll remember what she told me for a long time, and I'll even do the exercises she recommended.

At long last the sun shone and we were able to have a bar-b-que yesterday. It felt like summer. We just need a lot more of it.

Having almost lost the hearing in one ear, I was sent for an MRI scan by the ear, nose and throat clinic at Solihull Hospital. I have to say that to get the letter saying that everything was normal was a big relief. Apparently to have lost the hearing in one ear is unusual, and they like to check that it is not a sign of something more serious. I guess everyone does it, but I imagined the worse until the letter turned up.

We're off to see the Proms on Sunday which will be most enjoyable.