I’ve been having a peculiar few weeks (I can’t exactly say why). As a result, I don’t seem to be posting much. It’s not because I don’t love/value/care about you all though – I just seem to have got out of the way of thinking aloud (or possibly of thinking at all. Thinking on, it’s probably me that’s peculiar. When I look back, the weeks have gone from Monday to Sunday in the usual way and only I was confused.)
Anyway, right now, I am abandoned during the week (the regular Monday to Friday week) by the person who, surely, dictates most of my habitual behaviours? Barney is working away, a rare event. And I am Home Alone.
So, I went to Hackpen and took photos of the white horse there.
He’s the big one on the right but I liked the little (real) ones on the left so here they are also.
Earlier, I went shopping in Marlborough and Hungerford and generally, muttered crossly about the sunshine which, generally wasn’t there when I wanted it. I mean who needs sunshine when they’re inside a shop? And why did it come out brazenly as I was about to leave the white horse and the really amazing copse on the hilltop which looked pretty good even in grey cloud light but would have been stunning in the sun. And no, I didn’t trudge back to either the horse or the copse as my feet were hurting, I was ravenously hungry and had forgotten the banana which I brought with me for that very eventuality and anyway I knew that if I turned back, the sun would go away upon the instant that I had any particularly wonderful view in my viewfinder. Certainly the sun had gone by the time I’d driven a couple of miles.
Copse. Actually I think it’s more of a grove. I imagine that a copse is small and dense and mainly composed of young trees whereas a grove is even smaller and contains larger, older trees that have survived long enough to claim a good deal of clear space under their canopy.
A last pic from Hackpen – I found something rewarding in the Hardyesque trudging figure along the old Ridgeway with the very modern tractor/harvester, chasing him, all a steady, measured pace. One might be tempted to think that the modern machine will carry the way but brief flashbacks of recent weather reports and global warnings might prompt a second opinion. Anyway, the trudging man turned out to be a tired runner in neoprene and nylon gear and the harvester overtook him before he got to his Porsche. Make what you like of that!
Over the many years, I have made many holes in my skin and have used many products with which to plug the holes. Elastoplast is still the reliable one. Ok, it leaves a sticky gunk round the edges of where it’s stuck and the bit in the middle which you’re protecting goes white and wrinkled but at least it stays there through thick and wet and thin and muddy and overnight and until you get home and so on.
Also, over the years they have developed waterproof plasters and special healing plasters and all sorts and lately (my word, it took them a long time), amazingly useful, long thin finger-plasters.
Now it seems to me that fingers are constantly involved with sharp and hot and otherwise damaging edges and places and also spend an enormous amount of time in and out of water. And since Elastoplast have now invented both waterproof plasters and finger-plasters it shouldn’t be beyond them to see a crying need and put the two together?
I think I’m going to email them.
Right. I’ve done that.
Cowparsley. Wantage somewhere down there.
Now I must sort out some washing – using a waterproof plaster which doesn’t fit as well as a finger plaster but who knows, as soon as they get my email they may begin the revolutionary new waterproof finger plaster design. How long will it be before the new plasters arrive on the shelves I wonder?
Really, I’m not at all with it at the moment.
I’ve written three posts and haven’t got round to sticking pictures in so I haven’t posted them. All sorts of stuff is happening and I haven’t got round to posting about any of it.
Here is a photo – I’m not sure yet, of what.
We’ve just come back from Brighton. Barney and Eldest did the London to Brighton bike ride and me and GIGi (Gorgeous Italian Girlfriend) did the support thing, of driving them to Clapham Common so they could set off at 6.30 am, and then drove down to Brighton to wait till they arrived, at 5.30 pm, to take them home.
I am so proud of my two boys.
And me and GIGi had a lovely day in Brighton, shopping, trudging, shopping a bit more, eating, drinking coffee, chatting a lot and then leaning over a railing waiting for an hour and a half for them to cycle past and wave and take pics.
When they arrived, waving and after two or three phone calls to tell us how soon (or not*) they would arrive, we ate fish and chips with enthusiasm (always an easy thing to achieve in Brighton) and then I drove them all home past Petworth and Arundel and other lovely places in a glorious sunny evening with golden light shining on the turrets and spires and all the leafy roads in between.
Probably this will be Barney’s last L2B ride – 54 miles with Ditchling Beacon at the end of it is a very long day for a slightly elderly gent who has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes**. Actually it’s a long ride for a lad – 34 – with type 1 who has promised to look after his old Dad as well. (He did that.)
I decided to park near the centre of Brighton in a VERY EXPENSIVE car park. Thing is, over the last several rides and years, I’ve always parked in a car park, at the top of the hill, which is a bit cheaper and a long way from anything interesting in the town and a very, very long steep way away from the finish of the ride. I’ve spent many hours trudging around The Lanes and the other delights that the town has to offer***, with whatever I could be bothered to bring from the car (wearily carried in handbags and shoulder bags) and then have led the exhausted bikers back up the steep hill to hitch the bikes up on the carrier and set off for the long drive home (It’s about three hours). This year I decided to park at the bottom of the hill and to avoid the three hour traffic jam of other support teams driving from London down to Brighton and amazingly, it worked. We escaped all the traffic jams and parked ten minutes from the centre of town and paid through our noses for the privilege, Worth every penny! A lot of pennies but, shit, who cares if we only have to trudge for ten minutes after they’ve arrived all hot and sweaty and cramped from all those hours of cycling – about ten hours??? Can it really be worth saving £15? I think not.
Anyway, after having said “too expensive – don’t go there” when I googled the car park the night before, they seemed quite pleased not to have to trudge up the hill. And GIGi and I definitely appreciated not having to walk all the way into town before we could even have a cup of coffee which we really needed after the early morning drive – I’m always wrecked by the time I get there and then, as it’s very early on a Sunday morning, it’s a very long time before anything opens – we were really lucky to find a caff in The Lanes which was open for breakfasts and coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Here’s the fiddle player on a rope
And now I’m waiting for Eldest and GIGi to come downstairs to say goodbye to them before they head off back to Lancaster.
*40 minutes does not equal an hour and a half
**More of that another time
***The thing is, you have to pay to find anywhere comfy to sit, even if it’s only the price of a coffee and then as the sun follows night, some time after that you have to find a loo and then, sooner or later, you have to do it all again.
So I’m outside getting in the washing in on one of the three warm sunny days we’ve had so far this year (yes I know, not quite fair) and there are birds yelling at me from every direction. I know they’re supposed to go tweet tweet and indeed there is one bird shouting TWEET TWEET from the hazel tree. But also there are the ones going chibbit chibbit and Quirk quirk and Queek Queek and chubbacha chubbacha chubbacha. Not to mention qreuwellering qwuerellick quwerrrick quwerrralulalulalula-ick! (It’s all very lilting until the last -ICK!!!) And quweerrerily quweerrerily qurrrwick! Honestly, every time I open the window (which is often at the moment – I’m naturally hopeful) I hear a new set of bird sounds.
Probably they’re all saying “isn’t this nice weather and about time too, how many in your clutch this year, much trouble with rooks and magpies?” I’ve been out and about with the camera and I keep finding used eggshells on the ground.
Anyway, life is still busy and complicated (camping weekend in which we didn’t camp, dishwasher broken again, other stuff, not being used to ‘normal’) and although I’ve been burbling about the fortnight on the boat, I haven’t got round to doing photos yet. There are a lot of ‘oh well I’d better take one but it’s not as nice as it would be in the sun’ and pics taken on iPhone and little camera because I didn’t want to carry the big one around locks in the rain.
Oh well, the weather may be looking up and possibly it’s a weekend but it’s definitely time to catch up with Dinner and Next Door and the camera so I’ll just throw in a couple of pics of the lovely sunny,green,Springy lanes.
Before rushing off to – oh, well before staying in and making dinner.
See you soon.