Showing posts from July, 2022

The Heat

  Oh my goodness, it has been warm. 39 degrees last Tuesday afternoon was simply outrageous. It felt like a foreign vacation minus the swimming pool and waiter, which I now realise are vital in that kind of heat. Worse still the humidity gave birth to zillions of tiny sciarid flies, almost as irritating as mosquitoes which fortunately still haven't made an appearance in this part of the world. That said, at least retirement meant we could just give ourselves up to the heat and do nothing unless swilling the rear patio shaded from the morning sun counts, after all the water round my feet was the nearest I was getting to a paddle that day. I can't begin to imagine working in those temperatures although an air-conditioned office could appeal. In my case I have resorted to the car and the fitness studio for cool air to be piped in, well it's either that or shopping in the freezer aisle. Normally an exceptionally warm summer's day here might reach 27 degrees after which a 10

Head Over Heels

  I took this photo  on a visit to Carlisle a few years ago. Had it a little more red and blue on the face, it would share a remarkable resemblance to how I look, at the moment! Yes, on Friday I continued this year's predilection for hospital visits and found myself back in the hospital waiting room nursing a litany of cuts, grazes, bruises and friction blisters. I think it counts as a sports injury sustained, as it was, on returning home from the gym when I decided to try a nose-dive from my front doorstep. The varifocal glasses I was wearing (and the undoubted cause for this latest attempt at self-destruction) dug hard into my face as I planed across the drive, swallowing grit and ultimately, as I lay recovering my breath and shivering with shock, dripping in blood. Three days later, I look as though I've only just survived a couple of rounds in a boxing ring with swelling above the left eye and a blister beneath reducing my vision and giving me a very definite street fighte


  So there I was in the sunshine, eating a lunchtime sandwich whilst sitting on the grass in a park adjoining the river in Bath. Suddenly I felt a whoosh of air and next thing the bread, butter and prawn mayo filling were flying through the sky in the beak of a gigantic seagull. I realise that seabirds like their shellfish; I even know that getting up snug and close to nature is good for you, but being mugged in broad daylight by a winged predator wasn't quite what I was expecting! Who even knew that gulls would be such pests so far inland? Let's just say the incident was traumatising and in addition to the involuntary squeal, left me shaking. That bird was enormous! Unfortunately it wasn't the only transgression I suffered during my time away. Indeed somebody clearly took a fancy to a decorative scarf I had with me and it disappeared. To be honest its value was negligible but the pedant in me that clearly sees right from wrong, still finds it difficult to cope with the ide

Travel with One L

 Just when travelling again becomes a realistic prospect, outside forces gather to make it potentially more difficult.  Stories abound of long delays at the passport office, so imagine Mister E’s delight when he got his new one back within 4 weeks. This time, however, he made sure to check it carefully as he had his old one for 6 years before noticing that his middle name had been misspelt. Shame on the Passport Office, it had done it again (adding insult to injury by returning the old one with a slip showing the correct spelling). Reluctantly concluding retaining a passport with an erroneous middle name (two Ls instead of one) could cause all manner of problems, he returned it for re-issue. There were the inevitable hiccups in endeavouring to communicate by telephone or email with what appeared to be an unstaffed office. Indeed the only responses were received on a Bank Holiday, two within twenty minutes and their contents in direct conflict with each other. In the end it sorted itsel