Monday, June 30, 2008


Hello and how do you do.

This was a far from typical past weekend, one that I feel has left a mark on me. Listfully, the weekend featured:-

A late though quiet Friday night – unwinding from a noisy week. [0 miles]

A 5:20am start on Saturday – Emma, Alex and I joined Emma’s Dad for a 2 hour walk through the Manifold Valley, as he carried out a ‘bird count’ – a voluntary undertaking for the British Trust for Ornithology. Driving to the Manifold Valley, I saw my first wild owl (a young tawny, sitting on a fence post). This made me happy. [54 miles return]

A Saturday afternoon school fete… with a difference. Canalside Primary serves a multi-racial and largely deprived part of town. Friends invited us along and so, anticipating much of the usual tombola, cake and ‘guess the name of the teddy’ pomp of such occasions, it was a breath of fresh post-industrial air to find something quite… Other. Worthy of note was the frankly bizarre ‘children’s martial arts’ (very young children invited to ‘pad up’ – gloves, body armour and head-guards – in order to batter seven bells out of each other), the food stall (especially the lentil curry) and ‘the stocks’ (children lobbing soaking wet sponges at their teachers and teachers’ assistants… a fun exercise which neatly took on the hue of a wet t-shirt contest as the afternoon wore on). [10 miles return]

A Saturday evening trip up to Lancashire for a birthday party at the Ley Inn, near Chorley. I was in a tiny minority for not being a part of any of the work-related, tennis-related or LGBT networks of the birthday boy, my old friend Franglaise. However, this ensured freeness, flightiness and mutual peculiar interest with fellow guests. It was good. [128 miles return… by 3am Sunday]

A Sunday morning trip to the Strawberry Moon festival (the likely cause of Glastonbury not selling out this year). There was music and art and making…

And temporary tattoos…

And sunshine and big downpours and Tittesworth Reservoir at its most buzzy and busy. Highlight: Alex storming up a rather large climbing wall. I sensed the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Leaders (climbing instructors) were genuinely impressed at the little man’s confidence and ‘can do’ attitude, ‘Make it harder next time’, he was heard advising one instructor. (Note to self: humility?!)

All followed by…
A late Sunday afternoon transition to Rudyard Lake, near Leek. An open day at the scout hut allowed free access to sailing boats, canoes and the like. By now, I was feeling a little worn. But the sun shone and our fellow waterfolk were all good eggs – including a really nice reprographics man who I’d crossed paths with (briefly) some months ago - he remembered me and my BadLads. [44 miles return]

Sunday evening watching the European Championships football final, in which Spanish agility, creativity and hair gel triumphed over Germany.

Now, there’s no reason why any reader should be interested in any of the above, however, within this morass there is the seed of something rather large. One conversation this past weekend will stay with me for a very long time, and it is that that I shall make the subject of my next podcast.
And with that, I really must work.


bittersweet said...

ooh, a teaser campaign.

An admirable weekend; puts my market/tennis/homework/laundry to shame.

PI said...

Bless the little man!
Having read that I'm exhausted.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

All this just to let us know that you will have a "good" post soon? Hip hip, etc.

Now then, what's this about the mileage readings, and what does the "return" mean. Blighty, you are bloody strange. (That's how we English people talk.)

Shane said...

B - Do not be inducing performance anxiety.
P - Do not be eggs horse Ted.
O - Foreigner! 'Return' refers to 'round trip' - there and back. It was a weekend for getting about a bit.

suburbanhen said...

looking forward to the poddle cast, then!