Wednesday, 23 September 2009


IT has been a peculiar week.
Older Daughter is settled in her new home, and Younger Daughter is now in Bristol, too.
University life seems to be suiting her, and tonight she has been playing crazy golf indoors at the Cabot Centre.
That's sophisticated city life for you.
We also lost a very good friend a few days ago and his funeral took place yesterday.
I have never seen so many people at the crematorium, and there were laughs as well as a few tears during the readings and tributes.
Later we had a jar at the Paignton Club in his honour, standing on the terrace in the evening sunshine looking out at the sea and telling stories. And he'll be right there every time we look out at that stretch of water framed by harbour and pier and headland.
Cheers, Graham.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Moose Testicles

I drove a Transit for the first time today.
We picked it up from the hire firm at the railway station this morning. The young man behind the desk had some late-issue Siouxsie and the Banshees going on the stereo at 8.05am which I thought was bold.
We filled the big white van with furniture and assorted gubbins, then headed up the M5 to move Older Daughter into her new abode, a cottage off the Whiteladies Road in Bristol.
The neighbours seemed very nice. They were off to a funeral so we made sure we had shifted the furniture and moved the Transit well before the big black cars came for them. Later in the afternoon they had what sounded like a very jolly wake in a marquee on their lawn, and people were pouring in to join them.
We went to Ikea and bought a wardrobe, then realised we didn't have a hammer to bang in the little panel pins that hold the back on. We debated going round to the neighbours to see if we could borrow one, but thought it might be inappropriate, what with them being in the middle of a wake and all that.
We banged the nails in with a rock we found on the wall instead. It did the job, but split into many pieces in the process, releasing a curious marsh gas aroma which may have come from the primordial swamps when the rock was formed in prehistoric Clifton.
At Ikea we ate lunch.
Older Daughter had the meatballs despite me suggesting they were actually moose testicles in a creamy sauce. Veggie options were limited but Mrs H had the soup and I had some pasta which tasted as if it may also have been formed in prehistoric Clifton.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


THE concept of speed is relative.
For instance, I was running flat-out when Elmer went past me tonight. He was only cruising really, but I never even saw him coming despite his frankly garish Union Jack running vest.
We were on the 320-metre loop down at Clennon as the heavy brass-coloured clouds rolled in over the brow of Penwill Way and a rainbow touched down right on top of the caravans belonging to the tarmac travellers who have set up home in the service lane.
The grass was long and lush, and by the time 18 of us had completed 10 laps each in a pairs relay it was worn flat into quite a pleasing furrow.
To be fair, Elmer and his fellow speed merchants did 12 laps while the rest of us toiled into double figures, but the concept of speed is relative, OK?
Elmer lapped me on the fast descent that comes after about 100 metres, on about my seventh or eighth lap. I thought I was going pretty well, but he flew by.
Later we did a kilometre around the edge of the field as fast as we could. I started conservatively and then passed a few people including Rowdy Robbie, which was a pleasant surprise.
The Caerphilly Kid was out in front of me by some considerable distance, though. I think we should have him and Elmer dope-tested.
Even later, while I was wheeling the wheelie bin down to the pavement Bazza appeared on his bike and stopped for a chat. He was listening to The Beatles on his MP3 player and was heading up to the cash and carry car park for his regular timed session, zooming around and losing weight.
This exercise regime is paying off, for he is a shadow of his former self. The laws of matter and physics surely dictate that all these unwanted bits of Bazza must have ended up somewhere. I must pop up to the cash and carry car park when it's quiet to see if I can see any of them lying around.