“Her eyes they shone like diamonds…..

I thought her the queen of the land

And her  hair,  it hung over her shoulder

Tied up with a black velvet band.”

A must-sing chorus, which is precisely what I’ll be doing tonight when the Dubliners come to Cheltenham Town Hall.

Looking forward to it hugely,  even though they will be without beardy Ronnie Drew with the voice that put me in mind of sandpapering gravel, Luke Kelly and Ciaran Bourke who were all very much in evidence last time I saw them.  Now sadly deceased, RIP guys.

Fortunately the others are still going strong.  I like it that musicians go on and on doing their stuff.  The music only dies when they do.

I expect there to be widespread joining in. I certainly will be. Just the thought makes me burst into terrible cod-Irish accented song.

It made me wonder if there’s some unwritten rule about when it’s correct to sing along with the artist when you’ve paid for tickets to a concert? Continue reading ““Her eyes they shone like diamonds…..”

Dollops and blobs

How do you tell when your paint tray is overfilled?

When it washes over the edge like a tidal wave all down your front, that’s when.

I discovered this morning that I have lost my decorating mojo.   Not only did I fail to manage my paint tray correctly but my roller wouldn’t roll. It just kind of stuck so great floppily globs of emulsion dripped from it when I applied it to the ceiling in time-honoured fashion.

I was ok with the rubbing down. I mean, what can you get wrong with sandpaper, apart from sandpapering the tips off your newly bought decorating gloves? Fingerless mitts might have been ok in Dickens’ day but quite frankly, they are just further crevices into which emulsion paint can seep.
Continue reading “Dollops and blobs”

Blissy biking.

Knee injuries make you feel really old.   I mean really old; Igor-loping, arthriticky, limpingly, grotesquely old.

Dodgy knees don’t like stairs. You pause and think “oh drat” before going up and you come down in the ungainly fashion of a unidexter.

Knee problems are a timely reminder to have patience with people who are a bit slow on stairs and to be considerate at all times to those folk whose entire existence is ruled by degrees of impaired mobility.

Part of the knee recovery plan has been to use the turbo-trainer to keep the muscles in shape.  It’s in the dining room overlooking the garden. Two hours before people turn up to dinner I get asked “Will you get that bike out into the garage?” and I’m afraid I always refuse because a) it’s a nice bike (elegant Simoncini frame with Shimano Ultegra gears) and b) because the garage is not a good place for a nice bike being so crowded with stuff and c) it’s a fag getting it to the garage and bringing it back again five hours later.

Anyway, the turbo-trainer deserves house room. I’ve kept faith with it through this injury and the frequent winter days when I deem it not safe to mix it with ice or traffic. Continue reading “Blissy biking.”

Ride the wave, baby.

Minus three degrees, a single track road and frosted grass verges disappearing into thick early morning mist; it wasn’t looking promising.

“We’re not going to see anything.”

“If we’re lucky we’ll just hear it go by.”

“To think we got up at 5.45am for this…”

The discontented curmudgeonly mutterings came one after the other from my fellow travellers.

“Ah, no worries,” I said. “It’s going to be clear. The sun will burn away the mist. It’ll be fine.”

I always say stuff like that, believing it as I say it but also knowing that it’s 50-50 whether my prediction will be correct or not.

When I used to walk my dog at this time of the morning, the shapes of solitary, sleeping cattle would materialise out of the mist.

This time, as we neared our destination, different objects emerged – cars, camper vans and the pale flesh of half naked men pulling on neoprene wetsuits. Continue reading “Ride the wave, baby.”

….and so, to bed.

Never having lived in a bedsit, until recently I kind of assumed a bed has just three purposes.

Perhaps bedsit dwellers find lots of other things to do with a bed – sitting on it being the obvious one but perhaps as a generous ironing table for people of restricted growth?  A relaxed dining table where you can lie about munching with friends?  With a board on top, a flat surface for a really really big jigsaw?

I’ve never really had a hankering to just hang around in bed for no reason but recently, under doctor’s orders to rest dodgy knee in position where it was elevated, the bed seemed to be the most convenient place to do it.

“Are you going to make breakfast?” I enquired of DT man last Sunday morning. Continue reading “….and so, to bed.”

The optimist

He was the epitome of optimism.  Either that, or he’d got the wrong day.

Waking on Sunday, I had to go to the window to inspect the unfamiliar view.  Out of the soft greys and greens of early morning, I could see the river and the dark grey cliff opposite with a darker point of the church steeple above.  It’s a pretty village, Newnham-on-Severn and most attractive of all from the opposite side of the river at the Old Passage, Arlingham.

But what really caught my attention was the dark figure standing by a lone car parked near the scrubby grass that leads down to the mudbanks and the river.  He was getting his surfboard off the roof rack. Continue reading…

Greetings folks!

Not entirely sure I know my a** from my e**** here yet but this is just a quick one to say ‘Hi!’

Looks quite spiffy here and so nice to see all the familiar folks without waiting ages for the site to load and battling past the pesky ads.

Forgive me if I turn up in unexpected places, Bearsy.  You might see me wandering lost in the dark corridors of the WordPress  basement heading for the bins but I’ll probably find my way back to civilization….

Will post a bit of a blog later. With pics if I can manage it.


ps:     I don’t think I’ll be trying a  ‘manual excerpt.’ Doesn’t sound very nice. Only to be attempted if desperate, I feel.