Friday 30 June 2006

Where do I begin?

It's been over three weeks since I blogged - and there's been so much to report I'm not sure that I can do it justice or make it interesting enough to create a full retrospective, so today's blog will be today's events and I'll try to wrap up some back issues in neat bundles over the next few entries.

It was the final day of Paul's holiday, the weather is fantastic and forecasts show it becoming hotter and hotter over the next few days with a possible maximum of 36C next Tuesday. This is probably too much for comfort but luckily the house is cool inside without the need for air conditioning so the cat and I will just rest quietly and wait for the inevitable thunderstorm.

In a last minute rush we moved the bed upstairs, rotovated a patch of ground that Alex had loosened up for me while he was here and tidied away some of the toys used for the party. Then it was time for a trip to the airport at Maupertus and the flight to Southampton. The most direct route is via the D24 through Valognes but the road is narrow and windy and on the way back I took the faster roads into Cherbourg and back out again which saved some time and my nerves. Paul is now safely back on earth although he described the landing as a barely controlled crash. He might use the service again.

It is odd to be alone again after such a visitor packed couple of weeks. My next scheduled guests are not due until the 19th or so of July. It will be interesting to see how I cope with such prolonged isolation.

No photos for the time being - I must continue chasing up broadband before I can easily upload and link to my own photos but there are a few party pics at Mym's and Chris's flickr sites.

Sunday 4 June 2006

I'll take the high road.


and now, the time has come and so I face the final curtain...

or maybe not. Anyway this will be the last entry from the UK and the next one delivered from France depends on how quickly connections can be put in place.

The packing, well put simply, it's not done. We'll take a load of stuff randomly and I'll be unhappy because things I've left behind will decay and die, and stuff I'd like to have may never reach me. It shouldn't be the end of the world, even though I feel like it is.

I hope to see many friends throughout the summer, you know where I am and I'm not going anywhere much.

Think strengthening thoughts for us and the cat as we travel tomorrow night. It's going to be a trial.

Saturday 3 June 2006

Boxes (for packing)

Still not packed. Oh well, it's not that important.

We have decided we need more boxes. So it's a trip out to Ikea (excuse, what excuse?) to buy some cheap plastic stackers so that I can organise the load for the van. We're not going to be able to take much more than our bedding and the cat animal in the load for Monday evening.

I've never done the Eurotunnel in a car before, only the train once to Brussels. It will be a new experience but I'm not 100% looking forward to it. A lot of driving with a noisy passenger, overnight because it's so much cheaper.

Last night, a farewell dinner at Tas at London Bridge. Nice food, incredibly noise as expected. My throat is sore and conversations were nearly as stilted as those in clubs. I understand how it will be to be 104 and without my hearing. After repeating the same thing 42 times how relieving it must be to be to announce loudly "I'm a 104 years old, you know" and leave it at that.

Thursday 1 June 2006

A poem, that just about sums me up...

The Old Sailor
by A.A. Milne

There was once an old sailor my grandfather knew
Who had so many things which he wanted to do
That, whenever he thought it was time to begin,
He couldn't because of the state he was in.

He was shipwrecked, and lived on a island for weeks,
And he wanted a hat, and he wanted some breeks;
And he wanted some nets, or a line and some hooks
For the turtles and things which you read of in books.

And, thinking of this, he remembered a thing
Which he wanted (for water) and that was a spring;
And he thought that to talk to he'd look for, and keep
(If he found it) a goat, or some chickens and sheep.

Then, because of the weather, he wanted a hut
With a door (to come in by) which opened and shut
(With a jerk, which was useful if snakes were about),
And a very strong lock to keep savages out.

He began on the fish-hooks, and when he'd begun
He decided he couldn't because of the sun.
So he knew what he ought to begin with, and that
Was to find, or to make, a large sun-stopping hat.

He was making the hat with some leaves from a tree,
When he thought, "I'm as hot as a body can be,
And I've nothing to take for my terrible thirst;
So I'll look for a spring, and I'll look for it first."
Then he thought as he started, "Oh, dear and oh, dear!
I'll be lonely tomorrow with nobody here!"
So he made in his note-book a couple of notes:
"I must first find some chickens" and "No, I mean goats."

He had just seen a goat (which he knew by the shape)
When he thought, "But I must have boat for escape.
But a boat means a sail, which means needles and thread;
So I'd better sit down and make needles instead."

He began on a needle, but thought as he worked,
That, if this was an island where savages lurked,
Sitting safe in his hut he'd have nothing to fear,
Whereas now they might suddenly breathe in his ear!

So he thought of his hut ... and he thought of his boat,
And his hat and his breeks, and his chickens and goat,
And the hooks (for his food) and the spring (for his thirst) ...
But he never could think which he ought to do first.

And so in the end he did nothing at all,
But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl.
And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved -
He did nothing but bask until he was saved!