Pushing 50, but not speeding…

Well Lee-Anne turned fifty this month, so a happy half century to her. We’re going out for a meal to celebrate this on the day before we leave for Blighty, at Water’s Edge. She already knows what she’s getting from me for her birthday, as we booked it in January, a two day cookery class at Rick Stein’s Seafood School, (there may be a little bit of self interest displayed by me there.) She also got a ticket to see the Aussie folk hero Paul Kelly play, (see below.) I’m under strict orders that I’m not to buy her any more gifts, so I won’t. By god she’s a fine figure of a woman for her age. Saturday the 8th of September, a fortnight before her 50th, she run the Canberra Times ten kilometre fun run.  Puts me to shame.

Now lets get onto the bit you enjoy, the cock ups…..

Cock up one:

I e-mail Jamesy, all excited! “Jamesy, “Otway the Movie” is playing Cardiff on the fifth of October. We’ll make a night of it, and I’ll introduce you to Otway!!!”
I get a reply; “Thomas, “Otway the Movie” is on in Cardiff  SEPTEMBER the fifth. On that day, I’ll be in Croatia, you’ll be in Australia.”

Cock up two:

Booking a table at “The Water’s Edge” for Lee-Anne’s birthday. There will be me, Lee-Anne, Bethy, Brandon, and Mary going. Being Mr. Efficient I decide to book it two months in advance ….ring, ring… “Hello, I’d like to book a table for September 28, for 7.30 pm. It’s my wife’s birthday. How many? Oh a table for six please.”

You do the maths.

Cock up three:

Having watched our idol Heston on “Masterchef” we (I) decide we must have a “Sous Vide” cooker as he uses one all the time, and I’m a kitchen gadget addict. Ok, Lee-Anne spots one in “Good Guys” for a reasonable price. On my day off I go to get it, I don’t tell Lee-Anne this, as she’d only tell me not too. I see it on the shelf, read the spec, and fall in love. I grab the box and go to an assistant; “What’s the best price you can do me on this mate?” He scans it in; “$149.00” Bargain! Lee-Anne had said it was $180.00 I throw my credit card at it and it sticks. I rush home with it.

Bethy takes a look at it; “Why do we need a slow cooker with a meat searing function Taff?” Bollocks! I’d grabbed the wrong box. Took it back, paid the rest of the $180.00 and now we have a Sous Vide cooker.

I did “salmon in ginger teriyaki sauce” as my first dish using it, it was fab.

Cock up four: (Lee-Anne’s go now,)

Remember I was telling you about the wing mirror debacle?

Due to the house and garage being chockers full of crap, yet again, we hired a skip in for four days, a bloody big 4 m3 job. We filled it full of junk within a day, mainly dead kitchen gadgets. As a consequence of this we now had masses of room in the garage. So the next day, while reversing out of the garage, Lee-Anne was totally awed by the amount of space and room available. Unfortunately the room available between the garage doors had not changed one bit. She therefore managed to  smack the wing mirror against the garage door, neatly shattering it again. The same bloody side. The same one I had sweated blood over, and forked out 40 bar to replace, only six weeks prior.

So by now I am quite versed in solving this problem, I’ve had plenty of practice.  I took the backing plate back to the nice people who had cut me the last mirror. Seeing as it had only been six weeks since they cut  the last one I felt lucky they didn’t recognise me.  I said to the girl; “Oh, when I’ve had mirrors cut before, they (meaning “you”,) made the mistake of gluing the mirror to the backing plate, which isn’t much use as I need to screw the plate on before mounting the mirror.” We both had a good laugh about that.

Guess what I found they’d done to it when I called in the next day to pick it up?

Cock up five; (my turn again,)

I bought a 32 gb “CF Card” for my camera the other day. I’d been putting off buying one of these as they’re bloody expensive. Being a  cheap sod, I bought a crappy one off e-bay for $45.00. I impatiently waited for it, and when it eventually arrived, I rammed it in, and shut camera door on the card. Net result? Total failure of camera, and one devastated Welshman.

No matter what I did, the camera failed to start. I was looking at sending it back to Canon for repairs. Their turn around time ranged from four to nine weeks, so it would be with them  when we set off for our holiday, plus it would be hugely expensive. We contemplated hiring a replacement camera for the holiday, but found out that to hire one similar to mine they wanted $120.00 a day!! Luckily, by going online, I found a person who had had a similar catastrophic failure. They had fixed it by taking out  the deeply hidden “time and date battery”. This involves a jewelers screwdriver,  a torch, a magnifying glass, lots of swearing, and me utterly crapping myself.

Luckily it worked. I returned the card to the people on e-bay, accompanied by a ranting e-mail and threats of suing. I informed them, in rather intemperate language,  about how much damage it could have caused my camera, and how I would have expected them to repair it at their cost. They offered me a full refund, (less postage.) I sent it back, and paid out $103.00 to another supplier for a good brand model.

Only then did I find out that you’re supposed to format the card before inserting it into the camera, otherwise, guess what happens? If you don’t tell the people who are giving me my refund, neither will I.

(Edited to add: I’ve now found out I have a “bent pin” in my camera, which will cost me $400.00 to fix. Bollox.)

That’s enough cock ups for one episode I think.

 

What with us now having all that space in the garage it gave me the chance to  hang a punch bag up in there, something I’d been meaning to do for yonks. So, first of all I bought a punch bag obviously. I haven’t done any punch bag work, or kamite, for donkey’s years, so I soon found out;

a) It’s bloody hard work.
b) I’m bloody unfit.
c) It makes my knuckles hurt lots.

But I’ve been persevering, every day I take my frustrations out on it, (not sexual ones, for god’s sake!) I had to order sparring gloves in the end, as my knuckles were getting raw. But! What size gloves do I take? Fuctifino. So I ordered medium sized ones, and they sent me large ones. Weirdly they fit, if anything they’re a bit too small. They must be made for Japanese people.

Lee-Anne watched me working out on the bag once. Her verdict was rather surprising; “Ooh, that’s really sexy!” I’ll keep it up then, (Benny Hill did not die in vain.)

 

Ok, election day here in Australia is a bit of a party day, despite voting being compulsory. Voting always takes place on a Saturday, the polling booths are usually hosted in the local schools. Charities, and the schools, set up stalls flogging edibles to the voters. Some sell cakes, some soft drinks, some sell crafts and stuff, all home made of course. But the classic Aussie charity money raiser is a “sausage sizzle.” Sausages are cooked on a barbie (BBQ) , and sold in a slice of white bread, accompanied by ketchup and onions.

Some bright spark has taken it upon themselves to map out where the best sausage sizzles are all over Aus, so people could vote at a station which has good catering. As you can vote win any polling station in your city, and some people will go the extra miles to get a good quality banger in bread! It also maps out those which cater for vegetarians, or “perverts” as they are known here.

Check out the interactive map here.

This is where I voted, as marked on the map above;

Aranda Primary
Sausage sizzle
Egg and bacon rolls, sausage sandwiches, cakes and craft, face painting. Lots of fun!
Cake Stall: Yes
Sausage Sizzle: Yes
Banambila St Aranda Primary School, ARANDA

It looked like a  celebratory festival, not a bloody election, and was taking place in Bethy’s old primary school.

Even though I was there early, at 8.20 am, there were queues out the door already. It was a  bit odd being back in that school, Bethy is now, as you know, a fully fledged adult, where have all the years gone? This year I used an online gizmo to plan my voting patterns, and numbered my choices from 1, (I luv you lots,) to 27, (fuck you, you fascist bastard.)

Here’s two of the more “interesting” parties I votes for, (marked them first and second in fact,)
Australian Sex party.

Drug Reform

Some of the campaigning was pretty forthright too, as you would expect from Aussies.

But the wanker got in, so let’s hope he doesn’t bugger things up too much. A dislikeable man, despite being a pom.

Some quotes:

‘What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year…’
  ”Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”  “I don’t think it’s a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door,”
“Climate change is absolute crap”.
 “I probably feel a bit threatened (by homosexuality), as so many people do.”
 “There may not be a great job for them (Indigenous Australians) but whatever there is, they just have to do it, and if it’s picking up rubbish around the community, it just has to be done.”
”I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.”
 “If you want to know who to vote for, I’m the guy with the not bad looking daughters”.

It was Bethy’s first vote in a national election too, I don’t know how she voted, but I’m sure she’ll not have been too different to her mum.

 

Well Bethy managed to last a whole six weeks in her job before getting promotion. Yup, she was so good that they decided for two days a week she would work with the nutritionist for the wards, ensuring that people got nutritionally complete meals which match their diagnosed needs.  She’s also clocked up a couple of six day weeks, having been called in to cover on the weekends.

Unfortunately she’s not getting along with her supervisor, but as I said to her; “This is a middle-aged woman, who has reached the dizzying pinnacle in life of pushing meal trolleys about a ward. You are a young, very pretty, student, who is doing this before going onto University and a career. Don’t you think that there may be a little jealousy involved?”

Poor Bethy did make the mistake of leaving her bedroom door open one day, with the savage mutts around. This is what became of her favourite shoes.

As part of my abstinence program, and because Aussie TV is total shite, I’ve been going to watch Bethy playing for her women’s side. It’s great fun, very physical, and as it’s all over 19 yrs old women playing I don’t feel like a pervert when snapping off photos of them. Here’s a couple of good’n’s I got of Bethy shooting and scoring.

“. .and manages to cast a swan shadow shape at the same time ! – Unbelievable!!!”
(H. Midwinter.)

For Fathers Day Bethy bought me a range of teas from T2, which was lovely. One of the ones she got me is “Really Russian Caravan Tea”. Gorgeous stuff, tough I must say I do love my pot of Assam.

Really Russian Caravan: Taking inspiration from the Silk Road, our blend of China black teas, including keemun and lapsang souchong, is a delicious road to travel. An orange hue through this smoky brew reveals a medium-bodied infusion that’s like passing through a pine forest. Soft tannins temper the fire, making for all-day drinking with flavour.

Bethy’s boyfriend, Brandon, recently passed his driving test, though he opted for an “automatic” license rather than a proper manual one. To be fair he is half American, and as they tend to prefer autos,   it’s understandable really, (a cultural thing I suppose you could say?) All excited he went out and bought a car. Oddly, he bought a Sunbaru Liberty Staion Wagon. One just like ours in fact, except auto natch, and newer and shinier and without the dents and bits hanging off it that ours has. It also has the 2.5 litre engine, which I’m a bit jealous of. A bit weird him buying a car exactly like the one the in-laws own, but sweet too.

The other day I asked Bethy; “Is Brandon staying over tonight?” I was cooking duty so had to get the grub sorted. She replied in the affirmative. I turned to Lee-Anne and in a stage whisper said; “I always wanted a son…”

Brandon spends at least three or four nights of the week at our place. Now he has his own wheels I should imagine he’ll spend more, as he won’t have to take two buses to get into work during the week. He’ll be moving in with Bethy while we are in the UK, which we’re really happy about, (Bethy especially.) They are planning a Halloween party while we are away, Bethy knows not to promote it on Facebook, and also which section of the wine rack is out of bounds, but I’ve really no concerns over her having a party or two.

Talking of camera stuff, as I was earlier, I decided that my “dedicated time-lapse camera,” (Ok, my aging 450D camera,) needed a wide angle lens in order to capture the best frame size for of time-lapses. I was loathe however to ask Lee-Anne if I could spend more money on camera gear, (mainly as I was going to be asking her if I could spend another couple of hundred on new chips soon in any case.)

However, looking for a cheap second hand one on e-bay, I came across brand new wide angle attachments, selling for silly money, so I ordered one. When it arrived  I fitted it to the old camera, and fell about the living room laughing.  “What’s so funny?” Bethy asked, giving me that look I get when I’m being the “mad dad” again. “It works!!! I exclaimed, and fell about once more. Bethy paused, “You’ve ordered something off e-bay, and when it arrives, you find out it works, and piss yourself laughing? Jesus, you are mental Taff.” 

I don’t care, mental or not, $19.00 for a working wide angle is a killer deal.

 

I was walking the mutts up at Shepherds Lookout one night, to try a new time lapse thingy I’d read about. This is how it worked out, not bad eh?

One of my little blighters found this charming object.

Made me wonder  why  anyone would leave a fresh roo tail laying about up there? Who goes about chopping roo tails of and abandoning them? It maybe a leftover from the cull, and there was talk of  ‘roo meat being used to bait feral foxes and other predators.

Another thing, which may or may not be related, is that some micro-penis owner had been riding a scrambler motorbike around there recently, which really pissed me off. I mean, Canberra has miles and bloody miles of off road motorbike tracks through the forests around the city, why ride in one of the few “off lead” dog walking areas. If they’d had done it when I was there with my mutts, savagery would have occurred.

 

On one of my other days off, as is my wont, I did a photo run. I drove to Wee Jasper, a small village on the Goodradigbee river. I didn’t get many nice snaps unfortunately, but did get this picture of a “poem on a pole”, which was an odd, if rather lovely, thing to find;

I also go this shot, which wasn’t as pleasant, and boy did that bugger buzz or what?!?!

 

We did well this year on tax, or at least I did. Young Matt our friendly Gothic accountant worked his way through our voluminous piles of paperwork, receipts, statements, charitable donations, medical expenses, and then did his usual; “If we add this to that, but subtract that, divide by seven for good luck, multiply by the year of your wedding, and throw in Bethany’s date of birth, we’ll get this figure.” All of which was rather arcane, but interesting.

The end result? Lee-Anne owes the taxman $11.10 much to her disgust. Me, well the taxman owes me $6,870.00 Yup, nearly seven grand. This was somewhat tempered by finding out that last year what we took in in rent from Trevilley,  was just under half of what we paid out. Luckily that loss carries over into the next financial year and will save me a bit again.

So the taxman will pay for half our holiday spending money. Or rather, the taxman will give me back all the money of mine he’s sequestered so I can spend it. Oh we’ve also had some good news on the pension/superannuation front, but if I tell you what it is you wouldn’t believe me.

Talking of money, the $Au still continues to give me heart attacks. It’s been down as low as 57p, but has risen now to 58p. Hopefully it’ll stay around this mark for us while we are on hols.

 

One sad thing that’s happened, is that our time sponsoring Sethu Jabu Mamba, has now ended as World Vision has completed their work in that village, an she’s now too old to be sponsored. A shame, we’ve watched her grow from a little bub into a teenager.

We’re now sponsoring Simphiwe Mavimbela instead.

 

 

So we went to see Paul Kelly. Odd bloody gig to say the least, made even odder by my being stone cold sober. I cannot remember the last time I saw a band stone cold sober. Well I can, it was Dead Can Dance at Sydney Opera House, but they are not a “band” band if you see what I mean. The other painful thing was that the day before the gig, both Lee-Anne and Bethy had a bad dose of the “upset tummies”, (the shits basically.) Not me  though, oh no, I got them on the night of the gig, and with a three hour gig, sat in central seats, to look forward to.

The gig was at Llewellyn Hall, which is one of the strangest venues I’ve been too. Don’t get me wrong, it’s dead plush, and the interior is a bit like that in Sydney Opera house. But it has crap seating, rubbish access, and naff sound.

The support act was a hip hop bloke calling himself Urth boy. Hip Hop, definitely not my cuppa. But his tunes were jolly enough, and his support singer had a fantastic voice, and legs up to her armpits.

Then on came Paul Kelly, he first of all played the whole of his new album, which was interesting, and some of the tracks were verging on great. However as Paul Kelly doesn’t neatly fit into any genre really, he plays sort of urban folk, and contemporary Aussie country, it was never going to be my “gig of the decade”. The second half of his set he did his “classics”.  He did his great historical epic “From little things , big things grow,” which was worth the price of admission on its own.

The song was co-written by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody, and is based on the story of The Gurindji Strike and Vincent Lingiari. It describes how the Gurindji people‘s claim sparked the Indigenous land rights movement. The protest led to the Commonwealth Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The Act gave Indigenous people freehold title to traditional lands in the Northern Territory and the power of veto over mining and development on those lands.

For that track he had the whole support band on stage too. Both bands had female drummers, odd.

He did three encores before he finally wrapped up, and luckily before I crapped my pants..

I’m glad I went, even though 80% of the stuff he sung was not to my taste, he is an Aussie icon. Not having taken the chance to see him would be like being an English music fan, and never having seen Roy Harper. Or a Scottish music fan who hadn’t see The Proclaimers, or a Welsh music fan and never having seen Max Boyce, or someone Welsh and good even, like The Manics or GLC..  

After the gig we tried to find an open fast food joint, but they were all closed, bloody Canberra! Oh, and we didn’t get to bed until midnight, which was just such an unusual experience these days. I mean I’m normally in bed by 9.30 pm at the latest. Christ only knows how we’re going to survive in the UK!! “Sorry guys, I know it’s only 8.45 and the party is just starting, but it’s bed time for me, see you tomorrow!” Won’t that cause some piss taking!?!?

Hopefully I won’t embarrass myself as I did the last trip home, when I fell asleep on the sofa in the middle of our  hosting an evening with Wynn and Jac. (I still say that was caused by  jetlag, and not half a pint of  single malt!)

 

While I’m banging on about things cultural. I recently went to see an exhibition of the work of Richard Avedon, the American photographer, which was on at the National Portrait gallery. I was enjoying it greatly, until I came across his portrait of Rudolf Nureyev.

Dear god!! I thought I was towards the front of the queue when they gave the dicks out, but he must have got in there the day before. I’m not letting Lee-Anne go see that exhibition. Mary, the mother in law, has been three times.

We also went to see the movie “The World’s End”. On the forum we use, our mate Tracey reviewed it, and as she said word for word what I thought, I’ll just rip off her review to save my typing! (Spoilers!)

It was not good :| we absolutely love Shaun of The Dead & Hot Fuzz so were really looking forward to it. What we thought we would see was another great comedy – which it isn’t. Its a buggers muddle of a film I’m not at all sure they knew what they wanted to achieve with it to be honest, it had the potential to be a great comedy (it wasn’t) or a half decent mystery come sci fi adventure (and ended up not being that either) or a really dark moralistic drama (tried far too hard and failed by a wide margin). Sadly for Pegg & co I now won’t be in any hurry to spend my hard earned pennies on a trip to the cinema to see them in something again I have a feeling this will do well at the box office initially purely because of how good the other 2 films were but as word spreads those numbers will drop.
Myself, Brahms, Xeno & DIL all came out saying the same thing – the film “got lost” they tried too hard got too carried away and even worse it went a bit “American” – no offence to my American friends but a huge part of the success and humour of the first two were because they were very very British comedies. I know that Pegg & Frost like to do homage’s to “cult” or “popular” movies in their scripts and sometimes they can be quite obscure, but this time it felt like they struggled to find a way to make that work. I mean Richard Gere doing the “I got nowhere else to gooo” thing in An Officer & a Gentleman worked for that …. Pegg doing his take on it in this – doesn’t – and worse than that it made me squirm it was so bloody awful. In fact Peggs character has few if any likable characteristics so it was hard to feel anything for him which is a problem when it seems we were supposed to empathise with him & cheer at the end, yet he’s not unlikeable enough for us to feel he deserved what he was going through, he was just a tosser and he remained a tosser.
The ending felt very rushed like they had got there and had no idea what to do next so just shoved in last minute.
I may well watch it again now I know its NOT a comedy and see if that makes a difference to the way I see it but I’m not in any rush to do that.

Work troubles. At work they’ve been reviewing the services, which always spells trouble. It looks like the government will be subcontracting youth mental health services to an external organisation called “Headspace”.

They will take on all our clients, but as my field is very specialised, and we deal with  very vulnerable, and occasionally violent and /or suicidal clients, there is no way a group made up of well meaning, unqualified, staff would either cope, or give a service fitting their needs. So Headspace will, it looks like, contract us to provide the service.

So the government gives them money, and they give the government back some of it to pay us. Sheer bloody lunacy if you ask me. We’ve been told that there’s a chance we may be taken out from the public service and put into head space. We’ve told them that if they do that we’ll resign en masse.  Why? Look at this;

headspace ACT has availability for a private practitioner to join our team part time, to offer therapy to clients with a mental health treatment plan. This is not a salaried position. Hours to be negotiated.
Are you… ?
A registered psychologist, social worker, or occupational therapist?
Passionate about young people accessing youth-friendly early intervention allied health care?
Eligible for registration as a Medicare Allied Health Professional?
Hold an ABN?
(I can say yes to all of those.)
Practitioners are required to be responsible for their own indemnity insurance, as well as pay a fee per session for room hire/reception support.

Whatever happens I will probably end up losing my rostered seven day / extended hours work though. This will mean a substantial pay cut, but a more sane work  / life balance, swings and roundabouts then.

Watch this space for more details.

 

I was driving through our suburb, Cook, the other day, when I passed two people on what has to be the most amazing contraption I have ever seen. The rear half was a normal upright bike, the front half a recumbent bike, (aka. “twatbike”.). The ultimate “hipster tandem?” Just picture it, take the worse bits of both types of bikes, not that there’s anything good about recumbent bikes, and weld them together. It must have been about 14 foot long. The female participant was on the front recumbent bit, the man, who was steering I suppose, at the rear. I didn’t manage to get a snap of them unfortunately, though I was laughing so hard I wouldn’t have been able to hold a camera steady in any case.

It was one of these;

Oh, if you want one, I can buy you one in Canberra, they are only $5,400.00 each!

My inability to see an advert for an event without lashing out on tickets, continues without abating. We’re seeing Alan Davies again, Russell Howard, The PM’s XI, and for my 55 th brithday me and Lee-Anne will be seeing Aus vs England at Sydney in the final match of the 2013/14 Ashes series. We’ll probably make a dirty weekend of it up in Sydders, (Lee-Anne normally insists we do.)

Oh while we’re away Bethy and Brandon are seeing the Harlem Globetrotters in Canberra, a present from me for looking after the mutts for us.

 

Holiday stuff:

We haven’t had a holiday for over a year. So as you can imagine, the lead up to this one has been a mix of work dragging endlessly on, while outside of work we’re thrashing about like mad things without ever seeming to have enough time to get stuff organised.

Lee-Anne, when booking her holiday leave, found something interesting out. To get the full seven weeks holiday she only needs to take 13 days annual leave. How? Well she’s built up a full 20 days flex leave. These days do not include weekend time off,  so, adding holiday & flex & weekends you get the total she’s taking off of 49 days, (as am I.) I’m not looking too shabby on the leave front either; as I said, we haven’t had a proper (i.e. week or longer,) holiday for over a year now, so I’ve built up 12 weeks in leave allowance. Not only that, but I have 19 weeks in personal leave available to me. Sweet as!

Bethy’s just bought a Galaxy s4, (it’s a “mobile phone” Nicol.). Part of this deal was my buying her old iphone 4s off her for $300.00, so when we’re over I should be able to be contactable. I like the iphone greatly, these bloody ‘apps” you can get for it will do everything, apart from cook you lunch, (or blow you.) I’m already stacked mine up with useless crap.

(Edited to add: Bethy has just droped her new phone. The new screen will cost her $300.00, plus ca change.)

If you use “kik”, you an find me and message me at “fatbeetle.” If you have any “apps” that you think worth having, let me know!

Here’s an interesting fact; Lee-Anne calculates we’ve spent less than 12 weeks alone together in the 13 years since we met. This includes 5 weeks when we were “courting”, during which we didn’t get out of bed much. Normally we’d have Bethy with us, and so we should. But as Bethy is now all grown up, and will be staying back in Aus looking after the dogs, the house and her boyfriend, we’ll be spending 6 weeks alone together in the UK. It could end in bloodshed.

In preparation for our return, I’ve had my traditional two months of abstinence from the booze. I do this in the vain hope of giving my liver and kidneys a fighting chance while I’m back in the UK. Being a useless bugger I’ve actually committed to nine weeks off rather than eight, by getting my dates all to cock.

How has it been? Well rather nice actually. For a start my sleep improved drastically, and my dreams became more vivid, scarily more vivid. In fact this morning I woke up convinced I was back in my bedroom in Bryn Road, one I haven’t slept in for over thirty years, and I couldn’t remember what Henry Street looked like.

Also I’ve put on weight. Most people would lose weight if they stopped drinking, but not this clever bugger, I’ve put on four kilos. This may have something to do with the huge amounts of food I now shovel down my gullet every night.  My 6.00 am gym sessions are now more frantic, if not productive, and it’s amazing how much more pleasant they are without a hangover. One downside is I’ve got spots on my back and chest, probably from all the toxins comin out of me.

I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed it, I may give up more often in future.

I will be breaking my vow of abstinence at Lee-Anne’s birthday meal, and having a glass of champers with it. Otherwise I will not be imbibing until I’m in Llanelli. I fancy taking Lee-Anne for a pint at The Cambrian, for a bit of cultural tourism. This is the pub which is closest to where I used to live when growing up, and one my parents got pissed at every Friday night when I was a kid, but one I cannot honestly say I’ve ever drunk at. Fancy joining us Jamesy? Ratty? Martyn? Wynn?

Oh, in a phone call to my lovely mate Mr Nicol the other night, I was banging on about the lack of adventure in my life at present. It’s true though, since my bike smash I’ve not done anything seriously dangerous for a while. I haven’t been climbing in an age, and haven’t flown in longer. I don’t know if it was out of sympathy, or just to shut me up from moaning, but, not only did he volunteer to take me and Lee-Anne up on his tandem paraglider, (one at a time, obviously,) but he also said I could borrow his solo paraglider too. Having said that I’ll have to have a quick refresher on flying the bloody things first, it’s been a long time. Could be a shorter holiday than planned then.

Holiday itinerary;

Sept 27: Last day of work.
Sept 28: Massage at Foot and Thai, Lee-Anne’s birthday meal at Water’s Edge.
Sept 29: Bus to Sydney, stay at Ibis Hotel.
Sept 30: 9.40 am depart Sydney Airport. 4.35 pm arrive Bangkok.
Oct 1: 00.20 am depart Bangkok. 6.25 am arrive Heathrow.
Oct 1:  Collect hire car, drive to Llanelli. Stay at 8 Cwrt Mary Welsh
Oct 5: Massive piss up in Llanelli.
Oct 6: Visit Stradey Castle
Oct 9: Depart Llanelli arrive Chas and Barbara’s in bandit country (Llandielo way. Llandildo?)
Oct 12: Depart C&B’s drive to Dartmoor. Stay at “The Barn, Peter Tavy”.
Oct 13: Taff photography course.
Oct 25: Depart Dartmoor for secret love nest in detaches dormers.
Oct 28: Fly from Bristol to Ireland to stay with Clarkie and Catherine.
Nov 1: Fly from Cork to Bristol, drive to Sennen. Stay at Ivy Cottage.
Nov 4 & 5: Lee-Anne doing two day course at Rick Stein’s seafood cookery school.
Nov 8: Drive to London. “Aviva Apartments.”
Nov 10: Dinner by Heston
Nov 11: 3.15 pm depart Heathrow, 9.20 am arrive Bangkok. (Nov 12.)
Nov 12: 6.25 pm depart Bangkok, 7.45 am arrive Sydney, (Nov 13.)
Nov 15:  Massage at Foot and Thai.
Nov 18: Start back at work.

It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it…

2 thoughts on “Pushing 50, but not speeding…

  1. Great reading Taff, keep up the good work.

    Have a fantastic trip.

    We’re off for 5 days in Huskisson so we’ll surely get more sun than you. No Heston though…

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