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Monday, November 27, 2006

Thomas head and a luverly weekend

One of those weekends! Where we did EVERYTHING!

Di came round to watch us eat breakfast. Been hypnotised to help her give up the evil weed. 3,2,1 - you're back in the room. All I can say is, go girl. Y'know you want to. As for Flash Player 9, on Firefox 2, on SuSE 9 - reckon you've found my limits. You're in weardie beardie territory now...

Went to see a friend Saturday morning - a very talented fellow fool who messes with all things 4-banger. Did me a great deal on a finned aluminium cylinder head. Name of Thomas. Not a clue when I'll get round to using it, although it'll fit a treat on the Diamond B block that "turned up" last week. For now? It'll shine up and sit somewhere looking good.

For those that know nothing of the perversities of bangers, A's, B's and flatheads, all I can say is- oh well. You're probably better off.

Trip to a scrap yard in torrential thunderstorm - "you stay in the car with your sandwiches, kids" netted nothing to filling the yawning chasm that is the Sedan roof, so we pressed on to go tenpin bowling with Jenny and Char. Whole mixture of strikes and misses only proves I'm as averagely inaccurate as I've always been. And that Alice is the only one amongst us that has a competitive streak.

Rushed home and went to a Thanksgiving dinner round at my friend Becky's. Born in California, raised in Virginia, before coming here to raise her own family with David, we looked after the pigs on their smallholding whilst they were away recently.
More of a Harvest Festival really - whole table groaning under the weight of all the food from their allotments and fields. Must have turned my kids part-veggie now I think - they weren't that keen on the mutton and beef, but SO much to eat.

Cleared the first course, floured the table, and we all made bread from a big bowl of dough, before moving onto pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie. Mmmm.

Made our excuses and took the bread to the pub with us along with my double bass and a mandolin. Bluegrass session with some old friends. Wonderful. Oh, and some new friends. Hi Jenny! Must teach you some chords on the mandolin...

With all the rushing around on Saturday - lost the kids to the friends and the woods on Sunday.
Friends popped round. Bob, Pip, Nick, Becky, David.
And left. And returned.
Washing out.
Washing in.
Oh well.

So. What the hey. Raided the larder, and the doo bin, invited the sleepy Jenny (ah, bless - busy day?) and her two over for err, umm, lets call it the nearest I can muster for a Sunday roast. Roasted vegetable tart. Broccoli cheese. Roast spuds. Apple pie. Busy. Kids. Warm, and luverly. Content with the world.

If I had a beer in my hand instead of a keyboard, I'd raise it to the warmth of being amongst friends.

Is this OK?
Y'know, I do believe it is.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On missing the lint of life. And curry.

Kate's birthday today. She'd have been 49. Just shy from the middle of a century. One year from half way to a letter from the queen.

Going out with the kids tonight - they wanted to celebrate mum's birthday. Meeting up with some old friends who would have come round anyway, and going for a curry.

And it's not the special occasions I miss - it's all the ordinary mundane things that were just there in our life together. Winter time, in front of the fire, washing drying. Cuddled up on the sofa, or rubbing cream into her feet because of what the chemo did.

All the celebration of Christmas, birthdays, or any other excuse for a party I can cope with. Sure, we're missing one. And a significant one at that.

But falling asleep together in front of our favourite films, shopping on a Saturday and coming home with a sticky bun for lunch, fetching down a saucepan from the rack I put up and she couldn't reach,

or just sitting reading a magazine. Just the ordinary bits of fluffy lint; pointless, forgotten, mundane stuff that turn two people into a couple. Silly things you never knew you had until they've gone.

Yup. Missing the mundane.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Secret ingredient for today...

Dark nights - winter closing in, rushing around with fires to light, food to cook, washing to put in, take out, bring in wet again....
So - not much happening. Been spending the odd hour late at night pulling out the damaged and rotten wood in the A sedan, and starting to form a plan to get it watertight again for another 76 years!

Hmm. Courgettes on special, huge onions from my father's garden, vegetables various from the "doo" bin (that plastic drawer at the bottom of the fridge - so what's yours called...?) and the special secret ingredient for the day?

Honey and mustard.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hayseed Dixie and real good friends

Cold night tonight. Frosty. Alice would probably check with the Met-office and tell me it's minus 3°C. And go on to tell me to go to bed.

But last night - hey it was T-shirt weather. Warm enough to stroll across Norwich to see Hayseed Dixie playing at the Waterfront. Last saw them a year ago when Kate and I went down to Colchester Arts Centre with the Sidewinders - our "hot rod gang".

Good friend Jenny bought me a ticket for my birthday (cheers Jenny!!), turned up with her feisty daughter, and good hot rodding buddies Ratty and Ivor.

Met my old friend Steve, a superb banjo player, outside and we all squeezed our way into the absolute pit that the Waterfront is, was, and probably always will be. I last came here with Kate to see the Bare Naked Ladies about 12 years ago. Brilliant! Well. Except for the view past huge pillars. And the muffled sound. Oh well.

Oh but hey! We were here to see THE Hayseed Dixie. I've always loved my bluegrass. With Steve on banjo, and me on Delores, (my double bass) we were once busy playing most nights in a couple or so bands, and still meet up for the occasional pub session. But sometimes too many people take their music all too seriously. In our house, if it ain't fun, it ain't on.

Something about bluegrass though, makes me smile - and what really widens the grin is hearing familiar songs done RIGHT. Bluegrass style. Still love Run CnW playing all the Motown classics; the Sensitive New Age Cowpersons covering Elvis, Abba and Hendrix; and the Austin Lounge Lizards, doing whatever they please really. Not necessarily songs I like either - nothing, but nothing, would have kept me in the same greeby biker infested room listening to AC/DC and their ilk. Well, maybe Lemmy singing Ace of Spades. Or some early Led. But that's would have been about it.

Ah - but hey! Hayseed Dixie. They've removed all that excess, rockstar posing; and distilled down heavy rock into earnest fun. Just the right instruments - bass, banjo, mandolin and guitar/fiddle by the man Barley. Entertaining show indeed. Really can't say no more - you've just gotta see 'em!

Had a little bit of a leap about, trod on some people in a good natured way. Drank some cider, and some Adnams. Met quite a few friends from hot rodding, others from playing in bluegrass pub sessions, and it was all over far too soon. Could do it all again anytime!

Next to the car thing, I do enjoy playing a bit of bluegrass bass. Guess I might try and get out occasionally for a bit of a play. Or at least find the time to practice...

Thanks to all my bestest, favouritest, friends for making me have a good time. Really.