I’m mindful that I promised myself that I would post an update at least once a week. Now obviously, when I’m sailing the Seven Seas, on a cruise ship I have much to write about; in fact, I could post almost daily – network connectivity permitting of course. Anybody who’s read about some of my recent cruising adventures will know that connectivity from the middle of the ocean isn’t that great. In fact for my last cruise, unbeknown to Mrs Me, I spent £300 on WiFi and all I managed to post was six updates after which I gave up. And now, here I am,in the middle of a cruise famine, I find myself struggling to come up with something to write about.
As, I sit on a First Great Western HST taking me from Paddington to home (Hungerford), I’m bashing away at the key pad and seeing all these words come on my screen and still I don’t know what to write about. I suppose I could write about my daily adventures on the rail network trying to get from home to my office by London Bridge. If everything fits together, it can be done one hour and forty minutes. In the real world of course and taking door to door into account, it takes around two hours and thirty minutes and most days, that’s how it goes. On the odd occasion however, i.e., at least once a week, something goes wrong: An underground line is suspended; Person on the line; overrunning rail works; early morning driver fails to turn up; train faults, etc.: The list goes on. The best issue to date however is when the train had to crawl almost at walking pace because the speedo didn’t work and it had to make its way to Reading (from Paddington) where the train could turn back to front so that the back became the front where there was a working speedo and the train could then do what a high speed train is supposed to, whiz along at high speed. There was of course the occasion when a train got stuck because it had run out of ‘air’: Yet all the passengers seemed to be breathing just fine. It turned out that the train need air (compressed) for the brakes. This week however , it was a broken underground train on the Bakerloo Line. This meant me getting a slow overground train – I could explain why, but I won’t – to Reading where I could catch a connecting train to Hungerford, only to see such train pulling away as I dashed towards it. This left me with a 24 minute wait for the next train which actually overtook the train I missed. Ironically, I had to change and catch said missed train for the last two station leg. On that occasion, my journey took just under four hours. But, do I really want to write about my train adventures? Probably not, so I won’t write about them. So what what do I write about?
The Next Day, and -
I still don’t know what to write about. I did think of writing about somebody who passed me a piece of work a couple of days ago while telling me that it’s quite urgent as a customer is seeking a speedy response. When looking through the ‘piece of work’ I noted that it had been sitting in somebody’s tray since the middle of April. Had the work come to me then, it would by now have been completed, the customer would be happy and there would have been no fretting about it’s now urgent nature. Once again, somebody’s lack of forethought and planning constituted my crisis. But then I thought, no, nobody wants to read about that so I won’t write about it.
So, just what do I write?
Then it struck me: I’m sitting here at the kitchen table, looking out of the window seeing great expanses of blue sky with just a few fluffy clouds and the sun just sitting there like a big yellow duster with just the gentlest of breeze teasing the tree tops and I start planning todays cycle ride. Today, I shall cycle a 30 (ish) mile loop taking me up onto the Chute Downs from where I can gaze down and look at the wonders of nature with the oh so english fields of rape reflecting the suns rays, the sheep and their young, bouncing around and no sight nor sound of a single car. That has to be one of the nicest places to cycle to, cycle along, and reluctantly, cycle from.
From there, it’s a series of climbs and descents, up past the gliding club where once again I shall stop and watch the gliders being coaxed into the air by a winch, or sometimes, a small plane; When at an optimum hight, the glider is released and it soars silently checking out the clouds, competing for air space with Red Kites and Buzzards before making it’s way slowly and gently back to the ground. Again, notwithstanding the small plane, all is silent and nature is at peace with all. After that, it’s a gentle undulating route back past The Swan Inn - a great place to stop if you’re out cycling / walking (shall I [again] be tempted to sample their wares?) before eventually arriving home feeling refreshed having blown the cobwebs away and taken in all that Mother Nature had to offer. But I can’t write about that. I can’t write about that because it’s blowing a hooley outside with dark angry clouds and rain to match. Also of course, the idea of me getting on my bike just now is still an aspiration rather than reality (COPD has seen to that :-( ). So, I can’t write about that either.
So, I still don’t know what to write about.
There is of course the fabulous weekend, just past, that I spent with the lovely Mrs Me at the Millstream in Bosham near Chichester. We like to spend as much time as we can in and around Chichester and Bosham. The town, the village and the surrounding countryside is just so beautiful Check out the You Tube video by Patrick Macnee to get a feel for the area. Having had an almost complete makeover inside we felt we should go back to see how it looked. It looked LUVERLY. And with the beautiful weather as our constant companion we sat out in the gardens enjoying a lovely glass of Rioja (Me) and Rosé (Mrs Me) before wondering down to the harbour to see if the Bosham Car Wash was in action Watch the video, it is hilarious). Unfortunately it wasn’t, though this did mean that with the tide out, we could make our way round to the Yacht Club, sit, and watch the sail boats drifting in and out before wondering back through the village wondering at the Wisteria, which seems to be doing extremely well everywhere this season though I have no idea why.
Now, Mrs Me being Mrs Me: No trip to Chichester is possible with a visit to Russell & Bromley, purveyor of fine shoes and handbags: No trip to Russell and Bromley is possible without a purchase and it was with some rightly placed trepidation that I entered the establishment, dutifully following Mrs Me. We looked at boots; we looked at flat shoes; we looked at wedges; we looked at loafers; we looked at same rather high stiletto feel shoes; we even looked at some kinky boots; we looked at large handbags; we looked at small handbags: Briefly, we looked at mens shoes before returning back to ladies shoes. Eventually with great determination, she found a pair she liked. “I’m sorry Madam” said the shop assistant, “we don’t have these in your size” (oh no I thought, my weekend is going to be awful), “But” he said, “I’m sure they are available in one of the other stores: Let me check”. Yep, they did and even better, they would deliver them to home so it was with great joy that we were able to make a purchase and continue shopping. But, I felt there was still some sadness in Mrs Me. Then the penny dropped, we had come to Chichester, bought a pair of shoes but still she had nothing to show for it. But, his Podgeness is sometimes too clever for his own good. He espied a jewellers that did some rather attractive and reasonably priced bracelets, and having pointed them out to Mrs Me, we went in, tried them on (yes, she needed two), purchased them and Mrs Me was once more a happy bunny and with that, we returned to The Millstream for more much needed wine. But, does anybody want to know about all of this? I doubt it, so I won’t write about it. So:
What can I write about?
I don’t know: I haven’t a clue, so for this week I’m afraid I’m going to have to fail my objective and not write anything. Next week, I will try better. I promise. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll include better pictures. But don’t worry, I won’t be in any of them.