2008 — 27 Jan: Happy birthday, Big Bro!

Just another placeholder, basically, at 00:16 or thereabouts. I'm still reeling from the shock of learning from Bob Harris that Sylvia (from Focus) came out 35 years ago! Rumour had it a Polydor vinyl pressing factory spent ten days doing nothing but churn out copies to meet the demand. By contrast, Big Bro came out (as it were) 62 years ago... I did watch Shoot 'em up by the way, and another 50 minutes of the DVD extras. Frenetic, I think is the appropriate word. Or "bullet ballet" perhaps.

I've just finished a note to my dear friend Carol over in NY. She implicitly approves of the various things I've been doing, which is reassuring (to say the least). Here's the sort of thing I said, in part:

Odd, isn't it? Bro, Sister-in-law, and Christa are all 62 now. Of course, the two German brothers-in-law are even older. I feel a bit like a baby at 56. I suspect I will fairly soon be down in NZ for a few weeks, and I suppose that will also be a mood lifter. Quite a lot of what I'm doing at the moment is more than somewhat against my natural inclinations, but then what I think are my natural inclinations may well turn out just to be habits that suited me when Christa was here. And, let's face it, when I had Christa we were almost a single entity in many ways. I'm very conscious that I have to change aspects of how I live the remainder of my life. It's quite a journey, I guess. <Sigh>


I suppose part of the problem is that Christa and I were together for so long that I have no real adult experience of life without her. At 22, I was pretty much an unformed dork! At 56, I'm no longer confident I know what I am. (Maybe a formed dork?!) Well, that's enough introspection for a Saturday night (it's now 01:09) so I shall hit the hay (what an odd phrase!) and assume it's a new day when I wake up "tomorrow". G'nite!

Marching orders... department

It's 09:19, the sun is positively blazing down (albeit still at an acute angle), the brekkie cereal is soaking up the milk to soften up, the tea is too hot to drink, the heart has momentarily lifted at the simple fact that I did all the dishes last night last thing, thus neatly having the time to put them away as the kettle did its boily thing minutes ago. And (like Captain Jack Aubrey) I've received orders from the Admiralty outlining our next adventure:

Winchester Hill

I believe we're taking some or all of the vaguely violet track, [on the OS map I have now removed!] and have also been told there's a pub with a passable pint in Brockbridge for (roughly) the halfway point. Should we feel so inclined.1 I also gained some useful feedback (in a manner of speaking) from Friday's packed lunch: lemon and lime marmalade does not play altogether nicely with thinly-sliced chicken breast and cheese as a sandwich filling. Still, it adds a dash of colour.

Good old BBC Radio 3. I've just learned that the warden's bedroom at Winchester College turned out to be where a missing copy of Malory's Morte d'Arthur was found after half a millennium. Doesn't anyone dust those shelves, I wonder? Not even, say, once a century? And I've just confirmed a lunch date for Tuesday; also mustn't forget the outing to the Theatre Royal on Wednesday (Seven brides for Seven brothers). But now that Segovia's own arrangement of Asturias has finished I'd better go and butter a sandwich or two. And I've learned the hard way not to do that while wearing my long-sleeved dressing gown. It's all go sometimes, isn't it?

OK, it's now 10:34 and nearly time to hit the road. Thanks for the picture of your summer lawn, Lis. I can see that, for once, the grass is clearly not greener on the other side of the world! (Who would have thunk it?)

And for your next (olde) trip?

Safely back just before 18:00, after a walk of about 9.97 miles (as the GPS signals show). We hadn't expected quite such a marathon, but it was a gloriously sunny day, the pint of

Olde Trip

served up by mine (extremely genial) host "Uncle John" in the White Horse Inn at Droxford really hit the spot (as did the free bhaji and tamarind sauce ["to die for"] with which he served us unasked as a taster) and the glitch regarding a non-existent footpath that had somehow metamorphosed into a private farmhouse only cost us an extra mile or so of backtracking. Mike has now refreshed the map above for me to show where we actually went, as opposed to where he'd intended us to go.

And, speaking of future intentions, it's soon going to be time to think about sprucing myself up, packing the loaded iPod, and navigating over to tonight's inaugural meeting of a Dinner Party Club for 20:00 in Romsey, "hostessed" by Lindsey. I hope I don't disgrace myself by falling into a deep slumber of exhaustion or, if I do, I at least hope my snores will be masked by the music from said iPod.



1  If we do, I shall raise my glass in a birthday toast to Big Bro, down in NZ. (Though I think he's still in the Lone Star state at the moment. Or maybe already en route to Brunei with his latest aeronautical acquisition. Who knows?)