Category Archives: Bloggers Log

This section holds the blogs that have been posted documenting the recent road trips I have undertaken along with updates of the retirement challenges that I have been set.

Damsons, Deer & Digital Dabbling

Its now been 8 months since Paddi passed away yet I still find my self up & out the door as I have been for more than a decade to wander the fields behind the house. As the seasons change so does environment so the view is never really the same twice & if I’m lucky I get to see wildlife too.

The wheat fields were a golden colour & the gentle rumble of the combine will be felt as the lane fills with tractor & trailers in a frenzied bid to get the harvest in.

Covid may have wreaked havoc on the wider world but not in these fields. I consider myself most fortunate to have been able to escape here on a daily basis to try & cling on to a sense of personal freedom.

Freedom like trust a very flimsy often underrated commodity until you no longer have it. Whilst lockdown had the feel of living in some sort of house arrest now our mobility is being governed by need to zealously conform to a myriad of conflicting rules & regulations.

So with no gigs to go to the answer was to set up a fund-raising project that led to hosting what I have dubbed a ‘micro festival’. In the role of ‘crash test dummies’ we live streamed a segment into an all day music event with a largely virtual audience. The scaled up version is likely to take place later in the year. This project is still ongoing but has been severely affected by the unpredictable announcements connected to covid concerns. More of that to follow as time goes on so be warned!

Then when out of nowhere came the chance to travel North for a live music it was too good an opportunity to miss. Daughter & I set off to Newcastle for a hotel I last stayed at back in the late 1980’s. With The Hunna headlining supported by Jaws & Bare Roots it was a total ‘no brainer’ to go especially as we could combine our visit with some sight seeing & meeting one of my daughters old ship mates.

Searching for our Pen

It was a curious set up but for all intents & purposes it mostly felt like a gig & the portaloos were the cleanest I had ever had the privilege to use. So may be some of the changes were for the common good! I certainly am glad I made the six hour drive to listen to those bands play they were all awesome in their unique way.

Sat in our ‘Pen’

The staff at the venue were lovely & I have never in all the gigs I have gone to been greeted by name when collecting my preordered drinks. My daughter & I joked that perhaps we were the only ones drinking Pimms but hey who cares it was a warm evening & that was the perfect beverage. We bought a mask to support the organisers in the hope they will get to run more & I was given a Hunna Hat as a thank you for organising the trip.

The Hunna

Live music lifts your soul especially when you can sing at the top of your voice & dance along even if a little self consciously in your own little pen. Quite a contrast to the gig I had attended in London prior to the lockdown where 10,000 of us had jostled together in an amorphous blob.

Not sure when we get to alight from the current crazy train but for now I have the memories of those few days to sustain me. The measures currently emplace seem to be designed to suck every ounce of enjoyment from peoples lives. As the dark nights approach coupled with the restrictions I can only wonder at the impact to the nations mental health. I now also have major reservations about the methods of data collection that inform these decisions. I am not convinced that young people are responsible nor is the virus spread just limited to social situations. The work place seems just as likely & it will be interesting to see how the incidence of sick leave rises with the approach of ‘cough & cold’ season where it will be virtually impossible to differentiate between the conditions.

Angel of The North

Newcastle we loved you, we had a fantastic break returning home to gloriously un-seasonally warm, balmy weather to catch up on some gardening. Bye for now & stay as safe as you can.

Blasting About Bagless on a Bonnaville

Cabin fever started to bite & the government announced a scheme to get people eating out to boost the economy so no brainer then, time to go out.

Triumph Bonneville

Hubby is an old petrol head who’s current machine is a Triumph Bonneville & on special occasions I am allowed on the back.

With the promise of buying coffee & cake we set off across the old Servern Bridge into South Wales. Whizzing along the lush green country roads past Tinturn Abbey to arrive at Monmouth. Parked up we ventured on foot to find a cafe & passed a rather tempting pasty shop on the way. The other half is not normally one to pass up a pie so I could tell we were going to be picking some up on the way home.

coffee & cake

The allure of a care free life is the prospect of just being able to ‘pick up & go’ which is all very well but meant we had no bag to put the pasties in. Hubby kindly suggested me placing them inside my jacket. On a normal UK summers day this might not have been an unwelcome suggestion but not in temperatures of 30degrees plus! I wasn’t thrilled at prospect of adding to the bag collection however impending pasty purchase meant a shop foray was in order. Buff up around my face in lieu of a mask I went in.

pasty bag

Clutching the lurid pink plastic bag I joined a queue to pay & felt really conspicuous. Not because I was in half a bikers suit or attempting to buy a kids bag but it occurred to me I was the only one wearing a face covering of any sort. It really is entering a new phase of strangeness when you are uncertain of the etiquette of mask wearing. Perhaps I should write one?

Anyway pleased to report the pasties made it home unscathed and we enjoyed them very much. The cake was good to & since then have been trying to eat out more. The irony though on the day of the dentist appointment (yes I finally got one), I bit into a piece of seeded bread & knocked the ‘repair’ out & accidentally swallowed it so mask stayed on firmly until I reached the surgery.

Stay safe until I tell you more next time.