It’s alive … I T’S A L I V E !!!


For the last month, other-half has been blogging daily as part of “blogtoberfest”. Her excitement about it has been a bit contagious, so I thought it was time I started blogging again.

As a friend referred to my blog as “dead” this week, I thought that Samhain (or Halloween as you wacky modernists call it) would be the perfect time to resurrect it.

I’m currently on holiday in a cottage in the middle of bloody nowhere heart of glorious Yorkshire. Plan was for a relaxing week in the country – pile of CDs, Nintendo Wii, Guitar, books – perfick.

Arriving to find a lorry parked up, emptying the septic tank wasn’t the ideal start. The driver turned out to be a cheery bloke, who gave us lots of suggestions for places to go. Ideally, this conversation would not have been held across the top of an open sewer but such is life. Holiday mood was back on track when we realised the registration number of the lorry ended in ‘POO’.

CD player has so far rejected every disc I’ve put in it and the Wii is showing up only in black and white. So books and guitar it is.

We spent Saturday lounging on the sofa, but today summoned up the energy to trek into “town” for supplies (beer and biscuits). Tomorrow we may venture further afield.

Or not.

It’s going to be that kind of trip.

Bucket – Check! Spade – Check! Lifeboat – erm


I’m unreasonably excited about spending 4 days in Brighton. As I like Gene Vincent AND The Who, I was a bit worried where I’d be if it all kicked off on the beach, but I’m reliably informed they don’t do that any more. Even if they did, one swish of my hirsute bonce and mods and rockers would doubtless unite in cries of “get the hippy” which would at least give me the satisfaction of having brought them together.

Looking at the weather reports, my next blog post may well be about a weekend staring out of a hotel window and a comparison of anoraks and wellies. Ho hum.

Any cat fans concerned about my pampered felines need not worry. One swift trip to Argos and I’ve set up an electronically timed gadget to release food at regular intervals. The cats were suspicious of the new toy at first but they’ve now realised that unlike the regular feeding device, it serves food at the same time every day regardless of what time they jump all over it during the night. They’ve also got Red Leader on speed dial in case of emergency.

Fiona started packing about a week ago, ticking off items on her going-away-list and sub-lists thereof. A level of organisation well beyond me. I thought everyone does what I do – grab a rucksack the night before and go through the essentials :-

    – Socks/Pants/T-shirts – one per day (of each, I’m not Foreign or anything)
    – Spare trousers
    – Toothbrush (if you’re going with a bird)
    – Comics/sweeties/music for train

Don’t they??

Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Sophie …


A week in Sunny Scotland with a first experience of sailing and a recap on our drinking skills, with my beloved by my side. What more can a man ask for, short of singing rude songs and a side platter of nostalgia?

Drove up to Dumfries on the Friday afternoon with the traditional stop at Tebay services, now featuring a snazzy and posh Deli/Organic/GorgeousStuff counter. Drove on with the traditional “wooohooooo we’re in Scotland!” when passing the Iron Bridge.

Maw and Paw chuffed to see us, of course. Spent a cheery Friday night nattering to them and being fed to within an inch of our lives.

Shona arrived on Saturday so more nattering before Sophie and I went for a mooch round Dumfries. There was some sort of street theatre going on which was probably very entertaining but I got distracted by the woman in a ringmaster’s outfit and stripy tights “training” another woman in a Lion suit which appeared to be slightly too big for the pert bottom she ended up virtually baring in the High Street. Hence my distraction …

The centre of Dumfries is a bit of a sorry sight. So many boarded up shop fronts and what’s left is mostly charities and cheap tat. I remember it being a lot busier and the shops being more varied. Whether this is a trick of my memory or a sad symptom of the growth in out-of-town shops, I don’t know. There was a market behind the steeple which was quite cool but I did leave town feeling a bit sad.

Saturday night and it’s off to the pub with Tracy and her new man, Jack who turned out to be a semi-pro musician and a top bloke all round. We spent the night discussing guitars, music, songs and generally boring the arse off of the womenfolk. Smoking is banned in Scottish pubs now so as I was with 3 chain smokers, I spent more time than I care to outside in the freezing cold – and I don’t even smoke.

Once we’d out-stayed our welcome in every pub we could find, we headed back to Tracy’s flat where I strategically passed out on the floor. We somehow managed to get lost between her flat and the main road which is quite an impressive feat, but eventually found the taxi and made it back to my parents’ house.

Sunday, as you may imagine, was quiet.

Monday morning, and we said all our goodbyes before heading north. We decided to take the coast road which, to Sophie’s relief, only referred to the part around Largs and not going via Stranraer. On reaching the road approaching Ardrossan, my excitable driver spotted something:-



“what? oh yes, those…SEAGULLS!! I CAN HEAR SEAGULLS!!”


“WOOOWWW!!! Proper ROCKS!!! I’ve never SEEN a ROCK POOL, d’you think there’ll be a rock pool? maybe i can get a bit closer … “


“you’re not even Catholic, smart arse”

“…ofourdeath – i don’t care, it’s worth a try – LORRY! LORRYYYYYYYY!”

” I saw it, I saw it. Calm down. Honestly, what a wendy”

“you mean Jessie. No, wait …”

200 miles and Four of my Nine Lives later, we approached Greenock. Or Gourock. One of the two. I get them confused. Just as we were coming in, my phone goes.

It’s the police.

in Holyhead.

in Wales.

… to be continued

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