Did you know that [counter] people have been having a skeg at my little autonomous region?




I need to write on here a bit more often. My account of my traveller’s lifestyle is becoming patchy and disjointed. I need to be just writing about a day at a time instead of doing whole chunks of a week in a catch up stylee. I need to spend less time at work so that I’ve got more time and energy to do this and the other things that I love that are often sadly neglected. Do you know there are tadpoles in my pond that have been there since March and have yet to be named? I have got as far as Tommy, Tilly, Tessa, Tarquin, Tallulah and Terry but I still need about two thousand more. Actually many of them are frogs now and have fled leaving me with a heartbreaking attack of empty pond syndrome and the worry that they are now homeless as well as nameless. Aren’t I a bad parent? Come and get me Social Services . . . it’s a fair kop!

So last Friday dinnertime in Chippenham High Street I heard the haunting sound of Andean pipes. My mind flew back to the magnificent Inca ruins at Pisac where a lone piper’s tuneful notes cascaded down the ancient terraces to flood the beautiful Sacred Valley. I looked around me to find the source of the Inca muse. Much to my delight, I saw him standing outside Wilkinson’s. A man of South American features playing the flute of his homeland. Well, I think it was his homeland but I couldn’t be sure as he was trying to supplement his income from the sale of his CDs by also displaying an array of native North American tat for sale. Who has ever caught a dream and if anybody did where did they keep it? In a box? So the so called man from the Peru may well have been from the Black Hills of Dakota or Milwaukee or anywhere in North America where the buffalo once roamed. His young lady assistant was also bedecked in the national costume of somewhere in Latin America but not Peru because she didn’t have the big hat. Looking closely at her skin pigmentation I surmised that she was either an albino Inca or a Trowbridge floozy after a bit of incantation. However, despite it all turning out to be a bit cheap and nasty, it was nice to have a bit of Cuscoesque culture so near to home.

During the day on Saturday I travelled nowhere. Instead I chained myself to my desk and had a stab at my business accounts . . . and I drank fifteen cups of coffee and sent thirty seven Facebook messages and squeezed a big spot on my chin and read the washing instructions on my t-shirt twelve times and put all the yoghurts in my fridge into alphabetical order of flavours and a million other things that seemed more interesting than doing my accounts. Still, the accounts must be done as they finance my travels and save me having to travel to the office of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to explain myself.

In the evening of the day I travelled to the fashionable Redland district of Chippenham for an evening of swordfish, garlic, hot spicy stuff, fufu, laughter and African music with my lovely friend Susan and her dog, Hope. I had never eaten swordfish north of the River Avon before but neither had Susan so it turned out to be a momentous occasion for both of us and her dog, Hope.

I survived my trip to Peru in March and so did all of my kit with the exception of my mobile phone. Samsung don’t seem to do altitude sickness. Perhaps it’s some sort of divine Inca retribution for the Japanese ‘mountain climbers’ stealing the gold from a cave near the summit of Mount Salcantay in the 1970s. But any road, to cut a short story even shorter, my mobile telecommunications apparatus that had been ailing since I landed back in Europe six weeks ago, popped its clogs on Sunday morning so I had to go and acquire a new one. The nice Welsh lady with the whole of Under Milk Wood tattooed on her back in the Phones4U shop showed me how to use all the functions on my new trendy state of the dog’s bollocks mobile and told me to stay well away from Pampa Japonesa high up in the Andes because that wasn't covered in the guarantee.

The rest of my Sunday was spent tarting up my badly neglected garden. Well today was the first time I had had a rain free day off work since March. But it looked well neat when I had finished. The only bad bit was when I went out in the twilight to lock the garage door and stood on a slug in my bare feet. It took ages to wipe all those bits of slug off the back door. To be honest though, I’m not sure I really want a garden anymore. I love gardens for sitting in on a hot day with a cold drink but we rarely get hot days in England these days and when we do I seem to spend them all repairing the damage done to my garden by the previous four months’ atrocious weather. I would like another garden really but I would like one in which I can grow bananas, pineapples and coco leaves.

Sadly something else has been neglected and all of this harking back to the days of Peru has reminded me that I still haven’t written up my Peru journal pages and posted them on here yet. But do not worry for they are a work in progress and one that is well worth waiting for and no dolphins were harmed but a small fluffy guinea pig may have been . . . not by me though!

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