Today, being August Bank Holiday Monday, was wetter than a fish’s wet bits and downright bleedin’ gloomy. The day set aside for the late summer holiday has gained a bit of a reputation down the years for being grey and wet. So today, at the arse end of the worst summer since the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age, the day was doomed to turn out as the meteorological equivalent of Rick Astley.
I didn’t go anywhere this weekend. On Saturday I worked all day. Yesterday I hacked around half heartedly in a garden that I need to keep tidy just in case we ever have a day nice enough to sit out there in the sunshine again. Today I was confined to the house and spent most of my time doing business related paperwork and wishing that the weather would show sufficient improvement for me to continue with the half hearted horticulture.
Our summer, which never really got started, technically ended for me today. Even if the weather picks up a bit we’re not going to have a long heat wave this late on in the year. This week the kids are back at school, August turns to September (oh I hate those ‘ember’ suffixed months), the trees start to turn from green to brown, Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat.
What really pissed me off was having to rub shoulders with people who were going away on holiday in hot places and who were naturally excited about it. I bumped into these folks, rather abruptly I fear for their plastic inflatable crocodiles were irritating me even more than they were themselves, at Bristol Airport to where I had driven long before the crack of dawn (in fact not long after the crack of dusk) to see our young Rose off on an easyJet jet which would take her to Amsterdam and beyond to her seat of learning in Maastricht. I wish I was Rose . . . apart from the messed up, muddled up, shook up bedroom at home and the hard work she has to do while she’s away studying.
I tried to do some holiday stuff today to cheer my miserable bastard face up a bit. I did a bit more writing up of my catalogue of events that took place in Peru in May. I should have done it before now because the memories are fading, the mind adjusting effects of the coco tea and Pisco are wearing off and I couldn’t find my bag of postcards, tickets and keepsakes that I like to stick in my journal book and sometimes even scan to post on here to brighten up the rows and rows of dirge like scribble such as this. So my heart wasn’t really in that either, but I will persevere.
Desperate to do something of a 'getting away from England' nature, I rang the nice lady at the Avios (formerly Airmiles) office and booked myself on a big fast train free of charge to take me from London to Brussels in November and I invested a few bob in trains from Chippenham to London and Brussels to Maastricht to make the job complete. That’s the holiday after the holiday after next sorted then!
I also had a root around on the world wide web to see what live music might be happening for my entertainment whilst I am away wandering in the Low Countries. Lovely Fatoumata Diawara is playing a couple of nights in Belgium while I am there but in little towns too far away to get to from Brussels by means of public transport. What a flipping awful shame. Johnny Hallyday, said by some to be the French Elvis Presley, is playing in Brussels while I am there and, although I could put up with a bit of cheesy cak in the name of embracing another nation’s culture, I wasn’t prepared to fork out €85 to put up with a bit of cheesy cak from the back of a 13,000 seater arena out on a ring road. So instead I’ve booked up to go and see a lass called Vanessa F (not Feltz, no definitely not Feltz) in a little café bar club sort of malarkey bang in the middle of Brussels. I gave her a whirl on the Myspace website and concluded that her music’s mildly acceptable so I’m sure that when she's knocking out the numbers live in a hot sweaty Belgian club on a Saturday night she’ll be amazing.
I’m sorry for the downbeat nature of my blog tonight. I promise to endeavour to prevent it from happening again but sometimes it’s good to have a big fat moan.
However, whilst I’ve been typing, my sad plight has worsened. Outside the heavens have opened and a deluge of rain has overcome Chippenham so that all that remains are a few empty cider cans bobbing around on the surface of an inland sea. I wonder if that’s how things kicked off in Venice. I certainly hope so.
But even worse news is that, tonight in Guadeloupe, Johnny Hallyday has been admitted to hospital with a severe case of bronchitis. Well I suppose it’s bad news but if you’ve heard him sing you’d probably think differently. It reminds me of something Eric Morecambe once said. He said, “We’ve got some good news for music lovers. Des O’Connor’s got a sore throat.”
Drink isn’t always the answer but now I’m going to have a small splash of something peaty and smoky from Jura and in the morning I’ll be as happy as a fish’s happy bits.