Up early and I have to do a lesson! It's Ben, who has just started work and has a test next week. I don't mind working odd hours so long as it's not regular. Then we collect Chris and Nigel and drive to St Catherine's Hill to meet Dotty and Tim for a walk.
The walk is lovely, despite it raining hard. We aim for Twyford, and lunch at the Phoenix, highly recommended.
As we walk back to Winchester I get my camera out in a church and it's wet. Bugger. It seems to be dead (why oh why did I turn it on????) so I remove the battery and put it back in my wet bag. I am so stupid.
We have a coffee in Winchester, head back to the cars, and say goodbye to Dotty and Tim. A lovely day out, excepting wet cameras.
Home again. Camera in the airing cupboard, wet clothes off, heating on. Yes, I know, heating on in September. Whatever next? I spend a little time on Adrian's website adding a Facebook button. I hate Facebook almost as much as Apple :)
Tina and I video chat to Jackie and Paul in Canada. They are going to Paul's Mum for dinner after chatting to us. We share a few jokes, rib each other about our football teams (they are ManUre) and arrange to chat again next week.
Tina has to work today - boo. She heads off and I get up. After breakfast I cycle to see Joyce for a chat. She is busy vacuuming, but stops for me. On my way home I call into Winklebury cycles to see if they have a bike for Tina - a fair swop, I thought ;) (It's her birthday next Sunday). They have just the right bike, but before I commit I realise it's a man's frame. Gary (the proprietor) measures the height of the crossbar for me, and I leave it that I will go home and check Tina's bike.
Then it's time to tackle the hedge at the front of the house. While working, I hear the phone, it's Mike. We chat, it's so good to hear him. He's just helped a friend by sharing the driving to make a delivery - a round trip of (I think) 1400 kilometers. Jenny and he are also helping at a big fishing tournament this week-end. They are always so busy - new knees don't slow them down much. Mike is great for a 91 year old. I take my time with the hedge, and am around three quarters done when Tina gets home, around 3 p.m. She notices a huge cloud to the west in an otherwise blue sky. We walk into the road for a better view, just as our new neighbour opposite does. Stuart thinks it's smoke, so I grab my camera and he drives us toward Oakley to get a better view. The source of the smoke seems to be inaccessible, and we head home. The smoke is dispersing now, but at the start it was spectacular. Later, I see on the Guts-ache news page that it was only a controlled burn of crops. The emergency services were inundated with calls, apparently.
Chris and Nigel call round. I finish the hedge, and join them in the back garden for a chat. They have been out cycling, and Chris is on her new custom made bike, it looks marvellous in metallic petrol blue. When they leave, I survey the hedge. It look s like someone has drunkenly attacked it with a blunt instrument, just the effect I am after.
Dinner, Gareth Malone on the telly (he's very good, despite this being the umpteenth series of the same thing), and "The Thick of It" then bed.
What a lovely day! Ken and Carol pick us up at about 11:45, and we make our way to the station. I tell Ken I've been out for a run, just to annoy him. I have my camera, too, which probably has the same effect... We are in plenty of time for the train, and set off for a day out and an evening of comedy to raise money for a Frank Sidebottom statue in Timperley.
On the South Bank there is a funfair affair, featuring a massive chair ride called the Star Flyer. Chairs are suspended sixty metres high, and it whirls around fast and frightens the life out of it's occupants. Ken persuades me to accompany him, the girls are definite in their refusal to accompany us, and I was SO pleased when it was all over ;)
We wander along the South Bank, then get a train to Camden, where we meet Jim. It's wonderful to see him, but he has a lot of studying to do so after an hour or so he pops off home. The four of us walk along the canal, and eventually find our way to tonight's venue, and locate a nearby pub for a beer or two.
The evening goes very well, the comedy is great, with Stewart Lee being the standout act for me but welcome appearances by Kevin Eldon and Simon Munnery, and Mrs Lee (I think that might annoy her if she knew she was being referred to like that). There were several other acts, including Chris Sievey's band.
Our journey home is successful (not always the case when me and Ken and beer are involved - luckily we have the ladies to sort us out). I took loads of photos during the day, three below:
A perfect day, sunny and warm. Tina and I cycle over to see my Dad. He's ok, a bit sleepy, but does chat a little. I worry that we should take him out or something, but to be honest, he won't enjoy the upheaval.
We then cycle on to Odiham, where we have lunch in the the Bell, a proper pub by the church. We sit outside, but the pub is perfect inside. Light streams in through the windows, and creates a wonderful back lit effect everywhere. It looks lived in, and the menu has proper pub food. Tina has a sausage sandwich, bacon and mushroom for me. Mmmmm. The barman says his in laws run it, and that they've been there for sixteen years. Makes a change, these days every pub we go in seems to have changed hands in the last six months.
After lunch I take a lot of photos inside and outside the church. As we cycle home there are two other churches we visit, and more photos. Lovely.
More Vi Hart fun and games :)
Cakes, candles and song!
Thanks to Ken for this - the wonderful Beardyman and superb animation
Jackie and Paul's cat performs for treats...
You know what Gangnam Style is? OK, you're cool... You know what Skyrim is? OK, freezing... But Skyrim : Gangnam Style is absolute zero!!!