Monday, 20 December 2010
It's the end of the road for my back-pack. I have had it since 1996 (or is is it 1995?) and it has been with me on travels everywhere. It has been to Australia, USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, India, Portugal, Spain, Cuba and Peru. But now the zips are corroded and some of the straps and buckles have broken.
A pity. Sorry, old friend, you're going in the bin....
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
We have been promised snow for days now - and now at last it has arrived in Coventry. Everything looked lovely this morning but it doesn't look as if it will last too long. Joe is upset - claims his secondary school is the only one in the city that has remained open!
Friday, 1 January 2010
Lynnette said I should have an iPhone as "they are really cool". Well, being a very uncool sort of person I wondered if I would be able to get one. But apparently you don't have to actually pass a coolness test to own one - which is a good thing as I am sure I would have failed.
But it is very good fun and I am spending increasing amounts of time playing with my new gadget, adding apps, photos, music, etc. So now the house remains undusted, the ironing basket overflows and Bill is neglected. My New Year Resolution? To waste time on my phone...... And who knows, I may even end up as "cool".
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
In July we took grandchildren Kevin, Liam and Bridget plus Bridget's boyfriend Brian to Thailand. We stayed in Bangkok for a few days and then set off by train to Chumphon. From here we took the night ferry to Ko Tao where we had a wonderful week. Then back to Chumphon to get a train to Hua Hin. This involved a really hair-raising race to the station to get to the train on time! We enjoyed our time in Hua Hin before and after a few days got the train north to Bangkok.
A great trip all round. Hope we whetted the children's interest in backpacking!
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Glastonbury was great. The music, the crowds, the colour and the chaos - it was all excellent. We can now say we have had the real Glasto experience - the mud and the long-drop loos! And survived it all.
By Sunday night we were definitely suffering from sensory overload. We had seen Status Quo rocking all through the night, Tony Christie asking about the road to Amarillo, Tom Jones pleading with Delilah and then Madness welcoming us to the House of Fun. After the madness of Madness we retreated to the van for a reasonably early night.
Can't wait for Glastonbury 2010.
Monday, 1 June 2009
Just had three days at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival. We stayed in the van at Radnor's End Campsite - super little site and in walking distance of the town. The weather was glorious and there was a lovely atmosphere at the festival. Someone said "It is as if all the kids have gone to Glastonbury and left their parents at Hay-on-Wye!" Our first session on Friday evening was to see Geoff Dyer, author of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varinasi. He spoke really well and was at the same time surprisingly modest and funny. At the end he was awarded the Bollinger prize for comedy writing by James Naughtie. We had an early start the next day to listen to Tobias Hill at 9 o'clock. He was brilliant. He read some of his poetry (which we tried to get hold of in the bookshop but failed) and excerpts from his book The Hidden. He talked intelligently and passionately about his work. Talented and handsome - what more could you ask for?
After a quick coffee we were off to hear Marina Hyde talk about celebrity culture. She was great - she talks as well as she writes and we could have done with a much longer session. Then we had a leisurely picnic before our next session - so leisurely that we mistook the time and were actually late for Marcus Brigstocke and team who were doing a comedy review of the daily papers. It was OK but a bit of a mixed bag. M.B. is obviously very talented and genuinely funny but the rest of the team were a bit hit and miss.
Our evening session was Mark Lawson talking to David Simon. A great session - David Simon is really perceptive and interesting to listen to. He signed my copy of Homicide with great charm (even though he was probably exhausted - it was a huge queue) and had time to chat about some of the characters in The Wire.
On Sunday we went to hear Kate Summerscale talk about The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. Rosie Boycott chaired the session with effortless skill and anyone who had not read the book must have been enthused to go out and buy it. I wanted my copy signed but suspected there would be a huge queue and we had another session starting soon. So Bill nipped out a few minutes from the end and was third in line - the two ahead of him had not been to the session. She seemed genuinely pleased when I told her I had chosen the book for my reading group.
Vince Cable was, as expected, very good - he was greeted as a conquering hero by a rapturous audience! John Harris was a superb chair - though I felt he was reining himself in a bit.....
We were really looking forward to the final act of the festival - Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden. Oh dear, quite a disappointment. "I wonder who the third chair is for?" said I - but my heart sank when Carrie Quinlan walked out onto the stage. We had seen her with Marcus B and we were not impressed. She appeared to have done no preparation and did not seem to have a clue how to act as the chair - and neither Barry Cryer nor Graeme Garden seemed inclined to help her. There were some embarrassing silences and it took about twenty minutes before it really got going.
Nonetheless Hay Festival continues to go from strength to strength.