What Have I Been Doing?

Well, what have I been doing in the surprisingly cold and horribly wet month of August? Did I make it to the coast? Did I manage to walk the Grand Union canal from Loughborough to the Trent and then south to Leicester? What books did I read? What films and TV did I watch? Did I manage to decorate the study?

Read on: all will be revealed. With photos.

In some ways August was a bit of a hectic month, with one close relative being taken into hospital with serious problems and a friend coincidentally being in the same hospital at the same time, albeit with less serious problems. They both needed stuff but couldn’t be visited and at one time things looked perilous for one of them. Thankfully that person is now home and recovering but it was touch and go for a while.

On the plus side, my major achievement was decorating the study. This was in a horrible state with peeling wallpaper and a filthy ceiling; the washing and stripping took ages. I had all the furniture piled up in a teetering pile in the centre of the room and worked round it. There was a great deal of cursing and swearing and at one point when on the hottest day of the year (31 degrees) I kept knocking things over and having to work around the internet hub because the other hub kept going off and having stripped one wall to find underneath a surface like cold porridge which I despaired of painting and I DID NOT FEEL APPRECIATED BY ANYONE!!! I had a complete meltdown. But after that things got much better and I’m happy to say everyone appreciates the result, most of all me. The walls are a fresh lime green contrasting with the pristine white ceiling and woodwork. It’s very satisfying.

My other big achievement was in sewing. Having put the study to rights I wanted another project, it being too wet to walk much, so I got out my zippy Frister and Rossman, much more flash and whizzy than my old trusty trundler of a Singer, and finished a blouse I’d begun three years before. I then needed some trousers to go with it so zipped down to Sarah’s shop on Ashby Road and got some delicious plum poly-cotton which I swiftly made into a pair of flared trews. And there you are.

I did manage some walking earlier in the month before the rain set in. I walked North to Normanton on Soar, a total of six miles, and then from Normanton to Zouch, a short but picturesque stroll with the son. The chain ferry in Normanton is of course out of action but another day I parked up at Zouch and walked to Sutton Bonnington. The land is owned by Nottingham University as a forestry project so there are pleasant walks around, but I stuck with the canal until I got to a part where all the anglers seem to hang out. Anglers are not usually a problem but these guys seemed to have the most enormous rods (fnarr, fnarr) which practically spanned the whole canal and reached back covering the entire towpath. This must have been very inconvenient for them as every time a walker came past they had to move the rod out of the way. It wouldn’t have mattered so much if there’d been only one or two, but as I rounded the bend there were more and more of them and in the end by the time I’d run the gauntlet of about 25 anglers and their enormous rods, I decided to go back a different way. So I took a path to Sutton Bonnington, a pleasant village with a few 17th century houses where the top overhangs the bottom for the purposes of slinging out the slops into the street, and from there struck out across the fields. It was a hot day and I was glad to see the car again, though I’d only done five or six miles.

Another day I walked to Barrow from Loughborough, a total of 8 or 9 miles. So I’ve not been idle.

During the evenings I’ve been watching some good box sets, but I’ll tell you about those another day. Meanwhile here are some photos:

Kirk out

Making an Exhibition of Ourselves

Another blast from the past. I’m back at my desk now and will begin producing original work imminently…

Sarada Gray

And with no spam comments at all today, we must content ourselves with gems from the treasure-trove that is The World According to Mark.  Today we had a conversation that went roughly like this: Daniel had written a note saying ‘wake me up at 6 am’, so instead of realising that he’d written a 6 instead of a 9, Mark woke our poor bleary-eyed son at 6.  When I pointed out that it was obviously a mistake, he said:

‘How was Daniel at reading?’

‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘He was a slow starter but a lot of Home Ed kids are.  Once he got going he was very fluent.’



‘Do you think he might be dyslexic?’

‘No!  Why?’

‘He wrote a 6 instead of a 9!’

‘So!  He was just tired!  You’d do the same if you were tired.’

‘That’s just it – I wouldn’t.’

‘Well, I would,’ I…

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