Lock-down diaries # 14.
All together now, “Awwwwwwwwww”, isn’t he lovely?
Hello again one and all and thanks as always for taking the time to drop by my little blog here and, after the horrendously long offering last time, I shall be surprised if anyone can even face another excursion into the deranged world I inhabit. I promise you that I shall try to make this one a lot less wordy and there will be a few images to hopefully brighten up your day in these continuing awful times.
OK, I should probably qualify that last statement a little. If you are a professional photographer or even a gifted amateur like so many of my friends then my efforts with a succession of cheap compact cameras and absolutely zero talent for the medium will probably end up driving you into a fit of depression when you see them but I mean well, honestly. If you wish to have a look, please feel free to dive in by pressing the “read more” button.
Hello there and thanks for taking your life in your hands by entering the portals of my lunacy by choosing to read more, you must be even crazier than me.
The reason I am posting this Lock-down Diary so soon after the last is that I have now decided what to do with the blog even though I have mentioned it before.
I should start by saying, “Hola, muchas gracias” and, “Yassou, efharisto poli” to my new Mexican and Greek readers respectively. Yes, I am showing off a bit as I am certainly no polyglot but I did actually know both those phrases without resorting to a translator.
I don’t often look at my stats as I reckon my traffic is probably like that on a dirt track in the Australian outback i.e. one a week but I was determined to find out how many countries I had attracted views from in light of my two new readers.
I shall have my third “birthday” on this blog next month, which amazes me in itself, and I still cannot use it properly but after about an hour wrestling with WordPress (the system I use to compose this nonsense) I managed to discover that I have now had visitors from 64 different countries That literally made my jaw drop, I could not believe it, that is over one third of all the countries on the planet.
When I left school in 1978 (yes, I am that old) a computer was a piece of kit that occupied a small warehouse in a University or NASA and in just over 40 years look where we are now. The concept of someone in Azerbaijan, Lesotho, Cameroon or Montenegro reading what I have written thrills and terrifies me in about equal measure and, yes, I have had visitors from all those countries.
I suspect this is why I am obsessive about checking and re-checking everything so often which in turn leads to my lack of output as every page takes me so long to compose.
If I play a bum note onstage, which happens more often that I would like it to, perhaps 30 or 40 people in the bar will hear it and it annoys me. If I do it at a festival in front of a few thousand people then it really, really annoys me so upscale that to the estimated 4.66 billion people (figures as of November 2020) that have access to the internet globally and you will see why I am so careful to try to get it right. Because I promised you some images, I have included a totally gratuitous one of me playing with my dear friend Paul at the wonderful Broadstairs Folk Week in 2019 which turned out to be the last festival I played. If you want to know what I got up to at that wonderful event, it just so happens I have written all about it here! It all turned put quite eventful in the end if you don’t already know the story.
Incidentally, for those of you who do not know me and have not seen my ugly mug before on other pages here, I am the taller one with the slightly piratical look and the freestyle beard that I am convinced is home to a colony of small rodents!
We should have been playing again this year as we have been doing for over 30 years now but obviously that did not happen. I shall be amazed if it happens next year either despite our Prime Minister’s assertion two days ago that, “my hope is that, by summer (2021), it really will be a different world for the weddings and events industry.”
Let’s be honest, they have got it wrong consistently since this horror was unleashed on us and their “experts” appear to be clueless. At the start of the pandemic they were telling us categorically that wearing a face mask was absolutely no protection against the virus. Now, barely eight months later I can be fined up to £6,400 ($8,500 US) if I get on public transport without one.
As I mentioned above, I can be quoted on this for all eternity as soon as I publish it so please do come back and tell me in a few months from now if I am wrong.
Back to the site now and my plans, insofar as I ever plan anything and they will undoubtedly change on a daily basis.
After I finished the last entry I had a rummage through all my old SD cards, which I never overwrite as I am paranoid about losing all my images, and I certainly have plenty of decent sized trips to write up whilst I am sitting here. Obviously there will be nothing new to write about for a long time so I might as well use my time productively. I reckon that I still won’t be finished them all by the time virus house arrest is lifted in about 2027 or so.
I shall tell you the options and, if you have any preferences, please let me know. I have three extended trips to Canada to write up (one to the Maritime Provinces and two to Alberta), and a similar number of trips lasting several month to Sri Lanka. I might start off a bit smaller with a five day “citybreak” to Madrid or a couple of weeks I spent in Madeira with a great mate of mine called Claus, who I know reads this so, “Hi mate, I hope things are good in Copenhagen”. These are just a few of the potential subjects and I have lots of other little trips I can consider.
Before I get onto that, however, I have a little something to do that has been bugging me for a while and which I never quite got round to finishing off. As soon as I vaguely learnt how to use this site I started to write up entries about a series of day walks I undertook in 2013 / 2014 on a 150 mile orbital path round the outskirts of London called the London LOOP. I had spent a lot of time on it but due to doing other things on the blog I never quite got it finished so I am in the process of rectifying that now.
I have a habit of back-dating my entries to the date they occurred but whilst this has the advantage of keeping the site in some sort of order it has the disadvantage of instantly “burying” those entries so they do not appear on my front page and potentially interest people. I am therefore going to indulge in something I usually never do and that is to go in for a little bit of self-promotion. For those of you that have been following the LOOP series, #15 is now available here. Don’t all rush at once, I don’t want the site to crash! For those that have not been following and may like to, the whole escapade begins here.
When I worked with the Irish dancers on the Scandinavian “cruise ships” (basically overnight ferries) we would do what they called teasers which entailed us going into the various bars / restaurants in the afternoon and doing one number in each to promote the full show in the evening. Any advertisers and marketeers out there will understand what I mean and I know there is one such person who reads this so, “Hello Suzi”. Here is a teaser for you all for London LOOP #15.
I hope that as you looked at those cute little deer none of you were thinking roast haunch of venison with plum sauce, seasonal vegetables and creamy herbed mashed potatoes. Shame on you, that is Bambi’s family there although I must confess I started salivating just thinking about it. Naughty me.
I think that is about all for now and I am sorry it went on a bit longer than I had intended it to but you know what I am like. I did not break the promise made in the first paragraph as I did try, I really did, I just did not succeed as well as I would have liked to.
It is now 0803 in the morning and as usual I have been up all night yet I am still not tired. I know my sleep patterns and I reckon this is going to be a long one so I shall be up for hours / days now. The last one, which finished yesterday afternoon, was 73 hours awake which is long even by my ridiculous standards. Don’t panic, folks, it apparently does me no harm and I did manage a very pleasant nine hours sleep yesterday afternoon / evening. Like my somewhat erratic eating patterns I believe in letting my body decide when it needs either which seems to work for me.
I have a dear friend who I know reads this and is a chronic insomniac herself so another, “Hello” to Lynne. Holy Hannah Banana, I am beginning to sound like a second-rate DJ here with all the greetings but that is hardly surprising as I was one once!
If the sleep. or lack thereof, goes anything like the last one then at least it will give me plenty of time to start on London LOOP #15. I might even have it ready for you later in the day, who knows? Any bets?
If you want to find out you’ll just have to stay tuned and spread the word.