August 25, 2009
Just four weeks until the Goodwood Revival ... I have ordered an RAF uniform (military surplus) which hopefully should do the job ...
December 09, 2008
Oliver Postgate has died
I'm very sad to read that Oliver Postgate, creator of, among others, the Clangers and Bagpuss, died yesterday, aged 83. I remember being entranced by Bagpuss, which we watched at school during breaks, trying to guess the identity of the odd, broken items in the shop where Bagpuss and his friends lived.
The Clangers, famously, inspired a moon landing hoax parody site ...
I would be remiss to close this entry with anything other than the end text from Bagpuss:
And when Bagpuss was asleep, All his friends were asleep. The mice were ornaments on the mouse organ. Gabriel and Madeleine were just dolls. Professor Yaffle was just an old wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker. Even Bagpuss himself, once he was asleep, was just an old, saggy cloth cat, Baggy, and a bit loose at the seams, But Emily loved him
R.I.P. Oliver Postgate (1925-2008)
Posted by daen at 10:01 AM
August 20, 2006
More happy tales from the modern world
How gratifying to read that passengers on flight ZB613 bound from Malaga to Manchester mutinied in order to have two suspicious looking, Arabic speaking, inconveniently brown men turfed off the plane. They were detained by Spanish police while the plane's luggage was searched for explosives. The plane took off 3 hours late without the two perps, who were questioned and released to travel the next day.
There is so much about this that is wrong. Does anyone who travelled on that flight have one ounce of regret for causing two fellow travellers 24 hours delay? My guess is that 99% of that flight was composed of white lower middle class holiday makers, and their justification was "well, you can't be too careful, can you?". Yes, you can, when it involves racially discriminating against people who have as much right to travel as you do. Especially when the basis for turfing them off the plane was a) they look different and b) they speak different. Apparently, someone's genius child said "they look like terrorists" and someone else overheard them speaking Arabic! Shock horror! Speaking Arabic, when Morroco and Algeria lie so far away from Spain? What are they thinking! They must be conspiring to blow us all up!!! Saints forfend us!!!!! GET THEM OFF THE PLANE, THERE ARE CHILDREN HERE!!!!!!!
Sickening, isn't it?
April 04, 2006
Martin Newell on the redtops on Jeremy Clarkson on holiday
Martin Newell: could he get any funnier? The shocking answer is: apparently. Like a fine wine (or some sort of French cheese) his blog has ripened with time. It's gone from a simple humourous and absurd (and thinly-veiled) commentary on life in Wivenhoe into a deeper and more philosophical humour, the kind that openly quotes Jeremy Clarkson and makes little mention of Gary the Elephant.
Update 7/4-2006: "Martin's uncanny satire sense tingled. Something was wrong with that blog entry. Very, very wrong. A mere mortal might not see it, but the usual subtle interplay of words was so clearly missing. Perhaps it was the illness. Or maybe something else. Whatever. With one nicotine-stained finger, made corpselike by the pale flickering light of his Red, Green and Blue Rizla monitor, he pressed the Delete button. An irrational sense of relief flooded through him, although he instinctively knew there would be hell to pay from the denizens of the lower blogosphere. Such is satire's midnight bargain with the Devil, he thought to himself, as the banshee wail began, almost inaudibly at first, then rapidly rising to a painful keening shriek like a tightening circle of winter timberwolves. There are always victims, one way or another."
March 10, 2006
30 St Mary Axe
Posted by daen at 02:35 AM
February 05, 2006
Protests in England
The Beeb are reporting on concerns that there were no arrests made during protests over the cartoons in London. Placards were waved stating "Europe, your 9/11 will come" and "Europe you will pay, fantastic 4 are on their way" (referring to the 7/7 bombers in London). The police are apparently studying footage of the protests and are deciding how best to act. I personally think this is wise : wading in mob-handed to make arrests during the protest could have led to a riot. I think there will be arrests, but I expect that they will be quiet, discreet and precise. The Met has learned a lot in the last 25 years about dealing with these kind of demonstrations, and it seems their policy now is primarily containment followed by intervention. As we've seen so many times in England and the Middle East, a mob is a dangerous thing. The Met has also learned a lot about sensitivities to demonstrations with strong political or ethnic connections. Those are very often the protests to which the strongest emotions are attached, and moderate protesters who on their own wouldn't dream of violence can sometimes be inspired to action by the actions of those around them, a tactic often exploited during the 80's by the far right (and sadly also by the left) in the form of agents provocateur, political opponents who infiltrate an organisation who are tasked with triggering violent clashes with police and the opposing political group or groups with the aim of inflicting legal and bodily damage on their opponents (eg BNP vs Anti Nazi League etc).
Posted by daen at 04:21 PM
October 13, 2005
Vintage (UK) TV magazine covers
Vintage Times archives old TV Times and Radio Times covers, all the way back to 1923 (the cover of the 28 September 1923 Radio Times blares "The Official Organ of the BBC"!).
Why is this important? Is it because by charting the development of the leading UK TV listings magazines we can assess the formation and evolution of attitudes towards television and celebrity over the last century, or is it merely an opportunity to gaze slack-jawed at some misguided pictures and programmes that have vanished into the ether? You decide.
Quite. They appreciate assistance in tracking down covers, and you can upload your scans here.
Posted by daen at 05:25 PM
September 13, 2005
Ted and Dizzy : the Wrong End of the 50s
If you're in Wivenhoe on Thursday night, you could do worse than spend £8 on a ticket to see "Ted and Dizzy : the Wrong End of the 50s" (includes refreshments and licensed bar), billed as an evening of entertainment, at the William Loveless Hall between 7pm and 11pm.
Ted Jarvis is an East Anglian son-of-the-soil, with opinions and language of an earthy bent. Dizzy is his on/off girlfriend. Together, they dissect modern events, sing, argue, and make you laugh.
Martin Newell knows Ted Jarvis rather well. Paul Ridley Thomas is rumoured to have rather more than a passing acquaintance with Dizzy, but then rumours abound in a small village.
Posted by daen at 12:52 PM
July 25, 2005
The Met : is lethal force now a part of life in London?
"I am very aware that minority communities are talking about a shoot-to-kill policy. It is only a shoot-to-kill-in-order-to-protect policy."
There are too many currently unanswered questions about Mr de Menezes death so far.
Posted by daen at 03:08 AM
July 07, 2005
London : horribly familiar times
I remember travelling in to Liverpool Street Station by train on Monday 26th April 1993, two days after the bomb in Bishopsgate.
As you approach Liverpool Street from around Stratford, you can clearly see the NatWest Tower (as it was then, now Tower42) silhouetted against the sky. That Monday, it looked odd from a distance, sort of fuzzy and indistinct. As the train got closer, everyone in the carriage fell quiet as we looked up and saw that not a pane of glass was left, and the curtains and blinds were waving in the wind out of the empty window frames up all 42 stories of the tower. The building looked like something alive and in pain. Until then I don't believe I had understood the reality of the bomb. There was chaos in the streets around Liverpool Street, with Bishopsgate totally devastated. The City of London itself was virtually windowless, with large sheets of plywood marking the previous existence of every window all the way out to London Wall to the West (about half a mile) and an equal radius out from Bishopsgate in every other direction.
It sounds as though the blasts in London today are nothing like the strength of the bomb that the IRA used then, which was about 1 ton but, unlike the IRA bomb, they were detonated in crowded surroundings with no warning.
Posted by daen at 01:25 PM
June 23, 2005
Rockall : pwned
They did it. Rockall, long the last outpost of barbarism, has been conquered by tobacco-bearing, radio equipment-wielding lunatics all in the name of charity. Well done to All Baker, Moff Betts, Angus Budge, James Cameron (no, not that one), John Cunningham, Lester Haines, Trevor Lockie, Wolfgang Schaub, Ian Trumpness and Dave Wood.
We're now off to the pub to take onboard huge amounts of yeast logic fuel. Here are some pictures of Rockall Ho! 2005. Look on in awe and wonder as the words of our prize-winning Rockall haiku pay homage to the sacred islet:
mighty she stands, dripping spume
Update: I shall be wearing a Rockall T-shirt at the company fencing outing on Friday 24th. Expect photos of the slashed, blood-flecked garment here later.
Posted by daen at 10:59 AM
June 14, 2005
So, farewell to Fleet Street
The Beeb reports that tomorrow Reuters moves from its 85 Fleet Street address, which has been its home for 66 years, to 30 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf.
The Old Cheshire Cheese is worth a visit, if you do get to Fleet Street, but mind your head if you go down to the cellar, and don't drink so much that you become befuddled and get lost. Rumour has it that a tour party from Atlantic City partook of too much Directors ale one lunchtime in 1988, became hopelessly confused, took a wrong turn and are still trying to get back to the tour bus. At every new moon, regulars report hearing "Gosh darn, Edie, if I told ya once, I told ya a thousand times, this ain't the way out" and catching a spectral glimpse of a large florid-complectioned retired man wearing shorts, a tee-shirt and clutching a handful of maps and a Nikon camera, his small henna-haired sunglasses-wearing wife meekly in tow.
Posted by daen at 10:09 PM
Posted by daen at 12:39 PM
June 08, 2005
Martin Newell's Blog
I caught up with Martin Newell (poet, author, musician, all round Renaissance Man and gardener) in Wivenhoe a couple of weekends ago. The conversation was scintillating:
Me: Hiya Martin! Martin: Hiya .. eh .. Thingy! I've got a blog now!
He does indeed have a blog and I have just started to read it. It is very funny. Do yourself a favour, stop worrying about the Euro, or the World Cup Qualifiers, or taking Fido to the vet, or whatever, and read it yourself.
On the French "Non"/Dutch "Nee" to the European Constitution:
When we've smashed Europe to bits and all started to live a bit more patriotically in the American way, I'd like you all to think about this. Especially money. I don't think we should say goodbye to our dear money. I would certainly cry myself to sleep if I thought that our Queeeeen wasn't going to be on the grubby notes I useevery Friday night to pay for lager, turnips and french-ticklers. It would be the end of an era. I'm not sure which one though. I'll have to look it up in the Guinness Book Of Ended Eras.
Posted by daen at 11:20 PM
June 06, 2005
Wivenhodyssey part 2
Note : you might want to read part 1 first.
Sunday 22 May 2005
08:30 (BST) Extraordinarily, wake up feeling quite chipper and not at all like a bear has pooed in my mouth. I shower, dress and head down for breakfast.
09:00 Breakfast. In the dining room. Which, for reasons only known to the owners of this fine 14th century ex-coaching inn with oak-beamed walls has a carpet with a black background and ranks of vividly coloured playing cards on it. One wall is a smoky, dented mirror. The overall impression is of a very unsuccessful nightclub, or a dining room in a hotel which hasn't been redecorated since 1983. The food is OK-to-bland - sausage, egg, bacon, baked beans, mushrooms, toast. The sausage is standard issue cheap, which is a great shame because Procter's in Red Lion Yard sell top notch sausages : take a hint, Rose and Crown, and push the boat out a little.
10:00 Am feeling a little worse for wear (probably the fault of the sausage, don't you know). I go back to the room to sleep for a while longer. I do remember to hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. I sleep, albeit fitfully.
13:00 Awake again, feeling slightly drowsy. I freshen up and head out for a drive this time.
13:15 Lunch at Tescos. Yippee. A cheese sandwich, a chicken salad, and water. I sit and munch in the car park, watching shoppers come and go. SMSs are arriving from Wivenhoe people wondering when I will put in another appearance. I feel I need a quiet drive to steady the nerves, so I set off.
13:30 I head up Boundary Road, intending to go to Lodge Farm. However, it is a no through road, and I have forgotten that the "no through" part is before Lodge Farm. I turn in the University car park and rejoin the depressingly busy Sunday traffic jam.
13:45 I drive along the A133 and take the Wivenhoe turnoff, then turn right at the other end of Boundary Road. I park the car opposite the sports centre and get out.
13:55 Lodge Farm is in parts over 150 years old. When my ex-wife and I kept donkeys in the paddock here, we used parts of the deserted farm buildings for storing feed, donkey toys, tack etc. It pleases me enormously to see that there is little change in its appearance and no sign of the school development which had been in the works some five years previous.
My second favourite tree in the world (next to the cypress tree at Westwood park) looks healthy too. An oak, it rarely produces any acorns.
Two beautiful horses are grazing in the paddock.
I sneak inside for a peek into the old farmyard.
I venture upon some chickens feeding in the farmyard. I don't know who is more surprised, me or them.
I decide to leave : it's one thing to snoop around a deserted farmyard, but quite another to disturb someone's poultry, especially when trespassing. I guess the people living in the house might not be too pleased if I let the chickens out, so I carefully close all the doors on the way out.
I walk around the edge of the field to my oak tree to take one last picture of the wonderful old building.
14:36 I take to the car again and drive to where my parents used to live, now undergoing a rather striking renovation.
15:00 More driving around, and then back to the hotel for a freshen up, and a quick nap.
15:45 A walk into Colchester this time. However, I have forgotten the sparse Sunday timetable as furnished by the Colchester bus companies ... next bus: 1 hour and 15 minutes away!
16:25 So a no-so-short walk to nearby Colchester Town (formerly St Botolph's) railway station, and, no trains on Sunday, either. I offer silent thanks that I live in a civilized city where people start tutting if buses are more than 2 minutes late, and where the average price of a daily ticket is about 80p.
16:35 I take a photo of Dr Chippy's chipshop. Well, I like it.
16:36 Just across the street is the site of St Bololph's priory, named in memory of the trains that used to run at the station of the same name. In fact, St Botolph's was founded around 1100 as the priory of St Julian and St Botolph. St Julian was dropped for having a far too sensible name, and in revenge he directed Henry VIII to destroy many of the communal buildings of the priory in the 1530s. To St Julian's delight, the job was virtually concluded in 1648 during the Siege of Colchester.
My photo campaign of St Julian's revenge complete I catch a bus to Wivenhoe.
17:20 The Park, Wivenhoe (not to be confised with Wivenhoe Park). I walk down to meet Julie and Isabella, then we head for the Black Buoy to meet Colin, Ildiko and assorted others.
The Black Buoy has a better vibe this afternoon, aided by good Chardonnay and no cup final. Much reminiscing again, followed by a tour of Cook's shipyard.
19:58 Cook's shipyard closed in 1986, and has lain dormant ever since. Plans for development, akin to the port site, remain in the pipeline. In fact, the port closed and was redeveloped within 10 years.
The Wivenhoe Encyclopedia contains much of interest about Cook's and other historical Wivenhoe sites.
Beyond Cook's lies the Wivenhoe tidal barrier and the Wivenhoe Yacht Club.
This is the tidal barrier control centre.
The tidal barrier.
Cycnics claim that the building of the tidal barrier raised house prices and lowered the risk of flood damage. In fact, flooding still occurs, such as in the autumn/winter of 2000, so what purpose does the multi-million pound barrier actually server?
20:01 I snap this striking rainbow and its pot of gold apparently marked out by the gravel excavation pit in Fingringhoe ...
The wet dock may become a casualty when the Cook's development finally takes place, although there is strong opposition to its loss, not least of all by the trawlermen.
20:12 I get another snap of a rainbow, this time with St George's banner in full glory - I take nine shots before I get a recognisable St George ...
20:20 A quick curry at the Bengal Spice (good, but not as good as it used to be ...)
21:00 Across to the Greyhound for a final convivial evening. Drinks with Peter, Julie, Hunter, Nick and Rick again, then (saved by the 22:30 bell) out into the night again.
22:35 Feels very strange not to say to everyone "OK, back to my place for a nightcap". I am now a stranger in Wivenhoe, with no home and no claim there save for happy memories. Four of us leave and walk up Park Road. By the time I get to Bellevue Road, I am alone apart from the beer, the curry, happy memories and a taxi to the Rose and Crown.
22:55 Back at the Rose and Crown, I venture into the bar for a swift nightcap. I get talking to the only other inhabitants of the bar, four guys who are there for a clay pigeon shoot the next day. They are quite a bunch of characters : all businessmen from various walks of life ; a renter of chemical toilets ; a builder ; a pie manufacturer ; and a guy who does something in the city. I'm sure there is a link there somewhere. They are very friendly, and stand me a couple of drinks.
00:30 I finally part company with them and head for bed. The bed is comfortable again, although the 04:30 start rather spoils the comfort factor.
13:00 (CET) I am back at work. Did that weekend really happen? Well, it's in my blog, so it must be true.
Posted by daen at 09:19 PM
May 30, 2005
Wivenhodyssey part 1
Saturday 21 May 2005
08:35 (CET) Arrive Copenhagen airport with one small backpack and a piece of wheely luggage mainly containing boots.
08:50 Am checked in on easyJet flight 3562 for Stansted departing 10:15.
09:00 Through security - no flashing red lights or internal body cavity searches this time.
09:00 to 09:15 I wander around for a bit. I buy batteries for MP3 player and GPS, aquavit, a hat in Danish red-and-white and a couple of small Danish flags for the birthday boy, and get £100 out from Nordea.
09:15 "Breakfast" consists of a chicken and bacon foccacia roll and a cup of "latte".
09:25 Thus fortified I check the departures screen, expecting to see an 09:45 boarding time for flight 3562. Alas, the plane is now slated for departure at 10:55. Shortly, this is corrected to 10:25, but it still means another 1/2 hour wait. Sigh.
09:30 Decide to lift spirits with a Gammel Dansk and small beer.
09:40 Have purchased "Freedom in Exile", the Dalai Lama's autobiog, and Saturday's "Politiken", which I never seem to get around to reading at home.
09:45 Resort to slightly desultory walking around, waiting for gate to be called. And waiting. And waiting. Good job Copenhagen airport is like a 1950s vision of "air travel of the future" - open airy spaces, beautiful wooden floors, nice shops and small cafés. In short, there are worse places to kill half an hour (although the airport is definitely somewhere lower on the list than my own bed).
09:50 Cigars are only sold in bulk at airports. Tcha.
10:00-ish Finally, boarding, so I go to gate B19.
10:20 On the plane, somewhere in the middle.
10:50-ish to 11:50-ish (BST) Uneventful flight. "This flight is being run by Titan Airways [who?] on behalf of easyJet". Hmmm.
12:20 Disembarkation and baggage retrieval over and done with. Out to pick up rental car. Stansted seems to get busier and busier (and correspondingly less pleasant to spend time around) with my every visit.
12:30 Hmmm. No Mercedes C180 for me. Instead I hold in my clammy paw the key to a vehicle bearing the proud model name of "Magentis", manufacturer unspecified.
12:45 Having done my usual trick of wandering out the wrong side (yes, well, the rental pickup used to be where the car park is now at Stansted), I manage to double back and find Europcar's stand and bay 37, where a long, black, sinister looking Kia Magentis stares back at me. I feel slightly nervous, like a pony trekker who has booked some dark Shadowfax lookalike by mistake. I load the car and set off. Having established contact with Copenhagen (thank goodness for mobile roaming agreements), the SMSs are already arriving from the Wivenhoe crew demanding to know ETA. I prevaricate, deciding that a shower and a walk are required. But I get ahead of myself.
12:45-13:20 The trip from Stansted airport to the outskirts of Colchester (about 35 miles) takes around 1/2 hour, with the "new" A120 bypass saving a good deal of time. The car is actually not bad, comfortable, responsive and ridiculously spacious for one person. I am quite embarrassed, not only because I am driving around in an enormous Kia, but because I am driving it on my own. I feel I should have a family of five in there with me. The stereo and CD are pretty poor, but I listen to "Palookaville" and some Janis Joplin anyway.
13:20-14:00 And the trip from the outskirts of Colchester to the hotel (about 3 miles) takes about 25 minutes. I am surprised at how busy Colchester has grown. Cars everywhere and new buildings are sprouting up where it seems perfectly serviceable old buildings used to be.
14:00 The Rose and Crown on East Hill seems to be a nice enough place. Space to park the car, a nice enough room (but with a very small bathroom) and what seems to be a very comfy bed.
14:00-14:35 I shower and change, and head out for the evening ahead.
14:35 It seems odd to be walking along a street I have driven along many times before, but walked along only occasionally.
14:45 I stop off at Tesco's to buy some lunch - a Red Bull, some sandwiches and a bottle of water.
15:00 I'm heading for the Wivenhoe trail, a beautiful stretch of path running through the marshes and woods along the north side of the river Colne. I am surprised at how developed the area has become - it takes five minutes to cross the road from Tesco's and look - there's a new B&Q! - and when I get to the signpost marking the start of the trail ...
I am dismayed to find that it is closed.
A closer look at the notice reveals that all is not lost. "An alternative route is available via Colne Causeway, Lightship Way and the new road that will link Lightship Way with footpath 129". Hmmm ... I'm sure I've seen that road just now ...
15:05 Some backtracking to the B&Q roundabout find me at Lightship Way. Walking down Lightship Way, feeling very lost, somebody stops and asks directions to some store or other that I have never heard of. I have to answer him, very truthfully, that I have absolutely no idea.
15:06 A short detour to the right, and I'm down by the Colne. At least, I think it's the Colne - it doesn't look very familiar to me. The Coldock building over to the right, at least, I recognise, but the others must be the new University of Essex student accommodation.
15:07 I start walking along the trail. The noise of traffic, which until the river was incessant, starts to fade. Larks are singing high up, blackbirds and the small birds of the hedgerow can also now be heard. The river is at low ebb, and some river birds are dabbling around in the mud. All around are green spring colours. The weather is overcast but warm, with occasional breaks in the cloud letting the warm sun through.
15:16 A train goes past. I photograph it. Why not?
15:50 After some 50 minutes walk, I come to the start of the "New Wivenhoe" - the development on the site of the old Wivenhoe Port. It's a bit of a surprise to see houses where there used to be none ("When I were a lad, this were all fields...") but I guess it looks idyllic enough.
15:51 I decide to explore the New Wivenhoe.
15:52 For the second time in an hour, I am lost. I want to stop someone and ask, "Excuse me, can you tell me where Wivenhoe is?". There seem to be both an Admiral Way and an Admirals Way? Why? Or has someone messed up the signwriting? I head for where I think the river is.
15:56 The view is disconcerting. Where there are houses now, six years ago was a derelict port. I have seen the building work begin from the river, but have never stood in this place and seen this exact view. The size of the development is a bit scary. A lot of the buildings you can see in this picture are new, except for the ones where the quay stops - where the mud and boats are, essentially.
15:57 Walking along the Quay reveals some pleasant but somehow absurd views of the new Wiv. A note to the architects : the jutting beams from the fronts of old warehouses were to afix pulleys to in order to allow sacks and other goods and chattels to be hoist to the top of the warehouse and down again. You do not need to build them into a new building that never was, is not, and never will be a warehouse.
16:00 Time for a drink. First port of call : the Rose and Crown.
16:05 Which is showing the cup final on TV. So much for a quiet drink and read of the newspaper. Although it's moderately busy, I don't actually recognise anybody there, anyway.
16:25 I finish my pint of Broadside and head for the Black Buoy. Someone there vaguely recognises me from my commuting days, first class division, but is slightly too befuddled by drink and bewitched by the cup final to pay me much atttention. I order a half of IPA, quaff it and move on.
16.35 Fortunately, I recognise Garrison House and it recognises me. Some things do not change.
16:40 I stop at Valentino's restaurant on the High Street on the offchance that the proprietoress is there. She is. She remembers me, and we reminisce a little about the old days. I am glad that there is at least one person in the village who remembers me (melodrama).
16:45 The Greyhound. Indeed. Some things really do not change. I walk in to the pub which has to varying degrees, and through four sets of landlords, been like a second home to me since 1989. And am greeted by several old friends.
18:55 The greetings continue unabated for some time.
I spend several hours with Julie, Peter and Hunter, among others, catching up on nearly five years of news and gossip, some happy (various friends getting married or getting together with other friends) and some sad (the deaths of Dr Rick and Bridget).
21:23 Am now slightly tipsy and late for the original purpose of trip, which was to go to a birthday party. Ooops. A quick visit to Queens Road for nostalgia and to bother John and Ira, then to the staging post of Julie and Snod's place for a quick bite to eat at their BBQ while the taxi arrives. Nick and Rick are there, along with Anabelle and Tony. Which is nice.
21:30 The questions "Where are you going from, and where are you going to?" as asked by the taxi dispatcher send me into fits of the giggles, because I don't know either answer. A quick poll of the BBQ guests reveals the answer to the first question, while the second can be figured out with the aid of a map which I have back at the hotel.
21:45 I bid farewell to the BBQers, and the taxi driver and I agree that the best place to start the Quest for the Birthday Bonfire is back at the Rose and Crown, where the map is.
22:10 Refreshed, with map in hand, and a mere 2 hours 10 minutes late, I arrive at the entrance to Hilly Fields where the bonfire is.
22:15 I wander around a bit, trying to get in. Finally, I spy a hole in the fence, and the enticing gleam of a bonfire beyond. I plunge into the darkness ... and promptly fall down a slope, into the maw of some transgenic chimera of brambles and nettles. For good measure, a length of loose steel wire hooks my trouser leg, too. I dangle there for a while, before elegantly flipping over on my back during a feeble attempt at escape, with the limbs that are not pinioned to the ground by my vegetable assassin flailing uselessly in the air. Finally, I manage to break free, and notice that in fact there is a gentle path down to the bonfire about 10 feet to my left. The nettle sting to my left hand actually persisted for nearly 24 hours, which was pretty impressive, and the bramble scratches to my upper thighs are only now fading.
22:15-03:00 The bonfire goes well. I know some of the guests, and the birthday boy too, of course. The snaps goes down well, and the hat is worn. The Danish birthday song is sung - several times - and good food is consumed. I have conversations about important aspects of Life, the Universe and Everything such as Java vs .NET, cats, and the personal rigour demanded by strict veganism.
03:26 Finally, it is time to go back to the hotel.
And the bed is extremely comfortable.
Posted by daen at 12:09 AM