The Joy of Being Tall at Concerts

I am reasonably tall.

Being around 6′ 2″ I am not freakishly tall, but nonetheless I am taller than average in a crowd at, oh let’s say for example, a music concert.

Most people, especially those of more diminutive stature, assume that this is an unequivocally good thing, but I am here to tell you this is not the case.

Well, it can be, but I would suggest that you need to have certain sociopathic tendencies to fully enjoy the height benefits that nature has chosen to bless you with. Continue reading

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The Curse of the Umbrella

2017-07-22 15.42.44Bloody umbrellas, they are a menace.

I am not a fan of the umbrella at the best of times.

I find that wielders of umbrellas are all too often a) dangerously incompetent at the task, and b) of the exact height to bring the sharpened spikes that protrude from the protective canopy precisely in line with my eyes.

At the very least there should be some kind of driving test before people are let loose with umbrellas in populated areas.

However, after my recent visit to the Upton Blues Festival I have developed an even greater loathing of this most foul instrument of torture. Continue reading

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Wet Weekend Blues

People familiar with my increasingly sporadic blog will know that at this time of year I am usually busily waxing lyrical about the annual Gloucester Rhythm & Blues Festival (see last year here and here)

This year, however, I have been strangely quiet on the subject.

There’s a reason for that: I have missed most of it.

I only have myself to blame really. Well, myself and the camper van.

You see, when we were in discussions about buying The Van with No Name*, one of the selling points to get my agreement was that it would mean we can go to music festivals.

Having secured the van, therefore, I rushed out to get tickets to Upton Blues Festival, which I had wanted to attend for many years. Shortly thereafter, some friends persuaded us that we should go to Ramblin’ Man Fair, so we got tickets for that too. Only later did I realise that:

  1. the festivals take place on consecutive weekends, and
  2. they coincide with both weekends of the Gloucester Festival.

Drat and bother!

Still, such is life, and that meant I got to see three festivals in one week. Continue reading

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Political Uncertainty and Voter Anxiety

votingWarning: I am about to write about politics.

I know this is not wise. I will probably regret it. But here goes anyway (I rarely listen to my own good advice)

Later this week we are being asked to vote for a new PM.

Whoever wins the election will form a government that will hold office for the next five years.

This is likely to be a very trying five years as we navigate the uncharted waters of Brexit and seek to make our way in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable world.

This is important stuff.

Of course I will vote: people died to give me the right to take part in the democratic process. There are people around the world still fighting and dying for this right. It is more than a right; it is a duty.

The problem is I’m not sure I’m qualified for the job. Continue reading

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Further Adventures in the Van With No Name: Fun with Awnings

2017-05-03 10.30.54_edited-3Last week we went off on our longest outing yet in The Van With No Name: a week in St Ives.

I will blog further about our visit once I have sorted out my photos (which as usual may take a while), but for now suffice to say that we had a great time: the weather was mostly kind and the van worked beautifully as our lodging for the week.

Living with the van for a week also meant that we learnt some more lessons, especially as it was the first time that we tried using an awning.

I may have mentioned that I was reluctant to become a camper van owner, but I was won around by a number of benefits.

One of these turns out to be apparently untrue; the other is largely negated by the awning. Continue reading

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Beer for Breakfast

It is 9:30 on a Saturday morning and you find yourself in the pub; what are you drinking?

Let me clarify:

This is not a special occasion such as a wedding, when you may be expected to indulge in a little celebratory bucks fizz.

This is not an airport bar on the way to your holidays, when drinking is pretty much mandatory whatever time of day it is.

This is not a club where you are still out partying from the night before.

No, this is an ordinary bar, in an ordinary town on an ordinary Saturday morning.

So, what are you drinking? Continue reading

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Porlock in the Van With No Name, Easter 2017

Coast path to Porlock Weir

Last week I blogged about our early adventures in The Van With No Name. The latest of these adventures was a few days in Porlock over Easter.

I promised to blog more on the subject, with photos, and now here I am, only a few days later and barely a week since the event, fulfilling that promise. It must be some kind of record!

Porlock is a great place to camp.

The campsite we stay at, Sparkhayes, is right in the village. It is only a small village, so there isn’t really a huge amount to do, but that is part of the charm: not much to do and all day to do it in. This results in a nice leisurely pace – at least it does when you’re with the group of friends that we go with. Continue reading

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