perlmonger: (lilith)
[ profile] ramtops and I had a small whiskey each (Bushmills 10 yr old malt, what we call a "restorative", because it is) Tuesday night after Aliss died.

Yesterday morning, as I stopped in the kitchen before going out to dig her a hole, I spotted that my glass, abandoned on the worktop the night before, was loaded again: somebody (no names, no packdrill, Iggy) had very neatly refilled it, hardly a drop outside the glass. It must have just happened as Mac had been down not long before to make some tea.

Whatever it means, I remembered as I was processing this photo that the glass (and the glass Mac used) were engraved with images of cats by Iain, of Olive and Iain (of Nemorez) who bred and sold us Aliss a few months over nine years ago. It never occurred to me last night, as I picked them out of the cupboard, but it seems fitting now, somehow.

Anyhow, Aliss' body now rests under the ground at the end of our garden, zipped up inside an empty 10kg sack of Basmati rice, with a piece of string and a strip of cloth to guard with her eternal vigilance.

We had tickets for a gig last night: Show of Hands at St Mary's church in Marlborough. Both exhausted, we still went as getting out of the house felt like a good idea; we're glad we did, as Steve, Phil and Miranda were as fine as ever and a church as venue allowed for acoustic wanderings around the audience to superb effect. Feeling much better, if still battered and weary, we drove home on a pissing wet and windblown M4 to the three remaining Tribe members and bed.

Bada used to crawl under the covers on cold nights (or when she just felt like it), as did Zool (and her tongue: don't go there) before her, but last night, for reasons unexplained, Lilith and, later, even Iggy ventured under the duvet briefly. It's a time of change, I guess, and the social dynamic of our home is in flux, but it's all very disconcerting to say the least.
perlmonger: (kumu)
Bzzzzt no more [ profile] ramtops and I pootled down to Nailsea Folk Club on Friday night, to see Reg Meuross and Phil Beer. A very fine night it was, opened by Mike Scott whom neither of us had encountered before for all that he's been working the folk circuit for some 30 years: anyone who can sing a song about Brenda finding a floater of a morning must have something going for them. Reg and Phil worked well together; we've not seen them together before, in fact we've only seen Reg once, playing with Miranda Sykes at Trowbridge two years ago, but he writes a good song: deceptively simple and well crafted. Recommended.

We got home just before midnight, decided against a whisky and episode of B5 and headed for bed. In the bedroom we found a wasp: large, yellow, going "bzzzzt"; this is suboptimal, so by the careful manipulation of light switches, we persuaded it into the bathroom with door shut and window open. By the morning it was gone.

Saturday, we needed to do a bit of food shopping, so headed to North Street and did so finishing by indulging in a lunch at Café Ceiturica (which astonishingly still doesn't seem to have its own web site; perhaps we should pimp ourselves to them). Good food, served by friendly staff in an unpretentious environment, as always. Mac had a monstrous tower of split bagel, salad, burger and goats' cheese; I had Persian lamb curry with butternut squash, roast lime, prunes and lentils. Looking at the specials board, they were serving Barramundi cod accompanied by, amongst other things, aubergine caviar: I think I should suggest to [ profile] ursulav that she paint eggplant rising up a stream to spawn.

After an afternoon and evening of B5, drop scones, tea and cake, we found the damned wasp back again, in the study this time. Enough. This time, as it finally headed into the bathroom (as opposed to buzzing against the glass pane above the door), [ profile] ramtops helped it on its way with a few squirts from the cats' can of Acclaim. She found it lying on the floor with its legs in the air this morning, so it seems that flea spray works on wasps too.

What I don't understand is what a singleton wasp was doing in the house, twice, in the late evening. I don't know how to sex wasps, and don't particularly want to find out, but I do wonder if it was a queen scouting out for possible nest sites; if so, I'm glad the thing is dead: I've witnessed wasp nest disposal once in my life, and that will suffice. Thank you.
perlmonger: (planet)
[ profile] nostalgia_lj has written TARDIS/GCU instafic.

It's quite sweet, really.

ION, [ profile] ramtops and I ran the bar at the annual N Somerset LibDem 'ossidge'n'mash dinner'n'quiz last night, as we have for the last few years. A good time was, I think, had by all but we both woke up with mouths that felt like Lilith had left some of her discarded Bits inside, which was deeply unfair as I drank precisely one bottle of Butcombe Gold, and Mac even less. I blame the ersatz ice cream Cornettos we were given near the end of proceedings. Chock full of Ingredients, I'm sure; toxic waste, I suspect.


May. 9th, 2008 11:34 pm
perlmonger: (pete)

Originally uploaded by perlmonger.
A belated note: [ profile] ramtops and I finally dragged ourselves to the North Somerset show on Bank Holiday Monday; we've been meaning to go for about as long as we've lived here, but lack of ertia has done for us until now.

Monday was a pretty much perfect day though; a mite overcast (though not enough for my not to get slightly burned and be glad of my hat), but warm enough to attract a fairly seething throng.

We wandered, [ profile] ramtops bought a hat, I bought a wooden spoon (though still not a replacement for the irreplaceable Spoon That Died), we ate some fairly disgusting "food", and we walked back home along NCN33. Oh, and I've added Pavane to my ever-growing to-read list should I ever actually finish Quicksilver (I'm in Lyons, and the king is dead). Keith Roberts was a reactionary arse, but he wrote some fine books nonetheless.


May. 7th, 2008 07:09 pm
perlmonger: (pete)
I need a cycling icon.

I've just ridden from home to Winford via Wild Country Lane, Hobbs Lane and Barrow Lane. The sign said "Dundry 1½ miles"; how hard could it be? Dundry Lane was ok, but that last stretch of Winford Lane to the top of the ridge was fucking hard work.

I'm a lot fitter than I used to be, but I've a way to go yet before I'm truly comfortable with gravity defiance.

Still, Dundry Lane, the Bridgwater Road, Barrow Street, Hern Lane and Wild Country Lane was pretty much all downhill on the way back. Time to sort out tonight's dinner now, and finish updating our backup server's Ubuntu (having isolated the fscked memory stick that was upsetting it earlier today).

ETA route.
perlmonger: (music)
Somebody, unidentified, widdled on Jamie Oliver in the night. This is double-plus ungood as I thought they might have given up on such things, but the Boy Oliver may be salvageable as he appears to be covered in some sort of wipe-clean plastic sheath.

We will be applying moist towelettes, or possibly a steam cleaner, to the Mockney One shortly.

In other news, [ profile] ramtops and I ventured out last night to Nailsea Folk Club to see Phil Beer and Miranda Sykes, supported by Issy and David Emeney with Kate Riaz, and a splendid evening it was too.

[ profile] thunderbox might rock or, indeed, keen at the thought of a melodeon, but Issy plays it very well, and Kate is a remarkably fine cellist, understated but holding the trio together while casually adding little flourishes from the back of the stage that made me smile. Issy’s singing voice is perhaps a little over influenced by Maddie Prior, and I generally preferred the instrumental parts of their set, but if you’re at all folkie, catch them if they’re playing in your area and you’re unlikely to regret it.

Phil and Miranda, now. Well. Jointly, severally; in folk, blues, lounge jazz, standards from the last four decades, and songs but recently written… It’s impossible to sum them or their performances up in short as they cover such an incredible spread of style and genre except to say that they are both astonishingly talented musicians, and that the two playing together gel into something far more than the sum of the parts, unmissable as each part would be alone. Notice of things to come, too: Phil, in his introduction to Willin’ announced that Little Feat will be headlining at Trowbridge this year: they can’t ever be as they were, with Lowell George gone, but I think that’s definitely something to be looking forward to.

A good night.
perlmonger: (pete)
We’ve just returned from Norwich and Harry‘s naming ceremony. And wonderful it (and he) was too; my pictures are on that Facebook thing (that’s where many of the day’s participants prolapse hang out); you’ll need an account there to see them. If you aren’t on Facebook and have no intention to be so, or indeed even if you are, [ profile] ramtopsexcellent photos are on flickr.

Usual please prod if you’ve said or seen anything on LJ I should read applies.

Bak to werk nao chiz chiz (to mix my metaphors)
perlmonger: (kumu)
[ profile] ramtops and I are just returned from Colston Hall, where we experienced an extraordinarily emotionally charged Show of Hands gig. If you were unaware, Steve Knightley’s son has been diagnosed with leukemia, thankfully one with a good prognosis, and is currently in Bristol Children’s Hospital. We weren’t expecting to see Steve - Phil and Miranda have been carrying this tour on their own - but Steve came down tonight from the Hospital, where he and his wife have been staying thanks to CLIC Sargent, and played.

If audience support has any healing effect whatsoever, Jack should be feeling it right now; the atmosphere was extraordinary both on and off the stage. Steve’s solo encore of I Promise You pretty nearly had me in tears; I can only try and imagine what he must have been feeling.

Slaid Cleaves from Austin, Texas opened, with splendid guitaring from Michael O’Connor. I’ve not heard either before tonight, but I’d recommend checking them out if they play anywhere near you: a fine noise, with yodelling even; country rock, country and folk with cheery lyrics that’ll put a smile on your face (why, even in the Canadian lumberjack folk song, only one person died: how cheerful do y’all want? :)
perlmonger: (badger badger)
We make our own entertainment out here in the West. Tonight was the North Somerset Community Action Inter-Village Skittles Night at Claverham village hall. Long Ashton (that’s [ profile] ramtops, Dave, Marilyn, Bob-the-honorary-Long-Ashtoner and myself) came second, losing by just one point to Dursley, with Dave taking the individual highest score on a playoff. Go us, I think, given that some of us (including me) had never hurled a skittles ball in our lives.

It was a good evening, though [ profile] ramtops and I are agreed that pink rubber-coated balls are an Abomination. What’s wrong with wood, eh?
perlmonger: (Default)

Sunrise over Ashton Court
Originally uploaded by perlmonger.


160-mile round trip to Southampton to see Richard Thompson. An excellent night at a good and blessedly smoke-free venue (the newly resurrected Brook - nasty website, and why so many “tribute” bands?), but home at well past 2am.


Alarm at 5:30am, and straight out of bed to walk the length of the village to the Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court. A beautiful dawn that misted over, disrupting ballooning proceedings somewhat, but none the worse from ground level. A lazy day followed, sorting through photos and driving out to Gloucester Road for a few essentials (multimeter, SATA card, superglue, double-layer DVDs from Maplin; conc. apple and blackcurrent juice from the wholefood shop), followed by finally watching The Incredibles, which was a lot better than I expected and will require re-viewing soon to pick out a few more of the multitude of genre and film references that make the thing up. I may blog my take on the film’s socio-cultural underpinnings at some point, but probably won’t bother.


Upload Saturday’s photos to flickr and get ready for going to that Lunnon by train to see Show of Hands and the Levellers with [ profile] ccomley, Liz and friends whose names I characteristically can’t remember. [ profile] ramtops and I went up at lunchtime, and strolled in a leisurely fashion to Regents Street (no prizes for guessing where), and then to Soho for cups of tea and a quiet sit, reading our books. Walking on in the direction of Regents Park, we stopped for a generally excellent Greek meal in Marylebone (the octopus was a mite tough; the restaurant were decent enough to knock the price of that meze off the bill without even being asked). Meeting up with Chris&Co in the park, we strolled to the outdoor theatre and fine performances from both bands in perfect evening weather. We had to leave before the end to catch our train and hailed a timely passing cab as we were walking out of the park. Home and in bed by 1:30 and now, too few hours later, up and at my desk.
perlmonger: (kumu)
Today was mostly spent leafleting; [ profile] ramtops is standing for District in Easton in Gordano and we spent the best part of five hours tramping round Easton in Gordano itself and, after a brief BEER’n’sammidge stop, in Leigh Woods which, for reasons that pass understanding, is deemed to be part of EiG for election purposes (though not for Parish, where it’s part of Long Ashton; I expect there is logic in there somewhere, but I’m uncertain where).

Home for cups of tea, and then out again to see Phil BEER at the Bristol Folk House. We parked on Great George Street which (not unusually) lacked functional parking ticket machines so I trusted to a note behind the windscreen for protection. Nandos, where we’d planned to eat, was heaving so we ate at Yum Yum Thai (who don’t appear to have a website) over the road, which is far better than its name would suggest; we’ll stop there again, I think.

At the Folk House, Phil’s support this time was Isambarde, a folk trio from Coventry who, despite an initially appalling sound mix, were, well, very good indeed, Mostly traditional tunes (I guess that Richard Thompson counts as traditional) and played splendidly - guitar, fiddle and oboe with singing, jointly and severally, too. All three are accomplished young musicians, and there’s a fine spark between them playing together. Good harmonies also: recommended. We walked away with their latest CD, hopefully they will have captured some at least of their live energy on there.

Phil followed with a two part set: first half solo, second paired up with the wonderful Miranda Sykes. There’s not a lot to say here; an eclectic and consistently excellent set as always; Miranda in particular gets better every time I see here, her voice has a richness and depth that’s rare. They finished with a double Little Feat encore, which was an extra treat. An energising night: we arrived exhausted and practically falling asleep and left - well, not quite bouncing with energy, but awake and smiling. Even my feet feel less sore now.

Bed now, with a cup of tea.
perlmonger: (badger badger)
[ profile] ramtops and I return, refreshed, from a long weekend based at Eype’s Mouth Country Hotel in, well, Eype on the South Dorset Jurassic Coast (that last bit is important, or as every coastal town we passed or visited is the Gateway to the Jurassic Coast, I presume it is). We ranged as far East as Lulworth Cove and West to Lyme Regis, and drove home yesterday via crab sandwiches in Branscombe (where they’re still dredging up debris from the Napoli, listing in the mist on the horizon), [ profile] budleysaltertonBudleigh Salterton, Exmouth and tea+cake in Honiton.

Why didn’t anyone tell us about Dorset? It’s about the only part of the English coast I’d never visited, and it’s gorgeous. Our hotel was excellent too - remarkably good value with splendid food and five minutes walk from the sea. Child friendly and dog friendly - not that we have either, imminent bubbamoose notwithstanding - and with well kept Palmers IPA in the bar too.

I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed the sea, and it’s all less than two hours from home. We’ll be going there again, and sooner rather than later. Yes.
perlmonger: (kumu)
Well, another splendid Show of Hands gig at St George’s, with Miranda Sykes joining the lads as usual, and support from Martyn Joseph. They really do get better every time we see them.
And a minister said his vision of hell
Is three folk singers in a pub near Wells
Well I’ve got a vision of urban sprawl
It’s pubs where no one ever sings at all

...and we didn’t even get a parking ticket though, after one blocked machine and two more that each choked on a pound coin, I was quite looking forward to an exchange of views with whoever Bristol have outsourced their revenue generationparking services to.

Even better, as we settled down for a few minutes unwinding, Mustrum came in through the window with a (terminally unwell) rat in his mouth; such a kindness to bring us a gift, now lovingly enwrapped in a carrier bag in the bin awaiting the arrival of the refuse disposal operatives in the morning.

And so, I think, to bed.


perlmonger: (Default)

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