Sunday, February 22, 2004

We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue

Have just returned from a weekend in Bonnie Scotland. One of the notable highlights of the weekend was a visit to the 'Electric Brae', known locally as Croy Brae. Located on the A719 between Dunure and Knoweside, the brae runs for a quarter of a mile. Courtesy of an optical illusion the road appears to run downhill but if you stop and put the car into neutral it rolls backwards seemingly up-hill - wierd sensation. Having heard about it for years from Mary it was excellent to see it in the flesh and, in its simple way, it did not disappoint.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Corridors like palindromes

Just returned from a Valentine's weekend in Dublin's fair city. The sun shone and we ate and drank and had a good time all in accord with the "Corporate Mission". The apartment block where Mary lives Monday to Friday has multiple doors, lobbies and lifts which makes it all very confusing - as you exit the lift to turn left or right? Mary complained, in a most felicitous turn of phrase, that the building had "Corridors like palindromes".

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Beauty is more than skin deep

Yesterday the thatchers finished their work and Avon Cottage has now achieved full chocolate box cuteness. We can expect plenty of people stopping to take photos this summer. Pictures available in my photo album (see >> Mark & Mary >> Pictures).

It should last 25-30 years though we do not expect to be here beyond five. Our grand plan is to down-shift to Italy by then.

I said to the guys there are not many jobs where you make the world a prettier place. My job does not obviously add to the global supply of beauty. Now there is a challenge to set myself, h-m-m-m!

That's life in the big city

Yesterday (Monday that is - it is still yesterday despite what the clock says - until I have gone to sleep just like it is morning until I have had lunch) I went into the big city - London, England. Inspired, if that is the word, by a need to visit my dentist in Harley Street :-(

Met up with Martin Haswell, an old school chum who I had not seen for 33 years! Now, him I could remember even though he had, by his own admission, put on a few pounds (but not too many).

He missed out on the KGS (Kenilworth Grammar School) reunion back in October 2001. It was weird. I recognised 3 or 4 people, that's all. As for the others, I had the old school photo, Ross Beadle could name all the names for me, but then I met them, I saw their face, I heard their voice and - nope, sorry - never seen them before in my life. Not a glimmer of recognition.

That is how I know I am a replicant. Such a c**p job of installing those childhood memories.

Monday, February 09, 2004

We're not worthy, we're not worthy

No it was not Alice Cooper, it was the Bonzos (Bonzo Dog Dooh-Dah Band).

I went to Roy Thompson's surprise 50th birthday party on Saturday and there were a bunch of old bearded and pony-tailed musicians. They burst into a variety of vaudeville style numbers. I said to the person next to me that they sounded just like the Bonzos; "They are the Bonzos" she replied and my jaw dropped. I had to rush and gush over to them when they took a break. Gorilla is one of the great albums of all time (hey! we can't all like the same things).

Turns out they were, strictly speaking, the "Bill Posters Will Be Band" featuring two of the old-time Bonzos: Roger Ruskin Spear and Sam Spoons (Martin Ash). Still close enough for me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Stranger in a strange land

Had dinner last night with our friends John and Andrea Patient in Zurich. Strange to say that, because they live in a foreign land, I see them more than any other of my friends (except possibly Bob and Lynn).

Four years ago J & A lived in Basel at the time I went independant. My first contract was with a pharmaceutical company whose European HQ is in - you guessed it - Basel. So I would see them every time I visited which was about every six weeks.

Then they moved to Zurich. A few months later I acquired a second Swiss client based in - you guessed it again - Zurich. Now I see them once a month.

It is easier to visit them than many of my UK friends.

Life is strange.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Rather more choice than I really need

It seems to be axiomatic that consumer choice is good. Now maybe it is just me, but I was in Waitrose on Saturday and having a choice of 27 different olive oils seems to be rather more choice than I really need.