Finish geneaology research
E-mail lawyers (Canada)
Email lawyers (Canada/house)
Sort out Canadian tax question
Send insulting reply to Intelligent Design website bloke's insulting reply
Clean and maintain bike
Walk cats at least twice a day
Book dental appointment
Finish paper on "Civilization; WHY?"
Finish short story
Write outline brief for Carl's 'Crips' company
Book rail tickets for LOndon visit
Sort out UK tax
Get new rail pass (replace stolen). Write witty blog entry about stealing being rife in England -cross reference with work comments about 'thieving Scousers and contrast with overheard comments re; fraudulent insurance claim(not by me - irony)
Visit music shop
Writing the list, as usual, took most of my morning, but immediately I can see that I have a mountain to climb before I can enjoy my vacation. I put the list to one side, and call my parents "I'm coming over tomorrow. Is that ok?". The ageing p's agree, so I decide that the list can wait a little longer, and I set off to the station for a replacement rail pass. Mine has been stolen, along with my wallet and some cash while I was snoozing on the train.
At the station, the staff tell me that getting my pass lost or stolen is just my hard luck and despite the fact that it represents an investment to me of £300, nothing can be done. I have a receipt for the original purchase, a police report of the incident and all my previous monthly tickets, but Transpennine express stand firm, despite a furious argument.
I ride off to a music shop in a bad mood, but the music shop visit represents a change in fortunes, because Nel has discovered a colleague who wants to "jam" with me. New guitar strings are needed, so I chain the bike in the back forty, and run into the shop for new strings. The shop assistant is very helpful (as are most in Hull : despite it's ramshackle appearance, Hull locals are a bit Haligonian - friendly, at least on the surface) and we chat shortly. Purchase completed, I'm anxious to be home and work on that list.
Outside, disaster has struck. The lights on the Crosstowner have been stolen, or at least some of them have. Not only this, but in the haste of the perpetrators to take one of my front lights, they have broken the bracket which attaches it to the handlebars. I'm distraught, angry and I have no shame in admitting this, slightly tearful. The anger is compounded because this petty piece of thievery is senseless - the lights are useless without the brackets which have been left, and I'm also angry at myself - "How could I have been so stupid?". Indeed we are always being exhorted not to give the thieves a chance. I'm distraught because the lights that have been stolen represent the favourite lights I have ever had - a set of wind-up LEDs that Meg bought me that are/were my pride and joy. I immediately scour the area, hoping to see someone who looks 'shirty', but see no obvious suspects. Luckily, though, I do find the front wind-up light and my other front handlebar light on the floor about twenty feet away from the crime scene. The rear lights are gone.
I ride home, resolving doubly to write that ironic blog entry about "thieving Scousers".
That night the guitar session goes very well. Nel's colleague Paul is a goodish player, fun to work with and lives really nearby. We immediately plan an appearance at a local Open Mike night . Things are looking up again.
|Beverley Clump to High Hunsley|
Two days later, on the last day of my vacation, we reward Paul for his excellent guitar playing with a twelve mile slog round the local hills. Since New Year we decided to stop complaining about how crap the local geography is, and get "out and about" despite the area's scenic shortcomings. The results have been surprising. While it is true that very few muskrats, or other wildlife, occupy Hull's hinterlands, we are on our second weekend of successful local walk now.
Today was an improvement on last weekend weatherwise - cold, windy for sure, but also sunny and clear. Wildlife was seen - pheasants, deer, rabbit and a red couple of red kite. We investigated a disused railway line, and clambered through one of it's tunnels, illuminated only by Nel's headlamp, and had plenty of up and down, gossiping continuously, and filling Paul's head full of our favourite theories (celebrities are the new lesser Gods, capitalism is rubbish, cats could be trained to enjoy hiking, Canada is brilliant, don't Yorkshiremen talk funny?). Amazingly Paul still shows desires to continue the acquaintance, despite the fact that these ideas are thrown at him in a seamless melange, and not necessarily consecutively, topics often re-emerging a good hour after apparently being discarded.
The second year of our Yorkshire experience has begun a lot more brightly than the first ever promised. Some of this fits in quite nicely with our theory that it takes about three years to settle in a new place, but some of it is due, undoubtedly, to our own New Year's Resolution, namely to enjoy life.