Strange, mixed up day

Today was the funeral of Harriet’s Mother. I caught the train over to Reading with rather scant directions to the crematorium that I had downloaded from the internet – but no map – with the result that I got completely lost and ended up at a cemetery on the wrong side of town. Managed to find the river and walked back to the station alongside that, looked at directions again and eventually found myself in the right place with plenty of time to spare.
It was strange – as I knew lots of people there, but had never met Rosie herself. The girls had created a beautiful remembrance of her – and they sang a song together which was heartbreaking – I just wanted to get up and hug them both.
Afterwards there was a wake at a pub with singing and dancing – stayed for a couple of hours but had already arranged a night out in London with Phil to see Space Ritual – so had to leave to get the train.
Met Phil in Oxford Street and we went for a drink before going into the 100 Club – the band were brilliant – just enough Hawkwind to remind you of Nik Turner at his best but lots of down to earth rock as well.

On the way out – a reminder of my Birthday Treat!

In which we meet lovely Harriet

Haven’t been feeling too good for the past few days but have been struggling on. Dan has his girlfriend Harriet from Newcastle down to stay for a few days – she is lovely and far better brought up than my own! We had tickets to go to a ceilidh with Florida playing – so I went to bed for the afternoon hoping that I would wake refreshed and ready to dance.
Unfortunately still felt rubbish but as Phil had got in and had a couple of beers after cycling I had to drive. I lurked at the table and watched everyone dance – not fair as I love dancing to Florida.One of these pictures should be titled ‘Young Love’ – the other….
‘I don’t care if you are on your death bed you are still driving home …’

Down to the Doctors……

Went to see Dr Feelgood for the first time in mumblety three years – and although I am not sure if any of the band have survived from those days – they were brilliant.

I picked Phil up from work and we drove up to the Innkeepers Lodge in Chigwell – it was one we hadn’t stayed at before – so satnavved the last bit and there was a bit of an Incident when either it got it’s position wrong, or I misread the map and we were taken deep into Chigwellian suburbia and lost. All Phil needed was the tree branch and he would hve been the image of Basil Fawlty beating up the car. I drove the rest of the way and he walked – a pint later and peace and happiness was restored – although he has vowed never to be in the car with the Satnav again.

It was a very nice hotel and pub – but we had to walk about a mile and a half for the tube, so not as convenient as Snaresbrook. We got to the 100 club to catch the last song of the support band – and the rather surreal sight of Lloyd Grossman (according to wiki it should be spelt with one L ??) playing lead guitar with them.

I had a good dance at the front, then made a fool of myself on the way out by shaking hands with someone I had thought was the lead guitarist and saying how good they were – but Phil still thinks that it was a rather bemused roadie.

We hadn’t managed to get anything to eat before we went to the club, so got a subway to take back to the lodge.

Next day was glorious- we had breakfast and then decided to go for a walk in Epping Forest – it didn’t look very far on the map(!) We left the car at the pub and walked past this Essex Health Food shop with its advertisement for chocolate –
We walked past a lot of fantastic houses – surely way way out of our price range – then past a few fields with a view over London – you could just see the misty buildings of docklands.
The road went over the M11-

and then within a few yards this motorway for ducks!

We cut across a sports field and into a park with a swan having a splash and preen on a lake,then we joined the London Loop walk through more suburbia – a little more down at heel this time.
The path eventually came out at the edge of the forest – where we made a pretence of walking past a pub – but soon turned back!
Rather blurred picture of a happy man.
We walked along the outskirts of the forest to see Queen Elizabeths Hunting Lodge – evidently the high and mighty stood on the upper floors and shot at the deer while they were driven in front of the lodge – a bit like a rifle range!
It was a lovely spot – and a very interesting exhibition inside.

We had dinner at the pub next door, then set off for the forest.

Obviously lots of trees!

and lots of mushrooms – Phil insisting that most were edible – luckily the few we took home were easily identifiable and were not!
We caught the tube back the last couple of stops to collect the car, and had a pint in the pub before leaving. I really enjoyed the weekend.

Best Day Ever!!

We stayed at this hotel on our rubbish timeshare points – note how I can untidy a room in seconds flat.

It had posh bathrobes and a jacuzzi bath – which we didn’t turn on as I don’t like the idea of other peoples bathwater being squirted into MY bath.
We had a sandwich on the tube (the relentless luxury has to let up at some point) and went to the 100 Club to see Wilko Johnson.
There was some support band which thrashed about for a bit – Phil thought they were good but it all sounded the same to me. I have turned into a grumpy old woman.
There was a big sign up on the wall –

so of course none of the following pictures were taken in the 100 Club as I am a decent by-law abiding woman.

They were absolutely brilliant – the best band I have seen in years – and we were right at the front and I danced! Well, wiggled around a bit in a rhythmic fashion.
Got back to the hotel and posed for drunken post gig photo – here is Phil halfway up the stairs, and here is some hussy.

The more observant amongst you may notice the faint line of big knicker which enabled me to squeeze into these jeans.
The next morning we had posh buffet breakfast in the posh dining room surrounded by posh tourists in the posh hotel. We left to carry on our plebian lives and walked past the Natural History Museum where there was an ice rink.
Soon the whole of London will be iced over and small amounts of paving will be left for those who like to stay unbruised and upright. We very sensibly walked straight on by, and went into the V&A to check that one of Phils phountains was still working. It was.

Although it looks very simple it is an optical illusion – the water appears to slope down and get deeper in the middle – although in reality it is the same shallow depth across the whole pond. (Probably not supposed to call it a pond but..)
I went and spent money in the shop – the book for the current exhibition and a pair of zip fastener earrings, then abandoned Phil and caught the train home to go to work.
The weekend could not have been better!