Hello pop-pickers – um – blog-splatters…
Apologies for having been quiet for a few days, I/my-rellies finally managed to synchronise our various worlds and I’ve just returned from a splendid but all too v.rare meet-up with the Sis and the Bro, and a couple of days of visits to some places that I’ve wanted to visit for a long time.
The Bomber Command Memorial near Lincoln, the Imperial War Musueum at Duxford, Bletchley Park (a Bill Tutte / Tommy Flowers / Alan Turing pilgrimage) and – oh yes – the “Welcome Break” at Derby, surely one of England’s worst “motorway service areas”.
I’m not kidding, this establishment was surely where the Eagles were inspired to write the lyric to Hotel California (you can check out but you can never leave), AND where Rowling first thought of the Harry Potter “Dementors”.
To cut a long tale short, there was no “welcome” of any sort, the toilets were broken, out of action, closed in their entirety if you were male, the whole place exuded a decidedly poisonous “atmosphere” and it seems that Messrs Welcome and Break couldn’t provide even details such as adequate lighting in the main area. Two “Costa Coffee” vending machines and a rack of dubious plastic sandwiches do not a “welcome break” make.
An official do-you-realise-it’s-this-bad letter is being sent, since I gave up staying quiet about such things half a century ago, and dependent upon their corporate reply reviews on Trip Advisor and wotnot etcetera will be left, good, bad or ugly as needed.
So, anyway, the meeting up of we three (Bro, Sis and Me) took place not in thunder, lightning or in rain, but in some sunshine, and was most excellent. I will bung a bit up about the other visits made (and lots of photographs), soonest.
We had a most peculiar problem with the car, my “I never actually use it, I hate the things and I won’t/don’t talk on the phone anyway, it’s just for emergencies” mobile went ever so slightly insane, and we were attacked by an HGV driver who quite deliberately attempted to use his 40,000kg lorry to flatten Bro and me. I kid you not, video is on file. You have to laugh, don’t you? We did.
The memorials and museums visited were most excellent… a great time was had by all…
…and then I got back to the boat in a really good mood only to have that dumped on from a great height by the Canal & River Trust with an email they had sent, waiting for me.
It was one of those emails that – infuriatingly – and outrageously – had been sent from a “do not reply” email address, meaning that any beginnings to getting the corporate mistake rectified had to begin with digging out a working email address of a real human being to refer it to for help.
You can perhaps, if you catch me at the right moment, wipe the grin produced by what had been a few great days off my silly face, but there’s not a bureaucracy on this planet that can stop me chuckling for long. Not with the pills that I’m taking…
I am back on the Cardinal and the world is my oyster. We – the Cardinal and I – will be trundling around again (in a day or four at my discretion, and at our favourite glacial pace and in our sometime-random, sometime-regular modus, where’er we feel like it, up, down or sideways and back again, subject only to the many regulations that we already do adhere to thank you very much if only you looked properly).
Two bottles of proper, brewed, Dandelion & Burdock aren’t bad at mood repair either.
I had two today, and damned fine splendid they were, too.
Proper Dandelion, proper Burdock.
Nostalgia, with fizz.
Chin-chin for the mo, folks.
Ian H., and Cardinal W.