Wednesday: train up, settle in cottage, dinner at Magpie, waves and bats at East Pier, champagne to celebrate Clare's new job.
Thursday: up early to enjoy sunshine, sit on East Pier with books, watch and identify turnstones on Tate Hill beach, find fossil ammonites and go for a paddle. Huge breakfast with Clare, David and Heather, then potter round and shopping (books, rocks, new jacket). Walk on beach with Clare with a drowned car, paddling, a harmonica and fulmars. Goth icecream (blackcurrant and liquorice flavour). Bought assorted daft cheap presents for people (starting with a sheep for Heather). Picnic tea in the cottage with Mike and much reading.
Friday: reading and then a potter up to the Spa with Mike in the morning, then craft shopping with Heather and Clare, afternoon tea with Mike at Botham's, dinner at Quayside (good haddock and OK chips, mushy peas were less good), bands at the Spa with much dancing especially early on and some CDs bought.
Saturday: trains! Headed off on the NYMR - though mostly actually on diesels. A brief wander in the woods at Newtondale: stepping stones, no falling in the river, tree climbing and a bit of a run about. Ian joined us on the way back and we did get to go on a steam train! Goth shopping at the spa and bought a cheap and cheerful but excellent corset and talked Heather into a rather nice dress, a potter on the beach the other side of the East Pier with Mike where we picked up several stones with holes in, sandwiches and no icecream for lunch, dinner at the Shambles. More bands at the spa, though I did something to my knee and couldn't dance as much as hoped. Walked back along the beach with Clare and David, and played football with a semi-invisible tennis ball the whole way - great fun.
Sunday: another big breakfast at the caff, followed by milkshakes, then off to watch the football. The lads lost both the match itself (3-1) and the contest to see who could lose the most footballs (3-2), but the lasses won the penalty shoot-out at half time so all was well, and much heckling was had. Stopped for coffee and cake on the way back to the cottage to change, and then out for dinner at the pub - though didn't have much room. Then out to the Laughton's memorial service where a bottle of wine was drunk in the queue, sad words were said, flowers were laid, and a conga-line to the Locomotion discovered how hard it is to conga and sing along up Flowergate. This was followed by roughly 6.5 solid hours of dancing at the Resolution to assorted cheesy 80s pop (with thanks to Landmine and Hamsterboy for the music, and to Clare and Karen for the company on the dancefloor), before we staggered home for 5.5 hours sleep.
Monday: up and off for the 8:52am train and a safe journey home, unsurprisingly sleepy, but happy :) Account is probably full of errors and inaccuracies but gives you the right idea. We didn't see much of anyone other than Clare, Heather, David and later Ian, which was a shame, but we did have a really good time, too much food, and not enough icecream.
Next one I have tickets for is Ezio on Thursday, but I'm very tempted to spend 8 quid seeing ¡Forward Russia! at the Junction tomorrow, especially as I've just heard that Help She Can't Swim are supporting. It seems I've now seen 105 different bands this year. If anyone can recommend a convenient gig from anyone beginning with Q or J before the end of the year I'd be grateful :-)
I've been very lax about LJ recently, at least about writing anything in it. Specifically I haven't yet written properly about:
- Whitby: what we did, and what the bands were like
- Opeth gig on Thursday with Mike and Mobbsy
- Less Than Jake/Dropkick Murphys gig yesterday with Mike and Ernie
- All the other things I've been up to inbetween (mostly sleeping in :-)
So I may as well make a start on them here. ( Whitby )
Phew. I think the rest can wait a bit.
Yesterday afternoon Mike and I threw caution to the slightly damp winds and decided to take ourselves and our bikes on a trip to Newmarket. It's nearly 3 years since I last did it, and I was a lot fitter then, but I still remembered the route I took - directly there along the A1303 and back through Exning, Burwell and some of the other villages that way to Quy. These days the N51 route exists, so we thought we'd give it a try. And that let us find the T-junction which I've often seen pictured which has a noraml road sign pointing right saying 6 miles to Newmarket and the N51 sign pointing left saying 15 miles! You soon realise why, as at almost every point thereafter where there's a choice the cycle route goes the opposite direction to that which you'd expect. At one point taking a detour 200 yards uphill then 200 yards back down to avoid the main road through the village. The best bit though was in Burwell I think, where following the signs took us round in a loop back to an earlier bit of the route. I suspect one of them must have got turned round slightly. At this point we gave up on trying to follow them and just followed the roads, which weren't so very big or busy. We came into Newmarket through Exning anyway, and arrived at 4:30. Ah, teatime thinks I, but no - it's a bank holiday monday and it appears Newmarket is to a first approximation shut. So in lieu of hot chocolate we drank cider and perry in the Wetherspoons pub and ate enormous portions of warm choc fudge cake. We were pretty tired by this point, and took the direct route home, which was signposted as being abotut 13 miles instead of the 17+ on the way there. Less pretty, and less easy to cycle two abreast on the busy roads, but we got home in one piece a little after 7, very tired and with aching bums! We went out for chinese at the Ugly Duckling late in the evening, and had an excellent meal, even if we had to take most of the main course home with us. It was very quiet but the staff were lovely and friendly and the food excellent as usual. It was a great way to finish off a wonderful weekend anyway.
Today I have been mostly doing washing, trying desperately to get it dry by turning the heating on and hanging it on radiators, and packing the other odds and ends I want for Whitby. I was also going to upload the assorted photos I took while out and about yesterday, but I have been thwarted by my computer. Richard apparently accidentally kicked the power out yesterday, but I wouldn't normally expect that to be a problem. Only it seems on this occasion the motherboard has taken exception to this rough treatment and died. It won't boot, and doesn't even get as far as beeping. So when I get back I'll b shopping for a new motherboard/CPU/memory combination: the memory is so old I probably won't find it's compatible with a new motherboard and it would be too annoying to find that out by trying it and then having to wait for new memory to arrive too. It's done me two or three years, but it's still very frustrating. It's almost tempting to see what I can get in the way of a cheap full system with Windows on it, but it would have to be Linux compatible too and that can be a bit of a challenge. It would be nice to have a working modern Windows install for a change though - not that I use it much but it's handy to have around now and then. Oh well, I get to forget about it for a week anyway.
I have train tickets, Whitby ticket, and cottage confirmation. My phone and MP3 player are fully charged and I have the chargers. I've assorted books and knitting and so on, and lots of clothes which are now mostly clean. And last but not least makeup and a bottle of red for the train journey. Whitby here we come!