Thursday 25 August 2011

Stars in their eyes

I can't let the day go by without recording the verdict of the GCSE Examination board. A*s across the board, bar a couple of A grades. So unqualified success for the pair of them. They're being treated to a celebration supper tonight, and no doubt the champagne will flow, to add to the one vodka they were allowed this morning.

They're very bright sparks, so The Cat's Mother and I are grinning like a pair of Cheshire Cats, as proud as Punch.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Picture this

This week's gallery is on the theme of world photography day. So over the weekend I took a picture of this house. Its not a brilliant picture but it's very important to me and somewhere that I will always remember. For me that's what photography is all about - creating and preserving the memores that would otherwise fade or blur. I wonder if Grandma in Cyprus recognises it?

Tuesday 23 August 2011


Evidently, the near end of the Libyan conflict has brought a degree of stability to the markets. Which is odd as Libya supplies at most 2% of the world's oil...which is really just a drop in the ocean. And it's even odder that until this week we have been told that it is the instability in the Eurozone which is at the heart of all our problems, excepting the plodding nature of the American recovery as well. Really, its all a load of old bollocks that the press and the markets talk isn't it?

The countdown is well underway, with just two days until the GCSE results are announced. Here's my dilemma, when I was a lad, they just used to pop through the door with the rest of the post, and when you opened them your mum and dad patted you on the head and said "Well done". These days, the tikes have to make their way to the school to receive their results in person and then celebrate or commiserate with their class mates as appropriate. The parents sit and wait with baited breath. I'm supposed to be in a meeting at THE TIME. Should I cancel the meeting, or should I stay as I am? I'm torn.

The Cat's Mother is a bright, sunny positive person, whereas I'm not. I thought the differences between us were well summed up by my journey home yesterday. I was cycling the 18 miles home, and yesterday was no different to any other in that I regularly get passed by other people. Not club-race fit men in their twenties, but usually fat old ladies pootling along on their bone shakers. Once upon a time it depressed me, but now I just take it in my stride. I know my place and it's not at the Olympic velodrome.

As I passed through Woodford and into Buckhurst Hill, I pulled up at a junction and another cyclist went flying by me. This muscular male on two wheels disappeared into the distance whilst I continued to pootle along the high road and down the hill which takes me into Loughton along the high street before beginning a long, steep climb home. It was at this point I realised that I had just caught up with and then actually overtook the cyclist. I was a little surprised, but I was going quite a bit faster than him. Then I forgot him again until nearing the brow of the hill, behind me I could hear a lot of clanking of changing gears and huffing and puffing, until just near the brow, he went past again.

At home I relayed the tale, and added how ridiculous it was as this guy just hadn't wanted someone going more quickly than him; to me it wasn't a race.

The Cat's Mother, however, pointed out how marvelous it was that I had inspired him.

Now would you mind filling up my glass, it appears half empty

Monday 22 August 2011

Summer's done

Over here, it's nearly the end of the summer, and over there it's nearly the end of the Arab Spring. Libya is close to being the former country of Colonel Gadaffi, or the country of the former Colonel Gadaffi. Syria might be condemned by "World Leaders" (actually the leaders of Western Democracies) but doesn't show any real signs of change. It seems likely that the additional level of instability which has been added by the events of the last few months may yet come to bit us all...the battling between Israel and Hamas over the recent days has been facilitated at least in part by the lack of iron grip by the Egyptian Authorities.

The Boy has finished his work experience, and has come away with a hoard of new fans. Like us all at his age he stated that he doesn't want to do a 9-5 job...I'm still saying that so I hope he finds a solution to the dilemma of whether to pay the bills or relax and enjoy. He spent Saturday at V Festival, getting drenched to the skin. It made me remember rather wistfully when he and I went off to camp at V Festival three or four years ago, and what a great time we had together. How times have changed...that's the process of growing up I guess.

The Cat is disappointed as her summer is nearly over, but as it's been so action packed I don't think she has too much to complain of. Of course, I remember those long summers that used to go on for ever, and the disappointment that comes with them drawing to a close as September nears. Oh that I could have a long, long summer break now.

The Cat and The Cat's Mother have returned from their French jaunt in Carcasonne. It seemed peaceful and restful, but not full of the ghosts and ghouls of Kate Mosse's books which are set in that region. How disappointing!

The two teens have a week of peace and quiet before they embark on their Silver D of E venture, and it may, finally, give The Cat's Mother and I some well deserved time away together...we deserve and need it.

This weekend, she and I took time out on Sunday afternoon to go for a little trip on a boat on the River Lea...a simple pleasure much enjoyed.