Saturday 14 June 2014


Up and down our road the last couple of years has seen competitive house building such that medium size houses have become big, big houses have become enormous and enormous houses have become vast.  You can't help but feel that when empty nesters start building basement swimming pools - with the garden carved out so that a panoramic window can be incorporated - and orangeries, it's a case of too much money and people not knowing what to spend it on.  My guess is that these are houses, not homes.

Like two ships not quite passing in the night, The Cat arrived home on Thursday, and The Boy departed on Wednesday.  She texted me "On M5, ETA 15.10. HOMEWARD BOUND".  The Boy put a message on Facebook when he got back to Kitzbuhel, "Good to be home".  Both caused a bit of a ripple.  The Cat has absolutely loved her first year at Exeter.  So much so that I had assumed it had become a second home to her.  But perhaps not..what I had forgotten is that The Cat is a girl who loves her home and family more than I shouldn't be surprised she was very happy to be returning.  Perhaps Exeter is somewhere that she enjoys, but sees no lasting bond...let's see over the next couple of years.

The Boy has had an amazing few months...he took himself off without the certainty of a job, or somewhere to live, but very quickly found his feet...a job he loves, a settled place to live and some great comrades...people with a similar outlook on life.  Kitzbuhel itself is beautiful...the town, the scenery and the people themselves are lovely.  No wonder he feels at home there.  It's his place...he has found a degree of peace there...after all it can't be doubted that his childhood was quite a disjointed one..his parents divorcing, then his mother dying, and his father not in a steady relationship until he met The Cat's Mother...even his home life was divided between Brighton and London.  More than that, I understand how he feels...I enjoyed some time between school and uni up the mountains, albeit just working in a hotel, rather than gaining a qualification...but I too found a peace and serenity that meant that when I returned, with The Boy in tow, a few years ago, I was moved to tears.  Hopefully, he will also find that when he travels up to Scotland he will discover that Edinburgh can be a true home for him.

For myself, I always think of having two homes...I cannot deny that Brighton is for me the place where I feel I belong...I've had the same flat for the last 25 years, and everytime I visit, I feel I'm coming home...I love the smell of the sea, the sound of the waves crashing and the seagulls calling...I like the slower pace of life and the sense that beyond the horizon when I look out to see is a world of possibilities and adventure.  My other home is not so much Epping Forest...its OK, but I don't much care for Loughton, or the people there (friends excepted of course!), or the tawdry high street full of chain restaurants...but it is where The Cat's Mother is, and that is most important to me...proving that home is not always a's where your heart is.

Monday 9 June 2014

"Don't forget to find out where the gay cruising car park is"

Last week was a quiet week, and this one is may be that because The Boy is home, we feel the need to be there too.  Although whether he feels the same way I don't know...after all what teenager wants scabby parents hanging around when he could be putting his feet up on the sofa, taking his socks off and hiding them underneath?  He has spent the time mostly going bouldering...its climbing over large rocks to you and me. Like all his interests, he's taken it up with a passion...and has bought the kit to go with it.  I'm glad he's enjoying it, but of course mountaineering is a (nother) dangerous sport, so my life will be spent worrying about any mishaps.  Who on earth would have children????

Anyway, here's a nice picture of The Boy and The Cat's Mother

He's sorted his Uni accomodation.  Tick.  He's applied for his loan. Tick.  I've sent the supporting information. Tick.  He's all ready for freshers week at the beginning of September.  Tick.  All we will have to do is work out how to get him and all his stuff up there.  It's a long drive, and love the Jeep as I do, I don't really fancy several hundred miles on motorway in it.    He is back for another week, which will be precious moments, before returning to Kitzbuhel, where I think he's lined up work in a hotel, in a bar, in a shop and in a cinema.  That strikes me as very resourceful...but then I guess he's needed to be over the winter season, so why should it stop now?  I'm glad he loves it and am happy he's enjoying himself.

I read that Google is developing driverless cars.  From a safety perspective, I can see that these make perfect sense.  I like that idea.  But driving is not now, and nor has it ever been just about getting from point A to point B safely and securely.  Driving is an experience, and in the right circumstances exciting.  I like to drive, because even in the cosseted environment of a modern car (actually mine's a Jeep so it's hardly modern) it's quite fun.  Even when you're stuck in traffic on the M25, there's something about sitting in the driving seat that's rewarding.  It's an experience, and generally an enjoyable one.  If it wasn't we'd all be on buses and extended version of the driverless car, just without the privacy and door-to-doorness that we like.  What I would hate to see is the roads taken over by driverless vehicles, and anyone who wants a thrill from motoring to be forced to go on track weekends...somehow I feel our lives will be less rewarding if that joy is taken out of our day to day journeys.  I was pondering the other day about how humankind has a remarkable ability to force itself to do things in a 'specilaised' way...take exercise for example...once we used to walk everywhere, giving us a bit of exercise and improving our health at the same time.  Now though we are driving to the local corner shop, and then in order to keep fit we pay £50/month to go down the gym. Madness.  Utter madness.

Yep, those were my parting words to The Cat's Mother this morning.  Not quite the usual "Have a nice day dear".  It's not so much that I want to go cruising you understand...I'm quite happy with my home comforts. But last week we were told where we are meeting on the morning of The Tour de France.  It gave an address and a location.  If you just put the postcode into Google, it came up with somewhere that was about 5 miles away from the seemed wrong.  So I put in the address - yes it is a car park - but when you Google it, the first web site that comes up is one that helps people find erm, er a bit if short-term romance and somewhere you can practice dogging (I think this has nothing to do with canines).  A friend mentioned she knew where it was...we haven't yet questioned her The Cat's Mother is going to double check. On the day, I shall try to arrive not too early....