Thursday 24 May 2018

Like a boy in a sweet shop

I was reflecting on how lucky I am, and took stock of what I'd been up to over the last ten days:

Event in House of Commons - The price of freedom: 3% GDP for our international interests
Discussed the Rolling Stones with Will Hodgkinson, Rock Critic of The Times (otherwise known as just going to the office)
Rolling Stones at Olympic Stadium

Evening kayak down the Thames - Battersea to Greenwich

Watched TV - Westworld, Patrick Melrose, The Crown...some of the best programmes ever

Donmar - Way of the World
Secret Cinema - Blade Runner
OB Leavers Event at Bancroft's School

London Revolutions - 200 mile cycle round London

Frontline Club - In Search of the “Shell Shocked Marine”: Anthony Loyd talks with Jon Swain and Don McCullen (who took the pictures in the first place)

I do lead a lucky, lucky life

Monday 15 January 2018

A rash decision in Bruges

After the family celebrations of Christmas, we headed off to Bruges.  The Cat's Mother hadn't been there before (amazingly), but this was my third visit.  I first went there on a school trip, and then stayed there when I was cycling London - Amsterdam a couple of years ago.  This time we went on Eurostar, and the journey was just a delight...very simple, very easy.  Though it's worth noting, TCM seemed to have forgotten you can't just roll-up five minutes before it departs, so she had to cancel the pre-holiday trip to the hair dressers at the last minute.

In preparation, we watched the beautifully dark-humoured 'In Bruges' with Colin Farrel and Brendan Gleeson...and then spent New Year's Day finding film locations (it's not too onerous...a small city, and everything takes place in the centre).  Apart from that we did the usual touristy things of a canal trip and all the sights.  It is such a beautiful city at any time of the year, but is particularly special over Christmas and the New Year with Christmas Markets, ice skating in the main square giving it a fairy tale feel.  For New Years Eve itself we had a special dinner at the hotel...there was something quite touching to seeing in 2018 surrounded by people of various European origins.

We spent the four days there wandering round and enjoying the local cuisine, including, of course moules...a dish we both love.  Peculiarly I  developed an allergic reaction, and was covered head to toe in a patchy rash.  After the initial panic that it might be shingles, or even Lymes Disease (not quite oaranoid...I got an insect bite a way back in March and it won't quite heal...the doctor has said, don't worry though!), an allergic reaction was quite reassuring (confirmed by the doctor on our return).  A very strong dose of anti-histamines for a week has largely resolved the problem...and I'm told I should try moules again in about three months "to see what happens"!

We clearly relaxed, perhaps a little too much as on the last day, we overslept by a couple of hours and nearly missed our train home!  What a disaster that would have been!