Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Baile Atha Cliath and Further Movements

Well I've been back in the kaftan and Madam has once again been picking the guitar, Chattels of travel that provide succour in transit,

and while some at the airport may look askance at our early morning travel apparel and accoutrements, each serve as a reminder that yes, while our loins and ligaments allow we're off away once more singing our happy songs.

Another internet break away,

so named not because we booked it online, but because for a short while we get to enjoy the internet in a way more familiar to most people.

We marvel at YouTube , curse the iplayer because there are many things that we would like to catch up on but can't because it is not available in that particular country and thrill at being able to sit in bed and watch a film or TV series ( a dip into Series 4 of the IT crowd for me on this flying visit) before bed.


We were back in our Dublin Dacha , which we are duty bound to mention is the excellent Fleet Street Hotel in Temple Bar Dublin for some more stand up comedy. The Elegance rooms are a particular delight as are the staff. Thirty minutes after entering our room there was a knock on the door and I was greeted by a smiley lady with a silver salver bearing all the clothes that I had left behind on our previous visit (David O'Doherty) We had also been thoughtfully put in a room with an open plan wardrobe enabling me to keep track of all my garments throughout our stay. Thank you once again for having us.

I'll not repeat the tale of how a one hour plane trip to Dublin is a cheaper trip than the one hour train trip up to Londinium, but the premise still holds and so it was that Madam and myself were once again back on the banks of the Liffy for a day in this tremendous city.

We caught this chap taking advantage of two sign posts on Grafton St to produce a piece of art with clingfilm for a canvas.

and well done for that

Lunch at a hipster cafe followed which comprised some unusual soup and unusual craft beer.

With a nod to the nuts that is Fifty Shades, if a blindfold had been applied it would be difficult to distinguish one from the other, but sustenance was attained

so we toddled off to take in the late Amy Winehouse's Fishing Tackle shop of first choice.

Located in Temple Bar, there are pictures of la Winehouse displayed in the window and also inside of her fondling rapalas and squeezing Flying C's

She'd have loved Vince Headley's

Who Knew?

An excellent early dinner, the highpoint of which was a lamb shank that may well have been cooking for much of the week before a great Jack Whitehall gig at the 3 arena.

Jarlath Regan was the support act and he's well worth a watch.

The 3 arena by the way,

the best arena I've been in, although I've only been in two or possibly three as wasn't there a chain of shops called arena whose business was TV rentals or peddling posters, I forget which,

Anyway ( I seem to be saying this more and more)

Wembley Arena and The Gmex in Manchester didn't do it for me. The stage is a million miles away and I fell asleep watching The Cure at Wembley. The 3 arena is like an indoor kop with few seats on flat ground and a far more intimate feel than the two arenas mentioned previously (Wembley and the Gmex, not the TV rental or poster emporia although on reflection one of these have been athena)

Ladies and Gentleman I give you the next Arthur Askey,

Jack Whitehall is going places,

you heard it here first folks.

A lazy breakfast followed by a bus back to a plane to take us to what is now widely acknowledged as the world's best airport, Southampton. Off the plane and into the car in a matter of minutes and home twenty in twenty more, it's easier and quicker than going shopping in Basingstoke, let alone tripping up to the smoke for a show.

P Fin

No, No it really is,

We're already booked in to return to take in The Dara's run at Vicar St which serves as preparations for his next big tour in 2018 and are considering popping over to do our weekly supermarket shop.

Southampton airport is the best and easiest airport in the world.

Back home now and we currently cling to the skirts of Storm Doris.

Our friends in the North seems to have had a particular time of it.

We've a couple of christmas trees down and a poxy willow across the release pen fence but nothing too dramatic. Child A has just returned from her shift at the Thames Valley Police Control Centre who had quite a busy time with calls concerning trees down across roads.

I seem to get the call in these environs if a tree goes over the road, which I or my boss don't mind. I'm not sure a tree on some roads is a 999 event and maybe a sad sign of a dwindling sense of community in some parts, the chap in the Thames valley area who dialled triple nine regarding the delivery of the wrong cake for his daughter's birthday party demanding somebody be held account is just one example of callers she has to deal with who don't seem to understand the meaning of the word emergency.

What times we live in.

Child B reports from Beijing that his attempts to visit the Great wall were thwarted by station closure. His chosen point of departure was shut for the following three years in preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Maybe I'm a little harsh on the chaps who run the rails in the South of England, our trains ain't so bad after all.

Apologies, let me put that another way

Our train service would be significantly improved if it was handed over to Hornby or possibly Lima or Lego.

Given the title of the piece I ought to make mention of the river. Storm Doris didn't make much of a contribution and the hatch in front of the house retains its end of September status of fully closed. At this time in 2014 it was open 18 notches and we were getting rid of water.

Forget the figures and ignore the media, we need a month of rain in this corner of the country.

This week we have been planting trees, singular specimens positioned to maximise their form and shape. It's the stuff of Capability Brown and what with vistas an 'all I am sure I have gone off piste somewhere and put a sorbus where a fagus should have been (the Latin labels didn't help)

The water meadow upstream is currently inundated with swans. I counted over forty on a recent bumble about and a few of them look in a bit of a sorry state. A cold snap could see a few cash in their chips, we've seen this before and there seems to be a cycle of boom and bust in this valley's population of swans.

Two weeks of the Grayling season remain and the winter has been quite productive. Half a dozen fish around the two pound mark but this will rise in the next fortnight as females bulk up prior to spawning.

Apologies a brief bit about football,

Claudio Ranieri sacked ?

I would expect nothing less from a game/business that, in the top flight, is as distinct from the real world as the moon is to mars.

What times we live in.

This week's trek in the cause of extending life took us from Wherwell across the Common through Chilbolton up on to Chilbolton Down to the Observatory and back down again. Sited on the fringe of Leckford estate where I worked full and part time for four years on the edge of what was the Chilbolton airfield, we once visited the Observatory during my three years studying Fish Farming and Fishery Management.

I don't know why, but I do remember that it was permanently linked to Metoesat the weather satellite and that the two funny blocks on the outside shoot rays back and forth that measure the rain.

I think that's right, I'm not sure why we visited as there were no fish,

There weren't any at the Harwell Nuclear place either when we visited in the name of Farming Fish and Managing Fisheries.

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