The first proper day of summer

Yesterday really was a lovely day. It felt like the first proper day of summer. After Lyn had opened her presents, we took a stroll down to the river. We’d arranged to meet the guys we usually see at the cafe at The Anchor and Hope, but they strangely never showed up. After an hour or so there, we walked along the Thames for a while, the sun beating down. Then we came back up through the various parks, beautiful in the sunshine, to Charlton Park.

The evening saw a real treat: a barbecue! Mitch had suggested it earlier in the day, and we agreed wholeheartedly. We sat out in the garden and listened too music while he grilled sausages and fish in the open air. The smell was wonderful.

Then something truly touching happened. We could hear kids playing next door; they were getting more and more boisterous, as I think they could smell the sausages. However, they then started to throw stones over, so Mitch went round to tell their mum as it was quite dangerous. The stone-throwing stopped shortly after, and we thought that was an end to it.

A short while later though, our neighbour came round with the two young boys – they were hardly more than five or six – to apologise. We were touched: we explained that it was no problem, just a bit dangerous given Lyn and I were sat out there in the sun. I then added that we were out there celebrating L’s birthday, and they wished her happy birthday.

After that we went in to eat. I had a huge plate of bangers and some of the most delicious mash I had ever eaten. It was so enormous I couldn’t eat it all. After that we went back out to enjoy the remaining sunshine, but it was then that our neighbours returned. The boys had quickly made birthday cards for Lyn. It was truly humbling, truly special – we were so touched. For our neighbour to have those boys create those cards at such short notice, so quickly, could not have been that easy. It was an incredible end to an amazing day, reminding me that there are still good people in the world who care about what happens in it.

HBD lyn and dad 2017

Here’s wishing the most incredible woman in the world a very happy birthday once again. I can’t believe Lyn’s birthday has come around again so quickly – it doesn’t seem a year since i was last wishing her a happy birthday; but then, what an action-packed year it was. Lyn is quite pleased because she just got some more RAM for her mac, and I got some too! It’s looking like a lovely day, so we’ll probably head out soon in our chairs. I hope she has a fantastic day, as I hope Dad had a great day yesterday.

KRFT

Lyn has recently started to use a great new music app on her Ipad. It’s called KRFT, and it is amazing what it allows her to do. She can make tracks at quite a staggering pace on it, and it also allows her to perform live much more easily. I found it quite amazing to watch her on it. Yesterday she and Paul made this video of her using it. We both now think it would be really good to organise a performance with it.

Glenn Tillbrook

Last night certainly was an interesting one: cool, but not in a sense that that word usually applies to a gig. A couple of weeks ago, Lyn and I started to see flyers around the village for a Glenn Tillbrook concert over in Greenwich. Not recognising the name, I ignored them, but Lyn said she wanted to go, so we had a drive to Greenwich to get tickets. Thus I had no idea what to expect last night. Me being me, I scanned Tilllbrook’s Wikipedia page on the way over. Knowing Lyn, I knew we were in for some kind of rock gig, but other than that I had no idea what to expect.

As it turned out, I think it caught L by surprise too. After a delicious pizza, we made our way to the venue. It looked like a posh school hall, and indeed there were quite a few fairly young children in there. Nevertheless, we took our places. It started shortly after, not with music but with quite a crude comedian – one of those Roy Chubby Brown types, only slightly less blue. After a few fairly hit-and-miss jokes, he introduced Tillbrook himself, to sing a few songs. Then, to my increasing bemusement, some school kids came on to sing. It was then I realised that we had got tickets for a charity gig for a local primary school.

After that I settled down and began to get into it; normal standards and expectations did not apply. There was a gospel choir, Tillbrook doing a few duets with his son, and, in the second half, quite a cool blues band called Seven Below Zero, who I felt took the night up a notch.

It ended about eleven. Quite randomly, we bumped into Sharron in the foyer; I hadn’t seen her in a few weeks – she’d been busy canvassing, she explained – but it was a great surprise to see her, and we agreed to meet for coffee soon. On the bus home, I thought about the evening, and wondered what to write about it. It had been cool, but not like other gigs are cool. You can see all the mega-bands you like, I suppose, but sometimes, the quainter, more local gigs are the ones that stay in your memory.

Torn ballots

My postal ballot should be arriving soon, but to be honest I am quite torn about how to use it. I can’t decide whether to vote Labour or Liberal Democrat: I like Corbyn and many of his leftist policies, especially how he intends to increase high rate tax in order to pay for badly needed public services; yet he remains dedicated to Brexit, something I’m vehemently against. The lib dems, on the other hand, propose a second referendum – a chance to turn away from the utter catastrophe we are currently hurtling towards. I also like their progressive, mature attitudes to things like cannabis. The problem is, if I vote Lib Dem, the opposition vote risks being split, resulting in a tory majority. I am therefore stuck: vote Labour, and while many socially oriented policies might be enacted, Brexit will become a certainty; vote lib dem and I risk either letting the tories win, or, at best, getting another Tory/lib dem coalition, and look what damage the last one did.

Truth be told, then, I have no idea who to vote for. Of course, not voting at all is not an option, especially this time. Yet either way the outlook looks bleak. Do I vote for a party who’s policies I believe in, who have a chance of winning, but who will secure our fate as an isolated little island; or do I go with a party who want to undo the disaster of last year, yet have no real chance of forming a government? Above all, a tory majority of the size many are now forecasting would be too hideous to bear. All one can really do is hold your nose, put a cross in the box, and hope for the best.

Discovery

I am now very happy. Word came that my new wheelchair had been delivered to Welling Mobility yesterday, and it arrived here just one or two hours ago. I’m currently waiting for the drizzle to stop and a few breaks in the clouds to appear before I take her on her first run out. I’ve been looking forward to this moment for what feels like an age, although, to be fair, it wasn’t that long. Nonetheless, I think I’ll christen her Discovery, after the forthcoming Star Trek incarnation everyone is now fed up of waiting for, yet will be all the more succulent when it arrives.

The Orville

Like many Trekkies, I’m getting a bit fed up waiting for news about Discovery to come out. They seem to keep putting it off and putting it off, so I’m beginning to doubt whether it’ll ever be shown. However, I’ve just been alerted to something to focus on in the meantime: Dean, one of my mates from the film festival, just sent me this link. It seems that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is working on a new live-action show spoofing Star Trek. Of course, a short trailer isn’t much to go on, and Macfarlane’s work can be fairly hit and miss; but I think Orville could be worth getting excited about.

There have been science fiction comedies before, Red Dwarf for example, but none with such obviously high production values. This has the potential to be great, and could say a lot of interesting things about Star Trek and sci fi generally. Mind you, by the same token, it could be puerile and childish – just a series of gags set on a star ship. Either way, I think this is one to keep an eye on.

Gus does not have to play Sweet Home Alabama if he doesn’t want to.

For the first time in what felt like ages, last night saw us around the corner at Cataleya, the local Thai restaurant, for a Gus Glen gig. I can’t remember when the last one was, but I guess it was at least a year. Nonetheless, it was an awesome night: the place was far fuller than it had been on previous nights, and the people loved it.

Gus had a fairly young woman with him last night, and together they duetted some great songs. Mostly they did rock classics, but Gus threw in some folk songs too. They both have fine voices, and it was lovely sitting there listening to them.

Towards the end, though, Gus joked that he would have to play Sweet Home Alabama even though he hated it because someone – meaning me- always made him do it. I felt instantly guilty when he said that. It is true I like that song, and that I have rather enthusiastically asked him to play it in the past; but I didn’t mean to demand he plays it every time he sees me. I think he was joking though, and when I talked to him about it afterwards he laughed about it. Nonetheless, let this stand as formal notification that Gus does not have to play Sweet Home Alabama if he doesn’t want to.

It ended at about ten, and as Mitch pushed me back up the hill (I’m still sans powerchair) I started to hope the next gig wouldn’t be too far away. Nights like that, with great music and great company, really help make life fun.

My blog has not been hacked

Just to let you know, TIIROAC is still very much up and running. It has not been hacked; it has not come under attack from international terrorists. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I’m not sure: on the one hand, it means I can just keep posting entries, the same as always; on the other, I suppose it also means that my blog isn’t important enough to be attacked. I obviously don’t rank as high as Fed-Ex or the NHS on the terrorists’ agenda. Oh well, that kind of puts me in my place.

The cuddle

You can go to the ends of the earth, you can see the words greatest sights, but I have now come to the understanding that nothing is as beautiful as a simple hug from the person you love. This morning, in the drowsy few moments between sleep and wakefulness, I felt Lyn’s hand on me. I rolled over and hugged her back. She smiled and giggled wth that sweet, infectious giggle she has, and in that moment I knew she loved me. It was a feeling I once thought I would never experience. felt content beyond words, and wanted that instant to forever. But I knew it had to end, so I decided to record it on here instead. Some moments, however fleeting,are so beautiful that they cannot be allowed to fade into nothingness.