20 February 2010 (Saturday) - High on a Hill, in Eldorado

The holiday begins. I’ve been taking a week’s holiday in February every year for quite a few years. I can’t recall exactly how many, but I certainly remember having a week off at my thirtieth birthday and that was some time ago. Having this full week off work will be the longest break I’ve had from work since my February holiday last year. I feel I need it – much as I work with some really good people, I need a break from the place. And I can and will send my muckers some knob jokes via Facebook.

I see Lionel Jeffries died yesterday. I realise that’s not a particularly famous name – he played Grandpa in my favourite film of all time – “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. I must admit that I thought he’d probably died years ago, but it turned out that he was only forty-two when he starred in that film. Another useless fact about “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is that one of my colleagues had an uncle who was an extra in the opening sequences. I’m reliably informed that the extras got more money if they got dirty during the course of filming, so they would all roll about in the mud between takes.

Last Saturday I took my ring to the jewellers for fixing. Today we went to get it back, via one or two shops. We popped into the tattoo studio, where I saw a tattoo I am seriously considering having done. And then to the pet shop where they are selling albino hedgehogs as pets. By coincidence, the hedgehogs are the same price as the tattoo I want. And then some McDinner. You can’t beat McDinner.

I eventually got to the jewellers to collect my ring. It was fixed and they even polished the thing too. I’m really pleased with the result. Last week it was scuffed and scratched – now it’s as good as new. On reflection, I don’t think I have many possessions that have been with me as long as my wedding ring. I’m quite touched to see it as good as it was when I first bought it twenty three years ago. (I know – I’m a big softie!)

And then to Tenterden for the ELO experience. We’d started the week with a bit of a hiccup with four tickets too many. We shifted the spare tickets, and got there to find they’d reserved us one seat too few. But the problem was soon resolved, and we settled into our seats.

I first heard the music of the Electric Light Orchestra some thirty four years ago when an eleven year old Dave (now Doctor) Thornton introduced me to their excellent tunes.

I knew what to expect. “Daddies Little Angel TM ” had come along for the evening, and her face was a picture when the cellos came out. But I think that she eventually enjoyed what happened. I know I did. They played most (but not all) of my old favourites, and I spotted their mistake in “Rock n Roll is King”. I had Milwaukee in mind as we squalled along to “Calling America”, I even remembered the lyrics of “Do Ya” and “Showdown”, and I hadn’t voiced those in over ten years. In fact I knew all of the words to all of the songs, and I sang them all. Rather loudly.

By one of life’s many happy co-incidences I found myself sitting next to a fellow member of the astronomy club, and so I felt that as we were all friends together he wouldn’t mind me singing. I have since apologized.

Same time next year….

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