Thursday, 12 July 2018


For a brief interlude this evening, the children were out and so was the dog. I swept and washed the kitchen floor. Then I watered the garden. And dusted and hoovered, upstairs and down, got the sewing machine out to do some repairs, put away laundry and did some research I needed to get done. It astonishes me how much I can do when everyone goes away. It's like some sort of time warp.

Since they've been back, which has been about twice the length of time, I've banged on and on and on about it being bedtime, wandered round picking things up and washed two water bottles. I have all sorts of big plans about them Helping Out during the summer holidays though, I am very excited about it all. I envisage the sort of blissful domestic scene where children cheerfully set the table for lunch, help wash salad, pick berries from the garden, play happily (and quietly!) with the dog and each other and maybe even run the vacuum about the place a bit. Oh it's going to be wonderful. I wish I'd thought of it earlier.

Here at Above the River it turns out I have written 501 posts, this being number 502. I tend to miss the actual milestones of things. It all began five and a bit years ago. Goodness knows how many photos there are here. But I would just like to say, thank you all for stopping by and reading and commenting and being generally good eggs, it really is a very nice thing to have a little community of like-minded chums being all supportive and lovely.

We are hurtling towards the end of term at a rate of knots. Sports day - check, second inter-school sports day - check, school play - check, five hundred hours of cricket - check, ninety-eight hours of World Cup football  - check. Well, maybe I didn't watch the entire ninety-eight hours, it just felt like it. I shall say nothing more on that subject.

I see Donald Trump is in town. As a nation I feel we are all waiting with bated breath to receive the benefit of his wisdom. No doubt the Germans have been glad to have it explained to them that their problem is that they are totally controlled by the Russians. I should probably say nothing more about all that either. Instead I will bid you a fond farewell, until post number 503, all being well.

Friday, 6 July 2018


A random selection of photos from out and about. The last one was taken the other evening as I supervised the Cubs. They were down by the river looking at Interesting Cliffs and hitting rocks with things to see if they could find fossils.

Bob Dylan visited here once. Four months before the bridge was opened. There's a photo of him standing at the ferry terminal - long gone now. You can just about see the new bridge in the background.

Bob Dylan by Barry Feinstein, Aust Ferry, 1966
It's been voted one of the top five rock photos of all time. He'd been having a difficult time on tour. Waiting for the ferry to Wales he had plenty of time to think about things. A few weeks later he broke his neck by crashing his motorbike at Woodstock and spent the rest of the year recovering.

Anyway, things were much less gloomy down there with the Cubs on a hot July evening. The sky was blue and the air was full of pollen and bits of flying rock as the Cubs took it upon themselves to hack open all the boulders in the hopes of finding an ichthyosaur.

Gromits are back in force, in various locations, a trail of over 60 to try and spot. I accidentally typed 'trial' then, instead of trail. I fear it may be a bit of a trial if I am expected to find all of them. I shall try and limit us to just a few. My favourites are the ones out in the country a bit, where you can do a nice walk and find a Gromit at the end of it. Pounding the city streets looking for Gromit after Gromit can get a bit wearing.

I fear I am not very city-hardy any more. I popped in to Bristol the other evening for a writers' meeting. People everywhere! But it is good for watching. So many colourful, interesting and beautiful people. I love it for a bit, then I need to go home and have a sit with a damp flannel on my forehead for an hour.

Are we watching the football? So many ways to get a ball into the back of a net, and I have seen them all. I shall say nothing more about it, but enjoy the match if you're watching. And either way, have a good weekend.