We in the UK have had friday thru monday off in commemoration of nailing people to trees in order to bring about world peace. In that span, I have had two nice days out, two nice days in, done an exceptional bit of bike-riding, had one of my two semi-detatched next-door neighbours die, learned two friends-of-friends committed suicide, and saw HM the Queen Mother pop her cork – or the results of same – an event which (my friends in the Metropolitan Police assure me) they have been practicing for assiduously, once a month, since the 1980s.
It is regrettable about George next door, he seemed a nice enough chap – very old and so delicate that a breeze might blow him away, and sunlight almost shone right through him – though I rarely got to meet him due to emphysema on his part, but he kept a nice garden. I feel for his wife Dot, who I saw more often, is in hospital herself, and is not at all well.
I am happy.
Friday was going to be my day out on the motorbike, but I woke in the morning and decided that I needed to be a couch potato in order to break with norms of behaviour.
That Sky1 had on some 6hrs of Buffy, did not help my biker-commitment.
This lack-of-biking caused me some anguish until I realised that my appointment on saturday – meeting a colleague at Bletchley – could be mentally reorganised to be a motorcycle-day-out, thereby solving two concerns at once, and making me look forwards even moreso to the trip.
So: TV, Tea, Houseclean, Garden. Repeat until sundown.
Saturday dawned and I was up, bright and early, self-scrubbed in the shower ’til tea-tree awake, leaping onto my bike to pootle the sun-blessed, breeze-blown, aromatic and winding 70 miles to Bletchley Park.
The car-park attendant seemed flummoxed but let me park safe by the kiosk – evidently they have few two-wheeled visitors – and Bart arrived on time; tea, coffee, cake, and we took in the tour, cursing the well-dressed but vacuous woman who wheeled her burbling and bawling blasted child from one room to the next, loud so that you could not hear the guide speaking.
We arrived at the Computer Conservation Society exhibit, and after an amusing ten minutes trying to hack their Venix and VMS machines, fell to talking with a exhibit curator. Learning for whom we worked, he asked if we could help: they have an ASR33 (iirc) Teletype connected to a Linux box at 110 baud, 2 stop bits, even parity, and were having horrendous problems logging in.
Discovering a lack of strace or strings on the box, we were forced to improvise and discovered that the version of agetty they were using seemed to take no notice of the particular configuration file they were editing.
We left the problem partially solved, and will help them further – it will be nice to be able to tell colleagues that I was hacking on a teletype only a few days ago.
The ride home was – if anything – even nicer than the one up, with warm roads that permitted laying the bike over and cornering at buttock-clenching speeds that would be obscene for a small racebike, let alone a 125cc trailie. Nice thing about biking: you rapidly end up with “buns of steel”. I stopped-in Chez Rillie for tea, car, and home-improvement chat, and went home and crashed out.
Sunday, Jane came round for lunch.
It was a pleasant, social day, full of food, drink, gossip about friends, TV, country walks, birdwatching, the revelation of true gothdom (real goths wear Barbour jackets and hang out in graveyards even in inclement weather) – plus unexpected horse mushrooms which are either terribly early or terribly late, but are in any case themselves terribly confused.
Monday, final veg-out day.
Had a late lie-in (to counter the clock-shifting) then attacked the garden, weeding the rockery, potting up plants, removing chickenwire from the fencing (which otherwise clogs with bindweed) and vigourously pruning the grapevine. Tea with Pete and Eileen, washing up, cooking, and reading.
Funny how some people think I have time to be bored at weekends. I’ve not had to use the car for four days, although I’ve hit the limit now ho how long I can go without bulk-carrying capability of a car. A shopping trip to restock is sorely needed.
So – did you have a good break? Sleep well? Sleep often? Ride anywhere interesting?