Tuesday, September 06, 2005


In the morning Leanne took us to stroke the horse then we all got on the train to York.

We wandered round the shops a bit and sat by the fountain, and spent an age watching oriental women taking endless photos of each other by a flower stall. They ended up persuading random tubby English people to have their pictures taken with them too. We were careful not to make eye contact. A fiddle player busked with an evil dancing puppet attached to his pelvis.

Later on we played skittles in the park by the Minster with an apple and water bottles, and spent a happy hour or more people watching: the Russians on the bench - “I said be careful his bow tie is really a camera”; the might as well have been coital couple for the difference it made; the quiet readers and possible bloggers; the daisy chain makers and Show Off Dad - “Look what has sprung from my loins!” - chatting with his kids so loudly you wondered whether it was solely for their benefit. A wonderful lazy sunny afternoon.

Then we met up with my friend Steve again - oh for goodness sake! - who took us round haunted pubs and noisy pubs, and it was sad to say goodbye for the final time, yes really the final time, after he’d led us back, like Mother Duck with a train of drunken ducklings, back to the station. It was great seeing him and I hope he likes his present.

Back at the house we played Firing Squads, a refinement of the water bomb game, where the targetees sit in front of a wall and if your aim is too high, the balloon bursts on the wall and soaks everybody anyway.

After midnight everyone gave me birthday presents and I didn’t blub, although it was a close thing. I received a boomerang, a didgeridoo - watch this space, music lovers - a bottle of Raspberry Vodka, and a rocket which claims to fly 500 feet (152 metres) and then takes a photo as it parachutes back down again. Look out for a series of “polishing my rocket” themed gags in the very near future.

We stopped up until four or so, doing the tequila thing and having, like, deep and important conversations about life and love and that. Went to bed emotional and happy.

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