Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well this morning on the train I saw 2 Cranes sitting in fields just north of Cambridge. I had recently read they had been spotted nesting here during winter so a nice surprise to actually see them. I also saw a bizarre sight at a level crossing - a very fit looking bunch of men busy doing press-ups as they waited for the train to pass whilst their instructor stood over them with the kind of look that you clearly never disobey.

After the recent dry sunny spell the rain returned with vengence on Tuesday evening and I had a very slow journey home from Kings Lynn. Even in 4WD it was hard to avoid the risk of aquaplaining. But yesterday was a return to sunshine, albeit a lot colder. With our return to the land of smog imminent we made one final visit to Pensthorpe and said farewell to the staff who Helen has got to know really well over the last few months.

Today will be yet another half day as I need to see how the builders are progressing, and hopefully there will be several packages at the office for me to collect and take there. We have one week in which to complete everything. I will spend a day next week at the house trying to create a semblance of order. In the meantime all the smaller jobs on the list for the builder need to be done. The electrician needs to be booked to fit our new remote heating gizmo, the new alarm system needs to be installed, 2 tonnes of gravel have to be laid at the front of the house, a stairlift for the upper part of the stairs needs to be installed, the attic has to be insulated, boarded and a loft ladder installed, new fittings for all the doors to be fixed, the new cloakroom tiled and rubber floor tiles fixed (hopefully), and the minor issue of a major cleaning operation. There is dust everywhere and I reckon it will take the cleaners a couple of days to get the place sorted. The one thing that will not be happening is the fitting of new carpets. We have failed to find anything in time so it will be bare floorboards for a while. If we can find a carpet then I will see if they can fit it in stages so that it can be done when we are out. It would be nice to have for Christmas.

For my birthday (which was deliberately a low key affair as life too busy right now) I got a couple of books on blogging from Helen so I guess no excuses now for not revamping this site at some point. Most cards yet to arrive because of the postal strike impact. Monetary gifts all go towards my Led Zeppelin ticket which is certainly the most expensive I have ever had to buy - I think the previous record was U2 at £90. It amazes me though just how much people are prepared to pay to see an event. Led Zeppelin tickets don't exist and the only way to go is as the partner of a passcode holder - and even then they seem to sell for well over £1000. The rugby final (which will probably be a damp squib compared to last weekend's rugby league final where Leeds thrashed St Helens) is ideal for the corporate leisure market. Return private jet £12000, seats for 12 £25000. I know my neighbours get offered the chance to do this every weekend at the moment but they prefer to spend the weekend in North Norfolk!

I think my first Greenbelt ticket was £5 for the weekend in 1978. I have no idea what a weekend ticket costs these days but I suspect that when allowing for inflation it is probably still good value for money. But as Radiohead and others look to change the way we buy CDs, maybe it's time for a re-think re concert tickets. Greenbelt could lead the way giving people the opportunity to decide for themselves how much they should pay. Of course this approach would be virtually impossible as it would make budgeting virtually impossible and could the Greenbelt audience be trusted to dig deep and pay the going rate? After all, I haven't bought a ticket for years!

It is not only Radiohead though that are giving away CDs. Hey Gravity! embarks on a short tour in December and the first 100 through the door get a copy of the last album. I'll try and post details of gigs over the next week. If you live in Nottingham you can also see Hey Gravity in November as they are supporting Dodgy on one of their dates. Before Hey Gravity was M.A.S.S. and before this was Dodgy. Andy from Dodgy is the lead guitarist in Hey Gravity and both bands have the same manager - whose business partner was the drummer in Dodgy (and now in Electric Soft Parade).

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