Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Luckily the pleasant summer weather continues, which meant that we had a nice Bank Holiday weekend. Football on Saturday was great, a really young City team put on a grand display to beat Wycombe 3-0. Hopes were high, only for then to come back to earth, following a 2-0 defeat at Plymouth on Monday. Which means that after 5 games, we have won all our home matches without conceding a goal, conversely we have lost all our away games without scoring a goal. It looks as though mid table obscurity awaits us.

On Sunday we caught up with John, Jane and Mark Stumbles for lunch at the Hope and Anchor, before Orynthia and I took a walk down Jacobs Wells Road to look at the outrageously expensive new flats that have sprung up along the harbourside, including Bristol’s 1st £1,000,000 flat. We decided that they weren’t quite right for our bank balance or us!

On Monday, we went to our local cinema, The Orpheus to see The Guru. Did not think too much of the film itself. However we did like the fact that it was only £5 for the pair of us, it was a bit of a bargain night out, We do really The Orpheus , it’s a pretty ugly building but it has a really pleasant atmosphere. I often think of the time when they had some problems with the heating in the cinema, strangely it seem to synchronise with the films that were showing, so during Apocalypse Now the heat resulted in the Audience feeling as though they too were trapped in the steamy jungle heat of Vietnam. Then again, I recall another film set in the depth of winter (although frustratingly, the name of the film escapes me) when we sat in heavy overcoats, as our teeth chattered along with the soundtrack.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

Well, I finished reading "The Chosen" on the train journey home last night. It really is a magnificent book. Although story is set the seemingly, narrow confines of the conflicts in the world of the orthodox Jews in a couple of New York blocks. It is a book that touches on many universal themes, families, conflict, support and the ability to be your own person whilst trying to comply with the expectations that others have of you.

As I sit in front of this computer once again, the glorious summer sunshine is streaming in through the windows. I’m off to see City play Wycombe this afternoon. Our plans for the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend are pretty fluid. Hoping to catch up some friends and there is bound to be food involved!

The imminent arrival of September means that at last we will have some bands to go and see. We have tickets for our old favourite Elvis Costello and Mcalmont & Butler (new LP is great). We are also looking forward to seeing a local band with the splendid name of Munter, which features a couple of our friends. It’s over a year since we have had the chance to them in action and we and a lot of our friends are really looking forward to seeing them again.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Long time, no write. This is mainly due to the mammoth "24" watching that we undertook. Managed to watch 17 and 1/4 hours of the series between last Tuesday night and Saturday evening. Then on Sunday the final 45 minutes wrapped the series up. I have to say that I really enjoyed both the show and the madly intense way of watching it. We did manage to sneak in a bit of socialising in between shows, notably at a surprise 70th birthday party for Steve Vowles mum on Saturday evening.

I am really enjoying "The Chosen", although it covers some pretty heavy Jewish themes in is written in a way that really pulls you in.

We went round to see Ed last night, he is off to Winchester for 6 months, whilst working on a new contract. To celebrate his employment Orynthia made one her trademark cheesecakes. We managed to eat about 1/2 of it and left the rest for Ed to finish off for breakfast!

I had a pretty tiring day today, due to a meeting that I had to attend in Bedford. The journey back was pretty frustrating as I think I must have stuck behind every Hay truck in the south of England, Still another glorious sunny day, it’s been quite strange to see so much of central Europe disappearing under massive amounts of water.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Well, with only a week to go before the series ends, we have got ourselves hooked on the TV show 24. BBC choice are showing all the previous programmes over the course of this week. So last night we found ourselves watching the 1st 6 shows and I am well and truly hooked. It is going to pretty intense viewing for the rest of the week but I quite like watching it all in a huge rush. Quite a few of our friends have been going through the agonies for the few months and now we are starting to understand what they have been talking about.

When not watching TV, I managed to complete The Sandcastle and I did really enjoy it, in a sort of "old black and white movie on a rainy Sunday afternoon" sort of way. Following from that I have started reading The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Just before we went to Cornwall Mr Potok died and I read a couple of obituaries, which made him, and his books sound very interesting. For some reason I have always been interested in the Jewish New York experience and the articles made great claims for The Chosen, so imagine my delight when I found a 2nd copy for just £2 in a magnificently overstocked 2nd hand bookshop in a small town called Wadebridge in Cornwall. The book is interesting because it looks at the tensions between different strands of Jewish communities, whilst placing those in the context of New York towards the end of World War 2. When seen through the eyes of a teenage boy coming to terms with his place in this society, it makes for a fascinating story.

Our friend Felipe went back to Madrid on Tuesday. It was really good to catch up with him again during his latest visit to Bristol. Lets hope that its not too long before we see him again.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Well the football season got of to a hilarious start, City winning 2-0 against a comically brainless Blackpool who managed to get two players sent off in a couple of minutes and then concede a goal by sending their keeper into our penalty area for a free kick, we get the ball break away and score from about 45 yards into an open goal. Generally low quality football buts lots of laughs.

Went to Ceri and Alan’s lovely house for a party on Saturday evening. Lot’s of BT people and strangely lots of young men in blue shirts.

This morning we went to a great exhibition at Bristol museum based on the Dan Dare comic strips. Loads of great ‘50’s futuristic graphics and it was quite a shock to see the amount of merchandising that was associated with the Dan Dare image. I tend to think of mass market product tie-in’s being something that was created on the back of things like Star Wars. However it’s clear that those crafty business folk knew what they were doing way back in the late ‘50’s – early ‘60’s, Everything from replica rockets to kites and jigsaw puzzles, it was all there. We met up with our friend Simon and his son Thomas in the museum. After seeing the stuffed animals and birds, Thomas announced that he would like Simon to stuffed when he dies. We thought it was quite a good idea, imagine inviting people back to your place and being able to show them your dead parents and maybe grand parents!

After the museum we went round to Heather and Spiders place for a nice get together with 9 other people. Some nice food, drink and conversation on a very relaxed Sunday afternoon.

Back to work tomorrow.

Friday, August 09, 2002

Well, we are home from our little trip to Cornwall and very nice it was too. We had a really lazy time of it. On our way down we stopped at the Bakelite museum a splendid little place, absolutely overflowing with a marvellous collection of vintage household bits and bobs. We were in retro heaven. They also sell the most amazing small caravans. Although they are newly built they look like little Art Deco masterpieces, Very cute indeed. On the Monday of our trip we went to the much-talked about Eden Project, which was only about 15 miles from our hotel. The place itself looks absolutely amazing, it’s the perfect 1960’s vision of the future, I was slightly disappointed that we weren’t made to change into sci-fi style unisex clothing before we started our journey around the domes. We stayed for about 5 hours before out feet gave out on us. Whilst at the hotel I spent most of my time reading. I took an ancient Iris Murdoch novel called The Sandcastle with me. The book is set in a fairly posh but austere English private school and follows the tormented life of one of the housemasters. The pleasantly old fashioned ambience of the hotel made it very easy for me to take the mental journey back to this England that has vanished for ever. The setting for the hotel was absolutely stunning, built atop a rocky headland with it’s own beach, when the tide was out. A series of magnificent sandy bays and coves each with huge cliff’s behind them made for some spectacular walking as the weather lurched between glorious sunshine and the equally glorious misty and moody conditions that Cornwall can through up in an instant.

Back in Bristol in time for the start of the new football season. City take on Blackpool tomorrow afternoon. No new faces to look out for on the playing side but I’m really looking forward to the start of the season.

Our new sofa came today and it’s fab. Our journey back in time to 1950’s continues with this amazingly simple piece of furniture designed by the god like Robin Day.