Summer is Over

Summer is all but gone, and it’s been far too long since I wrote anything here. From time to time, I have had the inclination to add a quick update on my life, but each time I’ve thought of it there has been very little “quick” and far too much “update”. Quite a lot has been going on (although I’m damned if I can remember any of it, now I’ve actually sat down to write something).

For starters, this has not been a summer of holidays. In fact, we got a total of about four days away from home (if that), at our annual “family camp”. This year we visited Church Stretton, or “England’s Little Switzerland” as the website styles is. It was actually a beautiful little village, with some stunning countryside around it. I had a gorgeous 4am walk up to the top of the Long Mynd (just after dawn, a car full of ravers pulled up at a car park just in front of me, in the middle of nowhere. A woman leant out and said “nice beard mate!”) I strode across the moors trying to learn lines for our next play (more on that in a moment) and in a fit of criminal irresponsibility I decided to let Gizmo off the lead to chase some rabbits and see whether he savaged any sheep: well, over the next half hour I saw very little of him other than the occasional black speck baying from an adjacent hilltop a mile away, but he did eventually come back (without a speck of blood on him, I think he was just teasing the rabbits).

So, sadly not a holiday-packed summer like the one the year before last. The main reason for staying at home is that we’ve recently started fostering again. In fact I’m now a foster grandad! That is to say, the girl we are fostering recently gave birth. It is so wonderful having a baby around the house again, and not quite as tiring and hard work as I’d expected it to be (possibly because Gill is doing most of it). I suspect I can’t go into more detail here – in fact, my writing and certainly my photography is going to have to be a little more heavily censored than in the past because of confidentiality reasons & other such things which I’ve never bothered about before. But just to say: we are fostering, and it is great.

On the subject of the play I mentioned: Next Best Thing have their next production in rehearsal, it will be The Miser by Moliére (details here) and, guess what, I got the title role! The play will be performed 7th-10th December in Sheffield, so in between now and then I have a lot of lines to learn (a hell of a lot), plus I have to somehow work out how to walk and talk like an old man (a comedy old man at that). Work cut out for me.

We also got a new car – we needed to as the old one wasn’t big enough for our newly extended foster family. Well, I say a new “car”, new vehicle would be more appropriate. It’s an Astro dayvan which we bought off Japspeed UK, near Hull, who imported it fresh from Japan (yeah, I know it’s an Amercian van, but it came via Japan, OK?). Ten years old but very good nick, an absolute joy to drive and the whole family love it. I’m amazed that we bought it actually, I only suggested it to Gill as a joke, normally she hates anything big and American, but she thought I was being serious and instantly fell in love with it. I’m glad.

OK, that’s all the major news for the summer. I’m sure there’s a lot of minor stuff as well. Like I rediscovered my taste for programming, and have been getting my hands dirty with PHP code. And we’ve moved bedrooms (again) and given the whole house a bit of a rejig. And Lola just started “big school”. And… so many other things. One of which is that I seem to have lost the desire to catalogue large parts of my life’s doings on the web. So this will have to do for now.