Sunday 29th December 2019, 12.35pm (day 3,048)
‘Twas the day of the annual family gathering at my parents’. Perhaps one of these days soon my Mum will allow someone else to take on the principal role at such events, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Advent calendars which just involved opening a door and seeing a picture of an elf or something have long been deemed passé; now there must be something to consume, or play with, or build. As in the Harry Potter Lego Multimedia Cross-Disciplinary Advertising calendar that the wife has acquired this year. Day 2 — build the Hogwarts Express, for Master Potter who came out bright and fresh on Dec 1 (that’s him to bottom right).
The end of a week, and some relaxation time was definitely called for. This one spot outside Calan’s holds the sunshine for as long as is becoming possible at this time of year, as the days decline. Clare makes the most of this, even though (and she did pre-approve the use of this pic) it does make her look like she is sporting some fine sideburns.
Two milestones today. First, this is Clare’s 100th appearance on the blog: thus, an (easily enough calculated) average of once every 29.22 days, or over once per month. Well, I did marry the woman — and it seems to have been a good move.
Second; 8 x 365 = 2,920, plus two more for Feb 29th 2012 and 2016. Thus, 2,922 days marks the end of my eighth full year of doing this blog. Tomorrow is my birthday. I started the blog on my 42nd birthday…. so you do the maths.
In all the eight years (minus a week) that I have been doing this blog there have been various selfies and shots of Joe — but we’ve never been captured together. Until tonight. Other than the slightly grubby glass in which we’re being reflected, I quite like this shot. To the right, the ferals gather at one end of Halifax bus station, being told off by some security guard who calls one of them a ‘scrote’ every few seconds. Meanwhile I ponder the fact that I’ve entered the last week of my 40s.
Another day when I didn’t leave the house. Joe will be fairly housebound for a while too, as today he went and had his “Sybil Fawlty” operation; in other words, the removal of an ingrowing toenail (this being what kicks off the fun in the Fawlty Towers episode, “The Germans”). He seemed fairly blasé about it all. But it’s not like he needs any great excuse to put his feet up at the moment — and why shouldn’t he, it’s the summer holiday.
We have never seen our house empty. Not even when we moved in, eighteen years ago: the previous owner sold us all of his furniture along with the house. There is no cellar nor roof void in which to shove things. Therefore, concerted outbreaks of Stuff Management must occasionally punctuate our existence. Clare’s the specialist. But then again she’s a bigger hoarder than me.
Today is also proof also that I do still function, at least photographically, in the morning. This is the first pre-noon post since 10th July; a run of 18 consecutive afternoon shots.
Ben Nevis is a mountain of two sides, for sure. On the south side, a vast but rather dull slope up which hundreds toil daily; the payoff for climbing continuously for three hours being the chance to attain the status of Most Elevated Person in Great Britain, at 4,411 feet (or 1,345 metres). We secured this goal at 11.24am.
But going up that way doesn’t show you the other side, the North Face, with its stupendous crags and (after the tourist path) blissful sollitude. This is the connoisseur’s side of the mountain, the place where you can really look up and feel, yep: this is the culminating point of the whole country, it really doesn’t get any bigger than this.