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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Thursday, 26 August 2010

An audio recording from AudioBoo

syzygy: Audioboo: Mario Bros Game & Watch retro boo


Listen!
An audio recording from audioboo.fm


Posted by james at 10:30 PM

Monday, 23 August 2010

Chris's cookery course (and other holiday activities...)

I think I can say with some surety that this summer holiday has been a much more interesting one than last year! It's fantastic that we can throw ourselves into all kinds of activities - some of which I've had the time to blog about, others will just end up on my Twitter feed - and the children have certainly had plenty of opportunities to try new things, many of which cost very little if anything.

So far, Lenni has had cycling and tennis courses at Vauxhall Recreation Club, Chris has attended an archeology dig at Stockwood Discovery Centre (their finds are still on display in the museum), and both children have had the opportunity to stretch their legs with Luton's Play Rangers and - of course - their dad.. we went on our first proper bike ride last week, along the new Lower Harpenden Road track - which I'd heartily recommend as an excellent off-road cycle path.

While Lenni had her first day of tennis coaching today, we drove Chris up the M1 to Broughton, near Milton Keynes, for a two hour course at the Inspired Gourmet Cookery School. He had an absolutely brilliant time - Dave, the trainer, was friendly and patient, and the small group created an amazing meal of chicken goujons with roasted sweet potatoes and lemon yoghurt cake for dessert. Chris left the course enthusiastic about cooking (in fact, he'll be making lunch for us on Saturday!) and I have to admit that I'm tempted to have a go at the parent and child cookery course, too... it could be a fun family activity for next year.

Here's our boy with his splendid repast - it didn't last long!

We have less than two weeks of school holidays left - but that's plenty of time to find some more stories to tell...

Posted by james at 5:11 PM

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Jon and Lisa's Wedding - 20th August 2010

I achieved another "first" in my life on Friday - my friend Jon asked me to be Best Man at his wedding, and I accepted. It's only fair, since a little over twelve years ago he did the same honour for me when I married Beth. Some might say it was 'retaliation'!

By all accounts, though, the wedding and reception went very well - Jon and Lisa had planned everything very carefully, and made sure I was aware of what needed doing - all I had to do was make sure the day progressed smoothly, and (of course!) deliver a speech at the reception. We'd already had a low-key 'stag night' - I'm not sure anything more is possible in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill - but I made sure I was at his house early on the morning of the big day to check everything was as it should be. Here's a camera-phone photo of me and Jon in our finery shortly before the service - it was a spectacularly bright, sunny day, but with enough of a sea breeze that it didn't get too hot. Perfect, really!

I discharged my duties in the church as I ought (with no embarrassed rummaging through pockets for the rings!) it was a lovely service at St Michael And All Angels, which overlooks the sea from above De La Warr Road to the east of the town. After the usual collection of photos around the church, the bridal party, Jon and I drove down to the beach for some pictures at the Colonnade. Although it was a little bright, the photographer, Kev Aylott of Kevpix.co.uk took some interesting and amusing photos which I'm sure Jon and Lisa will enjoy looking through! Here's one of Jon and Lisa that I took over his shoulder (I made sure I picked up some technique tips from watching him - the best way to learn!)

We then went to the Cooden Beach Hotel for the reception - I had installed a sound system the evening before, and the lights arrived in the morning. They're obviously past masters at wedding receptions, since it went extremely well; I was a little anxious about my speech, but - having rehearsed it in the car over the past few days, I think I delivered it without too many mistakes. Jon's dad provided the requisite heckles - I've known him for over twenty years, so it was quite an amusing exchange, and everyone seemed to find parts of the speech amusing. I'm glad it's over, though - it's amazing how unfunny a monologue can seem when one has repeated it ten or fifteen times!

After the meal, Kev took Jon, Lisa, the bridesmaids - and Beth and the children, which was great, since I'd not really had much chance to see them during the day - to the nearby railway station for some more quirky photos. As always, there was plenty of laughter, which gave me a lot of reassurance that everyone was having a good time, and then we returned to the hotel to dance (well, I gave it a go!) into the night.

If there was any disappointment it would have to be the hotel accommodation. From reviews I've read on TripAdvisor it's difficult to predict what sort of experience one might have, but there are always stories to tell!

We packed up and returned the suits, and then drove home - which was something of a challenge in itself, since the M25 had long delays in both directions (fairly normal for a Saturday morning, I think!) We thought it might be interesting to navigate a more direct route through London, but couldn't have predicted the accidents and road closures that meant we traversed about the same distance as if we'd been around the M25 - and, I expect, took as long as if we'd sat in queues. But we certainly drove through bits of London we'd never seen before!

From what Jon's said, he and Lisa are as exhausted as I am as they head away on their honeymoon - but I truly hope they'll have some happy memories to look back on, and that they have a wonderful, longlasting marriage (not least because I'm in no hurry to reprise the role of Best Man!)

Posted by james at 2:08 PM


 
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