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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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Saturday, 30 July 2005

birthday parties and country walks

Peacock at Pendley ManorIt's not often I get to attend an 18th birthday party (these days, anyway!) and even less often that we find ourselves in the grounds of an old Manor house, being watched with bemusement by peacocks as we enjoyed the inflatable entertainments laid on for the celebration on Friday afternoon and evening.

Hopefully Rebecca (the niece of one of Beth's close friends) enjoyed the party as much as we did; it was split into two parts, so the children could have a run about outside, and we dropped them off at Beth's folks' for an overnight stay, while we returned for the evening's entertainment. It was a wonderful event - so touching when the family spoke tributes to the (official) passing of a genuinely lovely young lady into adulthood. Her sister had a great idea - with every invitation came a sticker, onto which each guest had been asked to write one word that described the birthday girl. All of these stickers were put onto a decorated card, framed and presented as a souvenir of the party.

Butterfly on our Arlesey walkBeth and I stayed in the hotel that night, and were awoken by the unsettling sound of the peacocks crowing (I discovered that an unusual white one was lurking outside our window!). In fact, we had Saturday morning to ourselves (to recover from the party!) so Beth discovered a rather pleasant walk around Arlesey that we could do, regardless of whether the rain stayed away. We definitely don't do this often enough - to be able to amble through the countryside, without having a particular destination in mind, enjoying the sounds, smells and sights of nature is definitely something I've missed since the days I used to wander along the seafront as a teenager. I saw a wonderful butterfly that settled just long enough for me to take a photo of it, then fluttered off to join the others skimming around the reeds beside the river.

Today has been quite a low-key day, since I've been attempting to prepare myself for four night shifts; I have plenty of food to nibble, and a list of tasks that I'm keen to complete in the (hopefully) quiet times, but it's not going to be easy to sustain a constant level of consciousness, especially since I'll be on my own until about 8am tomorrow...

I'm attempting a couple of little tweaks to my blog at the moment - it would be great if I could be a bit more ambitious with the colour scheme and layout, but soon you'll see a couple of new features:

  • Subscription : as long as I remember to press the right buttons when I've completed an entry, it'll soon be possible to get my latest blog entry as an email.
  • Radio Blog : Choose a soundtrack while you read (from www.radioblogclub.com).
If you like, detest or regard these features with a healthy ambivalence, please let me know!

Links of the day

  • internetgames.about.com/library/blpinball.htm : A collection of on-line pinball games. That this link should appear at the start of my nightshift is co-incidental, honest!
  • www.vpforums.com/vptables/tables.php : I've always had a bit of a penchant for pinball, having spent a fair amount of time in the arcades in my youth. Here is a frankly staggering collection of emulated classic pinball machines, including The Addams Family - possibly my favourite game ever. It's a bit tortuous to install, but definitely worth it!

Posted by james at July 30, 2005 7:52 PM

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