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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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Sunday, 21 August 2005

Cars, Bristol and puzzles

It's been a crazy busy weekend - in fact, it's looking like there's something going on, be it work or social, practically every weekend between now and our holiday in mid-September!

Friday brought something of a frustrating morning... the car was approaching 12,000 miles, and therefore service time (the little spanner on the display was flashing - always a worrying prospect). I'd arranged a courtesy car at the car fixing shop, so I could pick up Beth and the children from Christopher's swimming; they're rarely anything special and in this case it was a little two-door 206 that brought something of a challenge to fit the car-seats in. I had to push my seat right forward so Ella's legs could dangle!

What amazed me most was when we were leaving the swimming pool car park, Ella - completely unprompted - said "Don't forget seatbelt!" Considering that I'm normally extremely consciencious about it (and that the 807 has an irritating "ping!" noise that alerts the car's occupants) the fact that she had the perceptiveness to know - from behind - that I'd forgotten to put my seatbelt on was remarkable!

To complete the original story, shortly after we arrived home, I received a call from the car fixers to say that the lease company had not authorised the work - apparently they'd already done that service when we'd only just done over 6,000 miles a little after the car's first birthday. So it was straight back out the door (via the bottle bank) to drop the courtesy car off again. That's the second time they've inconvenienced me with their inflexibility... I'll know to call them first next time.

I went on a bit of a jaunt yesterday - my pal Elin invited me to a party in Bristol, and, through the miracle of Megabus-type travel, I could easily accept.

Although the trip takes just under three hours, the converted double-decker buses they use are comfortable and air-conditioned - the only downside is there's nowhere to charge my ipaq, so I had to rely on constantly retuning the radio for entertainment... barely a hardship, I know!

As the bus was leaving London, I couldn't help but notice a car with what I could only guess at being the ultimate in anti-theft devices. The registration number was printed in big black characters on the roof of the vehicle... it didn't look like a minicab or police car but what an easy way to identify it! I think Beth might have a thing or two to say about my doing it on our car, though...

JC's Revenge in Bristol City CentreWhen I arrived in Bristol at about half-past four, I wandered through the city centre, and my attention couldn't help but be grabbed by a rock band playing loudly outside a pub - I subsequently discovered they were JC's Revenge. It was good music - unusually, one of the songs was called Daphne Blake - and set the mood for the evening up quite nicely; I've always liked Bristol for its culture.

Bristol BashI caught a bus to Clifton, which is where the gathering was to be, and when the other attendees arrived (they'd spent the afternoon at Bristol Zoo) I shared in the silliness (involving post-it notes) until the early hours. I'll admit that I was suffering a little for it this morning, but still, once in a while isn't too bad.. I hope!

Before I left, I was tuning around to see what radio stations were about, and heard Radio 19 - one of the first community radio stations I've encountered. The intention is good, but the delivery's a bit hit and miss - early in the morning they played back a recording of a gig the previous night, but later on it was quite a disappointing mix of a presenter who couldn't really string a sentence together without falling back on clichés that it seemed he was barely able to recall and a collection of the turgid middle of the road music (think Queen and George Michael's - Somebody to Love).

Conversely, I'd completely forgotten that the Ern and Vern show on BBC Three Counties Radio was so slick and amusing - well worth a listen on a weekend lunchtime if you like incorrect radio, presented by two men who really should know better.

Links of the day: (frustrating puzzle special)

Posted by james at August 21, 2005 10:36 PM

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