July was a good month.
We arrived back to sunshine and a lack of the 6am alarm. Early doors in the month was sports day for TBW, I arrived in plenty of time and mooched around waiting for the athletes to appear. I’d learnt my lesson from last year’s experience and had been deliberately cagey about the parents race. Imagine my joy when I spotted my name on the whiteboard (clearly TBW had a plan, mine was first on the list). As the afternoon wore on someone had added Usain Bolt (didn’t see him myself but I suppose he moves pretty fast). Later, odds were added. I’d been listed at 5/1 so I took that as a compliment.
There was a tree in the garden that needed removing in order to make room for a shed and as our eldest daughter was home for a couple of weeks she offered to help. Here she is. Helping.
There was no need to climb the tree, I just wanted to see if she could. There’s an access to the neighbour’s house that runs just behind the fence. Next door’s youngest (who is TBW’s bestest mate in the whole wide world) was wandering past and stopped to say hello. This is how the conversation went:
TBW’s mate – “Hello”
L – – “Hello”
“Why are you in a tree?”
“Mr A bet me a biscuit that I couldn’t”
I’m not really sure what to make of just how easily he accepted the frankly ridiculous explanation of how a 24 year old primary school teacher came to be talking to him from halfway up a tree.
I also got bitten pretty hard by the mountain bug again. My self and my Hiking Buddy eXtraordinaire had been plotting a trip for a very long time and finally the planets aligned and we found ourselves in the shadow of Scafell Pike on a gloriously sunny day. It was as close to a perfect day in the mountains as I’ve had, sunshine and crags and views all coming together on God’s big checklist.
After we’d got back down in one piece (something I usually insist upon), we headed off to the campsite for my first night under canvas in *ahem* years. I wasn’t sure how that’d go, given the several addition years of wear and tear on me since the last time I’d spent a night with only a thin layer of foam and down between my arse and the grass. I was expecting the worst but wanted to see how things went as a precursor to persuading HBX to go for a full-on wild camp hike in the future.
We set up the tents while the beers cooled in a small river just behind us, sat down and planned the next day’s route (Haystacks, one of Wainwright’s favourites) before heading off to a nearby pub for another beer and a burger. The burger was rare, just as I like them. Cue ominous music soundtrack.
The next day, after a surprisingly good night’s sleep, I woke early and got breakfast on the go. HBX appeared, we ate and packed. I started to feel rough and then started with the vomiting.I continued with the vomiting on the drive to Haystacks and eventually, in the carpark at the foot of the mountain, dehydrated and shaky, I had to admit defeat. HBX offered to call off the hike and head home but I told him I’d just wait in the car.
He disappeared into the wilds and I threw up again before falling asleep in the car, waking several hours later to find the car surrounded by sheep. I have no photographic evidence of this so it may have been a hallucination. We drove home. I ate a pie.
Mrs A and I also went to see Kevin Bridges at a local(ish) venue. We’d been to see him before in Nottingham, just as he was starting to hit the big time and he was hilarious. We had high hopes.
The gig started really well and there was a bit of good natured and quite funny heckling from the audience, but this seemed to really throw him off his stride. Self doubt crept in and the gig went downhill rapidly. It was a real shame.
Also, I bought an old apothecary jar that I was intending to use as a whisky decanter. Through a combination of stupidity and physics, I managed to convert it to this whilst cleaning it, by means of explosion:
The flying glass took chunks out of the plaster, dented the spaghetti tin on the other side of the kitchen, sliced a nice neat hole in my T-shirt and put a dent in Mrs A’s beloved Smeg fridge. I was not popular but miraculously uninjured.