Well, I said I needed to get out more,more of an echo of what everyone has said about me at one time or another, but either way,I went out. Twice. One planned excursion and the other a surprise, opportunist event.

I say planned. I was invited to a party. A house party with friends from the creative community which is usually a good combination of elements. Add the fact that there was an international flavour of sorts, or flavor for one of us. I’m a social creature at heart so I enjoy the company of others but of late I’ve been letting the virtual take over from the actual.As I sit typing this now I am frequently clicking back and forth to twitter and tumblr to keep track of conversations and updates.

I braved the weather, yes I mean rain, and the biannual joy of the bus ride to join my pals for few drinks, some good food and a lot of stupidity. The buses run fairly regularly, or so it seems by the number passing me. Sadly, one that passed me on the way to the bus stop was the one I was supposed to be on.

Never mind, I thought, the timetable pointed to the next arrival gliding me on a gossamer cloud silently to my destination in just under twenty minutes.

Fine. Twenty short minutes would give me enough time to check my emails, text a few friends and maybe take a quick glance at twitter.

Twenty minutes took a lot longer to pass when I discovered there was no internet signal. Also, no one seemed to want to reply to my texts.

Twenty minutes take a lot longer when two buses pass by on the other side of the road before yours is even due, even longer when that twenty minutes becomes half an hour staring at pouring rain from a plastic lean-to shelter reeking of stale cat pee. I hope it was a cat.

When the public limousine arrived and ferried me away I had the pleasure of the scenic route, taking in the finer viewpoints of my home town through rain covered plastic. Scenic of course being a euphemistic take on ‘every bloody side street and double backed detour possible’. I know from drier days that I can and often do cycle to the same destination in about ten minutes. Travelling directly that is. Not quite as the crow flies but certainly not as the seven legged spider drunkenly stumbles in the dark, as the bus route seems to have been planned.

Any how, after circling the same stop twice, seriously, taking on a change of driver and stopping to discuss what the Police may have been doing across the road from us,I eventually met up with my friends for a really good night.

I’ll gloss over the details but will add that cake pops are amazing. More amazing perhaps if washed down with copious amounts of cider but very good regardless. My american friend made them which is no surprise because she is a good cook and a one woman vanguard for the lesser known, quality food, coming from those shores. Both her and her husband are friends for , well, no other reason than we get on and have a laugh. I sometimes wonder if they tolerate me as a source of material for funny stories or just as a warning to others. Mess with us and you’ll end up like him…

Almost every party with A + J usually brings new acquaintance but this time, being a smaller affair, I actually knew everyone there.

The journey home, again in the paupers taxi, this time accompanied at just before midnight by a similarly drunken student, all six feet and some of him, in a long army great-coat and topped off by an ill-fitting top hat. We did however find our own misfortune lessened by the sight of somewhat inebriated or high young man who chose to flag down the bus in the centre of the road and proceed to dance with the front windscreen in just jeans and a t-shirt. Not the right kind of wet t-shirt display for any time of day or night, sober or otherwise.

The following day was a little more sombre. Fathers Day. I had to question myself about the grammatical points of that title. Father’s or Fathers? Well, I concluded that it is a day for all Fathers,not just a day for one dad. I could be wrong, not for the first time, but I’m sticking with what it means to me.Now that my own Father has passed away it means a day of fun, surprises, loving family and some quiet reflection too. I refuse to let it be a sad day though. Yes, of course I miss him, we miss him but we all know how he hated misery and dwelling on what might have been. So, reflection, memories and conversations but no tears. I cycled to the cemetery as it was an overcast but dry morning. As it was, I should have risked the weather as it turned out to be a beautifully warm sunny day and I spent most of the trip back balancing my coat on my handle bars but I rarely get the weather right. I decided to make the most of my contemplative calm and follow the cycle route through a local new park, built as part of a recent estate development. It was a wonderful way to enjoy the wildlife and the natural surroundings whilst sat only yards away from busy roads and buildings. I only wish I’d planned ahead and taken a decent camera, although it wouldn’t have been quite so appropriate at the grave side I’m sure!

Anyway, the next Sunday afternoon was the day or rather as it turned out, evening that England,(not engerland…) fell out of the European cup finals. Football. I know. I’m not a major sports fan but I am a little patriotic so will support the home team. My second son and my future son-in-law, ( I wish he’d hurry up, son-in-law is much easier to say and type) treated me to a few drinks in a sports bar watching the game. I say sports bar with some artistic licence. Had the game been a dull walk over we would still have been entertained by the regular trip past us of the local crack addicted granny, the temperamental young chap who argued with his domineering but tarty girlfriend resulting in a bloodied fist and a shattered window and the attentions of a toothless but still menacing and very randy Pit Bull terrier belonging, one assumes, to the landlord.

I’ll say this much. I have great friends and family. They may not only be entertainment in themselves but just being around them, getting to them or even away from them also brings a livelier time!

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