… to all of my readers.
It’ll be Christmas Day probably by the time that you read this, and I’ll refrain from posting anything about the Public Conveniences on Crewe Bus Station because, regrettably, the whole Queensway Shopping Centre and Bus Station complex has been swept away in an orgy of demolition.
It just about managed 60 years of life before it was declared surplus to requirements and that tells you everything you need to know about modern construction.
But anyway, I digress … “once more” – ed.
After yet another turbulent night, I was once more wide awake at some ridiculous hour waiting for the alarm to go off although when it did, it still took me a good few minutes to force myself out of bed.
After the medication and checking my mails and messages, I had a cooking session. I’ve made a load of potato cakes.
There are some vegan sausages left from Leuven and a couple of tins of baked beans, so I’m going to have fried potato cakes, beans and sausage as a brunch over the festive period, with toast and mushroom paté. What’s the point of having Christmas if you can’t pig out?
After all, I haven’t bought any presents for myself this year so I’ll make up for it with food.
And then I had a cleaning session which was, as usual, 10 minutes cleaning followed by 20 minutes recovering, all the way up to lunchtime.
During the night I’d racked up yet another impressive amount of miles. I was in an apartment that I was renting somewhere and there was a problem with the water supply. It turned out that the cold water tank needed replacing. But to replace it was an exceedingly complicated procedure. It had to come out through the cellar wall into the public area down in the cellar and then lifted up which meant that you had to demolish the wall, which meant you had to fence it off to stop people coming through and helping themselves to other people’s possessions. Of course they were all blaming me in the first place for having done something to damage it. Someone described the action like something to do with eating a banana but this was going to be an extremely complicated procedure to take this water tank out and replace it with another more modern one that wasn’t broken.
Nerina and I were in Brussels visiting somewhere in the centre, looking up by the European Community. We were looking for a place to park the car. I found a corner to park on but a policeman came along to ask me to move so I went to move the car but couldn’t find a place and ended up back. The policeman was still there boxed in by someone else and he was giving them a lecture to move. In the end, with no place to park, Nerina gave me a pound and told me to park the car at a meter. Of course there were plenty of meters in the area so I went to look at them. It was something like £1:00 for 17 minutes and I thought that we would be here for at least an hour so I carried on until I came to the multi-storey car park at the European Commission. I went inside the building and asked where the entrance was. One person pointed across the road but that was like a little slot down which you posted your books so I asked someone else. He replied “yes, post your books down there and the guy at the bottom will deal with them”. I asked how you would receive them back and he had to think for a minute. After a while he admitted that he didn’t know. Incidentally he had a couple of motorbikes under tarpaulins on trailers there that were interesting me. I suddenly realised that we were only going to be there for an hour and I’d been away for half an hour already trying to find this place to park. This was getting rather ridiculous. I couldn’t find the entrance to this multi-storey car park no matter how hard I looked.
A little later I stepped back into that dream about trying to find a place to park the car. I was in the European Communities by now. I had this bag and I wanted to leave it somewhere where I could go off and look at a few things. But they wanted £5:00 to leave a bag so I replied “no, I’ll take it with me”. Anyway I went off to look at what I wanted to see and then ended up at a metro station that was called “metro” on a big, wide dual carriageway, an enormous place. One of the group told me off, told me that Michelle, whoever she was, was not feeling too well. I spoke to her on the phone and asked her if she was going home, was there anything I can do?. She replied that she wasn’t going to go home straight away but sit and relax. I said “I’ll come down and see you. Where are you?”. She replied “we’re in Brussels”. “Yes, but whereabouts?”. “I don’t know” she answered. “Can you see the European Community buildings?”. “I don’t know”. I said “well go outside and find something that looks significant and come back and tell me what it is so I’ll know where you are and where we can meet”. It took quite a while to persuade her what to do before she agreed to do it. That was one thing about this dream, that I hadn’t left my bag with these people because of this fiver issue but I realised that I didn’t have my camera with me to take any photos of what I was looking at.
During the rest periods I sent a Christmas greeting to all of the regular readers who have declared themselves to me over the last year or so. I don’t know why some of you are so shy as to not introduce yourselves, but I can’t send you my individual greetings, but rest assured that I am grateful for your support and I wish you all a very merry Christmas.
No lunch at lunchtime – instead, I hit the streets.
First port of call was at the Railway Station. My Old Fogey’s railcard expires imminently so that needed renewing. And with the odd money-off voucher for compensation for delayed trains, it wasn’t as expensive as it might have been.
Next stop was Aldi for a can of energy drink. It used to be once every few weeks a while back but these days it’s almost every time that I go out that I need an energy refuel.
Third stop was the Biocoop. They have nice vegan sesame-seed biscuits so I grabbed 150 grammes for my lunch. Biscuits and energy drink for lunch sitting on a bench in the street is somehow quite relaxing.
Finally I arrived at Espace Auto to rescue Caliburn. And here I hit a snag because he wasn’t ready. They had delivered the wrong parts.
No courtesy car available so I had them reassemble Caliburn and I drove him home – to take him back on Monday.
A quick tidying up and then Laurent came round. he had a listen to what I wanted him to do and then he dictated a pile of “supplementary questions” to edit into the monologues that we have been recording.
There were five interviews to do but we only managed 2. We’ll attack the others tomorrow.
Very kindly, Laurent invited me round to his house where he cooked a meal. I took the drink, the dessert (some of my delicious Christmas cake) and a vegan burger.
We had a good chat and he showed me a video of his trip up the Amazon from a few years ago, which was extremely interesting.
Back here now, I’m off to bed. Christmas Day in the morning so I’m having a nice lie-in, I hope. No alarm at all.
So if you are up before me, I hope that you have lots of nice gifts to unwrap.
Thanks for your support.