I'm on my second week's leave of the year 2006, getting these two weeks in before the glorious activity that is THE END OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR ACCOUNTS which wonderfully complements that most special of times, THE END OF THE TAX YEAR.
And isn't this week a hoot? Back to the dentist's to see the locum (a pleasant young man who keeps his instruments of torture exactly in the spot where the patient would normally access the chair, so one has to climb onto the foot of the chair and crawl on one's hands and knees, turn awkardly, pull a muscle in one's back, and bang one's head on the light before settling down to the real business).
Not only the dentist's but the doctor's because the bastards who used to manufacture my medication have stopped manufacturing it. This means I've either got to stop the anti-psychotic element and live with a feeling of constant indigestion, or imbibe double the dose of the anti-psychotic drug and walk around like a zombie until I get used to it. This will probably take about three years if past experience is anything to go by.
So I'm writing this under the influence, thinking how it used to be in the good old days.
I get to thinking of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of last summer. And now I've bought a digital camera, I can share them with you, you lucky people. The original pictures were taken with an ordinary point and shoot camera and Boots can't make a CD of the negatives so I've had the brainwave of photographing the photographs. I've also uploaded them in the wrong order and can't work out how to get them in the order I want ,so this will not be chronological. I'm new to all this so please be patient with me.
SUMMER 2005 - DEAL, KENT
A beautiful sunny Sunday, we go to Deal's independent record shop and buy the superb album No Cities Left by The Dears, together with the additional Protest EP, all on one CD. "Good choice," says the owner, a very nice man at least ten years older than me. "And you've got the EP on there (the reissue). I didn't get the EP on my copy."
This sometimes happens to me in record shops. I've made a good choice but I've taken something that is dear to them. I'm taking their children away from them.
Then it's off for a walk along the front and past the bandstand. There's a real carnival atmosphere, all ages sitting, eating ice creams, listening to the brass band. As we pass them they start up a new tune: Is This The Way To Amarillo? Buggered if I know.
The statue pictured is situated at the entrance of Deal Pier. I don't think it represents Deal's most famous ex-resident, Charles Hawtrey, and his pastime of fishing for sailors. Unless someone's nicked his glasses.
JUNE 2005 - ALBUFEIRA, THE ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
Most people come to the Algarve for its miles of beautiful, sandy beaches, or its miles of beautiful, grassy golf courses. But there are those of us real travellers who go for the culture.
So imagine our delight as we come across this tribute to Britain's greatest living artist:-
I bet you can't name more than a handful of popular music artists who have streets named after them. Elvis Presley Boulevard. Robert Smith Close...But nobody deserves it more than our Cliff, a man who's graced the tops of the charts for six (count 'em) decades.
Rua Sir Cliff Richard
Yes, as many women have asked him over the years...Cantor won't?
And just round the corner from Sir Cliff Road?
A local school:-
NOFX? Punk power? Fuck the system and the politic?
Listen, NOFX. If you're still in the charts in 30 years time, then you can fuck the system and brew your own wine. In the meantime, stop corrupting our young.
Besides...You look like an ugly Take That.
Don't you all feel summery now?