Here Comes Summer
Sights, sounds and the sense of an impending summer in the UK 2005.
Saturday, April 30, 2005
And then....the sun
A bank holiday weekend and the sun. One of British life's rarer combinations!
Goody is sat in the garden while I'm in the kitchen - the network fades to a trickle on the patio.
We have had a great morning and are settling into the afternoon.
We're looking forward to some quiet time after a tough two weeks. This blog is not the place for private family matters but we lost a loved one recently and we've been dealing with the necessaries since then.
We're planning a picnic tomorrow - somewhere down on the south coast. Of course the rest of the population will have the same idea so it's bound to be busy, but escaping the city is one of the great British summer traditions.
The new Ben Folds album is on the stereo - sounds a touch more serious than previous stuff, but we'll see. Just love his chiming piano. And he's a geek so he gets my vote.
We're hitting the pub tonight with some friends Danny and Nicky - they've been out walking the hills south of London on the way to Brighton, so I'm sure they'll appreciate the liquid refereshment.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Kew Gardens holds a special place in Goody's and my life - G used to work there, we used to live next door and got married there also.
So any stories about Kew are always on our radar.
Weeds and Kew
Gardening and networking
Goody spent the afternoon in the garden, putting in bedding plants and tidying up the front and back of the flat. It now looks just lovely - all we need now is some sunny weather and we can fire up the bbq and sit out.
As she toiled I sweated over our new wireless router. Getting the thing set up was easy - apart from the hassle of unplugging the current wired connections and disentagling a score of cables - and within minutes we were online and, most importantly, in a secure network.
We've been piggybacking on the unsecured network of our neighbours for the last, ahem..., weeks and our guilt at using their bandwidth is only eased because of the suffering their ceaseless late night noise causes us.
But now the desktop PC and apple laptop are both connected - sadly I can't get the Apple to see the PC or the Slimp3 to see the PC. I'm pretty sure it's to do with the router but why does it have to be so difficult? Should computer users really have to know about IP addresses, NAT, port forwarding etc.
It should be plug and play with a few boxes to click on and off the features/access you do not want.
Geek rant aside, we can now surf the net in the kitchen and even in the garden. I won't be streaming DVD quality video but at least I can answer a few emails or catch up with the latest on Slashdot or the BBC.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Friends Steve and Ems are coming over for Sunday lunch with their gorgeous little girls, Megan and Hannah.
I'm hoping we can sit in the garden and share a few glasses of wine.
On the Saturday Goody is going to do some gardening, while I sit in the garden surfing the net on our new wireless network. Raking or surfing - I know which I prefer.
I'll be popping out to PC World on Saturday morning - I hope the network will reach the garden!!
Boats on a pond
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Hangovers, coffee and a picnic on the green
Friends Chris and Rachel (in photo above) came down for the weekend on
After catching up we got dressed up and went to the
evening wedding reception of a colleague Helen and her
new hubby Nick.
Many other work mates were there and we all had a
great time quaffing champagne and dancing - in that
rather embarassing way people do at weddings.
The four of us got carried away with our digital
cameras and took some great "experimental" snaps,
especially in the cab ride home.
Sunday arrived accompanied by a hangover - especially
for poor Chris - and the unexpectedly sunny day lured
us out of our shady kitchen.
Fuelled by a gallon of coffee we wandered along the
river to Richmond, and after a failed attempt to find
a table at a pub we settled on the Green and C&R
treated us to some food luxuries from a nearby Italian
We sat in the sun, scoffed our toasted panini and
assorted, pricey treats and just felt - for a few
hours at least - all was right with the world.
It had been a great weekend and a good sign for the
summer to come.
Before leaving we got a date in the diary for a
weekend "booze cruise" to France.
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Before I really get into the heart of this blog I should explain why i'm doing it.
Summer: it's about lazy weekends with friends, hoped for blue skies, chilled wine and barbecues.
It's about thawing out the bones and brains and remembering why we work so hard to enjoy such fleeting pleasures.
But for my wife, Summer is the culmination of a year's work. She runs summer concerts as stately homes in the south east of England - and one near Manchester - so for her summer is about long hours, tiring days, crowds of people, celebrity singers, snatched moments of quiet.
I wanted to blog that dual nature of summer in our lives - share some times with friends, celebrate my wife's hard work and just keep a record of one, hopefully great, summer.
Of course, it's only April. But today was one of those days that gave the first hints of what June, July and August could offer as we spent our time with two friends under the sun in Richmond.
Walking along the riverbank I thought I'd start my blog today with a few pictures and an optimistic sense of what the future holds.
This weekend our friend Chris was keen to remind us of the outlook of the recently departed author Saul Bellow - that every day we should wake up and revel in the pleasure of simply being alive.
Amen to that.