Monday, 31 October 2011

Monday 31st October 2011

And back to Monday.

We had a quiet weekend, it just seemed the right thing to do. The weather wasn't very good over the whole weekend, grey and drizzly on Saturday and only slightly better on Sunday.

So, we went shopping in Tesco first thing on Saturday, to get it out of the way early before the crowds, and we were back at home by half eight. I turned the radio on, and tried to rest by back which is still giving me problems, but not quite as bad as last week.

Norfolk Nog

Anyway, I listened to Danny Baker and then Fighting Talk, and settled down to watch the borefest that was to be the game between Chelsea and the Arse. And it was possibly one of the best games I have seen, mainly as both teams seem to have forgotten how to defend. It was crazy with tons of chances at both ends and the game ending in a 5-3 victory for the Gooners, but it could have gone the other way.


Then switch to the radio to follow how Norwich would do; a 3-3 draw with Blackburn, with City's equalising goal coming 3 minutes into extra time. So, another point, and despite being 3-1 down going into the final 10 minutes.

We watched 'Thor' in the evening, hoping it would be good as Kenneth Brannagh directed it; but it was a mess and deep down someone coping with great power having great responsibilities; I seem to have heard that before.


Sunday we went to Waldershare Wood looking for fungi, and yet despite the rain mid-week, the ground under the trees was bone dry and mostly fungi-less. I snapped some stuff and we came home, at which point I began to sneeze and did not stop for most of the day.

That, might be my fault, as we had a spring-clean at lunchtime, and with me being allergic to house dust the sneezing got worse. I was going to watch the football in the afternoon. But, I got seduced by Sir David Attenborough and his new series about the Arctic; it was glorious and worth missing the football for.

The only fungi found this weekend

On Friday, the news we have been waiting for at work came through; we signed two orders; a huge relief, but we will probably have to wait until 2013 before the first turbine is installed. Still, it shows that things are moving forward at last. and another customer is buying one of the pre-production 7MW, showing great faith in our future.

Lets hope there is going to be more good news in the run up to Christmas.....

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wednesday 26th October 2011

Good evening.

Autumn has arrived. Well, it was here before, but the rain is now falling hard, and has been for the last 24 hours really. The wind is blowing too, and it is dark way too early. Oh, and the clocks go back on Saturday night, and then it will be real dark in the evenings. At least we might see light in the mornings again, today it was still dark as we climbed into the car at half six.

Now departing for Cannon Street

Yesterday, we were up even earlier, as I had some travelling to do. Up at five and at Dover Priory Station for six as I was travelling to Norwich for the 34th beer festival. I was to meet my friend Matt at Ashford, and the train then carries on the Stratford, change and get the train direct to Norwich and beer there for half eight.

34th Norwich Beer Festival

What could go wrong?

Well, the train manager not turning up for work, and so the train could not run. Or, it could run but not pick up passengers. apparently. So, I stood on the platform and saw it approach, and come down the platform and not stop.

St Andrews Hall, Norwich

A garbled announcement said that:

'Something, something, something, dark side', or that we would have to wait for the next service, but that meant missing the connection. I got on a slow train bound for Cannon street, thus meeting my friend at Ashford where we could discuss our options. As it was, we took the next service to Stratford and had breakfast.

We caught a train to Colchester, and then an express to Norwich, and arrived an hour later than intended. We left the station, walked along the river to look at Pull's Ferry, then cross the footbridge and onto the cathedral.

Beer; it's just champion!

It was a cloudy, grey day, but at least dry for now, and the walk along the river was good, and after turning down over the footbridge we could have been in the middle ages for all the sounds of the modern world we could hear; the only thing spoiling the illusion were the parked cars.

We followed someone who looked like they knew where they were going, and ended up within the cathedral precinct. There is a new building, the refectory, but through it we found our way into the cloisters, and were rewarded with great views to the tower with it's impressive spire.

A quick look at the watch revealed we had half an hour until the doors opened, and we quickly dashed through Tombland, up Elm Hill over the cobbles to St Andrew's Hall and joined the queue.

We quickly got to the front at half eleven as people paid to enter, and then we crossed their palms with silver and we too were in. We paid for our tokens, got a table down in the bottled beer tent, and we both went to get our first drinks.

And that is it, repeat that process every 20 minutes or so, and buying some food on occasion, and that was it until half two. As well as rolls, they were selling bags of proper pork scratchings, which went down very nice with the beer.

The rain had stopped when we came out, but wandered through the City centre to another fine pub that also had a beer festival; The Murderers. We took a table in the corner and nursed our beers until nearly four, at which point we walked back down to the station and onto the train. and at half four it glided out of the station and the Norfolk countryside slid by, basking in the rays of the setting sun.

We changed again at Colchester, climbing onto a commuter service, getting off at Stratford, and after a short wait, the train back to Dover. It had been a long day, but good.
Time enough once in Dover for Jools and I to call in at a chippy for supper, and back home to eat and then to bed.

The fastest way to France

Monday, 24 October 2011

Monday 24th October 2011

None of us are getting any younger, I know that, but from to time, we must face our own mortality. All last week, I have had a pain in my back, and I think it is a flare-up of sciatica. So, on a glorious sunny Saturday, I spend the whole day in and around the house. Not perfect, but I really need to get rid of this pain. So, early on, we head to Tesco, and I buy a couple of boxes of ibuprofen with which to tackle the pain and swelling, and head back home to rest and generally not sit on the hard dining room chairs.
So, I sit on the sofa to finish reading the new Mark Kermode book about the state of modern cinema; always nice to read someone who has such firm views, and views which are probably right.

I listened to the football on the radio, then thought about signing up with ESPN so I could watch the Liverpool v Norwich game which kicked off at half five. The £9 a month would increase the monthly Sky bill to over £66; I baulked, and decided that it was too much. So, I made do with checking the BBC website for score updates whilst we watched Time Team on C4. In a fraught finish, despite being under pressure for most of the game, City equalise through Grant Holt can come away with a hard-earned point and rise to 7th in the table, although that would drop to 8th when Arsenal win on Sunday.

Waldershare Gold

On Sunday morning we head out after I watch the re-run of MOTD so I can see the City goal. We drive the short distance to Waldershare and go for a walk behind the old church. Still no fungi to see, the weather has been so dry, it hardly seems possible. The woodland floor is clear of wild garlic and bluebells, but have been replaced with a carpet of ivy, which contrasts with the leaf litter which has begun to pile up.


The sunlight shone through the canopy and left dappled light along the path, not a breath of wind stirred the air, all around was filled with a fine golden light and underfoot, chestnuts cracked still in their husks.

Canopy Light

We headed to Deal, as we thought a walk along the beach would be nice. It was better than nice, good in fact. Having no change meant we had to park on the main road, but we only had a short walk to the beach, and then along to the pier. Even though it is the end of October, it was warm enough to have no coat on, and children played in the sand on the beach.

Classic Deal

I took some shots and some sly people watching before we headed back home for an early lunch of mozzarella cheese and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil accompanied by garlic bread and an ice cold beer. Heck, we know how to live!

Then I settled down on the sofa, soon joined by my furry lap warmer, Scully, and we settled down to watch the Manc derby, which became something of a jaw-dropping game in which Citeh trounced Utd 6-1 at the Theatre of Revised Dreams. The victory was total, and City could have scored many, many more.

For dinner we had pie, steak and ale pie with veg and gravy. And then with all the chores completed, we settled down to watch an evening of QI to entertain us.


Friday, 21 October 2011

Friday 21st October 2011

And its Friday . Which is a good thing. A very good thing.

Work has been a painful experience, with the technicians not going offshore until today. Things is it appears most technicians seem to have the mental age of four, and so it is like trying to work in a playschool; only more rowdy. Listening to them using Google Language tools to swear at each other. I thought the novelty would wear off after ten minutes; two hours later they were still going.


And then there was the course. Many of the technicians took part in a two day safety course, which was conducted in the office. Having a phone conversation whilst a lecture is going on is un uncomfortable experience. So, I worked from home a couple of days, which worked. I had some important conferences and I needed to be able to hear what was being said, and be able to input myself.

So, I worked from home, which means having to deal with the cats, but I can quiet them down with a bowl of kitty kibbles; if only I could do that with the guys in the office……..

The long, golden autumn has continued, the sunshine has been wonderful, although the days are cooler now. And the nights are downright chilly. The moon is waning now, and is at about a quarter with the new moon next Wednesday I think. And I hope to go out next week to snap shots of the milky way, for which dark skies are needed. That is for next week.

As is the Norwich Beer festival, which my friend Matt and I are heading up early on Tuesday to be there for the lunchtime session, and try some good beers. Beers!

Last night we headed out to Folkestone to see Eliza Carthy in concert. We arrived early and sat in the bar and watched the drug dealers in the street below, going about their business in clear view, selling baggies and pocketing money. They seemed happy. A group of women gathered in the doorway of a building opposite, one had a house broom, and they might have been watching out for the Feds. Or not. In time, we went into the auditorium for the show.

Dawn, 20th October 2011

A single singer, armed with just an acoustic guitar struggled with the flu to entertain us; he did good, did not catch his name, but he is from Suffolk and has a rich baritone voice and I would see again. He did one song about werewolves which was very good. He left, checks were made, one two, one two, drums banged, guitars strummed, and finally the sound guy was happy and gave the thumbs up.


The band came on and played their hearts out. Eliza squeezed her squeeze box, played her guitar, played the violin with the skill of a classically trained musician. But then she was the child of two folk music greats. And she sang like an angel. An angel with a northern accent, but her wordplay is brilliant, and she clearly had so much fun in just playing. Which is more that can be said for the bassist, Ann Smith (I think) who had a look that would turn fresh milk the whole evening.

And then it ended, and we walked back to the car, headed home, and up on the cliffs at Capel, looking out over the Channel, the lights of France, from Boulogne all the way to Calais could be seen, so clear. Still takes the breath away.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Monday 17th October 2011

It has been a quiet weekend, well, on the photography front. after what have been a few busy weeks, it seemed right to do more domestic things. That's how it turned out, but it really wasn't planned that way.


First of all, the glorious weather has continued, at least here in Kent.Although the temperatures have been half the 30 degrees of the beginning of October. But still, we are ten weeks from Christmas and less than three from Guy Fawkes night. The forecast promised bright starts with days of unbroken sunshine. so, what better way to start the weekend than a walk through Kings Wood near Challock looking for fungi to snap? and the sunshine would be good for autumnal colours too.

The Kings Wood

So, up at normal time of just before six, breakfast and a cuppa, and into the car and off to the other side of Ashford. As we drove, the clear sky turned from dark blue to orange to red as sunrise neared, and as we left Folkestone behind, the rising sun filled my rear-view mirror and bathed the countryside in warm golden light.

We arrive at kings Wood to find we are only the second car in the car park, and after getting our camera gear out of the boot, we set off in search of fungi. My friend, gary, had mentioned that a period of rain might be needed to bring all the fungi out, but even then, I wasn't expecting there to be so few. Just the one in fact.

Jools and dawn

So, I got down on my belly amongst the pine needles and snapped away. I got some shots, and we moved off.
As dawn and sunrise is now at a civilised hour of half seven, the early morning light, with sunshine showing through the canopy and branches of the trees, that was magical enough to have made the trip out worthwhile.

We walked along bridleways, narrow paths and through sunlight filled clearings. At one point we stopped to collect chestnuts, and filled our pockets. We walked back to the car, and arrived back as more and more cars arrived, spilling out more walkers and dog-owners.

We headed home, and arrived back with a healthy appetite and so had lunch whilst listening to the radio, and then i settled down to watch the 'big game' of the weekend, Liverpool v Manchester United, which drifted in time to a dull draw. And then an afternoon of trying to stay awake whilst laying on the sofa whilst listening to the main bunch of matches that kicked off at three.

Norwich were two up in ten minutes against Swansea, and went on to win 3-1,which I was happy about, needless to say.

As the dawn had been so wonderful on Saturday, we thought we should get up and watch Sunday's edition from the cliffs. We left the house just before seven, and were there in less than 5 minutes.

The lead in

The sky was more than half covered with dark clouds, but the sky over the Channel towards where the sun would rise was clear enough. we sat and waited with me taking many shots. The sun rose at about half seven, and we glimpsed it through the haze about Calais.

We headed back home for breakfast, and soon after headed out to a garden centre, like many millions of other Brits, to pick up a few things, and then spend the rest of the day alternating between chores in and out of the house, watching football, and regular breaks for tea and/or beer. It worked.

I did watch most of the football during the afternoon, despite it being quite uninspiring. The Arse managed to get a win despite being average, at best, against Sunderland, whilst the Toon v Spurs game only came to life in the 2nd half.

We had a fine roast dinner, and then sat down to watch the extended version of Terminator 2, before the weekend finally ran out and we headed to bed and wait for Monday morning to arrive.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Thursday 13th October 2011

And so to Sunday.

And as forecast, the rain did fall. Not hard, but it was a damp, dank and dark morning. After breakfast I sat at the computer and did some picture editing, and listen to Saturday’s radio shows. Just perfect.

The rain stopped, and so Jools decided to do some work in the garden; bulbs to plant and weeds to pull. I went into the kitchen and made a cake: spicy pumpkin. I had no honey which the recipe called for, so used some of our apple and sloe jelly. It worked well. And so we sat in the garden in the early afternoon sunshine, drinking coffee and eating the cake. Yum.

Late in the afternoon, I put the joint of beef in the oven and prepared the vegetables. Now, I had planned to watch the NFL, as there had been no football over the weekend. Well, not since Friday night when England stumbled to a 2-2 draw with the might of Montenegro. It was depressing stuff, doubly so as the potato-faced wonderboy of English football got himself sent off for being stupid. No, not being stupid, if people were sent off for that he would never play. No, he did something even more stupid, kicked out at a defender that had robbed the ball. And Wayne was walking off the pitch for an early bath. The result means that England have qualified for next year’s European Championship; a nation said, ‘Me.’ After years of disappointments, I think the average England fan’s expectations of what to expect is now way more realistic than in previous years, and I get the feeling that most would not have minded if we had not qualified. Scotland have one last chance if they beat Spain on Tuesday they would make the play-offs. I’ll ruin the suspense by telling you that they lost 3-1 and so failed to make it, but showed great spirit in losing and things might just look better for them in the World Cup qualifiers.

In the end, we watched a TV show about a submerged city in Greece, sounded good, but in the end turned into another computer graphics demonstration as animations of buildings springing up from the seabed followed one another again and again and again.

So, back to the working week. It is now getting light was we leave the house in the morning, and on the way home I drive into the setting sun, if it can be seen. Temperatures are near normal, but warm enough on a sunny day. Leaves are beginning to turn gold, and if the weather behaves itself at the weekend we hope to head to Kingswood to snap some foliage.

On Tuesday night, I got a request played on the wireless. On Mark Radcliffe’s Music Club he played my selection of the ‘first, last and everything’ slot. It was a small thrill to hear the songs and my words of introduction. You can hear the show here until next Tuesday:

In cat news: we have had a multitude of mice and rats have been brought into the house; the mice have been mostly alive, and it has become rather tiresome chasing released mice form cat’s jaws. We know there are probably two mice in the house still. The rats have at least been dead, little albino ratlets laying in various poses in and outside the house, their pink eyes lifeless. Into the bin they go.

And Mulder has a skin infection; so another trip to the vet; I am sure they keep the 5:15 appointment free just for us in case we need it. Not sure what caused all the fur to drop out from around his left ey, but he's none the worse, so we'll keep (ahem) an eye on it.

Happy cat

And yesterday it was Scully's turn to go tot he vet for her annual jab; but typically, upon arriving home we were cat-less. And so it stayed until a full hour after the apointment, in she wanders. We'll try again this evening.

Last night I looked out the bedroom window to see Mulder and Scully pouncing on various bushes in the from garden, hunting for some poor rodent. As I lay in bed, a lone rodent squeal pierced the night and all was quiet. Quiet until Molly meowed under our bedroom window and did not stop until she was let in.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sunday 9th October 2011

I am sure I have spoken about this before, but a wonder of the modern world is when you get to meet one of your online friends for real. It is getting less and less unusual i guess, but still arranging to meet someone you may have just read blogs or, in my case, looking at the photographs, that your friend, online friend, may have uploaded.


So, when I heard another friend of mine from Flickr that he was visiting London and had a spare day in which he would like to see some sights, I offered to head up to London to show him round. So, on the list was: Westminster, Tate Modern, St Pauls, Lloyds Building, Tower Bridge and the list goes on.

So, up again, just like on a work day, up before dawn down to Dover Priory and onto the High Speed train through Kent and under most of Essex and East London to Stratford. Instead of walking through the gilded palace of shopping that is Westfield. So, we go to the new DLR station and head down to Canning Town before changing onto the Jubilee Line to head to Westminster near where we were due to meet Mark.

Stratford International DLR Station

I had given him my mobile number in case he could not find us; it seemed I had covered everything. except leaving my fully charged mobile at home. I just had to hope he could find the meeting place, a branch of Starbucks behind the old County Hall building.

The leaning tower of Westminster

We walked round Parliament Square, we had not been there since we first met back in 2006. There were the tents of various protesters the other side of the road, and a few policemen stood at the various entrances. Traffic was light, and so it was a very quiet weekend at the seat of government. I took a few shots and then we walked over Westminster Bridge towards Country Hall and Starbucks.

Blue Eye

Mark arrived right on time, and after a chat we headed out along the Thames to Hungerford Bridge at Charing Cross, regaling him with what we thought might be interesting information.

V is for Gherkin

We walked along the Embankment, and then up through the Inns of the Court to see the Temple, up to Fleet Street to St Paul's and then past that up into the City to the Lloyds Building which had been high on his list of places to visit. A short walk away was The Gherkin, and then back down towards the Bank of England.

St Paul's

We called in at a pub for beer, and ended up staying for lunch and more beer. Mark and Jools had steak and ale pie, I had a burger. It was unremarkable fare, but the beer good and cheap (for London), and we were feeling much better as we hit the hard streets of London.

1 Poultry

Jools headed for Ally Pally for a craft fair, and so Mark and myself headed back down to the River, walked along the Thameside path to the Millennium Bridge and crossing there and head towards Tate Modern.

Blue Steel

The Tate is housed in a former power station, and is an imposing building. It has the best that the modern art world has to offer, although I can't claim to be impressed by much that hung on it's walls. However, we did look round most of it, and I did see some stuff that thrilled but most baffled.

Leadenhall Market

We ended up on the top floor where we had planned to eat lunch. It was good we ate earlier, as it was heaving with people, and the great views advertised over the London skyline was mostly hidden behind the heads of those already eating or drinking.

We walked back down, and outside into the gathering gloom as the clouds thickened and the air held the promise of rain soon. we walked to Southwark, and looked at Borough Market. That's not really true, as the crowds were so dense we stopped after a couple of minutes and went inside the cathedral next door.

Tate Modern

And so we walked to City Hall, to a small cafe for coffee, and then it was time to say goodbye as I had to meet Jools at St Pancras and he prepare for an early start on Sunday morning as his tour round Britain was due to start at six in the morning.

I headed back up the Northern Line from London Bridge to st Pancras, and Jools was waiting at the Betjeman Arms. We had a drink and then it was time to head towards the Southeastern platforms and our train back to Dover.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

500th blog. Wednesday 5th October 2011

In September 2008, my life, our life was about to change.

Up to that point I had blogged on either myspace or I began to enjoy writing, but was frustrated with the lack of flexibility that those platforms offered. I am a photographer of sorts, and I wanted to illustrate my words with photographs I had taken, and so I decided to stop writing on myspace, and in time on matchdoctor too, and only write on Blogspot, which offered a simple to use interface and the ability to imbed photographs and videos, something that is doubly easy with Flickr providing easy to use links making embedding simple as a copy and paste.

So, in Spetember, Jools and I got married, went on honeymoon; I then went back to sea, had time off, sold my house, got headhunted, handed in my notice with Gardline, spent Christmas in the Shetlands, left Gardline, bought our new house, moved in, joined UTEC, went to Kazakhstan, came home, went to Paris on holiday, UTEC went into administration, next day lost my job, spent three months on t’dole, joined the place where Jools works on minimum wage, got laid off the day after Christmas, three more months on t’dole, saw an ad for my current job, got made permanent. And here we are, today.

I don’t usualy like to be so retrospective, but this is my 500th blog on here, and it details quite some changes, some up and down, highs and lows, but hopefully it is still in an upward direction, and we hope that we are heading towards a bright and glorious future.

So, here’s to the last 499 blogs, and to the next 500.


Monday, 3 October 2011

Monday 3rd October 2011

Phew, what a scorcher.

Phew, what a scorcher. Again.

Phew, what a scorcher. Repeat until autumn arrives.

Which could be on Tuesday or Wednesday. Apparently. Although, I am having serious doubts about the weather service; I mean this is friggin October, and we have the hottest night of the year. How does that work? It was four balls hot last night. By that I mean when we went to bed four balls of our Galileo thermometer had sunk, and that is darn hot. Too hot for cats, most cats anyway, to spend the night in when they could be out terrorising the local mice population. Although, we have had no gifts for a few days, well inside the house, although there was a small rat under the car on Saturday. My little thought through plan to throw dead rat in the hedge was shown to be a poor one as it began to hum as we had our bbq on Sunday night.

I'm like a bird

But before then we had to live through what turned out to be the hottest ever October day. We got up at half five, had a coffee and then headed out to the cliffs, as we wanted to watch the sunrise. One of the many bonuses of living so near Dover and the White Cliffs is that on occasion we can see France across the Channel; and most mornings, the sun rises over France. So, off in the car and park up beside Bluebirds Café, and walk to the cliff edge and wait.

Sunrise over France

From our vantage point, we could see all the way looking over east Kent to Ramsgate on our left, and then over the expanse of the Channel and round to South Foreland and the ferries coming and going from Dover Harbour. The air was still and the sky was all sorts of colours, oranges, reds and as you looked further up fading to dark blue and black. Contrails littered to sky towards where the sun would rise. I snapped away, at the scene, the passing boats and seagulls. It was magical.
And just before seven the sun began to rise above the horizon; I took a whole series of shots, ending when the disc became too bright to look at. In all we had been there for about 40 minutes, and we had had the place pretty much to ourselves, the world slept on through the wonder of the dawn of a new day.

We drove along the coast to Dover Coastguard station so I could take a shot of Dover Castle in the warm morning light. We found a place to park beside Upper Road, and I got my shots. The trees still have not changed colour, so the scene was still mostly green, but hopefully the change in foliage colour will come in time.

Dover Castle

After breakfast I headed out to the butchers for some meat-based supplies, and being still so early I had to roads pretty much to myself. The light was sensational, and you have to keep reminding yourself that it is October not July.

It was already very hot, and our planned walk on Sheppy was cancelled, and instead I sat down at the computer to process the shots from the sunrise and listen to the radio. After lunch it was the Merseyside Derby, and so I sat on the sofa and watched millionaires running around in the hot sunshine. A beer was tempting, but I resisted. And then at three all the other games kicked off, and Norwich’s game at Old Trafford was the commentary on Radio 5. City held out until well into the second half before conceding twice. We also missed a couple of chances, but once again were not embarrassed, which is always a worry when playing a ‘top team.’

That night we watched the final part of Smiley’s People, it was very good I have to say, but maybe like TTSS it needs an updating.

Sunday morning we did head out to Sheppy for our walk. We left home at eight, and drove along to Chatham and then over the bridge to Sheppy. The drive from the main road to Leysdown over the marshes to Harty is a lumpy, bumpy one, and for the most part is single track. The road is subsiding badly in places, and is pot-holed by frost damage.

Common Hawker

We parked up at Harty Church, and walked along the track to the water’s edge and then along on the earthen barrier which keeps the fresh and salt water apart. And man, was it hot? By now it was past ten, and the heat of the day was really climbing. At one point there is a large hedge which is good for spotting butterflies and dragonflies. And I did get some fine shots of a few dragonflies; it required me to stand still for a while, and watch the dragonflies to see if one would settle and then sneak over to get as close as possible to get my shots.

Common darters

Back to the car, and back of the island as it was not yet opening time. My plan was to head to Goodnestone to take shots of the inside of the church, as last time I was there it was being renovated. And beside the church is a very fine looking pub, and if we timed it right, it would be just about opening time after I had snapped the church.
As it turned out it took longer to get to Goodnestone than planned; the M2 was chocker with cars as people from North Kent and London headed for the coast. We just managed to avoid a shunt in a queue of traffic.

The church was open, and inside was magnificent. The stonework looks pristine again, and all the work looks to have been well worth the effort and cost. Back outside, it was gone twelve, but the pub was closed for refurbishment, and so we had to adopt plan B. Find another pub. After doging more traffic in the naroow lanes, we ended up at Eythorne and got a table outside The Crown, had cold, sweet beers and beef ploughmans. That was good. And the day was now at its hottest, and there was little to do that slump on the sofa and try to stay awake through ‘Super Sunday’.

I did try to watch the NFL afterwards, but I am finding it hard to get excited about it. I tried to watch the Lions/Cowboys game; it was a great game, but my concentration faded and I ended up switching it off before the 4th quarter began.

And like that the weekend had passed.