Monday, 12 October 2015

Return to civilisation

I spent the majority of today sitting in the front seat of our car with a computer on my lap, creating instrumental parts for Brass. In fact, I've taken every opportunity this weekend to sneak off and get another part or two in the can.

It seems a little odd to think that we were in Devon in that beautiful Tudor house this morning. Everything's a bit blurry and weird if I'm honest as we have slept very little over the last few days. We've had a lot on our minds. A few little issues on the secret project reared their heads on Friday and the pair of us have had to do a lot of soul-searching and decision-making as a result.

It was my god-daughter's 3rd birthday today, and we arrived at the party as soon as our car could get us the length of the M4, and straight through the middle of town to Columbia Road.

The party was, as you might expect, insane in all the good ways. Dylan, Little Silver's father, was running a "pin the tail on the donkey" contest, which was won by a girl who cheated like crazy by looking through her blindfold. I KNOW!! Every last fibre of my moral being screamed at the injustice! I regressed to my five year-old self and would have had a tantrum had I not found a lovely bowl of olives instead.

Moira and I discovered a little doll which cries and gurgles when you press a little button on its stomach. I have to say that it was, without doubt, the most sinister doll I have ever encountered, largely because its little shrieks weren't the cries of a hungry baby, but more the gurgling screams of a child being murdered! Heaven knows what possessed the manufacturers to go for those particular sounds. The doll also had quite a malleable head, which I managed to turn inside out at one point to create quite the most hysterically disturbing sight I've ever witnessed.

Pretty baby
A proud family...
The cake Philippa had made for her daughter was hugely delicious. It was covered in raspberries and cream and tasted like nectar. It was, Philippa confessed, saved by our friend Alex. I think it was meant as a three-layered masterpiece, but when Philippa got them out the oven, two cakes were raw and one was burned, so the end result was actually a product of the burned cake with the black stuff scraped off and a load of fairy cakes chopped up to create a bit more volume!

At a garage somewhere near Bristol earlier on, we filled up with twenty quid of petrol. We would have gone for more, but the diesel there was criminally expensive. Nathan very carefully made sure that only £20 went into the car, but as he put the pump back on the stand, the price display swung round an extra penny. Now this nonsense is happening all too often in garages these days. Some pumps make it nigh-on impossible to fill up a tank to the exact pound, knowing that most OCD people will stick in an extra quid in the tank in the process of having another shot at a read-out which has some visually satisfying zeros at the end! I've never known the extra penny to arbitrarily appear after the pump has been hung back up, however, and that feels extra specially dodgy. Of course no one will complain. They'll all assume they simply over squeezed. And what's a penny, after all? Well, if the average garage serves ten thousand people every day, that's a fair amount of extra money being diverted away from honest folk, innit?

As you might expect, Nathan refused to pay the extra penny. The lad behind the counter got sarcastic and then irate before saying he was not allowed to charge him for less petrol than he'd put in. "It's only a bloody penny" said the lad... "It's much more than that, said Nathan, it's a principle." As the queue behind Nathan grew and grew, the situation became more embarrassing and comical, with other customers offering to give Nathan the penny and the man behind the counter saying he'd call the police. Eventually he capitulated saying "you win" with an woeful lack of good grace. "Thank you" said Nathan, breezing out of the shop, "and THAT'S good service..."

For those of you who have been reading about our Cornish and Devonian adventures, here are a few snaps courtesy of Nathan...


Jamaica Inn? No she went of her own accord... 
Green men
Medieval man
Tintagel beach


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