Sam, Nathan and I are sitting with my Dad watching excerpts from this year's Proms. We're currently watching a soprano singing Mozart with an early music ensemble. She's doing a lovely job with some brilliantly pure top notes and freakishly precise runs, but she's also doing "opera singer acting" which I find very embarrassing. There altogether too much coquettish pouting and flickering eyes for my liking. I'm also not that into early music ensembles. Playing cellos without spikes strikes me as affected rather than sonically interesting.
Our holiday has started and Sam and I piled into the car in Highgate in the late afternoon and headed north to Thaxted, after picking Nathan up at Tottenham Hale.
I'd spent the morning driving around London having woken up utterly deaf. I immediately realised I had the mother of all issues with wax and took myself to a clinic in Parson's Green where I know they do ear syringing. Naturally, I pretended I'd been putting olive oil in my ears for a week or so like a good boy and the nurse confirmed that I had huge quantities of wax stuffed up there. She also told me that I had very small ear canals. You learn something new every day. I've always known that the outside of my ears were little. It turns out I'm not a Tardis. And you know what they say about little ears? Big teeth.
Anyway, the syringing had a fabulous effect on both my balance, and my ability to hear high-pitched sounds.
And speaking of teeth, I had an appointment with the dental hygienist in the mid-afternoon. She scraped and scrubbed and tutted and told me I had mild acid erosion and that I needed to wear my gum guard more regularly. She also told me to drink water after eating anything vaguely acidic. I got very uncomfortable in the chair but my teeth now feel gloriously clean.
We reached Thaxted at about 7. Stuart, Sally and their girls were here, and we celebrated my Dad's birthday (2 days early) with presents, a fabulous buffet of food, and a night of brilliant games, including home-made versions of Call My Bluff and Pictionary and a board game called Scategories which made us laugh like lunatics. It was a brilliant night and a great prelude to our holiday which begins in earnest tomorrow with a journey up the A1.