Saturday, 17 September 2016

Reading hell

We were woken up in the night by the mother of all claps of thunder. It was so loud, I leapt into the air. The rain was belting down, which meant an obligatory rush about the house closing windows and preparing ourselves for a flood. A bucket needs to go under one of the skylights in the loft and we have a water proof sheet which goes down on the living room carpet. It's all rather Withnail and I. All the electrical items are then removed from anywhere water might seep in. We watched a river flowing down the A1 for a while and then went back to bed. It was a curious rush of adrenaline to experience in the wee smalls!

It was brother Edward's birthday today, so I called him at lunch time after spending a morning slaving over a hot piano. I now have a blister on my finger from playing so much (#badtechnique!) We then took ourselves to Brent Cross via Muswell Hill to do a spot of shopping with the Jews and the Asians. Brent Cross attracts such a profoundly unique demographic. The "special occasion" section in the card shop in John Lewis is full of pictures of menorahs.

This evening I drove to Reading to help out with another quiz. This one was literally in the middle of nowhere. I didn't think nowheresville happened near Reading. I thought it was all M4 corridor towns, shopping malls and service stations in those parts. It turns out it's full of winding, single track country lanes and no reception, which is, of course, a nightmare for sat nav systems. Mine got me royally lost, and had me going in circles for half an hour, getting more and more het up. It deposited me by a barbed wire fence and told me I'd need to park the car and walk the rest of the way! Thankfully I left civilisation with plenty of time to spare, having heard that the storms last night were playing havoc with the roads. It took me three hours to drive 45 miles.

Good quiz. Rowdy bunch. I'm not sure three were many die-hard quizzers in their number but the quiz master got the tone of the questions just right, so they all had fun. There were lots of gizmos. Buzzers. Giant screens. Sound effects. Bells and whistles. There was a free bar...

The journey home was marred by a hell of a lot of roadworks. Again, I assume they were all emergency repairs as a result of flash flood damage. It was one hell of a storm! They don't half cone off large sections of road for the smallest of repair jobs, however. The North Circular at gone midnight was at a standstill with traffic jams stretching from Hangar Lane to Staples Corner seemingly so that a tiny little van and a little cluster of men in high viz could open a man hole cover. A little later, a chap in a flashing cherry picker was examining a bridge. Dull. I got home at 1am.

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