Monday, 24 July 2017

Prances with Wolves

I've made a bit of a decision in the last couple of weeks: that I'm going to start saying no a bit more often. If I'm feeling tired, run down, rushed, ill-prepared or possibly-maybe-coming-down-with-something (especially if that something is skintness), I'm going to say no. No to spontaneous drinking sessions with 6.7% cider (seemed like a good idea at the time). No to organising events someone else has thought of. No to "ooh go one, just one more episode of Poldark  even though it's gone midnight" (that's my own brain, that). No to feeling I have to prove myself as a go-getting woman of the world. Quite frankly, I am done with saying boo to geese... and what a stupid thing that is. Why do you say a timid person wouldn't say boo to a goose? It's a very sensible person who wouldn't say boo to a goose, I say. Or any word for that matter! Why go near geese? They are proper feisty. Only an idiot would go and say boo to a goose.

Anyway, I'm done with attempting to provoke angry responses from pond-dwelling birds. Except maybe little mandarin ducks because they are way too cute. No, you're right. No riling ducks either!

No need for all that any more. I'm a confident, high-achieving woman with at least 4 strings on my bow, which is why I haven't played violin since I was 10. But there is going to be a lot more of me in my house this week, getting things I want done. Maybe even cleaning the windows (weather pending).

It will all be in the cause of self-preservation. Speaking of which, I prettied up one of my gooseberry jams to take to my dad's this weekend.

And while I was at it, I also whizzed up a quick pesto; this one of yellow sticker watercress. That's just for me and my lunches that is. Very yummy too.

It was nice to be back in the Black Country this weekend, if weird through its unfamiliar familiarity, if you know what I mean. I've probably been away too long.

I noticed there is a trail of wolves throughout Wolverhampton, but I was only able to spot three on my journey, one of which was spied through the window of the No. 1 bus.

Now, the No. 1 bus is a very odd thing, because it is exactly the same route as the 558 used to be, but seems to have got rebranded as numero uno at the same time as the buses were fitted with a broad-accented bus-stop announcer. "Next stop. Dudley Rowud, Springfee-uld Grow-uv."

... incidentally  that's where I got off the bus, and promptly bumped into my Uncle Chris and his partner (also Chris).

Aw... my family! As we walked the couple hundred yards until I could take the alleyway to the park I wanted to walk through, I saw loads of their neighbours open up windows and shout hello. It was like being in Pigeon Street, or Ballamory for even younger readers. Aw... Sedgley!

As much as nothing had changed thus far and it was all super friendly and delightful, I was in for a shock when I got to the bridge that leads out of Sedgley Hall Farm Park. This was the sight I was greeted with:

As far as I know, that's a right of way that's been blocked off, and that's no ruddy good. Never mind making it 'safe'; that bridge has been there since I was 8, and before that was some pretty well-used stepping stones. Here it is on the OS map:

I wonder if there's anywhere I could complain to about this? And did I climb over...? Yes I ruddy well did! Very, very slowly. But, I must say, it did put me off offering to take this scamp for a walk... though here he is, all tuckered out after my step-sister did.  Aw, Bandit sleepy!

I was back in the Black Country to see my dad, which was very lovely indeed. But also, I had a gig on the Sunday. This was at Bushfest  the summer comedy festival organised by the Holly Bush in Cradley Heath: loads of acts all weekend, free entry, very cheap beer. I had an ace time at my early Sunday afternoon gig slot, and then hung around to see the excellent Milo McCabe as Troy Hawke. An absolute masterclass in hilarious crowd-interaction. He must have spent 5 minutes trying not to lose a heckle-bark-off with a dachshund in the audience, I fair thought my sides might split. Great stuff about Scrabble and Poundland.
Good to see me old muckers from the comedy circuit, Dave (Wolfy), Dinzy, Jay, Pete (Trisha), Cal (Mike or Bug-eyed Bernard) and Billy. Second time I'd gigged with Pete this week... and this time, Id forgotten to pack any makeup whatsoever, so I was on stage utterly bare-face, while he was in the full MAC as per usual. Aw heck, I'm just jealous!

And thence back to Northampton via Smethwick and Birmingham New Street, where the wolves looked a bit funny.

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