Sunday, 5 February 2012

Ice Station Donkey

There's a global downturn on, okay?

We couldn't afford the Zebra, but they're only donkeys with a fab paint job, aren't they?

And I drank enough at the wedding on Friday to kill a donkey and I may have made an ass of myself........

No change there then.

But by golly, was I feeling rough on Saturday morning.......

Still, as the old Soho saying goes, if you can't do the time, don't do the crime, so I hauled myself out of my pit at 09.00 to help our neighbour, Rhoda, take nb Malus into Cambridge to pump out.

She kindly proffered black coffee which I drank, toast which I ignored and patience which I appreciated.

Despite feeling like a barrow-load of warmed-up pig-poo, I actually rather enjoyed the trip.

Malus is Rhoda's new boat, and is due to be blacked this summer. So when we hit sheet ice upstream of the A14 bridge, the order was given to maintain course and increase to ramming speed.

Ice-breaking is great fun, and I think more pictures were taken of us on that trip than in the previous year.

The ice was much less evident in Cambridge itself, and judicious speed adjustment meant there was no risk of harming the blacking on the boats moored there.

So we did the necessary, turned about and returned to The Parish, by which time I was beginning to resemble a human life form, even if the inside of my head still felt three times too large for the skull containing it.

Now, normal people would have quit there wouldn't they, not so much 'while they're ahead' as 'making a passably good fist of drawing level'....



My beloved had booked us tickets to attend a concert of music and readings at The Cambridge Corn Exchange. Although I still felt dreadful, I owed it to her to attend for not abandoning me, more than somewhat taken in wine, somewhere between Kensington and Kings Cross the previous evening.

I took another handful of painkillers and went wearily to my fate.

Actually, you know, it really wasn't too bad.

We had The City of London Sinfonia doing the music and Hugh Bonneville doing the readings.

Jackie really likes Hugh Bonneville.

I should find this worrying, I suppose, but I reckon if she'd wanted to marry an award winning, internationally famous actor, then she would have done.

Instead she married me.

So I take the view that these cultural outings are improving, worthy, and probably designed to stop me getting complacent.

Which is all fair enough I suppose.

Another thing in HuBo's favour, of course, is that he isn't Colin-bloody-Firth!!

Now that would get right up my nose.......

Anyway, the readings were from Scott of the Antarctic's diary, movingly brought to life by Mr Bonneville.

The music was less successful. It was technically excellent in every way. The guest tenor did a remarkable job with a very demanding piece which, for all of that, was terribly hard on the ear. So hard, in fact, I found myself wishing Scott had taken the composer along with him.........

The evening ended on a much less atonal and thusly far happier note with a mostly instrumental piece (a worrisome soprano did keep interpolating on an extended 'ah', but I think someone eventually paid her to sing in another street as she left the platform before it concluded) which accompanied slides taken from Ponting's famous photographs of the expedition.

When we went outside, there was a full blizzard in progress.

I've never been much of a one for exploiting the pathetic fallacy, but it did seem apt.

Poor Scott.

All that bloody way to get pipped at the post, and then the march back........

I didn't realise he got to within eleven miles of the safety of One-Ton Depot.

So close!

But in those conditions it might just as well have been the moon.

Their remains were found eight months later........

1 comment:

  1. Beloved wife here - just like to say John was a drunk as a skunk on Friday and all bets are off (see previous post). And I really, really like Hugh Bonneville.