Sunday 27 October 2002

An incredibly blustery day, and Helen Weber’s Birthday! Or, as I should be accustoming myself to call her, Helen Denton. Hosted by Hazel, with assistance from yours truly, we celebrated with a comfort food lunch with Helen and Charlie, Bruce & Roopa (and Bump), Penny, James & Henry.

Plenty to eat and drink, with Henry showing an early grasp of that essential toddler ploy “offer to walk around with the crisps, and you can help yourself en route”. But no photos – and I even took the Ixus round to H’s with me, together with 2 chairs, 1 large saucepan, icecream, bicarb, fizzy water, cutlery, baking dish, margerine etc etc etc

==Menu ==
Bangers (Asda Gourmet. Yes, I got Hazel to cross the A.S.D.A. threshold) and Mash, with Delia’s Red Wine Sauce for Sausages, and Baked Mushrooms and Garlic
Ruth’s Mum’s Sticky Toffee Pudding, with B&J DIY Vanilla Icecream
Selection of chocolate mints – not that anyone had much space left after seconds (and still some left to spare!)

(see what you missed Phil!)

A phone call from Laura resulted in her arrival as a surprise guest later on in the afternoon. Scuppered by the storms, which “justified” the closure of most of the Virgin lines (and as I discovered when I tried to nip to B&Q/Homebase in Wandsworth Town, all routes in and out of Waterloo), Laura opted to sit out Ian’s attendance at the Boss’s only show in the UK chez nous. So we all vegged and chatted and finished off the luncheon leftovers and assorted beverages, half watching Sunday night comfort telly. All very pleasant and snooze inducing.

10 years on – Michele manoeuvres us back to the Alma Mater

Spent a great weekend in Scotland – Edinburgh, St Andrews and Fife.

Got off to a dodgy start, with what turned out to be a 4 hour delay to our easyJet flight. Not a disaster, but only reaching the home of Scots family Robertson at gone midnight put paid to our plans for a civilised catch up over dinner.

EasyJet’s sop of a refund looks like being a damp squib, albeit one which magicked away a plane load of passengers’ anger at the delay and complete absence of information during that delay. It’s less airport taxes, and having looked at how their fares are structured, is bound to be for the one way flight. So much for H and my plans to use the refund to fund a flight to take advantage of H’s dad’s new flat in Antibes.

Vegged in Corstorphine with Helen, Mark and Emily, and Hel’s parents (Quite a houseful!) before driving though to St Andrews in the Fiat Stilo (fingers crossed that turns out to be the bargain it seemed when booking fri to sun for £39 all in.

I love the way the Forth Rail Bridge looks under blue skies in bright sunlight, which were the gorgeous conditions which celebrated our entry into the Kingdom of Fife.

St Andrews seemed bereft of Students, so we made up for their absence by taking over Ma Bells for the afternoon, window shopping (and playing “what usesd to be here”) around the town shops, reconvening after an afternoon nap for dinner at The Dolls House. That ended up to be a drunken affair, complete with serviette tricks and a spectacular spillage of main course sauce down my front. I like to entertain.

The diners were:

Michele & Jamie
Ruth & Peter
Liz & Will
Allan & Lynda
Catherine & Chris (engaged!)
Kirsty
Hazel
Me

Photos here!

Returned to Brownlees B&B (recommended) via whiskeys at the Russell hotel, and continued the indulgent theme, watching Angel from our beds.

Sunday was more sedate, but equally well fuelled food-wise. Walked the West Sands for an hour, back to cross the 18th Green and the ?swiliken burn bridge – no rounds on the Sunday you see….

Coffee and newspapers in the (new) Janetta’s cafe before meeting up with everyone for lunch and trashy papers at the Vic Cafe. Walked off the potatoes wedges down at the Harbour – the pier is still fenced off – and along the East Sands.

Prize for the Most Extreme Transformation of a St Andrews Watering Hole goes to the West Port. You’ll have to experience it for yourself to appreciate it. If you never experienced the 1/2 pint max rule under old Mrs X’s proprietorship, you won’t really be able to appreciate the extent of the transformation.

Drove around the fishing villages of the East Neuk, and the less attractive industrial towns which line the north banks of the Firth of Forth.

Our flight back to Gatwick was only 30 mins late taking off – result!

Shattered, but happy after a busy, lazy, indulgent weekend.

09 February 2014: Photos now appearing on Flickr in St Andrews, October 2002.

Burning Man 2002

My holiday snaps are up in my photobook!

Busy captioning them in spare moments at work.

09 February 2014: Photos now found on Flickr, Burning Man 2002.

As far as I can recall, this is what we did:

24 – 25 August 2002: preparations in San Francisco
26 August 2002: driving from San Francisco to Reno via the BMCCC Carson City lock up
27 August 2002: driving from Reno to Black Rock City for Burning Man 2002: The Floating World
27 August – 02 September 2002: Burning Man 2002: The Floating World
03 – 05 September 2002: Lake Tahoe
06 September 2002: San Francisco
07 September 2002: Santa Clara / Sunnyvale

(Another collection recreated following Fotopic’s demise)

Diary – Sunday 04 August 2002

After amazing sheet lightening and rain storms, complete with thunder during the night and early morning, we emerged to breakfast al fresco outside on the deckchairs – just like the blue ones we used to have at the cottage – it must have been the standard Argos offering c 1980! The sun got stronger and the ground dryer as the day progressed, so we took sandwich materials, teabags and dry matches to the beach hut feeling very Famous Five, and spent the afternoon sitting on the beach, looking out to sea, at bronzing families and beach boulers, yachts and speedboats, reading Shogun (quelle surprise) and Cities of Civilization (Phil). Hot enough for lashings of sun tan lotion and bottles of water. Late lunch, no icecreams, even with a shop within 40 paces!

We returned to the caravan as the afternoon cool set in and the dark clouds gathered ominously again. Fantastic having a beach hut to throw all the deckchair type paraphernalia into. The skies didn’t seem so heavy back at Naze Marine, and we pottered and read and tidied before walking to the station, just missing the 6.30. Strawberries helped to pass the time until the 19:15 trundled off to Thorpe-le-Soken and onward to the urban sprawl of East London, depositing us at Liverpool Street Station.

Caught the tube home via Clapham Common and the No 37 bus, getting a ‘I’ve gone to bed, shattered’ sms from Hazel en route. Detoured into CJ station to buy a cheese and mushroom West Cornish Pasty – slightly disappointing as always – and dispensed with unpacking in favour of bed and book and pasty. Asleep before 11pm – a befitted a weekend of slumbers!