Christmas and New Year celebrations, a 'mince pie burner' cycle ride and the seasonal flu
Well, you know how it is, one week off turns to 2 and unless I remount the blogging bicycle I may never get the ‘skills’ back.
Trouble is, I try to fill this up with activity, smoke and mirrors and if the activity ingredient is missing it’s hard to create smoke and this is not the moment of the world to look in mirrors.
On Thursday 19th I wobbled into Hounslow House to attend the Mayor’s pre-Christmas tea party but in my inimitable way I got the time wrong and all the mince pies and tea had gone. So I had to settle for a wee dram instead – shame.
The mayor has a twitter handle in Greek: “Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα. Δε φοβαμαι τίποτα. Είμαι λέφτερος. Δήμαρχος Χάονςλω”. According to Google translate this means: “I hope for nothing. I'm not afraid of anything. I'm a freak. Mayor of Huntslow”. I query Huntslow.
Suddenly Christmas is almost upon me and my Christmas day is on Sunday 22nd as daughter prefers to spend ‘real’ Christmas with her mum and mum’s partner in a very posh hotel. Can’t think why. Anyway it turns out to be a cracking day so we hitch up our horses and ride through Syon Park and Ducks Walk to Richmond, and back along the other side of the river, me on Pegasus and daughter on My Little Pony. She says the weedy little wheels make it very wobbly through the mud but we both survive. The Thames was a real torrent at Richmond Bridge.
After we got home I began to cough and snuffle and I realised I had man flu coming on, that I needed to take some Lemsip, whisky etc and above all to be very brave indeed. Anyway I got a full blown snuffle and this meant that I had to cancel the volunteering I had planned for the 23rd and 25th and spend Christmas Home Alone, though nothing scary happened unless you count Christmas TV, which is a bit of a House of Horror in its own right.
I filled some of the time with a touch of ancestor hunting and discovered that about 5 generations of my mothers side of the family all lived in Hawarden in North Wales and 5 generations of my father’s lot lived in Eccles, where my favourite cake comes from. I also discovered that my Great Grandma died in the Lancaster Lunatic Asylum so I reckon that explains quite a lot.
By Sunday I was fit enough to join the ‘Mince Pie Burner’ bike ride with Hounslow Cycling. Once again we had stunning weather and a very good turnout. A lovely long ride up the canal, through Osterley park and down the River Crane to end up at the London Apprentice.
How unutterably cool do we look?
Took daughter up to Norfolk on the Monday to see sister, nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces (actually they are all great) etc. Reminded me of the days when my favourite customer was Norwich City Council and my least favourite Breckland District (where sister happens to live) and how interminable is the drive there. Going to Hounslow and Feltham is a dream in comparison. Sister tells me her cat gets at least 4 rabbits every week. Country life, eh, but must save on the Whiskas.
Tuesday morning I decided to beat the bounds of the parish, as it were. Cycled up the cycleway to Boston Manor station, reporting a couple of potholes on the way, and having a quick shufti at Boston Manor park. It’s really disappointing that the football pitch is still not ready, after I was assured it would be OK for the beginning of the season in September! However, at least to an untrained eye it looks like it’s nearly there now and I believe the teams have been told it will be OK in January. Then I went across to Gunnersbury Park and back along the High Street and Kew Bridge Road.
I decided on a NYE pub crawl, going to the places advertising music. Started at the Brewery Tap where there was one Pete Saunders playing the joanna and singing. Except he wasn’t because nobody had provided a microphone. I heard that someone had been despatched to raid Pete’s store despite the said Pete being in Tenerife (or somewhere) on the grounds he was bound to have a microphone and sure as anything when I returned later on he was properly equipped and singing away nicely. This struck me as very Brentford, combining the official ‘Brilliant’ with the highly unofficial ‘Brentford is well buggy’, a piece of graffiti which someone pointed up a few years ago. Brilliant comes out on top every time, and Brentford is full of Petes.
Anyway I went along to the Northumberland Arms - band weren’t playing when I arrived and I decided it was too crowded so looked in and left – and the 6 Bells. Just a DJ there and a smallish band of brothers and sisters. I had a couple of pints with Mine Host, Andrew, then reverted to the Tap. The next morning I realised I had been exceedingly drunk and most likely embarrassed myself but the great thing is, if you can’t remember it’s not all that embarrassing. As long as nobody reminds me. I have a very bad video of the revelry but my computer refuses to turn it into still pictures so you’ll have to make do with this example of Brentford’s vibrant artistic culture.
Bit of excitement in the normally deadly dull Ferry Quays car park last night: a car parked blocking the entrance, unoccupied but with a plain clothes cop car standing guard with blue lights flashing. Copper said that the car was ‘of interest’. Yes, I was interested in what it was of interest about, but he was not interested in explaining further. You can see the blue light flashing in the background, and reflected on the ceiling. I lead a quiet life so a bit of excitement like this will last me all year.
I have not been entirely idle over the break but in truth not a lot has been going on and the few bits of casework that came my way have been hard to progress because people are not around. Back to the grindstone on Monday.
Cllr Guy Lambert
January 2, 2020