Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Saturday 1st December 2007

Wait! I know this place! You wanna take the second left, but we'll need a permit.
Today's been a bit of non-day. M****** was at work, I was looking after A******. Yesterday there some kind of Beaujolais themed event up at the Ashton Memorial (organised by the Lancaster Round Table - I would put in a link to their web-site, but can't seem to find it right now). Checking my coat pockets, I seem to have acquired a zinc-plated paint stirrer (the kind you would attach to a power drill) and a large, polyester French flag. Hmmmmmm. An interesting night.

Sunday 9th December 2007

It's almost like an episode from "Quantum Leap". I wake up, and I'm several floors up in some kind of office building, only this floor seems to be some kind service/maintenance room. I'm in a room filled with copper pipes, dials, machines and all sorts. It all seems a bit mid-20th century, somehow. Me and my companion are afraid to move, not least until we've worked out what we're supposed to be doing here, and what risks we face, etc. There's a C-shape glass partition separating our section from some kind of kitchen area to our left, which is fortunately unoccupied. To the far left, there's a wall made up of floor-to-ceilings windows and a view of more similar buildings. I stand up and check out some of the machines. The units on all of the dials are unfamiliar. I'm expecting celsius, Fahrenheit, pascals (and their abbreviations) and such like but none of it makes any sense. Just then, some other workers enter the kitchen area, acknowledge us, and carry on about their business. I figure we're okay after all. Then it ends, and we enter another world . . .

Feeding the water
img_4315.jpgimg_4319.jpgimg_4320.jpgimg_4325.jpgimg_4331.jpgimg_4339.jpg We had lunch over at the Mill Inn in (or near) Glasson Dock. Then we went for a brief walk along the canal, hoping to feed the ducks some bread. There were no ducks, despite A****** shouting, "DUCK! DUCK!" over and over. The lack of ducks did upset A****** a little bit, so we let him throw the bread to the water instead. It's not really quite the same, but A****** didn't seem to mind.

Saturday 15th December 2007

Mel's Birthday
img_4346.jpgimg_4350.jpgimg_4359.jpgimg_4360.jpgimg_4362.jpgimg_4363.jpg The previous day (Friday) we drove over from Lancaster to Keswick, taking it easy on the motorway, as the car seems to be burning up a lot of engine oil at the moment. Then, Saturday afternoon, we went over for lunch at Lemon & Lime (?!). Somewhere like that anyway. We would have gone to Maysons (just down the road from Lemon & Lime and just visible in the fourth picture along here, to the very right of the photo) but they were full. But not to worry - the food at Lemon & Lime was gorgeous and the service very good.
img_4365.jpgimg_4366.jpgimg_4368.jpgimg_4369.jpgimg_4371.jpgimg_4372.jpgimg_4381.jpg . . . and then, as these pictures probably make clear, we went for a walk around the edge of Derwent Water, feeding some ducks, posing for photos, that kind of thing.
img_4382.jpgimg_4383.jpgimg_4390.jpgimg_4391.jpgimg_4393.jpgimg_4400.jpg . . . and then more of lake, duck, sun, etc. I feel like that guy in the light green coat kind of spoiled things by deciding to turn around, directly facing the camera and remaining as such for several minutes. Grrrrr. As ever, if there's several photographs here that look vaguely similar, it's because I couldn't decide which one I preferred, so I figure I might as well leave 'em all in.
img_4408.jpgimg_4407.jpgimg_4403.jpg That was weird. I was writing something here . . . well, perhaps it was of little consequence what I was writing (and this is?) and perhaps the stuff I was writing was primarily to sort the formatting out and remove some white space, blah blah blah. But then I must have clicked the right mouse button in the wrong way or something and the window closed. All gone.
img_4413.jpgimg_4411.jpgimg_4410b.jpgimg_4410.jpgimg_4409.jpg That's Antony and then a group shot of everyone and a couple of A******. However, the light was all in the wrong place for the group shot and the camera was caught a bit unawares. The other picture (third from left) is my vague attempt to use some digital manipulation to try to sort out the contrast/brightness. A****** enjoyed running around the Ruskin statue, and saying hello to whoever was on the other side.
img_4428.jpgimg_4430.jpgimg_4431.jpgimg_4432.jpgimg_4436.jpg Then, with everyone now in attendance, we had dinner in the evening followed by birthday cake. I foolishly put a few too many candles on the cake, but I'm guessing the correct amount were blown out during the first attempt.
img_4443.jpgimg_4458.jpgimg_4467.jpgimg_4468.jpgimg_4475.jpg The yellow card that Mouse is holding being something to do with a round of 'Indian Poker' we had (where, for once, I wasn't the last one out) lacking, as we did, either Post-It notes or Rizlas.

Sunday 16th December 2007

img_4501.jpgimg_4502.jpgimg_4506.jpgimg_4514.jpgimg_4519.jpg Of course, the pictures can barely convey the bitter freezing conditions endured on that boat from Keswick to . . . well, I don't know where we went. It was about a ten/fifteen minute journey. Father Christmas gave us some 'sherry', and that helped a bit, but A****** had to rely on warm clothing and being huddled close to others. The old American woman in the fifth picture from the left here, she seemed to be resident at the pub/hotel thing we went to (Mary Mount Hotel?!), getting pretty much one-on-one service from one of the staff.
img_4525.jpgimg_4526.jpgimg_4528.jpg So we hung around the pub/hotel/thing for a while, finishing our lunch, trying to coerce A****** into eating one or two of his fish fingins (fingers). The three pictures here were taken whilst waiting for the boat journey back to Keswick. Simon and Beccy had to go back to Manchester to pick up Mark/Pop, whilst Anna, Justin, Liz and Antony bravely walked back.

Tuesday 18th December 2007

Humph the Camel
img_4538.jpgimg_4536.jpgimg_4535.jpgimg_4534.jpgimg_4532.jpgimg_4531.jpg Yeah, so . . . this was meant to be A******'s nativity, Humph the Camel, for which he had been practising for weeks and weeks (perhaps months). I don't think A****** sang a word throughout the entirety, and just looked bored most of the time, occasionally hitting the girl sat next to him with the gold tinsel one of his carers had draped carefully over his head. Ah well . . .
img_4545.jpgimg_4547.jpgimg_4556.jpg Afterwards, me, M******, Mark and A****** went for a walk around Williamson's Park, enjoying the rare phenomena of an empty playground.

Thursday 20th December 2007

I fly higher, but the people grow taller
img_4586.jpgimg_4591.jpgimg_4592.jpg That happened in a dream, the title of this entry. I still get flying dreams, but sometimes there's some kind of parameter, like low ceilings, tall people, etc. But yeah . . . currently we be potty training A******, so that's lots of fun. Largely this involves not really leaving the house, and keeping a very close eye on A******. The exact details aren't really all that interesting. Are they?

Sunday 23rd December 2007

A ball of atoms, but the left side of you is fine (intact). In retrospect, I think we ought to rebuild the asteroid belt and correct some of those planetary orbits (you have a messed up solar system, but I'm loving the gas giants).
I'm sure I had something useful to say, but now all I can think of is the bizarreness of an innate sense of shame - shame about bodily functions. But where does this come from? Would some cultures not have some kind of communal lavatorium (or similar)? And would the use of such facilities therefore not require some kind of unlearning, where shame not an innate quality? Weird. All weird. Naturally, we work around such things and adapt and evolve. A****** uses the potty best when left alone.

Tuesday 25th December 2007

The planet-eater clears his throats
img_4611.jpgimg_4612.jpgimg_4613.jpgimg_4617.jpgimg_4618.jpgimg_4619.jpg This year M******, A****** and I celebrated Christmas Day at M******'s mum's place, over at Halton. Note all the fibres in the air, from new jumpers, socks but probably primarily paper fibres. A****** seemed to delight in unwrapping presents, doing a good line in appreciating presents for a decent length of time, and responding to parental naggings regarding please and thank you.
img_4622.jpgimg_4628.jpgimg_4630.jpgimg_4632.jpgimg_4635.jpgimg_4638.jpg more pictures . . .
img_4643.jpgimg_4654.jpgimg_4661.jpgimg_4673.jpgimg_4675.jpg . . . and more (A****** in a new dressing gown)

Wednesday 26th December 2007

. . . continued?
img_4683.jpg This picture's dated 00:31:51 but I think that's because my camera is still (or was, at the time) in BST rather than GMT. Either way, it's late at night and it looks like we're still sat around the dining room table.

Thursday 27th December 2007

The left (right?) hand rule
img_4694.jpg So I think it was the night of Boxing Day that we had Mark, Simon, Beccy and Liz round for dinner and further gift exchanging. Does that sound about right? Christmas week went by very quickly.

Sunday 30th December 2007

Dinner at the Borough
img_4699.jpgimg_4707.jpgimg_4712.jpg So it would have been Saturday night when we had dinner at the Borough, surely. Simon M came over from Gloucester some time Friday evening, I believe. These pictures were taken more likely at 01:30 this morning. Yes, I know - there's something wrong with my camera - bizarre purple bars keep appearing. Not good.