Sunday, October 9, 2011

Goodbye summer, goodbye.

Everyone I know has complained about this summer but it has been just perfect for me. It hardly rained at all, though that did necessitate some garden and allotment watering and my rain butts ran dry quite early. More importantly, it was often bright and sunny without being hot. In Sheffield anyway. Apparently Scotland didn’t suffer our drought. I acquired a gardener’s tan; my arms and neck are brown, my hands not so much and my legs are fish belly white. Lots of nettles and brambles on the allotment. Summer came to an abrupt end mid last week, the first week of October. It’s really quite cool and damp now.

Ian has been commenting for some time that there has been no blog update since August. I have excuses but I can’t remember them. It really seems too late now to write about our last weekend at the fringe with the kids although it was jolly good fun.

The biggest excitement since then has been getting Sally packed off to the University of Salford. There had been a slow but steady accumulation of stuff to go. Oxfam in Broomhill yielded a decent haul of pans, plates etc, a huge suitcase was purchased from one of the charity shops in Hamilton, I purchased yet another copy of Rose Elliot’s ‘Cheap and Easy’ and her father contributed yet another copy of the ‘Cranks Cookbook’.  She seems to have taken to student life with panache, only complaining a little about the mice already in residence in the kitchen. Unlike the radio silence from Jack I have a regular if perfunctory contact with Sally and already have an idea of who she spends her time with and what she’s doing. I’ve been away so much and so busy that I haven’t really had time to miss her. All I need is a week at home going nowhere to work up to being a bit lonely. I guess I’ll cope.

More sadly we are losing my colleague, Amanda, from work. She is so delightful that I forgive her for her slender and energetic youth. In the time that I have worked at the company I have always warned that times were too unstable to take new people on. In Mandy’s case she is probably better off for having spent the year with us but I will miss her terribly. She has decided, very sensibly, to get a visa and spend six months in Australia, working where she can. I’m hoping she keeps in touch without me having to join Facebook.

I’d write more but I have been stricken with a very time consuming affliction. I’m reading about all the Hugo winners over the years. I rather enjoyed Sam Jordison’s attempt to read and blog about past winners but he keeps going off on Booker winner tangents so that I’ve virtually given up on him. I’ve recently fallen into a Making Light dwam and having read 1002 comments on wearing seatbelts (no really!) I was looking for some light relief and ended up on the Tor site reading Jo Walton’s ‘Revisiting the Hugos’.  Starting in 1953 I have read each year and any linked reviews all the way to 1974. I was only peripherally aware of Jo until recently. I find her to be an excellent reviewer, in that I can pretty much trust her judgement to align with mine. She doesn’t like PK Dick for example. Earlier on today I finally unstacked Ian’s pile of banana boxes filled with SF paperbacks looking for two of the Simak books she wrote favourably about. They have teetered  there for over six years, though the comedy books made it to shelves with days of him moving in. I’ve located ‘Way Station’ but no sign was found of ‘City’.  I’ve got an audit tomorrow, a report writing day on Tuesday and training courses Wednesday and Thursday so on Friday I’m thinking of staying in bed all day and reading ‘Way Station’.

Incidentally, having watched a lot of seatbelt adverts, this is still the very best!    

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