Dan James photo and “The Fall” film

Three disparate subjects;

Ellen found a photo of Dan James which I have never seen before, I thought I would share this with everyone in case it hasn’t been seen . It is photo DSCN1106 on the Flickr photo stream (click on the photos at the side of the page) and is a photo of us playing chess.

I Really enjoyed ‘the fall’, it is a fantastic film and true to life as from my experiences morphine hallucinations/dreams are completely absorbing and very rich in colour. Involving lively fantasies, sometimes fairytale like, with very subtle relation to the environment and events going on in real life.

I went to Lord’s last week to see Middlesex playa cricket match, courtesy of my friend Kam and the Wisden Cricketer magazine. We stayed in the MCC presidential box which was a special treat, meeting some interesting and generous people and enjoying the luxurious hospitality.

Unfortunately play was rained off early but this didn’t spoil the day.

merrily we roll along

went to see Ellen’s play in Manchester http://www.thedancehouse.co.uk/whats_on/autumn_winter_2002/event_165.asp

was a great success, the set and costume obviously getting a lot of praise with some very talented young performers.


I am getting settled back into work and having to detox slightly. Starting preparations for dads 60th birthday which we are hosting.



an amusing voice recognition transcription

Photos of the wedding have been uploaded on Flickr.

This is the voice recognition transcription (it is inaccurate because we are speaking fast and in slang)  of a conversation I had with my brother just now, I found it particularly amusing:

“This is the e-mail thread was that both rear light some serviceable faces like a future that is I don’t feel it clear it is a weather from they hear they get weather as the thinking is to be handed to liberty they think about 40 there’s not a IMHO you are because seriously code this figure has contacted on Michael Murphy never the wedding either yet Bernard Smedley Devils and it was fighting wasn’t very isolated if you are I guess I Baddow in their everyday as Gogol Charlotte business been deducted in a sharp pain six Adam Wheeler Sweden and her then rigid this is yet
another reboot into an easy read after some higher than iPod bit weak I wonder how to read out about me in and I just had like those is the perfect music to step of using fake out of three peak hour and I was likely but came up a large tree down I will hear that she only got out of the other clear by Scott Shipyard got on the wall ofnot down to the effect that it are well into her is whether sufficient intake in developing countries make the update will get my ears by Merv has like is a biker like that you accuse biker makes an early lead and its citizenry — it is another matter and alternatively you will tour the Pearl Jam deep purple or issued bans any firm or is it got really get ready for a story that you hear about it makes that you are done here is that for reading my trash and I surely want to do with multiple discuss a plan that an aliquot swam Tim Savage but there are more and more air in a way that financing and I’ve got my circle maker that still nice to see the touch of a few I’m semi-semi-mobile ballet featuring conductor Sir like a gay self L cues given a photo is an honourable man BAe bid I need to do is money as I shouldn’t guess I should we take every self-motivated much cigarettes now they’re back in etween me and Pete, I find it difficult to explain the issue to him.”

Made me chuckle anyway!


the wedding in France

The return trip from paleo was a snip at only 15 hours and included a beautiful section of road over the Jura, especially at La Cure, a fairytale Swiss town high up in the mountains.

The two weeks we spent back in England went in a flash, catching up with work and small birthday celebrations (punctuated by a lot of shopping) took up the majority of the time. Final arrangements for the Pavillion blinds were made and Ellen prepared to go to Manchester to create her set for the production of “Merrily we roll along” (“The Company” theatre company) a 1950s musical with an American youth theatre organisation.

On Monday morning we (Vicci , Jamie and I) left, unfortunately without Ellen and Raj this time, for Tim and Deborah’s wedding in the South of France near Cahors (West of Bordeaux and north of Toulouse), we woke up at 2:30 AM and were ready to leave by 630 AM (unfortunately this length of time is about typical for me when going on a long journey). A mad rush ensued to get to Poole for the 9 AM ferry to Cherbourg (we went this way to reduce driving time and because the boat was big enough to have a lift for the wheelchair). We would have missed the boat if it were not for a very friendly Brittany Ferry staff member who was in charge of closing up the boat, who unprecedentedly kept the boat open for an extra 15 minutes. The journey was about 4 1/2 hours which we spent eating a terrible English breakfast, napping, I had to make a work conference call, fruit machines (four pounds profit), and I drank some free tasters of expensive cognac and whiskey in the duty free (plus mint Bailey’s, going to buy a bottle for Ellen on the way back, it is delicious). After a bit of drink-driving on my part through the ferry we got back into the car (the lift was accessed through the staff quarters which took us down to the car deck). The journey was down from Cherbourg to Caen and then all the way south to Limoges, halfway to Cahors and then off the motorway at the village of Souilliac. It took about nine hours and would have been a little quicker if we had not spent as much time on the small roads.

The chateau (chateau rayesse) is a fairytale Castle and the night we arrived the girls were a bit spooked in the dark and when getting out of the car were scared out of their wits by the donkey greeting them loudly, at which point Vicci jumped on my lap and Jamie ran into the car and cowered behind the wheelchair. All incredibly funny and slightly ironic (that they sought me for protection).

The view and setting were incredible, we spent the day sleeping late on Thursday and then meeting everyone in the evening (at this time there was an intimate group of guests and it was great to meet immediate family). Everyone was very welcoming and interested to get to know us. The next day I had a dip in the pool aided by Dave and Tim 2 -not the one getting married- (Tim’s mum’s boyfriend and son-in-law to be respectively -Tim 2 is to marry Jess, Tim’s sister-), this took a little while as the mechanism involved hoisting onto a double bed blowup mattress and then this being slid into the pool and me tipped off the mattress into the water. Everyone was asking what it felt like but the feelings were not very spectacular and I didn’t feel much below my shoulders. The lapping of the water on my shoulders felt great as did having my head under the water, a feeling that I miss not having regularly.

Saturday, the wedding day, seemed to go perfectly. It was extremely hot and I was granted a seat in the shade which I was very grateful for. Everyone else was directly in the sunlight but the humanist ceremony, given by a church vicar, was succinct whilst still very beautiful. We sought refuge from the heat inside for short periods of the day in the beautiful chateau. The food was spectacular in presentation and taste, there was beer on tap and it was an all-round exceptionally enjoyable day that went on to about 3:30 AM thanks to a friendly DJ playing some decent wedding music (with the occasional scratched CD).

Debbie and Tim are a couple that seem perfectly matched, both are wonderfully smiley people who listen and don’t judge easily. They are generous and considerate and both incredibly smart, making them supply a rich warm and interesting environment for everyone who is with them. Successful people like these are usually busy so it was an honour to get to spend this time with them.

Sunday was understandably a relaxed day, Mervin and Dom cooked and served a wonderful spaghetti Bolognese. Dom’s daughter Sophie and Mervin were very inquisitive about my wheelchair, sensation and movement, and I enjoyed the discussion. Sophie then gave me a rose which was a very sweet gesture.

Mervin introduced me to a band called Tragically Hip with whom he used to be a tour manager, I would recommend checking them out for anyone into music. We also discussed plans to get me on to a trike (three wheeled motorbike) and improve my wheelchair.

We said our goodbyes on Sunday evening after debating trying to rearrange plans to stay for longer, and left in the early hours of Monday morning.

The return trip was beautiful and we were out of petrol on the ferry so had to be pushed off.

Last night I was at a Pearl Jam concert which was absolutely incredible.

Thank you Tim and Debbie for inviting me, we all had an incredible time and met some incredible people.