Posted on April 23, 2008 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay9 Comments »

DogsRaincoatsCJSI’ve just got back from a short walk in the rain with my two greyhounds. Naturally, they were wearing their England raincoats, and I was rather cheered by the variety of honks, waves, thumbs-up and broad grins we received from passing motorists.

There was no glimmer of acknowledgment from the students out on lunch break from the local college. But then, as a middle-aged person, I’m probably invisible to them. I’m surprised they didn’t see the dogs, though.

Posted on April 23, 2008 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay4 Comments »

EnglandFlagEmotieI know you’re probably reading this half way through the morning, but in case you’re still puzzling over it, here’s some help for those of you who are English. Wear red and white.

It’s St George’s Day!

And if anyone asks you why you’re wearing ‘that hideous outfit’ just tell them that the Government is quietly trying to eradicate England … and unlike Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, we don’t even have our own Parliament.

Of course we don’t. That would apparently be completely incompatible with regionalisation.

And that’s all I’m gonna say.

Posted on April 23, 2008 in Johnny Depp, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay3 Comments »

JohnnyOnHorseCJS08So, I’ve been using the iGallop, but to be honest, it’s not really like riding a flesh-and-blood horse, and in June we’ll be in Utah and Other Half has inexplicably decided to book us on a Red Canyon trail ride.

Now, I used to ride quite regularly, but over the last few decades my excursions on horseback have been few and far between and have usually resulted in a severe case of jelly legs on completion of said excursions. Not so long ago I’d have said ‘No bloody way am I going riding in the heat of the desert on a possibly rabid horse with triple E, where I might get bitten by a rattlesnake or at least die of heatstroke, but … well, you know … it’s the Depp effect in action again. I said ‘Fuck it, let’s do it!’ After all, Johnny himself has done the horse-riding thing in more than one movie, despite the fact that he is, as Tim Burton said once with a vague attempt at smothering his giggles, ‘not a horseman’. He appeared magnificently on a beautiful white steed in The Man Who Cried, briefly and splashed with mud in The Libertine, and most amusingly in Sleepy Hollow – after which he adopted his studio mount when he learned that it was probably going to be destroyed. He has, however, never to my knowledge worn a silk suit while riding a Gypsy Vanner across a field bareback, so it’ll come as no surprise to you all that I photoshopped the above picture using some of my own images.

But I digress. Back to my projected Red Canyon ride. I am not Johnny Depp, and neither (sadly) is OH, and we would not have stunt men standing at the ready to do the difficult bits, or lackeys to ply us with iced water in an air-conditioned trailer when it all got too much. And there was still the little jelly legs problem. I figured we’d be more able to enjoy the experience if we put in a little practice.

What to do?

After a little thought, I remembered that a while ago, our Village Advertiser ran an ad for a local stable which offered Western style riding lessons! Aha! The very thing! A few lessons prior to departure for the US of A might get me up to speed and offer OH a fighting chance of Not Falling Off, so I dug out the number, picked up the phone and rang to book some lessons.

‘Oh,’ said the young lady at the other end of the phone, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t do lessons anymore!’ and went on to offer me a part share in a ‘little horse’ which wasn’t at all what I had in mind and is actually a rather odd thing to suggest as a substitute for a few half hour riding lessons. Anyway, the young lady did suggest another establishment a little further away which also taught riding Western style, and I looked them up online.

Tomorrow. I’ll ring them tomorrow. I’m sure they’ll have some way of transferring two creaky old farts from ground level to five feet above it without ricking backs or dislocating anything, and I’ll be very interested to find out what it is.

Mmm. I’ll let you know how that goes, then.

Posted on April 21, 2008 in Conversations, The Home Front by Jay4 Comments »

Planning our upcoming holiday which includes a stay in Las Vegas -

Me: Do you wanna see a show?

OH: Maybe.

Me: We could go and see Bette Midler.

OH: I’d rather not

Me: Oh, look – The Chippendales are on!


OH: Bette Midler sounds good!