I was SO nervous about meeting Reidski's oldest friend and his wife so I had to have one or two drinks when I got to their house.Unfortunately I can't do a direct link to Jim's photo of the alcohol consumed so I am having to 'half inch it'. (Please note that I now speak fluent Cockney rhyming slang as a direct result of going out with a Scot who lives in south London.) You will have to agree that this is quite good going of a Tuesday evening.
Well - no, to be honest I didn't do all of that little lot on my own - nervous as I was, but certainly I seem to recall having my fair share. And I had no reason to be nervous as Jim and his wife were of course really really good people who made me incredibly welcome...thank you both so much.
Enroute to Reidski's old stamping ground he demonstrated how little he knows of the area he lived in for 23 years by telling me how flat the countryside was where he comes from. As we passed through mile after mile of rolling Ayrshire countryside he was forced to acknowledge it wasn't "quite as flat as I remember". Then as we drove through the town on our way to Jim's he pointed out to me local landmarks. "There" he said "was my local Labour club". "That was my primary school." "That was the pub where I got banned for life aged 17". "That is my brother" I thought he was making up the last bit, saying it as he did without the merest hint of surprise, but as I turned to see a cyclist go past on the other side, it was like looking at a Reidski clone, and it was in fact one of his many siblings. And no, we didn't stop to say hello-phew!
On arrival at Jim and Mrs TNR's we sat outside and drank, and ate a fabulous meal made by Jim who is a sensational chef, and chatted until well gone 10 whilst sitting outside in the heat that is a July evening on the West Coast of Scotland. I am assuming the weather is always that good there?? Thereafter we continued the drinking and chatting inside until I can't quite remember how late. And then I was privileged to hear the only known recording of a very fine band called - I think -'In Prague.' I say 'I think' because Reidski's accent had thicken 150% by then and I may have misheard. Anyway, Jim and Reidski...the world is a poorer place for your band only sadly ever playing the one gig.
Twelfth - *Regarding Saturday, August 12th....* Last Friday night, I reached The Cumbria Park Hotel in Carlisle exactly three hours after setting off from Sheffield...
1 day ago