Monday, May 30, 2011

tales of the high seas, fags and bicycle races

hi everyone

well, Mum & Dad have returned from their most recent expedition to the British Isles, no matter how hard Iceland tried to prevent them (air travel 1, volcanoes 0 i believe you will find). oddly, i have not been inundated with pictures from their travels this time. there are some pics i wanted to include that are not here with me at verk for some reason, but still the picture count is, as far as i can work out, less than 100. usually one is fortunate to get less than one thousand pictures from Dad over a 3 week period, which makes one wonder if he is getting tired of sending so many pictures, or if he just simply objects to certain comments i make around the pictures he sends.

let us test if it is the latter with some observations around the pictures i have here with me!

first off, and where else but "bonny" Scotland? Mum & Dad hired a boat type thing that was of a size which would not look out of place in the Abramovich collection. they took Gran and Gramps off with them for a week or so to sail the lochs and what have you of this fine land.

the weather in Scotland, alas, appears to have been on the inclement side of not pleasant during May. i have heard reports of very choppy waters, rain and cold, strong winds. i have further heard tales of people deciding not to go cruising the waters with the weather as it was, and would you be at all surprised to learn that Dad was not one of those?

nope, Dad does not do this "nature is telling you not to go there" thing at all, something you are all no doubt aware of from his adventures in Australia earlier this year. it seems that Dad believes all one needs to beat the bad weather is the correct kind of head gear.

yes, that's Gramps and Dad wearing outrageous head attire, the kind of thing you would more expect invading, marauding Soviet troops to have on that holidaymakers. little wonder, then, that Dad did not do his usual trick of befriending gents who live with other gents on boats on this trip, they were probably rather intimidated.

what concerns me most about the picture above is that that's two generations of us quite happily wearing that sort of thing. i am probably only a couple of years away from doing s*** like this too, unless i already am and everyone has been too polite to take me to task.

when the weather got really bad, it seems that Dad came up with an even better way of defeating it and sailing on. that would be by heading below deck and letting Mum sail it around.

looking at that picture, i am once again very much reminded of Billy Connolly's excellent "summer holidays in Scotland", where he tells how Scottish people all have photographs of them on the beach wearing wellies and a raincoat.

well done Mum for no doubt doing your best under the conditions! the boat did not sink, so you must have done a good job!

Admiral Bob did, it seems, condescend to allow the crew to go ashore every now and then, hopefully to get some reprieve from the storms but knowing him most likely to see if any of the gents who live on boats were instead now living in caravans or something. no matter the reason, it at the least allowed for some excellent, non-storm battered pictures to be taken, like this splendid one of Gran and Gramps with Mum and Dad.

returing back to wellies, and indeed returning to the relatively storm-free beauty of Great Ayton, here's a wonderful picture of a cousin who is all too often, sadly, absent from this blog thing of mine, Natalie.

she is, in this picture, going along in Mum's wellies. well, they were pink and pretty, so it stands to reason that she would wish to try them out. Gramps looks rather impressed with them, and indeed i am impressed with the size of his TV - i bet his shouting and swearing at assorted politicians is even more excellent with that on.

no trip to England, of course, would be considered anywhere close to complete without seeing the notorious, infamous Harlo gang. fortune smiled on Mum and Dad, to a degree, as they were in town at the time they were visiting and not off "doing Harlo things". well, at least not for the whole time - Andrew was off having a bash at this bowling business in the cricket, which is a very fine thing to be doing.

no, i have absolutely no idea what those chaps in the background are doing either, but good to see Andrew taking up the finest art there is. i certainly hope Andrew carries on with it; i dare say i could have been a fine cricketer, if it wasn't for all the booze, cigarettes, unhealthy eating and women. and lack of talent.

on the subject of cigarettes, it's quite tricky to pick the bones out of the next picture, really. my Dad is an ardent and celebrated anti-smoking sort of chap (in those halycon days when flying was actually an enjoyable experience he actively got other non-smokers to book up all the smoking sets with him to create the phenomenon of non-smoking flights) and the Harlo gang are hardly known for their embracing of tobacco products.

the above serves to make the below pictures just baffling.

hmn, will have to write that one off as "one of the many funny ideas Dad gets whilst on holiday", i believe. i hardly need repeat any of these other funny ideas that he gets, although it is worth illustrating a modified version of one of his usual tricks with the next picture.

a frequent event of Dad away and in someone else's house is the prospect of him bothering with the contents of other peoples' kitchens before six in the morning, usually whilst still in his pyjamas. i note with some interest that he has decided to wait a while and get dressed first, and then just command other people to interfere with everything and meet his usually unusual demands.

"bring me sausage" he seems to be saying to Colin here, whilst Christopher joins in. it does seem, now that i think about it, that Christopher is taking over the role of messing about in kitchens whilst in pyjamas, although in fairness he is in a dapper dressing gown / smoking jacket; one that you trust does not allow it to "just let it all hang out" as per my Dad's approach. by the way, recent visual communications with Christopher suggests that he practically lives in this dressing gown / smoking jacket these days; good for him!

the last two pictures of this particular update speak of an almost unspeakable horror that one suspects shall soon be here with us. Colin, it seems, persuaded Dad to have a go on one of those tandem bike thingies.

i know what you are thinking when you look at the above. it is the same thing that i was thinking, although i was afforded to ask him about it. the answer to what you are thinking is yes, apparently, he does absolutely have to wear those red shoes of his at all possible times.

the idea of Dad attempting to ride a tandem around at home is one which causes as much fear as it does mild amusement. the saving grace of avoiding this was that his brother-in-law is not here to mess about with him on it, thus making the idea of him getting one somewhat unlikely.

that is, however, until Mum was somehow persuaded to have a go on it too.

oh dear. i suspect that at this moment there is a confused conventional bicycle seller left somewhat perplexed and confused by a gent in red shoes demanding a tandem, and a tandem now, no less. i shall let you know when, rather than if, he has managed to procure one.

righty-ho, that's it for now. i will try and find the other pictures i wished to post here soonest, and it will indeed be interesting to see if Dad sends any more after reading this lot!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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