Richard's Retirement Blog

Macclesfield and Leek

February 2011

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Part 1 - Macclesfield

Day 1-2 (30th-31st Jan)

Well, tonight I'm at Messuage Farm, a Caravan Club CL near Congleton, Cheshire. There are three of us here, grouped on a bit of hard standing to avoid carving up the soggy-wet grass site.

I got here yesterday, in time to go in the evening to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I with M. We had a very good evening - the film was fun, although I hold to my opinion that the earlier Harry Potter stories were better, when they were a kind of Enid Blyton for the modern kid with added magic, and before JKR started trying to out-Tolkein Tolkein. The film was at the Trafford Centre, Manchester, and afterwards we had an excellent Italian meal at one of the many restaurants there.

It amazes me that within three months of the launch of such a film, with all the razzmatazz and hype, that it's already been taken off at many cinemas - we were beginning to think we'd missed it when we found one where it was still on. What happened to the durability of artistic creations? Or, cyncally, maybe it isn't supposed to be a work of art, but a money-maker: up like a rocket, big bang, down like the stick, make way for the next film?

On my way back from Chrismas in Glasgow, a fault developed in the caravan mains wiring - the 10A circuit, which serves the various sockets, was tripping the RCD. Last week I investigated, and (with the help of advice from ..., who used to work for the makers of this Counsumer Unit) did most of the remedial work; and today, on a hard-standing pitch of very coarse gravel which was not fun to crawl around on, like the stuff on railway tracks, I've been in the backs of cupboards and under the van to finish the job. And had to botch it temporarily, because I've forgotten a certain junction box necessary to do it properly. Now I'll need another session at it. Grrr! (If you're electrically minded and want more detail, it's here.)

Day 3-5 (1st - 3rd Feb)

Three quiet days, with some cycling, and a lot of time watching videos in the caravan. The weather has been dry, mostly, but grey, with showers in the afternoon and wind in the evening. Today is particularly uninviting, and I haven't got motivated yet - it's past one o'clock - to go out at all. I have sterelised the van water system, though, which is a necessary chore from time to time.

Day 6 (4th Feb)

The weather has been very wet, so no cycling. I've been watching Harry Potter films which M. lent me: good clean fun, even if (like the Famous Five) Harry and his friends get out of situations which really ought to be beyond them.

Day 7-8 (5th - 6th Feb)

Yesterday we did a gig - lighting and recording - for a concert by Stafford and District Operatic Society in St Mary's Collegiate Church, Stafford. It was quite a rush - drive home to collect stuff, pick up J., collect more stuff from the Little Theatre, drive to Stafford. Afterwards, reverse the process, except that I didn't need to call at home - I dumped everything at the theatre. That's when I found that, in the very hurried tear-down, someone has loaded into my car a drum of cable that does not belong to me. Bother!

Arriving back at the caravan site after midnight, I turned into the top of Messuage Lane, where a Police - Slow! sign was displayed - and drove straight into a deep puddle. Being in it before I saw it, I drove very slowly on, realising with some trepidation that it was getting deeper ... and deeper ... at the worst point I could hear the water sloshing against the floor of the car ... to paraphrase Hagrid, I should not be doing this. I should NOT be doing this. But I got away with it, parked away from the caravan to avoid disturbing the neighbours, and was distrurbed myself after one o'clock by some of those same neighbours having a very noisy party. C'est la vie.

More pics of the flood here.

Enquiries having established that the cable drum does not belong to any of us, it must belong to the church - so I had to drive back to Stafford today to return it. Bother! That was after M. came for coffee - very pleasant - and to recover her Harry Potter DVDs (thanks for the loan), and before going back to bed for half an hour to catch up on sleep. That half-hour turned into three, so it's been a quiet afternoon. And this evening? Write what you're reading, of course.

Tomorrow, I go to Leek.

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