Tears, Polls & ‘Fascinating Problems’ – Week 23 : 2017

June 12, 2017

Finishing off our breakfast at The Delaunay in Holborn Tim turned to a story about resuscitating his car, which wouldn’t start. He’d ask a ‘man who can’ to inspect and resolve the elderly Jag’s problem and eventually telephoned him to get the prognosis. As Tim said then the last thing you want to hear is “Tim, actually it’s a fascinating problem…”

His man went onto tell him that it was all to do with the “brains of the car, Tim”. Again Tim felt more anxiety and mystification. The ‘brains’ in this case was the ECU. Anyway £300 got the old girl to cough back into life.

That was a happier event but the week contained the burying of an old friend. I wrote about Jason and the final chapter saw us bury him in a beautiful little churchyard in Barnston, Essex. A very tearful and draining event made more difficult, for me, by the fact that in line with Sod’s Law it was also the date of another funeral 150 miles away (Steve) which I had to miss.

That weather behaved in Essex but it tipped down during the week as I headed up north to talk to the Easingwold Yorkshire Country Womens Association about my bike ride across America. It is still a pleasure to recount mountain ranges, churches, Kentucky dogs and the kindness of strangers. It seems that they are up for some music next year in my talk about cycling down the USA in search of the centres of American popular music.

I’ve been submitting record reviews to The Americana Music Show for some months and enjoying the experience of writing. Just as pleasing was to see my efforts on the shelves of W H Smith via the monthly magazine Country Music People. People comment that I’m able to do this stuff but it still seems that a bloke who spent his working career shuffling through Board papers and concerning himself with all things to do with kitchen cabinets wouldn’t now be writing about Americana and Country music for circulation in the UK and USA. Maybe I’m getting this retirement project sorted.

It doesn’t seem to be possible to fail to mention the General Election. No pre-result doubts about the result, no potential ‘nip and tuck’ and no doubt that it would be the inevitable confirmation of what you expected to happen. It was the 10pm Exit Poll forecast of a Hung Parliament that nobody expected. If my social media feed and news headlines are to be believed then the winner lost and the losers won. Whichever way then it isn’t to be business as usual and we’ll limp on for some time, at least, to see if it all works.

Lastly a picture of some cars! Anna and her friend Zelma arranged a drive up to The Sportsmans Arms in Wath-in-Nidderdale for a bite to eat and by way of reward the men got to drive their toys including a 1965 Triumph TR4 and an early 1970’s Triumph TR6. Great fun.

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