Had a good day out in Barnstaple, where I used to live, on Saturday. I was there to learn bookbinding and it was an excellent workshop. I intended to attend a birthday tea for someone who I used to quiz with there, but the workshop ended late and I had a train to catch.
The person whose birthday was being celebrated, Marion, is known by an alternative name following an inter-pub radio quiz back in (I think) 1994, a year before I moved there. Marion became known as "Mrs Bugger", after having several times used that expletive live on air when she gave the wrong answer. They did the quiz again the following year, but the radio station added a 5 second delay to allow them to censor out any swearing.
I know people who would like to produce small run editions of poetry, pictures, artwork etc. but find it too expensive. I'm looking at the possibility of offering my services if I can do it cheaply enough. I've also done a little research into book publishing.
It was my brother's 60th Birthday on 9th May and he had a party to celebrate on Saturday 11th. His daughter had phoned me a couple of weeks ago wondering if I could make a surprise visit (I rarely attend such events, I'm the odd member of the family who lives miles away from the rest). I said yes and she picked me up from the nearest railway station and we managed to totally surprise him.
It was a warm and sunny day, ideal for a barbecue on the back patio. Before the food came out my niece took this "four old farts" photo...
...from left to right: brother Kev, me, brother-in-law Tom, old friend Sam. We currently (until Tom's 70th later this year) cover the sixth decade between us.
Despite no longer drinking anywhere near as much as I used to, yet another photo with me holding a pint glass.
Once the sun went down the temperature dropped rapidly, but with the charcoal barbecue one side and an outdoor wood burning stove the other we four outlasted all the younger people there, not closing it all down until gone midnight.
My great nephews, Hari and Toby were there. Another little boy and two little girls also put in an appearance during the afternoon. The wind up motorcycle and sidecar, bottom right, were a gift to Kev: he has a motorcycle combination (we're all bikers or ex-bikers).
Visited friends in Barnstaple, North Devon at the Pilton Green Man Festival again on Saturday. Apparently it won't take place next year as the majority of organisers have or are retiring and the younger generation don't want to take it on.
I took this on my way back to the railway station; 6 pm on an archetypal British summer afternoon.
I was talking to my friend Rusty's dad and he mentioned a homeless man who at one time sold a street newspaper (The Big Issue) in Barnstaple while wearing a top hat and tails. He was surprised when I said "Oh, you mean Graham Walker. He's lived in Totnes for years; moved to Paignton recently." I knew Graham had been in Barnstaple in the past, among several other places here in the south west, but Jim didn't know he now lived down here.