Monday, 10 August 2015

Rescuing books and Polish motorcyclists

We're a good couple of weeks into the school holidays, and I have to confess I've done barely anything apart from catch up with my reading. My next OU course doesn't start until October, so there's nothing to be done there. It feels very wrong not to be reading text books or preparing for an assignment, but I guess I'll have to get used to that for when my degree comes to an end next June. 

I have managed to rescue a couple of books from a pile that's destined to be taken to a charity shop. This consists of books that I've started several times but just can't get into, or ones that include irritating, pathetic or unbelievable characters. The third Bridget Jones novel fits into the latter category, sadly, as I rather liked the first two, but when a character has said, 'Gahh!' about seven times in the first few pages, I know that I'm going to spend the whole book counting, rather than reading, and getting more and more irritated. So I got to page 15 and added it to the pile, thankful that I only paid a pound for it in the first place. The rescued books were ones I've had for a long time, started reading, but couldn't get interested in, but I was obviously in the right mood for them this time. The first was The Godfather. Yes, I know it's meant to be a classic and all that, but I couldn't get on with it before. Now I've read it, seen the film, recorded The Godfather Part Two, and know what the quote used in You've Got Mail, about going to the mattresses means. Book two was (is, because I'm still reading it) Angelmaker, by Nick Harkaway. It's brilliant, quite mad and I have no idea why I couldn't get on with it before. Thank goodness I rescued it; I nearly missed a great book. 

I need to go to the bookshop and buy my annual 'holiday book' - the longest book I can find by an author I've never read before - because we've managed to arrange a few days in Cornwall. We didn't think we'd be able to get away this year, what with funerals and the non-stop paperwork that comes with sorting out probate, but we've got four days with The Daughter next week. Not long, but we've not seen her since Christmas, and she and The Boyfriend are off hostelling round the world in October, so a visit is important. It's a long drive, and I was tempted to get some audiobooks for the journey, but I think I'd get so involved in the stories that I'd forget about traffic. Never a good thing on the M25. 

And on that subject: we had a bit of a day, yesterday. We'd planned a relaxing, middle-aged trip to the Sandringham food and drink festival but, instead, got halfway there, stopped at some crossroads and got hit up the arse by a motorcyclist. So, after picking him up off the road and exchanging details, we turned round and came home again. There's nothing like having a large, Polish biker slide the length of your car and just lie there in the road, to put you off an afternoon out. He was very nice, very apologetic (he hadn't been looking and was too close behind us - confirmed by both him and the car behind him) and he came to see us in the evening to try and sort out a private arrangement so his third-party insurance didn't get clobbered. We were more worried that he was hurt than about any damage to the car, but apart from shredded trousers (please wear leathers if you ride a motorbike. It gives me the shivers to see bikers going 60 mph and wearing jeans.) and a few bruises, he was okay. We just got a broken rear light-cover. Which, of course, isn't just a cover: it's a whole light unit, so for a tiny bit of smashed plastic, there's over £100 worth of hardware to be replaced. Oh well, hopefully he's learnt something that will stop him having a bigger smash in the future. After determining that the guy wasn't hurt, we all stood there, not really knowing what to do, as none of us had been in an accident before. We have learnt that we need to keep a copy of our insurance documents in the car. Thankfully, a phone call to Son Number One at home got us our details.

Hopefully, our journey to Cornwall will be far less eventful. I'm really looking forward to the part where we drive past the 'Welcome to Cornwall' sign at 2mph in a 35 mile queue. Always my favourite bit.