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Sunday, 31 August 2008

A lick of paint for Sea Mills Community Centre

When the rain finally stopped, our staunch team got to painting up the Sea Mills Community Centre. It's a great facility, and a real asset to the area - but all the better for removing several dodgey looking old sofas, a prehistoric printer, some ancient art-work and an array of odd plastic items that no one could quite identify.

The team, lead by Siobhan Kennedy-Hall, managed to construct the scaffolding in the picture, paint several inside walls and most of the back wall in one afternoon. And polish off some sausage rolls and tarte tartin. ( Only the best.) Brilliant work, everyone. I've not had so much fun in ages. I still can't get the paint from under my nails...

ps. a date for the diary - the Sea Mills Community Centre barn dance, on September 19th. If the catering for the hard workers here is anything to go by, it's not to be missed...

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Why I love our British sense of humour

It's an English August, time for cricket and teas and things like that, known affectionately by politicians and journalists as the silly season. And on that note, I have just been emailed THIS

I know, I know: it's old news now, the famous corpsing episode where Jonathan Agnew describes Ian Botham's stumble over his own stumps as ... " just couldn't quite get his leg over" - but there is just something so brilliantly British about the great Brian Johnston's desperately resisted and sturdily refined collapse into hysterics. I defy you to listen to it without laughing. The silly season comes but once a year - enjoy it. Even if our cricket pitches are still flooded.

This is filed under 'election losing jokes'. I think it might be quite obvious why...

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Confession: I'm not Gordon Brown

Ok, ok, I admit it - I have taken a holiday. This summer I took a couple of weeks off to go down to Cornwall with my family. People can make you feel a bit guilty about taking a holiday, but I think it's vital. If you don't ever take your foot off the accelerator and take some time out to reassess things, I think you can end up going a bit nuts. Like Gordon Brown.

So, for the summer holidays, here's - not an uber-political blog post- but one of my favourite poems about the British sea side. It's by John Betjeman, who loved the coast of North Cornwall, as I do. But alas, I can't write poems about it like this: It's 'Winter Seascape', which , as anyone who has been down to Cornwall this summer will know, has been sadly appropriate for the summer holidays this year.

Winter Seascape
by John Betjeman
The sea runs back against itself
With scarcely time for breaking wave
To cannonade a slatey shelf
And thunder under in a cave.

Before the next can fully burst
The headwind, blowing harder still,
Smooths it to what it was at first
-A slowly rolling water-hill.

Against the breeze the breakers haste,
Against the tide their ridges run
And all the sea's a dappled waste
Criss-crossing underneath the sun.

Far down the beach the ripples drag
Blown backward, rearing from the shore,
And wailing gull and shrieking shag
Alone can pierce the ocean roar.

Unheard, a mongrel hound gives tongue,
Unheard are shouts of little boys;
What chance has any inland lung
Against this multi-water noise?

Here where the cliffs alone prevail
I stand exultant, neutral, free,
And from the cushion of the gale
Behold a huge consoling sea.