Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Tuesday 31st July 07

Leaving for the Big Green Gathering today, so up early to pack and get to the station in good time to get the Virgin York to Bristol 10.30 train I booked a cheap ticket with ages ago, a ticket only valid on this service.

So got a bus to the station and waited for 45 minutes, but although the train arrived on time, it didn't leave on time as just outside York there was a breakdown which delayed our leaving. Because of this, we didn't go via Doncaster but via Pontefract to Sheffield.

At Derby, my friend Lorna got on, as arranged, and we chatted all the way down to Bristol Temple Meads. As we had 50 mins to wait for the Weston Super Mare train, we went to the nearby 'Empire' exhibition, but didn't pay to go in as it was expensive and we only had half an hour, so we wandered round the shop area and chatted, looking at the assorted objects on sale. Lorna was born in Zambia and has lived in Kenya and South Africa, so she has an interesting take on 'Empire'.

The WSM train left on time and was quick getting to it's destination. When decanted, I rang my friend and tonight's host Lucy to see if she was in yet, and as she wasn't, left a message to say we'd walk to the seafront and slowly wander along to her house which is nearby.

However, as we started to walk to the sea, my Mother cycled up, having had a message from Lucy saying that she'd be in later, so we went back to my parents' house. My Dad wasn't in, as he'd had an operation on his eye to relieve the hightened pressure caused by glaucoma, which is strongly heritable in our family. We had a cold drink and a tour around the house and garden, which is lovely. My folks are moving soon to Sheffield, to be nearer the rest of the family, so this may be one of the last times I see the house.

Mummy drove us to Lucy's in the Toyota Prius which they got a couple of years ago, probably as I kept on mentioning carbon emissions and car travel. My parents are car addicts and won't ever reduce their driving habits, so getting a 'hybrid' car with a petrol/battery engine, and a 60+ miles per gallon 'footprint' is better than having a normal petrol car (much lower mpg), or a diesel with it's particulate emissions. However if they had a diesel they could switch to veg oil or biodiesel....

It was lovely to see Lucy again. I went to Trinidad and Tobago in 1984 with her, on a scientific expedition (Leicestershire Youth Exploration Group) and have kept in touch ever since. She has two small children and a loving and supportive husband Colin, who came in from work a bit later. We ate all together and then went for a walk through a park to the sea, where some of us paddled and I had a good session devilsticking on the beach. Good chats during the evening following the children going to bed, and we went to bed quite early as Colin gets up to go to work in Swindon very early, and the kids get Lucy up early too. Slept well, comfy futon and sleeping bags.

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