Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Well and Truly Cream Crackered...Knackered!"

Two more weeks gone west! I'm more than pleased to announce I'm still alive and now seriously on the improve. My life for the last month has been revolving around hospitals, pills and doctors appointments, what I can do, and not do!

This face shows where I've been, not where I'm going!

I wasn't finished with the unexpected though, my bowels shut down for 3 days, and for those who have never had this happen it's very trying, and trying, etc. So more pills and potions taken from both ends, not to harp on about this, but I thought it should be told about as it is a common condition of people after operations featuring lots of painkillers and morphine, so if I can notify/inform someone who reads this blog, that this could happen to you, and if you take action before the bind happens, well then it's all been worth it!

My lovely wife kept saying (and others too) the sun will come out soon and she/they were right!

I wanted to make a recording of my first doctor's appointment so as to get everything right, and not forget anything, I was told no you can't, then I pushed the issue, as it was for my wellbeing and health, they said don't do it, so I did! All the response I got from the doctor and nurse was mostly the simple word, no, no and no, repeated with a "dead pan face" (rather appropriate). Gee it gave me heaps of hope when then they said another 4 weeks in the sling, so they took my stitches out and  I headed out into the wide world with NO still ringing in my ears!  Afterwards talking to Angela who had been a nurse all her working life, she said she would also have said no to being recorded, in fear of being sued and held accountable to what was said! Going home in my uncle's car, after listening to my story he said that I'm cream crackered! So now I can actually smile when I hear the phrase "Cream Crackered" and will forever be adding "Knackered".
So I took to the streets and walked to Bournemouth, here is a selection of what caught my eye.

Boscombe beach and the chalets

I did manage to catch up with my cousin Raymond,  I hadn't seen him since 1984, way too long. He's in the travel business and told me about the arrival of the American Greyhound company that services London with buses (with wi-fi and power plugs) from Southampton, Bournemouth and a few other locations. Must give them a go.
These rhododendrons are beautiful, but considered a weed and being cut out of the landscape of St Katherines Hill, just behind me, where Ken and I often go for walks

Now I was looking forward to be heading away for the weekend to the Jazz improvisation workshop that I enrolled and planned for from NZ months ago, being held in North Devon at Torrington. The month before leaving NZ was so busy with finishing jobs and having my 60th birthday party, that I had little workshop preparation and playing, in spite of Pete Canter's information and  practice mp3s being sent 3 months ago. The night before, I opened the sax case just to make sure I could actually hold it comfortably and gave it a quick blow to confirm I should take it.

Auntie Angela's roses

I had arranged my first Warm Showers visit (this is an international group of people who host touring cyclists, we  are hosts in NZ and now I was about to be on the other side of the fence) and contacted Phil Creasey in Barnstable only 13 miles north of Torrington. I made sure there was a bus, although this wasn't needed as a couple of the workshop participants were coming from the Barnstable area and kindly gave me a lift.

Back to Phil the Warm Showers host, he was great! He introduced me to his 18 year old neighbour, another sax player, and we talked shop on sax and music issues, nice lad, young and switched on too.

The Central church in Barnstable.

Walked into town via the Tarka cyleway along the river Taw, which at this point was tidal and therefore salty at times. Now I started to enjoy the idea of cycle touring again, and started to envision being back on the bike and cycling once again. Phil took me out to several local beaches and spots of interest, it was good to get information about local matters, it really fills out the flavour of a place and driving around the little Devonshire country lanes is amazing (the photos can't do them justice) .

Saunton Beach

Phil you gave me hope, realising I'd lost my way somewhat when I started my journey.

The Jazz Workshop was both brilliant and a challenge Many of the others were workshop junkies who knew the ropes and with my lack of prep, it was very tough in places, however from adversity comes diversity and intensity. We had nine sax players and one trumpet player which I thought gave some needed variety. I did sort of have an eye on England's first game in the World Cup, but many of the other Saxers on the workshop didn't even know that England were playing! These people in this house in Torrington, it's safe to say did!

Views from Torrington

Now heading back to Christchurch but not before another foray out into the wilds of North Devon out on the cliffs and headlands looking toward Wales, I was reminded of home with the Romney sheep actually in lamb at this time of year, very late, like early to mid summer and obviously close to lambing! Tame too as we could get almost within touching distance of them. I loved the stone fences and gates, interesting to also see gorse and heather.

Looks like lots of locals have been stoned for quite a while!

It was my suggestion to finish Devon off with a Devonshire Tea, so Phil and I stocked up in the little local shop, choosing scones, a pottle of cream and was shown the range of local jams to go with it.  Me being me, I chose this nice jar of local Exmoor Marmalade with Rum and took all our selection to the till to talley up. The assistant, said "do you know this is not jam", I said "it looks ok to me". She said  "oh,  no it's not jam". Anyway we enjoyed them immensly.

The train journey home was not without an event. I didn't realise I did not have my Kokopelli hat on until I was two trains into my journey. It's all good though, I must be getting back to normal as I'd left it in the front of Phil's van and the "hat to end all hats" will be returning to my bonce very soon. I do feel naked without it. The trouble is, most people don't like either option, me with orwithout the hat, both are a shock to the classic English reserve though it does start many a conversation. I'm lost with and without it.

Now I'm looking forward to returning to London to go to the British Museum Exhibition of Rennaisance Masters (more than 100 works by Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Titian and more) and intend to also go to the Tate Modern Museum.

Still no busking or clowning happening yet, however it's in the wind.

Just swanning along now in Dorset

Cheers and Ciao


Taz said...

"Its in the wind..." And the winds blowing towards the Midlands, my friend!

ryan martin said...

jimu - i had the same dude with the heavy black moustache and partial grasp of english - and guess what his only words were...'come back in 4 weeks'!!!... cant believe it - see you then!

Anonymous said...


glad to see your on the mend and getting about, very interesting read again with some loverly pics don't look so sad just because the red in your hair is fading a bit, you can always have it re-done (that is why isn't it) looking forward to meeting you soon..john

jimu said...

Ta fer the replies fella's, update on physio...all good but best senario re biking is still 3 weeks away.....

Anonymous said...

Hi Jimu! I've dropped in a couple of time to see yr adventures and have been also surprised with how things unfold so far for you, but im really happy you got some joy in the devon locality, it being my neck of the woods for my first 23 years! And my boyfriend still mixes marmalade and jam, its not decreased his value to me one bit, but u know what tradition is to the country folk!! Safe trip on, yr photos are great and yr whole trip/pace at life inspirational!
Amy, from The Grapevine, Brighton

ps: ill be anonymous because i don't know what these other tags are ;)

Jimu said...

Hi Amy,
Yeah ta for the comments, now wi-fi ing along on UK Greyhound....tho the return to the bike is still a little way off!
Ps Your boyfriend's a jammy perisher!

Anonymous said...

I am really Glad i ran across this website.Added visionariblog.blogspot.com to my bookmark!

Jimu said...

There are lots more....number 12 is the last in this series....enjoy!