A travel blog of Ireland, Europe, and New Zealand

Another busy weekend

We have just had a hectic long weekend babysitting our two grandsons who live in Hove, near Brighton. Their parents were attending a wedding and at the last moment their local babysitting arrangements fell through so it was SuperGrandma and SuperGrandad who (literally!) flew to the rescue. Dublin to Gatwick on the plane, Gatwick to Brighton on the train, Brighton to Hove in the taxi. Departed Dublin Thursday at 7pm, arrived Hove just after 9:30pm, so relatively quick and easy.

Serendipitously, Angus’ class had invited parents and grandparents to a “Special Assembly” on Friday where they performed items loosely connected to the story of Noah, but updated to include water conservation messages and green principles in a very socially responsible way! So of course we were delighted to attend. We then explored Hove for the rest of the morning, or more accurately should I say Pip and Sarah explored Hove’s Op Shops, of which there are at least 10 – 12. I, meanwhile, was reduced to looking like the retiree that I very possibly am. Coincidentally, just yesterday I read this quote from Charles Lamb, the 18th century English essayist, on retirement, and I seem to fit it exactly: “I am already come to be known by my vacant face and careless gesture, perambulating at no fixed pace nor with any settled purpose. I walk about; not to and from.”

Quoting Lamb? Pretentious git, I hear you cry. Yes, maybe, but what I was reading was the very last Inspector Morse detective novel, and the author prefixes each chapter with an appropriate quote, of which this was one. I must admit I wouldn’t know a Lamb essay if it was served up medium rare on my plate – Essaie of Lamb on a bed of sweet potato mash with blueberry jus.   

One of the benefits of non-employment is the chance it gives for more reading. Not only the Morse book but also another detective story by Simon Brett. I knew of him as the author of that brilliant book of cartoons, 101 Uses for a Dead Cat and so reasoned he couldn’t be all bad, but it turned out he could. Never mind. And I’m currently reading David Jason’s autobiography which is fascinating and very funny. I have to say that the second hand bookshops in Ireland are wondrous places and I can usually find one or two good books within a few minutes at rock-bottom prices.

View 1 from my park bench

View 1 from my park bench

On the way back from England on Sunday evening I developed quite a sore throat which has been annoying me for a couple of days, so I’ve been taking things easy the last couple of days. This afternoon I took my David Jason book and sat in the sunshine at the local park near the river. Simple pleasures for us simple retirees. (Well, I’m not really retired (you listening Pip?) but am waiting to hear back from three job applications. Nothing so far – I may yet have retirement thrust upon me…)

View 2 from my park bench

View 2 from my park bench






View 3 from my park bench

View 3 from my park bench

6 thoughts on “Another busy weekend

  1. Bim

    How fortuitous you arrived in time for the grandparent event. No doubt there were smiles on the faces of the happy grandsons. Hope there is still some stock left in the op shops of Hove! Thanks for the update and lovely photos. A peaceful place to read yr book. Keep up the posts. They are a joy to read in your usual eloquent style. Much love, Bim.

  2. SuezeQ

    Wow, last time I was at Hove it did not look as beautiful. Middle of winter and freezing cold are the memories but there were still the odd brave (but swe thought stupid) swimmer!!

  3. Klaus Reiter

    Just imagine, this morning I sat through a meeting with a face that must have been very similar to Lamb’s. I love your blog!
    best regards

  4. Marg

    A classic update Bruce – great to read and have a laugh and smile in this otherwise dreary place! Enforced retirement – well, I am beginning to think it might be that but in truth am not giving up yet. However, communication from those that one applies to or joins up with is pretty non existent after the initial approach and it is disheartening to say the least. Look forward to the next epistle!

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks Marg. Yes, human nature is not necessarily at its best when dealing with HR departments. Which is strange, really, when you think about it – the very ones who should be good at dealing with people should be HR.

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