On the occasion of a local sporting result

I’m told that a group of men who swear affiliation to Southampton (despite most of them having no apparent connection to the town), have successfully kicked an air-filled pigs’ bladder into a giant net (for reasons unclear to me) more often than some other group of men similarly mysteriously affiliated to some other town, and have apparently thereby all been promoted directly into saints… which seems a shame as that implies they all died, doesn’t it? I may have misrepresented some of the finer detail, as the complexities of this sport are far beyond the capabilities of my mind to comprehend. Regardless, well done gentlemen, and may you all rest in peace.

New Forest

Bike on train to Soton, cycle to hosp for my eye checkup (all fine), then headed into the forest for a bit. “A bit” turned into “a while” as the faeries switched all the paths around behind my back; despite assiduously memorising my inbound route, I couldn’t find it again to get out. New Forest faeries are a tricky bunch, they do this sort of thing all the time. The best policy is to do what the ponies do, swish quietly and stay serene. Got help from a passing fawn (or was it a faun?), and made it out before it got too dark to see, which is always a bonus.

I never used to like the forest, but that was because I usually let S choose which bits of it we went to, and she always chose the same bits, which even if they’d been really spectactularly nice (which is not how I’d describe Deerleap), would’ve bored me eventually. I’m an explorer, I always prefer going somewhere I’ve never been before (or went to so long ago that I’ve forgotten it!). So not ready to settle down somewhere… but if the kids go to school, I may have no choice but to go back to Soton. That might not be so bad, I just dislike the fact that I never seem to have a choice, or only Hobson’s choice.

House Party

The car shuddered and juddered and wheezed its way along the final half mile to Sarah’s. I flipped the bonnet and gave the throttle cable a gentle pull to see if it was doing the same “little puff of white smoke from the engine block” thing it had done on the return from Nottingham. Ah yes, there it is. And hakk hakk karf, oh, there’s a HUGE cloud of acrid white smoke just come out of the exhaust. Never had that before. I don’t know much about engine mechanics, but I reckon that might not be a good sign.

I had been planning on going to Earthdance this weekend, but started going off the idea when I found out it was at the Scala, and for other random reasons. But had no alternative option. Then news emerged of a house party in Soton. Much better, I love house parties.

Of course it was nothing like my expectations. Ali was supposed to be coming, but didn’t. Tom didn’t originally sound keen on the idea but came along and seemed to enjoy it. Manitou (a free party crew) had done a full-on UV decor and soundsystem job in the lounge, to the extent that it really felt more like a club than a house party, especially with beer on tap and a nitrous dispensary. Outside that room, other rooms were at capacity and giving off cliquey vibes by the time we arrived. Didn’t feel comfortable trying to infiltrate there… maybe I just wasn’t in a conversational mood (wasn’t wearing a crystal). So it was fine, I spent most of the night in the club room dancing, drinking, and chatting a bit, with occasional rests in the hammock on the “beach” (it was a beach party — they’d shipped in a load of sand and a paddling pool) but mostly dancing.

There was one other person who was on the same kind of dancing vibe as me, really feeling it, and for much of the evening we danced together, moved around each other, made lots of friendly eye contact… didn’t touch and didn’t talk, because there was no need. The smiles and movement and aura of mutual respect said it all. Trying to talk to her would’ve just felt so wrong. That may be the first time I’ve honoured that feeling, instead of letting some inner voice which isn’t even me tell me that I “should” talk to someone in that situation, and then beat myself up for not doing it.

Overall had an excellent time. Left about 5am, got to sleep about 6, up at 11 with the barest of hangovers, considering. Had wine, mostly. Not ideal from a plastic pint glass (it’s all they had), but that may actually have got me drinking more slowly, carefully… However, Montana Sauvignon is waaay too sweet/fruity, and Jacob’s Creek Sem/Ch, which used to be my staple, I find quite unpleasant these days. Changing taste in wine seems strangely fundamental, like it tracks more deep-level changes. White’s not doing it for me, yet cheap Chilean red is going down nicely… and not only did I find myself able to drink Donna’s rosé without retching, I voluntarily had a second glass. Don’t worry, it’s a long way from there to being a committed pinkdrinker (that could be a nice euphemism… or not…).