Saturday, 16 July 2011

Nome or Home - That Was The Question

Happy Birthday to Me!
You must have been a beautiful baby, you must have been a beautiful child.

So what happened?

Today is the day I become a State Pensioner and by definition yet another sap on the economy, having never paid a penny-piece in but taking all I can out! Not much of a day weather wise, so a chance to catch up on mail and the mundane outstanding during my absence.

Having completed the visit to St Paul, one of the 2 Pribilof Islands, that easily qualifies as one of the Top Ten places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting, there were just 3 options. One was to spend the final 7 days in Anchorage (no offence meant but not really a consideration), head up to Nome or head for Home. Having pin point directions to the location of Bristle-thighed Curlew, remaining in Alaska was a great temptation but logistically it would have proved difficult, so here I am back home.

Kicking Around on a Piece of Ground in Your Hometown,
Looking for something or someone to show you the way.
Pink Floyd

6 weeks absence isn't such a lengthy period in the great plan of things, but amazing just how things change in such a short time. Taking the National Express from Heathrow to Weymouth, the fields are now speckled with bales of hay while Common Swifts are congregating in largish flocks issuing pre-departure screams.

In town the first, and most impressive, sight has to be the refurbished Jubilee Clock

which is now shining like a shilling on a sweep-stake, but a pity it's not showing the correct time.

Groups of holiday makers are gathering around old Fred Darrington's grandson's sand sculpture, this year depicting the Mad Hatter's Tea Party,

and while on the subject of grandsons, my own grandfather 'Scan' Edwards spent his final working days plying the cross harbour route in a similar rowing boat, which is great to see still in operation.

Even though 'shopping' is my least favourite subject it was also pleasing to see

the completion and vast improvement of the extension at my local Asda store, which stands on the site of the old Sidney Hall.

However, I note a potential snag. There was no one on site who could tell me the reason for having stainless steel wire cables running vertically through eyelets up each of the new walls, but my prediction is they will be used for simulated 'cliff climbing' by local drunks. I have put my name forward to be first to the top, of what must be runners for advertising banners? We'll see!

Shortly after this, and while admiring even more improvements on the sea front (fully refurbished Georgian shelters, new bus shelters with real time, digital 'service information' and the 'state of the art' laser lights) I bumped into my friends Alan & Val Watts who were more than surprised to see me back already. With the sun now directly over the yardarm, they suggested a drink to welcome me home and celebrate my 'coming of age', so we decanted to The Swan

where we met another dear friend Leslie Brown among several others. A good time was had by all (especially the 'sing song' with new found friends) in addition to which there yet another party in the pipe-line for September, but lots of 'irons in the fire' before we get there. So will keep you posted and hope to see many of you real soon.

There are still a few photos from the North America trip which I will publish tomorrow.

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