Thursday 18 September 2008

The Cresswell whale and the St James bloater

14st 4lb; 4.5 units of alcohol yesterday; 1,236; Druridge Bay.

I have definitely become a glutton for punishment, glued to every last second of the Today programme as the bad news continues to gush out, with all the force of a Morpeth storm drain on the Saturday before last. I even took the wireless outside with me as I finally managed to put away the last of the load of logs that was dumped in my back yard almost a fortnight ago. A small black toad, which had taken up residence in what it had evidently taken to be a permanent, damp wood pile, made it clear that it was mightily pissed off. With the sun shining weakly for the first time in ages, I also took the opportunity to mow the sodden grass, and trim some shrubs overhanging the front path, as these would have been getting on my wick for some time now if I were the postman. And, the way things are going, I may well soon be down at the sorting office enquiring about possible vacancies.

The only downside to all this activity was that it left me feeling too weary to drive to Chester, as planned. I spent all day feeling guilty as a result. Quite unnecessarily, I discovered shortly before I went to bed, as the Less Tall Cheshire Brunette had responded more or less instantaneously to my e-mail saying that I might not turn up with one saying, in summary, “Good.” Only it had not been delivered to the computer I was using at the time, owing to some technical quirk far beyond my limited comprehension.

When I got around to reading the local paper in bed this evening, I found that they had printed a large picture on page 3 of a decomposing whale, washed up on Cresswell beach. I stared at it for some time before I read the caption, trying to pin down what was different about the picture of Mike Ashley which, of late, has normally occupied this space.

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