August Update: Lincoln Choir Tour

Everyone remember the last big update? No? What d’you mean “no”?

Lazy bastard. Alright, then (I’m only doing a summary this once, you realise…)

In the last dynamic episode, JTA legged it out of Aber, smuggling himself into the back of the Rev’s car, where he covered himself in a sheet, and sat pretending to be a picnic hamper, until safely over the Shropshire border, where he wandered around and said hello to Ruth’s grandparents.

Meanwhile, in Newport, Statto was preparing for his party which JTA found himself dropped off at some time before it was due to start. Pursued by Audrey’s brother’s wife’s gibbon, JTA & Kerrith sat up most of the night guarding a fire with which they could drive away Audrey’s brother’s wife’s gibbon, who himself failed to appear having got himself into an altercation with the hairdresser of Audrey’s aunt’s sister’s poodle (DSO, OBE & bar), which led to his arrest and wrongful conviction on a charge of willful bananaslaughter.

Next morning, JTA climbed into the boot of Mansbridge’s car and smuggled himself down the Forton Road and into the centre of Newport, before staging a daring leap from the car into the comparative safety of the Strine Brook, where he hid underwater with the aid of a small straw, half a jar of pickles, and a one-man submarine, until the Rev’s car came past, heading down to Wallingford. Swiftly climbing the tendrils of an overhanging willow tree, JTA swung himself onto the roof of the passing vehicle, and clung to the top of the car as it careered into three innocent beer bottles, and Oxfordshire.

Having driven six times past the Corn Exchange, JTA found himself on a sofa listening to Caroline, Jerry & the Rev discuss last week’s episode of The Forsyte Saga, but which turned out to be the accommodation arrangements for the marriage of the Rev’s fourth cousin’s second sister’s fiance’s brother Audrey, whose gibbon had mysteriously vanished, only to be replaced on the guest list by Ruth’s brother Owen, on the grounds that nobody would notice, and it’s impossible to work out who’s related to who in the Trim family anyway.

We pick up the story the next morning when…

Got to Wallingford and into the back of Caroline & Jerry’s car and made it up to Lincoln with a minimum of fuss and bother, except for a vague traffic jam on the motorway. Not being able to sing, I managed to spend most of the week wandering about the shops of Lincoln (there’s a sweet shop which sells Cinnamon balls [O God, you can get them off the Internet! Huzzah!] which was especially cool) and looking for a replacement coat, because, as usual, my regular one’s died through overuse.

The Cathedral itself was pretty cool, once the wallies filming the Da Vinci Code had cleared out, and we got a fantastic tour of the roofspace (bloody enourmous supporting beams up there, and mostly original 12th Century oak… great stuff) from Ken, who works for the Cathedral and whose son Will is part of the choir…

There was lots of wine, which was nice, and also good ale, and a nice ale shop as well, where we couldn’t buy very much because of having to get the train back. Then Bryn rang me, wanting to know if we could go out in Aber, and I explained that Ruth & I couldn’t, and he’d have to make do with Dan and Claire.

“As if,” he wistfully replied. “They’re in bloody Norfolk”
O-ho. Norfolk, eh?

So I rang Dan, and Lo! We managed to get a lift back, which took six hours (instead of the train’s eight) and didn’t cost us £30 apiece, meaning we had a spare 30 quid for more beer! Plus Ruth got to stay until the end of Sunday evensong, so that was all good.

Decent trip back (thanks to Claire for that!), even if we did get stuck on the M42 and definitely not drive off the motorway via an on-sliproad. And even if we had done, we didn’t get hit by the car that went down just after we would’ve gone up it, nor nabbed by the police car which would’ve passed us heading slip-road wards about two minutes afterwards.

Slightly alarming fog on the mountains by the Elvis rock on the way back, where you couldn’t see the edge of the road (which is alarming, because it’s generally also the edge of an enourmous drop, in that bit of the country) but we made it back safely, so it was all super.

And that was that, really, except I suddenly found myself surrounded by people bursting to give me a job. Still, it’s all good.

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