Where’s Watton

I did say that I wasn’t going to do a travel blog, so a back-in-Liverpool episode about my little sojourn to Norfolk doesn’t really count does it? It has to be done now while I still have some memory of it. They don’t last very long in my head and I wish I could blame it on my age, but I think it is some hereditary thing that has been passed on by my dad, a persistent list maker whose life’s choreographies are almost totally laid out on neatly cut scraps of paper bound in a rubber band held wallet. This whole blog business is probably a little bit like that wallet. I’ll read back, many, many weeks from now and think, ‘Did I do that?’

I drove down to Norfolk, and more precisely, Watton, a small market town whose claim to fame, I was told by many people, was having several scenes from the TV series Kingdom filmed there. My old school friend Salena lives in that neck of the woods and was having her fortieth in the 19th hole of the local golf club (the entrance of which is nigh on impossible to find at night especially when someone is telling you to just go over a little hump backed bridge when there was no goddamn bridge – not even when I checked, twice, the next day). It was too late to see much of the place when I first got there, having regretted being too tight to pay the M6 toll. The sky, though, was spectacular. I think I’ve already said it on fb, but even with the hunger and being stressed by trying to find this friggin’ place, I was bowled over by just how many visible stars there were. A diamante studded cloak. It wasn’t diamonds; nobody could afford so many diamonds.
Watton by day was vastly improved by lovely sunshine. It isn’t bad looking but there is something happy making about seeing the autumn leaves tumbling slowly from the trees, letting the clear cold light glisten through the branches and bathe the charity shops with an inviting glow. Like all good modern high streets, there are many such shops here along with a dodgy art gallery or two, a Cooperative Funeral Care place and an antique shop, catering well for the average age of the residents.

I spent the morning swishing through the leaves in my, err, flip flops and meandering into the shops chatting to the locals. From the antiques man who was originally from Tottenham and sounded like a proper cockney ‘geezer’ I found that Norfolk people move too slowly – I did discover that for myself later when I was stocking up on the booze at the tucked away Tescos and waiting for the checkout man to check that the lady in front meant to get the two different types of cod fillets as one was a little more expensive madam. Keep calm and breathe. From the second-hand book seller couple who totted up my purchases with a pencil and paper I found out that Pope’s translation of The Iliad is the best one, Stephen Fry is a bit of a windbag and Charles Dickens wasn’t that far behind Jimmy Saville in his predilection for young ladies. It took a long time to get back to Salena’s by which time I was laden with shopping and had frostbite on my toes.

Her do went off very well. She had friends from Greece and Germany who were renting the same house and I saw no altercations save the potentially touch paper moment when the Greek came in and said ‘Salena why have the Germans got a bigger room?’ ‘Because they paid more darling.’ She’s not one to beat around the bush is our girl, and surprisingly the explanation was accepted and he merely pinched the iron and left. Whenever Salena and I meet up, we, or rather I, because she can handle soooo much more than me, get well and truly wasted. I was half expecting the same to happen here but apart from wearing some silly glasses and trying to teach a fifteen year how to get some rhythm I wasn’t allowed to make a complete arse of myself this time because her considerate parents, who I’d only met the night before, packed me off to bed. I think I brought out their paternal/maternal side. Either that or they wanted to be invited back to that blessed golf club again.


Blog the first

So this is it, my very first blog, being written in a b&b in Watton. And judging by the length of time between setting up the name and actually putting in an offering, blog número deux may be a while in the coming.

The leadless pencil is apt then. It was my favourite name; after all my first, second and subsequent choices had been taken by other WordPress bloggers.
I set it up a few weeks ago when a friend said that she was starting one and I’d had fun writing verbose descriptions on fb when I’d been in Barca, so I thought it would be good for me. She, however, is very involved in local stuff; music, arts, etc. So hers can wrap itself round a purpose. Mine on the other hand. Hmmm.

A travel blog? My Spanish trip last month was the first holiday in two years so I don’t get out much. Although I am currently writing this inaugural bobbins in Norfolk. That’s definitely somewhere else to where I normally am. You can see the stars here for one thing. Properly. It is like the proverbial blanket and they are incredibly bright. I was impressed last night. I’m not impressed with some crap band that appear to be gigging or practising next door to me, with some shouty ugh ughing guy, who could be a groupie or could be the lead singer. I could never do a review blog, I’d be lynched.

A coding blog? You’re yawning already. Although I did encapsulate some tricky data into one nested select with some lovely analytical functions the other day. Yup, you’re still yawning.

A gay blog? Considering nuns probably have more traffic than me, it’s not going to have a lot to say.

For what then, am I bothering with all this? Well, I think it seemed like a good way to just practise using the writing muscle, regularly ish. Ideally I’d like to write stories and stuff but I’m inherently lazy and I lack a bit of confidence and I don’t actually have any ideas in the first place. So I’m thinking, maybe it’s just that I haven’t actually used that part of my brain much, what with being a plinky plonk code monkey for so many years. Maybe, writing about any old shit, is still writing and therefore realigning some crucial synaptic receptors to get me to a purpose or idea or inclination. Plus writing where other people can see if they can be arsed is a tad more scary than keeping it to myself. Feel the fear etc.
So, this could be the first of many…or it could be the last of one. Who knows.