Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
When Andrew, one of my "Last of the Summer Wine" friends, told me that Norman Clegg's house was for sale, we knew we had to check it out. So last Saturday, we took a taxi to the new Matter Transport Station in downtown San Diego, and beamed over to the MT Station in Manchester, England. From there, we rented a cute Mini Cooper, and drove out to Holmfirth.
We found Simon, the agent handling the sale, as charming as the town in which he lives. He drove us out to the house, and allowed us to walk through every room, and peer into (nearly) every closet and cupboard. Since the TV series ended in 2010, Norman Clegg has used his royalties to carry out some renovation work, and the house really looks lovely. His garden shows equal attention to detail, and exhibits a delightful quirkiness. We could imagine sitting out there for hours, even in the cold and rain, and gazing at all the points of interest he's created. And when it snowed, or we just needed to warm up, we could go upstairs and gaze out of the third-story windows upon a stunning, hillside vista.
Compo and Foggy no longer live nearby, but I'm sure we would find other laid back folks to hang out with. Each evening, we could also wander down to the White Horse Tavern for a swift half, and take the pulse of local life.
Sadly, after discussing the particulars with Simon back at his office, we realized that purchasing Norman Clegg's former house doesn't make sense right now. First we'd have to petition for an extended stay visa, and the British government doesn't hand those out every day. Plus, even after they build the proposed Matter Transport Station in Holmfirth, there's the fact that England is eight hours ahead of us. So by the time we clocked off work, and could beam over, we'd get there in the wee hours of the morning. And when we woke up to beam back to San Diego, it'd be early evening in England, which means that in the winter, we'd only see the sun on the weekends, and that would mean constantly adjusting our sleep schedules. But, as Simon said, the MT Station won't be built in Holmfirth for a few years, and we couldn't handle driving between Manchester and Holmfirth every day.
Disconsolate, we bade Simon farewell, and wandered down into Holmfirth for a last tour of the town before we drove back to Manchester. We paid our respects to Compo and Nora Batty's houses, then stopped in at Sid's Cafe for some Yorkshire Tea and a sandwich. As we ate, my wife pointed out one final barrier to purchasing Norman Clegg's House, an important factor that we had previously overlooked. There's only one bathroom in his former home, right next to the bedroom. Imagine having to troop up two flights of stairs every time you wanted to...you know, use the facilities.
I felt a little better about the whole situation after she pointed this out. I mean, if you want something bad enough, you'll find a way to work around most of the problems that stand in your way. But then there are others, like this last one, that make the whole situation just plain impossible!
Related Dragon Cache entries
Catching a Glimpse of Norman Clegg's House
Related Internet Links
Norman Clegg's House Listing
Monday, July 29, 2013
On our visit last year to Yorkshire, we fell in love with Yorkshire Tea. It had a nice flavor, and like the region of England from which it takes its name, seems more substantial than some other brands. Since returning home, we've found it in several local stores, and thus look forward to our weekends together, when we can make a pot of tea and enjoy our breakfast together. After savoring its rich flavor, we can then venture out upon our weekend adventures together.
In "Reputation", the first "Inspector Lewis" mystery, Lewis arrives at Heathrow Airport after working for two years in the British Virgin Islands. His new assistant, Detective Sergeant Hathaway, picks him up, but before they get back to the station they are called out to investigate a homicide. That evening, jet-lagged and world-weary, Lewis arrives home. His house is empty, his cupboards bare. He empties his shopping bag of the few items he picked up at the grocery store. And among those staples, those necessities of life, is a box of tea.
In a country as rich in history as England, regional distinctions often prove important. People celebrate their local heritage, and support locally made products. While Oxford is just outside London, Yorkshire (inhabited by "Northerners") seems a world away. Yet Inspector Lewis doesn't reach for a tea made near London or Oxford. He knows that, among the staples he needs to restart his life in England, he must have the rich taste and sustaining flavor found only in Yorkshire Tea.
If it helps Inspector Lewis unravel the most perplexing mysteries (and helps Dragon Dave kickstart his weekends), you can rely on Yorkshire Tea to help you meet anything life demands of you.
Well, at least nearly everything. I mean, this is only a hot drink we're talking about, right? Oh, wow, I just heard thunder outside. That's strange. I wasn't expecting a storm today...
Friday, July 26, 2013
Supreme Dalek: I must say, the Master's scales are sounding good.
Pinky: Yes, once I got him past D Major, he's really taking off. He's mastered A Major, E Major, and he's not even phased by B Major, even though it's got five sharps.
Supreme Dalek: He seems to be getting the hang of Muzio Clementi's Sonatina Op. 36, No. 4 rather quickly, too.
Pinky: Yes, I think it helps that he finds the Rondo section similar to the second part of No. 1.
Supreme Dalek: You see what a little gentle persuasion can accomplish? It told you...what was that?
Pinky: I don't know. It sounded like a terrific impact of some kind. Say, who's this guy that's coming along?
Supreme Dalek: Excuse me, stranger, but who are you, and are you supposed to be here?
Thor: Well might you call me stranger, for I hail from Asgard, and my father Odin has cast me down to this unknown realm.
Pinky: Then you're not from around here?
Thor: Aye, sweet pink Dalek, that is correct. My name is Thor, and I'm certain my half-brother Loki must have something to do with my exile. If only I could perform some noble deed to reclaim my honor! Surely then my father--good King Odin--would forget his wrath, and welcome me back to my native realm.
Supreme Dalek: I'm sure we can find a task to which you are best suited. There's always honor in a job well done.
Thor: Well said, good Dalek, but first I must find what belongs to me. Have either of you seen my hammer?
Pinky: Well, I haven't seen a hammer per se, but when our Master plays the keys, he's actually using hammers to pound strings.
Supreme Dalek: He's the source of the music you hear.
Thor: I cannot be hearing aright. Do you mean to say that your master uses more than one hammer at once?
Pinky: Oh yes. Through playing his piano, I mean.
Thor: Exactly how many hammers does your great master wield simultaneously?
Pinky: Uh, eighty-eight, I believe.
Thor: I must see this powerful god you serve. Perhaps he can deliver me from this terrible plight. Farewell, good Daleks.
Supreme Dalek: Is it just me, or is this place getting weird?
Pinky: I wonder what he's doing Friday night?
Supreme, Pinky & Thor Daleks
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
By Valka, I swear that if King Kull was in charge, he'd cut the deficit, stop the gridlock in Washington, and secure our borders. Perhaps if we (and the good folks at Dark Horse Books) paid him greater respect, he might even run for President. Long live King Kull! All hail King Kull!