What a week that was, a week of extremes in many ways, we now have a new Prime Minister who has been selecting his cabinet ministers, we have had weather like I can't remember, and this was how I came to meet Betty, more of which later.
But first behold my chiili plant which has at last started to produce some bambino chilli's, for weeks it seemed to languish in a state of coma, giving no indication it would produce the goods for me. Now the recent sun and rain seems to have kickstarted it into life, and this simple thing has made me happy, which is what my Wife says about me to her friends.
Oh and while we're on the subject of extremes, before I forget we're now on the cusp of another Ashes series at the concusion of which I will either be elated or very downhearted.
Just like my chilli plant the England players need to produce the goods, as usual I'm anticipating a good result, I'll give you my thoughts as the series progresses.
As well as the chilli the Verbascum which has evolved over the Summer has just flowered, its been great watching it grow and the bee's seem to love it, a very large and unusual plant.
The picture above is the core of the plant and looks like something out of a Sci Fi film, and below the plant produced these lovely flowers some weeks back on the tendrils that grew away from the core of the plant.
The bee's really liked these and I managed to get a few decent pictures, taken with my Sony HDR-CX405.
My Sunflowers are now thriving as well, after a dodgy start when one of them was dug up by a cat taking a crap in the soft earth I'd planted it in, I ask you you what an undignified way to go, dug up and shat upon, poor little thing.
A rather large slug took a liking to one of them and that was duly dispatched over the back fence like a duke being hit for six.
My garden is in stark contrast to my neightbours whose lawn looks like a particularly well kept bowling green and where everything is pruned to the nth degree, that's fine but I prefer the slightly wilder look.
Anyway back to how I met Betty, the date was 25/07/2019, this Thursday just gone, I was told I needed to go to London to attend a work related user group meeting, in fact I had to attend two, one in central london on the Thursday, and the other in Hatfield on the Friday.
So together with a colleague who was also going I booked a hotel, somewhere within an easy commute of both locations, so me and him drove down on the Wednesday evening to the Ramada at South Mimms services.
I know what you're thinking and you're right, in a bloody services, well things were about to get interesting, I'm not a cheapskate but I'm restricted on cost you understand, of course you do.
We checked in and I went up to my room, no air con, and it was warm, very warm, so down I popped to reception, which was nice and cool, and asked "do you have a fan", "ah" the young lady said, "I'll have a look for you but I can't guarentee anything", "Ok" I say. and go back to my room.
Five minutes later a knock at the door, a young lady stands in front of me with a a fan, well in better times it had been a fan, now it looked like something that had been pulled out of a skip.
The back cover which hides the electrics that power the fan was missing, the stand was at a 45 degree angle, and the blades had what appeared to be black mould on them, she plugged it in, it didn't work.
"" I'll go and find another one" she said and disappeared to return five minutes later with what looked like a nice clean serviceable fan, and it worked, thank god I thought, otherwise I would have cooked like a medium sized chicken in that room.
The windows were open so I took a look outside,
Not the best view, ah but at least breakfast was included in the cost of the overpriced room, although when we asked at reception we were told, "I can't see any sign of breakfast being included on your booking", "bloody hell" I thought.
My colleague later questioned this and came back with two coupons for a breakfast at the Harry Ramsdens in the services area which would have cosy us 8 quid each, welcome to rip off UK.
After a night of little sleep with the fan droning away in the background Thursday morning dawned and off we trotted to fortify ouselves for the upcoming day, well all I can say is it was interesting, if I'd been charged 8 quid for that I would have been pretty pissed off.
Funnily enough my colleagure had read some reviews left by pevious guests and one comment was "for the love of God don't have the breakfast".
There were lots of very young Chinese people staying in the hotel and they had been queuing in front of us to get their food, when we left after having ours we noticed all these breakfasts still completely untouched on the tables,
I hope they didn't think that's the best we have to offer, they may never come back.
My colleagure got a ground floor room with a broken window lock and which was opposite the area where the smokers fill their lungs with various toxins, and the smoke was wafting into his room, oh and no fan either.
He asked to change rooms which they did only to give him a room which still stank of smoke and but at least had not one, but two fans, two fans, to say I was envious is an understatement.
I later took the view he needed at least one of those fans to redirect cigarette smoke back out of the windows.
After feasting on a what was described as a traditional English breakfast, we made our way to Potters Bar train station, a gentle walk of 40 minutes in the coolest part of the day, this involved walking through a nature reserve at the back of the Hotel which was actually quite nice.
Arriving at the station things were now starting to warm up, I hope the train is air conditioned was my one and only thought, when it did turn up it was obviously old rolling stock and no air con.
When you watch people who obviously commute regularly by train you can see in their eyes that with each journey they take a part of their soul dies, they have that blank, resigned sort of look,
We arrived at Finsbury Park and here we had to get on the underground to travel to Victoria, this was the bit I'd been dreading, under normal circumstances I like using the tube, but today it was going to be warmer than a pair of testicles trussed up in a pair of 1970's bri-nylon underpants.
If people on the overground appear half dead then those forced to use the tube on a hot day resemble animated cadavers, with all the seething resentent of vampires forced to live forever in a state of unrest.
With each station we arrived at I ticked off one less to go before we got to our destination, and when we did I was glad we were now near to our final destination which I knew would be air conditioned, whether I would be in any fit state to take in any information was another matter.
I'm sticking in this random image of beer girls at the Adelaide Oval during an Autralia England test match just to cheer myself up, the girls escort you back to your seat with your beer, I didn't avail myself of this service but many testerone filled yound lads did.
If you are a cricket fan and find yourself in Australia the Adelaide Oval is a lovely place to visit.
Below I can be seen with a cock on my shoulder, and it has to be said a bit of a belly, this is beer related nothing to do with eating too much chicken, this is in France, it has to be in France where else could you get a cock so well behaved ?.
Here sans belly and ready to dine at a lovely place in the South of France, I love France, the food and wine, food wise you can't beat a good cassoulet, washed down with a red, it's bloody nirvava I tell you.