Friday, 14 November 2014

TVBFs Made Real, Autographs In Unusual Places, and Varifocal Glasses Arrive....

I may have mentioned my admiration for Nicholas Crane before? He is universally known here as Map Man after a series he did on TV years back. M works with maps and so when L was little he called M Map Man too. As a result, there was quite a lot of confusion for several years in our house over who exactly my husband was. 
M is also a member of the Royal Geographic Society (being also a geographer) and so from time to time when they have interesting speakers we pop along to the Turner Sims at Southampton Uni and sit and listen. We've seen Ben Fogle, Dr. Alice Roberts and a bloke whose name escapes me because it was several years ago talking about a trip he made in the footsteps of Shackleton. Great Stuff.

A few months ago M (knowing my feelings for Mr Crane) asked whether I'd like to see him give a lecture on mapping, so last night we duly went along and listened for two hours while he regaled us with his adventures. I had a gin, which helped take my mind off the man sitting behind who kept rubbing his knees on me.

I was a bit Star Struck and did come over a tiny bit faint at the proximity of Mr Crane (we were in the second row) and had to pinch my fingers in order to remain calm. I experienced a brief moment of unbridled madness when I considered reaching out and touching him, but luckily sanity stepped in just in time and reminded me that that would be a bit weird, plus I might get arrested and miss the lecture. So I contented myself with asking M whether he thought I should ask Mr C for his autograph. M replied with a story about David Mitchell, who once apparently had a girl ask him to sign her boobs chest. He did, with enormous and evident embarrassment. 
Unfortunately, the hall decided to go quiet at that moment and so our neighbours were treated to my guffaws and my husband postulating whether that kind of thing might have happened to Mr Crane. When I tell you that the overwhelming demographic in terms of the audience for RGS lectures is around eighty and fairly staid, you'll understand that a debate about whether or not the Speaker may or may not have been asked to sign someone's breasts at the end of one of his lectures is not a topic of conversation they necessarily expected to overhear, especially at a cartography lecture. The knees behind me wobbled even more frantically and I thought the poor old chap was going to have a heart attack.

I had another fit of giggles at half time when I went for a wee and the old lady in the cubicle next to me let rip three ginormous farts in quick succession. I had to stuff my scarf into my face to prevent the giggles getting out, and then panicked when I left in case the ladies queuing thought it was me.

Mr Crane is an Old Fashioned Explorer. He packs his rucsac with minimal kit, grabs a map and compass and sets off to walk mountain ranges, or lines on maps such as 2 degrees West, or ancient trails around the Globe for months at a time with his trademark elegant black brolly seeing what occurs along the way, and then  he writes books about his experiences. There are no gadgets, nothing highbrow or technical, just simple, straightforward open-hearted enjoyment of the land and its people and a determined ability to keep going no matter what the landscape throws at him. The simplicity of that approach resonated with me. All he needs to traverse the globe is a map and compass and an ability to reach out to people and engage with them.

 It was totally inspiring and completely justified my admiration of him. Go Nick!




In other news, we're off to a Dinner Dance tonight. I have my dress sorted. Nothing too fancy as it's not Black Tie. In the usual way of these things I fully expect the dresses to range from simple to OTT. Mine is somewhere in the middle: a purplish number with an old-fashioned collar that I love decorated with birds (appropriate) from White Stuff, and a pair of flat ballet pumps that cost the princely sum of thirteen quid from New Look. M is treasurer of the Running Club, whose awards evenings this is, so I shall have to be On My Best Behaviour (boo).
I'm not filled with confidence about the meal- there were two choices on the menu and one of them involved Black Pudding. Is that a weird option to put on a limited menu, or is it just me? In days of yore when I ran a pub with my first husband (see what a chequered life I have led) we would not have put BP on the menu unless it was an additional option.

I've just picked up some new glasses which make me look very Studious and Academic. They probably also make me look half-blind as they contain varifocals, which means I have to turn my head now whenever I want to look at something instead of just my eyes, otherwise the blur on the edges makes me feel sick. 
'Look with your nose' instructed Chris, who fitted them for me yesterday, 'And whatever you do, don't drive in them until you're used to them.' I forgot that when I grabbed them and stuffed them on my face in order to take L to school this morning (running late as usual through the pouring rain), but there seemed to be sharpness and clarity wherever I gazed and the expression on L's face when he got out of the car at the school gates and as usual ignored my 'bye darling, have a good day,' was his normal Early-Morning-Grumpy-Teen look, so I guess that means my eyes have adjusted :o)

I've got a tonne of college work to get through which is a pain because it's a beautiful sunny day here now the torrential rain of the night has cleared and I'd much rather be outside, although I suppose I have just got back from an hour in the woods with the dogs. I gave a butterfly lecture to the trees. I have to deliver it at college in a few weeks and needed to practice. The trees were all impressed (there were no boos) and they had no suggestions for improvement either, which was nice. Even Pop stopped sniffing a cowpat she'd found in the neighbouring field and sat down to listen with her head cocked on one side. This was a marked improvement on yesterday when she discovered a wet sloppy stinky fox poo and immediately rolled her head and neck in it. Needless to say she had a very cold and unappealing shower under the hosepipe in the garden when we got home and spent the next ten minutes shivering and staring reproachfully at me while Ted hid under a bush in case he was next.

I really had better stop waffling and get started on my Global Biomes assignment.....

I'll leave you with this morning's birdy shots from the garden and wish you all a Lovely Weekend.




 CT :o)
 

28 comments:

  1. Oh dear, you have me in hysterics trying to type this comment while my shoulders are going up and down at an alarming rate!!! It is hard to type and laugh too!! I love your posts, I know you already know that, but really, this is just absolutely classic CT. Your writing style is so great. You might have had a chequered - but no doubt incredibly interesting - life, but it has made you into a wonderful person!! I am so glad that you got to see one of your TVBF's in real life! You should have asked for his autograph - just not on your, well, you know where!!!!!! Does this mean that your hubby will want to go and see one of his TVGF's in real life now! I hope that you have a wonderful time at the dinner - oh yes, but the way, very strange about the BP!! I wouldn't be eating anything!! - and that your butterfly lecture goes well too. xx

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    1. Thanks Amy, you are too kind :o) Drat, I never thought of that about the TVGF: I suppose I'll have to go along with it now, having spent the night with Mr Crane (so to speak)... XX

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  2. Oh my you definitely gave me a case of the giggles as I read this !
    Glad you got to be so close to Mr. Crane . Hmm Apparently scarfs are very versatile. lol

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    1. Always carry a scarf, just in case you find any old ladies letting rip in the loo next to you I say :o)

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  3. Totally brilliant CT, I am choking on my coffee. Can we have a fashion report from the dinner dance please? Have a fantastic weekend!
    S.xxx

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    1. Fashion Report coming up (how will I take pictures without them noticing? Hmmm....Thinking cap on). xx

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  4. Hey CT,
    We are big Nicholas Crane fans in this house, because of the wonderful Coast series of programmes (although I do have a nerd crush on the Scottish chap). Love the breaking wind story (for someone who swears.rather.a.lot I have trouble with that word for wind). I recall standing behind a rather handsome chap in a supermarket once, and he let rip a howler. It was both awful and the funniest thing ever. Poor chap. Have you seen The Inbetweeners 'exam poo' sketch?
    Leanne xx

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    1. I squirmed and laughed out loud about the exam poo Inbetweeners. It is both appalling and addictive, that prog. L once embarrassed me considerably when he was tiny wee shouting at the top of his voice about a man who had passed wind rather audibly..I still wince now thinking about it. He was handsome, too... XX

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  5. Oh I just remembered this story. Queen Victoria was in her carriage with a visiting dignitary, when one of the horses emitted a huge flatulent gust. he turned to her guest and said "Whoops! Pardon!" To which he replied "Madam if you hadn't said anything I would have thought it was the horse!!!" I really want to believe that this story is true.
    Leanne xx

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    1. I am now renaming all farts as 'huge flatulent gusts' in your honour Leanne :o) (that came out wrong, hopefully you know what I mean!) XX

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  6. Don't work too hard. Enjoy the weekend.

    Jean x

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  7. The bearded one is struggling with varifocals at the moment, he can't get used to having to move his head. I will tell him to look with his nose, good advice :) Thanks for such a funny post, it made me chuckle :)

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    1. Looking with your nose is the way forward with VFs- I'm sure he'll get the hang of it quicker that way x

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  8. You do make giggle, I wish we were neighbours. I take it you weren't too desperate for an autograph or did you have some paper about your person to save you offering up your ahem chest! Ewww black pudding I hate the stuff, I hope the other dish was suitable & you have a good time while trying to behave yourself.

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    1. No paper to hand sadly, and my bosom remains uninked too :o) I wish we were neighbours as well- we would get absolutely nothing done but we would giggle a lot x

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  9. Had a good chortle over the lady farting, I'm afraid this kind of thing happens with age (not that I would know, of course). As for the black pud, I think it must be making a come back, we had some at at the Morgan Arms, a well rated pub / restaurant in London just a couple of weeks ago, I just love it.
    I'll be interested to know how long it takes for you to get used to the varifocals, I'm thinking of getting some, so fed up with keep changing glasses.
    Briony
    x

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    1. You made me chortle over the age thing :o) I have that to look forward to, then...
      Perhaps I should shelve my mistrust of BP and actually try it. The thought really puts me off....
      I think I'm already there with the varis, it's been fine since yesterday morning. Walking the dogs was a bit of a trial because I guess you look at the ground a lot, so will have to see whether that's improved, but otherwise all OK. Have a lovely weekend Bri x

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  10. This gave me quite a giggle before I head off to work :) I expect you are still super busy with your course, I'll try and catch up with older blog posts soon :) What a charming blue tit and lovely sharp photos of the little thing! Hope you have a lovely weekend :) ps Bracken says hello to your lovely two! xx

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    1. Hey Lou! I saw you were back earlier but have been out all day so not yet read your post. Lovely to hear from you and looking forward to catching up with your exploits xx

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  11. I'm still reeling with laughter over the farts. You are so funny. Thank you for the morning giggles and have a wonderful day.

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    1. I had to tell M all about it as soon as I found my seat. It was just SO FUNNY :o) xx

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  12. Hilarious post CT - I just couldn't stop laughing :) The blue tit photos are lovely and I hope you enjoyed your dinner dance. I tried some varifocals about 10 years ago - not sure why I opted for them as I only needed reading glasses! I just couldn't get on with them at all - everything swimming in and out of focus made me feel totally sick :( They went back the next day!! So I am pleased to hear you seem to be getting the hang of yours :)

    Have a lovely weekend :)

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    1. Glad it gave you a giggle :o)

      I don't know why the VFs have settled down so quickly- I'm off for a run in a minute so that could be a different thing all together! Have a great weekend too x

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  13. VFs are great once you get used to them, Hubby loves his and I have occupational ones for work (computer and reading-with no distance). I've had a great laugh at this post. NC is lovely and so active too, I always loved his brolly sticking out of the back pack on Coast.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Suze. NC has been a fav of mine for years so it was really lovely to see and hear him in the flesh :o) x

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  14. So glad it's not just me that giggles at farts - actual ones or just the word, in fact!
    And Nicholas Crane is a god!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x