I mean Valentines Day of course. But still. These were my presents!
A couple of weeks ago it snowed here. So I went out to take some photos, as you do, and I lost my glasses. I was so upset. I managed to get new ones but uggggh, it sucked, since I need them to function and everything. However now that that time is over I remember I never posted any of the photos I took!
Only three of ’em were even remotely interesting, alas.
There was ACTUAL SUN! today, even if only for a hour or too, so I went to a field and took some photos, as you do.
A shortcut to mushrooms!
Yes it was muddy.
No firework displays this year, obviously. I miss them. Maybe one day they’ll be back, somehow, hopefully.
Lots and LOTS of firework noises in the neighbourhood, but I could only actually see them in the corner of the window. Also it smelled of smoke, I miss that November smoke smell, even though it’s so cold to be out in.
This time two years ago was a strange, strange night. First I heard the news coming in of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. I can’t remember the name of the shooter, it’s on Wikipedia but I forgot it the minute I clicked out, which is good.
I couldn’t stick around because we had prebooked tickets to a Halloween party. But on the way back through Leicester city suddenly there were all these sirens, far more than normal, enough to know something had gone horribly wrong. When we got back it turned out there had been a major helicopter crash.
So for a few days after that the whole city was grieving one bad thing and the whole world (it seemed) was grieving an entirely different bad thing. It was not a good time.
The Cineworld chain is closing. (At least temporarily.) COVID-19 did for it and thousands of people are out of work now.
I worked at a Cineworld during summer 2007. Working in a cinema is uhh I guess “average” as far as jobs go, but I really enjoyed it. Even hanging about in the lobby waiting to tear people’s tickets wasn’t that bad, because I got to watch the movie trailers. There was something about being in that poorly lit lobby hearing the beautiful music from the Atonement trailer suddenly echo through the halls which always stuck with me…
Also another time I was cleaning out a Cineworld screen and I found £15 on the floor! They said I could keep it if no-one claimed it so I did get to keep it at the end of the day. That may not seem like much but to me at that time it was HUGE.
Sigh, I hope the Cineworlds do get saved.
When I was a kid sometimes my parents would take us to Aquasplash, an indoor water park in Hemel Hempstead. (Britain has very few outdoor water parks for obvious reasons.) Aquasplash was a disgusting unhygienic poorly put together deathtrap of a place, by which I mean it was the best thing EVER.
Here’s one of the few pics of the pool which seem to exist. Imagine it packed full with hundreds of screaming kids, and you’ve about got the flavour of it.
It was all inside this building, the Jarman Park Leisure World. I remember there was a cinema next to it. I have this really clear memory of standing in the queue to get into Aquasplash, and on one side of me there was the window which showed you what was going on in the pool, and on the other side there was the Lord of the Rings Argonath poster all lit up to entice you into the movie. That little scene could sum up the whole of 2001 for me really.
I was OBSESSED with this place. I think I have a whole bunch of journal entries from my childhood where I just talked about how awesome Aquasplash was. It was up there with Disneyworld for me. Braving the Space Bowl (the green water slide you can see up there, it deposited you into a sort of massive bowl) was legit one of the proudest moments of my childhood.
Man, not a single photo of the Space Bowl in its prime was ever taken I guess. You can just about make it out in this picture I found, it’s the big green, well, bowly thing.
See where all those people are sitting? Those are seats from the Burger King which was on the side of the water park! You could climb out of the pool overstimulated and drenched and HAVE A BURGER!
I loved that so much as well, even though my parents wouldn’t allow me back in the pool for half an hour after I’d eaten in case I died.
Here’s what it looked like at the very top, complete with netting that wouldn’t stop a rubber beach ball falling down, let alone a child. “The Abyss” is about right. Also I can’t remember which ride “The Abyss” was, but one of the three rides at the top was literally never open/always broken, maybe it was that one.
LOOK! Look how grimy yet wonderful it all is!
Anyway today I found these old photos on my hard drive. I didn’t take them (didn’t take any of the pics in this post) and even though I saved the link I got them from, it’s a dead link now alas. It’s pics of the place being demolished back in 2014ish.
I was FUCKING DEVASTATED. I still am a little bit, in a way, someone could have bought the pool and (hopefully) sorted it out a bit. Made a new generation of kids deliriously happy and maybe at times actually delirious! But it never happened…
This picture is the worst for me because I used to stand in that exact spot, waiting to get a rubber ring and experience a five-second slide across the pool. It was always freezing cos the emergency exit was right next to it.
This is the end point of the rapids ride, I think. That one was my favourite.
And this I believe is the earthly remains of both the Space Bowl (I think) and another ride I don’t remember the name of, but do remember you were guaranteed a massive wedgie if you rode it.
Fun fact, if you type Aquasplash’s name into Google, in the UK at least, the first result it suggests is ‘Aquasplash child death.” (NO no-one actually died there.) God I miss it.
It’s funny, but most of the memories I have of Harry Potter are almost nothing to do with the actual books and everything to do with the people I was sharing them with.
Like when I was a kid, still in school, I would read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to my younger siblings. My favourite bit was the Sirius-Pettigrew confrontation at the end. I used to LOVE read-screaming the lines, “THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED! DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS!” It was so dramatic and thrilling. But that was my voice, not JK Rowling’s-
When the last Harry Potter book came out I went to the midnight opening of the Milton Keynes Waterstones with a friend. First we saw Hairspray (which is a really good movie) and then we went next door to the shopping center. There were excited kids running around everywhere, it was like a little party. I got a t-shirt. I think I still have it, but I don’t wear it-
When I was a fully grown adult me and the same friend went to London for the day and we stopped at King’s Cross station. They had a Harry Potter tourist area there, they probably still have it. (I’m not going back.) We got in line and waited for ages and got our photo taken at the magic wall. My friend didn’t even like Harry Potter! But she was still willing to do all that.
So those are the sort of things I think about now.
Where were we? Ah yeah, at the point where the food can be harvested and eaten! So we’ve got carrots…
They didn’t look like much at first, but they kept coming…
I’ve eaten some of them, and they’re perfectly fine! As are the potatoes!
Yep, MORE potatoes! These are the ones from the flowerbed! And there’s much more than came from the pot! Good eh?
Here they are all washed. Some of them are a bit mutanty (one of them appears to be two potatoes in one!) but I’m sure they’ll taste nice.
Not sure if I can harvest anything else before the winter, but I have been wondering what to do with this mint plant.