j4: (bicycle)
Over a month ago, [livejournal.com profile] barnacle very kindly lent us his car ([livejournal.com profile] hatmandu's trusty old friend Hrududu) so that we could try to drive to Cambridge to deliver a moses basket to [livejournal.com profile] rmc28 and to look at cargo bikes (and to say hello to all you tabs over there!).

The first attempt was stymied by, ahem, us not actually having the key for the car's petrol cap (& [livejournal.com profile] barnacle and the key being about 100 miles away at the time); the second attempt was called off due to predicted snow; the third was quarantined off by Img's chicken pox; and the fourth was prevented by Img's "mystery virus" (fever, non-blanching rash, trip to hospital for blood tests, kept in overnight for observation, ugh -- fortunately didn't turn out to be anything alarming). We did use the car to get to the hospital, and were very grateful to have that convenience; but on the way back it started violently overheating & pouring steam out of the bonnet and, on eventual inspection by Mr RAC, was pronounced to have blown its head gasket.

Given that our attempts to use a car at all seem to be fairly comprehensively cursed and our time will be much more limited once we both go back to work, I think we're going to abandon (or rather postpone until further notice) the attempt to come over to Cambridge in the near future; we don't really need to try out the extra bikes (in fact the nice man at the Bristol bike shop says he has another model we could try, & we can get there slightly more easily), and we're hoping to find someone else who's going from Oxford to Cambridge who could deliver the moses basket for us -- one friend says they're almost certainly going to Cambridge in the next couple of months, but if any of the rest of you could volunteer something more definite, I'd be very grateful! ([livejournal.com profile] rmc28, if this is all too vague & you'd rather get something definite by some other means, please let me know).

It will be a shame not to come and see you all, but hopefully we'll be able to do a general visit for fun later in the year by train (though it's still difficult to do as a day-trip, & it's hard to stay over anywhere while Img sleeps so badly...).

Separate post coming up later about the State of the Baby!
j4: (angry)
Gahhh I give up. We are not going to make it to Cambridge today because at some point in the night baby's "mystery temperature" was replaced by "mystery rash" (which looks to me like it might actually be chicken pox). :-( :-(

We've got an appointment with the out-of-hours doctor at 10:20, and I fear that by the time we actually get seen it will be far too late to try to get to Cambridge for lunch, even if the doctor can absolutely guarantee that the rash is something mild and non-contagious (e.g. her eczema flaring up weirdly).

Also, the roads are apparently still icy. :-( And it's MINUS TEN DEGREES out there! Stay indoors, dudes!

Seriously, though, GAHHHHHHHH.
j4: (badgers)
Hello Cambridge!

1. We have the use of a functioning car (and we now have all the relevant keys for it too).

2. The snow has mostly gone here, and no more snow is forecast either here or in Cambridge.

3. The mystery temperature that baby developed last night seems to have gone down (she is still in a foul mood, but from the constant whining and copious dribbling I suspect imminent TEETH rather than anything contagious).

Consequently I think we're actually going to try to make that trip TOMORROW ie Saturday 11th February.

The plan remains the same as the first time: we'll aim to get to the Carlton Arms at around 12:30 for lunch; after lunch we'll head towards Hope Street Yard to try out bikes (hopefully with [livejournal.com profile] claerwen too!).

We will be bringing a Moses basket for [livejournal.com profile] rmc28. If anybody wants us to ferry anything (within reason!) from Cambridge to Oxford, we will have space in the car on the way back, as we won't be buying a cargo bike on the day (or rather if we do we'll be asking them to deliver it for us).

I will post to my journal before 10am tomorrow if we're not going to travel after all because of snow/baby/etc; if you don't see anything, assume we're going to get there. Unless there's been an alien invasion or a terrorist attack or something, in which case, RUN FOR THE HILLS*.

* Warning: Cambridge may not contain any actual hills
j4: (roads)
I'm afraid despite last week's promise we're not going to make it to Cambridge today. Given that SNOW is forecast for later today in both Cambridge and Oxford, it really doesn't seem sensible to try to get to Cambridge and back and risk being stranded somewhere en route. :-(

I am really starting to feel like this trip is cursed! The person who told me off for using a car will doubtless be cackling with gleeful schadenfreude. Nonetheless, we will try again NEXT SATURDAY (11th), weather and transport permitting...

ETA: I have sent a txt to the people who originally said they'd come along for whom I have mobile numbers, viz.: [livejournal.com profile] rmc28, [livejournal.com profile] lnr, [livejournal.com profile] ewx, [livejournal.com profile] juggzy, [livejournal.com profile] claerwen and [livejournal.com profile] fivemack.

I do not have mobile numbers for [livejournal.com profile] ghoti or [livejournal.com profile] uitlander, so if anybody thinks they're likely to be making a special trip to see us, could they let them know? (Confusing pronouns, sorry!)

BTW I appear to have three mobile numbers for [livejournal.com profile] fivemack -- I picked the one that I believe to be the most recent, but sorry if I picked the wrong one! :-(
j4: (roads)
Due to car-related fail I'm afraid we haven't managed to get out of Oxford so we won't be in Cambridge today. :-( Really sorry, folks. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] rmc28 for (hopefully) passing on the message -- hope nobody had a wasted journey.

HOWEVER: all being well we will try again NEXT SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH! Aiming for same time and same place otherwise. Hope people can make it then instead.
j4: (badgers)
Hello Cambridge!

All being well, we will be in Cambridge THIS SATURDAY ie 28th January. There are two purposes to the trip: 1) try out more bikes at The School Run Centre, and 2) say hello to as many people as possible in a short space of time.

We'll be getting there in time for lunch>, and I'm thinking it would make sense to go to The Carlton Arms because I know it's nice & they don't mind kids & you lot all know where it is & can hopefully get there. I reckon we should be able get there by about 12:30, which will give us time to have lunch, talk to people, & still be able to get to Hope Street Yard to the bike shop & try bikes out before it gets dark.

Please comment here if you think you're likely to be able to join us (& let me know if you want me to keep in touch with you by txt if we're going to be late etc). Also, please let me know if there's some reason why we shouldn't go to the Carlton (e.g. fire, flood, plagues of frogs) or if you can think of somewhere equally lovely & reasonably baby-friendly (with parking!) nearer Hope Street Yard.

[livejournal.com profile] rmc28, did you say you wanted our spare moses basket? If so, we can bring it.

[livejournal.com profile] claerwen, did you say we could park at yours for Hope Street Yard? Would be very grateful if so -- I can't work out from the bike shop's website if there is any parking nearby otherwise...
j4: (orange)
things I have eaten, things I haven't eaten )

So I make that 55 out of 100 -- over half, but still plenty of things to try! -- and it appears that most of my eating exploration has happened in the far-off land of, er, Cambridge. And I can't think of anything that I wouldn't consider eating, except things you really can't eat unless you're a crazy Frenchman, like glass or hair or unicycles or tambourines.
j4: (hair)
Got into work early, before 8 a.m., to escape the storms. Thunder and lightning inside and out. I thought it would clear the air when it broke, but underneath the clouds there's only more clouds. Wet hair from the rain, and just a dull ache from everything else.

I hate this town, these fields; this flatness, and a heavy horizonless sky that comes smothering down like a blanket of gas, like a burden of guilt. There's nothing here but dark nights and dull mornings, and a wall-eyed greyness like water-bleached bones inbetween. Out there in the half-light nameless faces are farming emptiness, treading the soil until the shadows come tearing up through the cracks. Words do not survive for long in this atmosphere; they emerge as grudgingly as teeth through iron gums, and once they have torn out a reluctant hole in the air they rust and decay, scarring and hardening into silent hurt.

I hate every ragged fragment of it, and it does not notice, and I would hate that most of all if I had the will to do so.

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