Monday, 23 November 2009

running and beer - it doesn't get any better

Congratulations to YC's cousin Michael Walker who followed up running the Great North Run by completing the Lancaster Half Marathon in a new PB of 1 hr 48 mins. As part of his university course, Michael had to complete 20 hours of volunteering. He managed to find the perfect event - The University Beer Festival. There were over 70 ales from large and small breweries, of which Michael's favourite was 'Trashy Blond' from BrewDog. Michael reports that 'it was the best volunteering I have ever done'.

Sunday Mass at St James'

On Sunday YC & Lois joined Emma Duff for Mass at St James' Church, West Hampstead where Emma is pastoral assistant for the year. One of her duties is to be thurifer at the service - this means leading the processions during the service dispensing liberal quantities of incense. Emma has started a singing group to encourage the parishioners to sing out, and YC and Lois were volunteered to join the group for the day, belting out numbers such as 'All hail the power of Jesu's name' and 'To God be the glory'. The congregation were all very friendly, and the vicar Father Andrew made Emma's day when he commented that she sounded 'more northern' than YC: the cheek of it.

Emma & Lois

Lois, Emma & Father Andrew Cain

Green Wyverns in London

The Green Wyverns met in London on Saturday for their annual autumnal gathering. The day began with a swift half (or two) in the Red Lion pub in St James. Discussions on sailing were washed down with some excellent Seafarer's Ale - at 3.6% an eminently quaffable ale which YC felt obliged to sample (greater love hath no man....) The afternoon continued with a visit to The Theatre Royal to see Breakfast at Tiffany's - an excellent adaptation of Truman Capote's classic novel (rather than the film) which, btw, YC commends to readers when they can tear themselves away from Birtley News. Afterwards, there was more nice beer and a pleasant Italian meal in Mayfair (YC must be moving up in the world). There was even the chance to watch the dramatic denouement to the Scotland game - they won by a single point when Australia missed the last kick of the game. Hurrah!

sampling the Seafarer's Ale in The Red Lion
from the left - Alex, James, Emma, Andy, YC, Graham, Tom
photo by Lois
not pictured - Eifion & Julian

YC arrives in the style to which he is accustomed - by Rolls Royce at The Ritz (check out the registration plate by clicking on the photo)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

catching up with long lost relatives

YC and Rev T met Moira Sawyer and Elaine Kirk (pictured above) in The Grand Hotel tonight. Moira and Elaine are distant relatives on the Duff side. For those keen on their family history, YC's great-grandparents were John George Duff & Mary Ann Elizabeth Pye (who used to live in Newby House). Moira and Elaine are MAE Pye's great nieces.

Another member of the Pye family was Ben Pye. He was a sailor and is reputed to have missed his boat in Blackpool. Rather than waiting for the next one, he simply walked all the way home to North Shields. Perhaps that's where YC gets his walking-yearn from.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Boston Globe and other tales

Rev & Mrs T have been globe-trotting last month. First port of call was Colin Kendall's 70th birthday down south. Colin is Cyril Kendall's son; Cyril was Granny Walker's brother who died in Burma during the second world war. By all accounts it was a very jolly affair with plenty of chances to catch up with far-flung family.

Colin & Mary Kendall

Dulcie (Colin's mother) - do you think I could have a glass of wine?
Tim Walker - certainly, I'm just holding on to this bottle in case Rev T pulls rank and claims it for communion wine (a likely tale).

After Colin's party, Rev & Mrs T headed for America where they visited Washington, New York and Boston. There they caught up with Ross & Elizabeth Pope and Margaret Robinson. Here they are in a restaurant at Marblehead.

Rev T read with interest the local papers and spotted this obituary in The Boston Globe. G R Poor - "he always insisted on sailing a boat to its maximum efficiency, and demanded precision from his crew." Substitute "minimum" for maximum and "going on the mud" for precision, and readers will have Rev T's sailing philosophy in a nutshell.

Mr Poor also played the trumpet at night when in harbour and yachtsman recounted "the beauty of George's music as it spoke to us". People in Norfolk say much the same about YC's penny whistle playing (possibly).

Sunday, 1 November 2009

When the saints go marching in

As readers are fending off the trick and treaters, they might care to think what "halloween" actually means. The answer is simple - halloween means "the eve of all hallows". So the next day (Sunday 1 November) is All Hallows Day, otherwise known as All Saints Day.

YC was playing the piano this morning at Christ Church where the All Saints theme was firmly at the top of the agenda with belting numbers such as "For all the saints" and "Walk in the light". And how do you qualify to be a saint? The good news is that you don't have to be dead. Sainthood is open to all, and any acts of kindness and generosity qualify.

So on that note, if readers should happen to spot YC in a licensed premise and feel moved to buy him a drink, beatification will be no doubt just around the corner.

All together now...