Seems I haven’t updated life at chez bish recently, so here’s a brief news reel of recent events.

miss achieved her Grade 2 violin a few weeks ago, and we took the opportunity to upgrade her instrument from half to three-quarters size. We spent the best part of a Saturday afternoon at the Bristol Violin Shop, in one of their upstairs private rooms, where miss, Miss and myself ‘auditioned’ several violins ranging from £70 to £600. We were lucky to have miss’ violin tutor with us, which made a valuable difference, as we could hear each instrument played at it’s best. Oddly, the £70 instrument sounded quite good, and the £400 instrument didn’t! After some deliberation, we settled on a very nice violin which only cost an extra couple of hundred after trading in her old one. She’s very pleased with it, and we’re now playing a few more jigs and reels, adding variety to the more classical studies. On a good day, I can just about keep up with her on bass, and barely match her on mandolin.

At equinox, I nipped down to Avebury to join in the TDN Gorsedd. This time, there were no television cameras in attendance and we had a brilliant day.


From the previous days cold and rain we had a beautifully sunny and not too cold time in the Stones, followed by a few pints in the Red Lion. Met up with a few new faces heretofor only met online (waves at the Ashdown Grove) and a load of old friends, and caught up with events like the Stonehenge turmoil.

I’m just back from Nottingham, where I’d nipped off to present a half day seminar on LVAC, Diesel and Battery Auxillaries (yawn). It rained overnight and today the roads were slippery, yet everyone was bumper to bumper. It seemed, on the way down the M42 and M5, that every couple of miles there was another pile-up. I wonder if, by the time miss thinks of driving, they will have raised the minimum age to (say) 25? I suggest if that were the case (that kids got to be adults for a goodly while before being able to drive) they might have found out that they can manage quite well without the car, and may have found other things to spend their cash on. That would certainly make a reduction in traffic – no bad thing.

On that subject, have you seen this? An electric Ford Ka, currently not spoken about on any Ford website I can find. I don’t think I could operate in my professional life with a Ka, I carry too much about. But the thought of such a vehicle is tempting. It would certainly be adeqaute to get Miss to school and back.

And that’s enough waffle for now. I’ve really only been typing away while my hair dried after my post-exercise-bike shower. Against all the odds (and in the face of doubtful relatives) I’ve managed a reasonable number of sessions on the thing and, if I’m not in fact any lighter, I’m far more toned than I was after Yule. Since I bought the bike in week one of 2006ce, I’ve cycled a virtual 600+ km and burned off 14,000 calories. That’s probably at least half a dozen bars of Divine Chocolate… probably.

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