Among the many advantages of working close to the sea, is that an impromptu post-workday Prosecco party is all the more enjoyable. I can’t say I really took to this fizzy tipple until I was put under the influence of the lovely ladies at the Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre (TIC). I was invited along to a couple of these social gatherings last summer but given my significant workload at the theatre when it was basically me holding the fort, I managed to go to just one of them. So when they asked me along this week, I jumped at the chance, especially as it had been a very warm and sunny day; what better than to wander down to the seashore for a paddle to cool hot feet that had been melting in leather ankle boots all day (it was a chilly morning when I left – OK!)

The TIC Prosecco parties are legendary

The TIC Prosecco parties are legendary and before long there was a group of 7 including ex-staff from seasons past. You can take the girl out of the TIC but you can’t take the TIC out of the girl!

Our lavatory refurbishment is going great guns, with the disabled facility practically complete save for a sign on the door and some sealant and the cubicles in the new ladies are just about built. I also have some building work of my own going on with my house refurb and I returned on Tuesday to find the new door had been cut in and the props were in place to support the wall above the new opening. I also found every inch of every surface was coated in a thick dust, the kind of dust that sticks to everything. There’s an 18th century proverb that says we all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die, I’m not sure how much is in a ‘peck’ but I’m confident I’ve eaten way more!

The weather forecast was looking increasingly gloomy for the Bank Holiday; after the incredible weather of the last BH, no one expected anything less than grey and dismal. But we all know better than to trust anything the weathermen and women say.

I had visions of rodents and other such creatures finding their way in

Anyway, I was woken in the early hours one morning by a strange scraping and scuttling noise; our bedroom is currently downstairs in the lounge, along with all the lounge furniture, so it’s pretty difficult to get a pin in, but given the huge amount of stuff that is stuffed into the room, I had visions of rodents and other such creatures finding their way in. I lay there for a few minutes trying to work out what it could be and we concluded it was a bird stuck in the chimney…

well we can’t leave it there!

well we can’t demolish the wall looking for it.

no, but we could pull out the old gas fire to see if it’s there.

and how are we going to get to the gas fire?

And so the conversation ended and I reluctantly relented. But later I had a phone call, turns out it was a swift that had somehow found it’s way into the house and was flapping around under the sideboard that was flush against the sliding doors. Have you ever tried rescuing a swift/swallow/house martin? They can’t take-off from the ground like a normal bird, their spindly little legs aren’t strong enough, you have to ‘launch’ them. Within 24 hours we launched a second one that found its way to the exact same spot. We are still looking for their access point.

he travels with his 20+ year old Hammond that comes in 3 pieces

After our trip to Buckingham Palace and live screening of the royal wedding, we had some show biz royalty of our own performing at the Marine this week, no less than Georgie Fame. He travels with his 20+ year old Hammond that arrived in 3 pieces; it is something to behold plastered in stickers from around the world and I’m not so sure they don’t help to keep the thing together, that along with a huge piece of gaffer tape at the back. He played to a packed audience who adored him.

The weekend arrived and the weather people were still warning us of major storms and torrential rainfall. There was a cracking lightning show on Saturday night with over 15,000 strikes hitting the south. I stood outside until well after midnight watching the electric performance.

I had planned to make some homemade lemonade to enjoy over the weekend, but it doesn’t have quite the same pizzazz as Prosecco and anyway I used one of the lemons to make a recipe from the Co-op magazine. Turns out the dish was a shameful waste of some good asparagus so I think I’ll avoid that recipe and for that matter stick to the TIC gatherings for my fix of fizz in future.

Prosecco, eating a peck of dirt & the swift rescue mission

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