Sunday 5 July 2015

Jolly Boys day out

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It's been nearly three weeks since I posted my last comments on life. The only reason I haven't kept to my weekly format was because I couldn't make up my mind on what subject to write about. It wasn't a case of writers block, but the total opposite, it was a case of writers over load. There has been so much going on over the last three weeks every time I started to write I would change my mind, and start all over again.

First there was the Jolly Boys day out. 

The date had been set and the message went out. Jolly Boys day out. Meet at 10.30 for breakfast then a visit to the seaside for a day of drinking, reminiscing, laughing and more importantly friendship. Every year during the close season when there is no football my friends and I meet up for a day out during the weekend.

So on Saturday people started to gather at the Queen of the Iceni public house on Riverside in Norwich for a full English Breakfast, and a pint. That was a bit to early for me so I hopped on the bus and arrived at midday at the pub. By 12.30 we were on the train to Gt Yarmouth.

The weather was overcast and it was just warm enough to get away with wearing a light jacket, but rain had been forecast. I wasn't so bothered about the weather because one thing that does amuse me is how wrong the professionals are at predicting what the weather is going to be like in the U.K from one day to another. It costs millions upon millions of pounds to run the Met-office with even more spent on the latest computing power, and time and time again they get it wrong. Every Sunday evening you watch the seven day forecast and then every day there after it changes quicker than the weather itself. All you can guarantee is that what the weather professional-men say, and what happens in the real world are two totally different things. I just think it's pure fiction most of the time. 

I had planned to take some photo's on my phone of the day out at some of the various pubs we visited, but I enjoyed myself so much it slipped my mind. All week people who were there have posted pictures on Facebook.

After such a good time there were two events that brought me down to earth. The two terrible killings that took place in America and Tunisia. Both of these horrible acts were carried out in the name of race and religion, but in fact were carried out in the name of evil. The attack in Tunisia which resulted in the deaths of  thirty British people felt personal to me because last year I wrote a post here about our family holiday in the very same resort. There was a picture on the news with the gun man walking the very same beach that my family and I used to sit on.

The following Friday I went on a school trip with my son to the Tower of London and as we sat together on the coach I couldn't but help look at him, and think how lucky I was.


Although the trip wasn't as easy as I expected it to be. I thought it would be a good thing for daddy/son bonding, and by the amount of other fathers that were on the two coaches, they thought the same thing.  We left my children's primary school at 7.30 in the morning and as we drove down the A11 trunk road to London we suddenly pulled up just south of Thetford. After twenty minutes with both coaches parked up, and blocking one lane, we were informed the other coach had broken down and could go no further. Our coach carried on its course, but within ten minutes the boy sitting behind us had a terrible nose bleed which had stopped by the time we reached Birchhanger services near Stanstead Airport. But by then another boy had fallen ill with travel sickness, and had to be left at the services with his adult cousin while his family had to drive all the way there to pick him up.

Never mind I though went we got back on the road , at least we are moving! That was until we got into London. At the Blackwell tunnel the traffic came to a standstill and we were stuck for nearly an hour. With all the London pollution being pumped around the coach by its air-conditioning system children were being sick left, right and centre, and a bucket was passed from parent to parent. In the end with nearly a mile still to go it was decided that everyone would get off the coach and walk the rest of the way. By then it was midday and the sun had come out making it the hottest day of the year so far in the U.K. When everyone got to Tower Bridge we were all flagging.

What was most surprising about the whole adventure was when we arrived at the Tower of London. The other coach load of children and parents were there waiting for us. The teachers had been in contact and so took a different route into London after their replacement coach turned up. You can now get to London from Norwich in 90 minutes, but on this occasion it took five hours.

Never mind it was still a great day out. My son got to see the Crown Jewels and the White Tower which is very similar to Norwich Castle (Although ours is better.)

By four in the afternoon we all met up before heading back to the coach. Although we didn't spend too much time there it was was enough for both my son and I, especially in the heat. London is a great place to visit, but Norwich is an even better place to live. we have a history as rich as London, and a cultural scene that is as vibrant, but what we don't have in Norwich is children being sick because of the pollution.



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