Hmmm.... my first blog entry as Administrative Director of the CFZ eh? With a header like the one above I suspect many may wonder what insights I might divulge about the blokies here at the CFZ. Now, whilst it would be tempting to share the varied sights and sounds that occur on a moonlit night in the bowels of Myrtle Cottage, I shall make a personal pledge right here, at the start of my efforts, that I shall not be swayed into letting slip anything untoward (unless, of course,large amounts of cash are deposited into a Swiss bank account).
Most of my packing boxes have been dispersed, but that is not to say that most of my possessions have been spirited away into neat little piles in cupboards and drawers. Not on your life....more like an assault course of untidy, and somewhat precarious, mountains of 'things' in every corridor!!! I will get there - eventually.
Jon and I entered into one of our 'road trips' last week. A few days away in Surrey and Buckinghamshire beckoned and we set off in my trusty little Rover Metro on a sunny Monday afternoon. Yes, before you ask, Jon does fit in it - just!! On Tuesday evening we were meeting Jon's brother, Richard, to discuss our forthcoming nuptials, (which as a high-ranking Army Chaplain, he will conduct), but, even at this late stage, were not too sure where or when!
The journey was peppered with the usual "I said turn left here" and replies of "No you didn't, you said turn right", but we made it to our first stopping point in one piece and still on reasonable speaking terms with each other. What is it about car journeys that brings out the naffness of the map reader tee hee??? Ooops sorry, sexist remark there.
We had a very enjoyable visit to `Birdworld` (and `Underwater World`) in Farnham. Jon did an interview about endangered fish for Tropical World Magazine, and the rest of the day we walked around the aviaries. I do recommend a visit - it is a wonderfully laid out and cared for place, full of beautiful birds. My favourites were the raven - with whom I had a long chat - and a plump little character who followed us, chirruping away, as if proudly showing us around the rooms of its home. As you will see from the photo, the roulroul partridge (Rollulus roulroul) is one of the cutest little birds!
We were also privileged to witness the beginnings of a gosling hatching from its egg, and I was hoping to be able to see the rest of its emergence into the world, but, unfortunately, by the time we had to leave it had still not quite finished its journey.
Since leaving on Monday afternoon, several messages had been left with Jon's brother on his mobile, and at home in Germany, with no luck so Jon decided that it would be a good idea to try and track his brother down. Like looking for a needle in a haystack you may say, but we knew that he was at a conference at Sandhurst Military Academy so off we went.
Upon arriving at said Academy, we managed to gain entry through the barrier, and were ushered into the guardhouse to try and explain what exactly a long-haired bloke in a Crass t-shirt and his girlfriend were up to. The gurkhas in the guardhouse took it all in their stride, and only faltered - ever so briefly - when presented with Jon's only identification - a copy of Tropical World in which was his - rather fetching - photograph. They looked a bit quizzical at being presented with such an unusual piece of identification, but upon hearing that Jon was a journalist, seemed to get ever-so slightly agitated.
Like many people, when finding myself in close proximity with a member of, or in an establishment of, 'authority', I was beginning to feel guilty of absolutely anything that I could possibly be guilty of and was having trouble keeping my gaze from anything in the room in case they thought I was checking it out. Upon two occasions of having to reach into my handbag I did so very slowly, precisely and carefully in case they thought I was going to pull out some kind of weapon of mass destruction.
After about ten minutes of mental discomfort and extreme guilt complexes on my part at least, eventually Jon's brother was located and all was well.
I wonder what I can expect on my next trip out with the leader of the pack?