Thursday 15 April 2010


With spring here and being only two weeks before the start of American Adventure 3, I am now beginning to get that slight feeling of rising panic when I look at my "lifetime at a glance" diary; I realise that, instead of there being nothing in there but a funeral at some point (mine, and hopefully a long time in the future!), there was usually nowt else in there. Now it is full of lists of things to do and people to talk to.

Things are beginning to spin slightly out of control. I booked the plane tickets months ago, as well as the first nights accommodation in Seattle. Also the car: "Mustang or similar".The insurance. The house sitters.

All is in hand.

Then there is the technology. The computer. The camera. The recording equipment. The special padlock for your suitcase. Passport. Driving licence. Insurance. Sandals.


I have not seen the sandals since last year. They have been hiding at the bottom of the wardrobe. Now the weather has improved and it is getting warmer I find that it is far easier and more desirable to wake up at 1am, walk into my clothes, brush the teeth and not have to do any unpleasant bending and wrestling with laces before heading in for the show.

When I put them away they seemed OK. I think there is a sort of moth that enjoys feasting on footwear at large in my rented flat. They didn't seem quite so pristine as when I last saw them.

Still I decided to give them a run out.

They seemed OK for the first few miles and were behaving as they should.

It was only when I finished the programme the other morning and stood to leave the studio I felt them falter.....

They had thrown a sole. Ah well. I could live with this although they did make a different sort of noise when walking on hard surfaces. The normally tuned "sladapping" had been joined by a "skrirking" sound.

This may not sound much to you. However, to my finely tuned athletes body this spelt danger. Imagine Rebecca Adlington having to borrow someone’s cossie at the Olympics because she had left hers on the bus.

Chris Hoy finding that when they lined up at the start in the Velodrome he was the only one with a Raleigh Grifter?

Could I make it to the next pit stop before the whole thing came apart?

Then other things started to fall apart. My computer decided that its memory was full, despite taking it to a shop where they added more memory which made no difference.

"I'll plug it in and away you go" said the smiling man, screwing the back on and relieving me of £35"

He plugged it in and it went nowhere.

Another shop suggested an external hard drive.

"Just plug it in and away you go", said the smiling man in the shop as he relieved me of £99, and at the same time tried to sell me some self-dimming lightbulbs.

I plugged it in and it went nowhere.

I had bought a microphone as a back-up, as I intend to upload some bits of sound from the trip if anything takes my fancy: the odd gunfight, Super Volcano going off at Yellowstone, being eaten by bears, that sort of thing.

"Just plug it in and away you go" said the smiling man as he relieved me of £4.99.

I plugged it in and it went nowhere.

Then I went to the phone shop as you had tipped me off that if I was Tweeting, which I intend to do as well as blogging and uploading sound via "Audioboo", that if I wasn't careful I could end up with massive bill when I returned home. I needed to figure out how to switch the internet access off as I only tweet via text.

"You just press this, select that, press this, select that, scroll down, that access, this press that upload that download that press that select this access that reconfigure those then that this this that that that that that…and away you go", said the smiling woman in the shop as she handed my handset back to me.

I am getting a bad feeling about this.

It would be a good thing to try and tweet pictures to you as well. I am hesitating as to finding that out as I am suffering middle-aged-man-technology overload.

The camera I bought for the first trip in 2007 needs new rechargable batteries as the old ones no longer hold a charge. Also, unless I back-up all the pictures on the laptop to the hard drive (see how complicated this is getting?), my memory card is full.

"Just charge ‘em up put ‘em in away you go", said the smiling man in the shop as he relieved me of £3.97

"What about a new memory card?"

"Oh, they don't make those any longer", he said smiling even more broadly at the prospect of relieving me of even more cash for a new camera.

Like a Sunday newspaper reporter who has been covering a story on "Vice" and discovered there is a brothel being run in a suburban hardware store.

(Lets face it if you need, erm, "equipment", it’s probably as good a place as any. Not that I have any experience of such matters, you understand).

I made my excuses and left.

Meanwhile, back at the bottom of my legs, things were not going well either.

I have my work cut out to get all this sorted in a fortnight.

Meanwhile the stress dreams continue:

Picture the scene: Seattle airport immigration.

“Hey Arnie, guy here says he is doing a month long road trip.”

“We've checked him out. He hasn't got a drivers license with him. He has a lot of suspect electrical equipment on him and he is wearing weird shoes....”

Before I sign off, I noted a comment on last week’s blog that, having Add Imageposted pics of nice stuff like fish and chips and my home town Hastings, having mentioned flowers, why were there were no images of them?



Micky B said...

Thank you, Mr. Lester.

ACCox said...

Pretty flowers, any idea what they are?

Twix said...

Have a fab American Adventure III. Will look forward to hearing all about it.

Take care and mind those bears in Jellystone!

Jonno said...

Best of luck with your techie issues, it'll all just fall into place the day before you return to Blighty.

Sue said...

Is "K" going on the roadtrip with you? There will be a lot more to consider it so!

Mike from Pudsey said...

Alex, you are a fashion dinosaur- but I expect you know that. Buy yourself a decent pair of Merrell Kahuna sandals. The price will make your eyes (and no doubt other parts) water but will last a lifetime. Enjoy the trip.

Slyppery Syd said...

What else would you expect from buying cheap sandals!
There is no mention of K...... Errr, does this mean the sandals put her off?

GrrrNasher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GrrrNasher said...

All you need now are some odd socks to go with the odd sandals. Sexy hey??
It is obvious they (BBC) don't pay you enough!
Have a good trip .... and don't trip up wearing those sandals from the Pound Shop!