Level 42 – Channel 4 and other final scores.

Kevin McCloud is ignoring my calls it seems.

Not one person from Channel 4 has been on the phone following my last post about our intended Grand Design.  During the week I even tweeted my delight that he had joined Twitter (@Kevin_McCloud), and I thought this event was obviously driven by my last blog post where he was name checked.  Alas no.

So it seems our development will go un-televised.

Nearly all of the required ducks are now in a lovely row, enabling us to give the builder a go ahead, and brace ourselves for whatever disasters may befall us on our journey to four bedroom-ness.  I have ordered the alteration to our Gas Service (robbing bastards), and await a date when they may or may not turn up.  Unfortunately it seems that very soon we are going to have to begin the arduous and depressing task of emptying the garage of all our junk.

This means throwing away lots of stuff, but we need to find a new home for other stuff, and that means purchasing a shed for the back garden.  My journey to middle-aged conformity is complete.  I have two children, I drive a Mondeo, and will very shortly own a shed.  Tragic!

Anyway, I embrace my beige tinted middle of the roadity.  If time and memory permit I shall photograph the project at relevant stages so you can travel with us.  I’ll pop round to your house too, and throw some dust into your living room to increase the realism for you.

Better news this week is Louise’s continued return to something like health.  Crucially she feels up to doing some ironing now, and who am I to stop her?  The next major milestone will be her ability to drive, alas that is a few weeks away just yet.  She is becoming a little stir crazy at this point.


Level 42
Level 42 and a head


Onto events of the past week, I’ll start with last Sunday, when (as my belated birthday present) my brother took me to see Level 42 at the Manchester Apollo.  This was, I realised, a replica of my first ever gig, aged thirteen, at the same venue, with the same brother, seeing the same band.  This tour is their 30th anniversary, and having seen them countless times between 1983 and last Sunday, I’m fairly sure they do get better with age.  They are one of the tightest live bands I have ever seen.

From time to time they have a new member here and there, and this time saw a new drummer.  Well, I say drummer, but that intimates that he is human.  After watching him play for an hour and a half, I’m not sure.  I suspect he is actually some sort of multiple limbed alien being.

Have a look….

The audience was the usual mix of middle-aged chaps who were there back in 1980, who hate it when the ladies jump up to dance to the string of hits from the back end of their career, and dancing ladies who know about four songs who annoy all the grumpy blokes who just want to sit down and revel in the abject muso-ness of it all.

As you know, I was involved in playing music in bands and stuff, but frankly, every time I go to see the Lev, I struggle to equate what I used to do with what they do with such apparent ease.  As my Dad always says when he watches professional golf  “They play a different game to me!”, despite the fact that he has been a single handicapper for decades.

Well, in this case my handicap is an under abundance of talent.  Still, going to see a band that I have worshipped since puberty is lovely.  There is a real feeling of comfort, and you know that you are in safe hands as they rattle through the set.  Every now and again they throw in one of the old obscure tunes, if we are lucky an instrumental, and those “in the know” sit back and smugly watch the “glory hunters” who came along sometime around “Something About You”  look at each other quizzically.  Small pleasures!

The rest of the week has been relatively uneventful, other than the usual schedule of work, and the writing of trip reports.  I got two done this week, and hopefully one or two more to follow over the weekend.  We’re not far from the end now, which for those who bother to come here, I guess, will be sad to hear.  For others who do not enjoy the non stop deluge of knob gags interspersed with the odd photo, then The Dibb will soon be safe to return to.

Any plans for the early booking of next year’s trip have been shelved, as amazingly, the ample budget (we thought) that we had allocated to the garage conversion has been soaked up, almost to the penny.  It is as if every party involved knew upfront what our budget was, and have priced their elements in a conspiracy to get their hands on every penny.


Cobweb Cottage
Le Maison mon Frere.


So with things likely to go wrong/cost more, we need to just watch what we do until we are done and then take stock.  Knowing our luck with previous similar projects we shall be in a tent in the back garden next year.  As I’ve said already, I think all of us are ready for a change (although if someone is looking to fund us a trip just so I can do another trippie then don’t get me wrong, please contact me!!), and it may be time to do something very different.

The West Coast really appeals, and if funds allow this will be my first choice.  If funds don’t we may plump for a decent beach destination, and if we are really skint we’ll do a week at my brother’s house in France.  That may sound ungrateful, but I should explain that his house is WWWAAAYYYY out in the sticks, and is meant as a pure get away from it all and relax place, which with two teenage girls, has its drawbacks.  Mainly the complete lack of the internets!!

The only concern I have with a beach holiday (WARNING: SNOB ALERT) is the fear of getting to a hotel which is all kid’s clubs, Agadoo and knobbly knee contests.  I would literally rather eat my own earwax, and being honest often do.

As all self-respecting middle-aged, Mondeo owning, shed buying Dads say…..”We’ll have to wait and see”.

I shall see you soon for more riveting garage updates!

Till the next time….

3 thoughts on “Level 42 – Channel 4 and other final scores.

  1. Having just returned from Orlando, the reality of life has just hit me and now you deliver another blow by saying you might not be going, therebye robbing myself and no doubt the adult population of the UK of your entertaining witt in your reports. This cannot be.

    P.S I’ll think you’ll find Cozy Powell’s 1812 overture or 633 Squadron is the definitive concrt drum solo

    Nanu Nanu

  2. He is a not bad drummer but he is no Neil Peart……oh yeah, I went full prog there. My sister has a place in France too and I am the obstacle to my family going. Have no overwhelming loathing of the French but I fear my dreams of a Beatrice Dalle and an Isabelle Adjani on ever street corner in French rural villages may not be based on fact and I cannot risk any more of my illusions being shattered.

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