I went for a haircut this morning. Well, it is my daughter's wedding tomorrow and all the females in the family had commented on its length. On entering, I posed the question normally put in Spain - "OK. Whose last in the queue?". Being a British establishment, those waiting were thrown into obvious but silent confusion. Not helped by the fact I'd mistakenly asked "Whose next?". Eventually, though, someone raised his hand and admitted to being the one before me. On the positive side, to my surprise, the barber's shop had free WiFi, with the amusing password Grade1allover. I finally got it to work and passed the time writing my speech for tomorrow.
To get to my daughter's flat in Headingley, I usually pass through a student quarter, up from the Headingley cricket ground. Ten or fifteen years ago there was hardly a car parked on the streets. Now there's hardly a free parking spot. And these are students paying up to 30,000 pounds for tuition fees. Loan finance, perhaps. For the cars, I mean. The fees are all financed by student loans which - we learned this week - will never be fully repaid.
Trawling youtube for blues and boogie performances at the barber's, I came across Aker Bilk's Stranger on the Shore. This was huge hit in the UK in, I think, the winter of 62/63, when it was no. 1 for around 35 weeks. It's a haunting tune, originally called Jenny, after Bik's daughter of the same name. If you'd like to hear it again or for the first time, click here.
Finally . . . .Today I took my daughter's car to be valeted. When I asked her if there was anything to take out of it, she told me there was just a white plastic bag behind her seat. In fact, there were more than 20 items - including 2 pairs of shoes, a cake tray, a spanner, an overcoat, a couple of flower vases and an orchid. Yep, I think she's ready for marriage.