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APRIL 2004...


We settle in to our new flat while Laetitia gets her teeth into a new amateur dramatic sideline to make her UK stage debut (cue drums and fanfare).

GORGE-OUS. This is us in Leigh Woods on the rim of the Avon Gorge which runs into the edge of the city of Bristol. We live just out of sight behind the houses on the skyline (where the orange circle's been stuck). AVON A GOOD TIME.

SPRING. Yep. No more snow for a while. Just non-stop rain. And the occasional sunny spell. And blossoms. Which are nice. Just goes to show that you can't ignore a good daffodil or three.

NO MORE DRAMA. Er, not true. Laetitia's always been a keen actress and has now got involved with an amateur dramatics society in the nearby village of Westbury-on-Trym. She auditioned for a Terry Pratchett play in the hope that she'd be given something to do and was given TWO roles! It has to be said that she fitted right in with the requirements of the role - an imperious, devious, manipulative cow who cons her weak-willed husband into committing a murder. Us all over. Not. LAETITIA ON STAGE!

LATE MAY IN THE BHBS STUDIO GETTING ON MY HOBBY HORSE. While I've always been a broadcast radio nut - and have actually joined the UK's oldest Hospital Radio service - I'm also a big fan of AFVs , which is the abbreviation for Armoured Fighting Vehicles (that's tanks, armoured cars and half-tracks to you). Since Primary School, I've been a keen military modeller (more on that kind of thing here, just to show that this doesn't mean dressing up in skimpy camo for fetish websites). What I WOULD do was scan libraries for books featuring pictures of unusual tanks etc and ended up becoming a bit 'trainspotter-ish' about them. Which I suppose makes me a TANKspotter. Apparently I have no life...


TANKS A LOT. While growing up in sanctions-limited Rhodesia during the war years, it was impossible to get the kind of model kits that I wanted. This meant that I'd save up my pocket money and spend it on the stuff I wanted during our occasional holidays to South Africa. Once back across the border, I'd research like crazy and use what I'd read to replicate the 'look' of these tanks in dioramas like the one in this picture (though this is not one of mine). Brilliant. Sort of explains how I was never distracted by 'beer and birds' until I left High School...


PARKING TIGERS. This expression will mean zip to many people, but it's actually a skilfully-crafted pun on a school-era expression which means 'throwing up'. It's also a silly way of introducing the subject of my visit to Bovington, the world's largest tank museum,  where I got my hands on my very first REAL Tiger tank! 

Missed out on news for earlier this year? Catch up with a quick scan on our 2004 page here.


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