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Friday, June 18, 2021

Comic Cuts — 18 June 2021


I will be keeping this short for the good reason that I'm trying to finish off an article for the long-time-coming BAM!. I haven't written much over the past few months and was bitten by the bug on Thursday as I began doing a bit of research into the career of a Russian-born, British film producer who turned out to have a connection with comics, and I was planning to use the results here. Unfortunately, my digging led me to a couple of movies that I want to watch before writing up the results, so I'll have to do that over the weekend.

It does leave me with something of a hole for this column as I haven't been up to much. We had such plans for the week, but the heat has made us both lethargic and, in my case, I spent half of Monday afternoon fast asleep after lunch, not waking up until a quarter to four.

On Tuesday we had planned a trip to the beach. A rather stony beach admittedly, as our sights were set on Mersea, which is a 50 minute bus ride from Colchester. It started well: I made sandwiches and we got out for the bus into Colchester on time. Arrived with six minutes to go before the Mersea bus was due, according to the large electronic timetable, so we wandered the fifteen yards down to the correct stop at Colchester bus station and waited. After fifteen minutes I said to Mel: "I'll just go check the time table again," and discovered we had... five minutes to wait.

After another ten minutes, Mel went to check the time table and came back with the news that there was now six minutes to wait. Again.

Finally, after we had waiting over half an hour, I spotted the bus turning the corner. It drove straight past us and parked further up the road, so we ran to catch up. People poured off the bus and, as we went to step on, we were waved off by the driver, who was reaching for his phone to talk to his manager. We, of course, listened in and discovered that the bus was running 50 minutes late — this was, in fact, the bus before the one we were aiming to catch.

The driver was due to switch to another bus and another route, and was explaining that he would not have time to complete the round trip again, so the bus was taken out of service. The bus we planned to be on was half an hour behind this one and almost certain to be caught up in the same problem (something to do with mile-long tailbacks at a gridlocked roundabout) and it looked like the 50 minute trip was probably going to take twice as long. With no idea whether the problem was going to be resolved, and faced with the prospect of potentially spending four hours on buses on the hottest day of the year so far, we decided to cut our losses and wander around Colchester.

That turned out to be a good idea as we were able to go and sit in Castle Park to eat our brunch and enjoy the sun (from the shade), the squirrels (always entertaining) and a saunter around a nearby small lake being eyed up by ASBO Swans (they had ankle tags) and evil-looking gulls. We walked along the river (part of the Colne, which is the river on which Wivenhoe stands as it wends its way to the North Sea) and had one of the most peaceful, enjoyable days we've had in ages. Just getting out was a joy and, even though the day went nothing like we had planned, we both felt we'd snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

So now I'm writing an article when I should be putting stuff up on eBay. I've lined up a few things, including some film books and some issues of Marvel's The Savage Sword of Conan, that will be going up on Sunday. There are still a lot of books to be had at what I think are reasonable prices.

So that was my week. Not quite what I expected, but nice nevertheless.

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