Michael Day's personal diary and e-notebook

Life away from Integra tends to revolve around family, travel, music and sport and recent weeks have been no different.

July saw my brother and family stay with us in Chalfont St Peter and, inbetween excursions into London, the South West and The Netherlands that they undertook, we had some super time, wining, dining and having fun, including a family BBQ with sixteen of us at Integra Towers.

July also saw Sue and myself rent a beautiful farmhouse in Norfolk for a few days and we took the whole family away (there was twelve of us – six adults and six kids).

We went on a boat trip on the Broads, had a couple of nice pub dinners, went zip lining and letting off steam at BeWilderwood, We also went ten pin bowling, crabbing at Cromer, greyhound racing and pirate golf at Great Yarmouth as well as a BBQ at the house and extensive use of the hot tub provided.

It was an action packed four days and we even had the unwanted excitement of our burglar alarm going off at home and having to dash back and forth one morning to resolve!

September will see Sue and I head to the Greek islands with our good friends Andy and Marianne. In all honesty, the whole scenario has been fraught with challenges, flight changes, boat and hotel changes etc and whilst we are looking forward to the break, we are not looking forward to the airport and everything that goes with it. This will be the first time we’ve flown for three years so we’ll see if we can get back in the swing.

We were due to go to Portugal in November for a river cruise but our tour operator made a ricket of the booking and, to cut a long story short, we are no longer going. Another example of our growing frustration with organising holidays where we are not in direct control of arrangements. Aaggh!   

On the sporting front the football season has got underway and Watford are riding high in the Championship. With a lengthy transfer window and the World Cup looming, it has been a disjointed first few weeks but I am very confident that the Hornets will have a successful year and return to The Premier League next May.

Watford's ground - Vicarage Road, has just celebrated its 100th anniversary. It looks somewhat different to how it did then and the positive changes in the fifty plus years that I have been attending have been remarkable. Nothing remains of the old infrastructure and the ground is now a superb theatre for the dreams and aspirations of those who attend.  

My grandson Jack now has his own season ticket and so there are now three generations of Day’s at every game. My other grandson James has also started attending some matches so the future is looking good.

On the music front there has been a bit of a lull during the summer in terms of live gigs to attend although we have enjoyed fantastic gigs by Elton John at Watford FC, Steve Whalley and The Cinelli Brothers at Dusty’s, Hitman Blues Band at the Tropic at Ruislip and Del Bromham, Claire Hamill and Gabriel Moreno at the water Rats in London.

At the end of August we were delighted to be amongst a small and select audience at Laurence Jones’ album launch at Marshall Studios in Milton Keynes. It was great to catch up with Laurence and his fiancé Amy. We first saw Laurence when he was sixteen, some fourteen years ago. He has matured as both a guitarist, songwriter and human being – fabulous!

The coming weeks will see us attend gigs by Wishbone Ash in Dorking, Leicester and Milton Keynes, Sari Schorr in Maidenhead, the David Sinclair Four and Ian Parker in Ruislip, When Rivers Meet in Milton Keynes and the Mentulls in Aylesbury.

The biggest gig, of course, will be my Friday night appearance at the Barley Mow in Leicester as part of the Wishbone Ash weekend! By way of warming up I have started attending a fortnightly open mic night in Maidenhead. Quite nerve-wracking playing in front of a crowd of seasoned performers but they have been very supportive and it has been great fun.