Saturday, 22 December 2012

22nd December 2012 - of Sex Lies and Scandal

Nothing to do with Christmas - but then I have gone on record about my views of premature decoration, and am surprised that all those Nigerian spammers have not also decided to suggest medication for my lack of Christmas Globes in addition to comments about my apparently publicly known medical conditions.

No, nothing to do with Christmas, but following a recent Blog post upon Americymru (an excellent website /  for Welsh Pats and Ex Pats if you are not in the know!!), it is more about Christine. Christine Keeler to be exact - and the continuing story of 1963, a scandal that "rocked the government". Oh, it would be an insignificant oversight in the light of modern governmental frailty, but in the sixties the press was at its peak in "investigative journalism" - pre-dating mobile phones, computer dating and Britain's third TV channel BBC2, which would not arrive until 1964, and then only after  delays due to power cuts.

Now, in 2012, Christine is in her 70's, living with her cat and spurning men. After a brief residence in Wales where she thought the fresh air would assist her emphysema she now lives once again in London, estranged from her mother, her two sons and most of the world - still carrying her legacy with her photo sitting upon a chair, apparently naked - though she claims she had her knickers on at the time.



By comparison, the "disgraced"  John Profumo (family motto: Virtue and Work) endured only a brief spell of ignominy. His wife stayed with him until her death in 1998. By 1975 he had been awarded a CBE for his charity work in London’s East End; at Margaret Thatcher’s 70th birthday party he was not only a honoured guest, but he sat next to the Queen. When he died in 2006, aged 91, the great and the good attended his funeral: reputation had been redeemed; his status restored.

But this is about Christine and not Christmas.

But as I cast my mind back to 1963, it is with a more personal recollection. At 9 years old I had only a little interest in politics and world news. This was before "Craven's Newsround" brought current affairs into the minds of minors, with John Craven carefully explaining complex issues into single syllables - I think there is still a need for such a  programme though incessant repeats of Sky News will have a similar affect upon the feeble minded.

No, at 9 years old I was more interested in a family holiday in Portugal. My family had always been inventive in finding holidays that were slightly different. My father's view was that a good holiday was worth saving for and was better than a new three piece suite. He rarely liked the concept of package tours or pre-arranged bookings. 1963 was not different. Gibralta still had open borders with Spain at that time. Flights from London to Gibralta were available and at reduced prices - and as I recall the flight into Gibralta, where the runway extends out into the water and crosses the main road were highly interesting. I vaguely recall the Barbary Apes on the rock - how and when we saw them I do not recall - but see them I did!!

But more memorable was the hire car that we took from Gibralta - and then drove across the whole base of  Spain heading for goodness knows what in the next country. Memorable. yes - because the hire car unfortunately sprung a leak in the radiator. Of course, now  we would call an international roadside assistance with our mobile phone or iGadget. Not in 1963!!  A simpler solution was a regular stop at garages and shops across the whole of Spain to beg for a refill of water. Which in those days, meant doing the polite thing and buying something at each stop !!

My Sister and I drank more Coca Cola from small bottles purchased at roadside stops than I have at any time in my life until 2 litre bottles started marketing at 3 for £3 in the lead up to this Christmas. But this is nothing to do with Christmas !!

The basis of the family holiday in the 60's was that they would last until the money ran out. This would normally mean a couple of days of luxury somewhere, and then downsizing and nurturing resources to ensure the longest period away. It was quite reasonable to expect a two to three week holiday in Portugal.

As we limped across the border into Portugal, our battered car, steam pouring from the bonnet, limped up to the Vasco de Gama hotel - an oasis of luxury in the undergrowth. Swimming pools, Doors that opened automatically except for the large glazing near the dining rooms where uniformed porters held the door open for a 9 year old and called him "sir".  We stayed two days as I recall - only remember the swimming pool and the porters calling me "sir". I was only 9 !

In normal fashion, we  moved on from Fantasy Island into a bed and breakfast hotel/guest house overlooking a glorious beach and deep blue seas. I would have more memories, but it seems that British Newspapers were delivered in Porta de Wherever - l failed to learn to speak Portuguese  though I did play some beach football with some local lads - GOAL!!!  is universal in the Glorious Game .....

Newspapers would not be a problem in a normal family - but mine was a Fleet Street family. As Daily Mail Parliamentary Correspondent and lifelong self made journalist, my father always read every newspaper - our paper boy hated us at home as our one house was the equivalent of a full street of deliveries - I am sure our papershop loved us for the same reason.... We probably paid for his holidays in a real hotel.

But the Newspaper cried out a scandal in the making!!   Early days - perhaps just the day the story broke - I was playing football on the beach and failed to understand the subtleties of the situation, but the political ramifications were clear to my father - and so the holiday was abruptly cut short.

I do not recall - but I am sure that we must have ditched some suitcases and added a barrel or two for spare water in the boot - because I do not recall multiple stops on the way home - I know we drove through the night !! I barely remember the argument at the Spanish Border trying to get back into Gibralta or the flight home..

But I do remember the song we sang as we came home. It was a family tradition to write a holiday song on each of our trips - and this one was no exception - and it was to the tune of "Oh Mr Porter""

I still recall to this day :
"Oh Mr Profumo - What did you do??
We have to leave old Portugal and its all because of you
We have to get back to England 
As Quickly as we can...
Oh Mr Profumo - You are a naughty Man "

So, nothing to do with Christmas - but all to do with Christine.  As she looks after her cat in her later years and looks back upon her life 60 years ago - when as a 17 year old she tried to make her way in the big city -  I feel a little sorry that even in our holiday song - she did not get a mention... but that is the way of sex, lies and scandals










Thursday, 20 December 2012

20th December 2012 - Last day of the World

As the Mayans seem to have identified that the world ends on the 21st December, I look with some satisfaction at the posts on Facebook from friends living in New Zealand - who are pointing out that it is already 21st December there and they are still there. Well, at least their posts are still there.

Of course, I have never really convinced myself that when they said that it would end on the 21st,  that meant at the beginning of the day, after breakfast, (or second breakfast if you are part of the current Hobbit Appreciation Cult) tea-time or at the stroke of midnight after the day is complete. If the latter is the case then I have to wait awhile to check that our antipodean friends made it, and we may still be in trouble...

However, as I prepare for my "Viking" style concert tomorrow night at Crosshands, I was gratified to read the following verse:

MAYANS & VIKINGS

Despite all the hullabaloo
‘Bout Mayans predicting the End
I know that what I know is true
So heed what tell you, my friend:
While Asgard is under his rule
Old Odin would never allow
That Ragnarök happens on Yule
So bring on the beer and the chow!

I think I will stick with good old Odin the All Father on this one .... after all, if not I wasted £30 on tickets!!!


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

19th December 2012 - Not a lot happening

Forgive me readers I have prevaricated. It is a week since my last confession and nothing much really seems to have transpired. Such in the laziness of the double retired.
Of course the Lyre is taking a certain amount of time, now have a basic repertoire of 10 songs with original arrangement which I  am working on, which will probably end up on Youtube in the New Year. Seems strange but there are still no videos for the 16 string Lyre out there at all!!

Otherwise - it is preparation for the Solstice at the Cinema for Friday. After a number of changes in the line up - it seems that I will now have a 25 minute spot to myself  rather than singing in the round as originally intended. Which places me sort of in the same position as the headliner, Amy, which is nice, but rather challenging for a performer who has not actually been on stage before !!!

Have worked upon the stage setting - something needed to be easy to get into place - I only have a couple of minutes for the changeover, luckily I am single guitar connection and microphone, so the electrics are simple enough, and decided upon taking the Crimson Moon as my setting - after all it is the place where I am most comfortable!!  And some Mead of course!! One bottle left!!

and so....  built in my living room is a art of the Crimson Moon - all based upon a clothes rail so it will roll into place and a couple of boxes and barrels for good luck !! Of course - in the Cinema/ Theatre it should have a black backing and the full lighting which may make a difference - sort of imagining it as ...


Well only another day and we will know how it all went!!!..


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

12th December 2012 - Deposit received, moving forward..

So today - we have a the deposit for the sale of the Crimson Moon successfully transferred.
On line postings say the following as the current teaser ...

A chill on the air brought a wisp of moisture on the breath, the moon was bright and shone on the water, the creak of ropes tightening as the moored dragon boats rose on the tide...  Tonight was special. Tonight was the passing from one life to another. Tonight a door closed and the future was unknown.

The quiet harbour was hidden from most eyes - and the passage over the water back to Norscan Lands had been planned with the greatest secrecy. Too many people knew that the "Widow" Agnes was returning to her homelands - not sure what she would find after so many years. After accusations of evil deeds, poisonings, attempted murder of  Norscan Nobles, all distant deeds. Years of separation from her people, indifference of her Lord General, lack of support as she struggled to carry the Tavern from land to land to support the Warhost....

For a brief period, she had allowed herself  to find a new family with her adopted children - the Ua DĂ©aghaidh, but one by one they had succumbed, departed and died... the last throwing his life away upon the whim of  Cole... another sadness to carry with her to the new lands..

Yes - too many knew of that they were travelling, but Vollsanger had planned carefully and he was confident that no-one knew of the travel plans that would take them back to Norsca.

Behind them - the entire contents of the Crimson Moon Tavern was packed and secured and was being led away from the bay. Neither knew where it was to be stored - it was not their problem now. There was no doubt that the Crimson Moon would be in place when the Warhost met for Beltane. But the "Widow" and Vollsanger would not be there - only the new owners....

"That was a lot of gold ... everything we asked for" Agnes said quietly to the Bard. "I never thought that they had that sort of money.."
"There are rumours of a Dragon Hoard ... I have never seen such runes as appear on the gold - but you have tested and it is good gold.... I do not think we have cause to fear"
"Still, I shall miss the Warhost - it has been my family for so long..."

"Should we tell everyone who has bought the Tavern?" she asked...
"They will find out soon enough" he replied.


"We shall find a new life back in the Homeland...  It is time to get aboard..."

Their hands clasped for a second and gave a tender squeeze. The wedding may have been at Beltane, may have been only a year and a day ... but, possibly there would be more for the "Widow" Agnes and Vollsanger....





Friday, 7 December 2012

7th December 2012 - Crimson Moon's Last Stand

The rain and the sleet was driving down this afternoon as I loaded the van for the last time, for a Crimson Moon venture under our direction. Forecast according to weather.com shows that tomorrow (Saturday) should be cloudy with sunny showers, and a temperature of 6 degrees. Let's not talk about Sunday at the moment - after all we will be on site and can't do much about it by that time.
It is the evening before that as the temperature drops, you have the opportunity to think that bed is going to seem very inviting at 5am tomorrow, as we start a drive down to Caerphilly Castle before dawn.. a long time before dawn!!

Monk's habit s ready and hanging by the door for my Alter Ego 'Brother Weaver Barrel' - the Drunken Monk, and "Nona the 'nebriated Nun's" wimple .  Guaranteed to scare a random Jehovah's Witness should one be silly enough to call!! But no, I am sure that they have more sense than to be out in this cold.

On this occasion - we are not taking our own marquee, which is sitting in the living room awaiting scrutiny for replaced guy ropes and patches, but are lucky enough to have an historic tent being put in place for us (I hope they remember to put it up!!). As a result, the van looks deceptively empty, with only the boxes of Mulled Wine, Mead, a crate of plastic Ivy, gas burners and 1,000 cups.

Sad to say, our benefactor, who normally graces the Castle as the Barber Surgeon, has just had his trailer stolen containing the full contents of his Victorian Hospital, and despite circulation through Facebook Accounts does not appear to have been recovered. Roger's knowledge that the axle is broken and the frame is unroadworthy does not help him as the trailer seems to have disappeared from his South Wales home..

I may have to sympathise with a few glasses of mulled wine tomorrow!!

So Caerphilly Christmas Fayre will start tomorrow morning for two days. Our last trading days as the Crimson Moon though no doubt I will be involved in the future helping the new owners.
Also our last chance at this stage, to spend the night in our favourite castle.

If you are in the vicinity of Caerphilly - hope to see you there...
Caerphilly Castle Christmas Fayre




Wednesday, 5 December 2012

5th December 2012 - History takes the biscuit

After surviving the evil of the kitchen boiler - it is restful to be back in Wales, and and face the simple life. A little study on the internet and an opportunity to better oneself ..

It was in this spirit that I found the following picture on my researches..
Seems to sum up my day ...

That's All !!!


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

4th December 2012 - The Evil Entity in the Kitchen..

Some central heating systems seem to have a mind of their own. There is probably a technical term for over anthropomorphising a plumbing system, but when you are in someone else's house, and the temperature is dropping sharply, and the radiators are cold, and none of the buttons seem to work then you have to forgive me for thinking that there may be a hint of malicious intelligence in the boiler in the corner.

There is a simple white box on the wall of the kitchen, it says that the heating is on timer. Well when I say "it says" I do not mean that I have over-egged the intelligence bit by implying that it is actually speaking to me in a "we will take over the world Pinky" type manner. I mean that the little arrow is pointing to the "Timer" line in the LED display. There is a button next to it, and though it says ADVANCE HEATING, which might mean that it considers itself to be the height of technology, or that it wants you to move forward with the times, pressing the button simply switches a green light on with the letters ADV ( which implies it is doing whatever it is meant to ) but the radiators don't warm up, and the master mind which looks like R2D2 in the cupboard is remaining stubbornly quiet!!.

Looking art R2D2, there are some buttons saying plus and minus, and MODE - and the readout says 54 - which looks like a temperature - blooming cold !!!! Pressing the MODE button seems to do little. Though I was getting somewhere when I pressed the PLUS and the numbers started climbing. But when I stopped they kept on - up into the 70's and then into the 80's.

Forgive me if I admit that I panicked just a little. After all it is not my house. I did not put the evil entity into the cupboard, but I am not be sure that it isn't blaming me anyway !!!. But if the numbers kept on climbing then the whole thing might explode!!!  Okay, I know it is an exaggeration, and slightly extreme, but it seemed likely to me as I hurriedly pressed the minus button....  Yes...  I watched the numbers drop into the single figures ......

But more important - the radiators are still cold!!!
and then - one radiator started to warm up - just to spite me I reckon!!!

I know all the radiators were on this morning so none have been switched off!!
So why is only one radiator warming up ??   And that is quite hot now - but I don't want to spend the rest of the day hovering over one radiator. While the remainder refuse to budge.
I can't hear the boiler running - so where is the heat coming from????

Ahh - the sound of a car driving up - we may solve the mystery.........
Watch this space .....

Sunday, 2 December 2012

2nd December 2012 - Only a Museum Piece....

An interesting morning. Visiting the lovely old building at Parc Howard, known generally as Parc Howard Mansion for the NSPCC "at Home".

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been a major charity that I have supported for the last 30 years, and while I am currently the President of the Llanelli and Area District, in practise - my role was much more a reprise of my other main characterisation, that of the Barkeep!!.


And so, as the great and the good, the old and the young, the fit and the infirm all trooped into the great hall my main task was to provide a glass of red, white or blush wine and or orange and apple juice....
Of course my main task revolves around having a louder voice thank anybody else, always good for calling attention to the Chairman, the Mayor, or the raffle draw.

It was then that things started to get a a little surrealistic. I know that Llanelli is a small town, and that we have been there for many years, however, as I examined the excellent displays of Llanelli Pottery and read the history of the development of that industry in Llanelli, I began to see familiar faces...

We have always laughingly referred to our local Mayors as the "Chain Gang" - after all they wear Chains and come n groups. Especially in Llanelli, where we are graced with the Llanelli Town Mayor,  the District Mayor, Rural Council Mayor, used to be a borough Mayor and of course the deputies and the consorts.....
It was indeed a delight to see that they all had agreed to come along to our buffet and wine Christmas Celebration and Carol Singing - but the faces were strangely more familiar than I was expecting...
And so it was, that it slowly dawned that the last time I had seen the Town Mayor, Councillor Winston Lemon - also known as the Singing Decorator !!  was when we shared the stage on Llanelli theatre (the Classic Cinema for locals  which was for years our only theatre in town) , not at a fundraiser or political meeting - but South Pacific!!  We both trod the boards and sang our hearts out.
It was about 25 years ago !!!
And then I looked to the next mayor - Deputy Town Mayor Roger Price, and this was a clearer view - I had  been singing in the local Llanelli Folk Club in the Queen Vic  in Queen Victoria Road only a few months ago. Roger has started a highly successful Folk Train Trip up the Llanelli Mid Wales Train Line form Llanelli up to Ammanford, singing on the way - stop off in the Ammanford Folk Club and back before closing time..

So there in the front row were two of my erstwhile singing companions.    

Add to that, a few ex policemen and a couple of magistrates who spent some time recalling my early days as a constable long before I had a pony tail or wore a tie at social events .... and a successful raising of charity funds for my favourite Charity - a strange day ... But that is what being Welsh is all about ...
History made alive, in a great historical building...
Maybe we all belong in the museum....




Saturday, 1 December 2012

1st December 2012 - It is December - Not Christmas

December dawns, how did that happen? Seems only yesterday that we were celebrating the lack of Summer, recalling a couple of warm days back in April, and counting the floods that formed the period from Summer Solstice to the first leaves dropping from the trees. And then, December!!
That means that Christmas will be on everyone's lips, covering the shops, the news, the streets.

Now, call me a traditionalist, but my tree and decorations go up on Christmas Eve, after the sun has set and not a moment before. Christmas commences with the car being put in the garage, locked away for the duration if possible, and the curtains closed except for the bay window that contains the Christmas Tree.
Once the sun has set, then it is time to set the tree, a family task to get the tree covered with as much sliver, colour and general "tat" as possible. We are not looking at symmetry, we are not looking at design, we are not looking at planning, we are looking at enthusiasm and abandon!!
We have gone through the stages of a star on top of the tree, there was a family Fairy that had pride of place for a number of years, but for the last couple of years I will admit that a small teddy bear in a witch's costume has sat at the top of the tree. Plenty of lights, mainly because I will buy some extra on the assumption that last year's lights will not work, but they often do...  But again - colour co-ordination is not what is required.



So why Christmas Eve and not before??   Because we have always done it that way would be a reasonable answer and quite traditional. It is a family tradition may be another ways of saying it. But mainly, it is that Christmas is a special time of year tome - and I do not like it being diluted by starting it in September. I know families who are taking their tree down on Boxing day - they are already fed up with having the tree there for so long..

For me 12 days is quite sufficient, and therefore Christmas Eve is the time to put the decorations up. In my view they should stay up for a full 12 days of Christmas and be taken down on the 13th day....
When the children were younger, excitement could happily build as we sorted the tree and got the house looking right for Christmas. An exciting evening and off to bed, to allow us to finalise the preparations for Santa to call. As they went to bed, there would be a few presents around the Christmas tree. Each child was invited to bring their presents suitably labelled and stack them under the tree. Likewise, there would be a present from Grandparents that had come through the post, and perhaps a present from Mum and Dad.
Yes, a few presents would be under the tree as they went to bed.... but the look on faces as they see what is under the tree in the morning is one of the great delights of childhood.

I always enjoy my Christmas, but Christmas starts on Christmas Eve with the tree. Christmas morning becomes special with presents being distributed by young "postmen" who have the opportunity to look through the presents and read the names, and then are responsible for  trying to distribute gifts in a fair and equal manner. One for Mummy, one for Daddy, one for Sister, one for me....  We normally insist that presents get opened one at a time, reinforcing that the pleasure of giving is equal to the pleasure of receiving. It is as much fun to watch someone open the present you have chosen for another.... Also, present giving lasts a lot longer....

After the joys of Christmas Day and perhaps some visitors and late present giving on Boxing Day, another ten days of decorations and Christmas Spirit seems sufficient to me. After that, the tree can be taken down, needles will mainly be falling off by now unless some imitation tree is at the core of the shining monstrosity in the bay window. Boxes can be filled and stowed away for another year....

Don't get me wrong... I enjoy Christmas, just don't want it to start too early .. Christmas Eve will be time enough...
Oh, and don't you dare come and sing Christmas Carols outside my house before Christmas Eve....
because it may be December - but it is not Christmas yet !!

Friday, 30 November 2012

30th November 2012 - Friday - That's all...

Friday. That's all!!
It is an important day for many, signifying the end of the week and the commencement of a weekend.
Somehow you lose the magic of a Friday when you are retired. It is another day in the week and only the check of the diary showing that there are no appointments makes it easier to decide that the inside of the house is preferable to wandering outside in the cold...
Of course, the dogs do not always feel the same way. Popping out this morning, they sat in the back of the car convinced that they were going to get a walk - but by the time we got to the fields it was raining and lack of waterproofs and lack of incentive meant that we turned around and came back home.
Sorry dogs - it's Friday - that's all !!!

A delivery of mulled wine via pallet reminded me that we are off to Caerphilly Castle next weekend to brave the cold and the rain and the snow ( if the last few years have been anything to go by !!) selling hot mulled wine to visitors to the castle. Hopefully a goodly number will call as there is a thousand pounds worth of mulled wine in boxes, with a few bottle for sale, sitting in the living room. That will be a lot of cups of wine!
But preparation for that can wait until next week.. it involves sorting out wall hangings and decorations and suchlike which involves getting up from the chair here, which sounds like a job for another day...
It's Friday - that's all.


Start of a video is in place for the Christmas special. Only the trailer of course. But a taster of what is to come if I get the next section photographed and compiled. 50 shades of Green seems a good working title.
.
Buying wine for the NSPCC at home this weekend. How many bottles of wine will 80 guests drink?? At lunchtime??  We will find out - 6 glasses to a bottle suggests 13 bottles of wine if not everyone has more than one glass. So a dozen Red, and 6 each of White and Rose may do...   Decisions decisions... Not good at those on a Friday....
Better get on with a video -
It is Friday
That's all...

Thursday, 29 November 2012

29th November 2012 - Grammar Challenge.

And so it has come to this at last. For many years the rule of grammar has been clear that conjunctions should never start a sentence. Or so I thought, until receiving a rant from a friendly Americymru guru Ceri who laid the challenge at my door. But, what would I write about I thought if I were to take up this challenge? Or should I just let a stream of conciousness run like drivel form my brain? Yet, a challenge is a challenge and should not be ignored. Nor should the opportunity to post a blog go unchecked...  So, that brought me to this opening paragraph. And so we may list the FANBOYS acronym of words that should not be used to start a sentence "For, and, nor, but, or, yet, so"


After starting in this fashion,it is desirable to continue onto the coordinating conjunctions. Although there are a number of them!! As much as I would like to list them, as long as they are contained in the sentence I suppose that is sufficient. As thought I care !! Because, if we were to just list them, by the time I got to the end I would have a number of bored people. Before that happens, I will try to keep this humorous, even though it is breaking all the rules. If I was to use "in order that" or "in case" I may be breaking more rules, and that I must avoid. Lest I be called a purist, provided that you have read this far,since the purpose was to identify some conjunctions,so that we knew what to avoid, when, whenever, where and wherever they appear. Unless, and until you see these rules, while they have their place in Grammar, it seems that Ceri Shaw does not like them.


Both Ceri and I agree on one thing. Either use conjunctions or not. Neither opinion nor rule should take precedence. Not only is the text important but also the meaning behind it. Whether you agree or not - I think I have lived up to the challenge.

Thank you 


and so we have them :


Coordinating Conjunctions

There are only seven of these!
for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so




Subordinating Conjunctions




A after, although, as, as if, as long as, as much as, as soon as, as though
B because, before, by the time
E even if, even though
I if, in order that, in case
L lest
O once, only if
P provided that
since, so that
T than, that, though, till
U unless, until
W when, whenever, where, wherever, while

Correlative Conjunctions



both... and
either... or
neither... nor
not only... but also
whether... or




Wednesday, 28 November 2012

28th November 2012 - on Writing Skills

I rarely think in terms of lists.But occasionally a list will strike the imagination. Particularly when it refers to the art of writing, and so it was with a deal of interest that I read the following list which is pretty definitive with regard to things a prospective writer or blogger should attempt.


  1. AVOID ALLITERATION ALWAYS
  2. PREPOSITIONS ARE NOT WORDS TO END SENTENCES WITH
  3. THE PASSIVE VOICE IS TO BE AVOIDED
  4. VOID CLICHES LIKE THE PLAGUE - THEY ARE OLD HAT
  5. IT IS WRONG TO EVER SPLIT AN INFINITIVE
  6. WRITERS SHOULD NEVER GENERALISE

    seven:  BE CONSISTENT
     8.   DON'T USE MORE WORDS THAN NECESSARY, IT'S HIGHLY SUPERFLOUS

     9.   BE MORE OR LESS SPECIFIC
    10.  EXAGGERATION IS A BILLION TIMES WORSE THAN UNDERSTATEMENT


Maybe I should take these points on board ....

   



Tuesday, 27 November 2012

27th November 2012 - On leeks and Leaks

After the country has suffered some of the heaviest rains and storms, and flooding warnings reaching the highest level-life threatening storms, it was perhaps understandable that as I lay in bed yesterday morning, I got the distinct impression of dampness...... Now, before the mind goes wandering off into inappropriate directions, and to be fair my mind wandered a little in the immediate aftermath, after all I had not been imbibing of noxious alcoholic beverages the night before, and have no history of any lack of responsibility in the nether regions, but it was clearly wet in the bed. Looking to the ceiling, there was no sign of any drops of water cascading down onto the coverlets, which was also not surprising as there are no water pipes above the bedroom, and there is another bedroom between the roof and the ceiling...

Worse still, it seemed to be wet only where I was sleeping... Now this may seem to have taken a few minutes, but the reality was that all these thoughts went through my mind in that brief moment that you have where you transform from a heavy sleep into total awake - and also levitate from the bed and stand looking at the silhouette outlined upon the bed - like a chalk print at a murder scene.

I suppose it is best to mention at this stage that I sleep upon a water bed - and have done so for countless years. No, not one of those bright sixties water filled li-lo's that used to appear in tame B scene romps, but rather a state of the art ( well 25 years ago) frame contained, floatation chambered, heated water bed. And it seemed it had sprung a leak!!!

Of course, one of the finest things about a water bed is that it contours automatically, and if there is more than one person in the bed, it equalises nicely to fit the individual weights of the sleepers. Thus,being the heavier of the sleepers, the mattress sinks just that small amount lower around my torso, allowing a slow trickle to form in the impression.

Well I can't complain really, spending the next few hours looking through the house for the repair kit, one always arrives with a waterbed, we worked out that the last replacement mattress had been bought back in 2005, giving us 8 years undisturbed rest, but no sign of the repair kit....  Also no sign of the leak!! It had to be a small leak, as it required two people to be on the bed  to push a drop of water out, and it took 8 hours of steady drip to dampen only one indentation in the bed...  A needle in a haystack if you wish to mix your metaphors...

So, where do you find a good repairer for water beds in Wales???   We originally bought the bed from Leeks at Crosshands, when they decided to specialise in such things, and the sales pitch of "Your normal mattress starts failing the day you put it on the bed - and needs replacing after only a couple of years as the supports inside start to breakdown - but your water bed mattress will go on for ever (less leaks of course)...
Your normal mattress gets filled with all the detritus of  the sleepers, whereas the water bed is impervious....."
So we went for the Leek Special, and bought . Strangely for all those years we have never had a leak!


Of course in 2005, the flotation chambers were beginning to rot inside, and the bed was losing its firmness, and when we moved the bed into another bedroom, it did not really make the journey well, so we splashed out ( no pun intended) on the 2005 replacement ...  I have the bill, it was £179 plus carriage...

So not being able to find the leak we decided to research a replacement mattress - and interestingly found that the cost was the same - but with free carriage!!!  A sign of the times that this one area of lifestyle has not increased in price over the years....  So with a credit card payment we can look forward to a replacement without Leaks ... and then we found the hole in the mattress!!!

But still no repair kit...   A good excuse to turn over the bedroom, and in the drawers I found my medals from the Police, some cufflinks I forgot I had, and ££2.27p in loose change..  but no repair outfit....
But in the living room, in amongst all the accumulated "Stuff" that finds its way into various drawers and shelves, there was a pristine, unopened, universal bicycle repair outfit!!!!  Well, it was not a water bed repair kit, but there are some similarities in the form of rubber tube/lining,  both require a little roughening around the are of repair, apply some of the solvent glue, add a rubber match and grate the chalk over the top to take away all extra glue......  Yup - seemed to be the same process......

So, I did not write the blog yesterday, we spent most of the time running around searching the house.. and then with some trepidation, attempted another night of sleep......
I am pleased to report that the bed stayed dry... I know I sound like a proud parent of a child who has managed to go the night without pampers - but if the repair holds then when the new mattress arrives we can store it for our move to the next house - we know from the past that moving a water bed is not easy!!!

So while the weather remains poor across Wales, at last in one part of Llanelli it is dry....
Also - if your waterbed has problems....   I know of a good repair service - we also do bikes!!
 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

25th November 2012 - 3 Happence a foot...

"Sam asked Noah what was 'is business,
And t'ould chap went on to remark
That, not liking the look of the weather,
'E were thinking of building an Ark."


It is always claimed that British have little conversation skills other than to chat about the weather, too hot , too cold, too wet, too dry, too humid, too arid, too cloudy, too sunny, the hole in the ozone layer, the level of pollen, too cold for snow, too chilly for a storm.
There is a theory that the varied type of weather in the UK lends itself to becoming the central point of all discourse, and the great myth of British "reserve" has been compounded by the ability to talk inanely for hours without ever breaching a personal issue..... Well, I have just put that theory and therefore the statement "there is a theory" is 100% true....  

It may not be a good theory, but as I wake this bright November morning and look at the rain pouring down the bedroom window, snuggle under the bedclothes as I recall switching off the central heating last night in a vain attempt to reduce the forthcoming horrific fuel bills (and thank you Mr Cameron for deciding that we should all pay an additional £95 per household to help the energy companies invest in more green resources!!) my thoughts dwell upon my colleagues in the re-enactment and Live Roleplay & Fantasy Trading circles who are out this weekend trying to ply their trades. 

Ludlow Christmas Fayre is on this weekend, just over the border from Wales, many still hold that it belongs to us, after all it still says "Croeso i Loegr" as you enter England, "Welcome to the Lost Lands". 
Many friends are there and by all accounts the rain did not let up at all yesterday and the winds were horrific. Martin, of Martin's Jerked Meat lamented that the "Trade has gone cold" and from his ramblings I don't think that was all that was cold !!! Suddenly, finishing trading at the end of October all seemed to make a little more sense, even if the money was not coming in!! Still, Caerphilly Castle at Christmas to look forward to on 8th December - I will give them that long to get the weather sorted out again - I am not an unreasonable person.   [ Link to Caerphilly Fayre ]

So, it may not be Hurricane Sandy, or even Hurricane Dai, but the weather reports show a record number of  weather warnings including 4 "death threatening" levels.

Though in some senses I prefer this version which has a hint of simplicity about it ...

As I look out of my bay window in Llanelli, it is currently sunny here -  I hear that my Granddaughter is holding a memorial service this afternoon for Goldie the Goldfish who sadly passed away after consistent over eating - no flowers please...  monetary donations only .... and I wonder whether I should wish that it be dry for the mourners, or wet in memory of poor Goldie......

Never an easy decision for the Barkeep .....

Saturday, 24 November 2012

24th November 2012 - Of little known Facts

Fact for the day... the word "Trigger" used for all our guns originated from the word TREKKER from the Dutch. [Dutch trekker, from Middle Dutch trecker, from treckento pull.]

This may not seem to be a very important fact, but I was more interested that I learned it in the middle of the night while sitting at my computer, on a pop up message from a very nice and attractive young lady who had possibly imbibed a little too much of the Mead, and who decided that the early hours of the morning was a good time to contact her favourite Barkeep and discuss early century firearms. Granted that the last time I met the young lady was at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross when she pointed a very large, and unloaded I hasten to add, blunderbuss sized weapon at me - and smiled with a rather demonical look in her eye .....
It seems that it was not a blunderbuss - her weapon, which she knew with anatomical knowledge predated such a piece of mechanical engineering by a laughable number of years, and though the communication was through the little box called "Chat" upon a Facebook page, with an annoying little "Ping" sound after every T was dotted and I was crossed, it was quite clear that the tone of the missives contained an air of "You don't know even the basics !!!   what kind of imbecile would make that sort of mistake !""

"blunderbusses are much later
I'm even pre matchlock
you can call it a hangoone or a handcannon
or arquebus"     

I suppose that if you are the Barkeep to a Re-enactment and Live Action Roleplay Historical and Fantasy Tavern, then you just have to expect being delighted by the rich tapestry of people that you meet across the country - even if it also involves having the occasional weapon pointed at you.

I am sure that my friends and associated in the USA will support the principle that every young lady in medieval gown should have the right to bear arms.   I certainly support that it makes for a more varied lifestyle - life does not get boring when surrounded by people who are involved in their hobby, and though this is the "down" season here in the UK, well for me at any case as I have no intention of putting up canvass and camping out in the rain and snow at the moment - (though arguably I did last year!!) it is a delight to still have access to the varied characters that have been our customers and friends over the last 10 years.

Oh, she also shared another interesting fact - it is the sort of thing that you do in the early hours of the morning - apparently a snail's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.....   

Well that was sort of a conversation stopper!!!...



Friday, 23 November 2012

23rd November 2012 - A Doctor a day...

So on this day in 1963, Dr Who first appeared on BBC 1 - a step forward in TV history that would change generations. There have been many Doctors and, like James Bond, everyone seems to have their favourite and though I am an old traditionalist and loved the original story line of a Grandfather trying to get his granddaughter a decent education in a local Earth School who kidnaps two of the teachers.
I can think of a number of teachers today who would gladly up sticks and jump into a floating Police Box and it may be that the original concept was inspired by the desire to escape the classroom.
Indeed - it has inspired the escapist fantasies of generations since that time.

Though I have watched most Doctors from the original back in 1963, the nearest we have come to the TARDIS is Caerphilly Castle a couple of years ago when we took the Crimson Moon Mead Emporium to the Inner Bailey and looked up at the main tower to see a Blue Box shining in the most unlikely position!!.
It may have been a publicity stunt - but staying in the old Castle overnight - with the TARDIS as a Beacon shining down upon us was and interesting experience.

The TARDIS on the main tower at Caerphilly Castle and the view up through the arch at the Crimson Moon Mead Emporium and the North Tower.

So back to the present and we spent a night in the UK being battered by seriously strong winds. As one correspondent upon the Book of Faces commented - "We have been hit by Hurricane Dai!!" 
But this morning the sun is trying to break through and thought I would not call it warm - we are not subjected to the wind whistling through the dog flap - and stealing all the heat out of the house.

A breakfast of home made bread, with home made cream cheese and home made apricot jam - may not be the most healthy in the "less fattening" style but I can be assured of no additives, and it certainly tastes better. A cup of coffee may not be the most healthy either, and is fairness it is not my normal drink - tea being the preference for most days, however - it seemed to be right to go with the breakfast.

So plans for the day?


Thursday, 22 November 2012

22nd November - 2012 - Thanksgiving in the Colonies

Thursday in bleak and miserable Wales - but on the plus side I don't have to go out and it gives me a good opportunity to monitor whether the bathroom wall is still leaking. Don't get me wrong, I have no desire for it to be leaking but it is always important to ensure that there is a logical and positive reason for remaining in the house, that is other than keeping warm, and dry, and it is possible that by positive thought and the power of the Force the leak will stop, or perhaps was never really there, like a crack in the wall of Amy Pond's bedroom...

So it is Thanksgiving in the Colonies, a great day for everyone, except a few million Turkeys one surmises.
Happy Thanksgiving
Decided to celebrate the day with a change of image on the Crimson Moon Facebook site. Thought the image idea worked quite well.

Been quite  a productive day really, managed to edit the last of the rehearsal sound check videos from the Solstice Cinema practice day - and put the "Race you to Valhalla" song onto Youtube.


Slowly adding the Youtube hits as they sit on 22276 Hits - though they do seem to sit on one number for about a week at a time and then jump up.

Started having a think about the Christmas Special for the Drunken Monks Teddies and the Crimson Moon as my Swan Song for my management of the Crimson Moon Tavern.  I think that the "Evil Baddie" (No-one will ever know who he is !! )  needs to return one last time  - I think that he may steal the colour out of the World leaving it in Black and White for Christmas  - best I can think of at the moment - Work in Progress.....

Susie still researching houses and finding a few more that may have some potential - should really be starting on clearing the house ... will start by planning I think....

 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

21st November 2012 - Getting back to Normal - whatever that may be ....

Well, it is Wednesday and the black bags have been put out and the food waste has been taken and the ground is damp and the sky is grey... The Blog has been neglected for a few weeks and the stomach bug has taken its toll.
But a good night sleep and a positive attitude can work wonders... well until Susie came in and told me that the wall in the Bathroom is damp again! Thought we had fixed that problem by changing the broken coping stone, cleaning the gutters and removing the Triffid that was boring down the gap between the walls. Have to look for another cause now !!

So a day yesterday trying to stop the nausea while driving around the Welsh Countryside looking at two smallholdings. One in Cynwyl Elfed which had a lot of potential - mainly because it was quirky and had lots of accommodation and barns and a second building / granny flat and was a good price and the other up near Rhydlewis, which had better pasture, a nice little bungalow ( oh the thought of no more stairs !! ) and was more secluded - but more expensive.
First was actually two houses and there was room to knock through the dividing doors that had been blocked up. Could put a wardrobe there and walk through it - that would be novel !!
But they both were practical - just have to start looking at our house and seeing what needs to be done...
Maybe a cup of tea first !

So :
Sale of House  - not started yet!!
Purchase of Smallholding -  Starting to look at potential Properties
However on the up-side Susie has bought a Chicken Hutch - Flat Pack which is sitting in the living room awaiting the future. She is also perusing Incubators on E-bay.
Sale of Business - Sadly on Hold at the moment - last buyers dropped out, after the money man decided that the numbers did not crunch.
Looking at Plan B options - which may mean realising financial return over a longer period - but better than the alternative.
Vollsanger -  Well, the Solstice at the Cinema seems to be progressing in the right direction.
Managed to repair my guitar as far as I can tell - the amplifier socket came out of the Guitar Sound Box and had to find a sneaky method of pulling it back into place with wires as my hands were too large to get into the sound box to push it back. Need to check that it works properly.
A couple of Sound checks have been posted onto Youtube and are linked here :
Tapestry is turning into quite a nice song I think and "Dance for me" is simple but effective.
  
Tapestry

Lilie's Song

Apparently - we are going to have another sound check on Sunday ...
Will have to get back practicing ...

I See there is a write up in the Carmarthen Journal for the Solstice:


A CHRISTMAS concert with a difference is set to light up the winter solstice next month.
An array of performers from a group of 14-year-old girls, a bardic Viking singing about green goblins to Ed Shearan collaborator Amy Wadge, will unite to celebrate original, live music.
Music teacher Ron Savory is behind the idea and says he hopes to get as many people as possible on stage for a grand finale with Vollsanger — a former police chief turned entertainer.
Ron's Plank Promotions is putting on the event in the Cross Hands Cinema after starting out holding gigs in a Carmarthen cafe.
"We started out at Caffi Iechyd Da and it was just a wonderful event," he said.
"Then I took my son to the cinema and just thought it was an incredible building.
"It's a theatre, a beautiful art deco building with an incredible feel, so I wanted to put on a show there."
Headliner Amy Wadge has worked with double Brit Award winner Ed Sheeran.
Together they co-wrote the EP, Songs I Wrote with Amy and a number of other songs including, Gold Rush, which features on the Deluxe Edition of Ed's million-selling debut +. The four-and-a-half hour show, which starts at 7pm on December 21, will feature more than 13 acts, but Ron says it is not about the performers.
"This is about making an event that is positive, organic and inclusive.
"It's not about people playing to an audience, it's about the audience and the artists feeding off each other."
Ron added the gig is not for profit.
"This is not about making money — it's about enjoyment," he said.
"We're providing a manned bar on the night, but people will need to bring their own refreshments.
"We're trying to do it as cheaply as possible so everyone can enjoy."
Tickets for the event are available from Alun Rees at Cadno Music, Llanelli, Caffi Iechyd Da Carmarthen, Tangled Parrot Carmarthen, Sticks & Picks, Music Tuition, Cross Hands and Cross Hands Cinema.

Nice...

Monday, 19 November 2012

19th November 2012 - D Day ??

Well, after meetings last Thursday, and a weekend up in Aylesbury and London, and a rush back to Llanelli for the Sunday Dinner - which seemed to be excellent- but was sadly interrupted with a case of 24 Hour Lurgy....

So Sunday Afternoon and night disappeared into a extended bathroom sit - while the body exhibited no sense of responsibility at either end !!!

Sadly - Susie succumbed by about 2am and so it was queues for the loo ...

Not necessarily the best thing to write in the blog - but it is the most vivid thing that has happened in the last few days - so I suppose it had to be down here.

Don't think I shall be sitting here long...


Saturday, 10 November 2012

10th November 2012 - Quiet times

A daily blog is more unlikely while we are based at home and officially "Ceased Trading".
However a couple of days where the weather really has not prompted anyone to venture out into the real world, with a continuous drizzle and chilly temperature, so whenever we can persuade ourselves that there is no real urgent need to venture out - seems good reason to stay in !!!

Update on the Van ....  not good, changed the fuel pipe but the leak is still there so will have to change the fuel pump - garage looking to try and get the cheapest version - so letting them do the searches rather than pay Mercedes full prices...

Roof was better news - fantastic local resource who painted the front of the house managed to monkey up the back roof, change the coping stones, change the loose tiles and pull a triffid out that was growing down in the cavity of the bathroom wall - and was probably the main cause of all our damp!!!  A day later and despite rain - the wall is pretty well dry !!!

Managed to finish the outline accounts of the business for the last 5 years and hoping for an early and favourable response - would be nice to finalise any handover - and of course at the moment there is the option on a new purchaser starting income generation at the Caerphilly Xmas Fayre - we have ordered mulled wine for the event but are not intending to sell meads or country wines.

Also put together a set of stock options for a local public house should they wish to use some of our supplies. Basically - closing down the last areas of business with  a view to starting our new options.

Latest Poster for the Solstice at the Cinema put together - sadly missed the deadline for the printers - so will have to just use it ourselves..


Will be heading to the cinema tomorrow to see what is happening and take my camera to get the feel of the event.

So the US election has finished and was about as exciting as the forthcoming Police Commissioner election here in the UK which no-one knows about, no-one cares about and has to be one of the greatest waste of public and personal money lately. Two weeks ago I could not even find out who the candidates were ... and now they are electioneering with a week to go and seem to be only party political candidates...  I think that the bottom line is that anyone who decides that they will stand for election on the unsupported statement that they will put "more bobbies on the beat"  have really no idea about policing realities in this country.  And there you see the two candidates for Dyfed Powys - one Labour and one Conservative and both - you guessed it !!

So - site visits and singing tomorrow -  maybe some more recording when I get a chance ...   and really must look at the basement sometime soon !!

hmm finest "knights of the North - Bernicia 1000"  seems to be a little known malt .....  very tasty

Night - or should I say - Morning !!!


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

6th November 2012 - Weekly blog now it seems

Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and there is an old saying that says - "Lead me not into Temptation ... Who am I kidding !! I know a short cut !!"
So I thought I had better add a short note to the daily grind...
Update

  • Van still in the Van Hospital while they try to work out whether they need to change the fuel pump or not...   seems to be only a pipe that is leaking - and the that is the better solution as far as I am concerned.
  • Living Room - yes we can see the floor and some of the walls. Down to checking the canvass now and packing away
  • Caerphilly Christmas Fayre -  decided that we should do the mulled wine and organisers would prefer us outside so we are going to borrow Roger Morgan (Barber Surgeon and Father Christmas) tent and add some ivy for Christmas - but just set up the boiler and sell the mulled wine. Still an option for a buyer to ell the wines and meads - but not heard anything in the last week - so will go for the license just for ourselves.
  • Roof leaking at the back of the house - seems a coping tile is broken - how did that happen ??? up on the top of the roof like that ?  Very heavy Sea Gull ??  Also the gutters are blocked again and water pouring into the bathroom. Hoping to get it done without expensive scaffolding - but will see what our tame painters/roofers can do....
  • Accounts all in the books form the events - just need to start the tax returns
  • Domestic Accounts up to date and a meeting with the Bank Manager - but she won't lend me a quarter of a million for a smallholding - so will have to go back to the drawing board and get on with selling the business.
  • Started looking at some old songs - and putting together a "Vollsanger Love Songs" collection. 
  • had a while trying out various sound amplifications with the guitar and Stick's n Picks Ron Savory to help  - so will start playing with some new ideas.
  • 4pm and it is getting dark already ...
  • Maybe time for a nap ...

Well -- Guy Fawkes s over so the dogs can stop quivering now ....



Thursday, 1 November 2012

1st November 2012 - Start of another month

And so we move into November. The witches and skeletons of Walpurgisnacht have departed and we find  that we are still alive in our beds and, sadly for many friends, the zombie apocalypse is not actually with us yet. As one friend said recently, once the zombie apocalypse is with us we will at last know what to do with ourselves - life becomes simpler when you just have stop your brain being eaten!!.

Other friends are jumping on the MO-vember - the charity drive to grow a moustache during the 30 days of November - with daily photos, and sponsorship for charity - I think it is mainly a cancer charity...
Don't think I will join in with this plan - as I get irritable when I don't shave for a couple of days.

Down in Barton on Sea again this morning, the sun is shining though the forecast was for heavy rain, and it is very bright. Forgot to pack any extra contact lenses, so wearing for a second day (daily disposables!),  so after a short period of bleary irritation, we are back to normalcy...

Central heating is a fine thing, but we really are not used to heat at this level throughout the house. The charm of our own house is that there are arm spots - but also cool areas as you pass around. Only real drawback these days is the amount of stairs - which precludes the need for an exercise bicycle if nothing less.
A day with the in-laws, need to get father in laws car to an MOT for lunchtime, and hoping to get away about 4pm.

Went for a carvery last night - the Wheatsheaf just up the road. Oodles of food, lovely meat - but having done the unusual for me - adding some of the lovely looking deep brown gravy all over the food..  and sat down with a huge plate to find that there was a very strange taste!!   Thought the cauliflower cheese was off so tried to isolate it for a nibble - no joy....  Seemed to be all over the plate. Decided int he end that it may be the gravy and went back up to the carvery. Asked for a spoon and said " I think you have something very wrong with the gravy!"
I took a small taste on the spoon and  it was definitely inedible.
I gave the spoon the Chef and asked him to try...  As he took it I began to identify the taste. It was Tarragon, and thyme and sage, but so strong as to completely cover the taste of meat - and turn it from gravy into a herb sauce!!!
So the chef tastes and looks at me saying - " yes ??   what is wrong with that?? " seems that was what he was aiming at - I think he dropped the pot of herbs into the the pot and decided to cover his mistake up.
As far as I was concerned, I asked for another plate and tipped all of the veg onto the other plate. Went up and replaced the veg - but rather spoiled the meal.  Had a chocolate fudge and ice-cream for afters - something else that I do not normally do - but was useful to take the taste away.
But it was an evening out - and that was nice.

A good nights sleep - and batteries a little charged so will be able to face the packing of the Crimson Moon when we get back. Susie has had a clean bill of health for her hernia - turns out to be a pulled muscle - so we can start sorting and packing the canvass and getting it put away for sale.

And then I can start thinking about looking at the garage and the store sheds....  Ho Hum...
Maybe another cup of tea .......



Wednesday, 31 October 2012

31st October 2012 - Halloween

Happy Halloween
Down in the blowy south, Barton on Sea, rain overnight and a good wind shaking the trees. Dogs are convinced that e are going to leave them behind and follow us around the house and won't let us out of their sight. Well - last time we brought them here we went off for two weeks to Crete, so they may have a point.

A quick stroll through Milton and checking out the old second hand and antique / junk shop on the highway. Not the time to be adding more stuff to our collections. Can hardly see most of the house at the moment anyway.

Updated the Crimson Moon website picture for a fine witch flying over the moon, and put together some posters for the forthcoming show at Crosshands Cinema - "Solstice at the Cinema" for 21st December 2012.

Seems I am now on the lineup so will have to do some practising.!!!


Also provided some blank versions and this now has the full line up ...   will be playing with some really good artists..

No pressure then !!!
Cheese sandwiches and grapes for lunch - can't fault it....

Sunday, 28 October 2012

28th October 2012 - Clocks go back

What a lovely practise it is  to change the clocks twice a year and confuse everybody's body clock. Strangely the dogs seem to take it in their stride- not wanting to get up any earlier this morning - but that could be because they take after their owners and are fundamentally lazy!

Had fun on the Book of Faces telling everyone to put their clocks back to a quarter to eleven - the official time inside the Crimson Moon every day...

"The time in the Crimson Moon is Quarter to eleven, Five minutes before drinking up time, time for one more drink.. Morning noon evening and night - always a Quarter to Eleven in the Crimson Moon .. always time for one more drink..." 



Managed to upload another video from the Renewal festivities. this time Phil Wallace and Calum Forsythe who came back in their old characters as Tamarlaine as Mongols and Sang Nancy's song or "Rann's Song"  "And Swallow!!" the song about the Mongols and the aftershock Challenge.  Is not too bad a version considering the amount of noise at the party at the time..
 Click to Play
Living room is manly clear now - the canvass is stacked upon the settee ready to be examined and checked for annual repairs. Clothes boxes are still stacked up but I think that we will have to sort all the costumes - after all I have a basement full of hanging costumes that will have to be stored away sometime - possibly a truck load of dress covers will do the job. Once the canvass is checked we should be able to get the carpets cleaned and perhaps put some furniture back into the room ...

Got the guitar out again yesterday and started working upon the old songs and possible new ones. Have the Solstice at the Cinema to think about for the 21st December at Crosshands - have to be original songs and most of mine are re-workings of familiar tunes. Am thinking Tapestry, Dance For me and seeing if I can sneak "Race you to Valhalla" in as it is still the most popular and rousing song I have.

Have a quirky little number that I started in Crete - well actually I think I was on the plane as the first lines came to me ... "Like a late night Kebab she'll be bad for you..."    Not exactly a Romantic song this time - well - we will see where it goes !!!

So - A Sunday to finish household accounts. Business stuff up to date - well other than tax returns for last year - I should probably start work on that soon. Normally would not touch it till December - but this year it will make it easier to get more figures together for the business. But there is a box here full of bills and records for the last three months or so - everything on standing order sop no real problems - but you have to watch and check where the money is going sometimes - particularly as I am now moving out of the cash economy - that will be a shock to the system !!!.

May get out with the dogs as well. Sadly the Van is in the Van hospital this week. The fan belt rotting away was caused by a fuel leak which was spraying diesel onto the belt and the leak has to be found. Wondering if it is caused by using Bio- may have got through a pipe somewhere.   But as a result - the Dogs were fairly peeved with me yesterday for not taking them out. May have to take a trip down to Burry Port and let them have a run on the way.

So to the end of the day and into the evening . The rain came in about lunchtime and it all got very miserable. Went out and bought two new curtain rails - have to keep the cold away somehow - and managed to put them up without them falling down - which is a bonus...
Didn't get around to the accounts .. so no change there.
Managed to edit another video form the August Period - will post that tomorrow - The Erin Navy singing outside the Tavern. Made me feel quite nostalgic!!

Smells like Sunday Dinner downstairs  - a good old fashioned roast - so better go and get the G&T out...

Sunday dinner was good ..
Got a picture from America

night

Friday, 26 October 2012

26th October 2012 - the evils of alcohol

Beware the evils of drink.....
Up this morning surprisingly chipper - but had to clear a half eaten cheese and peanut butter sandwich from in front of the computer which had obviously seemed lie a good idea last night - or a vain attempt to absorb some units of alcohol - not much chance methinks.

Clothes neatly folded on the landing - didn't trust myself to wake the household,. Seems that I was convinced it was half past twelve not half past 2 - strange - I knew it was half past two when I left to come home...  so must have been a little self deception.

But managed to maintain my unbroken record of "nil hangover"  so can't have imbibed that much - much more the good company and conversation... though goodness knows whether the conversation actually included sentences by that time!

Just glad that I was only 40 yards away and the journey home was simple!!

So 10.47am and my second glass of diet coke and sitting at the blog before looking at Facebook and emails - which may be the way forward - having been a little remiss in the last few days in keeping a daily record.

Weather still holding fairly well. Van is in the garage - had the worrying symptoms of  ignition light on and no power assisted steering - which really sounded as though it would be expensive - turns out that a small oil leak had managed to rot the fan belt away over the last 4 years - and the fan belt had disappeared - meaning that the first thing not to have charge was the power assisted steering - so not a large job after all!!   Hasn't stopped the garage having the van for two days while they sort it out - but then I did just take it in and ask them to fix it between the vehicles that were properly booked in. When I said I was not in a hurry - i think that they took me at my word.....

Living room now 80% cleared - have only a few more boxes to sort and we can start on the examination of the canvass and repair where required. Normally a job scheduled for January and put off until March. But this year we can look at each section and then pack it away in its original covers which have not been used for years. It will be another stage of the packing procedure for the sale of the business.

Ho Hum ... lets see what is happening in the world ...

Thursday, 25 October 2012

25th October 2012 - Farm Plans go back...

So - another Thursday comes around and not a lot of progress really other than catching up on some sleep.
The Living Room floor can be seen in places as I slowly re-box and re-stack all the accumulated contents of the Crimson Moon - forming an asset list as we go along.

Clearing the basement was a biggy - finding enough room to get everything stored.
Canvas that was already stored in the living room is now neatly stacked on the settees - awaiting checking and repair before being packed away for the last time.

Sadly - our option for a house swap for a farm has fallen through. The other parties are not yet ready to consider moving - so we have the uphill task of getting the house ready for sale now. Probably need to find somewhere for storage to get the place ready for a good house doctoring. Property is not moving very fast in this area and certainly not for substantial town houses - though maybe someone will look at it for conversion into flats...

Starting to seriously look for a smallholding now - seems to be a buyers market - but then we wil have to sell to be a buyer.

First pass at Tapestry as a video completed - need to redo the soundtrack and get the guitar work recorded in a better fashion. Hoping to call on friends to help me get the sound balanced properly.
Click to watch....  not a public link - so only accessible from this blog. Quite like the first attempt at storyboard for the video though.


May go and have a look at some property today - Rusty is whining again - getting bored. Not used to this sedentary life style I reckon...