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


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...

Friday, 19 October 2012

19th October 2012 - days running away ...

So it is Friday evening and I somehow have managed to lose three days on the blog.
How did that happen?

well - alcohol for one - yes I accept that I went out Wednesday to a meeting and had rather a few ...
but I did dry the canvass and do some accounts and get some figures sent to interested parties...

well - exhaustion for one - I do seem to need a little more sleep at the moment - and it is not just old age !!

well - not being able to see the living room floor for accumulated rubbish which is the Crimson Moon ...

well - doing some video work to get something from the walk together...

This is for the ladies (advisory on language and sexual content..)

also - other bloggers now jumping on the bandwagon...
what Ewes looking at ???

will let them get on with it then  - maybe tomorrow

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

16th October 2012 - Tuesday is Washing Day

So the canvass has all been nicely washed.
Well - not intentionally
Yesterday it was a lovely morning and so I hung all the canvass from the Hadrian's Wall Walk out in the back hard-standing so that it could dry after being in the wet trailer since the deluge on the mountains on Friday...

And so it was that by lunchtime the skies had opened again and all was getting wet...
A brilliant idea - I used the ;large green Tarpaulin to cover the lot up - allowing most to stay relatively dry - or so I had hoped....
What actually happened was that it managed to catch about 2 feet of water in the middle - and then the canvass that was looped managed to create a small swimming pool and a small aquarium and water tank of pools...
But the weather this morning is bright and sunny so having managed to drag all the green away and soak myself in the meantime - nothing like a fresh shower first thing in the morning!! and re-hang the canvass - there is a chance to dry them all today ...

Looking at devastation in the living room - the main contents of the Crimson Moon spread over the carpet to 5ft high.   Garage full and needing sorting. Accounts need to be done and an asset list ...
Ho Hum...

Where to start - hmm - if in doubt - sort everything into piles and it at least looks as though your achieving something...  Start with the laptop  I think..
Well .. I can see the floor now at any rate ...

Monday, 15 October 2012

15th October 2012 - Monday ...

It is a little like having a hangover I have decided!!.
You wake up early and you are stiff all over your body - with the fatigue of over used muscles. Sort of Flu without the illness! In this case it is to try to run the gauntlet of the Doctor Surgery Phone Lottery at 8.30am - trying to get an appointment to see someone. Not for me - Susie seems to have got herself a hernia by the symptoms.

Manage to do a little accounts work - starting the asset listing for the sale of the Moon.
10am - the sun is shining - though the energy levels are still running very low.
Time to get the canvass out of the trailer and do something with it.
 Managed to get them all hanging in the sun - thought still a little cold - and went in for breakfast.
Susie back form the doctors by now - midday - and heading off to the hospital to make appointments for scans and stuff.
And then of course - it starts to rain !!!!

Would take too long to take down again so I pull the large green tarpaulin over the lot and hope for the best!!!

all neatly stored  - well maybe not !

Sunday, 14 October 2012

14th October 2012 - After the Hadrian's Wall Walk

So we are back - and in one piece.
1417 miles driven and the walkers have managed 86.59 Miles.
They took 6 days to walk the entire country from Newcastle to Carlisle - and we managed to get them back to their cars in under 90 minutes in the van on the return trip.

But a great achievement for all.
We are totally exhausted after putting the Crimson Moon up each day and for the first days - taking down again afterwards and moving to the next location.
Luckily a decision was made after day three that we could use Hadrian's wall Camping Site - half way across the walk, as a base camp for the remainder of the trip - with me driving and collecting the walkers from the remaining stages.  This meant that we were able to leave the tent up - and get on with the main tasks of feeding the walkers and making them as comfortable as possible.

Managed with the exception of the Friday Night - where after rain in the day... the skies opened at night and we had such a deluge that the ground was covered with water right through the tent sadly soaking most of the walking kit as well as the walkers...

Had it happened on an earlier day - then the trip would probably have been cancelled - it was so demoralising!!

Last day saw them set off an hour form the Base camp - and we managed to get the tents down in the freezing cold and wet .... put everything into the van and trailer and get to the hotel  to drop the trailer off and collect the walkers form the Walls End...

After a shower and a night in the hotel - it all looked a little better.

After taking the drivers to their cars back in Newcastle - it was the 7 hour drive back from Carlisle.
Chose to come overland through Wales - cutting 70 miles off the trip and it looks like half an hour in travelling time ....

Will look at photos later today - but seem now to be getting into the habit of early mornings - up at 7.30am this morning ... so get the chance to look at the blog again ....
Van and Trailer outside the front of the house - but it is Sunday today so quite legal -
Having trouble getting the enthusiasm to unload all the wet canvass!!

13th October 2012 - On the Subject of Green Things Green things

A week in my life is over - having supported 10 walkers along Hadrian's wall for a week - with logistics and driving, and three meals a day  for a week ...
Exhausted - will add main details tomorrow .....

In the meantime, as I have been asked a number of times the full story of the "Green One"
So here it is

My name is Vollsanger and I am a bard ..
I entertain in the Crimson Moon Tavern .. and I will sing you your favourite song for a copper piece... or move on and bother the next table for a Silver!!
(I make a lot of silver that way...)
Or if you are very lucky - for a couple of Gold pieces I will write a song about how brave and wonderful you are!!
One day... two small goblins entered the Crimson Moon Taven
Their names were Bloodsox and Gruesome

and these were the two goblins...
They said "Hey Mr Vollsanger Mr Vollsanger - can you write us a song about how big and wonderful and brave we are ??"
and I said - I could - but you are Goblins!!"
They said "But we have Gold!!"
So I took the Gold..
I said "Well tell me why you are so brave and wonderful .."
They said "We are Journalists !!!
I said - "well actually that is quite brave these days!!"
they said - "More than that ... We are TABLOID Journalists !!! We write for the Goblin Gossip !!"

"We went through the Portal when the Blood Queen was decimating all the world and killing everyone - to ask her side of the story !!"
I said "That was very stupid!"
They said " Yes.. we are Goblins!!"

So I took the Gold and I went away and tried to write a song about how brave and wonderful the Goblins were..
I tried...
  • I tried ..... and failed!!!
  • After all - I am a bard and have to be true to my calling!!!

    So I thought 
    "What do we actually know about Goblins???"

    • Well - First of all ... they are
    • GREEN!
      So i thought I was getting somewhere

      I thought - we also know that they are simple creatures!!!So I thought .. I will write a SIMPLE song about GREEN 
      I thought I was really getting somewhere here
      And then I thought - "what else do we know about Goblins???"And then I had it !!

      they are Frightfullly...Frightfullly...Frightfullly...

      So I needed a SIMPLE Song about GREEN that was Frightfullly...Frightfullly...Frightfullly...

      ANNOYING !!!
      and I succeeded..

      For this is the song that will wake you up in the middle of the Night ... that you will never get out of your mind - your grandchildren will sing it to you on your death bed !!!

      And here you have a Live Version
      A Green One
      So after a year or so ... We were in the Crimson Moon Tavern when some Belgian players came in and were quite confused by the whole thing...
      Until they caught on ...

      C'est une Verte!!

      And then German...

      and the German Dance version

      More to come ....

Saturday, 6 October 2012

6th October 2012 - Heading North

8am on a Saturday morning at Drew Towers, Coventry.
Glorious sunshine and a cloudless blue sky.
Seems to be a good portent for the week as I walked the dogs around the green. It is a touch cold and the ground is very wet, but there is a rumour of bacon and sausages heading our way care of Mr Sluggie.
Brought the wrong sat nav Daphne, this is the one that does not keep the charge unless plugged it.
Will not really cause a problem once we are on the road as I will be with the van most of the time - but a little annoying this morning as I was going to pre-programme the first sites into the machine so I just had to call up "previous locations"

Looks like about 6 hours from here to our overnight stay tonight.
It is our intention to go up and leave the trailer at the first camp site so we don't have to worry about parking the trailer at the Holiday Inn - which does not have a great deal of space for parking. One less problem to worry about .

Managed to break the key for the wheel clamp - so it is put together at the moment looking as though it secure - but really is only sitting there. Will try a little WD40 on the lock and see if I can get a pair of pliers on the tail end of the key.

Friday, 5 October 2012

5th October 2012 - We must be nuts ..

It is at least dry - though the rain has been pouring through most of the night.
Today we head up to Coventry as a staging post towards the border of England and Scotland - Hadrian's wall to assist a dozen intrepid walkers who will be travelling from Newcastle to Carlisle in 5 days along the wall
Apparently we could have dry, rain or even snow as we go ..
But the Crimson Moon has to be up and fire lit each evening as the walkers make their tired way to us.. Fresh cooked food - breakfasts in the morning and lunch at stop off points along the way.

Set a new gallery up on Facebook to use for the event - so hopefully will get some additional sponsorship along the way
 Will update later with some more stuff...

Got to Coventry fine... will be heading off to Newcastle in the morning..
time for another beer - g'night

Thursday, 4 October 2012

4th October 2012 - UK and Fuel !!

Okay ...
Flying is no great problem - sit back and enjoy and read a book
Driving is no real problem - get in the front seat and let the other half drive - seems a good idea since you have been driving the wrong side of the road for the last two weeks.
Get to your destination and decide that you want more fuel before the final trip back to Wales ..
Get to the petrol pump and ... then it can all go horribly wrong!!
Yes .. I know it is a diesel car - that is why we bought it - so we could transfer it to Biodiesel in the future.
Yes .. I know that it clearly says DIESEL in big letters  when you open the petrol cap ( see what I did there?)
Yes .. I know that it is only the stupid people that could possibly put the wrong fuel into a car
Yes .. We had been using unleaded 95 for the last two weeks..
Yes .. I did check carefully that it was the ordinary unleaded and not the super expensive unleaded!!
Yes .. we were talking about how expensive the diesel was after two weeks away and how it had gone up 7p a litre
Yes .. I did put 59.9 litres of Unleaded 95 into ta diesel Nissan Terrano - costing me £77
NO.. I did not drive the vehicle !  
At 59.9 litres I suddenly thought - "This is a Diesel car"   ...
Slightly unsure I checked with Susie sitting in the driving seat..
The look I got of incredulity  was something I will have to live with for a long time methinks ....

Yes .. it does cost £145 to get the Drain Doctor out to a Tesco forecourt and ..
Yes .. RAC would have charged me £179.99 plus VAT and towed me up to 10 miles so they could sort it in the morning..
No .. I did not use RAC - thank you kindly but no thank you
Yes .. they did come out within 3/4 hour and do the business
Yes .. they did take £77 unleaded fuel from my tank and "apparently" can do nothing with it
Yes .. an hour later I had put £84 diesel into the car but most importantly
YES.. It worked !!!

Plans to come back yesterday fell by the wayside as I booked a taxi to get Susie to her father's while I waited .. but was too late to get back to Wales as planned that night ...

Pack of Pork pies for £1 and an expired sandwich for 79p - best bargain I had all night - but staved off the hunger ...

Couple of Scotches to settle the stomach and and early start this morning

Luckily - still working on Crete time so getting up at 7am seemed a lie in.
4 hours drive back - deciding to go via main roads an motorways all the way - not convinced it was any quicker in the end - but got back in reasonable time.

Managed to empty the Van this evening and set the bedding up.
Got the tentage into the Trailer and sorted some of the stuff.
Finish the loading tomorrow and then up to Hadrian's Wall for the Challenge
Weather not looking too good
Got 5 bags of Charcoal - hope it will be enough

Ho Hum !!


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

3rd October 2012 - One the road again -

Well, on the wing I suppose!!
Managed an early start and it was raining !!!
Not hard but noticeable - large spots of rain on the balcony and looking over the water we could see islands that we had not seen during our two weeks here.
The general dark haze that is often on the horizon was washed away allowing the better view into the distance.

Put another 20 Euro fuel into the hire car and judged it just about right. Though they did not check the fuel level when we took the car back!!!

Had an hour wait at the airport and then decide to go and see if we could drop the cases off anyway - even though the boards were not saying that the gates were open. Founds that they were happy to take them and that we were able to pass straight through  security with our hand baggage though the gate was still not showing. Everyone just seems to know that easy Jet always comes in at the same gates - which makes sense really.

Sitting outside Gate 11 now - 12.40hrs local time - flight is due to depart at 13.50hrs.....
Ho Hum....

2nd October 2012 - Last day in Elounda

That about sums the day up.
Blogged yesterday but somehow the content never got posted to the boards - so sittin gin Heraklion Airport now with an Airport free WiFi - (please not Gatwick Airport who charge for their Wifi Hotspots!!) and thought I had better catch up a little.

Another day at the sea - Could not get into Kolykotha beach as it was teeming with tourists from the day trip boats that pull up at the jetty. Must have been fifty of them in our little bay - most of them Germans!!
I only mentioned the war once and I think I got away with it !!!

Susie caught several fish - which I will posts later as I took a photo of them at the apartment befored she decided to feed them to the fish.

Had a very pleasant last meal in Paradosia or something similar - a lovely restaurant up near the hospital - which was well frequented by the locals. Proces seem to be the same almost everywhere. Small Meze were more expensive starting at 4 euro - but Tzaziki, shrimp saganaki (7 euro), Patatas, Greek salad, fava, and four souvlaiki with a litre and a half of wine came to 32 Euro - so not too bad.

A drink in Sportz bar and a quick drink in Friends to say goodbye to Dimitri and back to the apartment for a relatively early night...

Monday, 1 October 2012

1st October 2012 - Monday

So another month starts.
Today we have been thinking about the menus for the Hadrian's Wall Charity walk. 
Had a drive over the Cretan mountains and tried to find another beach - but failed - so ended up back in Elounda for a splash off the beach.

Tomorrow is last day of the holiday as a full day as we will be travelling back on Wednesday. Ho Hum!!

Pictures still turning up from Renewal which is nice.