Saturday, 27 July 2013

27th July 2013 - Muddles and Mythodea

So a day away from the trip and I am muddling through!!!  Muddles through the morning with a trip tiot he dump - 5 bags and assorted undergrowth from the Plotment today, and the company of my mother who always enjoys a good day out. Then Morrisons to see how to make best use of 3 £3 off vouchers buy spending exactly £20  - or as near as possible. Annoying when the Morrisons Tonic water are 50p each - making 4 for £2, to add  to an £18 litre of gin - and then find that they are two for 90p - leaving me 20p short at the till!!!!

Still a box of Souve for my mother and and Schweppes tonic ( at £1.19 a bottle  !!) for Susie and we were fixed. A new mouse for the laptop, £6 bargain from Tesco - couldn't find a Tesco own brand - there had to be one somewhere but all the promotion was for £5 off for a £20 wireless one.. Would have been useful in the Bothy - but not at that price thank you very much...

So muddled onto Poundstretcher where they were delighted to see me without returning solar lights or stools or any other item - to find that the cheap trellis was gone ( I had obviously bought the last one on my last trip!) so had to splash out £6.99 for some Willow Trellis - which was much stronger to be fair....

Off to Lidl to muddle around there - and decided that I really should have some Heinz Tomato Sauce for my frankfurter sausages - somehow other ones don't taste the same.

And now sitting thinking about packing the Bothy for tomorrow ....  But since you may be wondering what Mythodea is all about.. here is their synopsys....

1. In the beginning, there were the elements: Fire, Earth, Water and Air. They existed in their contradicting and antithetic way and created nothing but themselves. Chaos and raging of the elements lasted until a fifth element was born from the primordial four, completely equal to them. Magic, the power in between, flowing in all existence and combining it all.

2. Some of the more complex beings created by the elements developed the ability to cognize and mentally interfuse the nature of the elements. A long time ago, the Rulers reigned the land, an old and powerful race of gifted and wise beings. The powers of the Rulers had their origin in the elements: Fire, Earth, Water, Air and Magic. But longing for independence from the avatars, they outgrew the five elements and created, what was to haunt the land as the "second creation"...

3. Black Ice instead of Fire, Void, where once was Air, Pestilence from formerly clear Water, Undead Flesh instead of Earth and Technical Ratio as a substitute for Magic in order to combine the new creations...

4. Soon, war rose between the followers of the Forsaken and those of the original elements, which devastated Mitraspera (as Mythodea was called once).

5. Some of the Forsaken rulers recognized what they had done. They repented their deeds and freed Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Magic from their chains. Chains, that the forsaken themselves had made at the beginning of the war, in order to bind the mighty original elements.

6. Furiously, the elements rose against their enemy and ignited the Worldfire, which devoured every single mortal being on earth that was part of this war. In this way, it even altered the face of the world...

7. The Worldfire ended the war and the Forsaken and their Rulers were banned beneath 5 Seals. 5 Seals which also sealed the world to give it time to heal.

8. The last True Rulers were banned from Mythodea - they or their descendants were not to come back until the land was completely healed and prepared to be filled with new life.

9. Now, this time seems to have come: The new arrivers are being scrutinized by the elements. Their task is to open the Seals - if they prove dignified. To do this, the new settlers have to find an Archon (mundane lord) and a Nyame (spiritual leader) for each part of the country.

10. But the awakening of the land and the opening of the Seals also awakens the second creation that is banned beneath them. The settlers have to face the heritage of the ancient Rulers of Mythodea...


And so - the story so far ...

2003 - The first Seal is opened

This was the first Lrp convention at Mythodea. A Seal was to be opened (with all the quests that belong to this task: Collect banners of power, become Archon, stand the tests of the Nyame). Important parties occurred for the first time (Paolo Armatio, the Ouai, the Avatars). Some things were indicated (the Forsaken Elements, the Ancient Rulers etc). The event ended with a player vs player battle for the title of the Archon. After this, the country was safe for over one year - until the Archon disappeared in winter 2004 and the area was being attacked massively by troups of the Black Ice. They were said to be coming from the West...

2004 - Contact with the Black Ice

Guided by Paolo Armatio, the settlers went north to the Second Seal. There, they collided with the Black Ice which had been freed by the opening of the First Seal last year. This dark army was adduced by the Imperator and his right hand - the Sharun'Ar. The Avatars had been knocked off right in the beginning by their enemies and so it was the players' task to re-strengthen the avatars and the Elements by solving various quests (mini- and camp plots). Neutral parties played a rather inferior role.
At the end, a drow proved to be the best aspirant for the title of the Nyame - which led to rather icy relations with the new Archon of the North (from the fire camp). The Black Ice was not able to win the fight for the Northern Seal - but it managed to subjugate the Void - the Antielement once buried beneath the second Seal. After the still unexplained death of the Archon in spring 2005 the drow owns most of the power.

2005 - The fight for the Western Seal

Together with their new ally, the Void, the Black Ice succeeded in occupying large parts of Mythodea including the whole western area. So, the players had to fight on occupied ground for the predominance at the Western Seal. The only ones to help them were some Naldar, the people of the Air. Finally, the players succeeded in opening the Seal and a Celt from the Fire camp and an Orc became Nyame and Archon.
The Elements seemed to have reconciled for a while in the face of the imminent danger. But despite the unity of his enemies, the Sharun'Ar freed the Pestilence, subjugated it and destroyed his own Imperator by an artful intrigue. Since this day, he rules the Black Ice by himself.

2006 - The way to the south

The three Anti-Elements are now fighting united under the rulership of the Sharun'Ar and bring chaos and war to Mythodea. Only the West - where still both, Archon and Nyame are alive-is calm. On their search for the fourth Seal, the settlers reached the end of the continent. And even worse, the avatar of Magic disappeared. The four other Elements have great plans on how to move further - but each of these plans would harm one of the other Elements...
The settlers and the fighters of Magic managed to free Magica from claws of the void just before the Avatars kill each other. So, the Avatar of the Fire was able to burn the troups of the Black Ice around - by using the white flame and by sacrificing himself.
Water crowned two new Archons with an age-old artefact and earth found a way to move to the south and to the next Seal. Mythodea seems to be invigorated - its enemies are weakened, all three Seals are being ruled by Nyames and Archons, and even the incalculable Sharun'Ar is defeated. The way to the south is open!

2007 - The Undead awakes

The settlers were stuck for one year and could not advance to the southern Seal. This prove to be unlucky as their enemies - first of all the Void with the powerful Nophobos and the devious Viinshar - went to the southern seal and opened it secretly to free the Undead. To increase the mischief, they initiated an intrigue which caught the settlers who arrived one year later: Archon and Nyame of the South rose against each other in front of the settlers' eyes - driven by fear and desperation.
Just in time, the avatars stopped them and gave 3 days time to the settlers to find out what was so dramatically wrong in this Seal. Even though the Undead grinded one camp after the other (first earth, then the followers of Ignis and finally the mighty orcs) the heros and knights of Mythodea managed to re-conquer the banners of power to strengthen the Archon's position. At the same time, the scholars and magicians were able to uncover the intrigue of the Void to seal the power of the Nyame.

2008 - Ankor Mortis will burn!

The Warriors and settlefolk following the Elements went into great lenghts and fought hard for their aims. Valorously the devotees of Aqua stood their ground against the dark forces - even after their Avatar died. Fearless, and inmidst of the hardest battles fought, the warriors of Aeris took control over the white portals - without the help of their mistress.

But all seemed to have been in vain, the settlers were only able to control 33 out of 45 elemental banners and nobody was able to crush the doors of the Doerchgardt Fortress in various attempts against this small defensive fortification of the Undead Flesh.

It seemed that the military planning was too ad hoc, the Offensive started too overhasty. And those leaders who called to arms, like the Archon of the South died in the very first battles against the dark forces.

Because of this, now the time has come for the evil Archon An'nai, who will rule with an iron fist over the South and under his seal Terra herself will stay banned from the world.

2009 - The Race to Siegelstatt

With the pure anger burning in the hearts of the settlers, they stood their ground and did not yield one foot of their lines to the enemy. Still, the Argus men reached the boundaries of Siegelstatt, the one place where all the elemental seals were created. They even reached it before the settlers, but they were not able to make use of this margin. When the Constructors (known as Kan and Rikan) awakened from their aeon long sleep, they started to put the settlers AND the forsaken to a test in 9 places. The Cemetary, the City, the mine, the energy core, the worldstone, the camps, the Bibliotheque, the cult places and in the end, the Xerikans Place.
After the settlers fulfilled the tests to the Kans and Rikans satisfaction, they gained access to the most powerful weapon of the Old Ancestors. And nobody else was able to control it on the battlefield but the nine leaders of the Xerikan.
And by this, Argus, already heavily wounded through an attack from the fire camp, had to retreat and flee from the battlefield. With the battle ending, the leaders of this weapon commanded it to march south to destroy the forsaken seal of Doerchgart. If this plan will work - we will see in 2010.

2010 - The defeat of Doerchgardt

The united armies of the elements, led by the archonts and the newformed Eternal Swords, went south to dismantle Dorchgardts walls and to prepare the way for the Xerikan.

The first tries to storm Doerchgardt were in vain, the same as two years ago. The fighters retreated and the tactics were refined.
This retreat allowed other elements to intervene: the Ouai and Kell Goron tried to control the ways of the settlers, as both had their own plans with the Xerikan.

Also there were a lot of open questions to solve, where was Argus, what horrible story lay behind the reason of tragic An'nai becoming the master of Doerchgardt and how could he be conquered?
While the armies took Doerchgardt, lost it, stormed and conquered it again, manifold adventurers gave encouragement, cleared the way for the Xerikan and solved the mysteries of the Silver Wagon. All their efforts led to the ultimate achievement: the death of An'nai, the opening of the seal and the release of the avatar of Terra!

2011 & 2012 The Iron Gate

As soon as all the avatars again stood united with the settlers, a great host of adventurers made their way to a place called "The Iron Gate" where the only access to the seal of the Ratio was suspected. This turned out to be right but it took two years to complete all the challenges the place offered and finally establish the pathway to the last seal. 

In the first year, the secrets of Shan Meng Feyn, an ancient place of worship, were dealt with and new champions for the elements were chosen and trained. Aniesha Fey, the leader of the terrible Vinshar was confronted, vanquished and from her body the new Avatar of Aeris was created. Two of the five grand shrines of the elements were reactivated and much information on the curse of the Edalphi and the true nature of the Ratio was collected. 

In the second year, the champions of the elements managed to finally solve the ancient conflicts and disputes at Shan Meng Feyn, which rewarded the settlers with the coordinates of the last seal. At the same time other adventurers managed to reactivate the great Griffon's Gate and supply it with energy. Finally, it was a magician from the ranks of the settlers who put all the puzzle's pieces together and opened up the pathway to the last seal through the portal. In this crucial moment he betrayed his comrades and allowed Argus to use the portal in the settlers' stead. 

Still the settlers gained some victories: The five grand shrines were finally consecrated and promise a definite boost for the next year. Also the fallen Archon and champion of the pestilence, Lord Elkantar was beaten and killed. At the same time the settlers now seem to know about enough about the curse of the Edalphi to finally be able to lift it, but there seems to be an unholy connection between the curse and Argus himself, granting him immortality. Yet, what is there to fear for the children of the elements? The great vote at the shrine of Terra brought the decision to open the last seal in the next year and confront the Ratio in the name of the elements. And the avatars will be at the settlers’ side!

And so now you know !!!!


Friday, 26 July 2013

26th July 2013 - Packing and Pathways

Two days to go before heading off to Germany. It seems strange to be not setting up the Crimson Moon in Caerphilly Castle - our first time being absent in many years. But two cases of Moniack and a selection of Lyme Bay meads will be delivered there during the course of the day. Ready to be picked up on Sunday on the way out....

So the living room table has the combined song books of 45 years, the Vollsanger songbook which is the current version - but on this occasion I decided to also add the gathered songs from a generation in case of a sudden need for words......

All the Guitars are now clearly marked with the Vollsanger Legend ( here all week )  and sets of guitar strings from all over the house - old and new - so urgent repairs can be done int he heat. The rechargeable lights are all sorted, and tapestry pictures ready for transfer.

Old Faithful  "Lady Love"

The 16 string Lyre
and the 12 String...
So, it seemed a good day to break up a couple of pallets so they could be used for vegie trays. Sensibly did this early this morning before it got too hot !!

And to cool off it seemed like a good idea to wash down the patio with the Karcher power hose, and get some disinfectant on everything to stop it smelling of dog... So that led to washing the path down to get rid of the chicken poo ( not as bad as my previous altercations with chicken poo !!) .
And that got me to the Bothy - so it had a wash down as well. And a touch of Hammerite anti-rust spray paint - I was going like a good 'un like a mother on steroids..  painting everything in site.  Sadly - when I moved the Bothy to get to the other side for washing - I parked a little close to the gates and found that as I brushed passed later - managed to get white paint all over my stomach...  Seems Hammerite does not wash off easily - certainly does not want to come off in the shower !!!

And so, armed with the new heavy duty staple gun, I attacked the Bothy Loo which was the one part of the Bothy that was not lined with carpet. Finding some rolls of wall carpeting I valiantly covered the walls and tagged the corners. Probably will have to revisit the back wasll at some time - as I did not realise that I had a huge width of roll in one section and did not need to do it in sections - however - it is sufficient for the moment.

And so, mainly clean from washing te pathways and byways, and a little white in places from non-removable paint...  I think it is probably time for Gin and Tonic!! ...  The Dogs are moaning that we are neglecting them again - it being at least half an hour past their dinner time..   so better finish the blog for the moment and go and sort them - and us ...


Thursday, 25 July 2013

25th July 2013 - of Bathing and Beaches

Living in Llanelli, it is clear that we are on the doorstep of one of the finest beaches in the the united kingdom. The problem with living with a national gem on your doorstep is that you tend not to make use of it - though it would be so easy so to do....   And so it is with Cefn Sidan, the white silk beach  at Pembrey. 
And it is only when family turn up and want to go to the beach, they living far from the sea, that you contemplate taking advantage of the facilities so close to your home...

And so we trundle down to Cefn Sidan. Okay - not the main entrance where you have to pay , but the back road passed the sewage works ( a little rife today it must be said)  and down to the beach entrance "back Door".  Of course in the past we would have driven down in the 4 x 4 - but now the overgrowth had encroached upon the path and there are great boulders placed in the way to stop the intrepid like me from accessing the sand... 

And so we walk over the dunes - they seem smaller this year - maybe eroding away - maybe just the memory playing tricks ...   and onto the sands - to a tide far higher than we have seen for many a year.  

Vicky started immediately to dig into the ground.. This was to be an elephant !!  trying to climb out of a hole!!  And she says that we are strange !!!  As the waters came in we were presented with the following distressing image ...  (sadly the elephant did drown - but we do not think that she suffered unduly )

This was a good opportunity to take the guitar down to the beach so that I could practise a few songs for the forthcoming trip to Germany .. and the guitar stand ( made of sand of course ) worked very well

But the water beckoned.. and soon we were all in the water ( except Vickie who was fully committed to her statues of the elephants's graveyard) and the water was deceptively warm ... Sneaky that - it may lead to a further visit - it was quite exhilarating...

And of course in this country we have the additional thrill of the waves....  The water was as warm as Crete - but the water was extra salty and driving at you at great speed - enough to knock you to the ground...

An opportunity for a little body surfing..  Body drowning in my case  - I seem to have inhaled at least three waves and a few ripples, but great fun was had by all

and as we sat and dried ourselves in the sun I was able to look up and down the beach to see the water far higher than I have ever seen on Cefn Sidan . An 8.3 meter tide they say - not sure if that is high or not - please feel free to google it - I cannot be asked !!!  But the view was great and the muscles ached from even this small amount of extra effort

And as the sun started to get lower in the sky, another opportunity for a quick capture of an image of Wales .. Cefn Sidan July 2013..

Which means that we need to get back and have a quick snifter - perhaps a nifferkin ...   before turning in..

Happy July !!!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

24th July 2013 - of Buddy and Bob and other Bees

It is a while since I managed to take a camera out and take a stroll around the Llanelli area. Today, the weather broke enough think about taking the dogs out in a way that would not lead to heat exhaustion. Thinking in terms of having a little shade as well as a different place to walk I decided to travel further along my trip up through Furnace in Llanelli.

And so after a trip to the hospital, and a trip to the dump with another couple of bags of greenery, rather than just stop off at the house as usual, I drove on up to the ponds and parked up with my camera and the dogs, and started up the path ....

This was a lovely day - and it was so long since I had last headed up this way - I seem to remember it being much less overgrown, though it may have been winter when I was last heading up this road ...

It is still stunning as you walk up the track, the trees and roots binding into the rocks in the walls, and the incline not too great - which is important for someone like me whose last walks in Llanelli were back in February ...  But as I got to the top of the hill, the path suddenly opened out onto the ponds... and despite the groups of fishermen ( permit holders only the sign said ) all of whom had fine tents and sandwich boxes we strolled around the water's edge..

Last time I was here - there was a small patch of leaf upon the water - that might one day grow into a lily pad. Well, time has passed and it is clear that the small patches of my history have flourished  well and grown into thriving pads across the whole of the water.
A very tranquil scene - the sun on the water and a gently breeze.. oh and the repeated call of "Buddy !!"  "Buddy, Come Here !!"  from somewhere down below on a lower path up to the reservoir.
Undaunted, I proceeded on my way - ignoring the young fishermen in their fishing settlements, it must be said that they had built for every eventuality, sudden summer storms would not have phased them in any way...
"Buddy !!"  "Buddy, Come Here !!"

Further around the water's edge and more water lilies, and a realisation that even this close to town, you could find a really quiet backwater ....  "Buddy !!"  "Buddy, Come Here !!"

A gentle stroll, as it was still quite hot, and the gentle breeze was only slightly cooler than the still air ..
"Buddy !!"  "Buddy, Come Here !!"

As the path around the pond met the path from below, a lively yorkshire terrier was being hounded by what I can only describe as a young, white, collie style pup, appearing to be about 6 months old, all floppy legs and energy and a total lack of attention to a call from way back ... "Buddy !!"  "Buddy, Come Here !!" 

Of course Rusty and Delft became an object of renewed attention for the agile pup. A closer view showed that he had one blue eye and one normal, showing that he descended from a similar line of blue merle as Delft..  Though with none of the colouration.  But, with the exception of back flips he managed almost any contortion that is imaginable as you try to chase and hide from two dogs at the same time, lie on your back and bounce !!!

As the yorkshire terrier found a little respite and ran back to its owner, up the path came  a gentleman who I now know to be Bob - and I soon gathered that the young pup in front of me was indeed  "Buddy"

Buddy, it turned out , was 7 months old, and only recently with Bob. But there was a clear affection between the two - though this did not go as far as to provide for an attention span in Buddy, who was clearly too full of life to worry about returning to his owner. But with Rusty and Delft coming back to me, Buddy duly returned to Bob for the praise that training requires... 

Since the dogs were all friends, and since it was easier to keep them all together, it seemed appropriate to walk together around the path allowing them the freedom that they required, the fun they could enjoy, and an interesting conversation covering the merits of chopping up Japanese Knotweed into Green soup for the garden, medieval re-enactment, and Bob ( for that was who he was ) Bob's speciality which is painting and working with glass. 

So, in a short walk around the ponds, I made contact with a fellow soul, who intends to set up a small workshop to continue his work in glassware, in stain glass, and as he says "anything with warm glass" not glass blowing but painting and design..   

And so I chanced to meet Bob of Fatbobdesign  - Living in the Trimsaron area - but walking his pup Buddy along the Furnace Ponds...

I mentioned Bees in the title..   There are so few this year - but as we sat in the evening with a glass of Pimms - a bee came to the runner beans - the first we had seen - so maybe one flower with pollinate and we may get some beans for dinner before the year is out..

And that is the tale of Buddy, of Bob and the Bee ...

Time for a glass of something  ...   and bed

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

23rd July 2013 - On the subject of Plotments

A slightly cooler Tuesday and an opportunity to get another load from the Plotment and take it to the dump.. Yes, sorry Mother !! I went to the dump without you once again!! It is sad that I did not start the whole project with a couple of "before" pictures - so I am left with a situation where I have the Plotment half cleared before the first pictures are taken ...
However - the amount that Susie has cleared already is phenomenal. Please just imagine that none of this could be seen under 12 feet of undergrowth..  

 The Deaf Centre - or rather the Llanelli Centre for the Deaf, have long had the garden area behind and made little use of it. A few years ago, holding a party in the grounds we put up a 20ft x 20ft marquee in this area  for those who wanted to stay overnight when we could not house them all..  but it has long been only the front part that has been cut...
The area up tot the tree was fairly well held down - but the other side of the tree was another story. A story that we are only now finding out - using the same principles as Time Team - as the undergrowth is slowly removed - layer by layer - to show the Fir trees that have never been in the garden and must have been thrown over the back wall from some neighbour .. the tyres, an old boot - which incidentally held a wasp nest !!
But now it is coming under some level of control. Bonfires seem to upset the neighbours - they will have to deal with some later when the Japanese Knotweed is finally cleared - but in the meantime we are slowly taking it bag by bag to the amenity site ( the dump to you and me !!)
 So a couple of pallets tied together make up a compost heap for the future greenery.
 Some dried branches to help the burning of the knotweed when we finally get to that stage
 and some tyres...   okay - they can become planters for some veg ...
And so - another load heads for the Dump - Fir trees and branches under the bags - but mainly bags of greenery heading away ...
 and so another day starts ...  and a little more cleared from the Plotment ...

Cup of tea  methinks ....

Monday, 22 July 2013

22nd July 2013 - Of vehicles and songs...

Early start required to get the vehicles all into garages and available for hospital runs. The MOT running out was a bit of a blow and the failure to pass on Saturday through out many plans. Also the list of "problems" on the Terrano looked a little daunting, so with a degree of trepidation both the Bothy and the Terrano were lodged in the garage - leaving me with a day to wait for the phone call.  

Was late afternoon when I finally gave up and rang in to find out if there was bad news, but the Bothy had managed her service and the Terrano was having the finishing touches put onto the MOT. Fearing the worst - credit card in hand I called in to collect. Luckily, they had managed to repair a couple of the items rather than having to get new parts and a anti-roll bar thingie ( you may notice the level of technical knowledge I have gained recently ) was apparently okay when the vehicle was on the road, though a little loose when on the ramp jacked up - so that it only ended up as an advisory,.

As a result - £32 for the repairs and £40 for the MOT. Bonus....

Of course the Bothy service came out a lot more expensive - mainly because of £85  of oil in the oil change!!
A good check through, air filter and oil filter and change of oil seems to be the result - though the total cost was £190. But it needed doing before going to Germany.

So both vehicle back, and the pocket is a lot emptier than the start of the day.
Still have to tax the Car - so that will be another pile of money.

But we are mobile again - and ready to go.

A day of hunting for songs - mainly Irish and drinking songs and listing and printing for the Mythodea songbook.  

Oh - and a royal baby - it was a boy apparently so all that fuss about changing the gender issues for royalty succession came to nothing.

Wonder if it was a hypnobirth??

Drinking mainly diet coke today - too hot for anything really.
Storms are threatening - but does not look likely here.

7 days and counting to Mythodea... 

The Vinshar

Sunday, 21 July 2013

21st July 2013 - 7 Days and counting

Sunday, a slight breeze, and Pimms and salad, chickens running around the garden, a manic dog that has started chewing the pavement, glass of New Road Chablis, some rubbish film on the TV and a new set of songs off the printer.....  

A good start to the day. Well finish I suppose as it is nearer to 11pm than 11am.

Fridge seems to be working well in the Bothy...  haven't tried the engine yet to see if it is draining the battery - so will find out tomorrow. Will be car juggling tomorrow - Terrano and Bothy in garage and mother's car to do the hospital runs!!  Seems like a busy day. Should be able to confirm toilets for the party tomorrow - have a few quotes in the pipeline - if that is not too much of a bad toilet joke!!!

 so had the opportunity to  add a couple of adverts for the party and these seemed to touch the mark...
My mate Jon is making Kubb sets now - not standard size but the larger version at 16 inch King - so thought it would be a good idea to buy tone for the event
 Of course, adding a personality can always help distribution...

rather liked this one for its depth of field - but then there will be a deep field at the site  ....  
[see what I did there ??    Here all week !!]

Found a couple of old Steeleye Span songs that may "Filk" into good songs for Mythodea and am working on them ...
Managed to also put lettering on the Lyre and the good guitar - thinking I can take both to the trip as long as the van can be locked up ....

Hmm   ---  seems I am out of Scotch !!!   must take a trip down to the Bothy to get the emergency supply !!

and so ends another day in paradise....

Saturday, 20 July 2013

20th July 2013 - Electrics and Energy

Apparently, we are in the best heatwave since 2006, and interestingly this year we are not subjected to a hosepipe ban, so watering the garden and the occasional dog is not proving too difficult.

Today I branched out into the unknown areas of vehicle electrics - scary stuff!!
It all comes down to the Fridge in the Bothy.  AS it was not working I naturally took it to the Fridge doctor who did what any good fridge doctor would do - plugged it in despite my remonstrations, and found that it was working. (Damn Him !!) Also managed to get the gas working on the fridge while telling me that I could not use it as it was not properly vented (Double Damn him !!)  And then has the sheer audacity to tell me that the 12 volt version can only work when the engine is running as it will drain the leisure battery in 15 minutes or so !!  And that it is wired wrong!!! (Triple Damn!!)

So, deciding that the fridge was probably not working properly as it was too restricted in the air flow behind. I had not realised how hot the back of a fridge can get !!  I took the cover off and cut a section out to increase air flow. Put an old mushroom cage form the supermarket over the hole and that provides a good barrier for the drawers. Plug in at 240 volts works well.  Connected up the gas via a new extended tube so the gas can be placed outside the vehicle ( just thinking safety )  and also works well. Constructed a Heath Robinson -ish chinmney set up that can be attached and get the carbon monoxide out of the vehicle - with the decision to use it only when the door is open and I am outside - but it might keep the milk fresh!!!

Which brought me to the 12 volt system. It seems that a relay can be added to the main battery - so that it feeds the leisure battery when the engine is running - but intelligently will not draw power when the engine is off ( fingers crossed - we will see tomorrow after it is connected for a whole day )  so that the fridge can be switched to 12 volt when the engine is running...

well - whatever - it was a day's work for me and not in my comfort zone running wires between the batteries and back - al;so added a cigarette lighter to the leisure battery - it lit up - but would not work - so par for the course I reckon!!  Wiring is still there - may take the one I have back to Halfords and get another and try a simple one.

Of course - life does not all run smoothly...  Happened to look at the Car Tax yesterday and found that I had been neglectful in renewing at the beginning of the month so hurriedly booked the car in for an MOT this morning - sadly - needs some work on the wheel bearings so cannot be done till Monday - so car off the road now till then. Luckily, have a very gracious mother so we are still mobile.

Beefburgers for dinner - and a glass of New Road Chablis...  Better call it a day ...

Oh - I covered the electrics - the energy is sort of lacking in the heat .....

Thursday, 18 July 2013

18th July 2013 - Heatwaves

Forgive me readers for I have prevaricated... it is a week since my last Blogg..

And a lot has happened - but as my listing often refers to the weather I should point out that we are in the longest period of hot weather since 2006 ( seems like a lot longer ) and we are now talking about dangers of extra heat and deaths - rather than deaths through cold...     Just lets face it - whichever it may be - death is the result .. But in the meantime ...

So, managed to get to a Curious Pastimes event for the main July session. Did not need to be there early for the set up which was a great bonus, though the decision to set up half way down the field was one that I had refused for the last two events - but they did have the extra set up crew - though I would not have fancied carrying everything up the hill at the end in the heat  - fair play to them all.

But the decision to put the Wolves Camp (the Vikings) in the furthest camp from the main site - and the dryness of the ground meant that this was the first opportunity to take Buffy the Bothy into the field - and see if Bertha would work ..

Susie finished sewing the dutch lacing (well except for the last 3 feet) late on Thursday night - a daunting task...    so the Friday drive up was with a full Bertha tucked into the bottom of Buffy....

So, getting there early I managed to park into the wrong field but later found the correct one and parked up in the brambles .... And then managed to get the structure of Bertha up and the camper hidden.

A great weekend with singing and a little too much alcohol, say it is not so !!....  and the joy of having various people sitting in the tent - with no idea that there was a large vehicle just behind the tapestries.......

[Just Click the arrow to play...]

So a good event was had by all...

And back to the homestead - and a few days of excessive heat .....  but am I complaining?? well - actually... 
No not really  - 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

10th July 2013 - Hot and Bothered

It has been a long and very hot day.
But on the other hand there have, as always, been some interesting incidents.

First of all, when going to see if my father in Law had been able to use the laptop that I bought on his behalf, get presented with the problem that the special lap - tray that he ordered yesterday on Amazon had not arrived the next day   !!! ?    but that the lap top case that he thought would be better for the machine had arrived with proper haste...

So he is recovering well from his broke hip - and we managed to get Skype video call working on his laptop. He thinks that this is the way forward - and that he may not need a main machine at all !!!

Of course, my mother is being over run by ants, the hot weather is bringing them out - and in a complex like Plas y Mor it is going to be impossible to prevent the incursion... too many flats even if we clear her own flat....  we may be wishing for cooler weather soon  :)

Had a bit of a bonfire in the Plotment and managed to upset the neighbours who wanted to sit in their garden. Looks as thought hey have been dumping their greenery over the wall - but impossible to prove - so bite the tongue and carry on   ...   What is it with people in llanelli and bonfires ??? Used to be a normal fact of life...

Now looks as though the Curious Pastimes Weekend coming up may be able to cater for the full Bertha - so looking to complete the tentage and try to get everything in place as a dress rehearsal for Mythodea in Germany ....   Meeting tomorrow night so cannot travel until Friday early - must get everything in place tomorrow...  No pressure as they say ....

hmm, seem to be out of scotch ... extra glass of wine and then bed ....
night !!!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

9th July 2013 - Day in the sun

A lovely hot day today.
Up at the crack of  almost last night - 5am - to make breakfast for our visitor from Germany - his need to get back to Germany today via Southampton - not an easy jopurney - so needed a good start with home cured bacon, eggs form the girls and home made bread.
The Mushrooms were bought - but you can't do everything !"!

Bertha's lid is now complete and I spent some of the evening scorching the straps to stop them fraying.
Had a long try to see how the Bothy Firdge works - but not sure that it is woring on wither mains or 12volt.
Checked the fuses and beginning to get an idea of how the  wiring works - seems to be a charger for the leisure batteries when hooked onto the electrics - but not at all convinced that the fridge is working
Sadly cannot remove it to see if there is  fuse or something similar that may be stopping it working.

Managed to fix a couple of the weapon racks inside. Still need to see how to get the Lyre fixed with the guitars - plans in place...

Father in law is home now and settling in well - new laptop so hoping I can get his skype working so we can talk with him. Mother in law still in hospital but seems settled...

Curious Pastimes Event this weekend - and frantically practicing new songs....

Better try a glass of scotch   - "here's health to the Barley Mow !!"


Monday, 8 July 2013

8th July 2013 - Visits from far places...

Finally managed to get the leader of the Grand Expedition to Mythodea to the house and hosted him on his fleeting trip across to the UK. Rick, one of life's gems, ex US army, ex North wales Police, now trader in LARP and historical artefacts, managed to spend a day with us while picking up his trading supplies

Surrounded by his Ebay purchases and hopefully, the source of his business for the next few events.
He is the inspiration that took me to Germany for the first time and has led me to taking the plunge and going as Bard this year.

On his way back to Germany tomorrow - wishing him every good wish for the journey and congratulations to Anja and Risk on their decision to tie the knot at the end of August...

Sunday, 7 July 2013

7th July 2013 - Missed it ... somehow

A lovely Sunday, possibly the hottest day of the year, also final of Wimbledon and Andy Murray wins - apparently - did not get a chance to see - ( no great loss for me ) ...
Too hot to get into the Plotment
Looked at the wiring of the Bothy - and got a little confused - may try again tomorrow
Looked at a few new songs and the day has passed..

Still warm into the night - but a glass of scotch is the order of the day..
Something familiar there   :)

Saturday, 6 July 2013

6th July 2013 - time passes....

Yes - Friday and and Saturday came and went ..
Not much to report - so will save you the time to read it....
glass of scotch !!!   Night !!!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

4th July 2013 - Must be Thursday ....

Quick update tonight, after an excellent chip butty diner with home made wine - oh - and a glass of pimms as well.

Sadly, a small incident with a box of Perry dropped a lot of alcohol over my mother's carpet,  cleared up but hoping that the sweetness does not attract more ants - why this was the only box that has a removable tap - did not know that taps could come out of those things !!

But, a day in a hot and sticky university hall, with ceremonial and far too little room for the legs, and a promotion to Past Registrar brings the day to a close.

However, a posting this evening tickled me ...

'nuff said ...

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

3rd July 2103 - Bookings but no Boxes

Wednesday it is - and an early call to the Euro tunnel people shows that despite the web pages and the terms of reference on the Tesco Vouchers, they do in fact allow use on both outward and inward journeys. As a result, the 3 for one offer on the value of vouchers meant that £55 of transferred voucher has paid for both journeys - to and from the continent at the end of the month. Bonus !!

So, things move ahead towards the big trip.

More straps have been added to Bertha despite the lack of time for actual sewing while we travel back and for from Carmarthen, Burry Port and home. Susie experimented with a new band saw and found that she could saw some of the trees form the Plotment, but for only a short time.

Spent most of the day shouting at various parts of the NHS system, each of whom were doing a splendid job, and in some cases felt a little bad for escalating, but the lack of communication between various sections, and the propensity to say "I am waiting for a call from .." rather than making the call themselves has been very frustrating. However - by dint of stubbornness, managed to finally get Occupational Therapy to examine the Father in law, which, as I guessed took two minutes and resulted in no changes, and two days of waiting for the option to return home finally was realised - of course too late for an ambulance today ...   but at least we have some movement in the right direction...

Find that 7 days cover on the continent for RAC will cost more than a year for this country - can't be right !! despite the possible extra costs of re-patriation, but £42 from AA by comparison to £78 from my own company that I have been with since 1986 seems a little wrong. It is only 750 miles on the continent.. Some difficult decision to make !!!  May try Green Flag - after all - it is a Green one !!!

Found a CD of old music by Eileen, mainly Band Call from the BBC and decided that I would add some photos  and put a video together and sent to to Bunny.

Glass of home made wine and strawberries from the Garden with cream .. yum...

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

2nd July 2013 - of Boxes, Bertha, Brambles and Brollies

Yes - mid summer and it is officially cold again and wet.. mizzy rain you can call it. That rain that seems to flow like a list and gets into everything in sneak mode....
As a result, the brambles and bags of greenery have been left in the Plotment, while most of the day was spent travelling to hospitals and flats, with a quick look at the web and some plans for the Mythodea Trip.
Last night included the Skype chat with many of the players who will be attending Germany. Therefore decision time had to come and now decided on travelling on the Sunday Night / Monday Morning. The bonus is of course the fact that I also discovered that Tesco Vouchers can be exchanged at the ratio of 1 : 3  for use on the outward journey on the Eurotunnel. Thus £25 vouchers have paid the outgoing trip ( less £1 )
Return will have to also be Monday morning as the price fluctuates from £80 to £213  !!

No real action on Bertha - not really enough hours in the day ...  But I am sure it will be completed.

So we are battening down the hatches again but I managed to get some more boxes from Morrisons today - and use the £3 off vouchers for a bottle of scotch..

Which reminds me .... Cheers!!

Monday, 1 July 2013

1st July 2013 - Another month

So, Fires in Arizona as the heat rises past acceptable levels even for Americans.
Here, the hottest day of the year in the South East, but they are welcome to it, here it was a muggy normal chilly day, which was about what we needed to clear out part of the flat of the Inlaws/Outlaws.  De-clutter was the name of the game and it was clear that beds and chairs had not been moved for quite a time, as we managed to get to all the corners and get the hoover into place. Rationalisation was the name of the game as well, trying to ensure that the maximum amount of space was available for movement and access - things that had not been so important 10 years ago when they moved in....

Of course - finding 9 electric shavers and countless telephones only shows how technology is changing, though a large excess of wrist watches - far more than could adorn any wrist!! was harder to explain....

But a few hours meant that a deep clean and a fresh room for early return was there..

Meanwhile- in the Plotment, the devastation behind the Deaf Centre that Susie so happily inherited as her new cabbage patch, the clearance goes ahead. Around 20 square meters of jungle has been tamed down to weed bed, though putting the brambles into the carry bags has left my arms covered in rash and cuts ...probably could do with a daughter's chainsaw...  even if we are not safe !!!

A few more boxes from the outlaws have joined our tower, mainly CD and books, not likely to be used for a while. Irons, hair dryers and portable vacuum joined our lists for ebay sometime in the future.

Roast pork for dinner - who could ask for more - and friends popping round to join us led to 2 litres of home made red biting the dust..
Better settle my stomach with a drop of scotch methinks....