Tuesday, 19 February 2019

19th February 2019 - Memories - Part 1

Thought for the day: "My wife misses me. But her aim is steadily improving."

Meeting in Caerphilly yesterday for Court of Penychen - an instruction and went very well.
And the dining finished well within the time of the Hour Glass...

Almost caught up on some paperwork... 

First page of Memories - by John Weston transcribed - though I think that Susie wants to improve her touch typing so she may well decide to type the remainder... but here s a starter...

My Memories

1905 - 1967 by John Weston


I was born at 56 Meredith Street, Crewe on the 18th of November 1905 , at 5 o'clock in the morning. I was told later that there was a severe Frost the previous night, and my dad  dashing up the street to fetch the midwife slipped on a sheet of ice and sat down heavily on the Pavement.  a good start.
My parents were both of Anglo Saxon stock, my ancestors having lived on the north Shropshire plain for generations. In fact the family can be traced back to Saxon times. I consider that I have lived through a period of one of the greatest industrial and social revolutions plus two wars, in the history of our great country. I will now describe incidents that have happened in my life during this period. Some will be amusing, some sober, some tragic but all will be interesting to the reader.

My father left Crewe in 1907 where he had been employed for several years in the railway work shops, and just took a job at Norton, Shifnal On the estate of mister W H Foster. My father remained in the employ of the Foster family until his death in 1949. He was buried at Stockton in the new cemetery on the north side, a curb in polished granite marking his  last resting place

My first memory

It was spring 1908. I was in the garden with my dad who was preparing the ground to plant potatoes when he cut of stick to act as a marker for setting potatoes. Dad made the trenches and I set the potatoes measuring the distance between them with the stick. I was 3 years old then, in successive years I took a bigger part in the gardening programme

Village life

60 years ago everybody in the village had a large well kept garden this was an absolute necessity as wages were low and it had to keep the family in vegetables all the year round and also grow sufficient potatoes to feed a pig. every cottager fed a pig as that was relied on for the next year's bacon. As children we had to pick wild ash from the hedgerows and nettles to feed the pigs. The pigs were bought from the farmers in the spring when they were about 8 weeks old and fed on through the summer by the cottagers. About the end of November the pic killing season started the pigs were killed at night hungup and allowed to set until the next night. 

more to come...

Monday, 18 February 2019

18th February 2019 - Monday Morning Blues ? - No Greens !

Thought for the day :"saw a man walking down the road with a sign under his arm that read, "& Emergency". "Where did you get that from?" I asked. He said..."I found it by Accident." 

Monday - so week 7 profile and Facebook cover changes ....

In the news we still are heading towards Brexit with the same uncertainty as a year ago ...

But looking through a box of old cutting last night I found my grandfather's book that he was writing about his youth and young days - A Shropshire Lad ...  A good read ! and one that I think I will try to transfer to a web page in memory - 

Went to the Greenfield Pub last night for the open mic, and got invaded by some Scottish people staying in the area - ended up doing most of my Glaswegian Street Songs and a set of "Donald whar's your trousers" and "Cambleton Loch" - Well they enjoyed even if no-one else knew what we were singing about ...  I do enjoy having a varied repertoire already in my head - without needing the words. Sadly - it later turned into a karaoke session and singing to backing tracks which wasn't really my cup of tea.. But they all had fun .. 

Court of Penychan this afternoon - Athelstan - a normal instruction meeting so looking forward to that - will have to present some Grand Court Certificates - so will be checking my ritual

And so I shall share a pig - because I can ...

and with those few words ...
Cheers !

Sunday, 17 February 2019

17th February 2019 - The Day after and another Grand Rank

Thought for the day: "My wife said she was leaving because I was obsessed with the Monkeys.. I thought she was joking … then I saw her face!"

A couple of nice pictures popped up in my birthday wishes yesterday - these are from the viking wedding I sang at earlier in the year...

Probably should not have taken the belt off at that time !! But it was heavy !

So, several hundred good wishes for the birthday boy yesterday ...  and another birthday present from St Jame's Street in London...

Didn't read it right first of all - and had to be pointed out to me that it is an Active Rank !!!

So that is two in two days - not bad - though the fees of honour are rather steep !
I suppose you have to pay for fame and fortune !
Adds another one to the CV.... 

For no good reason - here are some Roman Soldiers... Circa 1910... So our crazy hobby is not new it seems ...

And so - back to normalcy and maybe a trip to the Greenfield this evening to play at the open mic...
Haven't go into the basement for a week to play with the birthday present pedal - ho hum ...

Cheers !

Saturday, 16 February 2019

16th February 2019 - Birthday - not only that but 65 !!!

Thought for the day :"What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet? SUPPLIES! "

So - it is my birthday
I have had to get up first and get a cup of tea
I have had to pop around the shops to get some tea and coffee and biscuits
Set the Lodge up
Serve Tea and coffee
Do the ceremony
Do the festive board
run the bar
Do the washing up
clear the building

Which part of "have a good 65th birthday" is all this ???

Never mind - always a sucker for duty ...


Meanwhile - for those who are careful of money...

And I thought the birthday should have a Daily Trump...

One last attempt t see if we can get the songs on spotify before the getaway
If not - moving to Sören in Germany to sort things out...

And on the subject of Music - there is a song for everything - even Brexit...

So - having answered 209 Birthday wishes - back to Facebook

Cheers - seems to be a fork in the road..

Friday, 15 February 2019

15th February 2019 - Travelling, Sunshine and 31st Degree

Thought for the day : "Too many dogs ? Roverdose!"

Well - a couple of fine days travelling around the country - up to Bangor for an installation and collecting the venison for the weekend getaway... Weather so fine on Thursday morning that I found myself sitting in the car park at Bangor in my shirt sleeves having my breakfast outside the Bothy.

Parked up at Bangor Masonic Hall - Wednesday Evening

Bangor Masonic Hall

Maybe a Gin and Tonic and a quick check on the ritual

Thursday Morning - resting in the sun 

View from the Bothy into the woods - Breakfast

En route from Bangor to Aberystwyth

And some nice Views
So back to Aberystwyth for the Scarlet Cord and Secret Monitor where I stood in as DC in the one and ADC in the other...  Managed to find a parking place for the Bothy near Tescos in a back street and home by 11.30pm  - A good day out...

Meanwhile - as I get up this morning I find a letter in the post...

Seems I have promotion in the Ancient and Accepted Rite for England Wales and its Districts and Chapters overseas to 31st Degree....  An unexpected and delightful surprise....   Sadly the meeting is in May and I will be in Crete - but apparently I can now wait until October 21st instead ....

Eye test today - will see how my eyes are doing ....

I think I have a day off from Masonry...  !!!

Thursday, 14 February 2019

14th February 2019 - Valentines again

Thought for the day: "If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?"

and on the road trip ... Bangor to Aberystwyth...

Bangor to Aberystwyth - 83 Miles

And back to Aberystwyth for the Scarlet Cord Grade 3 and Secret Monitor...

and for dinner ? why not use a solar powered water driven spit roast...

This is our water wheel rotisserie spit made from Furphy beer cans. The water is pumped up the pipe from a solar pump submerged in the bucket at a rate that makes her spin a the right speed for the pork. Cans are mounted on a bike wheel. We cooked a 6kg rolled pork..... to perfection!

And then I saw this one - using the stream ...

hmm - feeling hungry now !


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

13th February 2019 - Road trip Bangor and a few wise words

Thought for the day:"The universe implodes. No matter."

Found this nice list of strange place names. Some of them are well known - one or two are a little different...

Some words of wisdom from the young...

Saw this nice reposte to the unwanted caller ..
"Is Mr A there please?" "No..the bastard walked out on me yesterday after 25 years." Call ends.

And so - another road trip - Bangor for Installation today and on to Aberystwyth tomorrow..

Llanelli - Bangor Masonic - 146 miles

And so I leave you with this thought.....
"How can you tell if someone is a Vegan? - THEY WILL TELL YOU !! "

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

12th February 2019 - A quiet day at Home

Thought for the day:"Thank you to my neighbour who loaned me a large plastic sheet – Ta Pauline!!"

A quiet day at home ...  doing a bit of ritual and some paperwork - never seems to end ...

On the subject of tricky policing - traffic duty can be dangerous when there are wolves about...

But I saw a plan for crime prevention in Logan County..

In other book news

Cheers !

Monday, 11 February 2019

11th February 2019 - Up and about early ... zzzzzz

Thought for the day:"Caller asked me to sign the organ donor register. A man after my own heart!"

Up early this morning. Why am I up early? Because Susie is heading off to the coast to see her father and therefore she got up and made a cup of tea at 8am. Seems reasonable. However, after drinking the tea and sitting up for a while I decided that I may as well get up. At which point she decided that she really needed to go back to sleep for half and hour - so I am watching the clock.
So - may as well look at the birthdays for the day and sort the Blog out....

I saw this and it amused me - It was a Green One!

Meanwhile - a photo from the last trip to get the travelling gavel has appeared... A good turn out to Carmarthen Lodge ....

The only photo to come to light of the Burn's night is a little disappointing but it was posted yesterday so I will put it here for posterity .... I know that the video will be on the way in due course...

So, I have a couple of days to get my head around the Scarlet Cord 3rd Grade Ceremony which I will be leading as the Provincial DC.  Nice to keep busy.

So - profile picture day!!

Let's get it write ! Cheers

Sunday, 10 February 2019

10th February 2019 - Sunday, What else can I say?

Thought for the day :"If women in Nepal prefer dogs, what can a cat man do?"

Sunday, and the weather is fine and the storms have gone.
A day to have a look at the next bit of ritual - a 3rd Grade Ceremony on Thursday - but there will be a road trip this week as well - off to Bangor on Wednesday for an Installation, and to pick up some venison for the "away" weekend...

Probably will have to try Amuse again - as I have had no reply from my master mixer in the US - which is a little saddening - not even a standard reply ...

We shall see if it will load this time ...

Also time to play it he basement again with the new pedal and maybe some open mic this evening at the Greenfield ...

Other than that - not much news in the world. Prince Philip (dubbed the Duke of Hazzard after his accident the other week) has voluntarily given his licence up.
More Brexit fuss and the clock is running.
Apparently we are sending new negotiators..

The Ferry Company that had no ships and no port which was to "save" the country has had its contract pulled when they found out that an Irish company was backing it and has now withdrawn. They didn't even go to tender so there was some funny business going on there.
Out in America, Trump is ready to close the government down again to pay for his wall.
Venezuela is about to have a civil war and I am sure that Oil has nothing to do with the interest being shown by many countries.
Just another day - May you live in interesting times...

Me? I shall get my little red book out - no not the one that Chairman Mau issued, the one for the Scarlet Cord and read up on my bits as Provincial DC.

An oldie but a goodie

Saturday, 9 February 2019

9th February 2019 - Bothy Run - Flint - Installation Athelstan

Thought for the day:"Someone who throws money into a crack in the ground is generous to a fault"

And so we have had a road trip through the storms created by Storm Eric... 

Order of Athelstan and the installation and proclamation of the New Master Colin Roberts  who turns out to play guitar ans about to go into the studio to cut his first CD - and at about my age too so there are a few of us around.... 

So the journey was at first delayed by prudent pre-planning... I had taken the opportunity of disconnecting the battery while it was sitting unused for a few weeks. On connecting - the bothy started immediately and purred so  let it run to warm up ...  Sadly, the handbrake was not on - I usually leave it in gear - and when I took it out of gear it did not move - she often seizes on the back brakes when standing for a while..

So as I rummaged in the back - I suddenly saw that the Bothy was moving forward slowly ... It is too heavy to stop from the side and I clambered into the passenger seat and pulled the hand brake on - but too late - she had already bumped into the gates sadly bending the pin which holds the middle in place - jamming the doors completely and forcing the lock !!!!
After 20 minutes of banging with a hammer - I managed to free the lock enough to undo - and that allowed me to get out to the little Suzuki and pop around to the Garage to see if I could borrow a cutting tool to cut the pin and free the doors...

As Paul was committed for at least 1/2 an hour changing some wheels for another customer - I went back to find Susie doing what she does best - hitting things with a hammer!!   As we struggle - she finds a decent sized crow bar - and despite my opinion that it will not work - the powers of leverage manage to straighten the pin sufficiently to free the gates....   The pin is going to need straightening - but at least I got on the road ... 

In fairness I get two calls from Paul checking that we were alright - though I texted immediately to cancel his visit...

So Bothy travel up through Wales and as we get to the Sugar Loaf - the rain is falling so hard that I am down to 15mph and not just because I am going up hill!

But by the time I get to flint at 8pm - it is time for a G & T and 10 minutes of death in Paradise before I realise that twenty  minutes is as much data I have on my phone - I have never used it for that before but that was fun ...   I go to bed listening to folk music through my bluetooth..
3am and the van is rocking violently - and that is not the music - the weather is foul outside and though I am in a car park - the Bothy is buffeted  - the cups on the hooks are rattling and I am sure from the outside it looks as though there is "nooky" going on inside...

But I was warm and cosy - well wrapped up. The gas cooker allowed a small amount of heat just before I went to bed and the mink blankets have always been cosy...

I will confess to having an early night !!!

So - Morning and a welcome Cup of Tea  and ready for the installation. I will confess that I was aware that I would be doing the Grand Lodge Certificates, and had practised the Installation address as there was a good chance I would be called on - however as I chatted, the Master mentioned to me that the PGM had told him that if he wanted some of the ceremony covered I would be able to help !!!    This is of course true - but normally I ask for a couple of days to work on the Ceremony - not a quarter of an hour!!!

But - he was working hard and knew what He could do - so I grabbed a copy of the Inner Working and traditional history - three pages of ritual, and grabbed a can of diet coke and shut myself in a corner of the bar... and twenty minutes later was comfortable to do the Ceremony !!!

Well - I must admit I was pleased with my efforts - when I get t right - I think it sounds pretty  good - and this was under pressure so doubly happy!!.

And so - A couple of glasses of wine with dinner - to relax and a couple of hours in the Bothy before the journey back - and thought the weather in Flint was glorious - the journey back brought me back into the rain...    Home at 8pm and time to check my emails - write this blog and post my birthday wishes for the day .... 

An enjoyable weekend - and off to Bangor on Wednesday !!!

Ho Hum 
Cheers !