Monday, 30 September 2013

30th September 2013 - Songs and House Sales...

A morning of video editing as I review the afternoon yesterday at Browns Hotel.

So this is Empty Shed Experience again .. this time with Hushabye Mountain...

But a glance through the web pages and I find that the house is up for sale on Zoopla....
House Sale Zoopla

nice series of photos - might be tempted to buy it myself ...

rear access
top bedroom
living / music room
chickens and garden
more kitchen
more garden
basement / garden room and bar
Susie's Store Room (basement) 

Oh well .. better think about clearing up and adding a few more boxes....

Sunday, 29 September 2013

29th September 2013 - Waxing Lyrical in Laugharne

Sunday, and the weather is fin. The walkers appear to be getting on well on their way up North.
Pictures are dribbling in from mobile phones on tops of peaks. Ain't technology a great thing these days!!  Video and pictures form outlandish places at the touch of a button. News form the Bothy is that the recharging plugs has been found and there is light in the evenings again.

It seems that they have hit half way - so excellent work.... However it looks as though they have a hitch-hiker following along...

It seems Dor is keeping a careful eye on the travellers...

And so back in Wales it seemed a good afternoon to head out to Dylan Thomas country, into the village of Laugharne and visit the Brown's Hotel for an afternoon of music.
Browns Hotel was built in 1752, as a private house before becoming a hotel in the 1800s. The bar is listed by CADW. Following in Dylan Thomas' footsteps, other visitors include U.S. President Jimmy CarterRichard BurtonPeter O'TooleElizabeth TaylorPatti SmithPierce Brosnan and Mick Jagger; the latter two competed to buy a steel bed that Thomas had once slept in when it was owned by landlord Tommy Watts. Browns was not used as a hotel from 1958 until 2012. It was owned for a time by actor Neil Morrissey before being sold in 2006.

Dylan Thomas]

Dylan Thomas befriended Ivy Thomas, the landlady of 'The Browns' as it is known locally (the apostrophe vanished some years ago). She supplied him with stories and gossip, source material for Under Milk Wood. He drank there most nights when in Laugharne, with his wife, Caitlin Thomas. He gave the hotel phone number as his own. In a letter to a friend planning a visit in 1938 he wrote, 'Drop in at Brown's Hotel & buy a Felinfoel and ask where we live: they know. Both he and Caitlin had their wakes in Browns after their funerals in 1953 and 1994 respectively.
[source wikopaedia]

The Empty Shed Experience, Ron Savory and Eileen Boyt, with whom I have shared a stage in the past (see Solstice at the Cinema) were in excellent form and as a special request they played "River Deep and Mountain High" their own excellent cover version for Jan and I.

And so I share it here - cos it gives me an additional hit if you watch it !!!!

A glass of port and some pork in lemon with rice for dinner and an evening editing video. Can't be a bad way to finish the day .....

Saturday, 28 September 2013

28th September 2013 - Pains on the Pennine way

News from "Up North" ... Sadly, one intrepid walker has fallen by the wayside with a tendon injury. Can't really say I am surprised the pace that they set for the first few days. These guys are awesome!!!
So sorry to see that the main team is down to two - but they are pressing on with undiminished enthusiasm...

Panic calls this evening cos the rechargeable lights are all running out of steam and I know where the plug is for the re-charging but not sure where it is in the van now  - always the way.. It is there - honest !! I put it in with the last light!!!......

Full set of eggs this evening and managed to harvest two bags of tomatoes and put them into the freezer. The peppers seem to be thriving so am avoiding picking too early !!  Delft managed another day without nappies so I think that her problem was an infection and she is over it now - that is a relief....

Today seems to be a day for wearing animal "Onesies" on the hike!!!   But it seems that they are meeting a number of people on the way and finding that there is generosity in every person ...

Meanwhile, I seem to have found a rather nice bottle of red wine here, and will take the opportunity of not drinking Ch√Ęteau 41 this evening ...   I also seem to have accidentally bought a bottle of port as well as Gin and Whisky when passing TESCO.. What ??? I needed to spend £50 to get my 5p off a litre on petrol!!!
The car was thirsty !!!

I am sure it makes good financial sense.....

So listening to Radio West Wales on internet and looking at the options of SKY HD to get box sets of Hannibal and Falling Skies...     They say that Game of thrones will be available from October - so that is Christmas sorted .....
So .. Cheers !!!

Friday, 27 September 2013

27th September 2013 - The Pennine Walk Itinerary

As the walkers move on their way - I thought I would post the full itinerary for posterity ...

Pennine Way 268 miles in 12 days

Day Before: Travel to Kirk Yetholm
Date: Tuesday 24th September
Overnight: Kirkfield Caravan Site
Grafton Road, Town Yetholm, Kelso TD5 8RU Seasonal Warden: 07791291956 Out of Season Telephone: (01573) 420 346
£7 per tent

Day 1   Kirk Yetholm - Byrness  
Date: Wednesday 25th September
Distance: 30 miles
Percentage completed: 11%
Start: Border Hotel NT827282
Finish: Forrest View NT764028
Highlights: The Schill, The Cheviot, Windy Gyle & Roman Camp
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Forest View Inn
6-8 Otterburn, Green, Byrness Village, Near Otterburn, Northumberland NE19 1TS
Joyce & Colin
Tel: 01830 520425
Mobile: 07928 376677
Camping for free on the garden if you buy a 3 course meal, showers available

Day 2   Byrness - Twice Brewed 
Date: Thursday 26th September
Distance: 32 miles
Percentage completed: 23%
Start: Forrest View NT764028
Finish:  Twice Brewed NY743668
Highlights: Bellingham (Lunch), Howsteads Fort & Hadrians Wall
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Twice Brewed / Winshields Farm Camp Site Winshields Farm, Military Road, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland NE47 7AN
Tel: 01434 344243
Camping £7.00 per person per night, Bunk House £12.00 per person, per night. Showers, cafe & shop

leaving Day 3 - 5am
Day 3   Twice Brewed - Alston
Date: Friday 27th September
Distance: 27 miles
Percentage completed: 33%
Start: Twice Brewed NY743668
Finish: Alston Training & Adventure Centre NY727435
Highlights: Knarsdale (Pub)
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Alston Training & Adventure Centre High Plains Lodge, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3DD
Contact: Dave
Tel: 01434 381886
Fax: 01434 382725
Bunk Bed £13, Camping £5, Breakfast £6, Evening Meal £9, Packed Lunch £4.

Day 4   Alston - Dufton 
Date: Saturday 28th September
Distance: 18 miles
Percentage completed: 40%
Start: Alston Training & Adventure Centre NY727435
Finish: Grandie Caravan Park NY689252
Highlights: Greg's Hut (Bothy), Cross Fell, Little Dun Fell & Great Dun Fell
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Grandie Caravan Park c/o Margaret Howe, Edenstone, Dufton, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6DB Tel: 017683 51573

Day 5   Dufton - Middleton  In Teesdale 
Date: Sunday 29th September
Distance: 18 miles
Percentage completed: 47%
Start: Grandie Caravan Park NY689252
Finish: Daleview Caravan Park And Campsite NY948247
Highlights: High Cup Nick & River Tees
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Daleview Caravan Park And Campsite, Station Bank, Middleton In Teesdale, Co. Durham, DL12 0NG tel:01833 640233
£5 per person per night, showers, bar

Day 6   Middleton in Teesdale - Keld 
Date: Monday 30th September
Distance: 20 miles
Percentage completed: 54%
Start: Daleview Caravan Park And Campsite NY948247
Finish: Keld Bunkhouse and Park House Campsite NY887015
Highlights: Tan Hill Inn
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Keld Bunkhouse and Park House Campsite, Ian and Michelle (Murphy)  Address: Park House, Keld, Nr Richmond, North Yorkshire. DL11 6DZ
Tel: 01748 886549
£6 per person camping, bunks available. Hot showers, kitchen & food available

Day 7    Keld - Horton in Ribblesdale
Date: Tuesday 1st October
Distance: 26 miles
Percentage completed: 64%
Start: Keld Bunkhouse and Park House Campsite NY887015
Finish: Holme Farm SD808722
Highlights: Great Shunner Fell, Hawes (Lunch), Dodd Fell
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Holme Farm
Horton in Ribblesdale Nr settle North Yorkshire BD24 0HB
Tel: 01729 860281
Mr Chris Sutcliffe
£2pp, £1 per tent

Day 8   Horton in Ribblesdale - Gargrave  
Date: Wednesday 2nd October
Distance: 21 miles
Percentage completed: 72%
Start: Holme Farm SD808722
Finish: Eshton Road Caravan Park SD934546
Highlights: Pen-y-ghent & Malham (Lunch)
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Eshton Road Caravan Park
Eshton Road , Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 3PN
Tel: 01756 749229
£3 per person per tent. £18 Shower blocks, co-op, cash machine and two pubs

Day 9   Gagrave - Ponden   
Date: Thursday 3rd October 2013
Distance: 16 miles
Percentage completed: 78%
Start: Eshton Road Caravan Park SD934546
Finish: Ponden Guest House SD988373
Highlights: Lothersdale (Lunch)
Team: Gary, Leino & Paul
Support: Sue
Overnight: Ponden Guest House
Ponden Lane, Stanbury, Nr Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD22 0HR
Tel: 01535 644154
Brenda Taylor
£5 per person per tent, food available in guest house. Shower block

Day 10   Ponden - Todmorden   
Date: Friday 4th October 2013
Distance: 16 miles
Percentage completed: 84%
Start: Ponden Guest House SD988373
Finish: Cross Farm SD960239
Highlights: Withins Height & Colden (Lunch)
Team: Gary, Leino, Paul, Ricky, Jason, John
Support: Sue
Overnight: Cross Farm. Bed & Breakfast/Camping Mankinholes Todmorden West Yorkshire OL14 6HP
(£35per head)
Tel: 01706 813481 / 07812025772
Lesley Hancock
Showers, washing & drying facilities. Food

Day 11    Todmorden - Crowden   
Date: Saturday 5th October 2013 (Gary's Birthday!!)
Distance: 25 miles
Percentage completed: 93%
Start: Cross Farm SD960239
Finish: The Old House SE050979
Highlights: Black Hill & numerous reservoirs
Team: Gary, Leino, Paul, Ricky, Jason, Vicko, Flo, Jo, Jess, John & Tick
Support: Sue
Overnight: The Old House
Woodhead Road, Torside, Glossop, Derbyshire SK13 1HU
Contact: Joanne & James Crook
Tel: 01457 857527
Beds available: £20 each or £30 with breakfast

Day 12   Crowden - Edale  
Date: Sunday 6th October 2013
Distance: 19 miles
Percentage completed: 100%
Start: The Old House SE050979
Finish: The Old Hags Head, Edale SK123859
Highlights: Bleaklow & Kinder Scout
Team: Gary, Leino, Paul, Ricky, Jason, Vicko, Flo, Jo, Adele, James, John & Tick
Support: Sue, Jess & Evelyn, Gemma, Cieran, Layla-Eve & Gabriel
Overnight: Locally or home

Thursday, 26 September 2013

26th September 2013 - Home Alone Diaries - Day 4

Well the Pennine walk seem to be going well. There was a dearth of news yesterday as it seemed that there was no signal anywhere for mobiles. Oops. Just remembered  I was meant to add some credit to Susie's Phone.. Better do that now !!!

Okay - all done. News form the Walkers, one has had to pull out due to an injured tendon. So the walkers are down to two. Apparently rain overnight again - but clear for the actual walk. Wishing them luck.

Meanwhile, a day out for installation yesterday. Of course that complicated things a little. Chickens had to go back in their hutch at 2pm - which did not please them at all!! And poor old Delft had to have her dinner at 2pm instead of 6pm - which did not seem to bother her at all!!.

Now discovered that brown rice needs to be cooked for a lot longer than expected when your normal rice cooking is an easy cook-in-bag for two minutes. Last effort for dog food ( Delft needs the carbohydrate and it is still probably cheaper than the Dog biscuit we used to use) and the grains were a little "al dente".  Read the packaging this time cos I took my pair of glasses down with me, and found that it should simmer for 25 minutes. Makes a lot of difference. Brown and fluffy today.

So, having managed to put the Russian, Dutch and Danish versions of the Green One, had the opportunity today to compile the Global Version 3 video..

ENGLISH - FRENCH - MANDARIN - ITALIAN - GERMAN - ANCIENT PERSIAN - GREEK - RUSSIAN - DUTCH - DANISH - (MORE DUTCH) - and DATA from Star Trek.  - it seemed like a good idea at the time!!!.....

Well, better loosen up the fingers and go and tickle the ivories......

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

25th September 2013 - Home alone diaries Day 3

Bright start to the day - sun shining, let the girls out at 7.30am and gave them a handful of breadcrumbs - and went back to bed..   Can't be a bad start to the day.

Up again no, and cleaned the kitchen out. Photos for the house should be going onto the websites today or tomorrow so better start doing that bit of clutter cleaning that I promised myself I would do on Monday. It is Wednesday after all!!!

Quick scrub around the kitchen and mop over the floor with some bleach and disinfectant. Makes it smell a bit better and less of dog. Though Delft seems to be through her wet patch and has not needed nappies for two days.

Mattress taken upstairs from the living room and a half dozen Morrison boxes are ready for use...

Walkers seem to have started their journey up north..

This, traditionally is the end of the walk for most people, but not for these walkers..  They are doing it the other way round....

Sunny today so the greenhouse needed to have the doors open, A few tomatoes harvested. Of course there is a small problem - I think that the small yellow tomatoes are meant to be small yellow tomatoes and not red..  so I have picked them !!    May be accused of tomato Torture later in the day - but am working from the best of  intentions... They often lead to hell!!

3 eggs from the girls. Turned the cheese. Delft seems to be another day without need of nappies. ( feel like a parent of young child at the moment!! counting the days between accidents !)

Egg and Chips for dinner . A real speciality for me . Can't remember when I last had such a repast !!
Something said for the (occasional) looking after ones self. Though I will happily go back to my normal feeding terms !!!

Must say that yesterday's Fray Bentos Steak & Kidney Pie was a little too much for one person. However I could not see a way to happily save it into a second portion - and so had to eat the whole thing !!  Was a little Over the Top I acknowledge.. but then again - you have to make do when you are Home Alone...

Seems to be a spaghetti western on TV - glass of Vino -    night !!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

24th September 2013 - Home Alone Diaries - Day 2

So, the news from the North is that the Bothy has managed to get up to Berwick on Tweed, and that the whole team has been picked up and is resting in the camp-site. There may be an issue with someone buying a bottle of wine with a cork in it - a strange arcane habit that used to prevail and required a special implement called a "Corkscrew" to assist in opening. I am sure that they will have enough ingenuity to manage something!!!

So the route for tomorrow for the walkers is laid out ...

Meanwhile, 3 eggs today from the girls in the garden. Delft seems to be dry for the second day.

New video from the Green One Global Stable - this time with Star Trek as a poser, and then in Dutch...

Only a few more to process now.....
Managed to process the rest of the wedding galleries and they seem to have come out quite well.

Monday, 23 September 2013

23rd September 2013 - Home Alone Diaries Day 1

So, Susie heads off on the great adventure - the Pennine Way from North to South - 287 miles in 12 days. Not that she is walking it! But the logistics part is as much of a challenge as any other part of such a project with its own pressures. So good luck to her as she heads up North.

I am told that it is normal to do it the other way round. Can't see it myself. After all, it is downhill form Scotland to England - you just have to look at the map and see that you are going down the page!  Not only that, it is always warmer down south - so you do the cold bit first and then get warmed up !!

So, for 12 days (or a few more) the blog will be a version of the Home alone Diaries..
I have a little help of course.
I have a list!!

  1. Let out Chickens
  2. Collect Eggs (2 today)
  3. Check water
  4. Top up food hopper every 3 days ( needs doing tomorrow)
  5. 4 small handfuls of corn to get them to bed  ( I shouted and they ran for the chicken house - but I gave them some corn anyway. I think they are spoiled)
  6. 1/2 tablet for Delft morning and evening ( good thing I wrote this - evening tablet needed. BRB)
    that's better - one half tablet wolfed down - now where was I ?
  7. If sunny, open the greenhouse for the peppers - wasn't that sunny today
  8. Water peppers once a week 
  9. Check how ripe tomatoes are and pick accordingly. add to bags and freeze.
  10. Turn cheese once a day.. Oops -
    down stairs again!!
  11. If enough eggs - beat and put in bag to freeze..
Seems simple enough - to get horribly wrong somewhere a long the way !!

So a day of getting people on their way. Susie on her way to the North. Eileen on her way home from hospital. Once again the NHS proves excellent in all their care except for basic logistics. Trying to get a list of medicine used in hospital sent to a pharmacy and then transported to the house without several errors, which in fairness were caught by the Pharmacy staff, but the lack of any form of urgency nearly meant that Eileen had to spend another night in hospital while everyone waited patiently for a doctor to sign the prescription some time after surgery !!!  A few phone calls were required - but everything worked out well in the end.

And so, baked beans on toast with an egg on top for dinner. May manage egg and chips tomorrow - haven't had that for years !!!  The next few days could be full of culinary delights!!

Glass of home made Chateau 41 - don't mind if I do...

Couple more photos form my own galleries of the weekend wedding. Five people have changed their profiles on facebook to pictures I took. Can't be a criticism, so rather pleased with the results.

and so to the machine....


Sunday, 22 September 2013

22nd September 2013 - Steampunk and Squash...

Back home after a trip into the world of Steampunk and the wedding of Sarah and Martin, friends from the reenactment world, and the opportunity to sit on the other side of the Crimson Moon and run up a bar bill!!!

And Susie brushed up well and the old man was not too bad as we strolled out to meet the assembled guests.

An excellent wedding and the weather was kind for the whole day - some mizzie drizzle later but we were well into the marquee by that time - a big plastic affair that stayed water proof !!

Some of the photos ended up with that wonderful sepia look - and they came out rather well ..

and Susie as well with a lovely model T sports - that had run the Indianapolis race and some others

the whole effect of the day was quite dramatic....

So driving back through the morning mist, and a short argument with the lady at the toll booth who was unconvinced about the Bothy being a Camper Van ( £6.20  for the toll rather than £12.40)...

And the Bothy was prepared for the trip along the Pennine way - leaving tomorrow, and it seems that Dor intends to keep her company on the trip.....

So before she goes on her way - I , of course, am not sufficiently trustworthy enough to look after the accumulated greenery - so the largest Butter-nut Squash were today cut off the tree...  
So they will be ready for use later in the year - but stored in the Sewing Room for now...

So put some gears on them and call them Steampunk - and that will do for another day ..

Saturday, 21 September 2013

21st September 2013 - Gallivanting and Green Ones..

Bit o a drizzle this morning as we pack up the Bothy (MOT'd thank goodness!!) and get ready to depart for a wedding down in Somerset.  Weather looks as though it may pick up though which will be nice. It is a Steampunk event with the Crimson Moon in attendance, so should be fun.

Meanwhile, upon the ley lines that are the Tube of You's, the next stage of world domination starts.
The next phase of Green One Songs...

This time the lovely Laura and the Russian version...


back tomorrow .....

Friday, 20 September 2013

20th September 2013 - Decision Day ...

So, today the Estate Agent came in and took the photos, and measured up the rooms, and commented on the size of the butter nut squash all over the garage, and the Chickens, and wondered around in the manner that Estate agents do, and took the cheque for the EPC - energy something certificate which apparently you have to have these days, £75 plus VAT for someone somewhere - just another hidden little cost in trying to sell and buy houses these days...

And so, the decision is made. Having signed on the dotted line, we are now committed for the next 12 weeks into the hands of the agents that be!!!  We decided that we would not put a sign up outside the house. Those who are interested in buying a house like ours are probably looking already. A sign outside would only bring in the random factor, the voyeur and the nosy.

Having found a possible new location, it now becomes the waiting game as well see if anyone wants what we have here . Personally, after all the clutter has been removed it looks quite nice. If it only had some land we would probably stay here. It looks pretty good to be honest!! I would buy it - especially at the knock-down price that we are being coerced into .....

All we need to do now is see what interest we get .. Luckily, I find out that I am not too old to get a mortgage...  That is a good reason to have a small night-cap ... Cheers!!!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

18th September - of ""Indiana Jones and the Square Bottle of Mead" and other vanities

So delving in the garage as you do, deep within a tea case that hadn't been emptied or examined for the last 7 years or so, under a pile of Crimson-style detritus, there was the distinct shape that has brought an uplift to the heart of Reenactors and Live Roleplayers alike...  The "Square Bottle" !!   The Infamous "Square Bottle". The content, elixir, nay ambrosia which goes by the name of Moniack!!!

Rumour tells of the days when the Moniack bottle was octagonal in shape. Personally I cannot claim to be a drinker of Mead in those days. It was before my "moment of revelation", my "road to Damascus" that changed the future of my life and the entire retirement plan, my "day of Catharsis" - yes Stuart Russell Keen - I mean you !!! A few words from you about your strange "hobby" and my life was changed as dramatically as taking a  red pill from Morpheus.....  Or is it the Blue Pill ???  To be honest I cannot these days be sure which is the reality and which is the fantasy - but I am certain it was not a Green One.

But after the halcyon and possibly fictional story of the Octagonal bottle, I can attest to the existence of the "Square Bottle".

Sadly a few years ago, inexplicably, the square bottle suddenly changed to a round bottle. Many of us thought we could detect a minor change in the flavour - but not having the opportunity to do a side by side test we were able to accept the "official" line that the recipe had not changed, only the shape of the bottle.

And so, one of my (totally fictional) stories of the original founder of Moniack, living high in Moniack Castle in Scotland, in the days of yore and prior to the start of the Mead business, who drank Gin in large and copious quantities. Who drank so much that he had many and large quantities of square Gin bottles, and decided that it was easier to hide them in the North tower of the Castle - down the back stairs where no-one ever went... Many years later - after his demise, the family started a Mead Suply business, and opening the North Tower spiral staircase, found a ready stock of square bottles, meaning that they would not have to buy fresh bottle stock for a long long time.... Instead they steralised the old gin bottles and filled them with their fine new mead and sealed the cork bottle tops with wax....

Such was the stock, that for many years the sea of square bottles allowed the distribution of the the now world famous mead, and the shape of the bottle allowed leather workers and costumiers across the reenactment and live role play systems to create pouches and knapsacks especially to fit the "Square Bottle"

And so for years - the existence of a square bottle was thought to be lost to all mankind. Occasionally, a rumour of a bottle sold in Germany, or hidden in the cupboard of a maiden aunt would excite the afficianados of mead...  There were rumours that the unreleased film of "Indiana Jones and the Square Bottle of Mead" had been suppressed by joint action of the CIA, MI6 and a consortium of Scottish Whisky suppliers. I think this may be true but that could just be my natural paranoia.

And then. Deep among the boxes of a garage at 41!!  Deep within a tea chest hidden through generations (allowing for a little poetic license) ... like Cthulu rising from the deep...  there came..

One hidden and in disguise......  one with the full trappings of rank and insignia.....

And so... with the forthcoming tramp across the Pennines by Kel, Paul &  Leino, supported by the Bothy as base camp and Susie as Support Driver, Head Cook and Bottle Washer starting next week, it seemed only fair to auction this last labelled bottle upon the Interthing, with proceeds going to the Walk 4 Cieran

Let the bidding start........

Monday, 16 September 2013

16th September 2013 - What's on the top shelf??

Back to the real world and the subject of boxes...
One day - far in the future, in a small holding far away, every day will be Christmas and Birthday rolled into one, as we slowly unpack the varied boxes that have been packed away. The contents are not sorted. The contents are not listed. The contents are not labelled. That would be far too sensible. As the Summer slowly drifts into autumnal chill, the garage has once again received a sorting - as the boxes gather into piles and now the tarpaulin gets stretched across to attempt to keep everything dry...

So a quick review back to the start of the summer and the garage fairly empty .... By empty of course I mean full of rubbish but a space on the floor to start stacking...

So as we moved through the summer the boxes started to gather...

A few more trips up and down the garden and  the pile started to grow ..

After a brief period of rest and recuperation, well actually a lot of running around not doing boxes but lots of other stuff, the content of which escapes me at the moment, the final decision to put the house onto the market caused a final spurt in the effort. Of course - a little extra storing had been going on - but to be honest it was without form and void, and so the start of the day was facing the assembled mass already in the sace that needed to be cleared.

And as I worked, of course the drizzle started - requiring plastic and tarpaulin to keep "stuff" dry while I was working... So this is where I started...

All if this required to go into the main stack, and more space required for, no not more boxes from our house, but the requirement to empty my mother-in-law's bedroom to allow a special bed and hoist to allow her to come out of hospital. Seems we were to inherit some more boxes!!!

So - the double layer is roof high and covered in Tarp to keep the moisture off. A couple of pieces of MDF wood to line the boxes and we are ready for the next layer.

Moving right along !!!   One day - all this will ... err - have to be moved !!

But in the meantime ....  

And so - somewhere in Llanelli, a house is a little clearer, and a garage is a little denser...

ho hum - another day.... 

Monday, 9 September 2013

9th September 2013 - Monday and momentum...

So, a great evening with some old reenactor friends and a few beers in a field can make the world look a different place. The Crimson Moon managed to take down successfully before it got too dark and made its way back up to the Midlands.  As well for them, as this morning in Caldicot the skies opened and then settled down to that all pervasive Mizzy soaking. With the Bothy, it mattered less to me, but those with awnings and tents left form the weekend- it was a wet take down and they will be looking for the opportunity to dry during the week.

Luckily, some may be at Mortimer's Cross at the weekend and may not have too long to wait to dry out.

And so, with a little money in my pocket, not much, but enough to see some progress in the transfer of the Moon, I made the decision that they have had a whole season to learn the ropes, and it is now time to take a completely back room and financial relationship. It has surprised me that the differences in working practices did not cause more in the way of friction earlier in the year, but they are now in a position where they have experienced each of the type of event that we have done over the last few years, and my presence becomes more of an interference.

That decision made, we can concentrate upon what is important for us- the transfer of the house and the finding of a smallholding. My hopes are that some money is forthcoming as promised in due course....

And as I drove back up the M4 - yes the good old M4 again!! as I travelled away form Caldicot the sun got brighter and the clouds dissipated and blue skies were forthcoming..

Garfield may not like Mondays much - but they do not seem too bad to me ....

Sunday, 8 September 2013

8th September 2013 - It'll be the M4 again then .....

Cloudy and obviously rain overnight. Susie tells me that when she got up early to let the girls out (the chickens) the sun was shining brightly as she went down the garden, As they followed her up the garden, the skies opened and a downpour occurred. as she rushed back to the house - the "girls" turned tail and fled back to the chicken house. At least they are quite sensible....  on occasion.

Seems dry now, so will pack up the Bothy and go down for the tail end of the Early Medieval Alliance event at Caldicot Castle. May get there in time for the last battle and an opportunity to see some friends.

Of course - that means the M4 again. Though in fairness this year has seen a lot less of the M4 than previous years. But it is still the M4.......

Oh well, it may brighten up later...

Saturday, 7 September 2013

7th September 2013 - Unexpected day at home ..

Weather across the country seems to be rain and storms - but there is a window around Llanelli where the bad weather does not cross - well at least this weekend..

Finding myself home instead of being at the Caldicot Medieval Reenactment for reasons that are far too complicated and too emotionally and financially sensitive, the change in the weather had less impact than those months we have been under canvas.

But as we watched various cloud systems build and threaten storms throughout the day - they have all seemed to pass us by.

Last night, Roger ( from the Brecon Burger Bar) called me to say that the thunder claps were loud at the Castle as they were heading to the pub - the Crimson Moon not being able to open on the opening night of the event.We did not have the storms ...  that is now a part of our history...

So today, having managed to get the house to a stage where we might be able to consider allowing people to come and view it, I was dispatched to town to find some estate agents to come and value the place and get us onto the open market.

And this afternoon we viewed our first smallholding for a while - and as usual I found that I could live with it - and it was a reasonable price - by reasonable I mean something that I think we could afford...
also quite a few acres which was better than the last ones that we had seen..

General consensus this was not the one we needed - but it is the start of a concerted effort to find a place - and a concerted effort to see if we can sell ...

Time will tell ..

Off to Caldicot tomorrow - I hate conflict...   But I have a business to try to resolve ...

Ho hum

A glass of scotch my be the answer tonight .....

6th September 2013 - Days of Disappointment

There are days when you get up early and think that the whole day is ahead and everything is looking splendid. Today was one of those. Early start. The Sun was shining. Plan of attack sorted and ready for implementation.
Early cup of tea and a piece of toast and the Bothy primed and packed and down the motorway for one of the favourite events of the year . The Early Medieval Alliance Reenactment at Caldicot Castle for the weekend. An event that we started some 11 years ago, and though not the highest value event sales-wise, one of the greatest fun and one of the best fellowship with  friends that we see once or twice a year ...

And so 10 am at the Park was fine, the weather holding nicely with sun and little in the way of clouds - though a small threat of change in the mackerel skies above the castle walls.

Since our last trip to Caldicot, some work has been done upon the west (goodness knows I have no idea of the direction) tower. It is the one where CADW store all the festival stuff, and have not used for years. It is also where I plug in the power for the Crimson Moon and our friends the Brecon Burger Bar... and string a wire over the walls and for 100 metres to the tavern and stands....
This year though there was a stack of scaffolding over the tower. Speaking with the Gaffer - he says that they would not get all the scaffolding down by the weekend - so it allowed me to run the wires along the fencing instead of flying it over the trees as I have done in previous years. A saving of about an hour !!

So While I await the arrival of the Moon, I run the wire over the castle walls and through the undergrowth. I think that it is fair to say that there are nettles that grow in Caldicot that are more virile and vicious than those growing anywhere else in the United Kingdom!!!. It does not help that I was in shorts!!!  What ???  I am always in shorts when I set up !!!

I am a Fat old man  (not in my mind I will allow you - but in reality I have to be realistic) and therefore if I am going to do anything energetic it has to be in the minimal amount of clothing. Common decency requires a basic modesty .. so shorts and singlet it is !!!...

The nettle undergrowth at Caldicot is greater than the distance I can effectively throw a gathered wire....

So - with the assistance of half a flagpole staff, I mercilessly attacked the nettles as I strove to get to where the end of the wire had fallen in the undergrowth...  My mother would have applauded me as I shouted "Off with their Head" as I advanced step by step into the greenery..

At last I grabbed hold of the end of the safety cable and pulled it from the band of Triffids that lay before me.. and with only a few sores upon the wrist and arm, and a bite on the leg - escaped to freedom...

Safe in the knowledge that my endeavours had ensured that Beer would flow and Burgers would burn ( to the necessary level  - fit for eating ) I retired from the bushes - safe in the knowledge of a job well done...  
the event was safe ....

A cup of tea in the Bothy.. a fit start to the day ...

As for the rest of the day - that would be in other hands...
But it was a good start to the day ....

Thursday, 5 September 2013

5th September 2013 - Memory is the Main Thing

After months of play and living grand in the Bothy, and little more than shorts and a singlet, today was the grounding back to a different role play and costume play..
For after months of minimal set up gear and "time in " full of leather and chain, today I was back to the more mundane - a morning suit and regalia, which proved as hot as the worst moments in Germany at Mythodea....

Wearing real clothes is something that is over rated I have decided. The hall was lacking in decent ventilation, a matter that would probably not have affected me ten years ago, but which now, with my penchant for the open air and the starry skies, left me hot and bothered....

This was a form of normalcy - formality and ritual, decency and civility. Despite the warmth in the air, I was able to perform, with credit to self and the company... which left me on a high for the day ...

Start of a new season, and many meetings to come. But a good start and though I am glad to get out of the formal clothes as I sit here with a glass of scotch ...   I am sure that the season will prove as interesting as many in the past ....

Review of the day ??
Mother in law is progressing well in Hospital and is very positive - which is a great bonus..
Managed to learn a shed load of Masonic Ritual and presented with credit - Bonus
Posted Youtube Links for the Mona Mour Video and Had positive response...  excellent
Weekend at Caldicot set up and ready to go ...
Glass of Scotch - Priceless !!!

May have to Monk it for the weekend .. haven't actually worked for a season ......!!!

G'Night !!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

4th September 2013 - Oops - I accidentally wrote another love song....

It is not surprising really. People used to look at me strangely (well, to be honest they still do) and say
"Why would you do that silly hobby - dressing up and running around the woods with pretend swords and killing goblins?"
I have always had a simple answer, "Have you seen my photographs?"

For ten years we have had the pleasure, and a little hard work, of running the Crimson Moon Tavern, for Reenactors and Live Roleplayers, with the obvious spin-offs of birthdays, parties and weddings, occasional country show and festive Markets, and for ten years I have taken my camera with me to record some of the great people that we have had the opportunity to meet.

And occasionally one can forget the passing of the years, when surrounded by beauty.

In this case, Mythodea in Germany has once more provided the muse. The sun was blazing hot. The thermometer suggested 107 degrees. The fire dancers were adapting their show to spray water over the watching crowds in the town center, and Mona Mour, (I found her name afterwards) had hurt her foot and was unable to dance, but hobbled to the Jolly Rouge Tavern and Bath House.

Standing on one of the benches to watch the show, she saw me passing and called out "hey.. Mr Bard!"

I had promised her a song earlier at a chance meeting, so I entered the shade of the tavern.
The sand was hot under foot, burning through my sandals. The paper Lanterns that hung around the edges of the tent were not lit now. In the evening the tavern was warm and welcoming. I had sung there the night before.

But now the Tavern was a different place. There were others around the tables, I have no doubt, but at that time I was singing to a beautiful girl, standing upon an bench in the Jolly Rouge...

And so..
For Mona Mour, and for the Jolly Rouge Tavern and Bath house...  a song...

"When it's winter in Wales, and there's a chill in the air
I remember a warmth that will always be there,
With lanterns of paper and candles and tapers,
My heart's in the Jolly Rouge"

"Why would you do that silly hobby???   I am content ..."


Sunday, 1 September 2013

1st September 2013 - Of Castles and Chaos

So, as we start a new month, it seems appropriate to progress a step through the alphabet and so we start September with the Letter "C"...
I can see that this may turn into a mini version of QI, and find an elephant in the room before I finish.

But in the meantime, a weekend of visits through the castles of West Wales. Starting with Weobley Castle, and then through Llanthony Priory and more lately Cilgerran and Pentre Ifan.

I have my mother to thank for the decision to take a couple of "Wobblies" and photograph them at Weobley Castle.  So, Mr Pumpkin Head and his good lady, a Green One,  took a few tentative steps through the castle...

Of course, when you are only a little Wobbley..  the size of a castle is a little daunting... 

But the Castle is quite a friendly place as well - and good for exploring...

Looking into the nooks and crevices, there are many opportunities to explore through the history of the Gower and Wales.....

And sometimes there are times when there is good cause for reflection  (see what I did there !!!) 

And so we can leave Weobley Castle to the natives ...  and to our friends the Colonials ..
Did I introduce them ??
For the sake of argument I am calling them Mr Pumpkin Head and the Green One ...

No!! not them ...


Maybe a glass of wine.....