Wednesday, 30 April 2014

30th April 2014 - Home Alone Diaires 8 - And off to LARP!

Thought for the day : "The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people"

I'm not saying I am smart or dumb. There are many who look at my hobby, running through the woods wielding a large axe and sitting drinking in a medieval tavern and wonder why I do it. I often refer them to some of my photograph albums where a number of very fetching young ladies appear, but that is not the only reason. It is a good opportunity to escape the daily news stories that are getting more depressing every day. I used to switch the news on and thought that 24 hour news coverage was the best thing, as whenever I tunred on - I could get a full update of the current situation. Of course that was before I could turn on at any time of the day and see the same rubbish. That was when I was vaguely interested in what was being displayed. That was also in the days before the news media felt that they had to fill the vacant hours with that strange thing
that they call "vox pox"

I don't know who first decided that viewers might be interested in the drivelling comments of people who have no idea what is going on - but forced with a camera and microphone under their nose to utter some inconsequential opinion - normally formed through the tenor of the targeted question - or the desire to sound "clever".  Whoever it was - they should be the first against the wall when the revolution comes as they have spoiled almost every news program that I care to watch these days. It is bad enough that they will drag out some "expert" from the recesses of suburbia or academia - but to provide an equal stage for some poor shopper on the high street  beggars belief..

I did not object too much when it all started on That's Life, when the question was irrelevant and funny and the purpose was amusement and humour....  Even if Esther Ransom was the spokesperson - at least she started Childline and had the sense to realise when it could not survive on its own and partnered with the NSPCC.

No, there may be smart people out there - but they are not likely to appear on my 24 hour news programmes.  I re-discovered radio instead ! In fact I discovered internet radio and the fun of posting ion facebook while the programme is ongoing - just drivel, but local drivel and drivel funny and relevent to me ..
Music remains a large part of my life.
Sadly, cannit find a key to tune my autoharp anywhere and had to succumb to Amazon for purchase. Do not expect it to be delivered till after the Bank Holiday  weekend sadly. I shall attempt the use of a monkey wrench  and electronic tuner. It is a project as I sit in the woods wondering whether I will enjoy just Roleplaying an event after so many years running the bars and roleplaying form there.

An old friend offered to run up some extra "monster" tunics and I promised her a bottle of Mead for her trouble. She used to play a character called Dari, and to give her her due I decided to rebadge the bottle for her ..

We may not be smart - but we enjoy ourselves - and I will have the opportunity of 4 days away from the box ....  When I return I shall not be home alone any more...

Finished the hoovering and the polishing and washing the floors, Decided to do it last thing before I left - otherwise I would have messed it up again. Still haven't packed - maybe I will just pile everything into the Bothy and work it out when I get there - sounds like a plan   ..
May as well have a glass of "41"

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

29th April 2014 - Home Alone Diaries 7 - Chicken can look after themselves

Thought for the day: "I was never over-weight, just under-tall. The correct height for my weight at the moment is seven feet ten and a half inches."

It was not intentional really - but leaving the house at 5pm to get the rooms ready for a meeting this evening meant that the dogs had to be fed early. That was not a problem for them. In fact I get the distinct impression that they thought it was a very positive move in the right direction. I did not get the incessant and plaintive "woof!" every five minutes and the bowls are certainly getting cleared a lot quicker these days..

No, it was not the dogs at all.. The Greenhouse was closed early but then it was not that warm today though we had a fair amount of sunshine...  The Seedlings were watered in the Sewing /Sowing room and even had a look at those on the patio - though they had they benefit of the rain the last few days..

No- it was the chickens - stubborn beasts that they are !  It was far too early for them to go to bed they decided and scattered all over the garden. Avoiding the sparse area where I had thought to add some grass seeds and re-fixed the fencing - but ti think that they feasted on all the seeds before the fence was fixed...
Scattering is a polite term..  One behind the pond, one behind the greenhouse, one clucking up and down the path dipping into the little gaps in the fence strategically placed not to allow me to clamber over in my morning suit.... and running out of time....

In the end it was a case of scattering some corn in the chicken coup - but they knew better!  Of yes.. They had sussed that one out... Let him throw a bit more in and then we can pick it all up later ... go in now and there will be nor more!!! 

And so it was that time ran out and I rushed across the road to my meeting - with the chickens running around the garden and the dogs replete upon the patio.....

9pm - it was not late to get back - but of course it was dark by now!  The blue solar light strings were shining nicely and the pink solar tree that I rescued with the power source from a cheap set of butterflies blazing gloriously....  Down to the Coup and there they all were - as though butter would not melt in their roasting pans...  calmly sitting on top of the hen house  having finished the spare corn  and settled for the night..

So that answers that question - They will put themselves to bed at night! Seems to me that the automatic door closer should be on the main coup and not the hen house which they do not use anyway ...  Then they coudl be let out each day while we are away... Oh well - not my decision - it would obviously be the wrong decision if I chose.. So more straw on the ground tomorrow so they have a nice dry bed for a couple of day away ... Seems as though Home Alone will stop on Friday - I shall travel to London on Thursday and keep the dogs for one night - and Susie will pick them up on Friday... 

Tomorrow will be a day to see if I can get around to some house work - some packing and some sorting for a weekend of LARP with Curious Pastimes... Vollsanger goes into the fray again - hope he survives!!!

In the meantime - managed a nice case of Platinum Port at a ridiculously low price.. Better have a glas of port then ?   Don't mind if I do !

Cheers !

Monday, 28 April 2014

28th April 2014 - Home Alone Diaries 6 - Is it true that dust doesn't increase?

Thought for the day : "A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist."

Up bright and early, and the sun is shining. Normally a good sign and a bonus for the day. However, the sun shining through the window does rather accentuate the fact that I have not done any housework for the klast week, and there appears to be a fair amount of dust around. Housework is not really a priority in my house. It is one of those things that are required and put off and achieved when we have guests coming, or Christmas,  or some somebody coming to view the house!

The house is off the market for a few weeks more. It is not Christmas. There is no-one coming to visit! Three good reasons to try to ignore the dust. There is a sign just inside the front door that reads..."Boring women have immaculate homes" I certainly do not have a boring wife !!

Of course a lot of the house can't really be seen, due to boxes, and collections of "stuff" due for Ebay or discard...  Can't really move any of that until it is sorted properly. It would be like me gardening - I would throw away the valuable stuff and leave  the weeds... But I wonder about the dust!!!

Dog hair I know about. If you leave it, it will increase in depth and quality. It could be finely woven I am sure, indeed I recall an experiment back in the earlier days to collect the dog hair and spin it. I don't think it was particularly effective. Most vacuum cleaners cannot handle dog hair. There is no real substitute for using an old pair of training shoes and dragging the foot over the carpet to pull the dog hair into piles and then trying the hoover afterwards. It still blocks the Dyson up!!

I wonder if dust falls on Dog hair? Or are they separate organisms that attack different parts of the house in some form of symbiotic arrangement, like sharks not eating Lawyers out of professional courtesy..

Perhaps it would be a good experiment to find out what would happen if they were left ??

Which brings me to Enoch, and my mother's recollections from her earlier days ....  Grandad Enoch has been mentioned previously.. (11th March 2014 - Enoch and the Vicar) and he was known for his colourful language, his shires and his occasional gem of thought..

Jan reminisces... "One vague Enoch memory when he had had a bad day Sitting at the table (hat on of course) and puffing his pipe “Well Liz one bl—dy tree lost... Will kick the Bu---ers fetlocks tomorrow. Theres a forest still to cut down so no Bl—dy worries “

In other words there is always another day to sort out today’s problems.
Granny (LIZ) used to sit and listen and pour him another sweet cup of tea. 

Its so true..  There's always tomorrow

Maybe I will leave it for a day then - in the interests of science of course.
And out of respect for my great grandfather...
Cup of tea ?

Picture of the week - Keeping it Green..

Sunday, 27 April 2014

27th April 2014 - Home Alone Diaries 5 - In search of a mop and bucket...

Thought for the day : "Whoever invented Knock Knock Jokes should get a No Bell prize"

Sunday, and the dogs are beginning to realise that you don't have to get up at 7am every day - that 9 or even 10 is a good sign..  Of course - you have to keep them up well passed their bed-time the night before, but that is a small price to pay when you are a late bird in any case...

Strange day weather-wise - looks warm and sunny but deceptively chilly until you are out in the sun and then it is very warm.. A day to take the fleece and try to work out whether to wear it or not...

Two eggs again today - the incubator has not used any water. The Greenhouse plants have been watered as have the sewing room - and decided to put a bit of fence up and try some more grass seeds where the chickens normally run as the fenced off area has recovered quite well.

A day of news about mortgages!  The South east is over heating so much that everyone is trying to stop borrowing and make it more difficult to buy houses - doesn't help me !!!  New regs came into force today to require additional information which apparently includes whether you are a member of a gym, whether you are likely to have children, how much you spend on alcohol, income and other stuff.  The Children stuff will prove interesting I think in these days of equality and marital de-regulation..  May be I will find a nice childless gay couple who qualify !!  It also appears that a mortgage is going to take several weeks more to arrange which also does not thrill me at all ...

Took a trip around the shops and Tescos with me mother...  I had spent two days trying to find an old traditional style mop and bucket ... Did not seem to be a very hard task to be honest ..  But mops do not some in traditional form anymore it seems. You can get all sorts of replaceable, battery operated, i-mops. But the old fashioned mop with a bucket - small and light for the elderly member of public, did not seem to be around. Lakeland boasted the nearest thing we found with a number of rags hanging from a pole, but £12.99 seemed a little steep!! And no bucket !!!  After a forage yesterday I knew the wares that were in most of the stores of similar nature - so we went to Asda to find the lightest, which came in at £3. Now buckets with the squidgy thing to put the mop into to dry it off were all a little large - but there in  a corner was a £2 bucket and I am sure those tops were interchangeable!!   The nice lady at the desk thought they must be - so we finally managed a mop and bucket for a fiver....

Of course - that was where the planning department failed completely - having decided to go shopping on a Sunday it seems a good idea to follow it up with a trip to Frankie & Denny's for lunch...  Leaving the 10% money off voucher by the computer !!!  Oh well - We got £5 off at Tesco and built up the petrol discount..  and it was a nice lunch at F & D even if the service seemed very slow today !!!

But the day went well - Started raining this evening.. Had that strange feeling that I had forgotten something and braved the weather to go and close the spare greenhouse up ... I don't think there will be frost it is raining anyway at the moment ! But better safe than lose some of Susie's veg!
Sadly the little section that I decided would fence off nicely to start growing a bit more grass was too much of a temptation for the chickens - they managed to knock the fence down and probably feasted on my grass seeds.

I don't think I was ever cut out to be a gardener!!

Bit of Pate and cheese for tea I think !!!
And  Glass of fine port .. Cheers!


Saturday, 26 April 2014

26th April 2014 - Home Alone Diaries 4 - Thank goodness for Rain !!

Thought for the day : "A backward poet writes inverse"

Well, it rained last night - when I say rain I mean it tipped it down !!  Which is a great thing for the man who is in charge of all the plotment and garden ( I know it doesn't help me with the sewing room and the greenhouse - but it takes a lot of pressure off me...)..
But while on the subject of plotments and greenhouses, I came across a design which gave me some cause for celebration when looking at the number of empty 2 liter bottles of Diet Coca Cola next to my desk..  I have managed to find the best deal for many months now - and am saddened by the decision of both Tesco, ASDA and Morrisons to move to the 1.75 liter bottle and charge the same amount !!  A typically shabby trick of the large supermarket...

 But here I found a Greenhouse - made of bottles and they were green ones!
Sadly I have lost the story behind it, as I kept the piccies and lost the address - but then I was more interested in the design and the way it was constructed...  

 And so I managed to get the pictures ..
The design was simple, canes providing teh structure on which the bottles settled. The extended arch was
to catch the rain water and filter it into the structure..
It is surprisingly spacious for and provides a fair amount of growing room inside ..
Luckily, they took pictures as they built the original.
So, every picture tells a story .. and I will allow the pictures to do so ..
But what about the bottles I hear you say !!!
Simples !!
And the green gives that  little hint of specialism...
And so we have it - a cane greenhouse glazed with bottles ...  I have enough bottles...  I wonder..
Nah !!!   Looks like a lot of work - probably best to leave it to Susie...

In the meantime I shall have to take some of the empty bottle of Chateau 41 downstairs - they are no good for the garden and to be frank are a bit of an embarrassment up here!!!

Better open another one just in case!!

Friday, 25 April 2014

25th April 2014 - Home Alone Diaries 3 - Chorded Zither and Getting in a Dither

Thought for the day : "No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.."
Tonight I am the proud owner of an Auto Harp - though I understand now that its real name is a chorded zither !! It seems that Autoharp is the name of a particular brand of instrument by one German company. I think it is a little like Hoover becoming the all encompassing name for vacuum cleaners .. much to the distress of all the other companies..

I recall hearing someone tell me that they were visited by the the Grim Reaper one night but that they managed to beat him away with a vacuum cleaner - He said that he was Dyson with Death!!
That joke would have meant nothing to people in the 60's and 70's
Not that great today - but I will not leave my day job - 'cos I do not have one....

But back to the Autoharp - it needs tuning and that could be a real task. It has four octaves rather than the two on the Lyre - and a few extra as well - I count 35 strings but I may have missed a couple... But - on the plus side I can get at least half a dozen tunes out of it to some acceptable standards.. It will certainly form part of the new repertoire...

The autoharp is a musical string instrument having a series of chord bars attached to dampers, which, when depressed, mute all of the strings other than those that form the desired chord. Despite its name, the autoharp is not a harp at all, but a chorded zither..

There is debate over the origin of the autoharp. A German immigrant in Philadelphia by the name of Charles F. Zimmermann was awarded a patent in 1882 for a design for a musical instrument that included mechanisms for muting certain strings during play. He named his invention the autoharp. Unlike later autoharps, the shape of the instrument was symmetrical, and the felt-bearing bars moved horizontally against the strings instead of vertically. It is not known if Zimmermann ever commercially produced any instruments of this early design. Karl August Gütter of Markneukirchen, Germany, built a model that he called a Volkszither, which most resembles the autoharp played today. Gütter obtained a British patent for his instrument circa 1883–1884. Zimmermann, after returning from a visit to Germany, began production of the Gütter design in 1885 but with his own design patent number and catchy name. Gütter's instrument design became very popular, and Zimmermann has often been mistaken as the inventor.
This is very similar to mine ...

So - I now have a fine stable of instruments - I just need to start practising I think ..
Maybe after a glass of scotch ... So I raise a Glass to John Jones who has loaned me this fine instrument upon a sort of long term basis...   

Thursday, 24 April 2014

24th April 2014 - Home Alone Diaries 2 - Paper Clips and Condoms..

Thought for the day : "Time is never wasted if you're wasted all the time!"

Survived another day - or at least until she comes home and finds out that I have forgotten something!! That is what has happened in the past and I have been married too long to fall into the trap of quiet complacency!!!

Managed the Chicken Pellets (layers pellets), the visit to the mother in law, the gentle walk of the dogs, the learning of another couple of ceremonies coming up, the ignoring of the house work, the ignoring of the re-decoration of the rooms upstairs - it may rain again !!  Managed to get the lap top repaired, and am currently waiting for it to update the next 84 windows updates - I am sure there will be more afterwards - but at least it is not dying any more.

Dogs seem to prefer being downstairs - I think they are waiting for Susie to come back - they will have a long wait I think. Weather seems "changeable" that is I cannot quite work out if I need the heating on during the day or not  - but there is sun outside so it should be getting better.

Found an interesting little tip today and found it rather good. My mother seems to have an endless supply of paper clips - the notes she leaves for me often have a paper clip on them, as do the receipts that she keeps for me to file, and the occasional generous donation towards the drinking and celebrating fund...   so paper clips are available in the house.. 

This works just as easily on normal sellotape ...

Which causes me to cast my mind back many years to the time we were living in Hamilton Road, under the Brent Cross Flyover in North London - and Susie was working in the local East Hampstead Hospital. I was engaged in Carpet Cleaning and industrial cleaning while Susie worked on call duties in the Hospital Path Lab..  Now on exchange were two young lasses from South America - Alicia I recall - she was stunning, I shall be reminded in due course of the name of the other lass. I think they were from Brazil... the memory starts to fade after a few years ...
But Alicia it was that won the heart of Paco Pena the guitarist when he was playing a local concert and followed us back to the flat - but that is another story!

However the point of the connection is that one day the girls were asked to go and fetch the sellotape, which caused some consternation..  It appears that sellotape is a well known make - and mainly known only for being a condom in their country - and being good catholic girls - they were rather worried by the request..

In those days I would not have thought to use a paper clip - on the "Blue Peter single sided sticky tape" that is...

Just looked up Paco on the web - he has a facebook page and is touring this country - I wonder if he remembers calling at the house - maybe I should tell the whole story another day and send it to him ..

I could share a nice bottle of Chateau 41 and reminisce..


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

23rd April 2014 - Home Alone Diaries - Day 2

Thought for the day: "Alcohol does not solve any problems - but then again - neither does milk"

Busy day today - early start and trip to Bridgend ...a nice dinner and a lift there and back...
Meanwhile I hear that the family has made it to Crete - with what complications or otherwise I have no idea, only the news of a safe arrival - almost like times gone by... before new tech and fancy phones...

Today has birthday's for a number of people - but Big Benjii is one who deserves special notice ... In fairness to Ben and Bex they gave us at least two year's notice of their intention to get married - in our new Tavern , in our new farm - where ever it was - whenever it was - but at least by September 2014...

Unfortunately, we are 6 months on the market. the News services tell us that house prices are rising - sales are up- thought his seems to be mainly in the new housing market for Wales...  Our own experience is one viewer - who may well be interested but cannot sell their own property and that is it in 6 months !!!

Without sale of the house I have no chance of bidding on other properties and we have now taken the house off the market while I re-think the options..

And Susie manages the plotment while we look for bigger and greater things...

But at the moment we are stuck with 4 chickens laying in the back garden

However, in the basement there are 18 eggs in the incubator - all eaters I understand .. but they are swaying back and forward well...  A quiet day for me..
Maybe a glass of port and a small scotch - or two ...

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

22nd April 2014 - Day 1 Home alone Diaries

Thought for the day : "Housework won't kill you - but why take the chance?"

So, lunchtime and the frenetic start to the day is over. Susie packed and off to Aylesbury ready for the big trip to Crete tomorrow, with daughter and three grandchildren. I however have the responsible tasks of looking after the rest of the house. Strict instructions "No Weeding" "Don't even water the garden unless it gets very hot".. Need some Layers Pellets for the chickens tomorrow and mustn't forget to give the dog her medicine each day....

Should manage most of that I hope. The washing machine looks a little complicated - probably give that a miss as well....   

So, evening in Carmarthen putting the final touches upon the Appendant Orders of St John the Evangelist and the Holy Sepulchre  to be completed in Bridgend tomorrow. Not the easiest piece of ritual to learn, only rarely hearing it.  Managed to get into Carmarthen Tesco to pick up some nappies for Delft - not the right size - they seemed to be mainly sold out but hoping that they will stretch slightly - she has lost some weight recently, and sadluy seems to be picking up some fluid on her lungs - she coughs a lot...

But managed to find that the Gordons Gin and Bells Whisky Litre offer for £15 was on its last day - and I just so happened to have some £5 off for purchase over £40 - so that was a bit more discount.. Getting good at this ...  and getting a reasonable stock of Whisky and Gina s a result...

Panics this evening - frantic phone calls from Susie as she could not find the money that I had packed into her case. Turns out that she had packed the case without the dolphins on it - so when I told her it was in her dolphin case that just added confusion. It was of course in the case that she had packed - whichever that one was ...    but it is just a short reminder that even if the wife is hundreds of miles away, as a husband you will still be wrong!!

Well, the red Chateau 41 seems to be up to scratch. Opened the first bottle for a while - it has been aging nicely and tastes fine...   Little red book out for learning - maybe watch Children of Dune as a light relief..

Birthday Wishes for Ally this evening - I thought this card would be appropriate....
Now, have I forgotten anything - better check the list .......
Nope - better have a glass of something then  ... cheers !!

Monday, 21 April 2014

21st April 2014 - Easter Monday Bank Holiday

Thought for the day since it is a Bank Holiday  " Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?"  - just saying....

Easter Monday is a quiet time int he Sewell household. There is concern on the media that David Cameron (the prime minister of the moment)  has made some pro-Christian comments that is causing disruption or at least a new angle for a story... At 41 we have managed to escape the bunnies, the chuckie eggs and the chocolate..

Today, has been mainly sorting photos from the weekend..
A great weekend with friends and loved ones - and Adam and Charli deciding to renew their vows..

But this was a time for our own family as well. We do not get to see them very often, but this was a weekend for camping in the Bothy and the family had the "Palace" - their own special camping place with a blow up settee as well! 
 Nancy and Torren and an indication that the day would be full of sun. And so it was !

at the wedding ceremony, of course the Keens were there with sword at the ready - just in case it was required...
 While int he Crimson Moon, young Erin shows that she is going to be very photogenic as she grows...

While Big Darren. Wall to his old friends and Bubba to his newer acquaintances was sprung out of hospital for the day. Like Murdoch in the "A" Team, he was allowed out until 10pm and Stuart gallantly decided to provide him with his access and egress...

Sadly - I must decide to not button up my jacket - unless I get rid of a few more pounds ..
I thought I was just fat - man  - but was a little distraught to hear Susie claim that I was Benny Hill ..

Enough to drive anyone to drink
Scotch !!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

20th april 2014 - Vows and Valhalla..

Thought for the day : "I say no to alcohol, it just doesn’t listen."

A field somewhere up near Northampton. A glade with selected branches twisted into a rough circle. A large, though to be fair mainly grubby, Marquee but quite distinctly the Crimson Moon with Bin Caravanshi in charge and John-Boy and Pussy Bynt..  The Bothy leveled on the car-park and a gin and tonic in hand...
And the surreal sight of a gentleman in a dark suit - beating the stuffing out of a youngster with a large sword - while being chased by the bride with an equally large sword...
For this is what happens when old friends meet up with the intention of celebrating a 40th Birthday, but as important, for a lovely couple to replenish their wedding vows in front of their friends and family..

And the weather was kind. It was a bit Northerly and the wind was bitter when the sun went in - but the day was bright and did not break until we were all ready to pack down..

Dogs were excellent - considering that once again this was a scout camp and dogs are not allowed. But they stayed in the Bothy and took their comfort stroll discretely...

So - photos to be worked on on the Easter Bank Holiday tomorrow.

And I leave you with a picture of Oscar and his special request for "When I first cane to this land" and the "real Words"  not the stuff that Vollsanger sings ...    But a high point for me was when the vote of thanks went to the "awesome Crimson Moon" for being there and providing the booze and venue...   It is clear that the legacy continues.. Nothing to do with us any more or course - but nice to know that all that work goes on into the next generation..

But for the moment we are back from our travels and a nice bottle of Chateau 41 is required...

Saturday, 19 April 2014

19th april 2014 - Just a a thought...

Thought for the day :  "What is faster Hot or cold? Hot, because you can catch a cold."

Away from home and traveling in the Bothy.. Off to Overstone which is north of Northampton. A fair trek but dogs and family all loaded up and looking forward to seeing the Grandchildren and a lot of old friends for a 40th Birthday Bash and a repeating of wedding vows in a field....

Unlikely to have internet access and the Crimson Moon will be there - so probably won't be able to see the screen later.. Fully expect to imbibe a little....


Friday, 18 April 2014

18th April 2014 - Just a thought and a birthday wish for Good Friday

Thought for the day:  "Don't play leap frog on a unicorn......." just saying...

Off to Overstone Camp (Northampton) today for a 40th Birthday for Adam..  Did a special Card which I thought was appropriate... 
Printed it as well as they are already on the campsite..
Annoying beep is still with us - does not seem to be the computers or the bag with the batteries - we will find it - seems a bit like looking for a downed aircraft - trying to track the black box before the batteries stop run out and the ping stops...

Sings.. "On the road again...."

Thursday, 17 April 2014

17th April 2014 - The Plot (ment) Thickens and annoying Beeps

Thought for the day : "If you are going to play Russian roulette, don't use an automatic .."

Thursday...  Early start to the day with a rehearsal in Carmarthen at 9am.. I did try to explain that I do not do mornings..  They are bad for my health!!   But in the end if this was the only time we could get people together, then it was more important to at least see how much work needs doing !

As it turned out we have a lot to do before we get to the meeting next Wednesday ....  Ho Hum !!

A trip around Carmarthen Tesco and the joy of finding that Whisky and Gin is at £15 a liter again - except of course that being not a very large Tesco store the Gin was already sold out!!! 

I have confirmed now that at least two or three of the stores have moved to the 1.5 liter coca cola bottles allowing an increase in price while appearing to give good value..  Pity I missed the offers on the 2ltr bottles in B&M - at 79p a bottle .. Sadly there is no way to get a car near to them so you are limited to what you can carry easily!!!

Heard an interesting comment this morning - it was about "Gog"'s  - that is North Waleans to others but could be as funny for any Northern people and is equally non - politically correct . But I though I might share it anyway ..
"Trouble with Northerners (Gog's) is that they are like Hemorrhoids...  If they come down but go back up again they are only an inconvenience - but if they come down and stay down then they are a pain in the ass!!!"    Sorry to any Northerner's  - but then again I come from Glasgow which is further North really !!

But Back to the Plotment!!

The grass is festooned with primrose, yellow and white and the occasional pink ...  Susie Potted one and put a small fluffy chicken in a pot for Eileen, after all it is Easter this weekend - Good Friday tomorrow !!!

But it is amazing how everything is growing so fast this year - after all the rain and wet of the winter....
The Plotment is really taking shape - cleared beautifully and cloches out and ground prepared...

But looking carefully we can see that things are growing...  I am no expert and therefore will not be offering any commentary of what is in each row (except where there is a large packet with pictures stuck at the end of the line..  and even then I am not confident..)
But there is Green Stuff there !!!

This is definitely something growing !!!
Look closely - here are some more !!!
Occasionally in groups....   ( I think these may be potatoes - but they do not look like oven chips yet!)
But here you can clearly see stuff coming up ...

So that is the end of my gardening column for this week ...  Sad to say - I shall probably be responsible for keeping this lot alive next week !!! That is  a scary thought!!

On the subject of Chickens - The latest batch of eggs (eaters this time) have been put into the incubator today.. This is pre-planning for Autumn Eating....

This year we have put this in the basement rather than the spare bedroom - I think this is a positive step in the right direction ...

There is also an electrical "Beeping - Something" in the room. Every few minutes it beeps in an annoying way. I though it was one or other of the computers - but not so .. I have crawled around the room on my knees trying to identify the source - but no luck so far..  It is just an annoying "Beep Beep"   - something warning that the batteries are going flat ??   But where??  we do have a lot of "stuff " in the room .. All ready for Ebay Sale .. Perhaps I should just sell an annoying Beep Beep Mystery Item.....

A day for a touch of drivel I think... I am 4 days behind on the Blogs...  plenty of material but no time to catch up .. Oh Well!!!     Since Whisky is £15 a liter I may as well lift a a glass!

Nos Da

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

16th April 2014 - Just a thought

Thought for the day: "You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there’s a luxury tax and rich people get sent to jail"

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Monday, 14 April 2014

14th April 2014 - Quick Catchup

No real access on line today - but running around the woods and singing songs around fire...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

13th April 2014 - Sunday on the run ...

Thought for the day: "In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes" 

Green Cloaks LARP Weekend. Hoping I survived.. No internet access for most of the day - so little update.. Watch for photos and news to come...   Actually I quite like it here in the past..   (sorry GC is a futuristic event!!  I like it here in the Medieval Future!!)

Saturday, 12 April 2014

12th April 2014 - Travelling from West to East - From Light to darkness

Thought for the day: "A clean house is the sign of a broken computer !!"

Today is a busy day - early start and the challenge of parking the Bothy in busy Saturday morning city center back streets - to get to the meeting of Swayne's Eye - in the Order of Athelstan the first king of the English...
This is the fore-runner of the Provincial Meeting of the same Order in Freemasonry where I will once more be struggling with that most irritable of hymns "Be Still - for the presence of the Lord.."  a Hymn that no-one can sing properly and is difficult to play. I have a cunning plan though - I have transposed it into C majhor - no black notes !!!

Unfortunately, due to an error in diary management - I am also due in East Sussex to play for a 21st Birthday and one of the first LARP events of the year  and my first official Minstrel Booking (no pay it must be said!)

So I shall not be dining but heading up the motorway to get to site as soon as possible - ready to play...
As I cleaned out the Firdge in the Bothy today I found two bananas from our last week trip - still fresh but stinking the fridge out.. Apparently Bananas give off ethylene/ethene gas which serves as a plant hormone. Put your bananas close to your other plants to make them grow better or something ! But they make your fridge smell!!!   I think they are still edible - I shall munch them on my journey ..

And then off to the Green Cloaks Live Role Play System.. I have a character to develop - A Pilgrim of the Way .. A follower of the Temple of Charity -  a teller of tales and songs... 

Hopefully, there will be an opportunity to sing a few songs before I am killed ..

Wes shall see in the days to come ..
Meanwhile this is a brief post as I shall have no intertweb later tonight ..  

I shall however be looking forward to my delivery of 13 cases of Mead !!!  As they say in wales .. "Joyo!"

Friday, 11 April 2014

11th April 2014 - Barkeep ?? Bynts & Bar Wench Rules...

Thought for the day: "She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still"

One of the big things I miss about not having the Crimson Moon is the presence of the staff. I call them staff, but I mean the friends who gave up their time to come and play with us in the bar. The Bynts!

Now Bynt is not a derogatory name or word - it is highly prized among those who know, and there have been a number over the years. It all started of course with my eldest daughter who decided that she really did not like roleplay and would prefer to go to Reading Music Festival rather than run around in the woods hitting people with sticks... That changed the day we started the bar and she discovered (or was it re-discovered) the benefits of Gin and Tonic and the friendship that can be gained when you are the "right" side of the bar.....
Deciding that the best role for someone on Live Roleplay consists of not having to think up a back story and all that "Plot" stuff, it was her decision that she should be some random bynt behind the bar.....
Well, that works fine until you mix it with a group of role-players who are good at getting the back story right - even despite you!...

Of course, the Norse legend of Rán (with the a-acute) leads itself to adapatation ....
In Norse mythology, Rán (Old Norse "sea" or "robber") is a sea goddess. According to Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, in his retelling of the Poetic Edda poem Lokasenna, she is married to Ægir and they have nine daughters together. Snorri also reports that she had a net in which she tried to capture men who ventured out on the sea:

Whether she actually was trapping them or  saving their souls is a matter of conjecture and allows for a few changes in character...

Her net is also mentioned in Reginsmál and in the Völsunga saga, where she lends it to Loki so that he can capture Andvari. She is also associated with the practice of sailors bringing gold with them on any voyage, so that if they drowned while at sea, Rán would be pleased by their gift.

Of course in the Vollsanger Saga - there may be a few amendments, and since it was Volsanger who sang about most of the legends int he Crimson Moon - who is to state that he was wrong?

And so, Rán the sea goddess who accepted gifts became Ran the Bar Wench who  loved her shinies...
 Rán's Road - or the Sea in general, became Rann's Bar - with its own sea of faces...  and the Bar flourished - and Vollsanger looked and saw that it was good!! 
"To the sky shot up the Deep's Gledes,
With fearful might the sea surged:
Methinks our stems the clouds cut,-
Rán's Road to the moon soared upward."
And so the Random Bynt behind the bar became one of the most powerful entities with far reaching consequencesfor the whole nature of the business of providing Live Role Play and Re-enactment Taverns (not Beer -tents!!) across the country.  For thus was born "Rann Dom Bynt", named after Rann the third daughter of Odin, who sits at the bottom of the sea harvesting the souls of those brave vikings and Norsemen who are unfortunate enough to fall at sea rather than in Battle with a weapon in hand..

And every bar needs a Rann Dom Bynt behind the bar...
And her sister - Yetta.....  Yetta 'Nother Bynt..
And later Tiddly Bynt herself, daughter of Rann
And even later Bam Bam Bynt - sister to Tiddly
And Stilla... Let's not forget Stilla 'Nother Bynt
(And her partner Dunna Bynt  - Bynts were not restricted to female) 
And that included my father in law Pastor Bynt!!
And so many more.. BB Bynt (Big Breasted Northern Bynt)
QT Bynt (Quite The Drama Queen - Bynt)
Notta Bynt,  Ann Other Bynt and her husband Justyd A' Bynt
Tother Bynt, Pappa Ratzi Bynt, Ima 'Nother Bynt,
and Sopha the Bestbynt...  The list was endless - as were the great friends who came to play with us over the years for nothing other than the thanks, and the right to wear a Crimson Moon Embroidered Polo Shirt and Fleece...  Not to forget those who chose other names - Bridget, Fanny and many more - who were really all Bynts at heart 

And as the Crimson Moon passed into New hands - Pippa Mynt Bynt, (The Boss Lady) was the lass in charge....  Well supported on the Wench Bench by Ginga Bynt, and Bouncy Tigger Bynt... and Glory Bynt .....

So it makes you wonder how long these things can go on ...   and then I read about Dolly... from the Red Lion at Wendover...

Dolly Saville did not want to work in a pub when she started 74 years ago
A 98-year-old woman, believed by her employers to be the oldest barmaid in the world, says she "won't quit pulling pints until they throw me out".

Dolly Saville has worked at the Red Lion Hotel in Wendover, Buckinghamshire for about 74 years. She still works a lunch shift three days a week. She became a great, great grandmother in November and said she would like to teach the baby the pub trade one day.

"We know she wants to work until she's at least 100, and we're certainly not going to ask her to leave."
There's no stopping, you just keep going - I love the work and I love the people here”

"Everyone loves her and the customers always ask if Dolly's still with us - and we are delighted we can say yes, of course," Mr Hughes said.

Mrs Saville, who will be 99 in April, started working at the Red Lion before World War II, but said she had not really wanted to work in a pub.
"The boss asked me if I'd like a job and I said no, then he asked again and I said I'd give it a try," Mrs Saville said.

Her daughter, Anne Edwards, 78, said her mother would like to teach great, great granddaughter Darcey Mae Dugan "how to pull a pint when she's old enough".

"There's a right way and a wrong way to pull a pint, and I can still do that properly at 98," Mrs Saville said.

Mrs Saville added: "I won't stop working unless they kick me out. There's no stopping - you just keep going. I love the work and I love the people here."

So there is time left for the Bynts - and a future for every "in Character"  Bar in the country ..

And I leave you with a rendition of Rann's Song - sung at the farewell Party "Ta Ta Tiffin" August 2012 ..
I'll drink to that !!!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

10th April 2014 - Of Fords and Flippancies

Thought for the day : "It is best to avoid Cliches like the plague"

I was delving through some oldish emails as I do on occasion, when trying to sort out the Outlook box and see if I have missed anything while procrastinating and sorting rather than dealing...  good think that I am not still in business - as between social media and sorting I rarely get much actually achieved. But as I delved I found a small missive from my brother in law form the United States and though I had glanced at it when it arrived, I had naturally stored it for future consumption...  

And so I share it today - for no other reason than I found it interesting. It is only just over a 100 years ago that this fine model Ford was produced... but, though it is particularly pitched at American History, some of the facts about 1910 may surprise...
The year is 1910, just over one hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1910:
  • The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
  • Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only.
  • Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
  • Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
  • There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower !
  • The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
  • The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
  • A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
  • A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year,
  • And a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
  • More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.
  • Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
  • Instead, they attended so-called medical schools,
  • Many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard.'
  • Sugar cost four cents a pound.
  • Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
  • Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • There was no such thing as under arm deodorant or tooth paste.
  • Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
  • The American flag had 45 stars.
  • The population of Las Vegas Nevada was only 30!
  • Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet
  • There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
  • Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
  • Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
  •  There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!
    (yes, people have changed) almost everyone owned a gun!
The five leading causes of death were:
  1. Pneumonia and influenza
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Heart disease
  5. Stroke 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

9th April 2014 - Chickens and Cats ...

Thought for the day : "The problem with quotations on the internet is that it is difficult to check their veracity" - Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday appeared with little special notice. The weather was fair, good enough to consider a drive/walk to Burry Port. Some extra tweeks on the net early but then a trip out to collect some dues, search out some regalia and regain my fitness criteria..

An abortive trip up to Willow Farm. The farm is well locked up and though in the old days I felt welcome enough to hop over the gate - it has been a year since I have called so thought it better to leave a message on the answerphone and see if I get a reply.. none so far ..

So up to Trimsaron then to visit an old friend - and have a chat. Dai Ginge, as we have always called him - Dai - because he is David and Ginge from the colour of his hair in earlier days  - not now - but then I have to insist to people that I have long flowing BLONDE locks and not white !!
Dai though has the biggest collection of model and scale trains that I have ever seen. They are wrapped around his garden like a serpent from Norse mythology  and even his living room has small sections of rail - apparently for testing !!!

Dai used to be the head brewer at Buckleys brewery as I recall - and I can also recall many a night shift in my early years as a constable where we would have a cuppa in the "tasting rooms" and sometimes finish on a 6- 2 shift in those self same tasting rooms for a bit of a "session"

I was not there - but it is stated that an on duty officer broke both his ankles jumping over the gate at the brewery after a surprise visit from the inspector...
Oh tales of earlier days !! I am sure such things were not happening buy the time I left the job...

Later we revisited a farm in Pontantwn - wheer we got the chicken run and the chicken coop.. This time to buy the pink hen house that we looked at earlier and since she decided to let us have the old chicken run for free rather than it be trashed - we ended up with a good return..

The down side was that as we took all the chicken furniture down to the trailer the gate was open.. Now I do not know if her cats run free and onto the road or not - but all I know was that we heard a large thump and I found her cat in the middle of the road - obviously knocked down by a car that went past that decided not to stop even though they lost their front bumper. I remember form my initial training the mnemonic G D C H A M P S - those animals that you have to stop to report - Goat Dog Cattle Horse Ass Mule Pig or Sheep - cats are not included... But this cat was called Baldric and was a very poorly pussy cat as I brought it from the centre of the road and placed it on the verge...  The owner was visibly distraught and there was very little for us to do or say ....  Sadly as we tied the coops to the trailer she was not to be seen and was not answering the door ..  We wish her well as she deals with her loss...
Saw this today and liked it for no apparent reason.. but thought I would include here..

Had the pleasure this evening of a meeting of the Societus Rosicruciana in Anglia at Narberth. A lovely little lodge temple that is carefully nurtured by its members. Only small in numbers, with visitors from as far away as Weston Supermare for the installation ceremony, but a very convivia evening. I was approacehd byt eh Director of Ceremonies to propose the toast to the visitors - .. I said "But I am only the Organist .."  He said " You can sing it if you want ..."

I chose some random words to say .. Extrapolation...  Celebration.. and congratulation....

Then decided to extrapolate by singing their praises for joining in our celebration and thanking them for their congratulations to the Celebrant and the members and Officers..  Well a little trite but not bad for the 23 seconds preparation I had for the toast....

Lucky enough to have a lift again this evening ...   Allowed me to enjoy the evening with a bottle of wine - not as good as a Chateau 41 of course - but no worries of driving today.....

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

8th April 2014 - Of words and Wine

Thought for the day : A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

Tuesday and the hay fever is taking its toll. going away for a couple of days meant of course that I forgot to take any of the medications with me. I am very unused to this idea of taking tablets or similar on a regular basis. They have always been a short sharp regime for a few days or a week to cover a particular ailment. However, since finding out that my March wheezes are not in fact related to the hauling of canvass and breathing in the spores, but to something more general - maybe tree pollen, the daily antihistamine is obviously doing some good. This morning, I found it difficult to rise from bed, and a tightness across the chest causes discomfort... 

So today is a day for catching up the emails, drawing a few new birthday cards ( up to 167 now) and perhaps looking at a few songs that really need to be developed. And of course the weekly cover picture..

But as Blogs are all about words, the following caught my attention and I felt needed sharing.. 

Acyrologia - An incorrect use of words - particulately replacing one word with another word that sounds similar but has a diffident meaning - possibly fuelled by a deep-seeded desire to sound more educated, witch results in an attempt to pawn off an incorrect word in place of a correct one. 
In academia, such flaunting of common social morays is seen as almost sorted and might result in the offender becoming a piranha, in the Monday world, after all is set and done, such a miner era will often leave normal people unphased. 
This is just as well sense people of that elk are unlikely to tow the line irregardless of any attempt to better educate them. A small percentage, however, suffer from severe acyrologiaphobia, and it is their upmost desire to see English used properly. 
Exposure may cause them symptoms that may resemble post-dramatic stress disorder and, eventually, descend into whole-scale outrage as they go star-craving mad. Eventually, they will succumb to the stings and arrows of such a barrage, and suffer a complete metal breakdown, leaving them curled up in the feeble position.

Its enough to drive you to drink .... so maybe a nice bottle of Chateau 41 is called for....
Maybe later ....  

Monday, 7 April 2014

7th April 2014 - In consideration of playing catch-up

Thought for the day: "The invention of the CD broke a lot of records"

It is a rotten wet miserable day in Barton on Sea. We are however warm in the house, though the heating is on so high that the dogs are panting and I really should be in shorts and T shirt for the tropical clime...  As we sit in the living room, Susie with lap-top, checking her ebay sales and ancestry and me on the other end of the settee - with lap-top, checking my Facebook and emails, Bank and thinking about the Blog. Vic, somewhere in the kitchen pottering around and Jean having a lie in .....

I seem to have missed a few days on the Blog - caused by the trip up to Hartlepool on Tuesday, and so I am in a quandary..Do I backdate the last few days or do I skip them?? As a daily blog - there should really be an entry every day ...  That is what a Daily Blog is after all!!   Otherwise it is an "occasional" blog !!

But then, is it a cheat to go and do entries from a previous day, as though it was that day??  Since most people do not read the blog anyway, it may not matter, but I have discovered a couple of faithful followers, on indeed who berated me on Saturday whilst celebrating his 50th Birthday for not being up to date. He was slightly mollified I believe when I pointed out that I might have missed his party if I had stayed at home to complete a blog... but it does mean that there may others who may have a view regarding the authenticity of the "Daily" nature of the Blog... 

Of course, If I try to write up the missing 4 days in one blog, it may become excessively War and Peace-ish, unwieldy and uninteresting... 

So I will restrict myself to details of the day....

Crimson Moon and Bar Tending have gone their way, but today I decided to dabble a little in wholesaling. I can see a number of occasions during the forthcoming months when having a stock of mead within the Bothy would assist the bars on site. I have no intention of selling myslef, but supply by the case on those occasions when the bar has understocked would be an attractive offer I believe. 

Today I ordered a general stock to be delivered to the Green Cloaks Event next weekend. I intended to be there for the whole weekend, but unfortunately the Saturday morning conflicted with the Provincial Meeting for the Order of King Athelstan, the first King of the English...  And I am provincial Organist... And therefore am duty bound to be there!

So Saturday will be an interesting opportunity to test my parking skills of the Bothy in a busy Saturday morning  Swansea - play for the meeting and then drive up to East Sussex for the evening to entertain at a 21st Birthday Party....  

And so it is easier to deliver the stock to the site so it is available for the Friday Evening and the start of the event, and I will take the excess away afterwards charging only for the mead used.... It is a preferable method for the people running the bar - as it is their first venture and means that they do not have to lay out another 3-500 pounds in stock that may not be sold.. They will make less profit on the bottles sold - but then it is profit that they would not have made otherwise...  I shall then have some stock to take to the next events - in case of understocking by other bars...

Seems like a plan - it may pay for a couple of events over the year.....

So the old business account will get a bit of use again - just to keep the information separate. Moniack is now being sold in 50cl flasks - they may be interesting....  

and on the subject of marketting strategies and appealing to more people....

mmm - Nice piece of toast...

Oh dear - got butter all over the keyboard....!


Sunday, 6 April 2014

6th April 2014 - I find the current date unacceptable - I shall look for an alternative....

Thought for the day : ""I'm quite happy with simple solutions like, pointy knife, your face"....

Sitting in the evening, and watching the worst of television.. Piers Morgan !!  I have no doubt that he is a successful interviewer.. and is probably asking the best questions for an interview - but Torville and Dean !!  I am sitting with my Father in law and wondering how anyone finds the content of any interest...  Don't get me wrong, I liked Torville and Dean at the Sarajevo, and the Bolero...  though I prefer the version in 10 !!

Torville and Dean - aged 56 and 57 - looking really good for their age... and still doing shows (apparently) and  I find that they are the ones doing the TV Dancing on Ice...  and have some more shows internationally. I do not notice this sort of thing but Susie tells me that she has bruises all over her legs as they are still doing the shows......

Not really a thing I do .. look at ladies legs ... really !!!  Cough .. Cough...

But why anyone would want to sit and watch the expose of their early days, and loves and traumas I cannot understand..  Of course - I would have switched channel by now  - but we are in another house and I cannot influence the channel decisions...  I think we will have to wait until there is an interval so that my mother - in - law leaves the room for enough time to forget that the television is on.. We have tried to switch it off twice and received criticism that we are upsetting her viewing...   although we know that she sadly cannot recall much beyond a few minutes...

But I suppose I will never really understand the whole of the Voice , strictly come dancing, dancing on ice, get me out of here, or East Coronation Farm and its ilk.....

I gave up newspapers a while ago - as they were heading down the line of promoting insignificance, and generally running stories that have no relevance other than to sell newspapers to those who have no need of information...  I quite liked some of the page three girls...  But would not pay for the benefit...

I remember a number of interviews in my earlier days when a standard question at interview related to the which newspaper I read...   and my answers in early days explaining a novel view that I could get more news from other sources, 24 hour television, radio and the new upcoming websites....  Not sure I ever won the argument...  Never got the job so probably not !!

But as a child of a Fleet Street journalist - where we had the entire set of main broadsheet and tabloid papers delivered every morning to the house - I am sure we were popular with our local paper delivery boy !!..  I grew up with all the newspapers.. I cannot say that I surveyed them with the precision of my father as he looked for the story that had missed him or the inspiration for the next feature..
 but they formed part of my formative years ... just their presence and therefore I grew to absorb the nature of the papers..

In college times, I followed the various key stories and still have the papers and cuttings in boxes - somewhere in the "Box" Collection..   I followed the analysis f Nixon at the height of his troubles and commented on my own pre blog diaries....

But today I would not put any money into the hands of the newspaper moguls.. It is bad enough that I turn onto Sky News and BBC news to find that they are covering the same programmes incessantly !!
And that was my fail safe with the 24 hour television - that I could turn onto the news and find something interesting...

No, today - for interest, I will record a history programme... watch a Cadfael... see something about Time Team ...  Countryfile and Sharpe...  I begin to appreciate  the whole benefits of recording and saving and box sets on demand....

I find the current date unacceptable - I shall look for an alternative....

Saturday, 5 April 2014

5th April 2014 - Just A Thought...

Thought for the day: My wife suffers from chronic, debilitating headaches. - Anyway, enough about her… - ...back to drum practice. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

4th April 2014 - Just A thought

Thought for the day : "To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target"