Sunday, 30 November 2014

30th November 2014 - End of another Month !!

Thought for the day : " So, I danced like no-one was watching - the court case is pending "

Back from the Black Company in Barracks. Plenty to report but in all honesty ...   too many late nights and early mornings.. may need an early night...

Glass of scotch - yes I can manage that ....   Cheers

For the end of the month

Saturday, 29 November 2014

29th November 2014 - Just a thought

Thought for the day : "Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all"?"

Away from home in a castle - If I survive I shall be back tomorrow 



Friday, 28 November 2014

28th November 2014 - Of Black Company and Love Chronicles

Thought for the day : " Does a Physicist prefer fission chips?"

Just a quick one today. All set for the travels of Vollsanger again - as I head down to a lovely castle in the Wye Valley called St Briavels..

I shall be in the dubious company of the Black Company, a set of mismatched mercenary cut throats, vagabonds and a soldiers. A little like the Foreign Legion, they all have their past which is generally hidden unless you are caught cheating at Tonk - their very own gambling card game!!!

But I am a badged member / associate of the Company, having served as Bard for many years and look forward to some ribald songs and festivities.

I have been working upon a new set which I shall try out for the first time - probably during the banquet between courses as it involves all my own songs - particularly written for  some lost loves in the mythical world of Mythodea...

The set is entitled "Love Chronicles of Mythodea"

 It tells of my unlucky meetings in Germany...  Firstly "Dance For Me"...
Ramonji Windlillie

Then we follow with "The Jollie Rouge" a bath house / tavern and another dancer..
Mona Mour

Leaving the dancing girls - we moved on to the Black Pearl Tavern and the lovely serving wenches.... In this case Sinistair....."I lost my Money, Shirt, Heart, and Voice.. In the Black Pearl Mythodea"
Of course, having written her a song it would have been nice if she was there the next year - but sadly no!
But, in the same establishment - there was Tanya...  I said I would write her a song... She said that she would finish at two...  "Tanya's Song" - now found I spelled t wrong - it should be Tanja !!!

And of course - behind it all is the Tapestry...  with the elusive Muse inspired by the lovely Harma


There are others, but that will be a 20 minute stand alone set - we will see how it goes...
I better take a bottle of Chateau 41 with me ...  never know what these people will drink !!!

So Cheers in advance  - and probably only a thought tomorrow ..

Useless Item of the day

Thursday, 27 November 2014

27th November 2014 - Happy Thanksgiving to all except Turkeys

Thought for the day : "What do you get when you cross a turkey with a banjo? A: A turkey that can pluck itself!"

And so we have a blog with no real reason except to celebrate an american institution...
so be it ...


A lady was looking for a turkey but couldn't find one big enough. She asked the lad in the supermarket "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" He replied "No they're dead."

Q: What kind of music did the Pilgrims like? A: Plymouth Rock
Q: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? A: Pilgrims
Q: Why can't you take a turkey to church? A: They use FOWL language.
Q: Why was the Thanksgiving soup so expensive? A: It had 24 carrots.
Q: What happened when the turkey got into a fight? A: He got the stuffing knocked out of him!
Q: What do you get when you cross a turkey with a banjo? A: A turkey that can pluck itself!
Q: What did the turkey say to the man who tried to shoot it? A: Liberty, Equality and Bad aim for all.
Q: Who doesn't eat on Thanksgiving? A: A turkey because it is always stuffed.
Q: Why did the Pilgrims want to sail to America in the spring? A: Because April showers bring Mayflowers!
Dear Turkeys, don't worry... they only love us for our breasts too. Sincerely, women.
Q: What did baby corn say to mama corn? A: Where's popcorn?
Q: If the Pilgrims were alive today, what would they be most famous for? A: Their AGE!
Q: Why do pilgrims pants keep falling down? A: Because their belt buckles are on their hats!
Q: Why did they let the turkey join the band? A: Because he had the drumsticks
Q: What did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children? A: "If your father could see you now, he’d turn over in his gravy!"
Q: What if the Pilgrims shot a bobcat instead of a turkey? A: We'd be eating pussy for Thanksgiving!
Q: If a man wants to eat a turkey on Thanksgiving, what does a turkey want? A: It simply wants to run away.
Q: What did the turkeys sing on Thanksgiving Day? A: God save the kin.
Q: Which side of the turkey has the most feathers? A: The outside
Q: Why did the police arrest the turkey? A: They suspected it of fowl play
Q: What's the key to a great Thanksgiving dinner? A: The turKEY
Q: What did the turkey say before it was roasted? A: Boy! I'm stuffed!
Q: What happened to the Pilgrim who was shot at by an Indian? A: He had an arrow escape
Q: What does a English turkey say to another English turkey on Thanksgiving morning? A: To be or not to be roasted, that is the question.
Q: Why do turkeys always go, "gobble, gobble"? A: Because they never learned good table manners!
Q: What sound does a space turkey make? A: Hubble, Hubble, Hubble!
Q: What key has legs and can't open doors? A: A Turkey.
Q: Why did the turkey cross the road? A: It was the chicken's day off!
Q: Which cat discovered America? A: Christofurry Columbus
Q: What are the feathers on a turkey's wings called? A: Turkey feathers
Q: What's the best dance to do on Thanksgiving? A: The turkey trot
Q: What do you get when you cross a turkey with an octopus? A: Enough drumsticks for Thanksgiving
Q: What do you call the age of a pilgrim? A: Pilgrimage.
Q:What kind of tan did pilgrims get at the beach? A: Puritan.
Q: What kind of face does a pilgrim make when he's in pain? A: Pil-grimace.
Q: What do you call a pilgrims vocabulary? A: Pilgrammar.
Q: What do modern day Native Americans call a pilgrim? A: Pilgrim Reaper.
Q: What does Dracula call Thanksgiving? A: Fangs-giving.
Q: What would you get if you crossed a turkey with an evil spirit? A: A poultrygeist!
Q: Who is not hungry at Thanksgiving? A: The turkey because he's already stuffed!
Q: In what country is Thanksgiving ironically not celebrated? A: Turkey.
Q: If you call a large turkey a gobbler what do you call a small one? A: Goblet.
Q: What was the turkey suspected of? A: Fowl play.
Q: What's the best way to stuff a turkey? A: Serve him lots of pizza and ice cream!
Q: Why did the turkey sit on the tomahawk? A: To hatchet.
Q: What sound does a turkey's phone make? A: Wing! Wing!
Q: What's the best dance to do on Thanksgiving? A: The turkey trot.
Q: What do you call a stuffed animal? A: You after thanksgiving.
Q: How do you keep Thanksgiving Day guests from falling asleep on your couch? A: Infuse the gravy with cocaine.
Q: What smells the best at a Thanksgiving dinner? A: Your nose.
Q: What do you wear to Thanksgiving dinner? A: A Har- VEST.
Q: Why dont people in the ghetto celebrate thanksgiving? A: KFC isnt open on holidays.
Q: How do Rednecks celebrate Thanksgiving? A: Pump kin!
Q: What do Thanksgiving and Halloween have in common? A: One has gobblers, the other goblins.
Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter? A: Pumpkin pi.
Q: What is a pumpkin's favorite sport? A: Squash

Asked to write a composition entitled, "What I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving," Little Johnny wrote, "I am thankful that I'm not a turkey."

I'm excited about Thanksgiving because I love unwelcome parenting advice from relatives I see twice a year.
Thanksgiving is great because people tend to speak less when food is lodged in their mouths.
I can't think of a better time to have the munchies.
There is a special place in hell for people that play Christmas music before Thanksgiving.
I never understood why the Lions and Cowboys always get to play on Thanksgiving.
Shouldn’t the Patriots play the Redskins, and then steal their stadium.
You don't need Thanksgiving to hate your family.
If I was a turkey, I’d be doing everything I could to taste terrible right now.
On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment ..... halftime.
They should change the name of Thanksgiving to something more fitting like say, Turkeypocolypse or Stuffing-cide.
Want to really freak someone out? Add 2 extra turkey legs to the turkey when it’s in the oven.
For the first time, we are going to have a HAPPY Thanksgiving. This year, I am stuffing the turkey with Prozac!
Happy Turkey Day, America!
Don’t forget to name the turkey and make everyone uncomfortable.
My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.

And finally..
Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often. -Johnny Carson

Me - I don't support foreign celebrations - I shall have a glass of port -
Maybe a glass of scotch

but no turkey!!

Night !!!

Useless item of the day
ideal for the useless parking of the day?

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

November 26th 2014 - Yan Gwallt Hir

Thought for the day : "It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them."

A busy day today...  early start and trip to the Chiropractor in Penarth for Susie....  Days, nay weeks of back pain may have been alleviated - I will not say cured, but having a prolapsed disk is one thing - holding your body in contortions because you are in pain will only make it worse..  A few pounds well spent!!

Replenished the Chicken food - they are eating for us all - but don't tell them it is thanksgiving tomorrow - they are not Turkeys and need not know the sordid details... Layers are stil not laying but still eating well.. Broilers are growing well but not as fast as the last lot - might be something to do with Susie mistakenly feeding them with Layer Pellets not Growers!!!  Don't say that I mentioned it though !!!

Off to Aberystwyth in the evening for an installation in the Order of Athelstan.. Never seen such fog on the way home !!!  Is a long way to go but luckily I was not driving..

Interestingly my hair still causes some amusement though I think most are now used to it.. Dr John tells me that in the old days (presumably in aberystwyth) there was an old boy, perhaps best described as a tramp, who was known as Dai Gwallt Hir - Dai the Long Hair !!!  He used to push a wheelbarrow around full of books and knock on doors looking for a cup of tea or a handout...  Dr John thinks I should be the new Yan Gwallt Hir.....    maybe he is right..

Back home and in the warm ... A glass of 41 to warm the way ...  As the night turns into tomorrow - Thanksgiving for the Americans - glass of scotch for me .. Night !!!

Useless Item of the Day 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

25th November 2014 - Dazzled and Confused...

Thought for the day : "Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone."

It was Monday yesterday, and so it was time to change the cover photos.. I went for a dazzle this time, as I am fascinated by the optical illusions that you can get from static images....

They used to say that it is not an optical illusion - it just looks like one !!!
But the eyes are wonderful things. My mother would say that they are wonderful as long as they work properly. She is awaiting cataract operations on both eyes and finds the daily lack of visibility very wearing, tiring, and frustrating... But at least she does not get confused by images like these..

And so here we have a short gallery of some of my favourites...

Of course they do not have to be coloured!!! And sometimes there are images within the images

This one really gets to me ..

and here we have the image in the image ... you have to look away slightly..

And so ... having messed with you mind today ... I shall not leave you with a thought
Have a glass and "FOCUS"
Cheers - its enough to drive you to drink !! A glass of Chateau 41 is called for !!

Useless Item of the Day 
at least they did not put beacons

Monday, 24 November 2014

24th November 2014 - If in doubt - check the fluid levels!!

Thought for the day: "It seems our politicians feel that to succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles."

So, the situation is simple. The little red light appears on the dashboard and you try to ignore it. The cars have cost a fortune this year and you really don't want to see it. You remember the last time that you took the vehicle in for a little orange light, and it turned out to be a computer analysis, at a price, and then a sensor changed that involved removing all sorts of items, but could have been left and not been a bother... And a large bill!!

But the light is on. It is the handbrake. You try to jiggle it around in case it may just free itself off - at the same time trying to decide whether it is a little bit loose, needs tightening, could be adjusted, but start fantasising on the chewed up disks, the need to replace brake pipes, and how many noughts can be added to the bill!

So, in the end, you bite the bullet and book it into the garage... they like me at the garage - I am sure that  I pay the mortgage and the holiday fund. Monday Morning early. Seems a good idea at the time. I was getting up at 8 for the dog most days anyway - what difference could it make .. That was last Friday!!

When Monday arrives, you have decided that a nice lie in would be nice - you haven't had one for a long time - and then you remember !!!   Got to get up.. It is cold this morning. Chill and frosty on the windscreen.
Can of diet coke is chilled and freezing, and pretty refreshing. Haven't had a cup of tea yet !

To the garage and speak with Paul the mechanic (and owner but lets call him the mechanic). Leave the keys and about to walk back when he suddenly says - "Just a minute!! pop the Bonnet"

So I do.. and he looks at the brake fluid reservoir.....  Pops away for a moment and comes back with a bottle.. pours some in...   Guess what !!!  Little light goes off .. And I come home for that cup of tea..

In fairness, he could have hung on to the car and called me later with a bill...  But he did not...
Makes the day a little better ..

Ended up doing paperwork all day instead!! 

Time for a glass of Chateau 41 and a nip of scotch...

Goodnight and Cheers - And remember - check the fluid levels ... I am topping mine up !

Useless item of the day 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

23rd November 2014 - Sunday is the day of rest ?

Thought for the day: " The technical expert who developed predictive text died this morning.
His funfair will be hello on Sundial."

There was a remote plan to have a lie in... It had been a busy week. There was a time when I worked for a living and worked up to 70 or 80 hours a week - completely against the Working Time Directive of course... but I still seemed to have more time back in those days !!

In fairness - I did not get up at 8am. For some reason - possibly the excess of waste food found by the dog  which she was not meant to find, let alone eat!!  meant that she was not the normal morning alarm clock, deciding that polluting the air on a regular fashion was preferable to a morning snack. But as I raised my bones at 8.45, when the bladder clock  made its demands, the dog decided that it would shake its bones and deign to have a handful of dry food....

And that really started the day ...  The results of the "food forage" was spread allover the patio - and needed scraping and cleaning.. I am hoping for a good rain tomorrow - so I don't have to hose down as well !!
Chickens needed cleaning! they are getting better. It seems that they are surprisingly clean creatures even though there are 10 of them in a small chicken house. But as I cleaned them out today - it was clear that there is a quarter of the hutch which is dry and clean and the remainder is wet and full of chicken wee..

I never knew that they segregated their sleeping quarters.. You learn something every day ...

Meanwhile - the generator that we had filled up for the carnival float was now stinking out the Bothy...
Taking the gennie around to the Warehouse was at least a start. But that meant that a couple of hours moving boxes was required... to start rationalising the storage space...

And after that - walking the dog - though I am not sure that the smell of petrol helped her still slightly sensitive stomach  - but she enjoyed her romp on the beach. A quick flying visit to my mother and 'Thena has her first training on the chain on guard in the Bothy - I did not want to shut her inside with the current smell of petrol and in fairness wanted to leave it for a while to get rid of the fumes - I am sleeping in her on Friday !!!

And she did well - not fuss or barking . Waited outside on the chain for a while and then went inside to lie down ..   Success!!

Back home - there is a bit of paperwork and mail stuff to do ...  I thought that days were meant to be quieter as you get older !!!    Some arrangements for my forthcoming installation as President of the Llanelli Consistory of the Order of the  Scarlet Cord in two weeks, and a number of things I had forgot to do !!!

An evening of Countryfile, Medieval Castles, Antique Roadshow, a silly film, Click, and some random episode of something stored like Lost Girl...    A lovely dinner of Lamb - I knew it was lamb as we had the green stuff - mint sauce with it ! a gin and tonic and some Chateau 41.....

Sitting here finishing my blogg - I seem to ache a little around the joints ....
Night Night - Cheers!

Useless Item of the Day

Don't think I will use them as kitchen designers

Saturday, 22 November 2014

22nd November 2014 - Ritual Versus Ratings

Thought for the day: "Autocorrect is now really starting to irrigate me! "

An unusually sunny and bright Saturday after the monsoons of yesterday. Early start and a quick revision of my lines for the Appendant Orders of the Military and Masonic Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and St John the Evangelis, which is a mouthful , but a lovely degree in Freemasonry. It is a Christian Order and therefore holds closely to the New Testament, but also relates to the historical development of another field of Freemasonry, and another opportunity for Moral Improvement.

Taking a third of the responsibility for the ritual in the meeting, I was delighted that everyone pulled together to produce a well prepared and impressive ceremony.

As an alternative to the news, the newspapers, the reality television, the discussion shows, the bad language, the endless drivel of Sport (yup that is just me maybe!), and the continuous berating me to bet on line or on television, I find the intellectual stimulation of learning a part, and performing amongst a group of fellow friends delightfully stimulating...

So. Feeling a job well done. I am home and about to watch the start of Game of Thrones - Season 3 - I know I am behind the times but that is my life at the moment - easier to record programmes and watch on demand.    Glass of Chateau 41 ??? Don't mind if I do !!!

Black and white for the day ?? We go back to nostalgia and days gone by - The Crimson Moon - and the irrepressible Fanny !!! 
Cheers !!

Useless item of the day 
Higher Education is not always accessible!

Friday, 21 November 2014

21st November 2014 - On Keeping a Float in the rain!

Thought for the day: " There is a plan to abolish roman numerals - well I can tell you…. Not on my watch !!! "

Well that was a change for a day. The plan was to drop Susie off at the Festival Fields with a ladder and to come back and get my head into a book to learn some lines for a meeting tomorrow in Bridgend. Plans rarely go well. They say in battle that all plans last until the first contact with the enemy. It wasn't the enemy this morning!!

We got there as arranged at 10am and found that we were (probably) with an Owens Lorry Trailer. So we found the newest and cleanest and dutifully put the old generator under the tail. Our petrol gennie has not actually been used for 7 years and then only once or twice. Not even sure that it held any oil, I took the oil and the petrol. In fact it still had oil and after filling with fuel, and using a crowbar upon the stiff petrol "on" swich - a bit of overkill I know but it was the easiest thing to hand and I had no pliers after the lever sheered off, it started first time !!!

In fact a few hours later a Generator also donated by Owens - enough to light Sandy Road, was fork-lifted onto the back so it is currently stinking the Bothy out!!

Twenty minutes waiting and the first members of the choir arrive...  It becomes clear quite early that a bit of help on the top ladder would prove very welcome .. there are lights to fix to the top rails, and the house frontage to secure to the front wall of the trailer

and safety cables are needed for the generator and conversion cables to 13amp and Gaffa Tape  and...    so I found myself working all day !!!

I got away at last at 4pm  and settled down to dog-sit 'Thena against the fireworks - she is not a happy bunnie in the bangs!!!

Meanwhile, the generator was running well and the lights were all in place - and the Victorian Night before Christmas advertised the Cor Curiad Choir very well ... A few pictures ..

After the carnival, it was all hand to the pump as there was an agreement that we would clear within an hour so the volunteer lorry drivers could get away. We were running a little late, apparently due to a serious (perhaps fatal) collision on Pembrey Road which led to the road being closed for a while stopping the lorries from starting their trip to town...    But the drivers were great and helped with taking down much of the high stuff - he was younger and fitter than me - and probably did not have my fear of heights!!

So - we cleared well within the hour and headed home - I must say I ache in every bone in my body ...   but Susie managed to do the event with the help of a few pain killers  - so a happy evening..

And a final shot of the float ..

 Well done to all the lades of the choir for a very long day - a cold, wet, event but still smiling..

And that was my day !!...

Oh! and for the Black and White Challenge - this was at a very wet Tapestry Music Festival many years ago..

Useless item of the day 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

20th November 2014 - Only 41 days left of the year

Thought for the day: "Mars is the only known planet inhabited soley by robots "

Good old Wikipedia!!   It tells me that I missed 42 days left till the end of the year ..   So I am stuck with 41 - but that is a little scary as well !!!  Another year gone !!! And sadly no nearer to our small holding ...

But Wiki will tell us that this is also the day that in  1985Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.
Oh!!   How much trouble that has caused over the years...  I remember my old Amstrad as my upgrade from my spectrum 48K which incidentally I found in the warehouse the other day when moving some boxes... the Spectrum not the Amstrad - that has definitely gone !!!

I can find about 500 people born on this date - but to be honest I cannot recognise any of them - I am sure that the 42nd day would have produced more acceptable personages... Apparently it is the wedding day of Queen Liz!!!

Cleaned the chickens out today - so fresh straw for them - but they had better start laying soon if they are to pay their way !!  Seems that when my sister told my American brother in law that one chicken had kicked the bucket... he took the expression literally and envisaged a chicken in a real bucket stamping around until it expired...  Two great countries - separated by the use of a single language !!

Had a think about the Black and White Challenge today and found a lovely shot from in front of the Tavern ..
A few years old but quite crisp and clear...

An evening in - only a committee meeting to endure and a bottle of Chateau 41 ...  Cheers !!!

Useless item of the day 
I wonder who is at the door?