Thursday, 28 June 2007

Blessed are the bread makers

We were given an Anthony Worral Thomson Professional Bread maker as one of our wedding presents, I have to say it's pretty impressive as bread makers go, not your bog standard bread maker by any means, it has more buttons, recipes and LCD displays and flashing lights and beeps on it than the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise, Capt Kirk would have been lost with it, and Mr Spock would simply have said "it's a bread maker Jim, but not as we know it"

Our first effort was a standard white loaf which I have to say turned out very nicely, even if it did take three and a half hours to bake and probably contributed another ½ ton of CO2 to our collective footprint and wiped out the entire penguin population of all islands north of Alaska as it dimmed the national grid in our area.
But it was very tasty, our next expedition into the bread making arena was a wholemeal loaf, unfortunately when baked and completed, this recipe could have been used in the Iraq war as a depleted uranium round, and would have easily taken out a Russian built T72 tank if thrown in anger at it, in fact I have approached the MOD and given the recipe stating that it may be a
cheaper alternative to the Chobham armour our Challenger tanks currently sport....
I knew it was wrong on every level, the very second I lifted the baking/mixing bowl out of the bread maker and dislocated my shoulder carrying it to the wire tray which sagged under it's immense weight as it fell under gravity out of the baking bowl. There were reports in the
Carmarthen Journal the next day of a suspected earth quake with it's epicentre in or around Carmarthen, little do they know ;¬)
that's one for the birds I think, although they will need JATO (jet assisted take off) rockets strapped to them to get airborne once more, Professor Stephen Hawking says black holes are the densest things in the universe, what does he know ???? He quite obviously hasn't seen a wholemeal loaf baked in a farmhouse near Meidrim yet!!!..... I'll throw it out for the birds once I can get a few men to help me get it out the door.....

What are the point in humane mouse traps ?

I have been catching the mice in our outhouse now for a few weeks, and releasing them some distance away from the house, the red communist footed variety dyed with food colouring never appeared again, so I can presume, there must be an enormous population of mice visiting the outhouse, I even
saw one last night cheekily perched next to the mouse trap looking directly at me frozen in the hope that I didn't notice it....! I know why they frequent the outhouse, the previous people who lived in our house kept a huge bag of peanuts for the birds.....and mice obviously.....

I've come to the decision that poisoning them is not an option having trapped a family of rats before in my former marital home, when a concrete floor was laid and they couldn't escape after being trapped behind the fireplace and having to suffer their slow decomposition trapped behind the brick of the fireplace, it made that room unbearable to use for at least 2 months, even the dog used to refuse to go in the room, so I have no desire to have dead and dying mice being scattered all over the place, plus I am not keen on poison, especially with kids and dogs around, fortunately they cannot get in the house.

So after much thought on the matter I am going to start disposing of them as I catch them, and short of shooting them which is quick it is however messy and complete overkill and would definitely go straight through the mouse traps mild steel after dispatching the said mouse and come out the other
end, I could I suppose squash them....again very messy and probably very squeaky, I could purchase a non humane mouse trap, but then you have the problem of removing the splattered mouse then re-setting it again, plus I wouldn't want any inquisitive fingers finding out a mouse trap can and does
really hurt when set off on your fingers......there is no clean way of offing a mouse.....except perhaps.....

to simply drown them in the trap, submerging it in water, it should be fairly quick, and there will be no mess, and it will also clean the trap out at the same time (it is getting rather full of mouse shit).....

So there you have it, I have decided that I am going to "off them" by drowning, I don't particularly like killing animals, but the mice have to go, and this seems the cleanest and most efficient way of doing it, I will have to do it without the kids witnessing it, because they think the mice are "cute", but in my book and considering the simply staggering amount I have caught recently, the only cute mouse is a dead one now

Their days are numbered.......

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Update on HM Inland Revenue & other ramblings

Well after they received my letter stating I wasn't dead to the best of my knowledge, they sent back a lovely letter stating why they thought I was dead and apologised for killing me off, on paper at least, and kindly
removed the £100 late return penalty, I have until the end of September to put my tax return in now, it's for 2006 which quite frankly was a very disappointing year earnings wise, I was living up in North Wales on the
princely sum of £200 a month, which barely allowed me to eat let alone anything else, I have to say though it was a pretty stress free existence, it seems the more money you earn the more problems it brings along with it, since my divorce I have been through a bit of a grinding mill financially, some of it self inflicted but the majority directly due to the divorce and it's costs and losses and of course the loss of my business, but finally I can see some light at the end of the tunnel now, it's been a long hard struggle and still is sometimes but I am far from what could be called financially sound at the moment.

I have however managed to avoid bankruptcy, which is a good thing :) which cannot be said of my ex wife's partner, who had his house seized by the sheriff up in Scotland (sounds like an episode from robin hood !!!), something to do with HM Customs & VAT apparently, I stumbled across it while looking at the Edinburgh Gazette one day, and his name and his old house name just jumped out at me, just goes to show even millionaires can cock up their finances, although I seriously doubt he ever was one, and he most definitely isn't one ->now<- .....

I wish them well to be honest and I hope they are happy, as I am now, and one important thing I have learned is that no amount of money or possessions can make you happy lies within, what is important is being with somebody who cares and loves you, as much as you do about them, something which I didn't have for so long, but I do now :)

It's cool to be married again, and especially to the right person this time :)

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Do you have a licence for that sporran, sir?

This made me laugh, so I copied and pasted the whole lot, credit to Bill Ray

EU to demand Highlander's credentials
By Bill Ray → More by this author
Published Monday 25th June 2007 15:05 GMT

Legislation designed to protect endangered species will sporran-wearing Scots to be able to prove their fur-pouch was legally killed, according to reports on the BBC.

The rules also apply to items made from other vulnerable animals, including hedgehogs, bats, dolphins and wildcats, though anyone who sports a sporran
made of hedgehog skin is probably not attending a Highland Game.

Anyone caught wearing a dress sporran will now have to worry about proving
that the animal was killed before 1994, or was legally culled, in addition
to dealing with the ridicule such dress inspires outside formal Highland

In our experience most wearers of the kilt are American tourists, to whom
plastic is as good as fur; or locals who went to school with the local police and aren't going to pay any attention to what some sassenach says they should do.

It's all very well for the Scottish Executive to say that illegal fur will be taken from its owner, but anyone who grabs for a Highlander's sporran does so at their own risk.

Monday, 25 June 2007

One thing I won't skimp on

And that is outdoor clothing, I have felt the full force of nature on a few occasions in my life, and it's only been the fact that I have had the right equipment and clothing and experience that I didn't end up as a statistic in a mountain rescue log book, my first experience of how frightening the weather can be, even here in the UK was when I had just joined the Army in 1979 ( I was 16 years old) and we were out on a cold weather survival course in the Lake District, we were camped on Green Gable, and were in one of the worst blizzards the area had ever seen, it was the first "white out" I had been in and it's very disconcerting, and very disorientating, you literally cannot see your hand in front of your face.
Anyway, our troop had just come off the Gable and we were approached by the Mountain Rescue team of the area, to assist in the search for a woman who was snow holed on the Gable, apparently she had broken her leg and her husband had snow holed her and put her orange rucksack over the top so she could be found easily, unfortunately in the blizzard conditions her rucksack was covered over in a matter of minutes, and he hadn't been able to take an accurate location in the blizzard, so he only knew "roughly" where she was, even though he knew the Gable like the back of his hand

We spent 5 hours out in bitterly cold biting wind conditions and complete white out along with the Mountain Rescue team, doing criss cross search patterns, shouting, screaming, probing the snow, needless to say we didn't find her, and we were eventually pulled off the mountain for our own safety as some of us were starting to show signs of hypothermia and there was a real danger of one of us simply walking off a precipice....and this man, this husband, lost his wife that day, her body wasn't recovered until the snow melted a month or so later, 40 extremely fit and properly clothed young men, and 18 experienced Mountain rescue volunteers failed that day to find her, she had basic clothing, completely inadequate clothing for the day out on the Gable......a broken leg ended up killing her.....that was 28 years ago on a bitterly cold November in 1979, and to this day, I remember it like it was yesterday......just how helpless a person can be in such extreme weather conditions.........they estimated she probably only lasted about 1 hour in her snow hole after her husband had left her to get help, mainly due to hypothermia and shock.

which is why I never skimp on outdoor clothing, always get the best you can afford, you never know when it might mean the difference between life and death, and NEVER underestimate how powerful a force the weather and nature is

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Well I've gone and done diggety done it

We have gone and tied the matrimonial knot, we were very lucky with the weather, at 1pm the skies cleared and the sun shone right up until 7pm, almost as if it had been booked, which was a complete contrast to the early morning where the rain was coming down like stair rods, I had a very enjoyable "stag do" although it can hardly be called a drunken pub crawl, we stayed in the same pub all night, but I didn't get home until 7am ......oops, other than that it was brilliant, we even had a real live Scotsman complete with Kilt (my wife's brother), and despite my wife to be at the time giggling/crying at the same time whilst walking down the aisle, doing a very passable Edward Heath impression, I think, overall everybody had a wonderful time, the food laid on by our respective parents was mind boggling everything under the sun, and our Hungarian friends Quiche's were devoured like wildfire...and to make a perfect day even more special.....I was even given a hug from two of my now step children, where they welcomed me to the family, it brought a lump to my throat being called "step dad"'s been a while since I've been called anything ........relating to "Dad" anyway :)

So life returns to normal once more, confetti gone, we still have a mountain of cheese to get rid of and more booze than you can shake a stick at (thanks to my sister in London :) ) Don't worry it will be sorted out this summer I can assure you ;¬)

Thursday, 21 June 2007

The day is nearly upon me

Not that I need to be dragged kicking and screaming to this one, in fact I am really looking forward to it :) I'm off early today from work to sort out a few things, mainly to empty the dustbin full of beer bottles down the bottle recycling bank, before the early guests arrive, I wouldn't want them to think she was marrying an alcoholic, which I am not, it's just I haven't bothered emptying the bottle bin since we moved in, plus we have had Chris my best man to visit a month or so back and he contributed to it's current level (at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it....) and besides anybody that knows me, knows that 3 pints is my limit, after which I start dancing on tables naked, Well my other half isn't in such of a flat spin as she was yesterday, thankfully !! I think she worries about things too much, what will be will be, the weather isn't good as predicted by the Met office, oh well freezing cold conditions on my first wedding and torrential rain on my second, at least this time I'm not wet behind the ears (figuratively speaking of course).

We have some good solid friends coming and of course our families the latter of which cannot be chosen, but all in all, a definite improvement on previous in-laws on both our parts, not to mention a huge improvement in respective spouses as well :)...... There is nearly a decade between us age wise but we are so well suited to each other in every way possible (sick bags on the left) the only time the age difference makes itself apparent is when I say "Bloody hell you remember that ?" and she says "Don't be ridiculous I wasn't born" mind you when I was getting married the first time around in 1981 to the Yorkshire fruit and nut job, it's a bit sobering to work out that she was only 9 years old at the time I think my ex was 19 I know I was 16 or very nearly 17, anyway....thankfully we have both emerged from our respective previous incarcerations relatively unscathed and pretty damn normal :)

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Glastonbury and other such festivals this year

Well after doing V festival 2004, 2006, I have no desire to have the "Glasto" experience especially this year as it's been forecast a complete wash out, but not on the scale of 2005 (see picture), besides with so many bands signed up for it, inevitably there would be a number of clashes in the lineup forcing you to make a hard choice, get wet and muddy watching (A) or get wet and muddy watching (B)...... I think we have enough on our plate this year what with getting married on the "Glasto" weekend and a new arrival due in October....I say let them plug the mud, hop over the pools of sick, and suffer the chemical toilets....or is that brothers ?......

Anyway I have just received the mesh lights for the after party (heavy box !!), so they will be tested tonight after dark, and I have dyed two mice bright red this morning with food colouring, one of the mice drank all the drops of red food colouring (neat) that I spilled so if he/she gets eaten I should imagine the predator will think it's in the middle of a gore fest with brightly coloured entrails....... I shall be releasing the red beasts tonight some distance from the house, and see if the little sods make it back !!!

if this ruse fails, I shall have to resort to ending their lives in a quick and humane way, probably a .22 lead pellet at 1100 feet per second ;¬) it will probably sting a bit, but it should do the trick...... you can't say I haven't given them every chance, although very very cute......they are vermin after all ......

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The Game of Mousetrap

I found a humane mousetrap when we moved into our house, anyway after clearing out the outhouse, I discovered we had visitors, small four footed visitors who had been stealing peanuts for the birds, hundreds and hundreds of peanuts shelled and eaten in a blanket stowed next to the "Ahhhhh" I thought, I retrieved the humane mousetrap, filled it with peanuts and set it by the boiler, low and behold in the morning a brown mouse, extremely fat and decidedly worried it couldn't get away, I let it go quite a few yards from the house, and reset the trap, next morning, yes you guessed it.....another fat brown mouse, obviously it had feasted all night, when I let it go, it could hardly waddle fast enough it was that stuffed with peanuts......

I'm beginning to wonder if I am trapping the same mouse, so tonight I intend to find some food colouring and dye the unfortunate mouse something fetching in green or whatever we have in the cupboard, (might even be a punk mouse with red stripes) either way I will find out if this is the same mouse, the downside is depending on what food colouring we have, we may end up with psychedelic, multicoloured mice running around the place, who knows word might spread, I could end up inadvertently starting a craze amongst mice, you know

"yeah it's easy dude, just go to metal box, in through the trapdoor, stuff
yourself silly on peanuts all night and you get a free dye job in the
morning, then you're let out and it's fine....look at me I think green suits
me to be honest"

The alternative of course is to buy a "non humane" mousetrap, at least that
way I will know I'm not trapping the same mouse ;¬)

Monday, 18 June 2007

The fairy lights are up

My other half purchased a string of fairy lights in Carmarthen on Saturday,
only because I had dared to completely ignore her "alleged" strict
instructions to ONLY purchase a string of lights......anyway on Sunday they
were strung around the decking hand rail, needless to say as with all things
light related, and especially fairy light related, (with those bulbs that
never last and are completely false economy) several of them refused to
light up, so I set out to find the fault(s), after repairing one and getting
a few more to light up, I found two other bulbs that were broken, probably
down to my other half getting violent with them as she found out the 18
metres didn't quite get all the way around, so I stripped them out and
reconnected the wires to continue the circuit so all told out of a potential
of 280 lights, 278 are twinkling, an acceptable loss of illumination by any
standards, I have to admit it does look good at night, but she has yet to
see the extravaganza of 320 bright white (3 times brighter no less!!) LED

Blackpool eat your heart out, Carmarthen is going to have a close encounter
of its own kind..... ;¬)

Ohhh and the weather is not looking good, but it's improved since yesterdays
forecast of thunder and lightning.....we shall see I guess :)

Sunday, 17 June 2007

God I'm aching today

The kids were off with their father for his birthday and fathers day yesterday and today, leaving us to sort out the mess left behind in their wake, we got a lot done today, sorted out the out house, we or should I say "I" was tasked with the cleaning of the fridge, which had been left unopened since we moved here back in April, a word of warning, DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING IN A FRIDGE WITH IT OFF and especially for over 2 months, cheese especially looks very attractive, not to mention exploded yoghurt pots, but after much blasting with the pressure washer, and several applications of bleach, it eventually came back into the land of the hygenic and now it has been moved into the out house for the drinks etc, we moved the drum kit out of  "the office" (see "nothing is sacred" blog muah ha ha ha ha ;¬) ) and placed it at the bottom of the spiral staircase :) 

we moved a chest freezer in and  cleaned out a load of junk, the house is spotless ready for the invasion of family and friends on Thursday, I spent most of the day pushing a lawnmower and suffering white finger from the petrol strimmer, we got a lot done today :)

I have a feeling I will be asleep before my head hits the pillow tonight

Saturday, 16 June 2007

The last stand at the OK shopping trip

Well we went into Carmarthen today to do the last minute shopping required for the Wedding, I bought a new suit, which will be used "after" the wedding for work, so it's not a one shot purchase, and we bought THE wedding ring, a very nice shiny 18 carat white gold wedding ring, I have to admit white gold does look nicer than yellow, yellow gold to me looks like brass, my bride to be tried to persuade me to have one, but considering the bother I had with my other one in that other less happy and now distant life I had and the injuries it caused my finger I refuse to wear one, more out of wanting to keep all my fingers attached to my body more than anything else, we topped off the day with various bits and bobs, my other half had her eyebrows waxed and came out looking like a startled rabbit, but after the redness had died down, they look very nice, and she looks nothing like Dennis Healey anymore :).........

all in all a very stress free shopping trip :)

Apple and the Safari

As some of you know there is a new browser on the block called "Safari" it has been around the apple "camp" for some time, but now it has been released for the great unwashed and unclean hordes of Microsoft Windows users, it is in beta 3 at the moment and can be downloaded from here

I have to say it's very VERY fast compared to Firefox and the slug that is Internet Explorer, I have been a hardened user of Firefox for quite some time now, mainly because for security you cannot beat Firefox, (I will only use Internet Exploder, if the web page requires its use) but I am being drawn to Safari, if only for it's neck breaking speed at which it fishes web pages out of the abyss that is the internet, try it, you might like it :)

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Summer holidays are looming

We got into camping as a couple last year, although I had been camping for quite a few years after my divorce, although my type of camping involved a bivi/basha type affair half way up a mountain and usually next to a stone wall, anyway we went out and bought a Halfords special £99 all in 4 berth tent, and our first outing in it was "Shell Island" in North Wales, I have to say we were very impressed with how comfortable camping can be these days. We booked into "Shell Island" near Llanbedr and at £7 a night we decided to stay for a week, they have a wonderful rule of no camping within 20 metres of another tent/family, so they don't pack the place out, we were stunned by the massive sand dunes and crystal clear water of the beaches, and the Snowdonia national park in the distance, the bar wasn't our cup of tea, it was a bit chav infested, but the place had adequate shower facilities, and a good selection of shops so you could stock up on the necessities, we decided to stray past the grassed areas and found a lovely spot in the dunes on a lovely grassy area parked the jeep up and set about erecting our tent, it was the most peaceful time I had had in a long time, we even cooked fresh steaks from the local butcher in Llanbedr, which were delicious, and by the time we got to Llangorse a week later because we had booked into the indoor climbing wall and adventure centre we were experts at putting the tent up, so this time around we are taking 2 teenagers and a 7 year old with us, and probably a black Labrador (Roxy) (God help us !!!) so it looks like another Halfords special is going to have to be bought, and no doubt the teenagers will stand by and watch their tent being put up.....and no doubt taken down......oh me of little faith

The Welsh weather

<---- the view outside our kitchen window ;¬) 

There is an old saying that it's raining somewhere in Wales, and I am beginning to realise it's true, it's 8 days until the wedding, and so far the weather isn't looking promising, you would have thought a June wedding especially in the latter part of it would almost guarantee bright sunshine, it is after all a mere stones throw from July

Here is the met office report for the period in question

UK Outlook for Monday 18 Jun 2007 to Wednesday 27 Jun 2007:

Little sign yet of any prolonged settled weather yet and it is expected to continue mostly unsettled with showers or longer outbreaks of rain, interspersed with drier brighter interludes. Some spells of persistent, heavy and occasionally thundery rain are likely to affect many areas, especially but not exclusively over England and Wales. The far north of Scotland and Northern Isles may avoid the heaviest rainfall and see the best of any dry weather. Windy at times with strong gusts, near thundery showers. Temperatures mostly near normal but warm and humid at times especially later in SE England when it may be very warm at times. Conversely cool at times in northern parts of Scotland and in areas with persistent cloud and rain.  

Updated: 1444 on Wed 13 Jun 2007

So all I can say is fabulous, I think we are going to have to weld the legs
of the gazebo into the ground to stop it from taking off, and we won't need
to blow the candles out

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

The Ipod Generation

Well I've gone and done it, well actually I've done it on my partners behalf, my partner is now a fully paid up member of the ipod generation, actually it was a few months ago on the 13th April (her birthday) I splashed out on an Ipod 30GB video for her....I did umm and ahhhh about it's purchase it's quite a lot of money for what is effectively just an MP3 player with video tacked on, but I have to say out of all the mp3 players I personally have owned the ipod beats them ALL hands down, well worth it's hefty price tag, battery life isn't that impressive at around 9 - 14 hours depending on how often you fiddle with it and it lights up like a Christmas tree illuminating your face like a scene from "poltergeist", but other than that very impressive, and the sound reproduction is crystal clear and gives you thumping bass (if so required :) ) and 5500 songs is more than enough, although I would need a 130GB ipod to contain ALL of my CD collection and it has a pretty cool picture viewing facility on it as well, I haven't bothered with the video side of it yet, and probably won't

I think I will have to get one of my own.....(meanwhile I'll keep borrowing

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Ten days until the wedding

Well as the title suggests its 10 days until I tie the knot with my intended, there has been a lot of activity going on, various trips out to here and there to get this and that, on my part I ordered and picked up the Gazebo which is 9m x 3m, and apparently one of my sisters is providing the fairy lights, my other sister in London is purchasing the falling over juice for the guests, and our parents collectively between them are providing the food amongst other things, we have our own quiche maker from Hungary invited (well she is from Cwm Duad actually, but allegedly has a healthy dollop of Hungarian blood in her), we even have Scottish people coming !! Then of course there are tables from here and there, music system by me, Garden flares, helium balloons, candles no doubt, and I’m sure loads more stuff to come, and this is all before we actually make it to the registry office !!! Unfortunately we can’t really go away after the wedding on a honeymoon because of our various commitments but I’ve arranged something special for after the wedding and reception.

So all in all a very special celebration with family and friends of course

So much for it being a “quiet” family affair as with most things wedding related, it turns into a bit of a juggernaut with no brakes. But to be honest I don’t really mind, we won’t be doing it again, so may as well make the most of it :)

Monday, 11 June 2007

Weedkiller Slaughter - the update

The nettles I poisoned a few days ago are starting to get a bit sickly with yellow tops, so I guess it does exactly what it says on the tin......... It's just a matter of time now..... Muah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Beach outing yesterday

Well we all went out for a trip to the beach yesterday (Sunday), and it was a lovely day, although we did forget to take our Labrador "Roxy" with us but it was too late once we discovered she wasn't with us to go back, the eldest lily white member of the tribe decided he much preferred his Xbox 360 to glorious sunshine which was a shame because we had a lot of fun, even if I was the designated pack horse for the day :)
I have no idea how hot it was, but the water was crystal clear, and a good day was had by all, except when one of us found out the hard way that waves, rocks, barnacles and skin don't mix very well, she survived though and doesn't really miss the leg anyway ;) the beach isn't known by many people and even in the height of summer there are very few people on the beach, so it's a pretty well kept secret amongst the locals :) plus it is helped by a pretty long walk down to the beach, but it's well worth it once you get there.....roll on summer and lazy days :)

Our wonderful tax system

Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing this letter in response to your recent self assessment
late tax return penalty notice, which I received on the 11th of June
2007, The last time I spoke to anybody at the tax office they
informed me that somebody there had made a huge mistake and signed me
off being tax liable or words to that effect, it will be in the
records you keep because she read it from a computer terminal, I was
told it's what you do when somebody dies, but as you can see from this
letter I am very, very far from dead. It does however explain why I
hadn't been sent my tax return for that year, which at the time I was
panicking about, I was told the tax office would correct the mistake
relating to my early and very much unplanned demise, and send me a tax
return for the year in question, I was categorically told that I would
not receive a late penalty notice. Needless to say, once I was
pronounced alive once more, on your computer system. A late penalty
notice was sent, and furthermore I never got that promised tax return,
so I can either assume it wasn't sent, or was sent to a different
address other than the one above, either that or I have one waiting
for me at the pearly gates when I eventually do pop my clogs.
At the moment I have a sense of humour over this, as you are not
declared brown bread very often and have the luxury of being able to
tell others about it afterwards, however that said, I would appreciate
this £100 late penalty notice being removed from my liability, because
it is through no fault of my own, that according to your records I was
for a while at least, a non tax liable cadaver, it is and I have to
admit, comforting to know that after my real death I will not be
pursued for any unpaid tax.
So can I suggest that to rectify this almost 'terminal' mistake of HM
Revenue & Customs Office, that it might help my case, if I was to be
sent an appropriate tax return form for the year in question, and of
course at the address indicated above, at which I can assure you I am
actually 'living', so that I can fill it in and send it back, and
preferably before I do actually shuffle off my mortal coil, which
hopefully won't be for at least another 4 or 5 decades to come

Yours sincerely and very much alive and well and definitely kicking

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Country life

Our two 5 acre fields were cut for hay yesterday, a local bloke cut it with his tractor, the bizarre thing was though, a fox as bold as brass, running around the back of the tractor obviously picking off the fieldmice and other furry creatures fleeing or being minced by the rapidly rotating blades, we also had a red kite coming down to feast on the mangled bits left over as well........ahhhh country life :)

it hasn't done my number one squeeze any good though her hay fever is running rampant at the moment

Friday, 8 June 2007

Update on my dentist

Turns out she was sacked for incompetence, turns out the practice DOES do root canal treatments, so I could have had the tooth saved, seems like I was told a pack of lies by her, so I'm £180 down, minus a tooth, overall I'm a pretty hacked off person today, people are telling me I could claim compensation for all of this, but it does make you a bit nervous when that is the ONLY NHS dental practice in this area, the only money I would be happy accepting would be the £180 and a bit more for diesel for the travelling back and forth, after all what use is money it's not as if I can stuff it in the socket that's been left behind

Thursday, 7 June 2007

I've slaughtered thousands of weeds today

Well actually it was yesterday, I sprayed a large contingent of Nettles and various other charming garden plants with the stuff on the left, and contrary to the television adverts they don't wither and die within 20 seconds, apparently it takes a minimum of 14 days to bump them off, oh to have a time lapse life, you could just fast forward to the good bits :) anyway poisoning the nettles has to be better than petrol strimming them, because if you think you have been stung by a nettle badly before, try strimming them, you have no idea how much nettle juice and other nasties get on your exposed skin, and I am convinced that rural nettles are far worse than suburban nettles, needless to say I looked like I had been attacked by a swarm of bees after strimming them..... you live and learn.
I did notice whilst getting stung 14,000 times a second that the rooks have gone now, they have obviously reared the next generation and gone off to do what rooks do in the summer, I should think we will get them back next year, roll on the summer proper :)

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

My ex spetznatz KGB trained Polish dentist has gone !!

I have to say I’m not sorry, lovely as she was, with her broken English and good intentions, her dentistry skills left a lot to be desired, she initially fixed a lot of problems with my teeth, and that was down to not being able to actually get an NHS dentist in Wales, either North or South.

So when I eventually got a place in the NHS dentist I’m at now I was pretty damn pleased that I could get things sorted out at last, because private dentists were simply not an option, she sorted out a fair bit, mainly cosmetic stuff to make them look nicer, a scale a polish etc, but then a few months after seeing her I got the mother of all tooth aches, it was excruciating, and it flared up again and again after treatment with antibiotics, no amount of painkillers would make it go away, it was obvious the problem wasn’t going to go away, but she continued to drill and fill the tooth, eventually one day when she was drilling away yet again, taking out the old filling, I heard this ominous crack, and her still rapidly rotating drill bit sunk deeply into my pulp cavity, and even though I was pumped full of Novacaine I hit the roof, I cannot even begin to describe the pain you feel when a drill mangles into your already inflamed tooth nerve, she made a half arsed attempt to remove the nerve, with those wire brushes, but without numbing it first, and after I had removed my fingers knuckle deep from the consulting chair, she announced to me that I would have to have a root canal treatment, but that they didn’t do it, I would have to go private, so in disgust I rang up my old dentist, who by the way is excellent but now private (grrrrrr) and he booked me in for a consultation, and the root canal treatment was going to cost me £368 !!

I turned up and he took an xray and he immediately noticed a crack in the tooth all the way down to the root tip, something which my previous dentist has completely overlooked !!!! he said “it’s too far gone for a root canal it will have to come out” to be honest at that stage I had lost so many days work and had so much pain with it, I would have quite happily taken it out myself with a pair of mole grips and a bottle of Jack Daniels, but I had to wait a month so he could give me an hour of his time to remove it, he said it was going to be a complex extraction because of the size of my roots and the fact that it looked like a briar patch down in my gum.

Anyway the day arrived, and I turned up, I had never had a tooth out before except for a wisdom tooth years and years ago in my 20’s and that was pretty traumatic, which involved having my gum sliced open and stitched up again, and here I was having a major molar out, well the dentist numbed me completely, and I have to say he stuck to his word and didn’t hurt me one little bit during the whole extraction which took a mammoth 35 minutes (most extractions take less than 10 minutes apparently) he told me afterwards he was being careful he didn’t break my skull taking it out, the funniest bit was him having to rest every 10 minutes of back breaking tugging and wriggling, and the sweat was pouring off him, he said afterwards that he refused a dental post in the Caribbean because non Caucasian people usually have enormous teeth, and thick set jaws, which make extractions difficult, and taking mine out reminded him of why he refused the post !!! ( I did look at him a bit strange at the time because I’m Caucasian).

Anyway he eventually liberated the said tooth, and the dental nurse screeched “OMG it’s huge, I have never seen one that big before in 10 years of doing this job” she diligently cleaned all the steak off it and then put it on a tray like it was some kind of trophy and showed it around the other dental nurses, and distant screeches and laughter could be heard as she presented my liberated tooth, it was huge I have to admit, I suppose I have my mother to thank for laying down the briar patch roots that I have, I asked if I could take it with me but was told that was against the law now, because it contained blood products ????? ( I guess the tooth fairy is out of business then, probably an EU law outlawing tooth fairies)

Oh well you will just have to trust me it was the biggest tooth I have ever seen, the titanic killer of teeth, much more under the gum than meets the eye !!

I left the dentist £180 poorer, but I have to say was relieved it was out, and it took a fair bit of getting used to, fortunately it’s one of my back molars so it’s not visible when I smile, the ironic thing is if my ex spetznatz KGB trained Polish dentist hadn’t messed around so much in the first place and root filled it, I probably would still have had the tooth, but at 44 I guess only two teeth out and one of those being a wisdom tooth isn’t bad going … served me well those 44 years ;¬)

Monday, 4 June 2007

Blogs are a bit of a paradox

Here I am at work (shshshshsh) contemplating Blogs.....What did people do
before the Internet when they wanted to record something to remember? They
wrote it down in a journal I suppose, would they have dreamed of publishing
their journal for all and sundry to read? Probably not, unless it was an
autobiography of course, so what prompts a person to publish their own blog?

Well in my case it's to let family members know what is going on in my life,
for those who are interested in reading it, and judging by my complete
inability to keep in contact either by pen, email, or phone, it's probably a
good idea, I considered keeping it a closed blog, and only letting people
whom I authorise access to it, but lets face it, the people who know me,
know all about me anyway, and the ones that don't I'll probably never meet,
and anybody who is reading this and knows me but doesn't like me......get
over it, the likelihood is I don't like you either and probably more,
because I'm not reading your blog :)

To some reading this blog it may well be the most boring collection of inane rubbish on the planet, with no whizzy graphics, or music pumping out, or endless links to this or that, to be honest with you, I don't care, because I'm not keeping it to impress people, it's just me as I am at that point in time, and some of the things that I feel the urge to write about, one thing you will notice is that I very rarely use names in it, and that's
because it's not fair on the individual, where I do use names it will be

with their full permission, and that of course means any pictures as well :)

Nothing is sacred

I have a feeling that I am going to be evicted from the "office" at home at
some point, there have been grumblings going on, space is at a premium it
seems and a full size drum kit takes precedence over any office space I had
hoped to have at the new house, although it would be nice to have "my"
little bit of space in the house, it's not looking favourable, there are
alternatives of course, the chest freezer could be moved out into the lock
up, along with the other fridge, that would make ample room for a full size
drum kit, but I can't see my other half being impressed with having to go
outside to get things from the chest freezer, the only advantage of it being
out in the cold lock up, is that it would be cheaper to run !!! That's it
brilliant !!

That's my USP, I'll push for environmental awareness, saving polar
bears etc etc, (well if the Government can do it and get away with it, I can
!! :) ) the other alternative of moving the computer into the dining room is
an option but it's very far from ideal, as there is no place to store
paperwork....hmmmmmm I really don't know what I am going to do when the
business takes off again, I suppose I will have to rent out an industrial
unit in town somewhere, not ideal as it just adds to the costs of running a
business, time will tell

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Faithless in concert

I have been a fan of Faithless for a few years now, initially I heard "Insomnia" and that perked my interest, it became a massive hit for them in the 90's, I didn't really take much interest in them after that, it's only when I first saw them in Concert at the 2005 V Festival, that they really started to interest me again...

We attended their promotional tour concert for their new album "to All New Arrivals" in March 2007 at Cardiff International Arena (I'm sure I have hidden an audio clip somewhere on my blog ;¬) )

Maxi Jazz is a Buddhist, Sister Bliss is probably the most sought after DJ's on the planet, but don't bother trying to book them, you would probably have to re-mortgage your house to get them to do a gig for you ;¬)

I just can't wait for them to do another tour, we took some friends with us, one of whom had never even heard of Faithless before, and by the time the concert was over, she was asking when the next concert was on !!! All in all a good time was had by all, long may they continue to make music

Saturday, 2 June 2007

The decking is done !!

You know when you start something and you wish you hadn't ?

Well treating the decking outside our house proved to be a slightly more arduous task than first thought :¬(

but fair do's to Mr Ronseal, it does exactly what it says on the tin, or in this case the 5 Litre plastic can, apparently this is medium oak, (it's the strangest looking medium oak I have ever seen).... my first purchase from B&Q was red cedar, now in my book red cedar is a reddish wood but more brown than actually red, well I put some on the decking, and to cut a long story short, if I had painted the red cedar on, the decking would have been visible from space by the naked eye.... I did give it a chance and let the test bit I'd done dry, but no.... it was still definitely not red cedar, more like traffic cone orange, so I took it back to B&Q and they exchanged it for this slightly more sedate colour.....(this one)........thankfully.

Anyway I am now aching in places I thought I didn't have muscles, my fiance helped me, but to be honest her painting skills although very good, required various touch up's in the cold light of day, but I have to admit, had I done it all by myself then I still would have been painting it now, so her help was essential and most welcome, and we had a laugh doing it :)..... in fact we have a laugh doing most things together

my nearest and dearest has gone down to Devon today to pick up the kids, she took the Terrano, for two reasons, the first because her little Peugot 106 although good and very economical on fuel, has recently had a major cooling system overhaul (done by me no less.....under the acronym of "pistonbroke" !!) and needs to be tested on short runs before it's let loose on the motorway, and the second reason is the ability to fit two teenagers and a smaller person in the car with all of their "stuff".......I instructed her not to treat the "old lady" too badly on the way down, at 160,000 miles she is starting to show her age, and grumble a bit, but until finances improve it's all we have as a big family car, other than her run about, I have to say since I bought that car, it's been brilliant, bought in 1997 (ish) brand new, and so far has only had a water pump replaced, and a clutch, over and above the normal things you change on a car like tyres, exhaust etc, but Mr Brown is determined to tax 4x4's off the planet, and as we know, 4x4's are the prime reason the polar icecaps are melting, and water levels are rising and consequently killing off all the penguins and polar bears, not to mention causing the Gulf stream to stop dead in its tracks, and hurricanes to hit Kent (not a bad thing in my book) and if you have ever been to Rhyl, rising sea levels can't come soon enough, and is a brilliant argument FOR global warming :) ........

if you detect a slight hint of sarcasm in this post, it could be to do with the £180 road tax I have just had to fork out for, basically for driving a 4x4, which I might point out has a lower "carbon footprint" (<- I really hate those two words) than a Mini Cooper, but there you go the price you have to pay for having a roomy car with four wheel drive capability and a split differential........(rolls eyes)

but it follows I guess, I put an oil fuelled boiler in my ex wifes house just as Britain along with our cousins across the pond invaded Iraq, consequently fuel prices went through the roof, a similar story for my first diesel car. let's face it living these days is expensive, I'm just waiting for the government to re-introduce window tax to be honest ......

bring out yer dead !!! ;¬)