Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Facebook does have it's upside

Ok I admit not the most flattering of poses, and I apologise for the reverse Winston Churchill but at 16 years old and pre first wife..... no wonder the Russians were afraid of us, although sending the first wife would have been a better plan, can you nag in Russian ? ;¬)

I found an old troop mate from my basic training days and he had several pictures of ME !! unfortunately I didn't have a camera in those days, well I did when I borrowed my troop S/Sgt's and to my horror after one roll of film it jammed and never worked again..... I gave it back to him and explained what happened and he charged me £5 per week for the duration of my basic training to pay him back... robbed.... I know but I didn't have anything to spend my money on back in those days....and it kept him in a few beers no doubt.....as for me beer was unattainable until later on I was stuck with the NAAFI... Anyway the net result were very few pictures of me of that time, but really good memories. It's pretty weird seeing yourself from all that time ago.... I even had hair !!!

There are so many faces I remember so vividly but cannot remember their names bar just a few, but that's what time does to you, especially 30 years of time !!

I'm fifth from the right front row and that was our accommodation block, it's still standing according to Google earth although now it's a business park I believe, and yes I ran around that disused WWII airfield so many times before breakfast, and yes it was sickening.....literally ;¬) so many good and funny and fond memories .....would I do it again ? ....... Hell yes !!! :)

who said the kids of today invented happy slapping ??? this is happy slapping circa 1979 brutality ruled the roost.... (I'm the one executing the head lock) and look everybody is smiling..... well except one .... ;¬)

(no boy soldiers were harmed in the making of this blog we were actually all very good mates, even the one in the headlock)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Blackthorns and Bicycle tyres.....

I decided to go out on my touring bike the other day, I hadn't been out on it for a while because the weather was either too hot or pouring down with rain, with nothing in between.... and the hills around here are not to be sniffed at....

But this day was perfect, not too hot, not too cold.... so off I went on my bike to the garage to pick up some bread and coffee. So I slung my 50 litre backpack on, because contrary to popular belief hanging a Hovis off your handlebars is not to be recommended and off I went..... now it's only a relatively short bike ride just 5.2 miles there and back..... Anyway we have this huge hill just past the river and it's nothing short of a bugger... now when I first started cycling again I couldn't even manage to get 1/4 of the way up it, but I'm managing all the way up now, even though it's been a while since I last rode my bike :)

Anyway I digress, there I was powering up the hill back pack swaying from side to side and probably the rest of me as well, when I noticed that my front tyre had picked up a passenger in the form of a large twig or what seems like a large twig.... I went on for a bit further then thought "no I'm going to have to get rid of that" as it was clicking on my brakes as it did the rounds.... so I stopped unclipped my feet and got off about 3/4 of the way up the hill... I spun the wheel around and there was the offending "twig" ...."Ahhh it's just caught in my chunky tread" so I pulled it off.... that's when I heard the ominous "hisssssssssssssssssssssss" from the front tyre.... no it wasn't a twig or a bramble it was a blackthorn and one of it's spines had gone through not only my tyre but the inner tube as well :(

I was too far to turn back and not quite close enough to the garage judging by the copious amounts of air escaping from my front tyre.... needless to say I didn't make it to the garage.... well not on two wheels anyway the tyre was completely flat about 1/2 a mile from the garage.....so I walked the rest of the way there....

The thing that really annoyed me was the garage didn't sell puncture repair outfits.... you can get coffee, tea, gum, chocolate and practically ANYTHING else but no puncture repair outfits....!!! well it's only a garage what can you expect eh ? ...... so I had no choice but to pump the front tyre up and peddle like hell to get as far as I could before my world deflated once more... Needless to say my front tyre ran out of air just before THE HILL.... I had the longest walk back home and if you've ever pushed a bike with the front tyre completely flat you'll know exactly what I'm talking about here....back flat tyre ....no problem....front....forget it, I was all for slinging it behind a hedge and picking it up later, but I ended up throwing the whole bike over my right shoulder and carrying it back.... I suppose I have the Italian designers to thank for making such a lightweight bike.... but it would have been far more comfortable riding it !!!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Laloo, bupdy and of course BBBBBBBB

Basically the joys of deciphering my daughters speech, for those interested Laloo's are cutlery, Bupdy's are birds and BBBBBBB's are the Tomliboo's off "In the Night Garden" which I am the undisputed expert in all things "In the Night Garden" at the moment.... There are other words she knows which she puts her own twist on like Jeece which is Juice, and of course she knows me as Dada or Dad and Andrea as Mum (which she is a bit gutted about as she prefers "Mummy" but you can't have everything can you ?)... she also says car, bus, tactor (tractor), bed, bar (cereal bar) and Gack Gack (Go figure but it means Biscuit), frog, and quite a few others which I've forgotten at the moment... Basically she is stringing sentences together it's just that she fills in the gaps with complete and utter rubbish at the moment... but it will come .... probably sooner than we expect... she certainly understands at least 90% of what we say to her, possibly more.......you can tell her to go there pick that up or put that there, or give that to me or her/him, or where is your so and so.... it's all in there she just can't quite vocalise it all yet.... bless......

She is starting to show remarkable intelligence on a par with the inmates of Colditz, she would be an asset to any escape committee in any prison worldwide, she has realised that without the back door key her efforts to get outside are pointless, so she has taken to moving the chair across the kitchen to the work surface (rather noisily thankfully), climbing up, grabbing the key, getting down then walking over to the door putting the key in the lock, turning it and opening the door and getting outside in less than 30 seconds all told.... so I have had to take on the role of chief jailer and I have to carry the key around with me in my pocket !!! ..... it won't be long before she uses sleight of hand and manages to pick pocket me and escape again at the rate she is going..... hmmmmmm....I may have to nail gun her shoes to the floor ;¬)......

I'm just getting over the most horrendous stomach bug, I spent the last day or so feeling as if I had drunk the contents of a car battery, nothing touched it, Gaviscon only briefly then it came back with a vengeance within minutes, needless to say I didn't get much sleep.... thankfully I'm over the worst of it now. Andrea had it first and fair do's she managed to drag herself out with me to Ffion's 18th birthday party in the Angel Vaults in Carmarthen.... got to take my hat off to her, because having experienced this bug first hand, there is no way on earth I would have gone, bit of a trooper my other half :)

and speaking of her determination, her marathon training is going well, although she is complaining she is a bit behind, she has a 10 miler to do at some stage.... it's a pretty punishing regime she has signed up for, but she is sticking to it, I'm really proud of her :).... she has the Cardiff half marathon in about 6 weeks or thereabouts.... I'm sure she will sail through it (although running is probably preferable)

We've given FOMO boy his own computer in his bedroom, it's running Ubuntu 9.04 Linux which he seems to like, originally it was my step daughters but she has an aversion to anything non Microsoft and especially anything that isn't MSN.... so it fell into disuse, so we gave it to Xbox boy but he didn't use it either.... so it's eventually found a home in FOMO boys bedroom.... I can control what he can and can't do on it internet wise so no worries there it has squeaky clean internet and keeps a log of any attempted indiscretions ..... I can also shut him down remotely after he has been sent to bed .... much to his disgust :) not to mention saving on electricity bills !!!

Other than that the kids are back at school, much of a muchness really .....

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Cunning Running

Rightly or wrongly I've signed myself up for "Sleepwalker 2009" which is a 20 mile night navigation course through the Brecon Beacons. The current course record holder is by a bloke from the British Army Orienteering Team with a course time of 3 hours and 7 minutes..... I'm a realist of course and I'm going to get nowhere near that time probably double that and a bit more if I'm honest.....but he is probably a turbo psycho nutter..... grit yer teeth and take it on the hoof kinda guy......

The course meanders through the likes of "Fan y Big" shown here above with a nice view off the "diving board" and "Crybin" shown below... it's been a long time since I've done any kind of orienteering but I always enjoyed it when I did do it.... and I've never had any problem with my map reading skills.... although at night it's going to prove challenging to get my bearings over a 20 mile course ....(lets hope the full moon is out !!) .......it'll be a bit of an adventure methinks :)..... I'm taking our friend Niki with me... it's her who convinced me to do it in the first place, she wanted to do it but has no navigation skills (pretty essential really on an orienteering course),.....she's actually a very good runner with sub 8 minute miles (I think) under her belt thus far... I've told her straight.... I'm walking it not running.... she might get the odd jog out of me but that is as far as I'll go.... 20 miles at night is a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng haul, I've done it before many times and it's not like running 10 miles on the flat, it's over rough tracks and streams and possibly fences and slippery grass and rocks and moss covered stones .... there's even a full on scramble thrown in as well.... not to mention some ridge walking/jogging .....I reckon it's at least an 8 Mars bar course and definitely a full water bottle possibly two ...... ;¬)

It should be fun :) roll on November 28th !!! (yes it's going to be bloody cold too !!)

The trusty Pug passed it's MOT again :) although I will have to change a front ball joint at some point because there is a bit of movement in it..... although not bad enough to fail the car.....I'm not looking forward to that I remember how bad it was to change the last set.... although I will only have to replace one this time so not so bad I guess.... it even passed on it's emissions test, that was one thing I didn't expect it to pass on because the spring has lost it's springiness from under the mixture screw on the carburettor.... I was suspecting it would have altered it's mixture since it was last set by the other MOT garage.... but alas no.... it was actually under so it's probably running a little lean mixture wise....

Anyway nothing much else to report, Andrea is back at work today it's her inset day at school... the kids go back fairly soon now..... it's been a bloody awful summer probably the wettest I can ever remember, it's been like this for nearly three years on the trot... lets hope next summer proves a little more ... "summery"