Friday, 29 February 2008

Message in a bottle...

The ever-wonderful Terri tagged me for this meme.

Write a message to go into the bottle. Easy! Or so I thought. I pondered a range of possibilities as I cycled home last night, in the end settling on this:

I won't tag anyone but please feel free to edit the picture below to show your own message!

Thursday, 28 February 2008


The move is complete, done and dusted, never to be spoken of again...

So, on to the main story for today.

Number 1 Son has a girl that he really likes. They chat and hang around a bit at school, but their main time to meet up is a Thursday Youth Club where they play pool, table tennis, Wii games, etc against each other. They get along really well.

This morning, Number 1 Son came down for breakfast looking like Death warmed up. He munched something and then declared that he was too ill for school. We didn't argue about it as he did look pretty bad.

The our daughter saw an openning, reminding him of our "no school - no clubs"policy. He would not be able to see "her"!

At this point, Number 1 Son stood up, held out his hands and asked for his uniform. He was off to school....

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Looking up!

Had a call today - it seems that my dad's birds have been moved by one of my brothers, so tomorrow will be a much nicer day clearing stuff from the old garden instead. Collecting up old garden ornaments, bird baths, digging up some plants that are to be moved to the new garden, etc. In an odd way, I am rather looking forward to it. I am not really a gardener but I find the thought of transplanting things rather exciting - will they live or die?

The thing that I find most encouraging is that we should finally finish tomorrow, leaving the weekend clear which is great because it is my wife's birthday on Saturday and Mother's Day on Sunday. A whole weekend of official spoiling and pampering, which will be great if we can pull it off. Maybe we will just disappear so no-one can find us, he, he. Well we will be disappearing for at least part of Saturday as I intend to take my wife to a really great art shop that I have found so we can stock up on stuff for her paintings. We will all have to go for a nice meal somewhere too, but we tend to play that off the cuff as planned restaurant visits almost always go horribly wrong for us.

Changing the subject completely, I have been thinking about doing some work on my V bass guitar - a new pick up or 2 to boost the sound, a new paint job, something like that. Maybe just having "Rock Chef" written across it in silver? Something more exciting? Suggestions welcome!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Just shoot me!

What a weekend. My dad moved house, 2 doors down on the same road. We went around to help him move - my job was supposed to be to move his dog's kennel and the fencing around his run, but half of the planned help did not arrive so we ended up spending Saturday moving the house contents, hardly any of which had been packed!

By mid afternoon my wife and I seemed to be the only ones around actually doing any work (and my wife is still supposed to be taking it easy after her operation) but by around 6 o'clock the house contents had been moved and things were looking livable.

Sunday was spent doing my Saturday job - dismaltling, moving and rebuilding the kennel (formerly our children's wooden play house) and then fencing in an area around it so that the dog could not take itself walkies when outside.

I have now booked Wednesday as holiday so I can do the final job - moving the birds and their aviary from the old garden to the new one. This was supposed to have been done on Saturday too, but...

Oh, almost forgot the final bit of excitement - he had not informed anyone that he was moving, so we are having to inform the utility companies, banks, doctors, etc, etc for him too.


Last night as I collapsed onto the sofa I told my kids that if I ever tried anything like that they should shoot me. They readily agreed.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Oh SHUT UP!!!!

This morning I struggled to get out of bed. It was so warm and cozy as we cuddled up together and the mornings have been so cold lately.

But the clock ticked on mercylessly and eventually there was no getting away from the fact that I had to get up and take Custard out for his morning walk. As I got wrapped up to face the frost and fog that have been standard fare for the last week, Custard bounced around excitedly, eager to get going.

I jammed my hat on, clipped on Custard's lead and walked out into the back garden, down the path and off along the road, heading for the fields that are nearby. As I went I slowly became aware of my surroundings, waking up and coming off auto-pilot.

No fog. Hm, that's good.

No frost. Even better!

I took off my hat and undid my coat. It was not actually COLD! (Cold by South East England standards, that is, which does not compare in any way with what you guys in Canada and the Northern USA have to put up with, of course!).

The ground had thawed, making it soft and squishy, Custard's belly quickly turning a nasty brown instead of his usual pale gold.

Finally, my ears started working.


OK, I made up the last one up, but you get the idea. The birds had decided that Spring had come and were singing their little hearts out. Every single one of them. Hundreds of them. They hurt my ears!

"Oh, shut up" I muttered. Confession: I am not a "Morning Person".

Custard stopped sniffing and gave me an odd look. He was clearly oblivious, but if I made that much noise with one of my guitars at that time in the morning there would have been trouble!

There is no justice!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


I don't know, he had such a promising start with this movie and he ended up doing those dreadful Matrix movies! Oh well...

Anyway, the lovelly Marie has decided that my blog is EXCELLENT and gave me this cool award:

Thank you for giving me this award. I am never quite sure I deserve things like this, there are many others out there who have far more interesting and exciting blogs than I do, but I get a few regular readers so I guess it can't be that bad.

Now I am supposed to pass this on to someone else - always a hard choice!

First I will choose Princess of the Universe, who has been tackling some tricky personal issues on her blog and deserves a pat on the back and a big hug from everyone.

Secondly I will choose Terri because of her amazing mix of real-life problems, humour and wonderful photography.

Finally I will choose Ali who should be having the time of her life being pregnant but is instead contantly ill and feeling dreadful. Poor girl, maybe this will help a little?

Right, time to cycle home through the cold, dark evening in search of dinner!

Monday, 18 February 2008

I'm Worth it!

On Friday I visited my local guitar shop.

Wandering around I spotted a new bass guitar hanging on the wall:

OK, now I confess that I have wanted a guitar like this for many years. It is a classic rock guitar shape, not often seen in bass form.

No price. This is sometimes a sign that if you need to ask, you can't afford it.

I unhooked it from the wall and had a quick thunk on it. Very nice to play too. Hm.

So I asked the guy how much it was. He had no idea. The manager had no idea. He rang head office - THEY had no idea.

They looked on the internet and found a discount place selling it for a silly price.

He offered it to me at a really stupid price. He knows I love a bargain.

How could I refuse?

I tried to phone my wife to ask permission but she was in a supermarket where the building blocks the signal.

I bought it.

I love it.

It is my new baby.

PS my wife was OK about me buying it.

Friday, 15 February 2008


This is intended as a small add-on to complement Terri's fantastic post about Woman-speak, where she explains the intricacies of how women communicate with their partners.

For those women who may not fully understand what a man means when he says something, here are a few examples of "Man-speak".

Do you want me to pick anything up from the shops on my way home? I want sex tonight.

It is OK, I will cook tonight, you go and put your feet up. I want sex tonight, so save some energy.

Of course it is OK if you go out tonight, I can look after the kids! I want sex tonight, and if you go out for a few drinks...

Is it OK if I wash this with the whites? I REALLY want sex tonight so I am impressing you with what a really great husband I am.

I think we ran out of polish when I was dusting earlier. I need it so bad it hurts!

I thought I would do that (insert DIY job you have been asking him to do for the last 2 years) today. If I don't get it tonight I think my b%$£s will explode.

So, ladies, I hope that clears up the grey areas of male conversation for you. Perhaps your weekend will be a little better as a result of this new information. Please let me know!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

It's Valentine's Day!

Yes, it is that day again! Millions of dollars worth of over-priced cards, flowers and chocolates will be changing hands and thousands of us will be hoping we got a good table at the over-booked restaurant tonight. Will the roses be up to standard? Future happiness could depend on it!

Ah, what the hell? Do we really need a special day for being nice to our husband/wife/girlfriend? If you answered "YES" you should be ashamed of yourself! Be nice all of the time - well most of the time, at least, I accept that all of the time is probably impossible...

To tell the truth, this is only the third Valentine's Day that my wife and I have celebrated - and we have been together for a long time.!

"Why?" I hear you ask. Now that is a very good question! Aren't you proud that you thought of it?

Well, you see, when my wife and I first got together money was rather tight. Year after year circumstances conspired to ensure that come Feb we were totally, and I mean TOTALLY, broke. Flowers, cards, chocolates and special meals were out of the question. So we just treated it as another normal day. We had each other, we were in love and what else mattered?

As time passed, we found that we were not TOTALLY broke when Feb arrived but we were so used to not celebrating that it stayed that way. For a long time my wife said to me that if I ever bought her anything special for Valentine's Day she would suspect that I was having an affair!

Anyway, we finally broke our tradition a couple of years ago - not sure why - but I am glad we did. We exchanged cards and presents at 6am when I was getting up to walk the dog and we are going to have something nice for dinner tonight. Not sure what, but it looks like it is my choice unless it stops being my choice at some point! We will see.

Anyway, have a great Valentine's Day. Give your husband/ wife/ girlfriend/ boyfriend/ mistress/ toy boy an extra big hug. If you are single, get out and hook someone for the night. If you don't fancy that watch a good movie and scoff a ton of chocolate - whatever makes you happy!

Love to you all.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Book Meme

The delightful Kenady tagged me for this meme. Being a bit of a book fan, I really thought this was a good one.

What you do:

Grab the nearest book that has more than 123 pages.

Turn to page 123.

Type in the 6th, 7th and 8th sentences.

Tag 5 people.

My book turned out to be "Caesar, The Conquest of Gaul" (Penguin Classics).

"Everything necessary for repelling the next day's assault was got ready by night, including large numbers of siege spears and stakes charred at the point. The towers were provided with additional storeys, and with wicker breastworks surmounted by a crenellated top. Cicero himself, though in very poor health, would not rest even at night, until a crowd of soldiers actually went to him and by their remonstrances made him take care of himself."

Makes you want to know what happened next, doesn't it? No? Oh well.

I am now supposed to tag 5 people. I don't usually do this, but what the heck!

I tag Ali, Terri, Logzie, Marie and Chris. Let's see which book you have laying around!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Hidden talent

I have always knows that my wife had artistic skill. Over the years she has made some superb birthday cakes for the kids and she has also done some rather impressive doodles.

While she has been trying to take it easy folowing her operation, she decided to have a go at painting with water colours. She has got a really nice set that was her mom's, her mom having been a very good artist.

So, after reading a book about water colour techniques, my wife set up herself up to have a go.

The first attempt was better than I could have done.

True to character, my wife then decided to totally ignore everything in the book she had just read and decided to do it how SHE thought it should be done.

I must admit that I was very impressed by this - the photo is not as good as it could be, but I hope it gives an idea of what she did. Wish I had that sort of talent!

Friday, 8 February 2008

I'm dreaming of...

As some of you may have realised, I sometimes have strange dreams that I can remember really clearly. Recently, though, I have had 3 that were stranger than usual because they featured blog friends...

It started when I dreamed that one blog friend (who I will not name, but she is welcome to own up if she wants to) became the new Lara Croft, and I seemed to be the only person who realised who it was. To everyone else she was just the latest incarnation of the video game heroine.

My next subject was Ali who blogged about it and provided a wonderful picture of herself to go with it! Check it out.

Most recently I had this one.

A nuclear powerstation fairly close to where I live has gone into meltdown and is on the verge of exploding and killing everyone for miles around. Who will save us? How can we escape? There is only one chance.

"Please, Terri, come and save us all! You are our only hope!!!!"

A streak of red, white and blue flashes over the horizon - SHE IS HERE, WE ARE SAVED!

Looking amazingly like Supergirl, but with a big letter T on her chest, Terri flies to the powerstation, lifts up the whole thing on its foundations and flies up into space with it. There is a silent, distant flash as the reactor explodes.

We hold our breath, waiting to see if Terri is safe.

Back she comes, to ringing cheers from the gathered crowd. She lands and shakes her hair back into place, the only evidence of her recent experience being a small but very fetching smudge of black on one cheek, and looks at us disapprovingly.

Terri then goes into a short but cutting rant about how she was about to put her feet up and take a well earned rest when we called for help, so instead of resting she had to fly half way around the world to save our sorry asses. Don't do it again, OK?

The streak of red, white and blue disappears over the horizon.

Goodbye, Terri, thank you for saving us, sorry for disturbing your rest...

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

We are each other...

At the weekend I became aware that my wife and I had reversed our roles in the house.

I tend to view the weekend as serious wind-down time, while my wife sees it as a time to take on those chores that she missed during the week.

With her resting and household chores now being my department, the weekend saw my wife on the sofa catching up on the end of series 3 of Lost and then watching the start of series 4, while I was the one tackling the bathroom, cleaning, cooking, shopping, ironing, etc. The final realisation came when I sat down and fretted that there was something that I should be doing but was not.

"Sit down and have a rest", was my wife's view. That was my line! I am the one that spends my time telling HER to sit and rest while she frets that she has forgotten something that desperately needs to be done.

Hm, wonder how long this will last? To tell the truth, I am quite enjoying it! It is certainly a good experience, maybe more guys should try it! They might learn the importance of having colour coordinated tissue boxes...

Monday, 4 February 2008


are great!

In the last few days, all of my kids have done stuff that makes me really proud of them.

Youngest son has done a great job of helping to look after my wife as she recovers from her operation - he sets up cushions so she is confortable, get her drinks and snacks, makes sure she has the TV controllers, etc. What a great guy.

My daughter's PE class recently had a weigh-in. She was in the "normal" range but one of her friends was above that - she knew she would be, everyone knew she would be but she still had to go through with it. She was really upset by the experience, but my daughter sat and chatted with her after, explaining that a year or so ago she was in the same situation but had worked hard and sorted it out. She is now hoping that, with her help, her friend will do the same.

Number 1 Son has continued to impress at school, having rave comments from his teachers. Because he is working 2 years above himself in Maths, it seems that the entire school timetable for the next 2 years will revolve around what classes he has to be in. Amazing, I never imagined a school would do that for the benefit of one student!

Meanwhile, my wife is recovering really well and has, today, started to do a bit of light work around the house, sorting a big of laundry etc. It is amazing how much she has changed in the last week, that thing inside her must have been slowly poisoning her system. She should be fit and well very soon. Meanwhile, I will continue with my "Working Mom Experience", which, I willingly admit, is far from easy. How on earth do people do it all the time?

Friday, 1 February 2008

Another update

Everything still going well. Thanks for the messages, it is great to read them when I arrive for my short but frantic time at work!