Thursday, 31 July 2008
The first one is Bette Midler's "Wind beneath my wings", from the movie Beaches. This song and the movie really bring out the blubbing girl in me...
Next is Thin Lizzy's mega cheese-fest, "Dancing in the moonlight". It is the essence of the teenage crush...
Third is The Darkness, singing "Christmas Time". It is one of the greatest Christmas songs ever, IMO...
Nearly there. This one is Steps's version of "Tragedy". Oh so cheesy, but I can't help singing along. I have seen this lot live and they were so entertaining...
Finally, the boy from the valleys, Tom Jones singing Delilah. I don't do karaoki, but if this song was on the menu and I had a few beers inside me who knows...
Anyone else want to confess?
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Yesterday they were complaining that it was cloudy, cold for the time of year and threatening to rain.
Today they are complaining that it is too hot and that the lack of rain is bad for their gardens.
Sad, isn't it? You see, these men aren't just miserable gits! They, and millions like them, are suffering from:
Typical symptoms include complaining about the weather no matter what it is like, endless tea drinking and, possibly worst of all, believing that England is the only place in the world that is important.
But it doesn't have to be like this!
With you help we can ship these people to new and distant lands, such as America, Canada and Australia, just like in the olden days, where they will be thought of as interesting eccentrics and be able to live out the rest of their lives without driving the rest of us totally insane.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Custard stopping to pose for a photo while on one of our evening walks. What a handsome hound!
These last two are of the memorial garden where I often eat my lunch. Fat Jedi Cat is often here, sleeping or searching for a free lunch. Interestingly, the memorial is to those who died in the First World War, but the dates are 1914 -1919. The usual dates are, of course, 1914 - 1918. I can only assume that this memorial is also for those who took part in the Russian Revolution, trying to restore the Tzar. This is the only thing I can think of that could be thought of a part of the First World War that continued into 1919. Sorry if I got a bit nurdy again there, but I know some of you like it :-)
Monday, 28 July 2008
Had a totally fab weekend.
On Saturday we spent the day at our favourite seaside town, a short train trip down the coast. Great little shops, cliffs and a sandy beach that is a total sun trap. Laying on the beach we could have been almost anywhere, we could almost hear the sunbathers sizzling...
When we got there the tide was low, so the kids and I took our spades and dug out the biggest network of rivers and lakes ever. We even hooked it up with the one that the next family along was digging! Several other kids thought it was great and were splashing in the rivers, where the water was wonderfully warm for them.
Then the tide started to come in and we waded out into the cool waves, allowing them to break over us. It was fantastic.
That evening I had a little incident with a couple of the local kids. I was strolling along beside a wheat field with Custard when I heard a motor bike coming. Looking up I saw 2 kids on a rusty old motor bike hurtling towards me. Now I don't normally take much notice of this sort of thing (though I wish they would wear crash helmets and often tell them) but this time they hammered past really close with one of them shouting "get out of the f%&$ing way!"
I caught up with them at the end of the path, as they were turning around and swapping places, telling them not to tell me to "get out of the f£$%ing way!" One, pointed to the other and said it was him. I looked. HAH! I knew him! We have history! The whole damn neighbourhood has history with him and his family! Good! You see, the Police have been collecting information about what this family gets up to, so when I got home I phoned them up and told them about the illegal bike riding and the abusive language. Not much on its own but it is all part of the pile of complaints that might actually end up getting us somewhere...
Sunday was just as hot, if not hotter. After a trip to the supermarket to stock up on food (the kids are on holiday now, so it is like feeding a plague of locusts) I had a bit of time in the garden and then made dinner - home made fried chicken wraps with salad. Yummo!
Friday, 25 July 2008
I am hot. My office is currently 29 C, which is good for here. It was even hotter earlier when we had the TV cameras here with spot lights blasting in our faces! FAME!!!! Hah! Luckily I had very little to say to the cameras, I was making the computer do its stuff instead. Even so, with the heat and constant retakes I found it very tiring.
It reminded me of when I was in bands - we would go out and do gigs, playing away, everything went OK because it HAD TO. You can't stop half way through a song and say "Sorry, fluffed it a bit there, can I start again?" You keep going. When we did stuff in studios it was totally different. "Guitar solo, take 35", or "Lead Vocal, take 47" was the order of the day. That was tiring, especially when my 2 takes of bass had been done 3 hours ago! :-(
Anyway, the weekend looks like being just as good as it is now, so woo hoo! Might even go for a splash in the sea! That will wake me up! Then maybe a bit of sitting in the garden, playing guitar with the headphones on while downing a few cold beers. Ooh yeah!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, 24 July 2008
I think they are great. Here is a picture of the Olympic Burger Delux that I had today:
And it tasted even better than it looked! I am now totally stuffed.
Fun and games tomorrow. A couple of us are being filmed for a short BBC feature on the possible effects of sea level rise on our part of the world. We are producing maps to show the areas under threat. Interesting stuff.
Finally, if you don't already read Terri's wonderful blog, please drop by there. She is about to do the most wonderfully selfless thing I can imagine. She and her family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
The first Saturday was our party to celebrate what would have been my eldest daughter's 21st birthday. We went shopping on the Thursday to get in the supplies, then started preparing some of the food on the Friday. Saturday morning we were up with the lark (a good old English phrase!) and cooking stuff for the party. I did things like mini pizzas and fried chicken wraps, while my wife did amazing things with puff pastry.
The weather was OK, cloudy but not cold or raining, and gradually cleared so that my about 3pm it was blazing sunshine.
Doors were open at 12 o'clock. Things started slowly, with a few people drifting in and out, but by around 2.30 it was mayhem - I don't think our little house has ever had so many people in it! Things then slowed down, with the final guests drifting away at about 8 o'clock.
Then it was balloon time. Every year we end the day by releasing a balloon each, so at around 8.30 we released a selection of Winnie the Poohs, Piglets and Eeyores into the darkening sky, watching them drift off in the breeze.
As an intriguing side note it seems that one of the balloons that we released last year caused a UFO incident! Someone took a photo of it a few miles to the East and submitted it as a sighting! I can hear Sophie laughing at that right now!
We all had a great day, remembering our daughter in a way that she would have loved.
Winding forward to the next weekend, we were invited to the birthday party of an old friend of ours. It involved a short train trip to a nearby town that we have never really visited. Before leaving I looked up where we were going on Google Maps and found the route.
Some of you will know that I do not have a good reputation when it comes to finding my way around. This reputation was in evidence on Sunday as we left the train station, with me boldly leading the way and the kids immediately declaring that we were lost! After a few minutes of this I told the kids that I knew exactly where we were, but the protests continued. So I looked around, saw a local and told him what street we were looking for. He confirmed that we were indeed on the right track!
In your face, doubting child! Daddy knows what he is doing! Hah, my reputation is being restored. Sort of. Sometimes you just can't win, can you? Why didn't I get Google Maps to plan a route for me? Why didn't I print it out so we could all see where we were going?
Next time, next time I will surrender the role of navigator - someone else can do it, I will just tag along and deny all responsibility...
I DID enjoy being right, though, just this once...
Monday, 21 July 2008
This is a "wild" rabbit that I saw while walking Custard. He was only about 6 feet from me but felt save - probably because of the 8 foot chain fence that was between us!
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Fast forward nearly 30 years.
So there I was, sitting on the grass, guitar in hand, mini amp at hand, camcorder resting on a low wall. I knew the tune inside out. I knew the notes. It is not a dificult tune to play. Could I play the notes in any sort of order that Deanna Durban would have recognised?
Every time I got close to finishing without messing up "From the mountains, to the prairies" I thought of one of my readers sitting and watching me play, and my fingers had a major spazz attack.
I felt like I was 15 again.
Without the urge to pee myself - one blessing I guess!
Maybe tomorrow, huh?
Monday, 7 July 2008
My first break will be starting this Thursday, back on 21 July. This time will be spent preparing for and having our party to celebrate what would have been my eldest daughter's 21st, and then going into a week as house husband again. My wife has been steadily dieting for the last few months but has now hit a point where nothing seems to be happening. The other evening we were watching The Biggest Loser and she said that she would love to have a week where all she had to think about was dieting and working out. So that is what she is getting next week, I will be doing all of the normal stuff while she gets to go nuts. Should be an interesting week!
My next break will be from August 6 to 18, including our camping trip. This should be an "experience", especially given the latest weather forecasts for the summer - basically we have had it already, and we could be looking at another really wet one! I think we will be selecting our pitch carefully...
More soon, I am not vanishing quite yet!
Friday, 4 July 2008
Thursday, 3 July 2008
A new game that I have started playing requires every army to have a "camp", to represent the army's baggage, followers, etc, which can be raided and pillaged by the enemy if you are careless.
This is the camp for my Crusader army, featuring monks praying for victory - a feature of more than one battle at this time!
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
If this doesn't get you tapping your foot and muttering "Alright", nothing will!
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
As I was on my way home from work last night, approaching home, I passed a family that seemed to be in some distress. As I drew level the mother asked me if I had seen a dog running loose. I hadn't but stopped and asked about it, took note of their address, and said I would keep my eyes open.
Two hours later, it was time to walk Custard, my trusty hound. As we left home he seemed to know where he wanted to go, so I tagged along. We came to a point where you have the choice of following the road or taking a path that runs between 2 wheat fields. Custard normally wants to go through the fields, but not tonight, so we followed the road.
A few hundred yards further there is a gap in a fence, which leads you onto another path that runs between 2 other wheat fields. We very rarely go this way, but Custard wanted to go that way, so I followed. A few yards into the field there was a rustling in the crops, and what should appear? The missing dog! I was amazed! Somehow, Custard had lead me straight to him.
I ended up carrying the missing dog (a 10 month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier) back to its home, with it licking my face the whole time. The family was delighted to see him and set about calling the Police, vets, etc to say that he was back.
Good deed done, we carried on with our walk.
When we got home I told everyone what had happened and the kids decided that Custard was a true hero, fussed him and gave him treats.
Is it just us, or is Custard a Superdog?