Monday, 28 June 2010

Still Dead...

As you can see from my last post, the weekend started off "interesting".

The companies that were taking money have been sorted out by Mrs RC - money being refunded immediately, no argument...

Sunday was more "entertaining". We adopted another rabbit, who is being called Blossom, making them Bubbles, Buttercup and Blossom, The Powerpuff Girls! Except that Bubbles is a boy and we aren't quite sure about Blossom yet, so he/she is being kept seperate from the others for now. They are enjoying rubbing noses through the wire, though. Will post new photos when Blossom is less shy.

We also watched the England vs Germany match in the World Cup. I was watching with out youngest and they my daughter joined us. I told her that if she only watched one game in the whole competition this was the one to watch - everyone will be talking about it for years to come regardless of the result - and how right I was! What a corker of a match! Didn't England suck?

Cheering on Ghana now!

I bumped into a friend this morning. He told me that last night he went to see a hooker.

"I want to be totally humiliated, crushed and degraded. I want to feel like the lowest life form on the earth. Can you do that?"


She made him wear an England shirt! (Boom boom).

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Sorry, but I appear to be dead!

Just found that my bank thinks I am dead!

Great! Looking into this more next week - hope it doesn't cause problems...

Not that I don't have problems - I have got 2 companies taking money from my account - they say I agreed to it, I say I didn't. Sorting this out too...

Oh, my presentation went great - just finished - I was sweating, but from the heat not nerves...

More next week!

Friday, 25 June 2010


What a busy week it has been, and I also get to work tomorrow!

I don't usually work at weekends, but tomorrow is a University Open Day and I have been drafted in to do a talk about GIS (computer mapping). I think I have put together a good presentation, including a little project I did to find the flattest cycle route from home to work. Should be fun, I quite enjoy this sort of thing once I get going - the first sentence is the hardest...

My eldest son has his last exam for the year on Monday, and his Prom on Friday! Aw, my little boy is growing up so fast!

My youngest son continues to play in his school cricket team. Yesterday they went to a tournament with 16 teams in it, and came second! They lost out to a team where most of the players also play in town and district teams so it is not really surprising. Got to be happy with coming second to them!

Got another 6 tanks painted last night - Shermans this time - they look great, but I forgot to take a photo :-(

The weather here continues to be fantastic, and looks like staying that way too! I love cycling in the heat, wearing just shorts and t-shirt, oh yeah. Must also try to get some tennis in soon too. We have great fun just whacking the ball around, not really paying any attention to the lines - if you can get to it while it is still bouncing it is still "In".

See you later - I hope to find time for a little vblog later today...

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Tiger Tiger...

This is the start of a new wargames project - Normandy, 1944. I have read a lot about the fighting there - very grim. I am aiming for these games to capture this.
This German Tiger tank, the most feared tank of the time, is the first one to be finished. Well, almost finished, I still need to add crosses, but these will be transfers - I am not that good at painting.
You see, these tanks are pretty small!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


30 degrees in my office...

Sipping a can of Pepsi....

Working on a 2 million row Excel thingy...

Autosave is killing my PC...

Got the England game streaming on a spare PC...

And England are actually winning!



This is starting to get interesting!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Monday, 21 June 2010

A very fine Father's Day

Had a great day yesterday.

Woke up a little later than usual, and just laid there letting life slowly return to my limbs. I like waking up slowly...

Then someone realized that I was awake...


Everyone piled onto the bed, including Custard the dog - cards and presents followed - all naughty stuff - chocolate, jelly babies, wine... Oh yeah, my family knows what I like.

Then I meandered down for breakfast, which revolved around pain au chocolat and doughnuts of different types. Mmmmm.

Then spent a good part of the morning painting the toy soldiers that I had bought myself on Friday. I was painting these using my cheating furniture varnish method, but they look great - photos to follow once I have done the grass on their bases.

In the afternoon we watched some awful movie on the TV, a cheap "robots trying to take over the world" movie, the sort where you wonder what on earth they were thinking when they made it (around 3 years ago).

Then thoughts turned to dinner. Couldn't make my mind up what I wanted, so I jumped on my bike, went to the shop and bought a load of stuff that looked nice. This was then cooked (by Mrs RC, I was thrown out of the kitchen) and plonked on the table as a "help yourself" dinner. Went down great - at the end we just sat there trying not to move too much.

After a refreshing dog walk I returned to painting soldiers and somehow drank the bottle of wine that I had been given. I swear my glass has got a slow leak or something! I was a little worried that the wine might affect my painting, but they still looked good this morning, so no worries!

Then I headed off to bed for a well earned rest after a hard day...

Friday, 18 June 2010

Watch out, this finger is loaded!

Cycling home last night.



Mentally drained - it has been 5 years since the worst day of my life - the day I had to start getting used to having 3 children instead of 4.

Going up a hill that has a blind bend near the top. As I reach the bend some asshole in the car behind me decides to overtake - and nearly slams into a car coming the other way. I memorise his number plate, something that I have taken to doing these days - don't know why.

I raise a hand, aiming it like a child playing Cowboys and Indians.


No justice. Why is that A-hole alive? Why wasn't it him instead of my daughter? I know that this is a bad way to think, but sometimes, just sometimes...

Continuing my journey.

Only another mile or so to go.

Into a series of bends in the narrow road.

What is this up ahead?

A car, half in a field - broken fence - the front end of the open bonnet (hood) is buckled.

It looks like A-hole's car.

Check the plate...

It IS A-hole's car! And he is standing beside it looking really miserable (and unhurt).

I tried not to look too ecstatic as I went past.

Hah! Watch out, this finger is loaded!


Sunday is Father's Day! Mrs RC told me to choose myself a small present, so I got a pack of new toy soldiers. They are nice and simple and I will try to speed paint them over the weekend. Will post pictures if I succeed. Looking forward to a nice cake or something too...

England are playing in the World Cup tonight, so I will try to get going early to avoid the rush of people trying to get home in time for the kick off. Don't want to have to use my finger again :-)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Help me.....

I am sitting here, trying to write a blog post. Outside there is a very loud jazz band. I guess they are OK at what they are doing, but it is really not what I want to listen to.

Don't get me wrong, I like some jazz - I just don't like THIS jazz... Ew, and that bit was really bad, I think part of the brass section just died horribly or something...

So, what's going on? Quite a lot of not much, to be honest! Just a bunch of boring stuff, really.

Going to put on some Foo Fighters to drown out the jazz band.

Ah, that's better!

Hey don't let it go to waste!
You know I love it but I hate the taste...

Much better!

Went to a friend's house yesterday evening - had beer, pizza and played the Warcraft board game. It was great fun - not influenced by the fact that I won all 3 games...

Right, that is it! I must face up to the challenge of the photocopier again - you know, the one that acts like HAL...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Previously on Rock Chef...

Well the weather on Saturday wasn't as great as forecast, but we all went out for the picnic - kids too. It was really nice with a good mix of food to share between us and the flock of birds that formed around us. It was a great way to celebrate our anniversary - our kids have always been the most important people in our world so having them along only seemed right.

On the way back on the train, a young guy who was drunk/stoned came up behind me, ruffled my hair and started talking to me in a really bad fake Jamaican accent. I just looked at him, asking him what he was doing. Then Number One Son (AKA Mr Diplomacy) spoke up:

"Piss off."

Where the hell did that come from? I mean, I was thinking it, but for my son to SAY it?

The guy started to turn nasty, so I stood up (I was about 6 inches taller than him and probably had 30 pounds on him) and told him to go and sit down. So he stumbled back to his seat and then spent the next few minutes telling everyone how he could "bust me up" with one hand behind his back, until we got to his stop. All this time, Mrs RC was restraining herself. She just wanted to go and "bust him up". If you have read any of my comments about what Mrs RC gets up to in the garden you will realise that she is more than capable of taking out most guys, especially someone who can hardly stand up in the first place. The really, really annoying thing about this whole incident? This guy had been on the train when we were going outward, and he had begged money for something to eat. I must have had my guard down (with it being a special day and all) so I gave him some money. Looks like my money went straight up this guy's nose. Guess that really IS the last time I do that...

On Sunday we went to the local school fair. As usual we made sure we won a load of rubbish prizes. This is a family tradition in memory of our older daughter who loved these events and especially loved anything that she won, no matter now useless. My top prize this year was a 128meg MP3 player that had "Barbie Girl" on it. It has a microphone on it so I might use it to record my little jam sessions that I have on the guitar. I often find myself playing things that are really good but then can't remember what I was doing. If I record it I can go back and learn it properly of it really was good and not just my own imagination making me think it was good...

Today the weather is wonderful - why wasn't it like this on Saturday? Just had lunch with an old colleague of mine who lives in Scotland and was passing through on his way to the south of France for a holiday. The weather always seems to turn nice for his visits, which is OK because the weather in Scotland tends to be rubbish.

Have a great week. More soon...

Oh, I forgot to mention the World Cup! That was probably the most embarassing match that England has ever had. English fans have never seen the USA as a threat, so to tie with them in such a bad way has really taken the wind out of a lot of sails...

Friday, 11 June 2010

25 Years!!!

Yes, on Saturday it will be 25 years since Mrs RC and I got together!

We have been through a lot together - rich-ish, very poor, happiness, tragedy - but it has all worked to bring us closer together and make us stronger as a couple.

We are, of course, totally unprepared for this anniversary. We are used to carefully laid plans blowing up in our faces, so we just take things like this as they come. It currently looks like we are going to go out for the day, take the train to a nice little town further along the coast, browse in a few shops to see if there are any presents we fancy. Depending on the weather we will either have a picnic on the cliffs looking out towards France or eat in one of the many restaurants that the town has. Whether any of this actually happens remains to be seen!

I will finish with a few tips on making your relationship last 25 years - after this amount of time I think I am qualified to offer a little guidance, unlike most "experts" who never seem to be in stable, long term relationships!

  • Before doing something big, check that it is OK with your partner, especially if it involves spending a lot of money.
  • Talk about things! It might seem like a good idea to bottle up things that are worrying/upsetting you but this can often be seen as "pulling away".
  • Buy them things that they really want, not just things that are expensive and look cool. It is often the little things that make the biggest impression.
  • If one of you is good at something and the other is rubbish, let the good one do it! This applies to all sorts of things - managing the money, dealing with difficult neighbours, talking to the kids about certain issues, etc. Masculine pride often has to take a back seat here...
  • Present a united front against kids and in-laws - don't let them play you off against each other!
  • Try it - you might like it ;-)

Have a great weekend - I certainly intend to!

Thursday, 10 June 2010


does "free" often mean " totally useless?

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention in my last post - it was my idea to take the door off so that we could get the furniture through. Mrs RC didn't think it would make any difference, but it did. That means that I have now been right 5 times in 25 years! Once every 5 years - does that sound about right? Roll on 2015!

Oh well, back to trying to sort out my "free" stuff...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Moving furniture

Got home last night to find that Mrs RC was half way through the planned bedroom swap.

Our bedroom stuff was in the bathroom.

To move one piece of furniture we had to take of one of the bedroom doors. While we did this I kept singing this song from our childhood:

So yesterday evening was a bit busy, shall we say? Got home, cooked dinner, walked the dogs, helped finish the move, did the dishes, had a couple of beers, passed out in the new room.

On the plus side, Custard seems to be better now, so sorry Shadowthorne, you will have to wait for your poop photos :-)


My youngest played cricket for his school yesterday. They played 3 short games against 3 other schools, winning all 3. One of the teams was known to be "the good team", but they trashed them anyway. Maybe modern cricket isn't so boring after all?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


I find cricket really boring.

But my youngest son loves playing it - I must admit that playing IS more fun than watching, especially of you are good at it, which I never was. I mean, that ball is damn hard and it goes really fast! If you can't hit the ball (which I never could) it will hit you and hurt bad. If you can't catch it (which I never could) it will also hit you hard and hurt bad. My favourite position when playing cricket? A long way out on the batter's right, i.e. the place where the ball never goes.

But anyway, as I was saying. My youngest likes playing cricket and is pretty good at it. He actually joined the school team recently and now this week he has 2 matches against other schools. He is really looking forward to it, shame I can't get there to watch. Maybe next time.

Hm, wonder if we should get some cricket stuff for when we go camping? That might be really good fun! Unless Custard eats the ball, of course...

Monday, 7 June 2010

What's that smell?

The weekend was nothing like I expected it to be.

On Saturday the weather was really hot, so instead of moving around the bedrooms, Mrs RC decided to give the garden a going over. I am not talking trimming and sweeping here. When Mrs RC gets into the garden we are talking major stuff. On Saturday she extended the slightly sunken area where our furniture is, using the spare earth to raise up the paved area in front of the shed (which had to be un-paved, heaped up with earth, leveled and then re-paved). It was very therapeutic, but she had trouble moving on Sunday...

So what was I up to on Saturday?

I went shopping.

Is our relationship messed up or what?

Anyway, I went shopping and one of the things I needed to get was an extension for my dad's headphones.

The only shop in town that had the stuff does not have the packs properly labelled and the woman who was serving had no idea about anything. I grabbed something that looked right but when I got back I found that it was 2.5 and not 3.5mm.

[insert sound of game show buzzer indicating that the answer was wrong]

Back to the shop.

Found the right size, but it had a plug on each end, not a plug and a socket.

Found an adapter.

Took them home.

[insert sound of game show buzzer indicating that the answer was wrong]

The adapter was 2.5mm...

Heading back - stopped at another, closer shop. Looks like they have the right one!

[insert sound of game show buzzer indicating that the answer was wrong]

Carrying on to the shop, found the right one this time!


Down on to the beach, bought the biggest ice cream I could find and ate it while looking at the art exhibition on the prom. Most of it was pretty bad, but there were a couple of really good cat pictures and a sketch of a herd of elephants which was so good it was totally out of place.

My dad is now happy with his headphone extension - it is so long he can wander from room to room and still hear his music/TV. Hm, maybe I should get him wireless ones for Christmas? Probably not, he would only give them away and forget he ever had them...

Sunday was a day of intermittent thunder and rain. Mrs RC tidied the front garden and then collapsed onto a sofa in the living room while I read and watched TV. Kept trying to get inspired to cook dinner but left it really late. Turned out OK in the end - found some pork chops and sizzled them on our new griddle - yummy!

Monday morning - woke up at 6am - Ew, what's that smell?

I toddled down stairs to find that Custard had diarrhoea. It was in the hall...

and in the kitchen...

and in the living room...

and in the back porch...

and on my rucksack...

and on 2 pairs of shoes...

and in a pair of boots!

Took us an hour to clean it all up. What a nasty way to start the week! Still, it must all get better from there, surely!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

It's hot!

Today is really hot!

I am about to start work on a presentation for prospective students - hoping to make it really whizzy and fun - wish me luck!

Going to have to start planning our camping trips for the summer! We are normally all sorted by now but this year everything has been on hold. Can't wait to get out there! The fire, cooking on the barbeque, the wind and rain, being woken up by the farm cockerel... Here's to some good weather!

The weekend is going to be a busy one - we are switching around the bedrooms which is always chaotic. It is like one of those puzzles where you slide the squares around to make the picture, you can't move this until you have moved that, that and that. Madness...

I was hoping to do a video today, but ran out of time. Will try again on Friday, unless you can persuade me not to...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010



RC is back to normal after a great weekend.

On Friday I felt that I needed a little present to cheer myself up, so I stopped at the local games shop and bought a box of toy soldiers. These are the start of the armies for next year's game at Barnet. They are beautiful figures - I will post pics when I have some finished.

Saturday saw the end of my troublesome tooth. I had to go to a different dentist for this extraction. Google Maps showed it to be half way between 2 train stations, so we got off at one only to find that it was actually more or less right next door to the OTHER train station. It was a nice walk, though.

After being told that it would be a really difficult one to remove, the guy I finally saw ripped the little bugger out in one swift move. I felt nothing. He did promise that it would hurt like hell after the injection wore off, but I had nothing. I almost feel cheated! Almost...

Sunday was a day for re-stocking the food supplies, including some nice soft stuff for me to eat. And re-stocked the beer supply - must have a few beers around in the summer!

Monday (a holiday for us too) was spent shopping for clothes for my FIL's funeral later this week. He liked bright colours, so we are all wearing something bright. I have a purple shirt, while others will be in blue, green, yellow, red... As I said in a previous post, most of his life was a party so the colours seem appropriate.

Finally, last night I had a dream that I was out camera-shopping with a certain blogger friend. I was picking up all these super-wizzy things that looked like something from a sci-fi movie, with displays that looked like the Head Up Display of a jet fighter.

"Hey, how about this one?"

A wry smile.

"No, Honey" (said in that motherly way that some women have) "that might look cool but [insert incoherent techy babble]."

"Or this one?"

"You really think you will ever work out how to use that thing? Now this is the one!"

"But it looks so boring...."

"Do you want my advice or not?"

Text conversation of the week

I have a friend who works at another university - it is also in Canterbury so there is a lot of rivalry between the 2 institutions.

I saw a new piece of art that they have installed there - looks like a bit of Stonehenge.

"Just saw the henge thingy. Do they have sacrifices up there these days?"

"They wanted to sacrifice a virgin every month but couldn't find one."

"We are a church-based uni - we have virgins down here."

"Hah, it's not a real university if it has virgins!"

Have a great week!