Friday, 29 July 2011


Having a great break so far.

Frou Frou seems to be having a phantom pregnancy - making nests and producing milk!

Let's HOPE it is only a phantom...

Friday, 22 July 2011

5 Songs for Summer!

OK, I am demob happy, so here are 5 songs for the summer.

The first one is a classic from my childhood - I hated school and always hoped that my school would indeed be blown to pieces...

This one should need no introduction - summer in a can!

No band says "Summer" like The Beach Boys...

Another one from my childhood - we had this as a 45!

Every summer there is a song that gets far too much air time - this is one of those from a couple of years ago.

Have a great summer!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Holidays approaching...

Two days until my first lot of summer holiday!


I am off for 2 weeks - the first week is at home (so I might be able to make the odd post and check a few blogs) while the second week will be spent at our usual camping spot.

I hope the weather clears up by then, we have had nothing but cloud and rain for days...  Please send some nice weather over to England if you have too much where you are!

This year we will have 2 dogs with us.

Custard is a veteran camper:

But it will be Frou Frou's first time, and she is very different to Custard in temperament.

You can see in in the photo, can't you?  What will she think of having chickens, goats, bullocks and sheep everywhere?  At least she is used to rabbits and shouldn't worry too much about the wild ones that are all around the farm where we stay...

Anyway, just in case this turns out to be my last post before I finish, have a great summer, see you soon!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

I am from...

Been a long time since I did a Meme!  I found this on Lifecandy, and thought I would have a go.

I am from...

a house full of dogs, canaries, a duck and a parrot.

I am from a loving mother and a father who could never be what he needed to be.

I am from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, T-Rex, Slade and Bowie.  Then Quo, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and still Bowie.

I am from Airfix and Action Man, from Cowboys and Indians and playing John Wayne.

I am from Zulu and The 300 Spartans, The Sands of Iwo Jima and The Battle of the Bulge.  The Great Escape, Von Ryan's Express, Ice Cold in Alex and The Flying Leathernecks.

I am from Dungeons and Dragons, and my first guitar, with blood on the strings and pain in my heart.

I am from a deep depression, rescued by True Love.

Woah!  Funny what these things bring out isn't it?

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Weekend that was...

Had a great weekend - very busy - so busy that I didn't get around to making a guitar video - sorry!   Will try again soon!

Some of you are interested to know how Mrs RC is getting on with her Kindle.

She loves it.  She took it home, charged it up and then Number One Son came home from school and sorted out the fiddly stuff for her.  After a browse of what was there they bought a book and had a good read.

Mrs RC's main worry was that it would be like reading a PC monitor, ie not good if you like to read a book at a single sitting!  This is not a problem with the Kindle, long reading sessions have not been any more eye straining than reading a normal book.  She also likes that fact that although it is actually a really hi-tech gadget, it does not feel like one and is really easy to use, the way things like this should me IMO.

Saturday was a blast - we went out for dinner and had a great meal, eating far too much but hey, you have to do it sometimes don't you?

Then we went home and watched Black Sheep - a horror-comedy about man-eating sheep which was really funny, IMO.  There was a lot of blood and guts in it, but it was COMEDY blood and guts if you know what I mean.  Well worth a watch if you are in the mood for something like that.

Friday, 15 July 2011


Looks like being a fun weekend!

After a morning of shopping and other useful stuff we are going out for dinner - well deserved IMO, this marks the official end of our Spartan era...

We will also be checking out the Kindle that Mrs RC just bought herself.  no more cries of "Oh I haven't got anything to read" - she can just download something and settle in her chair for the evening!

We also got a great deal on the TV/monitor for the kitchen, knocked down as it was the end of the line.  It will be great to have TV in the kitchen again...

I also hope to find time over the weekend to make a small video to show off my new guitar.  I am sure I will be playing it lots so filming a bit shouldn't be that hard...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

It could have been love...

Many years ago (I was probably 19?) I went to London to play a gig with a band that I was in.

While there I was going to meet a bunch of new people, and the others in the band had given me some quick background on the most important ones.

Anyway, we got there, set up the gear and did a sound check.  All was OK.

As I unplugged myself and thought about getting a drink, the most beautiful girl I had ever seen approached and introduced herself and started asking me about my guitar (a real beast that had been made specially for me at great expense).

We chatted, got a drink, chatted some more.  As we chatted I tried to remember what I had been told about this girl.  For one they hadn't warned me about how beautiful she was.  We are talking supermodel looks here, I do not exaggerate.  She must have been half Italian or something.  I was smitten.  Whatever they had told me can't have been important.

Anyway, there we were, chatting away about music, guitars, etc.  We seemed to be made for each other.

Until we were interrupted.  Another girl had arrived.  We were introduced.  And then the bombshell was dropped.

"She is my girlfriend."


The light went on.

Yes!  That is what they had told me about her!

My heart broke a little and I became a lot wiser that day.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Met up with Mrs RC at lunchtime and had a quick trawl around the shops, picking up a few things for each of us - nice to just spend a bit of cash after our months of Spartan living...  Mrs RC is looking at small TVs as she wants to have one in the kitchen that can also connect to the PC that we have in there.

The surviving rabbits continue to thrive now that we have won the cat war.



They are more or less weaned now, but they still try to get a feed each evening, much to mom's annoyance.  We are going to get them sexed soon and then have any boys snipped to prevent further multiplication.

Finally, we have a royal visitor in the Uni today - Princess Anne is about 50 yards from where I am sitting.  She seems to be keeping the brass on their toes so I will settle down and get on with my work...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The cinema (based on a dream...)

The curtains parted and the cinema lights dimmed as a huge cheer drowned out the dramatic music.

Horse hooves kicked up dust, six-shooters blasted, lassos pulled bad-guys from their horses, and Randolph Scott smiled reassuringly into the camera.

The audience settled down after a fashion, booing and cheering at appropriate moments as the story unfolded. There were no surprises in the story, of course. At the first viewing maybe a somewhat slow eight year old might have been surprised when the traitor revealed himself, or when the heroine turned out to be quite capable of using a Winchester in time of need, but this audience had seen this movie before, many, many times.

They had seen everything that the projectionist had in stock more times than they could count, they knew the dialogue word for word, which was good because there were places where the sound became faint through over use and the film sometimes jumped a few seconds because the old celluloid had been repaired so many times. But none of this diluted the excitement displayed by the audience, they continued to cheer and boo their way through the story.

The door opened and a torch-wielding usherette strode in. Those who noticed suddenly summoned even more enthusiasm for the old, worn movie, some throwing popcorn at the screen as a cowboy wearing a black hat appeared.

The usherette did not seem to notice, but strode intently to the eighth row and shone her torch along until the beam stopped on one of the faces.

For a moment the face remained fixed, staring yet unseeing, at the screen. Then it reacted and a look of horror crossed it, as it turned to look directly into the torchlight.

The face was old. Incredibly old. And it was tired beyond tiredness.

The usherette wiggled her torch slightly.

“You! Out! Time to leave.”

Tears sprang into the tired eyes.



The others in the row struggled to stand, making way for the unfortunate one. No one looked at him as he shuffled along the row and the down towards the exit.

As he went his tears of fear became tears of relief. He could now rest. The movies would end. He would not have to pretend to enjoy those tired old stories any more. A small smile tweaked the corners of his old mouth as he pushed at the heavy door marked EXIT and stepped into the black void beyond.

One to blow away the cobwebs

This is a song that I have not heard in a LONG time.  I love YouTube!

Agg79 mentioned an even older version of this song - I can't find a John Lee Hooker version, but this is rather good:

Monday, 11 July 2011


Had a really good weekend.

Much of it was spent playing on my new guitar, which is even better than I thought it was - beautiful ringing clear tones and screaming sustain when cranked up for some ROCK!

I did manage to stop playing long enough to make the best pizzas I have ever made - not sure what I did differently, so not sure I can replicate it!  Ah well.

Sunday the weather was just amazing so we had a barbeque in the afternoon - sausages, burgers, pork steaks, chicken breasts and ribs.  At one point I wondered if I was cooking too much stuff, but we ate it all.  Moving was a little uncomfortable but hey, sometimes it just has to be done! 

My daughter came back from her Geography trip to Wales and had had a great time.  She stayed at a farm in the middle of hills and mountains - one house and thousands of sheep.  It was so remote that she had to climb to the top of one of the hills/mountains to get a phone signal!  She loved that the animals got priority over people - one of the boys disturbed some sheep and the farmer (shotgun under his arm) told him to stop or he would shoot him!  She would move there given the chance...

Have a great week!  More soon.

24 years ago

My first daughter was born.

Good Charlotte was one of her favourite bands:

She had a major crush on the singer. One year we convinced her that we had kidnapped him and were going to give him to her for Christmas. 

"I know you haven't REALLY got him."

"Have you seen him on TV recently?"

Christmas came and went, but around New Year she suddenly remembered.  Mrs RC acted all shocked - "Oh, he's still in the shed, I hope he's alright, I haven't fed him for weeks!"

That had her crying with laughter!

Miss you, baby!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Feeling good on Friday!

Yes, it is Friday again - where did another week go?

Well I guess I can't complain - this has been a great week!

We won the war on the cats.

We paid off our debts.

It looks like my Canada/USA trip in 2013 is a runner.

My daughter is having a good time in Wales with the school.

I just bought a new guitar - watch out for more on this, I love it...

Not the most expensive guitar in the shop, but certainly one of the best IMO.  A high price does not guarantee a great guitar, just like most things I guess.

And they finally posted a photo of me collecting my prize at the wargames tournament!

Don't know why it is in black and white - maybe they thought I was too scarey in colour?  On further reflection, I think I look like something from Sesame Street (or as TZ pointed out, Animal from The Muppets) in this photo!

Well, best get on!  Have a great weekend!  I know I will...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front

Last night passed without incident.  Late night patrols returned without encountering "Charlie".  Hopefully the war is coming to an end, and the troops will be home by Christmas.

My daughter has just set off on her Geography fieldtrip - off to Wales for a few days looking at cliffs, beaches and mountains.  She is really looking forward to it, and took plenty of supplies for midnight feasts with her friends.  They are so organised!  They have sorted a list of who is responsible for what drinks/snacks/chocolate/etc.  I bet the boys aren't as prepared.

Of course, we are a bit nervous about this trip - this is the furthest she has ever been from us!  Hah, most of you are parents - you know what it is like...


Today is a big day for us!  We are now officially debt-free! 

Woo hoo! 


New guitar - here I come!

And I also know I have the funds for my trip in 2013!


Wednesday, 6 July 2011


I am hoping that I am not being premature in saying that we seem to be winning the war with the cats.

Monday night was the clincher - Mrs RC had spent most of the day trying to make the garden cat-proof, but we were awake most of the night repelling invaders - at least 3 different cats, at one point 2 coming in at the same time. 

Last night there were no invaders - a combination of having seen where the weak spots in our defences were (and fixing them yesterday) and perhaps the cats being traumatised by seeing me charging down the garden in my PJs (I think I was wearing them anyway) wielding a metal pole and screaming obsenities. 

No, there are no photographs or videos! Some people!  :-)

Monday, 4 July 2011


Yes, it is another Monday morning.  Where did the weekend go?

Saturday was spent buying some new camping gear in preparation for next month's trip.  We are all really looking forward to it now, especially after we put up the new tent that the kids will be sharing.

Sunday morning was not so good.  We were woken up at 5am by the gut-wrenching sound of screaming rabbits.  Yes, the murdering b$£%&%d cat had found a new way of getting another of our baby rabbits. By the time we got outside both the cat and the rabbit were gone.

The rest of the day was spent on further reinforcement of the rabbit run (we are not sure how the cat did it) and also adding netting extensions to all of our garden fences in the vague hope that this will keep the cats out - or maybe stop them escaping so quickly...

We hardly slept last night, laying there listening for sounds in the garden.  One encouraging thing is that at one point we looked out of the window and saw a cat moving away from the run, apparently foiled by our latest improvements to the run.  Less encouraging is the fact that our nets did not seem to have made the slightest difference!

So we are now on constant guard, just hoping that the remaining babies (Houdini and Panda) will soon be too big for the cats to kill.