Friday, 30 September 2011

Surfin' USA...

Well we are finally having a summer here in England!  Better weather this week that most of the summer was, so this weekend will see barbeques and beer!  Oooooh Yeah!  Real Beach Boys weather!

A feature of the barbeque will be chili dogs, thanks to wReggie's inspiration.  I am going to look for some good German sausages for this and will probably make my own rolls.  Looking forward to it!

Had an extreme guitar dream last night - must get into a band once the dissertation is done.  I had a bass guitar that had built in synthesiser stuff, including a joy-stick that did all sorts of stuff to the sound and pitch of the notes I was playing.  I want that guitar!  Not that it exists.  Unless I just invented it.  In which case, maybe I should look into building the damn thing!

Meanwhile, I still have more figures to paint for the Robin Hood game as well as the next part of my Persian army - next in line are Indian chariots.  These are real monstrosities with 4 horses and 6 crew each!  Will post photos of these when they are done as they are really something.

So, have a great weekend - hope you get to relax with some beer and a chili dog or something - more next week!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Getting to know me...

I have stolen this Meme from Nanette at  Life Candy, who stole it from someone else so I guess it is blog-business as usual?

Here are my answers to some random questions:

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.   No one seems to share exactly the same birthday as me, so I will go for John the Blind, King of Bohemia/Count of Luxembourg, born in 1296 and killed at the Battle of Crecy, charging into battle with someone else holding his horse's reins...

2. What has been your favorite age so far? 40.  That was the year when everything in the world seemed to go right.

3. Where did you meet your wife? In a friend's bedsit.  She was going out with another friend of mine at that point, who she then married and divorced in sort order before hooking up with me.

4. How many children do you have? 4, although our eldest is no longer with us.

5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people?  No, but I did play bass guitar in a band when I was young.  Never had the courage to stand in front of the microphone.

6. What’s the first thing you notice about your preferred sex? Usually it is their hair, unless I am close enough to see their eyes.

7. What really turns you off? Smoking.

8. What do you order at Starbucks? I have never been there!  I would probably go for some sort of hot chocolate...

9. What is your biggest mistake? Trusting a certain doctor until it was too late.

10. As a child, what did you want to grow up to be? Happy.

11. Say something totally random about yourself.  I have got 3 nipples.

12. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? I love Sponge Bob Squarepants.

13. Did you have braces? No.

14. Favorite Social Network? Blogging - far better than FB...

15. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you? This won't be the usual sort of answer to this one.  One night we were walking home and I was pushing our daughter in a pram and a drunk guy decided he wanted to kick my head in.  No reason.  My wife took him on, told him what an idiot he was and told his girlfriend to get him under control before she got really angry.  They went of quietly.

16. When do you know it’s love? When you automatically think "we" instead of "I"?

17. Do you speak any other languages? No.  Unless you count profanity as a seperate language.

18. Have you ever been to a tanning salon? Nah.

19. What magazines do you read? None at the moment!  Used to read ones about toy soldiers but gave up.

20. What is playing on your iPod right now? I don't own one!  If I put some music on my PC right now it would probably be Foo Fighters or Thin Lizzy.

21. Have you ever ridden in a limo? Nope.  Never felt the need to be honest.

22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? Our daughter.  It was the worst thing imaginable - thank God for good friends, great children and a strong loving wife.

23. Do you watch MTV? No.  I occasionally watch Kerrang or Scuzz.

24. What’s something that really annoys you? People who complain that they are poor and can't afford things for their kids when they smoke, drink and have an expensive phone.

25. Which television show were you sad to say goodbye to? Dead Like Me.  It was strangely theraputic.

26. Can you dance? I am great after a few beers.

27. What’s your favorite place in the world? Anywhere that I am with my wife and kids.

28. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? No, I am very careful.

29. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? I would like to have a beer with George W Bush.

30. If you could change one thing in the world for your child, what would it be? I just hope that they find love and happiness, whatever they end up doing.
Anyone else want to try this?  Feel free to steal it from me...

Stealing from the rich...

So, my video camera overheard me plotting to replace it and promptly started working again!

Here are some quick snaps I took of some of the figures I am painting for the Robin Hood game that a friend and I are working on:

King Richard, back from the Cruades.

A beggar and the woodcutter.

A pair of monks.

Another monk, or perhaps King Richard in disguise?

This game is going to be great fun - will post photos of the full game when we play it...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Might have to try this...

Rock Chef Cola?

I await my royalty cheques...

Monday, 26 September 2011

Time passes, as it tends to do

I post by TechnoBabe, celebrating her 5 years as a blogger, made me realise that I am approaching my 5th anniversary too!

Although it wasn't until January 2007 that I actually started blogging regularly, during the previous autumn a friend of mine (James) started to drag me into Blogdom.  I created my first blog ("Don't talk to me about life") which I never posted to.  As the name indicates, I was at a bad place in those days, but reading around different blogs made me see that there were some great people out there and I was hooked.

Over the years bloggers have come and gone - a few of the old gang that I hooked up with are still around, but many have either vanished entirely or have moved to Facebook, which is a shame.  Blogging and Facebook are totally different things - you can't make new friends on Facebook as it does not allow for deeper discussions and connections.  For example, on blogs I have discussed just about every topic imaginable:

  • Religion and faith;
  • The loss of loved ones;
  • Children asking questions such as "So do you and mommy still do IT?";
  • Childhood;
  • Parenting;
  • Pets pooping everywhere;
  • Aging parents;
  • Food - lots about food!;
  • Music;
  • History;
  • How cool it is to have Polish ancestry!
  • and a load more that my old brain can't quite recall on a Monday morning!
In the course of those discussions I have made some great friends - what I consider REAL friends, not just a bunch of people that I happen to know.

And I am now it a much better place than I was 5 years ago - thanks in no small part to you guys out there who have helped me through tough times.  I cannot thank you enough for your love and support, it really does mean a lot to me.

5 years - doesn't seem like that long, but then again I have trouble remembering NOT blogging!  Isn't the mind a funny thing!

So, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy my random little posts because there are a lot more on the way!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Start of term

This week has been the usual start of term mayhem - new students arriving, established students returning, class lists constantly updated, last minute things needing to be done, etc, not to mention the piles of photocopying!

So the weekend is more than welcome!  I need to put my feet up, sip a beer and relax with the old guitar...

Might get some more toy soldiers painted too.  I have started painting up some to go with a friend's Robin Hood set up.  Yes, he has Robin Hood, the Sheriff, the Merry Menne, etc.  I am adding a bishop, some monks, a few peasants and good old Richard the Lionheart, freshly returned from the Crusades.  These are looking very nice and I will post photos when I can take some nice shots.

Well that is about it!  Just about to finish of updating a PC lab for next week and then it is more or less time to run for home!

Have a great weekend - hope to be more with it next week!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

I'm Worth it!

It started back in the summer.  While walking through London a group of women were giving out free samples of shower gel and antiperspirant.

It was a make that my wife uses, so I took some, only to realise that this was a version FOR MEN.

Now I am not one for spending money on fancy stuff like this - cheap bubble bath, antiperspirant that is on offer, whatever shampoo comes to hand - I am happy with just about anything that works.

I used to scoff at ads for "products" for men - the ones where George Clooney attributes his looks to what he washes with...

But I tried these samples - and they were great!  Mrs RC really liked the smell of the antiperspirant, it worked great and it made my armpits feel nice too.

The shower gel was just as good - making a wonderful foam that left my skin feeling great.

I am hooked.

No more 35p bubble bath for me!

Because I'm worth it!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Good Morning!

Not if you woke up to what I woke up to.

Custard the labrador had "toilet problems" in the night.

He usually warns us, but either he didn't have time or we didn't hear.

It was in the hall...

and the kitchen...

and the living room...

and the back porch...


Have a great day!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Freshers Week!

Yes, Freshers Week is upon us, so I might be MIA for most of this week (again.)

I made Chicken Fried Bacon on Friday!  I served it with spicey potato wedges and creamy pepper sauce.


Everyone loved it!  Will have to do that again soon....

We went out for dinner on Saturday - as usual we spent a fair amount of time swapping bits of food - a piece of chicken here, a couple of ribs there.  I guess some people don't approve but we like eating that way...  I think the waitress liked Number One Son, as she gave him a huge slice of fudgecake for his desert.  He did not complain...

Sunday we tried to get some rest, which sort of worked - I painted some more soldiers (the Indian contingent of my Ancient Persian army) while Mrs RC read on her Kindle which she loves more and more.  Almost tempted to get one for my self!  She is getting some real bargains on books for it, having just bought a trilogy for 95p!

Ah well, better get back to it!

More as soon as I can manage it!  Have a great week!

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Well the bomb seems to have been a false alarm, but the Bomb Squad blew it up anyway - you can see the story here:

Travel wasn't badly affected by this because it was at the quiet end of this street - if it had been further along it would have cut the main route through the town which is what everyone was assuming at first.

Wonder if we are in for more of these? 


I need some advice about cameras.

My video camera has died, so I need to replace it.

I like the look of the new ones that are coming out with a built in HD projector - some see this as a gimmick, but I can see it being rather useful.

Alternatively I could get a good camera that also does video.  Video cameras don't temd to take good stills, so this also has its appeal.  I like taking photos.

Any thoughts on this would be very welcome!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Another bomb scare in Canterbury.

There was one last month that caused havoc and now one today, just about the right time to shut down the town for rush-hour.  I can get clear OK on my bike, but the buses will be shot to hell, which means that Number One Son will probably have fun getting home.  Going to talk to him before I leave - might have to sort out alternative transport for him, poor thing.

Ah, just heard, the buses are OK somehow!  Amazing!  Things usually fall to pieces with the slightest excuse!

OK, time to run!

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Yes I know I am a guy and guys can't multi-task.

Women seem to be made for it - cooking dinner, watching TV, having seperate conversations with 3 children at once while also talking on the phone and reading a book.  No sweat.

Meanwhile it is a smart guy who can read and take a dump at the same time.

But I have found 2 things I can do at once.

I can work and, thanks to the amazing temperature in my office, take a sauna.  The last couple of days have been strangely warm and windy, so the place has heated up a lot, but if I open the windows everything will get blasted. 

Might have to pop down and use the showers soon to complete the effect...

Monday, 12 September 2011

Next stop Christmas!

Scarey thought, huh?

Almost s scarey as that photo!

Last week was not the best of weeks, so I won't dwell on that, but on Friday Mrs RC and I felt in need of a little retail-therapy, so we headed off to a new Range store that has just opened nearby.  It is a great place that sells everything from sofas to pet food, and all at reasonable prices.  We wandered around for a couple of hours picking up odds and ends that we clearly "needed" and played on the sofas and chairs trying to choose what we wanted.  Yes, our sofas do need replacing and we will be buying new very soon, so don't think we were bouncing on the furniture for nothing!

Saturday passed in a bit of a haze - a long lay-in, a trip out to get dinner (home made Chinese with noodles, hoi sin pork and stir fried chicken) and then, um, not sure to be honest!

Sunday was quiet, mainly focused on watching various TV stuff about 9/11.  The History Channel showed an amazing real-time programme of amateur video footage.  If you haven't seen it, try to.  It is incredible.  Adding Ground Zero to the trip itinerary...


Didn't feel like cooking dinner, so I cycled to the local KFC.

Walking in alone I ordered 18 pieces of chicken, 16 hot wings and 6 large fries.

"Is that to eat-in or take-away?"

Do I look like someone who could eat all that without help?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Autumn is here...

Despite the clear blue sky and bright sunshine, there was a definite bite to the wind this morning.

As I cycled to work, the southwesterly wind brought alternating bands of blue sky and rain-laden cloud - luckily the clouds seemed happy to save their rain for another target, so I arrived dry if wind-swept...

And it was not just me that noticed the change in the weather - many of the trees are turning various shades of red, gold and brown, and our rabbits seem to be fattening themselves up for the winter too, eating incredible amounts of food!  By the way, we got a second opinion on the sex of our baby rabbits and they are both boys!  So, the latest plan is to avoid risky operations and just divide the run into two - a boys section and a girls section.  This will work so long as the boys don't start fighting.  If they do we will have to rethink our plans...

The change in the weather has now got my stomach thinking in terms of the slow-cooker - of stew and dumplings that have been bubbling away for hours - the sort of food where you can feel the goodness seeping into you as you eat it, the sort that warms you deep down, the sort of food that doesn't need fancy ingredients from half way around the world...

You know, I am looking forward to the cold weather?

Friday, 2 September 2011

Rabbit update

So, we are down to 4 rabbits - 2 adult females, 1 baby male and 1 baby female.

The male is due to be "done" in a couple of weeks time.  Meanwhile, Mrs RC has decided that it would be cruel to seperate Panda (the boy) from the rest of the family and is happy to risk any consequences.

This morning Panda was trying his luck with Houdini, his sister.  This is OK for rabbits, BTW.

So we might be in for some "consequences" in a few weeks time.  If there are we will be better prepared to keep the cats away, that is for certain!

And the weekend starts with a rabbit theme too - taking them to the vets for jabs.  I have been given the job of catching them as last time Mrs RC found it very difficult and stressful - I think she was worried about frightening them too much, scared they would have heart attacks which can happen apparently!  Hm, wish me luck!

Have a great weekend - back on Tuesday!