Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Hump Day already...

Yes, Wednesday has hit me in the face again - what happened to Monday and Tuesday?  Can't really remember to be honest!

Today I am being a "Scab".  The Unions are out on strike, protesting over the government's attempts to sort out our economy.  I am not a union member - I grew up in the '70s and '80s and saw just how stupid things can get.  I don't want to be part of it.  The strikers may have a point - maybe the government is not doing things in the best possible way, but all striking is going to do is give them ammunition to shoot back with.  This government wants to totally finish the unions off and massed strikes that will cost the country money it can't afford to lose only makes their case stronger.  The unions are, IMO, playing their hand too soon and will be spent by the time the real fights need to be fought.

Enough of that!

Today is a beautiful day, in contrast to yesterday which was pelting with rain by the time I had to go home.  I was like a drowned rat by the time I sploshed into the house, with everyone staying well clear of me!  Dinner was wonderful - cheesey pasta with bacon and chorizo sausage.  I hate until I felt ill, but still wanted more...

I have started planning my next set of toy soldiers.  It will be a long project but the resulting army will be wonderful, involving some of the most spectacular troops that ever fought side by side.  I am talking elephants, scythed chariots, cavalry with man and horse in full armour and naked barbarians!  Can't wait to get my first order off.

Have a great day!

Monday, 28 November 2011


That one word sums up my weekend.

Satruday we went food shopping - the dull, normal stuff, nothing exciting to report...

Sunday we got carried away.

A couple of weeks ago we checked out a furniture store for a new sofa set and found one we loved.  Returning yesterday, we were pleased to find that we still loved it as much as last time.  The sales guy came over as I sat in the arm chair.

"Can I help you?"

"Yes, I think we want these."

A couple of minutes talking about delivery and stuff, and the deal was done.  Must have been the easiest sale the guy had made in a long time.

Then it was off to PC World which is busy trying to get some stock moving at the moment.  We had a good look at the laptops and found one that looked like a cracking deal.  The sales woman came over and asked if we were OK.  After asking her to check the online price for us (they have a daft set up where there is often one price in the store and another one online which you pay even if you only reserve it online and collect it in the store!) we bought 2 of these as Christmas presents for the younger kids.  We try to be nice, easy customers...

And the best news?  We did all this without racking up the credit card!  Oooooh Yeah!

Friday, 25 November 2011


Had a departmental party last night - staff and students.

It was a great evening, with lots of prizes being given out as the evening progressed.

At one point in the evening the landlord handed out a load of free apple pie and cream - his way of acknowledging Thanksgiving.  Wonder if this is the start of something?

The ride home was fun, with a warm tail wind helping me get home.

Had trouble waking up this morning, though - think that last pint should have stayed in the barrel....

Have a great weekend!  I am now off hunting down students at the Graduation Ceremony, camera in hand.  Each year I make a poster of the photos I take - makes a nice addition to the wall displays.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Dumb logic

A British judge recently ruled that because the Police are used to hearing bad language it should no longer be against the law to swear at them. 


That is some dumb logic in my view.  We are supposed to have a bit of respect for these guys, aren't we?  I hope he needs a cop in the near future...

But I got to wondering about extending his logic.

How about:

The people are used to paying taxes, so just tax them even more?

Some kids are used to getting picked on and beaten up, so encourage your kids to join in.

People who cause trouble on the streets are used to being involved in fights, so allow the Police to use whatever force they fancy using at the time to control them - maybe shooting them in the legs until they stop swearing would be a good start?

Shops have stuff stolen all the time, so shoplifting is now legal.

Sex scenes on TV shows are getting more and more graphic, so let's just show porn movies on all channels all day long.

Most people break the speed limit, so let's increase the limit by 10mph to make most of them legal again.  No wait, the UK government actually plans to do that!

Go on, I am sure you can think of more!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

London Video

It seems to be loading now!   Yay!

And for James, a couple of guitar shots (sorry the lighting is rubbish!):

Triple-neck guitar (12 string, 6 string, 5 string bass):

and an 8 string bass:

There were lots of really nice guitars, ranging up to £5000 each, but a lot that I could actually afford.  This is where I will be going to get me next guitar...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hitting the High Notes

Well as you might have seen already, Saturday was one bit high note, but it didn't stop when I got home.

All week I had been wanting to eat Bacon and Onion Pudding.  This is an old recipe that Mrs RC's grandmother introduced me to.  She was a great woman and is Mrs RC's role model.  The first time I met her she brought out 3 types of cake, urging me to eat as many as I wanted - "You've travelled a long way, you must be starving!"  So I chomped away on these wonderful cakes, eating so many that I wasn't particularly hungry when she declared it was dinner time, and served up bacon and onion pudding, mashed potatoes, etc.  But it was so wonderful I ate that too.

Anyway, guess what?  Mrs RC had made me Bacon and Onion Pudding for dinner when I got home on Saturday!  Slices of bacon and onion, rolled into a sausage shape of suet dough and then steamed for around 3 hours.  I just had the last slice for dinner at work.  Fantastic.

Sunday was another good day.  A few weeks ago my dad decided that he did not want to watch TV any more.  Of course, he couldn't just leave it in the corner until he wants to switch it on again, he got rid of everything except the satellite dish that is luckly bolted to the outside of his house.  But we (OK, Mrs RC) had the foresite to rescue the vital stuff, knowing that sooner or later he would want a TV again. 

Yesterday he declared that he had bought a second hand TV and was having trouble making it work.  So I grabbed the bag of "vital stuff", popped down and within no time he was up and running again. Queue Bill and Ted style air-guitar celebration.

Monday has been good so far too - a cold, foggy day, but still very enjoyable in its way.

Have a great day!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A day in London

I recorded a bit of a video diary of the day...

But wasn't able to upload it - will have a fiddle and try again later.

Really enjoyed meeting up with Agg79 - he is a really great guy.  We eventually found each other outside Buckingham Palace, despite the thousands of tourists who had turned out to witness the meeting of 2 old time bloggers...

We took a stroll across Green Park to Piccadilly Circus, found a nice looking pub and settled down to drink beer, eat and talk about everything from Star Trek to sports cars.

Then it was time to head off in different directions, AGG going off in the direction of the Tower of London and me going to find guitar shops.

You will learn more when I get the video posted, but needless to say I had a great day.

Hope your day was as good as mine!

Friday, 18 November 2011


Another busy week under my belt, and a busy weekend coming up too!

Tomorrow I am off to London for a lunchtime beer or two with Agg79!  We have been blog friends for some time now, so I am really looking forward to it.  We are planning to meet outside Buckingham Palace - seemed like a good place to me!

After AGG79 heads off to see the rest of the sites, I am going to go guitar shop hunting.  There is a nice cluster of them that I visited many years ago and each time I am in London I fail to find them again.  This time I am prepared with a map and everything!  Wish me luck! 

Will try to remember to take my camera and post pics when I get back.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Do you see the light?

The other evening I was about to set off home into the dark evening when I realised that I had done a very silly thing - left my front light at home!

Not wanting to miss out on the rest of my life, I decided to buy a new light before making my journey, so I headed to a place that I know does lights at reasonable prices.

When I got there I found nice set of LED lights, front and back and also another LED light that is on a wrist strap! Hah!  I have secretly wanted one of those for some time!

So I headed outside and rigged up the new lights.  From behind I now have 3 flashing LED lights - 1 on the bike and 2 on my rucksack - plus another one on my right arm which makes it clear when I am turning right, across the traffic.  If you are in one of those silly places where you drive on the wrong side of the road, think of when you are turning LEFT.  No excuses for not seeing me now!  I probably look like a small Christmas tree rattling along the road...

Monday, 14 November 2011


Mondays are always extra busy these days, a real case of "jumping in at the deep end" each week.  I guess it isn't a totally bad thing, though.  Assuming I actually float back to the surface again the rest of the week is a comparatively easy doggy paddle.

Just spent an hour or so on my dissertation.  I am trying to settle into a "little and often" routine with this.  Not a bad approach to most things, to be honest.  Can't think of many things where "little and often" is a bad thing!

Now watching "Persons Unknown".  I rather like this - it is like a nasty version of those reality TV shows where people are kept in isolation in a building or on an island and try to stay in as long as possible.  In the last episode they were gassed a couple of times and then given some gas masks, but not enough for everyone....  Fun in a sadistic sort of way, but they make the people unlikable enough for you not to feel bad about it.

OK, time to go.  Need to refill my glass.  Yes, I am blogging from home, and I rather like it!

Friday, 11 November 2011


Today is the day we remember and honour those who have fallen in wars around the world.  It marks the anniversary of the end of the First World War, which officially ended at 11am 11 Nov, 1918.

Honouring those who have died in wars, past and present, is a vital part of our civilization.  Whether you agree with the reasons for fighting a particular war or not is irrelevant - this is a day for respect not politics.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Hitting the High Notes

It seems that my little girl is sneakily growing up on me.

I had to take her to an open day at a college yesterday!   How did that happen?

We had good chat with the people there about the course that she wants to take, which is animal care.  She loves animals and this is certainly the best direction for her to go.  She is not sure if she wants to go into the veterinary side or not - she also likes the idea of working in a zoo or rescue centre, or even becoming a "dog whisperer".  Whatever she does it certainly sounds like a good life, and who could want more for their children?

Today is one of those wonderful foggy autumn days.  I love the fog - they way it softens the sounds around you and takes off the rough edges like a Gaussian blur on a portrait photo.  It also seems to make car drivers a little more cautious which makes cycling that much more pleasurable.

I bumped into an old boss of mine last night!  He is a great guy who I owe a lot too.  He even went out of his way to gate-crash my wedding - and a most welcome gate-crasher he was, too.  Hoping to get together for lunch soon to catch up on things.

This Christmas I will be returning to an old hobby of mine - wine making!  I used to have tons of equipment for this, but that all went, so Mrs RC is going to set me up with new stuff.  I made some really good wine when I was younger and had a lot of fun in the process.  Watch out next year for inevitable tales of triumph and disaster!  Place your orders now!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tea break time!

OK, I know I am English and therefore supposed to drink sweet, milky tea by the gallon, but I can't stand the stuff, so I will do a quick blog post instead.  Can't have people calling me a Slacker!

So, you want an update on the War on Cats?  Well, it has all gone very quiet all of a sudden.  Perhaps they read my thoughts or perhaps Frou Frou got a bit too close on one of her late night charges into the garden.  Whatever the reason, the cats seem to be staying away again.  Good thing too!

I had one of those rash moments the other day - remember that I won a wargames competition in the early summer?  Well I volunteered to run it next year.  It will be fun but I am sure that it will cause me a fair bit of work.  My first step was to register it as part of the national league!  Yes, we are playing with the Big Boys now!  I want to make it a really good day - starting with some really wonderful scenery to fight over.  I have all sorts of ideas, and will be sure to post photos here as things take shape.

Well, better get back to it - today is one of those "clearing a ton of fiddly jobs" days.  My next job is to finish making tickets for a staff/student social evening.  I don't like tea, but I am pretty good at drinking beer!

Hm, I think we know a song about that, don't we children?

"I wasn't born ..."

OK, if you don't know what I am whittering on about:


Told you!

Hope to find some time and inspiration later today...

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Thursday? Already?

Busy, busy week...

Tonight is Dissertation night again - going to do a first draft of the introduction.  This will be a breeze if the brain juice is flowing properly...

Looks like the truce with the cats is over - had one trying to break into the rabbit run again last night.  We are going to rework the netting around the garden at the weekend.  Mrs RC thinks she has a way of doing it that will keep the little b@$£@&ds out...  Hope it works because I don't think we will be giving any quarter this time....

Went to buy pizza at lunchtime but the place was shut, so I went to a nearby place that does cheap and cheerful sandwiches and stuff.  I asked for bacon with a sprinkle (yes I did say "sprinkle") of cheese.

What would you call a "sprinkle"?

I was thinking she would grab some with her thumb and fingers and "sprinkle" said cheese over the bacon.


I got 2 not especially dainty FISTFULS!  There was far more cheese than there was bacon by the time she had finished!

Did I complain?


"That is a SERIOUS sprinkle!" was my comment.

And it was very good, I must say.

Off to grab dinner now - wonder what I will find?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Movember and Gender Equality

I am just picking upon the idea of Movember - guys don't shave during the month.

Sounds fine to me - I don't tend to shave much when the weather turns cold anyway, but it does seem a bit sexist so I thought I would add a thought to even things out.

I HAVE run this idea past one female friend and she didn't go for it, but hey this is the internet!  If there is a place for anything it is HERE, right?

So, my idea is that women don't shave or wax their arm pits or legs for the month.

Any takers?

My kind of politician