Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Breakfast Cereal Phenomenon

I don't know what it is but people in my family seem to be very reluctant to finish off a box of cereals.

They will happily use them until near the bottom - then they will carefully pour a bowlful, but manage to leave a couple of spoonfuls in the box.

Anyone picking up one of these more or less empty boxes will shake it and then put it back, moving on to another one.

So, every so often, when I realise it has happened again, I finish off all of these more or less empty cereal packets - yesterday I had a really strange mixture of about 4 different types!  Suddenly that part of the food cupboard looked very empty...

Of course there is another downside to doing this - those boxes have to be recycled too, and the recycle bin is ALWAYS full when I go to it, so I have to empty it and put in a new liner, etc.

Maybe I should just do what everyone else does and just leave those more or less empty boxes in the cupboard?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

UFO sighting in Kent

There I was, out walkiug the dogs when this huge flying saucer went zooming along, just over our heads.

I grabbed the camera and took a shot, but I was just a bit too slow - it was already through the clouds - but you can see the glow!

None of my family believes me - they think the glow is the sun!  Hah!  That isn't the sun, the sun looks like this!

But they will believe me one day - what if the aliens abduct me or something!  They they will be sorry!

Monday, 28 May 2012


In contrast to the previous weekend, this weekend was just about perfect.

Wonderful weather was a good start, of course, but everything else seemed to be excellent too.  Trimming my dad's hedge was the first job, but he had a electric trimmer that just made it fun rather than hard work.

The new tent went up really easily and we can't wait to try it for real.  Custard got all excited when he saw it - he loves going camping, I guess it is the sort of outdoor life he is made for.  Unless it is the daily trips to the butchers that really does it for him.  Either way, he loved the new tent.

Had a great barbeque on Sunday too.  The weather was blazing hot and we had far too much food.  We had pork chops, sausages and spicey chicken wings.  It was the wings that did it - we totally under estimated the number of wings in each pack, but who can complain about that, eh?

I also got some time playing guitar - I hope to get some songs written down in the coming months.  They vary in style - old fashioned heavy rock (surprise surprise), a power ballad, a really gloomy one or two and even an Irish jig that has been rattling in my head for years (literally!).  It will be good to get them nailed down, maybe even recorded!  Who knows?

I have also been re-vamping some of my toy soldiers for games set in King Arthur's Britain.  These will be fun, watch out for photos and stories of Arthur defending his realm...


While looking for a video for my comment on Abby's blog, I found this - with the Euro 2012 soccer tournament coming up, I think it is perfect...

Friday, 25 May 2012

More photos

My camera is a nice and cheap Panasonic, but I am constantly amazed by what it can do.  All I do is stick the camera up close and hit the button! 

The arrival of the sun has produced lots of nice photo opportunities...

And it looks like the sun is with us for the weekend too, so we will be firing up the barbeque, setting up the new tent to make sure it is all there and that we know how to do it, and trimming my dad's hedge.  OK, so I am not so keen on the last one but, hey, that's life isn't it?

Have a great weekend!  More next week!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Greetings from Sunny Canterbury!

Not much time to write, but I took these as I arrived at work this morning.  The smell from the blossom was amazing...

I am sure you will agree that our grounds keepers do a great job!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Horde

Thought it might be fun to show you how the horde is looking these days.

This is Possum - you have seen this pic before, but as she was not in the mood for a photoshoot this morning I decided to reuse it.

Then we have Pebbles, who is great fun and is by far the most active rabbit I have ever seen.

This is Cinnamon Bun.  We thought we were going to lose him when we lost the others, but he pulled through with some tender care from Mrs RC.  As you can see, he is doing really well now.

This is Houdini, the mom of the 3 babies above.  She still resents being called a boy for the first few months of her life...

This is Panda, father of the babies.  He is mega suspicious of everyone and everything, and sometimes hides from food that he does not recognise.


Here is Bubbles, mother of Panda and Houdini and Grandmother of the 3 babies.  She likes an easy life thees days, but she does like to eat all of her greens and then pretend that she has not been fed.  I often fall for this and feed her again...

This is Frou Frou, who resented my appearance with the camera while she was trying to get some of the bacon that my daughter was cooking.

Custard was also hopeful, and less bothered by me and my camera.

Off to lunch now with some colleagues.  I think it is Italian...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Well gwapple me gwapenuts!

I just met British TV legend David Bellamy!

He gave a short speech at the Uni that I work at.  I even got to shake his hand and have a little chat!  A really nice guy.

For those who do not know who he is, he used to do nature programmes on the TV, often looking at subjects that others steered away from such as the wonders of the African Dung Beetle.  He always presented with an irrepressible enthusiasm that was really catching - age has not dulled this either!  He finished his speech by telling us that on a hot day, plant leaves produce alcohol, which explains why butterflies fly the way they do.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Lighting up the sky...

Some of the students who are finishing gave me a gift at the BBQ.

A sound-to-light t-shirt to wear while playing my guitars...

Working with great people - can't be beaten.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

How time flies...

It only seems like a couple of years ago that we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of our 3rd, somewhat overdue, baby.

She will be 16 tomorrow!

She is a great kid with a wicked sense of humour.  She also has a way of telling it like it is, which makes for some really interesting situations both at school and with her friends.  Better leave that there...

Where did those years go?

So tomorrow will be a busy day.  I am taking the day off so that Mrs RC and I can take her shopping, have a meal somewhere, etc.  It will be "her" day out.

Then, in the evening, the department is having a barbeque on the beach with the students who have just completed their final year.  Should be great, if the weather holds out.  If not, there is a pub nearby that we can invade instead.  After a couple of hours of that, it is back home for a movie - hope I don't do the Dad thing and fall asleep....

Monday, 14 May 2012


So, it is all over.

My studies are done, I do not have to read anything if I don't want to. I don't have to write anything if I don't want to. I can do more or less what I want and don't have to feel guilty because I should be doing something else.

It is a strange feeling.

But I am enjoying it, of course! Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the studying, it did me good, but after years it is good to know I have finally finished.

I started 8 years ago. 8 years.

We lost our older daughter just after I finished the first year of study, and I put the course on hold while we tried to keep things together. Eventually I restarted and now, after another 4 years work, I have finished.

I wasn't going to mess about with the graduation ceremony, but Mrs RC insists. She wants to see me in Canterbury Cathedral wearing my cap and gown. I might post my graduation photo here if there is demand...

OK, what to do now? Yes, I will get back to making some scenery for my toy soldiers and wait for Game of Thrones to start.

Might have a glass of wine too...

Have a great day.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Exam over...

Seemed to go OK.

Not the perfect set of questions, but certainly not the worst I have seen!

Think it is time for a beer and a blast on the guitar.

Have a great weekend!

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends...

So there I was, merrily freewheeling down the hill into Canterbury, singing a bit of Emerson Lake and Palmer to myself.

"Welcome back my friends
To the show that never ends
So glad you could attend
Come inside,come inside..."

Dodging the speed bumps.

"There behind the glass
Lies a real blade of grass.."

Waving to the crossing guard.

"Be careful as you  pass
Moving on, mo-"

The car in front has stopped.

On with the brakes.


Oops, there goes the front brake cable.

Harder on the back brake.

It locks, and starts to swing around.

I am OK, I will stop.

I might stop.

I'm not going to stop.

I thud into the back of the car at around 45 degrees.

Then, in slow motion, the rear of the bike lifts up, and I do a just as slow motion rolly-polly over the handle bars into the road.

I think that the crossing guard and car driver were more shaken than I was.

But not a wonderful start to the day really - wonder if the exam will turn into a wreck too?

Now if only I had bashed my head, or sprained my wrist...  :-)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Nearly there...

My last ever exam tomorrow...

Been revising stuff like landslides and floods...

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Waiting for the Mad Hatter?

Yes, she is still alive, her ears moved when I took the picture.

Long weekend

Just had a fairly laid-back 3 days...

Bought a load of steaks from the new butcher in town, gave them a bit of pepper seasoning and then whacked them on the grill. Served with fries, onion rings and fresh bread.  Very tasty.  Will certainly be doing that again soon!

Been doing some revising for me last exam on Friday.  Not cramming, just re-reading stuff and bringing it all back to the front of my mind.

Been playing the new bass, of course.  Starting to hone my favourite sounds, including one with mega-distortion.  The best thing is that my amp allows me to program in different settings so all I have to do is push a button to change from one sound to another.  Yes, I will demonstrate once the exam is done and dusted.

We actually had some sunshine yesterday!  Soooo good to see it again!  But today the clouds are back.

Watched a movie yesterday, called Iron Clad.  Set in the reign of King John (the bad guy in Robin Hood movies).  It was pretty good (if somewhat unnecessarily bloody) but there was one detail that stuck in my throat.  The main focus was around a seige at Rochester Castle, which is around 25 miles from where I live.  They made a good replica of it for the film, a very pretty computerised one for distant views and really seemed to have done a lot of homework.

Except for one thing.

They declared that they have a fresh water supply from the River Medway that runs right next to it.


The river is tidal at that point, so they would be drinking sea water!  Not recommended!

Picky I know, but why allow something so simple to slip through?  The castle must have had a good water supply - just not from the river!  Ah well, pedantic rant over...

Friday, 4 May 2012


Yeah, the end of the week suddenly arrived!  Wow!

Yesterday saw me with a couple of colleagues, wandering around a park.  It was great, they are letting the place to wild in a managed sort of way, although the weather was not great - a sort of misty rain was falling the whole time.  "Not too bad" for English people, but one of my colleagues is from Sicily, and she was not too impressed...

A view across the park.

Part has these guys grazing on it.  Aren't they wonderful?

They also have wild ponies running loose.  Not that wild, though, they are happy to be stroked.

They have even built a Iron Age style causeway across this boggy area.  We had great fun, and worked up a good appetite for the pub-lunch that followed.

Have a great weekend - we have a 3 day weekend, Monday being a sort of May Day holiday.  Not sure the weather will be good for going out and watching Morrismen  and stuff, but that is OK.  I have some revision to get on with...

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


The last couple of days have been pretty hum-drum.  Nothing exciting or interesting going on, just rather severe "April Showers" making this one of the wettest Aprils on record (but still officially a drought) with bursts of sun in between.  I have been fairly lucky with the rain, though, and have only tended to get damp instead of totally drowned on my journeys back and forth.

Antics in the rabbit runs have prompted us to re-sex the baby rabbits.  Pebble was taking a lot of interest in Possum.  Checking again, we are confident that Pebble and Bun are boys, but are unsure about Possum, so we have moved her(?) into a different run.  Girl or not, she seems happy with the peace she is getting now, and is taking full advantage of those bursts of sun to toast herself.

Here is a picture of Possum that I took this morning: