Thursday, 28 June 2012


The roadworks had become a little more severe by the time I headed home yesterday - 2 rows of fencing on either side of the trench, which had been made a little wider than the day before.  This is starting to feel personal!  If this was in a location that saw more pedestrians they would have had to make some sort of walkway for people to use.  Because it is in the middle of nowhere and no one ever walks there they can get away with just trying to block the entire road off.  Making the trench another foot wider would certainly increase the challenge!

My daughter has her prom party tomorrow.  Her dress is stunning - my little girl is all grown up!  She is very camera-shy but has promised to let me take lots of photos of her when she is all dressed up, and I am going to get one printed really big and frame it.  Keeping that bit quiet, of course  ;-)

I can feel some maps calling to me - see you soon!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The cyclist's idyll - almost

I headed home last night and found the stretch of road that is closed for repairs.

Of course, "closed" does not apply to me!

But they have gotten sneaky over the years - clearly someone is determined to stop pesky cyclists taking advantage of the road closure!

They really did not want ANYONE to get through!

They even dug a trench right across the road!

But I have long legs, and was able to cross without difficulty.

Wonder if they will try harder tonight!

Extra bit for Shadowrun300

This is what the beach is like where I live.

Just a mass of loose stones. It moves as you run so half of the energy you put into running on it gets absorbed used to move stones instead of you! A real workout for the calves! My running on this has been limited to time such as having to catch up with dogs and children or catching ice cream vans before they move on. Oh and when I was a kid we used to play when the sea was rough - running along the shoreline as the waves pulled back and then running up the beach to avoid being hit by the next wave...

Monday, 25 June 2012

Call me Papa!

I spent a fair bit of time over the weekend playing with my pasta maker.

On Saturday I made the main meal - beef in a tomato sauce, grated cheese, Parmesan and home made pasta (vermicelli, ie the very fine stuff).  After a couple of false starts (not having enough flour dusted everywhere made the pasta stick into a big mess) I was rolling, and the meal was a great success.

On Sunday the main meal was my home made pizzas, but at lunchtime I made a small amount of pasta dough which I rolled through the machine and then used to make ravioli.  The filling was small pieces of chorizo sausage and cheese.  After cooking I added some tomato sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan.  This was a real hit, especially with the boys.

In the evening, I avoided watching England playing football/soccer against Italy, but I was hoping that Italy would win (which they did).  I am starting to wonder if I am morphing into an Italian.  Will I start to have the urge to run a Mob?  Or start womanizing?  It seems that infidelity is obligatory for Italian men  :-)

OK, question of the day.  If you were going to change nationality or ethnicity, what would you change to, and why?

Friday, 22 June 2012

Love this....

And the original:

Have a great weekend!

My new toy

Mrs RC and our daughter went shopping yesterday.

When I met up with them at lunchtime they had clearly been busy, so I joined them for half an hour and helped them spend a bit more money.

Later in the afternoon I got a text from Mrs RC, saying that she had bought me a present.  I thought that it might be a new t-shirt or a bottle of wine or something like that.

When I got home (not long after Mrs RC and my daughter in the end), I was presented with my new toy.

A pasta maker!

Now I have wanted one of these for a LONG TIME, but when we saw them we didn't really have the money to spare, and then we just didn't see them for months on end.

Eager to try it out, I set to making dinner, mixing up the eggs and flour (yes, I just happened to have a bag of pasta flour in the cupboard!) and winding it through the machine.

The machine has 2 cutters built in, one for tagliatelle and one for vermicelli, and the rollers are adjustable so you can make the pasta as thick or thin as you want.  I did tagliatelle and, although I misjudged how thin I needed to roll it and will make it thinner next time, the result was great.  I am going to play with it at the weekend and try out different thicknesses and see what the vermicelli comes out like.

Have a great weekend!  Hope you get some nice weather - Saturday is looking OK here, but Sunday will be a bit grim...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Rush Hour, Yesterday Evening

This road is normally nose to tail in rush hour.

But there was only me and the occasional vehicle (being driven like all the Hounds of Hell were chasing it).

Had The End come in some form?

Was the next thing I saw going to be a shambling Zombie that wanted to eat my brains?

Would it find a brain in my head?

Then I realised!

No Zombie Apocalypse - not today, anyway.

England was playing football/soccer in the evening, and everyone was making sure they were ready for it.

Ah well, in these troubled times I guess people should have their fun - and they are welcome if it means that I get the road more or less to myself!

PS - my daughter took her last school exam today, so she has now technically finished!  Wow.  She will be at college in September!  The college is within a stone's throw of where I work, so I am hoping we can get lunch together from time to time.


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A little friend

We found this little guy in the garden.
At first it didn't look hopeful, but after a bit of warmth, some drops of milk and a couple of grains of sugar he was ready to take on the world again.

Friday, 15 June 2012


Sunday is Father's Day - over here, at least.

I love Father's Day - I get spoilt rotten and just get to do fun things.

But there is an amazing amount of sexism related to Father's Day and Mother's Day.  Let me explain.

Watch the ads on TV as Mother's Day approaches.  They will be showing all sorts of "ideal gifts", such as Kindles, weekend trips to a spa, perfume that costs the budget of a small country.

Last night I watched the ads as Father's Day approaches.  The only thing that claimed to be the "ideal gift" was a 3 CD set called "I grew up in the '70s".  Doesn't that just suck?  3 disks of stuff that was (with a few exceptions) terrible at the time, never mind 40 years later!  Where are the ads for weekends away for guys?  They aren't even saying that dad would love an iPad!  No, dad is stuck with a sucky CD set.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Where did those grey hairs come from?

I guess the creeping years catch up eventually - a wrinkle here, a grey hair there, body hair sprouting in placed that used to be smooth as a baby's behind.  Even a few aches in the morning - but I am putting that down to the need for a new bed at the moment.

I am refusing to get old.

OK, I am not going for immortality.  I accept that I am going to be pushing up daisies one day - part of me is even looking forward to it.  I just refuse to become an "old man" before that happens, no matter how many years it may take me to get there.

I will remain young at heart - playing my guitars, playing with toy soldiers and having silly conversations.  Do you think we will still be blogging (or whatever replaces it) by then?  I hope so.

In the meantime, maybe I can get a 2nd job as Santa this Christmas?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


Yesterday turned out to be a great day.

We woke up to the sound of rain pouring down outside.  So, no romantic strolls or cycle rides along the coast.

After a rather soggy dog walk (dog walks do not stop just because the weather isn't great), we put on some sensible clothes, jumped on the bus and headed out.

The bus journey was uneventful, so we just chatted about various things that popped into our heads.  It was wonderful to have a day with no set agenda - no "to do" list, no set shopping list.  It was very liberating.

Canterbury was dull and rainy.  As we walked through the shopping centre I took a few silly photos of us both - not, they will not appear here, Mrs RC would never forgive me...

We wandered through the shops, looking to see if there was anything wonderful that we "needed".  In the end we seem to have "needed" quite a few things. I guess our main buy was a digital radio.  It was a red retro design one which I said would only pick up 1960s programmes.  We listen to a lot of radio, so having a nice new one was a great gift for us both.

Loaded down with "stuff", we decided it was time to eat, so we headed for the pizza place.  We like going there, one big thing is that the service is really good and the people are nice - sometimes incredibly nice.  For example, yesterday, as the waitress gave us the food I thought she said "Peace and joy".  Now she was so nice and happy that this did not seem out of place.  Canterbury does have a good population of young Christians, after all!  It was only about 10 minutes later that I realised she had PROBABLY said "Please enjoy!"  This was a slight disappointment, really - I hope she really did say "Peace and joy"!

After lunch it was time to head home, to avoid running into the mad stampede that is the rush of kids from the city's many schools.

In the evening, was watched one of the DVDs that Mrs RC had bought me.  "Juan of the Dead".  A Zombie movie set in Cuba.  It was a lot better than I expected it to be - the highlight was probably the dumb guy  who kept killing friends by accidentally harpooning them.  Very silly.  Worth a watch if you like Zombie movies and it is cheap or free.

So, it turned into a really nice day in the end.  Who needs plans?

Monday, 11 June 2012

Did you miss me?

The last week has been manic. 

At work, my department is about to be refurbished, so I had 3 days to clear the map library.  Exhausting, but I did it.  I think I found time to read some blogs, but posting was beyond me.

The weekend was busy too.  Shopping and cooking on Saturday, while on Sunday I went to play toy soldiers at a local show.

My favourite game at the show was this one.

This game had 1 figure to represent each man who took part in the actual battle.

Tomorrow is another big day.  It will mark our 27th anniversary, and 11 years married.  You probably know that we didn't rush into getting married but we knew from the start that it was right.  Not sure what we are going to do - everything we think of won't work.  Wanted to see the new Alein movie, but it isn't showing in the day time on Tuesday.  It is on most other days.  We thought of hiring a local private swimming pool just for ourselves for an hour but they don't open on Tuesdays.  We are jinxed like this.  We are probably just going to go out on a mystery tour and see what happens!

Have a great Monday - back soon, I promise!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


That was a pretty good weekend.

Everything was wonderfully British - ships, parties, marching bands, a concert, the Queen and family, the rain...

Of course it rained.  Lots.  The only people who seemed to be taken by surprise by this were those who designed the Royal Barge, which utterly failed to provide enough cover for those on board.  They are, presumably, now locked in The Tower awaiting their fate.

It was a weekend for Royalists everywhere to wave their flags and sing God Save the Queen at the tops of their voices.  Many even seem to have actually learnt the words for the occasion!

There was, of course, the odd Republican trying to bring it all down.  One group tried to protest near Tower Bridge, but the crowd shouted them down and sang at them.  They seem to have given up even before a TV camera could get there to film them!  Later, on the last day, there was a guy being interviewed on TV saying that having a heaving, cheering crowd of half a million around the palace, in the rain, was not a sign that the Queen was popular.  Really?  My inclination is to say what I would say to anyone who does not like the way things are done in Britain - find a country that does things the way you like them and move there!

Anyway, we had a fun weekend - mainly just chilling.  Had a sort of barbeque on Saturday - I managed to cook up a load of steaks in between rain storms, but we ate indoors.  In fact it was quite a foody weekend.  I also cooked some Indian-ish food on Monday (told the kids I was celebrating the Empire!) which went down really well, with Chinese takeaway last night!  Between that, Mrs RC cooked up some wonderful little cakes (brought some to work today for a snack) which went down well, as always.

OK, better get my ass in gear!  More soon!


Just got this email:







What am I waiting for?

Friday, 1 June 2012

Woo Hoo!

About to embark on a glorious 4 day weekend in honour of 60 years of Queen Elizabeth.  God Bless her!

The weather is supposed to be good tomorrow but seems to be getting worse as the days pass, so we will be having the barbeque tomorrow just to be safe.


Been busy at work - the room I work in (which has a bunch of PCs, reading material, map library, etc) is being refurbished in a week or so's time, so I am clearing the decks.  A massive, dusty job, but it will be well worth it  in the end.

Talking of things being worth it, you might remember that last year I won the University award for best member of support staff, as voted for by the students.

I just won again:

I love that I won this award  again - the students are, after all, the most important people in a University.  Without them there would be no Profs, research, etc etc.  This is a little bit of proof that I am doing my job right.

Have a great weekend!