Saturday, 29 September 2012


The tme has finally arrived.

Final packing in progress - taking Number One Son to Uni in the morning, starting at 5am.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Catching the moment

A couple of weeks ago, one of my readers hinted that I was spending time taking photos of sunsets when I could be doing something else more interesting.
Now I must admit that I love taking photos like the one above, but not to the extent that I make special time for it - I take them while walking the dogs - my camera hangs around my neck and if I see something, CLICK, I get a pic of it.
The following DOES NOT HAPPEN in the RC house:
"Sorry lads, can't hang out with you tonight - I am taking photos of sunsets."
"Sorry kids, dinner will be late today - there is a great sunset out there!"
"Not tonight, Mrs RC...."

Monday, 24 September 2012


You can tell it is Autumn...

Younger son is back at school with all the usual fun and games...

Daughter is a college and loving it.  Last week the class started building an enclosure for some goats.  Why wasn't college that much fun when I went?  Guess I chose the wrong subjects?

Number One Son is off to Uni on Sunday.  My brother is driving us up there so we can see him safely installed in his accommodation and make sure everything is good.  Mrs RC is trying not to panic too much...

I have started wearing gloves when cycling...

Apart from a gap which amazingly coinsided with my ride to work, it has rained continuously for the last day and a half...

Frou Frou has realised that the weather has changed and is far less enthusiastic about patrolling the garden - she gets to the step, looks out and returns to the fluffy cover on the sofa...

The birds are clearing the food from the bird table 2-3 times each day. My sack of seed is depleting rapidly, must get some more...

I am hungry all the time - I think my body wants to store up some fat so I can hybernate, which is really appealing right now.  I am sleeping well, but I have had a sort of deep-seated tiredness for the last few weeks.  I guess we have just been really busy - once Number One Son is settled and the new term at work is properly underway I think I will feel better...

It is still raining...

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Waking up in the morning

A couple of colleagues and I have come up with an amazing invention that is guaranteed to get you out of bed in the morning.

The conversation went something like this.

I really struggled to get up today.  I struggle to get up MOST days...

You need a good alarm clock.

I've got one but I keep hitting snooze...

How about one of those clocks with big brass bells on top?

Those just make me angry.  I need something that sort of grabs me and shakes me.

A bed that vibrates?


How about something that releases a smell?

It went from there.  Who has not leaped out of bed at the smell of a dog messing in the hall, or a child vomiting from the top bunk?


It is an alarm clock with a fan attached.  At night you insert a capsule of your chosen smell, selected from a wide range.  At the set time the fan spins, breaks the capsule and blows the smell around the room.

Sample smells:
  • Vomit
  • Dog Poop
  • Beery Burps
  • The City Trash Heap
  • Limited, special edition Gorilla Cage smell (yes, one of us is studying Gorillas...)
How could you stay in bed with one of these wafting around the bedroom?

Go on - tell me you are impressed!  :-)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Long weekend...

Just back from a long weekend.
I took Monday off because I spent Sunday in London at a wargames tournament.
It was an early start...
Sunrise over my local train station.

Changing onto the faster train a couple of stops down the line - the only way I was going to get to London on time!  Nice fast, posh trains...

One of my games in full swing.  This was a 2 day event, but as I could only commit to one day I had been paired up with another guy who could only attend on Saturday.  I was sort of dreading that he would have done well in his games, leaving me to ruin it all but I needn't have worried.  Of a possible 50 points he had scored 0.  I could only improve on his score.  After 2 very entertaining games, I raised our score to 21 - one game that I almost won and another that was a fairly bloodless draw.
The event was made even better by the availability of beer and very good Indian food at lunchtime.  I think that some of the guys were suffering, though.  For those who had attended both days, this was their 3rd Indian meal in 2 days...

This submarine (a retired Russian one, I think) is now moored in the River Medway, which the train crosses on its way to London. It always gives me a feeling of "what the heck?"

Me, on the way home after a long but very entertaining day.
Yesterday was a day of almost-rest - had a snooze on the sofa in the afternoon - a great way to spend Mondays, I decided.

Friday, 14 September 2012


We have been having splendid sunsets recently:

Custard has been less enthusiastic about the time I spend taking photos...

 ...but he is patient and waits for me to finish...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Waking up in the mornings

Having trouble waking up in the morning?

Know someone who just can't get out of bed on time?

Watch this space for a great new invention that will solve this problem for EVER!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Holy crap, I am such a slacker!

In my defence, I have been really busy, with all sorts of silly subplots going on to sap time and energy.

Like being woken up in the middle of the night to be told that my daughter had lost her phone and what was she going to do?  My response of "go to bed and worry about it in the morning" was clearly not a good enough solution. 

The lost phone was found the next day (in her bedroom) after much chasing around trying to see if it had been found by her bus driver or handed in somewhere...

Lawyers.  'Nuf said, I think.

OK, not enough said.

What do you call 2000 dead lawyers? 

A good start!  [Boom boom]

We are having some great Fall/Autumn weather here at the moment.  Bright and sunny, but with a slight chill to the wind and a definite coldness in the morning and evening.  Wonderful cycling weather.

With the end of the Paralympics we are now in a sort of TV-viewing void.  The new shows (e.g. Walking Dead) have not yet started and by the time I get to sit down in the evenings I am too tired to paint toy soldiers.  Sometimes I play guitar with headphones on, at other times I channel hop. 

The shopping channels never cease to amaze me.  They have the greatest revolution in home cooking since the last one they were selling.  They have terribly ugly jewelry with recommended prices in the thousands of pounds, but it is yours for £99.99!  They have cleaners that can suck up M&Ms!  So what?  Why not just scoop them up with your hands?  They have PCs where everything is tediously average except the price!  For me the most amazing thing on show is the amount of enthusiasm that the sales person can conjure up for a pair of slippers with teddy bear faces on the toes.  Buy a pair of these and your whole life will change!  Your boss will promote you, your children will succeed at school and your husband will want sex again!  Buy 2 pairs and we guarantee World Peace!

Last night I couldn't face any more of this and returned to watching my DVD set of an old TV series called Teachers (starring the main guy from Walking Dead, as it turns out!).  It is all about a bunch of bad, overstretched teachers working in a bad school full of kids that don't want to be there - except 1 kid who is desperate to learn but never gets the chance.  Very funny and sadly accurate for many schools.

Wow, look at all that!  I don't feel like such a slacker now.

More soon!

Sunday, 9 September 2012


(Call me Snow White)

Relaxing for a bitr before going food shopping...

The game onThursday was great - very silly, but a lot of fun.  Following conversation persuaded me that I need more games like this, so on Friday I bought a zombie game which I tried with Mrs RC and a couple of the kids yesterday.  This was also great fun - Mrs RC won without really understanding how the game worked (or so she said!)

We also had a dog bath day yesterday, doing our 2 plus Bryn (my uncle's dog) and Spot (my dad's dog).  Total mayhem, but everyone enjoyed it, especially Bryn who stole Custard's cow hoof chew...

Sad to see tha Paralympics coming to an end.  I hope you got to see at least some of it - I was looking forward to wheelchair basketball etc, but in the end it was the swimming that really got me. Watching some of it was really emotional for me.  I guess that having had a daughter with a level of physical disability I really appreciated the sort of battles that some of these people are fighting every day, and to see what they are achieving is a real eye opener.

OK, better get going.  Next week looks like being another busy one - see you soon, in between rebuilding our map collection...

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Where did the week go?  Thursday already?

Work has been very busy as I try to get my work area back in order after the refurb.  Almost done, but still lots to finish off, including sorting out hundreds of maps and deciding what to keep and what can go.

My daughter had a great start at college, including a day working with the meerkats.  I really envy her doing that.

We lost a rabbit yesterday.  Pebbles got a dose of mixi and had to be put down.  Hoping the others are OK.  Once we know they are clear we will get them a jab against it.  The jab lasts a year which is OK, but the reason we had not had them done before was that they told us that it only lasts 3 months and we could just not afford to get 6 rabbits done every 3 months!  Years ago we had rabbits done against mixi and the jab they had was for life.  I guess there is more money in one that has to be repeated...

Doing to a friends for a games evening tonight.  He has some good beers lined up and we are playing a board game set in Terry Pratchett's Disc World.  Really looking forward to it.  The last time we played a game like that we had a real blast and both got so drunk that neither of us could really remember how the game finished!

That is about all that my tired brain can manage at the moment - it needs beer!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Alan Rickman

I did not realise it until very recently, but Alan Rickman has become one of my favourite actors.  I do not actively hunt down his movies (although I am starting to think that I should), but it is now clear to me that he has a sort of midas touch - any part that he takes becomes something utterly wonderful.
It started a couple of weeks ago, when I started reading this book.
It rewrites the original story, with the addition of terrible sea monsters, and a strange mutation for one of the characters.
The day after I bought this book, the movie version of Sense and Sensibility was shown on the TV, so I watched it to revive my memory of the story and allow me to fully appreciate the new version.  The casting was amazing - Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and, the cream on the pudding - Alan Rickman as the Colonel (the deformed one on the book cover).

The film was wonderful, and by the end I was praying that the Colonel (Alan Rickman) would find happiness.  He played the part amazingly and it would take a very cold heart not to be moved my his performance.
Then I started to think about what a versatile actor this guy is.  He is, of course, in the Harry Potter movies but think back to his part as the ultimate bad guy in Die Hard:

So wonderful, you were almost sad to see him die at the end!
Or his hilarious performance in Galaxy Quest:

If you haven't seen this one, you really must, it is an all time favourite of mine.
So there you have it - my tribute to a great actor who deserves more credit than he seems to get.
Who do you think gets overlooked?