Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year

A quick post to round out 2013 before I hit the wine some more.

2013 was a mixed year - lots of good stuff with some really bad stuff mixed in.  I guess that is what they call Life?  I think that one of the big problems in the world is that everyone expects life to be a bed of roses, forgetting the thorns that are bound to stab you where it hurts from time to time!

And for a change, I have a couple of New Years Resolutions!  Not something that I normally do, but here goes!

First, I will finish my Zombie novel!  Having my nice new laptop will make this much easier - I will be able to get a bit done in the winter evenings, maybe even working on it in bed! 

Secondly, I intend to get a band going this year - I have got a couple of options at the moment, so I should be making some serious noise in the near future...

That should be enough for one year!

How about you - any resolutions you want to share?

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas, 2013

This has been a very windy Christmas - and I am not just talking about flatulence!

Buildings have been damaged...

 More fences have been destroyed, although we managed to keep ours intact this time, but only by being out in the wind and rain at 3am!

Some things have just appeared in the streets, such as this trampoline...


Lots of trees have been blown down, causing chaos on the roads and railways.

This one is around the corner from our house, and has  been given the Christmas treatment by the locals...

We all had a great Christmas Day, with the dogs being right in there for presents, greats and stray slices of meat...

We did a lot of home cooking this year, including my now traditional 3 milk cake.  This year's was the best yet...

By the afternoon, it was all too much for some...

 My collection of Star Wars ships increased too...

...and my Scots got some Viking friends too, but I won't post pics of those until they are painted.

I hope you all had a great time, I will be calling on blogs later today to find out!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The holiday is here!

Oh the weather outside is frightful (wind and rain)
But the new laptop is so delightful (thanks to Number One Son)
Got plenty of places to go (last few presents, etc)
Don't let it snow
Don't let it snow
Don't let it snow
(at least until we are all back home again!)

Have a great weekend - and an amazing Christmas, if I don't see you before!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Dog Coats

Frou Frou in her new knitted coat.  Not impressed.

Custard liked it more.

Bryn didn't mind either!

Let's try again.  Still not impressed, she refuses to move when we dress her up - she just stands there sulking!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Dungeons and Dragons

I have been playing a modern variation of Dungeons and Dragons for a few months now.

This week we tried another variation, which leads you into having some very interesting characters.  My character was a Nobleman's wayward daughter.  She is an only child called Francis, and wants to be a warrior, something that Daddy does not approve of.  Strangely, all 3 players in this game were guys playing female characters.  Still, it is Panto season, so why not!

Here is a summary of the evening's game, which was great fun...

Francis’s version of events

Another evening at the inn, sipping ale with my 2 best friends, Kiera and Celes.  Daddy, of course, was under the impression that I was in bed in his castle with a headache after another day struggling with embroidery.  My hands were still sore from repeatedly stabbing myself with the needle, but the ale was taking away the pain.

We had been discussing the recent events in the village, the disappearance of one of the farmer families – blood in the house, but no bodies or anything.  Strange business that the man folk of the watch had failed to find rhyme or reason for.  Clearly this called for the superior abilities of us girls!

We headed out to the farm by a circuitous route to avoid The Watch House, where Celes’s father worked.  If he was us out after dark he would be bound to spoil our fun and have me sent back to the castle, so it was worth the extra walking.  The only person who saw us was the mad shepherd woman that Kiera talked to sometimes, but no one cared what she saw.

Arriving at the farmhouse we entered with me leading the way, ready for action, my beautiful great sword at the ready, as my blind mentor had taught me.  The place was deserted, but we soon found the trapdoor to the cellar – something that The Watch had clearly missed.

We opened the trapdoor and I lead the way down, leaping the last few feet, landing cat-like, ready for action.  If anyone tells you that I fell over at this point, they are a lying witch!

In the cellar, we found the bodies of most of the family, only the youngest was missing.  As we checked the bodies, we found that the mother was still alive!  Kiera ran to get help, while Celes and I bandaged her up using strips torn from the dress that I carry in my pouch.  Celes seemed to panic at first, and got herself very bloody, but when the mad shepherd woman arrived she did some sort of hedge magic which made the injuries seem less threatening. While this was going on I ran to fetch The Watch.

Celes’s father eventually listened to what I was saying, stopped panicking that I was out of the castle and got his men ready to go to the farm, while I ran back.

After they had finished collecting the injured woman and the bodies of the rest of the family, I was sent back home.  Father was furious and ordered me to stay home the next day and finish my embroidery.

I tried, but it drove me mad, so I told the matron that I needed to visit the privy, fetched my equipment and sneaked out of the castle to find my friends at our meeting place behind the weavers.

We were soon back at the farmhouse, and on searching the barn we found the body of the missing child and a pentagram painted in blood.  We were about to send for The Watch again, when 8 masked and hooded men arrived, demanding Celes’s book!  These were clearly the men responsible for the massacre we had discovered, so I charged into them, swinging my sword.

My attack clearly panicked the leader, who threw himself to the ground at my feet.  One blow of my sword made sure he stayed there.

Meanwhile the girls had been working magic – grasses and roots wormed from the ground, grasping at our enemies feet and legs, while a wave of fire swept over them – and ME thinking about it!  Ah well!  Several of our enemies dropped to the ground, burning, while I laid about me with my sword, severing heads, and spilling intestines.  Soon there was only one of them left.  He tried to run, but I was on him, catching him with an upward swing that sliced him from hip to shoulder.

It was the greatest day of my life – proof that my years of training and practice had paid off.

Father scolded me, of course, but I am sure that there was a glint in his eye, a touch of pride….

Monday, 16 December 2013

Nearly there....

Last week was insane - mega busy at work, too tired to blog in the evenings...

And the weekend was just as busy!

Not that I am complaining about that - on Sunday I went to London to meet Number One Son on his way home for the holiday!

One thing did strike me at the train station as I was waiting for him to arrive.

The station is one of the most modern in London...

Yet in the middle of all this, there are these really hand-made looking signs...

Just me, perhaps?
Anyway, there I was, on the designated platform, when 3 minutes before the train was due to arrive (7), there was the announcement that the train was already at platform 13!

A bit of a run, and I was there, trying to get through the throng to find my son with his baggage. 

Found him in the end!

It was great to see him again, and on the way back we talked no stop about everything and nothing and ate biscuits and drank Pepsi to keep us going until we got home for the Mexican dinner that was waiting for us.

Great stuff.

Hope to post more often this week and play some serious catch up on everyone elses blogs too!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

More trees

Mrs RC has gone to town with the trees...
The main tree...
The one in the hall, beside the nativity...

The one for the dogs...

Monday, 9 December 2013

Decorating for Christmas...

The Pooh display has moved into the dining room this year...
Our daughter loved Coke, so it was nice to find a bottle with her name on it.

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree....

Well, here it is!  Certainly an improvement over last year, but not sure it was worth £8,000.  It certainly did not offer the services that Riot Kitty thought it should  (see her comment to my last post!) .  Well, I guess you could drape wet laundry over it to dry....

Maybe it was in partnership with the owner of this van?

My town has recently discovered links to Dr Who.  Seems that the person who wrote the first episodes lived here!

Mrs RC thought I should be the next baddie - Giant Rock Chef!

OK, better get on with things!  Have a great day!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Christmas is coming!

There is no denying it - Christmas is on its way!

Number One Son will be home from Uni next weekend!

We just had the Departmental Pub Quiz - a wonderful evening of staff and students chatting, drinking and thrashing their brains over our dumb questions.

Parcels have also been arriving:

Must be Italian! An Italian who can't spell?

The weather has been quite nasty too - this part of the country has been cold, but other parts have had storms and floods.  

Nice photos, though!

And the plants are still hanging in there too:


Tonight see's our town's Christmas Tree lights being switched on.  You might remember me talking about last year's tree, which was branded as the worst in the country....

We have been promised a good one this year - according to the news paper a building company has paid £8,000 for it.  Probably going down tonight to have a look...

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Falling off bikes

It has been a long time since I fell off a bike.  Last week was the first time since I returned to cycling in my late 20s!  Before that I rode a moped for a few years and came off that a couple of times, always when hitting ice.

Anyway, these bruises have reminded me of another time I fell off a bike.  I might have told this before, but I guess that now I have turned 50 I can turn into the old guy who tells the same stories over and over?

We were about 18-19 years old.  One of the gang was getting married, so we were having a stag night for him.

I cycled down to our starting point.  It was an old bike that one of my grandads had given me - probably dated to the 1950s!

Anyway, we started the evening drinking some ouzo that one of the guys who was in the paratroopers had brought back from his last posting.

Then we hit just about every pub in town - all except the Prince of Wales, where you were not allowed in if you did not remember The Depression.

We were totally blasted by the time we got back to our start point.

A few goodbyes and then it was time to go home.

My best friend "Charlie" (not his real name, but that is what we all called him) was with me, and told me to push the bike, but I was having none of it.

I climbed on, probably managed to turn the pedals twice before going down - BLAM!

We both roared with laughter, as I got back on and tried again.

BLAM on the other side!

This was repeated all the way home.

It was hilarious!

It didn't hurt at all!

Until next morning, anyway...

Monday, 2 December 2013


So there I was, cycling through the back streets of Canterbury, a car following slowly behind at a nice distance when I reached a nice little corner.

I wasn't going that fast, just fast enough...

But as I leant into the turn I had a bad feeling...

The road looked very shiny...

My front wheel agreed, and started to slide out from under me...

There was nothing I could do, so down I went in ssssssllllllooooowwwwwww mmmmmmooooootttttttiiiiioooooonnnnnnnnnnnnn....




I picked myself and my bike up.

The guy in the car behind stopped to ask if I was OK.

Yes thanks, but a bruised thigh and dented ego.

I now have a new front tyre, with super grippiness.

Mrs RC, who has been increasingly worried about me on my bike recently due to a spate of cycling deaths in London, took the opportunity to buy me a new fleece:

No, it won't stop my tyres skidding, but everyone for miles around will see me go...

Some people find Christmas a very depressing time of you, often with good reason.  If you find the sparkle has gone for you this year, maybe you should have a sweater that reflects your mood...


Aren't those the most depressed looking Christmas creatures you have ever seen?