Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A week from now...

Mrs RC and I will be waiting to board the plane that will take us on hour honeymoon.

We are just about set to go, things are starting to accumulate in the cases, the kids are being trained to do the various jobs that need doing and we are starting to wonder what the hell we have done!

Mrs RC keeps thinking that we are like those couples who go on holiday and leave a 10 year old behind.  This is rubbish, of course, but there is still that hint of guilt.  This is the first major thing we have done that has not involved the kids, it is not easy to adjust to.  Ah well, I am sure we will relax and enjoy ourselves when we get there.

It has been very hot here recently - it was so hot at work on Monday that I ended up visiting the doctor yesterday, just to make sure that the heat and dehydration had not done anytyhing nasty to me.  Seems to have been a good move, as I was given some antibiotics to stop anything nasty developing.  The last thing we needed was for me to be ill going into the honeymoon!  Yes, Mrs RC, you were right  :-)

Yesterday was much cooler and even rained, but today is warmer again, so I have moved into another room that has AC.....  Ahhhhhhh.......

Friday, 26 July 2013


Summer is really here!
Summer can't really start until the kids have finished school, but that happened yesterday, so here we are!
The weather is amazing, and we have already had our first thunder storm.  It was a few nights ago - I woke up with each BANG, but dropped off again in between.  I am like that.  Mrs RC (who has just posted a new blog post, after a bit of a break) just stays awake once woken up.  Don't know how she does it, but I think she thinks the same about my ability to doze off again!
Summer, of course, means that the Honeymoon is getting closer - less than 2 weeks to go - we collect the tickets tomorrow!
Mrs RC is a bundle of nerves and excitement about this, and has been finding things to do to keep her mind of it.  For example, she just built a small duck pond in the garden...
Yes, that is a Tyranosaurus Rex emerging from the undergrowth.  He and the ducks are toys that the kids played with when they were little.  It isn't finished, now she is talking about extending it so we can have more plants in it.  The only worry is that it might become a tempting cooling off place for an over heated dog...
Maybe the Tyranosaurus will put them off?
Hm, nearly time to finish, things have finally slowed down at work.  I can hear a cold beer calling me, and maybe an evening sitting in the garden painting toy soldiers.  That would be good...
Have a great weekend!  See you next week!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Americans, eh?

I seem to like Americans.

Canadians are pretty nice people too, but there is one thing about Americans that I really love.

On the 4th of July...

...they go frickin nuts, celebrating the day they got rid of the British.

Yep, couldn't wait to get shot of the nutty King and his lackeys.

They fought, lost, fought again, lost again, but kept on fighting until we were out of there.

But this doesn't stop a lot of them getting totally over excited about our Royal family - weddings, births, etc seem to get a lot of Yankies far more excited than I get!  And countless thousands trek over here every year to see our palaces, watch the changing of the guard and buy a mug with a photo of The Queen on it.

Am I the only one who sees this as a bit odd?

I guess it would be a bit like the English banning Cricket and then getting all excited about games the Australians and Indians are playing.

Certainly odd to my mind, but I still love it.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A day off

After a really  busy couple of weeks at a time that is usually "winddown time", I decided I deserved a day off.
Of course, there are some things that do not respect a day off, like Humphrey's piles of poop.
But never mind, how can you hold that against him?
Mrs RC and I went for a bike ride along the coast and had a picnic.  It was amazingly hot yesterday, but sitting up here we got a gorgeous sea breeze.
There was only one down side to our little trip.  Part of the coast is given over to a marshy creek - not a large area, but it has plenty of wildlife and it is really popular with dog walkers.
Pretty, huh?

But what about the truck?
Nice, eh?  There is a sewage plant a little way up stream, and guess where the excess goes if there is a over flow...
Anyway, back home, it was time to get the barbie going...

My best wings yet - they had been marinading all day, and I put them in after I had cooked the sausages and burgers, shutting the lid and letting them cook away, turning them from time to time.
And while we sat there, with the radio going, we heard the news about the new Prince!  Excellent news!  God Save the King, and all that!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A Short Breather...

OK, I think I have things more or less under control now - just have to do a proof test on what I have just written and I am there.

This has been a week of real highs and lows...

The lowest low was hearing the news that a guy that I had played in bands with as a teenager lost his fight against a brain tumour.  He was a great guy and an amazingly skilled guitarist.  Ironically it was probably his musical talent that killed him, as the tumour that he had is associated with musicians, something that he saw the funny side of!  He is going to be missed by many.

Then we can turn to the high, with one of my brothers becoming a grandfather...

In between this, I have been working mega hard at work, which was a shock as at this time of year I am used to slowing down - ah well...

We are also starting to get into gear for the Honeymoon - we will be there in 3 weeks time! I bought our Euros yesterday and we are now thinking about starting to make lists of what we need to take.  Can't wait.

My mum continues to do well - the plaster is off her arm but she is still under orders to take things easy, with people doing her shopping and chauffeuring her around.  My pony poop duties continue, probably indefinitely to be honest - it is a chore that she can do without these days.

Hope you good - I have tried to visit blogs in between things this week...

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Still here!


Still here, just snowed under at work with lots happening at home too - will post again when I float to the surface...


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Aubrey's Story

A while back, probably two and a half or three years ago, my mum started to talk about an animal that was lurking in the trees near Humphrey's field.

At first she thought it was a fox, but further sightings made her begin to think that it was a cat.

She started to put out food for it, which it began to eat on a regular basis.

Then he began to emerge from the undergrowth to eat in view.

Yes, it was indeed a large ginger cat.

As the friendship developed, the cat (now christened Aubrey - my mum likes to give animals odd names) became more friendly, and would sit on my mum's lap for a cuddle.  They became good friends.

Then we all began to have the thought - did Aubrey have an owner out there who was wondering what had happened to their cat?

So Aubrey was caught and taken to the vet to be scanned for a microchip.

And he did have a chip!

And there was an anxious owner who was desperate for news.

Aubrey was returned to his owner, who lived a few miles from Humphrey's field.

Mum missed her little friend, but consoled herself with the thought that he was back in a house, with a loving owner and all that went with it.

A couple of weeks passed, but then, you guessed it, Aubrey returned to Humphrey's field.  He clearly preferred the wild life to being in a house, taking up residence in Humphrey's hay stack.  We did not try to return him to his owner again - the return trip would have taken Aubrey over some very nasty roads, and we all know that cats will live where they choose, now where they are put.

So Aubrey has lived in the hay stack and in the bushes around Humphrey's field ever since.  I am always careful to stack the hay in a way that allows him to go right into the middle of the stack, making a nice toasty home in the winter.  When the weather is really bad, we suspect that he visits some of the nearby houses - one day he turned up all bathed and brushed - but he always returns to see my mum for food and cuddles.

And I have started to make a little progress with him now, too.  This morning he walked just a few feet from me while I was talking to mum.  The lure of breakfast was clearly stronger than his instinct to avoid me....

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


I think I have mentioned that there is a semi wild cat (named Aubrey by my mum) that lives near Humphrey.  Although my mum has been feeding him for a couple of years now, I have only seen him 4 times, 2 of those being yesterday and today!
I managed to snap a pic of him before he slid into the bushes...
Every morning we put out food for him - actually, the food is more or less buried inside the hay stack to stop the birds eating it - and when mum is there he comes out for some fuss.  I guess he could use a brush, but I think it adds to his Thomas O'Malley look....

Monday, 8 July 2013

What Humphrey Eats

OK, I will reveal the secret of a very active digestive system.
Every day, Humphrey has an apple, (given by hand in pieces that I bite off for him), and a carrot that is chopped up and mixed in with his main food.
This is a mix of:
This is very soft hay that has been soaked in molasses.  It actually smells quite nice!

These are like dried dog food, but for horses and ponies.  In addition, he has a supply of hay in his stable and a field full of grass and clover to graze on.  A lot of the other ponies are left to graze for their food, but Humphrey is a spoilt brat and is enjoying the good living.
On a slight change of subject....
I took these while collecting poop this morning:

The message?  No matter how much shit you have in your life, you don't have to look far to find something to be happy about.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Thursday, 4 July 2013

A summer Robin?

Well I guess a Robin isn't only for Christmas!
This guy lives in the bushes behind Humphrey's stable.  The cat food is for Orbrey, the semi wild cat that also lives there.
True to form, my mum made her way to the field this morning - my older brother gave her a live on his way to work and my younger brother will be picking her up on his way back from his morning job.  Seems to work well, at least until she can get back on her bike, making everyone happy - she is being sensible but still gets to see her animals, leaving me to do the heavy work like clearing up Humphrey's mounds of poop.  And Wigsf thinks that clearing up after a dog is nasty!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Still only Wednesday?

Hm, I feel like it should be Friday already, but hey ho.

My mum made it back home again and seems to be coping OK - cooking, making tea, etc.  She still needs help with walking Spot and I am still sorting out Humphrey, but she is a lot better than we expected her to be.  Thanks for the well wishes!

Had a fun time playing Dungeons and Dragons last night.  It has been a long time, but we all got into it and had fun killing Goblins.  Looking forward to some more.

Phew, I just sorted out a huge headache dataset in Excel - took a bit of hard graft and clever thinking, but it is all sorted out now, ready to be mapped tomorrow afternoon, but that is the easy bit.

Think I will have an early night tonight - I have that feeling of not quite having enough sleep, which does not do me any good - the brain starts to go and I can get a bit irritable.  I know when I have gone too far that way when I say something and when asked to repeat myself (because I mumbled) I can't put the words together to say it again...

The Honeymoon is getting close!  Just over a month to go!  Oooh yeah, can't wait, we are more or less organised and should be collecting the tickets soon...

Monday, 1 July 2013

The Weekend

Was very busy.
We had already committed to having an evening out on Saturday.  We were going to see a band that features a guy who was in one of the bands I was in as a teenager, and we were really looking forward to it.
Of course, life was eager to throw a huge spanner in the works whenever we decide to do something for ourselves...
On Friday morning, my mum was on her way to feed Hunphrey...
...when the front wheel of her bike got caught in a pot hole.  She was thrown into the road, breaking a piece of bone off her elbow.  Despite her best efforts to avoid treatment (what would you expect from an old nurse?) she ended up in hospital while they fixed her up.  She will be there for a couple more days yet, so as usual, we and one of her neighbours have stepped up to the plate to look after her animals while she is away.  So I am up early to feed Humphrey and Orbrey the wild cat that lives with him, while our daughter is walking Spot in the afternoons.
However, this did not stop us going to see the band on Saturday!
The gig was in a blues bar at the far eastern tip of Kent.  This is the view across the bay...

The coast on the far side of the bay stretches down to Dover, with its famous White Cliffs and castle.
The gig was very good, although my guitarist friend is unwell and was struggling at times.  We had to leave early to catch the train home, which we missed by 2 minutes, leaving us sitting at the station for an hour waiting for the next one.  Back in our home town, I was gagging for a kebab, so we grabbed some, went home and ate them in bed while watching yet another episode of Dexter.
   Yeah, must do that again soon!  Well, maybe skipping out the missed train...
I won't talk about how much I regretted the late night when I had to get up to deal with Humphrey on Sunday morning....