Monday, 30 June 2014


Friday's band practice was interesting - the guitarist was elsewhere, so we had drums, bass and singer.  Interesting and quite constructive, allowing us to hammer out a few things that might have been missed if we were all there.  Yes, a singer!  He is the guy who used to sing for us 30 years ago, so it has been a fun reunion!

Saturday I was supposed to go out for dinner but I woke up feeling like I was not really there.  I just felt "wrong", if you know what I mean, so I cancelled and went for a relaxing day.  I soon got very relaxed and spent about 3 hours sleeping on the sofa.  While I was asleep, Mrs RC went out and bought me some things to make me feel better, including the second Hobbit DVD, which we watched in the evening.

Sunday was better, but I still managed to pull the "In need something to give me a boost" card, persuading my wonderful wife to make a banofee pie.

It was wonderful - she experimented with peanut butter in the biscuit base....

Others in the house clearly appreciated the new recipe, I was lucky to get a photo of the last piece before someone (me) ate it.  With Number One Son home from Uni, food seems to vanish unless placed under armed guard...
The pond has been going well - George and Toffee Penny are eating and growing well.  Recently we have been watching the water lily come into bud, but refuse to flower - can't be long now, they look fit to burst!

Ah, the joys of carrying your camera with you.  I was able to catch these guys in action this morning, just as I arrived at work...

(Taken with my arm at full stretch - my usual "point and click" technique).

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Playing The Game

Don't lie to me - you play it too...

Your basket or trolley is full, and it is now time to pay...

You head to the checkouts, and scan along the line, looking for the shortest queue...

Yes there it is!  Only 2 people there - dive in before someone else spots it!

But then it all goes wrong, doesn't it?

They need a price check on a tin of beans...

Or their bag of whatever has a hole in it and needs to be replaced...

The person in front fishes out a huge wad of coupons and wades through them - after a seemingly endless search for their reading glasses, which have to be cleaned...

Then they pay very slowly as they count out the exact amount of money is very small denominations, a couple of pound coins, some silver, a few fist fulls of pennies...

Or they are paying by card, but it has a problem, and a supervisor has to be called to help sort it out...

But today was different!

It was!

Today the person in front of me had bought a necklace...

which got sucked into the conveyor belt...

Why do I continue to play The Game - I should just join the first line I see...

Monday, 23 June 2014


Meet the Dynamic Duo - Custard and Frou Frou (AKA Souxie).
Until recently, almost all of their walks were done on extending leads.
Custard has very severe hip dyslasia, and we were told early on to keep his walks leisurely, with limited running and rough and tumble.  Doing this would greatly reduce the need for hip replacements. The operations would be very expensive, and given Custard's nature we did not see him doing well with them.  He rolls over if he gets a grass seed between his toes, if he had new hips we felt he would never walk again.
But he has now reached an age (8) where running and rough and tumble are very low on his agenda - a casual plod and he is happy.  So we are letting him off the lead.
Frou Frou is another story.  She has never really shown any signs of actually doing what she is told - any sign of obedience can often be seen as "She was going to do that anyway!"  Letting her off the lead has been more or less unthinkable, until recently, when Mrs RC said that she has been wondering how she would get on.
So the other morning, while alone with the dogs, I gave it a go.  And you know what?  She behaved wonderfully!
All of the walks since then have been like the one above.
And it seems to have changed the way she behaves too, barking at other dogs much less and being more loving at home too.

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Been pretty busy over the last few days - Number One Son is now home from Uni for the summer.  He has found an interest in cooking, so is practicing on us.  His first dish was Balti Butter Chicken with Naan Bread.  Amazing, one of the best curries I have ever had, interestingly spicy but not too hot, creamy and rich while somehow being light and easy to eat.  Looking forward to more!
Sunday was Fathers Day.  Body Builder (our younger son) got me this card:
Inside he wrote "Everyone forgets the bass player!"  What a cool kid!
In a supermarket I saw these:

The area of woodland that I have been watching has come on nicely this year.  Last spring it was flat and desolate...

Isn't Nature wonderful?
Meanwhile, inspired by the band, I have returned to the Flying V bass with its 4 pickups.  I have removed the old on/off switches in favour of giving each pickup its own volume control, allowing infinite mixing of tones.

Number One Son wanted to buy me something for Fathers Day, so I chose a new bridge for the bass:

Shiny!  It is also much heavier than the old one, giving a better sound to the whole instrument.
One final thing - Shabunkin the fish died.  Not sure what happened, one morning she/he was fine, later in the day she/he was dead.  No sign of any injuries or anything, strange.  I hear that this is something you have to accept with fish....

Thursday, 12 June 2014


is our 29th Anniversary.

Yes, Mrs RC and I have been together for 29 years, and married for 13 of those years.

Yes it was a long engagement, but not wasted - during that time we had four wonderful children!

During these years we have had many great times.  We have also had some terrible times, but have stuck together through it all and are stronger than ever for it.  We have never blamed each other for things that have gone wrong, but have pulled together to get through.

Mrs RC posted on Facebook about a drink of water that I am still paying for.  On the evening when we started seeing each other, we were at a friend's place.  He had made one of his signiture very hot curries, and Mrs RC had a large glass of water.  I asked for some of the water, but as she handed me the glass she said "It will cost you."  Apparently I have still not finished paying for it!  Another 10 years at least, she says!  (Modern day slavery?  :-)  )  Not that I am complaining, we have a great life together.  Our relationship seems to be like a good wine or whisky, getting even better with age...

I have a day off tomorrow, so we will be getting some time together before I head off to collect Number One Son from Uni on Saturday.  Everyone will be at home for the summer again - can't wait!

Fishy Photos

I managed to get a few photos of the fish this morning, during feed time.
Here is Formerly Lonesome George...
and Toffee Penny...

They all seem to be very happy together - thankfully!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Fishy Update

The two new fish are alive and well!  They have just been hiding in the depths of the pond!

They can now be named:  Toffee Penny (yellow-gold) and Shabunkin (multi-coloured).  Shabunkin is a type of fish, but we liked the name so much we just used that.  I guess it is like calling your cat "Cat", but hey...

Apologies to Lonesome George for spreading false rumours about his eating habits...

Monday, 9 June 2014

A Fishy Tail

So, the weekend rolled around, and we decided to was time that Lonesome George, the fish in our pond, was not so lonesome any more.

We headed into town and found a shop in a back street that sold fish.  There was a fair selection, so we had a good look and chose the ones we wanted before heading off for a bit of shopping and stuff.  The new fish would be a bit smaller than George, but the woman in the shop thought they would not be so small in comparison that he would see them as a snack.

Later in the day, I returned to the shop and bought the two fish we had chosen, along with another plant for extra oxygen in the water.

We put the bag holding the fish into the water for a while to let the water temperature equalise.

We opened the back.

The fish entered the pond.

They dived into the deep part.

A bit later, Mrs RC thought she was first one, and then the other being chased by George.

And that is all we have seen of them.

We are hoping that they are still in the deep part of the pond.

Surely George could not have completely eaten both of them in a single day! 

Surely there would have been a few bits floating on the surface if he had?

Either way, we think this might be the end of our attempts to get George a friend or two.  He is either ignoring them or eating them, and both of those defeat the object of the exercise!


Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Band

Rock Chef in his natural habitat....

Taken at last night's rehearsal.  Getting good.  Getting louder.  Just need to sort out the singing...

Thursday, 5 June 2014

My Little Ponies

I have been doing a bit more on the Scottish army.

Some of the richer men can ride to the battle, using the extra speed to get into a good position before things start getting really nasty. To indicate this ability, the men need model ponies with them.
Now I could have bought some new models, but in this age of austerity I decided to save the money and put in a bit more work myself.  Digging in my boxes of unused models, I found a load of donkey type creatures that had originally been acquired to pull some very early chariots.  That army is never going to see the light of day, so I stole the donkeys and set about turning them into ponies, by adding tails and manes made out of modelling putty...
Yes, they do have very fluffy manes, but I think they will work well when I have painted them.  As a concession to the My Little Pony look, the one with the fluffiest mane and tail will be painted pink. 
Wonder if my opponents will notice?

Tuesday, 3 June 2014


Had a great evening yesterday.  Picked up some beer and pizza on the way to my friends and had a grand evening playing at being boys.
This is the moment Arthur's knights hit some Saxon infantry.
It was a bloody fight which Arthur won, but not without serious losses.  It was only in the last 2 turns that the game was clearly lost to the Saxons (i.e. me).
Lonesome George still seems happy in his new home - sometimes he dives in the deep part of the pond and can't be seen.  At other times he comes to the surface to eat the various critters that live there.  For the first day or two he was eager to get his fish food.  Now he is less bothered.  Who wants those flake things when you can eat bugs and stuff?

Monday, 2 June 2014


After the stresses of last week, we had a great weekend - the sun blasted through the clouds allowing some nice strolling and sunbathing to be done.

We had decided that it was time for out pond to have some denizens, so headed to the pet shop for a couple of gold fish.  We did not want anything too fancy or expensive, just pain old fashioned gold fish.

They were sold out.

So we did a bit of shopping and then stopped off at my mum's house on the way home.

She said that she was wondering if we wanted her last fish for our pond.  Her pond is becoming over run with frogs, which have been stiring up the water and making it unpleasant for the other residents.

So our pond is now home for Lonesome George...

He seems to have settled in well and has been exploring the pond a lot.  His favourite place is in the shade either under the little bridge or under the lilly pads.  We will probably get him a friend or 2 soon, so he will be less lonesome.

Have a great week!