Sunday, 29 April 2012

Whistling And Lilting.

Just for a change I thought I might have a little talk to you.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Thing Called Love.

It's me. Singing about love. A subject at which I have been somewhat unsuccessful. Except for the crying part. I have done a whole lot of that!

I'm also not much good at playing guitar   But I haven't given up yet on either subject!

Didn't want to let you down, so here it is on youtube. Ha Ha! Sorry if you thought you'd got away with listening to it. I did say I don't give up!

I might put it on facebook too. Would you like to be my facebook friend?

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Irish Whistle. Wet And Windy And Blowing Like A Good 'Un.

This is about the third week of horrible weather, and quite frankly I'm sick of it! It all began when many water companies decided to impose a hosepipe ban across the whole country, and it hasn't flipping well stopped since! If it isn't raining it looks like it might at any moment. Or else it is blowing a gale! Wet and windy. Uuuurgh!

As I say, I'm sick of it! So this is a worldwide appeal to try to make it stop. Please take a few minutes to write a short letter to whoever is in charge of these matters, and appeal to them to do something about it urgently! Mention my name if you like. Tell them that John is cold and wet. No need to mention about me being windy!

Perhaps you could also add a note about global warming. Something along the lines of: What has happened to it? Because I tell you, it is not happening here. What we have here is global colding!

Come on now. Please! Together we can get this sorted.

Would you kindly pass this appeal on to as many people as possible. Let's get this going viral! Thank you for reading this.

Changing the subject completely. Look at this, what I found in the shed a few days ago. Its a penny whistle, or Irish whistle, or tin whistle. I don't know what the proper name is, but because it has the words Irish whistle on it, I think I'll settle for that!

I have not the faintest idea where I got it from originally. All I can think is that a Leprechaun left it for me to find. There is no other explanation.

My hat was hand made by Tovey.
You lot are in for a treat because I have determined that I will become a virtuoso performer on this thing. Yes I know, I can feel your excitement building as the realisation dawns on you, that before too long, I shall be whistling away for your entertainment.

Calm yourself now! I said virtuoso performer. It may take a day or two, even for a man of my undoubted talent.

Before I do anything else, it needs a good clean. At the moment it is clogged with a spiders web, and the occupant is reluctant to move out! However I have acquired a short length of copper pipe. I shall transfer the spider to that, and hopefully it will appreciate the extra space in there, and not come looking for me in an angry mood!

So prepare yourselves dear readers. I'm about to start practicing on this thing. It could get a bit 'wet and windy'.

Wet and windy? Oh for heavens sake!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A Dreaming, Scheming, Ne'er Do Well. Who Me?

Sorry about this folks, but I have been dreaming again. This one has me a bit worried about my morals. Obviously only a bit worried, otherwise I don't think I'd be telling you about it. Although from the things I have already divulged about myself maybe I would. Heart on sleeve kind of a bloke, that's me.

This dream has me in a small shop not far from where I live. In the next village actually. It is a small general store, run by a friendly Asian couple.

I mention there ethnicity purely because I'm not sure whether the fact they are Asian has any bearing on my moral dilemma. Before I dig myself into a hole here, I would remind you that this is a dream I'm describing.

Anyway, I'm in the shop and the regular woman who serves is not there. Instead behind the counter is a very old Asian women. She is tiny, in the way elderly women often are, and she is dressed in a sari. In fact she is so small that she can hardly see over the shop counter.

As I approach with my purchases, she smiles. Rather nervously I think. I smile back at her and, as is my way, offer a few pleasantries. Wishing her good morning. A brief chat about the weather. Things like that.

She is ringing up my items on the till as I talk to her, giving me the occasional quick, timid smile.

Suddenly it dawns on me that she doesn't understand English. She is not nervous or timid. It is just that she hasn't a clue what I'm saying.

Just to remind you. This is a dream. Amazing how real it seems, don't you think?

The amount I have to pay is clearly displayed on the till. It comes to about £3 and a few pennies. I hand her a £5 note. Now pay attention you lot! This is important. She gives me change for a £20 note!

So not only have I got my purchases for nothing, I have also made over £16 in cash!

For a brief moment I consider pointing out the mistake, but then, thinking to myself that she will not understand what I 'm saying anyway, I shove the money into my pocket!

Outside the shop, the owner is just getting out of his car. He greets me in his usual friendly fashion. "How are you today? Did you meet my Mother? She is having a holiday with us. Very useful to have her help out."

I feel terribly guilty. Should I hand back the money? Tell him I've only just noticed?

This is when I wake up.

Yes I'm here now. The dream is over. I have checked my pockets. I do not have any extra cash in them. It was most definitely a dream.

Honestly, There is no way I would cheat anyone out of £16. No way! Especially an elderly Asian woman, who doesn't speak English, or understand the currency.

Why then do I feel so guilty?

Excuse me, I'm off to bed. I want that dream back. It needs a proper ending. An honourable outcome!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Irritable Vowel Syndrome!

This kybrd is so rrttng. It kps on mssng vwls. Not all the time. Sometimes it works prfctly.

Not tht it rlly mttrs, because I don't actually hv a topic for tdy's post. I thnk I sat hr today out of hbt.

The wthr ws nc today for a chng. The lst cpl of weeks have bn absolutely wfl. Rn, rn, rn! Mind you thr are stll a lot of clds in th sky, and the weather frcst is nt very prmsng for the nxt wk or so. Btwn you nd me thgh, I dn't blv thy can rlly forecast mr thn a dy or tw ahead, and thy nrly always gt tht wrng!

Hw on rth I am gng to do prtrts in the rn, I jst do nt knw! Prhps I shld do thm in wtrclr paints! Lckly thr are one or tw other mny mkng prjcts in the pipeline.

I'm gng nw to see if I cn srt ths nnyng prblm out. Hpflly yu hv managed to dcphr this. If nt, dn't wrry, because I hvn't gt a topic fr tdy's pst anyway.

I rd smwhr recently, tht about 50% of ppl can mng prfctly OK wtht vowels. I wndr how true tht is? Hv you mngd to rd ths?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Sitting At Gods Right Hand. Well Almost!

There's a time isn't there? When you wake in the morning. Well, not exactly wake. More like half awake. Half asleep. Probably drowsy is the word I'm looking for.

It's a nice feeling. Kind of warm and snuggled. Cocooned in the nest. Safe. Secure. Away from the worries of life. The postman hasn't been yet, so there's nothing bad arrived in the post.

In your dreamlike state of inertia you hear the clink and smashing of bottles as the milkman's horse bolts, while the milkman himself, is treated to his morning cup of tea in Mrs Browns back parlour. She sure takes a long time to brew that tea!

What am I saying? The milkman was made redundant years ago. Loyal though, he still visits her regularly.

That's what I mean you see. The brain does strange things in the early hours, when you are not quite awake. Well it does to me!

This morning I thought I had died! An easy mistake to make, especially because I found myself knocking on the Pearly Gates of heaven, asking Saint Peter to let me in.

"You're early", he said, looking slightly miffed, as though I'd woken him up. He still had on his nightshirt, so maybe I had.

"Sorry," I answered. "I know it's early, but I was woken by the milkman's horse, so thought I might as well make my way here."

He put on one of those peaked caps that officious people are prone to wearing, picked up a clipboard, ran his finger down a list of names and adopted a haughty attitude. "It is normal practice," he said, "to wait until you are called. You are not on today's list. We can't have people turning up here without an appointment. It's against policy."

"What about sudden death?" I quickly countered.

"Don't you get smart with me mate! There is no sudden death, as you call it. All deaths here are planned and arranged, according to God's will."

"Then why am I here?" I asked, quite politely. Although to be honest his brusque attitude was beginning to grate slightly.

"You are here," he said, "because you are an idiot! You are not dead. You are half asleep."

As he spoke I managed to sneak a look through the gate. There was God, and Jesus sat on his right hand side. In fact there was a line of people, and they were all sat on each others right hand side. The line stretched to infinity. Everyone on the right hand side.

"You do realise don't you," I said, as it suddenly occurred to me that I could get one over on him, "that you are the only one not sitting on God's right hand?"

For just a satisfying second or two, he actually looked flustered. Then a really irritating smirk appeared on his face. "Somebody has to mind the gates! Now clear off!"

Just at that moment Bonnie the ginger cat knocked another plate off the kitchen shelf! I woke up fully then. Bloody cat!

Milkman's horse indeed!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sadie The German Shepherd Wants To Go For A Proper Walk. In The Rain!

John is seriously fed up with all this rain we've been having lately. He blames it on the water companies imposing a hosepipe ban. Maybe he has a point. Two weeks ago the ban came into force, and for two weeks it has rained every day! Not constantly. He says he could cope with that. No what really annoys him is that it is warm and dry one minute, and torrential cold rain the next. He says he can't make any plans. Plans! John? Give me a break. He wouldn't know a plan if it came rolled in a tube, and hit him on the head.

I've got a plan for you John. Take me for a walk. You can make use of the waterproofs that extremely handsome son George gave you for your birthday. Three years ago! The ones you can't be bothered with, because they are too much trouble to put on. Here's a tip John. Put your boots on last!

The weather cannot make up its mind.
I'm serious here. I want a walk. A proper walk. Not that ten minute stroll along the railway embankment. So what if it might rain? I like the rain. For goodness sake, man up! Anyway you know you'll feel better for it.

He's been talking about walking the South Downs Way in the summer. Can you hear that noise? That's the sound of me laughing. It's 120 miles! He can't even be bothered to walk our usual two miles. 'Because it might rain, and we'll get wet'. Or, 'It's really muddy after all that rain.'

There is always some excuse. Before the rain, his main whinge was the pain in his big toe. Mind you I'm pleased he isn't going on about his painful big toe. It's so embarrassing. He doesn't seem to realise that every time he mentions his big toe, people have to stifle their laughter.

But just you wait. When the weather improves his painful toe will be an excuse again. Or he might use the bad knee excuse. That was a favourite a couple of years ago. Then there was his 'I feel dizzy' excuse last year. His worst ever excuse for not going for a walk was his, 'I might be coming down with flu. Best not risk going out today'.

That's another thing. He gets flu every year. The worst kind of course. Well let me tell you. He doesn't. What he gets is a slight head cold. Not even that to be honest. Maybe the odd sniffle. But that's John for you. If he gets a drip on the end of his nose, he'll tell you it's double pneumonia!

Personally I love the rain. For me there is nothing quite so exhilarating as running through long grass just after a rain shower. John can't run any more. So just to make sure he doesn't feel left out, I like to get really soaking wet, stand right beside him, and shake myself vigorously from head to tail. I can tell by his shouts of delight how much he enjoys that.

By the way, when I say John can't run any more, that doesn't include the time we were nearly home, and he discovered he'd left his change from a ten pound note in the shop. Oh my goodness, he could certainly run that day! His bad toe underwent a miraculous cure, when he thought he was going to lose some money.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot. Apparently I smell really awful when I get wet. Well let me tell you John. You smell really awful when you're dry. So do us all a great big favour. Get outside in the rain!

                                       Lots of love. Sadie. xxx

Friday, 20 April 2012

To Be Or Not To Be? That Is The Question.

My last post 'A Love Story' had some of you wondering what happened next. You got me thinking about it too. The more I thought about it the more I realised what an incredible story it is. In fact thinking about it has occupied a great deal of my thoughts this last couple of days.

If only it were that simple.
If I only had the skill, I could write a book about that love story. Or rather what started as a love story. It developed into a tale of lies, deceit, unfaithfulness, betrayal, broken marriage, criminality, newspaper headlines and finally imprisonment.

Never mind me writing a book about my childhood. I am beginning to think that every tale I tell has book potential.

Not only that, but I begin to realise that all the upset, trauma, mistakes, immaturity and downright stupidity in my eventful life, stems solely from those first days of my childhood. When my first memories are those of abandonment, by those who were supposed to care the most, my parents.

I don't say this to provoke pity or sadness. I simply say it as a statement of fact. What is done, is done. We all of us travel in one direction in this life. The clock cannot go backwards. We have to accept the hand that fate has given us. I am well aware of that. But sometimes I do get really bloody annoyed about it. I make no apology for that.

In lots of ways I am lucky. Many of those who had the same unhappy upbringing as me never came to terms with it. I have seen some of them sink down, down, down. I speak of drug abuse, prostitution and suicide. Somehow I avoided this aftermath. As I say, just luck. Or fate. One of my main side effects was relationships. Or rather being unable to stay in one.

In the game of love I am a loser. Every relationship I ever had, except for my children, and even that has room for improvement, has come to nothing in the end. Whose fault? Mine, most every time. There is love in me. Plenty of it to give. I believe in love, I truly do. Yet paradoxically, I cannot, and have never been able to believe that a woman could love me in return. That is where my relationships have fallen apart. I will always test love to the limit. Even the most understanding of women will realise the battle is lost in the end, and thereby, in my stupidity, my belief is confirmed.

But at least they never hate me. I retain friendship. That is a good thing. That way I know I'm not so bad.

Now, having opened my heart to you about my failings, my finger hovers nervously and undecided over the publish post key. Do I, or don't I?

Oh what the hell! This is my blog, and I'm old enough to say what I want to say.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot! Bridie and I, the sequel. No, no, there is too much to tell. Would you mind waiting for the book?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Love Story.

Many many years ago it was. I was still young. Not much more than an unrough youth. I met a lovely Irish lass by the name of Bridie.

She was the epitome of Irish loveliness. Long red hair. Green eyes. The sweetest lilt of a soft brogue. She hailed, this fair maiden, from County Mayo, in the south of that emerald isle.

We met soon after she arrived in England. I was working as a porter in a hospital in London, and Bridie was a nursing auxiliary at the same place. So it was that our paths crossed often.

In the first few weeks, we exchanged nothing more than shy smiles. I wanted to talk to her, but as was always the way with me when I fancied a girl, I became a stuttering wreck when it came to conversing.

Fate however intervened in the shape of a staff nurse. A lively, happy go likely Australian woman. She, having apparently noticed my lovelorn glances, introduced me to Bridie, in the no nonsense way that Australians seem to have. In fact, as I recall she practically insisted that Bridie and I go out on a date.

We became inseparable, and spent long happy hours together. We soon fell in love. She lived not too far from me, in a house  shared with her two sisters, but she began to stay more at my place. Even staying overnight on occasion.

This state of affairs was scandalous however. For Bridie was from a large family of Roman Catholics, and I was a Protestant.

There were threats from the sisters to inform their Mother of what was going on. But Bridie was headstrong and the threats only made her more determined to be with me.

Of course the sisters were only trying to protect her reputation. The truth is though, that she and I were not lovers, at least not in the biblical sense. Bridie took great strength from her faith, and chastity was an important part of that.

Not that I didn't try my very best to undermine her resolve. Oh come on now, you know what men are like! She was sleeping in my bed, for heaven's sake! What's a bloke to do?

Eventually, one night she succumbed to my charms. At least I think that's what happened. Maybe I succumbed to hers. But the deed was done. The relationship consummated.

Afterwards I noticed she was tearful, "What is it?" I asked her, "are you sorry it happened?"

She kissed me. "No", she said, "I'm not sorry. its just..."

"Just what, sweetheart?"

"Well," she answered, "how am I going to tell the priest that I have sinned twice?"

"But we only did it once."

She looked at me with her beautiful green eyes, and with the merest hint of a naughty smile playing on her sweet mouth, she said, in her soft voice, "I was hoping we might do it again."

Monday, 16 April 2012

Good Morning To You This Fine Day.

Sadie and Bonnie.

                 'Good Morning Sadie'
             'Good Morning Bonnie'

             'Good Morning To You My Lovely Reader'

             'Good Morning World'

             'Good Morning Freedom'

             'Good Morning Happiness'

Saturday, 14 April 2012

A Defiant Stubborn Old Fool! Sometimes It Pays Off!

We were all up early this morning, because we had to catch an early train to London. We were off to the semi final match of the FA cup. The train journey was fine. This was my first time at the new stadium and I was excited to see it. What an atmosphere. Fantastic! Our team Everton scored first in the first half of the game. Then the other side Liverpool equalised soon into the second half. So tense, and then... No. I don't want to talk about it anymore! Except to say that the referee is an idiot.
The journey home was a little subdued.

On a happier note. Do you remember the parking fine I told you about? I wrote about it in my post of 5th April: 'A Defiant Stubborn Old Fool, That'll Be Me Then'. Well when I got home this evening, this letter was waiting for me.

Please click to enlarge.

Now that is what I call a good result.

I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed by the councils rapid capitulation. I was looking forward to my day in court. But I won the day that's the important thing.

It just goes to show. If you stand your ground. It pays off. How many people I wonder pay up without a word. The council must make lots of money they don't deserve. Anyway I am so glad I didn't add £50.00 to their coffers.

Hmm.. Now I'm wondering if I might sue them for a little compensation. After all they have put me through so much stress. If I'd had any hair I would probably have lost it. I'm almost on the edge of a nervous breakdown your Honour!

I spoke to a young man, named Andrew on the train home. He had just been to the opera. He did say he would have a read of my blog, so hello Andrew. It was nice meeting you. Sorry my blog is not as good as I said it was.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

I Give Up! I Cannot Think Of A Title For This. One Will Occur To Me Though As Soon As I Hit The Publish Button You Can Bet On It!

I have just been writing a lot of filosofickal, fillosawfikel, fihilassthickall... I have just been trying to write some thoughtful stuff. But it turned out to be just a lot of pretentious nonsense, so I deleted it. It was mainly about our brains. About how we are able to think, and even expand upon subjects that we actually think are beyond our comprehension. I'll give you an example: Rocket science. You probably think you know nothing about it. Unless of course you are a rocket scientist. In which case please accept my apologies for being so presumptuous. What I'm getting at though is this: You do know something about rocket science. Even if it is just a tiny scrap of knowledge, and just that little tiny bit of knowledge is all you need to expand on. Our brains.....
Look. I'll tell you what. I'll leave the subject there. I did mention at the beginning that it was a load of pretentious nonsense.

We're going to Wembley!
We are going to Wembley stadium on Saturday. To watch the football. It's the semi final of the FA cup.
When I say we, I'm referring to myself, George, my extremely handsome son, and Tricia.

Tricia is EHS George's Mother. Tricia and I were an item once. Until she saw sense that is, and gave me the elbow. Which broke my heart at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight, was a good move on her part. She is my friend now. My best friend actually. I am glad she is still in my life. Glad and privileged. I think I shall shut up about that subject too. I'm in floods of tears here. How did that happen? I was talking about Wembley stadium. How could she? How could she just dismiss me from her life like that? Please someone pass me a hankerchief. Women. How can they be so soft and so hard at the same time? I'll never understand. I'm a decent enough man, as men go. In truth, she was very lucky to have me! Apparently, I'm near the top of the list with regard to my abilities as a lover. Oh no, there were no problems as far as that subject was concerned. None whatsoever. Zilch. Nada. No problems at all. Hang on a minute. Near the top of the list! Did she say near the top? I'm sure she said at the top. Blimey! I felt a bit faint then. She definitely said at the top. Definitely! Anyway, as I say I don't understand it. Excuse me a moment. The tears have made my eyes blurry. I can hardly see the keyboard. If I'm not careful I could cause a short circuit. But oh my word! Women eh! Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Still it's her loss. She has only herself to blame. I bet she cries herself to sleep at night. It has only been 14 years. Me? I'm well over it!

So yes, anyway as I was saying. We are off to Wembley on Saturday. We had a heck of a job to get tickets. When I say we, what I mean is Tricia. At one stage I thought we might not get any, but, don't give up, that's my motto. Well Tricia's motto really. She is determined. She never gave up, and now we have tickets.

EHS George and I knew she'd do it in the end. We could have done more to help I suppose. But we had faith in her. She is lucky to have us. I hope she appreciates that!

Don't give up is not really her motto. That was just a figure of speech. What a woman! Where's that handkerchief? I'm welling up again. I need to dry my eyes. This is silly!
Please excuse fingernail. Not quite recovered from oiling bike!
Philosophical: I knew how to spell it all along. Such a joker! Philosophical with it though! I mean if I couldn't spell it. I would not have been at all bothered. It's only a word. Or is it?

By the way, after a bit of extra thought I am now prepared to concede there is a small chance, that you might not have any knowledge, not even the tiniest iota, of anything to do with rocket science.

This has been a silly post. I have been drinking Coca Cola. Feeling a bit hyper!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Hacked Off? Hopefully Not.

I know very little about computers. Facebook. I do that. Youtube. I can manage that too. I know how to deal with email. I can upload my photos. Mostly though, what I do is write this blog, and I seem to manage to do that OK. Actually once you get going on those few things I just mentioned, it becomes almost self explanatory.

But I will let you in on a little secret: I do not know what to do if anything goes wrong! All I can do at times like that, is panic a bit and shout for help. Which is usually forthcoming in the shape of Steve, my long suffering neighbour.

The reason I mention my lack of knowledge is because it seems that someone is trying to hack into this blog. I know this because a big red warning sign has flashed up a few times telling me of a threat alert.
This is what I imagine the hacker to look like.

Mind you the message did also say threat averted. Which is a good thing of course. But hackers don't give up easily do they?

Maybe I'm being paranoid. Maybe I'm making too much of these warnings. But I heard recently of a very well established blog, with thousands of followers, that was shut down because of hackers, and another one where nasty comments were being made in some innocent persons name.

I suppose hacking is a hobby, and hackers must get pleasure from their hobby. But they must be a bit sick in the head if their fun is to upset other peoples innocent pastimes.

If the threat warnings are correct, and if this blog does get compromised to such an extent that it is ruined permanently I shall just start again elsewhere on blogger, under a different title.

Oh well, I'm probably worrying unnecessarily anyway. If it does happen though, how are you, dear reader going to know where to find me again? I haven't a clue!

If you have any suggestions, please let me know. In the meantime, hackers permitting, I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

What Katie Did Advert Clicked With Me.

Oi Blogger! Where's my adverts? What have you done with 'em? Why have you dropped 'em? Completely without warning too.

Have I upset you? Is that it?

Hold on, just a cotton picking minute!

Does it have anything to do with me clicking on that sexy lingerie ad?

The What Katie Did one?

I bet it does. It was soon after I broke the rules by doing so, that all the adverts disappeared from my page.

Well, this is just to let you know, that I'm not bothered. I was thinking of getting rid of adverts anyway. They spoil the look of my page.

Besides which, I only earned £8.92p in a year, and 10p of that was for clicking on the lingerie ad!

It's just not worth the aggravation.

What about my £8.92p by the way? What happens to that?

I'll tell you what. You can keep it.

No! Hang on! I've changed my mind. You can't keep it.

Give it to charity.

The AWHLM. That one. The Association for the Welfare of Hosiery and Lingerie Models. I'd like to help them.

By the way. If you don't want the rules broken, I suggest that you stop putting sexy lingerie adverts on the page.

What d'you expect a man to do? Ignore an ad like that!

That's not possible.

You know I like stockings and suspenders. I've mentioned it enough times on this very blog.

Come on! Did you really expect me not to click on it?

I'm a bloke. A real man. I couldn't help myself!

It's all your fault!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Common Orchid Hunt. Cancelled.

What a surprise. It is raining. Pouring actually. It is cold too, and windy. Bonnie the ginger cat hasn't bothered to get out of bed. Sadie the German Shepherd has the longest, most miserable hangdog expression ever recorded, and me? I feel sad and dispirited. Astonishing, don't you think, the effect a spot of bad weather can have. Especially when it comes on top of the lovely warm spring we have just been enjoying.

It's a bank holiday Monday. An Easter bank holiday Monday. Naturally, that's why the weather has taken this turn for the worse. Lots of people were planning on doing something fun today. That of course makes it all so much more miserable. When your plans for a nice day come to nothing.

What did you have in mind for today? My extremely handsome son George and I were going to go in search of an Orchid. This one won't be in flower yet I don't think, but we know what the leaves look like, so we were hoping to find it that way. Then of course when it does flower, we would be able to find it easier.
Common orchid
This particular orchid is our most common type I think, although I am no plant expert. It is called common orchid, but it is not seen very often. Maybe it was common once upon a time. Extremely handsome son George found it a couple of years ago. Just a single flower head. Last year there was no sign of it though. I am hoping it will be back.

My curiosity about our native plants has been sparked into life by EHS George's interest mainly, but it has always been there in the background. I hope he maintains his interest, and that perhaps it will lead onto something. He has mentioned University. So who knows?

Oh well, the miserable weather has put paid to that for today. Yesterday though we went in search of wild daffodils in the woods. We found some, although they were past their best. We also found lots of other plants. I thought you might like to see some photos I took on our walk. It might cheer me up a bit to have a look too.

You can click on a picture to enlarge it, and admire my remarkable photographic skill and artistry.

Sphagnum moss.


More Violets.


I don't know what this plant is. Looks like some sort of currant.

Dandelion. Grows everywhere. But it's beauty should not be overlooked.

Ground ivy.
Wild Daffodils. Sorry they are past their best.

Wild wolf. Or maybe it's Sadie.

Butchers broom.
Primroses, fern, and bluebell foliage.

A mystery plant. What is it?
The answer to the mystery plant question. It isn't a plant. A flower has fallen from a blackthorn tree, and got stuck on the wheat. I bet you weren't fooled for a second!

I'm pleased we found the wild Daffodils. I'm sorry they are past their best. I'm sure the poet William Wordsworth would not have found them so inspiring had he seen them in this state.

That's it for now. I hope the weather is better where you are. Hope you enjoyed Easter all the same.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

It's About Time I Got My Leg Over Again!

My extremely handsome son George and I were giving his bike a bit of attention today, and when that was all done to his liking, I decided it was the ideal time to have a look at my old bike. The one that has been laid up in the shed for a couple of years, due to me mistakenly thinking that I was getting old.
Before. Very rusty old bike.
It's a periodic thing with me. Thinking I'm getting old. In fact I can go for ages considering myself extremely aged, and then all of a sudden, I'll see a pretty woman, and whoa! Steady on John boy. I don't feel so old anymore. It is amazing the effect a pretty face can have. Being really honest, which I always am, it isn't just the face that does it for me either, I mean some woman have got really beautiful...... Hey! What was I talking about? Oh yes, bikes!
After. Very oily rusty old bike.
The top picture shows you what a rusty old piece of metal the bike was before undergoing my rigorous spring cleaning and mechanical servicing. The next picture shows you the results of my endeavours. I have to admit to not a little pride in this achievement.

Yes that's right. You have noticed, and I agree, it is still a rusty old bike. But I have oiled the rust!

Look at how it shines now. I did it with a bowl of oil and a two inch paint brush. Oiling things in this way is very quick. It can also be very messy. It was very messy! In fact it took more time to clean up the spilled oil, than it did to oil the bike. Nevertheless, I still think the rust on the wheels looks nicer now that it is shiny.

I also pumped the tyres up. Surprisingly they stayed up too. It was at this stage of proceedings that I decided to take her for a spin.

Did you notice that I called it her? You might wonder why that is? I have no idea. Sorry.

She went like a dream. Effortlessly. The big wheels give her a tremendous turn of speed. I was soon almost flying down the road. As I went, I sang gaily. In the old sense of the word gay that is. "Raindrops keep falling on my head, and, just like the guy who boots are too big for his bed. Nothin' seems to fit, Oh, I'm not complainin', because I'm free nothin's bothering me... Tra la la."

I never sang the 'tra la la' bit. Now, that would have sounded gay. Not that I have any problems with people being gay. Thought it best to mention that.

She was fairly hurtling along, the old bike. People were watching me as I whizzed past. It may have been the bike they were looking at. But truthfully, and without, I hope, sounding too immodest, I think it was my singing that attracted them. I do have beautifully modulated tones.

Anyway, things were going well. What a lovely, delightfully smooth old thing. But enough about me. The bike was quite nice too.

Then I saw the tractor emerging slowly from a field. No problem. No room to go around him in this narrow lane. I shall stop and let the tractor complete it's manoovre manuover maneuvre maanuver. Let the tractor complete it's turn.

Oh no! She won't stop. The brakes won't grip. What an idiot! I've only gone and oiled the brake pads! I'm going too fast. What to do? Jump off. That's it. It's easy. All you do is, you throw your right leg back and over the saddle, and, dragging your foot along the ground as a brake, come to a graceful halt.

This method always worked when I was younger. But this time it didn't. This time, as my leg came over the saddle, the crotch of my trousers got caught on the saddle. As I tried to disentangle myself, the handlebars took a sudden twist to the left, and I fell, or rather crashed, into the roadside ditch, with the bike on top off me.

Not to worry though. I'm told that if I keep the frozen peas in place, the bruising will soon go down, and things will, in a few days, return to their normal size. Which in a funny way, is a shame really, because it's nice having them a bit bigger than normal.

It's going to be a while before I can get back on the saddle again. Such a pity, because I was hoping to get my leg over quite a lot this summer.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

A Defiant Stubborn Old Fool! That'll Be Me Then.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! The letter has arrived. The one from the council. About my parking fine. The fine I have no intention of paying. You might recall me telling you about it in my post of 16th February 2012, 'Let Battle Commence'.

It took a bit longer to arrive than the 28 days they said. It's more like 6 or 7 weeks. Tell you the truth I thought they'd forgotten all about it. In fact I was only a couple of days ago going to tell you just that. Glad I didn't. What a fool I would have looked. Oi you, I heard that! Anyway it's here now.

My mindset is still the same as it was. I am not paying it! If I pay them the money, that would be the same as admitting guilt. I made a genuine mistake when setting the time on the parking disc. How does that warrant them charging me 50 quid?
Click to enlarge.
The next stage is that I am supposed to send them something they call 'Grounds for Representations'. These representations are then put before the Enforcement Authority for consideration. Guess who runs the Enforcement Authority? Yes, that's right. The council! Well they can bloody well whistle for my representations, cos' they ain't getting none! I'm saving them for my day in court.

Click to enlarge.
Next bit of the form they want my evidence details. They ain't getting them either. I'm saving my evidence for the court case. This is what I have written on the form.
Click to enlarge.
That bit about me being nervous and stressed, isn't true. Although it may well turn out that way. I really only added it for effect and to demonstrate to the unthinking bureaucrats in the Town Hall, that I have feelings. The bit I have put about going straight to Magistrates court, and bypassing Enforcement Authority, is just to give them something to think about too.

I would like you to look at the first photo again, and read the bit where it says what my alleged contravention is. Have you done that? OK, now look at the photos that are on the form. These pictures were taken by the parking enforcement officer. What is that in the windscreen? Why my goodness gracious me. It looks like a CLEARLY DISPLAYED parking clock.

Apart from that piece of evidence, I still maintain that a parking fine is unjust for a simple mistake in displaying the time correctly, and that if I had any nefarious intent, although for the life of me, I struggle to understand what that intent might be, why on earth would I have obtained the parking disc in the first place. Also, there were very few other cars in the very large car park, so I wasn't even depriving anyone of a space.

I realise I'm being stubborn. Possibly even foolish. But I simply cannot give them £50. I haven't done anything wrong.