Thursday, 31 May 2012

Sadie The German Shepherd Does It Again. With A Bit Of Help From 'Nature Center Magazine'.

Oh it makes me so furious! After all the effort I put in too. I just wish I knew the secret of how she does it.

Oh I'm sorry. You probably are wondering what I'm on about. Who it is that has upset me. Well I'll tell you. It's Sadie the German Shepherd. She has gone and done it again. Doubled the readership! In the last post. It wasn't even really about her either. All she did was sit there looking bored. Where is the skill in that! I'm totally flummoxed. What is the point? I have a good mind to let her write all the posts. She might just as well. She obviously has something I haven't got. Or at least that's what you all think.

She smells! Did you know that? And wind! She's even worse than me in that respect. Another thing, she will steal the very food off your plate given half a chance! And I hope you are not eating a meal while reading this, but she is always licking herself. Down there. You know, on her rude bits! It's disgusting!

So there you have it. What she is really like. If you were thinking about transferring your allegiance from me to her, please reconsider. At least I have a shower every six months whether I need one or not, and use deodorant if there's any about!  As far as the wind goes I have that well under control. Most of the time. Also I haven't stolen any food for ages, and I most certainly don't lick my.... Well you know. Anyway I can't reach. Not that I've tried. Well, apart from that time when I took up yoga, but that was a freak accident. I won't try that again in a hurry!

Hey, I just realised. It must be the use of the words German Shepherd in the title. That is what attracts all those extra readers. I think I'll change this blog title to "Don't Unplug Your German Shepherd" see what happens then. Hmm.. That might increase my advertising revenue. Worth a try I suppose. I might get rich. Oh she is a lovely doggie that Sadie!

"Sadie, come and give your old dad a hug. Oh for God's sake Sadie, go away, I need to open the window!"

There is another reason for my blogs increased popularity today. I have been interviewed by Emma Springfield who is a writer for Nature Center Magazine. I haven't spelled centre wrong, that is how they spell it in the States. They have some funny ways over the pond.

You can read my incredibly interesting interview at I suspect lots of you already read Nature Center Magazine as it is very popular.

I am pleased to say that Sadie the German Shepherd does not feature in my interview. She is getting far too much publicity as it is.

It is a wonderful interview I think you will enjoy it. It's all about me! Not that that means much. What's that? You think I'm being modest? How kind you are.

See you soon. Bye.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Sadie The German Shepherd. An Appreciative Audience Of One.

I tried to play this tune all the way through, to demonstrate how I'm progressing with the penny whistle. Things didn't go according to plan though and the result was this disastrous attempt.

My co star Sadie the German Shepherd tries to look as though she's not enjoying it. Mind you she has had to listen to me practicing for the last month. She did give me her seal of approval at the end though, which from her, means a lot.
Anyway it's just a bit of fun so I have put it on youtube for your delectation and delight. The tune is called 'I see Mull' or 'Land of my youth'. I can actually play it all the way through, honest. No really I can!

I've come back to do a bit of an edit because I have just noticed that Bonnie the cat is in the video too. She is in the tree behind Sadie. That's nice isn't it? Obviously another fan!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

How The Tortoise Easily Beat The Hare.

Good morning everyone.

After my last grumpy post you may or may not, depending on your own mood, be pleased to hear that I am back to normal. Which is grumpy with a chunk of happy thrown in every now and again.

Yesterday I announced the date of my wagon warming come 65th birthday party on facebook and invited everyone. You lot are all invited too if you can make it. It will be on August the 4th. Starting at 7.30. It will incorporate an Open Mic event, so hopefully will attract a lot of musicians.

My new best friend Paul is an athlete, gold medallist runner and cyclist and is extremely fit. He has the look of a runner about him too and not an ounce of fat on him. Actually when I come to think of it, very much the same as me!

So I was not surprised when, in the morning, he said he was going for a run. I was a bit surprised when he suggested I went on the run with him. I mean, after all, how many times have I mentioned my bad toe on this blog? My toe really hurts sometimes. I'm a martyr to it!

Anyway I hummed and haa'd about it for a while and then decided I would go with him. In fact I decided I might make a bit of a race of it. After all I know the area well and Paul was a complete stranger to it.

We worked out a route of about 6 miles in total, which Paul describes as, "a bit of a stroll." It would involve running to the sea and back. I thought it would be nice for him to get an idea of my locality.

After a few stretching exercises, we set off. I was soon in the lead, and heard him shouting at me to slow down. But I was in the 'zone' as it is called, and besides I wanted to get back first. Prove my competitiveness.

I was on my way back when I saw Paul puffing and panting, still on his way to the beach. I have to admit that to my shame I shouted "loser" and gave him a casual wave. It was all so easy and I hadn't even broken sweat!

He is so competitive! I could see how deflated he was at me getting back first, so I made him a nice breakfast to help him get over the upset.

So there you have it. Me, an old bloke, beating the honed gold medal winning athlete. No problem at all. OK, so I was driving my car, but that's not the point. I still came first, and that is what a race is all about.

Bye for now.

PS On Paul's blog you can hear me playing the penny whistle accompaniment to his latest song. You might want to follow his blog too. Give him a bit of a boost.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Was It Really Just Another Day?

It's been an odd day. Sunday is usually quiet, and so it was today. I am still decorating the inside of the showman's wagon, which in itself seems an odd thing to do when the weather is so nice.

Today in total I have spoken, albeit very briefly, to maybe seven people. Friends Mark and Tovey, stopped by. But they were on their way somewhere else and used my place as a short cut to their destination. They were walking over the fields from the village. Tovey is going to make me some curtains and took the opportunity to do some measuring of my windows. And then they were gone.

I had to unblock the basin in Tricia's bathroom. I thought it would clear with the plunger, but it wouldn't. So I took off the trap. That was clear, so finally I ended up dismantling the wastepipe entirely. Still it wouldn't clear, so I used caustic soda. Which finally, with the aid of more plunging cleared the blockage. Not however before I had accidentally inhaled a lungful of the boiling caustic. Nasty!

When Paul was here last Wednesday/Thursday I remarked on the strong smell of wild garlic pervading the air. Well it wasn't the smell of wild garlic, it was the smell of propane gas escaping. I only found that out today when I went to turn on my cooker and there was nothing. The gas pipe had split and all the gas had gone! It was a brand new tank of gas too. Flipping expensive way to pollute the environment.

Luckily the place where I get my hens feed, supply propane, and are open on a Sunday. Mind you it was pretty obvious that the young girl who served me would far rather be somewhere else on this fine day. I can't say I blame her either, but please love, make a bit of an effort. The youngster who got the gas for me was a bit more talkative, but only to complain about the heat! We are a grumpy lot us British sometimes.

Next I had to stop for fuel. "Do you have a loyalty card Sir?" This was another person who would obviously rather be somewhere else. Don't ask me how I know, but it may have been her miserable face. Which if she could be bothered to raise a smile, would have been quite attractive.
"Would you like one?"
Here I attempted to raise a smile from her, "No thank you, but I always get my fuel here, so I am loyal."
"Oh my word," she said sarcastically, "A loyal man. What a rarity."
This response put my back up. "Don't start that nonsense," I said, injecting a somewhat unintended venom into my words. Her face fell even more, and I have to confess to a degree of satisfaction at this. Well, serves her right.

Next person I saw was my neighbour Steve who was working in the vegetable plot. I asked his advice about backing up my computer. I had just read Lea's blog in which she spoke about her computer crashing. Steve advised a memory stick, which I shall buy tomorrow, and he will sort things out for me.

I saw my other neighbours John and Yola. But just stopped by to say hello. John was barbecuing, and invited me to share, but I declined. Sometimes I worry that I might be too much of a scrounger. Or maybe I wasn't in much of a socialising mood today. Anyway I came back and now that I had propane I could cook, and made myself bacon and eggs and tomatoes. Very nice too it was.

Extremely handsome son George is at his friends house and Tricia has gone to see her Mother in London. I feel kind of down today. Inexplicable, considering how all is well with my world right now.

Maybe the fact that I have had the radio on whilst decorating has depressed me. I was listening to radio 4 mostly. All full of gloomy news. Yes I could have changed to a music channel but wasn't in the mood for music either. What a grumpy old misery guts I really am. Hopefully I shall be more cheerful tomorrow. Might even write more about Paul's visit.

Thanks for listening. I do so much appreciate you being there.

Saturday, 26 May 2012


Today the wonderful weather that my new friend Paul brought with him, continued happily on.

I went to a barbecue this afternoon, where along with most everyone else, I lost my heart to this beautiful little girl. 9 week old Etta, an English Bull Terrier. She is absolutely gorgeous.

'Etta'.  Please click on picture to enlarge.

Tovey and India with Etta.
The food was lovely too.
I went a bit soppy when we had a cuddle.

Pansy Potter was a bit put out, but we all love her too.

Friday, 25 May 2012

My Blogger Friend Comes To Visit.

It was a good job that I took my truck when I went to pick up fellow blogger Paul from the railway station, because he had brought a heck of a lot of beer with him! He had brought it all the way from his home in New Zealand! I think someone must have mentioned we have a drought here in England and he didn't want to take any chances.

I recognised him immediately, but I think he struggled to recognise me, because photos tend to make me look like a short fat bloke, when in fact I am actually tall and slim.

Also I had neglected to inform him that I usually like to dress in women's clothing! On this occasion I was in my favourite summer frock! He didn't seem too phased by this, in fact he told me he loves floral prints.

We were instantly at ease in each others company. It felt to me that we had been friends for ages instead of having just met for the first time. Which just goes to show the power of this blogging business.

There were no awkward silences, as there sometimes is when meeting someone for the first time. In fact he couldn't keep his mouth closed. If he wasn't talking ten to the dozen, he was swilling lager. Oh that reminds me, I must phone the council to arrange to have his empty cans and bottles removed!

Tricia liked Paul, especially when she realised he had a rucksack full of lager!
Now if I may be serious for a moment. What a great bloke! Handsome, athletic, caring and a heart of pure gold. Yes that's me. Paul seemed quite pleasant too.

No seriously, proper seriously Paul. You are a great guy, and it was a real privilege for you to finally meet me!

Tricia, Paul and Sadie the German Shepherd enjoy the sunshine.
Right that's it. No more rambling. Paul I like you a lot. We male bonded I think. You were only here for 24 hours, but we had a lot of fun, music, and laughter in that short time. I was genuinely sad to see you go.

At the station I almost gave you a man hug. The only thing that stopped me was that I didn't want to crease my new frock!

Paul on guitar and lager beer!
To be continued.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Visitor From New Zealand.

Paul lives in New Zealand. I started following his blog I honestly cannot remember how I came across his blog. I expect that he saw my blog first, and like most people who read it found it irresistible, and became a follower. He is an intelligent man, so that must be the explanation.

Now having just said he is intelligent I must qualify that statement, because after a few months of following he suddenly declared that he would like to visit me! He must be bloody nuts I thought. Surely by now he must know what a terribly hard life I lead? How I make do without all the modern conveniences. But if he is willing to fly all the way from New Zealand, which apparently is on the other side of the world, and lives a whole day ahead of the rest of us. Then I ought to let him visit.

So I phoned the New Zealand police because I wanted to make certain that he was not an axe murderer or anything nasty like that, and having ascertained that he wasn't wanted for any crimes, I emailed him and said I would be pleased for him to visit.

Then he said he wanted to stay overnight! What a flaming cheek! Of course I said no. I only have one bed and I didn't intend sharing it with a bloke, especially a bloke I don't know. Well there are some strange people about and you never know, he might have found me attractive!

So he comes out with this sob story about how he didn't know where he would be able to sleep that night. So I relented and said he could stay. I even let him have my bed! Of course I had to launder my bed sheets, which was a bit of a nuisance because they had only been freshly laundered six months previously! Still I thought I'd make a bit of an effort. After all he had come from New Zealand. That's on the other side of the world you know.

Sadie the German Shepherd and I slept in my van. It wasn't too bad. I've slept in worse places in my time.

I had a very good nights sleep in my van.
Before he woke Sadie the German Shepherd and me the next morning, Paul very kindly took this photo. He seemed to find it amusing. I have no idea why he found it so funny!

There will be more to come about Paul's visit.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Three Score Years And Five.

When he was a little boy, about 6 or 7 years old, my extremely handsome son George, went through a phase. He became very concerned about the fact that one day I would die. I have no idea how the idea got into his little head. It was not a subject we had ever discussed as far as I can recall.

He told me that he was not going to let God take me to heaven. He was going to hold onto my hand really tight and not let go.

Eventually to calm him down I told him I was going to live until I reached 120 years old at least. This, I think gave him a bit of comfort. And me also if I'm truthful. I thought that the idea was not too far fetched. I think I began to believe it in some strange way.

I don't make promises to my extremely handsome son George unless I intend to keep them. Sadly however I am going to have to break this one.

Today I feel old. I am old. In a few months I shall be 65. Only five years short of the allotted three score years and ten. That is old. My aching body often reminds me of this.

120 years! What a fool I was to make that promise. But the intention was truly there.

Sorry about that son. I love you very much indeed.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Holed On Tu Yor Dreems

Rytin is deaf inaytlee in my blud. It is sumfin I awl wais wan ted to do. That is wy I liek blogin. I rimembur a teechur lukin at a esay wot I rote. He wus veri imp rest becos He shuk hes hed and sed, thatis remarcaball. Froum that momend on I wus houkt on it. An that is wi I am sutch a gud riter today. I fink the seecred is to reed day lot and awl wais if yuo donut no wat awurd meens luk it up in a dichshonerry. Keyp a kerfool ei on yor grama, and awl wais reed fru wot you hav ritton.
I awl wais wantid to be a Inggelish teechur. I wud hav been gud at it but sadlee it wus nort to be. Neva mynd. Sosiettys los is yur gayn.
Gud luk wiv yor ambichuns. Neva giv up luk ware I am tuday. Awl so rimembur spelcheka can be a grey telp if yu ar nort shor of a wurd. Mi spelcheka is not wurk in tuday.
Mo sting por tent keyp ritin.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Police Constable Wilson. More On Him.

I was going to tell you some good things about Police Constable Wilson today, as a follow up to my last post. But to be perfectly honest with you, I just can't be bothered to talk about him. He wasn't nice at all!
Where do I get these strange ideas from? I am getting far too soft in my old age, It has to stop. PC Wilson will be the first to suffer my slings and arrows. Truth to tell he was a miserable, grumpy old sod, who thought that his uniform made him into some kind of godlike figure. Bashing kids! Only bullies do that. He ain't got anything to be proud of. There you go Wilson, take that!
Sometimes my right wing tendencies get waylaid by my soppy leftist alter ego, and I find myself saying things I don't really mean. Or worse still, sitting on the fence pretending I don't care.
Well I do care today, and I despise anyone who hurts kids. Some obnoxious child upset you? Tough! Walk away from it. You are an adult aren't you? Deal with it. Walk away. It's only a kid. The brain hasn't developed properly yet. And it probably won't if you keep smacking it around the head!
You may have noticed that I began the last sentence with the word 'and'. There was a time when this was considered grammatically wrong. Well not any more apparently. I'm going to be doing it more and more in future. Save me a lot of time thinking about punctuation!
Now where was I? Oh yes Police Constable Wilson. A nasty piece of work he was. I'm saying nothing good about him. Not today. Might do some other time.
I'll tell you what. Any copper hits my kids, I'll have his badge!
Yesterday the weather was gorgeous. I was in such a good mood. Today it is bloody raining. Again. I'm in a bad mood. Hope it didn't come across in this post!
It might be sunny again tomorrow.
See you again soon.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Not All Coppers Are Bastards.

Police Constable Wilson frightened me. I used to try and avoid being anywhere near him. Sometimes though it wasn't possible. Especially when he came calling at the house looking for me. Which occurrence meant I was in trouble again. PC Wilson didn't do social calls. At least not to nuisance 14 year olds. Which due to the number of his visits I presume was the category I belonged to.
PC Wilson thought nothing of giving a recalcitrant youth a clip around the ear. When I say clip, what I really mean is a clout to send your head spinning. He would dish out this punishment in full view of the parents of said troublemaker, and not a word of complaint would he hear, from either party.
Some policemen were very kindly. I'm sure this gentleman was.
Can you imagine the hue and cry there would be today if a Police officer laid a hand on a young person? It would probably end the officers career.
Now this is where I might surprise you, because I agree with PC Wilson handing out his summary justice. In my opinion PC Wilson, by his no nonsense approach, probably saved many a young person from a life of crime.
There were many PC Wilsons when I was a boy in the fifties and early sixties. They were everywhere. They knew how to deal with young upstarts. None of this asking nicely nonsense. In those days the police would dish out a bloody good hiding and still issue you with a summons to court. Where another dose of punishment would be given. Tough justice, but as I say, effective in nipping problems in the bud.
It didn't work out that way for me, but perhaps I was a slow learner. Or more likely as I have mentioned before, a stubborn little tike!
Another thing. You only spoke back to a policeman once. Then wallop! More summary punishment. Lesson learned.
Kids don't fear the police these days. They know the police can't touch them. Can't even speak to them unless an appropriate adult is present. Usually the appropriate adult is the kids mum or dad. In most cases totally inappropriate, and as thick as two short planks!
Bring back PC Wilson I say. Allow the policeman to apply a well aimed backhander with his gloved fist! It would save a hell of a lot of time and money, and turn any 'wanna be gangsta' from a life of petty crime, or much worse.
How the heck did it all go so wrong? Oh yes of course. Political bloody correctness that's how.
Some people might disagree with my views on this matter. That is perfectly all right. We all are entitled to our opinions.
To explain the title of this post, this is not the article I intended to write when I sat here this evening. I got sidetracked. It was going to feature PC Wilson though. The nice side of the man. Providing I don't get sidetracked again I shall tell you more next time.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

I Have Been So Busy!

Cor blimey! It's Thursday already. I have been so busy. How are you? I mean 'good morning. Thought I'd better pop by to say hello. Two days without blogging, have left me riddled with guilt. I have given myself a smack on the wrist.

This isn't a proper post either I'm afraid. Too busy.

I've been making some fencing for a friends garden. When I can dodge between the rain that is. Also my cooker oven isn't working, so I have taken one from an old caravan and am in the process of fitting it in my kitchen. What a flipping palaver! It is a fitted cooker, and I spent ages trying to get it to fit, only to discover I had cut the insert hole the wrong way round. Arrgh!

I managed to scrounge another twelve sheets of corrugated roofing sheets yesterday. Marvellous!

The 'World Famous Ramshackle Art Gallery' gets a little closer to completion.

I call it world famous because you, dear readers, are all over the world, and you know about it!

Somewhere in among the chaos the Ramshackle Gallery is taking shape.
This scrounging stuff. I've always been good at it. I just adopt my little boy lost and confused look and that's it. Jobs a good 'un!

Got to go now. See you soon. No really I have to go. Busy!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Teddy Bear. A Revelation.

Over the last year or so I have opened my heart to you. I have been frank, honest, and sincere. I have not held back in my desire to tell the truth about myself. There is plenty more to come as well. But first there is something you ought to know about me. Something that may well shock you rigid.

I have held back from revealing the information I am about to tell you. I have held back because what I have to tell you, might well cause you to reflect on your opinion of me. Might even cause you to question my masculinity!

However, after much thought, and soul searching I have finally decided to bite the bullet. To come clean. To confess. To reveal all!

My dear, dear friends. Are you sitting down? Please I beg you, forgive me when I tell you: I have a teddy bear!
This is Inky Purvis. My teddy bear.
I know. I know. I can hear your gasps of disbelief. Disbelief that I, such a rugged, hardy, and yes I agree, handsome man, should have a teddy bear!

But wait, you dear people. It gets worse. Nay! Nay! I hear you cry, please spare us. But I have to go on. I have to!

I actually bought my teddy bear myself! I went into a shop and purchased a teddy bear! Not as a gift for someone else. Oh no! I bought the teddy bear for myself! Yes I know. Unbelievable!

Twenty three years I have owned him. Twenty three years!

It was so sudden. I walked past the shop window, and there he was. Sitting forlornly, staring out at all the passers by. How many people must he have seen that day? Possibly thousands. Yet he called to me. He chose me. He stopped me in my tracks. Made me enter that shop, and made me hand over twenty quid of my hard earned money. I had no choice in the matter. It just happened. Just like that.

He is sitting behind me now as I write. In his usual place on the shelf, from where he can see everything that goes on.

His name is Inky Purvis. He is my teddy bear. I am exceedingly fond of him. He knows everything. But he won't tell! Never!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Saying 'Boo' To A Goose.

Aggie Davis, a foster mother, was indeed a nasty piece of work! Wicked she was, and prone to fly into a rage without warning. She made life very unpleasant for me. I was a nervous wreck most of the time I was in her company. Nervous and timid, that was me in those days.

Yes that was me, nervous and timid. I wouldn't say 'boo' to a goose. At least that was what Bert, Aggie's husband thought. He thought it for a long time, and he kept on thinking it. He kept on thinking it until I was about 19 years old.

In fact he was still thinking it when he stood up in court and agreed to let me move back into his and Aggie's house. He still thought it when he agreed to stand bail for me.

I was in trouble again for fighting. At least that was what the charge was. The truth of the matter was that I had merely stood up for myself against a bully. I'm not making excuses here. OK I admit I was no saint during my teenage years, especially when I'd had a drink or few, and perhaps in some instances I behaved like a drunken lout. But mostly, I was standing up for myself.

Anyway in this incident the other fighter had made a complaint and I was arrested. I shouldn't really refer to him as a fighter, because I only hit him once, and he gave up!

It was me that was arrested though. In those days if you had a police record, and the other person didn't, well, basically you were done for. Done up like a bleedin' kipper, as they used to say in the parlance of the day.

On the bus going back to his place, Bert was shaking his head in a perplexed manner. He was still thinking along the lines of: "When you were a kid, Johnny Boy, you wouldn't say 'boo' to a goose!"

He was right too, I wouldn't have. Not until the day, when aged about 12, and in the midst of being beaten once again by Aggie, I suddenly decided to fight back, and gave her an almighty thump on the nose!

It was then, as far as I can recall, that I began to stand up for myself.

From that day on. The goose was the timid nervous one. Not me.


Friday, 4 May 2012

Adverts. They Could Be Inappropriately Appropriate!

My adverts have returned. Apparently they disappeared because I didn't enter my pin number.

Which I couldn't do because I didn't have a pin number! Doh!

They don't seem to be doing any harm so they can stay for the moment while I decide if I really want them.

Google it seems, base the ads on what I write about on this blog. Blimey! That must confuse the hell out of them.

There was a little bit of trepidation on my part, when I read that they also base them on the type of web sites I visit!

Oh dear, oh dear! I suppose I shall have to behave myself!

As I always do!

PS I have just had a look at the preview before I publish this, and there is an advert for a filipino dating agency. I have never looked at a filipino dating site. Never! Ever! That's the truth!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Amazing! Flipping Amazing!

It was in the late 1960's or early 70's. I was watching a television programme. It was called 'Tomorrows World', and it was about the science of the future.

This particular episode was about communication and featured a little hand held television on which you could also make phone calls, and send messages and pictures all over the world in seconds.

Of course I didn't believe it would become reality. Much too far fetched!

Now look at us! We have all become communications experts.

Amazing! Flipping Amazing! That's all I can say on the matter. Amazing!

Here is a picture of Bonnie having her head scratched. She loves me doing that. Look at her face. Ecstasy! I do tend to have that effect on females!

I am feeling very tired these last couple of days. A bit woolly headed. Last night I just didn't have the energy to comment on any blogs. I do apologise.

I am visiting though, so please don't think I have forgotten about you.

A little bit of a rest and I shall be back to normal and trying desperately to think of something incisive and witty to say about your blog posts. Sometimes it is so difficult to know what to say. Sometimes it is impossible.

Take yesterday for example. Beatrice at posted about a baby girl who had died. I was deeply moved and sat for a while trying to think of an appropriate response. Nothing would come. I left my thoughts unspoken.

What I'm trying to say, in my rambling roundabout way is: I am here, and I am following, even if I don't always comment.

You have become an important part of my life. I do appreciate you being there.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?

My car needs work done to pass its MOT test. The bad news didn't surprise me. The good news is that there isn't much wrong and it won't cost a small fortune to fix. It is a people carrier Nissan Serena. A funny little vehicle which does nothing for my street cred, and singularly fails to impress the ladies! I like it though, and it is a handy little workbus.

As I drove back from the garage this morning, I was overtaken by a blue Sunbeam Alpine sports car. This set off a train of thought.

I used to own a Sunbeam Alpine. When I got married I drove to my wedding in it. When my daughter was born we brought her home from the maternity hospital in it. The little car was always breaking down, but I was very fond of it.

These memories of times past, made me feel sad. By the time I reached home I was feeling this sadness in the pit of my stomach. A physical sadness, as well as a mental one. My heart felt broken! Yes I know. I'm a sentimental old fool.

Sometimes I really wish I could have made a better go of my marriage. But you know, if I had, I would never have met Tricia. We would never have been blessed with our extremely handsome son George!

Life is full of different phases. That's just how it is.

Perhaps we should all have a yearly MOT test on our relationships, then we could get things mended before they get broken beyond repair and end up as a heap of junk on the scrapheap of life!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Showmans' Wagon, Or, This Is The House That Jack Built.

This is my home. Self built. It is similar in design to the old showmens' wagons. The type of thing that would travel around on a lorry flatbed or railway wagon. I call it a wagon even though it has no wheels. But it is designed so that if it ever needed to be moved it could be winched onto a flatbed lorry.

About 80% of it was built using reclaimed timber, most of which I was given free or very cheaply. I had to buy the floor new and some of the superstructure timbers. The mollicroft windows were given to me by a friend who put new ones on her wagon. I was able to restore them. Getting them was a fantastic result.

It is 32 feet long by about 8 feet wide and, including the mollicroft about 8 feet high. The mollicroft is the raised part of the roof. It adds height, and the extra windows make the wagon nice and bright. Inside it has a bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedroom. More than sufficient space for my needs. There are two front doors, of the stable type. One opens into the kitchen, the other into the living room.

There was no planned design, no intricate drawings. Just a picture in my head of how I wanted it to look. It just grew from that. Organic is the word they use these days I believe.

It was there in my head for ages, and then one day I suddenly decided to go for it. Even though at the time I had no money to speak of. I just thought: 'Lets see what happens!. Maybe the Lord will provide?' Well sometimes you have to believe. It was amazing how the materials would turn up, once people knew about what I was doing.

There is still work to be done inside and out. I was advised not to move in until it was finished, because some of my friends thought if I did that I would neglect finishing it properly. I didn't take the advice. I moved in early.

They were right! I have been tardy in getting it finished. But on reflection I'm glad I didn't finish the work inside, because a design fault in the way I made the roof has shown there is a problem with leaks. Nothing serious, and I have worked out a way of sorting the problem. Imagine if I had done all the fancy decoration inside and had it ruined by water! Anyway that is my excuse. After lots of head scratching I finally discovered the problem was caused by capillary action, so I can sort it out.

The land it is built on is owned by me. I described in an earlier post how I came to buy it, and I am so glad I did buy it.

I think of this place as my haven away from the real world. A sanctuary. Not just for me but also for the wildlife that comes to visit. Even the pesky mole, who creates havoc with the paddock, and the cheeky magpies who raid the henhouse and steal eggs are safe here. The fox comes sometimes and kills hens, but he doesn't know he is doing wrong. The resulting carnage breaks my heart, and I curse his very bones, but the truth is, that in these instances it is usually my animal husbandry that is at fault.

It is odd this regard I have for wildlife. I think perhaps age has mellowed this old heart. I do dwell more on the sanctity of all life these days. I get deeply affected by animal cruelty. Here I go again, rambling away from the subject.

It's nice living here like this. It is certainly cosy, and I have lived in much smaller places. Of course I am close to Tricia and George and I am blessed with lovely neighbours. What more could a man want?

Hopefully it will be completely finished soon, and I will be able to offer proper hospitality to anyone who calls by.

I shall have a wagon warming party, with music and laughter! I hope you can come.