Monday, 26 August 2013

Get Down. Get On Down.

If you were here with me today, sitting here in the wagon, you would likely hear me singing away to myself. I do it all the time. Singing. Sometimes I pick up my guitar and have a strum. Pretending I know all the right chords to some tune or other that just happens to brush past my grey matter. Sometimes I will make up a song. Just a couple of lines, and sing it to the few chords I do know.

This doesn't mean I'm happy. I sing when I'm down too. I'm down right now. Have been for a day or two. Still singing away though, and not sad songs necessarily. It is just as likely to be some upbeat tempo that is exercising the old vocal chords. Singing a happy song and feeling as miserable as sin. Try and explain that away. I can't.

I honestly can't. Sometimes I try and get to the reason or reasons behind my melancholy. And sometimes I think I get it, but then another thought gets in the way and that becomes the reason. What keeps me going though, what stops me descending into the black abyss that once, perhaps thirty or more years ago, took me in it's grasp and held me so low for many months, is the knowledge that I will soon bounce back to my cheerful self.

The path to old age is getting steeper. It is more and more difficult to dig my heels in and slow it down. I feel it pulling me onward. I need more time. There are so many things I still have to do.

Or are there? Perhaps I kid myself? Maybe I am happy to get old? Settle into a routine dullness? Although I have never been one for routine. This may be a reaction to becoming institutionalised when I was a youngster. A kickback against the normality that so many take for granted?

Strange isn't it, because looking back, the most settled times in my life have been when routine has been there. Care homes, navy, detention, prison. All things where, without routine anarchy would prevail.

Is that it do you think? Routine? Is that the answer? And discipline of course. The two go together. It's probably too late for me to take that path now. Too set in my ways. How ironic is that? Hates routine and yet set in my ways. Makes me want to laugh. Laugh? Yes I do that too when I'm down.

This has been a miserable old bloke rambling. And I am sorry to inflict it on you. I will be back soon and I will be wondering where the hell all this came from. I have to go now, there is a song coming on.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose. Robert Burns.

Some of you expressed a wish to hear me play the Mandoguit. Here you get to hear it and hear me singing too. You should be careful what you wish for perhaps. Not a very good recording I'm afraid. I think I had the wrong setting on the camera. See, I like to get the excuses in early.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I Say, Steady On Chaps!

Cowboys are on my mind at the moment. I can't be certain but I think I was dreaming about them last night. Or maybe I was thinking about them before I went to sleep? Anyway they are there, stuck in my head so here I am sitting down to tell you about it. I have no idea where this is going

I am fond of cowboys. Always have been since I was a kid. I used to love the cowboy films especially the fight scenes. And the hats, especially the white ones. When I say I'm fond of cowboys I definitely do not mean in a Brokeback mountain sort of way. Let me make that perfectly clear. Brokeback Mountain, that's the film about some gay cowboys by the way. When I say gay I mean in the modern use of the word, not in it's original happy connotation. Not that gay people ain't happy. I ain't saying that!

To be honest I never even saw the film. I did see a couple of trailers for it though, and it looked like it might be an unhappy film so I didn't bother to watch it. Maybe I had in the back of my mind that it might spoil my happy childhood memories about cowboys? They didn't have gay cowboys when I was a kid. Not that they depicted on screen anyway. They had happy cowboys, but not too many that I can recall. I seem to remember that 'Hopalong Cassidy' was quite happy.

I am laughing to myself right now because I am finding it difficult to imagine someone called Hopalong being in a fight scene: "Please don't hit me again Hopalong," pleads the nasty man in the black hat. Hopalong wore a white hat by the way, because he was the goody. The baddie always wore a black hat. If you ever saw a baddie in a white hat you could bet your bottom dollar it was stolen. 'Bet your bottom dollar' cowboys said that a lot.

Same thing happened with horses too. Bad man on white horse equals stolen horse. Bad man on one of those beautiful golden horses with the slightly different coloured mane and you could be sure it was stolen. These sort of clues were scattered all through the films for us afficionados to search out. Oh blimey why did I have to use the word afficinonados? Now I have to look up how to spell it. Actually I don't think I shall bother. It will spoil the flow of this immaculately crafted piece of writing. You know what I mean anyway.

When I was six years old, maybe six and three quarters, my mum bought me a cowboy outfit. This was very kind of her, but I wasn't entirely happy with it. For a start it didn't have a white hat, it had a brown hat. Not only that but the hat didn't even have a bit of string to go under my chin to stop it falling off when I was riding my horse really fast. Mum had to cut a couple of holes in it and thread wool through them. Wool! Scratchy wool too as I recall. She unravelled a bit of old jumper to get the wool. Not very satisfactory. The trouble is that adults think children are only playing at being cowboys or whatever. Actually they ain't playing. They are serious. I was a real cowboy. It hurt a lot to have that belittled with a brown hat and a length of reclaimed wool!

I quite liked the trousers. They had tassels down the side of each leg. Come to think of it though I'm not sure a proper cowboy would have tassels? Maybe on Brokeback Mountain they would? And there was a waistcoat with tassels on too. Looking back on it I must have looked a right proper pillock in that get up! Except for the gunbelt. That made me feel a bit more like a real cowboy. Mind you once again the bit of string was missing. The bit of string to tie the holster to my leg. To stop it flapping up and down when I was riding my horse. Luckily, or not! Mum still had some wool left over to tie it down with.

Shall I tell you what would have made up for the disappointment? Yes I shall. A pair of chaps, that's what. All proper cowboys wore chaps. Chaps were sort of like half a pair of trousers. The front half. They had no back in them at all. They were worn over trousers. I don't know what there true purpose was but I thought they looked, if I might use the modern terminology, cool.

It was a good thing that they were worn over the top of trousers. It would look awful to have your arse hanging out for all to see. It might have been all right on Brokeback Mountain I suppose.

I never had a horse either. Not that this was a problem. What I would do was run around whooping and hollering and slapping my own backside. Whooping and hollering. Only baddies did that! Maybe that's where my life went wrong?

There has been a lot of gay references in this article. I am beginning to worry myself now. I need to continue my search to find a girlfriend. She is out there somewhere. Better hurry up before it's too late. Not that there is anything wrong with being gay, he hastens to add.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Jeremy Kyle And Me. Just Another Day.

My mind is a bit of a blank today so I thought what I'd do is tell you about a typical day in my life. Quite boring I think but better than sitting here wondering what to write about. OK here goes:

When I wake up in the morning the first thing I do, like any dutiful husband, is make love to my beautiful woman. Twice if she's lucky. Then she makes my breakfast. Usually a bacon sandwich and a nice cup of tea, which she brings me in bed. It used to be a bacon and egg sandwich, but she just could not fry the egg the way I like it. I suppose I should get up and eat at the breakfast table, but luckily she is a thoughtful woman and realises that making love in the morning is very strenuous and that I need to recover my strength for the long day ahead.

While I eat a leisurely breakfast, my beautiful woman gets the children ready for school. We have ten beautiful children....We have twelve children.... Thirteen.... We have a lot of children. It is difficult to keep up with the exact number but I love them dearly. The majority of them are boys I think.

When the children have all gone to school  I sometimes think about getting out of bed, but the thought swiftly passes and I have a relaxing nap for about twenty minutes. After this my beautiful woman wakes me up. If at this time I feel well rested, her and I will have a bit of quality time if you know what I mean. Not too long though, because she still has to get to the shop for my beer and cigarettes and I don't want her to be late for work. Cleaning jobs are hard to come by these days and we need the money. Luckily the shop is just a few minutes from our house.

One of my other favourite pastimes, when I am not making love to my beautiful woman, is watching daytime television. Luckily I have a TV in the bedroom and consequently I can spend many happy hours lying in bed watching it. This is an absolute godsend to me due to the fragile nature of my back. Incidentally, the cause of my bad back is a complete mystery.

It is a very expensive 48 inch screen TV, but we can just about afford the payments if my beautiful woman works a night shift in a nearby factory twice a week. I must point out that the TV although it could possibly be called a luxury item is my only comfort in life. I consider myself a good husband because I have no vices. Apart that is from smoking and drinking. And scratchcards. By the way the scratchcards cost nothing because I buy them from my job seekers allowance!

The Jeremy Kyle show is my favourite daytime viewing. You would not believe the kind of ne'er do wells that come on his show. Sometimes I really cannot believe my eyes and ears at the way some of the men behave towards their women. Luckily Jeremy Kyle is a very wise man and realises that shouting rude insults, and jabbing his finger in a threatening manner at these people, is the only way to bring them to their senses. I am quite certain that as a direct result of his intervention a lot of these, not to mince words here, stupid people, suddenly become intelligent and change their lives for the better. Bless you Jeremy Kyle for all you do to help these unfortunates. You do this out of the kindness of your heart with no thought of reward. The world needs more perfect people like you in it. You are a saint.

When the children get home from school I take myself down to the local pub so as not to get under my beautiful woman's feet as she prepares the evening meal for us all. I think she really appreciates my thoughtfulness. I try to stay in the pub until all the dear little children are asleep. Also I find that several games of pool and copious drinks of vodka tends to help ease the excruciating pain in my back.

When I get home my beautiful woman brings me my dinner on a tray and I eat it in bed, before I retire for the night. Of course I do not even think about sleeping, not until I have finished writing my blog and, like a dutiful husband, have made love to my beautiful woman.

So there you have it dear readers. A day in the life of me. Busy, busy, busy! I do hope that, despite the intense sympathetic feelings you now have for me, you have enjoyed reading it. God bless you for your understanding.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Birthday And A Wedding. Oh The Excitement!

Well what a misery I was yesterday. Sorry to inflict that mood onto you lovely people. Thanks for your comments I do appreciate them and yesterday's did lift me up again. I am pleased to say that I woke up in a much better mood today, back to my normal self. The black moods do not last long and are quite infrequent too.

I had my birthday this week. I can hardly believe I am now 37 years old! Ha ha I bet you can hardly believe it too. It was a quiet day, unlike last year when I had the fantastic party. I will never forget that party.

My extremely handsome son George took me to lunch at the restaurant where he works. Very nice it was too. I think he wanted me to see where he works and meet some of his new work pals. I don't think the fact he got a big staff discount off the bill had anything at all to do with his choice of venue! Here is a picture of me looking happy. I certainly feel that I carry my 37 years very well!

I started this post on the 8th of August. Today is the 13th. Sorry for the delay. Oh hang on you weren't were you. Waiting I mean.

I just had a look at the photo above. Devilishly handsome some would say. Well when I say some I mean myself. Who else would describe me thus? What's that? You would? How sweet of you. Thanks. That has cheered me up no end. But wait have a look at this photo of me.
Not so pretty now am I? What happened was, I was walking along happily across the back field towards the church Sadie the German Shepherd at my side... No that's wrong, she wasn't at my side she was several yards in front of me. But that's not important where she was. I don't know why I even mentioned it. Just setting the scene I suppose. Anyway, suddenly out of the corner of my right eye I see this wasp hurtling towards me at breakneck speed. It may have been a bee. It was travelling at speed so difficult to be sure. It hit me. The wasp/bee. Obviously not paying attention. It got stuck behind my glasses, panicked, and stung me two maybe three times. Let's say three for certain. It adds a little more drama to the story.

It was very painful. But at least I am still alive. Unlike the wasp/bee. That is dead. At least I presume it is dead. Maybe it is back at the nest licking it's wounds? If it is still alive I hope it had a sleepless night. The same as I have just had. My eye is almost completely closed this morning. I am actually writing this with only one working eye. It is 7.30 am. I have a load of firewood being delivered in a couple of hours time. First though I shall walk to the village with Sadie the German Shepherd. But this time you can rest assured I shall be keeping an eye out for speeding insects. Just the one eye. The other, as I said, is closed.

My darling daughter Jodie got married a few days ago. She never told me she was even planning getting married. She has been with her partner Lee for eleven years. Apparently he often asked her to marry him but she resisted. Then one day she said yes. She told me she thought it was a good idea. We shall see. He is a nice bloke. He works hard. They are obviously very close. I am happy for them.

I went to the reception. It was at their house. There was me there and Jodie's mum and our granddaughter Maisie and Lee's brother. That was it. I had a cocktail sausage, a miniature scotch egg and a tiny sausage roll. Oh and a slice of quiche that Jodie made. I thought it was a slice of pizza when she gave it to me, but apparently it looked like pizza because it had been in the fridge! It was very nice.

As weddings go, it was a very inexpensive low key event. My family eh! What are we like? I wish them every happiness.
Lee, Maisie and Jodie on the Wedding day.
My extremely handsome son George and his mother have gone on holiday to The Isles Of Scilly. I am left holding the fort. Quiet around here without them.

Bye for now.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Facebook Friends

I'm up for a few more Facebook friends 'cos I only got 111 and even that could go down at any moment. It's not fair, some of you got hundreds!

I'm bored today. Got lots to do though. 'Spose I should get on with things instead of sitting in front of the computer.

This place is a flipping mess! It's always a flipping mess. Apparently being untidy is a sign of being very creative. So I have an excuse 'cos I'm always creating. I am a creator. Not 'The Creator' though that would be a preposterous claim to make.

Is it going to rain today? I think it might. I still ain't finished repairing the roof. The trouble is it needs sealing and the water soluble stuff I'm using would just dissolve in the rain. Water soluble you see.
Dissolve? It's a funny looking word. Soluble? That is too.

By the way it ain't soluble when it dries. Oh no that would be pointless. When it dries it is totally waterproof and guaranteed for ten years. It's a pity it's not guaranteed for elevens years 'cos I was hoping to do my trip around the USA in 2023. Now it looks like I shall have to stay here and waterproof the roof instead. My fault entirely, I should have bought the stuff with the twenty year guarantee. To be honest though I didn't want to tempt fate. I mean I am 66 years old you know. In twenty years time I shall be...... 66+20= ....'er 79. I might not even get there, and I don't like to waste money on roofing materials I am not going to get the benefit of.

I don't mind wasting money on alcohol. I like to do my bit for the drinks industry.

Sorry about rambling on like this. Actually I can't believe you are still reading. Ain't you got nothing better to do? Do you want to be my Facebook friend? I ain't got many friends. I can't imagine why!

I have just finished creating this. I call it a Mandolguit. It sounds OK, but the fret wires are too short. I shall have to redo them. I was wrong when I said I'd finished it. Sorry about that. Didn't mean to mislead you. When it is properly sorted out I shall play it for you. I like to sing and play for my friends. Hey! Maybe that's the reason I ain't got many?
I just created this Mandolguit.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

In A Bit Of A Sour Mood Today.

What a strange mood I am in today. I have just put up a really angry ranting status on Facebook. Used bad language in it too, which is not something I am often driven to do.

I think my mood became low when Tricia told me that a JCB excavator had just moved on to a site that is to be developed for housing and that it was ripping out the hedgerows. Hedgerows that were hundreds of years old. I am almost moved to tears by this action. My stomach is churning with anxiety and despair, and I am gripped by such a strong feeling of inadequacy at my inability to do anything about it.

Tricia is so strong willed and fights and rails against greedy landowners and developers with all her heart. Yesterday she even went so far as to confront the local farmer in person and tell him what she felt about his selfish wanton destruction of our countryside. I am so proud of her.

But me? All I do is sit here seething with anger. Gnash my teeth and say what's the bloody point of fighting? Money talks and money wins the day. We have no chance of winning.

And the horrible thing is; the horrible thing that makes me feel so inadequate, is that I feel ashamed that I am not more confrontational. And why am I not fighting tooth and nail? Because I don't want to spend what is left of my life being Mr Angry that's why.

"Please Tricia," I say to her when she brings me the latest bit of bad news about more land being sold off, "please don't tell me any more. I don't want to hear it."

Maybe I shall just sit here on the rickety bloody fence until someone knocks me off it. Someone in a JCB excavator no doubt.