Archives for category: Lawn
Now that has been a tough week. All a bit of an emotional roller coaster but the end is in sight – mostly.

Monday’s list of jobs went pretty well although the mowing and strimming took a back seat and got shuffled right out to Saturday just gone, in the end.

Daughter’s big day on Tuesday was a jolly use of time. we had a leisurely start to the day and then went off to Cabot’s Circus in Bristol. You might be fogiven for thinking there were clowns and performing elephants, however, there were none for it is the name of the relatively new shopping centre. If you’re wondering, the Cabot in question is John Cabot and there’s all the historical gen on him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cabot but the short version is that he was the first european since the vikings to explore mainland North America in 1497.

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I’m sure he wasn’t planning on having a shopping center named after him, but we live in a strange world.

We also paid a visit to the scandinavian flat pack land that is Ikea. As always this resulted in a return trip being needed to take back what didn’t fit or to replace what was damaged under the packaging. This is a consistent and constant bug bear of what would otherwise be a very useful store of furnishings.

Wednesday found me back to the “rolling dung uphill” routine with the badman. We’re still pushing although we are sort of leaning on the ball and catching our breath ready for the next big push. Thursday was a trip to a starfleet outpost to gather the team and review the situation so far. General consensus is that we’re all going in the right direction and that Friday’s meeting in a different star system will be a turning point.

Which brings me to Friday. Funerals are never much fun. It was a terribly sad and moving occasion and everyone that was present felt the pain of the children that my cousins wife leaves behind. 41 is no age at all, and 15 and 17 is a hard time to loose your mother. They do have a hugely supportive group of family and friends and my cousin is doing his best to hold it all together, but the pain is very raw. The crematorium was standing room only and one hopes that this in a small way might provide some comfort to them in their hour of need. A rough day for everyone involved.

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Friday evening, on our return journey from the forgotten county, Mrs G and I were able to catch up with A, L and A and this provided some light in an otherwise heavy and dark day.

Finally on Saturday I got the mower fired up for the second cut and the strimmer had it’s first run of the year. “Hoorah!!” said the lawn, which is now quite happy to show it’s face in public. I was beginning to think I’d never find the time, but it’s all ship shape and bristol fashion now.

The other half of Saturday was all about the remains of the 21st birthday celebrations. This time, it was to involve, grandparents, parents and friends of daughter all attending a local curry house for a bit of a nosh up and the onwards into Cheltenham for drinking, dancing and general shenanigans.

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Of course, grandparents aren’t particularly suited to the clubbing scene so they snuck off home to open a nice bottle of red and have a game of scrabble probably. It turns out that Mrs G and I (and Aunty S & M) have reached that point in our lives where we too are not the best of bedfellows with a nightclub any longer. This came as quite a shock to me, having been at my most relaxed in such environments for many years. I supposed though, that it comes to all of us, and for the first time ever I found myself wanting a bit of a sit down and a chat as opposed to jumping around to some banging house tunes. Very disconcerting. Still, we made the best of the overpriced drinks and the underdressed youths and finally crawled off towards the night bus at around 1am. I’d never say never, but my clubbing days are numbered I believe.

And so to Mothering Sunday. The fun just keeps on coming… really I need a break, so I’m looking forward to being back at work just to stop the socialising and earn rather than spend. A journey up to Tewksbury and lunch in a nice old hotel followed by a little walk out by the river with Mrs G and both mothers (and other halves of course) made for a most welcome end to the weekend.

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This all left me with no other option other than to collapse into a fitfull sleep of the sofa variety from about 4pm until 5ish…

Ordinarily I would have said that was a waste of an hour of my day, but in this occasion we’ve been fitting so much emotion into our days that exhaustion is taking over and it was an hour exceptionally well spent. If I’ve learnt one thing this week, it’s make the most of every moment you have.

To quote the great Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding “Get busy living, or get busy dying”

Until next time….


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Another strange case of an invisible weekend. It beggars belief. One minute they’re here and within seconds they’re gone and Sunday night/Monday morning is upon us again. I’m not going to harp on about it though for this particular Monday is a days holiday. Sadly it won’t feel much like one. I have a list of jobs as long as your arm so my so-called day of rest will involve some or all of the following…

  • Buying Paint for the ceiling in the en suite (needs a refresh). 
  • Buying a refill for the strimmer (failed miserably to acquire said strimmer nylon over the weekend so it’s been bumped to Monday). 
  • Buying a naff balloon with 21 written on it (for daughter obv.) 
  • Buying ingredients for a party cake (also for daughter). 
  • Taking cushion covers to have new zips installed (not sure this is even possible, but I’m sure if I can find the right place it will happen for a fee). 
  • Prepping and Painting ceiling. 
  • Mowing lawn. 
  • Edging lawn with freshly refilled strimmer. 
  • Wrapping birthday presents. 
  • Cleaning windows (needs doing since the window cleaner was fired a couple of months ago). 
  • Making Cake. 
  • Picking up Mrs G to go to the dentists.

As a realist, I’m pretty sure that’s not all going to happen, but I’ll give it a go. Starting with prepping for painting and then cleaning windows. Shopping from about 9.45 through to about 11.45 probably. Then painting, mowing, wrapping and cake making through until 4.15. In amongst this stuff, I want to get a lookin at work too. It’s going to be close – and far to busy for a day off. But then, there’s no rest for the wicked.

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Hope your day is how you’d like it to be.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous
The old blogging has been taking a bit of a back seat of late (not a good situation) and so to rectify that lapse, I present herewith “War and Peace”. So titled because not unlike Mr Tolstoy’s effort, it’s huge but sadly, that is where the similarity ends.  Apologies in advance.

To give you some semblance of what’s been happening, here’s the story so far….  or at least since the last entry of any detail.  Last friday was Gold Cup day, and Mrs G and I made an appearance.  We weren’t racing or riding but we were watching. You can read about that elsewhere.

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Since then there’s been the rest of a weekend and almost a whole week for stuff to have happened in.

Saturday was filled with a trip to town.  It’s daughter’s 21st birthday next week and Mrs G has settled on what she’s having.  I’m a little disappointed as I had other plans for her “special gift” but Mrs G has insisted that these go on hold. Given the tough time daughter’s had over the last 12 months, I suppose she’s right….  oh and if she’s reading this – of course, she’s absolutely correct and I agree whole heartedly with her decision.  I’ve put the idea on the back burner and if finances permit then perhaps daughter will get a nice surprise later in the year.

The mission to collect the said gift was made all that much harder by the fact that daughter decided to join us on our visit to the city – and so there was to-ing and fro-ing and ducking and diving so that the item was secreted away without daughters knowledge. No mean feat, and MI5 would be proud.

RE: The gift. Just to be clear….  this isn’t it:
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Saturday night was a fine Jamie O lasagne. It tasted great, but rather fell apart on dissection. I suspect the sauce needed further reduction before the baking process – but what do I know about cooking? other than how to read the book.

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Sunday being the day where stuff gets done around the house lent itself beautifully to a good sort out of the garden.  The weather was fine and dandy and actually felt like the proper first day of Spring. Bright sunshine allowed me to get the mower out and wave it about the lawn.  It’s a flymo, so rather than the coiffered cut of a Briggs & Stratton, it’s more like an all over number two – short and cropped and tidy if not elegant.

This is then followed by the beard trimmer and nasal hair remover of all lawn machinery – the strimmer – to go round the edges.  It’s a natty little Black & Decker with a self feeding strimmer line that extends itself as it inevitably gets worn away.  On this occasion it over extended itself and has in point of fact worn away completely. Being past 4pm at this stage of the game, a trip to B&Q (other DIY outlets are available) was out of the question – and so the nasal grass remains until I can crowbar in a retail opportunity.

Monday found me whizzing cross country in the roller skate to meet my mate the badman and another member of the crew to push forward the enormous boulder we’re hefting uphill.  Picture the dung beetle and there you have it.  It was a pleasure to spend time with the pair of them and they were both very generous and shared gifts with me.  The badman had some of his finest free range eggs from his very own chickens. An interesting mix of whites and blues and the odd very dark red / brown.

This reminds me – I must ask him what he’s been feeding them on…  presumably chalk, brick dust and something blue…   

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Our other colleague, Brenda, (I can’t apologise enough for want of a better name), treated me to a cold & flu, which has been slowly chipping away at my energy resources ever since.  This, in part, is some of the reason the blog hasn’t been happening. I’m just too damn ughhhgdfg.  A head full of mucus is no way to think, let alone be creative and write something that you won’t want to read.

I try not to talk about work too much in here, but as it’s a new role for me and as it’s particularly taxing at the moment I’m allowing myself a little lapse on the basis that a problem shared is a problem halved.  Not that it’s particularly a problem, as the badman pointed out, he and I are stood with our necks aching looking up an extremely steep and high learning curve. Those that are slightly longer in the tooth at this game have an opportunity to take full advantage of our naivety and on occasion one or two of them try to do just that.  You got to get up early in the morning to catch us country boys out though 🙂

Tuesday changed the perspective of the whole week though. Work was fine – we moved things forward and played with the spreadsheet from hell. What wasn’t so good was a phone call from Mrs G senior and news from the around Bradford (not the one up north, the one on the Avon canal). I have cousins out that way one of whom is married with the regulatory 2.4 kids and until the last couple of years all was well in their world.  Sadly his wife was diagnosed with cancer, and even though she’d fought it and had an all clear, it made a most unwelcome reappearance. On Tuesday evening she lost her battle and my heart broke for them.

The rest of the week paled into insignificance.

It’s Friday morning now though, and I do feel like I’ve turned a corner.  Loaded up on Lemsip (other cold & flu remedies are available) I’m ready for another crack at hard work safe in the knowledge that I’ve got 3 days off next week.  Two to celebrate daughter’s big day and one to celebrate my cousin’s wife’s life.

Obviously mixed emotions.

Stay safe and tell your loved one’s you love them.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Pretty much as expected, the lawn did not get mown due to the down pouring of rain. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. The grass that we refer to as a lawn, has been quite parched of late and was in desperate need of a good drenching. The problem is though, that while it was looking brownish it was still harbouring growth, and now with added rainwater it’s had a dramatic spurt over the last few days to the point that it’s become a green and luscious mop of a lawn, badly in need of a trim and blow dry. All good things come to mows who wait. Forecast is much better for today.

I did however find time to acquire the requisite items for the forthcoming day of birth celebrations and a new set of paintbrushes to crack on with glossing where needed.

With such humidity as this it was a pleasure to lie on the carpet gently pulling the gloss along the woodwork with the patio doors wide open to enjoy the breeze made by the falling rain. Have to be careful not to let it in mind, water and gloss are not good bedfellows. A rewarding if slightly boring task when all is said and done.

With that job out of the way there really wasn’t much enthusiasm to be rushing around anywhere, especially given the temperature, so instead, a cup of tea, biscuits and a movie – just like a rainy Sunday afternoon – but on a Saturday!! Bonus.

So, out on DVD this week….. “Clash of the Titans”. Not the old 1981 version full of Ray Harryhausen animations (which were incredible in their day – and still are today) but an all new version with CGI giant Scorpions, Pegasus’ (or is that pegasi?), flying skeletal demons, Medusa and of course the Kraken! Very nicely done if you enjoy the odd swords and sandals fantasy adventure. The question us, did it need to be done? Having been done already and considered by many to be complete.

As it turns out, I think it did. It’s made it accessible to a new generation of movie goers and the story continues to hold up centuries after it was written. Strong performances from Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson & Sam Worthington help it along even if at times it feels a little like ‘Lord of the Rings Lite’. Looks like it was filmed in Scotland (mountains), Wales (slate mines) and some random Persian desserts that could just as easily be a gravel quarry in Essex.

One thing I’d forgotten is the name of the city that the Kraken attacks unless princess Andromeda (strain) is sacrificed. Luckily I had a pencil to hand and made a note of item number 422/9849, the £9.97 liquidiser, which seems ideal for turning the Titan into a smoothie. Reckon that makes me’ an Argonaut?

And so to my X-Factor avoidance tactic of taking Mrs G to the pub for dinner. This is a genius plan because it means we’ll miss it and not get addicted thus ensuring that we have available Saturdays from now until Christmas. What I hadn’t factored in though was the possibility that daughter might want to watch it. Sure enough and true to form a text message from the working daughter arrives to say ‘Please record X-Factor and don’t watch it without me’ …. The best laid plans. …

Of course you’d think that this wouldn’t be a problem because she can watch it on her own without us. For some reason it just never works out like that does it?

Naturally Mrs G and I are both deafened by the fact that daughter is happy to spend time with us – (I mean most kids are embarrassed to spend time with their parents) so for that privilege even I can put up with the X-Factor and that bleeding Simon Cowell/Cheryl Cole evil combo…

…and for the record, it didn’t disappoint. It truly is worse than it ever has been so far. What I found most disturbing was the frequent and obvious use of AutoTune throughout the show. What the hell is all that about? Surely if it’s an audition, then what you hear is what you get. From that display, it appears that what you get it what the producers want you to hear… I have a recollection of ITV running into a spot of bother for fixing a game show or two before. I have a feeling there’s a lot more script writing and post production work going on on TXF than there probably should be.

On the plus side, I might just manage to auto-tune out after all. At least until Christmas.

But for today….
Happy Birthday Mrs G. All my love, Mr G.

Damn warm today. Not hot, just clammy. Started it off with a cup of coffee (of course) and a quick ride over to the in-laws to wish happy retirement to W. He was on exceptionally good form and had very much enjoyed his surprise party his colleagues had organised for him. He did say he felt more than a little bit guilty because he’ll be back at work with them all again on Monday. They just couldn’t bear to let him go and they need all the help they can get. I told him he should feel flattered and just enjoy it knowing full well if you’ve had enough you can just stop whenever you please. It’s alright for some.

A quick trip to Next on the way home found me procuring a new pair of jeans and Mrs G a new dress as well as a little something for the hosts of the early evening engagement party that we’re attending tonight. Followed that up with a quick stop in Sainsbury’s for bacon and crispy bread rolls which became some excellent bacon rolls fir our lunch. Nothing beats a bacon roll and a cup of tea. Leaves me feeling that sometimes I wish I was a ‘White-van Man’ just so I could know the carnal pleasure of crispy pig in bread every morning over a copy of the Sun or the Daily Star (or whatever it is he reads nowadays)

After that, the lawn. It’s been crying out to be mown for a week at least having had a long holiday over the last month or so, while the weather was too dry for it to grow, so it sunbathed until it was brown. Now we’ve had a little precipitation again of late and it’s been sprouting like a good ‘un. So a strim of the edges followed by a good mowing of the middle bits and everything is back in it’s rightful place and looking inviting again.

Daughter’s feeling a little sorry for herself (sinuses giving her grief now). If it’s not one thing it’s your mother. As a result, after son and I finished watching the Formula 1 qualifying, she settled down with Mrs G to watch ‘My Sisters’ Keeper’ the film of the Jodie Picoult book. That’s how I’ve managed to knock out this entry before going to join them.

As I’ve mentioned tonight sees us visiting an engagement party and then to Aunt S’ for a proper Singaporean curry with M and her dad. There will be alcohol.

The journey home was via Whitehall Garden Center near Lacock (Pronounced Lay-Cock. You boy!, stop sniggering at the back!), where I happen to be of very close terms with their annual Father Christmas. Needed some netting to protect the veggie patch.

Finally arrived back by 5 and cooked a fantastic spaghetti bol for dinner (we know how to live you know).

6pm was perfect timing for the first portion of Going Postal or as the film version is titled “Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal”. I know he’s got Alzheimer’s disease but I don’t think he has a gun – so the title is a tad harsh. It transpires that the production team “The Mob” have upped thier game even further than on “The Colour if Magic”. This time much of the filming took place in Budapest but you’d be forgiven for thinking they actually went to discworld (if such a place existed in the same plane of reality as we do) given the detail applied to the sets and location scenery.

Once again it’s very faithful to the book not least because the screenplay was “mucked about by” Mr Pratchett himself. A few masterful strokes of casting help seal the deal. Great to see that newsreaders brother David Suchet is capable of so much more than Hercule Poirot (a role he was clearly born to play). Here he makes for a deliciously wicked bad guy and so far is faultless. Star of the show is Richard Coyle as Moist von Lipwig but he’s got some heafty competition in the firm of Charles Dance, Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen), Andrew Sachs (Fawlty Towers) and Timothy West to name but four.

Can’t wait for part two tonight.

Today would gave been Cheese Rolling. Roll on next year (very poor pun intended). Here’s the official notice http://www.cheese-rolling.co.uk/event_cancelled.htm which makes for interesting reading. You have been warned. Two minutes silence for the passing of a
Great British tradition please:

While the sun shines and the Cheese doesn’t roll, I have lawn to mow (I know how much Scobi likes to keep track of my grass cutting schedule) and of course netting to install. That will be part of the morning filled. No idea what the rest of the day has in store fir us, but with any luck it’ll be feet up with nothing at all!!! Bliss….

Lawn mowed and it’s too hot to type 🙂

Tomorrows event is an ongoing nightmare to organise. It is nigh on impossible to organise 8 blokes to all do the same thing. There’s always someone or something that doesn’t fit with the plan. We started off as 10, lost one to a wedding, one to a football bash and nearly lost one to the ash cloud and BA Cabin crew strike. Luckily the ash cloud abated and the cabin crew didn’t strike (yet) so we were back on 8.

Sadly the night before we’ve lost another one to tennis elbow. I’ve sent out a distress flare to a couple of potential standbys and the scenario now is we might be 7 or we might be 9. Either way it an organisers hell. And who’s the organiser?? Well it’s me of course. These things are sent to try us.

It doesn’t matter though. The weather will be fantastic, the golf will be competitive and the drinking will be required…. Who could ask for anything more?

Enjoy the summer. It’ll all be over on Monday.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.  I finally went and broke my run of writing 750 words a day.  It had to happen and some would say thank god it has. I’ll do my best to make up for it with this mornings spillage of verbiage into your brain via your eyeballs.  Look away now if you’d rather I didn’t.

For those of you with an eye for the stats – I’ve been averaging 928 words per day. I was making a concerted effort to hit 750 words per day thanks to the impressive http://750words.com website, having now broken my golden rule, I have no idea where this will take me but I’ll try and keep it at least full of words even if they’re not interesting or engaging.  So what’s been happening??

Had a rather slow weekend, which I’m very glad about in all honesty. Work has been busy and depressing, so not having to deal with any of it for a couple of days always helps clear the brain cells back to their neutral position – a cerebral reboot effectively.  I took the time to get back onto organising the golf quarterly. If you don’t know one end of a stableford scoring system from the other then in the words of the dude (So that’s what you call him. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) then obviously you’re not a golfer…

So, Saturday Me & Mrs G took a quick drive out to the course that I’ve selected to drop off the menu choices (and to have a little pub lunch on the way home) only to find out that the society organiser and chef (Jon) has upped sticks and cleared off to Australia. Worse still, this means that the menu selections have to be reduced to a set menu, which really won’t go down well with the lads, especially as they’d already made their choices. These things are sent to try us, and try us they do. In these instances I follow these wise words “When things get bad, stay home, get drunk and bite on a shoe”. Needless to say, my shoes are chewed.

On top of this one of our number is going to Canada for work this week and his arrival at the golf on Saturday is under threat from Ash Clouds and BA strikes which will just add an extra level of complexity to the event.

If things could get any worse, we (or from Mrs G’s perspective, I) single handedly failed to find a decent pub for any lunch on the way home, which meant that we’d wasted a good hour and a half fannying about when she could have been getting washing on the line. Note to self (and anyone else who’s listening): Don’t bother turning up to the “Red Lion” at Westbury-on-Severn at 2:15 (Who advertise that they serve food until 2:30) expecting to get anything to eat. To$$ers!

Sunday got the lawn mowed, which was just about due. I have a “keep it short” policy and “don’t pick up the clippings” method which keeps it looking green and in pretty good condition. It’s suffering a bit from some light dandelion rash this year, and lumps and bumps all over the shop, but generally it’s worthy of about 7.5 out of 10. That’s about 5 more than Wembley at the moment.

Finally got to catch up with “Looking for Eric”. I’d completely overlooked this movie but it turns out that it’s a complete masterpiece. A stroke of genius writing and Eric Cantona plays it perfectly. There’s clearly no end to the man’s talent (Not that I’m interested in football). It also contains the immortal line “Where ever you go I’ll find you, coz I’m…. a postman!!” If you haven’t seen it, it’s an all round winner.

Must dash – I can smell the grindstone from here

As a huge portion of the population now live online, it’s no surprise that the election in all it’s gory glory is being played out all over the Internet. I spent the evening digging around it all and here for your delectation are some of the more interesting sites (or sights) to see…

Predictions:
Who should you vote for? Vote Match can help you. I know I’ve already mentioned this site, but I’ve included it here for completeness. You don’t have to enter your postcode or email address for this to work by the way. The Tweetlection site tracks twitter posts about the three major parties and graphs them in interesting ways. The TwitElection does more for similar data. Finally, Electoral Calculus.co.uk tries to calculate the result based on a set of poll results

Reference Sites:
Voter Power shows you how many votes your vote is worth but be prepared for a shock with this one. There’s everything you wanted to know about your MP but were afraid to ask at TheyWorkForYou.com. Then there is the UK Parliamentary process and rules for elections and no reference list would be complete without something from Wikipedia. They have this entry on the UK General Election

Twitter feeds:
It appears that Nick Clegg is the only one of the three main leaders to have a twitter account, but you can follow the parties here: The Conservatives, The Labour Party and the The Liberal Democrats.
When it’s all said and done you can follow the winner’s house here at Number 10. Until then, you can keep an eye on the current pulse of the election via the Twitterati through the #ge2010 tag.

News Pages:
The BBC’s Live Election coverage
Sky News Election coverage
The Daily Telegraph
The Guardian
The Times

Other bits and bobs:
http://www.general-election-2010.co.uk/

OK – enough of that, now to real life. What another stunningly beautiful morning it is. Last night saw the lawn mown and the little cherub that is daughter off out for her boyfriend’s mum’s birthday dinner. I don’t think she was keen to start with, but she was perfectly happy about it all this morning, so I guess she had nothing to be concerned about after all. Curry, I think. Today see’s her back at special school (for the special people) and they’re starting to do some reel life practical work. Stopping cars no less. And not guinea pigs, but the general public themselves. Terrifying stuff, and I for one will not be driving anywhere near where they’re being educated.

Son didn’t join us last night as he wasn’t sure what he was doing – you can rely on youths to be particularly disorganised – not that it mattered. He is old enough to make up his own mind about what he should be doing and to be honest he’d rather be playing Call Of Duty with his mates than talking to us about his working week. Having said that, he’s joining us today post his football match, and I suspect that his girlfriend might be too, so plenty of entertainment to be had there. Either way, it’ll be good to see him and catch up. Also had some sad family news that I can’t talk about, but can only be supportive – nuff said.

Me and Mrs G are having a leisurely Saturday though. At least that’s the plan. A trip into Chelter’s to meet up with D,The Orange One, BBB & their respective other halves for lunch, a pint and bit of foot action on the telly I presume. It’s a beautiful day for it as long as it’s in the right establishment. We were going to visit the in-laws post match so that BBB could size up their bathroom for a refit, but it turns out that J&W (the inlays) are travelling to the midlands today, so may have to crowbar that in tomorrow. Would also like to drop in on SS and his new boy (Mrs G insisted on a little gift for him which is a nice touch). Don’t know what his movements are yet though.

I do, on the other hand, know what Ears and Nose are up to. They are stuck in Spain due to the volcanic ash cloud stopping all the flights. They’ve hired a car and got to the French border and they’ve managed to book a seat on a Ferry, but anything could happen. Now I’m a bit jealous of an adventure like that – although I know that Ears would be pulling his hair out if he had any – but for me, the not knowing how we’re going to pull off this great escape from the continent would be a great challenge. I’m probably romanticising the idea of the whole episode and would just me miserable if it was actually happening. It all comes back to the old adage, that you just cannot control the world, it controls you, you can only influence (it’s the same for everything) – so relax and enjoy it.

Well, I suppose it had to happen. I hear the roar of it in the distance and yet continue to bumble along with the rest of the crowd and keep making wool. Back to work…

Yesterday was blissful. Lawn mowed, house tidied, bills paid, real life back in spades. Sunshine for most of it though and no work to be done.

I also managed to finally crow bar ‘Twilight’ into my movie watching schedule. What a pleasant surprise. I fully expected it to be nauseating teenage angst (especially after all fuss about Robert Pattinson, the lead) but actually it’s a pretty good vampire movie wrapped up in love story. Of course all the best vampire stories are, with the possible exception of The Lost Boys. If you haven’t read Bram Stoker’s Dracula you absolutely must, not only is it a superb specimen of gothic horror, it’s also free. The fact that it’s written as a series of letters and diary entries just makes it all the more accessible and compelling. The arrival in England and the descriptions of Whitby have regularly given me the urge to visit what is essentially a town that smells of fish. Bram Stoker used to spend his holidays in Whitby, no doubt taking in the pungent air, so I think I can see what made him use it as a setting for a horror story.

Having enjoyed the first one I suppose this means I will have to at least endure the second – ( New Moon ) which will probably be not as well constructed as the first. A long standing tradition in the film industry, that the second film is always far worse than the first and so on with the third. This tradition is kept alive by every so often breaking it and making a damn good third or fourth in a franchise (whatever happend to the word series when referring to films – we’re all too marketing savvy I imagine) Something to look forward to. Examples in the comments section please…

Good to hear that all has gone well for SS and he’s now the pround father of a Len. Beer shall no doubt be quaffed in his name at this week’s WTC.

Mrs G zipped to the garden center and bought three new bushes for the front of house pots – the previous ones didn’t survive the particularly harsh winter that we had this year. Consindering she regularly states that she hates gardening and has no interest in growing plants, she actually has some very green fingers and quite an eye for good looking pots. She also considers pot plants not to be the same as gardening although personally I can’t see the difference. You’re still growing stuff.

I should have tackled the garage, it really needs a clear out, but to be honest I don’t know where to start. I’m saving it for an evening in the week now we have more daylight. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. It’s piled high with recycling so I suppose that’s the easy bit, just means a trip to our local Sainsbury’s car park.

Beyond that though there’s the bar-b-q. Now that’s a bit more of a mission. It’s one of those woodenframed gas burner versions with a grill and hotplate. It’s great but we left it late to move it out of the weather and it really needs stripping down, sanding, retreating, varnishing, a damn good clean of the metalwork and then re-assembling.

Then there will be taking the roof off of the car and putting it in storage for the summer. That job is really simple but I can never quite decide either a) when is exactly the right time to be taking it off without looking like someone wishing it was summer when it clearly isn’t or b) the best way to store it – either outer roof toward the wall or inner roof toward the wall. I have been promising myself some sort of suspension from the ceiling contraption, so perhaps I should lend some thought to that concept.

Then there’s various empty boxes that we seem to have accumulated through the winter. You know those large ones that are too big to easily go into the recycling and will probably be really useful for somethingorother. If only we could work out what the somethingorother is!!?

Garage tidying is not something I’m adverse to doing, it’s just I know it’ll be a couple of weekends worth of work to do it right, and the weekends are both packed and precious.

Well the sun is coming up, so before I’m exposed for the diamond encrusted blood sucking monster that I am, I should close the curtains and get on with some proper work. Lambs to Lions…. Baaaaa.