31 March 2009

Dog Day afternoon

Have been busy entertaining Zeltus's two Parson Russell Terriers, Judy and Charlie. Because it is cold, but bright sitting outside is not an option so I am staying in the kitchen which gets the best of the morning sunshine and kept company by Charlie sitting on my lap adding to the warmth factor. Judy instead preferring her own company and staying in the cold living room.

At some point in time in the morning yesterday, Judy started shaking and we had no idea why until much later in the day when she squealed with pain on being picked up. However this morning she seems a lot happier and there will be no need for the vets but her exercise is going to be curtailed so I will be walking Charlie alone today.

Almost finished the book I brought with me, Elizabeth Buchan - Light of the Moon. If you like tales of WWII and the resistance/soe exploits this is for you, it is a novel but draws on some of the experiences of the people of the time. Another book Between Silk and Cyanide is written by Leo Marks and he was involved in the work of Violette Szabo, this isn't easy to get hold of this book but a very good read if you do find it.

Hopefully today will be a little warmer, and I can get out in the garden for a while

30 March 2009

The Electronic Shrink

Thanks to a link provided by Leanne at Somerset Seasons, Dorset Days I analysed the blog for type...

It gave the result as :

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Does this sound like me? I am not so sure, I deliberately keep things back from the blog because I don't want to be confrontational in an open place, nor do I wish to offend any of my friends or family who might read it.

However I can see some points in the analysis that do ring true and therefore it may be that is more truthful about me than I may be about myself. I tend to avoid conflicts in real life, playing more of a peacekeeper than anything else and I hate to get involved in an argument or hurt anyone's feelings.

If you want to do it for yourself then go here

29 March 2009

To France

A friend brought me across to Stansted airport, where I duly checked my bag in using the automatic check-in systems and then stood in line at the baggage drop. It was difficult at first to work out where I should be going but then like a light switch being turned on I saw the light.

I sent some final texts to friends and then headed to air-side. Security was more rigorous than when I last flew, but I did manage to get a smile out of two of the security staff when I asked if I should remove my hoodie he said yes, and I asked if he wanted any more.. his reply was are you offering with a big smile... sometimes it pays to have humour. Then passing through the detector I triggered it and got stopped for a frisk, of course women have to do women, but I did ask if next time I could have her charming looking male companion.. she smiled broadly and said she would try and arrange it. I thanked them all nicely, bundled up all my belongings and passed through to departures.

I did some browsing in Dixons and purchased a new set of headphones for the mp3 player, as mine are now showing their age. Then a quick visit to WHSmith got me a sunday paper and I headed for the gate as it was now showing up on the boards. Once there I tried a last call to a friend and then sent some texts before switching off the phone before I boarded.

Prices for drinks on board the plane were overly high so I resisted purchasing anything, and just read my book, the landing was bumpy, haven't had such a rough landing since I last flew to Glasgow with Easyjet and the pilot tried to convince us it was testing the automatic landing device.. right!

Through security once more, and collecting baggage out to the arrivals where Zeltus was waiting. 35 mins later and I am drinking kir while we wait for the roast lamb to finish cooking, though the clocks finally caught up with me and by 9.30pm french time I was quel fatigue and retired for the night.

Tomorrow is another day as they say.

28 March 2009

Saturday Satire - Wisdom comes with Age

A guy is 72 years old, and just loves to go fishing.

He was sitting in his boat the other day when he heard a voice say, 'Pick me up.'

He looked around and couldn't see anyone.

He thought he was dreaming when he heard the voice say again, 'Pick me up.'

He looked in the water and there, floating on the top, was a frog.

The man said, 'Are you talking to me?'

The frog said, 'Yes, I'm talking to you. Pick me up, then kiss me and I'll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. I'll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous because I will be your bride!'

The man looked at the frog for a short time, reached over, picked it up carefully, and placed it in his front breast pocket.

Then the frog said, 'What, are you nuts? Didn't you hear what I said? I said kiss me and I will be your beautiful bride.'

He opened his pocket, looked at the frog and said, 'Nah, at my age I'd rather have a talking frog.'

27 March 2009


Ok, I might have made a big mistake yesterday thinking Spring had Sprung but with a vengeance Winter is back and with bitterly cold winds it's snow joke... still some years ago on my 18th birthday which is at the end of March I was woken by my Mum saying it had snowed overnight.

Now coming from a family of jokers I was having nothing to do with it, preferring instead to stay in my nice warm snug bed, only to be doused with a handful of snow brought in from the outside.. Needless to say it went down as a memorable birthday in my eyes, not only because of the snow but also that my parents relented and kept one of the puppies from the litter who had been nicknamed Kipper. Never one for male jack russells, my Dad tried to not get attached but eventually the daft pup won him over even if he was not very good at doing anything a jack russell should have done.

When my parents looked at getting dogs much later, Dad was the one who picked out Sam and that dog was intelligent, in a different way to his sister. Sam could hunt a scent and find his own way home, while Teg was a bundle of hunting instinct all wrapped up in a girly dog. I have a picture of her sitting on Dad's shoulders looking at the camera as if to say 'He's mine', and she was right, Dad was hers and she was his, only tolerating the rest of us as though to say she was a one man dog...

26 March 2009

The world of Wise Herb

Today Spring is arriving surprisingly warm despite the wind, the magnolia tree (almost a month behind schedule) is starting to show cream blossoms and will probably be over by the time I get back from my visit to Zeltus. Though I will admit to not liking this windy weather we are suffering, though I believe that is normal for March. In like a lamb and out like a lion is the old saying.

Zeltus has given me a shopping list to take, including galaxy chocolates, white/onion sauce and beef suet for his christmas puddings amongst them but also some other things which I will pick up at the delights of Milton Keynes on Sat. Yes I will face the hordes of shoppers at the Mall, by getting there at the crack of dawn, and leaving before they arrive in their hundreds. Despite the wide aisles in the centre, they all appear to want to block the way by walking three/four abreast or suddenly stopping in front of you when they see that 'oh so essential item'.. meaning you cannon into the back of them and then have to apologise. Perhaps you see now why I don't go very often to this amphitheatre of gloom.

I have to also get some euros to take with me, as my keep but also to repay them for their kindness and because it saves me hiring a car in France. On the eating side, I am now down another 3lbs as of yesterday making an official total of 11lbs in total, so I don't think I will be consuming huge quantities of foie gras even if we do go to the restaurant that we usually visit when I am over.

It will be good to have a break, away from here and then I can start to turn the old me into the new me and with new paths to tread along with the old. Great things start with small steps and I am no exception.

25 March 2009

Today is

March 25th or Lady Day is traditionally a quarter day, when servants could be hired, rents were paid until the next quarter day and any rates were due.

Towns and big cities would have hiring fairs where young men and women would offer themselves for hiring and if they were lucky they would end up in a good situation or they would be back the next time older and somewhat wiser.

Farms could also change tenancy on a quarter day, though traditionally it would more likely be that any new tenant would take over on michaelmas just after the harvest as they would then tend the farm for the next year, but if a tenant fell behind with the rent, he could be displaced on any date.

Lady Day got it's name from Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin (25 March) and is the first of the four traditional Irish and English quarter days. The "Lady" was the Virgin Mary. The term derives from Middle English, when some nouns lost their genitive inflections. "Lady" would later gain an -s genitive ending, and therefore the name actually means "Lady's day."

24 March 2009

An Award for Favourite Read

Angel gave me an award for her favourite blog that she reads, Angel I am honoured by the award and accept gratefully.

I enjoy writing down my random jottings, and if anyone gets any pleasure out of reading them and leaving a comment I am stoked. I decided fairly early on that Saturdays were best livened up with a jovial post, hence the Saturday Satire and the Ratz, well they are entertaining all on their own.

There are some guidelines (rules are too strong) that go with the award, and these are :

1. put the logo on your blog or post

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs, which show great attitude and/or gratitude!

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post and let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog

4. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award

Here are the nominees for the Lemonade Award, by Sage

1. The Lemonade Award for Photography - Uphilldowndale

I have admired this blog since I came across it, the sheer beauty of her photographs of nature and the scenery around her are just magnificent. I only wish I was half as talented with a camera.

2. The Lemonade Award for Beautiful Writing - A Cowboy's Wife

Barb magics words out of the air and is as entertaining as she is honest, I admire her skill and fortitude and the resolute way she faces each day with humour and authorship.

3. The Lemonade Award for Favourite Read - Dickiebo

Dickiebo is a man with many words, wits and sheer unashamedness humour. I visit him everytime he has a new post, though to my chagrin I rarely leave him a comment to say how much I enjoy his blog... may it long continue.

4. The Lemonade Award for a Rocking Blog - The Second Half of my Life

Kathy attracted my interest when she started a new task for every day of her 49th Year and is still showing me how to live life trying new things out... an inspiration to everyone.

5. The Lemonade Award for Awesome Blogger - Annette

Annette may think she is just a checkout lady, but in fact she is so much more than that as is proved by her blog and I just wanted to show her that I reckon she is awesome and much appreciated by one of her many readers.

6. The Lemonade Award for Happiest Blog - Old Age is a Bitch

Elaine is a great writer and inspiration, no matter what adversity is in her way she finds a way of making it humourous to her many readers who care deeply about her and show their concern when she is absent without leave. Looking forward to hearing about the travels on her scooter.

7. The Lemonade Award for Living the Good Life - Cross Roads

Molly is an inspiration to everyone who visits, on self-sustainability and how to achieve it without having a huge impact on the environment. Tips, techniques and a willingness to share what she knows and believes.. I wish I could do more.

8. The Lemonade Award for Blog Guru - Scribbit

What can I say, this lady is brilliant, not only at joining communities of bloggers together but in providing writing competitions and other contests shares out so much good will she holds high esteem in my eyes and I honour her for it.

9. The Lemonade Award for Blogger Friend - Adventures in the 32-Aker Wood

Janet and I met because both our blogs said we are based in the back of beyond and has developed since into a friendship that crosses the oceans and beyond.. Thank you dear friend.

10. The Lemonade Award for Blog Idol - Somerset Seasons, Dorset Days

Leanne is honoured because of her blog being a mix of real-life tales, showing her craft-work both fabric and cooking, her quotations and just being absolutely brilliant at what she does. Even her move from Somerset to Dorset seemed not to faze her, but we all felt included and cared for.

23 March 2009

On a lovely spring day

When I could have been watching the final playouts of the 6 nations, I was actually sitting inside a room, with 17 other people arguing the finer points of administration of the BMW Club. What was worse from my point of view, to get there was over hour and half of driving, I cheated to take the car rather than the bike as it does tend to go on overly long. So I arrived at half past ten in the morning, and we had a 15 minute break for lunch at 13.15 to 13.30.

Because of trying to catch up with messages on my mobile phone and trying to call them back, I missed out on the sandwiches, not a huge issue because I had a protein drink with me that I had instead which compensates when you miss on a meal. There were more than the reasonable number of egos in the room and I could feel my enthusiasm for the job waining at at alarming rate especially when old history was being brought up time and time again. If you consider that all these people round the table are volunteers and unpaid for their time you think we could actually work together, but it seems not.

We had another short break at 5.30pm and finally closed the meeting at 6.30pm, I felt exhausted and was glad at this stage I had opted to take the car as you don't have to think too hard as to staying upright. By the time I got home, I was too tired to eat properly, and only had toast and a cup of tea before sinking on the sofa in apathy to watch Casualty and to answer the messages waiting for me.

Thankfully, or not in which case you view it, we only hold these meetings three times a year.

22 March 2009

A Bouquet from the heart

Thank you all, Mum, Lil, Lorraine, Pauline, Janet. You mean a lot to me and if I was able to I would give you a big hug to tell you just how much you mean to me.

You only get blessed with one real mum, but the unsung ones are the people who treat you as a daughter even when you are no blood relation. Sadly Mum died in 1992, and I hope that wherever she is that she is happy and content.

To be able to give you a bouquet of flowers is a small thing, I just wish it were for real.

21 March 2009

Saturday Satire - Are you Nuts enough?

On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.

'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me,'said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.'

He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. 'Come here quick,' said the boy, 'you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls.'

The man said, 'Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk.' When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.

Standing by the fence they heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.'

The old man whispered, 'Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord..'

Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence,yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, 'One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done.'

They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the Kid on the bike.

With many thanks to Janet who sent this to me

20 March 2009

Friday musings..

I have long been a fan of the words to the poem Footprints, ever since I came across it funny enough just before my Mum died in 1992. It struck me then as something which was not only uplifting but also a revelation.

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.

Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

I do believe that in times of deep despair that there is something there that holds onto you, drags you forward and generally keeps you going through the hardest of days...

I realise that I am blessed in that the support of friends, family and even bloggers have aided my steps when I thought I might fail and I think I can see two sets of footprints behind me again.

Thank you everyone, even those who haven't said anything but have thought it, but especially to those who took the time to get in touch and leave messages of support.

My other favourite quote I shall end with is by Omar Khayyam

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it

19 March 2009

Positive things

Lists can be useful, and focus your mind. The following is some of the things on my list :

1) I have decided to redecorate the house, overdue by years. Will take some time, but I have enough of that and that isn't as negative as it sounds it will be therapeutic and not only that but some very good friends have said they will help me out with the kitchen upgrade.

2) I have two holidays booked, one to France and the other in the UK. The bike will also get some usage this year at long last as I heard on the grapevine that the weather is going to be stunning. Take it from me :-) I have earmarked places I want to visit while I am in the UK, and just working out the best route. Friends have invited me to visit them, in US and in Australia but at the moment I need to root myself here before I too get the urge to run away from things.

3) The garden is going to benefit from an overhaul, again not a five minute job but I have plans in hand that should see it easier to maintain. I would like to be able to grow my own veg but it is a big garden and can be a bit much at times.

4) I plan to lose some weight, its not healthy nor do I like my body in the shape it is in. I have already made a start and want to continue the trend.

5) I brought a ticket to watch the Barbarians play Bedford next month, though sadly I can't make the Redruth v Cambridge game which I had hoped to do as something else has come up. I am considering getting hold of a ticket to see Northampton Saints play but it may well be next season.

6) I will be going to the Rutland Rally in May, the National in August and the Blackbull in September all bike events and by then I will have fathomed out the GPS connections to my bike. It is bluetooth and I need an adapter and a powerlead as the other one is on the ex's bike and I have no means of retrieving it.

7) I am entered in the race for life, and plan to do this in under 40 mins - it is only 5K in distance and I can walk 2K in 15 minutes now so I don't see this as unattainable. Training is going well for this.

8) I want to reduce the amount of 'stuff' I have and anything surplus to requirements will be donated to others using freecycle or sold if it has a decent value as I believe that I have clutter which though it might come in useful is simply not necessary. Not only that but as I get older I will want to downsize accommodation and rather than leave it to when I am less able to deal with it I plan to start now.

18 March 2009

The Bathtub Test

Couldn't resist passing this on to you all, I received it in an email from a friend who now lives in the Midi-Pyrenees. I didn't get the chance to visit her when last in France, but it is on my list of things to do.

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director, “how do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized?”

'Well,' said the Director, 'we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.'

'Oh, I understand,' said the visitor, 'A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup.'

'No' said the Director, 'A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?'

Are you going to pass this on, or do you want the bed next to mine?

17 March 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is not only St Patricks Day, but also would have been Dad's 78th Birthday. I still miss him just as much as I have ever done but probably more so this year as I know he would have given me a hug and tell me all would be alright in the long run.

This picture of him was taken on a holiday to Ireland, and he was videoing a bit of film along the dingle peninsula on a windy day. We had a great 10 days touring from the South to the North West of Ireland and met many friendly locals; the food was good as well.

I have long wanted to go back and visit Ireland, and had planned on going this year in October but couldn't get the time off from work in order to make a reasonable weekend of it.

So when I used to get a birthday card for him, it was always with St Patrick in mind.. I loved the blessing :

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Somehow it summed up the man that was my father. Happy Birthday Dad! xx

16 March 2009

Weekend of Challenges

I went to visit some friends at the weekend, actually they were originally SOH friends rather than mine, but they were very supportive after he went and have been really good at offering comfort and advice not to mention their friendship. Staying the weekend with them was good, and I think helped me to move on a bit as well.

While I still love SOH and that will take a long while to subside, my friends boosted my confidence and ego. While I knew his past involved several women, he was very charming and reassured me that I was different and so was our love so I trusted him. Now I am looking forward and not glancing backwards, yes I will still wonder how he is and how he is doing, but as a concerned friend.

I sent him an email this morning, saying how I felt about how it ended, not because I wanted a reply but because it was what I needed to say to him but didn't have the courage to do so on that Monday morning. I don't expect a reply but it is good me to write it down and it has taken a weight of my shoulders acting as it did to alleviate some of the feelings I had over the few days that it took for it to unravel ending with him leaving so suddenly.

I just wish we had been able to talk in person rather than resorting to the written word. I hope he doesn't see it as a criticism, I haven't blamed him rather that it was how I felt about what happened but hoping at the end that one day we will be able to enjoy a cup of coffee and talk about the good days, ignoring the sad ones.

When I got home last night, I was tired and almost hungry. There speaks a woman who has survived on a diet of soup, toast, the occasional banana, yoghurt and prescribed meal replacements.

However the thought crossed my mind I was ready for some real meals last night, right up until the point I took a cottage pie out of the fridge and realised it didn't look very appetising; I think because although it is a normal size the portions would now be way too big so I plan to try cooking and eating half of it tonight as I do need to start eating again properly. Still on the bright side, I have lost a lot of excess weight between the antipathy towards food and the morning gym sessions which is no bad thing.

14 March 2009

Saturday Satire - Trust a Buddy

Mike decided to go skiing with his buddy, Bob. So they loaded up Mike's minivan and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard. So they pulled into a nearby farm and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.

'I realize it's terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I'm recently widowed,' she explained. 'I'm afraid the neighbours will talk if I let you stay in my house'. 'Don't worry,' Mike said. 'We'll be happy to sleep in the barn. And if the weather breaks, we'll be gone at first light.'

The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night. Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on their way. They enjoyed a great weekend of skiing.

But about nine months later, Mike got an unexpected letter from an attorney. It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the ski weekend.

He dropped in on his friend Bob and asked, 'Bob, do you remember that good-looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our ski holiday up north about 9 months ago?'

'Yes, I do.' said Bob

'Did you, er, happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and pay her a visit?'

'Well, um, yes,' Bob said, a little embarrassed about being found out, 'I have to admit that I did.'

'And did you happen to use my name instead of telling her your name?'

Bob's face turned beet red and he said, 'Yeah, look, I'm sorry, buddy. I'm afraid I did. Why do you ask?'

'She just died and left me everything.'

13 March 2009

Despite the Red Noses

There is an air of gloom and despondency prevailing at the moment, yet I believe that the majority of people will dip their hands in their pockets for those they perceive to be worse off than them after all, the majority of us have clean water, sanitation and power.

After all what could be a better boost for the world than for all of us to make someone's life a little better, and it doesn't always have to be about money. Many people have skills that can be used to help others, even if it is talking to them about their deepest fears, or providing a shoulder to lean on.

Me, I signed up to Race for Life in July, in aid of Cancer Research. Partly because it is a way of motivating myself to get fitter but in return a valuable charity will benefit from any sponsorship I get. As it is only 5K I am confident about doing it as my daily gym sessions have me doing 2K in 35 mins on a treadmill, so I am also looking at some 10K events as well later in the year. Definitely won't be running as I have a problem with my co-ordination and running together with breathing seems to be something I can't get to grips with so a fast walk is what I am aiming for.

This weekend I am spending visiting friends, they of the supporting shoulders and words of comfort that I have needed after the past couple of weeks. Should be good to have a break of sorts, the Ratz have enough food and water for two nights and I am sure although it will be quiet for them it won't be enough to turn them feral.

12 March 2009

Any other cures

If anyone has any pet cures for insomnia I would be grateful. I am getting tired of listening to Radio 7 into the small hours of the morning and finding I am listening to a repeat of the programme I heard earlier on that night.

I wish I could just relax and sleep the night away, instead I am trying not to rely on sleeping tablets as they make me so tired in the morning and still only give me about 4 hours of rest a night that I don't feel any the less tired for taking them vs not taking them.

I don't try to go to bed wound up, have tried sitting quietly reading a book though the ratz are usually bouncing around late into the evening so perhaps not as quiet as it could be.

One advantage is that I am usually awake and at the gym by 7.30am, and have it mostly to myself at that hour of the morning to get my 25 minutes of treadmill hell in and then another 10-15 minutes on the cross trainer so I have no excuse when putting on my bike wear of not being able to get into it later in the year.

11 March 2009

Johnny Appleseed

Today is Johnny Appleseed day in the US. I can remember hearing about this person when I was a child probably through stories and maybe the Disney film. I don't think I really knew that he was real until today so I did a bit of exploring and found that Johnny Appleseed was born John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – February 18, 1845).

He was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He was a missionary and his kind and generous ways, his great leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance of apples led to him being made a legend in his own lifetime.

Apparently Chapman wore basic clothing nothing overly rich but probably not rags either, even in the cold of winter, and his lifestyle was generally a harsh, subsistent lifestyle; although he did go barefoot in summers to save leather.

According to Harper's New Monthly Magazine, towards the end of his career, he was present when an itinerant missionary was exhorting an open-air congregation in Mansfield, Ohio. The sermon was long and quite severe on the topic of extravagance, because the pioneers were starting to buy such indulgences as calico and store-bought tea. “Where now is there a man who, like the primitive Christians, is traveling to heaven bare-footed and clad in coarse raiment?” the preacher repeatedly asked, until Johnny Appleseed, his endurance worn out, walked up to the preacher, put his bare foot on the stump which had served as a podium, and said, “Here's your primitive Christian!” The flummoxed sermonizer dismissed the congregation.

Perhaps we still have something to learn from his ways, the kindness to others, less of the indulgences in life and living life without hurting the earth.

10 March 2009


Understandbly with the changes the ratz have been a little unsettled, and reverted to disappearing as soon as I moved a muscle. I made contact with a fellow rat owner who lives in Luton and she said to feed them yoghurt initially from off a teaspoon but then put it on my knuckles as the 'girls' cannot open their jaws wide enough to bite down hard and the teaspoon was to discourage them from getting any biting satsifaction.

Well last night I decided to try the yoghurt on the knuckles and what do you know, they absolutely loved it; the bonus is that they are taking in my scent as a provider of something nice rather than me being scary and big to them. Enough so that Gus decided to explore the top of the cage, with the help of my arm to climb out of the cage, and she used the same mechanism to get back into it so I have high hopes of eventually getting the girls hand tame before too long.

PS for those that are interested when a rat is licking you it has quite a rough tongue, similar to a cat's tongue as it rasps rather than the softness of a dog.

Tickets are booked for France, spoken to Zeltus who is going to pick me up from the airport and another friend is taking me to Standstead save me having to pay the high costs of parking and the same friend is also going to look after the Ratz for me. Just waiting for the shopping list of things that Zeltus and his wife want me to bring over to them as they usually want a quantity of English provisions that you can't get hold of for love nor money in France.

09 March 2009


On the encouragement of my Bro and his wife I have just booked tickets to visit.

It will be good to catch up with them and hear all about their eventful trip to Spain. Not to mention they were worried about me after yesterday and want to check up on me to bolster my spirits. Hopefully I can get them to take me out to Oradour Sur Glane as it is somewhere I have long wanted to visit.

Just have to organise holiday and things now at work to enable me to go.

Clear Head

A few days away and looking at the sea, wishing I had the courage to do a Reggie Perrin, has made me realise that I have let the situation get on top of me. Yesterday was such a bleak day that I think I really hit rock bottom as I spent the day in tears on one friends shoulder or another, not good really when you are at a club meeting; but the support of family, friends and even complete strangers have made me see I am loved and wanted and that the world would be a worse place without me.

So today, is a new start, a new week of a new life. Opportunities are out there, I am not certain how much trust I have left as that bucket definitely needs refilling but it will take a while, and I am going to not let the recent events stop me from trying life out again as SOH did show me that living with him was a great time and I enjoyed being part of a couple and I don't know that I want to live my life in solitary confinement for the rest of my life.

One consolation is that with the stress I have lost a fair bit of weight, no bad thing as clothes were beginning to be a bit tight, and I intend to lose more as I am faily unhealthily overweight according to the doc. So every morning I head off to the gym for my daily exercise routine, and in the evenings I am trying to do a bit of work in the garden before it gets too dark and cold.

Thanks for all your moral support, kind words of encouragement and anything else you have thrown at me; now I start the hard slog back up to the land of the living.

07 March 2009

Saturday Satire - Time to Believe?

An atheist was walking in the woods.
What majestic trees.
What powerful rivers.
What beautiful rivers.
He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge toward him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him.He looked over his shoulder again and saw the bear was even closer.

He tripped and fell to the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the atheist cried out, "OH MY GOD."

Time stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came from the sky.

"You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament?"

"Am I to count you as a believer?"

The atheist looked directly into the light. "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?"

"Very Well," said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke.

"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

04 March 2009

In the darkness before dawn

I have lain awake long enough over the last 10 days (and very long nights) to know that I need to get away from 'here' in order to find out what I am doing. I'm sure it will do me good, to not be in such familiar surroundings with all the reminders of what was and look at some pastures new, for a few days at least.

As in the famous, or infamous words, of Zaphod Beeblebrok goes I have my towel as all good hitchhikers do.. and some nice strong winds to push at my back. Just need a vogon poet to make all the doom and gloom lift.

03 March 2009

Just the funniest thing I have seen in a long while

Normally I wouldn't watch a dance competition, but on Saturday evening as I got back in the Comic Relief Let's Dance was on and after making a cup of tea I watched one of the contestants..

Paddy McGuiness and Keith Lemon doing the finale from Dirty Dancing, if you haven't seen it before it is hysterically funny and yet they look mighty fine together. Click here for a link to the you tube version.

I had recorded the rugby to watch later, but was just too tired to do much more than couch potato. The comic relief skit was just what I needed.

02 March 2009

Max n me

Max is my bike, and yesterday we had the first ride out of the year, not without a lot of heart pounding on my side as still being a bit of an emotional wreck I was not 100% certain I would survive, but balanced against that is a little bit of inner strength that when I am on the bike seems to look after me and not let me do anything too stupid.

The roads were dry, and not too greasy. The weather cold but sunny and misty so the ride over to Towcester was enjoyable. I don't usually like to lead, but because some friends came over to ride with me I knew the way across the myriad of roundabouts in Milton Keynes to get to the A5.

Lunch was good, friends to catch up with and good company. Breaking the news to them of the demise of my relationship was hard and many a tear was shed and not just from me; if anyone can tell me when that will stop I will be grateful as it seems like the well is not yet dry.

Tonight I have a meeting with ICAS to try and iron out some of my issues relating to recent events, I am not looking forward to it, but it may help me in the longer term.

01 March 2009


At some point in time between 11.59 on Saturday Night and 12.00 on Sunday morning (owing to the fact that I first posted on the 29th Feb 2008) I aspired to a year worth of blogging.. now some 328 posts were made, and 8220 visitors to the site I thank you for your kind attention and hope that the second year is as interesting as the first.