29 September 2009

I want....

As much as I love the golden days of Autumn, inevitably my mind turns to Winter... and the shorter darker day... with everything packed (or more or less everything) I have little to occupy my mind with crafts etc.

The past couple of weeks have been made absolutely glorious with a display of nature at her best with golds, reds, greens and browns making a patchwork of the earth. The sunsets and sunrises are at their best, it is almost as though she is making one long last effort to show off her power before she descends into a hibernation lasting until next spring.

I really want a holiday in the sun before Winter, but with the house sale proceeding oh so very slowly I can't even arrange that.. so I might just join Nature in her hibernation... lol

28 September 2009

A Visitor is Expected

Zeltus is on his way over to the Back of Beyond from La Belle France for a flying visit as he has an interview locally on Wednesday, I will be working so won't be able to do much in the way of hospitality other than to provide bed and board but at least the house is now almost finished in terms of decoration so at least he won't be in a complete mess.

He is coming over by bike, and ferry, around about 600 miles in total but at least it is an overnight ferry.. I am hoping he will manage to get me some of the cheese that I like, the walnut coated variety which is a special of the Perigoux region; I am ashamed to admit that the last one I tried to take home ended up being confiscated at Limoges airport... if only I had put it in my main suitcase it would have survived but that's life.

This weekend saw a friend and colleague come over and help me take down the stuff which was stored on high in the shed, out came various items including - two plastic dogbeds, half a dozen demijohns, winemaking equipment, a deep fat fryer, pressure cookers (2), jam jars, bead seats, telescopic tripods for cameras, cool boxes (2) and assorted dust and spiders cobwebs.. thankfully now that is done the rest of the shed will be easier to manage.

I also managed to finish painting the study/3rd bedroom which was the last of my big painting tasks, now it is just the little fiddly bits and gloss work to be touched up... and hopefully then I can relax a bit more.

26 September 2009

Saturday Satire : Poor Jock

Jock finds himself in dire trouble. His business has gone bust and he's in serious financial problems. He's so desperate that he decides to ask God for help. "God, please help me. Ah've lost ma wee store and if Ah dinna get some money, Ah'm going to lose my hoose too. Please let me win the lottery!"

Lottery night! Someone else wins... Jock prays again. "God, please let me win the lottery! Ah've lost my wee store, ma hoose and Ah'm going to lose ma car as weel!" Lottery night again! Still no luck.

Jock prays again: "Ah've lost ma business, ma hoose and ma car. Ma bairns are starving. Ah dinna often ask Ye for help and Ah have always been a good servant to Ye. PLEASE just let me win the lottery this one time so Ah can get back on ma feet!"

Suddenly there is a blinding flash as the heavens open and the voice of God Himself thunders: "Jock, at least meet Me half way and buy a ticket!"

You might notice a theme in the next couple of Saturday Satires.. enjoy

25 September 2009

No Credit to Me

The two pictures shown here are stunning and earned their owners the well deserved titles... wish I was half as clever with a camera and twice the patience...

The first garners the title British Wildlife Photographer of the Year for Ross Hoddinott and so well deserved for the detail in the image of a damsel fly at dawn.

The second one of the lovely, gorgeous red Squirrel got Will Nicholls the title of Young British Wildlife Photographer Under 18.

Sadly these guys are fighting a battle against the American Grey Squirrel and some do-gooders are saying no to eradication of the grey squirrel which would then give the red squirrel a fighting chance.

If you want to see more of these pictures, and I wish I could go, then it is at Hoopers Gallery until October 16th.

Envy, Envy, Envy.... back to practising...

24 September 2009

The Life (and Death) of a Slug

I have had the misfortune of entertaining a slug at night in the living room, no I have no idea of how he/she/it got in their only that I knew by a trail in the morning that they had made their presence felt..

I hoovered up and looked in all the crannies, but to no avail. It would disappear for days at a time and just when you thought it was safe to assume it had gone, the following morning would see a marathon session. Obviously this has not been ideal given the fact that the house is on the market still and attracting viewers, while the buyers are still trying to organise their sale.

So over the past couple of week, I have tried all sorts of baits, from beer to salt before I resorted to other more negative means (can there really be any more negative means than the death of a slug?) no matter.. none of it worked, the salt didn't do any good (or harm), the beer was obviously not the beer of choice for this particular slug (he must either be teetotal or a recovering alcoholic)..

So finally, I laid down the law, after a particular frenetic session the night before leaving a silvery trail around the room.. the slug had to go.. that evenining I sprinkled down a goodly amount of slug pellets along the wall where I though the slug might be holed up and sure enough Monday morning there the corpse lay amongst the pellets..

Today I am slugless once more... and am grateful for it...

23 September 2009

Just for a laugh....

Wednesday's have a way of being a hard day... too far away from the last weekend, and not close enough to the next one... so today, just for today I am going to put something on that I got in an email, to give you a chance to comment and have a laugh...

Superman says if we woke up NAKED together, using only 3 words, what would you say to me?

Let your imagination rip, but please keep it reasonably work safe... the best one will get published together with a link to their blog as a reward/punishment...lol

22 September 2009


No not me... food

I was on Kathy's blog a while back when she wrote of Summer's Bounty - August 16th.. and dehydrating food.. Now while I have used freezing, bottling and other mechanisms to hold over the harvest of food into winter I hadn't thought of using the dehydrating method... well actually I had for sun-dried tomatoes but never managed to find the space or location to dry them out successfully and most ended up wasted.

I managed to find a reasonably priced dehydrator from Westfalia UK, and it is en-route to me so I will be in time to do some dehydration before winter sets her fingers onto the market stalls of produce.

I will be doing some banana's both for use in cereals but also for the ratz as they like banana chips and prefer the harder ones to the softer ones, but these have so many preservatives that I am concerned for them and have to limit their intake..

I will keep you updated on how the experiment is going.

21 September 2009

Freecycling - the joys and the despair

Those of you that know me, know my love of recycling or freecycling... one man's rubbish is another man's treasure..

I put a request on my local freecycle branch for some kitten stuff, as Piran and Saffy are coming back with me after my Interview on the 9th October... they have to be introduced to the ratz before they get too old and set in their ways... so home they are coming...

If I haven't mentioned them before it was all very up in the air, but I decided that I was going to have some new pets and it would be a while before I could entertain a dog, a cat would be more up my street. A family member has had two litters from each of her three cats in quick succession and a quick chat to her had me pick out Piran who gets his name because he is mostly black and white, then I had another thought and decided two was better than one, so Saffy was included as he is all black with blue eyes...

Friday saw me driving to a nearby village, en-route to a big pet's store as I needed more rat food, and collecting a travelling box.. a good size and a good scrub will see that as good as new and certainly at the price of being free.. thanks to Hazel for that one.

So yesterday involved a (what was supposed to be 35 mins drive to North London) traumatic drive to a location which is too close for comfort to the smoke, involving mapquest directions which didn't match the roads near London Colney (due to the bypass); I eventually collected a covered-in litter tray, a learner kitten tray and a stack of goodies from Emma ... thank you so much for that it was really appreciated and apologies for arriving about 40 minutes late and taking my phone calls for assistance in finding you :-)

I am preparing the study as the room of choice to be the nursery for the kittens as during the day I don't want an open war zone in the house.. so over the weekend, I packed and decluttered this room and now just have to paint it and I am going to get a doorway, hopefully through freecycle, so that the little 'uns can be caged I mean kept securely in their domain.

Pictures will follow as and when I can get them off my phone...lol

19 September 2009

Saturday Satire : Poor Adam

God Said, "Adam, I Want you to do something for me."

Adam said, "Gladly, Lord, what do You want me to do?"

God said, "Go down into that valley."

Adam said, "What's a valley?"

God explained it to him.

Then God said, "Cross the river."

Adam said, "What's a river?" !

God explained that to him, and then said, "Go over to the hill......."

Adam said, "What is a hill?"

So, God explained to Adam what a hill was.

He told Adam, "On the other side of the hill you will find a cave"

Adam said, "What's a cave?"

After God explained, he said, "In the cave you will find a Woman."

Adam said, "What's a woman?"

So God explained that to him, too.

Then, God said, "I want you to reproduce."

Adam said, "How do I do that?"

God first said (under his breath), "Geez....." !

And then, just like everything else, God explained that to Adam, as well.

So, Adam goes down into the valley, across the river, and over the hill, into the cave, and finds the woman.

Then, in about five minutes, he was back.

God, his patience wearing thin, said angrily, "What is it now?"

And Adam said









"What's a headache?"

18 September 2009

A Question for you

I had a phone call, yesterday, asking me if I would like to attend an interview for a job in Cornwall which I had applied for in early August... Seems like the current trend is to contact people well after the closing date and hope they haven't yet got something else in the meantime..

I digress, the form of the interview will be to have a 45 mins interview with a panel and then do a 5 minute presentation- the details of which will be sent to me in the post but involves Convergence in Cornwall (Education I think but as yet I haven' t yet received the details).

Now my question to you is How do you know where to pitch the presentation? tell them what they know? tell them what you know? tell them where you think they are going? tell them what resources you can bring to the college?

Any and all assistance gratefully received.

17 September 2009

We Plough the Fields and Scatter

We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft, refreshing rain.

A very modern looking tractor and plough working at Mattocks Farm
© Copyright Glyn Baker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Yep, they are out ploughing today round the Back of Beyond, a true sign of Autumn. Not that the weather isn't changing much, it is still warmish though a lot cooler in the morning and the nights are drawing in fast with it being dark by around 8pm.

I like Autumn, generally, the lush gold colours of the turning leaves on the trees, the warming sunlight all gently ease you into the dark winter months ahead but this year I feel regrets at losing the Summer which once more was not the heatwave that was predicted but more like a few good days and then a few worse days...

I am sure when I was a child, summers were long sunny days full of hosepipe bans and dry dusty days.. this year was a mix of torrential downpours and colder days with the odd occasional hot day when it was so hot that doing anything until evening was unwise..

The garden is beginning to slow down and grow less quickly (though I wish the weeds would take the same stance as the plants lol) and it has become a tidying up project rather than a growing project... soon it will be time to let it sleep.

16 September 2009

I got this in an email and laughed...

Be on the lookout for a 1951 Chevy, red with white top.

Thought to be transporting Illegal Immigrants!!!

Can't think why they stopped this one....lol

15 September 2009

The good news

My phone arrived safely, and it is going to take a while before I have everything I need on there :-)

I am happy to report it is already up and working and I am impressed with it so far.. especially because it is black and turquoise banded so my favourite colours... sad isn't it when you can be impressed by so little.

I was greeted with the saddest of news this morning, Patrick Swayze and Keith Floyd have both died both were ill and both were geniuses in their field, both will be sadly missed by their family and friends and many loyal fans but both will live on in the memories of the same.

Thanks guys, rest in peace.

14 September 2009

A Moral Tale

A mouse looked through the crack
In the wall to see the farmer
And his wife open a package.

What food might this contain?'
The mouse wondered - - -
He was devastated to discover
It was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard,
The mouse proclaimed the warning :
There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!'

The chicken clucked and scratched,
Raised her head and said,
'Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave
Concern to you, but it is of no consequence
To me. I cannot be bothered by it.'

The mouse turned to the pig and told him,
'There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!'

The pig sympathized, but said,
'I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse,
But there is nothing I can do about it
But pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.'

The mouse turned to the cow and said,
'There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!'

The cow said, 'Wow, Mr. Mouse.
I'm sorry for you,
But it's no skin off my nose.'

So, the mouse returned to the house,
Head down and dejected,
To face the farmer's mousetrap . . . Alone.

That very night a sound was heard
Throughout the house --
like the sound Of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught.
In the darkness, she did not see
It was a venomous snake whose
Tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer's wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital,
And she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever
With fresh chicken soup, so the farmer
Took his hatchet to the farmyard
For the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued,
So friends and neighbors came to sit
With her around the clock.
To feed them,
The farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well;
She died.
So many people came for her funeral,
The farmer had the cow slaughtered to
Provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his
Crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is
Facing a problem and think it doesn't
Concern you, remember ----
When one of us is threatened,
We are all at risk.

We are all involved in this Journey called life.
We must keep an eye out for
One another and make an extra effort
To encourage one another.

Remember .. each of us is a vital thread in another persons tapestry; our lives are woven together for a reason.

One of the best things to hold onto In this world is a FRIEND so to you my friends... you can count on me to be there in the tough times, to support you and to help you to the good times...

The sad story of a phone

In May 2008, I traded up on my mobile contract for a Sony Ericsson W960i phone.. touch screen, large display window, cute as could be... I was very tempted by the Nokia N95 but it cost £80 more and I couldn't justify the costs...

How I later came to regret that decision...

Within a few months, I began to get problems, the battery would just drain, the phone wouldn't work as in ringing calls and I made the first of many visits to Vodaphone.. initially they said try the software upgrade, just download and install it..

Phone wouldn't accept it..

Took it on it's first trip back to Vodaphone, back within a week, they had done the software upgrade..

All too soon it was apparent that the problem wasn't the software on the phone..

Back to Vodaphone again, this time they had it for 2 weeks, they had replaced the circuit board...

All too soon it was apparent that this hadn't worked either..

I took it back in August for yet another visit, tried to explain that the problem was intermittent, that the lights were on in the phone, but obviously the phone wasn't capable of communicating that it wasn't at home.. you could only restart the phone if you took the battery out.. something which you shouldn't do as it isn't good for the technology.

I went back to pick it up just before the bank holiday, but their service department had returned the phone without the battery.. I couldn't pick it up before last saturday and even then they had to search the shop looking for a) the phone and b) the battery which were located in two different places.

Finally I had my phone back, they assured me that they had replaced the faulty battery charger... hmmm I thought different but implausible... and sure enough yesterday I went to make a phone call and the phone hung on opening a folder, when I rebooted it the battery which previously was showing full was now 2/3 empty and the folder now opened.

I then got on the phone to Vodaphone, explained the situation and as a result a brand new Nokia 5800 touchphone is heading to me and should reach the back of beyondsville tomorrow... I am so happy and yet so sad. The Sony phone is a lovely phone, but can't be relied upon and I need on that is so it will be used as a back up phone I think and I may get it unlocked and get an O2 sim card for it... that way I can still use it but not as my main phone.

12 September 2009

Saturday Satire : Getting One Over

An Englishman is having breakfast, in Paris, one morning (coffee, croissants, bread, butter and jam) when a Frenchman, chewing bubble-gum, sits down next to him. The Englishman ignores the Frenchman who, nevertheless, starts a conversation.

Frenchman: 'You English folk eat the whole bread??'

Englishman (in a bad mood): 'Of course.'

Frenchman: (after blowing a huge bubble) 'We don't. In France, we only eat what's inside. The crusts we collect in a container, recycle it, transform them into croissants and sell them to England.' The Frenchman has a smirk on his face.

The Englishman listens in silence.

The Frenchman persists: 'Do you eat jam with the bread??'

Englishman: 'Of Course.'

Frenchman: (cracking his bubble-gum between his teeth and chuckling).

'We don't. In France we eat fresh fruit for breakfast, then we put all the peels, seeds, and leftovers in containers, recycle them, transform them into jam, and sell the jam to England.'

After a moment of silence, The Englishman then asks: 'Do you have sex in France?'

Frenchman: 'Why of course we do', he says with a big smirk.

Englishman: 'And what do you do with the condoms once you've used them?'

Frenchman: 'We throw them away, of course.'

Englishman: 'We don't. In England, we put them in a container, recycle them, melt them down into bubble-gum, and sell them to France.'

11 September 2009

Couldn't resist this one...

For all of us who feel our age :-)

Farewell to a friend

Today is the funeral of a good friend, as a result of a tragic accident whilst a pillion on her husband's bike.

Carol will be sorely missed by us all in the BMW biking fraternity and who was a great support to me when I took over as the Section Secretary was always prepared to help out with teas/coffees and ensuring everyone had enough to eat on the lunches.. My thoughts are with Dave, who also sustained injuries but must be shaken up by the accident and the outcomes..

It was yet another reminder to me that life is short enough, you don't know how much you can accomplish in this life before death sweeps her scythe under your feet, so treasure each day as though it were your last, and tell someone you love them before the words get lost in the winds..

Carol.. many thanks.. wish I could be at the funeral but unfortunately it isn't possible.

10 September 2009

Its Time for the Whatjamacallit

I guess it is time that I generated my own award, for those who follow most avidly, and for those whom I follow... I give you... the whatjamacallit award.

To pick out from those on my list would be near on impossible, as you are there for a good reason, you are my friends, my source of knowledge and very much humour..

Please take this award and put it on your own blog sure in the certainty that it is unique, just like yourselves and very much important to my day to know what you are doing, where you are going and what your day is like.

Whatjamacallit - an object or place that one can't recall the actual name for. How else do you name something that doesn't otherwise have a name...

09 September 2009

Memories of Summers Gone by

Dad was the gardening expert in the Back of Beyond, he could grow almost anything and usually did in the garden until the day he died. Sadly I have not inherited his ability, and especially to my regret my inability to grow tomatoes as by the end of the season we had too many to eat and I had to hunt around for ideas of what to do with them.

So if you have :

6 lbs ripe tomatoes any variety and all varieties - adds to the flavour
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon salt
8 oz (225 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
½ pint (285 ml) distilled white vinegar or I used cider vinegar

Method: Wash the tomatoes and chop them (or put them through a juicer is even better) There's no need to skin or remove the seeds. Put in a pan and cook slowly until pulped, stirring occasionally.

Press through a sieve (omit this if you used a juicer) and return the puree to a clean pan. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the sauce has thickened.

It makes about 2 pints (1.1 litres) of sauce, I used to freeze it in portions of about half a pint perfect for adding to sauces so much better than tinned tomatoes or even passata.

I used in in making spaghetti bolognaise, as it made it light and yet spicy at the same time... I keep looking out for people with a glut of tomatoes but so far I am not having a lot of luck :-)

08 September 2009

Monty's and a happy mistake

Not the full monty but very nice..

As a thank you to someone who was helping me declutter last week, and before the main onslaught of moving the 'stuff' to the skip I took them to Monty's a local restaurent. Although Monty's doesn't have a licence for alcohol, they do allow customers to bring along a bottle of wine.

I decided not to bother, as the food is delicious without stocking up on alcohol the night before a very long day on Saturday.

As we munched on the poppadom's complete with four different relishes, one with yoghurt, mint and spices, another with fruit chutney, the third was a hot pickle and the fourth and my absolute favourite was an onion relish... I keep trying to get the recipe without any success as each chef seems to have their own version.

I ordered a chicken dopeaza, which when delivered turned out to be lamb.. I had already tucked in and found it delicious and only mentioned it to the waiter as I wouldn't normally eat lamb unless grilled or roasted and had never had it in a curry before but that it was really nice and it was.

The lamb melted in the mouth and was beautifully spiced, neither too hot and spicy nor bland. They couldn't be apologetic enough and I had to giggle when he said later that even the chef couldn't think why he had served lamb instead of chicken.

When the bill came, he had deducted half for the cost of their mistake, which was not really a mistake as now I feel I can order it and know in confidence it will taste delicious.

07 September 2009

I've been Skipping all weekend

All in the name of decluttering...lol

Not involving a rope, only old bits found in the shed at the bottom of the garden, the small shed, the greenhouse and the little shed... half an engine, various garden pots and other detritus all was carried down and put into the large skip ordered and delivered on Friday.. can definitely recommend it as a means of release. I was absolutely cream crackered last night, made a sandwich for tea as I was too tired to cook.

Originally I was supposed to have another viewing yesterday, but this was postponed until during the week so I carried on taking stuff out to the skip. The attic was emptied, stuff I had forgotten was in there as well as stuff I then remembered.. including two brand new army sleeping bags (any offers anyone?); I suspect that Dad 'alf-inched them during his time in the stores way back in the mists of time.

The chair in the spare room was broken up with a sledgehammer, as was the old bookcase by the back door... to take up less space in the tip. Likewise, old bits and bobs from the greenhouse all went to the skip.

Identifying stuff to take with me was easy, and getting rid of rubbish was relatively easy, what was more difficult was some of the stuff which had memories but no practical purpose... these have been put in the carport for a second thought while I carry on filling up the skip.

A busy weekend, and yet an enjoyable one..

05 September 2009

Saturday Satire : Love in Later Years

One night, after the couple had retired for the night, the woman became aware that her husband was touching her in a most unusual manner. He started by running his hand across her shoulders and then down the small of her back. He ran his hand over her breasts, touching them very lightly.

Then, he proceeded to run his hand gently down her side, sliding his hand over her stomach, and then down the other side to a point below her waist. He continued on, gently feeling her hips, first one side and then the other.

His hand ran further down the outside of her thighs. His gentle stroking then started up the inside of her left thigh, stopped and then returned to do the same to her right thigh.

By this time the woman was thoroughly aroused and she squirmed a little to better position herself.

The man, however, stopped abruptly and rolled over to his side of the bed.

"Why have you stopping?" she whispered in a throaty voice.

He whispered back, "I found the remote."

04 September 2009

The time is flying by

Last time I looked at the year, it was cold, wet and windy spring.... now it is a cold, wet and windy autumn.. time is flying on at a fast and furious rate...

A skip has been ordered for the rubbish to be cleared and this weekend will be a task and a half to get rid of all the rubbish treasures accumulated over the years in the sheds, attic and garage... it will be nice to have it over and done with and I hope to find some things which have been lost missing for years.

Perhaps I should have done this sooner, I don't know but at least it keeps me busy and stops me being too stressed out by the lack of progress... no doubt when the rollercoaster starts in earnest it will be going too fast for comfort but I am eager for this move.

Going by another's comments, I won't be alone in Cornwall as another blogger chum is thinking of heading down, and two others are already down there... perhaps a bloggers meet in the future to swap notes might be nice.

03 September 2009

7 Years

It was seven years ago today that my world changed forever, I was on holiday with my Dad near St Austell, the night before we had been talking about what to do on the following day and we had finally decided on visiting the Eden Project. Dad was going to drop me off to look around and then pick me up later on with me returning the favour later.

Now as you well know my first visit to the Eden project was last year, and that was to finally lay the ghosts to rest to do the tasks left undone by his untimely death. I hadn't known how much I had missed Cornwall until I came back last year, and it seems fitting to be making the move this year to live down there.

To Dad, miss you, love you and you are always part of me no matter where I am.

02 September 2009

It seems funny

It is an almost surreal time, I feel in limbo not part of here anymore (at the back of beyond) but not yet part of the new place (the Edge of the World)..

but I know it will happen, the house is slowly taking shape, and becoming more empty as personal possessions are packed away to be reopened at EOTW (eventually).

A list of jobs as long as your arm are being made for the new property, but ideas are flowing in thick and fast..

in the main the heating needs doing as the LPG system is not sufficient so I am contemplating Oil fired, something I am used to at the current place and no mains gas helps in that decision.

The electrics needs checking and probably rewiring as there is an insufficient number of sockets in the rooms and it might as well be done at the start than afterwards. The kitchen doesn't need anything doing to it other than a good clean out, and the kitchen is one of the reasons I fell for this place, so nice to be able to walk in and think you could see yourself cooking in it straight away.

The carpets need replacing, but to start with they will get a good cleaning with a hired cleaner as it will help remove the cigarette smells but this won't remove the burns from the flooring.

The bathroom is a fetching shade of pink... mmmm think this might be removed and converted into a wet room as it is a little on the small side to accommodate a bath and a shower and I kinda like the idea of a wet room especially if I get a dog in the future it will make bathing them dead simple.

A colour scheme is being generated and hopefully before too long this will converted into a long painting session... I am glutton for punishment.

01 September 2009

An apology and an Update

Sorry I have been lacksadaisical in posting for the past few days, but have been busy in Cornwall and only got home late yesterday evening.

I flew down early on Thursday morning as I had the second part of my interview for the course in Camborne College, in the afternoon starting at 2pm; this consisted of a number of computer exercises to test my abilities in learning types, literacy, numeracy and language skills.

I was in the room for the best part of an hour and a half and after a 3.15am start my poor brain was befuddled enough but I had to attain level 2 on both the literacy and numeracy. I didn't think I would have a problem with the literacy but the numeracy was a whole different matter. Maths isn't my strong point and I hadn't had much time to revise any materials beforehand.

Surprisingly, the results for maths came out higher than for English, so perhaps the knowledge is in there but I just didn't realise it.

On Friday I saw four properties, one was a bungalow in Redruth town centre that I had seen in December and thought good, but on seeing it as a possibility I realised that the balance was more negative than positive. The second was at a small village 3 miles outside of Redruth, and was in a small estate, the village like back of beyond has a small store, a pub, a recreation ground and is on a good bus route to the town. This has a large but quiet garden, and possibilities for lots of things.

The afternoon saw two more, a bungalow overlooking Redruth Rugby ground, the view was nice but not the bungalow, too small and the area was the one mentioned in the news report where the police in agreement with the council put a curfew in place.. the graffiti on the concrete walls made it too depressing to consider.

The last property was a 200 year old cottage in the centre of redruth, it was apparently built as a servants quarters to a big house (now the grammar school I think) and was lovely inside, a small but perfectly formed kitchen with what looked like a place for a cornish range but now just a decorative shelf. Sadly the biggest problem with this was the second bedroom was not really big enough for anything other than the built in captains bunk.. not really what I had in mind but the garden was quiet and secluded and had a pond already in it.

The second property really ticked most of the boxes, with very few negative things, and the neighbours all came and introduced themselves with the second viewing I took lots of photos and measured up the rooms accurately as the blurb was not as accurate as it could have been. This is hopefully the one I am buying and my offer has been accepted, just need to get the back of beyond sold now and do all the paperwork needed.