28 February 2011

The Garden at Tre Agan - Update

The sun is out, it has some lovely warmth to it and life is looking promising in the garden at Tre Agan.

My seedlings are coming along great guns, with my marigolds practically bursting into 1 inch seedlings in 24 hours.. which will provide me with plenty of flowerheads for making some more handcream later on in the year.

My sage seedlings are also going great guns, with me having already thinned them out already. I hate having to decide which ones are going to be left growing and which ones to discard.. I feel like a killer.. which in reflection I was.

No signs yet of the sweet peas, peppers, pansies or viola's but it is warm and bright and I am ever the optimist.

I have planted the buddhlea today, I chose a davidii from the choices I had and the clematis are looking strong and healthy with lots of shoots on the plants so I am eagerly looking forward to when they have flowers on them.

27 February 2011

Sunday Kitchen Duties

Luckily the football was cancelled, so no trudging around a pitch waiting eagerly for the end of the game. Luckily I have my e-reader and also MP3 player, though mysteriously my Sansadisk MP3 player has gone walkabout along with my sennheiser earphones.. no doubt they will turn up in due course.

A quick visit to B&Q to get some paint, to do the bathrooms and kitchen then back to the house.. The motorbike has been cheeping madly due to the alarm system running low on battery and tomorrow has to go to Long Rock for a visit to see what the options are. While SOH got him ready for going out, I headed for the kitchen for a long overdue session at the stove.

First off, was to make some cheese scones, for me as SOH doesn't like them. Then while they were baking in the oven a quick wash up of the pans and get a few more out to make a sponge sandwich.. actually I use a madeira cake recipe but cook it in sandwich tins.. while this was cooling more washing up before making some flapjacks with the dried blackberries in them.

While the flapjacks were cooking, I made the buttercream for the sandwich cake and washed up before putting the chicken in for tea. We brought two chickens from Tesco and have been disapppointed in both of them, origianally I was going to do a pot roast for after the football match but as that had been cancelled I roasted it.. afterwards I regretted this decision and nect time would stick to my guns and slowly casserole it as it was  tough old bird.

26 February 2011

Saturday Satire : The Bikers

A tough looking group of bikers were riding when they saw a girl about to jump off a bridge so they stop.

The leader, a big burly man, gets off his bike and says,  "What are you doing?"

"I'm going to commit a suicide," she says.

While he did not want to appear insensitive, he didn't want to miss an opportunity he asked
"Well, before you jump, why don't you give me a Kiss?"

So, she does and it was a long, deep lingering kiss.   

After she's finished, the biker says, "Wow! That was the best Kiss I have ever had. That's a real talent you are wasting. You could be famous

Why are you committing suicide?" 

"My parents don't like me dressing up like a girl......" 

25 February 2011

More (second hand) memories of Tripoli

Dad was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (R.E.M.E) during his years of service with the British Army and served alongside many different regiments including in Malaya 75 Aircraft Workshops, in Germany 4 Field Workshops etc.

I don't know who he served alongside in Tripoli, but I do remember him telling me that one of his many and varied activities involved assessing the local drivers for their ability in driving. Apparently the driving test of the day required the candidates to be able to drive the vehicle in a straight line for 100 yards and then reverse the same distance in an equally straight line. I remember asking him why didn't it include corners etc but his reply was that in the base the roads were simply straight through.. good job then that he didn't decide to retrain as a driving instructor/examiner when he retired from the Army!

23 February 2011


I read the news over the past 48 hours about the problems in Tripoli.

My Dad being in the British Army, had a posting to Tripoli in Libya not long after he married my Mum. My Brother Zeltus was born there during their stay, and while the local population was taken by this very blonde headed youngster the unsettled situation saw them evacuated twice, once for 48 hours and for the life of me I can't remember where they went or whether it was just within the bounds of the Army camp or elsewhere.

When they got back to their accommodation, it had been ransacked and most of their possessions lost, but the important things to them were safe: themselves.

Gradually they rebuilt their lives and possessions only to lose them again for the second time when they were evacuated out permanently back to the UK in late 1957/early 1958 ending up at Blandford Forum where I was born in March 1958.

I have one possession from that period of time, a wall carpet hanging of camels in the desert and that really belongs to Zeltus but somehow it ended up with me; a little more battered and moth eaten but not bad for over 50 years old.

I have some photo's taken from that time, when I eventually get around to emptying the picture boxes, but in there is the naked lady of Gariane .. it is a map drawn on a wall but in the shape of a luscious lady... apparently the Back of Beyond was going to be named the Gariane in memory of this time of their lives but it never happened and when Mum died in 1992 it no longer seemed to be important enough for Dad to do.

22 February 2011

Wanted Down Under

One of my favourite programmes is Wanted Down Under where brit families experience a week in New Zealand or Australia and then consider whether they can uproot themselves to that country permanently.

It never ceases to amaze me how much emphasis is on the children, whether they will be happy (at school, College etc) and this can have a negative impact on the family as a whole.

Speaking as an army brat, and having experiences living overseas in Malaysia and Germany, I can tell you I had more than my fair share of tears at leaving a location and my friends etc and no doubt my parents did too. It is all to easy to see thinks in black and white as a child, but when you grow up you realise that those experiences shape your life and I wouldn't have changed any of them.. well perhaps the snake incident possibly.

Leaving behind friends and relatives is hard, but back in the 60's we only had access to letters and post took best part of two weeks to arrive in the Far East. These days with modern communications, internet, skype, telephone it is much easier to stay in contact and not just voice but video too; while it isn't the same as popping round to Auntie Jean's it is a means of keeping in touch.

I love the catch up programmes where they revisit the families and where they are right now, some choose to go even with reservations about missing families but many of them settle for safety and security. It is a real people watching programme and you get to see some bits of Australia that isn't Home and Away or Neighbours.

PS. New Zealand experienced a major earthquake last night and sadly there was a number of lives lost. There is real spirit in the survivors and they will need that in the days to come.

21 February 2011


Yesterday I dug out some trays, and planted some seeds, I have black pansies, some beautiful violas in purple and cream. Some Cupani Sweet peas which are black and some lovely golden marigolds.. all to go into the garden.

My sage seedlings are growing apace and soon will need transplanting into bigger pots to bring on; I have some pots which when put into the ground will allow the plant to grow through them so they will be transplanted into these when ready. I am not quite sure where they will be planted yet, whether it is out in the front garden or in the back but they will be lovely wherever they go.

I also set some seeds taken from some small, very sweet peppers which I dried out ready for spring and I am hoping to grow these at the back of the house as it is very sheltered and a real sun-trap.

I am still looking for some lavender and a variegate californian lilac called zanzibar and have tracked it down to Barncoose nurseries so hopefully that will happen soon.

I want to get a magnolia tree, I had to leave the one which was given to us after Mum died back in Cranfield but I love the early show of colour and would like to get them.

I am looking out for suitable cuttings from fuschia and buddhlea shrubs to plant out.. perhaps I am more of a gardener than I originally thought.

20 February 2011

Profound Thoughts

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I think about all those people on theTitanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched television?

Because people cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get a moment. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get money isn't as tight.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a double cone. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you?' Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through our head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow?Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

To those who know me, even if through the blog, know that I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do. We have some history together My Friend.

19 February 2011

Saturday Satire : A Brighton Antique shop

A tourist walked into a Brighton antique shop.  After looking around for a while, he noticed a very life-like bronze statue  of a rat. It had no price tag, but it was so striking that he decided to buy it anyway.

He took it to the owner and said: 'How much is this bronze rat?'

The owner replied: 'It's £12 for the rat, and £100 for the story.'

The tourist gave the owner his £12 and said: 'I'll just take the rat, you  can keep the story.'
As he walked off down the street, he noticed that a few real rats had crawled out of the sewers and begun following him.

This was a little disconcerting, so he started to walk a little faster, but within a couple of blocks the swarm of rats had grown to hundreds, and they were all squealing and screeching in a very menacing way.

He increased his speed & ran on towards the beach, and as he ran, he looked behind him and saw the rats now numbered in their MILLIONS, and they were running faster & faster. By now very concerned, he ran down to the pier and threw the bronze rat far out into the water.

Amazingly, the millions of real rats jumped into the water after it and were all drowned. 

The man walked back to relate all this to the shop owner, who said: 'Ah, you've come back for the story then?'

'No,' said the tourist, 'I came back to see if you've got a bronze Muslim Fundamentalist Cleric, a couple of illegal immigrants, an Arsenal supporter, and anything French!'

With many thanks to Pete for supplying me with this one, and I am still laughing... lol

17 February 2011


I am looking for a companion dog, Murphy is a lovely dog, but I am conscious that as an 'only' dog he relies on meeting other dogs for company on his walks. Murphy has to be happy with the other dog, and I am not really interested in a puppy as cute as they are I would like a dog between 6 months and two years.

Needless to say, the looking is taking a while, not a bad thing as the boy is growing every day into a mature and very handsome black labrador.

Tonight saw us drive South-West to look at a golden retriever; he has a few issues but nothing we didn't think we could not deal with given time. However, on first meeting he wasn't happy at seeing Murphy and by the end of 10 minutes he wasn't happy with me either with a show of teeth and a growl.

If he was going to be an only dog he would be ok, but I would have been worried leaving the two dogs alone in the house as the Golden Retriever wanted to be Alpha dog and Murphy is a softie at heart.

His history was a sad one, abused by teenage boys as a pup until he snapped at them and then recently snapped at his owner who rightly now is concerned he might do it again. At only two years old, he can't be rehomed with those sort of issues and sadly it looks as though the only option is to put him to sleep which at least will mean that he won't be a risk to himself or to others.

It was hard to realise that we were not right for him, but in this instance head has to rule heart.

16 February 2011

Bernard Pivot Blogfest -

So, here's how the blogfest will work:

1. If you aren't already a follower, click the button. I can't wait to meet you!

2. Sign up for the BPB Blogfest using Mr. Linky.

3. Copy the questionnaire that follows these instructions and paste it, filled out, into your blog post on February 16.

4. On February 16, we'll visit each other's blogs and get to know each other better, through reading each other's answers. Fun!

5. On February 18, I'll announce the winners of the blogfest giveaway random drawing!

Okay, here's Bernard Pivot's famous questionnaire:

1.What is your favorite word? Hello

2.What is your least favorite word? Goodbye

3.What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Nature at it's best, the wind in my hair, the sun on my cheek, the waves on the beach

4.What turns you off? Shallow individuals using religion as a safety device but not actually behaving in a kind, thoughtful way.

5.What is your favorite curse word? round spherical objects.. balls lol

6.What sound or noise do you love? The Sea

7.What sound or noise do you hate? High winds blowing against the house

8.What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Librarian

9.What profession would you not like to do? Undertaker

10.If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You, you are way too early.. you are not due for another 10 years...

15 February 2011

Victor Meldrew "I can't believe it"

Just who in their right mind would send anyone an email saying thank you for your years of hard work but we no longer require your services?

Well apparently the British Government army can, and now have a very red face as the papers got hold of the story. Their inaptness and stupidity leave me speechless, the men concerned should be given their P45s immediately.

I know we have to make cut-backs, but to get rid of so much experience, and from front line troops is insane.. what is worse is that the RAF is about to do the same to some pilots, some still in the process of training... well why don't we just burn the money that we have spent in their training only to have no work for them when they finish... no doubt someone else will benefit from our idiocy.

Cut backs are necessary, but how about the MPs giving up some of their allowances, some of their perks to ensure that we have a fully functioning defence force and who are adequately equippped to do the task they are given from up on high..

Come on Mr Cameron, please see sense and make the cuts where it is sensible rather than cost cutting for other reasons.

14 February 2011

Valentine's Day

According to the Legenda Aurea, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer.

Since Legenda Aurea still provided no connections whatsoever with sentimental love, appropriate lore has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest.

Still in order not to break with tradition, I would like to Wish a happy Valentine's day to all those people with partners and Happy Valentine's day to all those still looking for love in their life. Me, I am happy with my choices, at this point in time lol xx

13 February 2011

Sunday Catchup

This is my time to catch up with things, on what needs doing and what can wait for a little longer..

Paperwork that needs completing weekly:
  • Hours worked (additional)
  • Contact Notes for each student updated
  • Update 'To do' list
  • Travel claims calculated
  • College work/reading

Then on top of that any washing/ironing etc.. while at the same time pushing the hoover around to pick up any stray Murphy dog hairs.

I had a quick look around the garden today and think I have spotted some shoots on the clematis I planted last year.. keep your fingers crossed as these guys had a hard start with the dry weather last year.

I am growing some Sage plants (well what else do you expect?) I had a lovely Sage brush up at the Back of Beyond but obviously couldn't transplant it down here so we start afresh.

I am also looking for a couple of lavender plants, and have to identify which varieties to grow, as well as a rosemary bush which I know will need a sandy soil for better drainage and I am going to acquire some fuschia and buddhlea cuttings from bushes I frequently see on my walk and rest assured they are in public spaces rather than in gardens.

12 February 2011

Saturday Satire : The Two Pilots

A plane leaves the Los Angeles airport under the control of a Jewish captain. His co-pilot is Chinese. It's the first time they've flown together, and an awkward silence between the two seems to indicate a mutual dislike.

Once they reach cruising altitude, the Jewish captain activates the auto-pilot, leans back in his seat, and mutters, "I don't like Chinese." "No rike Chinese?" asks the co-pilot, "why not?"

"You people bombed Pearl Harbor, that's why!"

"No, no," the co-pilot protests, "Chinese not bomb Pearl Hahbah! That Japanese, not Chinese."

"Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese...doesn't matter, you're all alike!"

There's a few minutes of silence.

"No rike Jews!" the co-pilot suddenly announces.

"Why not?" asks the captain.

"Jews sink Titanic."

"Jews didn't sink the Titanic!" exclaims the captain, "it was an iceberg!"

"Iceberg, Goldberg, Greenberg, Rosenberg, Steinberg, no mattah...all same!"

11 February 2011

I got that Friday Feeling

This morning was an early start, with Murphy and I heading out for our walk this morning at 6.30am. While it was still dark, it was noticeably lighter than of late, and by the time I left for Truro it was fully light which only a month ago it would have been dark and gloomy still.

My car has developed a fault, well actually a bulb has gone, so tomorrow morning will see me reading the Haynes manual trying to fathom out how to replace it as we need it for Monday when we are going out for a romantic day out.. involving the BMW dealer at Plymouth, followed by a visit to Trago mills and somewhere for lunch.. I don't have college that evening having struck a deal with my tutor for missing a session and it will be the first time I have missed an evening.

I finished at lunchtime today, and popped into Boots at Hayle on my way home.. I spent the last of my Christmas money on buying some Sanctuary Spa bath and body cream... mmm I am going to enjoy it later on this evening. Especially as the last three mornings walks have been in the rain and both Murphy and I have got sopping wet; in his case requiring a two towel drying process to get him dry.

10 February 2011


Max, the motorbike is in need of a new battery... down here in the deepest darkest South West the nearest dealer (of any great size) is in Plymouth... so we have been trawling the internet looking for suitable batteries to put in him.

I am looking forward to getting out and about on him this year, using him for work as well as pleasure as some of the locations I get to are scenic to say the least.

Instead he is tweeting to himself and audibly telling us that the battery has reached its life span. On average it seems to last 3.5 years long and as this year he will have reached the grand old age of 8 years old it is overdue.

09 February 2011

Gary Moore

This is one of my favourite pieces of music, played by the now late Gary Moore. I created a CD of my much loved music which included this along with fanfare for the common man by Emerson Lake and Palmer.

I didn't realise that Gary was part of Thin Lizzy, so much that I only found out who the other members had been after Gary's untimely death had been announced. I suppose it is a group identity thing compared to individuals being identified as part of a group.

I love the lyrics of Pariesienne Walkways, and the guitar playing is just pure magic.. somehow I am not sure modern muscians will be remembered in quite the same way in the future.

I remember paris in '49
The champs elyses
Saint michel and old beaujolais wine

And I recall
That you were mine
In those parisienne days

Looking back at the photographs
Those summer days
Spent outside corner cafes

Oh I could write you paragraphs
About my own parisienne days

08 February 2011

Rant : Friends, Non-friends?

Sometimes I have despaired of my so called friends.. people who for what ever reason believed they had the right to criticize my choices in a non-supportive way. These are three fairly recent one's who have helped to shape my life albeit not necessarily in a positive way.

I, like many other people, don't mind supportive criticism as it can be helpful, but I was thinking of a specific person who effectively punished me by withdrawing their friendship because of the choices I made about my life which was to start dating again. Three years later I still don't understand their motives, nor do I think I ever will. The only regrets I have is that I never challenged their decision or actions and it all left a bad taste in my mouth.

Another now non-friend, also decided that I was no longer suitable to be a friend because I was dating and for what ever reason couldn't or wouldn't accept it even though they were themselves in a 'happy live together' relationship. During our friendship, I provided personal and work support, companionship and all three of us enjoyed holidays together. The abrupt end came with my half-century birthday, while we were all down in Cornwall; it was my first visit to the region since my Dad died in 2002 in the county and I was also suffering with a chest infection so wasn't feeling at my best. Needless to say, now I am living down here, I no longer have any contact with them but before I left if we met they wouldn't even acknowledge my existence.

The last person I have purposely lost contact with, is a fairly new friendship,  but who betrayed my trust and proved to be less than honest. I have rarely trusted people to the degree I trusted them, and a few text messages destroyed the tenuous links we had. If what they sent demonstrated their character, then personally they have a lot to worry about in their own relationship as honesty, trust and faithfulness. I considered my options, but it was not my right to let their spouse know, that will be up to them; but I believe they are on a self-destruct course.

Do I feel sorry at the loss of the above people? No, I have a firm belief in what was meant to be and for what ever reason these were people I was not intended to stay close to. I tried with the first two, to rebuild what was lost, but ended up feeling more punished. The last person, I chose to break off contact with as I couldn't bring myself to even discuss it with them. As they themselves haven't made an effort, perhaps they know that their actions were wrong and they know it is not possible to redress the situation. It may be that they read this blog, and understand how I feel, I am not sure.

On a brighter note, I have met some lovely people down here, some I have grown close to, others I see as part of my work but most of all I am enjoying life and the experiences of the slower pace of life.

07 February 2011

Short day

I have only to go into work for a few hours today, then I am not back working until Wednesday morning.. while you may this this is ideal, and believe me half of me would agree, unfortunately it doesn't bring in the money either..

Still updating my CV and I have a planned training session with Kernowflex on 21st Feb, which might bring me some additional pennies enough to enjoy a holiday I hope.

Meanwhile, I get to spend time with Murphy, and also doing my coursework which can be time consuming... and of course all that time off is very relaxing but I still have boxes which need to be unpacked and sorted out into ... well that is another question.

I have some double cream in the fridge, and hope to make some truffles for next week mmmm watch this space for the pics

06 February 2011

Sunday, Sunday

Still blowing a hooley down this end of the world, has been since Thursday and too risky to put the washingoutside on the line in case it ends up in Truro! lol

Our walk this morning was a meandering three park walk, down to Victoria where we bumped into a possibly pregnant Pippa who is a lovely young weimeraner with a lovely nature and I hope that her puppies inherit her nature.

Still this morning was a trip to the market at Pool to get the boy dog another postman's leg as he had knawed the other one down to about 5 inches long from 14 inches and as he isn't destructive or possessive we decided he could have another one.

A very tired boy dog is lying flat out on the ground... having done his best to eat the entire bone.

05 February 2011

Saturday Satire : Market Researcher

A man doing market research knocked on a door. He was greeted by a young woman with three small children running around at her feet.

He says, "I'm doing some research for Vaseline. Have you ever used the product?"

She says, "Yes. My husband and I use it all the time."

"And if you don't mind me asking, what do you use it for?"

"We use it for sex."

The researcher was a little taken back. He replied with candor, "Usually people lie to me and say that they use it on a child's bicycle chain or to help with a gate hinge. But, in fact, I know that most people do use it for sex. I admire you for your honesty. Since you've been frank so far, can you tell me exactly how you use it for sex?"

The woman says, "I don't mind telling you at all. My husband and I put it on the door knob to keep the kids out."

01 February 2011

February - Something interesting

February is interesting, not because it has 28 days, or celebrates St Valentine's Day, or Shrove Tuesday but you have to go back to the Romans to find out the beginnings of where February came from.

The Romans borrowed the first calendar long ago from the Greeks who had a year consisting of 10 months, and 304 days. The other 51 days falling in winter were not considered important as the calendar was supposed to support farming activities. Thus the annual calendar ran from March till December (Can I campaign for it to be reactivated as working then would be brilliant).

Approximately 2700 years ago Numa Pompilius, a Roman King added January and February to the calendar. Even then the calendar had only 355 days due to each of the months were taken as a lunar cycle. A new month had to be added to put the back the year on track. So King Numa added a month called Mercedinus or month 11 which lost favour almost as quickly as it had been arrived at.

Then a small problem arose when the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar added a day to the month on his name, called July, totaling 31 days. Later, Augustus Emperor also wanted the month on his name to be increased with 1 day to have 31 days. These two days were removed from the last month of the year, at that time being February, as the calendar was from March to February according to King Numa.

February is the second month in the civil calendar of the Romans, while it is the last month in the religious calendar of Rome.

And there you have the historic beginnings of February.. all I can tell you is the days or rather evenings are getting longer and now hopefully the mornings will start to follow the same pattern.