30 May 2011

Late Spring Bank Holiday

So much for the weather forecast of rain overnight clearing by 9am, it has only just brightened up here but we still have threatening skies.

The pond boys and I went for our walk earlish this morning, later than an early and earlier than a late walk. We met up with Ruby who is a brindle dog, some sort of terrier but I wouldn't like to say quite what; she is the size of a boxer and on first meeting can 'talk' very loudly. The pond boys are used to her now and knows her talking means nothing. We strolled along together through Victoria Park and into Trefusis where all three dogs were let off the lead and had a fun time playing with each other although when the tennis ball made an appearance I had Jaspers full attention.

Tomorrow, subject to the weather, we will take a walk up Carn Marth to the big pond that is up there, my back which has been aching since carrying a heavy box on Friday is finally recovering helped by me not a) overdoing it and b) a two day course of painskillers and inflammatories; such are the joys of old age.

As I type, the pond boys are sleeping off their early morning exercise. Although if I move an inch, they are wide awake instantly expectant of either more walks or treats, they don't mind which and in any order.

I am taking it easy today, just concentrating on the hoovering, and some much needed craft time. How are you all spending your Bank Holiday?

29 May 2011

Green Fingers

I know I have mentioned that my Dad was the gardener in my life, while my style of gardening is very much either grow or die.. take your pick :-)

Well, finances are hard (aren't they all for all of us these days) and buying shrubs and plants for the garden horrendously expensive so I have been collecting cuttings from shrubs and plants including two fuchsias (one red one white) as well as wigelia and a few others.. Not from people's gardens needless to say, but where they have grown wild or in public byways.

They have been thinking about doing something for a while now in the corner of the kitchen, but I am pleased to report that they have made up their mind and have decided to sprout new leaves. To be fair to them, the conditions are probably not ideal as it is a sunny kitchen so very warm but possibly too warm on occasion. Will try to remember to get pictures later on.

I had some rooting powder, which came down from the back of beyond, and it was kept for just such a purpose as this.

I am on the lookout for some box hedging, I miss my box hedge I will admit. One of my neighbours has got some in containers and I have asked for cuttings when she prunes them later this year.

My list includes a varieagated californian lilac as well as a dwarf lilac but I may have to bite the bullet and buy those ones.

28 May 2011

Saturday Satire : West Ham and Football

Confused ........last night I was awoken by 4 West Ham players outside my house playing football with a hedgehog. I was absolutely disgusted and was just about to call the RSPCA

Cool ........then the hedgehog went one-nil up!

27 May 2011

Today is

Sunshine and blue skies, a big difference from the grey skies and blustery conditions that we were inflicted with yesterday.

It is as though the weather gremlins are getting ready for the forthcoming bank holiday, "now what can we send to spoil it for a large number of people? I know, let the rains commence"

I am optimistic that here in the South West we will benefit from the weather passing through more quickly as I want to take the boys back to Carn Marth, which apparently if I had carried on up the hill would have led to a larger lake/pond for them pond boys to play in...

4.5 hours of teaching this morning was good, carrying a heavy box of materials up a flight and half of stairs has left my back feeling a little shell shocked but a nice bath and relaxation on the sofa is called for this evening.

25 May 2011

Pond Boys

This morning, and with no work on today, the boys and I headed up the hill to Carn Marth and the smallest pond I had seen but probably the smelliest.

Jasper found it first, but it was Murphy who wallowed in it like a hippo in a watering hole -he loves the water.

Carn Marth is a quarry, with views back over to the North coast, it definitely worth a walk and the boys had fun once I had ensured that it was safe for them to play.

The pond boys (as they have become renamed) were running around the bottom of the quarry as though they were infused with a huge boost of energy and made me laugh at their antics. While we have been letting Jasper off the lead, it has been in controlled situations and usually involves chasing a tennis ball. This time although I had the balls with me, I didn't use them as they were both exhausted and willingly came back to me for a treat (or two).

The picture above shows Murphy in his red harness, and Jasper in the blue.. and very smart they look.

This picture on the right shows the quarry from above, and the view you first have of it, in the bottom of the picture you can see the steps going down and from the muddy earth at the bottom of the quarry in wetter times it would be a lovely pool but all we had was a small smelly pond.

This was a picture of the drilling holes in close up from the picture above it was bang in the centre of the wall opposite.. makes you wonder who was employed there, and what their lives must have been like.

We had a lovely walk back home, taking a more direct route but somehow the walk up through the footpaths was more scenic than the roadway walk back. On our return the boys were treated to a cold shower courtesy of the hose but we still have an aromatic pair of pond boys!

24 May 2011

Compliments and Complaints

I have received both of the above in the past couple of weeks, through work. I was please with the compliment, as it was also copied in to my manager and was very good for my ego as after a few complaints I was feeling a little downhearted and it made me realise that each and every day is different, with new challenges and problems to resolve.

I also considered how and what feedback I give to my students, everyone likes a positive comment, and the odd occasion when I have had to remind them to get the work done I have tackled it in a way that encourages their participation.

I witnessed an incident today in a well known supermarket, where the person in question was so involved in her shopping that she completely ignored the checkout person who was very polite and pleasant and didn't deserve to be treated that way. I caught her eye and smiled in sympathy, and when it was my turn I made certain to respond to her questions, and when I had finished and she wished me a good afternoon I was able to wish her the same. It didn't take much on my part, we both left feeling happy and I hope she did too.

So today has been a happy day, perhaps we should start a positive movement whereby we are all nice to everyone else for a change... you never know it might catch on.

23 May 2011

Fat Boy Slim & Slim Boy Fat

These are the pet names for the two boys, Murphy is Slim Boy Fat giving Jasper the Fat Boy Slim title but it is a close run thing for since Jaspers arrival in April, Murphy is trimming down and Jasper is gaining a little bit of weight; no longer are his hip bones sticking through.

They both have a healthy shining coat, and many people comment on it when they meet the for the first time. Murphy is a lunatic, just wants to play with other dogs, or anything come to think of it while Jasper is serious about a tennis ball (well until we throw two then he usually just stands there waiting for a ball to appear in front of him).

Jasper is therefore allowed off the lead, he doesn't show much interest in running off but that may be due to the influence of Murphy on him as he follows with interest what Murphy finds but as he answers to his name and comes back we are trusting him more and more.

Both boys now have smart new harnesses, Jasper is in Blue while Murphy is in Red with matching leads; both have tags on their harnesses as we are trying to get rid of the collar marks from Jasper's neck and not wearing a collar means the hair is slowly recovering. I promise to get some new pictures, preferably when the boys are out running, but either me or the camera is not around to capture those lovely moments.

Murphy will have been with us a year come 12th June, and the following week on 19th will be his 2nd birthday while Jasper came to us on 19th March and he will be celebrating his 2nd birthday on 28 August this year... what to get them for their birthday?

21 May 2011

Saturday Satire : The Brothel

The madam opened the brothel door in Winnipeg and saw a rather dignified, well-dressed, good-looking man in his late forties or early fifties.

'May I help you sir?' she asked.
'I want to see Valerie,' the man replied.
'Sir, Valerie is one of our most expensive ladies. Perhaps you would prefer someone else', said the madam.
'No, I must see Valerie,' he replied.
Just then, Valerie appeared and announced to the man she charged $5000 a visit. Without hesitation, the man pulled out five thousand dollars and gave it to Valerie, and they went upstairs. After an hour, the man calmly left.
The next night, the man appeared again, once more demanding to see Valerie. Valerie explained that no one had ever come back two nights in a row as she was too expensive. But there were no discounts. The price was still $5000.
Again, the man pulled out the money, gave it to Valerie, and they went upstairs. After an hour, he left.

The following night the man was there yet again. Everyone was astounded that he had come for a third consecutive night, but he paid Valerie and they went upstairs.

After their session, Valerie said to the man, 'No one has ever been with me three nights in a row. Where are you from?'.

The man replied, ' Ontario '.

'Really', she said. 'I have family in Ontario .'

'I know.' the man said. 'Your sister died, and I am her attorney. She asked me to give you your $15,000 inheritance.'

The moral of the story is that three things in life are certain.
1. Death
2. Taxes
3. Being screwed by a lawyer

20 May 2011

One Year Anniversary

One year ago, I brought Tre Agan and have been happily living here ever since. Despite the upheaval and downsizing (well posessions anyway) not to mention gaining two black labradors and all of their tack/bedding etc it has been fun and interesting.

I can definitely recommend moving house as a real boost to getting rid of things that have served their purpose and make note of this, I am not going to stop just because I have moved in. I still have boxes which have stuff in that may never be used and need to be pruned. I don't think I will ever embrace minimalist living style, I like my comforts too much. Having said that, I have no need of more jumpers than I can wear but I will explore turning them into something else before I recycle them.

Rules of Posession

1. If it has served it's purpose then it should be got rid of, ebay, freecycle, charity shop, recycling
2. If I don't see the point of keeping it, then refer to rule 1.
3. If the upkeep is too expensive, then refer to rule 1.
4. If you can manage without it, then refer to rule 1.

What else could be added to the above, or do you think that is enough?

18 May 2011

Mid Week Musings

Here we are on Wednesday, where does the week go? Well a couple of long days and then my last appointment of the weekday was this morning in not so sunny Penryn. The two other appointments this week are on Saturday morning in Truro so I am hoping that there will be some parking left for me.

I have some admin to do prior to the course I am running on Friday, and a lesson plan to prepare. I have a scheme of work so half the work is already done. This means a lot to me and I really want the session to go well so keep your fingers crossed.

Once home, it was get on with some baking, another madeira sponge cake to be filled with buttercream and jam, a madeira marble tray bake for lunchboxes, and a refridgerator chocolate biscuit cake for those naughty moments when nothing else but something sweet will do.

Just the ironing left to do, but that can wait until tomorrow. The chicken for dinner is gently roasting in the oven and will be served with some jersey royal potatoes and vegetables before we watch the second half of the Pirates v Worcester rugby match which the Pirates need to win by a minimum of 10 points if they are to keep Worcester out of the premier league. A toast to you brave lads in red and black we will be cheering you on tonight.

16 May 2011

Busy Weekend

Saturday afternoon, I was doing some sewing of the long hexigon shapes while watching St Ives play Holman's club and the sunshine was beautiful and warm with just a hint of a breeze to keep you cool while the men and boys ran around the pitch getting hot and bothered with their leather ball.

The pitch is on the salt marsh estuary, and next to the St Ives railway and it was a pretty area. We had decided to leave the boys at home, but there was enough space to have taken them; something to note for next season.

I didn't even take photographs while I was there which was bad of me, but I did manage to put together 20 shapes ready for putting together.. sorry Kath no hints as yet but I do now have a plan and as soon as I have a bit more done I will be posting some pics.

Sunday was an early start, as SOH had won an item on ebay for 99p but it meant collecting it from Devon.. no problems we thought a nice day out in the car and a chance to visit Trago Mills at Liskeard en-route to home. We took three sat-navs with us (no not because we needed them lol) to test out the maps on them, we got to nearly our final destination when one said turn left and the two newer ones said turn right... guess which way we went?

Yup we turned left and immediately all three chirped up with "turn around when possible" and the one that got it wrong was intended for the bike but will probably just want the maps updating on it.. but we have plenty of time before we need to worry about it.

Sunday night was roast pork loin with new potatoes followed by a rice pudding made with non-fattening cornish clotted cream lol

14 May 2011

Saturday Satire: Paddy & Murphy's Hunting Trip

Paddyand Murphy flew to Canada on a hunting trip.

They chartered a small plane to take them into the Rockies for a week hunting moose.

They managed to bag 6. As they were loading the plane to return, the pilot said the plane could take only 4 moose.

The two lads objected strongly. "Last year we shot six. The pilot let us take them all and he had the same plane as yours."

Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and all six were loaded. The plane took off.

However, while attempting to cross some mountains even on full power, the little plane couldn't handle the load and went down.

Somehow, surrounded by the moose bodies, only Paddy and Murphy survived the crash.

After climbing out of the wreckage, Paddy asked Murphy, "Any idea where we are?"

Murphy replied, "I think we're pretty close to where we crashed last year."

12 May 2011

On How the Cornish Pirates Fared against Worcester Warriors Part 1

It was a great evening, warm and just the hint of a cooler wind.

We arrived in good time, but already the ground was filling up rapidly, SOH and I decided to leave our 'normal' space in favour of sitting with friends (something we came to regret quite quickly).

It was an exciting match, but for all the wrong reasons. Worcester played well but not brilliantly, Pirates played under par for the first half and picked up during the second half, but too many mistakes, balls fumbled and good defending by Worcester meant that the Pirates could not claw back all of the points needed and the final score was 12 to the Pirates but 21 to the Warriors and so onto part 2 next Wednesday.

Pirates have the bit in their teeth, it just needs to translate into a win, with a margin of at least 9 points to beat the Warriors.. it is possible, just difficult.

We were on television, so we were told, at about 30 mins into the match. The seats were good, and if the action had been in our corner we would have had good views right in front, however it didn't and whenever something happened at the other end of the pitch the crowd to our left stood up and our view was zilch. The other problem was the language of the people around us and considering there were some young children sitting closeby it was not appropriate. Needless to say, next season we will be reverting back to our normal seats which are up at the main entrance and behind the posts. The view is better but distant but you don't get the traffic walking in front of you nor the language issues.

11 May 2011

The Mennaye tonight

Watch it on Sky TV tonight and see if you can spot me in the crowd! lol... not likely I'm afraid although I will be there cheering the Cornish Pirates on against Worcester Warriors and I desperately would like the Pirates to win convincingly.. so come on you Pirates!

07 May 2011

Saturday Satire : Honda

BM rider goes to see the Doctor.

The Doc asks him what's wrong and he says,

"Every time I fart it comes out saying Honda. It's very embarrassing."

The Doc gets him to drop his trousers and bend over, and has a look.

"Ah, I can see the problem, you have a large abcess just inside your anus."

"What's that got to do with the sound?" the BM rider asked.

"Well, it's really quite simple," said the Doc. "Abcess makes the fart go Honda.........."

06 May 2011

The Assignment is Done

Actually I had to submit two essays, one on educational theorists relating it to a problem encountered in my teaching role and the other a literature review of an area that I want to develop later on in the second year.

The latter choice was easy, I wanted to look at e-learning and blogs in particular; how might they be used to support distance students as reflective practice but also to maintain better communications.

Also needed was

  • 20 hours of lesson plans along with the relevant coding of revised teaching standards, and reflective statements on what worked well etc. 
  • End of module reflections * 2
  • Breadth of Practice
  • Individual Development Portfolio with target dates
  • logged teaching hours

It is done, now I just have to wait for some feedback on whether it was enough or whether I need to do more work but in the meantime I plan to catch up with some much needed housework, and craftwork not to mention the odd book.

03 May 2011

My favourite Historian

I was sad to hear the news yesterday of the death of Richard Holmes, a prominent war historian who used to work for the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham; a part of Cranfield University.

I first heard of him when the BBC commissioned War Walks, Richard had all the love of the various different aspects of the battles and was able to demonstrate that to the audience. Richard rode his grey gelding Thatch to scenes of battles in both the UK and France and gave us the viewpoint from the enemy positions.

Some of the battles he covered, were : The Somme, Crecy, Hastings etc. I loved it, brought the books, planned my visits (which never happened) but my imagination was challenged by his delightful delivery and unassuming manner.

I had the pleasure of meeting Richard a number of times, both for work and pleasure. He gave talks around the country, and was an old boy of Bedford School where he presented a lecture on Churchill, from his early army days up until late in life and one day when I have the money I will get the book. My second lecture attendance was to the Bedford Historical Society and he delivered a riveting lecture on the First World War. You could have heard a pin drop while he was talking such was his impact on the audience, and the applause afterwards was long and avid.

Richard would always sign books at these events, and would willing chat to one and all about his love of history of warfare.. wanting others also to be enthused.

I met Richard professionally, while I worked for Cranfield University. We were involved in the Research Exercise of 2008 and Richard's works were included in the assessment package so I had to contact his office and arrange to collect the volumes required. He was a charming person, and lent us his personal copies of books where we couldn't acquire them through other means such as the University Libraries. He even offered to sign all my books I had, although I never quite managed to get them down before I decided to leave.

The world has lost a great man, and a great historian far too early for Richard was only sixty-five when he died and my sympathies go to his family for although the world mourns we cannot imagine their loss of a husband, father, and grandfather.

02 May 2011

Thinking Back

Over the last month of April, I have blogged every day, with either an A-Z Challenge post or a Saturday Satire and while I have found it a fun thing to do, I have felt contstrained by the need to have a post and not to be free to choose when to blog and when to have a break.

Having said that, the A-Z challenge was fun and interesting as my background being Welsh but my new home country being Cornwall it was entertaining to look at the Cornish language and compare it to the more established Welsh and Breton forms. I learnt a lot at the same time, that there are no words in Cornish (that I could find) that started with Q, X or Z but that swear words have been converted into Celtic from the Anglo Saxon forms, and thanks to Hogday I was inspired to find this out :-)

On another plus point, the other participants in the A-Z challenge were very supportive and I gained a number of new followers and people to follow as part of the process.

Most of all, I would like to thank my good friend, and blogging colleague, Dickiebo who awarded me a rare and very valuable dickiebouquet which I have proudly put on my sidebar. I can't tell you how much I treasure this award, as Dickiebo would be highly embarrassed but believe me when I tell you that it was a great honour and experience.

01 May 2011

Saturday Satire A to Z of Essex English - on a Sunday of all things lol

A -Z of Essex English

ASSA COMMONS - Our Parliament Building.

ART ATTACK - Extremely perturbed, as in "Don't tell Sharon, She'll have an art attack."

ARST - Past tense of ask. "Jordan, I must've arst ya free fazzund times to clear up yer room."

BANNSA - A person employed to deny access or eject troublemakers at a club."Dave's got izself a job as a bannsa."

BANTY - A chocolate and coconut snack bar.

BAVE - To wash oneself.

BOAF - The two. "Oi Dave, ooja fancy most, Sharon or Tracy?" "Boaf" is the reply.

BRANSATCH - Motor racing circuit in Kent.

CANCEL - Administrative body of a town. "Darren, wive ad annuvva letter from the cancel."

CANTAFIT - Fake, as in money.

CHOONA - An edible fish purchased in a tin and usually prepared with mayonnaise.

CORT A PANDA - A big hamburger (smaller than an arf panda)

DAN TO URF - Sensible, practical.

DANNING STREET - Where the Prime Minister lives.

DANSTEZ - On the ground floor , where the biggest telly is.

DREKKUN - Do you consider? as in "Which dog drekkun'll win the next race?"

EFTY - Considerable. "Ere, Trace, this credit card bill's a bit efty."

EJOG - A small, spiky animal (hedgehog).

ERZ - Belonging to her.

EVVY - A big geezer who protects a smaller and more intelligent geezer, usually for money. "My name's Frank and this is my evvy, Knuckles."

EYEBROW - Cultured, intellectual.

FANTIN - A jet of water for drinking or ornament.

FARVA - A posh way of saying Dad.

FATCHA - Margaret, British Prime Minister 1979 - 1990.

FINGY - A person or object whose name doesn't come to mind. "I ad it off wiv fingy last night."

FONG - Skimpy undergarment.

FOR CRYIN AT LAAD - Mild expletive showing annoyance or surprise. E.G."For cryin at lad, Britney, if I say Yes will you give it a rest?"

GAWON - Go on. "Gawon Darren, eat ya granny's cabbage, it'll do yer good."

GIVE IT LARGE - To be thorough or enthusiastic.

GRAND - A football stadium. "It all wennoff atside the pub near the grand."

HAITCH - Letter of the alphabet between G and I.

IBEEFA - The Spanish holiday island.

IFFY - Dubious. "Ere, Trace, I fink this bread pudding you made last munf's a bit iffy."

INT - Indirect suggestion. " I gave Darren a sort of int that it was time to wash iz feet."

IPS - An unknown area of a woman's body to which chocolate travels."That Mars Bar will go straight to me ips."

JA - Do you, did you. "Ja like me new airdo, Sharon."

JACKS - Five Pound note. "Lend us a jacks, wilya?"

JAFTA - Is it really necessary? "Oi mate, jafta keep doing that?"

KAF - Eating house open during the day.

KAFFY - A girl's name.

LAD - Noisy. "Jordan, turn that music dan, it's too lad."

LARJ - Enjoying oneself.

LEVVA - Material made from the skin of an animal.

LOTREE - Costs £1 for a ticket.

MA BLARCH - An arch near Hyde Park.

MAFFS - The study of numbers.

MANOR - Local area.

MINGER - An unattractive person (usually woman).

NARRA - Lacking breadth, with little margin. "Mum wannid to come rand but changed er mind. That was a narra escape."

NARTAMEAN - Do you know what I mean? (sometimes used as janartamean).

NEEVA - Not one nor the other.

NES - National Elf Service.

OAF - A solemn declaration of truth or committment.

OLLADAY - Time taken away from home for rest and adventure.

ONNIST - Fair and just, without a lie. "I never did it, onnist."

OPPIT - Go away , as in "Oi you, oppit."

PADDA PUFF - Soft, lacking aggression. "They're alright up front but they got a padda puff defence."

PACIFIC - Specific.

PAFFUL - Having much power or strength.

PAIPA - Sun, Mirror etc.

PANS AN ANNSIS - Imperial weight system.

PLAMMANS - A pub lunch usually made up of cheese and bread.

QUALIDEE - Good, as in "West 'Am's new striker's qualidee."

RAND - A number of drinks purchased for a group.

RANDEER - Locally. "There ain't much call for it randeer."

REBAND - Period of recovery after rejection by a lover. "I couldn't 'elp it. I was on the reband from Craig."

ROOFLESS - Without compassion.

SAFF - A direction of the compass, opposite north.

SAFFEND - An Essex seaside town.

SAWTED - Done, arranged, resolved.

SEEVIN - Very angry. "I woz seevin when I urd wot 'e sed."

TALENT - Attractive members of the opposite sex. "Dave's gan dan tan to eye up the talent."

TAN ASS - A modern terraced house.

TOP EVVY - A woman of plentiful bosom. "Ere look at that, Darren, she's well top evvy."

UG - An unattractive person. "Sharon's new geezer's a bit of an ug."

UMP - Upset, as in Got the Ump.

VACHER - A document which can be exchanged for goods or services. "I got a vacher to get in cheap at Forp Park."

WANNED UP - Tense. "I'm all wanned up at the moment."

WAWAZUT? - I beg your pardon.

WENNOFF - A fight commenced as in "It all wennoff".

YAFTA - You must : "Even if yer guilty, yafta av mitigating circumstances."

YOOF OSTALL - A place where holidaymakers can stay the night.

ZAGGERATE - To suggest something is better or bigger than is true."Craig, I must've told ya a fazzund times already." "Don't zaggerate, mum."