Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A brief update as a shower is needed after finishing work (hospitals and heating at full blast) and another busy day completed. I am still working 8 - 4 each day but next week I will go onto the 12 hour shifts. Hopefully fewer days at work and more time to play!

Maisie deservedly behind bars as she is again bullying Sherlock. He is freaked out by the alleyway behind our house as people walk along it but also within the house. We can't see what it is but I suspect he is a simple soul associating his anxiety with past events where he was scared and Maisie encourages this. But we often find them sleeping or sitting near each other with no problems at all.

She also tries it on with Watson but he just belts her and she scarpers sharpish before he gives her seconds as seen above just before the battering. All in all it is business as usual with winds, sleet, hailstones and low temperatures to remind us how delightful spring is. Bracing weather Gromit!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hooray! I finished the biplane this morning and I am pleased with the result despite my dodgy painting. I just need to find a safe place away from curious felines to put it on show.

A quiet weekend at home with some decent beers and a good book.

Wishing you all an equally peaceful and relaxed Easter weekend during these troubled times.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Phew! Two weeks into my new job and I finally have time to post a blog as I now have four days off.
An interesting 'induction' which to be honest, if I was new to this job and the company, I would have walked away and sought another job elsewhere. Dropped in at the deep end although people have been very supportive and my immediate boss is a really nice bloke. I shan't say anymore about it for now as it is early days yet and the other two thirds of the team hasn't yet arrived. What has been lovely is meeting colleagues whom I last saw fifteen years ago and catching up on news. By the way, when you read news articles about trolleys queued up in corridors in A and E with ambulances full and unable to unload... believe every word of it.

Otherwise I have been a dull boy with all work and little play although my model making continues apace and I built my first hairy plane in many years. A very small biplane model of a BE 2c from the first world war. It is currently in storage before I paint it as the cats have been honing their hunting instincts and a couple of built models met a very grizzly end!

This Russian BA 20 is almost finished but weathering and markings still required. It is safely tucked away and the aerial is a recycled cats whisker!

These are the latest kits to join my stash although I took delivery of a Hetzer tank this evening. It looks cute for a monstrous machine of war primarily because of its small size.

During my absence I missed my 11th Blogday although to be honest I wasn't too bothered about it. The worrying news about Syria and North Korea plus the ever impending financial melt down which perhaps a major war will address plus my job had a tendency to occupy my mind. Surprisingly I have had some very early nights and in bed at 9.30 because of the tiredness. Lots of walking and hospitals are certainly large places but I am enjoying the walking. I will also have the opportunity to eventually commute by bicycle which I am looking forward to. The journey is about two miles so not too arduous although the return trip home after a twelve hour shift might be interesting. As I said, early days yet and with new senior managers and other changes taking place, it could be a few months before I have a better idea as to whether I made a sensible choice. A means to an end with my earnings to pay the mortgage off, camper van, etc... before I finally retire from nursing to pursue my dreams. Time for a well earned beer and some more music (Humble Pie if you're interested).

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

To a refrain of "I should have known better' I have been movin' and groovin' like an eighty year old pensioner after the garden soil shifting shenanigans. I can just about move and groove to this slow ballad...

The widget has been delivered to the vet for Borg reconfiguration... neutering I mean. Scooped up, cuddled and straight into the cat box with no problems. I walked her there and she stared at the passing world with wide eyes, particularly the vehicles and the dog walkers. I have also asked for an ID chip to be inserted as the cats don't wear collars. Plenty of nearly new ones turn up occasionally in the garden from when we used to put collars on the two boys. Sherlock always removed them, both his own and Watson's. Once recovered we no longer have to worry when she goes out in the garden about the arrival of small kittens three months later.
Catching up on music, books and old TV series has been the order of each day although hopefully I will have some trips out and about during the remainder of the week, weather permitting (raining again). I can recommend 'Wings', a BBC series from 1977 about World War 1 and the Royal Flying Corps. How quality TV drama used to be made... Hard to believe that men used to climb into and fight using these machines let alone just flying them. I must away as I am hoping to hear good news from the vet and collect the widget.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A beautiful day and just perfect for gardening. I moved the raised bed, first moving the frame after I had dug round and moved the soil to the middle. Frame re positioned to a 'sunnier' spot and then soil into the bucket and many trips later...

Finally all soil shifted, blood and bone dug in and everything ready...

Defences against cat toilet (Harry Potter's lesser known teacher) in situ and wait a bit for spring to be truly sprung before any plants go in. Rest, hot shower and liberal spray of Deep Heat to lower back because it will hurt tonight and tomorrow. Job's a good 'un!

I am planning on one tomato plant and a chilli plant at either end with lettuce and cucumber in the middle. I have also bought a few separate bulbs to go elsewhere plus marigolds and borage. The usual assortment of wild flowers to attract bees will also go into the garden. I have to dispose of the other half of the willow tree and then consider what to replace it with in the forgotten corner. I had looked at a Jasmine yesterday but 5 metres height is a bit too much. I shall haunt the various garden centres this coming week for ideas. All in all I am happy with result but the proof will be in the success of the plants over the coming summer.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

After yesterdays islamist attack and the sad deaths of PC Keith Palmer and others I possibly should say something deep and meaningful but I will link to Bill Sticker instead. I had discussed with Mrs C last week a trip to the old smoke to visit childhood haunts and play at being a tourist for a day. Given yesterdays incidents I think I will as my own 'Fuck you!' to the scum who do this. Mrs C thinks it's unsafe but I am more likely to die as a consequence of my lifestyle than at the hands of a deranged believer in fairy tales and bullshit. C'est la vie et la morte aussi, mais nous continuons...

The widget gets ever bigger and now at seven months old we have to ensure she is neutered. We are having to prevent her escaping outdoors as she is now sexually mature as indicated by the presence of a variety of Toms in the garden and Mindy's howling at windows and doors as she seeks escape. She is also like a whirlwind each evening racing around the house and knocking things over.

These photos were taken just several minutes ago as she clambered all over me and the latter is typical of trying to capture her image. She is very entertaining and very affectionate.

I have two weeks off before I start in my new job and so far I have had a lousy cold and after some tree cutting, an enforced stay of rest indoors as my aching muscles and bones recover. Note to self: I am no longer twenty one years old! I have nearly completed my latest addition to my model collection, an Elefant tank destroyer on the Russian front circa 1945.

This model involved the use of aftermarket kits, a new metal cannon and separate track links. As my skills improve I will eventually look at making dioramas to display kits in but my figure painting has a long way to go. I currently have a Russian BA 10 on the go which I will possibly paint as a Finnish captured trophy of war. I have also ordered a biplane, an Airfix BE2c (memories of my childhood interests!) in Braille scale. Thankfully I now have a new magnifying visor which makes me look like a mad professor but will aid my ageing eyesight. But today will be a day off from the garden and modelling. I have a leaving do to attend tonight as more colleagues are moving to greener and more pleasant pastures. So for today until I go out it will be feet up, tea and watching some movies.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

An absence of three weeks and not a lot to say, hence the absence. The usual litany of work, illness ( Do NOT buy reduced chicken tikka rolls even if the use by date is that day!), looking at the social media bubblesphere with amusement and horror and just the daily grind as winter slowly releases its grip upon us. The above monster Maisie has added further tricks to her repertoire by eating through foil packets to obtain the food therein. I continue to be woken up by the wuss Sherlock in the early hours because of his anxiety about Maisie. All in all it is business as usual as I await a start date for my new job.
I was minded to blog today as I listened to the radio whilst showering and the Clash came on. The presenter blethered on about them and I recall seeing them play live on several occasions.

At the time and even now, they are a band I have mixed thoughts and feelings about. On the one hand they played some very good music and they also opened peoples eyes to new political ideas, for good or bad but, I also considered them a bunch of poseurs and opportunists. This led to some lively debates with friends of whom one was a diehard Clash fan. Listening to this album now brings back many memories but I didn't come to punk until late '77 after I had turned seventeen. We were already visiting pubs and seeing a variety of bands many of which I really cannot recall or there are snippets of memories. One of the latter is seeing a large band in The Dublin Castle pub which had the American lead singer playing trombone! They played a mixture of jazz-rock and blues but for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the band. In fact Camden was our preferred stomping ground to see live music when not travelling up west. Watching The Clash play live was exhilarating, noisy and huge fun as was watching The Ramones, The Jam, The Damned and apparently Blondie. I have no memory of seeing Blondie play live although friends stated I did see them play. I did see them at a record store when signing albums during their first tour of the UK amongst a huge crowd of fans.

Hey ho, memories of youth and a time when the world was fresh, exciting and full of possibilities for a teenager with a rich music scene on my doorstep. I read about how dire the UK was during the seventies. Described as grey and monotone with doom and gloom for the main course and afters, usually from people who weren't born until the eighties or even nineties who have garnered their one sided view from the media. I was lucky in that I happened to be the right age and at the right time and particularly in the right place as London was exciting and there was opportunities galore. As a typical teenager I wasted most of them! For now, I shall luxuriate in revisiting those memories as I listen to punk and new wave from that era.