Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hooray! We had some much needed rain last night and the petrichor scent yesterday evening was marvellous. I have to admit that I stood out in it for several minutes just to feel refreshed. The photo above is from yesterday late afternoon as the cats emerged from their various hidey holes as the day became slightly cooler. We have a concern about one of them, Sherlock who has possibly acquired a second home as he disappears for most of each day.

I may have to put a collar and name tag on him which will be fun as he always removes collars, from himself as well as the others! Back to the book and a much needed cup of coffee after further gardening.


Friday, July 13, 2018

What can I say. It's been a beautiful day with gardening, sunbathing (Factor 30 applied!) and some reading. This evening, to cool my fevered brow down I have bought a few cans of the above and I am scouring the jobs ads. Three applications sent off so far this week including one excellent part-time job that I am hopeful may come to fruition. I also received a tax rebate this morning after overpaying my taxes last year hence the few beers above although I did buy them in the bargain store. They will look familiar to you Scoakat!
Chin Chin!


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Well, that was the world cup. As you can see, Maisie has collapsed in shock at the news that England have been knocked out. Alternatively, having mown the grass on a cooler day she decided to roll around in it and attract my attention.

The weather has been wonderful with consecutive hot sunny days and we have a glut of raspberries with a bowlful collected every day over the past week. Freshly picked, sweet and simply delicious. I'm the only one in the family who eats them because Mrs C refuses to eat anything I grow and No.1 son isn't interested in them. Yes, they have creepy crawlies on them and dirt but a wash and cleaned up, pop them straight into ones mouth and enjoy. I also have a reasonable crop of radishes which are also very tasty. You can't beat homegrown fruit and veg. The media is now full of dire portents about water shortages, rationing and the usual end of the world nonsense. Remarkable when one considers how much rain we get throughout the year. I have stopped using the hose and use the watering can instead on the plants important to me. Raspberry, tomato, borage, Hydrangea and the rose plants getting a twice daily dose. The grass is brown and looking very sorry for itself but we will inevitably receive some rain at which point there will be media nonsense about floods and Noah. However, I am making the most of the good weather as are the cats who spend a lot of time outside. As I wait for responses to my job applications I intend to enjoy the rest of the summer and slowly make my way through a large pile of books.

Part 2. We made a trip to the 'Tip' aka The Recycling Facility to finally get rid of a lot of rubbish from the garden. Lots of plastic rubbish plus an old TV and other assorted metal rubbish. The amount of children's bicycles down there was surprising. The staff tend to auction bicycles off for charity, generally once every two months. I remember as a kid how any and every bicycle was held on to and recycled by the kids themselves. Not having two pennies to rub together having any old bicycle was a cause for celebration, hence old rusty junk heaps with dodgy brakes and wonky wheels. If too far gone we'd make an old go cart and then let mayhem commence as we headed for the steep roads to let rip. The local cottage hospital did well out of the local kids with breaks, scrapes and sprains. What also surprised me at the tip was the amount of computer and TV stuff, much of it fairly modern to my old eyes. Built in obsolescence seems to get shorter and shorter although I do wonder how much is broken up and recycled into new technology. Possibly not enough...Sadly, Sandy's old plastic bed was amongst the stuff and another potent reminder of her has now gone.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

I may have caught a tad too much sun today... Lots of cream and I shall be staying indoors. Never fall asleep in the sun!


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The garden is looking very lush with a lot of greenery, some flowers and it must be said, a lot of weeds. I took this photo two days ago and this morning I got around to clearing the bottom of the garden of assorted weeds. The wild flowers are still to make an appearance but hopefully they won't remain green for too long and we may see some colour. Plenty of bees but despite the plethora of butterflies last month we have seen only an occasional solitary Tortoiseshell or White fluttering around. We saw one bat t'other night which excited one of our cats. Speaking of which, Fluffy calls every day for his meals and a fuss. Whilst the weather is good and the backdoor open we have given up trying to stop him taking food. 

The tomato plant is thriving and we have radishes. I gave some to the neighbours and I have eaten some and very delicious they were too. The Borage is huge and finally some small blue flowers have emerged. The Willow I cut back to the ground is growing despite my efforts to remove it. I'll try again in the autumn. One fly in the ointment is the amount of rubbish dumped in the back alley. One neighbour put a new combination lock on the gate but gobshites have removed that. We suspect the drug dealers several doors down for that and the rubbish dumping from landlords clearing their properties when tenants move out. Dumping has become a big problem in this town and we regularly see piles of crap dumped near the local Sainsbugs. Fortnightly bin collections, charging builders for disposal of spoil and sheer laziness and stupidity account for the increase. Increasing crime, empty shops and rubbish piles add to the impression of the town centre becoming a Third World environment. Strange to think that we are a supposedly rich country but when you strip away the PR shiny nonsense it looks increasingly shabby and ill-used. Maybe we do need a revolution and removal of various 'leaders' but 1789 and 1917 did not lead to the utopia that some people get very excited about. The Arab springs showed further evidence of the cut-de-sac such movements can lead to. Ah well...back to the garden and common sense.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Swans update...they are using the old nest as a resting place and there are still seven cygnets who have grown rapidly in size.

Further down the river there anything between nine and eleven young swans at any time, not including the new family above. Despite the rubbish, traffic fumes and feral brats, they do seem to thrive here.

Behind them is the large brownfield site owned by ABP (Associated British Ports) which has lain as an empty waste ground for almost 15 years now. The abode of rabbits, foxes, feral cats and dog walkers plus skate boarders and winos during the day.

I am currently reading this book which is a collection of walks around London with commentary on history, geography, society and mythology. Fascinating to read and as an ex-Londoner some of it familiar to me and some of it new. Chapter 8 is home territory for me and I was able to follow the walk using google earth as I read the book. It took three times as long because I kept getting side tracked to look at old buildings, etc... He has a site (Blog?) which is well worth a visit and I have spent many an hour perusing it. It has encouraged me to get out and do some walking locally around town.
A quick blog as I am watching football, gardening or reading with the occasional bit of modelling thrown in. I am still job hunting and I have applied for a couple of local jobs. I declined an interview for the last one after I worked out my mileage including commuting would be in excess of 2000 miles a month. I've been there and done that so I have no desire to return to that rat race. Here's a recent build which I will finish over the next week or so. An iconic image that I have wanted to do for a while and at £2.49 I splashed out and bought two!

I hope you're enjoying sunny weather as we currently are and that life is being kind to you.


p.s. He's visiting twice daily now...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A very early and unwelcome start this morning as Mrs C. woke me at 5. She had observed two ne'erdowells cutting the CCTV wire on the Haven Mill and attempting to break in. She called the police and woke me up and I spoke briefly with the police before Mrs C. joined several officers across the road.

With the recent rooftop knob heads, the gradual hollowing out of the town centre, increasing anti-social behaviour and this, I begin to question what is the future of this town. It is happening throughout the country and since the rooftop stupidity there were two further rooftop incidents on the same day! Freshney shopping centre (local mall) is now approximately 40% empty but the council still insists on going ahead with the new cinema / chain restaurants build. Yet there are empty brownfield spaces which have been empty for over a decade. Crazy! I think a major rethink is required with local initiatives and a focus on society and people rather than money and material wealth. There's a big brick wall and humanity continues to bang its collective head against it. Or rather, politicians and those with power and wealth do so. It will all end in tears...

I also quit tw*tt*r last week after finally accepting it has really become a toxic place to be. I'd reached the point where most of my tweets consisted of cats, history and gardening as I deleted the political and social commentary stuff. That's what I have fb for so why duplicate it! If it wasn't for the modelling groups I would also delete fb as I believe the rethink mentioned above includes a reduction in or a move away from the on-line world and to re-engage with the real world. Talking of which, the garden looks colourful and I have never seen so many buttercups. Last night I researched bees and buttercups as our garden is full of bees. They are mainly around the various flowers and the raspberry bush but not so many around the buttercups. The latter I discovered are poisonous to animals and humans but possibly not to Bees. I'm hoping Blue Witch might have some information about this. I have a great crop of radishes coming up in the raised bed as well as healthy looking looking Borage surrounding the tomato plant. Fingers crossed we are starting to see more sunshine and hopefully a decent summer.

I'm off to catch up on some sleep after my rude awakening this morning.