Thursday, January 26, 2012

My redecorating plans are on hold as the builder suggested we wait a few months before painting. The quote for a new double glazed window was breathtaking so we have decided to just replace the cracked pane (76" x 48"... it's a whopper). So plans changed but overall I am happy. I only need No.1 son to find employment and this year will be off to a great start. I can't help but contrast this with the national and international situation. As a friend stated the other day "It's getting very interesting and more than a little scarey". But the media and day to day activities show a public that is either oblivious or indifferent to it all. The government has no answers except more government. We have local councillors, MP's, the cabinet, MEP's, euro government, regional govt.'s plus dense layers of bureaucracy and the result is a complete dogs mess with no real democracy at all. Sadly,I believe there will be a complete breakdown in society and we are heading towards the 21st century version of the 1930's.

The nonsense about the Leveson enquiry (whitewash & inevitable call for greater restrictions on a free press), Scottish independence, the olympics, etc... is a noisy sideshow which ignores the white elephant ride in the corner: war with Iran, oil, power and the death throes of western societies as we know them. I would make some glib remark about popcorn and getting a good seat but as I have said before we will all be part of this show. I guess it is fingers crossed and hang onto our seats because it will be an extremely bumpy and dangerous ride.

I saved the above because the glaziers arrived and we have a new laminated window in. A sixth of the ridiculous price quoted by the double glazing people. I also thought long and hard about posting this because it is not a jolly post. However, I do believe we are going to hell in a handcart I am an optimist(ic realist) and I believe ordinary people will find their own solutions. I might not agree with those solutions (hanging bankers and politicians) but things will change and life will go on. The Roman Empire died a long and protracted death and this may well be the same. On an optimistic note I have booked tickets to see Nazareth at the local biker club so this evenings music is very much seventies rock with Nazareth, Deep Purple and Rainbow playing. Mind you, half an hour of live Ramones crept in, one of my favourite bands and I lost count of how many times I saw them live along with the Clash. The folly of youth... never wasted although I frequently was...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It has been a busy week with building work, poorly cat and mayhem at work. The above photo shows a tired and sad Tigger wearing her buster cone and with half her tail shaved. We noticed she was irritable, avoided coming indoors and when I picked her up she nearly took my face off. The vet found two nasty bites on her tail and a nasty infection in her tail and back. The amount of pus and blood that came out was astonishing. Little wonder she was irritable. An overnight stay and treatment returned a much happier kitty and relieved me of £170. That was my night out cancelled plus cancelled nights out for the forseeable future. She is slowly recuperating and attemping to remove her buster cone whenever our backs are turned. She is also her usual friendly and happy self.

The builder has been, removed all the plaster from five walls and replastered to an excellent standard. A lot of disruption but it is well worth it with the damp and damaged walls repaired and the house feels warmer with no damp smells. We are just awaiting some quotes for a new double glazed window. But we can crack on with some much needed redecorating. It feels like a new year and a fresh start. We popped out to the council tip today to get rid of some rubbish as part of this fresh start and they are flogging off old bikes next Friday. I'm planning to attend the auction and hopefully pick up a secondhand bike for renovation. I also bought seeds ready for the spring planting with the emphasis again on tomatoes, chillies, strawberries and herbs. All positive and looking towards the future. With the redecoration it will feel like we have our home back and the back room can be converted into a study/den/mini gym... well, an exercise bike and some weights so calling it a gym is rather too grand a title. It will give me a quiet place where I can read and relax without the distraction of the TV and surrounded by books as well as listen to the radio.

Plaster removed in the lounge. I will add the "after" picture when we have redecorated.

The back room will keep me out of Mrs C's way and keep me happily occupied when I am not at work. There will be space for plants as well as a small corner for my home brew efforts. As for work... the main reason for my eagerness to set up the back room is to have an oasis of calm and a place to escape to. The cuts are beginning to bite, referrals are increasing with unreasonable expectations of our magic powers to cure all ills. Hence the need for a quiet bolt hole. Time to minister to the cat...


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

It is blowing a hoolie out there. The pooch's second walk this evening saw her spaniel ears flapping and consequently led to further demented doggie behaviour from her. Dark early despite the days getting longer and we are in the doldrums of post celebrations and dank, dark and gloomy days of January. I don't mind it too much because I enjoy the contrasts in the weather we have here and I enjoyed watching the swans this evening whilst the pooch chased the wind.
I am having to watch the pennies following the celebrations but this afternoon Mrs. C and I had a look at beds. Our bed is coming to the end of its life and at some point this year I'll have to bite the bullet and buy a new one. But parting with hundreds of pounds,especially at his time of the year had me extremely tight lipped and watchful around the various salesmen. We have found one that looks to be good value, will last several years and has an excellent and very supportive mattress. But what brought a smile to my face was the table at the front of the shop with cheap sparkling wine, crisps and peanuts set out for prospective customers. After the splurge that was Christmas and New Year who wants to carry on? I have decided to sleep on it (I couldn't resist it!)  and make my decision next week despite Mrs.C's keeness to acquire the bed... and a similar one for our son! The latter will not happen because his priority is a job as my wage supporting three adults and assorted furry familiars does not stretch that far.

We also started a clear out of rubbish which was inadvertently started by Mrs.C breaking the brand new table lamp she had just purchased. She responded well to my laughter... shouted at the dog and an overarm throw to land the pieces into further smaller pieces in the bin. It only cost three quid so not earth shattering. After that we had a clear out and I was surprised to find we still had loads of old videos, mainly of Time Team and some children's programmes. All of them very worn but it made me think as to how in such a short space of time one technology is quickly superceded by another. We'll be clearing out the bigger stuff tomorrow to the local tip. I can then check when they next have a sale of old bikes as I need one since my own bike was stolen (it still rankles).
Anyhow, time for a small drop of the malt...

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Well that was almost painless... now we are in 2012.
A sleepless night courtesy of having eaten too much rich food and the consequent stomach ache. Hence today I have returned to dieting and tomorrow will be the dreaded weigh-in. However, I chose to enjoy the past week and I accept there are consequences to the choices I make. That will be my approach to this coming year, that I will get out of the year and my life whatever I choose to put into it.
This coming month will be a busy one with the builder expected to start work, discovering whether I will be starting the requested training course, the car requiring much needed work and catching up on the expected deluge of work coming our way following Christmas. All of this against a background of reducing finances, rising bills and undoubtedly govt. plans to weigh and analyse our faeces for carbon, fat and fibre content so as to tax us further. I am dusting off my brewing kit in light of the govt. plans to heap more taxes upon alcohol and in this govt's continuance of grinding our faces into the dirt.  However, on with the motley as decorations are put away, the house tidied up and various cats removed from the radiators.