Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nerd alert!
I was engrossed in this latest model making project this afternoon, a Hetzer or more correctly a Jagdpanzer 38(t). After tackling the garden which had grown into a jungle during the wet days and then days spent at work I finally cut the grass and removed the latest crop of weeds. Those buggers shoot up overnight! Itching metaphorically to start on this kit and, literally thanks to hayfever, I spent an hour putting the chassis and wheels together. A nice easy kit to make and I juxtaposed it beside the Citroen saloon car to give some idea of size. This little tank was a tank destroyer and had a four man crew but look at the size of it! The low silhouette accounted for much of its success as well as the 75 mm cannon.

Back to the garden and the cucumber and tomato plants are thriving despite the attentions of the cats. Netting now deployed and some plastic and metal grills laid around the plants. I am determined to grow some decent fruits this year after last years disaster. The only positive of my current job is that I have more days off to attend to my various activities. With fewer plants I can give them space and more attention. Mrs C spotted some aubergine plants for sale and I am tempted to try one out. I have grown an avocado from a stone but never an aubergine (egg plant) but it will have to wait until after the upcoming second weekend on duty. I shall have to search t'internet for aubergine plants because apart from the fruit I have no idea what they look like and how big they grow. Hopefully a quiet relaxing day for those reading this and I shall learn all about aubergines.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

A lovely hot day although the clouds are now casting their shadows hence a brief break from the garden and the hard toil of cat watching as well as watching the grass grow. The widget is now nearly nine months old and she is growing up to be a fine young cat. Still lively and full of mischief!
I shall now head out for another top up of vitamin D.

Friday, May 19, 2017

It's been an interesting week with news that my father was rushed into hospital and then I forgot to go into work one day. My Dad's alright as it turned out to be a chest infection and not the cardiac arrest I was initially informed of by my Aunt. The missed day I put down to the rota being altered several times and I didn't realise I was due in. I received a verbal admonition from a senior manager after apologising and a reminder that I am on probation for the job for the first three months so any further instances and I won't have a job! To be fair, the senior manager also stated they'd received reports from all and sundry that I am doing an excellent job.  Fair enough, I am an adult and I screwed up but... {Edited!}...  My response has been to accept the telling off but I have also now cancelled my extra bank shifts. I will work my regular agreed hours each month as I don't need the extra money and I will leave the gaps in service to the managers to sort out.  Happily, I enjoy the work but I do just see it as a means to an end: paying off the mortgage, camper van and savings. So a holiday to be planned for this year in Ireland and I will spend some quality time with my Dad, try and get some more information about my great grandfather, what he did in the States to make his money and did he fight for the Union during the civil war. I might get a shock and discover he fought for the Confederacy or robbed banks and stage coaches out west! According to my Dad he became a naturalised U.S. citizen in Hartford, Connecticut in 1867 so there is a story to tell.

Hopefully I will gather enough information for the next stage of following this trail and that might entail a trip over to New York and Connecticut, possibly even next year. I won't know until I have some evidence that this did happen. It is all a bit 'Who do you think you are?'


Sunday, May 14, 2017

All four cats pictured together yesterday in their natural state. The two boys and Mindy playing together whilst Maisie watches on. Trying to catch all four together for a photo is nigh on impossible so I was pleased to picture the above.

Today, after grass cutting, some weeding and once again preparing the raised bed with fresh compost I took some photos of Mindy chasing flies. The cucumber plant did not survive the cold nights and lack of sunshine and the cucumber corpse has been removed. I shall eventually plant out the chilli plant and then try once again with a new cucumber from the market if there are any left. If not, I'll leave it a week or so and plant out some lettuces. This spring weather is a bugger, very little sun and quite cold during the day with many very cold nights. The heater in the kitchen also expired and a new one purchased, hopefully enabling the chilli plant to survive and hopefully thrive.

The new heater, the car's MOT and full service means this has been an expensive month. New wishbones and brakes for the car necessarily needed replacing and the government's cut of 20% value added tax bumped the price up! However, job done and the car is ready for action. A lazy day spent pottering in the garden and listening to old radio supernatural plays from the seventies. Knowing that I have a further two days off means I am very relaxed and I can enjoy a couple of beers this evening. Back to the play...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Boy, do I need this day off to recharge my batteries!. I worked out this morning after a fitful nights sleep that I worked fifty one  hours within an eighty six hour period. Bloody hell, no wonder I was shattered last night. So today will consist of shopping followed by chilling in the sunny back garden and fussing the cats. I return tomorrow for another twelve hours and then a few days off. This situation came about because the third member of our team isn't available and possibly won't be for some time to come. Happily it was just this week and my senior manager is aware of the situation and does not want any of us to crash and burn so she's on the case. On an equally positive note, all of the walking plus small meals is helping me to lose weight and regain some of my fitness back. I get paid to keep fit! 

Friday, May 05, 2017

My first week of working long days and boy am I tired. I worked Monday through to Wednesday followed by two days off and tomorrow I return for a further four long days. By the end of twelve days I will have completed nearly three weeks work. Happily, by then, the others will be fully on board and I can have a few days off. We can then have a regular rota and a better work / time off balance. It is interesting work but once we are fully operational we will often find ourselves isolated and having to make some very difficult decisions. Hopefully the three of us will get some time together and thrash out some of the teething and potential issues in the near future with the manager. Lots of walking which I like and getting to know the medical and nursing staffs in A & E and the wards which is also enjoyable. Let's see how it goes...

Some modelling work during my days off with the latest one completed. It's a Stug 4 circa 1944 Eastern Front although the photo flash tends to spoil the image and wash out the colours. I like the irony of the statue of Buddha amongst models of weapons of war.

I am not 100% happy with it but it is done and I am eyeing up my stash for the next model. 

I have put it on display with the others and then made a quick repair to one of the other models. I suspect the usual feline culprit, probably Mindy who has also taken to killing kitchen rolls with pieces scattered confetti like throughout the house.

A temporary protection using the seedling tray cover as bits have been chewed off, carried away and never seen again or possibly even eaten as Mindy and Maisie will eat anything. The unidentifiable mess Maisie threw up last night wasn't pleasant but I could identify grass amongst it! I have a couple of biplanes in the stash ready for my next adventure. An AirCo DH.2 scout plane from WW 1 and  a Supermarine Walrus from the Second World War. I have a soft spot for flying boats which have always held a fascination for me. Looking at the pictures above and I have run out of display space safe from inquisitive felines. I suspect that this coming week will be work and sleep with little time for R & R. However, the sun is shining and I shall sit out in the garden with a cup of tea and a good book. One tomato plant in and the other plants are hardening up outside ready for their transplantation to the raised bed. Have a good weekend folks and I shall catch up with you in a weeks time.