Saturday, 14 May 2016

Learning to point.

Last weekend I had a geeky day learning to point a wall! This is a skill I would like to master in order to point the wall at the back of the house. The learning opportunity came my way via some community volunteering I was only to pleased to get involved with. The pictures below are from a day at the Widcombe cemetery in Bath where lottery funding has been granted to restore walls, tidy graves and create paths and green spaces. I got involved, stayed relatively clean and hey, the wall stayed up!














Wednesday, 4 May 2016

No longer do they remain-here, I can book-a-rest.

To my great surprise this morning I heard a man standing at next door's front door as I emptied the ash from my woodburner into the dustbin,  "Yes, you have to leave this morning, as we agreed. You need to go today, I am here to change the locks". Were these the words I had secretly but not triumphantly wanted to hear? Oh my, yes they were!  I asked the chap if he was the landlord and he confirmed it was so and politely introduced himself as Roger.

I told Roger that the last year had been very, very, very difficult and constantly trying. The noise has been unending and  on and on into each night, every night: screaming, shouting, arguing, doors slamming, stairs stomped and  a piano that must have doubled as a treadmill on the keys.

Different cars rock up each night and wait outside with the engines running for as long as a short conversation takes (make of that what you will). Different people are in and out all the time. The only constant is the bringing up of children through aggressive shouting and wailing. It is UNPLEASANT. The 12 month tenants happen to have been Romanian. They were Romanian the year before as well, but that family was noisy, boisterous, engaging, neighbourly, considerate and communicative - the children all squealed away in English and their parent language, mixing in good manners and giggles and laughter. The last last had been none of those things. Ever.

I am pretty liberal on immigration and this nation as the planet's fifth largest economy opening its doors more and more, but come in and simply be respectful of the communities you join? That seems a reasonable quid pro quo to me.

The eviction took about an hour and was orderly. Roger told me the rent had not been paid for two months and chance after chance had been discussed. It came to a bailiff situation that was averted today by the exit I witnessed. As I write this, home from school time has come and gone and there has been a wall of silence which is as loud as yesterday for all its eerie quiet.  It is uncanny but it is extremely attractive.

I am sad for the children of that house who just seemed to have been ignored 24/7. I don't revel in their eviction but it is a quiet move forwards.

I think I will be able to sit on my wall tonight without being two feet from aggressive argumentative fractiousness and the front door slammin' like a Prince song.








Late night polls and Anderson Cooper.

Indiana is just about to close for voting in the Primary for candidate selections for the 2016 election . Since the last US election, and indeed the super exciting Obama one before that, I have acquired ubiquitous tv and uber fast broadband. Thus I can watch CNN as it unfolds in America. Four months ago I hadn't heard of Anderson Cooper. He's a stylish chap.

As I write this, the momentum and conventional CNN punditry has Donald Trump with all the mo' he needs, and Hillary too. Surely that's the race?






Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Basset Hound walk!

This weekend just gone,  the one that took April into May also took Jemma and I to Devon.

With Boris dog along, we had an overnight stay in a hound friendly hotel, The Lamb near Crediton.  

For Valentine's  Sunday I bought Jemma a suitable book that you can see here.  Making a weekend of it (from a choice in the book) , we headed towards Devon on Saturday, stopping for a long walk and a hound break less than a mile from the M5 - it was terrific and so much better than a service station break.

Post walk, we went onto the pub where Bozza was an immediate hit.  A couple of pleasant sunny beers,  an evening meal (tasty but a little light and masterchefy) and a generally idle day was just the thing for all of us. It took us most of the way to our Sunday destination, a short drive to Fingle Bridge for the Basset Hound South West group walk. This friendly group meets monthly and  Boris ,  a Bassador (half basset, half lab')  is allowed in with a pass. The  5 mile walk was full of ears, big paws, low frequency barks and drool.  There were 22 bassets, a couple of halfies and a Great Dane encountered along the way.

Check the pictures here:








Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Criccieth days.

It is a cold day in April as I write. BS5 has seen dark clouds and hail today and it has not exactly been warm.

However, last week the Llyn Peninsula bagged the warmest part of the UK for a couple of days  and they were days when we were visiting.  As we have on previous occasions, a few of us joined Greg and Anna who take the same house there a couple of times a year in Criccieth .

We joined them for the first half of the week, introducing Boris to his first visit there and indeed, his first time with paws on the ground in Wales. Boris got on well with Toby and Qauddy, as he generally gets on with everyone he meets, being a hound of a kind and easy disposition. Various pictures here from a trip on the train most of the way up Snowdon (from the village of Llanberis), to larks in the sea at Criccieth and a call-in to the village of Bedgellert.

Happy days.
















Friday, 22 April 2016

30 years of Prince

When I was a small person and much less gangly than today, I really got into the music of Prince . I liked him because my brother liked him; my brother liked him as did our neighbour and pal down the road, Banjo Paterson - still a good pal to this day.

The first song I liked was 'Let's go Crazy' from the enormously well selling album Purple Rain. After that I just tried to get each album as it came out and countless bootlegs and singles too. It went on through A levels, seeing him with my brother that first time the day I finished my last exam, and on into University and adulthood. A complete soundtrack to my teenage years and beyond. Sign O the Times, 1999, Lovesexy, For You, Prince, Around the World in a Day - all full of memories.

'Prince Rogers Nelson' , who was known in our circle as Ted owing to a potential (but vastly unlikely)  family connection to Ted Rogers died yesterday. He was 57, cool as you like and consistently praised for his breadth of talent and genre-crossing acceptance.

When David Bowie went a few weeks ago it did not really have much of an impression on me - I could have named three songs. But Prince? That really has been a biggie. Much missed and respected. Mountains the 12" will always be a tight and effortlessly stylish tune.

Go Ted , thank you, and keep it funky wherever you are!









Saturday, 16 April 2016

Submarines and singing


Last night it was a village hall talk from a Submarine Commander of many years' standing. Tonight it is a recital of John Rutter's Requiem. Quite the cultural double evening for Blog BS5.

The village hall caper was at Welsh Newton, just near Monmouth. It was a very laid back affair in a hall reminiscent of those many scenes in Dads Army. Fascinating stuff from a man with a spectacular but untrumpeted career and in a venue  that was equally interesting. Plenty of reminiscence about men, missiles and the Cold War.

The music at the Wiltshire Music Centre is tonight and we are going as we have a friend performing in it.

Pictures self explanatory! 













Sunday, 21 February 2016

The Ouzoud Waterfalls, Morocco .

Blog BS5 is on an outside broadcast this week, from a happy break in Morocco.

Jemma and I arrived on Saturday, ahead of Valentine's Sunday. More posts to follow when I am back home again, but for now, here is the report from a fine day trip out of Marrakech. We visited the above named waterfalls, the highest drop in Northern Africa. They usually run clear but due to unusual and unexpected rain these last 72 hours, mud has washed through from the Atlas Mountains to colour the river. Impressive stuff indeed and well worth the long, crazy drive.







video