Sunday, 30 December 2007

What I did in the Holidays!

This is my report!

I had a top smart break over Christmas. I am back to school tomorrow but just for one day and then I am off on Jan 1st to have a lie in after the inevitable shenanigans in The Barb on NYE.

Here's a quick run through of events!

Christmas Eve - outta work at 4 and a couple of pints in The Hauliers with Steve, Cas and Clare - just a couple (mind) because at Midnight I went to Church for a candlelit service, pictured here.

Woke Christmas morning and Santa had left a Mike Coopey on my sofa! Went to Church and had a jolly old sing song - Mike went to see his folks. Lunchtime festive ale at the Barb where I also had my lunch. Home for a snooze and then woke at half seven and pissed about until half 3. I got a very smart pressie from Greg, Special Forces issue he said, and pictured here!

Boxing day was tops and I cooked a Christmas dinner though we ate chicken and not Turkey. Thursday was cool and I had some really nice time on my own in the house whilst Mike pursued some totty in Bath and ended up bumping into Folats in the Cathedral! Thursday to Chelts where we had a few beers with Wide and T and a couple of hours playing Guitar Hero. Also pictured here is Hopesoid having a go on said game at my house, and coached by Mike!

Back to the house on Friday and loaded Mike onto a bus, and then oh bliss! Time on my own in the house. had thoroughly enjoyed Mike staying but that little time (3 hours) just on my jack in the house was worth the entire holiday. Fabulous!

And then Saturday night for a great house party at Cas's - he cooked three or four curries and a load of us took booze. We had Champagne & tequila slammers, replacing the fizz with Natch once we had run out! A fab evening of dancing and chat until 3 am. (That's Cas giving it some to a bit of funk and soul)

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Shanghai calling...

It was nice to talk with you yesterday, Wavey but the line from China to The Rhubarb was a bit quiet and scratchy and I couldn't hear you very well! Sorry it was such a short old chat!Catch you again soon on Sub-space,I hope.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007


This is a shout to my excellent friend and Wingman Walshy who had a tough day yesterday!

Here's to you, chap - I am about to go and have a pint and raise it your way in thought!

This is that Pic' you took of me and you (from your plane; I am flying in the background) when we were on operations over Iraq the other week.


Boxing Day action.

Now you just can't go wrong with a good bit of car cleaning on Boxing Day! I think it is better than hunting a fox.

I stayed in bed until about 10 to 9, fannied about a bit and then got to it. Nice and shiny on the car front, now going to do the same to me! Greg got me a top smart wind-up torch for Christmas so I need to have a goon about with that and put it into my car.

No real plans for the rest of the day which is rather smart.

On the other side of the world today, my brother is getting ready to fly from
Shanghai to Beijing for a few days of larks.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas Day.

Hello world and a Happy Christmas!

A very happy day indeed here at BS5. Having woken at half six every day all year, I slept in until 10.00 am today!

I had been to Church at Midnight on Christmas Eve and I enjoyed it hugely. I had also been there on Sunday evening after picking Mike up from Putney. I did a reading at that service and it was also a candlelit service, as pictured here.

On Christmas Eve I dropped a pressie in to Debbie and had a delightful glass of wine at her house, prior to seeing her professionally at Midnight! She is a kind sort.

Church at half ten today and this morning we were about a dozen happy people and had a sing song and a pleasant time (No Hark the Herald like Monday night but hey ho) - lots of children in the affair and that was fun. After Church I came home to spend a short time with Mike who then departed to see his folks - he will be back tonight and we will have a Christmas dinner tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have taken a pint, been invited to Christmas dinner at The Rhubarb and had a little sleep here at home . I have also written to lovely Chris and Sofe, spoken to Greg and spoken to Ma and Pa. It was kind that Steve and Joan at the Barb heard I was in the house alone and insisted I had lunch with them!

Ahead of me is an evening of quiet contemplation and pressie opening. I may put the radio on too and just relax, happily and thoughtfully.

All is well here and I am thankful for that.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Walking the dog...

Here I am updating BS5 in HP16. HP16 is Prestwood, Bucks, or Greg's house. I am here and we have just returned from breakfast at The Deep Mill Diner, and a nice long dog walk with Toby, pictured here nose to the window as Greg got home from work.

I am off to Putney this morning to stay with Mike who is coming back to Bristol with me tomorrow. I might be out for a drink with Gigi later this evening before heading back to Mike's overnight. Gigi is over from Galway for Arsenal Spurs which is on at The Emirates today.

Out last night with Helen and we had a couple of beers and a curry in H-W before she caught the 11.30 train home and slept through her stop.

Just Monday to work and then a few days off. Top Smart!

Sunday action to follow in Bristol before all of that

Monday, 17 December 2007

One Hundred.

Here's my 100th post. Most of the 100 have been happy and without gloom, except maybe one or two and the one that I deleted that was a bit rude to the Americans!

I bought new lights for my tree today and here is rather a grainy picture of it; I will try for a better one in good light tomorrow.

I had a great weekend this one just gone past - much fun on Friday at my work do in Clifton from which I walked home at midnight, a fine Saturday and a great Sunday. Overall Friday and the weekend were full of all sorts of diverse and enjoyable things and important (to me) people.

Happily to bed now!


Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Post 99

My 99th post is about numbers.

I have had 3 Christmas cards so far. One from a woman who attends the same Church as me, she lives on the road I used to live on when I shared a house with Seamus and she's a full on convert to the power of the Lord to make your whites whiter and all that. So, one from her, another from Dave out warehouse man in the Pet department and another from the gorgeous and delightful Gigi, gently reminding me that I still owe her two bottles of champagne from a bet last month! I had a festive mail shot from Mercedes Benz offering me a good deal on a new C class but it wasn't really, 'Hey Rich, Happy Christmas, here's an S Class, best wishes M-Benz' so I am not counting that.

I hope Walshy makes it 4 with a witty message in his specially commissioned Loofy cards, but I won't be :-( if he doesn't because He and Caz are tops whatever happens!


This is my top friend Stevie Hopes. Steve is shown here telling the world in his own special way that wearing a suit is not where he's at.

I took this image to picture message it to Clare, Steve's GF and at her special request. The plan worked fine except for Clare's phone not being able to accept picture messages. D'Oh.

Gary goes...

Yesterday was a bit of a mixed up day. It was my friend Gary's funeral at Southmead in Bristol. Bitterly cold but very bright as we got there for midday.

For a quiet man who was in and out of The Rhubarb and talked equally to everyone, there was a tremendous turn out, nudging two hundred people and filling the chapel to the brim. The hymns were The Rugged Cross which I didn't sing and Abide With Me which I gustily had a go at along with everyone else. Most of the people gathered came back to the Rhubarb, and the last time I saw it *that* packed was New Year's Eve - I hope Spence took some comfort in that.

We raised a glass many times and saw the lad off well. I can't see the fruit machine paying its way now Gary had departed but it will be easier to get a go on it :-(

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


No Jose for England, then. I am not in the camp that says we should/must have an English manager - Jose would have been cool. I suppose it's either down to Dave Hopes or Harry Redknapp now.

The morning.

Things seem cheerier this morning. I am going to wait for it to get light and then clean my car in order to proceed in a DCF to a funeral with the chaps.

I had a nice text message from Biscuits last night, though I had been in bed for two hours when it arrived.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Monday thoughts

So here we are the night before a funeral that I am not altogether looking forward to. It has been an odd day and I enjoyed lunch out with friends at work for Lara's birthday. I also enjoyed a pint after work (instead of circuits - a rare shocker) with the fine people I will share a pew with tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a strange old day, and I hope Spence takes all the good that is trickily wrapped up within it.

My boss, who is a good woman took the time to email me from Paris to thoughtfully okay my day off which was really requested with very little notice - thanks to her for that, she's a good sort.

Oh such delightful text messages from Galway as well. It's all so very bloody testing sometimes.

The week ahead

Bit of a mixed week to come. Work today and out for a department lunch with the gang whose office I used to share, a funeral tomorrow, work again Wednesday and then working in our store in Huntingdon Thursday and Friday - warehouse detail again.

Everyone else in the world seems to be in the process of 'getting ready' for Christmas. I am not really sure what this means because it will take me abut 30 mins to put my tree up next weekend. My house is always tidy and in order and my two spare rooms are always in good shape. Not sure what else one needs to be getting ready with, maybe it will occur to me in the week. I will do my Christmas shopping in one hit on an evening to be decided. I am working on Christmas Eve and once that is done, I will just come home and that's it, I'm ready!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Convict Brekker

I just made a BLT for breakfast and the second piece of Bacon came out shaped exactly like Australia. It's all go here in BS5

Jim Bowen says That's the Gamble - it's in the Bible!

When I was in my hotel in Ivybridge on Thursday, I took up my usual habit of checking out the drawer to see if there was a bible in place - this used to be a 100% cert' but is not quite so constant these days. This isn't a particularly pious thing, it's just a habit, like always looking at crockery to see where it is made; a habit formed when living next to various pottery factories at University in Stoke.

Anyway, the Ivybridge hotel did have a bible so I read a random part of it in bed, the Book of Job. It's a bit of an odd one and the Big Man (God) and Satan are having a pint and a chat and Satan reckons he can make Job curse God if he gives him a load of hassle so God goes for it with the caveat that Job isn't killed. This doesn't seem very Godly and poor old Job has a really crap day at the office (all his sheep get nicked). G and S keep at this and put the poor fecker right through the wringer - one imagines them sinking more beers, getting a bit pissed and saying 'Alright then, we'll blow his car up and see what he does'. Anyhow, I didn't get to the end because tiredness over took me but it seemed a bit like 101 in six darts or more to get the speedboat.

The rain

The rain, the rain it raineth! Bristol is giving it some large on the raining front this morning but it really isn't cold so I can't put off a run (and actually, I don't really want to). This picture isn't BS5, of course (California as it happens).

My friend Cas is back from Kuala Lumpor today where he has been larking about with Lummox for two weeks. Cas is getting off the plane and the coach home, and heading straight for The Swan With two Necks, our Sunday sojourn pub. Tales a plenty to follow, I am sure. I will drive today so it's soda and lime for me.

My good freind Walshy has a new drawing tablet thingy which is pretty smart so I am going to see what smart images he has added to

Run, bath and a stack of ironing are the morning plan, followed by church at half ten and then excitedly to the pub! Oh yes, and breakfast.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

John Cabot says 'Let's play daaaaaaaaaarts!'

I worked away a couple of days at the end of the week in Ivybridge in Devon so I had missed my Blog for a couple of days. I was in a warehouse for two days having a gander at it in order to sort if out for the store I was working in plus the others in the company - all very enjoyable but it was even finer to be back in The Rhubarb for a pint with my friends.

All go this morning with a run at half seven and the shopping done for 9.00 am. I have just applied for a new job as the Centre Manager for the Cabot Shopping centre here in top-smart Bristol. That would be tops! John Cabot who was born in Venice in 1461 lived in Bristol for the rest of his life after 1491. He also explored the whole world. I wonder if he ever knew the Barb? I bet he didn't go round the world by canoe and fool his mates into disappearing for 5 years

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Northern Sermon

This is my mate Walshy (R) and his mate Mike (L), who I am rather proud to call a mate of mine too. Mike knows all you would need to know if you were randomly placed on a magnetic mine-sweeper in a sea full of dangerous spoons; we talked about that one night and it was very clear that Mike was your man in such cutlery-related drama.

Anyhow this post is a shout to my mate Walshy who was a good bloke today. Bullet-proof and exemplary, in fact. Walshy is officially a see you next Tuesday if ever you are asked, but he's a stand-up see you next Tuesday all the same!

T and E

Here's a happier post - these two fellas are called Titch and Edge when they are not working. When they are working for Pete, their owner and a Rhubarb pal, they have different names, and are different in character. They are both soft and daft in the Barb but at a single call from Pete, they switch into work mode; Titch and Edge are security dogs and they don't fuck about having faced guns, knives and baseball bats. Both dogs are the most obedient I have ever seen. Edge who is at the front of this pic' is lean and fit and about 11 stone - quite enough to eat you fairly convincingly if you are a bad person but also quite enough to goon about with in the pub when both of you aren't working.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Hard Post

I was going to indulge in my usual evening post, reflecting on happy, harmless and innocent things that filled my day, the usual mundanities of work, one's dinner and the general disposition of a Tuesday - but not tonight.

Sad and galling news this evening - my friend Spence is the subject of this post. I was at Circuits with Spence last night and we larked about a bit, just being silly before we got going; at the same time a mutual pal was taking a pint with Spence's Dad, Gary - known to many as Gaaaa, and in the usual happy location of The Rhubarb.

This morning, Spence found his Dad in the house, dead - at 50 years old, and Spence only about 24. What a bad business that is. A real sharpening in my day when Trev' called me to say at 5pm. I finished work fairly shortly after that and came home and directly to The Barb but I had missed Spence who was at home supporting his Ma.

I did like Gaa, we talked about coaches - he was a good coach driver going all over Europe. The Barb football team (for which Spence turns out each week) will have their match for Gaa this Sunday, though I will say my quiet word at Church. Gaa is on the pic' in this post, far l.h side and with a beer I had handed to him that football watching morning a while back.

Here's to you Gary, you were a sound fella.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Evenin' , Punch 'Ouse.

I am rather pleased this evening because after my first go at a reading yesterday, D the V has dropped me a line to ask if I would like to take one of the spots for the Carol service on Sunday December 23rd. I got a real sense of enjoyment from my reading yesterday so to do one in a church that will probably be chocca is really cool, not to mention very flattering indeed!

Regular Monday otherwise; circuits was cool and not too much of an effort, and my route home via the new Trevor recommendation was peachy. I had a smart chat to my Ma and Pa too. My Pa has a touch of Malaria at the mo', an occasional recurrence he suffers but that's ten years working on and off all over Africa for you. I think he is being sensible and listening to my Mum and I hope & pray he feels better soon.

I am just reading my diary from 13 years ago tonight - a busy shift as Barman at The Punch House in Monmouth and it was the first really busy Saturday night of the Christmas weekends and was wall to wall work and attractive women, according to my own words! Said pub is this post's pic. Pepe who was my boss used to answer the phone and say 'Evenin' Punch 'ouse' all in one Italian accented long word! Happy days.

A massive

This is a slightly grainy picture of my lounge and dining room (which is all one space). It feels very large today because for the last year it has housed a big old sofa bed but I have now given that to a pal who was short of a bed for his spare room.

I now have room to swing a cat (possibly Norman) but will in all likeliness use the space for my Christmas tree next weekend. It's a lot of space for a thin chap who lives on his own!

I have taken down a post from last night in which I was pretty vitriolic about the Americans; it wasn't a very charitable position but I maintain that they are a nation of salad-dodgers. I was a little bit pissed when I wrote it.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Top reading action!

I did my reading in Church today and I really enjoyed it! I was a little bit nervous despite really enjoying public speaking but I think this was on account of fluffing it in front of D the V rather than the 40 assembled people. It went pretty faultlessly which emphasises the benefit of practice, I suppose.

I was stood just to the right of the pic' as you look at it and Debbie thoughtfully slid the cushion across from the lectern; she needs it to be seen but as I am about a foot taller than her, I do not.

Top stuff.

Sambuca Saturday

I think my moral and ethical account is about balanced. Having had a very sound morning running, tidying the house, doing the laundry, shopping for groceries and paying a visit to an 82 year old acquaintance who lives on her own, I visited The Rhubarb Tavern with a sense of proportionate reward.

Alas Girls' Knees with Sambuca chasers rather undid all the good of the morning but not too badly! I was able to cook my Thai burgers when I got home and they were not too bad at all!

7.45 as I write and just about to do next week's ironing whilst practicing my reading for Church later this morning.

Whilst I am at Church, Spence and Andy will be at my house dismantling my sofa bed which I have given to Andy for his new house just around the corner.

I am not going for a run today - plain lazy!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Proper recipe.

Here is a top smart tower that is just near the Marriott hotel at the edge of Broadmead in Bristol. It's all being redeveloped and here's a top shiny bit of it.

Since my last post I have made my Thai burgers as per Jayne's recipe. I left the recipe at work so I have rather winged it a bit. The burgers have a reasonable consistency and I am hoping a spell in the fridge will improve that. I couldn't find Thai paste so I improvised and they seem okay. If there are no posts on Monday, I am dead from burger poisoning.

All my chores are now done (I even washed up) so I can park up the sensible bus. Woohoo!

Rich's easy recipe

Here's an easy recipe to get the greatest number of stupid people into a finite space at one time. You will need:

A large crowd of directionless, stupid people
A branch of Sainsbury's
35 minutes spare on at Saturday lunchtime.

Put 'em all together and that man Bob , he's your Dad's brother.

A right old palaver, which is why I usually shop before 9.00 a.m

It was like a Joey Deacon convention.

The woman on the check out was very attractive and looked like Zara Phillips and she gave me a right old cheery beam as I left after we had chit chatted a bit as she scanned my goods.


I think I might treat myself to a copy of Mark B and Blade The Unknown (2000), a rap album that I first heard about when the title track was used on one of Bag's top Mountain Bike DVDs - heard it randomly today and checked him out again on My Space. He's a UK rapper born in the American quarter of Tehran.

11.00 update: Mark B and Blade and Virgin megastore - no chance! As my sage friend Hopesoid says, anything that's not Amy Winehouse, more than 10 minutes old or within the scope of the nasty Daily Mail has no hope of being stocked at the store. Town was quiet enough and I did my business in good order then had a coffee and a good long read of the Guardian. Blart count medium.

It's wrong!

Have to go into Bristol today to hand in my old phone and in the process have 100 quid credited to my account (cool!) This will be a surgical visit; in and out as early and as fast as poss' because being in a shopping centre on a Saturday in December with hordes of dawdling people is just wrong. I'd be perfectly happy on the retail side because it's the easiest month in the year and it flies by, but as for actually shopping - no way! (Actually, I might be a tart and buy myself some new 3/4 length shorts for circuit training).

Right - it's light enough to take a turn around BS5 before a wallowy bath.

Two grand Macaw.

This is a snap I took at work yesterday. It is George, a Macaw and yours for two thousand pounds. George is three years old and has about another 70 left on the clock. He's very friendly and tried to eat the phone about a second after this pic' was taken. I say hello to him every day and he says hello back (he has the vocabulary of a 4 year old child, but entertainingly he can also swear). He's a noisy hooligan if people aren't stroking him or generally stopping to say hello. George was more endearing than the scorpions and the tarantula I also met whilst working in the pet department for a short spell.

I was chatting to an attractive woman in the store who was asking about George - and I got totally busted because I wasn't entirely focused on the Macaw!

The cornerstone of...

Saturday mornings are the best of the week! I woke at 6.15 and skipped a hangover - result! Just a few pints in the Rhubarb last night (4) and home for fish and chips and an idle, early night. It was very quiet in the pub until Karaoke got going at which point I left, not really being in a singing frame of mind. I half fancied a cigar but only momentarily. Haven't smoked a cigar for about 6 months.

It is dark and wet outside this morning so that will be good for running in a little bit. Today I am attempting to make Thai pork-burgers from scratch. Armed with a recipe from Jayne, a friend at work I need to chop up spring onions, add the minced pork, an egg and some breadcrumbs , seasoning and chilli paste, and I'm there. It sounds all too easy but I shall post the result a little later on. I bought some ciabatta rolls to go with the burgers and a nice bottle of Merlot. Ciabatta bread is a little bit Islington and right-on if you ask me but they were RTC. In fact ciabatta is the epitome of Mike's poncey sandwich shop near his office at Leicester Square - he'd flame me for that but when I have been it is always full of ridiculous people with stupid beards and specs (and no ties)ordering daft sarnies whilst barking into Blackberry phones! They are mostly nob ends.

Thursday, 29 November 2007


Zane payed a bit of this tonight - TOP album, or as my mate Steve would say (but not of this) chhhhooooooooooooo

Especially Billie Jean and Wanna be Startin' Something.

Happy holiday with my brothers and folks when it came out 25 yrs ago and we played the tape constantly!


Here's a snap I took at work today - a load of pallets of hay and straw that I worked through as part of my warehouse investigation. Stock comes in and is signed in nice and fast but then it becomes achingly slow as every single item within the delivery is checked and cross-ref'd with two separate dockets. Only then can it go on the shop floor. A whole 2 people work in this warehouse for departments that take 12% of store business and have the largest, bulkiest items coming in all the time, ever day. I worked hard but it seemed to go nowhere; potential for my recommendations at least.

A nice chat with Greg broke up my afternoon and we talked of this and that and visiting each other.


Where did the week go? It's nearly scone already.

Thursday already and not long to weekend larks!

Playing Quake on line tonight with Walshy and Bag, two former BS5ers who now live in Lancashire.

I reckon in a straight fight out of three of us, I will only have two others placed above me.

Off to work shortly and in order to give credence to a Retail Operations manual I am writing, I am working the day in our Pet and Aquatics dep't; up close and personal with rabbits, fish, reptiles, birds and lizards

Other things: Nearly got my Sunday reading memorised so it should be okay (Isaiah 2: 1-5). Also, I have washed and dried my bright green work fleece for days on the shop floor, and luckily it has shrunk a bit and is no longer massive!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Warehouse warrior!

This image represents the sort of pace today in the warehouse on my 2nd day finding out and getting on with the tasks hands-on!

I was like a F-16 strike eagle, fully armed, fueled and with course plotted and years of knife-edge special-forces skill at my disposal, used to get in and out, fast, sleek, effective, lethal, accurate and deadly. All at supersonic speed, free as a bird and deadly poised, with a crack team behind me.

Actually, I crashed a manual pallet truck into a fucking massive, bright red 40 ft container that I had seen 25 seconds before whilst approaching at walking pace.

Oh dear.


Half way through the week

Well, the see saw of the week is definitely tipping towards the weekend now!

A decent evening here in BS5 but nearly chucked the zapper through the tv because the arse-useless 'watch again' feature wouldn't load and I was subject to the incessant nasal whining of the man who does the voice over to advertise it; he speaks in that nasty North London counties accent that we must all now kow tow to whilst pandering to the densest of the planet and those of limited attention span! Fuckers!

And on that egalitarian note, here endeth the post.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

A goner?

I wonder if Harriet Harman will have gone by the end of the week? Apparently she took 5k from this recent chap who gave the Labour Party 600k. Some turned it down, she did not and now Gordon Brown won't formally give her his full confidence. I think this lot are a little long in the tooth and tarnished. GB does some good, even some moral things and no doubt he will survive but a political bloody nose is refreshing.

Oopas and I once saw Harriet Harman speaking in a by election rally in Monmouth in 1997 but snuck out half way through to head to The Griffin for a pint instead.

On a mundane note, I had a jolly nice lunch of tuna salad with some cumin seeds as made up last night after circuits.

BS5 goes Global!

My weekly Blog stats report tells me where people who have read my Blog are based; it turns out I have had visits from Colombia and Mexico and Argentina (1 each), Canada and the US (a healthier 2 each)!

I like that but I am not sure how BlogBS5, a little take on Bristol relates to Bogota, Buenos Airies, or Mexico City. Pretty cool though.

A bit of hoo-ha in the news today about debates at the Oxford Union. I have been there three times with my brother and my take is that the building has the finest Gents loo in the country. It's bright, light, palatial and finished to a great detail, a mood reflected in my own bathroom here in BS5. When I was at the Oxford Union the bar was a bit poor but Wavey and I had a couple of beers in some great library room with vast, comfortable sofas. All jolly and Victorian. And a kebab after, I think.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Possible haemorhagging of bloke points.

Last Christmas, and thus 11 months ago yesterday, my brother bought me the product pictured in this post. It is Neal's Yard Olive Leaf Moisturiser which I secretly kinda like. Despite Greg's total success just today in buying something for our mother's birthday, I now suspect Nicola's hand in the selection of my festive gift; the moisturiser which I use most times that I shave has about 30 days' worth left - the perfect gift to last a year. No way Greg would have sussed that on his Jack. I mean Greg likes Phil Collins and busts a move when the he comes on the radio.

It might just be that I quietly buy some more Neal's Yard Olive leaf moisturiser - now a secret admission known only to the handful of people reading this (mind you as Walshy is one of them, I fear a wider circulation of this possibly poncey admission).

You ronks!

As the Welsh element at my school said of their pungent school friends, 'you ronks!' and indeed, I ronk now. No bath today (day off) and just in from circuits so it's not that fragrant here. Nice.

Circuits was a bit of an easy time - Dave didn't really push us as hard as usual, so that means he'll over compensate on Wednesday!

Tuna salad and new potatoes (carbs everywhere) and a bit of Monday TV to follow!


This is the hound mentioned in recent posts - called Toby, a chocolate Lab' who is owned by my fine brother Greg and his equally fine other half, Nicola - they all live in Prestwood near High Wycombe in Bucks and have had Toby for about 22 months - Toby is 2 a week on Friday. He is almost sensible but not really fully so, which is why he and Greg click.

Greg and Nicks have enjoyed the recent delight of their friends Carl and Tara moving close to them. Carl is the dude I mentioned aaaaaaaaaages ago when I had a dream he became Prime Minister (see early Oct' Posts), he is currently a senior dude at M&S.

Greg meets a chap on dog walks who is now 80 but when he was a lad in the fifties he and two mates bought a car and drove from England to Calcutta and then got a boat to Australia to watch the Olympics!

And that bloody dog had the in soles from my shoes again! Little fecker.

R, N, T and a wall.

Just an addition to the post below: this is yours truly and Nicola standing on an old house wall on top of the hill with a small hound trying to join in. (Dad, if you click on the pic' it will open in a new window in nice detail, ditto all pics on this blog).

I am now back on my hill (Barton Hill) and will enjoy the rest of my Monday off before circuits at 5.45 and the Gadget Show after. Ironing to do as well because when I did the ironing at 5am yesterday (prior to going to Goodrich) only 3 shirts were really dry enough.

My friend D the V has emailed, I now know that my reading this coming Sunday is Isaiah 2: 1-5 so I will have a gander at that and see what it's all about.

Update: 1.52 pm:
Have had a gander at the reading mentioned above - it's quite smart; it didn't happen quite yet because I don't see a stack of US Swords being hammered into ploughs but the sentiment is elegant. I will try to memorise it so that I don't spend the reading looking down at the page.

Weekend at Goodrich

Just home from a really tops Sunday and Monday at my folks' house (to celebrate my Ma's birthday which is today).

We had a top time and I got there and met Greg and Nicola who are pictured here. This is a snap from our Monday morning dog walk up the hill opposite my folks' house. It was a slippery muddy walk and very misty and fun. Toby (said dog) tried to uproot a tree and was his usual hooligan self!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Girls' Knees

I have just had a couple of half decent pints of Guinness in the 'Hostile', the secondary (to me) local pub in Goodrich. The Guinness was on form and I enjoyed a read of the Sunday Telegraph and listening to an ongoing discussion about the merits of red wine in gravy, a discourse undertaken by the voluble people at the bar - much discussion over restaurants in 'London' versus a proper restaurant with real people. The clever, witty barmaid I rather like came in and was her usual polite self, reading the room elegantly, so that was nice.

As I type, Gregory is in Bucks trying to cajole N put of the house in a timely fashion so they can make it here for 8.00 and we can all go out for dinner for mother's birthday (which is in fact on Monday).

All is well generally.

I fancy a bit of steak later!

Writing this on an apple mac - a machine plain full of wrongness, especially the mouse.

Breakfast action and news from Abroad

This is a pic of my breakfast which I am looking forward to in about 15 minutes. With a top cup of tea too!

Just been on Google Talk with Lummox; Cas has been in KL for about half a day and he already got caught up in riots there, just near Lummox's flat and put down by the Malaysian Rozzers just a few hours ago.


Happy Chap!

I am a very happy chap after a productive, logical and well worked Saturday!

I had a good old look at my central heating on Saturday and whilst the radiators in my room and the loft worked, the others were less productive. Trev' came over and helped me after I had helped him shift a load of furniture at his house. We did an initial bleed of the top radiator but to no avail, and then rather spectacularly we took the floor up (pictured) and had a gander at my hot water pump. This seemed in good order. Trev' is a chap with a firm grasp of engineering and logic and between us (I am not entirely sure what I contributed) we pumped the system, switched the pump off, released the air in the system and gradually coaxed all the radiators into life. This took about 4 hours as we needed to repeat the process several times to gently get things going. It is about 80% there but after 4 hours, the house was warm and a pint was called for so we rewarded ourselves at the Rhubarb, after which I returned to a toasty house and a fine dinner.

Unrelatedly, I may pass on my decent sofa bed to a pal at the Rhubarb who is moving to a house just a street away later in the week. This came up in conversation during our post-radiator analysis pint.

5.04 as I write and I am up for Sunday with washing on and stuff. A bit crazy but I am happy and content. Tomorrow off so I can have a lie in on Monday - yippee!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Cold and Frosty morning.

Running on a frosty morning is a tricky business. The ground is not very forgiving and the grass is hard; given that 7 times the body weight effectively goes through the feet, springiness is a factor!

I liked my run today but it is always hard stuff - the legs and lungs and heart feel great but it is some freeze assed chillin' shit (as Jules says in Pulp Fiction) on your nose and cheeks. It would be rewarding and easy to go on but your face just freezes up and your cheeks fall off!

I said hello to Walshy's old house when I ran past it.

We like the weekend - zero need for responsibility!