Thursday, 30 April 2015


This week was a terrific family week. A run of days away from work, free from distractions and noise. We had planned it awhile, the success all down to my older brother and sister in law who just got it all spot on! We had a few days in Criccieth on the Llyn peninsula.

Ma and Pa and we three sons with our sister in law, Anna. And Toby and Quaddy and perfect weather.

Greg and Anna  have visited the house five times before and this was my third visit, but this time it was all of us as a family. We met them there, driving up last Sunday in no hurry at all and in a car full of silliness.

Day 1 was just unloading all the stuff we took (a lot of which poured) and settling in and catching up. Day 2 was action packed with a visit to a rabbit farm which also had chickens, pigs, goats, peacocks, horses, sheep and a donkey. We went to the childhood home of David Lloyd George and took a look into the past. After that we had a quick tea stop and then.....steam train action between Porthmadog and Beddgelert! Slow roast lamb for dinner and lots of wine.

Day three was the fantastic, near endless beach at Black Rock Sands. It is about 2 miles long and you can drive on it too! We walked miles and miles and miles across that day and the week and there was never a moment short of ease, relaxation or just simple togetherness. We also had fish and chips from a fantastic little place just nearby with a brotherly pint ahead of collecting the order.  I could do all that again and again with the Welsh welcome of the village and the endless, simple fooling about.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Mark, Lawson.

If you are a regular reader here you will know that my good pal Bazza passed last month. He and I met in 1991 at University, sharing a floor in a Hall of Residence. Bazza was called Mark in reality, but became Bazza after his delight in watching movies on our rented video recorder in Halls in that first happy year. Man, he worked hard at that, but he also worked hard at being a good man and a sci-fi spod.

I attended his funeral last week, and of course it was hard, but that's an indulgence when I think that his parents were there too and lowered his coffin into the ground. Easy for me in comparison to that task and I said my prayers quietly in my noggin throughout proceedings.

What was really very, very difficult about it was that Bazza was one of identical twins. Now I know identical is a binary thing - you either are or you are not, but Bazza and Lawson were *really* identical. Thus, I attended a funeral of a man I had met hundreds of times, but here in attendance was an in-every-way-identical man I had met maybe 8 times. Every nuance, look,  laugh and mannerism was there, and the voice was identical.  That was surreal. It was Mark, but of course it was not.

Lawson was 12 minutes older then Mark but now that gap will grow and grow and grow as the years roll on. Lawson was a stand-up  guy, leading things for his family and remembering the life of his brother.

Hard days.

I was glad to know you Bazza and I did not recall until funeral reminiscences that I  had kicked off your affectionate nickname.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

£412 in forty seconds

When I collected my new company car a handful of weeks back, it already had a crack in the windscreen. In fact, it was more a case of having a crack with a windscreen attached to it,  not the other way around, so hefty it was.

This week I managed my diary around a home call to have the screen replaced. Full of tech', spod excitement I set up a time lapse movie to capture the action.

Here it is.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter Eating

I started Lent with my folks, visiting them for pancakes at  Glewstone Court on Shrove Tuesday and travelling up to Yorkshire the morning after on Ash Wednesday.  I also ended Lent at the house and in the forty days between, I wrote my Letters for Lent (a post to follow once the last letters have reached their recipients).

Spending Easter weekend in Goodrich was just fine, relaxing in easy company and enjoying the champagne transformation that makes Sal' even better company than normal (she did not disappoint and her speedier disposition to risque humour kicked right in at half a glass!)

It was a fine weekend with company, cooking, companionship, crosswords and a quick visit to Ferdy up the road. I mixed beer, champagne and red wine with a headache for my troubles.

Here's a section of pictures.

Friday, 3 April 2015


Today the house that is BlogBS5 is eleven. Actually, it is a touch beyond one hundred and eleven, but it's eleven under my stewardship.

Happy birthday house  and thanks as ever to Ma and Pa (and Uncle Ronnie) without whom I could not have moved in.


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My pal Bazza.

Getting on for a scary 24 years ago I made it to University. I had a place on a degree course I thoroughly enjoyed (in time bagging a 2:1 in politics), and I went off to a place in halls of residence for my first year away.

Back in 1991 the internet existed on the IT sections of campuses and certainly not on phones, desktop PCs or watches, thus the thing to do for entertainment on our floor (after the pub) was to chip in 50p each per month and rent a tv and a VCR. This was cutting edge stuff but one fella alone made pretty extensive use out of this magic cooperative scheme. My pal Mark watched videos. A lot. So much so in fact that we called him Bazza because there wasn't a movie he hadn't seen and he was as wise on movies as Barry Norman himself. It stuck. Mark was Mark in week one but Bazza for the next two decades. Bazza, movies, HRG and a load of beers and laughs. 

Alas those decades ran out last Saturday and Bazza passed away after a long and hard struggle with the big C. Now this may sound cliched but I never knew Bazza to show anything but cheerfulness and generosity to everyone else at all times in his hard final year. He was a top fella and I'm going to miss him. 43 is just no age to go.

Miss you dude but thanks for all the foolishness over the years.