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: