Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome break

All of a sudden I'm told I can use an iPod while working.

Mon, Tues and Wednesday I listened to over 300 songs and talks and, if anything, my workload increased and the time flew by. I now have two lanes and life just got better.

So here I am at more work for 3 weeks. I'm off to France today. Everything is packed. I'm ready! I fly 8pm.

Jobs to do today...
Into town for a pair of decent in-ear headphones (Done)
Trim the creeper (Done)
Put blind track up in MIL living room (Done)
Charge camera batteries (Done)
Paint (updated my paintings blog instead)
Fill the hole in the landing ceiling (Done)
Tidy the area around the computer (Done)
Chill (Still doing it)

Jobs to do in France...starting tomorrow...
  • Finish the landing wooden tops (and the main bedroom one)
  • Build an internal wood store
  • Finish the fireplace canopy
  • Fit a lock to the living room / kitchen door
  • Prepare ground and sow grass seed
  • Order the materials for the store
  • Lay a concrete base for the store
  • Build the outside store (this is the main job)
  • Work some more on the patio
  • Finish the guttering
  • Perhaps dig another soak-away
  • Paint various areas inside and out
  • Weed the front and lay gravel
  • Have fun...windsurfing / rides / walks
  • Have more fun...and even more fun.
Bev arrives next Sunday, so I'm planning to work hard until she arrives, then 1/2 pace and decreasing for two weeks.

That's the plan anyway, but you know what they say about plans.

I now sign off for three weeks with a smile.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Saturday threatened rain so I headed for the loft (one of my 2010 goals is to board the loft).

The sun came out, so I abandoned the loft and placed the bags of pampas clippings in the sun to dry out. When dry, we stuffed the bags into the car and headed for the tip. Then to my brother for a visit. Then shopping for curtains, bathroom ideas and a new pair of jeans. I'm fed up with the cheap baggy jeans and decided to push the boat out on a pair of Ben Shermans.

On the way back, we picked up a DVD (The Greatest...Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon and Carey Mulligan) along with popcorn, KFC and vanilla fudge and enjoyed the rest of the evening being totally selfish.

Now you see them a third bag. Just look at that rampant creeper.
Now you don't...just need to cut the grass now.

I'm such a hypocrite! I promised myself that I'd never eat KFC after discovering how it ends up on our plate. It tasted really nice, but I think I'll try my best to avoid it...unless I'm really, really hungry and too lazy to make something. I lifted the bag of clippings into the container, I was stung by a wasp. How ridiculous I must have looked with my arms in the air and shrieking. It's the second time I've been stung that I can recall and it isn't nice.

Actually, I was stung twice...once by the wasp and the other by the cost of KFC.

It's Sunday now and I feel very happy. I enjoyed the lesson about proverbs and the characteristics of the church Christ set up originally.

We are back home now and the weather is good enough to sit in the garden for lunch and a walk after it.

The worst part of last week...having to go to work.
The best part of last week...having a job that affords me luxuries from time to time.

I'm thinking I should make the most of having a job because I could easily lose it.

Stop spending and get back to simple ways. The simple ways are always best.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eyes wide open

Whilst reading willow's poetry my thoughts veered at a tangent and lingered on some recent news.

The news was of a young lady (in her 20's) victimised and beaten by her Mother and lodger within one mile of where I now sit. Introverted and fearful she would exist from day to day, year after year. No love, warmth, friendship or hope.

Whatever she earned had to be handed over for her keep. Such has been her life's experience and experience has shown her that it was her lot in life. Attempts to escape had ended painfully.

Then one day she found a full-time job with friendly staff who became close enough for her to eventually share her heartache.

The eyes; windows of the soul, are now bright and brimming with tears of joy. Warmth and hope replace chill and despair. Excitement borne of victory replaces resignation and defeat.

She has saved sufficient to move into her own place and enjoys strong active and lasting support sufficient to ensure it happens without resistance.

This is the superb line from the poem entitled ethos (Tuesday 13th July) that set me thinking of this injustice that thankfully turned to joy...

I cannot trifle with those
who refuse to taste life.

I changed willow's words...

I cannot trifle with those
who with eyes wide open bruise the soul.

Aren't friends good!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Spencer Lee Devine

Was it really only last week that we all got together at Jon & Serene's place for Spencer's blessing?

Too many photos so I'm concentrating on our four getting ready for a serious photo...
I don't think it's going to work...
They are in that sort of mood...
Settle down...
That's better...

All our children, grandchildren, family and friends together for a very special day.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Bad habits

There is so much I want to say but I'm biting my tongue.

My children will tell you that I never allowed them to chew gum in my company as they grew up. This last year I've taken to chewing it for some strange reason. Call me a hypocrite but I seem to be hooked on the stuff and chew with alarming speed and often bite my tongue sufficient to water my eyeballs.

I'm hoping my children will step in to ban me, but as yet they are turning a  dry blind eye. Eat your heart out Alex (Man.U manager of similar speed).

Anyway, I've finished the book that Eileen breezed through while sitting in the garden in France. It became a book with a hook as I sneaked a peep at the opening paragraph...

"Someone once said that youth is wasted on the young. Not a bit of it. Only the young have the impulsive energy to tackle the impossible and enjoy it; the courage to follow their instincts and brave the new; the stamina to work all day, all night and all the next day without tiring. For the young everything is possible. None of us, twenty years later, could do the things we did in our youth. Though the vision burns still bright, the energy has gone."

Far too gory for men to read (the clue is found in the print before the title) but it's compulsive reading and a superb social documentary of Docklands East -End London in the 50's. It reminds me of Docklands East-End Sunderland of the same era.

Verdict: Raw, hopeless, sad and chilling as well as poignant, warm, gentle and optimistic.

The cover picture is exactly the way me and Tucker Ellis used to go to school...hole in the seat of my pants and all.

Farewell to the East End, welcome the next good and easy read whatever, whenever or wherever it may be.

Perhaps I should say farewell to a few bad habits too...I'll chew it over :)