Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not smug, just waiting for that cloud

Have you ever had one of those thoughts that you cannot shake? You know something like an itch that things are just going too well and there’s a fall just waiting around the next corner. I mean you’ve all heard the phrases ‘from bad to worse’ or ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’ have you not? Now call me paranoid but weeks like this week should not be happening this often to this grumpy, rotund and slightly furry little Welshman. I’ve already spouted off in a previous post about recent good fortune so I just know that what goes up certainly is going to come down at an extreme rate of knots, isn’t it? After all my favourite saying is ‘ever silver lining has a cloud’ so you might well guess where my increasing sense of unease stems from.

Take this week for instance; back to ‘the grind’ after some quality time spent with my beloved Clare (oh and the bog monster of course) to face the usual crap that is part and parcel of being a grease monkey in a factory where everyone believes that line engineers contribute zero to the company’s output (yeah? You just try making fifteen year old plus lines keep ticking over with the limited resources we’re given). Then waking up on the first day off with all the usual aches and pains that this bleedin’ rota from hell gives me and the fact that that temperature outside has plummeted through the floor. No the week was not off to a good start so a walk around suburbia was called for with the added bonus that the sloe berries have had their first frost. So dragging her that smells of stagnant water along we headed out to where I’d previously marked some heavily laden sloe bushes full of anticipation. By the time we’d arrived at my closely guarded secret (pah) I started to get that itch. For there in front of us were plenty of sloe bushes all bereft of berries! I mean come on guys it would have taken the population of a small country to require all the berries that had been there not five days ago. Personally I take just what I require and leave the rest for others, this lot would have made enough sloes gin to keep half of Scotland warm this winter. Ah well I managed to scrap enough together to make just under a bottle (not really worth having), that feeling of foreboding was certainly becoming much stronger. We headed home a tad disgruntled with no mud for the monster and me thinking it’s going to be better if I stay in bed for the rest of the time off in-between shifts.

But then it happens again; as we’re debooting at my hobbit’s holes threshold Albert a near neighbour and survivor of heart by pass surgery calls over enquiring as to whether or I’m human yet after the nights shift (all my neighbours seem wary of me after the rota!) and would I be interested in some wood working tools for a nominal fee towards charity? Turns out that an associate of Bert’s is giving up (at the age of ninety plus) and Bert is in charge of dispersing the contents of his garage. I agree to give him a hand later in the week (today) at we leave it at that. So with me dreaming of perhaps a few hand tools heading my way the day draws to an end, oh if I only knew.
The winter coat's coming along nicely...

The next couple of days flew by, driven into my sanctuary of contemplation and all things soothing (the garage) by some rather persistent precipitation (yep it was pissing down) I was going to tidy some benches but a more ‘pressing’ matter came to light, yep that’s right; converting more apples into cider. This time however I changed tactics slightly, instead of battering the quartered apples into submission and a mash I hijacked the blender from Clare’s kitchen (well what she doesn’t know won’t hurt) and halved my time in producing another gallon of hopefully what will turn into cider of at least drinkable quality. Now I know that my alcoholic producing are as of yet small in scale (you should see Damn’s over at his blog – ye gads the man’s becoming a walking brewery) but hopefully as I learn more the better it will become.

Also this cold snap has made a huge difference to the foliage upon the trials, we were going to traipse around Moel Famau t'other day but a glance at the hill as we approached changed our plans and we headed for the more sheltered trial along the river Alun as it flows through Loggerheads park (Lucy don’t like clean water like rain!)

The walk was short but truly mind soothing, with the flash of brilliant colours the fallen leaves gave coupled with the gurgling sweet sound of the Alun it did wonders to calm the mind and refresh my spirit.

So today finally roles by, after completing the chore list (never over taxing) left by Clare, a rap on the door and Bert's chirpy hello reminded me of my promise to help out today (and the thought of a couple of tools perhaps). Less than a mile away from the Hobbit hole we drew up and met with Frank at his house and were told to sort out what we wanted to sell and bin the rest.  At this point some divine deity from above must have patted me upon the head and said ‘good boy John’. For now abiding in my temple to contemplation are my new ‘hand tools’, consisting of a hardly used band saw, a three speed wood turning lathe complete with tools and various chucks,   a heavy duty router and various other bits n pieces. Yes my wallet is considerably lighter but there is no way that I could have afforded or justified buying this equipment normally so was truly a bonus. The garage has now gone from place of contemplation to a refuge from all the worries that may bear down on me in the future.

So yes it has been another good week in my life, but I’m not smug oh no, just keep telling myself the bigger the silver lining….. the bigger the cloud behind it!

Thanks for taking the time to read,

Your friend,



Le Loup said...

A good post John. It is nice to get a windfall once in a while. The next best thing is hearing that some other deserving person got a windfall. Sort of helps retain some belief in luck.

BeMistified said...

Oh John, how you make me smile with your posts. That beard is grandeur to say the least.

Awesome score on the hand tools my friend.

Also, I can never get enough of your pictures. The cow, I just adore. =D

Gorges Smythe said...

Who knows, maybe you've just earned a couple blessings somewhere along the way!

Casey said...

Congrats on the haul, John! Oh, the busy-ness ahead! Loved the pics of the outdoors! Looking a lot like the countryside surrounding me on this side of the pond.

Take care -


Yvonne Osborne said...

I like your pictures and your winter coat! I know what you mean about too good to be true. I worry about that too, the phone call in the night and what waits around the bend.

No frost yet here in the Thumb of Michigan, and that's just downright weird. Good luck with your mash and suds and sloe gin.

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

I swear that cow is related to Lucy! Just look at the look on her face! LOL Love the leaves pic.

Damn The Broccoli said...

A blender? Why the hell did I not think of that, would have saved some blisters and aches.

Love the picture of the cow, looks like you finally found a subject Lucy wasn't going to chase off.

I do agree with you about the every silver lining, but from experience every drop has been followed by a lift and the whole cycle begins again. I have jsut learnt to ride them out or jsut don't care enough anymore.

Unbelievably jealous of the woodworking tools, although I take refuge behind the fact that they are all powered therefore bad so I musn't covert the preciouses.

Excellent score though, put to good use on Carpe I hope.

Murphyfish said...

Evening Keith,
Your right of course, but I still cannot shake the sense of foreboding. Just because I’m not paranoid does not mean that they are not trying to get me….

Why thank e kind missy, a grandeur beard indeed I feel a blush coming on. Glad you like the photos

Mr. Smythe my good fellow,
Maybe I have, but I’ll be damned if I can think where….

Hi Casey,
Cheers my friend, and yes it is looking like a busy time in the garage as the nights draw in. If NE Iowa is similar to Wales in countryside then there must be two places called paradise, looks like we’re both blessed in where we live my friend.

Hi Yvonne,
Thank you for the good wishes on the ale attempts, it sounds as if you have similar weather patterns in Michigan to our own.

Hello Karen,
I always thought of Lucy as a river horse, but now that you mention the likeness LOL. Glad you like the photos.

And Damn,
Re blender, imagine me now glancing and pointing to my furry hobbit feet and you can almost here the words “down there for dancing” , smug look upon me furry face with my plan so cunning that you “could pin a tale upon it and call it a weasel” ;-)

Lucy was thinking about chasing the cow but I think she may have sensed a kindred spirit in her. Like your way of turning my silver followed by black around to a drop followed be a lift, me thinks that I should perhaps be a little more positive in the future.

Ah but did a mention the adjustable rotating vice for hand carving (unpowered) and the set of carving tools presently being sharpened by Bert, soon to winging there way to my clutching hands my preciouses?

To all,
One again many thanks for taking some of your time to pass this way, you all inspire me.

Your friend,


Shoreman said...

Hey John. I loved the cow shot. Way to go on the power tools. I have a shop full and, my god they're expensive. Being a wood worker myself, I can only say, enjoy using them.


Murphyfish said...

Hi Mark,
Still to much of a grease monkey to be called a wood worker but with patience and time who knows?

moschops said...

Hi John,
Lovely photos (as always!)
Between you with your sloe gin and Damn with his apricot wine, I am seriously considering starting home brewing...sounds lush.

Anyway, who says there has to be a cloud?!

megan x

2 Tramps said...

Sloe gin - yum! It was a favored drink in my dorm at college years back. Just a wee sip of it and I am transported back to times best left in the past!!

Murphyfish said...

Ah between us we'll have the whole world brewing their own! Thank you for stopping by Megan and for the kind words - I guess there does not have to be a cloud... but I've still got one, wary eye open.

Tis true 2T how something as simple but pleasant can bring those happy memories rushing back.

Cheers to you both,

John Gray said...

missed it myself, even though we can just make out the mountain from our cottage!!!

Murphyfish said...

Hi John,
Only from a distance, would have liked to have had a closer view. I guess we're looking at old Moely from two different perspectives my man, given our locations.