Saturday, April 16, 2011

Giving it a miss...

      Afternoon good folks of the blog-e-verse, just thought that I'd let you know that I may well not be posting often, if at all in the immediate future. I will return (cannot keep away :o) ) but I really need to get my head around my life's direction (or lack of it) at the moment so I guess you could say that I'm clearing the decks and we'll see what remains. Until I deem the time is right I'm going to be a tad AWOL, so until I return take care my good friends.

Your friend,


Friday, April 15, 2011

Two walks and a prize (maybe) question....

Up nice and early this morning, it wasn’t the intention to have two walks today but hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. To be honest I’m still getting bouts of melancholy and then the Grumpster threatens to raise his ugly head (not that I’m an oil painting myself!).

So to try and dispel the feeling that the black clouds were about to gather I bundled the Warthog into the car and hot footed (hot wheeled?) it to Nercwys woods for a little sornter. The woods were eerily quiet and to be honest I was a tad disappointed at the lack of opportunity for one of my rare (OK basically non existent) wild animal shots. Although ‘YLB’ did her best to oblige, she’s turning into a real companion upon the trials with a bond of trust building up between us.

One thing of note is that there looks as if there’s going to be a decent crop of Bilberries this year, judging by the flowers on display.

Oh at this point a shall offer this weeks mystery object for you to identify;-

Just saying drain pipe will not get you any prizes as that’s too bleedin’ obvious my friends. What I require from you is the actual purpose of these pipes tied about five feet high on the trunks of the pine trees. Prize will differ depending upon what you ask for and if I can be bothered ;o) although sensible requests will be heeded (as long as the answer is correct – no chance me thinks ha ha).

So arrived home, just checking out the blogs and face book when I received a request, well more like a bloody command, to write a post because….  Well never mind the reason but it was a good one. Looking at what I had to offer you fine, upstanding folk I doubted that it would hold to much interest for you so taking the easy way out I thought ‘bugger that’ I'm off out again! (Really should have got on with me chores you know!).

This time I headed for the deserted quarry that has recently been ‘landscaped’ (very much with nature in mind) just the other side of Hedre (first mentioned here). The first thing of note just yards from where I’d abandoned the fun cruiser was signs of death. 

I first took it as being the feathers of a luckless Wood Pigeon, common enough here, but closer inspection revealed a surprise. The remains were that of a Jay, an unusual find as a victim, this made me think that the predator responsible would likely be a sparrow hawk, certainly a raptor as the quills were pulled clean out and not chewed off.

The difference in this walk to the early morning stroll was palatable, with much more flowers and plants straining for the attention of the bees that were plentiful (a most welcome sight). I could tell that there were at least three different species of bee, but you know by now that inept John here failed to take one decent photograph of any of them (YLB helped not at all be sticking her nose in every time I lined one up, you little bugger..).

Leaving the wooded trail we shortly came across the old quarry site. It is truly a breath of fresh air to see wildlife orientated landscaping such as this, with a truly diverse mix of wild planting. At this time of year there were plenty of signs of the area waking up and its potential for wildlife habitat looks to be terrific.
Moel Famau in the far distance

See wildlife..way hay...

We headed back to the fun cruiser with an idea forming in my tiny brian, and that is to next week, betwixt the grind shifts, head here before first light leaving YLB behind in the hope of getting some actual half decent wildlife pictures to share with you – well it’s got to happen sometime, hasn’t it?

In the mean time I haven’t just been walking to clear my head, oh no indeedy. My brother in law Wayne (him with Celt) espied my walking staff the other week and has since brought two for me to repair, the thumb stick (replacing the ‘oh I’m a country type but bloody useless shotgun cartridge feral' for a stainless one) for him and the shorter hazel stick for a mate of his, brass feral to be machined and fitted. Seizing the chance for a barter I've taken them on, the thumb stick is finished and in use whilst I've got some more work on the hazel – but the barter? only several bottles of ‘Old Rosie’ cider coming my way, result me thinks.

Whilst I’m in such a benevolent mood if any requests for staffs and sticks are forth coming I’m open to negotiation, and I’m sure that we can come to some arrangement ;o). Well that just about wraps up this post my friends, till next time, cheers for dropping by and take good care of yourself and yours.

Your friend,


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A friend in need...

I have a relatively new friend in this world of blogging whose family has been hit with news of devastation that makes me really want to cry. It put my woes in perspective and has practically dumped me on my fat arse. All I'm asking of you folk out there is to say hello to Rachel and let her know that there are good folk out there thinking of her and her family in their time of need. Knowing her she won't want acres of sympathy, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, or loads of advice for that matter - just a short hello to let her know that her family are in peoples thoughts and prayers that's all I ask.
Your friend,

Friday, April 8, 2011

I may not be an expert but....

            Well after a full day spent upon project two yesterday (patience people, patience) today was ear marked for a thoroughly enjoyable and long walk up and around Moel Famau. Oh not there again I hear you lament, yes there again ya buggers. Now I’m not an expert but there is method within my madness for sticking to the familiar trials of this part of the Clwydian range I have to be less focused upon where I place my dainty, hairy hobbit’s feet and can so pay a little more attention to what is going on around me without fear of getting too lost at the same time. Also the gradients here allow myself to make inroads into the spare tyres that seem to be a permanent fixture around my waistline these days. For a change I was a little more prepared for a long hike remembering to fill my shoulder bag (no not a man bag) with the basics that were needed.

            Stepping out of the fun cruiser onto the car park I was chuffed to see that there was only one car there, Mmmm bodes well for not seeing anyone which means more chance of taking some wildlife photos, now before you start I didn’t say ‘more’ wildlife photos cause you all know that unless it’s vegetable, mineral or dead I’m pretty crap poor at the moving furry, feathered or scaled type of shots that the rest of you guys seem to do so easily (oops almost let the grumpster out then, sorry). Have to admit though it’s hard to feel down in the dumps on a day like today and the walking was the best I’d done in ages but (here it comes) but in the ten miles or so covered once again yours truly failed miserable to get anything resembling a wildlife shot, oh they were there right enough, chirping away in the deep undergrowth, scurrying lightening fast across the trails ahead or flying so far in the distance to be neither use nor ornament in a photo, the little buggers  are in cahoots in a conspiracy I’m telling ya!

            But being truthful I couldn’t have cared less, just being there was enough, must have been the hottest day of the year so far with the gentlest of breezes and the views were as good as ever. I was stopped in my tracks and held spell bound for at least 15 minutes by a pair a Odin’s eyes, their raucous calls first getting my attention. The aerial display that they provided was spectacular to say the least  with flying skills you wouldn’t credit these large birds with, I take it was a courtship display as they were continually rising up and then dropping a stick stooping at speed to snatch it just before it hit the ground, absolutely stunning.

            With the sun climbing high now it was time to head back, being the wrong of the hill I decided to make a straight line, head over the summit and down to the car park, just over an hours walk to finish off the ten miles already covered. That’s when the day went slightly awry. As we crested the summit approaching the Jubilee Tower I became aware of a crescendo of noise that wasn’t coming from any black grouse, turned out that I’d not counted upon it being half term for some schools and the place was bloody heaving with the little darlings!

They're on the other side, listen....

            Though I’m not an expert I do feel myself getting slightly hot under the collar when confronted with the ‘once in a blue moon’ exodus that holidays bring to the hills hereabouts. From sweating, ruddy faced parents (what you didn’t bring any water?), dogs of all shapes n sizes under no control what so ever and most looking as if their going to collapse on their yearly walk (oh you don’t know about lambing sheep then?), and litter throwing cherubs winging about it’s not real like their ‘insert games console here’ (what do you mean it’s lighter now I’ve eaten everything so I should carry the wrapper back?). Oh Ok maybe just a tad over reaction there, after all it’s great that the kids are getting fresh air and seeing that there’s life outside four walls but just why cannot some folk take the time to clean up after themselves, teach the kids some of the countryside code, train the dog at least to recall and stop asking me ‘are we near the top yet?’ when they’re just getting out of the bloody car park.
!! If they would just learn a little about gear, planning, WATER, and the like and perhaps put some values into their darling little children perhaps the next generation would have a tad more nonce and respect in for the outdoors. Yes I know we’ve all had to learn (Christ I was breathing through me arse three years ago after my first 40 minute walk up here), but at least could some of them make an effort.

            Sorry about that, tell you what I’ll show you a few pictures of the quiet part of the walk to divert your attention (that's right no bleedin wildlife);

and yes I did get over that hill yonder

             Right on to project two, now I may not be an expert with wood but it does fit the bill, full report coming up next week but here’s proof that I was not sitting upon my, very cute might I say, derrière yesterday but did indeed complete project two apart from a lick of paint that is so the mystery can be revealed;-

Can of cider strictly for scale - honest

            So closest guess goes to Helene Burnett (you may name your prize me dear, another thing if you get it ;o) ), this little contraption (pah little! 5 foot high n long, bottom shelf 2 foot wide, top 18 inches!) will increase my meagre growing area quite considerable. Full run down on it’s skilful construction(re cobbled together) next week me thinks, suffice to say that no delicate carving or fettling was involved but lots of testosterone fuelled power tools and the odd can of cider, well I’d run out of bottles and it helps lubricate me thought process – and that needs all the help it can get! But hey ho already thinking about project three, ah just remembered I have a staff to make for a certain lady in Manchester (not project three) and I think I've found just the right piece of wood so project three may be delayed a tad yet.

            So that’s about it folks, a walk, a whinge about the walk and a glimpse of project two – not a bad couple of days doings, even if I do say so myself.

         Oh one last thing I not be an expert but I think Willow is well knackered after her little stroll..

Till next time, take care of yourselves and each other

 Your friend,


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Last, sad post....

Now then me hearties it may well have escaped your notice that my last few previous posts have been a tad…er….Mmmm… shitty, ah that’s the word I’m looking for, yep shitty just about covers it me thinks. I’ve been toying with how to write this post for a few days now and it was whilst replying to a dear friend across the pond that the idea of what to put down and how to phrase it came to me, eureka thought I as I headed to the inner sanctum to whittle away on project 2 and collect my thoughts, bugger thought I as a couple of bottles of extremely nice cider were consumed whilst whittling away and my train of thought was slightly derailed.

To be honest though ‘shitty’ doesn’t really cover it but it’ll have to do because I’ve had enough of wallowing in the morass of my own self pity. No my troubles are far from over but do you know what? I’ve given up trying to make sense of it all, look around yourselves folks and you’ll always be able to find something that makes your troubles seem insignificant to say the least. Yes it’s always hard when pain and misery for what ever reason come knocking on your front door but eventually they will excuse themselves to make room for peace and happiness, it’ll just take a little time that’s all and believe me what may seem like an eternity for us is the tiniest of fractions of time in the whole scheme of things. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s all about perspective, about realising that something’s are not the end of the world no matter how emotional and upsetting they feel at the time, as the red rawness of heartache and pain dulls life does go on, the world keeps turning and the sun rises in the east and still sets in the west.

I feel that lately I’ve been blown about by a mighty storm, my emotions twisted and torn until I was numb and couldn’t focus or feel on anything clearly. Some kind folk reached out to me but I think that I may well have come across as some desperate wretch and perhaps they feel that they are well clear of me, for this I’m sorry for normally I’m pretty grounded and not forthcoming with my emotions, so if I’ve offended anyone or caused you to doubt my intentions then please know I’m truly sorry.

The thing about emotional storms is that they can break things inside of you, just like a forest of trees that has stood for many a year when the conditions are right (should that be wrong?) and the wind blows in a way that the trees are not prepared for then they may well be toppled to rot alone upon the forest floor, never to recover just like broken threads in your mind if you let life overcome you.

A realisation has slowly been creeping up on me quite stealthfully lately, not for me those blinding flashes of realisation and inspiration. Nope, it’s just a slow dawning that life is not going to stop just because I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’ve been aided in bringing my keel back on an even footing by a couple of unlikely sources. Firstly a fellow blogger sometime ago recommended to me a book (Damn, reminds me that I’m overdue answering your last mail – oops), far before my present troubles began, upon Buddhism. Now you all know by now that I take religion and the like with the largest pinch of salt, no offence meant to anyone and their faith but it’s just not me I fear. Now this book didn’t force anything down your throat it just put over points that you could take or leave and apply to your life, hopefully allowing you to become a better person. It piqued my interest and I’ve since acquired a couple more. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not going to start chanting or the like and meat n cider is still on the menu but without me first realising it they were having an effect upon me and have helped (and are still helping me) me to put so much of what’s been wrong in my life recently into perspective, they haven't cured my woes n ills but at least I've got a handle upon them. Secondly a few of you bloggy types have kept up a barrage of support and even though I may not have said so I have really lent heavily upon your words and come to realise that there are so many good people out there with hearts of gold and beauty in their souls. I guess that you know who you are so I won’t embarrass you by naming names, but thank you all the same.

Sometimes we all need to lean upon something...

So what’s with the blog title eh? Last post or what? Well if you read the title it’s the ‘last sad post’, my blogging was never about crying out for help and pity, no it was there as a way of reaching out to all and sundry and if I brightened up just one persons life then all my clumsy words and thoughts had actually meant something. So is this my last post? No it most certainly is not (sorry if that upsets you) but it will be my last sad post, for you all deserve to have a smile now and then as long as I can just do that I’ll keep on writing for you and sharing my world with you, but just the happy bits. Life is so, so short and you lot do not need the Grumpster raising his head and lamenting upon how shitty the lot is that he's has been dealt, no you deserve far better than that so come on take my hand and walk my journey with me, as the saying goes, 'it's not the destination but the way there that truly counts'. 

What's done is done and can never be changed, the future is hidden from us so all we can do is live life in the moment doing the best we can to make it bearable and good for one and all. That’s right your going to be stuck with me and my Anglo Saxon filled musings for some time to come…. Did I hear someone say bugger at the back just then?

Your friend,