Friday, July 30, 2010


Good evening all,
I was not going to bother with writing a post this evening, nor probably this week. Tis not writers block (I’d have to be a writer firstly and then get a block!) nor was it that I’ve been resting upon my gluteus maximus, indeed far from it I’ve been a busy little bee of late what with ‘the grind’, starting on project number 5076 (fishing trailer for a cycle), E-bay, a little fishing and of course the odd ramble with she who smells of fox shit (yes the bog monster found something far more er ….. intoxicating shall we say, than stagnant ditch water, bless her).

But ‘the grind’ doesn’t merit a post unless I’ve actually shot a manager, project 5076 is still in the development stage and requires some more head scratching before becoming even remotely reportable upon, E-bay? I really don’t want to be telling tales of the folks that I’ve fleeced er I mean sold exceptional high level goods too do I (far to incriminating), the fishing has been steady but would be more a post on the ones that got away than any great catches and Lucy reeking of fox shit? my humble scribing would in no way do the resulting stench justice. So I was to remain postless in a happy cider induce haze.
But I hadn’t reckoned on my friend from across the pond Wolfy over at Flowing waters and his comment upon my last post. He expressed his feeling concerning the abundance of ‘wildlife’ in a more suburban setting beginning to rival wildlife’s abundance elsewhere. Now regular readers (2.5 I think) may have picked up upon the thread that seems now to have started running through my posts as this scratched together blog evolves. Basically it’s to do with my desire to lead a simpler life with a much reduced impact upon mother earth and some of my basic attempts at achieving it. Part of this drive is to reduce the use of my chariot of steel; the old fun cruiser. With this in mind Lucy and I have been taken more walks around the pavements of sunny Buckley instead of heading off to the hills and as always I now seem to have the camera in hand when we’re on the prowl. Without even realising it I’ve been snapping away and already I’m getting more pictures of animals around town than what I ever have out on the trails.
I’ve given the reason to this some timely thought (‘bout 5 minutes now I reckon) and so far I’ve come up with two possible reasons for the very small increase of fauna that I’ve been able to capture in a digital sort of way. Firstly the animals around town are living with humans twenty four seven and are much less wary than their country cousins, after all it doesn’t take a great deal of figuring out that the majority of humans around town are not interested in the wild flora and fauna around them regarding it as nothing more than either weeds or vermin and certainly not as possibly food or just plain ol’ natural beauty. The second is that for long parts of the walks Lucy is now tethered to me via her lead (not a happy bunny at all!) and so is far less able to dash ahead dispersing everything in my path to the four corners, cue smug feeling. So to the photographs, not many but enough I feel to start showing the diversity of townlife and not wildlife, hopefully as these town walks increase then so will my knowledge of ‘townlife’ which I’ll share with you all as and when.

On a footnote its funny how my perspectives have changed as time has shaped my thoughts through this life of mine, I now seem to view neatly trimmed front lawns as deserts devoid of interest containing just one plant, the rest ‘weeded’ or herbicided into extinction, the ruler straight borders containing a galaxy of imported flora which have little or no benefit to the insects which form such vital links in our biosphere as wasted opportunities to grow far more beneficial plants or even food crops on a small scale, the vermin I now longer see as the animals but instead the self preserving, at the cost of this planet, humans driving themselves forward to oblivion thinking faster, bigger and more shiny is the answer to all our woes. I have no answers myself except to try and change my own impact by learning new ways to live in harmony with mine and your world, some by trail and undoubtedly error and some by learning from people who’ve taken this path already. Thank you for reading thus far.

Your friend,


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Between the Grind

Ah the short break in-between ‘the grind’s’ shifts, how time crawls by whilst awaiting it and how the damn thing flies by once arrived. Sometimes it goes by in a blink of an eye with me feeling that I have achieved nothing in it’s short span but I’m doing my best now to continue down this trail I’ve chosen and part of this is to use every available minute to improve the way we do things with the intention of leading that simpler, less harmful lifestyle that I want.

Yesterday is usually write off day for me, having got home at 7am after the last 12hr shift of the rota I’m up at 10am and woe betide anyone who thinks that they’ll receive a cordial answer from this sore headed bear (Clare’s words, not mine). But this time I pushed my aching bones and fuzzy head and made the effort. Deliberately leaving the fun cruisers keys upon the rack I gathered up Lucy and headed out for a suburban walk. We headed out of suburbia to the closest fields with a serviceable path around them, this route takes you past one of Buckley’s lovely landmarks, the sewage works, oh the sweet perfume that just fills your nostrils here, almost chewable!.

But that’s not really fare; the walk through the suburban surrounded fields was far from devoid of life with many plants coming into their own along the uncultivated edges and was far richer in animal sign that I would have thought possible (even if some of it was slightly dead).

The walk did the trick raising my pulse and my spirit, the rest of the afternoon was taken up with harvesting some of our home grown vegetables, yep that’s right in amongst some of the gardening disasters, through mainly a grease monkey’s ignorance, there were some tasty bits and pieces to be had, which has increased our determination to learn more and grow more next year (still some things to try this year as well). As well as this I carried out the weekly maintenance upon our aquarium and cooked a rather splendid supper of gammon n pineapple accompanied by our potatoes and runner beans. I don’t know but the taste of that home grown produce was way better than shop bought, call me smug but I think that’s one up for the simple life.

So onto today, having cleared my list of chores (yes Rob, Clare’s still the boss) it was hiking time. The trials were far cooler than usual with the last few days given us the equivalent of a months rainfall the trails were wet n sloppy, now I wonder if any of you could hazard a guess as to what ‘she who swims with bugs’ made of the conditions underfoot?

Mmmmm no surprises there then, the recent rain has transformed the edges of the trails with all the flora doing it’s damndest to be part of the high summer display.

There also sign that the fauna has become more active with the recent deluge, from sign of a kill, possibly stoat with the way the feathers appeared bitten off rather than stripped out to silver fir cones (I think) been set upon by grey squirrel.

We return home to couple of deliveries that should enhance the food growing in the future, a couple of unwanted composters and two industrial barrels now to become water butts (free to a good home), the larger of which I plumbed in to the shed guttering.

With time running along I gave in to the modern life (curse my weakness), and slipped out for a takeaway, and on returning was greeted by one more delivery; a well received gift from good neighbours upon their return from holidaying down south.

To round off the day I started listing again on e-bay to obtain some much needed readies so that further projects can be financed (The dinghy is high on that list) and wrote this post. Tomorrow? I hear you enquire with your breath held, well that’s simple; cutting paving slabs for ‘Old string vest’ and then an afternoon of fishing at The Mount, sometimes life can smile on me.
Oh and the evening has not yet come to an end just yet, there several cans of fridge cooled Boddingtons draught bitter to be consumed (sell by date is up next year so best not take any chances eh?). It just gets better and better....

Thank you for reading thus far,

Your friend,


Footnote; for those of you who may be a tad worried that I have a slight drink problem I do:- one mouth and two hands (come on think about it), other than that I drink, I become drunk and then I fall down, honestly it’s no problem – cheers

Footnote 2; just popped to the kitchen for a refill (please children do not drink and type) and Clare is on the phone to a work colleague who’s enquiring if we would like to take on an unwanted dog – watch this space, you just don’t know what’s around the corner!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A step on the right path..

Afternoon all, just a quick post to show you that mine and Clare’s humble attempts at fishing are improving with each attempt. As mentioned in an earlier post we joined Warrington AA whilst visiting the Cheshire show last month. The advantage of joining Warrington AA for us was that it offered us a secure local place to fish. Within the spirit of my previous post I’m trying to change the path that I’m walking in this life and with this in mind I’ve been trying to source waters to fish within walking or cycling distance to home, rather than use the fun cruiser, so lessoning its impact (however little). Basically speaking within this ‘no fun cruiser’ distance there are four fishable areas which consist of; ‘The Trap’- an over fished and expensive place to do so, ‘The Common’- free fishing slap in the middle of Buckley where your more likely to suffer alcoholic fuelled abuse and aggression than catch fish, ‘The Globe’ – free and on the out skirts of town but overfished to a massive degree and more the preserve of carp anglers and their quest for ‘the big one’ and that leaves us with ‘The Mount’- a long disused quarry consisting of three pools offering three completely different fishing adventures. ‘The Mount’ is fenced off and access is only by being a member of Warrington AA and then obtaining the necessary key for the gates. 

We’ve used the fun cruiser for the first couple of visits, one a look see after first joining and the second to actually fish there. The out come of having two lots of fishing gear is that now I’m required to fashion a trailer to tow behind my bike (this looks like the rotund Welshman may not be rotund for much longer!).

And so to the fishing, we decided to fish one of the smaller pools upon the advice of an angler we met whilst surveying the pools. The large lake being the ex quarry with a sharp drop off to very deep water. This would possibly be beyond our skills at the moment so we followed his advice and set up on the smaller water. First thing to say is discovering such an oasis for wildlife right in on our doorstep (ok so our doorstep is two miles long!) is remarkable, you just would not know that the area is surrounded by suburbia.

And the fishing was not two bad either; here are just a few pictures of the fish that graced our nets.

Highlight though was the young Robin using my ledger rod as a perch from which to steal maggots and a hen Blackbird constantly coming back and forth to Clare’s peg, obviously with a late clutch to feed.

So when all’s said and done I’ve managed to still go fishing and at the same time made the tiniest step on the new trial that I’m hoping to stick to.

Take care for now, your friend,