Sunday, August 28, 2011

By the sea...

This blog entry is my submission for the Red Tuna Shirt Club and Outdoor Blogger Network Writing Contest.

Bloody hell fire now’s here’s a predicament for sure. The OBN in their wisdom (?) have coming up with a little writing prompt/competition in cahoots with the Red Tuna shirt club. You may well guess the prize, that’s right T shirts. Now you all know what a skin flint this rotund Welsh hobbit is and being as my clothing selection at home is looking a tad thread bare to say the least I thinks to myself that this is a fine chance to be able to wear more than one T shirt a week and not be bare chested when the time comes to wash me shirt in the local drains down at the local water purification and sparkle adding plant. (Sewage works to you folks). I mean to say, I damn near catch me death of a cold in the winter you know come wash day! But here be the rub, regular readers (at the last count 4 me thinks) know that I cannot write for toffee and that my fishing ability is even worse, but in for a penny as they say (don’t ask me who) here is my punitive entry;-

            As most people who truly know me realise I am not a great fisherman, in fact I wouldn’t class myself as a fisherman in the true sense of the word as I only fish now a-days on rare and odd occasions. I know extremely few set ups or techniques relying upon float fishing for coarse fishing (that’ll be fresh water fishing for you folks over the pond), and either spinning or a bit of ledgering for the times that I get to venture onto the North Wales coastline. All the techniques that I use were learnt, in the loosest possible of terms, as a child and I’ve tended to stick with these to this day. But that’s not to say that I don’t catch fish when I have a mind too, either for pleasure or for the table. I may be simple and use simple means but you know sometime simple deeds are the very best things that can happen.

            The question put forth for this writing prompt was where would you fish given the chance, who would you tag along with and what would you fish for? I dare say that many of the entrants may look to exotic location, celebrity companions and amazing rod bending leviathans, but not me my friends, not me. For me there is no better place to fish than a hard to get to spot at the base of some cliffs just West of Moelfre, on the isle Anglesey just an hour and a half away from my doorstep. It’s hard to get to because there’s no discernable route down the cliffs and it’s a case of pick a handhold and put your trust into whoever you pray to (that’ll be the god of ‘don’t look down then’ for me). Once down upon the small area of level granite rock formation you realise that there is only room for two folk to fish here and then so carefully. So why the hard to get to place I hear you ask? For me it’s a question of solitude and of being somewhere that is seldom touched by mankind and the detritus he tends to leave in his wake. But it’s not just that, here you truly feel at one with nature and with the sea. From the raucous chatter of nesting gulls that your passage may have annoyed in the spring to the thunder of water underneath the rocks that you perch upon as it wages it’s timeless, wearing, war of erosion upon the hard Welsh coastline. Here it always seems that the sea spray is in your face and that the colour of the powerful swells before you could not be more beautiful. The best, and to be honest most unsafe apart from a winters storm, time to be here is very early autumn as the sun starts to kiss the horizon, melting in the sea and painting it with fiery wonder. The tide has turned and the fish are now following it towards you along with a sea that in a few hours will cover your small perch.

            I mention solitude, but sometimes solitude can be found with the very best of friends, two people who are comfortable enough with each other that there is no need to fill the silence between them with idle chatter. This may seem strange to some folk but the friend whom I think would be the perfect companion upon this ledge would not be somebody who I have met in the flesh. I have extremely few true friends and I think that if you are honest with yourselves you would admit to the same. I know many people who I call mate, friend, pal buddy and the like but true friends? I’ll offer here a piece of advice given to me once by my father, Old String-vest (don’t ask ‘cause that is a long story); “In this life you’ll count the number of true friends upon the fingers of one hand”. This is good news for me because I can only count to five! So back on point, the ‘friend’ that I would like to share a few hours fishing here would be Casey Harn, a fellow blogger from the other side of the world. I’ve ‘known’ Casey now for sometime through blogging and thru e-mails and I think that I’m right in saying that there is a deep yet hard to pin point connection between us. I cannot say why it’s just is that way, brothers in another life maybe, but to spend time in the ‘real world’ fishing with Casey would please me no end.

            There is only one way to fish this place and essential equipment includes a portable barbeque, some lemon and dill, tin foil a very lightly set up spinning rod and a bloody heavy set up ledger rod with a decent wire trace on the business end. There are two fish that are the targets here, the first is on the light spinning rods and these are the mackerel that’ll be pushing the whitebait to their doom against the wall of the rocks. At times when the mackerel are driving their prey the surface of the sea literally boils with tiny bait fish leaping for their lives. Into this caldron the single spinners are cast on 2 to 3lb line. The object is to catch but not just haul the fish out once the lure has been snapped up, oh no my friends far better is the thrill of having to play these 3 to 4lb banded torpedoes upon the lightest of tackle. The first couple are not dispatched when finally landed. No they are placed alive in the solitary rock pool that shares our spec. If we’re fortunate there are more caught and these are dispatched and cut into what I term flappers, that’s to say that they are cut so that the head remains attached to two flanks of flesh and when presented on the hook the movement this induces is a great temptation for the bigger predators that follow the mackerel shoals in.

            So now tis time for the heavy rods, casting the fresh flappers out as far as we can, we now get to play the waiting game, but not for to long as the light is fading and the water is ever rising. With rods safely upon tripods we now dispatch the earlier caught fish, gut them filling the cavity with the lemon and dill (and black pepper if I ever remember to take some), wrapped in the foil they’re placed on the fires embers and a couple of ring pulls can be heard releasing the cider’s pressure from within the can. Drinking whilst in such a perilous place? Only the one can each, just to keep the deepening chill at bay for a while and help wash down that last bit of fish oil from those fish that were good enough to give their bodies up to feed us. As we feast, eyes watching the glow lights on the rod tips for sign of something big we share the odd word of our different yet so similar lives, dreams and expectations.

Maybe the quite will be shattered by a line being pulled taught as a cobalt blue monster makes his bid for freedom or maybe not as the baits fail in their task. Whatever the case as the morning sun finally lets enough light to illuminate the rock shelf, chasing the ebbing tide away, not a sign is to be seen of the two kindred spirits. A gull flashes down as a  sparkle catches his ever roving eye, disgusted he turns away before landing as the crabs have already picked clean the head of the conger eel that now floats in the pool once more abandoned by the sea.

In a caravan a few miles away, two contented souls still dream of the ones that got away, yet to awaken and face the hangover that the whiskey supped in the nearby pub will unavoidably have left them with……. Simple indeed.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into one of my hopes, not enough for a new shirt I fear, but I’d rather that one day I’d get to fish with Casey than win the shirt. After all it’s still two weeks before I have to peel this one off and take a trip to the sewerage works….

Take care all of you, your friend,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Not so pucker today...

      I've been feeling a tad frayed around the edges for the last couple of days, hard to but me finger on it whether I'm feeling a tad morose or just bloody knackered or perhaps a combination of both. Upshot being that I came home early from the grind yesterday, no doubt there will be much wailing and the gnashing of managerial teeth. "What? that peasant Wooldridge has absconded? prepare the rack, nail pullers and cat o nine, we'll teach him that sickness is not an option". Well maybe not that bad but you get the gist, damn thing is I'm off for twelve days starting this weekend, if I could have just hung out a tad longer.....

      So before the dreaded lurgi caught me in it's cloying grasp what news be there from Hobbits-ville, N.Wales? Well to be honest not a great deal, there are the usual one thousand and one things to do around here but I seem to have lost the drive at the moment, twill come back no doubt. Funny thing, I wasn't expecting to be on the keyboard much over the next couple of weeks yet here I am tapping away, demon like, at it.

      OK so I haven't being totally incapacitated, I've bottled up the elder flower wine and have started a mulch of plum wine. The thing being, I was going to call it a day after the elder flower, I didn't want to make to much wine stuff as I'm new to this brewing malarkey and it could all go so horribly wrong. Then I gets the call, well actually it was a text, off me mate 'Chunky Monkey'; "me plum tree's loaded, come and get me ripe plums". As you can well imagine I did hesitate for a moment, rereading the message hoping that I hadn't got hold of the wrong end of the stick so to speak. Half hour later we're brewing up in his work shop chewing the cud for a while as friends do. Thoughts eventually turned  to more important topics. "Well are you going to show me your plums?", funny how Chunky started fighting for breath as his scolding hot coffee went down the wrong pipe at this request. "In me bloody garden" he finally gasped. So a quick detour and there was a single dwarf plum tree that was laden so much that the fruit looked more like grape bunches, funny that, being as what I was thinking of using them for! "What type are they?" I enquired, "plums" came the reply, I really should have known better than the ask a fellow grease monkey such detailed information. "Help yourself, see thee back at the workshop, your turn to brew up" and he was off. Running his own business makes him a tad more committed than when we worked together in the grind that's for sure, also a damn sight happier to boot.

      As I approached the laden tree it didn't escape my attention that I was far from alone in the stealing of its fruit. Wasps, bloody hundreds of the little buggers, no wonder his Chunkiness wanted me to pick the fruit the rotund little git! The thing is me and biting, stinging and generally acid hurling insects have this agreement: I come along blissfully unaware of the pain to come. They, without exclusion will bite, sting and generally make me do that bloody stupid arm flapping, Anglo Saxon accompanied dance whilst trying to rid one or more from me underpants. The thought did cross my mind (didn't take long to span that empty space then) to beat a hasty retreat and tell Chunky that his plums were unfit for consumption, which may have come as a blessed relief for his wife! ahem to continue.... But being of somewhat unsound mind, that is my nature, and with the thought 'bugger it' filling the void between me ears as well as the buzzing of the stripped stingers I approach the tree; have you ever watched wasps feeding upon ripe fruit? I swear to you that the little buggers were pissed! No not pissed as in that angry way, no I mean as pissed as farts or pissed as a newt as the saying goes, the little blighters were three sheets to the wind - on my plums! Taking my life in my hands, OK maybe a tad dramatic there, I started picking Chunky's plums, but only the ripe ones. As I plucked carefully away (several had wasps chewing merrily away upon them) I began to feel like King Kong, you know the bit : on the Empire state building with little bi-planes buzzing around me furry head. So intoxicated were they that they failed to notice the stealthy presence of 'John the great fruit hunter', and all I had to do was carefully sidestep their wayward flight paths and avoid curling me mits around a plum crawling with drunken insects. A slow but strangely rewarding time then with the result being a heap of plums in the back of the fun cruiser and me unscathed, well apart from when one of the little buggers actually head butted me, time did stand still then for a moment I can tell you!

      After saying me farewells to Chunky I arrived home to find that, when consulting my plum wine notes, that I had rather a surplus - about fifteen pounds of surplus of rather delicious plums. Don't ask because I don't know why I picked so many. I hate waste as much as the next person, maybe it was those mesmerising drunken wasps. After making enough base for a couple of demi johns of plum wine and scoffing a fair plums few to boot, thoughts turned to what to do with the rest, aha jam thought I. Slight problem here, jam maker I am not (though it's an idea for the future) but I have a neighbour who is the very meaning of the baking housewife. After a quick visit to Val's and yet more coffee she took my plums in hand err I mean my plums were transferred to a better place - hell you know what I mean. I also took over several used jam jars that she'd asked about earlier and returned to sugar that I had also borrowed some time ago. Upshot is Val is going to make me an apple pie (no, not from the plums you fools) and I'm to supply her and her husband Phil (nice bloke) with sloes gin when the time is right - result. 

     So there you have the saga of the plums my friends. Speaking of harvesting , do any of you think that everything is a little early this year? Seems to me that wild crops are huge and very early, or is that just me becoming more aware of nature as I continue this journey of mine back to nature ? Speaking of journeys of sorts, the Warthog's leg now seems fully recovered and we're still pacing the roads in and around Hobbits-ville treading in ever increasing circles. We're now getting further into the country and the hedgerows do seem laden with fruit and nuts, me thinks that my waistline my well be on the increase this year, regardless of the extra mileage we're putting in! Here's just a taste of what's on offer, I failed once more to take decent photos of fur n feather but you'll have to take my word that the rabbits are plentiful and bonny with it....

       There's little more to say other than I've taken delivery of wooden child's playhouse. Now don't start with  yer wild guessing and mis-interpretations  - it's for me chickens. Yep so far so good, all six chicks seem in fine fettle and are growing at a fair rate of knots - so with Clare's blessings a bigger run is on the cards together with a bigger coup, so it'll soon be time to say goodbye 'Poultry Towers' and hello to......wait for it.....'Fluttering Heights'... ta daaa. Oh go on smile a little, it's the best my weakened state will allow, some pictures of the little buggers then;-

Pingu - still looks like a bleedin' penguin...

     I guess that's all for now, oh I'd just like to share a couple of things by a chap called 'Blaster Bates', listened to many times over in my childhood., it may well give you some idea why I am like I am, just click on the pictures and enjoy...or not as may be the case..


    So long for now my friends, as soon as the dreaded lurgi has released me from it's cloying grasp I'll be starting on the one thousand and one tasks ahead of me, so visits to the keyboard may be a tad infrequent but I'll do me best. In the mean time, take damn good care of yourselves my friends.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

For Harry...

            Way back in April I posted a short, and for me, a rare serious piece concerning a then relatively new blogging friend, Rachel. The response to this post was heart warming to say the least and I believe that it had the desired affect of bringing some little comfort to her and her family after the bombshell that had hit them concerning Little Harry.

            Since that post to say that Harry and his family has ‘been through the mill’, would be the biggest understatement since King Harold said “those bloody Normans are going to have somebody’s eye out today..”  Excuse my style of writing (if that’s what it may be called) but you all know that even in the most serious of times a little humour I may let slip.

            I’ll use Rachel’s words to for the next bit;-

“has got a big ask to you all…..not everyone knows, but beautiful little Harry, who I delivered with a little help from my sister, Lisa, is fighting for his darling little life against cancer so please, please, PLEASE support my wonderful daughter, Chloe, who has organised a fundraiser to raise money for the wonderful Macmillan Team who are helping us all.”

            The link is here my friends;-

            For Harry.

            I’ll also try to pin it upon me side bar (that may well take me some time and head scratching).

            I’ll leave the rest to you my blogging friends, whether you wish to help by donating or just by spreading the word. For me, I’m not a charitable person but sometimes, just sometimes, life hits a nerve with me and the impulse to help is overwhelming. So come on ya crusty ol’ buggers, do something to feel good about, and spread the word.

Your friend,


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Warthog surprise....

            Well what a pleasant weekend it has been, what with a favourable rugby result, an ongoing battle of strategy and bloodshed, a concoction to make the three witches’ of the ‘Scottish’ play smile with glee and a surprise regarding the Warthog.

            Should I enlighten you, my dear reader more, or should I leave it at that and refill my emptying glass of cider and settle down for the evening, content to bask within the pleasant feelings weekends like this bring about? I mean tis a rare event due to my draconian shift pattern that I get to receive a full weekend away from the grind and time with Clare (twice every ten bleedin’ weeks) and then to have a an enjoyable one such as this well perhaps I just ought to keep it to myself…..

            Oh go on then ya buggers just a little insight then……

            Ok the few readers that have managed to put up with my ramblings for a while will know that I’m a fan of Welsh rugby union. I shall not attempt to explain the game nor my infatuation with it to my American friends as it’s a proper sport and not one frequented with lashings of refreshment breaks and the use of, from what I can gather, four hundred different players during one match nor shall I explain it to followers of football (soccer to some) for that is far beneath a true follower of a proper sport. Each to his own I hasten to add but the holy game of international rugby is the one for me. And what be my reason for much smugness and joy this weekend? Well much needed 19 too 9 win over the old enemy, England with whom the national press over here have a love affair with and who ever fuel the belief that England are the only team of note with the world cup looming upon the horizon – well this result may just have but the smallest of spanners in the works for England and their stick the ball up the shirt and run with attitude on Saturday. So that’s happy reason one…

Try time...Mr. Hook puts England to bed...

            Happy reason two; I have now extended my ‘home brewing’ and doubled the demy johns bubbling merrily away in the kitchen (that’ll be four then). So apart from the two gallons of elder flower wine there I’ve happened to have er acquired a couple of litres of concentrated apple juice and from this I’m attempting to produce something resembling a wine of sorts. So mixed at about 4.5 parts water too 1 part apple concentrate and with added yeast I’ve two gallons merrily brewing for the next two to three weeks so it should be ready when I’m off from the grind for a twelve day break – happy days indeed.

            I guess that the vast majority of you will have paid scant regard to the above paragraphs as you couldn't give two hoots about my comings and goings but have‘power read’ to this point because it’s the bit concerning Willow aka the Warthog. Well let’s be setting the scene then for you hardy lurcher loving folk. You all have heard me lament often about the grind and it’s rota that prevents Clare and myself enjoying weekends together so when they do occur we try to make the most of them. This weekend we were fortunate enough to have coincided with the Welsh country fair at Bala. So loaded up with water, boiled sweets, poo bags for Willow, Willow her self and the usual paraphernalia (now that’s a big word for this here Hobbit) off we headed in the fun cruiser.

            The show, though not as large in scale as the Cheshire show and the like, proved to be well worth the visit being entertaining being perhaps that little more friendly and country if you like. There was plenty to enjoy from lumberjack demonstrations to falconry, green wood turning to gun dog retrieval displays, shooting to fishing in fact all manner of interesting ‘get out there’ stuff.

            The place was littered with all manner of working dogs passing through the throngs; retrievers, sheepdogs, and terriers but the predominant breed was lurchers – bloody well scores of them. We several friendly folk all who were interested in Willow and her history and from these an interesting chat with the group pictured below occurred regarding the possibility of matching here with one of their Beddlington cross whippets, Smokey.

Smokey, a boyfriend?

Myself, Willow,Smokey and Ben

Ben, Woody, Fred and Myself with 'the pack'

            It was Woody who suggested we enter the Warthog into the show rings that were taking place. So with some misgivings yours truly and the Warthog found ourselves parading in the 12 months and under, below 23 inches high,  rough haired lurcher class….

            So here’s me now in the line up tickling Willow’s ears and telling her that we’ll soon be at the hog roast tent when bugger me the judge presses a rosette into my sweaty palm with the words ‘well done, lovely bitch’. For a second I didn’t quite fathom what had happened but then looking at the word 1st on it dawned on me! The little tyke had only gone and won it, well bloody hell fire I thought. I glanced over at Clare and our new friends and the smiles all round were just magical. Ten minutes later we’re in the ring again against all the 12 month and under class winners – she only bloody well got reserve, who would have believed it!!!

Didn't she do well....
Plum knackered.

            So you can see why the weekend has been a good one, oh and the battle of bloodshed and strategy? Well I am now locked in a battle of chess with my good blogging friend ‘Damn’; we e-mail each other the moves and snippets of conversation and taunts. Truth be told I think that regarding the chess I slightly up against it but I think I’m holding my own come the taunting….Well me thinks I've just time for a couple more ciders before the threat of the early start to the grind draws be to bed.

Till the next time take good care my friends,


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Up and about....

            OK so knowing that this is totally out of character for me but here’s another post within 48 hours; honestly you folks just don’t deserve me…..

            And yep it’s them chucks again! I arose from the safety of my wonderfully comfortable bed this morning (yes I did say 'morning', even after a night at the grind) feeling like something dredged from a primeval pit and resembling something more like a drooling and lumbering sloth instead of cutting the usual well groomed and radiant figure that folk associate with me ahem. Me thinks it was the worry of the rather inclement weather and it’s affects upon the new arrivals that stirred some deeply hidden (very deeply) feeling of caring from somewhere inside of me. Ok so it wasn’t lashing down as the forecast had promised as I drove home this morning but it still didn’t stop me checking up on Pingu and the rest of the chicks.

            Well I have to say that I was surprised and not a little bit amazed at how fast they have found their feet (talons?). As I approached the enclosure there the little buggers were, out of the coup being chaperoned by the ever diligent Penny, running around pecking at everything that resembles food – "if it moves eat it, if it doesn’t move eat it and if unsure… it anyway!"

            So out of the goodness of me heart (I’m really going to have a good long talk with myself about this softening of character the little buggers have wrought) I thought that I’d share a few more snap shots of our growing flock.

Ahhh a chick called Pingu

Till the next time, take good care everyone,

Your friend,


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bloody chickens!!!!!!

            Well who’d have thought that chickens can cause so much grumpiness? All I’ve heard about them is how relaxing they are; oh what fun they are and how they make you smile. Well if any of you had uttered words like than into my lug holes last night no doubt you would have been offended and taken aback somewhat at the tart and high in Anglo Saxon reply!

            Now regular readers (up to 4 now I’ve been reliable informed) will be aware that fifty per cent of my recently obtained flock of Bantams (that’ll be Penny the dumpy one then) had come over all broody. After seeking advice from my chicken guru friend, John the answerable for this git, he provided me with 6 fertilized eggs of various shapes and sizes with the confident words “you’ll hopefully get three out of the six hatching”. Mmmm I’ll remember those words for a long time me thinks. Little Penny had been doing sterling work of sitting upon her adopted clutch, turning them regularly, pecking the hell out my fingers as I encouraged her to the feed and water and generally being a good egg. By my calculations if we were going to have any hatchlings they would have been tonight or Wednesday morning which left me today to sort out some temporary accommodation if it was to be required.

            So image my face last night when, after a gruelling 12 hour shift in the shit hole I mean the grind I come home to something a little ahead of schedule. I walk into the house to greeted by the smell of tea just about to dished (funny enough it was chicken!), as I poured myself a glass of erm ‘apple fruit juice’ Clare mentioned that she didn’t think Penny had been down for a drink and to relieve her bowels so could I do the honours while she finished getting tea onto the table. So, glass in hand, I wandered to the coup where there was no sign in the run of either bantams. Opening up the coup I was faced with what looked like Cruella trying to get in Penny’s nest box. After shooing her away I lifted Penny to bring her to the water and feed when from under her wing drops and fluffy little thing indignantly peeping at me, a quick count showed that three eggs had hatched. Never was to good at the adding up thingy stuff at school me. Calling Clare and watching Penny shuffle back on the nest it seemed that Cruella did indeed have an unhealthy interest in what was going on, of course it was me probably over reacting but as soon as Clare arrived I knew that a peaceful evening for me was now doomed.

            Three bloody hours later the extension to Poultry towers was repositioned and modified as a second, separate run. By now the chickens were quiet and roosting/nesting so I decided to organise a mini coup for Penny and her new brood this morning. I must say at this point that dragging Willow around the dark and dismal streets of Buckley whilst all me muscles protested and my mind wash awash with what I need to do the ensure tomorrow went well and to Clare’s high standards did not make for a happy bunny, curse the chickens and John for his eggs, curse them all.

            So this morning I’m up early, really early (remember folks I’ve got a twelve hour night shift to enjoy tonight) hoping to fabricate a coup for the new enclosure. So gathering me wits I did some measuring and set forth trying to find enough timber from my meagre store – it wasn’t going well. Glancing at the clock I realised that the supply store would be open so I changed tack and headed off into the morning sun intent on chick crumb and another water container. Then god smiled on me, patted me on the head and said “good boy John”, for there in a forgotten corner was a small ‘brood box’ on special, well still not cheap but hey hoe that box was going to save me so much grief.

Chicken village expands

Looks like a Penguin chick to me!

            So here we are now at the present moment: chicken run completed, new coup installed (I wonder if I should tell Clare that I made it?), chick crumb and water installed and one broody mother and her six, yes that’s right all six hatched, gorgeous fluffy chicks are in residence. This leaves me extremely knackered, but very content to be honest, and thinking of grabbing a nap before work tonight.

            So all that’s left to say is a heart felt thank you to John Grey for all his help and advice, the man is a rock and a joy to know. It’s people like John who make this world bearable and who restore a man’s faith in human nature.
So I’ll leave you with my best wishes and until the next time from Chicken Village, take good care of your selves, 

Your friend, John

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's a dogs life...

            Bleedin’ hell it’s been a hot and humid afternoon today, quite a change from the morning’s rain. Digging the steps out in the redesigned front garden (will do a start to finish ish post when done) had me sweating me balls off (and that’s me being polite about it). So why is the Fish posting again so swiftly I hear you cry? Truth is I’m not sure me self, Clare has nipped out to see her best friend ‘Big Helen’, the Warthog has decided that sleep is the best option after driving me mental with her antics today and there is bugger all on the box. So Smirnoff Ice in hand I thought I’d tinker awhile upon the keyboard and see what happens. And you lot thought I was just an uncouth Hobbit who drank only Cider (that’ll be the next glass then)

            My aged parents popped around for a visit this morning, yep they’re still going strong with me dad full of the woes of the world and mother chirping on about my golden child of an older brother (child being the operative word). Why is it when your parents come around you always feel that all your house's short comings are under scrutiny? Dad never drinks tea or coffee here as the cat used to wander upon the kitchen worktops (it’s what they do for god’s sake!) even though she’s been gone a few years now he won’t change. So I sit there listening whilst big brother is talked about (not the awful T.V. thingy), how the government should have been labour and haven’t I finished the front garden yet? Don’t get me wrong I do love my parents with every fibre of my being, but bloody hell they could try the patience of a saint – and I certainly cannot be called one of them. Damn thing was after pawing them to bits and receiving all the fuss she could handle Willow had done her famous, quieter than a mouse in velvet slippers, disappearing act. A familiar chill crawled up my spine when I realised that she wasn’t resting at my feet all sweetness n light. I excused myself to the other room…. And sure enough there she was now fully engrossed in taking the heel out of mother’s best shopping shoes – bugger. Ah well exit a slightly miffed brace of parents, they smiled it off but both me and the Warthog knew they were not well pleased, not with Willow though… oh no, no, no… nope entirely my fault for not having any control of the hound from hell.

            So in slightly hard done mood I evicted the chickens from their abode whilst I gave it a good cleaning. Little C had provided me with yet another egg which means omelette tomorrow for me breakfast before shooting off to annoy Mr. Gray with some more irrelevant chicken questions. Little Penny is still sitting tight on her foster eggs but at least she will come out to feed, drink and deposit a rather large present of poo now without being coaxed. Even so I still try to get her off the nest and out n about for a few minutes each day as long as the garden has dried enough not to soak her feathered feet. Hopefully we may have some chicks to report on next Tuesday or Wednesday by my reckoning, fingers crossed.

            This evening I’ve restarted my attempt upon world domination, yes folks I’m back selling upon E-bay so hopefully our present financial woes may well be eased a tad. You may scoff but to be honest in the past I’ve conned erm earned some decent money from the dreaded ‘bay’ and if it helps me in my ambition to one day leave shift work behind me then so be it.

            And finally any of my posts would be incomplete without a couple of pictures of you know who…. Tis time to try and introduce her to the hens when they’re in the back yard out of the coup and run. So chickens released (or in Penny’s case crow-barred off the nest) Willow was allowed into the access bit along side of the bungalow with only a low gate (and me drinking tea right next to it) separating her from a mauling from the two ladies. She showed interest for a few minutes but then that turned into her favourite pastime at the moment – chewing inanimate objects, namely the gate.

            All in all a small success but I still don’t trust her with the ladies yet, maybe never the little tyke. Hope you’ve enjoyed my basic ramblings about.. well about sod all really. Time for that cider me thinks.....

Till the next time you all take care,


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Willow - the first few months...

    As previously posted, with the Warthog trying to remove her rear left leg just below the hock in a blatant attempt at becoming the centre of our households attention (probably felt left out with the arrival of the chickens!) walking the trails has been cancelled for the last week or so. As I've lamented before, a rotund hobbit like chappy walking alone in the woods seems to make some folk a tad uncomfortable, but dragging a dog along the same walker becomes instantly a trust worthy character to be engaged in conversation with out a second thought. I really find this difficult to understand, after all I'm still the same good ol' axe wielding mad man whether or not young Willow is tearing along at my side! 

  So walking has taken second fiddle to even more DIY and gardening (you can imagine the state of that holy shrine, the Garage, at the moment). Which in turn means that I have no tall tales to replenish you with or any of my sub standard attempts at photography to give you hope that you're at least capable of taken better pictures than at least one person.

  But one thing that the rear leg incident, as it has now become known, has made me realise is how much the little tyke has wormed her way into the very fabric of our lives. She only arrived in the beginning of the year, a scrawny and very malnourished scruff bag with pleading eyes and, a later to be found, tenacity that is totally out of proportion for such a small dog.

  So as a way of hopefully showing how she's come on, with the tenacity still there but now coupled with a clear sense of belonging here and with muscles like iron in her wiry frame here are some photos from the last few months of the most un-photogenic hound you'll ever come across.

  Soon we'll both be hitting them trials as hard as ever and hopefully bringing you more tall tales, bad pictures and hopefully all the emotions that go with being 'out there'.

  Till then take care my friends,