Monday, 27 June 2011


With all these posts about candlesticks this blog is starting to look like Mr Stephenson's scribbles.

The sun came out yesterday in the typical way we have here in the UK at the moment. One minute it is pissing down with rain and shivery cold, the next it's far too hot and sunny to stay out too long unless you want to be burnt to a crisp.

Anyway it did give me an excuse to stroll around the plot, pottering about (too hot for 'hard landscaping') and take some snaps.

I'm really gonna need those zucchini recipes Lisa...
...ripening nicely...
...lovely pear (Oooo Matron!)...
...the blackbirds have kindly left me 'one' cherry...
The chicks are doing fine and growing into their teenager phase - scrawny, gangly and scruffy. I really need to sort them a new coop but I'm determined to design and build my own again for them. The last one I bought is, frankly, shit, and too small for three birds let alone the eight birds advertised in my opinion.

Penny the hen and the 'Cockerel With No Name'...
John over at Going Gently wanted some pics of my clover patches...

Jacques literally 'in clover'...
...and the bees love it!
I ended up spending most of the morning making furniture in my little workshop but had to stop when I started to melt in the heat. So I went off to the plot to see G and get started with the bees. Have a gander at bees make honey to see how I got on (or not).


Friday, 24 June 2011

Failed Robbery

'Police are today on the lookout for two men who attempted to break into an antique shop in the Bath area.

One of the men, described as looking like Brian Blessed and wearing distinctive brown brogues, was seen earlier in the day loitering around the shop and foaming at the mouth whilst staring at the display of antique candlesticks.

The hunt continues...'

Thursday, 23 June 2011


I made a trip into the city today for a client meeting to discuss a new building. Nothing special about that. I sometimes get jobs 'in person' rather than via phone or e-mail and have to attend a meeting in town. I took the tram for a change which winds its way from a park and ride, through the suburbs and into the heart of the busy city.

 What struck me today though, as I sat observing the people around me, was how alien I felt. Not just amongst these people on the tram but also in the city. In fact, as I walked through the noisy streets after my meeting was over, I realised that I didn't belong here.

I worked in this city many years ago, and became quite cosmopolitan, a young man about town, in and out of bars and pubs, socialising here and there. It always felt very familiar to me. My town.

For some reason though, today I felt like I was on a day trip somewhere exotic, like an excursion to a strange foreign land where people spoke a different language.

It freaked me out a bit. After another tram ride I got back to the car with some relief, surrounding myself with the safe surroundings of the little cab.

It seems that since becoming self-employed over twelve years ago, I have apparently detached form my old life, the people I once knew and the things I once craved and pursued. Now I seem to be in limbo. Not where I was but not quite where I want to be either.

I read some of your blogs, people who have exited city life, the treadmill of work and the need to acquire 'stuff' to fit in with everyone else I think that is where I need to be. Today I realised that I have changed on a very deep level.

Like I said, nothing very special but a very profound day for me. I wonder where I'll end up...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


So my old friend Dijk and I left the pub in high spirits (actually full of spirits), and staggered back to the workshop. Spending our hard earned lolly from our last sale had whet our appetites for more so Dijk set about creating another masterpiece...

His attention to detail is incredible. Dijk can turn his hand to anything, After a brief career in the Swiss Navy, Dijk spent some time as a butcher, then a baker before alighting on his new career.

I wonder how much we'll make on this one?

Thursday, 16 June 2011


This is Pete.

Say hello Pete. No? Oh be like that then.

Pete is probably not very chatty due to being utterly exhausted. It's hard work eating the crops that us gardeners toil over for weeks on end. Poor chap. Could probably do with a nap.

Nibble, nibble, nibble...
I though I'd sorted the fencing issue out but I didn't figure on Pete. Whilst clearing Area 51 for the bees and an extra chicken run, I discovered the restaurant entrance...

Diner is served!
Now I've had a word with Pete and told him the score. Three times. The last time was this morning when I caught him finishing off my newly planted Borlotti Beans whilst bathing in the heat of the morning sun.

If I catch him here uninvited again...

Peter Pan

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Merde! Il pleut...

Finally, after what seems like weeks of grey drudge and overcast skies, we've had some water hit the ground today.

Excellent news for the plants that have been gasping for a pint up at the plot, and excellent news for me personally too as I've got out of having to lay the slabs in the back garden. Yay!

Thank you Lord!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Blankety Blank...

Wearily, I managed to drag my carcase out of bed at 4 a.m. and squeeze into the jeep which was jam-packed with fishing gear and camping equipment..

Ahhhhh! sunny Wales...
...the destination was Barmouth in West Wales. I head out here every year to try and catch one of the large Bass that are (if the bait and tackle shop owners in the town are to be believed) caught 'regularly' around the Mawddach estuary. I'd also gone to meet a mate of mine whom I hadn't seen in 15 years plus. I'd been regaling him with fisherman's stories about how we were going to fill our freezers with shoals of fresh Mackerel and record breaking Bass, so he'd decided to take his younger daughter with him to see if she'd get the fishing bug.

Actually, when I arrived in the early morning, the sun was starting to come out, so while my buddy went sight-seeing with the sprog, I crossed the estuary to Fairbourne for some beach-casting action in the rolling surf.

In laymans terms, this involves basically banging a peeler crab or sandeel baited rig out into the surf in the hope that a patrolling Bass, cruising the beach, will impale itself on the hook. Sometimes the rod tip bends sharply as the fish takes the bait and runs or the line goes slack as the Bass runs into shore - another indicator of a bite.

Fairbourne beach was beautiful, long, sunny and very windy. Five hours I was there, staring longingly up at the white tip of the rod. Despite some tentative bites (probably crabs) - no fish.

The next day was spent at the shore of the estuary spinning lures, again hoping for a Bass, Mackerel, or at this point, anything. A beautiful sunny day again but no fish. Caught a wind tan though.

The 'old man of the sea' - Put them gnashers away!
The kid seemed to like the 'idea' of fishing though, even if we couldn't furnish her with an actual fish. On the way home I resisted the temptation to avoid humiliation by my other half and buy the biggest fish I could from Sainsbury's fish counter, claiming it as my 'catch of the day'.
Next time I'll choose a better venue...