Archive for November, 2016


Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

from a larger work

larger work containing a bag

philosopherontap the options

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016


The options
philosopherontap Philosopherontap pHilosopherontap phIlosopherontap philLosopherontap philOsopherontap philoSopherontap philosOpherontap philosoPherontap philosopHerontap philosophErontap philosopheRontap philosopherOntap philosopheroNtap philosopheronTap philosopherontAp philosopherontaP ph1losopherontap phil0sopherontap philos0pherontap philosoph3rontap philosopher0ntap philosopheront4p

The challenge
A word of 16 letters – all of which have two variables some of which have three. How many combinations of spellings are there?

phiL0sopherontap – m4k1ng you think

one and a half hours

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

in the life of Trefor Davies

Due to high demand, you are in line to buy tickets.

Please do not reload this page or you may lose your place in line.

Updating ticket availability in 21 seconds.

Tickets for this event are currently: still available.

Last updated at: 10:20:32

My first experience of queuing to buy tickets for a “pop concert”. I was there on the dot of 10. In fact earlier. There are clearly lots of people wanting tickets. I can understand it. Adele is probably the biggest singer going these days. Even I’d go and see her. I feel a weight of responsibility. Hannah is relying on me to get the tickets, although there will be another opportunity to buy coming up. She had work commitments which prevented her from being able to sit staring at a counter wondering when your turn was going to come up.

I’ve had to move to the considerably colder office so that can use multiple screens and not be trapped by the Adele ticketing system. The only consolation is that at least there are a lot of tickets for sale. Wembley is a big gaff. Let’s hope the internet connectivity stays up (tempting fate I know).

Gotta stay concentrated. Can’t afford to not notice the screen change. Since I’ve been waiting we have had two separate Amazon deliveries. Anne is also back and I have cup of tea. Also a year has gone by and it is winter again. My hair has grown as have my fingernails. The room around me is dusty as I refuse to have it cleaned in case I get distracted and miss the purchase opportunity. The world has just pulled back from the brink of a nuclear confrontation brought about by having nutters in charge of the most powerful countries.

Whilst I am waiting, and despite the need to stay focussed I can at least console myself that we have a great weekend in prospect. The Lincoln Christmas Market est ici. We get more excited about the market than it merits probably. Because it has always been there it has to a certain extent lost its allure. I think we live on the memories of the early days where it was still exciting and a fun thing to do. When the kids were small maybe. They got rid of most of the fun things the kids liked to do on the pretext of “making it more up market”. I’m talking the fairground rides.

There are still rides there but not nearly as many. We still like to do some fave things like chucking the small red rings to see if we can land them around the just fitting necks of green bottles. That one is a gold mine. It’s easy to shift a tenner in a few short minutes and there are a few people doing that at the same time. One year I won a giant stuffed panda. Carried it around on my shoulders.

Traditionally whilst I used to help out in the Westgate School cafe on the Friday afternoon I would be allowed out to the pub afterwards. We are talking 5pm. A crowd of boys would gather to drink our rewards for helping (self funded obvs). When the kids left that school we moved on and now the cafe doesn’t operate. Someone came a long and dangled ten thousand pounds for the use of the school hall. Easy money. Bit of a shame but it was always a tough gig to staff. It needed 16 people per shift with maybe 6 shifts or more a day. Unbelievable how unwilling parents are to help their kids school. Were it not for the fact that my own kids were there my attitude was &*%$ them. It’s their own kids that suffer unfortunately.

One hour eleven minutes in now. The conference call is in 19 minutes. Global warming has in the meantime resulted in our house now being at the edge of Lincoln Marina. Those of us living at the top of the hill are ok. The rest of them were washed away by the tsunami that powered in from the coast at Boston. That’s life Jim, or was. I’ve always wanted a boat and now I can keep one at the bottom of the garden.

After 90 minutes I got in. 2 minutes and I had 4 £75 tickets for £334. Hey. 2 mins late for the conf call but got away with it.


v cold

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

nads still intact

What can you write that is new about the cold. The frozen winter. Poets eloquent have already said it all. I think my fave is the Darkling Thrush. Thomas Hardy. Most of his novels were morbid and I suppose the poem is too although I think that he puts it across in a way that rolls off the tongue that is really what poetry is all about. It’s about how the words fit together. That doesn’t necessarily mean how they rhyme or how they stick to a meter. It’s about the interplay of one word with the others around it.

Anyway you may have gathered that it is another cold morning. It must be so because tomorrow the Lincoln Christmas Market starts and it is usually cold for that. One year it was so cold it was buried under a blanket of snow and had to be cancelled.

The reason it is cold during the market is two fold. Firstly they sell more gluhwein that way. Secondly it is nature’s way of killing off a few old people stood in bus queues waiting for their coach to come and pick them up. The wind slices viciously through those queues and those without the armoury to parry it’s lethal advances are hewn. They crumple unceremoniously like sacks of potatoes dumped onto the pavement. By the time the ambulance, stationed not so far away in anticipation of this very occurrence, has arrived their living souls have moved on.

After that joyous passage let us move on. The Christmas present purchasing is making its annual onslaught on the credit card and we have a delivery or two planned for today. I am also under instructions to be on hand at exactly 10am to buy Adele tickets for Hannah. They go onsale to “members” at that time. It’s a huge responsibility. Wouldn’t mind going myself but you can only buy four and that’s how many she wants. Friends before family. I guess if all of her mates were also successful in buying four there might be a few going spare.

Ordered a couple of loads of logs yesterday. Being delivered tomorrow morning. Just in time for our party at the weekend. Got the details off the husband of the woman who runs the fancy dress outfitters in Waddington. Needed some period authenticity for next week’s party in town. Logs were £135 for two builders bags worth. Mixed hardwood. Should see us beyond Christmas. Fancy dress was £23 for a tailcoat, waistcoat, pocket watch and cufflinks. I’ll use my own shirt and kecks.

Also may have partially sussed why my bread isn’t rising as much as I’d expect. I think i’m using too large a tin. Will try it in a smaller tin next time or make more dough. I’m using 500g of flour and 300ml of water. On that basis I’d expect a large 800g loaf but perhaps it doesn’t work that way. I’ll weigh the loaf the next time. Later…


Tuesday, November 29th, 2016



Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Philosopherontap, philoSopherontap, philosopher0ntap, philosopherontaP, phiLosopherontap, ph1losopherontap

Another 5am shift. Wasn’t particularly early to bed but I’m awake now and better off downstairs that lying there in bed wondering if I’m going to drop off again.  I think I’ve just had enough kip that’s all. Even though I went swimming yesterday. Exercise during the day normally gets me off to sleep.

Today I may switch to the gym this afternoon instead of swimming. I’m off to Waddington for a ten o’clock appointment with someone who hires out theatrical costumes – gotta get my outfit sorted for #LONAPBASH. “What I was wearing when the Titanic went down”.

Had a pleasant surprise last night. A couple of people who know Dad from the Dolgellau days had heard me on the radio and contacted me via Messenger. They were both very sorry to hear that Mam had passed away and were most complimentary about her. Dad was quite overcome with emotion all of a sudden when I passed the messages on.

Fyi those three sentences have idled away ten minutes. Only another hour and ten before I take up a cup of tea. That means there is a distinct possibility of an hours worth of drivel in this diary entry:) There is a fine line between this year’s diary entries and the 3rd Law series which I think got very biographical although it wasn’t meant to. Probably unavoidable. I had meant to write quite a bit more 3rd Law before turning it into a book but I think I’ll just do it as is, after a bit of tidying. Will have to wait until this year is out.

What is quite amazing is that the year is actually almost out. Witness the screenshot from my google photos folder on drive. New folders have been steadily creeping into view as the months go by. It will have been a pretty eventful year and not a bad one to choose as a book/diary.

One job I do have to do is look into the php sitch on the site. The current server has too old a version for me to run the text extracting software I want to use to make the creation of the book a lot easier. If I can automate the whole process it will be much better than manually copying the whole lot. It will be approaching 400 posts, if not more. Will keep you posted obvs.

The one thing I’ve noticed this year is my increase in use of modern colloquialisms (had to get the spellchecker to fix the spelling on that one). I’m sure it isn’t just me. The language is evolving at seemingly an accelerating pace. Almost monthly with the kids.

Btw as it springs to mind I’m thinking maybe I will do some crafty type project. Not crafty in the scheming sort of way. Crafty in that it should make use of tools and my bench. I have a magnificent workbench in the garage. I’m sure I will have posted pics of it in the past. Custom built for the space between the fridge freezer and the wall. This space is somewhat arbitrary as it would have been easy enough for me to saw a bit off the shelf the other side of the freezer and make the bench wider but it is still ok as it is. Fairly compact but still an useful size.

The only downside to the notion of such a project is that the garage is very cold at this time of year. I think I may already be talking myself out of it. Perhaps a culinary project instead. I already have a few ideas for the next Philosopherontap events which I might share very soon. One in particular will take some organising. The jazz video during the last one got 426 views. Not bad. Obvs not the millions of views of the big hitting viral vid or that of the online celeb but fine for a small obscure Online Arts Festival.

I still haven’t settled on whether Philosopherontap should have a capital letter or not. philosopherontap/Philosopherontap. Hmmm mmmmH. After all these years. Perhaps it can be dynamic. Change randomly. Maybe different letters can change. Philosopherontap, philoSopherontap, philosopher0ntap, philosopherontaP, phiLosopherontap, ph1losopherontap. I think that’s it. That’s how it should be. There are many permutations. I could probably work it out but sometimes it is better to leave it to the reader to do. Let me know when you have worked out the answer – how many variants are there. You are allowed to juggle cases and where a letter can be swapped for a number then that too is ok – eg e = 3, a = 4 etc. I’ll leave you with it.

Getting a bit hungry now. 6.01 am. Dinner last night was some sort of leftover vegetarian lasagne out of the freezer. Didn’t totally hit the mark although I did eat it all. John left his. Ah well. Can’t win em all. Might squeeze in a slice of toast whilst I am waiting for the kettle to boil If I watch it boiling there should be enough time to make the toast. Geddit?

Gonna have to make another loaf today. Still using up the wholemeal flour. It makes for nice bread. Will have to experiment with different flours. Find the best combo. This weekend will have to revert to shop bought bread as we will have a houseful. At least 9 of us including all the kids, Charlotte and apparently Harry Scott and his girlfriend.

nothing quite like it

Monday, November 28th, 2016

stained glass

I like a bit of stained glass me. Nothing quite like it eh? Brings a bit of colour to the hallway. Especially when the sun shines through. Marvellous how they can do it I think.


Monday, November 28th, 2016

on granite

It’s warm in the house. I’ve turned the heating down. There’s a fire blazing away in the front room and the oven is on so plenty of sources of heat. Gone for the stuffed rolled pork with trimmings. Have some white wine left for the gravy. The Radio Cymru prog went well. I listened to it the whole way through. Dad had to leave to go out to lunch halfway through so when he got back I helped him get it up on “listen again”. Had a few people touch base on Facebook with some positive feedback.

Now banging out some tunes in the kitch whilst I supervise the chef (ie me). The sun is over the yardarm and we (I) are (am) planning a nice evening ahead. Going to get the leeks in orange and thyme sorted out in a min. I like leeks. I like cheesy leeks particularly but can’t be bothered to go that far. Plus I’d have to look up the recipe. Maybe I will. Seasyenough.

Popped out earlier btw. Lincolnshire Showground for the Craft and Food Fair. When I got there I found out it was six quid entry fee. Couldn’t understand why people would want to pay to go to a shop so I turned around and went home. Picked up some milk en route so not a wasted trip.


Sunday dinner was a result. Everything turned out great including the cheesy leeks assisted by a splash of beer, wine and some wholegrain moutard. Feeling the effects a little this morning as I not only sampled the various alcoholic ingredients prior to the meal but also opened a bottle of read to have with the meal. A swim before breakfast partly atoned for the wine.

This morning I’m doing some work. Hard to believe innit. Got an outline proposal for a customer over to Netaxis for comment. The house is cold this morning but I have the fan heater on in the office which makes it just about ok. I’ll be popping out after lunch to avoid being in whilst Anne has some people around. First is an estate agent – we got a leaflet through the door offering free valuations. We aren’t planning to move so I think it’s a waste of time but hey… Second up is someone to give us a quote for a porch door. Something I think is  waste of money but I am not in charge around here so I just go with the flow.

Hunk of homemade wholemeal bread with cheese and tomato soup for lunch. Didn’t spot Anne’s carrot and coriander in the fridge until it was too late. Homemade is best. Less salty for one.

Busy afternoon of it and then we found out that the Council Offices had been evacuated because of a suspected bomb. My goodness that was a close run thing. I’m sure I drove past there over the weekend. Fortunately it proved not to be a bomb. We can all breathe easily again.

Featured image is pumpkin on granite:)

In other news “we” have started on the Christmas cards. Finished the letter A. Long way to go clearly. Also ordered John a 16 – 25 Railcard online, v efficient, and filled out a bank mandate form online for The Friends of William Farr.

the post

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

with no name

Lying in bed listening to the Sunday service on the wireless. Not really listening. It’s just on. I woke up several times during the night and sometime after 5 remember lying there wondering why on earth I couldn’t get back to sleep. Next thing I knew it was 7am. That sleep you get when you finally doze off again is wonderful. Very refreshing. Made meself a cup of tea for the second day on the trot without Anne being there.

The Sunday service is very soporific. It’s a shame that most of the hymns they choose are dirges. There’s a choir on now singing something reasonable. I like a good hymn. It’s nothing to do with religion. It’s about a good tune with good words.

Am on the wireless today. Rhaglen Beti George. Not sure how it’s going to turn out but it’s in the can and what’s done is done.

Popped down to the West End Tap for a couple of beers at around 5pm whilst John was away playing hockey in Doncaster. Horribly cold and inhospitable night out there. Lewis’ mum Mandy gave me a lift home and I stuck the bread in the oven. Bit disappointed with the rise this time. Will find out at breakfast how it’s turned out. Turns out they had already fed John with lasagne and chips at the hockey so I ate alone. Plans changed for today as we still have most of the chicken left. We can eat the pork during the week.

Advent Sunday today, or so I gather. No advent calendar here unfortunately:)

The heating came on automatically this morning thankfully. I’ve got it on the “all day” setting so it won’t kick off after breakfast. This morning I’m going to go out and saw up some wood. Something useful to do today. Especially as it’s going to be another cold one. I’ll light the fire later. Bit of a treat eh?

Some irritating bloke has come on the radio with “A Point of View”. Cue get up to make breakfast.

It’s now just after 10am and I’ve finished breakfast. Last night’s wholemeal loaf turned out ok and I’m now having a leisurely cup of tea whilst listening to Classic FM. Relaxing, at least until the Radio 1 fan comes downstairs. Sunday mornings are classically slow starters. One of the great institutions of life.

The ideal Sunday also involved a boozy lunch with perhaps a gentle stroll beforehand. We don’t often do the boozy lunch bit but will definitely be doing so next weekend on the Sunday of the Xmas market. We have a table for 11 booked at the Taphouse and Kitchen at 2pm. That gives us time to recover from the party the night before, do some of the market and maybe even have a couple of cheeky ones before moving to the Taphouse.

We will have a full set of Davies’ back home for the weekend which Anne and I will no doubt get very excited about nearer the time. In fact they are bringing friends but no idea how many we will have in the house. At least Joe’s girlfriend Charlotte who is always very welcome.

Radio 1 man has stirred. The bread has been given the thumbs up and the laptop, not with Radio 1 but some cricket, has disappeared back upstairs to the mancave (pic below).

Couldn’t think of a title for this post btw:)

In other news Anne won a bottle of Gordon’s gin at Sarah’s Christmas fair in Bromborough yesterday. Yay 


unwistful retrospective

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

tax discs


Saturday, November 26th, 2016

featuring death


dead on the floor, unwanted nuisance, brushed aside,

shrivelled up shadows of their former selves,

serve little purpose other than fertiliser,

impotent and no longer productive,

degenerate, rotting, eaten by disease,

forgotten by spring…


Saturday, November 26th, 2016

start to the day

Actually got up and made a pot of tea this morning just for myself. Anne is in Birkenhead at cousin Janette’s. Today is Sarah’s “centre’s” Christmas Fair. Meanwhile it’s just me and John again. Don’t normally bother getting up to make tea if it’s just for me. Also had the Farming Today programme on Radio 4. Normally we don’t have the radio on that early. Bit of a treat.

We had steak and chips last night. John is off to Doncaster this afternoon to play hockey for Lincoln 4ths. When he gets back I have a chicken for dinner. Going to use the rest of Shannon’s jerk rub and have it with a salad. Probs. This morning we have ingredients for a cooked breakfast. It’s the weekend.

Fidel Castro just kicked the bucket btw. Fwiw. These diary entries need some contemporary reference points innit. Another major happening in a year of unusually bad news. Most news is too depressing to comment on. One good bit of news is the possibility that Nigel Farage is contemplating moving  to the USA. Good riddance. Occasionally thought about going on holiday to Cuba.

Christmas is coming up hard on the rails. Next weekend is Lincoln Christmas Market. Always the beginning of festivities despite being at the start of the month. Also been invited by Kevin Shaw of Wright Vigar to the Lincolnshire IoD lunch on Friday. I’m always knackered by the time Christmas itself comes along.

The guy didn’t turn up to look at the Micra last night. Due at 4.30 I called him at 5. He was in Newark and now wasn’t even setting off until 7. We have rearranged it to this afternoon “sometime”. Better in daylight anyway.

Now on my second cup of tea in bed. Normally I only get one as the pot only does three and Anne gets the third. What luxury. Mind you I’d swap the cup of tea for a cuddle. It’s the best time of day. Normally when I’m on my own I don’t bother. Part of the making of the tea is doing something for Anne. Plus we take it in turns anyway, ish. When she gets back from her trips she normally says “it must be your turn” because she has had to make her own whilst away:)

John appears to have moved into Tom’s old room. His bed was knackered so he took to sleeping in the double bed and using his bedroom to store clothes (largely on the floor). I’d do the same if I were him but it does use up our “guest” bedroom. He can always move back if we have visitors. Next weekend it will be in demand.

Just been texting with Anne. She had a night out with Cousins J and A last night. A is a teacher who has just walked into the head’s office and told him she was going home and not coming back. Wow. The stresses of teaching are that bad! Not sure why kids want to go into teaching nowadays. Or medicine.

Had to switch the radio off. They were covering paedophilia in the football world. Shudder. Back on now. Gonna get up in a minute and stick the bacon on.

Excellent breakfast. Used some of the remaining home baked white for the fried bread and yesterday’s wholemeal for toast. Heston’s thick sliced streaky bacon cured in beer and maple syrup (or some similar combo) and Curtis’ spicy Lincolnshire Farmhouse sausages together with a couple of chestnut mushrooms and a tomayto. It’s 09.35 and now sat in the North facing living room where it is a little colder than the South facing kitchen but the settee is more comfortable. I have 21% battery left.

In other news the sink in the kitchen is a bit gunged up. Need to find out whether we have any unblocking stuff in. I’m sure I used up the last lot on the sink in the utility room.

A beautiful cold crisp day out there. WIll see what I can so to shift the last pile of leaves. I know I was talking about getting garden refuse sacks but I may be able to push the bins down a little more and squeeze the last lot in. It’s what Anne would do:). Not sure I have any other jobs. She went off without leaving a list. Shouldaknownbetter:)

Saw a picture of myself in a school photo dates circa 68/69/70 ish. Was posted by Nest to commemorate someone’s death. I don’t really remember most of the folk from that school but it was amazing to see the pic.


Friday, November 25th, 2016

enjoy every day:)

Early morning and dark and I am still somewhat stiff after yesterday’s walk. Anne is off to the Wirral this morning leaving John and i to fend for ourselves again. How will we cope? I shall make some more bread of course, using one of my newly acquired sachets of dried yeast. At 4.30 we have someone coming to look at the Micra which is on offer at £300 and which John has posted somewhere on Facebook. After that I shall quite possibly nip to the pub. Maybe yes, maybe no. I had enough on Wednesday to last me a while. John is playing for the 4ths away at Doncaster tomorrow and I have to decide whether I have a night out at all this weekend or stick around to cook him dinner. He eats relatively early. I say night out but these are normally only partial nights out. Early doors really. Back by 7.30 at the latest. Maybe I’ll have a browse around Waitrose and see what’s fresh in the market. Get some inspiration for meals. We only have wholemeal flour left btw but that is fine. There is also half a bottle of white wine in the fridge so I may use that as a base for some posh French onion soup. Maybe even cook a roast chichen on Sunday for Anne when she gets back and use some wine in the gravy. It’s so called Black Friday today btw where the shops have sales with notionally hugely discounted goods. Will have to see what’s what. I do have something in mind I might buy. John has moved into tom’s room for the moment because the slats in his bed keep falling out. This is because the design is rubbish. Curved wooden slats slotting into plastic ends that constantly break. Over the years we have returned to the shop for replacements on a number of occasions. This time Anne tells me that the shop has discontinued that sort of bed although they did have some of the plastic sockets left. We too the lot of them. I’ll sort it out today and in the meantime Anne is looking at getting him another bed. Bread making btw I have decided is an essential life skill that everyone needs to master. It doesn’t take long. I have already assembled the ingredients for today’s loaf.

Many of today’s jobs already done. John’s bed fixed, emails sent, Pylons tickets purchased for 7th Jan gig, Mike Portillo tix purchased for 20th jan at the Drill Hall (not for me). I was online as soon as sales opened for the MP gig and have bought  Anne 3 tickets in the middle of the front row. Bread dough made, knocked back and now in the tin waiting for the second rise – remember this is my first use of a sachet of dried yeast so going to be interesting to see the results. Pylons gig tickets here btw if you want to come. Next up will be a trip to Waitrose once the bread has been made. Gotta get stuff in for me and John for the weekend innit. The big job for today is to clear up the piles of leaves in the back garden. We have two empty green bins for the purpose. Whether they will all fit in is another issue but we shall see how we get on. I also have to go and pick up John and Matt from school and then be around for 4.30 when someone is coming to look at the Micra.

Leaves mostly collected and put into green bins. Didn’t quite have enough green bin space for them all. Might supplement with black bags when the battery runs out on my laptop (John has taken “our” charger to school). Bread risen and in the oven. It never seems to rise above the top of the tin but perhaps that’s just the way it is. Didn’t want to wait any longer. Featured image is the result. Gotta say it was totally delicious. A real result. I had warm wholemeal bread with mature cheddar cheese and Anne’s home made carrot and coriander soup which was also delicious. It’s the way to roll.

New cooker bought for one of the rentals and a load of stuff from Waitrose for John and I to survive on whilst Anne is away. Butcher was just reducing a stuffed pork joint as I got there. Took that and told him that I really wanted was steak and he said he was just about to reduce to fine looking sirloins so bagged them too:) Now waiting for someone to come and look at the Micra at 4.30pm £300 to you my friend.

whisky bottle full

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

whisky bottle empty

Whisky glass, once full now almost empty, sits there in front of me on the kitchen table. There is no music. Only my thoughts. Thoughts of nothing in particular. No memories. Only a sense of being. Warmth. The level in the bottle has gone down. Someone else must be drinking it.  No thoughts. A spinning mind full of imagery. Colours swoop in and zoom out. Hypnotic sounds. Wide awake eyes see everything. Amber clarity. Empty bottle…

self portrait

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

selfie who?