Archive for November, 2023

Bloody freezing

Thursday, November 30th, 2023

Got off the train in Lincoln. Bloody freezing. Fortunately THG was there in a snap to whisk me home. The occasional snowflake tried in vain to disrupt our journey up the hill. Pathetic 🙂

The heating is on and a hot cup of tea adds additional warmth. 

I am wrestling with choice of dinner tonight. On the one hand there is Charlie Bigham whose madras/jalfrezi is v good but in the red corner there is a beef curry fried rice. I would either have to go and collect the latter or order a delivery. Collection doesn’t feel attractive and a delivery will come with uncertain timing.

A trip to Waitrose is required to mull this one over. Peruse the ready meal shelves. Not cooking owt from scratch. Not after a full-on few days in the metropolis. The great centre of Empire that was London, Prime Meridian, jellied eels. That kind of stuff.

There is something of a permanent feel to the Prime Meridian. Yes someone could come along in the future and decide they don’t like it and either move it or demote its significance. Don’t think it will happen though. I like having it in Greenwich. I’d guess that very few people give it any thought. Neither do I really.

Just had some stale water. Yuk. The glass had been sat on my desk since I left for London on Monday. I sense that since the sun went over the yardarm a good hour ago it would be perfectly acceptable to cleanse my palate with some tonic water with the merest splash of gin.

Christmas presents

Monday, November 27th, 2023

The left hand curtain in the bedroom has been opened. This has not had much effect on the in-room light levels. Outside is wet and ‘orrible and my clothing options for this afternoon’s trip to London have been reassessed. The focus is on comfort and warmth. “What the sensibly dressed Tref is wearing this season”. Hawaiian shirts are but a distant memory.

Tis a Monday, as you may know. A nondescript day in the calendar. When has ‘the last Monday in November’ ever had any significance’. Just looked it up. Nothing of any import has happened on this day in history as far as I can see. Ok, a few births, a few deaths but no peace treaty, no discovery of America etc.

This is probably because at this time of year everyone is focussed on finishing off business and deciding on what to wear for the Christmas party/parties. There is also a gradual build up in intensity of Christmas present sorting. I refrained from using the word ‘buying’ there because I’m a great believer in people making presents rather than handing over hard cash for some item that will sit in a drawer for years and then disposed of on the quiet when you think nobody will notice.

Not sure this philosophy has been universally adopted by the rest of the family. None of the kids seem to have included any items in their letters to Santa that are easily made at home. ‘Please can I have a scarf?’. In fairness they are all now adults and able to knit their own scarves so perhaps that is what is happening.

Also I tend not to see what they’ve put on their lists to Santa so I can’t be totally sure everything on it needs purchasing/made in Santa’s workshop. 

I was once out and about doing some Christmas shopping, or trying to do and found myself in the Edinburgh Woollen Mill store in the Bailgate. They had a great deal on cashmere jumpers that I thought would be perfect for my mam. I rang dad to discuss this only to discover that mam already had every colour cashmere jumper that the shop had to offer! Every chest of drawers and wardrobe in their five bedroomed house was full of mam’s clothes!

I guess I will have to wait until the day to find out what Santa got the kids. My job is largely to leave the carrot, mince pie and brandy out next to the fireplace. Before hitting the hay I will consume the latter two and put the carrot in the pan with the rest of them ready for the next day.

Gotta go. Outfits to choose…

Snettisham Beach in November

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

Hunstanton was underwhelming. Empty pay and display car parks and caravan sites keeping you at arms length from tide full out muddy beach. I came and went.

Snettisham Beach was a big improvement. Drove down the single track, past the caravan park and slotted into the one remaining parking spot of four, right on the beach. The tide, as you know, was out and the dirty wet sand was being patrolled by oyster catchers and other long billed birds out for a feed. Bitterly cold wind made it feel sub zero.

Picked up some walkers and took a car load to the Feathers in search of a TV showing the Man City v Liverpool game. THG watched it on my phone whilst Chris Weston and I each had a pint of Guinness.

We were on one of our camping weekends away with the gang. Although we did a weekend glamping in the summer nobody camps under canvas any more especially in November on the East Coast. The party had three motorhomes and three “luxury” pods between the twelve of us. The pods were quite basic but were warm which I guess is the main requirement on a weekend the thermometer plunged to 1 degree Centigrade.

There are a couple of themes that permeate these outdoor weekends away. One is longish walks in the countryside and the other is the consumption of a significant quantity of food and drink towards the end of each afternoon. On this occasion several of the party for various age related reasons excused themselves from the walks.

This turned out serendipitous for when, after one hour forty minutes of bracing East Anglian sea air, the walkers hit the beach,  a number of them concluded that the path of wisdom lay in travelling back to base in the cars that had arrived for a rendezvous at the Snettisham Beach Cafe.

Their collective decision was helped by the fact that not only was the cafe closed but every similar joint for miles around had also unsurprisingly decided to shut for the winter. This left only the Snettisham Beach Pet Shop open providing essential supplies to the canine lovers of the area. The woman in the petshop, where I had called in to see if there were any caffs at all open, described herself as Billy Nomates. It’s a lonely game selling dog food at a remote beach in Norfolk in the winter.

That is the point at which we made it to the Feathers. We also went there that evening having booked a table for twelve at seven pm. This proved to be a mistake. The food was pretty average and a number of us suffered from stomach ailments during the night. We shall not return.

So after an excellent stopover for Sunday lunch with Alistair Ward  and Erica Ward we are now home, tired but happy. The heating is gradually moving the needle on the house thermostat from nine and a half degrees when we got in to the regulation twenty one degrees and the hot water is on for me to have a bath a bit later on.

A busy week in London lies ahead potentially involving an element of radio silence. It isn’t all work though. On Monday early doors I have a meeting at the Phoenix Arts Club to nail the menu for trefbash. Catch ya later…

PS message me if you want to come along to the Phoenix. 6pm meet.

fewer people having expensive hairdos

Friday, November 24th, 2023

The title of this post is ‘fewer people having expensive hairdos’. This was part of a news item as THG brought the tea upstairs this morning. We both heard it and laughed out loud. She is off to the hairdressers this morning. The cost of a hairdo can be measured by how long it takes and I’ve been told not to expect her back too quickly! She deserves every minute 🙂

Keto diet is now on pause for a few days. Quite a few really as the party season comes thundering down the track. This weekend’s camping fare will be hearty. Dress code for Saturday night is ‘Christmas jumper’ which I don’t possess. I’m not really into Christmas jumpers not the least because they are usually cheapo garments thrown together at minimal cost. You are permitted to call me a miserable git.

Right now I’m sat in the snug sinking a cup of tea. Sipping really. Once this ritual is over, cracking needs to be got. Trips to three different shops are on the list for weekend provisions and I need to get packing. Winter gear. The temperature is set to drop today which is great timing.

I don’t mind cold weather especially since we got the houser double glazed. It’s made a big difference to the comfort levels. Although most of you reading this probably expect double or even triple glazing, our house was built in nineteen thirty nine when they had never heard of it. 

The house had a coal cellar, downstairs loo and a pantry all next to each other. We never used the coal cellar as such and it wasn’t even a cellar. It was a pantry sized room into which coal could be tipped from the outside. All three rooms have gone, sacrificed to kitchen expansion and general improvements to the property. The snug has a bricked up fireplace leaving the front room with the one remaining working hearth. Something which is only used when we have visitors 🙂

Because we are only off for one night you would think our baggage would be minimal. This is not the case. We have room in the car for a kitchen sink so we take that with us. The focus for the weekend is warmth. A double thickness duvet with a fleece lined woollen blanket that @Sue bought me from the Tintern Abbey shop and which is v warm provides our night time insulation. My backdoor shoes make it easy to nip to the loo (hedge) in the middle of the night.

More in due course, maybe.

Up and at it earlier

Thursday, November 23rd, 2023

Up and at it earlier today as I have a nine o’clock call. It’s the way to do it. Don’t really like starts any earlier than that although they do happen from time to time. Mine is not a corporate world where people arrange dawn til dusk meetings. Mind you dusk is quite early at this time of year.

While I remember happy Thanksgiving to all my Americun frens. I visited Plimoth and the Mayflower last year as well as Provincetown. Bought an interesting book called Mourt’s Relations or simlar. All about the early settlers. Worth a read if you ain’t already done so. Something to keep you occupied whilst mom or dad cooks the turkey. Remind you of how it all began.

We stayed in a very nice B&B on top of a hill in Provincetown. Great views. Weather was appalling but that didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves. The track up to the guest house had a thick branch sticking out that I didn’t see and which I hit. Put a bit of a dent in the car. The guy at the rental company didn’t seem to care too much about it when I returned the car. Maybe he didn’t notice…

The B&B looked down on the beach that the Mayflower pilgrims first landed on. All built up with hotels and restaurants now. Outrageous really. I’m sure I mentioned this to you at the time. Never mind. 

Packing today for tomorrow we go camping in Norfolk. Heated “pod” but we are taking a second heater along just in case. I’m sure it will be v cosy innit! I have to dig out my Christmas jumper apaz. Still November and a bit early I know but that is the dress code for Saturday night. I don’t have a “Christmas” jumper per se but I do have a thick woollen job that looks Christmasish. It’ll do.

An executive decision has been made. The map wall is coming down to be replaced by posters. I have more posters than wall and the maps have served their time.

Dropped by Waitrose to buy a pint of milk. Bought a two pinter as a pint was £1.25 and two  were £1.65. Something like that. Goodness me milk has shot up in price. The point here is not that I went to Waitrose or bought some milk but that when I came to pay I did not have my phone on my person. Hmm must have left it in the car I thought.

Back at the car the phone was not there either so I retraced my steps and there it was in the middle of the road about twenty yards away. No harm done but I got lucky methinks. Must have had a few cars pass it by in the ten minutes I was away.

It had been my intention to partake of a cup of coffee whilst in the store but the queue at the caff was enormous. It always seems to be thus nowadays.

I shall return to the supermarket later as THG has instructed me via WhatsApp to buy in provisions for the weekend.

Good sesh in the pool although there were a couple of v slow geezers in my lane. They didn’t stay the pace, so to speak and after a while I had the lane to myself.

Then towards the end a woman got in and started swimming anti-clockwise. Inevitably we nearly crashed. Having educated her on clockwise all was well and she was most apologetic!

late start

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

Unusually a late start this morning without THG being around to prompt me to get up. Mind you she is quite often in the land of nod when I get up if it’s one of my early risers. A keto friendly breakfast cooked and a cup of tea slurped. No sound effects.

Watched the imps last night but switched off before the end as it was a stale nil nil. They scored the winner just before the end. Typical eh? Good oh though 🙂

It is nine thirty am and I am still in my pyjamas wtf!!! When you work from home this doesn’t particularly matter I suppose. I remember years ago when I worked for Mitel I had a conference call which I decided to take from the leisure club I was a member of at the time. There I was sat by the pool in my swimming trunks. For some reason those in Canada decided to postpone the call because there was something wrong with the audio at my end 🙂.

Registrations for trefbash continue to rise. Everything is now in place including the finishing touches being made to my outfit. You will have to wait to see it.

The leaves are back on the lawn. It was foretold. Will have to see if I can be bothered to get the blower out this afternoon.

It was ten o’clock by the time I got to the shed this morning. Don’t have anything particularly pressing today so there was no particular urgency. However it does show how easy it would be to be on a slippery slope if there was nothing ahead in your day to get you motivated.

From a work perspective it is mostly about getting next year’s plans sorted and I am waiting on inputs for this.

I have switched on daytime tv. Politics Live on BBC2. This is not good. It is not good that I’ve switched on the telly, albeit on iplayer, but also not good that I’m watching a programme on politics. Marginally better than some inane quiz or cookery programme. etc.

five twenty four

Tuesday, November 21st, 2023

Goldarnit it is five twenty four, am, and I’m awake, bright eyed and up and at it. No point in resisting. Worst thing you can do is lie in bed trying to get some more kip when your body is saying, nope, it’s fine, had enough thanks, let’s get up and tend to the crops or go and hunt or gather some breakfast.

So I’m downstairs. In the tee vee room tending to the crops. Don’t like calling it the tv room. Not sure a tv is something that should have a room dedicated to it. More like a snug with a tv on the wall. It is snug,. Cosy. Only negative thing is that it is in the front of the house and therefore has road noise. Even at five twenty four, albeit occasional. More noticeable when the noise isn’t constant.

What is it that makes people drive somewhere at this hour? I know that society has to operate. Folk have to get into work for the start of the early shift. Others are on their way home after locking up at the night club. I suppose although it is only Tuesday. I think.

Comes back to this clock thing. Time. Ordered time. We only have a certain amount of it.  We chop it up into discrete periods and cram as much stuff in as possible. I can let you have seven minutes thirty five seconds. Well maybe.

Not sure why we bother with a television per se. There is rarely anything on I want to watch. If we are sat in the snug, as I now seem to call it, for the moment at least, as often as not I have my headphones on to avoid having to hear Greg Wallace or whatever that woman is called who seems to be on every cooking, knitting and woodworking show going. A presenter for the sake of being a presenter. Trying to encourage the contestants!

I like a bit of woodworking meself but don’t feel the need to watch a woodworking competition on the telly. It’ll be ludo next, or scrabble, or poetry writing. I do have a work bench in the garage that I could use to do my own woodworking although it is a little on the small side. It was made to measure to fit in the available space next to one of the fridge freezers. Could have moved the FF and had a bigger one but the FF is there because there is shelving to its left. Could have made the shelving shorter I suppose…

The shed is a multi purpose facility in the garden that could accommodate a decent sized workbench.  One of my thoughts during its planning and construction is that the shed would serve as an office, a studio and a workspace for the nurturing of creativity. Manãna. I could fit a workbench in there but would have to get rid of the second desk that is used by visiting offspring to ‘work from home’.

Spent some time last night working on the playlist for trefbash 14. Regulars will know that the format, almost since the get go, has been live jazz from around six pm until the food is served at sevenish followed by bopping to funk/swing/whateva thereafter. The clamour has been for more live bopping after the food and so what the people want the people get. The pre nosh jazz has been replaced with more funky dancing afterwards.

This year’s theme is ‘music festival’ and my thinking is sixties festival stuff until the food. Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix. That kind of vibe. We shall see. You will find out soon enough. Not long now. If you’ve never been and want to come drop me a line. I’ll squeeze you in.

Drizzly blustery walk to the shed this morning. I quite like this weather. Just switched the heating on so it will take a few mins to get to temperature. Switched on my machine and all the windows were already up and in position. Four email accounts/domains. Three businesses and a tref. I have had to close the news sites windows. Dunno why I even bother. Climate change, war, famine.

THG is going away for a couple of nights leaving me in charge. Not sure I like the responsibility. Tomorrow is bin day and I’ve already forgotten which one goes out. I’ll be able to see what others in the street do so that takes care of that. As long as I remember.

I do get to choose dinner. Tonight is very possibly steak night. Tomorrow is another day. Just another day. Problem is I quite fancy beans in toast but that ain’t keto friendly.


Sunday, November 19th, 2023

Sat in the kitchen cooking breakfast and waiting patiently to buy tickets for the Glastonbury music festival. Happens in June every year apaz with an occasional year off. I have seen it on the telly before now.

Am in two minds about going really but THG has indicated her willingness to support the venture and so an attempt will be made to buy tix when sales open. Apparently they are hard to get.

Now waiting in the queue to get on the booking site. Doesn’t bode well but at least I will have tried. I much prefer a scenario where you can dangle a credit card and buy a premium ticket that doesn’t involve queuing but I guess that is not Glastonbury.

I’ve always said I don’t mind going to a small festival that is easy to get to and not far from the accommodation. The Hay on Wye Literary Festival for example. We are booked into Kilverts pub for the weekend and the bus is only a short stroll away.

THoWLF itself is full of people a bit up their own backsides. The sort whose hands shoot up at the end to ask a pretentious question that maybe isn’t even a question but it designed to let others know they are very familiar with the differences between first and second translations of Beowulf or some similar knobbish subject.

None of that matters really. There is a goodish restaurant on site where me and Wildthing spent three hours having lunch this year and loads of pubs in town. Plus our v good friends @Rhys & @Eirian go together with @Ellen and @Carys and we have a good time. I’m going to join the “friends” this year to make sure I get early access to tickets for the Beowulf reading. There might be music on in the evenings. Certainly is in the pubs.

Eighteen mins now. Don’t worry I have two windows open on my macbook. As the countdown approaches zero I look to the side, in eager anticipation, natch.

Funnily enough the Glasto tickets for trefbash have not yet sold out. Woodstock have. There is a scenario whereby there will still be glasto tix left when the event capacity is reached which ain’t far off now with two and a half weeks to go.

The irony of all this is although Woodstock is a v famous festival it isn’t something I’d want to go to now, unless there was glamping or a luxury hotel onsite which clearly there wasn’t for the original. Doesn’t take place anymore anyway.

We are off to a festival next year already. Forest Live 2024 to see Nile Rodgers and Sting which we are v happy with. It is nearby and the walk from the campervan won’t be too far, one expects.

Busy morning ahead whatever happens with Glasto. @Max Wrenn delivered some wild mallard last night from yesterday’s shoot in Burton. I need to sort them out. Once you get going it isn’t too bad although feathers do tend to get everywhere. Gonna watch a vid first just to make sure I get it right.

Thirty eight minutes in. I do have other things I could be getting on with, like having a shower and getting dressed, but hey…

We are off “camping” in Norfolk with the gang next weekend. All go innit! We have a heated “pod” but I’m taking an extra heater along for good measure. Not going in a campervan. Too cold at this time of year. Ours are mostly now tucked away for the winter although we do have one out on hire this weekend for a photoshoot. Thassit then until April. We do have a programme of maintenance over the winter.

Noises coming from the kitchen. THG is busy. Always busy, fair play.

In other news Bitcoin is almost at £30k. I watch the price with mild self interest having not paid very much for mine years and years ago. The price is up 10k this year though 20k or so down on the peak. It’s almost like watching the South Sea Bubble in action, or Railway Mania, or the tulip explosion or whatever that one was called. People never learn. No point in selling mine. Might as well wait until it hits a million.

Blimmin ‘eck I’m nearly an hour into the queue. Can’t be that much longer before it sells out and the unsuccessful majority get put out of our collective miseries. Reminds me of the time I queued online for about three hours to buy Hannah and her mates tickets to see Adele at Wembley Stadium. Got them in the end. In the mosh pit, if you can call the standing area that covers practically the entire pitch that.

We all went to see Ed Sheeran at Wembley last year. Wouldn’t bother again. We were sat on the back row and he was miles away. Did manage to get in and out of the carpark quickly though which was a result.

Thassit SOLD OUT. Just over an hour. You can still get tix for trefbash if you want to come but not for much longer as that will also sell out.


Saturday, November 18th, 2023

Dull. Dull, dull, dull, dull, dull. Five more dulls roll off the tongue. Talking weather here. It is dull, as I said. Even without my specs I can see it is thus.

On the wireless they are discussing public finances. Dull, dull, dull, dull, dull. Inheritance tax! Dead dull.

To brighten things up I’ve started researching flights to Australia. Never been. 2025. This will be a complex trip. Whilst we are on that side of the world we need to consider routes home. Via Hawaii for example. 

Downstairs at breakfast the kitchen is brightly lit. The window to the back garden is covered in raindrops suggesting earlier precipitation. Outside, the wind agitates branches of trees. It is one of those days where if you can find things to do indoors then that would be an appropriate use of time.

The house runner has set off for the park leaving me waiting in for Chris the cooker man who informs us that he has sourced the one remaining part required to effect his repair. I don’t have an eta for Chris other than ‘Saturday morning’. Could message him I suppose. The tea brews.

I don’t dislike this weather. We are off out to the cathedral ce soir so will need to dress up warmly. A conference featuring Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and The Lark Ascending, not by Vivaldi obvs. I am hopeful that the acoustics will be more suited to this than the Queen by Candlelight gig which we left at the interval because it was so bad. In some respect this is the cathedral’s last chance when it comes to gigs.

When I sit in the TV room I am normally facing inwards but this morning have elected to face looking out of the window, that I may see the coming of Chris. I will upon his arrival leap up to open the front door. In facing this way it is observed that our evergreen laurel and holly front hedge contrasts noticeably with the trees across the road exhibiting autumnal colours. 

The road is fairly quiet. It is still only nine o’clock.

I suppose I could get up and do something. My garage work bench constantly needs tidying. Like painting the Forth Bridge. I am not the tidiest of individuals as THG will frustratedly attest. I shall read a book: History of Greece by JB Bury. Picked it up for four quid in a second hand shop somewhere and it has been sitting on a shelf for a few months.

Chris is here. I’m sat in the kitchen whilst he fiddles about  inside the cooker. Where else can you get live coverage of a cooker repair man in action. Got to get the job done right. “Corroded screw, cracked ceramic” stuff like that. Needs a new burner as all the screws are corroded apaz. Typical innit. Ah well it is a good cooker and does need sorting.

Afterwards strolled down to Tesco. I very rarely go to Tesco. It is far too big and crowded. On this occasion I needed some readies and a bottle of Baileys. Not for me, the Baileys although I will drink it as part of a baby Guinness. Once in a blue moon. I do sometimes fill up at the Tesco petrol station fwiw. Often there is a queue though.

This afternoon we are taking one of our vans for winter storage. They get tucked up in the dry during the worst excesses of the weather. Coops is driving the van and I am in the auxiliary support vehicle, ie the Defender. Afterwards we are heading to the Club Sporting de Lincoln, ie the rugby club.  This is no longer in Lincoln but on the outskirts of Nettleham. A three mile walk from our house should I choose shanks’ pony.


Friday, November 17th, 2023

The word postponed is derived from the Latin, ‘post’ or after and ‘ponere’ which means to place. I had to look it up as I knew ‘post’ but not ‘poned’, so to speak. I did two terms of Latin at school and then dumped it. It isn’t without its uses but has dropped down the rankings in terms of subjects worth studying at school. Amo, amas amat.

Now you may ask yourself why I am discussing the word postponed and this would be a very good question. Well, perhaps not an unreasonable question. It doesn’t stand out as a particularly good example of the inquisitive genre. Reality is I have no idea. THG mentioned that something had been postponed and I just wondered where the word came from and wrote it down for later investigation. 

I defy anyone to say they had not been in the same situation themselves at some stage in their adult life. We won’t count childhood because it is normal for kids to question things. All part of the learning process. Never two late to learn 🙂

I often write things down. Usually using the pen on my phone. Quick scribble. Just things I’ve observed perhaps. 

This morning as I rose from the deepest of slumbers and moseyed onto the landing I became aware of a wonderful golden light filling the back garden. A reflection perhaps of the gold and bronze colours painted now on the beech hedge out the back. It was sufficiently striking for me to get the phone out and make a note. As the day moved on the golden glow was lost and we now just have the usual November wanlight, albeit under a blue sky.

It is Friday, you may have noticed. The morning has flown by and I am now easing into Saturday and Sunday. In the shed, obvs, for the moment.

Cookerman Chris

Thursday, November 16th, 2023

Dunno about you but I have become extremely adept at filtering out the news on the wireless. We have it on at bedtime and when we wake up. I rarely hear any of it. I am particularly good at not hearing the likes of Jacob Rees Moggy who annoys the pants off me. Dunno why his ilk gets coverage. Only because they whinge about bias if they don’t. I don’t watch the news on the telly.

If there was any good news that would be ok. In fact I probably do hear the good news. Sbeen a while though.

This morning we have Chris, the cooker repair man coming to sort out the right hand oven. Our cooker is knocking on a bit. Must be in its twenties. Apparently that is old for a cooker nowadays. White goods are getting to be like mobile phones. Designed only to last a few years and then replaced. Before we know it we will be getting offered subscriptions with built in cooker upgrades and gas/electricity included. Ignore ‘em folks. Much cheaper to buy your cooker outright. Our cooker is black btw, not white.

Glamping and bus tickets now sold out for trefbash. You will now need to make your own transport and accommodation arrangements. Number nineteen bus brings you to the door of the venue. Also trust me you wouldn’t have wanted to kip in a bell tent in Central London in December anyway even if phone charging points were included. 

Mind you now that Cruella Braverman has been sacked it would be perfectly safe. The cops aren’t going to move you on.  Free food and champagne provided with your ticket so you aren’t going to waste away. Too late now anyway. As I said, all glamping and bus tickets sold out. One Woodstock ticket left and a few Glasto. Only 3 weeks today until the bash.

In the meantime I am still waiting for Chris to let me know what time he is coming. I’m booked into a stretch and flex class at ten thirty and ideally don’t want to clash with that. Cooker needs fixing. How on earth do folk manage without two ovens!!!

We would have to implement plan B at Christmas and get a takeaway curry on the big day. This has been done before. We did have to fetch the curry the night before and reheat on the day. This will obvs involve an oven but one would be fine. 

The curry was fine as an experiment but we reverted to a roast in subsequent years. Beef not turkey. Turkey is too bland and vastly overrated. Anyway it’s far too early to discuss the merits of different menu choices at Christmas. Save that for the week before.

In the meantime the annual call for who wants what for Christmas has gone out and suggestions have been trickling in. I always ask for the same thing every year. Nothing purchased. Something created by the donor. If push comes to a shove a nice pair of socks. If I want something I’ve probably already bought it. Within reason. Being sensible like.

I would quite like a boat but there is an old saying if it floats or flies you’re better off renting it. If we had a decent coastline that would change things. We decided not to keep our house in the Isle of Man as we wouldn’t use it enough but if we had that would be a good time to buy a boat. Just a little day boat for popping out on a nice day. Bit of basking shark spotting. Stuff like that. Not an ocean going job.

Green light means go. 

Just in case you didn’t know.

Made that up as we were sat at the lights on the way back from the gym just now. Good innit. Far friendlier than red light spells danger.

Cookerman Chris is here. There is no feedback as yet concerning progress but I feel he is better left to it. I know bugger all about fixing cookers. THG is in the house ready to provide support with cups of tea etc.

Actually I could probs learn to be a cooker repair man. However why bother when we can just give Chris a bell.

snooker of the moment

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

A bright daily commute this morning as the low November sun dazzled through the apple tree at the bottom of the garden. Not many branches left on the leaves.

The shed heater is now on and I am sporting the thick woolly Himalayan jumper procured from the Black Yak stall at last year’s Lincoln Christmas Market.  When next will Black Yak grace these parts!

A pre-pour pot of tea sits to my left on the desk. There is no urgency. Let it brew, let it brew, let it brew.

The year in business is approaching its climax. This morning I have already booked two LNER train journeys with several more to be arranged. Executed by app from the comfort of the bed. Seems to be far more reliable than the desktop site. 


Today I await news of the test embroidery run from the local printer. Customising a garment. More in due course. Also the last accessory for this year’s trefbash arrives today. I ordered a hundred Hawaiian garlands. This is to ensure that anyone rocking up in business attire has the means to blend in with those who have gone to the effort of coming in costume.

Also in other news the kids have reminded the family whatsapp group that Glasto tickets sales open (and close) this weekend. I am going to see if we can get some for this year only.

Now watching the snooker in the shed. Zhang v Ding! On in the background really. The beauty of not working in an office. I will never again work in an office, other than the shed. Aside from a (the) shed work is best done in bars and restaurants. I specialise in this kind of working environment.

Noticed that google keeps suggesting alternative grammar in sentences. Getting slightly annoying. For example when I typed “watching the snooker” google wanted me to change it to “watching snooker”. This demonstrates a lack of understanding of the use of language. It isn’t any old snooker, it is the snooker. The snooker of the moment.

sock it to em

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023

My sock choice this morning was determined by which pair fell out of the wardrobe when I opened the door. Lyle and Scott bamboo in olive green I believe. Funny how the path you take in life is dictated by random events such as this. How might today’s choice of socks affect the course of the rest of my life?

Having donned said socks and completed the rest of the dressing process the phone then rang. It was one of the Belgians. This particular Belgian never remembers there is an hour’s time difference. I don’t mind innit. Reinforces my belief that everyone should operate on GMT. It will happen. It’s only a matter of time 🙂

Relatively early to the shed, certainly compared with recent days. The lawn is once more liberally dotted with leaves after the success of last weekend’s raking exercise. I will now wait until they are all down. May just blow ‘em into the borders this time. Be a lot less faff. It’s a valid gardening tactic.

It is observed that the grasses that grow tall next to my deck have been cut right back. THG at work and a sure sign that winter is on its way. Feel quite sad about that. They made an attractive contribution to the garden vista as seen from my desk. Feels as if there is a finality to it even though I know they will regrow in the spring.

No point in wishing spring was here. Let us enjoy each season as it is presented. The run up to Christmas has a lot going for it. Lots of mellow and fruitful things. Such as Christmas parties and long lunches in town. If anyone wants to invite me along to a long lunch in town feel free to drop me a line. I’ll give some thought as to my choice of socks.

Couple of pigeons pecking their way around the garden. Pesky pigeons. They presumably have a role in the ecosystem. I’m trying to psych meself up to going out on a couple of errands. I’ve finished my cup of tea. Third or fourth of the day. Not so much wind out as yesterday. You can see I’m starting to ramble. I could tidy the shed.

In fact I have just tidied the shed. Quick eh? Done some shredding, taken the rubbish out, that sort of thing. The shredding goes in the compost bin. I’d like to see any foreign spies or crooks try reconstructing that after a few weeks!

I have an hour or so to kill before the sewing shop I want to visit is open. Yes yes a sewing shop. Sewing studio and dressmakers to be more precise. I have a job it would not be fair to ask THG to do. V time consuming. You will see the output soon enough. Assuming she can do the job. Fingers crossed. It involves sewing badges/patches onto a leather garment. After that I have to drop by the printers to see if they can embroider said leather garment.

It is the first garment of its kind I have owned, nearly sixty two years into the journey. Perhaps not the last 🙂

Seems to be a clothing thread in today’s post. The same printer is doing the staff tshirts for trefbash. All about the brand innit.

I like weather

Monday, November 13th, 2023

Somewhat exciting news this morning as my outfit for trefbash is out for delivery. I was initially suspicious of the UPS email as it said my delivery from North Pole was on its way. However looks like North Pole are the shipping handlers/forwarders. I’m hoping it will turn out ok. Wasn’t totes sure re the sizing. I was going to jump in the shower but that can wait. The UPS van is just down the road on Bunkers Hill.

This morning storm Debbie is gracing us with a visit. Not in all her splendour as she makes landfall in the North West I think. I’ve said Debbie but the BBC weather site says Strom Debi. I suppose the BBC could have made two typos. It’s probs Debi but definitely not Strom. I mean Debi? Wots wrong with Debbie? I know three Debbies. Two are still Debbie but one moved to the USA of A and is now a Deb. 

I like weather. When you grew up in North Wales and the Isle of Man, weather was normal. Wet and windy weather I mean. I do prefer to enjoy the weather from a nice and dry place with a vista, preferably floor to ceiling windows, onto a wild place. In my case the wild place is the back garden and the windows are provided by the shed.

As I write the bloomin delivery is getting further away. The van stopped at a couple of places on Wolsey Way and is now in that new estate off Nettleham Road, just past Waitrose. Dunno what it’s called. In fairness the ETA is between 07.40 and 09.40. Having dived into the showerI am now parked in the front room in a state of high excitement and alert. The things that keep us happy.

THG has already left for the gym and I will shortly wander to the shed. The package arrived:) great fit. You will have to wait for the trefbash pics to see what it is.

Fair bit done today. Fixed the Anne’s Vans shop. Not pushed any merch over the last year but a customer wanted top order a tee shirt so needed to upgrade a few plugins which in turn needed a php upgrade. Sorted now.

When we set up the shop I had big ideas about a separate line of business but tbh couldn’t be arsed to put any effort into it. Might reconsider this next year.

c’mon baby light my fire

Sunday, November 12th, 2023

Sunday. Woke up this morning to a cup of char delivered by THG and an announcement that the central heating wasn’t working. Hmm. Outside there is frost on the kitchen roof. I opted to stay under the covers a little while longer.

When I eventually hauled myself out of bed I had another go at switching the heating on and this time it worked. No idea what happened there. Central heating eh?

Tis a misty day out. ‘orrible even. Autumn. Today I will attempt to bag leaves. You may be wondering about the choice of phrasing there: “attempt”. The fact is THG is out all day and trying to rake leaves into a bin liner on your own is a bit of a faff.

However I do have a plan. I will insert a bin liner into one of the recycling bins to hold it in place. Some of you will say that’s bleedin obvious Tref but it wasn’t to me. Just thought of it. This morning. After I discovered that THG is off out to lunch after church. A retired school teachers’ shindig. Having left the profession at the earliest opportunity she brings the average age down by about ten years. “Pass the salt please Margaret”. “WHAT?”

The kitchen is at present a scene of married bliss. I am sitting at the table typing away whilst my chosen life partner is doing something that involves a cardigan, a clothes hanger and some sellotape. It is our most used room. Where we spend much of our day. There and the shed obvs.

I may light the fire. Part of the plan is to tidy the bottom of the garden and make access to the pile of fence panels easier for the generation of kindling. Assuming I can get the chainsaw up and running. It’s been a couple of years. I have all the gear.

The great thing about Sunday mornings and not being a church goer is that one can ease into the day. Yesterday I bought a copy of the Financial Times Weekend edition. Impulse buy but I do like reading it from time to time. Four pounds eighty!! It has a good magazine telling me where I can spend my money. Rolex watches, Sunseeker speed boats, that kind of thing. Posh suits.V handy. At least there will be lots of paper to help with lighting the fire for the next few weeks.

We don’t light the fire that often. Just as a bit of a treat from time to time and when we have visitors. Wouldn’t want them to think we normally sat around in thick woollen jumpers, gloves and overcoats. What sort of impression would that give 😆

There is no wind out. Unusual.

Four 240l bin liners filled with leaves. Heavier than you think. That should be a load of good compost for next spring. They now reside around the back of the greenhouse, next to the compost bin, fwiw.

Also got the chainsaw out but tbh I’m going to leave it to the pros. Chain went loose very quickly. Took the opportunity to tidy the log pile up a bit. Cleared some space to provide easier access to the wood store for kindling. The oak logs will have to wait. They are fairly substantial and weigh a ton. Still a reasonable morning at the jobs list.

Now settling into an afternoon of sport. Liverpool on the wireless followed by Chelski v Man City on Sky later. It will take decades for people to stop calling them Chelski. Will have to wait for people to die off. I expect the Chelski fans have always called their side Chelsea. They know noothing 🙂In our house Liverpool are known as the Peul. You have to get the accent right.

Watching/listening to football nowadays is an interesting exercise in names. When I were a lad, in 1978 the squad looked thus:

Ray Clemence, Steve Ogrizovic, Alan Kennedy, Phil Thompson, Phil Neal, Joey Jones, Brian Kettle, Emlyn Hughes, Alan Hansen, Colin Irwin, Ian Callaghan, Jimmy Case, Steve Heighway, Ray Kennedy, Sammy Lee, Terry McDermott, Kevin Sheedy, Graeme Souness, David Johnson, Kenny Dalglish, Howard Gayle, David Fairclough.

Any observations? Steve Ogrizovic btw was a good cricketer and was described on Wikipedia as the best English keeper never to have played for his country. One of my claims to fame is that when Liverpool FC visited Peel Golf Club in the Isle of Man I ran over Ray Clemence’s wife’s foot with my golf trolley. She said “lucky I’m tough isn’t it” 🙂

I don’t remember all those names but some of them were major household names and some still very much around in the media today.