Archive for the ‘miscellany’ Category

Blurry life

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Blurry start to the day after yesterday’s long lunch that lasted until 10pm. Slow boat to Lincoln leaves Gare Du Nord at 10.13am. Makes no Seines that sentence. It is all a state of mind. Reality is racing.

There’s an Irish bar next to the Moulin Rouge. O’Sullivans by the Mill. They will be open now. Last night a quickly faded memory.

The food at Au Boin Coin was a lukewarm disappointment. The wine was fine. All things come to pass. We move on. I’m glad I have memories of good times there. 

We ended up at a local bar near the hotel. The French were playing the Aussies at Association Football. The home supporters were very animated. Emotional you know, the French.

It is Thanksgiving in the USA tomorrow. I feel as if I can identify with this having recently stayed opposite the beach in Cape Cod where the Mayflower pilgrims first landed and then subsequently visiting Plymouth across the water.

The age of Steven has been left inconspicuously behind us.   The borough of Pete lies ahead.

Down the tracks. Wrong side of the tracks. Track twenty nine.

Your left hand doesn’t look right.

Take it easy. Easy on Wednesday afternoon. As the song goes.

Running 15 minutes late into Nuarque due to a near miss at Biggleswade level crossing. The wade of Biggles. Big Les.

Trefbash is two weeks tomorrow. Make sure you bring your dancing shoes.

the simple life

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

The milkman came at 05.15 this morning. I know this because I was awake and the bedside alarm  clock read 05.20. I had finally remembered to change it to GMT last night before nodding off and it gains 5 minutes every 6 months. We should get a new one really but it has sentimental value having belonged to Anne’s parents. The switch away from daylight savings was just that, a flick of a switch, or the push of a button in the case of our clock. The resetting to an accurate time is a little more effort and was not done on this occasion hence the 5 minute mental calculation.

This isn’t a biggie apart from the fact that every month or so I have to add a minute to the calculation. Daft really. We should get a new clock. This one is fiddly but yanow what it works, ish. It’s probs not enough of a hassle to merit wasting the planet’s resources on a newer clock.

We waste too much. When the kids were small the amount of packaging that would need to be put out for recycling after Christmas Day was ridiculous. At least nowadays the presents can be transferred between bank accounts online! 

When you have busy lives it is too easy to be wasteful. I quite like the notion of being more sensible with our resources although I do need to apply myself a lot more to the concept. It is far too easy to spend too much on food when going to the shops, for example. We don’t really need those bottles of wine, or maybe not need ones quite as expensive. 

The simple life has its attractions although I have yet to try it out. It is in some respects boring. A few years ago I did sober October with Steve and Rob from around the corner. For most of the month this was no problem. However the week at the RIPE conference in Amsterdam when everyone else was partying on expenses every night and I was on the sparkling mineral water was boring. Ok I managed sober October but concluded that a balance had to be struck.

As a footnote, on the last day of that October we had a big night out in London starting at the Rivoli bar at the Ritz and moving on to a posh night out nearby. Life is too short to do the hermit thing. Like I said it’s about getting the balance right.

When we stay in London as is reasonably often the case nowadays with three out of four offspring in residence there we have long moved on from staying in cheapo hotels. It’s more about comfort and experiencing the good things in life. Travelodge = crap mattress, Trafalgar = cosy mattress. Simples.

When it comes to hotels it is also about the quality of the breakfast. This isn’t a major issue but I do at least want to have a breakfast as good as I can make myself at home. This is mostly not the case in hotels.

This morning I’ll be having porridge oats with yo gurt and perhaps a banana. Never used to see the point of porridge but I do get it now. As long as there is fruit available to liven it up. We don’t always have yoghurt in but do right now. It’s worth making your own. Turns out much better than the regular stuff you get in the shops. 

This is the case for most home made food items although you have to work quite hard to emulate a decent indian restaurant curry. I’m really talking stuff like chutney, pickled onions, bread even though that can be hit and miss. The best home made bread easily beats the best shop bought bread.

Time to make the tea…

The Petition

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

“Cognitive behavioural therapy pioneer dies at 100”. This is of course sad but he or she had a good innings, as we say. I cannot elaborate on that opening line. I only read the headline and didn’t drill into the article itself. Having told you I now need to resist the temptation to go back and investigate further. 

It is better thus. One of the many facts I will likely never know more about, unless it is covered on the news on the radio when my brain happens to be tuned in. I say this because we usually have the Today Programme on Radio 4 when we wake up but I don’t typically listen unless Anne specifically refers to an ongoing news item. The wireless epitaph of said pioneer might only merit a sentence fitted in before the headlines or the weather, just before the top of the hour. 

Most of us wouldn’t even get that. “Yesterday in the UK another thousand people died”. That would be about it. Matters not. Enjoy it while you can. Life that is.

There is a petition doing the rounds at the mo. “Save Bailgate Parking”. I signed it when there were only 12 other names down but now it is at nearly 500 which is good. At least me and nearly 500 others think so. The residents of the Bail who are trying to muscle in on convenient parking places mostly used by shoppers presumably don’t think the same way. 

Sympathise not. They knew the score when they moved in, unless they too are approaching their hundredth birthday and are able to claim that the traffic wasn’t so bad when they first moved there in 1937. I don’t want to appear ageist but I can only say that they probs shouldn’t be driving a car at their age anyway.

It was 05.30 when I woke up and got out of bed this morning. I had had enough kip, thank you very much, and felt able to ease gently into the day downstairs whereI would not disturb anyone else. Last night I did not listen to the news on the radio again even though it was on nobbut eighteen inches from my left ear. Instead I must have slipped gently off into the land of nod, presumably adequately tired from the efforts of the day.

Today I have one thirty minute meeting in my calendar. This doesn’t mean that I will let the rest of the day drift idly by. Nope I’ve got a lot of stuff to do. It’s just that it hasn’t been compartmentalised into time slots and stuck in the diary. 

Depending on the weather I think I might try and squeeze in a walk. This is something I plan on doing more of especially after Christmas when I will have throttled back a bit on the work front, hopefully. It is better to throttle back hopefully than to arrive. No that’s wrong innit. I won’t bother correcting it. You either know the right phrase or you don’t. If the latter, what you been doing all yewer life?

The concept of walking to the shops is a good one. Sensible. Currently I’m more likely to nip there in the car as it is quicker. Waitrose for example is 5 mins by car or 21 by foot, probably a little more for me as I am a slow walker. That’s effectively 45 minutes of walking to what might only be a five minute shop, although I don’t like to rush myself in Waitrose.

If I felt comfortable with using the time in that way it would be good. We shall see. I need the exercise. Let’s get Christmas out of the way first. Of course the weather ain’t going to be great in January…

It makes more sense to walk to the Bail. It has everything I need really including the odd cafe where I could if I so choose and didn’t mind being one of the few blokes in there, meet a friend for a coffee or for a spot of lunch. It does at the moment. Hopefully this sitch will continue if enough people sign the petition. Check it out here.

Chinese takeaway 28th November

Saturday, November 28th, 2020

Hors d’oeuvres


Beef curry  (can you make it hotter than usual)

fried rice


Chicken with cashew nuts

Boiled rice


Peking king prawn

Shopping lists 2020

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

31st dec




Mar ma lade

More bread?


Maybs a few breakfastey items

Castor sugar (for welsh cakes)

24th dec

Birthday cake


Spray on carpet cleaner

Icing sugar



Hannah starter xmas day

1 bag ice

Every day mature cheddar 

Lettuce (check fridge)


Vegetable spring rolls with mint leaves and sweet chilli dipping sauce

15th dec


2 x packs butter (to make shortbread biscuits)

Flowers for iris (£5 max)


Frozen peas

1 fresh green veg (eg beans or broccoli)


Potatoes for chips


Xmas mkt party (partial)

Diet lemonade 2 bots

Pink wine

Coke x 2

Diet coke x 2

Diet tonic x 4

Summat vegetarean

6th oct

Cranberry juice (or raspberry juice or both)



Lunch stuff for tref

17th sept



Spuds for frites

Anything I see that will go with white fish

14the sept


Bread rolls

Bbq meeet




Smoked paprika


Petrol for mower



5th sept


Ad blue


Coffee for Anne

Anything else I fancy

Anne toothbrush

1st September


Fresh pasta

CIF cleaning stuff

Normal sized bin bags


Fresh basil

21st August



17th Aug – Keralan vegetable istoo

Baby new pots



Green beans


Cinnamon stick

Black peppercorns

Fresh curry leaves




Green finger chillies

Tin coconut milk

Ground turmeric


Mango paneer skewers

Chickpea flour

Hard paneer



Chilli powder

Mango chutney?


Tomato puree

Fresh coriander

Tamarind and caramelized red onion rice

Basmati rice

Sesame seeds

Curry leaves

Red onions

Cumin seeds

Tamarind paste

chilli powder

7th Aug 

Pick up fosters meat

Brown bread


Multi packs crisps



Chicken pieces


Castlegate order 4th aug

4 popadoms


2 x Plain naan

Pilau rice

Lamb dopiaza

Festival run


Ice bricks


Cheap oj & aj


Sliced bread – 5 loaves at least


19th july

Brown rice

Double cream


Butter x2

Joint for Sunday  

Frozen peas

Clothes washing tablets 

Orange juice & any other breakfast items NOT beans or sausages 


Toe may toes


6th July 

Baking powder

15th june

Apple juice


Frozen peas



13th june



Bacon medallions



30th may

Baked beans


Tin plum toms

Jack Daniels bbq marinade

1 pint Milk

Tonights tea for tref – lamb neck fillet


Jersey royals

Bacon medallions


Frute – strawbs and nectarines

Something else

Sat 25th may


Bacon medallions


Small spuds


Grean beens 

Small wholemeal

Natch yog 

Big bags compost


Tuesday 23rd – waitrose



Green beans


Any bargs but not pork cos we already have a load

Good Friday 2019

Boneless shoulder or leg of lamb

New potatoes

Tonight’s tea

Salmon or simlar 

Bbq stuff


More of same


Low fat mayo 

Thursday 18th April


Mixed veg

Gas cylinder refills

Dust pan and brush



Voltarol gel

Find out Tesco Easter opening hours

Sat 13th April





Tins Tom’s

Tuesday 26th March

Smoked paprika

Tomayto ketchup




Stuff for pylons at the weekend

Fruit (peaches?)

snack a jacks Salt n vinegar rice cakes


Thursday 21st March







Cottage fromage 


Shopping list sunday 17th march 2019


Wickes Pine Parting Bead Moulding – 20mm X 8mm X 2.4m

Passport photo

Small screw lightbulb

Cleat hook

Shopping list wednesday 13th march 2019

Frozen peas

Tandoori powder

Cumin powder


the 3 guitars

Monday, December 16th, 2019

In this room there are three guitars. One of them, my Takamine, stands proudly and comfortably on a guitar stand. It was a 40th birthday present from my sisters and is loved. One of them has a broken tuning key and is little used. I bought this guitar in Cadiz whilst on holiday. I keep meaning to fix it as it is a useful enough Spanish guitar and complements the steel string Takamine. It will probably need new strings as does the Takamine, so I’m told. The third guitar is of unknown provenance and has in fact just been noticed. What is its story? Tucked away in the corner behind some other instruments. From the perspective of the sofa it doesn’t look full sized. Perhaps I should dispose of it. I will take advice when everyone is home for the Christmas holiday.

mixing batter

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017


xmas market party 2016

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

shopping list

sausage rolls
tortilla chips
stuff like that
breakfast stuff
soft drinks
pepperoni pizza for john
cheese twists

If I said to you mobile phone what would you say that was all about

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

mobile phone

communications device
instrument of surveillance
invader of personal privacy
money sink
Electronic lifestyle manager
My P.A
streamline life
Pocket computer
Tool and entertainment system.
Pocket PC
Emergency torch.
Reference guide for trees.
In fact a reference guide for many things. Scout badges, knots, tree disease etc.
assault weapon – when thrown at velocity
Apps used on a daily basis, invaluable in what we do..
Sat nav.
Pain in the butt
Sat nav
Shopping tool
Oh and telephone ☎️ (that telephone one is increasingly less used i’m sure or decreasingly used – take your pick:)
😜👌🏻 yes both are apt I’d say!! As I’m typing this reply to you I’m in a 4 way conversation via WhatsApp 😂😂😂😂😂
I also have an ap which gives me a 10 figure grid reference which I use on work risk assessments.
contact list.
I used to have one of them. I’m not sure I can believe it.
I skipped that generation.
are you from an udder generation?
someat like that. I went from a paper address book to a contacts list and skipped the filofax.
Device for access
OK yes I have a vpn client on mine – it was about access when I was in a country that filtered my favourite sites
and a lot of people don’t even have basic access yet.
No – I wouldn’t move to a place that didn’t let me have very fast internet access
Wray would be fine 🙂
Divider of physical groups
Keeping track of Tref, and other friends.
That’ll be the surveillance bit
Indeed, but benign of course, since the target chooses to be followed 😊
photographing telegraph poles 😂
A personal, digital transportation vehicle and instrument for storing, conveying, distributing and broadcasting a vast array of multimedia, information and communication databases plus built-in communication and search tools (like having your own mobile library, with a phone, word processor, camera, calculator, hi-fi, sat nav and library assistant in it, init?). Useful for creating, cataloging, organising, archiving, retrieving, editing and sharing ones personal data, and the data created, catalogued, organised, archived, retrieved, edited and shared by nearly everyone else (and soon to be everyTHING else) on the planet 😉
Hell,I forget to add the words ‘recording’ and ‘recorded’ to my list 🙄
Hmmm! Definitely didn’t have a hi-fi or sat-nav system in our local mobile library but then, probably the last time I went inside a mobile library, the word processor hadn’t been invented 😉 Shush! QUIET PLEASE!!!

New post

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

just to be playful

The spit is turning on the bbq – there is a chicken pronged to it (if that is the right way of putting it)

The featured image – the view from an office where I was sat in a meeting on Tuesday – photo fortunately (?) backed up before i lost the phone. Click on the pic to see more.

The image below is of the number two


Stay tuned. I might add more stuff. Who knows?

jobslist 4th January

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Where there is marriage there is jobslist

get spare key cut for Citroen
Clear out loft
Arial for TV in mancave
fix deckchairs
put xmas decs away
student load form
sort out Anne’s iPhone
mug cull

Signs of life

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

It’s still the deep mid winter and there remains plenty of time for the snow proper to arrive. The garden is pretty desolate but there are signs of life as early spring bulbs begin to emerge.

The Davies house is relatively quiet at the moment as John is away on a school trip and we only have Joe at home. It’s a taste of what is to come when Joe goes off to university at the end of this academic year.

There are advantages. Anne and I met for a rare drink in the Morning Star at 5pm last night. The rarity being the both of us in the pub. The chicken curry had already been cooked (moi). In fact today’s lamb stew has also been cooked (also moi). Today therefore is a day without stress. I do have a lot of work to get through but with no other pressures that isn’t really a chore.

I’m half thinking of lighting the fire. The only problem is that people rarely sit in the front room so in one sense it’s a bit of a waste. Probably still light it. I’ll sit in there and tap away at the laptop.

This weekend is “garden watch”. We are supposed to count the number of birds seen in our back gardens over the course of an hour. Not participated yet. Might do though it will mean sitting in the conservatory which won’t be the warmest place to be. It’s a feel good thing doing that kind of stuff. Even though the sightings might be sparse. We do have a feeder out there which is fairly well stocked with fat balls. We get the occasional robin plus one or two other species unidentifiable due to the feeder being too far away from the house. Robins are easy.

Joe has already gone off to church and Anne is about to depart. He is playing the piano in the service today. I did once go along to a church service because one of the kids was participating. I’m afraid it is no longer an attraction sufficient enough to make me want to endure the rest of what I personally consider to be squeamishly embarrassing stuff.

I might go if I could be sure that Joe would add a few jazzy riffs to the occasional hymn.I leave you with pic of the winter sun streaming through the kitchen window in the morning.

winter sun in morning

Only one thing left on the jobslist

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Only one line item left on the jobslist. Hanging a picture in the kitchen. Then we can nip to Waitrose for a few choice morsels to accompany tonight’s pulled pork. A bottle of red wine stands patiently on the worktop.


Jobs all done. Beautiful day for a walk into the Bailgate.


Friday, June 21st, 2013


“Knowledge,” said the slightly drunken grey-bearded man, “is the pursuit of anger.”

“Anger?” I challenged.

“Anger.” He confirmed.

A pause.

A sip.

He contemplated.

“You can’t be angry ’bout stuff you don’t know. Kids these days, they’re only angry ‘cos they know… Or think they know.

“Take that whistle-blower guy…”

“Edward Snowden?”

“No, that other one.”

“Bradley Manning?”

“Not him… The one in the embassy; let him rot, he’s made a generation miserable…

“Kids getting angry at the government when they should be out living… Never concerned me what no government did… Didn’t ask questions, just kept us heads down and was grateful for what we got.”

Alcatraz by Plumb-it

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Sounds like a racehorse doesn’t it? Alcatraz by Plumb-it. Actually this is part of a small parade of shops in Bromborough. When you need a hair cut or some plumbing tape (or a spanner) you can kill two birds with one stone.

Ironically we talk about escaping from Alcatraz. In Bromborough blokes escape to Alcatraz. They pop out with a parting shout over the shoulder saying “just nipping out for a hair cut loov (or plumbing tape or spanner)”. When there they sit in a line waiting for their turn in the chair. Short back and sides and a bit of a trim off the top please. Or number one all over. Whatever suits. Off to the match this afternoon?

Something for the weekend sir?

No birds were killed during the making of this post and no mention was made of holidays.