Sunday, 24 February 2008

back in the land of the living.

It's quite amazing how much something quite minor can knock you for six.

Pulled in for a medico prod on Tuesday.

Much tutting and looking, decided that whilst he was between me and the door he was taking some blood tests he has wanted to to do for a while.

In to see the nurse who sunk and inch wide pipe into my arms and drew out several gallons of blood.

Big baby?? Not me!!!!

On to a regimen of antibiotics that really knocked me sideways especially when the first lot didn't seem to be working and a second course were added.

Still all is now returning to semi normal. I can write again, which is a relief of sorts.

Social services have been their usual selves. Child focussed? who them???

Youn P, we were very concerned, was to be taken from rural West Wales and dumped with mum in urban Daycastle. There he and his mum could be left to sink or swim.

So of course a strong case was made for him to remain in West Wales. We were initially very pleased, but of course the devil is in the detail.

He will stay here and his mum will move to be close to him. Meaning the costs of his shared care pass to the LA here or so it seems likely.

Instead of dumping him with his mum in Daycastle, they make really sure and dump him and his mum in West Wales.

"In all things the childs best interests shall be paramount"

Don't make me laugh.......

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


For years now i have suffered from a thing called busitis, as things go it's not that bad.

"Land rover elbow" a small painless swelling on my right elbow where over the years it beat the c**** out of the doors on my land rove and old bedford.

The last few days this has swollen and swollen till last night this thing let go and became "burst"itis and generally life has of course expanded to fill my day with doctors, chemists, social workers and school

I am wiped!!!


Thursday, 14 February 2008

Guaranteed to Proceed Slowly.

Now, the last few years I have been making regular trips from West Wales to Colsterworth.

These journeys courtesy of GPS have involved considerable times on our over stretched and over crowded motorway system. I have been parked in the slow lane all over the country.....

So anyway this time I went to colsterworth and of course there was a complication. The damn thing was a bit broken. At some stage it had taken a hit and the external power lead would not fit any more meaning that it had to be fed regularly with alkaline batteries for which is has a very healthy appetite.

This in turn provoked an outbreak of map reading and, forsaking the M42 and M6 which strike dread into my heart, at the end of the unfortunately numbered M69, I took the A46 and followed it all the way down to the M5.

Admitedly this was the Iveco which can only be reliably made to break the motorwwy speed limit by pushing it off a viaduct..... None the less the journey was achieved in about the same time as it would on the motorway when it is clear, which is usually isn't and with a lot less stress of playing "dodge the lorry" with a bit of "create a gap in the nose to tail stream of rep cars" (with all the horn tooting light flashing and finger waving that carries with it) and generally left me feeling a far happier little bunny.

Hmm - think I might just junk the GPS.


Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Future and past....

Many years ago, well about 15 anyway we arrived in Penole a lot younger and not even begining to understand how our lives were to be changed.

In that first year a friend arrived from Brittany and brought a handful of druidic acorns.

We planted about 10 and, nothing happened. They all died.

Then a few years later we found that in fact a solitary oak had taken root in the soil.

we have watched as slowly over the years the one oak has grown in size and stature, each year slightly bigger and stronger.

We have allowed the gorse to grow around it and shield it but not so much as to stifle it. Today, I took some 50 year old tools off the fire engine walked up the drive with the daughter who is just older than the tree and together we cleared the gorse, leaving our oak standing proud and about 6 foot high.

It can now have all the light and grow on, hopefully for a few hundred years more.

Might get out there with the camera tomorrow.

It all takes it away from tyre kickers.

In the motor trade we experience a phenomenon called tyre kickers. These are people with 2000 pound appetite and a 200 pound budget. Who come dream waste your time and look interested then leave never to be seen again.

So our "Cash buyers" of last week. Came saw left came back with the architect, made all the right noises, then when they costed their plans realised that they had million pound tastes and a half million budget....

Ahh yes tyre kickers.

Of course todays mob were errrrr interesting. He edits a magazine devoted to hemp and hemp products. Hmmmm this could be a "cash" sale then, I mused with visions of an attache case being produced...

But of course not it was not to be, 11/2 hours of my time later and their very posh 4x4 was off up the drive with them in it. At least they had the good manners to say they were not interested why wait 89 minutes before telling me though, could have got them out of here in 1/4 an hour.

House selling - bah - stuff that for a game of skittles.


Sunday, 10 February 2008

The day beckons

Today was a sort of, maybe, a taste of things to come.

For various reasons, of 7 children, 4 of them were not here.

It was quiet, and, you know what?

I could get to like that.

So anyway we went off and did another reccy of the house we might be buying.

We spent a quiet few hours wandering the fields looking at things like drainage and making plans, then pub on the way home and our peace was complete.

Out of the pub and, the mist had dropped.

It's not usual to have sea mist round here.

We drove back across the mountain as the sun slid gently into the misty sea.

The lower land swallowed by the rough foggy waves, with islands of hill blooming green out of the grey.

Clear blue skies were chalked with the white of airliners warming the globe.

Then we got home.

Our environmentally neutral big stove was back on strike. Break out the petrol....

I am not here tomorrow, maybe the buyers will drop in an offer, or just drop the project.


Saturday, 9 February 2008

Australia bound. Eh????

She who does not do waiting had a very weird night last night. For some reason she dreamt I was off to australia, I was emigrating and she, well she was not.

So as you do much of this morning was spent reassuring her that i was not off to Australia any time soon. The course of true love.......

This afternoon and down the drive came a long standing mate of ours and the therapist was definatly "in". She has a 20 something son who is, like so many refusing to leave home.

A master class in tough love.

Talking of which, there arrived a serenity.......

Some therapeutic chainsawing was organised and of course much axe waving went on as well.

Sooooo as I sit here and she rests in the bath both fires are roaring heartilly.

Well, they are now the big stove has taken gross exception to the weather and atmospherics and showed no intrest in being a fire, sitting there moodily sulking in a teenage fire sort of way, it got to the stage where I was considering petrol....

Eventually transplanting part of the little fire into the big fire box seemed to do the trick.

All is well, all is warm, well less cold anyway.


Friday, 8 February 2008

Selling a house.....

Selling a house is an introduction to a whole new world of fantasy, deception both of self and others.

Take our "buyers" god bless them.

These guys were presented to us as being deadly serious and yes I think in their little heads they are.

"Cash buyers", always a good sign, in a "jesusIhopewecanfindsomewheretogo" sort of way.

Well, "not completed on their other houses yet" is nearly cash buyers a bit like "does the lottery every week", could mean you are about to win 16 mil...

Then it turns out the reason they had the architect here was to see if their plans to demolish half the house and build a palace could be sneaked past the good chaps in the council plannning department. A body that unlike certain banks in the past is rather well known for saying no and getting awfully pissy about what people intend to do on their own land.

Then of course the "money" word has reared it's ugly head.

There being some question of whether what they have in the piggy bank will fully fund the palatial plans they have in mind, 250K was being kicked about as a rebuilding cost at one stage.

Is it just me and 'er that try and undertake projects within our budgets and not a fantasy wish list?

So anyways it looks like our heady wave of optimism might be about to break on the rocky financial shore of reality....

We shall see.

I cannot plan our summer manouveres until I know if we are going to be moving house.

Complicating things further, until the council decides if it wants to move P on we cannot book our summer trip to Brittany anyway.

And, the lady does not do waiting.....


The path of true love.

They do say that the path of true love rarely runs smooth they should also have written somewheres that management simply does not do "waiting".

Now the last time she really did not do waiting it was our house in Brittany, waiting there was taken over with the anxiety of knowing which of the two houses we had been discussing with the French estate agent he thought we had made an offer on.

There was a brief few hours where we could have ended up with either of them...

She had almost forgotten, well it was 15 years ago, how she went into work of a morning , sat opposite her colleague in the office and ran through the:

You have bid half what this place is selling for?


You are a social worker manager who has never run a hotel?


You are buying a hotel?


You don't cook?


You will be the cook


Rhys does not do housework?


He is going to run front of house?


Have you ever seen him in clothes that don't feature oil stains?


And he is going to be running front of house?


Whilst of course I sat at home, having taken the sensible precaution of telling the boss where to stick her job, waiting to see if the deal was on.

She had of course the dramas and theatricals of a Social work office to divert her, not to mention newly born twin babies she was smuggling past the boss every morning into work.

This time she has no such distractions and the whole house is treading on egg shells.


I am off back to my bunker......


Monday, 4 February 2008

The ladies not for waiting.

Mondays are normally a lazy sort of a day.

Kids off to school and then debate what high energy pastime to engage in, chainsaw the wood, wave the axe about, re lay the drive.

Sometimes we even get out of bed....

But today was of course a blur of activity as yet again the junk got hidden and things got bustled ready for viewings.

The viewees turned up bang on time with their tame architect and spent a long time wondering round and making plans.

Their plans are really firming up.

These guys are serious.

Of course at midday along came the next set.

Tyre kickers I very quickly worked out.

Wanted the house but wanted the work all done or maybe they didn't have the money and were dreaming.

Most likely I reckon they didn't like the fact the wind was blowing. Ahh yes, we want the country but don't want weather....

Thats the thing about country life, you get to be a lot more in tune with time and season than you are in town. At least thats my view.

I know summer, the sun sets way to the north across the mountains. Weak winter sun sets far earlier and way south. In town I rarely saw and often failed to notice the sunset in our neon street.

But we are in early spring, bizarre, this is at least a month too early.

Yes, last year we had snow about now, this year the daffs are coming but a month earlier than they did about 10 years ago.

Could be a fluke or could be global warming.

Daffs are great though, I have been planting daffs here on and off for 15 years and they pop up in banks and patches where I have stripped the odd bit of land and simply popped the bulbs in.

Now we have willow too. Willow is fantastic stuff, you just stick it in the floor and it grows. Then you chop branches off and they grow too.

If we go I might cut some of our willow, just to establish continuity.

And as for the sale we are waiting for an offer, that poker playing act casual time,the lady does not do waiting she wants to know and now.


Saturday, 2 February 2008

Like a death wish.....

So of course me and the management have been and virtually talked ourselves out of moving.

We had made the decision executive that it was time to ride things out.

We analysed the local situation and came to the conclusion that the local housing market is likely to take off over the next few years despite any local downturn.


So these guys have come and view and, well, cutting a long story into the short we have a buyer who seems hot to trot.

Monday morning, indecently early they are coming to have another look at the house and, early indications are that our asking price, which is not terribly negociable will be OK by them.

And of course with the market being very "flat" there is another viewing right behind them.

Now I have to tread the path delicate to negociate with the person we had originally planned to buy a house off, and quickly.

But anyway, today has been a balancing day, I spent a morning trying to persuade a land rover it wanted to make brum brum noises. Not to sucesfully I might add

Scrapped a car miday, and sold a guy a truck in the meanwhile, which has to be a first too.

Nathan my scrap merchant is a hell of a bloke.

He comes down the drive and his opening gambit, every time is the same.

He is originally from Ireland I would guess.

His opening line to me was:

"I was just passin today sur and I wondered if you had any of dat old brass and copper lying round getting under your feet, sure it will gettin in your way sir and of course dat lead stuff, a right nuisance dat can be. So i though I would pop in and offer to take it away for you sir for nothing sir so I would."

Faced with that blatant blarney, who could resist.

He is coming back next week to buy a lorry off of me.

So anyway today I have been off axing the firewood.

I might also have been watching the rugby.

Did anyone see the result of Wales v England?

I missed it myself....