Tuesday, 30 March 2010

happy birthday sweet 17

So today another milestone, twins of 17.

Driving lesson this afternoon and an old Citroen AX being brought to readiness as a first car.

Insurance is the big bugbear for the budding driver. Taliesin bought himself a Land Rover Discovery, then immediately realized he could not afford to insure it. People live for half a year on the figure he was quoted as a premium. Which was anyway lots more than the car cost to buy!!!

It's a big problem locally, lots of the young scallies have realized that the fine they get for not having insurance is less than buying insurance. SO they wing it.

Taliesin Bethan and Branwen could well be driving by the summer, looks like we will be going to France on our own. If we can afford it having paid for the lessons and the car which will doubtless lose all it's fuel over night periodically.


Monday, 29 March 2010

Times and technology.....

It's funny how times change....

Going back ohhh, a good while, we had a bedroom, the management and me.

As time passed it acquired things.

It always had a clock radio, my old clock radio, from uni, we needed that to get us out of bed on time.

And books, this house has feet and feet of books Probably a 50 foot wall along the building 4 shelves high with more again piled on the top.

Then we got a better set up so at night we could listen to music on the cassette player then the cd player. Boxes of cassettes and racks of CD's. Peaceful us time after the kids had gone to bed.

Then of course we added a telly and next came the video player and the DVD player.

This weekend we had a life laundry event and shipped the lot out.

We each have a laptop, all the music I ever want is stored on one tiny little memory stick (driving the van is not a tidal wave of cassettes sliding round the floor any more either), if it isn't already on the c drive.

Any film I want to watch is there in the DVD drive.

Any telly I want is there on i player.,

We have gone full circle, a room full of clutter is a room with 2 laptops in it.

And of course my clock radio, the same one I had in Uni, coff coff years ago.

Oh and books, lots and lots of books...

Not to mention the sofa, so one of us can sit here writing their blog and the other can read her book in bed in decadence drinking a rather posh little vin rouge.


Friday, 26 March 2010

time flying....

The management is a today person.

If she wanted something tomorrow then tomorrow is the day to order it.

So going for an interview then waiting for an answer for over 20 days is not a good thing to happen. Worse than that, going for an interview where I work and then not being told for 20 days is very much worse, I cannot ask, it would not be ethical and I just get the same sad eyes looking at me.

Still life goes on and hopefully she will know soon.

At least she has her scaffolding, why can things not be simple for ue - ever.

There I was at work 50 miles away and this guy phones me to deliver, not a problem with that. There were clear instructions, don't bring it without contacting me first as my drive is narrow and maybe a truck would struggle.

Ohh noooo too clear, the hapless trucker gets a pallet dropped off on to his truck and away he was sent. Now this hear pallet weighed an easy ton and a half so I wasn't going to be lifting that off by hand. No one thought to ask if I had any means of off loading the truck either.

So there I was 50 miles away from a truck carrying a load of stuff, a truck that could not get down my drive to a place where I had nothing to off load it with anyway.

By shear fluke I managed to arrange for the old boy who has a wood yard down the road who by coincidence only was in his yard, to use the forklift to unload it wherapon I could get The Bedford flatbed and collect the stuff a day later.

Well some of it, they had forgotten to load her acrow props so she has yet to get all her birthday present.

As I said she does not do waiting, at least she seems happy with her birthday gifts so far.

And in a mad romantic moment I took her to the plant place yesterday and bought her enough buckthorn to finish off the hedge.

I suprise myself sometimes I really do....


Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Welcome to the pain of rural life.

People tank about costs of living where they live.

Today idly I looked at the MOT for the Xantia, a lovely car and very economical.

There in September 2007 is the first MOT we put on the car 186,000 miles. Today the clock reads 248,000 the Xantia is very economical but thats still a lot of diesel, and the price is poised to go over 1.20 a litre.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Everything must end...

Today we had an ending, one of the locals I have known for maybe 30 years was buried after being not at all well for a very long time.

One of a cabal who used to sit in one of the local pubs and exercise humour that went beyond dry.

"You would not last long in there is you had a big head" as one of my mates said after I took him there for the first time.

They take funerals seriously in West Wales, we went expecting to be out for a few hours and ended up late collecting the kids from school.

There is something ritualistic to death and ending here, the whole community turned out. Suits out of the cupboard, mainly men, with a scattering of women thrown in.

Only the second funeral since we came to live here. Maybe after nearly 20 years they are starting to notice we live here.

Picked up some useful info and management met someone who shares her interest in trees. Last heard they were hatching up some management plan for the whole valley....


Sunday, 14 March 2010

We love things mechanical don't we....

My don't we all love things mechanical.

The digger has been on strike for a while and so last weekend, having brain deaded myself trying to get it to work I got my mate the Grease to look, which meant that in ohhhh about 20 minutes he spotted the obvious and had the damn thing running.

Then of course much was my delight as I could now do things like dig soil for the garden without needing to break my back.

Some wee little time later the Taliesin came in to announce it had ceased to function again. Hours later (with lots of swearing thrown in)I got the blessed thing running having simply by passed much of the fuel system and installed all new pipe and filters.

So that was great - I was really pleased The digger was running, well for a few hours. Then it threw a track, now, these mini diggers have a simple system to tension the tracks that uses a simple piston pressurized with automotive grease. This was seized as solidly as a solid thing. When I had a 10 ton jack trying to get it to go back in I knew I was on a bit of a loser.

So, it being mothers day and all I had a "fork it" moment and took the management off to spend money at the garden centre. We had earlier celebrated the day with brisk bout of chainsawing and she came over all misty eyed when she found out I had added a 45 foot of special scaffold tarpaulin to the order for her scaffolding.

She basks in a sea of love that one...


Friday, 12 March 2010

Oh what a happy birthday...

Not the best of days for she who directs all we owe money on.

Things went sort of OK this morning then off to the auctions.

Pretty disappointing, not much there to get oneself really excited about but a couple of little bits she fancied.

Some jugs that were a bit of a steal and some rather superb hats for her and the girls, one still having a price label of 90 pounds, with the whole lot costing less than a tenner.

The one thing she really wanted though, a very nice water colour fell victim to silly money.

Some auction newbies seemed to be over blessed with money and underesourced with sense, everything they wanted they bid on till they got it.

I noticed them early on, bidding on some stained glass, bidding steamed through cheap, flew through sensible, cruised into strong, before ending in daft.

They were obviously playing a game as they moved around the auction room a lot, an old ploy, so that their bid came in from changing angles all the time.

The auctioneer, a sly old fox joined in and they bought various things against bids which must have come from various bits of furniture, light bulbs and windows. He wasn't taking bids against them off people that's all I can say...

Then came the managements desired water colour, she piled in but it just soared away, she went to daft then gave up.

When confronted with these sorts you just spend their money (earns you huge bonus points with the auctioneer) run them up on everything they bid and eventually they either let other people have things or they go away.

But we came home, mid afternoon, frozen solid and a bit cheezed off.

I was of course dead romantic and bought the whole house a birthday celebration meal, well, OK, the chip shop was open when we went to pick up the Branwen from the bus.

Managment was seriously cold at the end of a day spent in a packed auction room where furniture stacked up against the walls means the heating must always be off and she has retired early to bed.

She has of course retired with a nice vin rouge, "how romantic", I thought, she though said she had "a headache" - the kind of warning look we romantic men do really well to note.

Still, the scafolding arrives next week, she will love it i am sure.


Thursday, 11 March 2010

Romancing the management

Xmas and the managements birthday are very special to me, every year I devote lots of thought to what I get her as presents.

There have been shovels, slow cookers a lovely steam iron.

One year I even bought her a rotivator, another year it was a cement mixer.

This year though, I have excelled myself, in a fit of misty eyed romance I bought her 32 foot of scaffolding with a working height of 15 foot.

Overcome with passion I bought her 6 acrow props to go with it.

I can't wait to see her happy little face in the morning.


Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A week is a long time in fostering.

Doesn't time fly when you are having fun?

So said someone who must have been having fun when time was flying....

The last weeks have shot by, as usual we are not people given to deep and considered responses, it's fast decisions and we are off to the races.

Sort of refreshed by a weekend away in Brittany: mad dash to the ferry, so I didn't miss too much of the rugby. Great meal on the Bretagne and a free cabin upgrade too.

Lovely spacious cabin with a window no less. Well, it had a window, facing the bow too, but mindfull of the weather forecast the crew had screwed a bloody big hatch over the outside of it. HAving seen the video of the windows going through on a cruise liner a few days later I think we can forgive them that.

But to the house and hooray no thieves been to call. Roof looking a bit dodgy though promising more open wallet surgery!!!

Lunch, much anticipated, was cancelled, the restauraunt was closed.

Back up to Roscoff via a mates pub in Ploye to see the damage after if burnt down recently.

Back to the ship and with the cold wind and rain deterring us from a trip into town we took the early board option and headed for home.

The trip back promised storms and winds, the paper in France full of dire warnings of violence to come. We faced the trip home with a bit of trepidation. The sea was like a pool table all the way home.....

As I said we tend to work in Blitzes of work and since getting back we have been racing ahead with the project to renew the old farmhouse next door.

Much junk has been cleared and also, in the background, lots of wood has been cut.

Students have been interviewed and one in particular is really keen to know the outcome of her application.

Today, despite the spring sunshine, the air is still chill and I have made it no further than our living room where we sit each on their laptop basking in the 20 degree warmth of the dancing flames of our big log stove.

Hopefully we are bringing the furry tide of cats under control. Lilith is at the vets having her bits removed, that just leaves 2 more queens to catch. Could be interesting as they are a little bit short of "tame". Flesh rippingly savage in fact, might need to find the fire service gear; that is pretty cat proof.