Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Deadliest Loonpot

Hullo there...

I'm still a 'ouse 'usband and enjoying all the duties that go with it - such as drinking tea, playing on my Wii and watching telly. It was whilst watching said telly that I came accross a programme called "Deadliest Catch" which is basically about a load of blokes pulling crabs in cages from feckin' freezing water...enthralling stuff...!
Anyway, on tonight's episode one of these young men took a bit of a tumble onto his ankle. Now, thinks me, how bad will it be? I am something of an expert in the field of damaged ankles - it's only a fortnight since F asked me to put the bin out* which I duly went off to do...she was then alerted to me lying in a pool of dog p**s in the back yard by my pathetic moans as I had thrown myself off the back step, twisting my ankle and bruising my leg in the process. I must make it clear that I had not touched a drop that day!!

Now, this time of year seems to bring out the best in me. Last year (this time avec my friend Stella) I went out to remonstrate with our neighbours from hell taking a tumble off the front step in the process. Luckily, Stella had worked her magic and I was a little anaesthatised to the worst of the pain. However, I knew I had done something pretty drastic and took my boot off as soon as I could to reveal this:-



It was sore!! It took a while to go right, and in all honesty still gives me a bit of grief to this day. These pictures were taken almost straight after I went over on it. Within a couple of days it was almost completely blue. Seeing the guy on "Deadliest Catch" tonight reminded me of that incident.

Judging by my past escapades I can look forward to doing a full limb next year!

*As a quick aside, on the radio the other they were talking about Lancashire sayings, one being how would you ask "Has the refuse collector arrived yet, mother?" in Lancashire..."Has bin man bin, mam?"!!!


Friday, 23 November 2007

An Influx Of Ideas

I've been reading again.
Wait!! Before you go off to get matchsticks for your eyelids this might even interest you...ok, it probably won't but it'll at least give you another bit of useless knowledge!!!
I'm currently reading a book about how London was rebulit after the great fire in 1666. The author is postulating that our nation's capital was rebuilt by Wren and others in line with ancient beliefs that London was to be the New Jerusalem. Now, that's a bit deep to get into at the minute suffice to say it involves much to do with the Zodiac (if you're at all interested in the Zodiac and it's connection to religion today please have a look at this movie) and (for political reasons at the time) the lineage of our middle age Kings being shown to come from the aincient tribes of Israel and therefore directly from God.
What has really interested me about this book is the way that England came to be a scientific leader in Europe. At around this time most of Europe was still Catholic and therefore the Pope and his church were very powerful. As learned men (then known as natural philosophers rather than scientists and known to dabble in alchemy) discovered more the likes of Copernicus and Gallileo amongst others were coming up with theories and proofs that challenged the crestionist doctrine which was the mainstay of the Catholic church. To the all powerful church these men were heretics, the punishment for which was death - so what was the option for those with apparantly heretical beliefs?
Escape to protestant England where their ideas were more readily accepted. This acceptance of ideas drew more and more of these natural philosophers to our shores and their interaction with our own alchemists and great thinkers such as William Gilbert and later Sir Isaac Newton allowed Great Britain to be at the forefront of science in those early days.
Of course, the above is very simplified and I'm not suggesting that Copernicus or Gallileo made it to these shores, rather than using them as famous examples scientist of that time. I just find this sort of fortuitous footnote to our past very interesting and thought you might too.
Oh, one other thing I learnt today - the reason surgeons are referred to as "Mister" as opposed to "Doctor" is because they were originally seen by their collegues simply as hackersof limbs and therefore not worthy of the title "Doctor"...see, told you you'd learn something!
Don't worry, I'll ask F to post again soon!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

New Arrival

It's all change at the moment in our household. I'm currently playing the role of 'ouse 'usband while F goes off to do some agency work at some ridiculously high rate of pay. I've just set myself up for a day of hard work with bacon and egg on toast and a mug of tea - all after mopping the kitchen floor, filling the dishwasher, cleaning the yard and feeding the hounds...it's all go here!

Whilst mentioning the hounds there's a couple of pictures of our new arrival Rosie the Rotten below...ain't she cute??!


And here's one of her with Buddy, who isn't too keen at the minute!!


We reckon she might be a big girl seeing as she's only just over 9 weeks old!

I've been waiting for Blogger to allow us Blogger's to upload video. F and I tend to take a lot of media with our mobiles, having them with us most of the time they're just so handy to record those little moments or quirky little things that we see. Here's a video of Nate taking a ride with Noddy in the supermarket yesterday:-


video

I did have one in the same vein of Kaisters riding his pedal powered digger but for some reason it seems to have disappeard so I'll have to search for that one. Anyway, I suppose I should get on with some work (!) and some job searching...TTFN!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

A sleeping sleepless night....

Last night I had a strange experience. For once it didn't involve drink...!

I don't know if you have ever heard of sleep paralysis but I think I had my first (and hopefully last) experience of it last night. I awoke in the early hours, quite lucidly, but was worried when my legs wouldn't respond to instructions from my brain. Nor would my arms. Nor my torso. I couldn't move a muscle yet I was perfectly aware of my surroundings. To say I was becoming concerned would be an understatement but I was snapped out of this apparent hell by F brushing against me.

What happened to me is symptomatic of sleep paralysis which almost every person on earth will experience at least once in their lives. Luckily for me, I had seen a programme on this condition a few years ago - only the programme was more concerned with the "night hag" phenomenon where the sufferers of this condition experience a hag or demon type appirition in the room with them and eventually sitting on their chest or becoming attached to their throat, constircting their breathing. However, it is postulated that this figure is part a figment of the mind that is still truly asleep. Needless to say, I was waiting with trepidation for this manifestation last night!!

On a lighter note our friend Linda at Ravenrock Kennels gifted us with a magnificent 9 week old Rotten puppy yesterday. Her dad Mac can be seen on the link above - as can our beloved Tequila's mum and sister Cassie and Reba (respectively). We have named her Rosie the Rottweiller and her official Kennel Club name is Ravenrock Dolly Rose, although Dolly Dimple may be more appropriate thinks I!!! Pictures will be posted of this tiny row of teeth and an a**ehole on coming posts...!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Another Rant...

Hullo!!
Firstly, thank you to those of you that left comments about the loss of our tiny girl Tequila. We scattered her ashes at Bolton Abbey and she's quite likely very happy now chasing ducks like she always wanted to! We still miss her like crazy but the other three are trying their best to fill the void that has been left in her wake. Gracie especially is doing her best to fill Tequila's (metaphorical) boots by protecting the house in what looks to be a new inimitable style!
For those that are interested, my new job didn't go too well so I've been putting my energies into finding another job (I have an interview on Friday) and also educating myself. I have been spending time with the chilblains and playing the guitar a lot more - I have even been getting blisters on my fingers for the first time in 17 years...and I sound like I can play now!
When I say "educating myself" I was speaking in terms of doing an awful lot of reading. I prefer non-fiction to novels as it has to be an extremely good story to grab me. The last one that did it was Stephen King's "Eyes of the Dragon", which was a fantastic fantasy story, although anything by Richard Bach would receive my full attention - I should blog my admiration for that man very soon. Strangly, Stephen King set himself an experiment where he published books under the name of Richard Bachman to see if he could replicate his success under a different name.
I have read all sorts of things lately but have turned my attention at the minute to the problems facing the western economy and the very real threat of a U.S./Allied strike on Iran (I've been boring F rigid, but nothing new there!). I have a lot of opinion on the latter and I definately believe that we in the West would be making a grave mistake in attacking Iran, not least because of the willingness of both Russia and China to seize an opportunity to support the Iranians and to make the most of the impending economic crisis that we face here in the West.
For the record, I believe that the Bush administration has totally abused its power and has done all it can to ensure that the supply of wealth to the top 1% of the population that they truly represent has been assured. Anyone with any doubts over the rhetoric displayed by this bunch of shites need only do a little bit of searching to just scratch at the surface of the lies that this cabal have built. The house of cards has to tumble.
Am I one of these "wacko's" that thinks that 9/11 was an inside job? Yes I am. I truly believe that Bush and his cronies were more than capable of killing their own citizens in order to bring about the support needed for an illegal war (we here in England we just as complicit...thank you, Mr. Blair). What was needed was another Pearl Harbour - the event that brought about America's entry into WWII and galvanised American public opinion in such a way that the then Government could quite happily wander into war. That's what happened. Ok, maybe it's not as clear cut as being an inside job, but maybe intelligence was skilfully ignored (I'm not decided myself yet) but either way, I believe the current American administration was complicit in the deaths of all those poor souls and the subsequent pain and grief caused to those left behind.
Oh, and just to make a little analogy, the Nazi party came to power in 1930's Germany after the Hitler's Nazi party burnt the Reichstag to the ground and blamed it on the communists. Upon gaining power they immediately set about taking power away from their citizens under the guise of protecting them from the evil in their midst. Sound anything like the erosion of the American constitution under the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act/Bill? Or like the new powers of internment being introduced by the British government? But of course, it's for our protection...
Whilst mentioning the Nazi party I should also mention one Prescott Bush, father of former President George H. W. Bush and granfather of current President George W. Bush. A nazi collaboraor...?
But why do it? Oil is one best bet. A pipeline along the Caspian Sea area wouldn't really have been possible without a compliant government in Afghanistan. Not that the Bush family or their associates have anything to do with the oil industry (!). Then Iraq...well, Saddam was highly unlikely to be a best friend of Messrs Bush and Cheney so we'd better get rid of him. Who next...Venezuela looked good but I guess Mr. Chavez was just too vocifierous and did enough to avoid attack. So, that leaves Iran and Mr. Ahmadinejad...for those that believe the things they've heard about his comments please have a quick look at this. If this one falls through I can only think that North Korea's next.
If you have a couple of hours to spare please have a look at this movie. The producers don't want you to take their facts on face value but want you to research for yourself - see their reasoning here.
Enough for now, as I've quite bored you all enough, but if anything happens to me I've left a box of incriminating papers with my solicitor!!!!

Friday, 19 October 2007

A short goodbye...

Hi Ppl....




I've started this particular blog entry three times now and it hasn't worked. So, rather than say how the job is I'd better just spit it out: queen of the ba****ds is gone....



Sadly...very, very sadly, we today said godbye to Tequila. Our favourite big girl died suddenly in our back yard today and I think it's fair to say that we're both devastated.



That big lump of a dog was the most fantastic thing on four legs. She was like a bumble bee: in no way should she be able to fly, but give her a good enough run up and she was a veritable flying pudding!



Everytime she went out into the back yard she went out fighting...nobody (let alone her!) knew who she was going to fight with but she'd try her best. Cars were her favourite things to bark at, aside from scrotes, and she'd quite happily barkbrain at them all day. She also liked to show the world her belly, which was spectacularly hairy.



I can't say enough good things about Tequila. She was a dog in a million. The dog you wish you'd always had and the dog you wish you could keep forever. Today that sweet canine soul left us and we both are so empty without her.



Wherever you are Tequila, we love you.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Apologies

Hi Everyone...

D here...I must apologise for the complete lack of posts over the past month and a half.

It's a strange state of affairs that having more time on our hands has meant less time to involve ourselves in our old pursuits. We've spent the past ten weeks being more of a family and enjoying time together that we would never have had had fate/providence not played its part. To be able to spend quality time with my family and be paid for it (thank you, Insolvancy Service!) has been a fantastic boost to the energy levels but alas, all good things must come to an end and I start my new job on Monday.

It's the same sort of job but luckily I will be working for people that seem to be forward thinking and genuinely concerned with their staff - a breath of fresh air after the last shower I gave nine and a half years of my life to (I'm not bitter!!). I was introduced to these guys by a rep that I used to deal with, whose company lost thousands when my former employers went bust. Mr. D (as he shall be known) had always been a good friend as well as a business associate and I count myself lucky to know a man like him - he looked out for me and explained to these guys the situation I was in. A few phone calls later and I had myself an interview.

I realised that I had nothing to prove to my prospective employers. They either liked me or didn't and I certainly wasn't going to B.S. my way through the interview, even telling them "If I lie to you now I'll be found out in three days so I might as well just tell you the truth and not waste anybody's time". It was this honesty that they liked and told me immediately that I'd got the job but that they would put a formal offer through within twenty four hours - Mr. D had "bigged me up" somewhat, it would seem!

So, I've landed myself a job with a company that have "Investors In People" and are more than willing to have their staff trained, who have hinted that they may be interested in funding the completion of my degree, have offered me a very good salary package, who will take over my pension contributions and,most of all who seem like human beings and people that you can have a proper working relationship with. I suppose mother was right: I can fall in a barrel of s**t and come up smelling of roses!!

I'm not getting too cocky just yet though as we never know what the next few weeks and months will bring. I'll keep you updated as to the working conditions and how much I'm enjoying my new post.

This post is dedicated to Mr. D (not that he'll ever read it!!) and to those friends that do all they can to help us out when the chips are down. I hope I never have to do it for one of my friends but if misfortune should ever visit them I hope I'm man enough to be able to step in and help them.



The above picture is of Fi holding onto The B*stards as they're affectionately known - from left to right they are Sasha, Tequila, Buddy and Gracie...and they're just as stupid as they look (Fi excluded!)

Friday, 31 August 2007

The Rottweiler

Hi again,
We saw this and thought you may like to see the true character of the rottweiler, not the hideous vicious creature everyone thinks they are.. click here..

Trees for Life

Hi there people, sorry we have not been around for a while but we have been very busy being a family, which has been lovely!!

Anyway, we are going to blog our recent visits to Bolton Abbey soon because we have had a great time and taken some lovely photos... But in the mean time we wanted to share the Trees for Life web site set up by Yorkshire Tea...(buy some...it's proper good tea!!!) DN) They are doing some really good things for the less privileged of us in the world, please do take a look...

TTFN

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

An Update

We're still here, don't panic!! Oh, you weren't...ok, I'll get on with it then.

Just a quick one really. I've been doing a bit of work on the house, as well as dealing with all the things you have to do when you're out of work and preparing my claim for redundancy pay. I've been made aware in an email from my former employer that the company has not gone into administration and is therefore still trading. Because of this, I have to claim redundancy pay, pay in lieu of notice and wages owing from them rather than from the National Insurance fund.

Now that sounds relatively simply but I worked directly with these people for nine and a half years and I know that they'll do whatever it takes to wheedle out of it. This means there is a distinct possibility of me having to take them to an employment tribunal. I could be in for a long fight.

I have to attend the joke shop, sorry, job centre on Friday morning for a "ready to work" interview. I can see I might have to bite my lip a few times and not say what I'm really thinking!

Anyway, on a brighter note, we had a little trip into the historic town of Skipton today where Fi's sister and her husband have their narrowboat moored. We had fish and chips for dinner and then had a walk round the "famous" market...which in my opinion is c**p!! Still, it was a nice day out and was good to get away from the stresses of keep going over the above in my head!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Well hello!
Ok...I'd actually wriiten a rather long post yesterday whch I was going to post today, a follow on from the dihydrogen monoxide article. Unfortunately, I'd written that post on my pc at work - and I'm now unemployed!
I went to work at my usual time of 7.30AM today and by 8.15AM I was on my way home. The company I work for has so much debt that to stay open was not a viable option, apparantly. I'm sure that won't stop my former employers from enjoying their luxury cars and yachts, but hey, I'm not bitter!!!
So, the post I prepared is at work, or what used to be work. However, I can still remember what I was waffling on about. There were only two of you that replied so thanks akelamalu and caira..probably the only two that read this rubbish, but I'm relying on you, my public to go and spread the word!
So, just what is dihydrogen monoxide? Break the name down..."di" means two, hydrogen is as we know, so we have two hydrogen. "Mono" is singular so we also have one oxygen. Two hydrogen and one oxygen is...H2O - water!
Now, please don't think that the last post was intended to show you up. It was actually an attempt to show that when facts are presented in a certain way they can suddenly become scary. Please go back and read the article now that you know what dihydroen monoxide is. All of those facts about water are true, it's just the way that they're presented that seems scary.
In the post I'd prepared I had entered into the realms of "peak oil" just to maybe stir up some debate (I'm good at that eh, akelamalu?!) about the way facts are presented and how they can be manipulated to make the general populace "toe the line". I'll find time to go into that over the next couple of weeks, I'm sure.
For now, be safe...x

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Danger!

I have today read this article on a substance that is clearly something we should all be aware of. Please have a read and let me know what you think in the comments...
Consider the name(s) of this compound while you're reading. You will have handled this in its raw form many times. Once I've got some comments I'll post another article.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

After The Rain

I spotted a plane flying in another plane's slipstream this morning and took this picture with my phone's camera...

Unfortunately, the planes don't show up too well. The lead plane is at the top of the picture with the second one about halfway down where the vapour trails seem to thicken. However, my reason for posting this wasn't really the planes but more to show that blue sky is still available in this country!

Seems a long time since we've seen it after the rain...

Monday, 30 July 2007

Recognition At Last!

Oh yeah...

Akelamalu over at Everything and Nothing has given us this award. It should be for blogging prowess but is really for taxi services to holidaymakers. We've not been given nearly enough awards yet (a piffling one...) so if you're reading this and want to reward us with an award (huh?!) just drop us a line, we're happy to accept almost anything.

Gordon Brown, if you're reading this an M.B.E. apiece wouldn't go amiss...

The Road To Hell...

A simple trip from Rochdale to Glastonbury. Motorway all the way. It couldn't be simpler. Could it?
Things had started to go wrong in the week and maybe we should've seen this as an omen. I was playing with the eldest of the monsters who at that time had a penchant for keys of any kind. He didn't want to do anything with them other than hold them. On this one particular night though he was playing with my car keys and he decided that he wanted to put them in the bin. Now, this wouldn't have been too bad because our landlord (who himself is worthy of a post) at the time didn't normally bother emptying the bins...ever! On this occasion he was unusually efficient and took about six weeks rubbish to the tip in one fell swoop...goodbye car keys!!
So that was that...no keys at all to my car which as well as being locked was thouroughly immobilised! It was later to cost me around £200 to get a replacement key but right now we had more pressing problems...how to transport ourselves around...
Luckily, Fi's brother-in-law had a spare vehicle which he kindly lent us for our road trip. Grateful as we were at the time using that vehicle was a decision we were going to regret!
It was a lovely May morning with the sun shining brightly in the sky and a gentle cooling breeze fanning us as we set off. We had arranged to meet a friend of ours who lived in Glastonbury on Saturday afternoon and have a wee wander round, head to our guest house for a shower and change of clothes and then head out for something to eat. A refreshing nights sleep followed by the journey back up the various motorways and home in time for Sunday lunch. Even the best laid plans...
We jumped, well clambered, into the vehicle we had borrowed (there's a theme here) and set off, full steam ahead! Unfortunately that's just what happened. We had made good time on the M6 and were just heading up to junction 15 (Newcastle-under-Lyme) when steam started pouring out from under the bonnet. A few frantic phone calls and we were in luck - the vehicle had Green Flag breakdown cover! Fi, being marvellous as she is, managed to limp the vehicle the ½ mile or so up to the next exit and we pulled into the carpark of the Holiday Inn.
Ok, says we. The car's buggered, we have to wait for the rescue man and we've not even completed a third of our journey. Plan of action...? We're at a hotel, let's just stay here the night, wait for the car to be fixed and head back home tomorrow, save Glastonbury for another time. Simple enough in theory but slap me with a fish slice if we hadn't chosen the busiest weekend in the hotel's history to try to get a room. They couldn't even offer us a stable to sleep in!!
All was not lost though. It was possible that there was only a minor malfunction with the vehicle that could be fixed in a matter of minutes. So we sat and waited for the breakdown man to turn up and enjoyed a cold beer.
Presently, our mechanic in shining armour turned up and proceeded to pour copious amounts of water into the radiator. "This won't be a problem" he assured us, "I'll just take the thermostat off and as long as you keep it topped up with water it'll get you there and back no problem". Fantastic, thinks we, we're gonna be on our way pretty soon with hardly any delay. Then came the slight flaw in the mechanic's otherwise flawless plan - the thermostat had already been removed hence it overheating in the first place...the jalopy couldn't be moved. We were well and truly buggered.
We thought the simplest idea would be to rent a car to take us the rest of the way - all we had to do was work out where from and how to get there. Luckily for us the receptionist at the hotel was more than willing to drive us into the centre of town and right at the door of a car rental place (anything for ten minutes out of work!). Another stroke of luck in that Fi had all the document we needed to hire the car in her bag. A few forms signed and we were back on our jolly way.
The rest of that day's trip was largely uneventful (apart from two sandwiches and two coffees costing the best part of fourteen quid in one of the service stations...the staff uniform should be a mask and a stripey jumper) and we arrived safe and sound at about 5.00pm. There was just time to meet Scooby Sue for a drink before we made our way to the guest house to get ourselves washed and dolled up. Scooby Sue had already let the owner know that we were running late so it was all gravy.
The guest house was lovely. In fact, it wasn't really a guest house but a private house with the downstairs area converted into a self contained flat. When we ventured upstairs for our breakfast on Sunday morning the view from the window was amazing, looking out over rolling countryside. Anyway, we did what we had to do and went for a lovely meal with Scooby Sue and her daughter...and a grand night was had by all!
After breakfast on Sunday we went for a brief stroll around the town (brief because there's bugger all there) and a coffee with Scooby Sue and then it was time to be on our way home. Now, the observant ones among you may remember that we were in a hire car which had to be delivered back to Newcastle-under-Lyme. A plan was hatched where we would search for a national car rental company, hire another car, drop the first hire car off and then drop the second hire car off closer to home. Simplicity in itself. Much searching was done and let me tell you now, the likes of National and Hertz don't venture into the potteries and who can blame them??!
So, foiled yet again our only option was to drive back to Rochdale, borrow yet another car and then wing it all the way back to Newcastle-under-Lyme to drop the courtesy car off before driving back again. We set off from Glastonbury at 11.00am and finally finished our journey at 8.00pm.
Next time we're getting the train!

Sunday, 29 July 2007

A mind is a terrible thing...

Fi says I should blog. Personally I think she should stop telling me what to do when she can't even control her faculties enough to keep hold of a poxy set of car keys...

Anyhooo, here I am. I've recently been taking much supplements, such as glucosamine, vitamins, fish oil stuff and
ginkgo bilbao (which are not related to Rocky, seeing as his name is Balboa, and he's not real). The latter are taken the world over for their brain boosting properties which is something I've felt like I've needed recently!! To be honest, I can't say I noticed much difference at first but I can certainly say that I seem to have become a bit sharper mentally.

I've also been occasionally taking
gotu kola but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this just makes me loopy. Last night I was laughing my socks off at a combination of this and this, much to Fi's bemusement! To me Cosmo, Dibs and Foggy seemed like the ideal sitcom...and I suppose you're probably just as bemusedright now as Fi was back then....

I don't think the ginkgo is working...

Saturday, 28 July 2007

The Car Key Adventure...

Hi there everybody, it is me, Fi, I told you that I wouldn't get to blog very much, my time is taken up with looking after Nate and the rest of it working.. Sometimes I even get to sleep but not much and certainly not nearly enough!!

I just have to tell you about how clumsy and baby-brained I have become since getting pregnant and giving birth to Nate..

I managed to finish work early on Tuesday, I usually work 8am to 9pm 3 days a week but managed to get away early to take one of the hounds to the vets..
I got back home, safe and sound but 'D' had called to see his mum & dad with Nate and was not yet back. Seeing as how good I am, I decided to take the aforementioned hounds out for a nice walk whilst waiting for 'D' to get home... I put the dog leads on 2 of the hounds but had left the other 2 dog leads in the car so I needed to go and get them....
Now then, the car I am using at the minute does not belong to me, it belongs to 'D's father who has kindly lent it to me for a while...
So, I picked up the car keys and left the house to go round the side to retrieve the leads and then, PLOP! the car keys are down the drain, right down the gully, in all the horrible rain water that we have been having... Oh no!! thinks I and calls 'D' to ask what to do, he has no idea really what could be done at that time in the evening.. I was advised to ring the council in the morning...

Now here is the good part, the following morning I ring the council at 9.10am, I spoke to a lovely lady who's name was Lorraine, after the expected jocularity at the stupidness of my actions, she said she would ring me back in 5 minutes, she took my number and indeed, she did call me back. She said, hello, Fiona, its Lorraine, there will be somebody with you in 10 minutes, I have asked them to divert to you.. Thanks, I said and off she went off the phone. I had to gallop upstairs and get dressed, by the time I came back downstairs a huge gully cleaner was parked at the front of the house.. Out pops 2 men, both enjoying the hilarity of the situation, we've come about some keys love, they say to me... I point them in the direction of the gully and they quick as a flash whip the top off and fish down in it with some big claw-like graspers that I am reliably informed are called gully scoops. Then, a few fishes later up comes the keys, full of dark black goo, they take them to the van and clean them up for me and hand them over.... Phew, i think and thank them in an embarrassed way and off they go. By 9.30 am I have the elusive keys back, now that is pretty good going, Lancashire County Council can be proud of themselves...

Anyhow, this is not the first adventure I have had, in fact 'D' and I had a great one a couple of years ago on the way to see a friend who was living in Glastonbury, but I will leave that for another time, I will also tell you about a short but life changing weekend 'D' and me had in Hebden Bridge
I hope you keep visiting us and we shall post more regularly when we get time..
Bye for now...

Friday, 20 July 2007

Out in the country...

I've mentioned before how lucky we are to live so close to the countryside. In an attempt to lose a little weight and trim up my already svelt figure (!) I have taken to going for a half hour walk at lunchtime.

I have a choice of walking through the backstreets of the wonderful town in which I work or heading the other way to have a quick wander over an old quarry which has now been filled with muck and rubble. Despite its proximity to a couple of busy roads it's so peaceful there with wild fruit growing in abundance and the sound of grasshoppers filling the air.

There's a little lane at the back of the quarry and it was from this lane that I took the pictures below...

This week I did also go shooting things. A few of us went clay pigeon shooting to Cloudside where my boss is a member. I wouldn't have been able to hit a cow's arse with a banjo but it was still fun none the less. I now ache like you wouldn't believe and have a big bruise on my right shoulder...maybe my technique needs a little work!

I should be off now. I have an early night ahead of me as I am heading out at around 2.00am to collect akelamalu from the airport. I'm sure you will read her tales soon!

Be safe...

Thursday, 19 July 2007

A Viscount..? But I am a Prince...

Isn’t it odd how a little nudge to the senses can transport you to times and places past?

I have just eaten a mint KitKat, and jolly nice it was too. From the first bite I was transported back to the dining hall of my old primary school, though only in my minds eye...don’t be rushing out buying mint KitKats thinking that they have the power of teleportation!

What prompted this jolt of the memory? It was the taste. Back in the days when my Mum would make me a packed lunch – and I’m sure if I asked her now she’d still make me one – there was always a little bit of something to go with my cold toast and jam (yummm!) & flask of Vimto and that normally took the shape of a biscuit. The biscuit I remember the most was the mint Viscount
a wonderful creation round in shape with biscuit and mint stuff covered in milk chocolate. My Dad and brother always seemed to go for the orange Viscount but I preferred the mint.

Anyway, there I was, sat at my office desk in body but talking childish nonsense with my very earliest friends in spirit.

I do post some rubbish...

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Up at the res...



Hello all!

We've been transferring some pictures fom our old pc to the laptop. This little exercise has given me the opportunity to post a few pictures taken up at a little reservoir close to our house.

Clowbridge reservoir is located at Dunnockshaw between Rawtenstall and Burnley and there is truly some beautiful countryside there. It's so goodto be ableto travel acoupleofmiles outof the town and beconfronted by sights such as these.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...


Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Fancy a quickie...?

Hello friends...

The pressures of work and two pre-school delinquents have lead to a complete standstill in the corner of the blogoshpere inhabited by D & F but we thought this link may interest you after our previous post detailing the wonder that is the singing ringing tree...

Be safe...

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

More Tales From Bulgaria

Hello Friends...

We must apologise for not posting any tales of wit and wisdom for a few days but we've been otherwise engaged. In other words we've found a good deal on alcohol from one of the local purveyors and have been befuggled.

Anyway, this post is not exactly a tale from Bulgaria but rather a few photographs taken in the historic town of Old Nessebar. We took a walk one day, as you do, just to see where the road lead to and got almost to Old Nessebar. We later discovered that we had turned back literally yards before getting to what is a beautiful little town. A day or so later we climed into a taxi and headed off...

To get to the town you have to go down a causeway with views of the harbour on one side and what I think is Sunny Beach on the other (though I am willing to be corrected if anyone knows different!). The streets of the town are very narrow and therefore only pedestrian access is allowed, hence the large bank of taxis congregating outside the town walls!

Above can be seen the fortifications at the entrance to the town. These are thought to originate from around the 4th - 6th Century although their foundations probably date from around the 5th Century B.C.



Entrance to the town is just off to the right of this picture where the archeological museum is located. We didn't go in there as we were in need of food. And it was shut.

There are so many fabulous building in this old town and information can be found on them on this wonderful little site. A lot of these buildings are former churches that have now been turned into museums or art galleries. Have a look below:-



Then there's the shops, a lot of which look Tudor in origin...


And finally, the signs...this one found on the pavement directing the traveller wearied by the midday heat...

Have fun and be safe!

Friday, 29 June 2007

Jacqueline Saburido

I have just read the story of Jacqueline Saburido who was terribly burned when the car she was travelling in was hit by a drunk driver. Despite her injuries Jacqueline has continued to recover from her injuries and has shown amazing strength as well as tremendous courage and a depth of character beyond someone of her years.
Her father, Amadeo, also deserves a mention for the unwavering support and tireless devotion he has shown to his daughter.
Their moving and inspirational story can be read here (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded for free here).
Reading their story really should be more than enough to put anyone off drinking and driving.
Be safe. D.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

The Camera


Hello Friends...


The digital camera has to be one of the greatest inventions of all time. The ability to pretty much snap away without limit and almost immediately discard any shots that aren't up to standard is an amazingly powerful tool to have. So how could this invention be made better..?


Combine it with a mobile phone! Give the man or woman that came up with that idea a medal. Well, maybe not a medal but at least a pat on the back!


I'm a bit sentimental and I like taking photographs as keepsakes. I tend to keep all the photos I take of the boys, even the ones that are a bit blurred or off centre, because it seems wrong somehow to just discard them. I also like to be able to share my photos as instantly as possible and my camera phone lets me do this. God forbid I should have to wait a few hours until I can email!


Below are a selection of the pictures that I like to take with a bit of a description underneath each one...

I didn't actually like taking this picture. I came home from work one evening to find a puddle on the carpet in the dining room...shortly after this section of ceiling collapsed due to a leak from a valve on the shower!



My previous post about the sights of this country may have benefitted from the above picture. This is a view over Ashworth Moor (read akelamalu's visit to the historic Owd Betts on Ashworth Moor here) which I pass almost every morning. As you've probably guessed, I find the British Countryside beautiful.


The baby goats at Heaton Park Farm....awww!!

A view of Central Manchester showing Piccadily Tower to the fore and the Beetham Tower in the background. I took this picture from the top of a six storey apartment block that the company I work for is currently constructing.

Another view from the top of the apartment block, this time looking down Great Ancoats Street.

The view towards Ashworth Moor heading toward the cloudy mists.

Finally a picture snapped of a beautiful sunset over the M60 (Fi gets credit for this one!!).

Have fun and be safe...D.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Terrors!!!

Greetings!

Here are a couple of pictures of the boys for your viewing pleasure....

This is Nathaniel - he's helping his Mum unpack the shopping. Only problem is, his Mum has just unpacked the shopping from the bags and into the cupboards and Nathaniel is removing it from the cupboards!!


And this is Kai with spikey hair like his Dad!

And finally...


I think this one is a relation of Fi's...

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Tree

I spotted this picture on stumbleupon.com...not sure how long the link will stay alive or to whom credit should go but I hereby credit you with an outstanding picture!! Have a look at this crazy tree here...
I must be on a nature theme today...

Monday, 25 June 2007

The Singing Ringing Tree

Hello everybody matey peeps...D here again.

Well, it's only been a week but the drudgery of work has made Bulgaria seem like a distant memory. We've been frantically buying lottery tickets since we came back only to be disappointed by our lack of winnings!
But if we won enough money to make it so we didn't have to work and could live anywhere, what would we do? Yes, maybe we would buy that holiday home somewhere hot and sunny so we could just jet off when we wanted to. But the truth is, I'd really want my permanant abode to be a nice home somewhere in the countryside of this green and pleasant land.

Despite all the problems with yob culture, binge drinking, littering and such faced in the towns and inner cities today Britain is still a beautiful country with some absolutely breathtaking scenery. I'm lucky enough to have spent all my life within striding distance of the countryside. We can lie awake at night listening to owls and foxes right outside our window. I find it hard to believe that there are children in this country that have never seen a cow in real life - but it's true!

I will post some pictures soon of some of the marvellous scenery we enjoy just a stride from our home. On this post I'd like to share with you the Singing Ringing Tree. This is a sculpture of hollow metal tubes (described as a panopticon for some reason) up on the hills at Crown Point above Burnley. The wind blows through the tubes and they resonate at different frequencies producing a lovely (though somewhat eerie) humming. Some kind soul has posted a video to You Tube which can be viewed here.

Here are pictures I took of some of the views from Crown Point..

This is the path up to the sculpture (above)

Looking down over the conurbation of Burnley (above)

In the backgound there's some (barely visible) wind turbines and just over that hill is the town of Rawtenstall (above)

So there you go. Just one of the fantastic sights to go and look at. I'll post more of these in the coming days and weeks. I'm sure Fi will want to tell you all about Bolton Abbey when she gets a minute.

For now, be safe and have fun!

Sunday, 24 June 2007

The Hitman

Hello My Pretties!!


D here again. I thought I'd leave Bulgaria alone for today because my brain isn't working properly (not that it ever really does). I was up in the wee small hours to watch my local hero, Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton, go toe-to-toe with one of the top rated fighters in the world, Jose Luis Castillo. The Hitman won in emphatic style, stopping the challenger after just over 2 minutes of round four with a crushing blow to the kidney which left him gasping for air an unable to continue.

Ok, I know some people find boxing to be a barbaric sport but all fighters know the risks to their health and those that make it to the top get paid handsomely for it. Watching a top class pugilist can be akin to watching a chess grandmaster. They're constantly trying to out think their opponent, out manouvering them and leading their opponent into their own game plan. There were a couple of low blows in the fight last night and The Hitman always gives one back when he gets one - as he says "This isn't a tickling contest"!
I've always been a fan of boxing with some of my earliest memories being of watching Alan Minter with my brother. I've followed the likes of Chris Eubank, "Prince" Naseem Hamed and Lennox Lewis through their careers but The Hitman eclipses these by far in my eyes.
I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate The Hitman on his latest victory...
You can view Ricky's website here.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Sproutgaria

It be me, D! Are you not bored of me yet?! I've been bored of me for a good 29 years and that's one of the main reasons that I've decided to inflict myself upon you 'orrid lot...see how you like it! Oh, you do, do you? Right then...

You know, I really like breakfast. I mean, it's a great meal and it's really versatile too. You can have cereal with milk, cereal with warm milk, cereal without milk if it takes your fancy. Then there's the bacon, sausage, egg, beans, fried slice, tomato and cup of tea option. There's the fruit option - melon and all that business. Toast and marmalade or jam (jelly for our cousins across the pond). If you're a bit continental you could opt for the cooked meat, croissant, crepes and really freaky iced fancy thing. All of these are acceptable and all were available at the Iberostar Nessebar Freakplace...

But picture this - you awake bright and early to the sound of a crying child. Fair enough, thinks you, we'll shove a bottle in his godiber then go and grab a bite ourselves. Oh, and some for the other child already moaning about his aching feet...a pancake and beans'll shut his noise. So, infant alarm fed you toddle off to find your sustainance for the morning. Now, what have we got? Bacon, good. Beans, good. Frankfurter, acceptable. Frankfurter with cheese, borderline. Fried sprouts, go..what the fu...??!!! You mad black sea dwelling bastards!!! What the hell are you trying to do to me??!! Even the Germans wouldn't touch the feckin' stuff! And they didn't. Oh, how we laughed at their weird, weird ways...
Hi, it's Fi here and I'm a really moany, snot filled, whingebag today. I have brought back from Bulgaria the most awful cold but at least it's not man flu or pnuemonia of the sort that will kill me rapidly, and I will still have to go into work despite it being a hospital because they wont accept that you are ill until you have proved that you have died!!

Anyway, onto the delights that are Bulagrian breakfasts, I am not going to go on about this but the frankfurters with cheese reminded me of sausages with abcess pouring out, the same way that fried eggs with beans or tomatoes do, maybe it's because I am a nurse, but I just can't stomach that! As for the fried sprouts with tomatoes, oh no! Not for breakfast! I have to say that I actually love sprouts, but not in the morning, it was all just too much!

I had forgotten how much a hated flying when I booked our trip to Bulgaria, especially short haul flights, my last fight was 2 years ago when I returned to the UK after living in New Zealand to be with my love, 'D', everybody say ahh...!! I always end up with my knees firmly pressed against the seat in front, oh how 'D' laughs at me, he says it is because my legs are too long where he has little short legs, he thinks that short legs do have their advantages, I have to agree after 3 odd hours needing a wee, wedged into a seat, very tired and with a small 1 year old wriggly and sleepy on my lap!! To say I was glad to get home was an understatement!! I think our dogs were glad to have us back too! My niece had been house and dog-sitting for us, but she had insisted on the hounds sleeping in the kitchen whereas we allow them to sleep on the floor in the bedroom.. I am now going to show you some photos of these vicious dogs of ours...




This is Sasha, she is the token mongrel of the pack and the old lady of the family, she (trys) to keep the rest in some type of order.....


This is Tequila, otherwise known as Kiki, Quila, kikiloulou amongst other no-so-polite names, as you can see, she, like the next 2, is a Rottweiler, or Rotten, as I prefer to call them, not hideous vicious monsters but big softies who love and are very protective of kids...





This is Buddy, (he's a dimwit..*D*!), the dopey one and token male although he has no nuts, they were taken from him while I was in New Zealand, he is also known as Buddly, Doo-Duddley, Stu-Duddley, Budalumps, Budaluds, and Good-Lad..., he is quite possibly the nicest one of our dogs with a gorgeous, kind, lovely nature.... ahhh......

Finally, this is Gracie, she is our newest arrival and has been with us since Christmas Eve, she has an unfortunate history which I wont bore you with just now. She really is daft, clumsy greedy but ever such a nice girl....

Well, I think you have probably heard enough from me right now... I can't always get here to talk to you what with working full time and being a mum the rest of the time, as I am sure you can appreciate, I am pretty tired, A LOT!!!

I hope you enjoy our tales, keep reading!!

D back again. My tales are funnier. And better. I'd like to thank my public for reading x






Wednesday, 20 June 2007

A Bulgarian Odyssey (Part Two Of Fewer)

Alrighty then! D here with more tales of our Marco Polo-esque trip around the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. Ok, that's not strictly true...we visited three places all within a 5 mile radius. And we were staying in one of those. So I lied...sue me. No don't, I've got nothing.

Our hotel was the luxuriously named Iberostar Nessebar Palace Hotel, a five star flop box of luxurious splendour. You can view the online brochure for the hotel here. We arrived in the early hours and the place did indeed look magnificent with its fountain outside and its marble foyer. We checked in, received our "All Inclusive" wrist bands and were taken to our room (which, incidentally, the bell boy couldn't find).

The room itself was nice enough but sans kettle which made warming bottles of milk for the boys a little difficult. Resourceful as we are, this was not a problem that couldn't be overcome. We laid ourselves down and, after a short fight from both boys (read "screaming fits"), drifted off into a deep sleep.

We awoke the next morning and F immediately swung open the balcony doors to reveal our expected view of lush Bulgarian countryside...





Ah, maybe the view to the left is better...

Ah...a bit more to the left maybe...



Nope...still not there! Ok, pan right...

Woo-hoo!! Greenery...and then miles upon miles of half built apartments. Perhaps we should have paid for the sea view??!

Now I couldn't work out what those tin huts were for. A couple of days later a nice young man with a quite large automatic weapon appeared from one of the huts and wandered over to release two very large German Shepherds from their hutch...all very sinister!

Well, after this stunning start to our excursion what could we do? What would anyone in our situation do? Moreover, what would Jesus do? We went out to find a bar...

We found a bar. We ordered a drink. And then it rained. It rained a lot...





Tuesday, 19 June 2007

2007 - A Bulgarian Odyssey (Part One Of Many)



Hello again, intrepid reader...

A little later in the day, though the times of the posts won't reflect that as I had to do some buggering about with the blog name and some subsequent re-posting. Some sleep was had, and it was a very deep sleep although I can't say we feel more human for it!


Please bear with us whilst this blog takes shape and we work out how to make it a little more pleasing on the eye.


I (D - for I feel we should identify which one of us is posting, and you will realise just who is the abusive one) was going to post a little run down of our trip but I'm still far too sleepy for that so I thought maybe a couple of visiuals from our trip would be good. I know, I know - it's not really good form to extract the wee-wee from different cultures but sometimes you have to just revel in your own overinflated sense of superiority however misplaced it is...


Sometimes pictures speak for themselves. In the case of these two, they don't so I've added my own highly amusing captions:








Hey, even old people look forward to their Lays!!




Is this service offered on the NHS???
And now, enough of my nonsense....FI!!!
Hi there, this is me, the Fi in the title, and the one who shared the Bulgarian Odyssey with D...
I have to say, the trip was an eye opener as far as the vast differences between the 2 cultures goes, but I am sure our later postings will show you more of the place..
I do hope you like the pictures here that we have shown you, we both found them highly amusing, but what a doctor does that reanimates I really do not know. I do know that this service is not available on the NHS but I am sure it would be extremely expensive in the private sector! I imagine the place inside to look something like Frankenstein's Lab and whatever came out of it to be a bit like what came out Stephen King's Pet Semetary if any of you are familar with his books.....?
I am certain we will get more onto books later on as both D and I like them and have recently been freeing books, you can find out more about how to do that by looking at http://www.bookcrossing.com
Anyway, back to Bulgaria, I am really telling you here about the end of the holiday because both D and I are a little traumatised by Bourgas airport. We have both agreed that neither of us has visited a more awful airport. We were greeted from our taxi by what can only be described as swarms of cockroaches on the floor and swarms of Mosquitos in the air, it was hideous, and what's worse is that our taxi was early so we had to suffer this for much longer than should have been humanly bearable.... all very nasty!! I am not very good with creepy crawlies at the best of times but trying to remain cool and unflustered in front of 2 sleepy children in the early hours of the morning was not easy!!
Well, I am sure I have bored you enough for now. As D said, please bear with us while we get going, we promise to make it more interesting to look at and hopefully, read, very soon...









The First Post/The Origin Of The Species

Ha! The first post of Dan's Fi-ver (geddit..? Dan's Fi-ver..? Dance Fever...? I'm Dan and the other one's Fi...? I thought of that and I think it's pretty bloody clever!).
This blog is here to inspire you, bore you, enthrall you, annoy you & generally keep us amused in some small but significant way.
We've just returned from a week in Bulgaria and I reckon the next post will contain one or two pictures from that trip along with our Alan Whicker/Judith Chalmers like commentry on the place and its people.We've been travelling all night and have now been awake for twenty four hours so we're off for a few hours sleep!!
Until later....goodbye!!!!