Tuesday, 30 December 2014
Posted by Tony at 15:54
Monday, 29 December 2014
Posted by Tony at 15:17
Sunday, 28 December 2014
Posted by Tony at 14:31
Family arrived in time for Champers and nibbles before a huge feast . Gifts were exchanged, small children entertained, older children admirably managed to keep younger siblings amused and provided insight into what lies ahead for he who cannot be named (number one son) and his lovely wife who are making yours truly a granddad next year. He who cannot be named spent at least an hour assembling the toy garage they had bought the apprentice while I got on with the more important things like drinking gunfire. Twas (festive word) an excellent day made fun by all present, so a big thank you and Merry Christmas one and all!
Posted by Tony at 14:27
Thankfully the Welsh importer had done a fantastic job and within two pints the four wheeled fun machine was ready for action. Flush with success I turned to the Baby Gym instruction book and took a sip of beer 3. The instructions made very little sense at first glance, primarily due to the fact they were written in German. Having been Mr Organised this year I had got the baby gym med November and now remembered the import documents, made in Germany, for Germans, no need to translate. Panic set in along with a beer fuelled idea to phone my mate Andy in Germany but several things prevented this happening, such as time difference, not wanting to induce a sense of humour failure on a new dad, losing his phone number and an unwillingness to admit defeat. In any case having spent a while in Germany I was pretty sure I knew my rechts from links, and whilst my ability to identify the right schraubenmutter and bolzen might be impared I was going to verschrauben this rutschbahn together before the fat bloke descended and scoffed the mince pie, carrot and overly generous sherry left out as a bribe.
As the picture shows ich bin der champion baby fitnessraum bauherr! And I go to the mince pie and sherry first.
Posted by Tony at 14:04
Posted by Tony at 13:30
Sunday, 21 December 2014
I caught Apoll napping on a new bed of hay, hay that I had very carefully unloaded from a trailer of fresh supplies delivered
to keep the equines going through the Christmas break. With that in mind I loaded the ring feeder with abundant breakfasts in the hope that that might save some time in the mornings.
Posted by Tony at 20:46
Friday, 19 December 2014
Meantime Gerry, my preferred mode of transport for journeys over 30 miles, got over the shock of passing his MOT with no hassle and freaked out 50 miles from HQ. The audible warning similar to a striken submarine and the red lights flashing on the dashboard forced even yours truly (who has immense capacity to ignore warning signs) over to a lay by and seek assistance. The fourth emergency service for Land Rover Discoveries (my mate Steve who has got one) did not know what was wrong but was able to tell me the ACE system had failed. Google did not throw any light on what that was but it did say if the light was amber then that was ok, if red and noisy (like striken sub) then stop and await casevac. As neither Steve or Google said that driving it home would result in an explosion I decided to risk it.
Gerry was dropped off with nice mechanic man who was surprised to pass Gerry for his MOT but not surprised that I had broken him so soon again.
While I was out some nice builders arrived at HQ and removed the front door, which from one side was ok but from the front side showed what 7 years abuse by keen Bernese Mountain Dogs can do. New door is bomb proof and glass, thus giving more light to the cottage and endless opportunity for rug rat MkII to tease dogs.
On the good news front Gerry was repaired today and is back in action in half the time expected and for half the money.
Posted by Tony at 21:03
Monday, 15 December 2014
Which was, needless to say, cold.
But clean cold.
Note to self.
Drying yourself with loo roll takes ages.
Posted by Tony at 16:54
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Having decided on meeting at The Three Shires garden centre which I took to be half way between the two of us I was vexed to discover the place I thought was the TTSgs turned out to be The Handmade Scotch Egg Company and tea room. Since I was already 30 minutes late due to kids spilling stuff on themselves as we set out, horses spilling water they would need later in the day and dogs covered in mud jumping up requiring clothes change (me not them) not actually knowing where I was, so to speak, was a problem.
My beautiful and oh so patient wife decided that I had turned the wrong way at the cross roads so we headed back and took her womens intuition route which raised our hopes on one bend but that was short lived as it was a van hire centre. A quick call to the those expecting pigs bits led to a clue, we were not only on the wrong road heading the wrong way bit in the wrong county. We needed to be a long way away and take the only turning on the cross roads as yet untried. Incidentally when we finally met up with Ian and Nicky they were not only grateful but a tad surprised that I suggested we meet within walking distance of their house, they thought I might have suggested somewhere halfway. However all was not lost, I got to meet Rudolf's mate and got the info on how hardy these animals are. MBAOSPW dragged me away before any firm deals could be made with the itinerant reindeer trader.
The most shocking part of the day was finding that I have turned into the type of Dad that buys a sandwich and cuts it into four so we can share it. This from a cafe in the garden centre that was of such unique layout it could only have been created by a dog, who having chewed up the original architects drawings, barfed them up again. Arrows pointed vaguely in the direction of where you wanted to go, when you got there it wasn't where you should be, or that section was closed, or the sign said across the bridge to the restaurant, but there was no bridge, that type of thing. The cafe sold everything except hot coffee and crisps that non lottery winner could afford (the coffee was luke warm and crisps were £1.25 a bag, that was without a sandwich, just some manky fried potato bits) Having missed breakfast and second breakfast I was going to take a chance on a sandwich which was for some reason tied up in green string, I joked with Ian who was also queueing for a cold coffee, that the sandwich would be four quid. I was wrong, by 5p, hence my annoyance when the apprentice wasted 97p worth and rug rat MkII dropped 16p worth of cucumber. I kept the string though, it might come in useful.
Posted by Tony at 21:29
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Posted by Tony at 19:39
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Posted by Tony at 15:00
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
So I have to revise and resubmit, except that at this point in time 13 hours before the deadline the appointed button presser for the academic forgot to press the button in the right sequence and retained the version they want me to amend. My hope is that one of them gets up early and realises and resends it to me so I can revise the document and send it back 5 hours before the deadline. It would not be so much of a problem save for hour 6 before deadline is the the only free hour as ones prior to I will be sleeping, and five hours and counting I will be involved in the real alternative to work, meetings. So heres hoping the crusties in university land get up early for the bowl of crunchy nut otherwise I am put on hold until 28 January 2015.
Posted by Tony at 22:50
Monday, 8 December 2014
and so on. After endless procrastination the scribbling eventually took on some semblance of order and once panic subsided over how many appendices the ethics committee thought were necessary on any successful application it was cobbled together with minutes to spare and emailed to my supervisor, a very capable Dr who has decided that she can work with my eclectic thought processes and apparent inability to take deadlines seriously. So much so that she has accepted the challenge of managing my PhD.
Posted by Tony at 15:58
Saturday, 6 December 2014
Today a tenuous link established and so a look back 24 hours to the first snow of the season. Not sure there's enough to do what the apprentice wanted to do, build a snowman, go sledging, buy a penguin, but it was a surprise, especially to an ill prepared cyclist.
Posted by Tony at 17:23
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Suspecting a trap I asked him to repeat it, slowly, and it transpired that Specialized the bike makers had a deal on that equipped winter riders if they bought a bike. Fab! But I asked him to write it down as it seemed so far fetched that I was certain my beautiful and oh so patient wife would not believe it.
To pile on the good vibes in a parallel universe in a land down under our friend Kathy has reached the halfway stage to becoming a V E T.
But to top it all I was out dodging zombies on a night run wondering how Andy in Germany was getting on, or rather how his wife was getting on as she was about to deliver another human into the world and it turns out that she has popped and they are proud owners of a little girl to go with their three boys. Now that is good news.
Posted by Tony at 21:25
Saturday, 29 November 2014
Spotty was straining to lay one out on Thursday night but the significance of this was missed in the general melee of HQ. Then last night he played roll over instead of scoff my dinner so was left with a bowlful while I shut the birds away so again was not clear as to who ate his pies but this morning he was not his usual bouncy self and tonight was arched up in pain, straining, walking in circles and generally unwell and in pain.
So V E T was summonsed and in an unusual twist to Saturday nights I was holding the front end while a V E T was squirting 120ml of lubricant up the poor dogs backside in an effort to shift the blockage that was hiding just over a finger length inside. After subjecting straining K9 to such indignity and injecting him with painkillers and antibiotics V E T gave the sage advice of "Quick run outside!" as dog was now primed to go, and go in a big way. V E T moved surprisingly fast in an effort to save the floor, money would have been placed on massive dog getting to door before anxious biped. Once in the fresh air Spotty declined to detonate despite coaxing and being spoon fed laxatives so he jumped into the back of Gerry and made himself comfortable. The journey home was completed in record time and once were on home ground Spotty jumped from his seat and literally went BANG as a turd with the diameter of a tennis ball cannoned into the lane. He quickly followed that one with a mountainous pile and proceeded to run from the scene of the crime leaving yours truly gasping for air but also relieved, albeit in a different way to Spotty.
Posted by Tony at 23:07
Friday, 28 November 2014
Posted by Tony at 22:07
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Watch this space :)
Posted by Tony at 12:30
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Due to the length of the stored pieces and a breeze block supporting column thing there is an 18 inch gap at the back, meaning that there is a six foot deep, 18 inch wide 30 inch long hole between all the bits stored and the wall. This was now half full of a very frantic Berner called Bliss who, for reasons known only to herself had climbed up onto the wood and glass jigsaw and fell tuther side.
As can be seen from the pics there was no easy way out, and shifting a ton or so of wood and glass by myself was not an option. Neither was pulling her out as she is a tad on the weighty side (like me) which meant only one optimal plan.
Climb down to her.
I know my place.
Posted by Tony at 21:51
Friday, 21 November 2014
Torrential rain was not going to put me off. I went out and changed the lights from the MTB to the racing steed. In doing so find that rear light fitted means no emergency saddle pack can be fitted. Look for hi viz rucksack. Find it in workshop. Remembered that road cycling shoes were missing. Look for shoes. Give up. Find damaged shoes. Better than nothing. Rain heavier.
Decide to get wet weather riding gear sorted. Back in house find gear. Out to bike, only one over shoe. Back in house finally find left overshoe behind sofa (don't ask) Back out to bike. Decide tyres are a bit soft. Look for stirrup pump. Find it at same time as Bernese Mountain Dog who is quicker than me and runs off with it. Chase dog. Persuade dog to swap pump for bottle of horse spray. Back to bike. Pump up rear tyre but cannot read pressure gauge due to glasses steaming up. Wipe glasses clean. Four times. rear tyre solid. Move to front. Same routine with glasses. Tyre solid. Stand back and mentally check everything is in place for bike ride.
Sudden deflation of front tyre. Clean glasses. Find the tyre wall has blown out, cannot replace tube as tyre blown as well. Look at MTB, decide not to ride that due to gears. Rain gets heavier.
Use front wheel of spare bike waiting to be clipped into turbo trainer. Tyre flat. Pump it up following glasses cleaning routine. Tyre solid. Simple task now of replacing wheel only nut missing from quick release skewer, never mind use skewer in original wheel.
Try to remove skewer from replacement wheel and find that it won't budge due to it being bent over like a hook thanks to some previous mishandling. Lose temper, hit skewer with large spanner that doubles as a hammer but due to glasses problem hit thumb making it bleed.
Count to ten.
Note that rain is now Biblical.
Decide there are enough signs that a quick bike ride is not going to happen. Spend evening sulking eating biscuits.
Posted by Tony at 21:04