Monday, 28 March 2016

Happy Easter

 There are a number of big projects going on at Rock HQ, and like all big jobs undertaken by yours truly it first required space to be made in order to accommodate sections/debris created by the big jobs. So all the I will make them one day model kits got moved a put together in one place which was quite frankly embarrassing given the amount and the fact that there are more in the attic. Quite how I managed to accumulate all these without being sectioned under the mental health act is beyond me.
 A small step was taken towards completion when the apprentice got hold of one and made his dad proud by making his first Airfix kit. Ignoring the fact it was in bits thirty five seconds after this photo it was a happy occasion.
 The bulk of Saturday gone with creating space some of the gaps were filled by a massive amount of chocolate arriving.
 But as is so often the case when we get time off plague hit us all which put paid to all plans for happy Easter (involving Beth, good cooking, champers, visiting grandson and daughter in law) and instead we spent hours mopping up sick, changing nappies, changing clothes that had been puked over (the apprentice got my beautiful and oh so patient wife 5 times in a row) and wondering how long you should leave a child that has not kept anything down before phoning an ambulance.
 Between the vomit fest and 20 yard dash to the great white phone some progress was made on the big job with all the space created Saturday now filled with debris from the kitchen as even more space was made to be filled with the new kitchen which currently fills the dining room.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Good Friday

 The day got off to a good start with an impressive veggie breakfast. The lets give up meat for Lent has changed to lets see how long I can do it for as I'm feeling better since not eating meat and that is helped by the incredible smugness associated with my diet not contributing to factory farming, animal cruelty and global warming. Being a right on eco warrior the next task of the day was to go out and do the morning routine
 a job hindered somewhat by a Berner called Spotty who wanted to play lets run off with the broom again.
 As can be seen he's good at it
 and try as I might (threats, pleading, offers of unlimited biscuits) I could not get it off him and it now resides along with three previous brooms on the mountain somewhere in a graveyard of stolen objects like walking boots, tools, enough planks to build a small house and numerous dog toys/bowls/bones/chews.
 The main part of the day was spent at the seaside, the weekend forecast one of rain and wind from storm Katy. So having a house full of boxes of new kitchen and bathroom, going to spend a day a the seaside was a clear winner rather than sort out major DIY projects. The apprentice came over all Chris Bonnington and insisted on climbing over all the boulders between the car park and the chip shop
 while rug rat mkII stared longingly at the water shouting that he wanted a paddle.
 The harbour, normally jam packed with a motely collection of vessels was strangely empty
 and there was a curious lack of tourists which made getting chips and ice cream (not on the same plate) a lot quicker than usual. Once the need to visit all the tat shops had been fulfilled and full to bursting with fried and frozen food we set off home into a nightmare of diversions due to serious crashes along two of the major roads across Wales which added 50% miles and time to the return journey. Small potatoes compared to the poor souls who's day out had been truly ruined by poor driving.
Back at the ranch yours truly set out on a night bike ride and suffered another blow out but as it was close to home I just ran/waddled home pushing stricken bike. The pups are settled in to Dolyhir Dog life, here they are relaxed with mum showing a)how chilled out Berners are and b) how massive they grow as the pups are now nearly as big as mum!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

It's a bike Jim but not as we know it!

 I've cycled approximately 370 miles or 590 kilometres in new money so far this month, soon to reach the target of 666km set, but have been a lazy fat boy the last two days as motivation has gone. So in an effort to renew enthusiasm I called in at the local bike store to stock up on inner tubes and browse the new bikes as after all the ideal number of bikes owned is n+1. Quite what purpose this monster served is beyond me but worthy of a pic and so I left all enthused ready to notch up another 50km of an evening.
However in the time it took to get home via a curry all motivation to don lycra vanished and my inner anorak took over hence the above.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Proof if needed

 My inner anorak has taken over again
 and a flurry of kit building
resulted in this. I need help. Clearly.

Up north

 The weekend saw yours truly decamp and take the family up north to see the family resident there, as things don't grow in the harsh conditions gardens are out of a box and very low maintenance and child friendly. Here we see the apprentice and rug rat mkII exploring the water feature. The excitement of this was only surpassed by the discovery of a 75 inch TV
 which had a remarkable effect on them. Much fun was had by all especially as England won the grand slam and the apprentice won at monopoly. Tired out they retired to bed in the hotel and not a peep was heard until morning which was a very unusual occurrence.
 Talk of my childhood prompted a visit to the attic on return to HQ where I found a lot of my old lego which kept them more occupied while I hit the road on another training session
 and got my first puncture in a long time
but fixed it a still completed the 30 miles in a new record time of 1 hour 53.28 which was then beaten the following day without a puncture at 1 hour 51. The reward for all this effort, an apple and cinnamon rose cake. A new recipe that I will no doubt enjoy several more times.

Sleep well?

 Bryn knows how to sleep, especially after long walks over big hills
 whereas Mr Bear can sleep for England at any time without exercise.
 Here's Bryn concentrating on the Zeds.
This is what happens when an 11 stone 8 pound dog who has been chastised for playing in the mud sees its owner outside and tries join him.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Walking with Dinosaurs

 It being Sports Relief day and having decided that Red Kite Fostering would mark the occasion by walking to the pub across the other side of the ridge in fancy dress I finally managed to find my costume, George the Dinosaur, hiding amongst the soft toy collection in our waiting room.
 He was needed to keep rug rat mkII in check who was also dressed a Dinosaur but a smaller version.
 So the epic trek began and the fog descended which meant that the reward to all our hard work was limited to views of 100 yards or less but we did manage to find the Whet Stone where we paused for the obligatory photo.
 Salvation was found 5.5 miles on in a dog friendly restaurant called The Harp at Old Radnor, here we see Rocky getting ready to be drunk under the table. The food was fab and much fun and banter was had by all attending.
 They do say dogs look like their owners, here is a good example
These are local people, not in fancy dress, this is how they are. It gets to you eventually living round here.

Like a tank

The apprentice finally got to trial his new German manufactured go-kart last eve, and once he got used to the size trundled off down hill. This was immensely entertaining as yours truly had assembled it leaving the handbrake (the long handle hanging off rear wheel above) facing the wrong way so there was little by way of stopping power other than solid objects, big dogs or fences. He survived but then found a severe flaw in the power to weight ratio, it being so heavy thanks to its mainly steel construction and overall hugeness meant that forward motion by way of pedalling was about snails pace. We chose a German go kart over a British one as the Germans have been building better go karts since 1939 when they rolled through Belgium, but they were called Panzers then.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Anoraks never die

 Here are two of the latest additions to the chaos at Rock HQ, pygmy goats who's names escape me for the moment but they are most likely to be Holly and Summer
 whilst here is Valentine and Dolly, or not
 and this is almost certainly Katy and Gizmo. All listening to each other through the walls wondering why the walls have suddenly started bleating. These UXG's are the pathfinders of the new herd, with four more arriving in June. Let the fun and games commence and hopefully as they are diminutive of stature these will refrain from climbing onto the cottage roof.
 Talking of small things my inner anorak got an airing last night as I painted some "little men" as MBAOSPW refers to these finely crafted miniatures.
These are Russian Cuirassiers, The Emporer's Life Guard in fact from 1807, part of a massive project I'm undertaking to paint all the units at think I need to take this anorak back.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Size matters

 After a hectic morning of dog sorting and star wars lego it was time to assemble the apprentice's birthday present which was left behind on the Centre Parks birthday weekend bash on account it arrived in three large boxes and occupied most of the transit van that delivered it. The picture that prompted the purchase give no real indicator of dimensions but it soon became apparent that the contents of the boxes made something the size of a Fiat Panda. Not sure how its going to be got out of the living room but for the time being it stays here as a very crucial part needs a special type of spanner so to prevent accidents to a very impatient child who fails to understand the necessity of a securely attached steering wheel to a fast moving object it will remain a trip hazard.
 The latter part of the afternoon, having finally prized the apprentice from the go kart, was spent on a slow dawdle around the Bonsai Mountain with rug rat mkII and Mrs Bear pathfinding, which was pretty good considering it was his first circuit of the mountain, and our newest Berner on a lead.
 This is rug rat mkII's reaction to being told that he was only halfway.
 Here's yours truly giving the apprentice a bit of a lift.
 The apprentice playing king of the castle by the troll's cave, the rock is probably a troll.
 Rug Rat MkII in negotiation with Thunderpaws for a ride home. Thunderpaws, who is almost certainly the worlds biggest Berner has come back to the clan as his owner has discovered girls and has no time to keep this super K9 entertained so he's here to train up to be an action Berner,
 So a good day
ended with an amazing sunset.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

You're bats!

 Early doors bike ride was not as good or as far as I would have liked and whilst trying to work out whether it was fatigue or laziness I found Apollo the wonder foal comfy amongst the remains of the stack of bales I pout there lest night ready for their breakfast.
 The best part of the day involved food provided by the lovely daughter of a good friend who likes to stay low profile so no names no pack drill
 but the occasion was a happy one and those lucky enough for an invite to this very surprise do (and it got him totally by surprise) were in for some treats
 which rug rat MkII got amongst following his dear old dads adage of eat what you can when you can.
 In fact the whole of my tribe got amongst and enjoyed the hospitality and occasion.
 On the way home after a slight detour to collect a large amount of dog food (18 dogs eat a lot of food!) something bounced off Gerry's windscreen in the half light.
Which turned out to be a very clumsy and very annoyed bat. Thankfully he/she was unharmed and once it stopped growling at me flew off again which is a good thing in many ways as had it chosen to roost in Gerry I'm pretty sure its illegal to drive with bats under the bonnet.