Sunday, 28 October 2007

Walking Sticks

On Thursday while Number 3 son was taking his driving test, I took a bunch of ex British Gas Managers to make walking sticks. It was an event run by the parks service of Warwickshire County Council. A park ranger provides the sticks, the tools, the expertise and the deer antlers which make the handles. The session lasts two and a half hours and the group seemed to enjoy it and be pleased with the sticks they made. I forgot to make explicit the fact the the session took place out-of-doors and there were a couple who looked distinctly aghast when they found out. Fortunately, enough coats could be found and coffee provided, so the cold was kept at bay. The walking stick I made is shown in the photo on the right. It just needs to be varnished and it will be finished.

We then decamped for another splendid lunch at the Wolferstan Arms at Shuttington which raised everyone's spirits.

Having reversed into the house on Thursday, Number 3 son gets the car on to the drive and then stops (some 40 feet from the house) for fear of hitting something. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Dogs and kites

I like flying kites and spent an hour and a half doing just that this afternoon. The kite I chose was a small Revolution 4 line kite which is very, very maneuverable.

I quite like dogs too, I just don’t want one of my own at the moment. However a kite is a jolly good way to wind up someone else’s dog. While I was flying, two dogs appeared and chased the kite all over the place, barking furiously. By making the kite touch down now and then, I was able to keep them interested for around fifteen minutes, after which they were knackered and cross. Stupid animals. Their owners were not best pleased, but hey, that is their problem..

Friday, 26 October 2007

What is it that comes after Pride...?

Oh yes, I remember. A Fall. Having passed his driving test, number three son reverses into one of the columns holding up the front of the house, and breaks the rear bumper. He is horrified at the total cost of repairing the damage, and is profuse with his apologies. He clearly feels rotten about his misjudgement. It looks like another (slightly expensive) lesson in his driving learning, which really starts now. Negotiations will be conducted to agree what his contribution towards the restoration of a pristine little car will be.

Having done a rather similar thing just after I passed my test (way back in 1966) I have some sympathy, but not much.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Swap one worry for another

Much to my relief, number 3 son passed his driving test today. He was desperate to drive himself to places, and I was fed up with practising with him. We (he and I) are both relieved.

He has now taken the small car to hockey training and there will be no peace until he gets home, safe and sound.

Monday, 22 October 2007

I knew it would be like this.

Our children are wonderful and a source of great joy and pride. They lead busy, social and (more or less) independent lives. With two at university, one married, and one still at home but with a hectic social life, I am now trying to organise a family phone conference. It is like trying to herd cats.

To find a day and time that is convenient for everyone is proving difficult. One of two things happen. Two of the four offspring instantly respond that the proposed time/date is inconvenient (and to be fair suggest alternatives) and two (Thomas!) don't respond at all.

I was obviously too nice to them when they were little, and I'm afraid it is too late to remedy that now.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

People on holiday.

After publishing my post yesterday, I went for a walk. Portscatho is full of visitors and most of them seemed to be walking yesterday afternoon too. My walk was not a walking boots job of 3 or 4 miles. It was at most a mile and a half to explore a previously unexplored footpath. I was struck by the indecision displayed by my fellow walkers - people got to stiles or gates and then dithered for several minutes. "Shall we go on, or shall we go back?" was a question I heard probably five times from different groups. These people were all adults, and they obviously had no plan before they set out. I certainly would not want to take a serious walk with any of them.

Fifteen minutes into the Rugby World Cup Final (Hard Luck England!) I went for another short walk to post some letters. There were no cars and no people about. I guess the viewing figures for the match were mind boggling.

This afternoon, a visit to the village struck me for another reason; the number of people in the art galleries. There are three in the village and they were all full. I trust Chris who drew the sketch of me (see below) sold a few pieces.

Strange to say that with all these visitors in Cornwall, Network Rail have decided to cut the county off. The main line from Plymouth to Penzance is closed all week for engineering work, so all train services have been replaced by buses. I shall see the effect of this for myself on Wednesday when I go home.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

What have I been doing....?

A week has gone by since my last post, and I don't seem to have done anything. Last weekend and the beginning of this week was spent in the passenger seat of the car while Chris practised. He is quite a good little driver, so I do hope he passes on Thursday. On Wednesday the car was serviced, passed its MOT test and was cleaned too. I also managed to fill it with petrol, so it is now all ready for the big day.

Thursday was the trip to Cornwall by train, which really went quite smoothly. My uncle, in common with most of my older relatives, obviously believes that "Road Closed" signs don't apply to him, as he waited on the wrong (i.e. closed) side of St Austell railway station. Luckily, I thought this might happen, and so went and looked for him. That meant I did not have to take a taxi.

Cornwall is lovely, the sun is shining and as it is half term, the village is full of visitors. Long may the weather remain as good as it is now.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

A day doing nothing

Today looks like one in which I shall do very little. I got up reasonably early (for a Saturday) and pedalled off to have my flu jab. That done I bought a paper, came home and read it. Beloved daughter rang, and all the phones have disappeared into Chris's room, so it took a while to have a proper conversation with her.

Then I went back to sleep. I think I shall wash the cars in a little while. The football and the rugby will probably claim my attention later. All in all, another hard day.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Smugness is a mown lawn

Why do I always feel so smug when I've managed to cut the grass. I put it off for days... and when I get round to it, it takes about 50 minutes and looks much better for being cut.

I e-mailed the twins today asking for a response asap, it will be interesting to see how long it takes to get a reply from both of them.

How others see one..

On Tuesdays I go to a sketching group. It is not really a class, but the facilitator is a professional artist who hands out hints and tips to those who are brave enough to show him their sketches. Last Tuesday it was my turn to sit in the "Hot Seat" and act as model. As usual, our facilitator did his sketch and gave it to me. It is shown on the right here.

It reminds me of how much more I have to learn.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Other Peoples' dogs

Today I borrowed someone else's dog for a walk. One of life's pleasures is a walk with a dog, and walking someone else's dog seems to be a win-win all round. The owner is happy ("That's one walk I don't have to do"), the dog is happy ("Any walk is good, who cares who the human is??"), and I'm happy. Holly who I borrowed today is a bit of a "Bitza" dog, in that her heritage is distinctly mixed, but she is very good company. Since I am quite a bit more energetic than her lady owner (who is of more mature years than me) the walk was longer and more activec than Holly was used to. There was even some stick throwing which seemed to please her no end. Thus she ended up somewhat puffed and gave every impression of enjoying the whole experience.

The same is true of Ebony, the other dog I "borrow" who is much fitter and more energetic, I just hope she doesn't find out and get jealous.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

An Indian Summer

An Indian summer is what we're having here in Cornwall.
The weather for the past week has been unbroken sunshine and warm temperatures. People have been swimming in the sea. I hasten to add that I have NOT been among them. The photo left shows a view of Pendower beach that I visited on Friday. It was perfect. Almost all of the holidaymakershave now gone home, so the beaches are more or less deserted.

I have now found a dog I can borrow for walks, so I'll have a little bit of company on some days

I even took a picture of myself (see below)

I really only took this picture to prove that the sun was shining at the time. A pretty poor excuse, I know.

The pace of life here is soporific. I seem to spend a lot of time sleeping. However tomorrow is Monday and I have quite a long list of things to do.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Bloody Horse

I've decided I don't like Julie's horse. I was OK till it started to trot. Now I'm not. My jarred back is killing me. I've booked an appointment with the chiropractor to get straightened out, but in the meantime I'm suffering. I don't do suffering in silence. Pity my poor family.