Sunday, 23 December 2007


A few posts ago I had decided that I was grumpy. Now I've been home for a few days, I decided that I am getting into the Christmas Spirit. Our house is full of large young men. They have come home from university and reoccupied the spaces they had before they left. They consume everything.

However, the main reason I feel less grumpy is that my wonderful wife has stocked up with the most wonderful looking (and smelling, now that some of it has been cooked) food. The first meal as a family will be tomorrow evening and all we men here are salivating already at the prospect. The only threat to this enjoyment is someone allowing our Siamese cats access to the meat. Should this occur, then the cat or cats involved will die, and any human complicit in the crime will probably also die the most horrible death. As you may imagine, dear reader, we are all be most diligent in ensuring the relevant doors are kept closed.

I've bought a present for everyone, so that element of the festivity is taken care of, and I've even wrapped them up already and put them under the Christmas tree. And, because I have not put a picture in the blog for ages, I've taken one with my mobile phone and here is our Christmas tree and the presents in the sleigh under it. Many thanks go to my beloved wife for getting the tree and getting it decorated. I think No. 2 son actually put the decorations on (but I may be wrong about that), but I guarantee that his mum found the correct decorations and made sure he had enough hangers to get all the decorations on.

Knowing him as I do, I suspect that No 2 son still has to go to the shops and buy the presents he plans to give people... then he'll be on the scrounge for wrapping paper, sellotape and labels... Planning ahead is not his strong point!

One of the other contributing factors to my improvement in mood and temper is that we have passed the shortest day. The nights will start to draw out from now for six months as the weather gets warmer and summer approaches.

Best Wishes to anyone and everyone who reads these ramblings.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Being Home - our home

Home. I arrived last evening after a drive from Cornwall. I stopped for an hour and a bit to see a friend of many, many years standing and she looked wonderful. As I expected, I drove straight past her house, and had to turn round and come back to it, but it was wonderful to catch up after not seeing her and her family for 10 years plus.

My family seemed genuinely pleased to see me when I got home, and boy it is good to sleep in your own bed. There were loads of Christmas cards to read and a letter from the Bank holding our mortgage with a redemption figure. So today's headline is that we have paid off what remains of our mortgage. Our home is now really ours. It is a slightly funny feeling after all these years...

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

I can't wait

Boy, am I looking forward to going home tomorrow. I feel as though I've been away from home forever. I know the house will feel crowded with the students and some of their stuff back in the house, but I'm longing to see them all.

In other news, I've decided that I really am very grumpy. There isn't much in the world that I really like at present. It is to be hoped that getting home will bring about a change in this attitude. Otherwise, I suspect I will be sent to spend Christmas in the garden shed.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Time passing

Another week has gone by. I've spent longer than I'd have liked in hospitals this week, and I'm really looking forward to going home. I have actually managed to purchase some presents, so my family (who let's be honest, are the main readers of this) will have something to be pleased or cross about on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


For those of you who have not heard of Connect2, I'm pleased to say that it is the project that has won the Big Lottery Fund People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway. It is a project consisting of 79 separate projects and you can see more details here. I looked it up on the web before the voting had closed and watched the celebrity endorsement by Lorraine Kelly. It just seemed such a sensible thing to do - increase the ability of people to walk or cycle. Some of the examples quoted were just mind examples of wanting to put right mind numbingly dumb decisions taken in the past, bridges that just stopped in mid air, a path between two towns which has no centre section ("Well, we did our bit", you can just hear them saying...) and the like. The good news is that Local Authorities will match the £50 million, so a total of £100 million is available.

In the voting, this project (one of 4) secured 42% of all the votes cast, which reinforces my belief that the British public know a good idea when they see it. Well Done Sustrans and well done British Public.

Let there be light......

...and there was the hall that is. For two weeks, I've been gently chiding the local electrician to give me an estimate for putting an additional 2 ceiling lights in Mum's hall. While I was away in London, he came and put them in. The result is wonderful, we can see where we are going and anything that might be in the way. I've no idea what the bill will be, but it will be worth it.

My trip to London went well with only one hiccup. The Northern Line of London Underground was completely chaotic yesterday morning, so every other line was packed as people found alternative routes to work. Quite how our major city's most used piece of transport infrastructure can be so delicate is beyond me. Sorry, Londoners, but I think you are going to have to cough up some more money to make the whole system a bit more robust.

Friday, 7 December 2007

I'm back!

To borrow a word from my son James, YAY! Our internet service has been restored.

Last Saturday (1st December) the pole supporting a load of telephone cables here in Gerrans had a direct hit by a bolt of lightning. There were several other strikes in the area surrounding the two villages too. Result.. we had no electricity for most of Saturday and the poor old engineers were out replacing transformers and switchgear up the poles for most of Saturday night and Sunday.

The pole that took the direct hit is in the grounds of the telephone exchange. It is less that four feet from the exchange itself. As a result, most of the village has been without telephones for a few days. My BTHomeHub was fried, along with all of the ADSL filters. I'm pleased to report that BT have been very prompt in replacing all of these items. Our phone was fixed on Wednesday afternoon, but somehow, while replacing all the broadband equipment in the exchange, our line was missed and it was not until this afternoon that it was finally fixed. A big thank you to those at BT who have worked so hard this week.

Apparently some dozen or so people have had the TVs expire as a result of the weather, so in a good example of community, one kind soul loaded them all into his car and has taken them of to be repaired.

Mum had her eye operation on Wednesday, and is feeling no ill effects. I must go for a walk tomorrow.