Monday, April 21, 2014


We've had a busy weekend going places. First to Macclesfield to the Silk Museum and had lunch at the Salt Bar - Swedish and Norwegian food. Looked round the charity shops etc. The weather has been good mostly sunny with a chill wind so still had my duffle coat on most of the time. Archie and Hazel have been doing some gardening. Moving benches and repairing tables, painting the back gate etc. General tidying up and planting stuff they bought at the boot sales. Hazel's hoping to get a new shed/ summer house at the end of the garden and remove the old one that blocks out a lot of light. They have been planting and weeding at Granma's too. Yesterday we went for Easter cake and coffee and Archie filled a large bucket with dandelions he'd picked out of the front lawn. The boot sale at Whitegate was busy but despite the good weather and the crowds we didn't get much. Hazel bought some ceramics for Audrey and some more plants. Archie did some experiments with an electric blower and a funnel - making Easter chicks from the Pound Shop wobble about and spring out in an alarming manner! Ron in Glasgow sent this nice Easter card collage.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ruthin - North Wales

Pleasant ride out to Ruthin in North Wales today with Hazel. Nice day considering the weather forecast of sunshine and showers. A few spots and spits but nothing to trouble us. Had a nice breakfast in out favourite cafe in the centre of the town after parking at the Craft Centre. We met up with the Mary Greg crew later - part of an MMU student trip by the 3D department. Some interesting work from the Jerwood Prize selection and some homely crafts in the side gagglery. Not sure what a gagglery is but it sounds good and full of geese which it wasn't! I walked about a bit on my own while Hazel popped in the clothes shops. I found some charity shops - bought a DVD of The Maltese Falcon with extras disc for a quid. I watched it recently but always nice to have the extras - making of, documentaries etc. For lunch in the crafts centre cafe we had a open sandwich to share - salmon and prawn which was delicious. I could have eaten a whole one but had already had three breakfasts! No wonder I am getting fat! Nice chats with Hazel and her chums - possible exhibition in the pipeline - testing out the gallery and the space. Quiet roads back and home by 3-15pm just in time to catch the kids coming out of school and blocking our parking space!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Branching Out

Hazel decided to chop down a large branch today to make more light come into our shady garden. I thought it was a stupid idea from the start but she ignored my protestations and carried on. I had to hold the step ladder whilst she balanced precariously at the top sawing with a bow saw. The saw dust went into her eyes and she had to retire for a while to wash out the offending material. Red eyed she returned to have another hack at the now creaking branch. When she got tired I had a go - more creaks ( mostly my knocking knees!) The branch was hanging over our neighbour's garden so of course we had to ask them if it was OK to let it fall their side. They were quite happy to oblige. Anyway, eventually the branch broke and swung backwards much to our surprise narrowly missing my nose as I dodged out of the way! Blimey, that was a close one! Then Hazel had to go round to the neighbour's garden to chop it up ( see above gif ) whilst I went indoors grumbling and took these photos.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Nice weekend in Brighton to see our boy's 2nd year sculpture show at the Grand parade gallery in the Uni. art college. Good to see Debra and John Hegley turn up to the PV. We saw John later at the Hove Folk Club where he did a short set. Roger Stevens did a spot too at the end of the evening.  We stayed at Roger and Jilly's in Hove. It was very windy and wet!  The next day we showed R & J  the sculpture show and had a nice vegetarian breakfast/lunch in the bohemian quarter.  Did some shopping and then back to Hove for some supper and meet up with Jill's son Joe and grandsom Sam for some Lego action.  Got the train back on Sunday - thankfully no trees had blown on the line.  Got home around 3pm.  Car still where we parked it in the pub car park across the road from the station.  Nice to get back to relatively windless Cheshire!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Century Cinema /Market - Pitsea, Essex

Fond memories of this old flea pit near Basildon where I spent many happy hours at Saturday matinees watching old Republic serials of Batman, Captain Video, Rocketman etc. and child friendly films like Abbot & Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Childrens Film Foundation flicks and all manner of cartoons and shorts featuring The Three Stooges, Our Gang and the like back in the late 50's and early 60's.  Sadly a bingo hall now like so many others. Just round the back was the fabled Pitsea market which back then had some wonderful stalls that included Alf (The market man) who sold cheap tat and had quite a line in patter and could gather a good crowd on Saturdays to buy almost anything ( I once bought an electric egg whisk from him when I was about 12 for my Mum's birthday - she stuck to the handy fork !) Also remember the ex-juke box record stall that sold scratchy gems for a few pence  ( where are they all now?) and the comic stall for exotic American mags of super heroes and super villians.  A nice old pathe fim here that shows briefly the old market before it was demolished to make way for some space age domes and the hideous fly-over.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Long Felt Want

Actually just a roll of roofing felt which is slightly different.  We bought some the other day from B&Q at enormous expense but our shed is leaking so has to be done.  I almost did it yesterday as it was a nice sunny day - luckily today is nice and sunny too so girded up my lions and sprang into action!  Well, not quite sprang - more of a slouch and a reluctant DIY's droop.
It wasnt as bad as I expected after I got into it and my hands became less numb with the cold. I warmed up with all the climbing of ladders and banging the clouts in etc.  Didnt even hit my thumb once - or cut myself which is pretty good for me!  I managed to stay on the ladder too. I think this was the bit Hazel was worried about but I only went up two of three rungs so not exactly up to the roof!
I probably should have removed the layers of old felt but that seemed like more hard work and anyway more layers mean a dryer shed inside right?   Well, that was my thinking and Hazel agreed so that was fine.  That roof must weigh a ton though as the roll of bitumen soaked felt was pretty heavy and I just about lifted it from the garden seat to the ground!  You can see how it finally looked in this panoramic shot of the back garden from my workroom window - good eh? Should last another 5 years - thats' what the guarantee says anyway.