Saturday, December 29, 2007

Goodbye 2007

Won't be sorry to see the back of 2007 as it was pretty ropey , especially in March when I was ill for a while. Some highlights though were our 10 days in Llandudno and seeing Ken Dodd, seeing all the family in the summer in Basildon and at my neice's wedding and seeing Archie's latest animation at the Cornerhouse on the big screen. I'm sure there were other things too. Oh yes, and meeting up with my old chum Trevor in Stafford after a gap of eight years and visiting our old friends Roger and Jilly in Sussex before they moved to London.

This week we have been to the sales but didnt find many bargains. Northwich isn't renowned for its shopping experiance!
Archie has gone over to his old friend Jacks today to clump about his allotment in big muddy boots. Hazel has been in a cleaning and tidying frenzy as we have visitors tomorrow - some friends of hers from Walsall and Cardiff coming down for the day for dinner and a chin wag.

I have been playing with my new toy - a USB turntable which sits ontop of the PC and you can turn your vinyl into MP3's and put therm on your blog - or MY blog. It's great and a lot easier than the CD recorder used to be though can't hide away in my room like I used to.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Good Elf To You All!

Merry Crumble and Good Elf to all my readers! All three of you! I should have a photo here but I'm busy stuffing the nut roast and boiling some sprouts to a mushy pulp.
Maybe add one later.

Tony and Penny gave Granma some novelty crackers to pull today. They had numbered whistles inside and here we are trying to play "Jingle Bells".

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Slippy Ducks

Zombie Crimbo!

Had a fun evening last night at the premiere of the zombie film, "Dead City",we were in as extras last year at a small bijou cinema near us in Knutsford. We parked next to a graveyard too which seemed appropriate! We thought of dressing up for the occasion in some zombie make-up but luckliy we didn't as nobody else had come as a zombie so we would have stuck out like sore thumbs!
It was a charity ticket event so lots of people in bow ties and suits and party frocks. We shuffled in and sat at the back with a free orange juice and poster. The film was great for a first effort by a 22 year old and fun to see us staggering around the old Regal cinema - a good shot of me looking rather like Quasimodo!
A few "zombies" lurching about afterwards at midnight as we returned to the car , mostly drunks from nearby pubs! Luckliy none of them wanted to eat our brains. We drove home through the icey mist shrouded Cheshire lanes looking out for odd figures lumbering and groaning into the headlights.

This morning we braved the cold to venture into town for some ear infection drops from Boots as Archie has been complaining of a sore ear these last two days. The lady in the chemist gave us a phone number to ring as they didn't like to advise us. Got some extra bread and Sunday Times. Then to Shackerly with a whole fresh loaf to feed the skidding ducks and ice-breaking swans on the lake which was mostly solid eccept for bits of a channel round the edge where frantic water fowl had broken it up into slivers. The baby swans took the lead being chivvied by the parents who pecked their offspring from behind in a most nasty manner. Some amusement when the ducks slid about after the bread chunks. Ah the simple things of life!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Xmas is Upon Us!

Archies animation for Xmas is HERE. You must be warned though it's not for people of a nervous disposition! I added a soundtrack to try and cover Santa's groans.

Teenager's eh?
Meanwhile the cards have all been sent out and the presents wrapped and the cake stirred and mince pies eaten and another load made and they were eaten too! Its not even Boxing Day yet and I feel bloated and unhealthy. Goodness knows what I'll feel like next week!
We popped into town this morning to get a few "bits" and I got my Christmas haircut. I look rather chilly round the old lug'oles. My neck feels itchy with all the clippings. Then to LIDL to get some de-icer for the car but they didnt sell it but managed to fill a trolley with all manner of junk- biscuits, those german cakes, beer, wine, custard, pickles and not forgetting the baby cheeses.

Archie is just home from school complaing about his teachers. The one that made them watch half of "TROY" on video yesterday and then didnt play the rest today but made them watch "Friends". Very educational!
The house across the street where Mr & Mrs Mather used to live is being gutted by a builder. Sounds like he will do a good job and restore the old windows and improve the look of the place which was pretty awful. Its been empty for years so rising damp and leaky roof need to be seen to. He's just filled one skip full of MDF and crappy kitcen cabinets etc. and another has just arrived to be filled.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More Ducks!

Hazel wondered why I hadn't uploaded some photos of the ducks and the walk the other day so here they are. Actually this is more sticks than ducks! Choosing pooh sticks for the bridge a bit further along. Hazel is wearing her new coat made from an old duvet. She says it's incredibly warm- just right for those freezing train journeys to Manchester.

There was one very tall and lanky duck which made us laugh but it seems to have wandered out of the frame. There was also a huge baby swan which seemed to be eating everything he could get his beak into- dogs, squirrels, small children etc.

Walked to town and back yesterday to try and post some cards and packets but the queue was coming out of the PO into the street so I gave up. Will try again this morning. It was the last day of posting abroad I think so some people might get there cards a bit late. Sorry!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Duck Feeding

Here's the wonderfully anarchic Killer Rabbits that sadly broke up about ten years ago. We never actually got round to seeing them live which is a constant regret in my life. I think about it every day - if only I'd gone to see them when I had the chance!
Luckily we have this snippet of their act that Roger Rabbit just sent me.

Went for a walk yesterday as it was quite nice day for the most part. Went to Shackerly to fling our unwanted dry crusts at passing mallards. The seagulls usually grabbed it, followed by a goose and then a swan and then a coot, until eventually a weird daisy chain of feathered creatures flew off into the distance. I made that bit up.
It was good to get out into the fresh air. We were going stir crazy inside- trapped for two days by the constant rain and wind.
Trapped wind can be very nasty.

We finished off enveloping most of our crimble cards so will have spend a fortune of stamps today to post them all. We made all the cards- maybe we should have made all the stamps too and saved some money!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Turner Prize

A day trip to Liverpool to see the Turner Prize exhibition with Hazel and some students from the 1st year. They went by train from Manchester but we made our own way there via Hartford Station. It only takes 35 minutes. It wasa horrible blustery wet day though and thankfully the journey there was pretty good despite the odd shower. Hazel bought herself a coat/duvet from Gap. It was for Norway really but it was so cold she decided to wear it straight away! I wish I'd bought one too as I was freezing and my old coat smelled like a wet dog by the end of the day!

The Tate was pretty empty- not surprising with the cost a cuppa and a not chocolate being the better part of a fiver! Ate a our sneaky sandwiches under the table like felons. The Turner Prize gallery was incredibly dull and cheerless - rather like walking into a prison. I hated it all and all the students , bless 'em, hated it too.
It was a releif to walk downstairs and look at some more interesting stuff in the other galleries. Even the Bridget Riley's looked more lively after the stuff upstairs.

Came out to be blown back into the Maritime Museum by horizontal hail and biting wind. My umbrella turned into an origami vampire bat and nearly flew away. My face felt like it had been slapped with a frozen haddock.

Good to get home after running the gauntlet. Dodging the Liverpool traffic was bad enough. The place still resembles a giant building site and every other person we passed had a Wimpy jacket and hard hat on!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Our annual trip to Manchester's Exposures Student Film Fest. yesterday where Archie had one of his animations shown on the big screen which is always a thrill. Got the train into Manchester at some unearthly hour when it's still dark. Sun just coming up as we got into Piccadilly station. Had a naughty breakfast in the college canteen. Archie piled a big mound of beans onto his toast and added scrambled egg and two fried potato wedges! He's a growing lad.
The film showing lasted about an hour which is just long enough. Interesting mixture as always with plasticine animation from schools and documentaries from older students etc. Archies stood up well and got a good response and they all laughed in the right places. He was a bit nervous but enjoyed the spotlight I think. Afterwards went for dutch pancakes and chocolate sauce in the open air Xmas market. Shame about the drizzle!

Hazel went back to work but we looked round the shop s for a bit. Archie was keen to drool over the Mac's in the Mac Shop in the Arndale Centre. Had fun looking at Wilf on the iPhones and leaving his twitchy nose on the desktop for others to find. Asked about microphones - chap was very helpful and even looked on the web for us to see if they had cheaper ones elswhere. Got 1-30 pm train back intime for tea and toasted bagel.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

WEakly Doings

Another week zipped by. Just back from the Lostock church Xmas fair. Got a bag of junk including some old videos for 20p- a complete Flash Gordon serial from the 40's with Ming The Merciless! Hazel wasn't impressed. Also a DVD of Three Amigos with Steve Martin etc. Also 20p- silly prices. A battered paperback I bought of Black Dwarf scripts was 30p ? Barmy!
Archie won some awful gifts on the tombola stall which I suspect Auntie Audrey will find in her stocking this year. I had a go and got 5 blank corks and one had 47 written on it- this turned out to be a pair of gloves made from mouses ear'oles ( as my old Dad used to say ).
Hazel won the "higher/lower" card game with some other chap standing in for Bruce Forsyth who had a prior engagement.
Granma found some tawdry postcards and Audrey bought a big cream cake which we ate later with some tea. Very nice it was too. Freshly made this morning.

Earlier in the day I went into town for a walk but didnt find much - some stocking fillers I can't mention here and collected the photos from Boots for our Xmas card. 7p each which is pretty good. Cropped rather badly though which was annoying. My fault for not measuring the sides properly.
I folded and cut 60 cards on the dining table. Padded ofcourse with some card. Glued on all the photos. 40 more for when we get more card.

Watching the recording of "Later" earlier with The Who - who were o.k. and Reverend and The Makers who were good and a great banjo player called Bella Fleck? Nice to see Robert Wyatt on there too being interviewed.