Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Roger and Jilly Visit

Nice to see our old chums Roger and Jilly from way down in Sussex drop by for a quick overnight visit. They came via Scotland and some other old friends of their's en route.
Had a nice meal with champagne last night and watched some fireworks to celebrate. Hazel lit loads of candles in the garden (or did she? )
Lovely musical improvisation later after the dippy chocolate thingy? Archie lent Roger a ukulele and he also brought his guitar along as he did a gig with the blues band up in the North somewhere. ( The award winning author Ken Follett plays in the band too )

Took some film which is on YouTube.
Today Hazel had to go to college to do her lecture on Creative Methodology but we had a leisurely breakfast and went to town to wander round the charity shops and the market.
Jilly and Roger bought all kinds of stuff including tons of books ( some from library sale) and a china chicken to put eggs in. Jilly found the ellusive plastic funnel she'd always wanted!
I got a book about 60's beat groups from UK for 75p in library sale and one about country living and how to wattle your daubs etc.
Home for lunch of various exotic cheeses, bread, crackers and salad.
They have gone home now and should be almost there.

Roger contemplates buying a special Dinky.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

House Warming

Nice to get invited over to our new neighbour for a kind of house warming party last night. Rob had invited a few of his old neighbours who included artists Will and Adela who sound like they do some very amusing performances and installations in the North West area. You can see Adela's blog HERE.
Always good to meet up with like minded people as this rarely happens in this area.
The two boot sales today were very sparse but we did manage to get a few odd bargains including a Fats Waller homage LP by Neville Dickie and some 20p CD's of King Crimson and Ian McNab to name but a few.
Hazel bought a cloche clamp ( in its original box!) and some scratchy 78's including George Formby and a nice hawaiian guitar duet by Ferera & Franchini who sound more like an Italian firm of solicitors.
Also a convex lens, smaller lenses, sewing sets and travelling clothes hangers in their own fabric case.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Marbury Walk

Nice autumnal walk yesterday to see the leaves in all their glory. No boot sales so nice to get out for some fresh air and take a few photos. Most are on Flickr ( see right ).
Surprisingly few walkers in the woods despite the pleasant weather. Hazel and Archie kicked up the leaves and made mounds on the paths for small boys to ride their bikes in.
Amused at antics of diving moorhen and the seagull that was surprised when he re-surfaced allmost underneath him!

Mostly a quiet weekend of internal reflection and reading the papers- doing a bit of collage and watching a strange Norwegian film that Esther sent us.
Found an excellent bit of freeware that transforms YouTube clips into files for DVD. I made a compilation of old Spike Jones clips which is great albeit rather low-fi.
You can find it at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rory McLeod

Fabulous evening at Northwich Folk Club last night being entertained by Rory McLeod - travelling troubadour from London and now resident of the Orkneys. We saw him a couple of years ago there and he was still wearing the same T-shirt! Some of the same songs too but all our favourites so that didn't matter. Not only a gifted guitar player he can play the mouth organ , spoons and the percussive board he stands on. He mentioned a trombone too but that was left in the van. Goaded by Hazel I had a quick word afterwards and told him we lived in Lambeth Walk for a while - trying to up my cockney credentials. He didn't seem all that impressed - mind you, he was trying to roll up some microphone cable and get off to the next gig at the time. He did pose for this photo though with his old collaged guitar case. Sorry my snap doesnt really do either justice!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Back in the old time machine to 1987 when life seemed a lot simpler - no double chins to be seen and we won things like a Weekend In Bognor with daft collaged postcards sent to City Limits ( now defunkt ) magazine. Hada lovely time by the sea watchimg the bathers in their zimmer frames waddle down the beach and stayed in a very posh B&B on the seafront. I cant remeber much about it except making a sand castle and sending a postcard back to City Limits to say we were having a "wonderful time - wish you were here". On the train home we made friends with a friendly pigeon ( see above) We later wrapped it in brown paper ( no vinegar ) and sent it to Tony as he liked pigeons and often made his own from plywood and chicken wire.
Beano T-shirts were also all the rage. I have seaid too much already!

City Limits were very good to us in the 80's as they seemed to enjoy my cards and we used to win stuff on a regular basis. It didn't seem like a week went by without cinema and theatre tickets dropping onto our doormat, handy if you were struggling on a student grant and part time wage in a health food shop. Also won videos and books and once a minute shopping trolley dash around a record store ( but without the trolley ) where I got 40 plus african LP's and a hernia.

P.S. Good news on the medical front. Just got letter from hospital saying all is pretty normal for someone of my age so nice to know at last that my aches were due to diverticula and should be fine if I continue my diet of muesli and grit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Birthday Boy

Our boy is a big long lanky 17 year old now and refuses to have his photo on the internet ( on this blog anyway ) Friends of Archie can find him elsewhere. Hazel doesnt like to be on here either so I'm a bit limited to just me and what I've been up to so sorry for any lack of great detail.
We went to Granma's for tea on Sunday and Archie blew out his candles ( photo here ) and I ate far too much cake after carefully picking off the melted wax!
I have probably said too much already. This was NOT granma's cake but a fruit cake with icing that Hazel had piped ARCHIE on in sickly bogey green icing. The candles burned like sodium flares and smelled rather similar. I have probably said too much.......etc.

Today the peace and tranquility is broken only by the men from Northwich Glass laughing at our nick-nacks and filling the holes under the window sills left by the other blokes two weeks ago. It didnt take them long thankfully. They only needed one cup of coffee and they were off to the next repair job. One put a tender in for the "over cladding" as I happened to mention all the other jobs that need doing. ( They don't miss a trick do they? )

What did I expect for the 13th. A magpie reflected in the mirror at the bottom of the garden? Does that count as lucky or does the 13th cancell that out? Anyway it all seems to be going to plan - the kettle leaking all over the kitchen table ( luckliy still under guarentee ) no sign of that letter from the doctor - door catch falling off at regular intevals etc.

Nearly time to go and burn the dinner so better leave it here. Shhhh! Mum's the word.
You don't know me right?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Barb and Des Visit

We dont get that many visitors but always nice to see friends and family and have some treats. My sister Barb and her other half, Des, drove up from basildon to see us for a couple of days and we took them to see the gardens at Tatton Park(see above) and have a butcher's round Knutsford. Popped in a few charity shops but didnt get much - Hazel found an embroidered tablecloth. Had a light lunch of leek and potato soup and crusy bread at the Penny Farthing Cafe or whatever it's called. It has tons of old boneshaker's and bikes and penny farthings hung up in the rafters. A little toy train chugs round the pelmet at the top to distract diners from their puddings. We had some pecan pie and barb and Des had lemon drizzle cake - yum!

The gardens behind the gift shop at Tatton were a best kept secret. We had no idea they were so big and contained things like a maze, a chinese pagoda, wonderful topiary, a kitchen garden full of pumpkins, lakes, bridges, ponds, follies, huge old trees and miles of footpaths.
Also a giant fern house full of giant ferns of every shape and size. Designed by the chap who did the Crystal Palace apparently.
Lots of gardeners at work pruning the fruit trees and sweeping up the dead leaves.
An italina garden with fountains and lots of statues. I was snapping away for ages with my camera. Most of photos are on my Flickr stream.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Looking Through Windows

This old photo takes me back. To the Isle Of Wight to be exact and the small steam line from Sandown to Somewhere Else? It might not be Sandown but definately somewhere else. Archie looks about 4 or 5 and enjoyed the ride I think . It was a very nice holiday although our B&B was up a very steep hill pushing the buggy up there every evening was very exhausting after a hard day on the beach!
Having yet more windows put in so a loud racket of hammering and splintered wood being wrenched from the wall as I write this. An alarming number of bricks were loose upstairs above the larger window so he's using a prop downstairs just in case. Fingers crossed!
I've had to stay in today to make tea and keep an eye on things though I'm sure are reliable and could work without tea (only one wanted tea ) or supervision but they did ask to borrow a dustpan and brush and the hoover so good job I was here!
Hopefully it will be worth all the disruption. I was up early putting the dust sheets around and moving electrical gadgets- the TV, DVD player etc. so they did not trip over them or cover them in a layer of dust.
I have washed the curtains and luckily a sunny day - ideal for drying.

Thump! thump! thud! crud! etc.