Sunday, April 25, 2010


Another week and a bit has flashed by and I haven't added anything to my poor neglected blog. The first blog I started infact - back in 2004. I seem to have been on the internet forever but it's a mere six years - I can hardly believe it!
I can just about remember last week. nothing much happened. The volcano stopped spewing out noxious fumes and ash and the planes started flying again. Not noticed much of a difference really - maybe they are flying another route now?
Spring has really arrived with warmer days and chilly nights. One morning Hazel had to scrape ice off the windscreen of her car before she set off to the station.
The new lawn is looking nice and green and lush - all the joins have vanished and it looks like a proper lawn and not several chunks all slapped together.
The lovely red flowers above were a a present from my sister Barb who came to visit about six months ago. They haven't stopped blooming since then - all through the Winter!

Hazel had to lock up our neighbour Rob's chickens one evening while he was away. I let them out the next morning. What a funny looking lot they are too - one has a Beatle wig and another is short and squat. The other is small and more like a guinea fowl. Sadly the smallest was taken by a cat or a fox last week. We felt very responsible looking after them but thankfully they all seemed fine the next day as far as we know.

Yesterday I walked into town early to do some shopping. Bumped into Will and Adela outside WH Smiths. They were off to buy squid for a bar-b-q. Nice chat about Robs chickens, bluebells and fish. I showed them the cheap stir fry sauces I'd just bought from Poundstretcher - I don't think they were very impressed!
Then off to get a few things for a bar-b-q as this suddenly seemed like a good idea with the sun coming out. So I bought some vege sausages and baps . Took DVD's back to library. We watched them both earlier in the week. New Coen Brothers was OK though not many laugh out loud moments. Same with the new terry Gilliam which seemed rather blighted by the death of Heath Ledger. Nice that they should carry on in his memory and make it into a kind of homage to him but really it was all very dijointed and bitty. Some lovely CGI though - quite magical in places.

Today we we drove to two boot sales over at Walnut Tree farm and Whitegate Football Club. The farm one was very quiet with just a few stalls but the Whitegate one was quite busy with cars on three sides of the pitch. I got a few DVD's for a quid each including Poltergeist and a Tarantino shlocky film with Kurt Russell as a racing driver. Also a scratchy portugese jazz LP which looks quite interesting. Hazel got a load of plants for the garden and a nice old mixing bowl. It had rained earlier but the sun came out and was very pleasant - driving down the country lanes looking at the budding trees and greenery.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Volcanic Ash Cloud

Neglecting my blog for a while- time to catch up. Have been having fun with these illustrated lists of randon songs plucked from the record shelves for a Flickr group started by Big Al.
Hazel was supposed to fly to Glasgow yesterday for a conference about Museums ( part of her Manchester Art Gallery project ) but ofcourse thwarted by the cloud of volcanic ash floating over from Iceland! You couldn't make it up! Hazel feels like she's in some version of The Truman Show.
Over Easter we didnt do much except for recover from our trip to Wales and go to a few boot sales. The one on Frodsham was pretty dull and I only got a silly game for 60p. Hazel found a few bits and bobs. Archie came too which was unusual but he didnt find anything. The ground was like a quagmire at Sutton Fields too. Very depressing. Stopped off at Lady Hayes to look round the antique rooms and the book piles. Not much here either. Hazel bought some candles from the Spit the Dog chap.
Drove to Chester the next day for a wander round the charity shops. Hazel bought herself a dress in Morgans. I bought a CD case and some corn pads which I put on by the Cathredral walls as my toe was throbbing. Lots of Japanese and French tourists wandering by obviously thinking this must be a strange english ceremony of some sort.
Hazel and Archie laid the turf we bought at B&Q. the next day. Lawn looks pretty good now a few days later- all the lines joining up and blending in.
We rolled the turf down the back passage on a skateboard much to the amusement of the neighbours I expect.
Have not seen much of our new Polish neighbours but the little boy was out in the garden the other day kicking the ball about and it came over our garden once or twice and he was very polite in asking for it back. I told him he should get a longer pole with a net on the end and he just looked at me blankly so I guess his english isn't as good as I thought.
Hazel picked the winner of the Grand National and won 50p off me and Archie. Shame she didn't go down the bookies!
Nice pile of old Honky Tonk tapes from John Mister . Ive added a few to my audio blog. I made him some CD copies and sent them off.
The boot sale was in Tarporley this Sunday. Got a set of Ealing comedies for three quid and some old VHS tapes fro 25p each including Vampire Circus, The Adama Family and Django ( spaghetti western ). More nice sunny weather.
Hazel in garden cutting down some branches to let more light into the garden.
Dave Smith was supposed to come over Tuesday but got the day wrong so we ate the salmon we had cooked. The next day he did turn up and we had salmon leftovers in a quiche which turned out OK. Lots of salad and cake too. Yum!
So that's about it in a nutshell. Still the volcanic ash blows out way but lovely blue sky outside so hard to imagine it's up there!

Sunday, April 04, 2010


Hazel was feeling brave so we drove to Wales for a few days - not really planned it in detail just wanted to get away and see some old friends and "have an adventure".
First stop was Knighton in Powys - just past Shrewsbury. Andy Hazell lives there in a converted school that he's filled with all kinds of interesting stuff, sculptures and staircases that seem to go up to hidden rooms and platforms filled with yet more things. It seems to be a large artist community and all around were easels and paintings in progress. In the playground are many "art cars" including a hearse and a space ship. They all light up at night. I made a pasta and vege sauce dinner and we drank some wine and had a nice chat. Andy kindly let us stay in his guest room in the west wing.
Popped over to Shropshire earlier too to a great little museum of just about everything in the village of Craven Arms- amzing room after room of junk and collectables all piled up higgledy piggeldy - like walking through a Bruce Lacey installation in the basement of Better Books in 1967.

The next day we drove through some torrential rain and sleet to Rudry near Caerphilly. Stopped off breifly in Hay-On -Wye to look round the bookshops and buy some naughty postcards. Went into a cafe for late breakfast and a cuppa tea. Rain was still falling so carried on our journey. Through the Brecon beacons where the snow was thick on the tops of the hills and the little lambs knees were knocking together. Quite alarming but we got down the other side OK- some amazing views through the drizzle. Hazel wanted to visit her welsh roots in Aberclunky but no time really and the weather put us off.
managed to find Big Al's house eventually at the end of windy potholed lane. He greeted us like old friends though we'd only met on the internet some 5 years ago!
So it was great to meet at lastand have a lovely lunch and tour of Rudry with chorus of chickens, sheep and dogs in the background.
Then off to a strange B&B nearby to stay the night that smelled a bit of old fags.
In the evening Big Al drove us over to one of his local pubs for a drink and chat.
The rain never stopped!
The next day it was off to Cardiff by mistake guided by the Tom Tom. So we decided to havd a wander round the market and arcades. Archie bought some dustcarts for his collection and we took a few photos of piles of welsh baps etc.
Then we met up with Jackie and Terry in Penarth - a small seaside resort nearby , and had a toasted teacake in the cliff cafe.
Still more rain. When would it ever stop?
Then to visit Jackie's Dad who was poorly in hospital.
Big Al and Visitors
Then the long journey home via The Forest Of Dean ( naughty TomTom !) and Ludlow for a stop off and stretch at large farmshop/deli place full of posh food.
Got home just in time to miss the first bit of the new Dr. Who. Phew ! it was great to be home though - we felt like we'd been away for a month!