Sunday 21st March 2010

Another fairly lazy Sunday morning. I tried again but I still can't shift that rusted wing nut. It's the only thing stopping me from getting that job done. I'll add some more WD40 to it and keep soaking it. Maybe it will budge one day. It seems silly to have to get someone in to do the job just for one stupid nut. If it can't be shifted, we might have to consider sawing it off and replacing the whole cistern, if that's possible. This afternoon we went to Lidl and browsed through their tat. We found a replacement shower hose for £4.99 and as ours was showing signs of wear we decided to get it. Along with our other shopping, we also got 3 bottles of Blossom Hill wine for £9.99. Then we went round to Heather and Andy's for coffee and to look through the books that Heather was getting rid of. I took 19 books away with me, and Dave found one that he'd been looking for. Thank you again, Heather. :) I even managed to clear space to put them away when I got home. I now have a large collection of what is probably classified as “chick lit” so if that's what you like too and you need a read, just ask. Whilst sorting them I found that I had a duplicate in paperback and hardback so the paperback is going.

At bowling we had our match tonight as the team that we were playing against are busy tomorrow night. Surprisingly we won 8 – 0 which was unexpected as they are the top team and we usually lose when we play them. Apparently there was a lot of oil on the lanes. When we usually practice on a Sunday, we don't have the lanes oiled for us. I'm not sure who requested it but I think it possibly helped us have the advantage. Richard got 199 on his first game and I got 182 on the last game. Now we just have to wait until tomorrow night to see how this win has helped our position.

I have now watched the latest episodes of Lost and Bones. Lost? Yes, I'm still lost and confused. Bones was good. It was titled “The Proof in the Pudding” about a classified case with about a famous Presidential assassination. The Sky+ is getting full again. It's a good thing that we can store more on it now but it's more than ¾ full. I'm saving the episodes of Lost to watch again and put on disk, as well as Fringe. I also found out today that Flash Forward is back on tomorrow night so that has been set to record too.

Saturday 20th March 2010

I spent more time during the morning trying to separate the toilet cistern from the base. I'd borrowed some tools from work. I was able to loosen one of the wing nuts but I can only move the other one a slight turn and it won't come off. I've tried several times spraying it with WD40 but no joy. I think I've tried so hard that the wings are bent now.

The original plan today was to be going down to Hastings for a fly-in with BKF at the Lifeboat Station. However, the weather was forecast to be bad so it was called off. Plan B was put into action. We set off to find a pub for lunch. We went to The Swan at Wittersham. I had a half of Smild. Sometimes I wish I wasn't the nominated driver but it's probably better for my health to be driving. Kat was the only one to have 3 courses. I only had a main course and finished off Kat's bonoffee pie, not that she'd left much. It was a difficult choice as there was a very good menu. I went for scampi and the boys had steak and kidney puddings. Kat had sausages and mash but I don't think she will next time as they were posh butchers sausages and had spices in that she didn't like.

After the Swan we went on to World of Water at Rolvenden. It is been a popular haunt since we have had the pond. It's the best place to get most of what is required in keeping a healthy pond. We had a wander around the gardens admiring the statues and water features that we can't afford.

On the way home, we were going to stop at The Chequers 's in High Halden but that was closed. It was 5 o'clock. We stopped at The Bull in Bethersden instead. As it is Shepherd Neame, we had the Late Red. It's probably not a pub that we will rush back to but it is convenient for a cycle ride.

At Chris's we watched “Analyze This” and “Analyze That” which I had taken along to help with getting through the A's in my film collection. I saved them as I thought the boys would like them. I think they were welcomed. Tony hadn't seen all of the first film and hadn't realised that they had even made a second one.

Friday 19th March 2010

Our main source of entertainment today came following a phone call from my friend's daughter. She works in London and on her way to the train station she had the misfortune to witness a man shaking poo out of his trousers. We did raise the question of what sort of poo it was but apparently she didn't hang around to find out. After we'd gone through the disgusted feeling sick stage and the giggly stage, we then got thinking about what would you do if you got caught out like that. It could happen if you were unwell. We decided that it would not be a good idea to go shopping seeing as you'd probably be smelly, etc. So you would need to have a very good friend or member of the family rescue you with spare clothes and wet wipes, and maybe some Imodium. We then decided that we felt sorry for him and hoped that he got home without further embarrassment.

This evening, after I'd cooked sweet and sour chicken and rice, we watched “Her Majesty Mrs Brown”. It is a very good film but made me wonder how accurate an account it is as the diary of Mr Brown was never found. Queen Victoria's reign was 100 years before I was born and it is world's apart from current day life. It must be really difficult to put up with that pomp and ceremony just to have breakfast. I don't think I'll ask Dan and Kat to to do that. I can imagine what their response would be.

Sunday 14th March 2010

Having bought the new siphon flush for the toilet some months ago, the flushing system had got steadily worse so I tasked myself with the job after breakfast. I'd read the instructions and it all seemed simple enough. As always with these jobs, nothing is as simple as it reads. Read “Disconnect the water supply”. OK, so just turn off the tap. Why is it that everything is done up so tight that I can't shift it. After searching for ages to try and find the correct tools, I had to abandon the job as I couldn't get the cistern off the base. I did notice while the cistern was empty that there was a lot of limescale built up on the ball so I cleaned that out. The flush seemed to be working better straight after but now I'm not so sure. We need to borrow some tools to get the bits undone, and maybe some more muscle power. I then cleaned the whole room from ceiling to floor. After the toilet room, I then did the bathroom too. This took 2 to 3 hours. My arms are going to ache tomorrow. We had a lovely chicken roast dinner and then I went bowling. Martin joined in tonight as his league is on a break at the moment. I also found out that as well as Lost being back, Bones and Fringe are too. I may have missed one or two episodes.

Saturday 13th March 2010

We thought with it being Mother's Day on Sunday, that we would take the mum's out for dinner. Unfortunately my mum had already make plans. So we collected mother in law and the three of us went to the Queens Head, Icklesham, for lunch. I had the lamb and mint pie followed by profiteroles, of course. I did think that I wouldn't be able to eat them all and very nearly gave Dave one to scoff. I managed them all though, taking my time. We'd definitely go back there again. After a quick coffee with Mum at her house, we then to see my Mum and Dad for a while. Then a quick visit to Mike and Julie. Back home, and still full up from our big meal. At Chris's this evening we watched Surrogates, which is a new release, and Hot Fuzz, as we hadn't seen it for a while. We decided that the possible connection between the 2 films was that police were in both of them.

Sunday 7th March 2010 - At the farm

We were up and out early for a Sunday. We were off to the Batfarm and Lance the lamb gets fed about 10 am and I wanted to do it before we went shopping for ducks. He was older than I expected and after he had hungrily drunk all his bottle before the trough was filled, he then went to eat with the others. Sheep are funny creatures. Some are inquisitive but most of the time they are very scared and timid. I did get to stroke a couple of them. They are more amiable at feeding time.

We went in the Landrover to the duck farm. When we pulled into the place, I didn't think we were there already. We were met at an old gate by the owner and taken through a car graveyard and through another gate into a beautiful area with lots of ponds and bird cages. The ducks that had been pre-ordered were already in a large cage and just had to be captured from there. They were put into carry cages and I helped carry one of them back to the Landrover. While we were switching the cages over and re-assembling the big cage, the others were catching 3 more birds that Clive had now decided on. When we got back to the farm, I carried one of them up to the pond. He/she definitely was not keen on being in the cage. Once up the pond, they were released and we watched them for a little while to see how they fitted in with the others. Mr Waggles was quite keen to be introduced to a new lady friend. Then on with the main job of the day which was to help with cleaning out the duck houses. Luckily no one had to get wet today. Richard cooked us a lovely dinner as Pru hadn't been feeling well, but she still managed to cook us an apple crumble for dessert.

Saturday 6th March 2010

This afternoon we went for a walk around Charing. We thought that there would be more there but apart from the occasional historical plaque and the Archbishops Palace, there wasn't a lot to see. Their website claims “Charming Charing” ….”where there is always something going on”. Sorry, Charing, there's not a lot going on. One, maybe two shops, and no pub! We then went on to Chilham for a wander as it's really pretty. We parked in the car park at the bottom of the hill and walked up. We had a look at Chilham Castle through the gate, and a walk round the square (today's picture). The pub didn't have anything good to offer on the hand pumps so we had a walk around the church. We came back home via Perry Court Farm Shop. I wanted a cauliflower. We had cauliflower cheese for dinner. It's been a while since I've made cheese sauce. I was sure that you used cornflour so we bought some in Lidl's but all the recipes that I could find said to use plain flour. Oh well, I now have a new pack of cornflour in my cupboard! At Chris's we watched “Up” and “Fantastic Mr Fox” If we had watched the Fox film on it's own, it would have seemed much better but watching it with "Up" over shadowed it.

Friday 5th March 2010 - Seussical

This evening we went to see the Stage Theatre Society production of Seussical The Musical. My friend's daughter was in it. She was the baby kangaroo. It was good. They were very professional, great songs and dancing; lots of young talent there. It was based on “Horton Hears a Hoo” which isn't a story that we'd read. I only knew the story as I had watched the DVD that I got for Christmas last year. I think that if I didn't know the story, I don't think I would have enjoyed it so much. Kat wasn't impressed but it's not really her thing. She only wanted to come along as it was part of her Dad's Christmas present. Brian and Batty came along too. The last time that we'd been in the Haslitt Theatre was when Kat met the Poet Laureate when she was about 12. She had been selected as she had written a great poem at school. At the moment I'm struggling to stop singing “Oh the Thinks you Can Think” and “Amazing Maisie”. It won't help me to stop singing them but I think I'd like to get the CD.

Tuesday 2nd March

This evening I had a table at the psychic fair. This time it was at the Singleton Environment Centre. This is a lovely new building in Ashford set in grounds that are good for a short walk around to pass a morning or afternoon. It was hard work getting my bags up to the building. It's all very pretty when you are not in a rush. You have to walk around the pond at the front. When we were packing away one of the other “traders” said it was a bit like a penguin run!! I was late setting up and some “customers” had already arrived by the time that I got there. I talked to a few people, caught up with a few friends but I didn't sell anything or book any shows. At least I didn't buy anything this time. Usually I end up spending more than I make! I had taken lots of order forms with me to put my details on so at least I didn't have a totally wasted evening!!

Monday 1st March 2010

The conversation at work as is usual on a Monday turned to what we did at the weekend. Our manager had been in London for the weekend with her husband and they wanted to see a show. They didn't really know what they wanted to see but found a comedy that was on - The Little Dog Laughed. It turned out that this was definitely not a “normal” comedy. There were open gay scenes on the stage and they didn't quite know where to look. Not one that they'd recommend. I can't remember now if they stayed to watch it to the end. Not sure who the cast were for the one that my manager went to see but I think one of the guys in the photo that I found is quite fit!

On to bowling, now on week 3, we managed a 6-2 win and we are now in 3rd place. We have the same number of points as the team in 2nd place but they are ahead of us on pin fall.

Saturday 27th February

This morning I was in a deep sleep, when I was woken by Dave wanting to be driven to the hospital. He'd had a very bad night and could hardly move. I helped him dress and then helped him into the car. Dropping him off at the door of A&E, I went to park the car. When I got to the waiting room, he was already being seen. No suppository, Dave... I will remind you of that one day!! And just for the record, can you have an injection in the bum by only taking the waistband down about 2 inches?? After the initial treatment, we were left waiting for ages wondering if the nurse really did say that we had to wait for the doctor or if we'd been forgotten about. Dave was feeling a bit sick but that passed after a while without having to use the lovely kidney shaped cardboard bowl, luckily as it didn't look up to the job! I was supposed to be driving off to Essex early today for a Partylite training morning but I'm glad I didn't go as I was so tired after breakfast that I fell asleep on the sofa for 2 hours. If I wasn't going on my own, I would have pushed myself to get there and I would have had company to make sure that I didn't fall asleep while driving or snore during the meeting!

As it is Bryan's birthday, we met up with the birthday boy and friends at the Gillingham Ice Bowl for a two hour session of skating. After a lot of messing about getting in and their silly queuing system, we got in before 6. I was a bit nervous about getting on the ice as it's been over 20 years since I've done it. I thought it would be more similar to roller blading but the point of balance is different. I soon got used to it and at the end was doing laps in a minute. I managed to not fall over. I over balanced a few times but this was when I either saw someone fall or someone got into "my space". The "my space" thing is a rule I like when roller blading too. I'm fine as long as no one gets close. At the ice rink there were all ranges of skaters from the shufflers through those like me that "go forward" to those that could be training for the Olympics. I was impressed at how good Harry and Leah were on the ice. They were both straight off and away, and I think it was only their second time.

Once everyone was delivered safely home... after a slightly scary experience on the roundabout in Gillingham.... I went round to Chris's to join the boys for the last 2nd film. As I wasn't there, they'd watched a more violent film first, Gamers, and 2nd film was G I Joe. It wasn't one that I'd wanted to watch so I was pleased that it was better than I expected.

Friday 26th February 2010

After a relatively quiet but busy end of month, I managed to get away from work before 6. This evening I went along to the astronomy club. The talk this evening was on telescopes by Steve. We were shown different mounts, telescope types, lens, etc. We watched Steve drool over his "Big Boy" and go all goey and glazed eyed while he talked about it. As the sky was clear we were able to get outside and look through a wide selection of telescopes. It seemed that some of the easiest ones to set up where the non-mechanical ones that, when trained, you can find your target very quickly without the whirring and fiddling around. One of the younger members had the little telescope that she had won at the Astrobash event last year. It is good to see that it went to someone that is making very good use of it. Her dad is very into astronomy and is training her well. She had the little telescope set up on a sturdy upside down flower pot. I saw the moon, saturn and the orion nebula through the various telescopes. We saw the moon first. The craters were really clear and Stevie got some beautiful photos with his mobile up held up to the telescope eye piece. Saturn looked good too. I saw the orion nebula for the first time which was cool. Dave was struggling to see through some of the telescopes. He's done something to put his back out again. He had to be helped up a few times when he'd knelt down to look through a low eyepiece.

Thursday 25th February

Having missed out on being able to take a day off work and go out with Dave and the gang on Matt's Jack the Ripper tour, I was pleased to get invited to go out with the girls in the evening. A little while ago some cards appeared at work advertising the local comedy club events. I had said that I wouldn't be able to go as I wanted to go to London. Once I had cleared the day with my manager, it was then pointed out to me that it was the 2nd to last working day of the month. It's not enough now that we have to invoice all sales to count in that month, we also have to deliver in the same month too. Someone had suggested that we could arrange Saturday deliveries but this is often not convenient for the customer and costs more. This would also mean that I would have to work extra hard on the Friday to catch up. Disappointedly, I decided to give this trip a miss. Anyway, enough of my moaning about work and on to the evening. There was a spare ticket available at the last minute. Did I want to go? £20 for a 2 course meal and entertainment. Of course I'd be there. I was picked up too which was a bonus. When we arrived we got our drinks in the bar and our tickets for dinner, etc., and went through to the marquee out the back. It was just a little bit worrying the way it blew about in the wind. I thought I was going to be freezing but it was a very posh marquee which was very well heated. After some confusion about where we were supposed to sit, we found a seating plan. Then we sat and waited for food which seemed to come out at random and you just stuck your hand up if you wanted what they were carrying. Those that wanted beef stroganoff were OK, those that wanted the chicken “whatever-it-was” had a long wait. We'd finished eating the stroganoff before the chicken dinners got to the tables. Rather than wait for table service for drinks we went to the bar between courses as it seemed quicker. When we got back we got our desserts. The choice was fruit salad or waffle and ice-cream. I had the waffle. It's a good thing I like rum and raisin ice-cream. I thought it was a brave choice for the caterers. The evening was billed as 3 comedians. The first one was Ryan McDonnell, the compère, Cole Parker was the first act and Paul Pirie was the main act. All 3 were good but if I had to choose, then I think it would be Cole Parker, although Paul Pirie was the only to bring on tears of laughter. I felt though that Paul shouted too much and he kept touching members of the audience too which was weird. There were a group of guys right at the front, one in particular wouldn't stop talking to the comedians and Paul kept shouting back. He climbed off the back of the stage and came out underneath it to have an friendly argument with the guy without the microphone. As usual, my poor little brain can't remember many of the jokes, only “never give a midget a yo-yo”; “wouldn't you like to go into an estate agents with a gun and say 'nobody move'”; and when a waiter walked in front the stage one said 'don't worry about it, it's just a stage you're going through!'” I've been checking them out on You-Tube. I've only found a decent clip of Ryan. I will continue my search on the others and edit this if I can find any good ones. Ryan McDonnell -

Monday 22nd to Wednesday 24th February

Monday 22nd – At bowling tonight, we managed an 8-0 win. I didn't expect to win. I had been exchanging Facebook comments with a member of the opposite team during the day. He was convinced he was going to lose, especially as we had the handicap advantage. Weeks 1 and 2 are a bit strange like that. For week 1, we carry over the handicap from the last week. On week 2, the new handicap is calculated based on the scores for week 1. They had a particularly good start to the season so they had low handicaps.

Tuesday 23rd – At work today, we were chatting about what colour car is best to buy. Apparently blue is not a good colour for cars. Red still suffers from losing it's colour. I still love my blue car and I'd have a pink one too. I still love the magenta Fiesta Zetec even though I could probably only sell it on to girls or gays!! This evening we watched another episode of Heroes.

Wednesday 24th – This evening was the archaeology club meeting. Starting with the AGM. Lesley started the meeting. She got to about item 2 on the agenda and then asked if anyone was taking notes. If I had known beforehand that I was going to be given the job I could have taken along my laptop or at least a decent note pad. So I scribbled some notes on the back of the Treasurer's Report. I hope I can make sense of them later. After the meeting, Avice showed us some slides from a festival held in Lenham Square from the 1980s. Some of the ladies dresses looked like they'd been made out of curtains. Avice said that a lot of them probably had. I prefer her talks on Village Signs.

Sunday 21st February - Happy birthday

After Dave had opened his cards and presents, we were getting set for a quiet day after our busy Saturday. Then Simon and Corinne phoned. Did we want to meet up somewhere? Great idea. Dave did a bit of research and we soon set up for Johns Cross. It was a pub that he knew of from years ago and we could go look around the nearby camper shop afterwards, and it was about half way. When we arrived we were met friendly staff and we sat at the bar chatting and picking at the cheese and peanuts on the bar. Here is their website address: in case you want to find it yourself one day. On the menu it was really a choice of the roast or spicy Persian lamb. With the roast you could choose chicken, beef or gammon, or a bit of all 3 which was good. The lamb won for me though. Something a bit different. We all succumbed to dessert. Apple and blackberry crumble with custard. Yum. Then we all wished we hadn't as we were very full!!

Out in the rain and down to the camping shop. We were in the shop for ages. Simon got the mega giggles about something but I can't remember what it was now. We saw lots of tents that would be suitable replacements for ours and they were not much more than £100. Dave got a gay pink mini lantern and he bought me a lovely casual bag that will be great for our holiday. When I need a new chair I will go back there again. They have different designs now. I got my flower one from there and it is lasting me well.

We got home in plenty of time for bowling. I was able to get 3 decent enough scores to possibly use as a pre-bowl one day.