Tag Archives: Boo

It’s Only Me

I have absent from the blogging world for a little while and I’ve just realised how long it’s been since I posted anything since returning from my holidays. I’ve knocked out a couple since then in the mista…

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. I’ve just realised what I have written! “Knocked out a couple”…..? What must you be thinking of me? That I sit in front of my screen having a Jodrell while waiting for inspiration to strike? Hahahahaha.

Jodrell Bank

Jodrell Bank

Rest assured that I don’t. You’ll have to take my word for it though.

Work has been manic since my return and we have a new task that has been proving to be a bit of a nightmare. I always love it when my boss phones up and says;

“Houston. We have a problem, don’t you”!!!

My Boss

My Boss

It always means that the soft brown stuff has hit the fan and it’s heading in my general direction.

Anyway, that aside I did intend writing about the progress, or lack of it, in my garden but I’m in Wales for the next few days looking after my sisters smallholding

Boo & Guptas smallholding taken from the fields towards the house

Boo & Guptas smallholding taken from the fields towards the house

and all her critters and crops.

There are three horses,20150902_113751


a dozen ducks,20150902_113333

a large, indeterminate number of chickens (they’re always scuttling about making it impossible for me to count them)

This chicken is called "Mrs Bogbrush"

This chicken is called “Mrs Bogbrush”


and a labrador called Chalky

Chalky. Along with his favourite balls

Chalky. Along with his favourite balls

along with a semi feral cat called Morgan.



Plus all kinds of fruit and vegetables to take care of.

By the time Boo and her husband Gupta get back from their holidays, I suspect there may be slightly fewer animals to deal with!

It’s lovely here and it’s been some years since I’ve been in this part of the world and it was really pleasant to be driving along and recognising village names from back in the day when I was in Wales most weekends for canoe races.QuentinBonnetainAction

I might just take a wander down to some of them for a look-see and remember my long-lost youth. In the meantime though, I’m busy feeding animals, clearing out hen houses, shovelling up horse muck and picking raspberries, strawberries, aubergines and that kind of stuff. It’s bloody brilliant!

Boo and Gupta live on the edge of a small village not far from the coast. All the locals seem to be called by their job names as their real surnames are all Jones. Or it might be Evans or Jenkins or some other Welsh surname. So the bloke who delivers logs for the wood burners that everyone has is called Dickie Log, the school cook is Betty Cook, the carpenter is called Dai Saer (Saer being Welsh for Carpenter) and his wife is called Betty Dai Saer. The landlady of  the local pub, The Commercial Inn, is run by a lady called Betty Commercial. There’s another bloke called Dai Buns who may be a baker but may not and the guy who keeps all the roadside hedges trimmed is called Eaun Hedge!!! The local farmer is called John Ty Mawr (Ty Mawr is Welsh for Home Farm) and so it goes on. Boo and Gupta are called Boo and Gupta Wyndarra because the name of their smallholding is Wyndarra! Wyndarra being Australian but that’s just like my sister to put a spanner in the works! Apparently, most of the women (of a certain age) are named Betty as that was the name of the midwife who delivered them all. Electricity arrived in the village in 1963 and some of the inhabitants here remember revising for their school exams by candle light! The Interweb is unbelievably slow and it is taking me bloody ages to download the photographs I’ve taken but do you know what? I think it fantastic here. Boo and Gupta (so-called because of his love of curry. Also known as “Stink” when he’s had a curry!) dreamt about having this life for many, many years and they achieved it 6 years ago and I envy them. It’s not easy but it is plain to see that they are living the dream.1926889_654140781288958_206925591_n

I have to go give the clucks their afternoon feed now, so on with my wellies (I brought them along in case I found any stray sheep!) and off into the fields, the fresh air, the rain and the wind to feed the animals and think some thoughts.

Have a smashing day.

More Dick soon.auto

Ye Gods. I Have Stretch Marks!



Today we visit one of my favourite places: Animal Kingdom.




Added to which is a visit to The Rainforest Cafe for lunch!Rainforest1

I really do like Animal Kingdom. PIL and the kids do too. Travelling around the park in a truck on a pretend safari is great fun. You can get very close to the animals. In fact, this time we were within 10 feet of a rhino, a fantastic experience. There are lions, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, hippos and all kinds of deer and antelope. Once you’ve done that, you can wander around different parts of the park to see other animals. PIL has a particular soft spot for gorillas and once again we were fortunate to get close to a female and its baby albeit behind a glass screen and further on we saw a number of males. In another area we saw tigers, although they were some distance away. It was fantastic and we had a great time. Lunch was booked at the Rainforest Cafe and once again the food was great and the portions stupendous. The skin around my tummy is feeling quite tight now.

After eating far too much again I decided an afternoon nap was in order

After eating far too much again I decided an afternoon nap was in order

We got back to the house tired and still stuffed with food but we managed to jump into the pool for a game of volleyball where I was, once again, berated by Greg for being rubbish.


All these theme parks are bloody exhausting so once again we had a day off. Once again I went for a run although I was joined by Greg this time.

Jesus. Running is hard work!

Jesus. Running is hard work!

I suspect that PIL may have had a word and suggested he volunteer to come with me in case I had a coronary. This time I ran a bit further and walked a bit less although the overall distance was the same. Greg finished as fresh as a daisy while I was a sweaty, dishevelled, breathless mess.

“Come on Dad! It’s all down hill now.”

Fuck off” I thought as speech was impossible.

“Nearly there now Dad. Probably about 300 metres to go.”

Fuck off” I thought again as I was still unable to speak, breath and run at the same time.

“Here we go Dad. Only seven more houses to go.”

My thought processes had ended  round the corner and I was on autopilot so thought nothing at all but I made it back.

We showered and guess what? We went shopping again but before we did, we had a mess around in the pool and spent some time catching some rays. While I was doing my imitation of a beached whale PIL called out to me:

“Er. Can you come here for a moment? Like now!”

So I struggled to an upright position and walked over to the house and there, standing on the arm of a sofa was PIL. On the floor, inside the house was a snake! The kids,hearing us talking, came to join us and immediately leapt onto the sofa with PIL. Now I don’t have a problem with snakes. In fact, as a child I used to keep snakes, lizards, frogs and toads but they were British snakes and we only have one poisonous snake and I know what that looks like. We’re in the United States and there are many venomous snakes here, none of which I recognise. I persuaded Ed and Greg to get off the sofa and get me one of the many shopping bags we had or a shoe box so that I could capture Sid the Snake and chuck him outside where he could slide off and live happily ever after.

Sid the Snake

Sid the Snake

Sid was soon placed in a very posh Michael Kors bag and then put into some shrubs outside where hopefully he met Sandra the Snake, they married, had hundreds of baby snakes and lived happily ever after. Greg has a mate who is into snakes in a big way so we checked with him and Googled snakes. Turned out Sid is a Garter snake and completely harmless.

Sid the Garter snake

Sid the Garter snake


We left and went shopping. Greg is desperate to find a Philadelphia 76ers NBA vest.

Photo courtesy of: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Photo courtesy of: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

None of the sports shops seem to stock it. They stock all the other NBA shirts plus all the college shirts but not the 76ers. Greg says it’s because they’re crap which, in turn, is why he follows them! Odd logic but sound in his mind I’m sure.

We returned home again without a 76ers shirt once again. We had a meal while we were out and had gone to the Publix supermarket to buy more essentials – beer and donuts again. As the rest of the family unloaded the massive vehicle, I went and opened the front door and as I returned to help bring the shopping in, I had an overwhelming desire to indulge in my sister Boos favourite pastime and for no reason whatsoever I fell over! (Actually, I stumbled on the path and went down like a sack of poo). The impact was impressive. While I was down on the deck PIL made an observation:

“You need to cut back on your food intake. You have stretch marks!” (Offering me absolutely no assistance in my efforts to get vertical again.)

“Nonsense.” I replied while desperately trying to regain my feet and look to see if I really do have stretch marks.

“I merely have a stripey tan effect in the region of my stomach caused by an almighty overhang. I could do with a hand here.”

“Whatever. Looks like stretch marks to me you fat bastard. You look like a bloody turtle on its back” (Still offering no assistance.)turtle1

“Charming. I’ll have you know that mountaineers live in fear of that overhang and a great deal of good (and not so good) food and gallons of beer have been consumed to achieve that effect.”turtle

“That’s as maybe but you still have stretch marks. No more donuts for you Sonny Jim.”

By this time I had assumed a more or less upright position and decided to keep quiet. There is no photographic evidence that I can show you as a) it’s far too disgusting and b) it’s far too gloomy down there.

It’s Magic Kingdom tomorrow, so we have an early start and after having a few beers we went to bed after another great and very full day.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto






Perhaps the only thing that can be said about the lawn in our back garden is that it’s generally green! A small percentage of that greenness is caused by grass. The rest of the greenness is made up of moss (18%), clover (23%), buttercups (17%), daisies (16%), dandelions (12%), sundry other weeds etc (11%). I think when all the weeds are flowering it actually looks quite pretty and in my opinion having a garden that pleases your eye is really what it’s all about. The abuse the back lawn gets from the amount of football, basketball, cricket, hockey and rugby that the kids play on it makes maintaining it the way my dad maintained his lawn a bit of a waste of time. However, I have discovered method in my laziness. I have a cunning plan!

I have a cunning plan

I have a cunning plan

My dad used to expend huge amounts of energy, time and money on his lawn. Even when he was getting on a bit he would mow, weed and feed it constantly and it has to be said that 96.87% of his lawn was actually grass. Every year he would grab his lawn rake and spend the day furiously raking up every scrap of moss and dead grass. He would then spend the next week in hospital with a suspected coronary. Each spring he would scatter spring lawn feed over the lawn. Every autumn he would spread autumn lawn feed over his lawn. Every year he would aerate his lawn with his garden fork and chuck lawn sand everywhere. As far as I can make out “lawn sand” is ordinary sand in  bag marked “Lawn sand” enabling the retailer to sell it for three times the price. I could be wrong. My dad used so much weed killer and sundry other chemicals that his lawn would luminesce at night.

Personally, I try not to use chemicals and weed killers. I do use it on the paths where, typically, the grass grows quite happily. It’s the same with pests. I’m not allowed by law to use chemicals on the kids much as I may want to when they destroy my Choisya Ternata. I dislike slugs intensely but now as I grow older I try to think of them as little bunches of DNA sliming around doing what slugs naturally do.slug1-400x301


Ahem. Excuse the little rant. Sorry. Much as I try to remain calm the mere thought of slugs drives me potty. DIE YOU FUCKERS DIE! I wouldn’t mind so much but the fucker slug fucks DIE YOU SHITS DIE! in my garden all seem to look like and are the size of Jabba the Hutt with an appetite to match.review_jabba_1

I do apologise for my outburst. Anyway, generally speaking I’m quite fond of the little garden beasties, so if it’s not a s**g or a sn**l, I try to encourage them. Our back garden is effectively divided into two parts. Last week I gave the whole lawn its first cut of the year. Now I like bees. Hate wasps but like bees. Bees like clover. There’s clover in our lawn and clover when cut, takes about a week to start flowering again. So. Each week, weather permitting, I will mow one half of the lawn so that each half gets cut once every two weeks. That way it looks neat(ish), the bees have a constant supply of food and I get to put my feet up for an additional half hour having done my bit to save the planet! That’s what you call a cunning stunt. (unless you’re my sister Boo, the Queen of spoonerisms, in which case it’s something else entirely).

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this

Speaking of beaver, Clit Eatswood is regularly ensconced in my beard. It seems to like it there and comes quite often.

I’ve wandered off again haven’t I?

I started gardening and enjoying it relatively late. To me it was something your dad did and therefore gardening was done by old people.gardener

When PIL and I first got together we lived in a nice house overlooking a little copse with a stream running through it. It had a garden. So in an effort to further impress her and to get her kit off as often as possible I started to garden. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing (still don’t). I built a little seat out of bricks and old fence posts at the bottom of the garden where we could sit and look out over the stream. As you would expect with something I built only three buttocks could fit on the seat but this was fine because it meant PIL sat on my lap. I started watching Gardeners World on the Beeb Beeb Ceeb and the presenter, the late Geoff Hamilton, became a bit of a hero to me.

The late Geoff Hamilton

The late Geoff Hamilton

I discovered I enjoyed gardening and even better, that I was quite good at it. I can never remember the name of plants but I can visualise what I want to do and get the plants that achieve my visualisation.

Part of our garden

Part of our garden

The best thing though is that if you cock it up and have a colour clash,  a plant in the wrong place or it doesn’t suit the scheme you’re trying to achieve all you do is dig the bugger up again and plant it somewhere else. Brilliant! It helps that both PIL and I prefer informal planting with lots of colour and form and that is easy to do. For instance, bees like foxgloves. We like foxgloves. Foxgloves self seed like nobodies business so you buy a few and let them seed and you end up with big swathes of purple foxgloves springing up in the most unexpected places.



If by chance they arrive where you don’t want them, just dig ’em up and plant them somewhere else.

I think most people know I like wild primroses.


Dinky little plants with lovely yellow flowers in early spring. If you’re lucky you can get the pink form which is also lovely. You can’t just go and dig up wild flowers in England. Big fines if you’re caught. So I collect the seed which is legal. Not all of it, just enough for what I want. I pot the seeds up, they start to grow, plant them out and hey presto, loads of plants for nothing. Again, brilliant. Or you can take cuttings from your existing plants, pot them up and once again, a short time later, free plants! Herbaceous perennials are the best though. Buy one (or three), plant it immediately and enjoy the flowers. Then a year or two later, dig it up, divide it into two or three bits and replant. Then two or three years later dig each bit out again and divide it again. Bloody marvellous.

One year it wasn't there, the next it was! I did absolutely nothing.

One year it wasn’t there, the next it was! I did absolutely nothing.

The thing to never forget though is that no matter how much you enjoy the physical labour of gardening and the associated aches and pains, take time to actually look at your garden or (someone elses) and enjoy it.

A bit of our garden

A bit of our garden

Have a lovely day.

More Dick soon.auto




No. Not me. I ski nothing like this

PIL, Ed, Greg and CJ are currently in the Spanish Pyrenees skiing. Or as Buzz Lightyear would say, “falling down mountains. With style.” Or was that Woody? Anyway, I’m playing at Billy No Mates and staying at home. It’s not because I don’t ski cos I do but, like my sister Boo, I fall over. A lot! It’s often a case of,

“Oh look. I’m somewhere completely flat and as I’m not moving, I will fall over.”




Yep. That’s more like it!


PIL doesn’t ski but she does drink espresso, look cool and beautiful with incredible ease.


PIL on a skiing holiday


Ed, Greg and CJ are brilliant skiers. I think that’s mainly due to them having started at an early age whereas I started when I was slightly decrepit and worried about broken bones. More Eddie the Eagle than Franz Klammer. It keeps the children amused. The resort authorities are kept informed by PIL when I go on the slopes. It seems I’m considered an avalanche risk. I know that Greg isn’t too fond of me being on the same chair lift as him. He claims that a few years back, due to my fat arse, I knocked him off a chair lift as we were getting on. I don’t know what he’s complaining about, he only fell about 10 feet! Into soft snow! Personally, I can’t see the problem in that. PIL got the serious hump with me on one occasion although I still can’t see why. The boys had gone up the mountain together. Then CJ decided that she wanted to go up too. I volunteered to take her. That was fine but once we got to the slope she wanted to go down, she whizzed off at a million miles per hour. Valiantly, I shot off in pursuit of her at about 3mph. I arrived back half an hour after CJ who had joined up with the boys and left me to face the music. PIL was not a happy bunny.

Now. Why was it they said I couldn’t go this time?

Have a lovely day.

More Dick soon.



When I started this blog I had an idea whereby some of the posts that I publish are linked in some way to previous posts. There would be a thread connecting them. So, for instance, at the end of my first ever post, despite having no medical training, I offered advise on a specific medical condition. In my second ever post I wrote about my experience with that particular medical condition and at the end of it I again offered medical advise on another condition. My third post spoke about that and at the end of that post I offered financial advise and my fourth post was about how having children was economically disastrous. I then posted an email I had sent to my sister Boo some months ago and included a picture that looked nothing like her followed by a post about my sister again with a picture that looked nothing like her. And so on.


Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this either.

I thought I was being pretty clever with these threads passing through my posts but then I realised (and I admit to being very slow on the uptake here), that it was all nonsense. The latest post is shown first so if you come in half way through then you have absolutely no idea what I’m on about. Of course, it is possible to have the first post first if you see what I mean but that means you have to plough through loads of older posts you may have already read to get to the latest one. What am I to do? I have thought long and hard about this and finally, earlier today I decided what I’m going to do about it. Fuck all.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon