Tag Archives: Wales

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

20150902_113725

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”

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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.

Morgan

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

Wasps

wasp

The common wasp. Not my favourite creature

I’m not terribly fond of wasps. Horrible, aggressive little blighters. I was recently reading a post by Steve Morris about how do wasps get into your house. He reckons they teleport in and out. I’m inclined to go along with that because they just suddenly appear and just as quickly disappear again, How else can they do that. I blame the Vulcans. You can find Steve at blogbloggerbloggest. Good stuff.

I’ve been stung twice by wasps and both times it happened I got into trouble.

The first time was a good time ago. I was an Inbetweener aged about 17. One summer my best friend, Omar and I had slung our surf kayaks on the roof rack of his Morris Traveller and gone down to west Wales looking for big waves and girls.

sun_croyde_038a

A surf kayaker. Lots of fun

One morning I clambered out of my tent and looked around. It was a beautiful sunny day and the surf looked pretty good. I decided to put my boots on, take a stroll up to the headland, have breakfast, chill out and then go and catch some waves. So I pulled on my boots and as I finished double knotting the laces, ZAP, ZAP, ZAP! Something was stinging my foot. To paraphrase Woody in  Toy Story There was a wasp in my boot! Panic! My laces were double knotted, it would take ages to undo them and in the meantime the wasp continued to sting. I was leaping about, my hair flying all over the place and I was shouting and hollering. I decided to stamp on my foot to kill the bugger. So I started stamping away. Other people on the campsite were climbing out of their tents to see what the commotion was all about. I must have looked like some kind of whirling Dervish! Eventually, the stinging stopped so I sat down to take off my boot and survey the damage. As my boot came off, two things happened. First, the bloody wasp flew out of my boot completely unharmed and second, a big hand grabbed my shoulder and a voice said,

“Hello, hello hello. What’s going on here then boyo?”

It was the local plod who had decided to take a look at these hippy surfers and had seen me doing a war dance. I tried to explain what had happened but to my dismay he said,

“Look you boyo. I am arresting you for suspicion of being under the influence of mind altering narcotics and suspicion of being in possession of mind altering narcotics. Anything you say…….etc etc Tidy.”

WTF! I tried to protest my innocence but I wasn’t exactly coherent, my foot hurt and the evidence had flown off. I showed him my foot and explained that I’d been stung several times by a wasp.

“That’s what they all say boyo. You’re nicked. Tidy.”

“What they all say?” I thought. “Are they plagued by wasps round here?”

“I’m taking you to the police station so the police doctor can carry out an examination. I will also be carrying out a cavity search boyo.”

WTF! I remember thinking to myself (and remember I was only 17),

“Cavity search? What have my teeth got to do with this? Who is this bloke? Is he some kind of amateur dentist? It’s my foot he needs to be looking at not checking my oral hygiene.”

Upshot of all this was that I was cuffed and put in the back of the coppers panda car and driven miles to the local nick which turned out to be the house where he lived with a couple of rooms converted into cells. A large elderly bloke  with the reddest nose I’d ever seen was waiting for us. Turns out he was the local GP who moonlighted as the police doctor and by the look of him was also the local coroner, mortician, funeral director, Baptist minister and publican. He plainly had the place all sewn up.

Nothing wrong with my teeth. Nice and clean and sparkly. These aren’t mine by the way. I have my own.

I was taken into a room where the doc examined my foot for a few minutes. Then he turned to the policeman and started to clear his throat for about five minutes. Then the copper started clearing his throat.

“Crikey!” I thought. “I hope that’s not catching. Hadn’t TB been eradicated?” Obviously in rural parts of Wales it hadn’t.

Turns out they were talking in Welsh.

The copper turned to me and said

“Doc says you’ve been stung multiple times on the foot by an insect. Probably a wasp he reckons so you’re free to go boyo.”

No apology. Nothing!

So I asked him how I was going to get back and was told,

“The police aren’t a cab service. You’ll have to get a bus back. Next one’s at 10 o’clock tomorrow.”

english-police-1970

Would you let this man examine your teeth?

Brilliant! So I started limping back. Only 7 miles. Half way back I saw Omar heading towards me. He’d got lost trying to get to where I was. By the time we got back it was too late to surf. So we gave it a miss, ate some food and smoked some of our stash of mind altering narcotics! Tidy.

The second time was more recent although it was still 13 or 14 years ago. I was recently divorced and was out with Ed and Greg at football training one sunday morning. Ed was probably 6 or 7 and Greg about 3 or 4. On the way back to what was now their home, something came in through the car window and hit me on the head. I looked around but couldn’t see what is was that had hit me. I asked the boys if anything had gone in the back but they hadn’t seen anything. So I continued on my way and forgot all about it. We pulled up outside their new house and bailed out of the car. As I stood up I discovered what had hit me on the head and also exactly where it had landed. It was a bloody wasp and it had landed on my inner thigh, right at the top. And boy was it ticked off! It stung me right on the soft fleshy bit.

“Fuck” I gasped.

“What does fuck mean Dad?” said Greg.

“Ahhh. Ask your mum son.” I replied. Big mistake! I thought he’d forget.

So I drop the boys off, say goodbye and drive off again. Three minutes later my phone rang. It was PIL. Boy did she bend my ear!

“Why is Greg asking me what ‘Fuck’ means you idiot. Have you no self control. He’s three for Gods sake blah blah blah……….”

Bloody wasps. Nothing but trouble.

Have a nice day

More Dick soon.auto

Dick

Boo

Boo. My sister. This looks nothing like her either

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this either

My sister Boo falls over. A lot! If there is a kerb stone, twig, tree root or banana skin to trip or slip on, she’ll find it. Sometimes she just falls over for no reason at all! Luckily, she’s not very tall so doesn’t have far to fall and the ground always breaks her fall. The ground is useful like that. It’s not that she has an inner ear problem or has got CJD, although I think she’s sometimes referred to as a mad cow! My sister just likes falling over. Walking alongside her can be an unnerving experience. We can be strolling along chatting when she will suddenly disappear from sight followed a split second later by a soft “Thud” as she hits the deck. Then, after another short pause there will be a muffled “Bugger!” from ground level. And we haven’t even got to the pub yet! We all reckon that it wasn’t fracking that caused the earth tremors near Blackpool in 2011, we believe that Boo had a succession of tumbles that had reverberated all the way from Wales to Lancashire via some previously unknown geologically fault line.

Boo. My sister. She often looks like this

So if you should ever find yourself in the western part of Wales and a woman wearing a Barbour, wellies, a big jumper and carrying a chicken under her arm unexpectedly and for no discernible reason falls over in front of you, don’t worry. It’s only Boo. Please give her a hand up and say “Hi”. She’s very friendly and may offer you a cup of tea and some eggs. She will certainly talk to you. Plus she’s my sister and I love her to bits.

Have a lovely day.

More Dick soon!auto

Dick