Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Heh Heh ! :)

Bear went off to visit a mate who recently moved about 5 miles away to Walkley.

Neither of them are big drinkers, but because Bear wanted to chill, she treated herself to a couple of Fosters. While she was there, she was offered "a couple more"

Well ah. She phoned to ask whether Tots and I were ok, (bless) so I said sure, bring me a can back.

So she nipped into a Morrisons on the way back. They refused to serve her a can. The checkout lass said she'd had too much already! That's a new one :) All they let her buy was a packet of tic-tacs. Apparently, because she smelt of beer.

Back home, Bear is negotiating with the Immigration authorities, acting as a liaison between my lad and the American Embassy about his American missus, and his missus, and seems perfectly lucid to me.

For the record, I think Morrisons policy is a good one. Bit strict though, isn't it?

Perhaps she should have bought the tic-tacs before she went :)

Funny though.

I'm off to watch my Wheeler Dealers :)


Well that's Hissing Sid on, the pressure cooker. Managed to get round to doing the Christmas Pud, in the nick of time. And the mince pie filling. Not a lot of difference.

By golly (am I allowed to say 'golly'?) that thing is terrifying. Both the Pud and the pressure cooker.

I once lived in a concrete box known as a 'tower block', and though admittedly an older model, I managed to blow the safety valve through the concrete ceiling into the kitchen of the neighbours above.

Didn't make me popular. When they eventually demolished that block, they over estimated the amount of explosives needed. Huh. Should have checked with me first.


It's kinda traditional around here that neighbours expect at least one jar of home made pickled onions as a gift.

Quandary. Normally, I'd get Bear to pick up tiny (about 1" to 1 & 1/2" across) onions from a local shop or supermarket. Not available.

I like to time it so on Christmas day they have been left to mature for at least 2 months. Not this year.

Just in time, I've hit on a solution. Cheat. Find the smallest onions she can get, and peel them to maybe 2". The 'peel' can be frozen in containers to be used in meals.

Heat Malt Vinegar with my (secret) spices until the liquid is reduced by a third. Allow to cool.

Here's the real cheating bit. Tiny Silverskin onions, that are very popular, have always been economically unavailable. I'm sure my neighbours forgive me for filling in the gaps between the bigger onions by sticking in a couple of tablespoons of shop bought.

Stick them into sterilised jars, and turn upside down once a day. Done in two weeks, last up to 6 months. Unless you like them softish (bleh!). They will, if you don't mind them softening, last a couple of years.

It would seem retailers have realised that while people are making their own, they aren't selling theirs.......

Saturday, 26 November 2011


Just as I'm getting used to being called 'Gandad' - no, that's not a spelling error - my grand kids are still at the 'whasat & that & that' and 'ow, bum' speech stage.

Just as I'm getting used to that, I'm reminded I'm a father of a teenage girl. Around my living room, or lounge, if one is posh, I found at 05:30 this morning three grumeaux de femelles adolescentes .

Tots, which she is most definitely not, I'm quite used to being just kinda there (or not). A skinny critter all elbows and gangly legs that breaks into impromptu gyrations - I believe it's called 'dancing' - to some tune only in her head,

That, and some frenzied wallet-emptying ritual that occurs between IT and The Bear once week.

Oh, and that, and waking up on the couch wondering why the world had suddenly become pink and frilly, only to discover some joker(s) had strapped a bra around my head, turning me into a human fly fashion statement.

But another two? Blimey. I knew they bred eventually, but not that fast? One hand flapped around half heartedly from under a quilt in the general direction of a make-up bag when I walked in, which I obligingly passed, only to see it grabbed followed by, er....?

Ladies don't snore. It's true because The Bear says so. So it was well, um, something else?

I have a very vague memory of teenage girls, having another one who's now a twenty something, and I remember bumping into a couple or three some 40 years ago.

I remember them being annoying. Do they all create landfill in lounges?

Gotta go. It's gone one, and there was a mass stirring, followed by stares of collective horror in my direction, a mass grabbing of make-up and stampede to the bathroom.

I believe it's called a "Shriek of teens".......

Monday, 21 November 2011


Sigh. Polar Bear wanted to spray my dried Rowan Berries silver for decorations in Wheelie Manor.

Huh, like we don't have enough trimmings available around here. Look, I said. It's not time yet. It's not like I work hard enough this time of year. But she isn't having it.

"Sweetheart" she said. Oh, ho, ho, I thought. That's my chocolates stopped. "Sweetheart. I don't want to distract you" Oh, yeah? "But" But? "But the increase in VAT, supermarket prices rising, everyone being skint, national debt and the public sector pension messing about? Where's that going to leave you?"

Three tree's instead of one. Putting a little a way for little things for the kids, bright and colourful. Lots of lights and stars, and a lot of magic. Fun and laughter and love, and everything that's playful.

I agree Bear. And it starts now.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

That time of year again

The Bear wants to cut my grey hair. Like she does. It's too long and flowin' apparently. She wants me to trim my beard to a goatee.

I can see my feet most of the year. This time of the year I don't want to. It's just not on.

"Look" says she "You aren't hip (hip?) any more. Do you need all those suits in the wardrobe?" It's time you put your feet up she says. You're getting on a bit now. Let Son'o'mine do it now?

Getttin' on a bit, Gettin' on a bit? Have you any idea how long I've had those suits ? Darn right I need them. Besides, the pizzas, he's too skinny is son'o'ours.

Not gonna happen. A man needs a change of suit now and again. Red and black just doesn't mix. Green trees and snow with lights is my thing.

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Sigma the dog need feeding, catchya laters peeps.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Weebles Wobble but....

Did the 'out' thing again last night.

Bear decided I was accompanying her to the shop, and she wasn't taking no for answer. Come to think of it, she rarely takes 'no' for an answer. Can't say I'd really noticed before.

Anyway's, she was unanimous in that.

Of course, it took three times longer than if she had gone alone because of the wobble stops, but it turned out to be quite fun. I had these ruffty tuffty young Yorkshiremen giving me big hugs, shouting "Go Grandad!", and offering to give me a 'leg and a wing' lift up the hill.

Lots of jokes about whatever I was on, they wanted some, and some really interesting chats why a couple of them were 'on tag', and their views of the British legal system (they, ahum, aren't too keen).

Good lads. Well, I know, 'bad lads', but I've watched a few progress from being 10 year old little twonkers kicking the heck out my garden fence and 'egging' my windows, moving on to being bored teenagers hanging around the beer-off smelling of strange herbal substances.

Then they'll disappear for a few months, re-appear with plastic contraptions strapped to their ankles, get a Legal driving licence, find a nice girl, settle down with a job, and become fine, upstanding members of the community. Two were on leave from the Army. "Yeah, y'right" one told me. "It was either that or the nick Gramps. No regrets" :)

I went to the shop and I survived. Well pleased.

Huh. 'Gramps' indeed! :)

Thursday, 17 November 2011


....Which oddly enough was the name of the first blog I used to write.

That had to go west after er.... too many years, because of a prolonged and concerted attack by some British Evangelic Christians who objected to some of my religious views. One in particular. I never referred to any faith community by name.

However, people see the concept of faith communities as their church, whatever their beliefs. Fair enough? I'd think so. However, despite the giant strides made in recent years of interfaith tolerance, the same tolerance often does not extend, in my experience, to those that wear the label 'Christian'.

Behind the vociferous bull I used to get, there was one simple message. This is what my church has taught me. Therefore it is what I believe. Mention the word 'religion' and it is assumed that 'church' or religion means Christian, Christian means their church, and anything outside their experience means an attack on Christianity as they perceive it, and therefore anything different to their perception is an attack on people of faith.

Bullshit. Any-ways. No wonder there are so many bloomin' wars.:)

Apples is alive and well, in it's paper form since issue #1 in 1983.

This little Santa has lots of little helpers, and should you come across a rather weird looking dubrie drawing pinned on your noticeboard, blame some bloke called Wheelie. From St. Paul's in London to the Shetlands, and I'm told it has even turned up in the States.

Semi nony-mouse non-profit publishing. Who'd a thought it? I'm thinking of going PDF too, with the next issue, due about December 13th, if there's enough on line interest.

Bless you.


Including Mosques, Spiritualist, Mormon, Synagogues, Evangelical, Anglican, Higher Anglican, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventists and more. It's good for people to talk.

Apples is based on the Spanish tradition of protest leaflets, and is supported by anonymous toner donations. Spanish protest leaflets? Google is your friend on that one :)

Monday, 14 November 2011


Favourite quote of the week.

“Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

Sir Terry Pratchett.

For someone who hates making phone calls and gets out even less, I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time with a smart phone in my top pocket.

Note to shirt makers. Please offer a choice of left or right shirt pockets. Trying to dig a phone out of a left hand pocket with ones left hand leads to a Norman Wisdom sketch. Thank you.

The Bear hates my phone. Much prefers her 5 year old. Her excuse was that hers "has proper buttons".

It's slowly snuck up on me that it's a little more than that. "Oh, Dray, can you.. on your calendar, and set a reminder for...." or

"When is?..." and "Make a note for me Dray, I'm expecting a call at....from....and by the way, to be on the safe side, I've given them your number too as I'm out of credit"

That last one is a Bearism. I've tried to explain you don't need credit to receive calls, but? Ah well.

Now then.

My calendar is on my computer. Which is synchronised with an online calendar. The phone is synchronised with both my computer and the online calendar. Naturally, it's all in sync with a backup calendar.

So all day I'm getting booped from the computers calender, bleeped from the email reminder from the Cloud calendar, and kerchinged from my mobile.

So, because she's out of credit, she leaves her phone on the mantelpiece. Her mobile rings. Before I can get to it, the land line rings as her mobile rings off. No probs, I'm getting these rapid changes of direction off to a tee. Heads down the hall, reaches for the land li....

Bugger. There goes my top pocket. "Yellow? No, No, she didn't take her mobile. Yep. No credit. Don't ask me, I'm a fella. What? No, I'm quite comfy down here thank you. I'll, er, yep, nope nope, nope."

"Waddya mean you'll send her a text? Hello? Hello?".

Bloop. "You have one new text message"

Sunday, 13 November 2011

I was going to blog something tonight, but I've been distracted by a combo of Jamie Oliver and a rather energetic Sigma the dog, who despite slicing his paw quite badly, on a bottle some inconsiderate twot smashed on the field, wants me to throw his ball around.

Roll on 9pm, when he'll take himself to bed, rip off his bandage again, and nibble at his stitches (again).

Bless him, I've told him vets in the morning, and he's just hid under my wheels behind my legs. Woop, there he goes. Off to bed.

Honestly, pets are worse than kids :)

Can't remember what I was going to say. Totally gone from my head.....

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Don't you think it's kinda sad

That peoples perceptions of the world is no greater than their own?

Busy day today, had lots of visitors. Bear is determined to get our grand daughter across from the states. I've paid over £1500.

A chap is equally determined his 21 year old daughter should have the party of her life for £250 he can't afford, despite being thousands behind in his rent. And admitting to me he's been on benefits for years (Yup, he should have been paying £7 a week) Oh, and the 250 savings he had he'd spent on a 'key meter' for his fuel.

To keep warm. :( And the other four.

Another has gone over their limit on their credit card and can't get "any more". And more.

It isn't that I can't help. I can point people in the right direction.

But I'm getting a bit sick of it. Genuine, good hearted people - meh, no sweat.

But, y'know, it brasses me of that the others will actually argue with me. I mean, Wot? I'm impartial, independent, experienced? Fer..reee?

It's knocking my duck off, I can tell you....

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

I don't believe it.

I'm sat in brilliant sunshine, on the 1st November, listening some rather squeaky voiced lady protester being interviewed outside St. Pauls in London on Sky news.

Trying to do my Journal for for today - day 4115, if anyone's interested. While watching a face-off between a rather large Spider and a fly on my knee. Yup, you've read that right. On my knee.

Being one to ponder on life the universe and everything, I carefully looked around. It seems that while I was busy with yon Journal, and being annoyed at the squeaky nu-labour/liberal capitalist piglet, the Spideress (it's a she - you don't want to know how I know) had built a careful web between the ceiling, a monitor and my left shoulder.

I ain't gonna state the obvious. However, she had her lunch, but is sadly homeless. After lunch.

P.S. I'm fond of Spiders. I even recognise those whom I chuck out, who find their way back in again. I know, I know. I'm a very sad man. But hey, some people keep budgies - what's that all about? :)


Came across a really funny blog you may like a look at. Warning. Some rude language. Clicky here at