Parents, Who’d have them?

Last week at a festive board there was a discussion on “kids, and the annoying requests they ask of you” The general opinion of the parents present was that in their days if you had a problem, like you broke down, or ran out of petrol you sorted it out yourself, and did not phone your parents expecting them to help.  My father was one of the strong voices against annoying kids expecting you to go out of your way to help. This conversation was brought back into my mind yesterday. And as a none-parent I want to point out its not just Children/Grandchildren  that are guilty of this.

Yesterday about 7pm I get a call from my mother. Turns out there was family up in the area on a canal boat holiday, and my parents had gone to visit them for a pub lunch. Only after the lunch they decided to travel along the canal for a while to enjoy the day, and my father had always fancied having a go on a canal boat. So at 7 when they decided to call it a day and come home after a day on the canal they realise they are now several miles or more away from where they parked their car.

So pour coffee down sink, take a moment to morn its loss, and jump in car to drive to the middle of nowhere to pick up parents.  I arrive at a small car-park near the canal, its miles from the nearest street light so its dark, cold, and abandoned. I am the only person about, so I phone my father to say I am here, and where are they?. “Oh, we had to move on. We’re a couple miles down the canal. We are just mooring up which should take twenty minutes or so, then we’ll walk the mile or so back to where you are. so just wait there

Right, so I am to wait in a cold, dark, abandoned car park. And I can’t leave the engine running as I’m a bit low on diesel and probably shouldn’t waste it. Now the smarter amongst you are probably thinking . o (err. they were only guests on the boat, and they knew you were on route to collect them, so why did they not leave the boat at the location you were driving to, and wait for you to arrive?) The answer would be, they did not think of it.

About a half hour later I get a call from my father asking was I still there (like where else would I be?) and informing me they stopped off at a pub, so I should drive to pub to meet them. So it was a case of relocate to pub, (OK I did get a pint for my troubles. Not off my parents but of some random friend of the family who I do not know). Then a quick ten minute trip to go drop them off at their car, before I was able to go home.


I think the worlds trying to tell me something.

I have recently had an epiphany, and I thought in my egotistical way (Hey I write on a blog, and have a Myriad of personal websites, of course I’m an egomaniac.) that I would share it with you Dear Readers.

Now I am used to seeing people find this blog with the following search terms, or variations. “pure evil“, “kill everyone“, “evil“, etc. Now, as I said, I’m used to seeing them I don’t understand why these searches find me, or what kind of person google’s “Kill everyone”.

And I will also admit to being used to friends & family joking that I am evil, and denying my claims to “niceness”. Yet on top of all this, I was shocked at the weekend. Let me explain :-

My Niece loves playing “The Sims 2“. and at the weekend she got an expansion pack for it called something like “Apartment Life“. Now one of the extras this gives you, is the ability to became a magical being. A witch or Warlock. Now my niece wanted to be a good witch, only she was unsure how you do it. So being a good uncle, I looked it up on google and explained it to her. I also figured I’d test it myself in case she needed further help.

So I created myself a Character, I based it to look as close to me as I could, I set it with my star sign, my interests and personality (to the best degree i could), and i was ready to go.

According to google, you simply go to a community lot and hang about. After a while a Witch will pop up. Easy enough, I load up my Sims and head over to the library. A short while later the Good Witch turns up, so I go over to greet her. That was when things went downhill. Within a minute the good witch had gone from a friendship score of 0 (don’t know me) to -30 (hates me) and she would walk off if I went anywhere near her. “OK. maybe I just not any good at this game“.

That was when the Evil Witch turned up. So I went over to greet her. Within a minute our friendship had gone from 0 to 98. Not only that but she was in love with my Sim. WTF?

Is the sims trying to tell me that my Star Sign/Personality only matches with evil?

I think more research is needed. So watch this space.

Who said Romance Was Dead?

You cant beat a “good ole family barn raising“.

Well, technically there was No barn’s raised, Or any Barns at all really. And the closet thing to an Amish was a tall blond in skin-tight jodhpurs who walked past at one point. (What is it about boots, & Tight Jodhpurs? Sorry was distracted there….)

The other weekend there was Three generations of my family doing some work at my parents place. (Gen1) My Father (Gen2) Me (Gen3) Two of my Nephews. We were rebuilding some wooden parts of the garden that have started to rot from old age, and repaint the wooden fences, etc.. (This is Just Scene Setting)

While we were having a much needed Ten minute Coffee break, Nephew No1 was talking about a row of houses near where he lives where they all got a government grant to do work on the houses, apart from the end house in the terrace who’s door is on the other road so missed out. So it got mentioned that the grants been going round for ages now (Slowly) and that My Grandfather had it for his place, had the whole place gutted and rebuilt with the grant paying 70% of costs.

This led to the story of the rebuild. Which was such a touching story of Love & Romance that I thought I’d share it with you Dear Reader.

My Grandparents house then was built over an old mine shaft, meaning you could not get a mortgage on the building, and it was a bit unstable. This did mean they were able to buy it for very little money. So when they had the option of a 70% Government grant for building work, My Grandfather jumped at the chance.

After discussions with the builders it was decided to strip building, fill the mine shaft with a concrete plug & cap, rewire the house, re-plumb, Install new central heating, re-plaster, the works. This would involve the floors Upstairs, and down being removed, the walls stripped of existing plaster, and the electric/water being off. Basically the house would be unsuitable to live in for roughly a month.

Now my Grandfather being a practical man, he decided that was no problem. They would simply move into the garage for the month.

I should point out here, the garage was a large building, Brick walls on three sides. The roof was Tin sheeting, and the front wall was a full length wooden door, which only partially fitted with huge gaps. So all in all, a draughty cold room

To make it more liveable he put the carpets from the house down on the concrete floor, he put a bed, sofa and TV in there along with a kettle and cooker. Now, my Grandmother was not a plan of this idea. She was not living in a cold, spider infested garage.  She wanted to go on holiday while the work was being done, or at least stay in a B&B or Hotel.  So my Grandfather sat her down and explained that they could not go on holiday as someone needed to stay and keep an eye on the builders. Also if the builders saw “an old woman” living in such a bad place they would work harder and get the job done.  He also pointed out that they had a daughter living next door, so they had access to a bath, toilet, and such. After much discussion she finally decided to do what he suggested. So she helped him make the garage more homely and comfortable. After all, they had lived through the War, what was a few weeks of discomfort, as long as they were together.

Two days before the builders were due to start, my Grandmother walked into her bedroom to check everything had been put away. There she saw my Grandfather packing a suitcase with some clothes. Confused she asked him what he was doing. “Didn’t I remind you? I’m off to Australia for a month tour with the choir. Its been booked for over a year.

He’d never had any intention of living in the garage himself.  He had made it as comfortable as he could for his wife of many many years, he was just not staying in it himself…

Who says chivalry is dead.

I should point out before anyone gets upset about my Grandmother. After a long monologue of mostly very bad words that would make a sailor blush, my grandfather was forced able to get a second plane ticket, and upgrade his hotel room to a double, so she could go on holiday with him.

Bloody Small Yappy Dogs!

While most of you were spending the weekend celebrating either “Valentines Day” or the “Chinese New Year” I was not celebrating, Not even Wales winning the Rugby could cheer me up. You see I had to get rid of one of my Dogs the weekend.

I have (or Had) Two large Labrador’s, Now being responsible they were not allowed to run about on the roads free. A lot of effort was made to fence up the gates and hedges around the property to prevent them escaping. Anything that could have been done to keep them contained was.  And its not even like they were aggressive dogs.  They would bark if people came too close to the gate, and at the odd passing dog. But that was all.

Till this Friday.

Some inconsiderate person who lives down the hill from me was taking her two small fluffy yappy dogs for a walk. They were not on leads, or controlled. One of them decided to bark at my dogs, then when mine started barking back, it stuck its head through the fencing on the gate. The woman just stood there and let it, as it barked and snarled at my dogs.

Now One of my dogs, A female so protective of its turf decided it did not like this attack, so grabbed the small yappy dog by its head and pulled it through the small hole in the gate and proceeded to eat it. Now the woman decided to take note, and start screaming murder.

Luckily there was people there to stop the attack and take my dog indoors, leaving the now none yapping dog lying in a pool of its own blood. Now being nice we drove the woman and her dog to the vet, and as a nice gesture even paid the bills.

Unfortunately, now the dog had snapped once and tasted blood as they say, we could not really trust it not to snap again. I know if was not her fault, she was just defending herself and her land. Only we get lots of kids and small children walking past the gate on walks with their parents. and they like to stick their hands through gate to pet dogs. And the thought that one of them may get mauled is not a nice one.  So My dog had to go to kennels.

And to top it all the woman who owned the yappy dog is blaming us.   Right. My dogs were in an enclosed grounds. hers were wandering the roads unleashed. Hers started barking and pushing their way only my grounds. Hell we paid her vet fee’s and got rid of a family member. And its our fault?

What does she expect if a dog about nine inches tall decides to take on one about three foot tall. She should have had her dogs on leads, or at least under control. Now because of her irresponsible behaviour I loose a dog.

People who want small yappy dogs should be banned from owning dogs for life. There is something not right about them.

You’ll be missed Goldie


Purple haze all in my brain, Lately things just don’t seem the same

It’s a really small world you know. Even without the Interweb making it smaller and smaller every year. It used to be said that the “Human Web” covering the world meant that any person on the planet is at most just “Six degrees of Separation” from any other person on the planet.  This was in the early part of the 20th century. These days with the advent of the Interwebs and Social Networking, I believe that number is a lot smaller.

Q:Why are you muttering about this 6 degrees rubbish?

A:Hang on. Give me a minute, I’m getting to the point now. Sheesh! Everyone’s a critic!

Yesterday I was talking to my Niece (She’s about 12) and she was telling me about one of her mothers cool friends. Someone my Sister met a few years ago while she was running a pub in Wrexham, and became great friends with. So my Niece is telling me some story and says “you don’t know *GirlsName* but she’s great”  When she mentioned the Girls name I blinked, “*GirlsName*? Oh I know her, I’ve known her for many years!” Which made my Niece protest, there was no way I could have known this girl for years, since her mother has only known her for about 2 years.  So I told her a story from my past that she could use to prove I knew the Girl.

Since it brought back happy memories of days gone by, I thought I’d share it here.

It was many many years ago. (Something like 1999/2000, I forget exactly) and I was out on a pub crawl that started in Oswestry and ended up in Wrexham. There was three of us on the Pub Crawl, Myself, Ax & Kooper. We ended up in the “Kings Head”, where we bumped into *GirlsName* and her friend, and had a drink with them. When we got kicked out for making a mess.

I should stop my narration for a moment to point out something to those of you who were unlucky, and never got to drink in the “Kings”. Now this pub was a Dive. You know those pub’s where parents warn their daughters not to drink in? This one they warned their sons away from.  The plaster was falling off the walls, the seats were ripped and broken, everything was covered with layers of old cigarette smoke. And as for the carpets? A girlfriend of mine once kneeled on the floor to pick something up, and got severe ammonia burns on her knee/leg. This place was that bad. On the plus side, it had loads of pool tables guaranteeing you always got a game, the beer was cheep and it only played rock music. I mention this so you can understand the shame I felt for being kicked out “For making a mess”. Now back to the story.

In all the mess of the pub, they had one object of pride and joy. A pool table with purple felt and balls that glowed under the overhead black lights. Now this evening no one was playing on this table, I was sitting on the end of it drink in hand, and *GirlsName* was sat next to me, and we were harmlessly flirting. (A bit tactless of me as two X’s were sat on a table in front of us).

The rest of our group were stood about, when one of the Barstaff notice someone had spilt their Pint all over the table. We of course all denied anything to do with it, and we would have got away with it as well, only Ax decided to speed up the proof we were innocent by standing in front of the BarStaff and holding up his empty hands said “It cant be us, look I don’t even have a drink!” Which only helped condemn us. Empty pint glass on table, beer everywhere, and a empty handed person standing next to it.  I would not mind but that night he was our designated driver, and not drinking.

So we were kicked out. *GirlsName*’s friend said they really had to leave as *GirlsName* had work early in the morning. So being the Gentlemen we were, We offered to walk them to the Bus station. Which went well at the start. Alas I have a really small boredom threshold. So when we started walking past a road that led to my Second Favourite pub at the time, I grabbed *GirsName* threw her over my shoulder and ran off with her to the Pub to continue drinking.  This action caused her friend to go mad, lots of raised voices, and a deal that we all have another drink, and our designated driver would give them a lift home, so all would be fine.

I’ll end the story there, Since the main two facts. 1)Getting kicked out of the Kings, and 2) Being thrown over my shoulder and kidnapped to a pub, should have been enough to prove to my niece that I’ve known *GirlsName* for many years.


Today’s Post Title is from the classic “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. And was the first Song with Purple in its title that I thought off. The colour Purple plays an important part in all my memories of the aforementioned girl.

*GirlsName* is used because I do not like using Peoples IRL Names without first checking its OK with them.

There’s No such thing as a FREE Dinner!

I was at my parents place last night for a family meal.  As I went to retrieve my laptop bag and coat to leave I spotted my father moving the furniture in their 1st room apart to make a large free area of floor. (No idea what you would call the room, it looks like a sitting room with a comfortable sofa, coffee table, etc. They just never use it for anything) ..

Now nothing my parents do really surprises me so I ignored it and collected my stuff, as i went to leave my Dad said “I’m just checking this thing i think i have a fault somewhere” So I look at him to see if he’s talking to me or himself. I get another couple of steps closer the door “I’m programing this nurse call system i designed…”  OK i think, He must be proud of it and want to show me what he’s done. So I wander over to where he’s laying out blueprints, wiring diagrams, and such across the floor as his laptop boots up.

So he starts pointing out the several dozen call points, lift monitoring, alarm light/buzzers, display panels, control panels, etc. And explains how when a point is activated it displays its details on a defined display, lights up certain lights so nurses can easily see where the problem is. As he’s pointing to the blueprints and explaining I make the obligatory “ohhh” “ahhh” “cool” appreciative noises, after all I had just had a nice meal.  So when he’s finished and been quiet for a bit I go to stand up, “I just need to redo part of it, the lights are not working right and…” I sit back down.

He now goes on to inform me the programing uses groups, areas, zones. *laptop is in the way of some paper and gets slid a bit closer to me* He shows me the software that you use to program and set up the whole system, and explains how once its all setup on the laptop you just upload it to the main control and it configures the entire system. He leans over to point at something on the blueprints *laptop moves closer to me as it was in the way of something*See, This section I’m calling the yellow zone only I need these lights on when any points are activated, and this light here*pointing at part of diagram as laptop is moved closer to me out of the way*and its not working correctly“.  He then reads out part of the instruction booklet he has about zones.

Ah, I see the displays are groups, cal-points areas, and lights zones. Its not like the  old skool alarm zones, I see where that must be confusing” I say. “and zones can be activated by areas or individual points, Nice”  He looks at me blankly for a second, makes a quick note of what I said and goes “Humm what do you mean?*laptop is turned round to face me*

I sigh. And show him on the software how the lights have multiple ways you can control them. “Oh, i think i set it up wrong when I programed the system. I’ll have to redo it all 🙁” Yes, I heard the emoticon in his tone of voice. So I sigh again as its always good fun, and start checking on the software for programing this stuff.

A couple of hours later and I can now program and design these systems to do whatever is needed, I’ve reset his program up to do what he needs as he walked through each section of the hospital, And I even managed to translate the terms it used into the terms my Dad is more used to using so he can do it himself from now on.  It is hard, He has spent many years working on all sorts of alarm systems (He taught me how to wire/design alarm systems) and ever since year 1 a zone = an area of comman alarms items. In this system a zone is an individual or group of lights. So we have it all setup as he wants it, I stand up from the floor, streach and “Thanks, now how do we program it so if an alarm goes unanswered for a set length of time the other nurse stations are buzzed?” Sigh, sit back down.

At least he now has the basic system programed up, and better yet he understands the new terms, and how to use the software. So he should be able to do all future changes himself.

See, no such thing as a free dinner, There was not even a sweet!