Monthly Archives: May 2012

A quickie

Boom or bust? Bust!

Honestly, these days my life is either boom or bust, drought or deluge. And sometimes I have far too much going on to possibly consider working fulltime ever again.

I have a packed week ahead of me. Okay, a lot of it is social stuff, which I obviously don’t have to partake in. But it all counts.

So, tomorrow night I’m entertaining a couple of friends for tea, Saturday day I’m working 8 hours in my mate’s shop, Saturday evening I’m the entertainment for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations at my local bar, Sunday it’s round to a friends for a garden party (again with the Queen), Monday I am again the entertainment at a street party (though it’s more of a crescent than a street), Wednesday and Thursday day I’m working in the shop again, Thursday evening we’re off camping for a couple of nights. All this and 1200 words on Shostakovitch for my Open University course.

This is why I neither have the time to sepllcheck, nor put a funny photo up there at the top of my blog.

Gotta go now, badminton club and then a few beers awaits. Oh what a busy social whirl…


Don’t titter…

A comment about my last post got me thinking. The word ‘chortle’ was used (quite blatantly and without the use of a safety net I might add) – now there is a word which passes Canadians by…they don’t understand ( of course I am generalising) the word ‘chortle’ – and they struggle to roll their ‘R’s around it (I like saying that so I can say ‘roll their arse’ and get away with it – which is a bit like getting away with sitting under the teachers desk at break time in primary school…until we didn’t get away with it and the consequences were terrible). ‘Chortling’ is something they therefore do without realising it.

Tittering is also not something that Canadians understand – in fact whenever I say ‘titter’, they are apt to chortle, and then look confused because they don’t know what they just did – until I point out that they chortled at the word ‘titter’.


Wekka? Wikka-wikka wild west old boy!

No before we get started I don’t enjoy rap or hip hop or whatever it is to the young whippersnappers of today. Age wasted on the young, bah humbug etc.. Right – got that out of  my system.

Interesting that you are enjoying interesting sleep patterns, because I seem to be going through a phase of waking up an hour after going to sleep, feeling extremely (i.e. feckin’) uncomfortable and needing to get up just to make the feeling go away. Once I’ve ambled through the house and/or wrung out a kidney the bed is unaccountably more comfortable (I don’t mean that I pee in the bed…).  Oh and before you get all dewy – eyed about what my poor wife is enduring with the middle aged grump waking her up in the middle of the night – harken ye! I’ll keep it brief; She snores. Rather well.

Now my wife is a wonderful woman. She is extremely intelligent, very funny, shrewd and absolutely beautiful. I adore her. So frankly she’s allowed to snore, even if it does wake me up fairly frequently. She’s brought an immense amount of happiness into my life these last few years (we got married on Halloween in 2010) so I’m not going to get me knickers in a  knot over such a relatively small issue…but if it happens AGAIN tonight…!!!!!!

I’m currently enjoying waking up early in the mornings – spring is my absolute favourite time of the year, what with all that lush growth going on (if you have never grown a lush, I recommend it, – it keeps the flies away from the house). Way back in the days before cable TV, when I filled one of her majesty’s police uniforms (by god that woman can sew), watching the dawn at various times of the year was a perk (of working shifts) that I truly relished. It always felt like a privelege to watch the day begin, and it hasn’t lost its wonder for me to this day.

My advice, you artistic sod you, is to get up into your attic studio(which sounds like a fabulous room by the way) and pen some lyrics/music in those wonderful moments when the morning paints its smile upon the world (and before it’s been screwed up by us humans)…and I recall you being a very gifted visual artist too – what are you waiting for?




Wide awake in Wekka.

Liverpool waterfront. This picture looks like one of those “artists impressions” – it’s not.

Five o’clock in the morning. I’ve been awake since two. I would say wide awake, but I’m not wide awake. Just awake. Narrowly awake.

This has become a regular occurence. I wonder if it’s an age thing? Or to do with the fact that my brain doesn’t get much exercise these days and so doesn’t need as much rest?

In days gone by, this sleeplessness would really bug me. I guess if I still had to get up for work, I’d be lying there cursing. But since I am currently a man of leisure, I think “oh well, I can go back to bed later if need be”. Not that I ever do.

It’s kinda strange though, isn’t it, when you’re up and about hours before the rest of your “world”? I could get dressed, go out for a walk for an hour, come back home, and see no other signs of life apart from the odd milkman. Remember the odd milkman?

I think I’ll go lie down and shut my eyes instead.

Rock on.

Ah you see, my devious interview techniques from all those years in the cops paid off again and elicited a full confession without any need to resort to tiresome violence , which gets so boring after the first couple of hours.

I’ve been noticing how many of my facebook contacts from the UK have been commenting on the weather – how fuppin’ hot it is etc. Can you please instruct the UK to stop that?  I mean I get the message – people think it’s warm – there is no need to keep rabbiting on about it and quoting temperatures! Why do us Brits go in so much for the ‘weather this, weather that’ hyperbole? Whither weather?  It’s May, it’s allowed to be warm, get over it and move on – heck, here’s an idea, why not just enjoy it? We had 8o degrees here a week or so ago for several days in the middle of two weeks of unbroken sun, but I didn’t see any of my Canadian friends getting so excited about it. I mean really. Come on.  Trivial stuff blown out of proportion… Right that’s over with. Can anyone tell me about the price of fish? And on that note, to avoid accustations of spuriositinessmenticity, I will include a phot taken by me, last week, whilst fishing…if the lake appears to be on a slope, my defence is that I was stood in a boat…

A lake full of trout.

Spuriouser and spuriouser…

You can’t get more spurious than this.

Well, of course, that was me with the

spurious images

I put them in to make your posts look nice. You should try it yourself. I mean, how pointless and insubstantial would my post appear if it wasn’t for that spurious image up there? It’s Spurious Chalk Rock, by the way, not just any lump of stone.

I would write more, but we’re in the middle of a heat wave at the moment – my studio is at the top of the house, and it’s unbearably humid in here. Off out to get some colour in my cheeks.

My face cheeks – I know how your mind works.

From MY house….

Well someone has been adding spurious (there’s the word for the day; ‘spurious’) images of BC because that picture was definitely not MY back yard. Not my mountain at all – mine has more snow. Instead I will include a picture of what I can genuinely see from my front garden. Mount Baker is an active volcano in the chain that includes the infamous Mount St. Helens (I have checked and disappointingly there appears to be no explosive  Mount Ormskirk or Mount Wigan). It is approximately 30km from us as the crow flies, and is across the border in the U.S of A. I am sorry to say that I don’t have an arrow on my roof to show you (I’d have something done about that if I were you, it must be causing people to stop ‘n stare) but we have got some bloody HUGE trees very close by.  I do have lots more photos of the area which I can share with you in due time (if you behave yourself and don’t add any more spurious pictures of BC) – and of course if I am in a good mood…On another topic I remember the spot you took the photo from, it brings back memories of walking back from school along Column Road to West Kirby train station. I’d like to say that those were the days, but I can’t. Good to see the old Dee Estuary again as well.

Not quite from my garden but it looks the same…and no big white arrows.

You can see my house from here…

West Kirby town centre, earlier this morning.

Well, Leo, I must admit that your gaff looks very nice. Me, I live in the centre of the heaving metropolis that is West Kirby town centre. As you can see, it’s very metropolitan. And a little bit heaving too, wouldn’t you say?

I took this picture this morning, from up by the War Memorial on top of Grange Hill, so I could show you exactly where I live. Now this is going to be tricky. How can I explain?

Okay, I think I’ve got it: if you draw a vertical line through the centre of the photo, and a horizontal line about a third of the way up from the bottom of the photo, my house is roughly where those two lines intersect.

Found it? No? Well, can you see the terraced house that has not one but two Velux windows, running at a diagonal from top left to bottom right? No?

Hmm? How can I explain? Well… do you see the house with the great big white arrow on the roof…?

Sir Isaac would be proud of the old place.

British Columbia: half a world apart from West Kirby.

Move to Canada? Pourquoi (see, I’ve picked up un petit peu of one of the official lingos)? Well…it all started…(fade to shimmery flashback)…actually the way it was happened was very simple. My first wife and I were living in Neston at the time and (I think I have this in the right chronological order) I had just taken a job which entailed me travelling ALL the way to Warrington each day.

Looking back, the idea of that being a long commute is comical now, when I live in a country where the distances are of another magnitude entirely.

Anyhoo, we put our house up for sale and, having only very recently purchased our first internet capable computer (this was only 1999 for goodness’ sake), we decided to see what the asking price would buy us elsewhere. Having decided against all manner of lovely and not-so-lovely places around the world, we found some startling properties here in BC, and pretty soon we were hooked…it became a “well we’ll never know if we don’t try” kind of idea, and one that we felt we’d kick ourselves for if we didn’t give it a go. It all happened in a few hours really – the decision part at least. It took us another three years to actually make the move.

So, my old pal, I’m happy to say it was not my grief at being spurned by you (careful if you read that out loud) which prompted my leap across the pond (and a continent)…and I’ve never lived so far from the ocean (approx 45 miles at the moment).

How very dare you!

Newton, Sir!? Newton!!?? How very dare you!?

Newton, need I remind you, looks like this:-

Newton. On a good day.

No, I live in West Kirby. The sleepy little seaside village I mentioned earlier. Which I think you’ll recall looks like this:-

West Kirby, as seen from the Marine Lake.

After we left school (and I can confirm I did stop speaking to you in 1983 – though quite involuntarily), I went to College in Leicester, got kicked out, came home, moved back to Leicester, came home, went to College in Wales, came home, lived in France, came home, moved to Watford, came home. And I’ve lived here ever since. All that moving around was making me feel quite queasy.

So, why on earth did you end up in Canada? Just to avoid me?