Thursday, May 31, 2012


The downside of this cooler, wetter weather.... is slugs an snails!

My garden is always full of those slimy critters.... it's a veritable mucussy Mecca!

Went fishing today.... and yes, it was drizzling when I got there.... it rained a little bit heavier whilst I set up my fishing tackle..... and by about five o clock this afternoon it had passed.

I'm not the only one that's been suffering in these balmy days and nights of recent summeriness.... the fish have started to expire in my local fishing pond.... last count they'd lost about forty fish in the last couple of days..... it's not a pretty sight..... and I can tell you the smell of putrefying fish is none too pleasant either.

So, this morning when I set my fishing gear up and my umbrella and accidentally sat on my favourite fishing reel.... managing to bend the bail arm and simultaneously putting a hole in my fishing seat.....

Slugs..... bloody everywhere..... they crawl on everything around me, and each time I pick something up I find I am left with a slug on my pants or my hands..... they're disgusting creatures.  I look down at my cup of coffee and there's a slug on the lip of the cup.....  every sip of coffee thereafter is taken very, very carefully, through a gritted teeth filter!

The umbrella attracts hordes of mosquitoes that like to shelter from the rain with me.... and believe me, you don't want to mess with a Brighouse mosquito.... they're voracious!  After the mozzies, come the midges.... and they just seem to overwhelm you not with their bites, so much as sheer numbers!!  After an hour or two of that my skin feels like it's crawling with them.  I can still feel them now.... I have mosquito and midge paranoia!

So.... you'd probably be imagining that, putting up with all that, the reward would be some fish?  you'd largely be wrong on that score!!  I managed just five fish today... a couple of carp, a couple of tench and a solitary bream.  My poor mate John had just one tiny roach!

Poor do!

What are slugs for?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


"..... better get a bucket.... I'm gonna throw up!" - Mr. Creosote!

OK we've had some actually clouds today... white fluffy ones.... and later in the day..... big black ones.

The net result, we've even had an evening downpour.... heavenly.

Cooler temperatures.  Might even get a decent night's kip tonight.

I mowed my lawn.  I've even "strimmed" round the edge, revealing a small border wall, which Dawn never even knew existed.... It is a good few years since last it was visible.

You may, quite rightly, surmise that my gardening is none too fastidious.  I tend to garden out of necessity - when things look TOO wild.  I garden mostly for the benefit of wildlife and apart from not having a pond (a real wildlife winner), I think my garden scores reasonably high on the wildlife friendly scale.

I've got a nice rotten wood pile made entirely from wood gathered in the garden.  I've got garden beds that are full of wild flowers (well, weeds are just wild flowers in the "wrong" place) and I don't generally "weed" much.  I have a wormery and a compost bin.  I put cat and dog hair (that we've brushed from the animals) out for the birds to collect.  There's a cherry tree and a load of shrubs.  It's "cottage" and "rustic".

I trimmed a spiky tree.... pulled up a great load of "stickywilly".... pulled a few dandelions up.... cleaned up a few lawn clippings, which I generally leave around - I don't think it does much good to a lawn to keep it all neat and tidy.  I cleared some space around the few actual "plants" that I've got.... the lavender, the blueberry, the peony and the gooseberry bush...... buttercups everywhere felt my wrath.

I've maintained the strimmer and the mower.... I've even oiled and cleaned a pair of secateurs that were long lost, found during the recent shed renovations.

It's been a nice day.... steady away.... and I've  even managed to sit out and read some of my book..... only one more chapter left and we'll be moving on to pages new.

My new fishing tackle order arrived too..... might even get to fish tomorrow if this temperature keeps down a bit.  I've got a date with some flag stones tomorrow to repay John's assistance at the weekend with my shed..... cue bad back in the not so distant future!

Normal service is slowly being resumed!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Naff off....

To quote the late, great Ronnie Barker as the ever present Norman Stanley Fletcher in Porridge.....  Naff off!

That's what I find myself saying quite a lot during these hot, sunny, summer days.  Or words to that effect at least, that possibly are too crude to be published herein.

Naff off temporary traffic lights.  There's a set just up the road from me that have been inching closer and closer to my domain over the last month or so.... at one point they were "three way" and then back to standard "straight line" or "two way" and now they've reached the end of Gosport Lane.... one of my regular short cuts, they're back to three way and the traffic backs up along Gosport.... and the traffic backs up through Outlane past my house....

Because it's sunny, when cars are stuck at traffic lights, they tend to have their windows down and their shitty stereos spewing crappy music out all over my garden, where I am inclined to be on and incline with a book clutched in one hand... pretending to read, while I am really trying to snooze!  Alternatively, I'm stuck in one of the three directions of traffic signals with the t-shirt sticking to my back.... just hundreds of metres from my home but unable to get there.


Naff off to people who don't thank me for letting them out of a junction or to come through a narrow piece of road, flanked by the myriad of parked vehicles.

Naff off to people who, travelling downhill, with parked cars on their side, advance against me as I am travelling uphill with the technical right of way, and then fail to acknowledge that this is unreasonable and/or deserves at least some sort of recognition.


Whether it's the weather, or whether it's just technology that's railing against me but every piece of vaguely pseudo intelligent equipment I touch seems to malfunction.....  I sat waiting for my laptop to reboot tonight..... lights flashing, but undoubtedly there was nobody home.....  I waited.... Thorin sat down and started singing about gold......  Eventually, by some strange quirk of chance and or sense of frustration, I unplugged the USB hub and the laptop sprang to life.


Road tax..... car insurance.... MOT..... petrol prices......


Nosey neighbours.... bored out of their minds in their retirement.... pretending to be doing things so they can find out what's going on.... leaning over the wall....  eyeing up the missus while pretending to be planting their "summer bedding" in regimented rows around their hard-standings.......  "What's that".... "What are you doing?"...... "How does that work?"......  I don't expect to spend my day in the garden with neighbours, and their neighbours, and their neighbours and so ad infinitum.

Rant, rage, rail......  eyes bulging..... temperature rising......

Monday, May 28, 2012


This hot weather is too much!

Imagine if you would, a film named "Some like it quite warm" and you'll be somewhere near my thoughts.

I need variety.

Too much sun makes everyone go crazy.

For some reason it also brings out the boy racers and motorbikes that see the sun as an excuse for tear-arsing past my house.

I've spent the entire day, out in the garden, surrounded by a positive plethora of piscatorial paraphernalia!

I've washed and oiled, tidied and reorganised, unpacked and re-stowed all my worldly tackle!

Rods, reels, bait, weights, floats, hooks, cloths, wheels, handles, nets, boxes, bags, tubs, sticks, arms, heads, catapults, wallets, tubes, tools, they've all been spread round the grassy area I laughingly refer to as a "lawn", like an explosion in a fishing tackle factory!

And so, just like when I fish, it would appear that one side of me has seen more of the sun today than the other.....  my right arm's slightly singed and tingling and a bit crimson, and the left hand side is fine..... no doubt I also have "sunglasses" lines round my panda eyes and lines where the arms have gone over my ears!!  This is what happens when you sit for too long in the sun without actually thinking about being sat in the sun!!

I spent the final hour or two of the afternoon reading a book and nodding off, safe in the knowledge that both arms were being equally toasted, and that my next fishing trip will be quite pleasantly organised - it's so much easier when everything is where it should be.... Part of the "art" of fishing is that once you get sat down and fishing, you should have everything readily to hand without getting up and stomping up and down the bank looking for this or that, or indeed the other!!

So I've got a red neck.... a red arm..... some tidy fishing gear..... and a shed with a roof......

On the subject of "the shed" - as is so often the case, when I asked my friend, John, to come and help me fix the roof.... it soon became apparent that:
a) The floor fell out of the shed!
b) Half the back fell off the shed!
c) Lots of other bits fell off the shed!

Thanks to John we managed to get it all done..... we put a new lower frame into the shed, a new floor, a new panel at the back, a new frame for the roof, new felt on the roof, and some extra bracing and structural suppor..... it's good to go, and we put a little base down to raise the shed off the floor so it doesn't sit in it's own pool of piss, quietly rotting away any more!

Don't get me started on "shed envy"! (caution contains gratuitous shed shots)

Poorly shed......

Poorlier shed.... John surveying the rotten floor - shed on side propped up :(

Shed on the mend!

Shed looking better!

Shed best!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Stuck between a rock and a hard place is where you will currently find me.

On the one hand, I should have posted a blog yesterday that was all about me fixing my shed and getting SEVERELY sunburnt into the bargain.

I had also planned a little blog about an exhibit at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park that was a series of bee boxes made out of bee related books.

When you consider that it's Sunday and it's red hot and I'm less than cheerful, you'll forgive me for sinking back into a blog about ..... Search Engine Sunday!

there was a cow from huddersfield
A poem once taught to me by a distant relative of the Peaker clan... possibly my mum's cousin David or some such person, that goes a little something like this.... (sound of fox clearing throat)......
There was a cow of 'Uddersfield,
Who said tha' 'er milk would no' yield,
Unless she 'ad 'er udders feeled!

fashion girls cool KART
Now, I'm as puzzled by somebody landing on my page as a result of asking a search engine this specific query.  I've tried desperately to understand what/why.where/who this was all about and in what direction I should gently "shove" them, and the best thing I can come up with is this VERY disappointing (loosely called) video game!!  Click here to play it!  I have to admit to having one go at it and was waiting for something to happen, when I realised.... that's it.... I mean that is literally all it does!!  Piss poor!

mission impossible and line burn
Are you suggesting that little Tom Cruise singed his pinkies by throwing himself off a building, tethered only by a little piece of rope and subsequently ended up say "ouch that really chafes"?  I can actually imagine that.  I don't, however, know anything about the Mission Impossible franchise.... don't recall having seen ANY of them..... perhaps Rol might have some information on this (he knows about movies and that)?  Or IMDB and their Movie Trivia!?!

death traps for arctic fox's
Good grief internet searcher.... where's your grandma?  I mean grammar!!  fox plural = foxes, something belong to a fox = fox's.  However, much more alarming is the fact that you're looking for a death trap for an arctic fox.... I can only hope that you are looking for this in order to ensure that no such things are present in your local fox friendly environment and not that you are planning a foxy genocidal mission!!  As an example... DON'T use these!

Hang on... that's not even a valid search.  I hope the search engine spat you out in a semi-digested state suggesting that there is far from enough information to compute your request.  Do you want a fancy dress outfit for a slog?  A way to trap slugs in the garden?  A picture of a slug?  A slug of whisky?  It's too vague and you're making my head hurt, now go away!!

Friday, May 25, 2012



After a brief spell of incapacity.... amounting to a series of complaints and mutations of various germs and infections..... I've made it back outside and back to walking.

Managed a rather warm but deliciously breezy four miles (give or take) on a circuitous route around our local water of Scammonden Dam, which motorists will know as the water that the M62 motorway crosses on the dam wall between junctions twenty two and twenty three, and which is quite close to the spot where the motorway is divided by a farmhouse that stood defiantly against the construction project, allegedly through the farmer sitting on the roof of his house.

Dazzling blue skies, bright yellow cowslip, and dark peaty water.  A new path, stark, bright, white hot.  windblown waves lapping across the water and murky edges where the silt is being stirred.

I'm pleased to say that my legs haven't gone back to their old sloppy ways, and rather than feeling fatigued or tested by the route, I felt like I could have walked a fair bit farther.  Good sign, and one that I'll be acting upon in the not so distant future.

The rest of the day has been spent in darkness..... blinds shut tight, keeping the sun out of the house, and the few windows that can be opened are indeed open and all the doors are propped open to avoid the characteristic slamming that occurs when the breeze catches them!!

The house is now reasonably and quite comfortably cool, if rather dark!

Tomorrow I have plans to mend my garden shed....  I laughingly refer to it as a shed..... it's got to be the smallest shed in town and provides JUST enough room to house a pair of folding lawnmowers and a few pots of old chemicals that you usually find in sheds and garages.

The shed roof has collapsed and I've got plans that, with the assistance of my mate, John, we'll replace the roof and re-felt it so that my electric mowers don't kill me next time I need to use them.  Perhaps I'll post a picture or two for you..... depends if it goes OK or not I guess!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

s.... h.... o.... pp.... i.... n.... g!

I like shopping, I do!

Rare as it is for "real" men to feel the need or desire for retail therapy.... I have a hankering for more stuff!

I like gadgets and kitchen implements (not appliances).  I like gizmos and fishing tackle.  I even like shopping for fruit and vegetables!

I HATE shopping for clothes.  I don't like shopping for cars, for birthday presents, christmas presents or mobile phones.  Thank heavens for internet shopping where these items are concerned.

This brings me on to the subject of our trip to the Sculpture Park, yesterday....  My cousin and aunt, who both live in Canadia both loved the Sculpture Park when I took them there and gave them a Foxified guided tour - I'm no expert but I've been a few times and I know nice paths to the L:ongsight Gallery and back again, taking in my favourite pieces along the way - and I like to send them something from there whenever I visit.....

So, shopping at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.....

I wanted something relating to the Miro exhibition to send to Canadia....  a card or some postcards perhaps.... alas, there were none on sale.... not a single Miro product that weighed less than a fridge magnet (a pointless item if ever there was one - except perhaps the magnetic poetry set and the magnetic ransom note set) and nothing much less fragile than glassware and china cups..... a poor show, and I left the gift shop without spending a proverbial penny!

What a shame.

And now, I've been given a green light to buy myself some fishing tackle.... so that's a bonus and scratches the itch that needs an unresoved scratching from yesterday.  for the record, I'm buying some Guru X-Safe spare elastic and tubes; Korum bait stops; Korum baiting needle; three new spools of Drennan Series 7 monofilament (4.6lb; 5.6lb; 6.9lb); and some Guru four inch method hair rigs (size 14 to 9lb line) - great stuff.

I can only imagine the state of coldness that the above list will have left you all feeling!

Itch scratched!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Miro miro on the wall

I like modern art I do......

I believe anything can be art.... and depending how you look at it.... it might as well be!  That's just me.

Recently my mum passed me an article, which of course she was goading me with.  The item was about a new exhibition at the Hayward's Gallery in London.  The exhibition is comprised entirely of "invisible" pieces.

Examples: A movie shot with no film; invisible ink drawings; a plinth once stood on by Andy Warhol; a piece of art paper that an artist stared at for one thousand hours (over a five year period).

I read the article and remark that I would go to look at it.... "I thought YOU might" offers my usual discouraging, disparaging mother.  She paints watercolours with several local art "groups" and has no time for the frivolities of modern art.  "I could have done that" is her almost perpetual response..... "yes you could mother, but you didn't" my only reply.

Look, this modern art isn't just about throwing things about.... there's a thought process and a reason why it happens the way it does.  The "invisible" art pieces are all about their concepts....  The ideas behind the "works" are not hindered by the presence of an image... simple..... I'd go to see it... why not, it would amuse me and I'd enjoy it.

Today I've spent the day at Yorkshire Sculpture Park amongst some great examples of work of many types and in fantastic surroundings.  The very place at Bretton Hall, the pieces in their places, the walks through, the trees, the whole ambience.... it's a symphony of art.

I've stroked pieces by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Joan Miro, Andy Goldsworthy, Winter and Horbelt, David Nash and many others besides.... real, solid pieces that you can actually interact with.  It's a great place and I always find it soothes my soul.  I love it.

The current "main" exhibition is a bunch of Catalan, Joan Miro's work and it's really stunning.  Lots of great paintings and some crazy sculptures.  Lots of information about Miro and his work....  like living monsters!

If you are lucky enough, like me, to live within striking distance of the Sculpture Park and you've never been, then what are you waiting for?  If you have to travel further to get there, then I suggest you pick a day and make the effort at least once...... despite the (in my opinion) rather pricey car parking charges which have gone up from four quid a day to seven pounds fifty a day.... there are no other entrance fees to pay.

So rather than pay eight quid each to see a bunch of invisible art.... why not pay a bit less or a full carload of you to see some REAL pieces!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A little knowledge

A little knowledge is not only a dangerous thing.... it's downright annoying!

Me and my mum rub the wrong way at times.  She doesn't see why and I have a short fuse as far as it goes.

Take for example our conversation earlier today about some flag stones in the garden..... she wants the flag stones lifting up and putting back down again so that all the edges join up and there are no toe-stubbable steps between them.  The area where the flags are is on a slope and the flags at the bottom of the slope are to stay where they are.

She INSISTS.... positively INSISTS that she wants the flags levelling off.... which to me suggests making the flags level.... i.e. lift them all up and put a spirit level across them... i.e. make them level, hence the process of levelling.... she INSISTS she is still correct in that simply making them join up irrispective of their pitch... i.e. so the edges are level with the next flag and so on is actually "levelling" them....

Further to this she suggests that the flags can be lifted and then bedded on some sand (which of course is also a half arsed measure and the sand will wash away in the first rain and leave wobbly unLEVEL flags).

It's not.... it never will be.... and you'll never convince me otherwise..... unlevelled paving stones whether their edges meet up or not are not level!

It goes on for some time and my voice becomes raised.... I firmly believe that if somebody is stupid enough, that all you have to do is shout the correct information into their mind to make them smarter.

Rant over......

I leave you with this little conversation that ended without me responding.....

Mum had some mail for me... It's an old legacy mail shot from a bank that I used to deal with when I lived at home with my folks.... some twenty plus years ago..... junk mail.

I give the items for mum to recycle.....  I tear off my name and address and any information that is personal and say "I'd normally shred that bit", to which mum replies "well I'll just burn it." - I miss having an open fire.

Mum then goes on to point out that rather than recycle half of the letter and burn the bit with details on......

"well it all gets recycled into ash even if it burns doesn't it".

I roll my eyes, bite my tongue and refuse to rise to the bait!

I'm not sure she grasps the concept of recycling!!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Bee to the Gee to the R.I.P!  The Bee Gees have finally become a Bee Gee..... after brother Robin suffled off this mortal coil.... it's a shame and it reminds us all that none of us are getting any younger......

Must... watch.... tele... vision!!

A Walking Dead marathon this evening as Dawn decides she wants to make a break for the end of season wrap party..... we're currently on our fourth episode this evening!!  It's great and all but when you've already seen them, the desire is not quite so strong as the first time through......

I'm motivated to get to the end because I've just gotten hold of the entire 20 episode run of the Danish version of "The Killing" (Forbrydelsen) and that's going to be next on the turntable!!

Started the day short of breath.....  I've got one of those really weak, pathetic, peffy, coughs..... like it's too tight to really bellow out but I can manage a little half hearted affair like someone trying not to cough in the middle of the snooker finals at Sheffield Crucible!!

Finished the day with just as much of an annoying cough and still short of breath.

In the mean-time, I've done a bit of fishing..... stir fried a bit of dinner (unrelated to the fishing)...... and I've watched TV.  That's it.

the fishing was awful today.... this morning it was too cold.... then it was too bright..... then it was too hot..... then I went home......  a bream of about a pound and a half was the highlight of my session despite the unleashing of a new mix of groundbait containing hemp seed, various other seeds and maize..... and some strawberry flavoured sweetcorn!!  I was tempted to scoff it myself.


Little chore to run tomorrow and probably going to the Sculpture Park on Wednesday so lots to look forward to.... might even get me grass cut..... 

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Guess who's back?  Sunday search is back!!

Back by incredibly, inedibly, indelibly, popular lack of demand!

You all know the pack drill by now.....  if you came here looking for something that you couldn't find, then I'm here to help.  I live to give....  as long as you only want information... and not money!

noel redding
Oh, Noel.... he was the bassist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience.  He had an amazing... I mean AMAZING bouffant coiffure!  A friend of mine once commented that with my long, flowing (for "long, flowing" read "bushy, and wiry") hair made me look like Noel Redding, and the similarity and connection with my blog... starts and ends there!  Genius with a bass guitar he was.... great hair he had......

slut suzie blackpool
She was (possibly still is for all I know) a "hooker" from Blackpool in the North of England, who advertised her services on the internet.... and her speciality was catering for disabled clients!  She used to have a rather interesting blog about her life as an "escort" but it's long gone.... and unfortunately for the people who are STILL searching for her.... I have no idea where to send you.....  apologies for my fail, and Suzie, if you come looking.... let me know where to send the cheeky monkeys that come here trying to find you!!
walking dead wallpaper comic
Wow, a multiple criteria search.  I mean, make your mind up... do you want Walking Dead wallpaper, or do you want Walking Dead the comic, or do you want wallpapers from the Walking Dead comic?  Enjoy, and please be more specific with your search criteria in future!

um bongo lyrics
Ah, that old chestnut.... one of my party pieces.... It was a fruity drink...  don't even know if you can still get it... it probably contained too many flavourings, preservatives and nasty "E" numbers to have made the transistion to modern day living.  There was also a cheeky version where you could mix a bottle of Diamond White (cider) and Castaway (alcopop) to make a rather potent Um Bongo flavoured drink we laughingly referred to as "Blastaway"!!

Um bongo um bongo, they drink it in the Congo.

Way down deep in the middle of the Congo,
A hippo took an apricot a guava and a mango,
He stuck it with the others, and they danced a dainty tango,
The rhino said "I know, we'll call it um bongo".

Um Bongo Um Bongo, they drink it in the Congo.
The python picked the passion fruit,
The marmoset the mandarin,
The parrot painted packets that the whole caboodle landed in,
so when it comes to sun and fun and goodness in the jungle,
they all prefer the sunny funny one they call um bongo.

blog arcic fox
Firstly... well done, you made it to the right place.  Secondly, I'm surprised you made it to the right place you moron.... it's arcTic fox..... this comes a close second to my other pet hate of people missing out the first"c" and spelling it like "artic" - as in articulated waggon.... and believe me when I say this.... you do not want an eighteen wheeled articulated fox bearing down on you at ninety miles and hour baby (that's the speed I drive) - not that I actually drive at this speed, but it brings me full circle to finishing off this blog entry with lyrics from Jimi Hendrix's "Cross Town Traffic"!

Peace out!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Lame excuse for not posting a blog entry on Friday.... but I was fishing AGAIN!

The fishing was poor.  I didn't feel that great.  Went out for a couple of pints, and tried to maintain a "don't drink and blog" policy!

Anyway.... here's a recap of the latest action....

I spent four quid on Euromillions lottery tickets (I so rarely play the lottery but am sometimes "talked into it" by Dawn - inevitably, I won three pounds.... so even though I won.... they still managed to take a quid off me which of course dulls the edge of my victory slightly.

Went to Slawit last evening to the Commercial.... and it was marred by the presence of some sort of weird underage stag-do.... where some decidedly young people were drunk and arm wrestling.....  it made for an uncomfortable experience and I'm tolerant to most things Slawit has to offer!!  Bloody comer-inners!

Went up to Holmfirth for the premier event of the third Holmfirth Film festival, which was a double bill of "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" (by Georges Melies) - a classic tale of a journey to the moon from as far back as 1901 - a long lost and rediscovered and painstakingly restored, hand coloured version with a cracking soundtrack by those French electro rockers, Air, and that was shown with Marting Scorsese's film Hugo.... which won a load of three dimensional plaudits, but was screened in two dimensions.... thankfully.  Unbeknownst to me, the two films were inexorably linked and it was a really pleasant surprise and experience to see both of them together.  Coupled with the fact that I sat at the back near the bar and managed a couple of pints of real ale during the films..... result!

Straight on from that it was into Huddersfield to the 88 Noodle Bar on Cross Church Street.... a favourite fast food haunt of both myself and Dawn's.  Sweet and sour king prawn... szechuan stylee!!  Boiled rice.  Salt and pepper chips and a pot of Chinese green tea,,,,, ACE!

Spent the remainder of the day/evening vegging out to the TV.  Watched some of The Walking Dead (a revisit for me, but it's new to Dawn and she's really enjoying it) and then the final two parts of the most excellent Swedish/Danish hybrid "The Bridge" - best bit of TV I've watched in ages..... well done BBC for running it in double bill sequences on a Saturday night.... it's been great!

Bath..... and bed..... knackered!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Believe it or not, I've spent the day plagued by fairies!

I went fishing (of course) - and although I spent a totally fruitless morning and early afternoon on Brookfoot pond.... with not a single bite to show for it..... AND the whole pond is covered in blue green algae which is collecting in turquoise shimmering pockets around the marginal areas.... it's hideously beautiful and tantalisingly toxic.

There is another pond as part of the complex down at Brookfoot and I believe it was paid for by a generous legacy from a dear old departed club member.... hence it is now know as Riley's Pond after Tony Riley.  I decided, at about three o clock this afternoon to head on over to Riley's and give it a go..... nothing to lose.

Well it was hard going..... I fished and worked at it and fed the fish and tried different depths and weights and floats and baits.......  Eventually I found the fish up near the surface - a notoriously difficult place to catch them - and I settled into a nice routine catching lots of small roach and rudd.

As the afternoon wore on, the whole thing became much more predictable and easier to work..... but then the annual event that I ALWAYS dread.... occurred.......


Thousands of them!

I think they come from the catkins blossoms on the trees..... This time every year they go mad.... it happens in one big week long burst and they float unassumingly through the air.... land on the water..... wrap themselves around the line..... get wound up into the reel and into the eyes of the rod creating sticking spots where the line won't flow freely and eventually causing the line to tangle.....

...which it did!

.... several times!!

I think I'm supposed to say "I don't believe in fairies" ( times one million) and they'll all die painfully and never trouble me again!

Despite the fairies, I fished till about a quarter past eight this evening and had a string of 5 lovely tench to finish with.  Superb stuff.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feed a fever....

Somewhere deep at the back of my consciousness, I seem to remember that you're supposed to feed a fever but starve a cold!

I'm not sure where such a tale would come from or whether it has any relevance at all.

Feeling somewhat jaded (i.e. I'm actually dying, but we men don't like to go on about it too much) I decided to take advantage of a brace of fridges (we have a fridge each - myself and Dawn for reasons including: I keep maggots in my fridge for fishing; Dawn brought her fridge with her when she moved in; nobody touches stuff in my fridge cos everything in there usually actually needs cooking and can't be picked up and eaten) that were fairly stuffed with fresh fruit and vegetables.

I knuckled down and made a pan of stew, which included swede, runner beans, potato, onions, carrots and some quorn steak strips (which actually are not bad) and a packet mix of dumplings floating on top..... hearty to say the least.

Once the stew was on the simmer.....

I peeled and chopped and scraped and diced and squashed and spiced and whipped up a rather large pan full to the brim of vegetable curry which included apples, celery, onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, potato, sultanas and green beans (long green beans?  French?) and some spices in the form of ginger, turmeric and cayenne.

Once both pans were on the go......

Cracked on and made some fresh fruit salad out of a bunch of fruits that needed using up.... pears, oranges, pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries.

So.... going back to the old adage about feeding a fever and starving a cold..... I'm not actually sure what sort of ailment I'd put myself down as having.....  so I wouldn't know whether to feed it or starve it.....

One thing's for sure though..... I've made enough food to last me until the weekend and I'm pretty sure that it can only do me good!  I've got a belly full of stew.... I've had some fruit salad..... and in about an hour (just chance to watch one episode of Walking Dead).... I'll be away to my pit!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just when I thought it was safe to go back to the water.... and sit down and do a bit of fishing......

I'm ill AGAIN!

The whole house in which I reside is in a state of free-falling illness...... everyone's coughing and spluttering.......

Sleep patterns have gone to the dogs.... one person seems to have gotten a bit better and then someone else gets a bit worse.......

I thought I'd had the bronchial thing.... I'd had the flu..... the abscesses at both ends of the scale........

Now, after approximately two whole days of feeling almost well...... the chronic taste of death in my trachea accompanied with a bucking bronchi that feels like a tongue that's been burned by molten cheese straight from a toasted sandwich.

Hot... cold..... dry, non productive wheezy cough.  What joy.

Illness is strange..... eventually when you've been ill for a period of time, you begin to forget what it's like to feel normal.  What it's like to go through a day without even noticing how you feel...... the luxury of being able to take your health for granted.

I've not been this run down for bloody years, and if it were just me on my own then I'd be getting worried about it by now....  it's nice to have some sickly company on this particular ride!

The plus side of this is that I've taken to making myself a rather nice Hot Toddy.... and here's my recipe:

(I usually use a nice big tumbler that measures about half a pint - a nice thick walled glass tumbler keeps the heat in best)

Put enough runny honey into the glass to cover the base.... a good teaspoon works for me.

Add a good dash of lemon juice... I'm using bottled but I am sure fresh would be much better and I'd try for about a quarter of a lemon's worth.

Add whisky/rum/brandy in desired quantity..... I don't overdo it but I've been using a nice 12 year old Tobermory single malt.  Probably a decent single measure.

In a plastic jug I put a teabag and enough water for the drinks I am making..... 1 teabag is usually enough for two glasses if you put enough water in and brew it well.

Pour the steaming hot tea into the glasses to fill them to the top....

Give a gentle stir but not too much..... it's really nice to have a final syrupy mouthful at the end of the glass with the last bit of honey.

And, as Father Jack might say....... Drink!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Top 10 - Biscuits!

Just for a change, and inspired by Rol (the master of all things top 10), here's a top ten of my own.......

10) Pink Wafers - Not particularly bothered which brand of pink wafer I go for... they're all good.... crispy and creamy and flaky and about forty percent sugar.... you could do worse!

9) Disco Biscuits - And before any of you get the wrong idea - These are little shortcake biscuits with a chocolate things and little smarties things going on... you get them from Aldi.

8) Fruit Club - When I was a nipper, I managed to procure a whole box of fruit club biscuits.... I savoured them so much that by the time I got to the end of the box they'd gone a bit soggy.

7) Amaretti Biscuits - Big ones... small ones.... I'm not too bothered... that marzipan flavour and extra crunchiness makes this a princess amongst biscuits.  I like the ones that come in a sort of twisted tissue paper wrapping... delicioso!

6) Crispy Flute - Usually I'd get the Marks and Sparks variety of these, but those sugary curled up tuile biscuits are irresistible.... I can slurp a bit of black coffee through them like a large bore drinking straw and then scoff them up before they go too soggy and fall into the cup.

5) Lotus Caramelised Biscuits - Now these biscuits are majestic.  First time I ever ate them would have been in an Amsterdam coffee shop.... and lord knows, at that point, I can only imagine how hungry I might be.... luckily for me, I can now buy them in supermarkets in massive packets instead of one at a time!!

4) Lemon Puffs - Oh that lovely crispy sugar glazing on the biscuit and the dreamy zingy lemon filling.... heavenly.

3) Plain Chocolate Digestives - Still a golden oldie for me.... but the plain chocolate version is SO much more sophisticated than its downmarket milk chocolate cousin.  Add to that a lovely Digestive biscuit and it's a no-brainer!

2) Fig Rolls - Oh how I love thee... let me count the ways.... I particularly like a fig roll that has a rich filling that includes those lovely fig seeds that pop delightfully between your teeth.

1) Garibaldi - Tada!!  The king of all biscuits.  Don't even bother breaking them into their "marked out" suggested pieces..... eat them by the slab.... dunk 'em if you like, but love them all the time!!

Agree to disagree?  Got a particular favourite that didn't make my list?  Let me know, and I'll try to find an amusing but disparaging response!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Desperately seeking....

What do you want?
We want information!
Whose side are you on?
That would be telling. We want information.... information..... information......

Well you've come to the right place then haven't you? Because here at Fox Towers, it's another "search engine Sunday".

I know I've said it before, but for the benefit of those that are still not in "the know" I will say it again.

Sundays are piss poor for blogging.... nobody reads blogs on Sundays and nobody writes blogs on Sundays. Ergo, it would seem rather pointless to put a lot of effort into this, so I trawl back through my search engine data and try to help the cyber-travellers who might have found my page by accidentally taking a wrong turn on the information superhighway, or by providing information that might answer a certain type of question that's been asked.

earth's internal heat dies
Oh, you're a cheery character aren't you? The earth will cool and we'll all fly off into outer space, screaming and squealing as we go. Seriously, the earth's nuclear and solar powered.... it's been a lot hotter in the past and it's also been cooler in the past..... but it will eventually cool down, but you have nothing to worry about in your lifetime... or mine for that matter. Now cheer up.... go outside and do something good!

how many artic foxes are still alive
I presume you mean "arCtic"?? My pet hate spelling mistake. Don't do it again. I can not vouch for any others arCtic foxes, but I can tell you that there is at least one. I'd be lying if I told you any different. I CAN tell you that the arctic fox is NOT endangered. Treat them nicely and they'll last forever.

images arctic fox sophie ryder
I don't know about Sophie Ryder AND arctic foxes.... but I have been to a Sophie Ryder exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.... and I do have some photos of various exhibits there. There was one where there was a fox dancing (although they look like they are boxing) with a rabbit. You can see that one here? (not my work unfortunately)- see footnote of this blog entry for updated content and my own photo of said sculpture!

disney pinocchio

noodle doodle went to town
Noodle doodle came to town,
With lots of straight spaghetti.
He twisted it around around around,
And this is what you get-i.

A-noodle-doodle-doodle-doodle motor cars,
A-noodle-doodle-doodle-doodle houses,
A-noodle-doodle-doodle-doodle butterflies,
Eek, noodle-doodle mouses!!

Normally I would never edit a blog entry - it's the spontaneity that keeps things fluid around here.... but I am kicking myself for not noticing that a previous blog entry (it was some time ago mind) contained the fox and hare picture from Sophie Ryder (taken by me!) and here it is!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Folk off!

Just a quick trip out today to Holmfirth for their annual folk festival weekend.

For those that don't know, Holmfirth is a "village" that seems to hang quite firmly from the coat tails of "Last of the Summer Wine" which is a British sitcom that you watch once you've retired (because you recognise your friends in the various characters).

Holmfirth is awash with references to the show.  Wrinkled Stockings tea rooms.... Sid's Cafe..... Compo's fish and chip restaurant......

A friend once told me that (after Bill Owen the actor that played the character of Compo in LotSW) they were renaming Compo's Cafe...... to De-Compo's Cafe!!  Boom boom!

I've never been a fan of the show, nor have I embarked on any themed ride or event that goes with it.  I suppose it's alright for the comers-in and the old folks....

They DO have some cool things that happen in and around Holmfirth though that don't tip a nod to this heinous sitcom.  One such event is the annual folk festival that's been running this weekend....

Really it was just a chance to head on up there.... and drink a couple of local ales.... watch a few street performances (all the free stuff for my shallow pockets) and have something to eat.  All of which happened in glorious sunshine.

We saw some samba drummers.... a few troops of morris dancers..... some street theatre about St. George and some crazy battles and a strange horse creature..... and a sketch involving two chubby guys dressed as Olympic athletes doing some sort of routine that was actually much more amusing than it sounds.....

Good clean fun for all the family.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fish on Friday

Hooray for bad weather......  You don't hear me saying that very often.

Today was SO windy and grey......  when I decided to go fishing, I was even doubting my own judgement.

When I got to the pond there was only one other guy fishing right down the other end of the pond, and although a few more showed up over the course of the day, it was quiet.... QUIET I tells ya!

The wind was howling from left to right, along the pond, so I sat at the right hand end (my limited watercraft tells me to fish at the windy side.... instead of seeking shelter ot the other end of the pond)......  Duly seated, kitted and fishing.... the wind howled on.

I managed to set everything up so nicely today that my float managed to stay totally stationary despite the gusty waves.....  I had a really nice depth set up and was registering lovely bites.... lift bites, drop bites.....  great stuff.  I made my own groundbait today with pellets and liquidised bread steeped in water and it was working really well with a good mix of fish.

By two o' clock this afternoon I'd caught dozens of fish.....  lots of roach (some quite small) that topped out at about a one pound weight.  I had three tench, one of which weighed about a pound and a half.  I had three or four skimmers (baby silver bream) toppin up at half a pound and a host of gudgeon (which are never worth weighing!).

Then the wind dropped..... the sun came out..... it rained..... and the fishing went..... rubbish.

Good day though and I'm glad I went out when I could quite easily have stayed in and challenged another computer to some monopoly instead!

This little video made me smile.... for no apparent reason other than it's funny..... and although she wants to be mad at people for suggesting it...... she can't manage it!  Laugh it up!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hotel on Mayfair....

Hotel on Mayfair,
I've got a hotel on Park Lane, the blue one,
And Little Frank, he's not even got a house on the Old Kent Road.
Oh I've got hotels on all the red ones, and the green ones,
And all of the yellow ones,
He's not even got a light blue one,
And he's not been past the Water Works.

(taken from The Monopoly Song by Frank Sidebottom)

You could do a lot worse than spend a couple of minutes watching/listening to this!

Now it has to be said.... I'm a player of games.  I love 'em.  Whether they be rooted in this reality or a virtual one, I love playing games.

I like video games, board games, card games.... traditional games, contemporary games.... you name it and if I haven't played it then you can guarantee I wouldn't mind playing it!

I've played Gulo Gulo, Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots, Chartbusters, Pass the Pigs, Settlers of Catan, Risk, Chess, Chinese Checkers and Mah-jong.

I've played Tapper and Toobin'.  I've leapt at the chance to play Burnin' Rubber and Ms. PacMan.  I've played Smurfs, Star Wars, Ponpoko and Space Duel.  I've thrown virtual darts, footballs and javelins. and I've even been known to play Pokemon (Silver; diamond; AND platinum)....

I've bragged about three cards.  I've chased the ace.  I've had my knuckles scraped until they bled at Scabby Queen, and I've fifteen for two'ed myself into oblivion with cribbage.  Canasta, Spades, Hearts, Bezique, Pip Pip, Oh Hell and Beggar my Neighbour.

Yes, I love them all.

The problem with games.... is the same as that faced when trying to dance an Argentinian Tango.... invariably it takes more than one.... and unless someone else likes to cut a rug..... you're up a snookery creek without a black ball!

An example of this lack of willing participants is as follows:

Today I played Monopoly on the internet... not just your average, common or garden variety of Monopoly.... but Monopoly the World Edition.  The main differences being that:
a) instead of streets, you buy whole cities like Beijing or Vancouver.
b) instead of starting with the usual fifteen hundred quid, you start this one with fifteen MILLION!!  (that's inflation for you)
c) Rather than play an endless pit of turns waiting for everyone to go bankrupt, this game is turn based so we each get 34 turns (perhaps) maximum.
d) Game winner declared after two people bankrupt or maximum turns expired.
e) "total worth" decides winner!
Other than that it's exactly the same.....

So I play against three computers, who are, rather imaginatively named: Computer 2; Computer 3; and Computer 4 - I am playing what would presumably have been Computer 1's seat.... and I try not to think too much about the four of them playing non-stop for all eternity until someone visits their gaming table.

All goes well up until you realise that there's an element of racism at play.... they trade with each other reasonably whilst making insulting and paltry offers to me.  The dice rolls don't seem to favour me.  They're stitching me up.

It gets to a stage where they've all swapped properties and Computer 3 has a full set of the oranges (Vine, Marlborough and Bow Streets - equivalent).  Computer 4 on the other hand only has a set of the dark brown ones (we'd call the Old Kent Road and Whitechapel). And can you guess what Computer 2 owns?  Yes, the dark blue pair (Mayfair and Park Lane).

I've got.....
A light blue; a pink; a red; a yellow; a station; and two dark green ones (the ones that cost a fortune and nobody ever lands on them, and if you DO get all three you can never afford to build houses on them anyway).

In the dying embers of the game, Computer 2 buys the final dark green at action for a staggering twelve million.

There are hotels on the oranges and dark browns.  Five turns from the end of the game and I'm comfortably in second place.  Despite owning the most expensive proiperties on the board, Computer 2 is sitting in jail with no money to build any houses (and that serves him/her right for overbidding for my dark green).

I am two turns from the end of the game when the conspiracy trap is sprung, and I am unceremoniously dumped onto Vancouver (an orange one with a hotel on) and after stumping up the ten million rent..... I finish in a very poor third place.

Now, if I had some REAL friends....Scooby Doo Monopoly or Gulo Gulo anyone?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Nice weather...

... for ducks!

Curse this crappy grey weather and curse my crappy grey mood.

I think I suffer from seasonal affective disorder at a macro level....  I am up and down like a frikking yo-yo with these rainy grey days at the moment.  The knock on effect on my health and well-being is savage.

Run down.

Seems an age since I was merrily trotting across the hillsides in search of geocaches.  Donkey's years since I was out in t-shirt sleeves on the rocky outcrops of Calderdale.  Positively millennia since I wasn't coughing, or sneezing or spluttering.....

I've even resorted to taking some horse-pill sized fish oil tablets and drinking restorative tonic!  When you've been run down for a while you'll turn to bloody voodoo if you think it will make you feel better.

Even the discovery of post-festival mild supplies at a local hostelry for a vastly reduced price could only temporarily lift the hovering grey clouds from the summit of my crown.

My day of fishing was a gentle mood lifter but the rain of today is squeezing the life out of mood again.....  I know it's good for the gardens and crops and stuff and I know we need it..... but it stops me being outside!!

On the plus side, I DID watch a couple of films today - which of course you can see on my films page... I watched Dark Star and Four Lions today - I did laugh out loud at both films too.

Rain rain go away...... piss on someone else's day!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Gone fishin'

Been down to Riley's Pond today for a little fishing session.....

It's the first time this year that I've been fishing and it took a fair bit of absent minded organisation to get all my tackle together..... my tackle bag (check reel.... check hooklengths..... check floats..... check little tackle box) all good...........  small amount of frozen sweetcorn......bucket of skrettings soaked and flavoured...... bait bag with buckets and containers...... rods.... landing net.... chair..... trolley (wheels two of; handle; base)...... flask.... sandwiches..... sweets...... hat...... licence.... membership..... coffee (in a jar - to make up with the flask of hot water - saves me washing the flask out every time I use it)......

Ok.... check the traffic.... motorway at a standstill..... wait..... Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold.....

Traffic all moving.... off to Rastrick for my maggots.......  one pint of mixed (white;bronze;red) and a bit of sawdust....... two pounds sixty and off we go down to Brookfoot past the Red Rooster (great boozer)..... through the gate...... park up... assemble trolley ..... load everything on...... walk down to the pond........

What the.... it would appear that my favourite fishing spot has fallen into the pond..... never mind.....  I use the next one along.......

Set up all my gear.... landing net.... chair...... fishing rod..... reel..... thread everything up......  float adapter..... quick change bead...... hooklength..... attach a float..... check the weighting..... check the depth.......


Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold........

Well it was VERY slow..... I did catch a nice 5lb mirror carp and a little tench of about half a pound but the rest were all tiddlers (roach and gudgeon) and not many of them at that!  But still, it's great to be sitting outdoors.... even if it does rain a bit..... and the wind blows a bit......


A lovely way to spend a day (apart from all those bloody people everywhere - it's like a sodding social club down at that pond sometimes - they ought to make a rule.... if you're not fishing then piss off!).

Monday, May 07, 2012

Sunday search

I know that the world of blogging goes a bit flat over the weekend.  Add to that weekend the snooker finals and you are not very likely to find me here either.....

Luckily for you..... the snooker finished early (Ronnie O'Sullivan really outclassed Ali Carter and gave us all a free evening!)..... and I hark back to the days of old when I used to try and have a look at what searches people had been using to find my page and to point them in the right direction......  So here's a revival of an old blogging tradition.....

tri wing screwdriver b&q
You won't get one at B&Q - In fact I DO know that a mate of mine was actually looking for a tri-wing screwdriver..... and in searching for it on the web turned up my blog and rung me up to see if he could borrow mine.....  random event!  Well a tri-wing is for taking consoles apart.... I use mine for the Wii and for the Nintendo DS..... I got it from here and they are REALLY cheap!  If you live lly, you're more than welcome to borrow mine!

whistle and ride
A phrase I inherited from my mum..... usually called to me whilst I was absent mindedly dawdling over something or other..... "whistle and ride" she'd say.... in typical female fashion, expecting the impossible, for a man to do two things at the same time...... Like Microsoft products, we are notoriously bad at multitasking.

my balls fox

royal doulton arctic fox
Such a tacky piece of paraphernalia would never grace the mantlepiece of Fox Towers.  I don't think Royal Doulton would even plumb these depths of tat.... but if you've got money to burn and are desperate for such an item.... send the money to me and I will make you one from blu-tack or carrots or something.

do arctic foxes use water for anything other than drinking
Besides making cups of tea and coffee and the occasional wash..... not much.... not even to wash my car!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Star Wars

It's common knowledge that May the 4th is widely regarded as "Star Wars Day" - For those that don't get it (I'm sure I'm whizzing into the wind here) it's simply a case of "May the fourth be with you".

This day has many other important reasons to be notable though, and not all of those are so obvious....

Firstly, and celebrated with a Google doodle today, is the anniversary of Keith Haring's birthday.... I've always loved a bit of Keith's work.... I even have several of them hanging around my bedroom (obviously prints).

Today is also the Feast Day of St. Florian, the patron saint of firemen.... and lord knows, they all deserve a hearty thanks for the sterling work they do.

On this day in 1973 the female form was first shown naked on television in America!  Haven't we come a long way since then?  I bet you didn't even have to pay-per-view in those days either!

Politically (in relation to yesterday's election antics - a moot point in which I never received a voting card) - on this day in 1926 the General Strike began.... bad times.  Even worse news followed in 1979 when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister!  Black times indeed!

Apparently Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty (allegedly and fictitiously) fell to their deaths off the Reichenbach Falls on this very day in 1891, and in 1935 the world's longest escalator opened, unfortunately not up the Rechenbach Falls, but at Leicester Square tube station (I probably have been on it, and probably wanted a wee at the time (always seems to happen to me when I am underground!)).

Who could forget, that on this day in 1715 that the folding umbrella was patented in Paris, and that in 1995 Japanese psychologists had trained a bunch of pigeons to become art critics.... apparently these canny birds could tell the difference between works by Picasso and Monet, but were unable to tell a Cezanne from a Renoir.... and like me they probably couldn't tell their arses from their elbows!

So, to each and every one of you.... may the fourth, and some crazy Japanese pigeons be with you always!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Snooker loopy...

It's about this time of the year when my alter ego emerges.....

Not one to sit down and watch television, especially during the day.... when snooker comes to the Crucible.... I make an exception.

I've been watching it for years..... I've always liked some of the snooker "characters".... the Alex Higginseses, Big Bill Werbeniukseses (the only man I've ever known to have a doctors note to allow him to sink a number of pints of beer BEFORE a game), Ronnie O'Sullivanseses, Ray (Count Dracula) Reardonseses... etc etc.... I have some great snooker memories, albeit most of the early ones are as a result of VERY late nights (staying up well after my bedtime).

I will at this point mention that today's Ali Carter and Stephen Maguire match has left me a bit cold!

I'll watch it all day... all night.... and go to bed and watch the highlights of whatever I've been watching all day.

I've played a few games of snooker.... I've never been any good at it.... I don't even think my custard pie eyes could even see the far end of a snooker table these days.  I seem to remember at one point even falling asleep on a snooker table during a particular heavy session.... mid-shot!  The less said about those crazy days at the Slawit Con Club the better!

I don't think I could sit and watch the snooker live at the Crucible, or anywhere else for that matter..... sometimes it's nice to get up and make a coffee or take a "nature break" at will.... besides which, my afternoon nap would undoubtedly raise eyebrows when I began to snore!  I am sure it would make interesting TV though.

At least we're now down to a reasonable number of players left in the tournament, and that means I've now got chance to get the tea on.....  veg curry tonight with a side dish of snooker.... you're all invited.... bring a bottle!