The extra bits...(Under construction).

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Alter Ego .....

     I sometimes think that bloggers often use their blogs as a medium of expressing who they would like to be and not actually who, exactly, they really are. This is just my thought and is a generalisation and is not a reflection of all bloggers. Maybe I hold this opinion based upon my own early personal experience of blogging. I first started a blog some years ago called "Musings of Murphyfish" and what started out as a time filler soon became an obsession of wanting to be liked, how many comments, how many views and how people perceived me became the be all and end all. My walking in the wild places became not an escape from the world and my then, unknown to me, deteriorating mind but instead a hunt for a special picture that I just 'happened' to have come across, the sighting of some piece of flora or fauna with which to impress the reader with my consummate (many thumbed books and internet searches later) knowledge of  in my 'happy ramblings'. I couldn't see it then but when I bothered to search out 'Musings' the other day it was obvious that I'd become lost in the writing and not in the doing, so to speak and the blog was little more than a sham. Having said that, when I read the posts now I realise signs were on show of my failing mind and I wish I'd have stopped the writing before I'd started. I'd delete that blog now but I don't have the passwords to log in and I have no idea how to get to it's dashboard, maybe it's for the best as it will always be a reminder to try and keep this blog what it is, hopefully real, sometimes entertaining and perhaps of help to some people who also strive with the Black Dog . Hopefully dear reader you'll help me keep feet upon terra firma.

     Speaking of alter egos, I've been thinking of writing some fiction based upon a person not unlike myself but who is thrown into situations that may take some fanciful explanation and a little tongue in cheek story lines. Not sure whether or not to post these stories or just keep them locked away but at least I'll have the escape of letting my alter ego have the adventures that I can only dream about and hence keep this blog on course, we'll see.

     So without further ado or the milking of the fatted calf let me introduce to the world.....Jon, the adventurous engineer, Ta daaa.... 



     Jon is pictured in an Armani brushed rouge work cap, his overall is a custom one piece suit produced for Jon exclusively in 'cobalt blue' with 'sun blushed' orange highlights by Alexander Wang, which sits sublimely over his titanium toe capped Doctor Martens classic black boots. The ensemble is complemented with silk boxer shorts from Hermes and an 'enlightened white' silk muscle shirt from Versace. His only accessory on this shoot is the Lamy 2000 fountain pen. Jon's aroma is enhanced with Brut splash body lotion as he is not one for the, ahem, "grand gesture".  
  
     So with nothing better to say at this late hour I wish you all peace in your lives, take care...

John.

Credit to fashion designer and advisor to the royal family of Olduniam, Beverley Jayne for Jon's work wear.
   

     

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Grand dogs....

     I went to see my mother today, well yesterday now....it's a shift thing, as it was her eighty first birthday and being the last few years of madness I'd overlooked several of them I thought I'd best do my dutiful son thing for a change and take her a card. 



     I took Bear as she stays there upon occasion when my shifts mean she'd be left overlong and straight away it starts. I have swiftly come to learn, as most people with Springers probably will agree, that these dogs are a breed apart. As well as the most loving, intelligent and sensitive dog I've known Bramble is also a thief, she is stubborn and wilfully just a bugger who sometimes tests my patience to the limit and then just gives it another little push for good measure. So I try to be strict with her, she's not aloud on the sofa, she does not get titbits from my plate just her set meals, she sits when told, she is discouraged from jumping up at people, she comes to command, she does not pinch bacon from the frying pan (butter wouldn't melt) and she does not pinch any more of my bloody socks.

     But at mum and dad's you can forget all of that. We leave our present abode, Bramble jumps lightly, nay demurely into the back of my car and settles down without a sound. We cruised the few miles to my parents whilst being gently serenaded by the dulcet tones of Mr. Bonn Scott accompanied with the gently strumming fingers of young master Angus Young, ah so devine, so calming and so educational all at once. Then we turned into the short private road that leads to the row of houses where my aged parents house sits, already Mr. Scott has some competition as an excited whimpering can be heard emanating from the rear of my car...here we go again, bugger!

     By the time we come to a standstill I'm sure she's already slobbering at the thought of the muck she's about ta be a running. Already resigned to the inevitable I open the tail gate and release the Spaniel of excitement out. Straight to the outside back door she runs at full pelt jumping up at the very last minute to crash through, the inner door receives the same treatment. Hurtling into the house afore me all I hear is the clatter of their whippet's dog bowl but before I'm inside Bear has already left the crime scene and is now pouncing all over my parents sofas. I trudge into the front room to the now familer scene of Bear launching herself between sofas determined to lick both parents but never sure which one tastes better so back and forth she hurls herself. Raising my voice, OFF I gruffly tell her to which she immediately cowers ( god it's pathetic) as close to mother as she can with a look as if I'd taken a whip to her hide. Both parents berate me saying how harsh I am with her...sigh. The same 'off' back at the abode results in a sidewise look to check if I meant it then a wagging tail as she moves onto something else to investigate. But not here, oh no, the conniving little bugger plays to her audience so well. 

     Mother gets up to make a brew with Bear running in circles around her. As they disappear into the kitchen my all but deaf mother whispers with all the stealth of a elephant ' biscuit Brambles, but don't tell your dad'...sigh. And so it goes on, when I go back to pick her up she'll be as broad as a bleeding aircraft carrier and it'll take all my patience to keep her off the sofa.. Sigh. I'll have to check her stools to see what passes through her after her thievery there...sigh. And I'll have the devil of a job stopping her begging at the table again. I knew I should have got a goldfish instead... Sigh!



Till the next time, take care...

John.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Birthday Bear.....

     Just the shortest of short posts but Bear would not forgive me if I did not mention this day.

Happy Birthday Bramble,


Two today

Till the next time, take care....

John

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Sea dogs .....

     It is funny how the mind works, well in my case perhaps that should read 'it is funny how that sometimes, upon occasion, the mind manages to switch on and work!'. But seriously sometimes just one little thing can bring back memories long buried in the mists of time. It could be a softly spoken word, a piece of music, a fleeting glimpse of something forgotten or even a scarcely noticed whiff of odour and you find yourself lost in memories of the past, all present worries forgotten for awhile.

     It happened to me just the other day as I was toiling away laying a slabbed seating area from which to sit and enjoy a small wildlife garden that I've been invited to design and build. Why the hell I should be entrusted with this venture I have not the foggiest of ideas, probability being I was the last resort, certainly the cheapest aka free. As I lent on a rake wondering how many other places in that I could possibly ache I caught the faint but distinctive call of gulls high above me in the vivid blue sky and suddenly I was not in that garden but a hundred miles away on the western edges of the Welsh coast.

     There were three of us there that day, my brother, Eddie Yates and myself. We were fishing in a secluded bay 'bout hundred yards offshore in a boat called the 'Lord Baltimore'...a terrible name but distinctive and I'd never rename a boat once christened, something's just don't feel right.... Her lordship was a cracking boat, a sixteen foot long Falmouth bass boat, and she rode the waves like she was made from the sea. And yes I know.... her lordship and she, well that's another thing that's an unsaid rule a boat is always a lady to me, no matter what name she carries. 

     Anyway I'm meandering once more, back to the distant memory. As mentioned the three of us were there that day, pink from the sun and absolutely sick and tired of pulling doggies off the sand some thirty feet below us into the boat and having the hassle of unhooking the writhing little buggers to chuck them back to the mill pond calm sea. I'm bloody sure we were just hooking the same fish over and over again! We'd tried different baits from rag to lug, from squid to mackerel, Christ I even think that I tried half a stale pork pie out of desperation....all to no avail as doggie after doggie were hailed aboard. Stubborn bastards that we were we refused to quit and carried on until the light began to fail, myself and Pete brought our tackle in and made ready to head back to the jetty and the promise of steak n chips which would of course be washed down with the odd pint or three of finist grog. 

     But we'd not figured on Mr. Yates being even more stubborn than an Ass that's taken stubborn pills! Whilst we'd been making ready for the off, to the point of hauling the anchor from its sandy slumber, young Yatesie hung over his rod murmuring sweet nothings to something he'd snagged on his clever mixed offering of all baits available, well apart from the stale pork pie which had long found a resting place in my by now rumbling stomach. As he slowly reeled with proclamations of 'this is different' being uttered to our 'just cut the bloody line' the sea had darkened under the ever more gloomy sky as night chased had the sun over the horizon. We peered over as the beginnings of the terminal tackle came through the water's surface but couldn't make out what kept the line taught. Finally our thinly stretched patience snapped and together we grabbed his rod upwards expected the slithering of yet another doggie to be flapping around on the deck....oh bugger!

     From three would be hunters in their boat, lords of the oceans deep, the scene now takes a turn to be more like an Ealing comedy of yore. For in the prow of the Baltimore there is now about twenty to thirty pounds of very pissed of Conger eel and our three idiots heroes scrambling hell for leather towards the stern! The trouble with is small boats, especially when upon their natural environment, i.e. water, is a little thing called weight distribution and as our intrepid sea farers (I really do not know why I'm trying to ham up the idiots roles in all of this) scrambled sternwards, adding their weight to that of the outboard motor, the bow of the boat began lifting skywards....oh bugger again!

     So there is now twenty to thirty pounds of still pissed off Conger eel now slithering but in a downwards direction towards the stern of the boat. Fortunately the prow of the boat suddenly slaps down on the smooth black surface of the water causing the only ripples to be seen and the eel's downward slither is brought to a halt, unfortunately the reason that the prow does come down is that our three would be Ahabs have thrown themselves overboard and are now clinging to the sides of the boat for dear life, which in my case was certainly true because I couldn't swim in them days and health n safety, err life jackets, were an optional extra which we'd opted out for the lure of a rather nice Shakespeare ugly stick and mitchell beach castor combo...I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of that choice at that precise moment in time....oh thrice bugger!

      Thing is the sea of night takes on a whole new feeling, more dark (obviously) and brooding and the fear of the unseen grows large in the mind, especially when you're hanging on to a boat listening to the slithering of a pissed off eel and wondering if his older brother is lurking somewhere below you. The arguments were tossed back and too between us, each laying blame and each refusing to clamber aboard and eject the eel. Talk turned to sea monsters, sharks, the movie Jaws and unseen tentacled thingy ma bobs all in efforts to scare one of us to face the task in hand. Suddenly Pete shot torpedo like into the boat and after a few seconds of cursing, whimpering and what sounded suspiciously like the sound of a pissed off eel been smacked overboard with an oar....hang on 'eel overboard'...two more human torpedoes emerged from the water and crashed into the boat. After a few moments to catch breath and collect our wits I asked Pete at which point did the tales make being in the water the more fearful choice? To which he replied 'the point when something grabbed my leg!'. There was a stony silence for awhile whilst we all digested this statement, well stony until Mr. Yates nearly peed himself with mirth and between gasps for breath he managed to blurt out that he'd grabbed Pete's leg...just for a laugh.... A couple of hours later the three were dry, warm and repleat with steak and the odd vessel of grog. 

     A flutter of movement catches my eye as a Dunnock bobs around the recently placed log pile which will form the backdrop to a wildlife pool and the spell is broken. I turn, bending, to hump the next slap into place and just for a moment I thought that I could taste the sea air once more, yes it's funny how the mind works.

Till the next time, take care..

John





      



    

Monday, 8 September 2014

A few pictures....

     Been a tad melancholy of late so thought I share a few pictures of the year so far to remind myself it's not always doom and gloom 'out there'.....





























Till the next time, take care...

John


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Time......

     ......to put all my fears of living a life behind me and move on to better days.

Until the next time, take good care of yourselves,

John




Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Holy grail .....

     On the appointed hour of thirty minutes past midday, upon the twenty first day of the third month of the year, two thousand and fifteen, where will you be?..... A day that from this moment forth shall occupy my thoughts, dreams and aspirations, bring it on!