The extra bits...(Under construction).

Saturday, 30 December 2017

A summary of the past year......

     Tis alright this will not be a long post via anyone's stretch of the imagination. 2017 has had more low points than highs for myself....

Low points....

Worst and most devastating was the loss of my father, Geoffrey Wooldridge, on the 22nd Oct after a short illness.

Further down the list of low points is that at the present  moment we have yet to move house and the feeling of being in limbo continues unabated.

Related to the non-movement of said abode is the fact that I still have no where to use as a workshop/store for my business adventure.

One of the 'terrible twosome' is no longer with us and resides elsewhere.

My mental state has had more downs than ups.

I seem to have lost contact with a very good, if rotund, friend.

I always seem to be permanently skint.

High points.....

I'm still with my soulmate George.

Bramble is still by my side.

The prospect of moving in the early new year seems most likely.

The business adventure is proving to be the right decision to have been made, at the moment that is.

So there you have it, for myself 2017 has been a basically crap year with a feeling of being permanently in limbo, skint, low mentally and it has taken away my father, leaving a huge void within my life. Fortunately the simple basics for a happy life still remain, I have George, Bramble and the likelihood of a fresh start within a new abode on the horizon.

I wish all my readers health and happiness for the forthcoming new year and may the northern gods smile upon you and yours.

John the Gardener.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Decomposing is my favorite thing....

    Well regular visitors to my irregular scribbles here probably know by now that despite everything I am just a simple bugger trying to live a very uncomplicated life, despite the best efforts of the Black Dog to over complicate it for me, and being a simple bugger it does not take much to bring a smile to my mind, not outwardly of course for I have a reputation of dour grumpiness to maintain and preserve.

     The opportunities for me observe such simple things that make me stop and smile (inwardly of course) have increased exponentially since my life saving career move from the bowls of factory dungeons to the gardens of suburbia. Such things as watching young Buzzards displaying acrobatically to each other on hot thermal lifts, catching a glimpse of a Stoat swiftly running for the cover of a woodpile, smelling a sudden burst of Honeysuckle fragrance whilst finishing off in the late evening, watching a newly installed wildlife pond come to life in such surprisingly short time, marveling at incredible sunsets when tiredly driving home and feeling warm rain on my upturned face as a thunder storm clears the days sultry and oppressive air. These and many, many more small pleasures are now part of my daily working life and have brought me such pleasure and warmth of feeling inside of me that my only regret is that I have neither the wit nor words to describe them nor the pure feelings of joy that they invoke within me.

     It is never the same, each day is different now and brings a new pleasure for myself to be immersed within. I could witter on for page after page on the wonders that now are part and parcel of my working life but that would be unfair to those of you who still toil away within monochrome offices or still worse those of you who are still trapped in the torture chambers of bleak factories, in fact I could almost be accused of gloating if I were to do so.

     One of my favorite pleasures of late is the beast I feed at t' big garden where I now manage the gardens for four of the weeks seven days. This beast I speak of is not some canine guard of the gardens nor some escaped feral puma that some folk swear blind still roam these isles. The fact is that this beast does not eat meat, not having teeth to speak of, and is basically a vegetarian! I keep it fed, this gender-less (or as some feckwits now like to call themselves 'non-binary beings', oh for gawds sake), beast upon a diet of grass, waste food, shredded cardboard, weeds and rainwater. Now this may not seem to be much of a beast to the common man in the street but this behemoth can consume an kill any weed you'd care to mention and also any seeds that find they're way into its churning stomach.

Do not be fooled, the beast is alive....

    Now perhaps you may be thinking by now that the Black Dog has finally unhinged my not to stable mind, especially when I tell you that this beast I speak of is in fact to the layman nothing more than a compost heap! Oh but the name does no justice to this living thing that takes the garden's waste and with careful management from its guardian, that'll be me, weaves its magic and produces such wondrous amounts of black gold (weed free compost to you lot) that in turn is helping turn t' big garden into something very special m'thinks. Hell in a few years you may see it featured in Cheshire life magazine or Gardener's World, well even us simpletons can dream you know! A thing that amazes myself about the beast is the heat that it produces, I challenge anyone to thrust their un-gloved hand deep within it and keep it there for more than a few minutes, nay seconds. In fact me and my grass cutting sidekick 'Cuddles' are considering what to cook within the bowels of said beast, I'm all for trying a small joint whilst Cuddles is leaning to chicken, then whichever meat is chosen, leaving it sealed in a pan with a tad of seasoning and water and consuming it for an evening meal when our day of garden toil is done. Obviously a glass of cider will have to be consumed with our compost cooked meat, simple things see.

Til the next time, take care and also take the time to slow down and live life, not just rush headlong through it...


Thursday, 29 June 2017

The vacuuming of dirty socks .......

     Where in Bonaparte's balls has the time gone? One minute in the month of March I'm telling you about how things are going in the life of John and the next minute it's nearly bleedin' July! Truth be told things have been hectic here with the usually downs and ups that life and the Black dog bring with em both.

     The downs?, well apart from the usual dips in mental functionality I am working far more hours than when I was gainfully employed at the 'Fun factory',  Bramble is less controllable than she ever was and is now what I would call "a delinquent little canine bitch" most of the time, we are still in limbo with the house move or none move as seems more the likely scenario at the moment and I am discovering that I am totally crap at keeping my business records, or any paperwork for that matter, up to date and in  any semblance of order.

     The ups?, the business is ticking over and is putting food on the table, I am less rotund by one and a half stone (that would be 21lb for those of American persuasion) so perhaps not that much food on the table and... well that's about it!

     So all in all quite an ordinary and nothing to blog about few months in which not a great deal has changed, happened or indeed fallen from the sky. Apart from vacuuming my dirty socks it is the same old same old really. The socks? oh them, well it is nothing really to tell, just something I have discovered that makes my life a tad easier...'s just that now grass cutting and strimming season has descended upon me I found that after washing my working apparel it would emerge from the washing machine thingy (no I don't use the stone in the river method anymore) covered in bits of grass, seeds and all manner of tiny but bloody hard to remove garden detritus. Slightly befuddled by this turn of events I at first struggled to come to terms with what was happening and just carried on with clean but detritus ridden clothing. Not a good impression at clients gardens and also said clothing developed a nasty tendency to chafe certain regions of my anatomy that could really do without being chafed at all. The cause of my dilemma was obvious, well it was when pointed out to me, the chaff and detritus from the mountain of grass cutting and strimming that takes up a large slice of my time cake in these summer months was weeding its way into my work boots and embedding itself into every nook and cranny of my socks. When this was pointed out to me I of course protested as surely these newfangled clothe washing n spinning contraptions were supposed to clean such things from my socks and not distribute evenly them throughout my whole wash? All I got in response to my argument was one of George's despairing eye rolls and 'for god's sake' sighs. So it dawned upon my slowly working mind that I should perhaps remove said detritus before actually including the socks in the wash, trouble being that picking all those bits of grass, seeds and beetle elytra from steaming and slightly off smelling socks turned out to be painstakingly slow and at times nauseating work and the pile of unpicked hence unwashed socks became quite a sizable thing. Events took a turn for the worse when I was discovered ordering new packs of working socks from Flea bay instead of cleaning the detritus from my rather rank and now ripe cheese smelling sock mountain, oh bugger! Whilst trolling my way through another cheesy detritus ridden sock I had what could only be called a light bulb moment. Not long ago I purchased one of those cordless vacuum thingy things for the purpose of removing Bramble Bitch hair from my work chariot's seating arrangement. One specific item that I required of said vacuum was a pet hair removal attachment, could it? would it? well with much gusto I retrieved the Bitch hair remover from my chariot (re white van) and I promptly set about one of my worst detritus ridden socks.....

    .....actually the picture above is not of one of the worst socks as I did not think at the time of vacuuming the cheesy sock mountain to actually photograph one of the offensive items, this is actually today's sock and only has a fraction of the detritus of socks gone before but you get the general idea I hope. So setting about the infested sock I was defeated immediately, damned vacuum required charging. Cue lift music and talk amongst yourselves or to yourself depending upon circumstance. Ding...armed with energized device I  promptly set about one of my worst detritus ridden socks.....

     .....actually the picture above, oh bugger that. Anyway the upshot was that my recently acquired Bitch hair vacuum device actually proved to be the most excellent grass cutting and strimming detritus removal thingy a chaffed gardener could ever wish for. No I don't have photographic evidence as I have not yet run out of clean socks so the need to de-detritus the sock hill developing in the laundry basket has not yet arisen, although the smell of ripe cheese may well induce me into vacuuming my socks sooner rather than later.

      So there we are, like I said life is busy yet mundane and I vacuum my dirty socks. Until the next time take care and as always thank you for dropping by,