Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Stewkley Walk

Since the weather decided to remain good this weekend, Garry, Christine, Jan and I did another countryside walk - this time around the village of Stewkley in Buckinghamshire.
Here are the pictures:

There are 2 pubs in Stewkley. Start at "The Swan Inn".

Have a beer in the pub gardens

Set off past the chickens on the farm at the bottom of the lane

Mind the goose

Ensure you all wear dark glasses

Don't frighten the horses

Say 'Hello' to Shaun, the sheep!

Bridge the gaps

Admire the view over the rapeseed fields

Blend in with the countryside

Stay away from the horns

Single-file back into Stewkley

Stop at the second pub for another beer

Tiptoe past the Methodist church

Along some old houses

and some newer ones trying to look old

A converted and twice extended barn

Admire 'St Michael & All Angels' church

and a cottage of beauty!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hocus Pocus in Focus

For a few months now we have a brand-new Focus (D.I.Y.-Supermarket) in our town and as I needed some sort of chain to hold our patio doors open with I decided to pay a visit!
After all . . . how difficult can it be?!!! Right??
I soon located the section with different type of chains. You know the one where you measure how many metres you want, use the conveniently positioned cutter and take it to the cash desk.
Well, that's what I did!
Here then is the conversation as I approach the woman at the till:

"Here you are - 3 metres of chain!"
"Right . . tying someone up today, are we?? (Snort, snort)"
"Yeah . . (smiling sweetly - face as if constipated)"
"I have no code for that! No wait!!! I can look it up in our picture catalogue!! (thumbs through pages with the speed of a stunned slug).
This looks a bit like it!" she says grabbing her scan gun and running it over the bar code next to the picture.
'Blip' goes the till showing a price of £3.59
"That's not right! This chain is only £2.99 per metre!"
(Looks again through the catalogue, thumbs past 'chains')"Naah, them are ropes now! See?!! (points at a picture of a rope)"
"Can't you just type in the price??"
"Naaahh, I need a code, see?!!"
"Well, don't look at me!! I don't have a code!"
(Picks up the microphone) "Jason to till 2 please - till 2 - Jason!!"
A minute later a tall, skinny, spotty young dude with a bad haircut arrives.
"Ah, Jason, we need a code for that chain" (points to the chain on the desk)
"That chain??!!" he replies, pointing at the same chain as if there was more than one anywhere within viewing distance.
"Yeah, that chain! Can you go and get us a code?"
Pimpleface picks up the chain and walks off with it, eventually returning with chain in one hand and cell phone in the other.
"I keyed the code into my phone!" he proudly announces. He presses a few buttons and then reads out: "5-2-3-4-4 6-3-6-1-1 7-7-4-9-8"
Every digit is repeated by the woman behind the till followed by a small 'blip' as she punches the key.

'Beeeeeeeeeeepp!!' goes the till.
"Naaaahh!! That code is not right!!" she announces, shaking her head in an 'I don't know what to do about this' manner.
The by now sizable queue of customers waiting to pay at the only till currently open starts to grumble and mutter no doubt wondering which of those two utter nerds to kill first.
A third assistant arrives! To open another till?? Nooooooo!!! To open the catalogue and scan various items until he finds something worth £2.99
He finally comes across it and says:
"'ere! Use that one!"
She scans it and says: "That's £6.58, please!"
In my head I am thinking '£2.99 times 3 metres = £8.97!' and reply to her:
"£6.58??? How can that even be possible????"
"Oooohhh!! Silly me!!! I forgot to cancel the first incorrect price! Let me start again! (a customer at the back of the queue whines silently) Horrayyy!! Now I got it right!! That's £2.99, please!!"

I have lost the will to argue, fear the wrath of the menacing crowds and pay up, my Christian conscience only pricking me slightly for only having paid a third of the correct price.
Lord have mercy!!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Fun Monday #13 - Inside the Actor's Studio

Today's Fun Monday challenge comes from Bethany at Ice Cream Mama
She writes:
I love the television show Inside the Actor’s Studio. As host, James Lipton interviews some of today’s most popular personalities (Tom Hanks, Dave Chappelle, Hugh Laurie, Queen Latifah, to name a few). The show has three parts. The first part consists of a one on one interview in front of a live audience (so much better than a dead one). The final part is a Q & A with audience members asking the questions.
The second part is my favorite and is also next week’s Fun Monday challenge.
James Lipton presents the audience with ten questions.
My challenge to you is to answer these questions.

Well, here are my answers to those questions:

What is your favorite word?
Food (I know . . how shallow . . but I just love food!

What is your least favorite word?
Hospital (I hate that place and anyone having to go there has my sympathy!

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?
God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, passionate people, nature and music!

What turns you off?
Racism, mindless violence, selfishness, lack of common sense, lack of customer service and drugs!

What is your favorite curse word?

What sound or noise do you love?
Laughter, waves crashing onto the beach, music, steam locomotive noise

What sound or noise do you hate?
Kids screaming, moscitos buzzing in your ear, people arguing!

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
Holiday Guide

What profession would you not like to attempt?

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Because you accepted my son, Jesus Christ, I have accepted you! You are forgiven!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Dunwich? Where the Hell is that??

We are back from our visit to Beccles in Suffolk and had a very nice and relaxing time indeed.
Hayseed Dixie was great fun to watch and listen to as usual but I think one of our gang took the preparation for the gig juuuuust a little too far.

Nice one, Andy!!

The weather was kind as well, which always helps - especially when (as we did) you are undertaking a five mile round-trip through the beautiful Suffolk countryside.
We parked our car at Dunwich on the Suffolk coast, walked along the beach, past a bird sanctuary, along marsh land, into the obligatory pub, through the forest and over the heath back to the car.
Here are some pictures:

The Gang on the beach
Not a man-made thing in sight
Old ruin which doubled up as gun shelter in the war
Grasses taken from the ground to the sky
This pub used to be a smugglers meeting place. Keith and I each managed to smuggle 2 pints of beer out in our bellies.
Jan (left) showing Daniel where she is going to bury me in a shallow grave if I don't stop drinking beer at lunchtimes.
Daniel (very small left) looking for places to bury Jan if she doesn't stop talking nonsense.
Dunwich heath

Back in the kitchen I noticed this sign, drawn by little Rachel.
Couldn't resist blogging it!

So, friends, remember!!! Don't sneeze on the food!!
Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The long Weekend

Hello friends,
I trust you had a good Easter break and maybe even managed to give Jesus a "thank you" for all He has done for you and me on the cross.
We had a nice Sunday morning service here at the local church and then decided to take our dog Jamie and ourselves for a walk.

Jamie is a Soft-Coated-Wheaten-Terrier

Tomorrow Jan and I are off to Suffolk (South-East) to visit Keith & Theresa and to take in the musical delights of Hayseed Dixie once more.
For this reason blogging will commence again the comming weekend.
Keep well and bless you all.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fun Monday #12 - Embarrassing Clothes

The challenge this week was set by Amy (see "A Family Story") to find something in your closet you are keeping for some ungodly reason (the sweatshirt with all the holes, the jeans your kids used as a drawing table with markers, the shirt with the stain you only hope no one notices) take a picture of it and tell us why you are keeping it and how it got that way.

In my case this means showing you some of my T-shirts . . . and don't even ask me what made me think at the time that these were juuuust the thing to wear!

Cringe-Shirt #1
"Hakuna Matata"??? Yeah, I know it means "Don't worry" but wearing a T-shirt like this, you should worry!!

Cringe-Shirt #2
Now, the Hamsters is the name of a really good Rock 'n Blues Band and they never fail to bring the house down. I still like wearing this when I go to their concerts but that is about the only time you get away with it!

Cringe-Shirt #3
Unbelievably I wore this T-shirt on my 50th birthday in Italy. So on top of being totally un-cool by being part of a holiday tour group I had to stand out wearing this! I just hope the Italians didn't speak much English!

Cringe-Shirt #4
Another great Blues guitarist - Walter Trout from America. Sad thing is . . I still like this T-shirt! What's wrong with me??

There are other embarrassing clothes but enough for today!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I'm walking on Sunshine!

Easter weekend is here and for once the weather is utterly brilliant.
Yesterday our friends Garry and Christine joined Jan and me in a 6 mile walk through the beautiful countryside.
To be able to spend a few hours with good friends just strolling through God's own garden is truly amazing and makes you grateful to be alive.
Here are some pictures for you:

Walk along the canal . .
Mind the swan . .
Observe the heron . .
Mind your head . .
Nice redwood trees . .
Don't step on the frog . .
(No comment)
Curious cows . .
Singel file marching . .
The locks . .
Time for lunch and a beer . .
(No need for that!!)
Canal boats . .
The girls are slowing down

I do love springtime!