Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's almost February already?!

Goodness gracious me! Where has the year gone?
'The Gas' have reached the fifth round of the cup!

We will be getting a whole new central heating system! Next week! Farewell old fashioned gas heaters!

I successfully (and discreetly) managed to confront odd next door neighbour about the ammount of dogshit in his backyard. At the moment we have a 4 foot fence (a new, 6 foot fence will soon be installed).
He was very nice and promised to clean it up and 'keep on it'.

A curious turn of events. A few years ago I bought a gorgeous steed, a TREK 4500. This piece of wheels was my delight until I moved to the US when I sold it to my dad. He rode it twice, didn't like it and passed it onto my brother in law. This weekend my lady comes back home! I'll get her serviced at the local bike shop and miles of cycling joy will soon be mine!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Field trip.

I will find time to update you all on the amazing school trip.

How I took 33 kids to the edge of the world and back.
How we spent our days in freezing sunshine with force 8 winds a mere formality.
How we survived on chocolate and strong tea , not to mention lots of baked beans and potato wedges.
How we team built and overcame fear through bizarre feats involving mud, rain , heights and darkness.
How noone ended up in hospital and all returned with smiles on their faces and hugs from their mums.

I need a shave, I need a beer, I need some sleep.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


We have invited my parents round for tea tonight. We've done this because they are kind, they are generous and they live nearby. Mum is babysitting tonight and, well, occaisonally we have to suck it up and actually talk to them.

I was preparing a speciality of mine (and Delia's) the shepherds pie with leek and cheese topping.
Whilst chopping two medium onions I began to sense a slightly odd feeling in my tear ducts, this grew rapidly to become a really, really intense sensation of "OHMYGODWHATTHEFUCKISHAPPENINGMYEYES!!!!!MYEYES!!!!"

I'd got a bit of onion wedged between my spectacles and my eye.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Operation Residential Field trip

Don't be fooled by the picture. It was taken in June.

On Sunday I take 30 odd kids to an activity centre on a beach/cliff thingy.



I've done this before. For three days in June.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Plough Monday

Today is Plough Monday.

Today I escorted 28 children to a freezing, windswept country lane to watch other children and some adults dance jigs. The police had closed off the road specially.

Then we followed the brightly dressed dancers (and a plough) into the local church where there was more dancing, some hurdy gurdy music, a re-enactment of a murder and a hanging, some prayers and a blessing of the plough (the plough came into the church as well). The Vicar was a newcomer to the village and to make things more interesting he was from the industrial north. He was very much bemused by this service full of dancing children, hurdy gurdy music, Molly dancers and a plough.

Then I was interviewed on local radio.

My life could not be more different than what it was a year ago.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Year salutations

The season has passed merrily here at Mondale villas and the tide of 2008 has quickly embraced us, our resolutions (no midweek drinking, more and better running, no biscuits) have had to be postponed until our next round of American guests have departed on the 15th of January (no, don't worry, they don't even arrive until the 10th!) The mundane nature of many recent posts has not diminished my pleasure in blogging, indeed, life is agreeable, the wee hen will be one next week and both he and Frau Random Doubt snooze their well deserved snoozes as I sit on the sofa and write. Speaking of the little man's birthday, I had no idea until recently that he shares a birthday with Elvis Presley. Far better than his father who shares a birthday with Marti Pellow from Wet Wet Wet (they did the theme to 'Four weddings and a Funeral' as well as a lot of other dross). Just goes to show the brilliant insanity of a year ago.

This Christmas I followed a venerable family tradition and purchased a copy of the Christmas Radio Times. In the olden days we knew Christmas was coming when Dad came home and plonked the weighty tome upon the arm of the sofa. But now? The age of the internet and the dvd? Dont bother. We watched about three hours of tv over the course of the entire holiday. This had something to do with lots of socialising, some game playing (which degenerated into a corruption scandal not seen since the Trivial Pursuit crisis of 1988), cooking, looking after Hen, the odd walk and trips to Southwold to eat fish and chips. If we did turn on the telly it was only at the end of the day to catch the last fifteen minutes of some hilarious film about Tom Hanks being stuck in an airport or the lovable Mr Cruise fighting Martians. We did spend an hour or so crammed into my brother's living room (it's a nice size but there were 34 of us) to watch the Christmas day Doctor Who special. A cross between 'The Poseidon Adventure', 'Titanic' and 'Star Wars Episode IV'. Amusing but very, very cramped.

Having just bitched about the medium I must admit the following, the tv highlight had to beThe Railway Children. Sniff, I'd forgotten, sniff, what a wonderful, beautiful, just wonderful film, sniff, it was. It's on every single Christmas (or New Years Day) and I hadn't seen it in years. I managed to catch it with a grown up visitor who had never seen it (American). I didn't ask him and he didn't ask me but we were both welling up at the end. Apart from making grown men cry the film was very well made, acted, shot etc. Delightful.