Saturday, May 06, 2006

Progress on the gatepost.

Well, never mind plan B, it turned into one of those long running, ever-changing plans that is still evolving as I write. But it's going to look ok when it's done. In the end I decided to drill out the old post end from the the concrete and get a similar size post and fit it in the hole. God did I sweat drilling that motherfucker out of that hole - completely fucked up a brand new £9 drill bit, pretty much shagged out my old drill, and used about half a gallon of petrol in the generator. But now I have a whole new post cut from an old telegraph pole, fitting perfectly but standing slightly off the upright. Good result really, so I'm feeling pretty chuffed!
Next job is to repair the rails to the side of the new post, then clear up all the mess, and in a few days the whole episode will begin to fade into history.

Spring days on the moor sometimes bring tears to my eyes. I was watching a swallow perched on the weathervane, singing his heart out. When I get these sort of moments with nature it always takes me back to my childhood - the best bits of it - you know, sitting by the river watching my float, sun on my back, just waiting for the fish to go by. On really hot days we used to swim in that river by an old railway viaduct and now and again steam trains used to go by. Dr Beeching closed the railway in 1966. I disliked him intensely at the time. I went back there a few years ago and there was a 'Danger, bridge unsafe' sign up and the river was completely covered in weed.
Did you see that survey that said we were happier in 1957 than we are now? I think that's bollocks but I loved growing up in the 50s and 60s. Remember the Ford Anglia with the sloping back window - says it all really doesn't it!


  1. Hi Tom, have you considered antihistamines? Beconase works for me.
    Those old steam locos didn't half belch out the black stuff!

    It must have been painful to you using all that petrol and damaging costly machinery but i suppose sometimes we have to put our principles to one side.

  2. We used to swim off the slipway in the local canalised river. The diesel floating on the top from the pleasure boats used to make my hair really soft.

    My son discovered the old Rennie suspension bridge further up stream last year and planned on spending all summer there diving off with his mates but I contrived to stop him, fearing Weil's Disease, e-coli, botulism, ingestion of heavy metals from fertiliser run-off, dyptheria, leeches, skin cancer and eel gizz.

    Our summers were so much warmer, freer and longer x

    fafii - the intricate front-fastener on string bikinis

  3. I came here looking for a treeless sadle and 2 hours later I'm apparently a 'blogger' - ye gods - and only because I wanted to ask if you remembered the advert with the Anglia that had 'super-wide wheels' for some reason Carlos Fandango comes to mind . . . should have used that as a 'user name' tried about 600 and in the end just hit the keyboard - have no idea what it is . . . fun this blogging - is it?

  4. Keep me informed with your DIY, Tom. As you can see from the time, I am suffering from insomnia.

  5. Nice gate. The view from it looks great

  6. Ruth - I love your blog name but the content leaves a bit to be desired.
    Cherrypie - when you go on about all that pollution maybe we were lucky to grow up back then - by the way, I realise you didn't grow up back then, your kind of half way between then and now. Thanks for your kind comment about the gate.
    Confused - I left a message on your new blog for you, about treeless saddles.
    Vicus - May I suggest mogadon or mandrex - take 2 of either and then try to stay awake for as long as possible, lots of falling over and banging into things - great fun (I never tried it myself but Clive loved it).

  7. gosh Tom, that's a little unnecessary, does being a self appointed guru allow you to give offence where ever you choose?

    I've read your blog and felt empathy with a fellow hay fever sufferer and a person who apparently takes his carbon foot print very seriously.

    Can't believe anyone would get all dewy eyed over the bloody swallows that crap everywhere! Or, for that matter take themselves so seriously.

  8. 'Carlos Fandango Super Wide Wheels' was a Hamlet cigar ad. I use Clarityn for hayfever, but it is damn expensive. I used to use Triludan, which was ace, but they withdrew it because people who consumed lots of grapefruit had a nasty (sometimes fatal) reaction. Weird, but at the time my grapefruit consumption was increasing, so...phew!

    We didn't really swim in the Avon, for the excellent reason that when I was a kid it was filthy - the Independent ran an article on the Warwickshire Avon when I was seventeen about just how appalingly dirty it was, as it was being used as a sewer for Coventry.

    Is there still such a thing as Mandraax?

    I used to like the way that Commer vans made a lovely gurgling noise, but they sure did wobble.

    I did love growing up in the country, and I still love going home, to see those verdant lands where I was raised. Funnily enough, I was talking about this with a gamekeeper's wife last night.

  9. Ruth, you're really winding me up now, you bonkers or what!
    When did I appoint myself as a guru - either way I am allowed to give offence whenever I choose.
    Yep! hands up, I am guilty of taking myself seriously.
    Are you a blonde who lives on the 27th floor?
    And the content of your blog is poor!

  10. Hi Krusty. Thanks for the Zappa video. I was thinking of offering it here, but actually I will just say, go to 'Krusty the Baker' if you are a Zappa fan, and watch the video.
    I don't actually remember mentioning I get hay fever. I see they are developing a vaccine against allergies - I'd be keen on that. I'm a bit worried about modern medicines, I try to avoid them if I possibly can.

  11. I've tried to get into that blog of Ruth's too but each post is the same old shit.

    I think she was referring to your involuntary eye watering when she came up with the Piriton suggestion ( far more effective than Beconase). I detect Munchhausen's ByProxy.

    Be wary

  12. Hi Tom,is that your gate?
    nice picture and memoirs :-)

  13. Nice photograph, Tom.
    I should chop those trees down thought, they obscure the view of the Asda car park.

  14. I used to have the vaccines when I was a kid, I had to go to this strange dusty office just off Corporation Street in Birmingham each year to be tested for what I was allergic to. The woman would use a needle to put a prick holes down my arm, then smear each pinprick with a solution of pollen or mould or whatever, so had a line of swollen needlemarks down the inside of each arm. I looked like an 8yr old smackhead. They stopped the vaccines because people started dying of those too. Piriton tastes like Glacier mints. And it makes you drowsy. I used to neck it from the bottle at school then fall asleep. Mind you, I fall asleep at work, and that's nothing to do with Piriton.

    I tried to get onto Ruth's blog to see what all the fuss is about, but the site wouldn't let me. That's my excuse, anyway.

    I agree with Vicus. If you're really lucky you'll get a complete retail park, with lots of retailtainment (honest, that's what they call it, god, I know too much about this, don't I), you know, an Asda, a Toysaurus, Halfords, several electrical goods megawarehouses full of spotty young men in cheap suits selling you 3yr warranties for a product that has 2yrs anyway, and some horrendous foodery that's pretending it's American. What do you mean you don't want Double barbecue ribs and fries fresh with a salmonella salad from a freezer van via the microwave at £9? You strange Devonians, with your clapper bridges and clotted cream and salmon rivers and quaint ways.

  15. I used to have such bad hayfever as a child that my eyes used to ooze and stick together overnight so my mother had to lead me downstairs in the morning and dab a bit of lukewarm water on my eyes to open them ...

    Anyway, the only thing that worked for me was Piriton, which was dead cheap and you used to get loads of pills in a bottle for 30p. Now you get about 7 pills for 3 quid!

    Er, no wonder we were happier in the old days.

  16. I don't know if we were happier in the old days or just more delusional and misinformed or uninformed.
    Sorry, gotta go, I'm having trouble fastening my fafii.
    Tom, loved the picture of the gate.

  17. By the sounds of it, you weren't happier in the old days, you were just high on drugs.

    Krusty the Baker sounds lucky to have made it past his 15th birthday.

  18. Cherrypie, it seemed like fun at the time. I did a full-on 5 year blitz 1966 - 71 and then gave up apart from a few rare occasions since. Now I'm a strict one glass of red wine a day man.
    Yes, Krusty is obviously completely out of his brains! Come on Krustaceon one - are you blogging and smoking dope at the same time, you baddy?

    Carmentza - what the hell is a fafii - can I help you with that.

    Betty - I will be so pleased if this allergy vaccination works out. I've been feeling shit all day today because yesterday I got a full-on face-full of mouldy hay dust.

  19. still working on 'that' post? come on now, lets have a post here. pretty please :-)

    no pressure

  20. So you prefer Krustacea? My days of reefer madness are essentially behind me - something else the Greek Genius has suggested I do away with. I tried blogging whilst high, but it was taking 8hrs to type out the title, so no good really.

    I am lucky to have made it past my 15th birthday, but that's because I was such an appalling adolescent it's a wonder that I didn't come to a sticky end.

  21. Tom, I'm beginning to think that you do not read your comments. The following was from Cherrypie's comment:

    fafii - the intricate front-fastener on string bikinis

    Thank you for your kind offer of help.