Chasetown FC, the replay

Well the first tie had everyone on their toes, as Chasetown took a well deserved lead, only to be pegged back to 1-1 at the end. The replay saw 2,700 Chasetown fans take to the roads in 29 coaches and plenty of private cars. This is the largest away crowd Oldham have seen in many a year, and in fact made up nearly 40% of the total crowd. We out sang them before, during and after the match, even though we went down 4-0, we had the greater part of the play and it was a shame that they took advantage by scoring on the very few breakaways that they had. By the time all the Oldham fans had left their own ground, we were still singing and cheering our brave footballers. They had all taken days off work to take part in this match, as none of them are professionals. They were well looked after though, as Manchester United lent them their training facilities and made us feel most welcome.

Well, maybe next year.

I’m back to supporting West Bromwich Albion now, my local duties done. Today we won 4-0, a trouncing of Everton – phew.

Alex passes his driving test

Well, today Alex passed his driving test. I expect if he can borrow his Mom’s car he will be over later today. This just gives me one more thing to worry about now….


No wonder our parents always seemed to be paranoid, I am now LOL.

Sunday’s hot news

Last Saturday Alex, Dave, Farlie, Phil and I had our heads shaved for charity. Around £5-600 has been raised to go to cancer research. Rob, Alex, Dave and Farlie’s friend has his leukemia back, so it was for comradeship as well as money raising. Good for them, nice to see the younger generation having some thought other than themselves.

See the video here,

Well on Friday Mom and Dad came over with Lucia. We picked beans about 10lbs, Plums over 26lbs and a few apples, tomatoes, cucumbers and 1 marrow.

We then had a production line running, cutting, slicing and bagging the beans, which went into the freezer. Mom and Dad took the plums back with them, and so far about 10lbs of jam has been produced.

Saturday we had Elaine, George, Lucy, Abi and Tommie up for a visit. That kept us busy for teh day. We had a lovely meal out and followed that with a trip to the park. George and I looked after the kids while the girls went show shopping. On their return the kids and I went into the paddling pool for 1/2 an hour, great fun splashing everyone. It was then back to ours, a nice cool drink, dry clothes and then played football in the paddock.

Today, is absolutely glorious. Alex is at V for the weekend, so I hope he has a cap or he’ll have a terribly sunburnt head, Dave as well, as he’s hair was very light when it was long, it looks none existent now!!

So, after spending the morning lazing around, reading the paper, we got going in the garden. Around 4pm I noticed a small plume of black smoke. I called to Jo to get her opinion, and in the time it took me to get from the side of the house to inside the kitchen the flames were taller than the trees. The wheat field at teh end of Joe’s land, next to the track down to Berry Brook was well and truely alight. Even from our distance we could hear the roar. The fire brigade were called, but they had already had a call and sent an engine. Jo wasn’t happy with one, so phoned again to tell them how bad it was, and they had already dispatched a further 2 engines and a large water carrier.

The girls with the horses and I went down to try and move the Shetland, who’s field was next to the lane, and sheperded the cows up to the house end of their field.

Luckily the firemen controlled it and it’s now all but out. This was my first experience of what a bush fire may be like and it was scary how fast it travels. I also noticed how, at one stage, it appeared to be virtually out, only for it to take hold again and in a couple of seconds to be producing flames some 30′ or more and rushing across the field faster than I could hope to run.

The weather’s still nice so it’s back into the garden. Today I’m moving the goosebury bushes, to make room for the greenhouse to go up.

Playing catch up on news

Just a quick run down on what’s been happening.

Alex has passed his theory driving test, which is bad news as he’ll be taking his practical shortly, then we won’t have a car as he tries to borrow it everyday !!!!!!!

The new ride on lawn mower is causing a few arguements. I want to cut the grass everyday, Jo wants me to do the washing up. It’s certainly been agood investment though, as the paddock is now cut in around 45 minutes, rather than two people taking about an hour and a half.

We still have the small mound which the horse made running thorugh it though – where the old fence line was and the horses walked along. This causes a problem on mowing, as the cutters chop the top off the mound, so I have to go carefully along here. To try to get rid of the problem, Farmer Joe parked his tractor in the paddock with the 3 ton roller on the back, gave me a few instruction and let me roll the paddock. This was of benefit to the lower half, but didn’t make much difference to the mound. I still need to get a rotovator and chop the mound up and then roll it again, should do the trick I think. The Orchard has been fully integrated into the paddock either yet, as I need the rotovator for this as well, but all the fence is down.

Scaffolding has gone up outside my office, so we can check the stability of the chimneys, fix the small leek in the roof and renovate the woodwork on the North Wing.

Don’t know if I said someone had run into the back of Jo’s car, but they did and it has finally come back from being repaired, expensive for their insurers, but a good job has been done, so it’s as good as new.

We have found a nice chap to sell us antiques. Bill, he phones us when he’s seen something we may like and brings it to us to view, if we don’t want it he takes it away. From our descriptions of stuff though he is very good as we have had most of the bits he’s brought. He is very well priced, which helps. So we now have a drier over the Rayburn and a lovelly Oak Dresser in the kitchen as well.

We have a greenhouse coming this weekend, so I cna get started growing more produce. Some is going well, the Rhubarb has just about finished, I’ve picked about 15lbs of Blackcurrants, a few pounds of gooseberries and loganberries, some mint, the redcurrants disappeared into birds before we could harvest them, so we have dug up the bushes and are going to replace them with a new veg patch. The other veg is not doing well, to many rabbits and not enough fence. The damson trees are full of fruit, the apples are doing quite well, the plum tress are bursting, the pear tree is looking dodgy. ALl in all there should be plenty of fruit for later in the year.

I’m off to cut more logs ready for the winter.

Speak to you all soon…………………

3rd Wedding Anniversary

12th of July 2005 was our third wedding anniversary, so we took the day off work and went out shopping. We came back with a few bits and bobs, and a ride on lawnmower. You’ll be able to see us testing it shortly, when I have a chance to upload the video clip. The rest of the day we pottered in the garden and generally lazed around, making good use of the glorious weather.

The next day was back to work, but I had a few things to sort on the house, so we had a guy come round to give us a quote for a cherry picker, wow expensive for more than one day. The chap who came round to quote on scaffolding still hasn’t got back to us with a price, although the office phoned and asked if we wanted to go ahead and left by saying she’d get him to call me straight away with the price….. still waiting… How do people make a success of their business running it like that?

I then gave farmer Joe a hand in bringing round half a dozen tractor bucket loads of manure, which I’ll be digging into the orchard next week, ready for seeding with grass. Must get a price on a rotavator, using a fork is back breaking!! Our intention is to remove the fence between the orchard and paddock, level it off and combine them to make it look a bigger single piece. The apple trees are doing well, the new pear trees I planted seem to be taking ok, with plenty of leaves, but the two plum trees are either dead or going to come along next year. They are still bendy, so it means they are not fully gone yet, but they haven’t shown any sign of life since planting back in late winter.

Gardening today….

The weather is glorious, so we decided not to work, as we had planned, and off we went to the garden centre. Lots of £’s later we left and came home to plant everything. We thought it would take us all day we had so many. Well it’s now 17.00, we’ve been at it for 4 hours, the weeds are nearly all out and the plants are placed and ready to go in Only problem is there aren’t nearly enough of them, so it looks like another trip tomorrow and a few more £’s lighter the job of planting one sixth of the moat bank will be done!!!

The high point of the planting is the Gunnera, which is going to sit on the duck island. It will give them plenty of shade. If it grows to full size it will be 8′ tall and the leaves 6′ across. It looks like giant Rhubarb.

Batman comes calling

We had Batman come to see us today, well ok, not the real one, but a chap from English Nature. He had to check out the roof space to see if we had bats living in there. If we did we wouldn’t be able to do the work to the roof that we need to. Luckily for us he couldn’t find any sign of bats living in the loft.

He stayed until dusk had set in and then we went on a bat hunt. I’d already seen some a while ago, but only a couple so I didn’t know how successful we’d be. He had a little machine which could detect teh bat calls and translate it into a sound we could hear.

We started the search on the West side of the house, over the moat. Bats only eat insects, so over water is a popular place. It didn’t take long before we heard our first one, but we couldn’t spot him anywhere. Not long after one flew by, which we hadn’t detected. All went quiet for a while, so we moved to the Orchard, where I’d seen some previously. Straight away we got a lot of calls registering then saw a couple up by the poplar trees.

From here we went to investigate the barns, but didn’t find much evidence there until we came to the south side of the house, on the other side of the moat. There is a big open barn here, and it had a few bats in, but we couldn’t see them. We then decided to check out the moat from this side and there were plenty of bats, but we couldn’t see them. It was interesting listening to the detector. The noise we heard sounded like the flapping of wings, but it was the call of the Pipistrelle bat. It got faster and faster until it was a hum. This indicated the bat was homing in to an insect. It also talked to other bats in a high pitched noise.

Apparently, if one bat has had a bad hunting night he tells his friends where he’s been, so they don’t go there, and conversly those that have had good nights take their friends with them the next night.

see for more info on bats. We have at least three types of bat here, the Pipistrelle, the long eared and the Daubenton’s bat. This one apparently loves water and has big feet which skim the surface of the water.

The House Warming Party

The house warming party took place on May 29/30th, the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend. Out of all our friends and relations who where invited we had over 50 guests on the Sunday and 35 on the Monday. The paddock was host to several tents as 20+ people camped overnight.

Farmer Joe lent us his big gas bbq, this was a bonus, as we cooked lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch and dinner with it…. I don’t know, but I’m sure I did 1000’s of sausages, burgers spare ribs etc.

The weather was kind to us, as everyone had a great time, asking when we were going to be holding another party, watch this space for more details. Back to the topic in hand though. Other than eating we laid on drinks, of course, and lots of party games. Jon and BJ were taken by the “Toss the Horshoe” game, although I’m not sure if either had any success, the Coconut shy was popular and the large draughts board I painted on the grass and used draught pieces I had made from a tree trunk was very well used. A giant game of rounders, boys v girls naturaly was the high point, or the low point as many an arguement was had – but all in good fun. The football was more heavy going, and the girls somehow managed to win the game of volleyball, but then maybe it was the fact they had about 20 players and we had only 5 was a boon. Toss the caber didn’t appear to be that popular, I’ll have to rethink that one for next time.

A picture tells a thousand words they say, so why not just sit back and watch the slideshow, taken over the two days and really captures the atmosphere.


The day of the move to nearly today

Thursday 21st April

Well a bit of a break from the blog as we moved house and became

1. Telephone and internet less
2. Busy 🙂

Anyway, here’s the latest

Yesterday I took the glass out of the multi fuel burner doors as it had cracked and the old owner had found the new pieces he had bought a while ago.
There are paper like gaskets to go between the glass and the cast iron clamps. Didn’t think it’d be much of a problem to find them, but having looked all over the fire I couldn’t see a make on it at all.
First people I phoned couldn’t help, but very nice and gave me the name of someone else, who again nice couldn’t help and gave me someone else’s name. They had an answer phone, and still haven’t called back. I then borrowed a yellow pages and trawled through that, not being much help with all the search queries I was throwing at it.
First people, half page ad, spoke to the guy who after asking what make and me saying I don’t know, just said, you’ll have to scrap it then and buy a new one and started on a sales blurb… I told him I’d just make some and to forget it and put the phone down as he went on.
Having got the yellow pages I could then track down the necessary heading to look through on
Found a place in Pershore, very nice chap. I described the fire to him, he said it sounded like a such and such, I said I could email him piccies if it would help, he said great. I took some pictures, mailed them to him, he phoned back 5 minutes later and it was the one he thought and that the gaskets, new rope insulation and glue would come to £24 inc p&p.
They are in the post and job should be sorted tomorrow.


BT, why oh why are we stuck with them. I’ve always given them the benefit of the doubt until now. Although we changed to cable at the old house, that was for economic reason, inc the availability of cable tv and broadband at the time, I was still happy to recommend BT.

How long to get the phone installed? Over 3 weeks, even their web-site says they’ll do it in under 2…. As the line had been off for over 6 months they said an engineer HAD to come out and test it all, no other way to do it, then the operator said if when the engineer asked for the line to be turned on, on the morning he was coming out to us, if it worked ok he wouldn’t come.
Why can’t you just turn it on today?
Because an engineer has to come out to you?
You’ve just said he won’t come if when he asks for the line to be turned on it works?
That’s correct.
So why can’t you turn it on today?
Because an engineer has to come out to you.
But you’ve just said……. oh forget it, bye.
The day before the engineer was due to come I had a text message from BT saying the line had been turned on and tested, was working so the engineer wouldn’t come out to us and that the line would be turned on again at our requested date of Friday 11th March.
I very nearly phoned to say this wasn’t our requested date, but the earliest date they said we could have, and why on earth didn’t they just leave it turned on????
Next day, no phone working. We could phone our call minder, but no ringing.
Phoned BT, they said they tested it and it was working, but I said it’s not working here.
They said, not to worry you’ve got an engineer booked this afternoon, he’ll sort it
I said…… I didn’t and waited for the engineer.
He came, pleasant guy, who laughed at our troubles, drank our tea and ate our biscuits and sorted the phone. They had turned on the line, but someone else at another time had diverted our line to somebody else who had had a fault at some time or another, so the engineer merrily gave us somebody else’s unused line and we were away.

Now I’ll do the trouble we had with the internet, no, later, I’m having a cup of tea and going to do some work.


Friday 4th March

We are off, got a call and we move today…. bye for now.