The great news is that I'm back working at Kent Cricket Club. For how long I don't know exactly, but whatever, it's a bonus and I'm mighty pleased and appreciative of it.
The last two weeks (7 days working) have been spent painting the entrance hall to the Office. In fact, it was supposed to be the door only, but it showed up everything else so much, I'm now working upwards the staircase!
It's good to get the banter as well. Usual stuff - 7 hours sanding, undercoating, double coat glossing the door and I get asked when I'm going to start.
Then the Marketing Director says he needs my Dressing Room Job Description and gives me a post-it note. Oh, we've been there before. Ever watched 'Groundhog Day'?!!
Weather wise, we've had three of the four seasons in the last two weeks. First it was really mild, about 13/14 degrees, then mild with 70mph winds, then minus temperatures for 4 days.
Needless to say, the 3 cm of snow grounded the whole of Kent (see entry in Blog - link on left).
For my moped rides in the cold I was wearing two pairs of socks, boots, long johns, two lined joggers with waterproofs and on top, thermal vest, sweat shirt, hooded fleece (hood under helmet) and scarve.
The only part of me to get cold were my fingers, which the two pairs of gloves I was wearing didn't match up to it.
On Wednesday I had to get someone to undo my helmet strap, couldn't feel myself.
On Thursday I took the train instead.
Yesterday (Sunday 28th) was a wonderfully sunny day and mild again. I spent two hours collecting wood at the bottom of the Lane and suitably filled up the Wood Shed for about two weeks.
All my Rayburn 'Coal' has run out now and I can't afford anymore, so it's nature heating us now.
I should confess to turning on an extra heater last week though - only for four hours in the evening though.
I went to the Doctor a few days ago for a check up. After examining me he said that the third finger of my left hand is in pretty good shape - so that should see me through another cricket season!
After 18 phonecalls to my Bank going back to late September and two visits to the Bank for advice and some questions answered on certain Bank Charges, I still didn't have a reply to any of them two weeks ago
So, the Friday before last, I wrote everything down, attached proof of phonecalls and copies of letters back to 2004 and sent it to the Bank Manager himself.
Ten days later - I haven't had an acknowledgement from him (or her) either!
I can't phone them up now because my phone bill got turned down and they've cut off outgoing calls. Ah, the challenge of it all.
Meanwhile in the garden, we ate the last bit of lettuce last week. It's amazing how it lasted through til now and on the outside!
It'll soon be time to get out there. I'm ready for the Broad Bean sowing and hope to dig an area for them today.
I'm also starting to sink cardboard into the earth around where the Runner Beans are going.
Although the crop was a reasonably good one last year, most of the pods were at the top of the plants and there certainly wasn't the amount we had in 2005.
I may let the chickens out for a run round as well this week. I'll need to keep an eye on Big Ron (cat) though. He's one stone four pounds of 'bigness', but quite a softy really. Up to now, he's just sat outside the pen on mousing and rat duties and not got that close.
Also, next doors dog Tammy hasn't come face to face with them yet either. So could be mayhem as I chase all and sundry around the area!
We haven't had an egg for some 10 days now, but I forgive them. They surely don't know what time of the year it is either it seems.
The crocus's and snowdrops are growing well under the Acer in the front garden, so not many weeks til the warmth of the sun starts getting through and the whole thing starts all over again.
Nature really intrigues me and always reminds me that it's bigger and more powerful than anything else and we're just caretakers of our little plot for a said time only. That's life!
I hope to get The Newsletter out this coming weekend, so should anyone else wish to go on the mailing list, please go to the Newsletter Page .
I'm off to the Bank. Watch the News for 'Scruffy Git stages sit-in at Bank, Police supply Sofa and Camp Bed'.
A quickly arranged weekend trip to Southampton means I'm a day late for the first entry of 2007. I did work on the railway, so to be a little late now and again comes quite naturally!
I'm very worried about the weather patterns nowadays. No season seems to be the same as the year before and, correct me if I'm wrong, but it's 'not how it used to be when I was a lad'.
I'm still heating the house on one storage heater and the Rayburn for evenings only. In fact, I've had the bedroom window open during the night more than once already this year.
We're getting the rain and wind OK, but with daytime temperatures of 11 degrees plus and seeing so many planys blooming - what next.
I know there's the outlook of 'I won't be around on the day of doom' etc., but surely we have to look more and more at ways to save our planet?
I'm really pleased to say I have some work at the Cricket Club starting tomorrow. I'm unsure exactly how much it will be, but sounds like a couple of days a week hopefully. Mainly decorating work I understand.
Boy, has that come along in the nick of time. With work over the Lane running out, seeing my way through to mid-March when the pre-season training starts has been sleepness nights worry.
Last week I spent another 8 hours in the stream clearing all the walls and gunge on the banks. It's running a lot better and looks a lot better now.
The chickens seem to be enjoying the milder days and we're getting at least a couple of eggs a day from the nine of them. I reckon some of them are probably over three years old now, so they've paid back many a fold.
Considering their age and in the summer they were averaging 5 per week per bird, not bad !!
I must admit to finding January and February the worst months of the year for me. If there's illness, it's now, if there financial problems, it's now and the dullness, dampness and general run down look about everything gets to me.
I could of course swan off to the Southern Med for two weeks for some winter sun and relaxation, but 65p in the Bank with bills of £400 to pay don't quite equate.
I can but dream though and if I get really depressed I just take it out on the cats!! (only joking feline lovers).
, the new supplement with Blog for Down the Lane is starting to take shape and by the end of the week I hope to have another 3 sections up and running.
On the main site I have put all the 2006 diary entries into one section and also added a summary of the year plus some photo's from previous entries.
The 'Down the Lane Plan' for 2007 is to continue adding pages (over 100 new pages last year) and to use 'Extras' for comment and observations etc., plus some off topic subjects. I hope this will make way for the site being more inter-active and invite your good selves to comment etc.
I'm always on the look out for articles, so should you feel the urge to put pen to paper, please do so. I would obviously link your site or blog accordingly.
I'm also pleased to say that the software programme I use has a patch inserted to make browsing easier.. This will only affect pages as I load them though, so with over 200, it could take a bit of time. Please let me know if this has caused any issues.
I use Firefox nowadays as I've found it quicker to load, more secure with lots of plugins to make things a lot better and easier to manage.
I've got a bit of gip from Forumers about my appearance in the Down the Lane WebTeam page (link below).
I have explained I am quite saddened by the remarks as it's my better side and I did at least make an effort to brush my teeth for the photo, albeit quite an easy exercise when you've got the number of teeth I have left nowadays!
If I had a wish, it would be to afford a dentist, but it seems you get charged £60 for walking in the door, an extra ten for talking to the Receptionist and fifty more for the anti-septic rinse.
I wonder what would happen if you asked for a discount because you're not having the rinse?
But, you can't downshift and have everything you want; some things come into your life which are wonderful, but some things either go or get a bit left behind. It's guaging what you want out of life that counts.