Well, the BIG news is that I'm having my teeth done! I've just about enough to have most of the remaining out and have some dentures.
It's going to be sometime within the next two / three weeks and I can't wait (nor can most of the people who know me I think!).
After a wide Internet search, I've found a very reasonably priced Clinic in Plymouth.
It's "What's the cheapest option please" and I'm still a tad short, but with work being reasonably plentiful at present, I can just about do it.
For up-dates on this major news item, I've a thread going in the Forum about it!
Life in general has been good to me work wise. I have now 3 'strings to my bow' for a base income through the winter month's. I have the Academy Job (two days, 12 hours) - some Catering work, still at the Club, which is on a 'work whenever you can' basis - The Mini Bus driving (but still awaiting Police Clearance).
With that situation plus some work over the Lane and the occasional decorating job, I'll get through.
The rest of my spare time !!!! is spent up-dating and re doing website pages. I have many ideas, it's simply finding the time to do it. I get spare time, but it's usually in hours and not days, which I really need.
I had planned to take a couple of weeks off at the end of the Season, but can't afford to now, so the work is somewhat continuous.
The only slight worry I have about all the work is my back which played up badly for six weeks or so back in early Spring.
I feel the odd twinge here and there and know I'm a bit 'on the edge' with it.
Because it's a fusion of the vertebrae, they can't do anything about it, so it's just doing the proper exercises and keeping my fingers crossed.
I lost another chicken this week. I saw she was heading that way a few days before hand, going very quiet, still and not bothered about eating. I'm sure she wasn't ill, some of them could be 6 years old by now, just got old I guess poor thing.
The others are quite happy and flitting around all over the place, so it seems well enough.
I've been going a bit wood crazy for a couple of weeks. Several walks down to the wood at the bottom of the Lane has supplied me with loads of kindling and medium size wood.
I've brought home even more logs from the sawn down dead Cherry Tree at work along with some nice heavy branches to saw up.
Thus far, we've only had either the Rayburn or the Sitting Room fire going on five occasions as it's been pretty mild. We haven't used electric heating atall.
One extremely helpful tip I have for keeping warm inside during the winter is 'wear an extra jumper'. Then go around doing a bit of housework for half an hour and that's it, thermally insulated for a few hours!
To raise a bit more extra cash I hope to finish of a small animal run at some stage over the next few days and weather permitting may have a Boot Fair on Sunday Week.
I haven't had a Boot Fair for over a year now. It's one of those things where you don't like getting ready for it and going there, but once you're all set up usually have good time.
The advantage of turning up in a car means you sell half a dozen things before you've got the stuff out the Car!
"Got any phones?", "Got any Train Set bits?", "Got any old Records?" are the usual sounds you hear as you pull up (see Boot Fair page).
The main thing is that I'm a lot more optimistic about the coming winter this year than I was last. That was a nightmare and by far one of the most harrowing times I've had.
My 'downshifting' isn't to one particular trade if you like. Mine is more a 'getting by' situation without too many ties and attachments to one particular thing.
I guess that most of it is down to knowing a bit about a lot of things but not a lot about one thing!
I should say that one of the main reasons for my 'survival' is Kent County Cricket Club who look after me well. Add to that, there are some completely nice people there - and I get through!
In fact, on the Cricket Club side, I don't think there's one part of the Ground or job which I haven't worked in or worked at!
I suppose there is the Chief Executives job, but I don't think the Club would finance my plans for a two acre Free Range Chicken Farm behind the Leslie Ames Stand.
The Caterers could use the eggs, the Staff could buy them and I could retire to a Caribbean Island. Makes sense to me.
This weekend means putting the Clocks back. The bad news is that it'll get darker, but the good news is that I've one extra hour to do things on Sunday!
In view of my forthcoming investment into the plastics industry (dentures), the last two weeks have been a case of working when and where I can.
This has mainly been between the Cricket Academy at the weekends, working behind the Bar and The catering Department of Kent CCC doing Kitchen Work.
To say I'm a tad worn out is an understatement, but if needs be and at least it shows I can do it when I want to!
With so many plans for the website, this work has been carried out at silly times such as 7am and often into the night!
I have at least some good news and bad about my teeth! The bad news is they can't do everything in one day and on the 14th. I have to travel to Plymouth for a half hour Assessment appointment.
Basically, this means me leaving here at 2100 on the Tuesday, catching the overnight train from Paddington arriving in Plymouth at 0700, having the appointment at 1030, then getting back home at approx 1900 on the Wednesday.
So it's a 22 hour round trip for 30 minutes of looking into my mouth, poor souls!
Hopefully the quotation will be affordable and I can arrange to have them done not long after. Hope so, I'm really keen now.
Life down the lane is the same as ever. I managed last Friday off which enabled me to clean out the chicken shed. I think they forget who I am. I've been leaving home at silly times and quite often I have to leave the food in the dark, so don't see them.
The colder evenings have meant the Rayburn's been re-invented for the next 5 month's or so. Ginger (above) has had a few health problems of late and it seems he's really feeling the cold.
Although he's probably about 6 years old, he is the size of a cat about 5 / 6 month's old. Obviously the runt of the litter poor thing.
But, after moving the Kitchen Chair close to the Rayburn, he's really taken to it and spends half the day and night there.
Meanwhile Big Ron continues to put terror into the Dog next door and the people living opposite who shoo him up the Lane with a water squirter. They don't seem to realize that if they let him alone, he wouldn't go over there so often. Now, as soon as he see's them, he growls at them.
At 1 stone 4 lbs., this put's the fear into them.
Good - obviously he has more brains than they have!
We're also getting regular visits in the garden by the Pheasant which is always a treat to watch as he waddles his way past the Acer to have a walk down the lane.
Regret to say that at weekends, rather loud bangs come from the fields below us and I fear for him.
In fact, I was wood collecting a couple of weeks back and a loud shot close by was followed by a whiz not far away from me.
I walked toward where it had come from and found a chap in Camouflage Gear, green hat (you know the type, probably got pictures of Rambo on his bedroom wall) who asked me what I was doing there. I explained the woods were owned by my Landlord and I had permission to be there plus the shot had gone through the hedge of the big house opposite.
It just few on closed ears. I made my back without saying anything - I didn't hear any more bangs!
I decided against a Boot Fair, last resort I think. I was too tired to get up so early on Sunday and with the Dentist Appointment not being so soon as I first thought, it's on hold for now.
On the website front, I have started a 'site within a site' on 'Growing up in the 50's and 60's'. I had originally pencilled it out to 16 pages, but as I've written the first 4, it looks like being about 30.
I'm extremely lucky to still have my Scrapbook I did in 1952 and have quite a few family and other photo's which depict the times well.
In the main website I have been quite busy and added about 20 pages in October, see top right for links.
The Forum goes from strength to strength and now has over 200 members. If you haven't joined already, please do so. There's some good quality posts on all sorts of subjects there.
Next week I'm decorating some rooms for someone in Ramsgate for at least 4 days. With the other work, I don't get a full day off at home until after Plymouth.
But, unlike last year, I'm just in the clear financially. I've had a strange change of direction this year and although it's my seventh year of downshifting, it still seems to be evolving.
Can't work it out. Down to survival I guess!