Welcome to Down The Lane

14th. June - 5th. July 2008

Due to an amazing busy schedule, plus the fact I forgot before I went away for a few days, the Diary entry is late. no excuses!

The trip to play Durham was most enjoyable and I had a few hours to spare for walking around Newcastle.
The Hotel was on the waters edge between the road and rail bridges. Had a splendid view and saw much. See Blog Article .

The fact that Kent won means a Lords Final on 16th. August against old rivals Essex. It also means I get to be in the Dressing Room. Although I've been to Lords before, this will be special and once more sums up the blessings I have had in recent years.
Against Essex though - should be a bit noisy!

Last week I picked up six 'due for Cat Food' , Free Range Chickens from a Farm fairly close by. Quite a selection, two are in pretty good shape, two not so good and two really featherless and thin.
Hopefully they will all take to the change and get old together.
Certainly the other Chickens socially accepted them well with no punch ups. All is peace and harmony up the Garden and the nine of them will see us well for eggs and enjoyment.

Two Saturdays back, Leo and myself travelled to Eastbourne for my Mothers birthday. This gave me a chance to see my sister, her husband, nephew, his wife and baby. I haven't seen them for two years, so much catching up to do.
We ate at an Italian Restaurant on the side of the Marina down there. Great food but a shame about it being a rather dull day.

Seems to me that, with all this wind, the North Atlantic Drift is going a bit too far eastwards!

Up until a week ago I was quite worried about the garden vegetables, but they seem to be picking up quite some bit.
I'm only getting about half the carrots I sow coming up, but this could be due to the seeds being about 4 years old now!
Although I'm probably about two weeks late in sowing some more, I have done so.

A Journalist from 'Your Ashford' came around the Monday before last and an article appeared in this weekends issue ( click here ).
It was a slight shame about the timing because 1. the vegetables were looking a bit thin and 2. I only had 3 Chickens then.

In fear of getting mobbed by over enthusiastic fans following the recent publicity, I will borrow a wig from the Club shop before I go down town next. I was recognized once, but it was the next door neighbour.

Spending a couple of days in a Hotel enabled me to write down some web site plans and if I should be able to have my planned non-proper-job time at the end of the Cricket season, the plan is to add a fair amount of Video 'how to's' and other general goodies to the Site. It's all very well reading stuff, but a clip on the occasional page may liven things up a little and I'm sure that many would enjoy seeing me standing in three feet of chicken muck.

I made use of my 60 year old bit the week before last and had a free eye test. It turns out I now have the start of cataracts in both eyes, but this won't be a problem for a few years apparently. Getting older!
But what slightly made up for it was a Chap who turned up at the Dressing Room door during our last home game and said "I've been told to ask for the old chap in the Dressing Room, is he around?".
I still don't know which colleague told him that though!

In two weeks time I go to the Dentist. I just hope he doesn't say I need my gums out !
I guess all those years of  'oh, another slice of that Treacle Sponge won't do any harm', 'I'll try the stronger Coffee next time' and a few Rollies have finally caught up with me. What is there left......

A lot is the answer. I have more plans of things I want to do and things I want to see than I ever have before. It;s finding the time for them all which is difficult.
Cash is also a central part of achieving this, so I've now crossed off 'Visit Base Camp at Mount Everest' and replaced it with 'Day trip to Worthing' instead.

If there's one message I would give to younger people is, 'If you're in a position to something, do it now'.
There's a big wonderful world out there and it took me too many years to discover it properly.

I think I may become a Philosopher as well !

1st - 14th. June 2008

The last two weeks? Well, I got yesterday afternoon and today off!
At Cricket, our quarter final match against Somerset was rained off (see picture above) and was re-located to Beckenham the following day - so a days work at Canterbury, then drive up to Bromley for a night in a Hotel for the next days play!
At least we won and I will now be travelling up to Durham for the semi-final in two weeks time.

That said goodbye to that day off and we then went straight into the twenty/20 games, which I love (not only because we are the current Champions!!).
One surprise visitor is Glenn, see above picture. Named after Glenn McGrath, whose nickname is 'Pigeon', our feathered friend stopped over for what we expected a few hours rest.
He was tagged and upon phoning the Owner, found out he was on his way to Newbury, some 140 miles away.
We did as we were told, fed him and put him on the roof for him to continue. That, he did not and for the last three days he has been wandering around the Players Balcony picking up the various crumbs from Breakfast, Lunch and Tea.
We phoned the Owner again and told him of the dilemma. He asked us not to feed him and he'll go. Easier said than done on a Professional Cricket Ground with various food stalls and Members Picnic Hampers.
When I left yesterday, he was still there. Looks quite healthy - bit overweight though, probably can't take off !

Luckily, yesterday and today have been kind weather wise and it's enabled me to cut the grass (twice), strim just about everywhere, cut the Holly Trees which have overgrown our Tunnel entrance to the Garden, weed around the Vegetables, tie the Tomato Plants up, do the Housework and still had time for shopping !
I even remembered to feed the Cats as well.

This morning I even had time to be a miserable old Git. The new Landlord of the Pub on the other side of the Wall, decided to start a Bonfire at 8am.
Fair enough, but it was the contents of a Garage consisting mainly of Plastic and Rubber.
They seemed quite surprised when a bloke turned up complaining about trying to hang the washing out and airing the House after a good clean!

Next week I have my eyes tested and afterwards, see the Doctor about some buzzing which seems to have started in my ear.
One female colleague of mine thinks I have 'Mans Eye and Ear', a fairly common complaint where, being Male, you see and hear only the things you want to.
In the last two or three months I have come to the conclusion that I'm a walking wreck. I could take a list to the Doctors and she wouldn't know which end to start!

Vegetable wise it's a bit hit and miss at present. The Runner Beans are growing, but not that quick, something's eaten all the baby carrots so I've had to re sow another lot and the Courgette Leaves are looking somewhat pale. A good feed is needed I feel.
Beside that, the Tomatoes are really going strong as are the Strawberries, Cabbage and other bits and bobs.
It's strange, because the best harvest I've had in ten years of all vegetables was during times of drought. This heavy rain followed by two days of hot sun just doesn't seem to go down well on my soil.

We have some new residents Down the Lane. Wrens have decided to nest just outside our Kitchen window. It's really nice to see them as it's it's quite rare to get a view of them not flittering about the Hedgerows and speed.
Each morning, the parent flies off and comes back with a few small twigs and sits on the TV Aerial Cable before going into the Nest. I have my Camera ready!
Another new neighbour is Ben, who has moved into the House opposite. Ben is a White Alsatian and now 12 weeks old.
It was quite amusing as he scampered up to scare Big Ron off, but came to a skidding halt when he realized our 1 stone 5lbs Cat was not going to move half a centimeter!
At least the Wrens will be safe from Ron, he's into Rabbits at the moment, something I do have reservations about, but you can't train a cat, nor the law of the jungle.

Yesterday I was interviewed by a Journalist from the Independent on Sunday about my views on 'the rich and famous' going down Frugal and Garden Farming Routes.
It was a well over half an hour phone call, but I have no doubt it may end up as two sentences, if any!
I doubt if he will publish my "Dad always said, if you have one of everything down the middle and two of everything down the sides, you're the same as Royalty and the Rich".( Click here for article )
I'll post a link if it goes in.

Going back to look at the future

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