Welcome to Down The Lane

2nd - 15th. November 2009

The last two weeks have all been about two 'D's', that's to say, 'Dentist' and 'Doctors'.

I'm not proud about saying I have dentures, manly for the reason that it's better that than smiling with about 10 teeth. I had them put in just under two years ago and it's taken that amount of time for the mouth to settle for them to be re-adjusted!

This has meant six trips thus far, but only one to go. I have to say they're a lot better now, but still need a bit of sandpaper around the sore bits. In fact, I didn't have them for two days so at least that got me to shut myself in down the Lane and get on with some jobs.
I shall now wear these for another six month's, then get a slightly more 'cosmetic' set in a vain attempt to retrieve some youthful looks.
If I were a rich man, I'd have about six sets made, with colours to suit my mood !!

Thank heavens the two blood tests I had at the Hospital came back with no nasty messages attached, so it appears that most of my moans and groans are down to age rather than rampant horrible thing lurking around somewhere. The Doctor did add that my kidneys are in amazing condition. So, just the brain to worry about then.

The family as in Leo, Vicky, Grandkids and myself have managed to be all together a couple of times since last writing.
The first time was to visit my eldest daughters grave in Hastings. Were Louise still with us, it would have been her 37th. birthday, but alas that is not to be.
Last weekend Leo and myself travelled to Southampton for the weekend. This coincided with two 'stay overs' for the kids. Oh what fun we had, but I got through it and came home Monday for the rest !

Then, on Thursday this week, Leo and myself spent another day in Belgium and France where we drove down the WW1 Western Front from Ypres to Fromelles, this being the Village where they have recently found a mass grave and building a new Cemetery for them.

This has more or less wrapped up the part my Grandfather on my Mother's side paid druing those terrible years. He served in the first and second Battle of Ypres and experienced the first gas attacks of that war at Hill 60. His brother, my great Uncle, was badly injured by that and spent the rest of his life in some mental torment and could hardly see. Luckily my Grandfather escaped injury.

Next we will be visiting the Somme where my other Grandfather served in 1918. He was in the Kentish Yeomanry and went there after Gallipoli, Eqypt and Palestine. I've now researched he was in the second battle of Bapaume and advanced up to Artois when Victory was achieved.

It's a pity because neither of them spoke about it, as many others didn't. I look back now and wished I'd have asked. Luckily we have many records, letters and photograph's, so the overall picture is slowly getting completed.

With so much going on, work has become a bit lapse. That's the problem with a downshifting or self-employment experience; if you want time off, you don't earn anything and when you're off, you're spending money. So the next couple of weeks will have to see a surge of enthusiasm on my part, before the Chritmas 'demands' come along.

The website I have been working on concerns property in the south of France. This has come to a bit of a halt because of lack of photographs. I was rather hoping this would mean a quick trip down there, expenses paid etc. and for my car to conveniently break down whilst there forcing me to wait a week for repair - but life isn't like that is it !

The positive side of doing some website work is you can take your laptop with you when visiting family and at least get some work done. It's not ideal, but a couple of hours a day isn't too bad.

Meanwhile back at the Ranch, the garden is getting blown away with two days of heavy rain and winds gusting up to 70mph. But, I stand proud as I write the Shed / Office and my newly built back door shelter are both in tact. They're in tact, I think they'll out see me !

The Chickens surprisingly are still laying. Although I'm now down to five hens only, we get the mandertory two a day and that's enough to be fair.

So onward we strive ! Maybe in the next two weeks I shall get some of those 'I'll do that this weekend' jobs done - but I doubt it. I've just caught a cold and I feel a stretch of Man Flu coming !

I don't mind Winter, that's to say if it's a nice sunny, still and frosty morning. The wind and the rain I do not like - and it plays havoc with my hair !!

16th. November - 4th. December 2009

Well what a pity, the last few entries have been bang on time, come what should be the quietest days of the year with ample time to get on and do things, I'm late again. Probably a hangover from the railway !!

The main reason for this slight delay is there's been much background work going on Down the Lane. To facilitate the ever increasing types and sizes of modern PC Monitors, I have decided to make the site visibly wider on your screen, not too much or those with massive 'look at my screen' types would get neck ache reading across.
I've completed changing the Blog and have had BR Web Consulting sort out the Forum and now my dear friend John Harrison (of Allotment Gardening) is assisting me in some coding work to do the whole main site.

This makes me nervous, not John because he's good, but me fiddling around with it afterwards. I should have got the Diary finished two days ago but clicked the wrong bit and accidentally changed the width of half the page, making the whole thing go totally gobbly gook. Fair enough I thought, do it again - it was then I found I'd done it to nigh on 790 pages automatically. Much chaos rang out Down the Lane and I finally got to bed at 3am feeling completely sorry for myself.

But it will happen soon I'm sure.

Diversity in employment is the name of the game at present; fitting a telephone system, using an old Larder to put up five shelves, starting to lay slabs for a Folly, two bonfires and nearly giving my kids a not very big inheritance.
This was achieved putting up a PIR light outside the front of a House. I was suitably informed the old one was worked from a switch at a given point. I turned the switch off, light went out, pulled the cables out the old light and did a really good job of fusing the whole house and momentarily blinding myself from the flash ! It would appear it's also attached to a loop somewhere. Did I ever say I didn't do electrics !

I have to say I'm pretty peeved of with the weather; I can't get on with tidying up the Garden, can't lay the slabs, can't fix a fence and it's playing havoc with my hair !

Something which has given me incredible pleasure over the last two weeks is learning to use my new Mobile Phone. I'm glad to say I have now worked out how to send a text message and know the time it is in Hong Kong and Sydney Australia.
It's one of the touch types and although maybe very suitable for hands the size of a ten year old, not so for me especially on a cold morning.

I also got with it one of those Bluetooth earpieces and thought I'd be very flash with it stuck in my ear whilst driving.
.I couldn't wait for someone to phone me and this Monday, it rang! Missed the call, couldn't turn it on.

The Chickens and cats seem pretty fed up with the weather as well. The Chicken Run resembles the Tank Training Ground near Swanage and the cats are really pushing their luck continually asking for food because they've nothing better to do. Big Ron like the Big Outdoors but doesn't like getting his hair wet. This means he lounges on the Sofa all day and seems most put out if I, his owner and keeper, wants to squeeze into the remaining nine inches of space. Ginger finds solace in playing 'I'm tough' and runs up and down the stairs chasing imaginary Alsatians and Mimi sleeps on the Rayburn although it's not on during the day.

Today I popped over to Canterbury to visit my summer colleagues at Kent Cricket Club. It's strange going there at this time of the year and resembles one of those Cowboy Towns with bushes blowing across the Street, although in the St. Lawrence case, it's an empty Crisp Packet or two.

I couldn't leave without having a peep in the Dressing Room and was surprised (or maybe not) to find the Groundstaff have erected a full size Scalelectrix Track right the way round it. I have to say that the druid bend just beside the Drinks Cabinet does look a challenge and should one come off at that point, they'd end up in the Showers !

Tomorrow Leo and I go to watch Ashford Town play Football. I'm lucky now, being over 60 I go in for half price. Seems odd when only four years ago, Leo went for half and I paid full! Another reminder.

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