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Well, that's it, another Christmas and in a couple of hours time, another year. What of the next - who knows and only time will tell.
As it happened I was only on my own on Christmas Day, but Boxing Day as well! I asked at Ashford Station a few weeks back as to if the trains were running on that day and they said they were.
Regret to say I should have asked are ALL trains running. Getting to London would have been OK, but to Southampton - not a thing running. So I was delayed a day and arrived on the Wednesday, returning this morning.
But we still had a good time and Leo came down as well on the Thursday. He's coming to stay here for a while. Obviously, at 17, he's out on the town tonight, so arrives tomorrow.
I haven't watched any TV atall since the Strictly Come Dancing Final last Saturday. Good to see a cricketer winning!! I've been either tied up doing website work or with family.
I'm afraid to say Christmas has probably been the least like Christmas for me this year, never mind - here's to the next!
The week before the festive days brought me much work and I had 5 days of housework, a few painting jobs, fixing a gate and other bits.
Where I go to from here work wise, I haven't a clue to be quite honest. A major effort has to be made this week to get something, or it's really very bad news on the financial start to the year.
At least I have most of my website projects done and can concentrate more now on new material.
You will see on the right there's a link to 'The Blog'. This is no distraction to the Diary Pages, just somewhere where I can sound off a bit and bring a few things in which are, maybe, not so suited to the main site, being a 'personal experience'. Obviously it's very new, so I have to fill it up a bit.
Thank you for the interest in the Newsletter. I am hoping to get the first one out in a couple of weeks time.
I know I say my New Years wish is to still be around at the end of it and that's true, but I guess I should be a bit more 'organized' than that!
I think this year will be a big one for me. Certainly, one thing that has become very evident is that it's not easy getting work (for someone else) in your late 50's. I applied for loads of part-time work back in November and didn't get one interview!
Maybe it's time to find another little hole in the market, something not the norm which would suit me.
I had that once before with the gardening work, lots of smaller jobs which 'proper gardeners' didn't want to do because it was a smaller profit business - that's true, I had a good time, but didn't earn much.
Putting into that, I need something not too strenuous, not through laziness, but through common sense really. I do extremely physical work during the summer at the Cricket, so I need something a little easier on the getting old bones the rest of the time.
I keep on looking at the Internet and have a few ideas, but like all things, it's very time consuming and if you're consumed by time, you're not out there getting some cash!
So big thinking caps on and quite urgent one's at that. It's going to be very difficult getting through to March and I'm a tad tired of spending the first 2/3 months of Cricket paying off the winter debts etc.
I could of course finish my book and turn it into screenplay with a Blockbuster movie coming from it. I may approach Mel Gibson or Orlando Bloom to play me as I have noticed a strong resemblance in certain lights. It would be quite cheap as the cats and chickens can play themselves and they won't know that everyone else is getting paid will they.
I think the opening scene of me paragliding from 20,000 feet landing on the Chicken Shed with a 50kg bag of Mixed Corn will make good viewing.
I haven't decided on an ending yet, maybe me fending off the Bailiffs with my dowsing rods and riding off on my Moped chased by Oasis (cameo part).
This would lead into a sequel after I've served my term at her Majesties pleasure, or a Special Hospital!
It's all a case of being positive and having supportive people around you. As long as you never succumb to the dreaded lure of full time employment, something will always come about to keep you hanging on in there.
It also helps to be a bit of a Prat !! - Have a great year!
Blimey oh Riley, they must have overheard me say "I'll get a nice bird for Christmas Lunch", because I got 4 eggs yesterday!
The chickens haven't laid one for about 5 weeks and I was just into thinking we were in for a zero egg winter (we had one two years ago).
So, I don't know what it is - the weathers turned a lot drier, albeit colder. Who knows. It's a Magical Mystery Tour down the lane sometimes.
I'm seething today. I went round to see Leo and parked my moped on the pavement just to see if he was in before I wheeled it into his garden. He was in, I went in to take my things off, went back outside and there was a traffic warden giving me a ticket for parking on the pavement.
What got up my nose was there was a white van 100 yards further up parked on the kerb, the Warden had reverse parked right outside someone's driveway and he told me I should have parked further down!
It was one of the very rare occasions I actually lost it a bit and really gave him some 'words'. He could see I was in the front of the house and I had my HV Jacket on. He said he wouldn't know what house I was in. The fact I was parked in Leo's gateway etc.,etc.
I still haven't calmed down!
I've had a flurry of some gardening work which has been a bit of a saviour and it's the same this week plus some other 'have to have it done before Christmas' things
I have a very valid reputation of being good for clearing jobs. I admit I have the attitude of 'if you can't eat it, I'm not interested' and the only other things I like are plants which stay green the whole year round and only need cutting once every three years. Flowers are green things with colour on top!
If you need destruction - I'm the man!
I'm afraid the work is too late to effect my budget of £35 for all my 4 presents I have to buy, so I've frantically told the rest of the family that under no account should they buy anything for me.
There is a possibility of work in the new year, so I'm hoping I can get enough to see me through to pre-season training in late March. (Don't mention Australia!!!).
I've finally got around to doing something with my 'mySQL' on the web hosting company I'm with and building up a Blog. It won't be a 'Diary' or 'Weblog', but used for more off topic things and so on, not affecting the Website or Newsletter (see left).
I should have this running within two weeks or so.
I shall have the Year summary on a page by the next entry and hopefully a page of selected Fortnightly Diary pictures. The year has certainly had it's highs and lows.
The Christmas itinerary hasn't changed, so I shall see Leo Christmas morning, then have the rest of the day on my own with the cats and chickens.
On Boxing Day I shall travel to Southampton to be with my daughter and grandkids til Saturday.
Because I shall be eating well and healthy on the Boxing Day, I have decided to indulge myself with something completely non-traditional on Christmas Day and go for something unhealthy, stodgy and filling. I feel a Steak and Kidney Pudding coming on - maybe a really awful Trifle for dessert with lashings of cream. Thereagain, I can't afford the cream, so I'll go with Supermarket Own Brand Vanilla Ice Cream instead.
I hope this doesn't sound like 'Bah Humbug', but I've purposely avoided going to Town just to avoid it all. I do find it all completely commercially oriented and false nowadays. I should be Victor Meldrews brother!. The quote at the top right of this page is about right!
I recall as a child going to my Grandparents house on Christmas Eve. Grandmother would sit at her grand piano and play all kinds of music. Before 'talkies', she used to play piano at the Cinema, changing styles to suit the scenes etc.
The only decoration in her Sitting Room was holly and candles. With the Piano, decoration and the ever glowing Log Fire, it brings back magic memories.
My older sister and myself would go to bed and stay awake as long as possible to catch an ear of Santa's sleigh bells.
On Christmas morning we may get 5 presents at best, but you'd be tickled pink and every night after for about three weeks, put them in a tidy stack beside your bed.
Everything seemed more really and genuine then. Now it seems that anything under two hundred quid is an insult! I'm glad my kids know me well!
It's strange how as you get older, your memory of being young gets stronger. You just forget everything you did or where you left something five minutes ago!
Only yesterday I locked the door to go out, put the keys in my pocket, got to the Moped and was annoyed that I'd forgotten my keys.....etc.,etc.
So, may I wish you all a very fine Christmas and may you all be in the place you want to be, with the people you want to be with and surrounded by love from those you love too.
I'm off to look at the Pudding Recipes !!