Welcome to Down The Lane

5th. - 20th. August 2006

The other evening I checked out the links on this site and found a lot of the Diary pages weren't loading, which I've now fixed.
However, it gave me a chance to have a read of them on the way and I think I should change the Diary title to the 'mid to late middle aged bloke physically falling apart journal'.
Blimey, after looking through that lot, I'm amazed I'm still here!

Last night I watched the John Mayall 70th.birthday Concert on TV. An old hero of mine he is. I used to watch him play 40 years ago when he had the likes of Clapton, Peter Green and Jeff Beck playing for him.
He lools younger than me! I went to watch him live with Peter Green at Tunbridge Wells 7 years ago and spent three hours in tears! The combination of nostalgia, good memories and not so good took over. That's the Blues!

I stood at the crossroads once, waiting for the Bluesman to sell my soul to. But he didn't turn up. Mind you it was the crossroads of the A21 and A26 at Sevenoaks in 1966. Not a thing unusual passed me by with the exception of an Ice Cream Van, the 704 Greenline Bus and an old bloke on a Motorbike.

This leads into me getting a Moped. It should arrive on Wednesday; brand new, Chinese, on the road at £400!
I've put my car to SORN. I was going to sell it, but have decided to keep it just in case. It's not costing any money in the Barn and it would only fetch up to £100 anyway. Safe for a rainy day.
All the cycling I've done over the past 6 weeks has been good. I've found I'm using far higher gears on my rides down to Wye Station.
What's also nice is that if it's a nice day, you just stop, take a breather and have a look at nature. Something you tend to miss when driving a car.

I have had 5 days off in a row and it's given me a chance to work in the garden a bit plus do a few jobs over the Lane which have been on hold since May!
This included building a gate, for which I'm very proud.
It's the third I've built. The first was a shut automatically type (That's to say, the post wasn't uptight).
It's also destroyed my reputation. The people over the Lane like 'my style' because I don't like spending money on 'new'. I find wood rather than buy it and when you have a 400 year old house, it blends in better - I have a habit that some of my work finishing looks worn and old - and this suits.
You see, there's a market for anything and everyone !!

The vegetables are in full flow. I'm really pleased with the carrots.After some non events with the sowing, I grew them in flower pots and they're coming up grand. The potatoes, although not many, are also good.
There is without a doubt, no flavour better than your own.
We haven't brought any vegetables atall for about 3 weeks now and the only thing we may have to buy from about 2 weeks on, are potatoes.
I don't mind that much. I've always had problems with storage and there's a good Organic Farm Shop close by which do some goodies very cheaply.

The highlight though of the last two weeks has been finding a hedgehog roaming around outside. I've said before I tried to get some rescue ones to start a population as I've only seen one in nearly 8 years.
That came to nothing, so I thought I'd never get one here.
He's called Horace by the way.

Maybe because it's been so hot up to a fortnight ago, the weather seems to feel quite autumnal here and this has got me into thinking about the oncoming months frugal wise.
I'm already collecting wood and as you see on the 'Around the Lane'  page (link at top), the surrounding area is abound with freebies to pick and manufacture fine wares from.
September and October are big months down the lane with much going on and wafts of boiling vinegar from chutney making spread their way around the houses. Mind you, I can't stand the smell myself!

The Horseradish seems to be everywhere this year, so no worries there for the sauce.See this months video clip (link on right at top - either the 56k dial-up version or the better quality 512 ADSL version))

Only another 14 days of cricket up to 25th.September. I must admit that the body has taken a hammering of late with so much work, but I wouldn't change anything. Summer is a great and active time for me and no sooner than we know it, it'll be Winter and I'll be odd jobbing in the cold and wet

22nd July - 5th. August 2006

Just made this entry in time. I've just got home from Cricket at Canterbury - went there on Thursday morning and got home an hour ago!
I haven't the car at present so I'm cycling from home to Wye Station, then again from Canterbury West to the cricket ground. All in all, not a bad trip, about 50 minutes in total, but my social life becomes determined by train times.
With a train at 2113 to come home on, then nothing til 2245, it means that if I don't catch the earlier one and having to start from home to catch the 0713 in the morning, it's simply not worth me coming home atall !

(You can tell I once worked on the railway!).

Shane Warne has been there for 5 days and I have every respect going for the chap. He will, at the end of the day, sign everyones autographs, have pictures taken and talk to the kids - nothing is too much bother for him and he has a huge following. Beside that, he's a master of his craft - great man.

The cycling has been quite pleasant. In about three weeks I've only got wet once and that was quite nice rain (very hot day and a gentle drizzle).
I get the best of both worlds going to work by bike. I cycle accross country to Wye, albeit about half a mile on a busy A28, then through Canterbury City centre at the other end.
At this time of the year the City is abound with tourists and the City itself reflects that with outdoor cafes etc. A nice buzz and nothing like the tourism in London.

I'm afraid I lost 'Beaky' the chicken this week. There's a photo of her in the chicken pages. I called her that because her top beak overlapped her bottom one through mis-management at the battery farm from where she came.
I guess she just got to her 'right time'. I've had her for about 3 years, so she'd be about 4 years old. Not old enough maybe, but at least she had the majority of her life outside of a cage with 4 other hens squashed in, no daylight and the stench of this horrible form of factory farming.

I've just another 5 days at work before I get a couple of weeks off, bar one day in the middle.
There is so much to do outside. I managed to cut the grass the other afternoon, trim back some hedging and generally sort the vegetables out a bit.

I got all the onions up - a great crop I must say. They are now drying out and should be ready by the time the first tomatoes are ripe. Then it's Chutney time once again!
The cabbages have taken a bit of a battering during the heatwave and insects have got to them a bit. But a few days of rain and lower temperatures seem to be recovering things well.

But after Thursday I must get to grips with the chicken run which is rather full of nettles at present. The chickens don't seem to mind too much, they can roam around and lose themselves from each other a bit.

It's also about time to have a look around the woods and fields to see what freebies I can find. I don't mean stealing crops ! - just looking for wild freebies like Horseradish etc.
I've still got horseradish from last year. It's so easy to make the source and really tells you a story about retail mark ups when you buy it at silly prices

I was on Radio Kent again this week. They came and did a live show from the Cricket Club on Ladies Day. I took the Presenter Julie Maddocks up to the Dressing Room and she made a comment on it being a mess !!!!! A mess? that's tidy for cricketers - we are blokes you know!
Anyways, a few good wind ups later and all was even.
Members often ask me who's the tidiest in the Dressing Room and I always give an honest answer "Me".

Another nice thing about going to Canterbury on the train is that I know some of the Conductors on the train, my last 'proper job' being a Conductor Manager.
It's strange because the moans, groans, positives and negatives are exactly the same as when I left seven years ago.
It feels as if I could wake up tomorrow, put my suit, shirt and tie on and just turn up doing the same as I did again.
Not of course I would ever dream in doing so, but it does show how long attitudes and 'cultures' last. They don't just go away with a magic wand of management and ownership changes.

Well, 5 more days and a rest - although I say so myself, I deserve it (and need it!)

Going back to look at the future

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