Wednesday, August 31, 2005

More Bug Stuff

Here's a little fella I met in Peru.

Ok, not a giant centipede, but bigger than most I would say. (and I only held it because no one had told me about the poisened pincers).

So lets get this clear, I have nothing against beetles. Ok, last months outbreak of weevils in my kitchen was a little annoying (ah the joys of organic, fair trade dried coconut)and my one experience of bed bugs was not particularly fun, but on the whole beetles are ok. I even pick up ladybirds and bring them home to dine on the greenfly that infest my fuchias. Should my new house purchase ever happen the garden will have a nature area, resplendent with rotting logs and bug boxes specifically to encourage beetles to move in. I am the beetles friend. Its just the beetle statistics that un-nerve me. There are more species of beetle than any other animal. Ok, so something has to top the list, why not beetles? But they win by so much its scary. Not only are there more species of beetle than any other animal, they nearly outnumber all the other animal species combined. Yup. nearly 50% of the animal species on the planet are beetles. You telling me that there is no cosmic significance in that? Are you seeing it yet? The grand architect/alien life inseminators/fickle evolutionary fates REALLY like beetles. And we're not beetles. We're the species with a megabuck roach poisening industry.

Spiders 600, Slugs 30.

There are 600 species of spider in the UK. All are harmless. And I can go with this. You can do a lot with your basic spider design. 600 interesting and different spiders. More perhaps than I would have bothered with but, yeah, ‘s OK. 30 species of slugs? Why? A slug is a slug. You need a slug, so you make a slug. Do you really sit there and think, hmm, I can have fun with this. No, you’ve done your slug, go back and do more spiders.
Despite a lunchtimes surfing I have been unable to find out how many species of beetle reside in this country. But I’m betting it’s a lot more than 600. I’m betting its way too many. I know I go on about the number of different beetle species a lot. But its weird. Come on, admit it, its weird and disturbing. I lie awake at night. More species of beetles than anything else? Its just not right.


I know you just pretend to read my drunken ramblings. What you really want is more fish news.
So cuttlefish. If I was forced to pick a favourite creature then I think it would be Cuttlefish. I have been lucky enough to meet them in the wild twice, Once snorkling off Mauritius and once on a night dive off Scotland. They posses an almost hypnotic quality, changing colour to match their surroundings, then spectacular giving flushes of pinks and blues.
So a bit about them. On the whole they’re are pretty intelligent. Cleverer than a domestic cat (don’t start me on the stupidity of cats. Cats are vermin). They can change colour, both for camouflage, courtship displays and now scientists believe as a fairly complicated & extensive form of communication. They have 10 tentacles, use jets of water to propel themselves about and are aggressive lovers. But most of all they are beautiful. If dreams had shapes they would look like cuttlefish. Unfortunately for cuttlefish, they also taste pretty good pan fried.
So this upset me quite a lot.
Another resource that we could have managed, preserved, exploited in an environmentally friendly way. But no, lets hunt them to near extinction and then move on to our next victim. It staggers me, this constant failure of our species to learn from our mistakes. To take the short term win with no thought for tomorrow. Surely evolution should have sorted us out by now? Once again humanity fails to live up to its potential and I am saddened. Worse, its yet another tasty species on my ever growing list of creatures I am no longer prepared to eat. Worst of all, what shape will our children’s dreams be once the cuttlefish have gone?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Someones crapped in the ally

Work is horrible. And I'm just doing the crap semi mangement shit I used to do in my sleep. But I have forgotten how. And the nasty technical stuff is rolling in whilst I am sitting in meetings being an arse. I used to be really good at this stuff, but two years cleaning your nails suddenly tells. Lets hope the magic returns before the management realise. Ho Hum.
Anyway, after work Kiki wanted me to turn his moms grave into a flower bed. So I'm sweating and digging and trying not to think that I'm desecrating a grave. And Kiki is talking to his mom whilst I'm standing on her grave. It was fine, cos he's a good mate, but it was a bit strange.
So, Pub. And Louise of the good bottom is serving, and Monkey and Howard and Kiki are good company. I drink more than is wise. And on the way home I visit Kebab Ye and walk up the ally with monkey. And the ally stinks. Monkey tries to blame the drains. But someones crapped in the ally. Trust me on this.
But thats all irrelevant. Some years ago there was a toy auction in the Crown. Cost me a lot. (don't be drunk at a charity auction). But I bought the pub a beer monkey for those odd moments when fella wasn't available. The monkey is missing. Here's a photo. If you find him please send him home.

A Grand Day Out

Its was a long weekend. And I spent the first two days slumped in front of the cricket eating junk food. Not, it has to be said, the active and exciting weekend I had planned. So, to make up for this, on the Monday the boy Fuller and I set of on our bikes for the ancient Roman city of Wroxeter. It was a really good ride out, the sun shone, the sheep baa’d, the donkeys brayed and the rabbits were smeared liberally over the road. Living in the festering pit that is Telford its easy to forget just how nearby and attractive rural Shropshire is. So, after a leisurely 12 miles or so we reached the ruins. Wroxeter was a new town, rather like Telford. Founded in about 6AD, initially as a Roman fort, by the time of Hadrian (123Ad??) it was Britain’s fourth largest roman town and it remained in use for five centuries. Most of the city lies unexcavated under farmland but the foundations of the Basilica and bath house have been excavated. Now, I’m not much of a ruins freak, but they give you an electronic guide and you wander round this 2000 year old site that, to be honest, they would struggle to build today. Its fascinating. The Basilica, for instance, forms the basic design for Christian cathedrals. The Basilica at Wroxeter was longer than the longest cathedral in Europe. The bath house had a vaulted, concrete ceiling, under floor heating, sauna’s and steam rooms. We had a great hour or so wandering around the site and the little museum eating ice cream. Then at the shop they had a free chutney tasting. Mmmm.
So, on to the nearby Mitt and Mermaid for a leisurely lunchtime ale. We sat out by the river Severn supping beer and watched a bloke fly fishing. Very pleasant. Now, when Mr F got the drinks in the rather attractive girl behind the bar seemed to be giving him the eye. So when I returned to the bar for our next and she commented that it appeared to be clouding over I could not resist saying ‘yes, whenever my boyfriend and I go cycling it rains’. Hah, If I’m not going to pull then I’m making damn sure that Fullers not.
Reluctantly, we left our watering hole, and deciding to leave Attingham house and the Abbey ruins for another day headed back to town. Again it was a nice ride through winding lanes. Unfortunately it rained and our lack of fitness began to tell. Stopping at Shawbirch for a Ginster’s pasty (the cyclists friend) I commented that I was not looking forward to the climb up through Trench Lock. The Boy Fuller knows an alternative route that avoids this hill. So, foolishly I follow him. Firstly, when he says he knows a route, he was exaggerating. There was a significant amount of lost involved. Secondly, this shortcut is about four miles longer than our usual path and although it does avoid the hill at Trench, has 3 hills that are bigger. By the time we rolled back into Oakengates at around 3pm I was in need of a restorative so we popped into the Crown. And there I remained for some time. The Monkey turned up. Mr & Mrs Austin popped in, Yvonne did some bending in the yard which we boys enjoyed, Scottish Dougie appeared briefly. I had a beer or two. Maybe even three. Finally I staggered out for a Chinese and home to an early night. A grand day out.

Friday, August 26, 2005

A Blogging Whore?

Apparently I am a blogging whore. I have been called this twice in the last week & I'm actually rather pleased. Its so much better than most of the things I get called. Have to say I'm not entirely sure what it actually means, but hey, its got be better than Crap Face.
Unfortunately, the tsunami of work that has been building up in development land smashed across my desk with a vengance on friday. I fear I may have to earn my money for a while & that the blogg whoring may be impacted. No more happy hours clicking the[next blog] button. Still to ensure I don't miss out too much I have added links to all the sights I visit semi-regularly, either as a participent or as a voyer. If anyone wants their link removed just shout. And if you think I have rudley missed you, apologies & just remind me that I love you.
On a less happy note, I have been spammed rather a lot of late. I was actually gratefull for my first spam. Everyone else gets spam, is my site not worthy of spam? Why do the spammers hate me? That first spam eliminates those nagging doubts. Then its friends roll in. If I an unable to keep up with the deletions then I may have to limit comments to bloggers. So all my anonymous buddies, see that [create your own blog] button up the top? Well, you can also use it register as a blogger. Its free, you don't have to set up a blog, you can remain anonymous. There is no excuse. Do it. Do it now.
Finally, I was up in the loft last night. Supposedly I was sorting out stuff to put on ebay. In fact I was reading 2000AD back issues, looking at 70's porn magazines and generally rummaging. Anyhow, I came across the letters I sent home from Africa many moons ago. God I was an arse back then. Still I feel I should share. Expect a letters from Africa blog to appear shortly. (would have been today but the cricket is on).

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bev's Shoe Cards.

It's too complicated to explain. My family are wierd. Look at the site and send an email about shoes to cousin Bev. Trust me on this one.
Bev's Shoe Cards
No, not you fuller, you shoe perv.


I find it all to easy to let my life drift by. I sit with good people and drink beer. And the days become weeks, the months become years. Its pleasant but I am terrified of looking back and not having done much. So I have to set goals. 10 year plans. Things I must do before [insert age here]. And I don’t always do them all, but I have a reasonable success rate. For 30 there was scuba diving, a new career (which didn’t work out but I gave it a go), seeing the mountain gorillas, going in a hot air balloon and some other stuff I cant remember or was to kinky to relate here. The goals for 40 included doing a parachute jump, Cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End, Hiking into Machu Pichu, swimming in the Amazon, a whole bunch of stuff.
So, now I’m 40 and over the worst of the shock/hangover/depression. Time to line up some goals for the big 50.
1. Walk the coast to coast. I started this once but for reasons to complicated to relate here never finished it. That annoys me so its on the list. I’m walking the west highland way with my Bro next year and if I hate that I may change my mind on this.
2. Publish a book. This was on the list for 30 and for 40 and I never did it. It doesn’t have to be a good book. Or in any way successful. Just so long as it gets published with my name in big writing on the cover.
3. Cycle from Hanoi to Saigon. This just popped into my head & sounds cool. My not-sister always tells me how great Vietnam is so I’m gonna give this a go sometime in the next ten years.
4. Horse ride in an African game park. Tough this as (i) they have a 14 stone weight restriction and I’m well over that and (ii) I can’t ride for toffee and most require you to be a decent rider. Still, diet & riding lessons. It can be done.
5. Build a wildlife pond that has newts. Of course, since UK newts are protected I have to rely on them finding the pond but I’m sure they will.
6. Visit the Watt temples of Cambodia. Because everybody should.
So, there’s a few. I’m open to suggestions but no dangerous sports please – I’ve done my share & I’m 40 and wiser now.
Of course. I am currently mortgaging myself to the hilt to buy my big garden with old house (some work needed) attached, so I have no way to finance any of this. But hell, a mans gotta have dreams.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I have always liked anemones, even though its one of those words I can't pronounce very well. When I was a kid we always used to go to North Devon for our holiday. The beach (I use the term loosely as it was pretty much sand free) had loads of cool rock pools. And there were all different types of anemones. I remember the big fat red ones that withdrew their tentacles when the tide went out. They made it look like the rocks had boils and were kind of scary. There were also little green ones. When you put your finger in them it tingled as they tried to eat you. I used to smash limpets off the rocks (back before I realised that limpets are people too), cut them up and feed them to the anemones. Years later, one of the best scuba dives I ever did was off St Kilda (out past the outer Hebrides, not the Caribbean). We dropped down this rock wall that was covered in different coloured beadlet anemones. It seemed to go on forever. Fantastic.
Yet despite my fondness for these weird critters I never new much about them. However, today I learn that they are animals not plants. That their mouth is also their arse. That they can walk about (all be it slowly) on their foot, or basal disc. But best of all, if life is getting them down, they inflate and just let go. Just say goodbye Mr rock and see where the tide takes them. How cool is that. Sometimes I dream of doing just that. Just letting go and seeing where the tides take me. But I'm just not brave enough. So I cling to the rocks that are job, mortgage, responsible adulthood.
But I’m gonna go down to Devon this winter. Watch the storms lash the coast, and visit a few rock pools. Just because...

Space is great.

Apparently the planet Saturn has 22 moons. That must drive the moths crazy. I was trying to find out if good old planet earth really has two moons. Seriously, I heard a rumour that theres a second moon but the CIA want to keep it quiet. So I'm moon surfing. And I'm not finding much on the 'other' moon. (which proves nothing, I also found nothing on invugs but we all know they're out there). I did however learn that Neptune has 8 moons and good old comedy plant Uranus has a rather greedy 21. Pluto has just one moon, Charon, but its so big that Pluto is sometimes considered a binary plant. And sometimes its not a planet at all. Just a big space rock. Mars has 2 moons, which seems reasonable and Jupiter has 63. 63? I bet Neil Armstrongs damn glad hes not a Jovian. "moon 17, yet another giant bloody leap for Jovkind, just another 46 small steps to go".

Monday, August 22, 2005

Borrow me - please

I think this is a brilliant idea.Borrow a person
I could have a whole new career. I'm sure there will be a huge demand for insights into a middle age fat bloke. Unfortunately, I will probably blow all my wages researching teenage girls who are attracted to middle age fat blokes.
Bet the fines for late returns are a killer.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Recieved this from Annelies :-)

A few months ago, I upgraded from DrinkingMates 4.2 to Girlfriend 1.0 which I had been told for years wouldn't give me any trouble. However, there are apparently conflicts between these two products and the only solution was to try and run Girlfriend 1.0 with the sound turned off.
To make matters worse, Girlfriend 1.0 is incompatible with several other applications, such as LadsNightOut 3.1, Football 4.5, and Playboy 6.9. Successive versions of Girlfriend 1.0 proved no better. I tried a shareware program, Slapper 2.1, but it had many bugs and left a virus in my system, forcing me to shut down completely for several weeks.
Eventually, I tried to run the new Girlfriend 1.2 and Girlfriend 1.0 at the same time, only to discover that when these two systems detected each other they caused severe damage to my hardware. I eventually upgraded to Fiancée 1.0, only to discover that this product soon had to be upgraded further to Wife 1.0.
Whilst Wife 1.0 tends to use up all my available resources, it does at least come bundled initially with FreeSexPlus and CleanHouse 2005. Beware! These programs's are Demo's only and after 1 year normally will function at a reduced slower rate or just freeze up completely. I have also found that Wife 1.0 could be very unstable and extremely costly to run. Any mistakes I made were automatically stored in Wife 1.0's memory and could not be deleted. They then resurfaced months later when I had forgotten about them. Wife 1.0 also has an automatic Diary, Explorer and E-mail filter, and can, without warning, launch TurboStrop and Whinge 2. Worse still, these latter products have no Help files, and I have to try and guess what the problem is. Additional problems are that Wife 1.0 needs updating regularly requiring Adobe ShoeShop, HandBag Searcher and Hairstyle Express, all of which need to be reinstalled every other week. Also, when Wife 1.0 attaches itself to my Audi TT hard drive, it often crashes. Wife 1.0 also comes with an irritating pop-up called MotherInLaw, which can't be turned off.
I've recently been tempted to install Mistress 2005, but there could be problems. A friend of mine has alerted me to the fact that if Wife 1.0 detects Mistress 2005 it tends to delete all of your money before uninstalling itself.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

What ever happened to..?

So, how many of you remember Mr Benn? Yes, that sick show where a creepy shopkeeper persuaded a middle aged business man to dress up in 'outfits', filmed it and then peddeled this filth as Childrens entertainment. No wonder the BBC pulled the show after just 13 episodes. But whilst we all know that Mr Benn went on to become a civil servant and cottaging regular, what became of the shopkeeper? Is it possible that the sick and twisted pervert-genius is still out there somewhere?

On an entirely different subject, here's a picture of the ever lovable Big Daddy Merk. I have no idea why some people refer to him as the Evil Lord Merkin.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Stuck again

There has been a spate of 'gone missing' from our office of late. Laptops, projectors, and even a TS30 (no I don't know what that is either)have vanished. Now, my small plastic yak has gone awol. So I am attempting to make a substitute by glueing the prongs from a plastic fork to a rubber (meaning eraser before you comment)and somehow I superglue my hand to my interesting rock. This is not as bad as glueing myself to the desk as I can still get to the drinks machine. So I'm getting a tea, rock in hand, and up walks my boss and asks how its going. "well" I reply in my best positive, deadlines will be met, honest voice, "I've just glued my hand to this rock". He shakes his head and walks away. I dont think its gonna be a great pay review this year.

When is a beer not a beer?

Back in my youth I worked briefly for the Jolly Roger brewery. At Christmas they brewed a beer to the strength of the new year. So in 1990 it was OG1090, or about 9 % by volume. To get it to that strength involved using Champagne yeast (our beer yeast didn’t survive that level of alcohol toxicity) and supplementing the malted barley with large quantities of brown sugar. I thought it tasted vile and after complaints from the local constabulary it was only served in halve pints and a drink drive warning was put on the hand pull. It went for the then outrageous price of £2 a half. I thought it probably pushed the definition of ‘beer’ to the limit, rather approaching a malted barley & hop wine.

So how did they manage this?

I’m no expert (I just drove the brewery van) but I’m surprised that you can brew a beer this strong. So if anyone knows about this stuff and would care to enlighten me, please comment.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

just drinking in the rain...

So, the annual meat and beer fest that is my BBQ happened on Saturday. And It chucked it down. Yup, one day of rain in the last month and I have a BBQ. So Gaz, Kiki, real Dougie & myself constructed a woefully inadequate shelter out of 2x1 and tarps and got very wet doing it. Fortunately the barrel of beer had been delivered by Kiki so I was relatively happy. So by the time people arrived I was already well on my way. With the foresight that comes with age I had booked Scottish Dougie to cook so I did nothing, just sat in the rain with my friends having a good time. At eight we abandoned and went to the pub (many thanks to Jo for looking after the children and mad dog). The pub is a little hazy in my mind I must confess. Then we came back and sat up until 3am drinking, because I really hadn’t drunk enough already. Anyway, I had a good time and many thanks to everyone who helped or turned up and sat in the rain being good company.
Was woken at 6am by Cabij’s children. Oh joy. On Sunday Kiki & Gaz cleared up the devastation whilst I sat and moaned. Then went to the town park with my Bro’, sis-in-law and their lunatic children. Took the kids to poundland (everything’s a pound at poundland) which is the really only reason they come to see Uncle Rich. Then played cricket in the garden with Matti, who belted the first ball over the fence & into next doors conservatory. Oops. Finally everyone except Gaz had left (I love them all, but with a hangover?) and we slept in front of the cricket. Ahhh.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Evil Beer Monkey

Not Blogged for a few days as I have been led astray by the evil beer monkey of late. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, meanwhile, here is a picture of the wicked creature.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

More censorship, less censorship.

I just bought a load of DVD’s, so that on Saturday when I have the annual charred meat fest the children can be locked away in a dark room with a TV to look after them whilst the responsible adults drink to excess. Last night I watched Princess Monoko. It’s a beautiful film. But violent? People have limbs sliced off fairly graphically. Giant wolves eat people, demons infect the good and arrows blast off peoples heads. And its rated PG. (parental guidance). Not even a 12. Well the Uncle Rich guidance is the kids ain’t watching it. And I wondered how the hell this got a PG from the censors. Ahh, no nudity, no sex.

Yup, you can happily feed out a diet of vitriol and bile, have hate, shootings and murders to your hearts content and its quality family entertainment (I’m thinking of East Enders but its not alone) However, show a nipple before the watershed and there is mass panic. Heaven forbid an erect penis should ever appear, oh the moral outrage that would result. Yup, violent killing is fine but consenting sex between a loving couple is evil and wrong.

Is it just me or are our values a little screwy?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Fish news

A couple of fish stories that caught my eye...
British bloke to export shark fins to the far east
I'm really not sure how I feel about this. Years ago I used to eat shark (and its lovely) but shark populations are being devastated & they have a relatively low birth-rate so now I don’t. Except I will eat huss as I know that the common dogfish is not endangered. Commercial fishing for sharks fins tends to be particularly abhorrent as often the fin is removed & the rest of the shark simply dumped. However, Tope isn't endangered (I hope) and it sounds like this bloke will be using the rest of the fish, so why should I disapprove. Well, I don't. Except that if we fish for shark fins (however well managed) that means we can't really ask other countries not to. And some sharks will become extinct if over fishing continues. And there is that phrase 'well managed' and I look at how well we managed our fish stocks in the past and shudder. There, made up my mind. The guy is an evil arse and must be stopped. Letter to the minister on the way.

Happier news is that a billionaire is building a massive new aquarium.
Big Aquarium story
I love aquariums. There is something wondeful and magic about them. A couple of my favourites are Sydney aquarium, which I visited four times in five days - the tropical reef tank is amazing, and at the other end of the scale the little museum on Hartland Quay which has a couple of little tanks with creatures from the local rock pools in. I have still not been to 'The Deep' up in Hull yet. I might treat myself to a trip this winter. As for Atlanta - well, that may have to wait a while but its definitely on the list.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Flash ah-ha he'll save every one of us

I keep trying to start my flash movie. Its all there in my head but I just can't get round to doing the actual work.
Ok, so the best flash animation portal I know about is:
Some of my favourites are:
Roof Tiling
retarded animal Babies
Neurotically yours
Salad Fingers

Ok, so I'm a sick puppy. But cruise, because there is some genius out there. And if your a flash tech wizzard but short on ideas buy me a beer and we can talk....

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Frozen whelk art failure

So, I have this bag of frozen whelks. And I have discovered that straight out of the freezer with a little bit of water you can glue them together into interesting shapes. Frozen whelk art, cool hey. Then the phone rings. Its some girl but its a bad line and echoing and I'm not sure I know her. So I ask and she laughs and says she's phoned me at random for a chat. I can hardly hear her and am still not sure if this is someone I know or a wind up or whatever. Anyway the seafood sculpture is melting so I bail out. {apologies if your someone I should talk to, hope I wasn't too rude. If your another crank, **** off and get a life} Unfortunately, the whelks had thawed, my sculpture is no more.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

On this day

Today I'm 40.

Coincidence ?

beep beep beep.

The big Ten

I just happened across the 10 commandments . I have to say that 1 to 4 are crap. A god who demands my worship with threats isn’t a god I’m gonna worship. Cant complain about five through nine. And 10? Sorry, but I’m only human and some of my friends have very pretty wives, oxen, etc. I covet big time. Anyway, I score a miserable 4/10.

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'
I’m a C of E agnostic with a soft spot for Buddhism, Hinduism and certain pagan fertility rituals.

TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'
Well, I‘ve not made any. Bought a few though.

THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'
But the TV is crap and they pay double time…

FIVE: 'Honour your father and your mother.'
Sure, as long as the whelks keep coming.

SIX: 'You shall not murder.'
I’m pretty much ok on this, except I frequently blow money that probably could be used by charities to save lives and I guess that living in a democracy I have to take some of the blame for our governments foreign policy.

SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'
Well, I have never been married. And 50% is a pass, right?.

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'
Apart from some childhood sweet stealing I’m good on this. Unless it includes buying cheap stuff that may well have been acquired illegally or tax avoidance.

NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.'
Ok. Never done this.

TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.'
Lets face it, I’m gonna burn.

So, with my deification surely imminent I think I ought to come up with a new set of commandments. I’m open to suggestions…

- 40 -

Yesterday was my last day of being 39, so I went out and got good and drunk. Today I am 40, so I'm going to go out and get good and drunk. 40 is not the life changing experience I was expecting...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Father, House, Whelks, mmm

Had my Dad & Anna up to stay for the weekend. He bought me a large bag of frozen whelks so he's in my good books. We sat and drank beer and watched sport (not much fun for Anna) and he pruned my roses rather harder than I would. On Saturday we had a look around the house I am buying. I was a bit worried as I have only been there once before for 15 minutes and I feared my love affair might be over. Also, despite being an old man I still worry about my fathers disapproval. But I still love the house and pater was reasonably positive. "Its a hell of a lot of work needed" was his only negative comment. Much better that the "Its derelict and you've gone completely mad" that I was expecting.