Sunday, February 18, 2007

yes sir, I can boogie..

I made a second attempt at a fruit cake. And this time I cannot entirely blame the oven. I fell asleep. But all was not as tragic as before. With the knife weilding action of a klansmen in his prime, I removed the darker brown areas. Once I sliced it up, it looked remarkably cake like. Ok, so it had the texture of the sawdust from the bottom of a rodents cage, but not as moist. Still, good looks count in this world.

And, in a moment of complete insanity from the judges at the Crown, it won. Yes, I am, once again, current 'Master Baker of oakengates'. Like an aging Rocky I have regained my title after years in the baking wilderness. Best of all, I held that wastrel (and ocasional teacher of dustpan technology) Jim to second place. Ok, so his entry was far better than mine. Indeed, I preferred all the other entries, except my discus, to the winner. But the judges descision is final. I am the champion. God like & glorious. THE master baker.

And there was free beer. free beer. Oh yeah baby.

So, the next baking contest at the Crown is on Easter saturday. Hot cross buns. Where I shall be defending my title against allcomers. Bring it on, bring it on.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

burnt offerings

No rugby this weekend. No, this is a weekend for real sportsmen and women. Finely honed athletes in a competition that makes heavyweight boxing look decidedly pedestrian. Yes, it the Crown Inn fruit cake competition.

Now, its a poor workman who blames his tools. So that will be me then. I'm blaming the oven. My oven was inherited with Chez rich and its not a well beast. There are no temperature markings on any of the knobs, the oven light does not work & the door seal has gone. So its rather hard to judge the temperature. However, Im pretty sure that it was too hot. It was the copius black smoke that gave it away. So I have this brick. There's about half an inch of pure black carbon, a thin layer of almost cake, and lots of warm runny goo in the middle. Still, never let it be said that I'm a quitter. I scooped out all the goo and scraped the soft stuff from the black crust, mashed it together & put it in a smaller tin. Back into the inferno for a few minutes & lo, a sort of fruity discus.

Once again it appears I am relying on a shortage of entries to creep into the points.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bin and Gone

They stole two of my bins, damn them. I followed the wheel tracks in the snow up to the waste ground. And there they were, smashed to pieces, contents scattered everywhere. Obviously a failed attempt to convert them into sledges, presumably by the ill bred semi literate children of poor people. They all need a good flogging. Bring back national service I say. So now the snow has gone & there are these wrecked bins & piles of rubbish on the waste ground. I’m feeling a bit guilty about the mess, but so far not guilty enough to go and tidy it up.

So to celebrate my new status as a single bin family I popped into the crown on Friday night. Where evil lord Merkin led me astray. The walk home is a little hazy, but I do recall lying face down in the snow frantically shovelling my kebab back into its Styrofoam box.

After the excitement of Fridays Cricket match, (England needed one run with three balls remaining when my internet connection went down & the office were treated to some spectacular Anglo Saxon adjectives) and a much needed victory down under, I was geared up to an excellent weekend of rugby. Well, what a sore disappointment. England beat the Italians. That’s about all you can say in their favour. It was probably the most excruciatingly boring 80 minutes of rugby in the history of the game. The Scotland – Wales game was a little better, but possibly only because I was a little drunker. And they did have the excuse of appalling playing conditions, unlike the English. Still the English Cricketers had another fine win against the Ozzies on Sunday and the Ireland - France game was pretty exciting, with France scoring a try in the 77th Minuit to win by three points.

This triumph of sport and alcohol over common sense meant that I got nothing done at chez rich this weekend. And Monkeys Dad is decorating my hall this week. I will have to pop home at lunchtime and apologise for the mess. But there's not much point in my cleaning – I have nowhere to put the rubbish.

I was late for the bus so....

On the whole wasps nests are harmless. They make a bit of noise, cause a slight inconvenience. But on the whole, leave them alone and they aren’t a serious problem.
Until some foolish boy goes and prods them with a stick.

And you just know that boys gonna be called George.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

ring out those bells

Its snowed. A glorious half an inch. Hooray. Because ‘its too dangerous to drive to Tamworth’ sounds so much better than ‘I’m too hung over to drive to Tamworth’. So I walked in to the Telford office. Crunching through the snow in my big boots, sometimes walking backwards to confuse any indian scouts. And someone had made a giant smiley face in the snow on the railway bridge. Made me smile too. Thank you, happy person.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I like to ride my bicycle

Its just to dark in the evenings to go cycling. And whilst I am working away I don’t get my daily stroll to the office. So, to combat the ever expanding waist I invested in an exercise cycle. On the plus side it was very cheap. On the minus side its designed for dwarves & I smack my knees repeatedly on the handlebars whenever I use it. You can set the friction to 0 or 100%. Unfortunately, there’s nothing in between. This means that either your legs whiz round at a frantic pace getting ever more scabby, or its rather like trying to cycle up the side of a mountain, but without the option of getting off & pushing. I suspect this evil device will shortly make a one way trip to the garage & never be seen again. Still, I sweated quite a lot putting it together, so its done me some good.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

ooooh, shut that door

Well, I had another fun day in Tamworth smacking my head (figuratively) against a lovely bit of software. So I got home not in the best of moods. And lo, my front door was wide open & all the house lights were on. So I picked up a handy bit of 3x2 & ventured in. Well, no one was there, nothing was missing, no horses heads in the bed. Hmm. Must have had a bad morning. So added yet another line on the note on the front door. So now after ‘check your trousers - shoes not slippers - keys, work pass & wallet? – Oven off, slow cooker on’ it says ‘lights off, door locked’. If I carry on going senile at this rate I will need a bigger door.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Its such a perfect day

Today the sun was out. It has been a crap week. It bottomed out around thursday. On the way to work a bloke jumped a red light. I swerved to miss him, not realising that a police motorcyclist was cutting through on my inside. Amazingly no one was hurt and I left a very irate policeman admonishing a suitably downcast motorist. So got into work to find out that everything I had done for the last week was a complete waste of time. Stormed out of a meeting, which resulted in people asking me if I was ok all day. NO I'm F***** not. Still, I avoided giving anyone a slap.
Crap. Crap. Crap.

But this morning was one of those fantastic frosty sunny winter days. I potted up last years geranium cuttings, planted some primroses & added a couple of ivy plants to my hawthorne hedge. My hands and feet were numb with cold, snot froze to my top lip, And I mislaid about six mugs of tea. But the birds were chirping, snowdrops wereflowering and it was fantastic.

And now I'm going to go to the pub and watch England demolish Scotland in the rugby. Sometimes its a great life.