Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Get a Rush

Since we got our new TV last weekend we have been watching lots of DVD's on it as the quality is amazing. This afternoon we have been watching one of our Rush DVD's, one of my favourite bands and one I am happy to say I have seen live twice!

Amazing stuff, and there are only three on them!!

Mum, if you are reading this you may remember taking me to a jumble sale many moons ago when I was very small and I bought a t-shirt with this image on it, only it said Rush above it. I had that t-shirt for many years and wore it for longer than I should have! (It was quite small!)

Anyway here are some of my favourite Rush songs. Enjoy!


Image Credit: Simon McGlary

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Favourite Spot

Well I am delighted to report that the frogs seem to have settled.

We are now seeing them moving all around the garden and also sitting beside the pond, no doubt catching flies.

At first they disappeared when we first moved them into the new pond and I worried however I expect they were just settling and learning to trust their new environment.

We can now see them sitting on various stones around the pond throughout the day and evening.

This little chap has claimed this rock as his own!

We have watched them moving around and getting in and out of the pond with no trouble.

We have also noticed we have acquired a water snail who can be seen travelling across the surface munching all in its path.

He must have come with one of the new plants we bought. He is too small for a photo at the moment but we will see how big he gets!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Breeze

It has turned wonderfully hot here over the past few days. Our central heating is turned off and I have spent the days and evenings in shorts and t-shirts and not chilled down at all.

A little unusual for me as I finish most evenings sitting with a fleece blanket over my knee!

Anyway as lovely as it has been it is a little hot for the dogs. Once we get to these temperatures they cannot come out to work for the day as the air is so hot that even in the shade with a breeze they over heat. I have switched day time walks to the river side so they can have a swim and walks have become a little shorter or not involved so much play.

I know all dogs suffer in the heat but these too get poorly and are sick if they over heat.

Anyway the reduced running has begun to show in Buddy. He never behaves badly but you can see on walks his pent up energy and he becomes more boisterous with Roxy who, at a year older, is not really up to being bowledover!

This evening a cooler breeze has picked up and it has clouded over a little so I have made the most of the temperature reduction and taken them for a run on a walk out of the village. In fact we all had a run. I think it's done the trick! They are already asleep but settled and not too warm.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Obsession

The song I posted in my previous post is my latest musical obsession. It is a song I heard in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Sleeper) and have recently tracked down.

I have not heard of Aimee Mann before and have downloaded an album to check out but this song has me hooked! In a dream this morning I was singing it over and over and learning the words!

Occasionally this happens, I get a snippet of a song, track it down and then find that I don't want to listen to anything else for a few days and have to learn the words immediately. The song will play loudly and insistently in my head, demanding my attention.

I expect it is a trait that can be a little annoying for Mr Dancin so I am trying to limit my plays of this song. He is cutting the lawn at the moment so I have it on full blast!

Image Credit: Buffy Wikia

Found It!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Sri Lanka

This is the Bing picture of the day, they are stilt fishermen in Sri Lanka. Apparently it was 38 years ago today that Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka and became a republic. Happy Birthday Sri Lanka, you are the same age as me!

My maternal Grandmother was from Sri Lanka which makes me part Sri Lankan too, something I have always been proud of.

Friday, May 21, 2010

On, Off and On Again

My internet connection has been playing up all day today...I spoke too soon, there it goes again....and its back! I think it's the heat!

We have a horrible tendency in this country to complain about the weather what ever we get! And I am no exception, this is as hot as I like it but apparently its going to get warmer!

I guess I would not mind if I could go swimming in the sea everyday like I used to when I stayed in Greece. It was only for a year and was ages ago now....17 years ago in fact! Now I have scared myself! But the memory of my time there is very strong and seeing Greece on the TV makes me homesick for it.

My very good friend Izzy is visiting from Greece next month and I can't wait to get together with her, it's been three years since I saw her last. (Izzy, if you are reading this how can us being in Porto Heli together be 17 years ago?!?!?) I suddenly feel the urge to go look at some old photos!

Anyway aside from intermittent internet connection it has been a good day. We have a new digital TV aerial which, after we buy a new TV tomorrow, will bring us the joys of freeview, no more 4 channels for us! I finished a big piece of work I was doing and got it sent off, and I made arrangements to meet with our new emergency dog walker who sounds lovely and has three German Shepherds and a Newfoundland of her own!

Its not our favourite option but during the hottest months when the dogs cannot come with us to work, and on days when we cannot get back at lunch, it will be great to have someone who can take them for a walk and then spend a little time with them. It will be an occasional thing but useful to have the option.

Anyway, here are some old photos of Greece! Ok this first one is me and some friends on Pete the Cat's Cat! We were having a BBQ if I remember rightly. Can't see you T-Bone, were you taking the picture?

That's, from left to right, Graham (currently residing in Greece), me, Bill the Fish (currently residing in Indonesia), Pink and Lady (more of them to come) and Tony, our very good friend from Swindon. I don't know where Pete is!

This next one is my girl, Pink, my first dog.


This was taken only a few days after I met her. Pink was a stray that I adopted in Greece and brought back to the UK with me. She lived to be 13, or possibly older but we estimated her age to be 1 when we first met her.

She was not a very good stray. She was the runt of the stray pack and got picked on a lot. When we first met she was not interested in any attention she just accepted a drink and then was content to sit by my side. It was several months before she began to come out of her shell and bark and play with us. I think it surprised her almost as much as it did us! Although the first time we took her to a house and she saw a couch she knew exactly what to do! Climb on and spread out!

This was the view from the second beach we parked the camper up at. I was leaning against the rear of the camper as I took this.

This was where I had a swim every morning before I went to work. I worked in a hotel answering the phone, tending bar and cleaning. I worked 10am - 1pm and 4.00pm - 8.00pm Monday to Friday.

We had the whole place to ourselves.

I swam here a lot at night too. It is amazing to see the phosphorescents in the water and one night we watched fireworks reflecting off the water from a local display as we swam.

This picture has all sorts in it! Ok firstly Pink walking towards Bills car and looking very thin! Next is Richard, a lovely chap we met out there who if I remember right was a chef.

Next is Bill the Fish's car, a TR3 with California plates from his time in the USA. He had just had it re-sprayed.

In the foreground on the right is the camper I went travelling in. It was a Dodge and had a plaque by the door saying 'Custom Made for the Hinkleys'!

Top camper! We had a four ringed gas stove and oven, a full sized fridge. A shower and toilet room, two sinks, air conditioning (although it did not work) and central heating, which thankfully during out later travels to Holland in winter did work! We slept in the double bed above the cab with Pink and during our time in Greece had three lodgers for a time, although not all at the same time! There was Ian the tennis coach from London (top chap!) and T-Bone and Tony. Actually T-Bone and Tony had their own tent and camped by us.

They used to come in in the morning when it got so hot they had to get out of their tent and put the kettle on! We met them in Greece but became firm friends and still are to this day. (Do you remember T-Bone?)

Lastly in that picture, aside from Bill the Fish standing at the camper door, behind the camper is a Canadian couple we met who were on their honeymoon. They asked for wedding gifts to be money or kit appropriate for travelling and for their honey moon brought themselves a round the world ticket.

They stopped off in Amsterdam and bought this VW camper and then travelled around Europe in it. When they were done they took the camper back to Holland, sold it back and then carried on around the globe by air!

I am very sad to say I cannot remember their names but they were a lovely couple. The chap carved me a name tag for Pink which she wore on her collar and I still have it.

Ok, next shot is the first beach we parked at, until we were moved on by the people who owned villas on the hill to the rear of us who said we were spoiling their view. Fair enough really!

Actually a few months after we moved I went to a party at one of the villas on the hill behind this spot!

Anyway, I know it does not look like I am clothed from the waist down but I am! I promise!

I was washing Pink who had just rolled in a dead fish carcass she found on the beach, the smellier the better!

I used to take Pink to work with me and she used to chill out behind the bar while I worked and then come down to the beach with me for a swim and to sit in the shade in between morning and afternoon shifts. Sometimes we would go and sit in Izzy's shop in her wonderful deckchairs and shoot the breeze!

This final shot from Greece is from a very memorable day, not long after we arrived in Porto Heli, when we went out sailing on Mandragore. (62 foot ketch)

The boat was owned by a chap called Mark, who funnily enough got me my job at the hotel.

Mark had two people turn up and ask to charter his boat for a couple of days. He said yes and recruited us (me and Graham), the two new people in town he had met the night before, to cook and host for the day while he sailed!

It was a fabulous trip. We anchored over night in a small bay and went ashore to the local Taverna for dinner. I had sword fish steaks!

On return to the boat I lay on the deck and watched the stars. It was the clearest sky I have ever seen.

The next day on the return journey I was a little hungover and, not being a great sailor, a little seasick. Graham cooked their lunch, and did an amazing job, I was not able to go below deck as it aggravated my condition!

I had not adopted Pink at this time but we were accompanied by Marks wonderful dog, and Pinks future first love, Captain.

You cannot really see it in this picture but there is snow on the mountains to the right and the sea was so still and lilac!

Ok, this last shot was not taken in Greece but was in my Greece albums!

This is me, many, many moons ago! I do not know how old I was but we are talking young to middle age teenager. At this point I was still in protest about not being a boy!

I know that may sound a little odd but from a very early age I was really upset that I was a girl. For some reason I knew that because I was a girl it was going to be so much harder to do all the things I wanted to do and that somehow I was at a disadvantage!

I remain to this day a huge tomboy although have obviously become comfortable with my gender!

Being a girl has turned out ok after all! Maybe I was a man in my previous life and I started this life with memories of that, hence my disappointment!

All I can say about the clothes is that it was the 1980's!

Well that has proven the key to accessing treasured memories, emerge yourself in them! What a trip!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where The Wild Things Are



This song makes me feel very happy and very child like. Great film too!

Sky Watch Friday # 53


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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hill Fort



This is the Hill Fort on the edge of our village. We take the dogs up there a lot. When we go up there after dark Buddy indulges himself in a really good run around and when the moon is out you can see him silhouetted against the sky as he pegs it across the top of the hill! Obviously when the cows are not there!

It's amazing to stand there and think of the settlement this site used to provide hundreds of years ago. The people who sheltered within the fort and worked the adjacent land, still evident in the ridge and furrow in the surrounding fields.

It is a peaceful spot I go to a lot and enjoy sitting there for a while.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home Alone

Well its been another good day. Mr Dancin has the dogs with him today and I was out surveying.

I have returned home first and it is very quiet in the house. (Well apart from our washing machine which is on it's last legs but hanging in there and currently making hideous noises in the kitchen!)

I am used to dog noises. They are quiet but ever present in my home life and it is very odd when they are not here sighing, yawning or dreaming and making accompanying squeaks. By the way this is not my dog but I love the picture!

It has been quite warm today and I am feeling a little more weary for it I think. I expect Mr Dancin and the pups will come home feeling the same although I'll wager that the pups got at least one swim in today! I on the other hand just thought about it.

It is such a shame that all of the outdoor public swimming pools in this country seem to have gone, especially as we seem to get hotter summers now! I love swimming and will tolerate a pool just to get in the water but it is not the same. All of the sounds have that weird echo that remind me of school and they smell so strongly of chlorine.

Well for now I had better jump in the shower, revive this carcass of mine and get tea on!

Image Credit: The Tech Herald

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Morning You Sure Look Fine

Actually to be honest Monday morning did not look too fine through my tired eyes as I stayed up a little too late last night however Monday evening looks fine and I am feeling good! I have had a great day out surveying and have returned home at a good time with enough energy to enjoy the other side of my life! Its all new to me!

The past few years I have worked harder than I have ever had to and after a while it wore me down. I am used to returning home shattered with little mental or physical ability left to look after my man, the dogs and the house properly, as well as indulging in a few of my hobbies. Not so today!

Loving this new job!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Day Begins

Well my weekend has started really well! Roxy made her entrance to our room at 7.00am which is quite a respectable time for her, it varies between 5.45am and 8.30am!

The sound of the door opening is enough to wake me which gives me about 4 seconds to prepare myself for a lick across the face!

Hiding doesn't help as her nose will seek you out!

Buddy brings up the rear but is not a face licker, although he did lick the very tip of my nose for the first time the other day. My first dog Pink used to do that and I always thought it was a very sweet and delicate gesture.

Roxy likes the full on swipe of the tongue!

Buddy and Roxy used to live with a family with small children. I can imagine and have surmised given Roxy's love of being cuddled that she was cuddled a lot by the kids.

We noticed when we got them though that in contrast to Roxy's love of a big hug Buddy did not like to be cuddled.

I don't know whether the children tried to treat him in the same way and put him off. As such we have been very careful with him so as not to make him feel smothered and have let him dictate how he is fussed and when he is fussed.

Roxy you can walk up to anytime and she is delighted to be smothered but Buddy lets you know when he wants a fuss.

I think he has really appreciated the space we have given him and as a result has become in his own way and own time much more cuddly.

He does get on the couch with us sometimes which given his size is no mean feat and now likes a small hug from me as long as I don't cover up his face.

I was as a child, and to a small extent still am, claustrophobic and so can sympathise with his aversion to having his site line and breathing obstructed.

Anyway, the point of this ramble was that I took his delicate lick of the tip of my nose as quite a step in him being himself and not feeling smothered.

Animals are so very amazing. Just as with people relationships with animals constantly grow and change and the rewards increase.

I try very hard to make sure that the dogs get everything they could want or need and have the happiest life I can possibly provide.

So, after the 7.00am alarm call I got up and took them out to this lovely walk we go to occasionally outside of the village.

Its nice to have different and new walks and they really like it out here. There is lots of space to run.

I took my camera to get a few shots for me and for my tree blog and wondered round for an hour or so with a cup of tea in my travel mug.

I really noticed this morning how many colours are out there in the landscape.

On return from our week in Bodmin the first thing that hit us was that all of the rape seed was in flower, dominating the local landscape with its yellow glow. But there is also all of the new growth on trees, shrubs and crops which have a more subtle hue of their own.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's The Weekend!

Blimey it's the weekend! Well that marks the end of my second week in the new job which is going really well still. I have tendered for a big tree contract with an influential client which will look good on the marketing material if we get it, fingers crossed!

Otherwise its great to be working at home and not having to spend up to 2 hours a day just going to and from the office. It is also saving me a fortune in fuel!

I think the pups might be a little bored despite having company for the day and getting longer walks. They do enjoy coming out and about with me and being in the truck. I have received comments from people who expect that the dogs hate being in the truck and will prefer the new arrangement but I think it is the other way round.

I did specifically buy a truck with the biggest back section I could get and had a grill made so I can leave the tailgate open when I park up. We always parked in a nice shady spot with a good view for them and plenty of wildlife to watch and bark at and they could lie there gazing out with the fresh air in their face.

Now they sit on the couch for the morning/ afternoon and the highlight of the day, aside from walks and lunch, is barking at the postman!

Anyway when it gets cooler they will be able to come out with me again and it really is better for them in the long term that I work from home. There's just less to look at and bark at here!

I read a poster in a vets once that said if your dog barks there is something wrong with it! Try telling that to my two! Life's not worth living without a good bark!

Sometimes Buddy does this thing that reminds me of a bear. There may be a bird in one of the trees or a noise outside the garden and he runs across the lawn barking in his deepest voice and shaking his head and neck like bears do in warning. It is amazing to watch!

This afternoon when he got out of the truck he put his first foot forward to step onto the ramp but was watching the cat across the road. The result was amusing to say the least! Thankfully he did not fall but as his eye was not on his paws he put his foot out to the level he expected the ramp to be at and it was a little lower!

They both do this thing when flies are about, especially Buddy, where they get this glazed look over their face and become intent on catching the fly. We discourage this as we don't want them to catch anything but you can tell they are not really hearing you and are completely focused on the fly! This proves most interesting when you are inside as they will jump on you with little warning to get the insect!

We have a reasonably quiet weekend planned although bathing the dogs is on the agenda! Roxy had an involuntary swim yesterday morning and went completely under, she is clean enough but I would rather get any of the pond remnants out of her coat due to her skin irritation.

Otherwise I hope the sun shines so I can get out in the garden and get out with my camera. I want to take some shots for my tree blog now all of the trees are pretty much in leaf, sort of an early summer ident post.

Happy weekend all!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sky Watch Friday # 52

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hello Again Hello!

I have made a few long early morning journeys over the past couple of weeks to attend training and an exam in Suffolk.

My new company car has a great stereo but no memory stick socket and I have not had a chance to burn some cd's for it yet. As such I turned back to my old friend radio 2.

The first day I was early enough to listen to Sarah Kennedy again which was wonderful. And I was even more delighted when she finished to discover that my timing could not be better and Chris Evans (the current breakfast show DJ) was on holiday! His temporary replacement has been Graham Norton.

I cannot listen to Chris Evans in the morning, don't ask me why but if I do I know I will end up crashing my car! However I do like Graham Norton and more importantly my other old breakfast show favourite, Alan Dedicoat, came back too!

Since Wogan left I have not really listened to the radio and I had begun to forget just how much I love it, especially in the morning. I arrived each day at my destination in a glorious mood, with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hey Rock 'n' Roll

I am in a very good mood having just sat and past the exam for my recent training course in Utility Arb.

To celebrate I have treated myself to a glorious half hour of wailing to the very brilliant Showaddywaddy!

They were a favourite of mine as a small child and I had a bit of a crush on Dave Bartram. (The cool one standing up at the back with the shades!)

Anyway I have decided to share some of the best You Tube clips, available for my favourites songs, with you! (Lucky you!)

Really though, crank it up and if you can only manage one listen to When, if you are not grinning by the end of the first verse then.....well then I guess you are not a fan! But give it a go!

Image Credit: Epiclectic's Vintage Vinyl

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What About the ROUS's?

Well I have made my decision...sort of! My current book is now on hold and I have started another one! I have loads of great books to read at the moment and am starting with one of my all time favourite stories, that to date I have only enjoyed in movie form, The Princess Bride.

'What about the ROUS's?'

'Rodents of unusual size? I don't think they exist.'

I can no longer remember who first introduced me to this film although I have a suspicion it was one of my family members who I have to thank for many excellent movie and music introductions.

'Is this a kissing book?'

So I am now enjoying the classic tale of true love and high adventure care of William Goldman, who as it turns out is responsible for an interesting collection of books, plays and screen plays, including surprisingly enough the screen play to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

'Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.'

Actually I don't really need to read it as I have seen it so many times the script is committed to memory along with each wonderful image but I am going to anyway!

'We face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone.'

'You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?'


Anyway before I give too much away if you have not seen this film or read the book I cannot recommend it strongly enough!

And the thought that you might not enjoy it? 'Inconceivable!'

Image Credit: Movie Mobsters, Fallout Studios and Best Movies.

Rhubarb


I harvested the stems from my Rhubarb plant this weekend and got enough to make three huge crumbles. I left this central stem and what looks like a flower head (close up below) although I have never seen anything like this on my Rhubarb plant to date. If it carries on growing like this I am going to make some jam, or Rhubarb pickle maybe? I bought some pickle at a May Fayre at the weekend and it has inspired me!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Rip it up and Start Again

I am really disappointed with my current book. It sounded good in summary and started fairly well however I am now finding it slow and a little dull. Also my mind wanders while I am reading which is not a good sign and defeats one of the objects of reading!

I have been somewhat spoilt having read brilliant books in the past 18 months, none of which have been a struggle, and this one is a real let down.

I have lots of good books waiting to be read, including two I picked up for pennies at a May Fayre today, but I do hate not finishing books. It does not seem right. I am already a third of the way through and as such a little effort over the next two nights should see me through it but it is a chore not a delight.

I can remember the books I have started reading in my adult life and not completed and feel a sense of failure at the memory. I usually keep hold of them to revisit at a later date; thankfully there are not many.

Anyway, I will plough on with this one for a little while longer.

We have had a wonderful week off work and been away at Bodmin Moor for a few days. Returning home has been lovely and we are enjoying the start of summer evenings and reading by natural light until almost bed time.

It is back to work for Mr Dancin tomorrow while I am starting my new job! I am very excited about the prospects ahead and think it could really be a good step for me and for us. Its a new role that has been created for me and will be quite a flexible position with some working from home. My first day in fact will be at home as my boss, one of the company partners, is coming here to deliver my vehicle and PC and to chat through our plan of attack for the month ahead.

Well for now I had better get this book read...

Torn

I came across this clip a few years back while watching The Secret Policeman's Ball, a comedy show held to raise funds for Amnesty International.

The Secret Policemans Ball is aimed at raising money for one of the most important charities in the world, Amnesty International. Amnesty International campaigns for human rights throughout the world and this year’s Secret Policemans Ball will boast even greater significance as it marks the stars of Amnesty’s celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In keeping with the Ball’s charitable concerns, it will highlight Amnesty’s campaigning activities and hope to raise awareness through comedy and music. Text Credit: View London - Buy Tickets Here

Anyway, this chap has a talent for mime as displayed here in his performance of Torn. Enjoy!


Sunday, May 02, 2010

Stalk

Wall Flower is no Shrinking Violet

Bloom

It's Good To Be Home

We have been away on Bodmin Moor for a few days, its been a wonderful break but it is also good to be home. The garden grew a lot and I am delighted to say we have grass! We will see how it endures the pups paws! Here are some snaps of Bodmin and home, click on the collage to enlarge.

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