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16th.Sept - 3rd. October 2007
After probably the busiest spell of work I've had, my work in the Dressing Rooms at Cricket finishes today and I move into off-season mode with work at the Cricket Academy, driving kids in a mini-bus and the almost confirmed occasional hour or two for the Cricket Club Caterers (they're not letting me anywhere near the cooking by the way!!).
This is quite strange compared to my previous seven years 'post downshifting'. Each year until now, my last day in the Dressing Room has presented me with an off-season mystery as far as income is concerned.
To celebrate this sudden work influx, I decided to blow caution to the wind and go on a Cruise.
I spent just under £200, but in GB I'd have spent £580 for all the goods I purchased. Take off the £18 Ferry fare and 100 miles worth of Petrol and it's not bad for a day out.
But, savings aside, the highlight was certainly a couple of hours exploring part of the Dunkerque Beach, a very visual reminder of what others went through to give us the freedom we now have.
So, enough of the materialistic side of my life.
Between work I managed to clear a fair amount of the stinging nettles. The chickens, although they appreciate the tall plants to forage around in, also appreciated all the seeds falling of the Nettles as you're doing it (see photo above). Not only that, they seemed to enjoy the company as well and we had quite a discussion about global climate and green matters whilst I was doing it.
It's great to see the Forum so active as well!
The egg laying is dropping off quite a lot at present and they've gone down from 5 / 6 eggs a day to 2 / 3. I'm just hoping I don't get the zero egg situation for three month's like I did a few years back.
I had an enjoyable couple of hours fetching kindling wood and stored about 4 weeks worth in that time. I now need to find time for some medium sized stuff to go with the 130 odd logs I got from a dead cherry tree at the Cricket Club.
We had the chimneys swept on Saturday. I don't trust doing it myself, but the Chimney Sweeps a nice chap and you have the assurance that it's done correctly.
The only downside of the last two weeks, beside being worn out, is that on my one 'whole day off', I took what was meant to be a half hour outing to the Cycle shop for a new inner tube and the Clutch Cable snapped on my Car.
This week I 'plan' (!!!!) to have three days off and to spend it getting more wood collected, sort out the garden and write a number of pages for the website, something I have neglected a bit of late.
2nd - 16th. September 2007
I returned last night from a good break in Southampton. The Grandchildren were both on good form and surprisingly free of any virus's.
Kent were playing Hampshire at the Rose Bowl, so I popped in there for a few hours on the second day. I was going back there on the fourth, but we managed to see them off in three days. The victory has made us completely safe in Division One of the County Championships, so this weeks final game against Durham, should be a little more relaxed.
I had my first day working at the Cricket Academy last week. This involved being with one chap and about 40 women! There was the regular Monday evening Netball League.
Since my last entry I've also managed some more work at the house opposite and sorted out quite a bit of my own garden (for a change!).
All around I keep hearing "Great year for Squash". Well, I have six Squash plants and one Squash! The only answer can be is that I put them in too good a soil. In all previous years I've grown them on an old bonfire and they've produced magic.
Sadly, one of the chickens died this week. I've worked it out that the youngest would be three and a half years old and could be up to six years old. So I guess she just got tired and enough was enough. There were no signs of attack or Illness. Just had enough. Sobeit, they're good to me and I miss each one when they go.
I went to the University of Brighton for the final Project visit this week. That's just over three years in total.
All the data goes into a huge National Database and could be viewed publicly for any reason; research, history etc. It's also nice to know that my life is documented for all to see for all time.
Although the cricket season ends next week, I have duties to perform there until the end of the Month. After that, I shall have the usual Autumn flurry of winter preparation around the home and garden.
Also, the week after next I shall make my International Tour. That is, a day trip to Calais, drive up to the Belguim border and buy some bunty to last me the winter.
With Autumn starting next week, I really do feel more prepared than I have done since downshifting seven years ago.