1st - 14th. May 2009

Since my last entry, I've only had 4 days at Home, so I could bore you all mad with Cricketing stories, but I won't, well just a bit !

The last two weeks have been a mixture of good and bad really. Last Sunday we went to Hastings for the day. Although it is the day we visit my Daughter's grave, it gives us a chance of a family day and we always try to make it as entertaining as we can, especially for my Grandchildren, who of course never met Louise.

The day allowed me to meet 'Louie', the 8 week old Chiwawa puppy. This was quite an event because, when actually awake, he causes havoc and being the size he is, it isn't so much picking him up which is the worry, it's treading on him. He's pretty nippy for the size and has teeth like pins ! I should add he's having a Dog Trainer sort him out in the teeth department !

The down side of him is that at the moment you have to carry him. To walk the 100 odd meters from the sea front Car Park at Hastings to the Funfair took about 20 minutes as it was "Oh look at that dog" and "Awwww, isn't he cute" and so on. I suggested making him aprt of the Fair and getting £1 a stroke, but I was out voted on that !

All in all it was a good day, only to be ruined with a Hose going on my Car. Because I was travelling at a constant speed, I don't know exactly when it went. This meant it was only when I slowed down approaching Ashford I noticed the Temp guage rising to boiling. After just about getting to work the next day, it was apparent the water had once again got into the Engine and blown the head gasket.

The Cricket Club kindly lent me the Van for a few nights, but I slept two of them in the Dressing Room. I was just so tired by it all, I didn't fancy the half hour drive home. Also, finishing at 9.30pm and needing to be back in at 7.30am the following days, it didn't seem worth it.

The end of it all is that the RAC towed it back to my local Garage, they diagnosed the Cylinder Head, quoted a minimum of £700, so I;ve scrapped it. Old Cars have cost me dearly over the last three years, so I blew caution to the wind and got a three year old Kia Picanto, very green, very good miles per gallon and a one year guarantee ! It should, in theory, be more cost effective than the last two cars anyway.

I get the new car tomorrow, work Saturday at Cricket and on Sunday Leo and I take it to Belgium for 4 days. I've found a very reasonably priced B&B at Polygon Wood, just outside Ypres which will be a good centre to visit the Sites my Grandfather would have fought at, thus wrapping up things on the genealogy. I shall then write Web Pages on various Battlefields and Cemetaries in that area.

This leaves my Grandfather on my Father's side who, after returning from Gallipoli and Palestine, fought on the Somme. We hope to visit there later in the year, subject to finanance !

Then, as soon as I return, I have my shoulder operation on the 23rd. Everything to look forward to !!!

Between all the above, I've managed to sow more Vegetables in containers and other 'items'. I've got Beetroot, Carrots and Onions all growing in succession and other plants still to plant into boxes from the Greenhouse. In the Greenhouse itself, we have the usual array of Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers and Lettuce etc.

The Squash and Corgettes are going into a Rockery situation. I've found they seem to like pretty rotten spots to grow in. The Squah especially liked the old Bonfire area for a few years, but this is now completely weed and nettle covered and would take too much time and work to clear.

The Chickens are laying for England. My remaining nine hens are giving me around six eggs a day. Who said ex-battery hens are wasted in laying! I've found over the years that Chickens prefer Winter to Summer. Certainly the associated chores are a lot easier through these month's ie. cleaning is about half the work and so on, but the Chickens themselves don't seem so active. The summertime bonus is of course more eggs, but I'd rather they were happier laying less if you see what I mean.

Something else which comes to mind at the moment is allergies and age. I've always prided myself on never having allergies etc., yet for the last two years at around this time, I've suffered from sore runny eyes and a heavy throat. I've also picked up heat rashes which I've never had before. Maybe this is just part of the ageing process, but I suspect it's more of what we're chucking around our fields to grow vegetables faster for bigger commercial gain.

I accept that Farmers have to make a living the same as anyone else, but it does make me wonder, especially as we're pretty surrounded by firelds here.

So, the next time I write, I will have travelled and had my Op. I shall attempt not to milk the situation too much, but at least it's not Man Flu !

Going back to look at the future