|January||February - March||April||May||June||July|
|August||September||October||November||December||Diary Archive Menu|
|January 05||February 05||March 05||April 05||May 05||June 05||July 05||August 05||September 05||Sept/Oct 05|
|November 05||December 05||January-March 06||March-May 06||May-August 06||August-November 06|
|Summary of 2001||Jan-Mar 02||Aug-Dec 02||Jan-Mar 03||Apr-Jun 03||Jul-Nov 03|
|Nov 03-Mar 04||Mar-May 04||May-Jul 04||Jul-Sep 04||Oct-Dec 04|
|Photo Archives||Autumn 2005 Pictures||Down The Lane Office||Forum Photo Pages||The Great Escape!||La Manga Photos|
|General Photos||Down the Lane Web Team||'Odd Job Bod' Radio Kent|
8th - 22nd March 2005
Panic has crept into Bramley Cottage. With all the snow I didn't think much about the garden and last Saturday, when the temperature was 18 degrees !, I looked up my calendars from previous years and saw the things I was sowing at that time.
Somehow I managed to get it all done and the soil is all ready for sowing quite a lot over Easter.
I'm now Monday - Fridays plus a few weekends at cricket til early May, so Easter is about the only time I have spare for three weeks.
The first few days of pre-season training entails the issuing of new kits and this keeps me somewhat busy. But, loads of empty plastic bags, pins and boxes to bring home which I shall find some use for.
Strange that, outside of family, my two favourite things - garden farming and cricket happen in exactly the same 6 / 7 months of the year. I need the winter to get myself back to some form of normality, if that's possible !
The chickens are still doing me proud with 5 to 7 eggs a day. I am wary that the fox is about and will soon be having extra mouths to feed. Always a problem time of the year.
I tell you, there's a few rats about ! See the movie clip on the left. It's a bit like a McDonalds Drive Thru ! They've formed little one way lanes accross the grass. I'm sure there's one the other side of the fence taking orders.
I fixed up a combined DVD / Video player for a neighbour the other day and they kindly gave me their old VHS Player. Nothing wrong with it, stereo etc. In fact they only used it a couple of times because they lost the zapper.
I've been filming quite a lot lately with my video camera and am making a kind of try out DVD of Down the Lane.
So, Spring has sprung and another summer to look forward to. A combination of leather against willow, trowel against soil and clucks from the henhouse. It's looking good !
20th. February - 8th. March 2005
The past two weeks have been a story of snow, snow and a bit more snow.
With Robert Key and Geraint Jones returning from South Africa and other Kent players returning from Australia, it did make one feel like saying "Serves you right", but you bite your tongue!
Next week I'm off to that 'secret location' to watch over the sawing of the fallen Lime Tree. At least that's what they tell me I'm doing ! Hence the nickname 'Planker' which I seem to have got around the Office !
This weekend just gone Leo and myself went to Southampton. I'm awaiting the results of my meeting with 37 virus's from the grand children. In fact, I haven't shaken of the cold I caught last time I was there yet.
The chickens are still going silly. We've had all this snow, and minus 4 / 6 temperatures during the night and they're laying more than they did last summer !
With the cricket season on the doorstep, virtual full time work up til the end of April, some other jobs to do over the Lane and the garden about to take off, there is an air of expectancy and it's as if the year is just beginning.
Let's hope the snow is rounding off the winter. If it had come earlier I'd be really fed up by now but hopefully in a couple of weeks time all will be well and Spring will have sprung.
6th - 20th. February 2005
After the dramas and worries over the past 8 weeks, life appears to be getting a little easier.
Grandson Thomas is now on medication and seems to be controlling his Arthritis quite well. Although today is minu 3 at present, signs and wee hints of Spring are in the air. Outside the primulas, snowdrops are blooming and even the daffodils are forming their heads.
I've managed a few freebies in the past two weeks as well. A large desk which was bound for the skip ended up at home and after cleaning the chicken shed, sawing some logs, cleaning the house, having a bonfire, whipping in the bath, I shall be sawing some shelves up for over the top of it. These will be made from the old desk which although only 5 years old, had the working operation of circa 1745.
The chickens are out at present and giving the greenhouse another good weeding and bug clearing. It's the coldest day of the year thus far but the sun's shining, so they have the double enjoyment of scratching around and having a dust bath as well.
I love watching them roam around the garden. Although they have a 60 feet square enclosure (better than a battery cage I think !!), there's nothing like the freedom. I keep an eye open for Mr. Fox, but so far, no signs.
At work it was great to see the return of Robert Key and Geraint Jones from South Africa. Both looking extremely tanned, healthy and slim, they soon got back into scarves, thick jackets and 3 pairs of socks !
Yesterday, the Daily Telegraph kindly put a link to this site into an article about downshifting and my Saturday stats increased by 800% ! So, if you've found your way here via that route, welcome.
Another visitor to Canterbury last week was my old mate Jamie Reid from the BBC (see his appreciation page, left). I must admit he did look pretty cool and between his not to be missed running commentaries of Gillingham football matches is networking for a shot at 'Strictly Come Dancing' and sporting his Elvis impression on 'Stars in their Eyes'.
So, just another two diary entries before it's officially Spring. I said last Autumn I didn't want to waste away time through winter simply longing for Spring to come round and time certainly hasn't been wasted.
Something else I've learnt is that babysitting 2 grand children for 4 hours can wear you out more than 14 hours digging. Last Sunday my sister and family visited us in Southampton and I completely crashed out on the sofa all afternoon !
24th. January - 6th. February 2005
Two weeks into wearing that shirt and tie and still here to tell the tale ! Owing to other bits and pieces going on I've been working a 4 day week.
After weeks of Thomas going in and out of hospital and feeling very under the weather, the Doctors have diagnosed 'Stills Disease', a form of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. His blood tests aren't what they should be still and they have put him onto Steroids for 6 weeks to see if it settles a bit.
'Back on the Ranch', the chickens are wintering well and today I had 6 eggs. Don't know and can't work out their ups and downs. I have a suspicion they have me well sewn up and just keep me guessing. It's either that or they saw me cleaning the oven last Sunday.
They say you have to spend money to make money and that has been well proven to me over the last fortnight. I got the car back on the road, but with the non-use etc., led me into buying 4 new plugs, battery, petrol filter, coil cable and distributor cap. Regret to say that even after that it's chugging when hot. My friends at acountrylife reckon on the HT Leads, so I've had a look on breakersyard.com and about £13 seems the going price. Need to take out a mortgae for brand new ones !
With all this 'full time' work I've got quite behind in general jobs around and about. Yesterday was wood collecting and hen house cleaning. Four hours gave me about 18 days worth of Rayburn wood and a clean living quarter for the hens. So I was well pleased with my efforts.
On Tuesday I'm off to The University of Brighton for a second session interview in reference to 'Learning Lifes' project. Looking forward to this as I find it quite theraputic letting out all my history. Then on Friday Leo and myself are off to Southampton for 4 days. Apparently we're 'baby' sitting on Saturday morning til 1pm. With Leo getting up at 11am on average, looks like the entertaining's down to good old Pop ! I'm tough - I can take it (!!!???).
Only a couple of weeks to go before I start sowing a few bits in the garden, certainly the broad beans can go in soon.
10th - 24th. January 2005
My poor little grand son remains poorly and still in and out of Hospital. But hopefully the end of the tunnel is near and he will be on the mend.
Some really good news is I've started working part-time in the Commercial Department at Kent CCC. Sometimes things seem to fall into place just at the right moment and this is certainly one of those moments.
Have I sold my soul to shirt and tie ? No, definately not. I will be working in a place I love and doing things which give me a buzz. It's not far off feeling young again !
I heard today that I'm going back to the University of Brighton for another session in the 'Learning Life' project. I received a transcript of the first interview down there and it's 15 A4 pages - didn't know I could bore anyone that long.
So, a slightly more optimistic view than the last entry. I feel that Spring is not far off and the year is starting well down the lane. All this will be nicely wrapped up when Thomas gets the OK and gets on the road to recovery.
Life is certainly full of ups and downs, goods and bads. One things for sure, you never know whats going to be thrown at you next. Must keep your eyes open.