Sunday, 30 August 2009

Squirrel Watching

Over the last few days or so, I have observed several squirrels, well at least 2 for certain. scurrying around the garden, in the grass and around the pool, I can only assume there is some delightful food scource available in my garden, never before have I seen so much activity of this nature. I find it fascinating to watch their antics, others might consider them a pest. I am going to try and keep them as regular visitors by actually buying some squirrel food and placing it on a bird table. I hope this will enable more great photos especially later in the autumn, along with the various birds I usually encounter in my garden too. Here are a few photos of the squirrels in the garden recently.

The Squirrels are becoming more and more brave too, actually coming within feet of my back door, one even seen on the handrail which runs the length of the garden to enable Mrs W to walk to the end of the garden.
I have been looking around at the food stuff squirrels love to eat, the most obvious is of course nuts, maize and offerings left on a bird table, I have also noted they like to eat sweetcorn too. If any of you have any other suggestions I would appreciate them and during the time I am lucky enough to have them in my garden I could try out the suggestions and enter the results into my blog.

30th August 2009

Today sees a child free day, the children have been over their nans for the night, myself and Mrs W went to a pub last night for a drink, we sat outside, despite the cold breeze. We came home, watched television and I bored Mrs W with tales and photographs of Castle Combe. This morning we awoke and had a leisurely start to the morning. We went out for lunch at a reasonable pub in Stoke Gifford and then we returned, Mrs W had her nap and I sat watching a rather disappointing Grand Prix on the television. Both British drivers were out of the race with in minutes of it starting due to an accident. The children returned full of excitement as they had met and held the new cousin Brooke, much to Mrs W's annoyance, she has yet to meet and hold her. Myself I can wait, not sure what it is with women and new born babies. Sends them all stupidly broody and maternal. It is a bank holiday weekend so there is no mystery visits for me until Tuesday. Not sure what we shall do on bank holiday Monday, tend to do as little as possible to avoid the masses who go out and enjoy being crushed in the madness that is a typical bank holiday. I am still on a high from Castle Combe. It is amazing the adreniline rush I had and still feel from it, My next ambition is to get inside a Formula 1 car, a little unlikely at the cost of £600. But it never does anyone any harm to have dreams and aspirations I guess.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Castle Combe day!!!

Today I woke up at the crack of dawn, before 6am to be honest, had breakfast and woke the family up. We headed off to Castle Combe for my long awaited race school day, the morning started off with a briefing room full of some twenty five other drivers, all looking and sounding anxious. We started off in Ford Focus cars being driven round the track in small groups having the instructor telling us where to brake, apex lines etc. Then it was the turn of us to drive the track in the Ford Focus with our drive being marked to see if we were able to be let out on the track in the Formula Ford 1600 single seaters, luckily for myself I passed and was able to race. I had my laps in the Formula Ford, I had a near miss with a fellow driver, whom despite being told not to exit the car, should they crash, spin or stall, was infact walking along the track towards me, was it not for quick thinking on my part, they could have had a serious accident. On my second lap round the recovery vehicle was there assiting the driver and no doubt giving him some stern words, despite this I had a great drive and too be honest it didn't seem that long and the chequered flag was raised for my return to the pit lane. A bonus for the day was the weather, the day before had been torrents of rain, wind and the instructors stated some parts of the track had been underwater too. Today, happily the sun shone all day. In the middle of the track was a wheat field which had been harvested and awaited collection by the farmer. I have seen many spills into that field as a spectator and was so glad not to have had a spill myself. I had some photographs taken and then hung around the pit lane watching the others as they took their drive, by now there was a mixture of atmosphere, some were nerves still awaiting their drive some were full of joy having completed there laps, needless to say, notes were being thrown around and discussed. Out of 25 pupils I came a respectable 4th. Not too bad I thought. Would I do it again, most certainly!!!. Did I enjoy it?. YES!!!. We stopped off in very nice local pub afterwards for some lunch. It seemed the day had gone too quickly for my liking. My son made a small montague of pictures and video which has been published to my youtube page Feel free to view it, also if you are on my facebook page there are 45 photos there. Twitter has a couple of them too.

Friday, 28 August 2009

28th August 2009 washing machine saga part 2

Today sees the arrival of the new desperately awaited washing machine, the mountain of clothes has grown beyond belief since the breakdown on Tuesday of our old one. I tried to disconnect the old machine yesterday to put it in a state fit enough to be taken away, the council in their wisdom have connected it to the waste trap under the sink, so, first I needed to empty the under sink cupboard after having pulled the dishwasher out to unplug the machine from the mains and disconnect it from the water supply, then push the dishwasher back. It seems due to the councils wisdom it is not a straight forward job to disconnect the machine as once I take away the drain tube for the machine our kitchen sink becomes unusable as half the waste trap is missing once the machine is disconnected, I tried to pull the pipe away from the trap, discovered I need a new part to reconnect it to the waste trap, so drove to Focus and the staff just looked at me in bewilderment when I asked if they sold said part. I looked at the shelves long and hard and made my mind up they did not have any. The staff began a conference on the shop floor to see if they could help and after a few seconds, gave me a blank stare and suggested I tried a plumber!. Some use they were. I drove to B&Q where I began looking at the pluming section, I found the fittings, there were T- fittings, S- fittings but mine, nowhere to be seen, I grabbed and older looking member of staff who seemed to appear somewhat communicative and he began ripping items off the shelf, muttering to himself as he did so, right at the back was a lone fitting, the one I needed, I grabbed it and made a hasty retreat to the till, the next task, was to use the "new self service till" I hate them things, I scanned my item to get a robotic voice telling me to place the item on the scale, I have done you stupid machine I retorted, then it said, please call assistance, where? who? why? I questioned, as though I would get an answer, eventually a member of staff came and sorted out the "self service till". I stated I could have got served a lot quicker by a member of staff!!!. I received a robotic and obviously rehearsed " the tills are new, we do have teething problems sir, most customers prefer them". I personally do not know many who do, but that is an argument for another day. I return home and compare the parts, first off I think, that's not right, then I realise half the part is still attached to the old machine, my heart finally beats again!. Today sees military planning as I need to cut the old machine away from my sink to enable the driver to take it before re-plumbing my new machine. If mine is not disconnected they won't take it despite me paying for the privilege!!. I have been given a 3 hour time slot between 8.30-11.30am. Brilliant we have the carers here then too, chaos at it's very best. After the machine is delivered, myself and MRs W and I have a quiet laundry day and this evening I have a mystery visit to a major supermarket, oh and I need to have an early night tonight as I am off to Castle Combe for my belated birthday trip, a racing experience around the track for the morning. I am like a small child at Christmas, all excited and highly expectant of my forthcoming days activity.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

27th August 2009

What a difference a day makes, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Today sees many young people getting their GCSE results and I can remember getting mine like it was only yesterday!. I am waiting for confirmation of delivery for our new washing machine today too. It should be delivered tomorrow, so I can finally get some of the back logged washing done. Oh joy!. I have a couple of mystery visits to carry out today at a famous fried chicken take away, lunch sorted for the family at least!. The afternoon apart from that will no doubt be dull and very much mundane. Oh apart from disconnecting the old washing machine and making sure it is free from water for removal that is. The evening sees the usual football training too. Yesterday saw a flurry of photograph's of the new family member in the form of Emails from the proud parents, was nice to see and brought a smile to my face, but I have to wonder if sending a photo of the obviously exhausted mum of the little one which was on her stomach area was such a great idea!!. Obviously a very proud fathers idea I am guessing. I will get round to posting some photos of the new arrival, but I am waiting until the proud parents have given permission to do so or at least make it known they don't mind photos of her appearing anywhere before they have posted any themselves. My EBay items are slowly gaining interest but I will never make enough to retire or leave the country, but it beats standing in a cold field trying to sell the items at a car boot sale I guess. And as we only live yards from a post office then it is not too much trouble sending the items off, with exception of the long queues that the post office is famous for that is!!.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

26th August, new family member.

This morning saw a very dull and gloomy start, I opened the curtains and my first thoughts were "yuck"! I came downstairs, fired up the computer, the lava lamp and digital photo frame, into the kitchen to put the kettle on and two slices of bread in the toaster for Mrs W's breakfast. I listened to the doom and gloom on the early morning news before finally opening up my Email inbox, there were several spam Emails and then one that brightened up my morning. It was a long a waited piece of news from my brother-in-law. For the last few days or so we have been awaiting the arrival of a special little girl, the Email confirmed that she had at last arrived. Baby Brooke born 05.34am weighing in at 3.83kg. It's funny how the arrival of a new born has the effect of bringing a smile to peoples faces, no matter what the weather and all else that has happened. So I officially raise my glass, (not really this early) and welcome Brooke, to this mad mad world. I have to say I was beginning to think the new arrival might have arrived on my birthday or even yesterday my younger brothers birthday, in a way I am secretly glad that she did not, for her sake as much as mine, I cannot think anything worse than "sharing" a birthday with a family member or indeed a sibling like some twins have to. So once again welcome to this mad mad world Brooke. The rest of the day will be filled with mundane chores including a fast food take away at Portishead, Mrs W has her carers in this morning and then this evening is our usual trip to the local Bingo hall, in a vane attempt to try and win some money to replace the money we spent on a new washing machine, the money had to come from the birthday money I had recently been given, so if it had not been for my mother purchasing my "birthday treat" a while back once again I would have lost out having had to spend my money on others and not myself, OK technically I benefit from the new washing machine, but so does everyone else. I believe birthday money is one thing you should and can be selfish with given the chance. Something that seems to happen less and less the older you get and the bigger your family gets too.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

25th August 2009 washing machine hell!!!!

Today, saw me awake to a wonderfully sunny day, I was filled with the joys of Summer. I went about doing the usual chores. The postman came with a parcel, a late birthday present, unexpected surprise, I then went to load the washing machine with clothes, the beast started,then nothing not even a groan, shudder or creak. It was dead, the beast was no more. I called one shop, they told me they would get the engineer to call, I waited three hours and not one phone call, not even a wrong number! I could feel myself getting annoyed at the event of the morning, I called another company and they were round in a flash, they stayed all of 5 minutes, made a few comments, then slated my choice of machine before telling me that the beast was dead, I could get a new machine for the cost of the parts. Off they trundled twenty pounds better off themselves, I find this annoying. No real solution other than buy a new one from them for stupid money and I feel like an idiot for my choice of washing machine!. The afternoon saw me googling the various washing machine sales people, still not made a choice, still got washing too! I also sat drinking a couple of cans from my birthday weekend left overs, while watching television. So many washing machines, so many choices, so many programs on them, but which one will be best, do I buy new, do I buy secondhand? the questions are endless as are the options for the machines and their washing programs, who the hell needs 15 different washing programs, just load and wash is all I want. I don't care if it can fluff my washing up, dye it and even dry it, I just want clean well spun washing. Oh the choices too many of them, off to have another beer and ponder my choices.

Monday, 24 August 2009

24th August, normal again.

This morning saw a hazy start to the day after a full weekend of partying and drinking. Was great to see so many people and enjoy their company, our guest who came to visit, never made it home last night, they didn't take much arm twisting to stay either!. The morning has been filled with carers, hangovers and more normal chores. Our guest as I said is still here, enjoying the company of ourselves. I have a mystery visit at Cribbs to do later, after which we shall have lunch, then do the usual mundane routine, The recycling bin is full of tins, bottles and packets from the many food and drink that have been consumed over the weekend. I am sure it was a good weekend, despite some events becoming blurred, I even remember having a go on a pogo stick. The weather is once again been Dismal, Dark and Depressing unlike myself, I still feel happy, refreshed and full of life!. In fact this is the best I have felt spiritually and physically in an age. I hope this is the start of an improvement in my overall well being as I could get used to it.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

22nd - 23rd August 2009 The Big 40!

Well it has finally arrived, yes, the big 40, my long awaited and planned 40th birthday, last night saw the start of merriment, drinking and laughs with our guest. The morning started off well with presents from Mrs w and the children, followed by a trip to the jewellers to adjust my present from Mrs W, a new watch which needed to be shortened drastically. It is a fantastic though I love it. The afternoon saw a quiet spell before the party begins in full tonight,the children god bless them have placed posters, banners and balloons advertising the fact I am 40, the fridge is bulging with alcohol, I am sure there will be more on the way too. We had lunch and I sat in conversation with our guest while Mrs W had her regular nap. While in conversation I could not resist the pear cider. It went down a treat. The guests arrived and the party went well, lots of memory lane talks. Some of the guests I haven't seen for years, some have not changed in that time either. The night went well with great "tunes" as my son told us, still haven't worked out what is a tune and what is a song despite his detailed talk with us. Sunday morning saw a rather late start to the day, breakfast and then prepare for the family for afternoon tea. I sat watching the grand prix with our guest too. Mrs W went to have her afternoon nap and the children have been sat on their laptops. Our guest is leaving for home after the tea with family and we should resume normal life after that.

Friday, 21 August 2009

21st August 2009

Well, this morning I woke somewhat drained,but on time today as the neighbours from hell were heard making a hell of a noise last night again!, just they wait till tomorrow night, I have a list of some 30 people round here for my big 40th birthday party, just let them complain!. I have a guest arriving today for the party, they are staying over a couple of nights. Today though I have two mystery shopping visits, one at a small convenience store at Dundry and the other at larger supermarket in Gloucester. I feel more party supplies coming on me thinks!, I will need supplies for Sunday too as that is the family time to wish me a happy birthday, keep them apart so I can have a proper party out of sight of parents, can let your hair down then, but find you have to be a little more refined in front of family. The supermarket has to be done this evening so our guest is going to be treated to some sight seeing of Bristol and Gloucester along the way, so kills two birds with one stone I guess. The convenience store saw me purchase some cans of lager for our guest tonight. I sat watching Good Morning Vietnam this afternoon still a great film even though it is nearly 22 years old!. The weather has been erratic to say the least, I have given up on drying the washing on the line as it has been a bit of a game of cat and mouse with the rain. Once again my son has been indoors, put to good use though, he blew up all my balloons and tied them in readiness for my party tomorrow as well as tidying his bedroom too. My daughter has been out and about and Mrs W had her afternoon nap while I watched the film and wrote my short blog. Our guest has still to arrive, he should have left at 11am but seems to have been held up, just had a text message advising me of his estimated arrival time, some two hours later than planned, but at least he is on his way. Once he arrives we can do the assignement in Gloucester, return home and start the birthday celebrations, a three night event, sounds great, just hope my body is in tune with my mind and allows it to happen!!.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

20th Augusts 2009

Woke up, somewhat later than planned this morning, that meant trying to catch up with the day and the plans made. I have two supermarkets in Gloucester and should have been on the road for around 9.30am, the time I awoke!. Managed to carry out the assignments a little later than I had planned,purchased yet more food for my forthcoming birthday weekend too. Stopped off at a KFC to treat the children to a lunch, I can't stand the stuff myself, but they love it, so does Mrs W. The afternoon saw Mrs W having her regular nap, I sat watching some movie as usual while writing this blog too. Daughter is out with her friend watching a film at their place, son is grounded for doing something wrong yesterday, I do not have perfect children despite what some of you may think.! I have grounded him for a week, much to his annoyance, although much respect to him he has taken it well!. The trouble is it worries me somewhat when I do not get an argument from him when I ask him do do something. Tonight sees myself taking our daughter to her regular football training. I hate standing around watching the training sessions, but it is never worth me driving home to have to go all the way back again to pick her up. Tomorrow sees some of my guests start to arrive for the weekend celebrations that is my 40th birthday weekend, did I tell you that I am 40 this weekend already? sorry but if you cannot tell I am rather looking forward to it!. I have guests from long ago, some who I have made friends with recently too, there are some local and some not so local, should be a great mix of characters too. Just hope I have enough food for everyone. If not I feel a visit to the local shops maybe in order, can always send the children up for food if all else fails.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

19th August 2009

Woke up to a garden full of wildlife this morning, sparrows, starlings, wood pigeons and a squirrel too!. Seemed nature was welcoming me to the start of the day, the sky is clear and the sun is brilliant in the early morning sky. I checked up on my facebook and twitter friends as usual as I sat eating breakfast. Then checked my assignments that need to be done today, a quiet day only one, a convenience store part of a well known chain, Mrs W had one of her carers arrive a half hour earlier today, something I had forgotten, I was still to shave and get ready for the day when she called to help Mrs W, I had to wait till afterwards, which kind of upset my routine!. I then have to take my daughter to the Orthodontist for a check up of her teeth, they are keeping an eye on them as she may require braces. The afternoon will be taken up, washing, watching television and tweeting I suspect, Mrs W will have her nap and the children will be out and a bout with their friends and I will be left in peace as a result. This evening sees myself and Mrs W at our local bingo hall as usual, tonight is a special evening for those of us who have a birthday in August, I will receive my main session free and be given a gift too, most probably a bottle of very cheap wine, but nether the less it is a gift and more importantly it is a FREE gift too!. I have started buying food and drink for the weekends celebrations using my spend allowances from my recent shopping assignments to cover the costs, I have also got some supermarkets to carry out before my weekend of celebrations too, so I have not stopped building supplies yet either, I am also arranging for some of my guests to stay over for the weekend too, not easy with stroppy son not co-operating and allowing us the use of his bedroom for a night or two with out some sort of bribery involved. As you can tell I am looking forward to my 40th birthday weekend, I am positive and happy about it, much more so than my 30th I can tell you. I dreaded my 30th with vengeance. But I am welcoming my 40th with open mind and heart.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

18th August 2009

Today sees a busy day with mystery visits, four in total, 2 betting shops and 2 local corner shops all part of a chain, I will use the spending limits to purchase food items for my impending birthday weekend, the big 40!. I have a weekend of celebrations planned starting with a party on Saturday night. Then a family tea/ barbeque weather permitting on Sunday. Just hope I don't get too big a hangover!!. The children were full of tales of excitement and police yesterday having witnesses the police activity in our local area last night, it turned out that a person had stabbed eight persons and 2 police support workers and that was the reason for all the activity. This afternoon sees me packaging some parcels that had been brought from my Ebay page. I also recieved my new memory card today too, 16gb, says I can now hold 20.000 photos and 3 hours of video on my camera now, whoop whoop!!. Watch out party goers and of course, my forthcoming birthday treat to Castle combe can be captured in all it's glory too!. Mrs W had her afternoon nap as usual and I am watching some crappy movie on the television, while as I say packing parcels and twittering as well as facebooking, see men can multi-task after all, I am living proof of that!. The children will go to their youth club tonight leaving myself and Mrs W to enjoy the peace and quiet. That is if the club is not closed as is often the case. Mind you, it can't help the club when there are nights of trouble, caused by a mindless minority who spoil it for the majority of children trying to enjoy such a wonderful facility.

Monday, 17 August 2009

17th August 2009

This morning I was up early, again! I came down stairs and did the usual chores, putting the kettle on, firing up the PC and such like, while in the kitchen I saw this huge wood pigeon sat on my fence. It sat there for what seemed an age too. Mrs W had her carers in to assist her as usual on a Monday. I went to the post office as I had to post some of my items that had sold on EBay over the weekend, spent an age in the queue again! I really wish the post office would open more counters or at least speed their service up at the ones they have opened!. On my return from the Post Office I stopped off at the local florist and purchased a lovely bunch of flowers for Mrs W. She is feeling a little low as she has an infection on her knee which is giving her some pain and causing problems to her. I spent around half an hour or maybe more calling friends confirming they are coming to my 40th Birthday gathering. Not calling it a party as wanted a civilized event!! not too sure that will happen though!. I seem to have got somewhat carried away with the invites, hope the weather remains dry so we can at least spill out into the garden on the night.If not we shall probably be playing a game of sardines!!. This afternoon saw me watching some old film on the television and Ms W had her regular afternoon nap. The evening sees me carry out a mystery visit to a take away drive Thru in Filton.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

16th August Cotswold Wildlife Park

Up early this morning, packing a picnic, programming the Sat nav and to pick up mum in law who is joining us for our trip to Cotswold wildlife park. The journey took around an hour and twenty minutes and as we drove we bathed in glorious sunshine. There was little traffic and we arrived just before the park had opened, there was a short queue but nothing too bad. We parked and disembarked the car. having paid the entry fee of £10.50 per adult and £8.00 per child no reduction for disabled or carers! I find this a little odd as most other places do give some discount. We browsed the park which was set in wonderfully maintained gardens, with unusual plants and flowers everywhere, this made viewing the animals an even greater pleasure, the grounds were flat too enabling the easy pushing of the wheelchair, we did take the new power pack battery which performed brilliantly too. The toilet facilities were excellent and well placed around the park too. After a couple of hours we started feeling a little peckish, we found a lovely appointed seating area for picnics and sat eating the pasta dish and various other treats I had packed, we did get a little annoyed by wasps, it seemed the park were aware of a problem as there were lots of wasp traps situated around the picnic area and at other parts of the park too. The afternoon saw many more surprises including the chance for the children to enjoy some brass rubbing resulting in some wonderful pictures as an end product, we saw a falconry display too. We enjoyed a trip around the park in the fully accessible train too, much to Mrs W's enjoyment. We finished off the day by browsing the park shop for the obligatory fridge magnet and headed home having had a thoroughly enjoyable day, we dropped my mum in law off home and headed to Yate where we stopped off at a favorite pub of ours for some dinner, we stopped there as it is a 2 for 1 pub, so great value as well as an enjoyable way to end the day. Overall I would say this day trip has to score 9.9 / 10

Saturday, 15 August 2009

15th Augusts 2009

Today sees the usual pilgrimage to my family, namely my mum and my nan, we go every Saturday morning and have done since the children were babies, it is quiet funny to see the children at my nan's place, she will insit on treating them like little children too, still puts out their sweets, crisps and soft drinks, still puts out a table and chair for them each in front of the television, still has the old episodes of Teletubbies and such like for them to watch, I kid you not!. The trouble is the chairs are getting somewhat small for them to sit on. The weather is a little on the grey side today, but am hopeful it will brighten up, the children so need to use the swimming pool this summer!!. I think in all they have only used it for a total of three or four full days since it was set up for the Summer. This afternoon saw the children out and about with friends, I watched Top Gear on Dave. Mrs W had a nap.
Tonight sees me carry out a mystery shop at a fast food outlet in Hengrove, then probably sit and watch television for the rest of the evening, praying that we might win the lottery!!. Tomorrow we are taking the children and Mrs W's mum to The Cotswold Wildlife Park too. The weather forecast is looking good, so it should be a great day out.

Friday, 14 August 2009

14th August 2009

Well, this morning is a brilliantly bright summers day. Mrs W has her carers in this morning to assist getting ready and help with the housework. I have a little everyday shopping to do, nothing to strenuous today for me, no mystery shopping visits, no audits. Having been told that In the UK, the best times to see the Perseids(meteor shower) are likely to be on the morning of 12 August before dawn and from late evening on the 12th through to the early hours of the 13 August. I too joined the stargazers to see this occurrence but the sky was filled with cloud the first night and it seemed the following night it was too late, oh well I shall have to wait till next August to see it, just hopes the sky is less cloudy to enable me to see it. Some of my followers on Twitter have asked me how my cutting out the alcohol is going, well it has now been nearly 4 weeks and over that 4 weeks I have done very well, I have of course had the odd pint or two here and there, but to enable me to keep track of my "cutting down" I started saving the Christmas savings stamps with the retailer I purchase my cider from. (no it is not an off license). I have placed the stamps onto their savings card, I purchase £2 every time I resist purchasing a bottle of cider. There is already £42 so a considerable saving I reckon, both to my health and my pocket!. It does cost a little over £2 a bottle I figured it was a simple amount to work with. My diet is going well too, I now currently weigh in at just under 9 and a half stone, a total loss in weight of over a stone in that time frame too. One thing I have noticed is how tired I am becoming, I figure I must be lacking something in my diet, but am not entirely sure what. My own diagnosis on this is probably due to me cutting down on the full fat cheeses, meats etc therefore lacking in B12 found in animal fats, meat, fish, eggs and milk. However all these things were a high proportion of my diet in the form of kebabs, burgers, sausages, pizza and such like, all items I have cut out of my diet albeit not entirely I feel it could be enough to result in the fatigue I am experiencing, another explanation could be the result of my Swine flu bout, maybe it has left me feeling a little drained? . Our daughter has been called on to cover another paper round this morning, she was not happy but did it for the money, I told her that tends to be a way of life for most people in work. So she is getting admiral experience in life to come. Our son is helping out his great- grandmother in the garden today too, again gaining great experience and no doubt he will get spoilt along the way too. You may have read my blog entry regarding E bay, well, since then, I have made several purchases which have all been real bargains including the wheelchair battery, which arrived very quickly, a memory card, I am still waiting for and a new power supply for my sons laptop, I have also sold a couple of items, needless to say I am still unimpressed as a seller for the fees my items are being sold for and I seriously have doubts that sellers are able to make money, from my own experience so far I have just about broken even, sometimes I may as well have given the items away for the amount they have sold for. By the time I have packaged and posted the item concerned in some cases I would have done better just throwing the item away with the effort and costs involved.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

13th August 2009

A quiet day today, went shopping, had a couple of betting shop mystery visits as well as a fast food take away at cribbs, the weather is nicer today, makes everyone feel happier I find. having placed an order for a new battery for Mrs W's wheelchair I expected the delivery to take an age, in fact it arrived today, we had to replace a connection on the wire as it had corroded away, but once replaced the battery fitted in place and has been on charge ready for the first family outing. I haven't seen the children much today as they have kept themselves entertained with their friends. Mrs W had her afternoon nap and I found myself watching television as well as filing the reports on the mystery shops carried out. This evening sees me and my daughter returning to football training having had two weeks off, with illness and holiday. The only good thing about it is the weather is on the warm and bright side. As predicted we came away a little lighter in the pocket following last nights trip to the Bingo club, but even so a very nice time out was had by myself and Mrs W. We did have one small win of £20.00 but I am afraid to say the club had that back in refreshments and table top bingo games! The neighbours have been up to their usual tricks, playing their music loud, so loud I cannot hear our television at times. Monday night saw the police called in due to their antics on the street, Sunday night saw a window smashing as a result of their argument too!. I so wish they would move, but they have not long moved in so that is doubtful. I would go as far as to say I have more chance of a Bingo win!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

12th August 2009

Today sees a dull start to the day and following yet more of the antics of our next door neighbour last night I wake up feeling tired and grumpy!. The word noisy does not quiet step up to the mark to describe them, lately they have smashed a window to the front of their house during an argument and the music plays at all hours of the day and night, I heard them on the street last night having a heated row too. Today and tonight sees Sky gazers preparing for the high point of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Although I have to say that the chances of us seeing anything from the sky in the southwest are slim due to the cloud cover, a major focus of our summer I might add!. I have a couple of betting shop mystery visits and a fast food mystery visit today too, Mrs W is off shopping with her carer after having a further carer into help shower and dress. Later myself and Mrs w are also off shopping to the Mall Cribbs following my mystery visit, Mrs W wants to buy something for my up coming 40th birthday in ten days time, I have no real ideas as to what I want, Mrs W and I had thought maybe a nice watch, always useful to have a good timekeeper for my mystery visits, so we thought we would check out the various jewellers and their watches. After which we are heading off to our Wednesday night at bingo, it is our local clubs cheaper night to purchase the tickets. It works out quiet good too as tonight is one of the nights the children go to youth club, we are usually back and all spent out having rarely won anything in time for their return too.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

11th August 2009 Audits and wheelchair battery

Well, yesterday saw me carry out my usual audits for a mobile phone chain, I had 3 in total having already carried 1 out the other day. I searched the web around various mobility shops for a new wheelchair battery and got quoted what I considered to be stupid money around the region of £4o-60 for a new battery, then I refined my search to a more general type in that I looked for the battery by type and not by brand, I found one for £38 including delivery, placed my order and had a confirmation. Only to have another recommendation of a similar item for £4 less. In some ways I just love the web, but to go and do that to me after making a purchase is a bit like getting a slap round the face with a wet kipper!. Not that I have and ever will have that happen, but I just felt it was a bit like having my face rubbed in something unpleasant. Anyway despite having found out I could have saved an additional £4 I consider what I have purchased a bargain even with the postage and shipping costs. Just hope it does not take too long to arrive so we may enjoy more stress free family days out with Mrs W.

10th Augusts 2009

Today saw a fairly lazy and relaxed day, the weather saw such a turn around following the last few days of sunshine, the sky remained grey most of the day with several showers. The carers came during the morning to assist Mrs W, I had a couple of mystery visits to carry out, one in a bank, the other in a fast food take away drive thru at Cribbs Causeway. Didn't see the children much of the day as they spent it out and about with their friends. We attempted to get some washing done today too, nearly impossible with the weather against us, but we struggled on and got some done, so at least the children have some clothes following their holiday last week. I found out the reason for Mrs W's power pack struggling so much at Cricket St Thomas the other day, one of the terminals on her battery pack have corroded. I went to clean it up so as to allow some contact between the two points and it promptly snapped off where it was so brittle. This now means I have to purchase a new battery, however I am not too disheartened as the life for a battery is around 5 years and we have had this one for around 9 years. I am however disheartened we have another outlay at such an expensive time of year, we not only have to buy the battery, we have to buy new shoes , uniform and other items for the new school year, so it is an expense we could have done with out. I have done some research and discovered the battery costs around £50 a little less with the VAT exemption we will be entitled too, but still quiet expensive I feel. But at least once purchased we should notice a significant difference in the power pack and should make days out much easier for all of us to manage and enjoy!.

Monday, 10 August 2009

09th August 2009 Cricket St Thomas

After the last few days of Balloons. We decided it was time for a change, having been given some cash from my Nan to take the children on a day out we all sat and made our minds up, we chose Cricket St Thomas wildlife park. We set off from Bristol, the weather was bright and sunny, we travelled the hour and twenty minutes or so down towards junction 25 M5, followed the signs and arrived to the entrance, we followed the long winding drive to the car park, entered the shop and entrance booth.
We started our way around the park, the children came to a large chess set in a covered cafe area and while we sat drinking ice cold drinks they had a game, some areas of the park were unsuitable for a wheelchair even ours with a power pack struggled to cope with the extreme slopes, we found some areas inaccessible which spoiled the entire enjoyment for Mrs W. We strolled the grounds then came to a lake where the Totnes model boat club were there sailing, the children were allowed to have a go on them for a small fee. Mrs W and the children fed the Koi carp for another small fee of 50p. I remember when it used to cost around 20p to feed them, Mrs W and I had been to Cricket St Thomas years ago with the children when they were small babies and a character called MR Blobby used to be the main attraction, we thought then there was plenty to do for the children and even then thought the location was unsuitable for wheelchairs, we had thought things might have improved, but feel they had not!.There was not that much to do to be honest, there was the animals of course however many were not seen as they were hiding in the long grass or thick wooded area, great for the animals but not good for the visitors. The train was not accessible to wheelchair users so we had to view the whole park walking which in the hot summers day proved very hard going, We stopped at around the half way point of the park, found a low wall in the sun and ate our picnic we had brought with us. We then made our way to the park entrance and browsed the shop. I picked up a small fridge magnet for our increasing collection on the fridge door of places we have been too, overall I have to say Cricket St Thomas did not rate very highly from the disabled point of view, the paths were uneven and the toilet facilities were few and far between. I would have to give the location 6/10. Not a very reasonable score, one of the small plus points was the park did not charge for Mrs W we only paid, for myself and my son adult price, £8.75 each and our daughter £6.60. However I did not feel the entry price was that good value for money considering you had to pay to feed the fish, pay to use the remote controlled boats and if you could access the train, that needed to be paid for too.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

08th August 2009

Picked the children up from their Nana's Early today, visited my mother and my nan as we usually do on a Saturday morning hearing of the children's adventures while driving there and back home, We made an executive decision to go to the balloon fiesta after all. The weather was gloriously hot. My Nan gave us some cash to take the children away for the day, so we used some of it at the fiesta its self, the rest we shall use at another day out.

We entered Ashton Court and were surprised at how quiet the event was, we even managed to get directed to a car parking space right at the front by the entrance, ideal with the wheelchair. We managed to browse the trade stands grabbing the free samples along the way, this year seemed to be Haribo sweets and Cadbury deserts, once again Mrs W's favorite, the children loved them too. The ground had dried out somewhat since our last visit on Thursday, making pushing the wheelchair very much easier, the sun was shining and everyone was happy, the Royal marines put on a fighting display, a spitfire flew over the crowd, the balloons tethered through out the day, the Royal marine band played the whole arena area. Then at five o'clock the Red Arrows flew over head, dramatic and spectacular as ever. The balloons inflated and one by one began to drift over the hot sunny Bristol skyline, we left after seeing most of the balloons take off. The crowd was massive to say the very least considering how quiet it had started!. We finally got home after an hour of being stuck in traffic once again the traffic management seemed to lack any real organization but it did not spoil the enjoyment of the day, we are even a little sun burned.

Friday, 7 August 2009

07th August Balloons and night glow

We went to Ashton court for the Balloon fiesta last night, arriving around 5pm. traffic in was good, we were directed to a parking space near to the entrance of the festival disembarked the car and already the ground was soft and getting muddy, sometimes very muddy so much so the wheelchair got stuck, we made efforts to browse the fiesta together passing various stalls including cadbury who were handing out puddings which were very tasty. We tried to get round a bit further but the ground was very soft and the wheelchair kept trying to dig into the ground so, we found a fairly good part of the ground and made camp, well parked the wheelchair at least, we had a fantastic view of the arena, which at that time was filled with around half a dozen of the interesting shaped balloons tethered. I went off to explore the various trade stands going passed the Cadbury stand to collect some more puddings, in the end I had 3 of them and Mrs W actually had more, I won't say how many more though!. I also went passed a stand handing out Haribo sweets, I grabbed as many samples as I could with the children in mind of course!. After a few walk by's I ended up with 2 pockets full of them for them. I returned to Mrs W who was beginning to feel the cold, I went off in search of food, the choice was unreal for a festival, there were the usual suspects, burgers, chips, hot dogs, then there curly fries, chips and dips, giant hot-dogs and even a hog roast seller too, I opted for a safe bet, pizza, with peperoni and jalapeno peppers for Mrs W. I went off in search of some liquid refreshment and opted for a pint of Cider from zero degrees micro brewery and very tasty it was too. A short while passed waiting by the arena and then the Royal Marine band played a couple of tunes. After that the arena was filled with model remote controlled hot air balloons. At 9pm the big balloons started to fill the arena. A large firework signalled the start of the glow, the glow was stunning, set to music, the balloons glowing brilliantly in the darkness. A spectacle that if you have not seen it, is well worth the visit. After the glow saw a firework display. We made our way back to the car, followed the snake of pedestrians and cars out of Ashton Court, it was gone eleven PM before we got out of the estate and nearly 1 AM by the time we had actually got home, the traffic was Chaos as everyone left the festival at the same time, the traffic control was slow and I had a feeling that if the drivers had been left to it the traffic might have moved more freely. But I always feel that about the various events I have been too. The weekend sees the skies of Bristol filled with various shapes and sizes of balloons, I hope we get sight of them, as for going back to the festival this year, it is doubtful due to the state of the grass around the arena, the more people visit the festival will mean more mud so not in the bit likely to improve negotiating the festival. I keep thinking that there should be special festival areas which are concrete areas enabling access to all for these kinds of festivals especially for a city the size of Bristol, I know there are some great show grounds with good level hard surfaces and standing areas but Bristol has a severe lack of a decent arena/show ground I feel and as a result is losing out!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

06th August 2009 Butterflies everywhere!

Well last night saw myself and Mrs W head off to Bingo again, not such a great night, I blame the caller myself, he was calling out all the wrong numbers!, but at least we had another great night out, with out the need to worry about getting home for the children. Yesterday also saw an abundance of butterflies too, the weather warmed up and out they came. I counted at least 5 maybe 6 different species in my back garden!. I took great pleasure in watching them fluttering around in the warm afternoon sun.The blog has some of the pictures I took. last night also saw very little sleep due to the neighbours from hell next door, music playing till the very early hours of themorning/night. Today saw us heading to Weston for a couple of mystery shops before returning home for lunch. It is the Balloon fiesta here in Bristol this weekend, was kinda hoping the weather would stay warm, but it seems it is not too be! well at least not for tonight's impressive launch and night glow anyway, myself and Mrs W hope to be going tonight if the weather holds off that is. Not really ideal pushing a wheelchair over wet, muddy fields that will only get muddier with thousands of feet and vehicles using it. Only have a couple more days with out the children now so trying to make the most of it! So I am praying for the nice weather to allow us to get out and about

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

EBay is it really that great?

Well my children have been on about EBay and how great it is, my brother in law swears by it. So after much deliberation I gave it a go, I listed around 10 items nothing big, stuff that had been collecting dust, unwanted DVDs, videos etc. Checked in everyday to see the clock counting down, not one of my items sold, it has cost me not to sell anything and I had to be prepared to pay the P&P on some of the items as EBay have made their minds up that some items do not warrant the seller charging the buyer for the trouble of posting it to them, bloody cheek if you ask me!. I found myself in the bidding side of EBay too, I placed my bid and watched the item, I too my surprise had won it and at a bargain price too I believe, that is if the said item actually arrives and works, I have used EBay a while ago and got stung by the seller. So I wait with baited breath, the item? oh yes, it was a16GB SD memory card for my camera, I should be able to store mega amount of pictures on that!. The price? well go on then if you insist, I paid £9 for it at auction on EBay, which I am led to believe is a bargain price, well I did do a web search and found them for in excess of £20 in some stores so £9 is not a bad bargain, just wish I could sell some of my stuff to cover it now! In my opinion EBay is not all that it is cracked up to be I as yet have to discover if it is as good as everyone says it is for selling,I have now got around 10 auctions going for DVDs, videos and various other small items, not going to make a fortune if anything, but should the memory card arrive and work, then I shall be a happy Bidder at least.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

04th Aug 2009 Bath and Bingo highlights

Today we woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed following our night out to Bingo, we actually had a small couple of wins, totalling £30 in all. Actually came away from the Bingo hall around £8 up, not bad for a night out, just a shame it was not much more!.But at least we had a night out for very little money, always a bonus in anybodies books I reckon. Today I have a couple of mystery visits, one in Bristol at a take away, the other in a clothes shop in Bath, we plan on stopping in Bath for some sight seeing and photo taking if the weather holds that is. Well the weather did hold and we did manage to get a little bit of Culture and sights of bath for a couple of hours. We came home for some lunch sanwiches today, I filled my reports and Mrs w had her regular afternoon nap, I sat and watched some old movie on television, once again the weather is far to damp to go out taking pictures!, this Summer is surely one of the wettest we have seen for many years?. This evening we have a Friend coming round for a drink or two and much silliness no doubt!, a night in tonight, can't manage too many nights out in a row!.

Monday, 3 August 2009

03 August 2009

This morning saw us waking up, following a somewhat early night, I think the thought of being able to "do what we want" is great, but practically I do not think either of us are really up to it, Went to Bristol airport after the carers came in for the usual care and assistance for Mrs W. I had to visit a take away there for a mystery visit. Sat and watched telly this afternoon while Mrs W had her nap, eating what can only be described as the best ever Ham sandwich, the ham was purchased from the Co-op deli counter on my usual morning shopping trip, it was an impulse buy, but it looked really nice, looked and now I knew. It tasted nice too!. Mrs W and I are going to our local bingo hall tonight, something we have not done in ages. I just hope neither of us fall asleep! But before we go to Bingo I am going to cook us a stir fry. A short but interesting entry in the blog today, pretty uneventful day really.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

02nd Aug . 2009.

Came home early from the Bristol Harbour Festival last night, the festival goers were being joined and out numbered by the Saturday night revellers, the atmosphere started to change, families started to leave and the alcohol started to rear its ugly head, in the form of stupid games, pranks, and blood shot staring eyes. Both Mrs W and myself began to feel uneasy and made our minds up to leave early, we never got to see the fireworks, but based on what we had started to see felt happier leaving the harbour side in the knowledge that we would both be home safe and away from the drunken antics that were slowly changing the ethos of the harbour side festival. Both myself and Mrs W had lay in today, neither of us emerged from our bed until gone 10am. We were going to the harbour festival again today however we had a visitor, Mrs W's sister who we haven't seen for around 2 years came, the conversation went on and the time just ran away with us, it was gone 2pm by the time we had sorted ourselves out. Mrs had her afternoon nap and I watched a film on one of the many film channels. Tonight we thought we might pop to a pub for a meal and a drink. Just come back from the Harvest for our meal, what a carry on, a thirty minute wait for a table, we place our order to be told, there is no soup! no Stella of Carlsberg lager, no brown rolls! and to top it off no Steaks either!.We placed our alternative food orders and the food arrived, we both enjoyed our second choices, unfortunately we were sat next to the rather large water feature, not ideal to hear the constant sound of water while eating and drinking!. we left the Harvester somewhat stuffed and on the way home we followed some hot air balloons that were out for the night from Bristol Balloons. A sure sign the weather has made somewhat of an improvement and a sight not unfamiliar over the Bristol sky, but one that still attracts lots of attention when they are sighted. I was only too aware of people grabbing their cameras and pointing them skyward on the drive home. I even stopped off and took a couple too, one of which I attached to the blog photo, the rest can be found on my page.

1st Aug 2009 Harbour Festival day 2

Today saw me taking the children to their nans house for an early start, they are going to Wales for a few days on holiday. This in turn leaves myself and Mrs W home alone, this morning we set off to the Bristol Harbour festival, took in the sights and sounds of the festival, the markets, the charity stands, the various food outlets, the boats and the various acts on the stages around the harbour side. There was music acts including the likes of farthing wood, dance acts, circus acts and comic acts too, we saw my old friend Merlin Cadogan, magician, he recently appeared in Britain's got talent, performing various escapology acts. various boats cruising the harbour, The Mathew was on the move up and down the harbour as well as the Pyronaut which put on a spectacular display as ever with it's hoses pumping hundreds of litres of water into the air, in case you were wondering the Pyronaut is in fact a boat used for extinguishing fires at sea or around the harbour, where conventional fire appliances are unable to reach. We stayed for around 4 hours this morning before the weather and hunger got the better of us and we headed home for some lunch. Mrs W went to bed for her afternoon nap, I sat watching a couple of old films on the television. This evening we are heading down to the harbour festival yet again to see the firework spectacular. We also hope to get a feel for the harbour side and the surround at night too, not been there at night time as we do not usually get the time to go. As we have no children we can! and have to say are looking forward to it too.