Halloween 5

And Halloween is complete as the Pumpkin has been carved. We had an ambitious plan to this year produce our very own Orange Darth Vader. Unfortunately the plan failed to take account of my complete incompetence and our selection of that Pumpkin which was discarded in the corner of the shop.

Dad I feel sorry for that one. Let’s give that one a home.

So after many cut fingers our Pumpkin has been born.

It’s no Darth Vader. So it needs a name. Is it.

Donald

Mr Clever

Darwin Watterson

OR Oompa

Halloween 4

Sorry the case of the missing comment boxes has returned again. No idea why. WP couldn’t fix it last time. When I say couldn’t fix it I mean couldn’t care less. Hopefully comments will be restored but probably not for the post Halloween 4. I will just have to guess wha great music selections you came up with.

Halloween 4

**** sorry WP is fighting back – trying to fix it *******

Time for our top 5 Halloween playlist’s.

First our son

Alter Bridge – Metalingus

A song just too cool it would be wrong not to play at any time of year.

Press here to play the Metalingus song

Scooby Doo Intro

Press here for time travel to your childhood

Alice Cooper – Feed My Frankenstein

Press here for a bit of Alice

Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper

Press here for that song from Halloween

Alvin and the Chipmunks – Gangnam Style

This is shocking and scares the pants of my Dad.

Alviiiiiinnnnn Video

Now it’s his Dad’s turn

Metallica – Enter Sandman

Press here for Enter Sandman

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Had to include the band named after a Boris Karloff horror movie

Press here for a bit of Birmingham’s finest.

Monster Mash

Press here for a blast from the past

Rocky Horror Time Warp

Press here for and you will be dancing in seconds

Ghost – Cirice

Press here for a seriously spooky band

Accidents happen

I bet if I leaned on that hay bale it would end up rolling down the hill and smashing into my car like a guided missile.

During my life one of the truths I have leant repeatedly is – accidents happen. I am accident prone. Always have been. Always will be. Big ones. Small ones. Ones that hurt. Ones that make you laugh. Ones that get you into trouble. Ones that make you embarrassed. Ones that make you cry. Just too many to mention. Some notable ones include

  • Breaking my arm balancing on a stool. Then breaking my other arm within 3 hours of having the pot removed. Same Doctor had to put the new pot on who had taken just taken the old one off.
  • Dropping a toilet roll just bought from the shop and watching it unravel as it rolls down the High Street. The High Street was on a hill and I dropped it at its highest point.
  • Falling out of a window while trying to paint it.
  • The door on a temporary toilet jammed at a festival and it took an hour for me to be released.
  • Trying to hammer a hanging basket onto next doors fence and accidentally pushing most of the fence over.
  • Breaking my finger trying to put up a deck chair.
  • Using a staple gun and stapling my thumb to a piece of wood
  • Breaking my little toe when I accidentally kicked the toilet.
  • As a kid playing cricket on the back field and managing to hit the best stroke (shot) of my life straight through our toilet window. A wonder shot of 100 yards. Unfortunately Dad was on the toilet at the time. Thankfully my ‘a big boy did it and ran away’ excuse worked.
  • Managed to get a pea stuck up my nose. Staggeringly our son did the same thing many years later.
  • Split my leggings a third of the way up a 4 hour cliff climb. The climbers below are still in counselling after all those years.
  • I saved up for a new watch. Within 5 minutes of buying it I had tripped over and smashed the face.
  • I was trying to pull my trousers up after using the cramped toilet on a speeding French TGV. Unfortunately I lost balance and exploded out through the toilet door and into the crowded carriage. Busting my head open as my hands were still desperately trying to pull the trousers up past my knees. The international shame.

So accidents happen. All you can do is try to smile and learn from them. Mostly no ones fault. They just happen.

Our Son asked if he could borrow my Tablet to play the chess app. After a few minutes the mad dog jumped on him and started licking him. In the confusion our Son forgot about the Tablet and must have rolled on it. A few minutes later we had a very bent piece of tech. Quite a bit of the touch screen is knackered and beyond repair. The poor kid was mortified. I’m so pleased I didn’t shout or be in any way angry. I know accidents happen. Thankfully he cheered up eventually. Re-telling the French Train Toilet incident helped. It shows that I didn’t intend to bare my buttocks but all I had done was not anticipate a particularly bumpy track section and a crap door. It’s life and things are sent to test us.

So I will make the best of a broken tablet until I can save up for a new one (or a refurbished one). Sorry in advance if you get some strange spellings on my posts of from my comments – the on screen keyboard is now possessed and rather random. Very apt that it’s Halloween. When the new one comes I will make sure that before either of us use it that it’s enclosed in a protective case. Because accidents can and will happen.

Village life

We knew a really nice couple in the village who we became good friends with. But life happens. Our own lives and troubles took over and we slowly drifted apart. To the extent that we hardly ever saw each other. Now it’s mostly a quick wave on dog walks. But it’s reassuring to have someone in the village who I know. Over the last few years the people I could talk to has reduced rapidly. The village is lovely but the isolation is often suffocating.

Today the isolation feels like it’s gone off the scale.

A sign has appeared outside our old friends house. House Sold by Private Sale. My heart sunk when I saw that. Even though our friendship has cooled the thought of them leaving still hurts. More isolated than ever. Now the village is entirely filled with nameless people who smile and occasionally say hello. They are friendly but are not friends. Our lives don’t cross. They haven’t a clue who I am. I’m just that bloke who goes for a run, takes the dog for a walk and appears to be a single parent. He’s probably separated from his wife.

With no pub, or shop or natural village focal point that is unlikely to change. During winter with the poor weather and dark nights you can go weeks without seeing another villager. The house lights are the only indication that it’s not a ghost village. It’s more isolation I could do without. The feeling of being trapped. The isolation is perfect for our son currently. He doesn’t want to leave the house with memories of his mum. Who can blame him. He can control his interaction with the outside world. The house is good for him.

Even if that wasn’t the case – we just can’t afford to move.

Trapped.

Isolation is increasingly a theme for so many in today’s fractured society. I feel it’s icy cold grip. More than ever. It’s another battle I need to take on. At the moment the battles just seem to keep coming.

Halloween 3

This Halloween has to make our son happy. Failure is not an option. Best way to achieve that simple goal was to let him choose what spooky activities we will fill our time with. At the start of the week he came up with his list.

  1. Make a Pumpkin Head. But this year Dad let’s try not to make the poor soul look like Donald Trump. That’s just not fair on any fruit. *** I thought it was a vegetable. Every day is a school day.
  2. Halloween Costume. Dad I think we should try and go for a Freddie look. We don’t buy a costume we see what we can rustle up. I guess the mad dog will want his party hat on again.
  3. Watching as many Scooby Doo DVDs as we can find. Finish off with his three favourites. Boo Brothers, Kiss and Witches Ghost.
  4. Watch a Hammer Horror movie. These are atmospheric but relatively tame these days.
  5. Have a Lego building competition. This year it’s who can make the best haunted castle.
  6. Make a spooky music playlist.
  7. Make up a Halloween story. Dad this year I think it’s a couple of kids stuck in a scary computer game.
  8. Play our two Top Trump Monster packs.
  9. Any TV has to be spooky related like Ghostbusters.
  10. Monster knockout competition to decide the greatest ever horror character.
  11. Apple Bobbing
  12. Late night reading in the garden of Hound of the Baskervilles.
  13. All dog walks have to be after dark.
  14. Build a garden monster out of what we can find lying around. Then leave it for nature (or the dog) to dispose.
  15. Halloween treasure hunt in the garden to find hidden objects like chocolate bars.
  16. See what spooky food and drinks we can invent.
  17. Eat the cookie/biscuit game. Put a cookie on your forehead and then without using your hands try to somehow get the cookie into your mouth and it’s the first person to eat the cookie wins.
  18. Jelly Bean roulette. We have stocked up on some new flavours. Cat food, Snail, Earthworm, Earwax, Squid.
  19. Make Pumpkin Chilli Soup. Even I can manage that.

Have we missed anything. Any more cool ideas?

Dream Bar

The Yorkshire fields are rapidly becoming boating lakes. Very tempting for a young mad dog. Not so tempting for the owner faced with cleaning the mud laden hound. Then faced with cleaning the mud strewn house.

Son had finally gone to bed and I started on some late night work. I wasn’t hopeful as I was already fighting the urge to sleep. But needs must. I think Apple or Microsoft should take account of tiredness in the design of apps. How many people fall asleep while using things like spreadsheets. Maybe special biometric sensors on the keys or touch screens that detect oncoming snooze episodes. This should then trigger either the playing of 100db Mongolian Heavy Metal or sharp electric shocks. I probably needed both last night.

So yes I fell asleep at the keyboard. This brought the onset of a recurring dream coming back for another outing in my mind cinema. A dream I have had for probably 20 years now. It’s always the same. A great hill walk with friends ending up in a Bar. But this is no ordinary Bar. This one is carved into the base of a gigantic cliff face. No greenery just an environment of stones and cliff faces. Inside you get a traditional UK pub. Roaring fire. Dart Board. Landlord polishing his pint glasses. A chalk board listing today’s special food. It always ends as we get our gleaming glasses of Black Sheep Bitter. Again I woke last night with a jump with that same unnerving feeling. That dream is so real. Too real not to be a real memory. I just can’t recall where that Bar is. So as one side of my mind tries to find the errors on the ever so boring spreadsheet the other side churns through places I’ve visited trying to locate this elusive Cliff Face Bar.

The dream has become so engrained that this imaginary Bar is on my bucket list of places to visit. Just need to find it. I keep hoping that one day I will come across a photo of a place just like this. A dream that comes true. It could happen surely. Look at this Swiss Hotel (thanks To Trip Advisor for the photo)

Sadly this stunning place is not the dream location. But it gives hope. The same hope that one day all our dreams do start to come true. Those so missed special ones return into our life’s. But until that time let’s keep those dreams alive. Let’s make new dreams. Let’s live.

Halloween 2

Ok son what cartoons would you like to see for Halloween?

Dad sounds like a top 5 of cartoons or kids movies for Halloween would be.

  • ScoobyDoo – not sure you need much more than this but
  • Gravity Falls – but needs to be the Weirdmaggedon ones
  • ParaNorman
  • Ghostbusters
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

Ok Dad what’s yours but I bet I can think of one you will put in. You would put it in for Christmas, Easter and even Valentines…

Am I that predictable son

  • Captain Scarlett and the Mysterons – I knew it Dad…..
  • Penguins of Madagascar but has to be the one with Skipper as a Zombie
  • Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • Charlie Brown – Its the Great Pumpkin
  • Coraline

******

So that’s our choices. Any other ideas greatly appreciated.

The armchair tour.

One of the hardest things to adjust to over the last three years has been that my world has severely contracted. It’s rare for me to travel more than a few miles. Certainly had no holidays in that time. I end up feeling very cut off and a million miles from anywhere.

Then you get days (like most of us) which are bleak. Sad. Depressing. When my dear mum got those days she would listen to sad music. She said it cheered her up. Although I love sad songs they just don’t cheer me up. Looking at old photos helps a lot. But these often leave me with a feeling – I wish I was there now.

So I started something a little different. My own little armchair world tour. I have a list of carefully selected webcams which I can run through in 10 minutes. Many of the webcams are places I’ve been. Some are wonderful views. Some might just be a street corner which has a poignant memory. Then a few webcams are from places I so want to visit one day.

I really look forward to my daily armchair tour. It’s exciting seeing what the places are looking like currently. What’s the weather like? Is it busy? Has anything changed? As I enjoy it so much I tend to save it up. Keep it just in case I need cheering up or calming down later.

So to give you a feel I’m going to leave you with a few of the webcams. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Spiez Webcam

Kandersteg Webcam

Glen Coe

Schilthorn Webcam

Gornergrat Webcam

Gstaad Webcam

Patagonia Webcam

Cape Town Webcam

Maennlichen webcam

Halloween 1 – Scary things

Dad tell me the Top 5 things that scare the pants off you. I bet they are different to mine.

So here goes then.

  1. Donald Trump and Boris Johnson running countries.
  2. Dentists
  3. Wasps
  4. Bono’s singing
  5. Heights

But Dad you are supposed to be a climber.

I’m fine as long as I don’t look down. I would climb in really dark sunglasses so I couldn’t see very far. Ok son what’s your 5 things that scare the pants off you.

  1. Death
  2. Climate change
  3. Trump being within a few feet of the nuclear button
  4. Beetroot
  5. Giraffes

So that’s our scary pants 5. What’s yours then?