Category Archives: General

Things To Do Before You Are 39 (Again)

My delightful wife has posted an openly gratuitous request for brithday messages, following her recent chnage in numerical addition. I would like to point out that this will be her last birthday – her words – and she will now remain her current age forever.

She has also stated compiling a list of things to do before she is 39 (again). Here are a few suggestions:

1. Cook you husband’s tea every night – including nights when he would “cook”.
2. Earn enough money so that he can retire early
3. Visit your friends more – I could do with some peace and quiet
4. Remember to get your husband Meg, Nicole, Michelle or Emma for Christmas.
5. Visit all those nice people in Scotland just don’t warn them we’re coming 🙂
6. Demolish Swansea.
7. Find a way of creating a heating system for the stand at Pontypool Park ready for the coming winter. It was fair nobbling the other week.
8. Buy T&E’s sister a real sheep(s) but don’t tell her husband
9. Invent a mute button for the Troublesome Trucks.
10. Enjoy life!!!!

Remember that it’s your husband’s birthday in 37 days time!!!!

Internet Saves Time My A***

Yesterday was FW’s almost 40th birthday. I am not allowed to say her true age, as it is locked in a safe within an enigma within a souffle within a vault in a nuclear missile shelter somewhere in South Dakota.

Being the loving, thoughtful husband I am I had worked out what she wanted and had set about arranging things. then I hit problems.

1. Our home broadband has broken. It was working before we went away but is now dead.
2. My work interweb allows access to certain sites but only at specific times in the day.
3. It allowed to buy the present but not access my webmail to download it. Sister’s printer is kaput and my mother’s does not have Adobe Reader. When I tried to download this it failed to connect with the download section of the site.
4. Thankfully I had already bought a card and some flowers from a new fangled thing called a SHOP!!!
5. So I am still unable to access the main part of her present and the second part will not arrive until next week.

Thankfully I have an understanding wife who knows that these things sometimes happen to nice people 🙂

well Travelled

Last weekend saw us undertaking a mini tour of the South East.

On Friday we drove to Dunstable for the “Wedding of the Month”. Dunstable was everything I remembered, it is like taking a failing Welsh town and dropping it into the prosperous South East of England.

The wedding was held in an old Anglican (Heretic) Church that will celebrtae its 900th anniversary soon. The vicar(ess) apologised for the builder’s rubble outside but said that if she could make us laugh twice then we should contribute towards the rebuilding work.

After the wedding finished I made my apologies and went back to the hotel to watch the Welsh lose to the Australians. This was a good thing as the meal at the reception was lamb – T&E does not eat family members!!!!

I returned for the evening to find FW in a very merry mood. She assured me that this had nothng to do with her efforts (and those of her friends) to drink the EU Wine lake dry.

Sunday saw us heading further East to the deepest, darkest depths of Suffolk. This is a strange county where you almost expect Wicker Men to be burning in the fields or hordes of inbred locals cruising the roads looking for fresh “outsiders” to disembowel.

We had a great end to the journey where the road to the village was closed, about a mile short, and we then had a 5-10 mile detour to reach it.

Many thanks should be expressed to Tiffer and Mrs Tiffer for looking after my wedding ring (for 4 years) and the warm welcome we received.

We were taught the important things in life – Mr Tiffer is only a curate and will not become a vicarage for 3 years; not all Anglicans are heretical backsliders; not all people in Suffolk are inbred; that some children (other than my nephews) are fun.

Many thanks to Abigail for entertaining us with her little giggles and squeeks. Having a small child break into a smile, jump up and down and wave in respone to your wave was fun.

We made it back to South Wales after a 3 drive across the UK. Our SatNav brought us home via Leicestershire and the M42 – thus avoiding the carnage that is the anti-clockwise M25 at the moment.


As many of you may (or may not) know, I work in the transport industry. Well work is a very loose description of what I do. These days it seems to be more about computer input than actually doing any physical work.

The revelation last week that 2 bombs had been found on aircraft in Dubai and East Midlands Airport has got the industry talking. We are already seeing governments inssiting on tighter security controls for cargo.

You see all cargo loaded into passenger aircraft holds has to be x-rayed or physically searched prior to loading. Well that is the theory. Not every country actually does this efficiently and there are always ways around these things, if you are smart, dedicated or willing to bribe someone.

However the rules for cargo only airfcraft are different. This is because only the flight crew are at risk. The industry insists that there is no need to inspect every package that goes onto a cargo aircraft. Plus it would add cost to the process and lead to time delays.

Here is the anomaly with what happened. The package going to Chicago via the UK was only spotted during a security exam at East Midlands. This arrived in the UK on a cargo only flight.

The device found in Dubai was originally said to be on a cargo only flight. However we later found out that the package had actually flown into Doha and then Dubai on passenger flights. So who didn’t do their job properly?

Evidently the package left Yemen without being checked. Then it moved through Doha without any checks. Wouldn’t you expect someone in Doha to check unaccompanied packages that originate somewhere as volatile and unsecure as Yemen?

Now don’t worry! The chance of you dying in a explosion on an airliner are longer than the chance of the engine failing. How often do you hear about that happening?

And now for something from the QI fact of the day from the BBC website:

Princess Alexandra, the aunt of Mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-86), suffered from the delusion that she had swallowed a glass piano.

Visit your aunt, but not every day of the year. SPANISH PROVERB


I have started to notice that I’m growing old. You can see it in my beard and when I stand up after being sat in one position for a long period. My boss loves to see me creak and groan as I stumble off to get a drink.

This weekend also saw me struggling to cope with a general malaise that seemed to centre on a bad head, an upset stomach and a feeling of wanting to be sick – yet not being able to.

I must have been ill because I didn’t go to the rugby on Saturday. Instead I spent the afternoon on the settee and then went to bed at 5 for a few hours in the hope of feeling better.

This had a slight impact on the weekend.

Sunday morning at 11:00 I was due to preach at a harvest service. Sunday morning at 07:30 I git up and went down stairs to write my sermon. At 10:00 I printed it off.

I will say that this is my least prepared and, to my mind, worst sermon I have given. There were far more visitors in the congregation and little children. The message was aimed at the wrong people. I was even cringing as I preached.

This Saturday we’re in Aberystywch and then have to drive back to Newport for my sister’s **th birthday meal. Sunday evening I have another sermon to preach at another chapel; then the following Sunday morning I’m preaching at our old chapel.

In the meantime I have another week of work to get through.

No wonder I no longer feel like the 16 year old I was about 2 years ago.

I’m informed that I haven’t been 16 for almost 30 years now – when did that happen?

A Follow Up

Saturday Mrs T&E had gone to Swansea for a friend’s birthday. So I went to the rugby with my dad and youngest nephew. Then I had tea at my sister’s before wending my way home.

I spent the evening catching up with recorded TV and Match of The Day before deciding that I really should go to bed. On the bed were Che and Lima, making sure that I only had a small area to fit into. So I pulled back the duvet and climbed in.

I felt something under the cover against my foot. Looking down I saw a dead field mouse. In Mrs T&E had been there then there may well have a cry of “Mouse in the bed! Mouse in the bed!” Instead I removed said mouse and went to sleep.

At “Oh my God it’s early” o’clock I was woken by the catflap closing and Che jumping on the bed and making happy sounds. I rolled over and went to sleep.

Upon waking I sat up to re-read my last Robert Crais book, The First Rule, and began reading. Over the top of the book I could see something lying on the bed.

It was small and brown and looked remarkably like another mouse. Indeed it was another mouse. 2 mice in one night and without Mrs T&E to remove the bodies….

Horrible People

A few years ago Mrs T&E used to like Ricky Gervais. The Office and Extras were great comedy but also had a bite to them. You got the impression that Gervais was showing us how horrible some people could be.

Then we saw a “live” concert and thought that Gervais came across as a rather horrid person. We thought that this was a persona until we saw him on a few chat shows. Then we started to grow dislike him as we saw that his “comedy” persona was actually how he is in real life.

Now he has been advertising his new show An Idiot Abroad. He he sends his friend and sidekick, Karl Pilkington, off to various countries to “expand” his horizons. What it actually seems to be about is finding various ways to ridicule and upset his “friend”. From this Gervais extracts great humour, if only for himself.

So we have someone exploiting someones naivete for profit. Yes, there will be plenty of people for him this will be worthwhile entertainment. Thankfully I can also find something else on TV that is actually more worthwhile to watch. Expoliting someone for self gratification has never been my idea of fun.

Now, if I had a friend like Gervais, then I would feel a sudden urge to kill the smarmy git!

Days of Future Present Past

Over the last week I have been giving some thought to my future. Things need to change and very soon. I haved ploughed a rut that needs to be filled and left.

So I have to do a few things this week and speak to a few people to see if my thoughts can be acted on. If they can then life will take a more exciting and, hopefully, rewarding turn for the better.

In other news…..

Our trip to Edinburgh has had to be postponed due to unforeseen circumstance. We received a card inviting us to a wedding (not the district in Berlin, worse luck) in Dunstable. DUNSTABLE??? Who would choose to get married in Dunstable??? (If the person reads this, then obviously someone with taste and intelligence!!)

It also means that we won’t get to see Wales v Australia, which is on the same day (Boo!!!!)

However the person will be moving to……


Holiday Update

I have 5 days of my holiday to go before returning to work. Since returning I have managed to do almost nothing constructive, that’s what holidays are for.

Today we went for lunch at a local pub – The Hall Inn in Gwehelog near Usk. This is a great place to eat as the food is superb, you have proper portions and it is very good value. I especially love the Steak & Kidney Pudding – you only get it on a weekday lunchtime though.

So far I have finished reading: Low Life, Spies of The Balkans, Nemesis, and Potsdam Station. I’m just finishing Paris After The Liberation: 1944-1949.

To keep me going I have to read, and review, The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering My SS Grandfather’s Secret Past and How Hitler Seduced a Generation. I love the Amazon Vine Programme as I get free books and things, providing I review them afterwards. It is very hit and miss as to the quality you get. Low Life was one of them and seemed to be Memento meets Fight Club.

The worse book I have selected was A Grasp of Kaspar. This was one of the most over hyped and dreadfully written books I can remember. Almost as bad as the Da Vinci Code. My review is on the site under Argghhhhh!!!!!

Tomorrow I have to watch a Dolph Lundgren DVD and review that. I’ll let you know how “good” that is at some point in the future. Mind you I did select it on the grounds that it should be good for a laugh and cringe if nothing else. I am not expecting something to rival Citizen Kane or The Godfather.


We have returned from our visit to Yokeland with our nephews – still in one piece and, relatively, sane. Here is a picture of the beach.

In order to commute from our private and exclusive campsite we had to travel using the Swanage Railway. Which appeals to all of us and we were told by the Troublesome Trucks that we had to use it at least twice while we were there.

On the Tuesday we visited Monkey World. I’ll be honest and say that it wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped. This was mainlky because they seemed to have so many of the same varities. Plus you are not allowed to hold them or feed them to the crocidiles (plus there are no crocs or alligators). In addition there was an extreme shortage of penguins!!!!

Wednesday was spent at the beach. I managed to get myself sunburnt on my legs and knees – yes, my knees were bared to the public, as was my chest. There were reports on South Today that the Japanese Whaling Fleet had appeared mysteriously in the English Channel.

We could also see the Isle of Smudgie from the beach but she has gone to London to live, so it has lost its interest.

Thursday was spent in Poole. We went to see

I must say that I was looking forward to seeing Knight & Day but this was a great way to spend 2 hours on a Thursday afternoon. It was very true to the original and looks like it has been set up for a sequel. Murdoch is especially true to the original and we find out why B.A. became afraid of flying. If that had happened to me then I think I would be as well.

Friday morning saw us at the local pool in Wareham. Partly for a swim but also for the use of their shower facilities. FW spent the afternoon with her sister while the Troublesome Trucks and I went to the Tank Museum. Here you see the history of the tank from a design by Leonardo di Caprio (which wouldn’t have worked) right through to the most modern design.

The boys wanted to see the Sherman but I wanted to see the Tiger family – the King Tiger is as fearsome to look at as its reputation. It just seems to dwarf every other type of tank that it came up against. This was definitely a great way to spend an afternoon, if you like such things. Plus I can go again for free within the next 12 months.

Now the big question we were asked…….

Did it make you want to have kids?

No, it didn’t. It made us appreciate the decision we have made but also showed that the holiday does get an added dimension when you have children with you, that is much different – in a very good way. It also shows that we can cope with the Troublesome Trucks and would be happy to go away with them again.

Only next time maybe we’ll take their parents as well…..