A raid on the charity chops is in the offing

Work on the guttering has finally been completed and yet another job can be crossed of the list of many items to be completed before I call the estate agents in to value the place. Thanks go to Al The Beast and Bean Counters youngest for their sterling and unstinting efforts to finish the job off in spite of bad weather and extremely windy conditions for being at the top of a ladder with nothing to hang onto. The garden was looking great until the bad weather that plagued TB and BC’s youngest stopped me from doing any more to it and now lethargy has crept in. As soon as the first rays of sunshine hit the grass I will be out there with the lawnmower and continuing my battle with weeds and dandelions.

I am still attempting to find a motorcycle for my sojourn and with the way oil prices are heading it could become my major means of getting from A to B. The price of oil shows no sign of coming down nor does the hated tax that goes along with it. Gordon Brown says he is listening to what people say and he feels their pain but he is not actually doing anything about it apart from pushing up the price of road tax for older vehicles. This seems to have caused a split between the green lobby who want even higher taxes and to stop people from going anywhere unless they can walk or cycle and the rest of the UK who are suffering the highest household bills for decades. It is no use saying in real terms prices are actually lower than what they used to be years ago, it’s what is in your pocket that counts and most of mine is going on petrol, household bills and food.

With this in mind Roger Moor, me and TB started looking at efficient ways of burning charcoal and wood. We looked at Rocket stoves, Winiarski Stoves, Justa ovens and rocket bread ovens. In order to cut down on the annual and seasonal consumption of charcoal briquettes for outdoor cooking we are going to make a bread oven from oil drums and bits of steel pipe and we are also looking at gasification of wood to cook on while outdoors. This is going to be the project for this summer although Ted Magnum has said he wants to crucify a pig (a dead one don’t panic) over hot coals and he wants me to produce a kebab of a whole lamb and several chickens on the same spit. Details and photos will eventually appear in the Barbie section weather and the good ole British Summer pending. (Note to the Tiler and the Printer, it’s the end of May, its pissing down and its only 15 centigrade so don’t be crying into your Four X and moaning about having to put the car heater on cos it’s Autumn down under and only 25C)

Another event due to take place at sometime this year was the garden party I am planning, again weather pending. This was to have been a recreation of a 1920’s tea party with cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and strawberry conserve, Earl Gray tea in china cups and lashings of Ginger beer with Pimms No1 to follow. Dedicated carnivores will be directed to the grill. In keeping with the theme of the event I set about looking for a pair of white linen Oxford bags and a Panama hat. Sadly it seems no one is making Oxford bags any more and Panama hats range from the extortionate to cheap copies which are far from the genuine article. I may even have to get some "baggies" made. I wonder if Flemings on Walton road Liverpool is still in business? They used to make tailor made and customised jeans. You had a choice of gold or white stitching and you could specify leg width, they would knock them up in 48 hours. Made from sail cloth they were the toughest jeans you could buy. I wish I had not thrown mine out but I guess they would not have fitted my ever expanding girth anymore. A raid on the charity chops is in the offing.

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