Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A family of adventure

Merlin is in London doing Important things with important people. Our economy is in a dreadful situation but these important people are working tirelessly to give us a chance of success,

Michael is at Chessington World of Adventure, doing important evaluation on the theme park that Merlin and the important people are coming to grips with. We at Middle Earth are waiting on the outcome with confident from those we elected to fight our corner, speaking for the humble people of Southdale, Oakdale, Ozdale to name just a few, those who are not grateful will have to realise the seriousness of our position.

Talking of not being grateful, that price you pay is normally £10.

Angela of Underdickens, we have not heard from you for a while, you have travelled to Georgedale, visiting the Georgian Smiths. I hope you are all well and recovered from your African Flu.

Cricket in Fovant

Had a funny dream last night, I thought I was eating a 10lb marshmallow and woke up this morning and my pillow was gone! That is silly, let's never loose silly.

I do not want to make every cricket lover too envious but I am watching village cricket at its most traditional. Ages range from 16 to 58 and that is just our team. The field is really the extended front garden of a farmer's house. See photo. On the hill behind the field, (Michael just took his first wicket), is the regimented badges of the troops who were stationed here in the first world war, before being shipped to the trenchers in France. Sunday 2nds playing Fovant. Fovant is at the extreme top of Dorset, really small rural village, farmer's country. We have playing throughout Dorset and have seen many a field, some perfectly kept by a handful of keen players. I remember Chesselbourne, surrounded by maize on a keen slope. Really Dorset country folk with a broad Dorset accent and what a spread of food, the old dependable sandwiches, pizza slices, Dorset pies and cakes. Not just cakes but farmer brown cakes, huge and sweet and succulent. Then there was Ashmore, a rye field in the winter and a cricket field for the three short summer months. I can not remember what the tea was like but the people were salt of the earth. Fovant surpasses them all for its location, immaculate pitch and surroundings. The tea? Michael said it was alright, he has had many tea's and should know.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Les Avinturiers – Vin de table de France - Rouge

Colour: Being a Rouge it is not as dark, more berry colour.
Smell: You can smell those French barrels anywhere.
Taste: A pleasant fruit juice with a mild adult extra.
Verdict: One must be careful when reviewing a wine received as a present, more especially when it was from Celen of Cookydale. A lovely lady, full of humility and beauty. I like it, fresh and a little sweet but good drinking, singing and dancing wine which will not let you down. The French have ancient saying, 'mis en bouteille par' I could not say it better. Good choice Celen of Cookydale, as always you are my best friend.

Drinking a Rouge wine from a small estate brings you back to mother earth. These peasant farmers spend all year tending their vines, harvesting their grapes and finally being rewarded with a good wine which will bring them their income for the next year. If you want to experience this private vineyard's wine then take a small trip to Francedale where they will welcome you, note the style of cloths and the vehicle you drive and charge you accordingly. Such a civilised way of doing business and combining it with pleasure.

Out with the old in with the new.

Colour: Silver
Make: HP Dual Core
Size: 17" True LIFE

Verdict: I have not switched it on yet but the reason I have taken the Acer Notebook back and bought a proper laptop is the speed and size of the screen. It had a problem with the space bar, maybe the way I type but every now and again it did not put a space in. Great little notebook but after the initial euphoria it was just too small. Very mobile and ultra light, little more than a half a pound of butter.

Now into full screen and 2 hours battery again but can do all the work I want and enjoy watching Michael play cricket.

News from Southdale is that Angela of Underdickens is rather poorly, African flu, passing it on to Lily Florence has only made matters worse. Not only does she feel horrid, away from home but Lily is not sleeping well at night. Matt will be taking the strain but he is one of the best fitted to do the late night soothing. Get well soon and if it gets worse do not hesitate to see our eminent new doctor of Middle Earth. Gary of Middle Smiths will gladly pop you around, come to think of it he is the only one that knows where the doctor is, maybe he can share some direction with the rest of Middle Earth just in case of some other emergency. A name and form of communication would also be of some encouragement to us.

Merlin is off to London on Tuesday, important people are having an important meeting and no one better than Merlin to share this important event. Have a very important day and ensure all those important projected are action to the correct important people. Going forward we do need to start identifying the important people of Middle Earth, we must be more class conscious. This is very important as we have no plans in place to deal with the outside chance of some very important thing happening. Be prepared and we can avert the chaos that might befall us. Will all important people among us please put your names forward, so we can begin the Register of Important People (RIP).

To begin I am putting myself forward as Secretary to the Register of Important People.(RIP)

Have a good bank holiday weekend for those in the bank holiday Dale.

Friday, 27 August 2010

The Dark Side

Fess is 16 today, growing up she is, a lovely lass and we are proud of her. Knitting a scarf while we all sing and dance the evening away. Fulia and Femma have cooked a feast and we will be enjoying this culinary treat late into the night.

Fess is such a studious girl, studying home craft in the New Year. Fess is hoping to catch a farmer from Memma's Young Farmer Association. Mally of Musmead Manor, feels it is a bit soon as they are all out in the fields cutting hay. I would like to say that anyone who can court and marry Fess will be the most fortunate of men.

Just to keep you up to date, Fess has moved to the dark side, joining Gary of Middle Smiths, may the force with her be. It is an inevitable progress being the archivist of Middle Earth.

That is two families of Middle Earth that have gone over to the Dark side. The world is changing, most modern PC's have a dual core processor, not so the Dark side, it is more organic, apple core is the processor that powers these Dark Side notebooks and laptops.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

GCSE Results and all who fall

An exciting day in the UK, many years of schooling, yes I know I did not say hard work, culminates in one day of Examination Results. Michael is fortunate to have been born into this above average family and did very well. 2 A's, 7 B's and a C. Better than we expected, no I really did not know what to expect, but am happy with his results. Clever boy.

Gary of Middle Smiths is in the Orange Free State, Clarens to be exact. Taking with him on this journey of discovery is the whole Middle Smith family and the Underdickens. I wait with great expectation on the photographs they will send and will share them with you.

Fess of Faydales has also excelled and is now on her way to Brockenhurst to further her education, well done Fess, Middle Earth is proud of all the little grey cells that do work. The Middle Earth Population chart was created by Fess and future generation of Middle Earth will all use her work as a starting point for their research.

Must cook now!!!

Middle Earth Population - click to expand

Monday, 23 August 2010

Claudosa Ancestory

The Claudosa family came from the agricultural Mugello region, north of Florence, being mentioned for the first time in a document of 1230. The origin of the name is uncertain, although Claudia is the female form of Claudius. At this stage our archives do not shed any more light on the Claudosa family. It must be pointed out that the great writer of the time wrote;

That house during the course of centuries produced several very eminent, few great men; hardly a single noble-minded one. In all ages it distinguished itself alike by a spirit of haughty defiance, by disdain for the laws, and iron hardness of heart.

Now if that is correct we have to go on the assumption that they did have a representative at the Vatican. This opens up more possibilities as Giuseppe Medici (December 8, 1872 - March 27, 1956) did extensive research into the Mugello region. Before his death he sent copies of all his work to our library in Middle Earth.

I can only ask if anyone has information on the family linage of the Claudosa family to let us have that information. While I am on the subject of information, I have heard that Fess is getting closer to finding out where the Feter came from. The talk at the inn is that he came from the dark forest, but that is just talk and must not be taken seriously. Fulia and Fess will get to the bottom of the unknown milkman.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Sunday and a new notebook

Make: Acer Aspire One. Intel Atom 2,3ghz, 2gb memory, 160gb HDD
Operating System: Windows 7
Software: Microsoft Office 2010
Verdict: Great little toy, extremely light and a 10.8" screen make the web come alive. The best bit is the 8 hour battery life. My old laptop was giving a few problems so off to the bins with the old and in with this little gem. I was not even tempted to go the dark side.

Middle Earth and the Claudosa era. We are getting very excited, we have discovered that the Claudosa era originated from the Medici family. Fess of Faydales is very keen to know the direct link and the subsequent children of the said link. I know you all thinking of Pope Medici II, one of the greatest Popes. What a family tree this is turning out to be.
Claudia of Middle Smiths needs to get back to the Writer and help us in this voyage of discovery. Popes, Bankers, Mussolini, all jump off the pages of Wikipeadia.

Middle Earth can boost, Matthew of Underdickens can trace his family tree to Charles Dickens, now Claudia seems to be decedent to the great Popes. So many questions and alas modern bits have not caught up with Middle Earth, send an electronic email to speed Fess up. Fess is getting a Apple Mac to be compatible with the dark side, may the force be with her.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A journey to Pick and Pay

We have this lovely theatre in Poole and they put on some very good shows. Joseph – the Andrew Lloyd Webber version, Pantomime every Christmas, home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and other West end plays. They also did a nude version of Edward II in a cage; really don't know what that is all about. It is like going to a topless bar and everyone pretending not to look, very continental, probably French. I know someone who wears very low cut tops and her biggest complaint is that everyone she talks to never looks her in the eyes, what colour are her eyes?

The boys are hoping to see the Flying Arrows today, not much chance of them flying in these conditions, they might hear them but with visibility down to about 25m the advertising banner will be difficult to see. The eternal optimism of youth.

The Underdickens of Ozdale have been in Southdale for 5 days and a lovely time they are having. Pick and Pay to name just one. What joy to be able to have a happy family, journeying out on an adventure, taking Lily Florence to Pick and Pay parking lot and then the real treat and walk along the aisles. A happy child well travelled through Africa and beyond. Seriously Gary took 35 minutes to get to a parking bay in Pick and Pay. We so easily forget the distance those we love have to travel to get their daily food ration. I am eternally grateful to Raymond, without his vision and determination, my wee children would starve. Gary the hunter, gatherer seeking out new frontiers, going where no man has gone before, will keep all my beloved safe and well nourished. We are not worthy of such greatness. This is the reason that Claudia, formally of the great Claudosa dynasty, recognised and allowed herself to be courted. Now we have the Middle Smiths, such a merging of two ancient families. The Smiths, holder of the Smith title for all the Blacksmith, Silversmith and Goldsmiths to name just a few, merged with the Claudosa family.
I must at this stage stop this trilogy as I have be honour bound to get the official version from the archives in Claudosa, North of South Italy. Giuseppe will give me the official family records and I will be able to bring you and exclusive article on the finest Italian family since Alfa Romeo. We will be wiser tomorrow.

Also, talking about tomorrow I hope to included the Population Register of Middle Earth. This long awaited document has not been leak, stolen or scaned, we are waiting for the beautiful Fess of Faydale to finish her scribing.

I’ve got a brand new harvester

Colour: Green
Smell: New
Taste: No I am not tasting a brand new harvester
Verdict: Just the type of vehicle to impress, no wow, Memma from Musmead Manor.

Memma is Chief Judge for the small animal section of the Dorset Agricultural Show, Memma follows in the long tradition of Judges from Musmead Manor. I will have photos of this occasion soon and will share them with you. Memma, we all wish you sound judgement and fairness of heart. May the best sheep win?

What a week! Almost bought a new laptop but was warned off by the mighty Merlin. Orders came in at a rate of knots and Michael packed valiantly to allow me time to work on a visual website for the Middle Smiths and Co. Underdickens travelled from Ozdale to Southdale, a journey not dreamed of 10 years ago but now taken on a daily basis. The wee Lily Florence has shown her displeasure at all this jet lag but is finally forgiving Angela and Matthew for subjecting her to this arduous ordeal. Maybe she needs a brand new harvester and she can give the keys to Dad.

England has not done too well against Pakistan and tomorrow will see Pakistan win by a reasonable margin, just like they did against Australia. The Ashes are fast approaching and we all look forward to this unique contest, Mother England against the Australian Colony, playing the game of cricket, more than just a game.

I have brought the boys to golf lessons and the day is A typical of the UK. Overcast, wet and windy. As I look out through the wet windscreen of the car all I see is one determined golfer practising from the practise tees. Balls disappear in the low cloudy, mist range giving the appearance that the clouds are swallowing his golf balls. Has he sliced it, good shot or a hook? I can not see and nor can he. My advice, if asked, is go home and have a cup of coffee, crazy golfers!!

Merlin has woken with energy, drive and determination to get all those jobs she has been putting off for the last month. Typing up a Rent agreement for 12 Fleet Street, Citizenship documents filled in, tiding up the house and shopping for the week ahead. Hopefully she will have run out of steam by the time we get home or we will be roped in to washing, shopping or filling in. Exciting times we find ourselves in this Saturday morning.

Have a good weekend.




Thursday, 19 August 2010

Fish and Chips – Aldi £6.25

What can I say, the humble cod swimming around the vast ocean, minding its own business and along comes a trawler with huge nets and he is now in the oven. No happy outcome there. Mika mouse is getting sausage rolls for her last day at school. Mika is the daughter of the Middle Smiths and a lovely little girl she is too. Lily Florence (Underdickens) has a body clock firmly planted in Townsville and now in Pretoria (Southdale) is keeping her mum and dad awake at night. Tomorrow Gary (Middle Smiths) is taking Matthew (Underdickens) to the forest to have a bicycle ride, such fun, jet lagged and on a bicycle that is not stuck to the ground. Matthew we all feel for you but need must!!

Sorry I needed to turn to chips over and season the tuna steaks. We are having Tuna, chips and a medley of roast vegetables, seasoned with garlic, ginger, parmesan and rock salt. All baked in the oven. Taliking of the oven, our old oven retired and Merlin instructed me to get a new cooker that was easy to clean. Easy you might say, I thought so and bought a glass top oven. Merlin declared she would never buy a Glass top oven if she had the choice, too difficult to keep clean.

In that situation I am a coward, my reply was somewhat weak.
'I agree, pity it was the only cooker they had that day, Currys are the worst departmental store I have ever shop in, I really can not understand what came over me, war rationing.'

Enough I say, I am digging a hole!!!

La Lande – Bergerac 2010

Colour: Berry red
Smell: Fruit
Taste: Passing good and very drinkable

Verdict: Now one must be careful as I received this bottle of wine as a present from the Cookydales, you know them they live in Winterdale, just down the road from The Writer. Celen has been extremely generous and bought back gifts from Francedale, Celen you are a Darling, the wine is under review tonight.

Underdickens and the Middle Smiths have reunited after many months apart, the Underdickens arrived in Southdales yesterday from Osdale. That is a long trip, I can only hope Lily Florence is getting over the rigours of modern travel.

I have been busy, boys on holiday and Merlin at work, again, fills my day but all is not lost. I have managed to get a little work through the Middle Smiths that will take me to early November. Then as it is harvest time I will be busy reaping the fruits of nature until Christmas. This year is passing by without the normal hesitation of summer and we are now into a more autumnal season, soon my favourite time of the year will be upon us. Winter, long nights and short days went the sun sets at 4:30pm and does not show it's head until 8 or 9 the next morning.

To all those in Southdale, have fun together, life is worth living and the odd bottle of Claudosa wine helps the aches of wary travelling to subside for a while.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Australian White Wine – Tesco £4.49

Colour: Weak straw your nose with a clean sweet grape.
Taste: Sharp, slightly bitter on your palate, not worth a verdict I did not like it at all.

The Cookydales are on their journey home, three weeks touring the areas of Francedale. Francedale is to the west of Winterdale and traditionally known for its unspoilt vegetation and milder climate. All those that live in Middle Earth will have taken a holiday to Francedale, mainly to say they have been there, few go more than once. We all rejoice that Celen will be back in Winterdale from Monday. Missy Safcon will be exceedingly happy but will miss Sam. He is her hero and mentor.

Fess of Faydales is working diligently at compiling the population register for Middle Earth. If you feel you need to add anything to your record, ancestry, achievements etc please let her know through the comments section of the blog. I will be setting up a login username and password which anyone can use and will email this to all the news starved citizens of Middle Earth.

Grussell of Georgian Smiths is looking to develop a holiday resort, complete with river boats and forest walks. The first of 5 log cabins should be finished by next week, advanced booking essential as spaces are limited. This will bring the camping / holiday destination to two for Middle Earth. The well known and ever loved Musmead Manor has played host to many Middle Earth revellers. This new resort from Grussell will take the pressure off Mus and Mally, allowing them some time to relax, possible take a holiday to Grussell's resort. What progress we are all making, well done Grussell for having the vision, well done Mus and Mally for so many years of holiday camping fun.

More news on travel, the Underdickens are journeying to the Middle Smiths of Southdale for a four week visit. That is right, four weeks. Matt has just finished a big building project in Ozdale. They have made a significant financial profit and plan to spend it in Southdale. They also intend visiting Grussell of Georgian Smiths in Georgedale for 5 days. Staying in a log cabin, with a peaceful view of the river and fields. Matt will also be giving Grussell advice on his ambitious 5 log cabin project, while Angela and Lily Florence take to waters of Georgedale.

Everyone cares nobody dies

If everyone cared and nobody cried, then we would see the day that nobody died.
If everyone loved and swallowed their pride, then we'd see the day when nobody died.

Lyrics from a song Michael chose for his song of the week. If everyone cared, nobody would die.

No I hear you say, we are made of sterner stuff. Who cares? Not us, real warriors, ruthless and the ultimate killing machines. The extinct animals bear testimony to our greatness.

This human race has much to answer for.

On a lighter note, we are in the era of computers, bits fly around, emails appear if by magic, for those on the dark side it is not bits but apple pips. I am amused by the technology, hardware, software, wetware, without wetware, hardware was a figment of someones imagination. Wetware come first then hardware and software. Now I have your attention. Wetware is your brain, hardware your computer, screen, mouse and keyboard. Software is the operating system that runs your computer, running your programs etc. All the world needs wetware so never stop learning, keep it up dated and cram it with knowledge.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Life’s pleasures

Dance like no one is watching you, sing like no one is listening and love like you have never been hurt before. That is what a weekend is all about, freedom and the anticipation of good fun.

My fun starts here, the letting go of all those words and phrases I have kept in my head all week. The odd scraps of paper containing key words of things I thought of and have no time to expand on, litter my car, wallet and desk. All those thoughts now have their time.

Very much like dancing like no one is watching you, that letting go, allowing yourself the time to be, creative or not, we all need this time and must never feel selfish taking it, we are better people for it.

Over the last week I have spent time at a camping site on Longthorns Farm. Mostly account and a little programming but just the location gives me that sense of being on holiday. I have two more weeks left and will take the Woodlands walk, watch the Alpacas and laugh at the campers.

Middle Earth has just acquired a small herd of Alpacas, more for the wool than anything else. They look like dwarf camels wearing leggings. Very domesticated and the young are as appealing as lambs with out the bleating. As you can no doubt see, I have included a photograph of a female and her calf (not sure what one calls a baby Alpaca – maybe Mally or Mus from Musmead Manor can enlighten all of Middle Earth in a comment). News is sporadic to say the least in Middle Earth, the Under Dickens and Middle Smith are well. Markus Smith is getting on with the noble art of Stock making and Merlin is on holiday for a week. The Cookydales have in counted the biggest sand due in Europe, climbed it and now are taking 3 days to recover.

Just a short note to the Cookydales while I have your attention, Safcon is doing well and is now part of the Middle Earth family, has long protracted games with Sam, he instigates most of them, flower pots scatter and chairs get bowled over but the game continues until exhausted they settle down until next time.

Fess from the famous Faydales has promised to plot the Middle Earth family tree, attached to a map of Middle Earth showing the roads, tracks and houses. We are all so wrapped up in our day to day living we forget that some are close and may need a visit or letter just to let them know that others are thinking of them. Often, late at night, just before drifting off to sleep we remember that call we promised to make, that email not sent. This map and family tree will bring us all together as we add comments to our section, update the history of our ancestors and flag a birthday party coming up.

Birthday coming up this week is Robert – 12th August. He tends to have one every year on the 12th, a creature of habit.

Just to end, 'Carry that way' by the Beatles album 'Golden Slumbers' is well worth a listen. Have a good weekend, weather permitting we will BBQ on Sunday evening.

Friday, 6 August 2010

A blend of Chilli and Basil

Friday morning always take on the promise of a enjoyable weekend ahead. Banishing the pressures of work for two short days, relaxing mornings in bed and lazy afternoons with a good book or revelling in the smoky atmosphere of an evening BBQ. Reality is a strange bedfellow. Early Saturday walk for the dogs on the beach, then the morning Golf lessons and grocery shopping, mad dash to get Michael to cricket, you are torn between wanting to watch and all those household chores that you have put off all week and finally that glass of wine bringing you down from the buzz of the day. Sunday takes on its own speed, morning paper round, breakfast at Tesco and then we all start to relax, the first time over the weekend. Weekends are a day too short.

I am frustrated, bemused, having dealt with Margate Borough Council today, I find the call centers of India and Glasgow less daunting.

Samual Baxter B Jones of Dorset accompanied by Safcon, the Cookydales Labby, relish the continued out and about nature of cricket, beach and BBQ meat.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Catchup Time

I have been a little tardy in my blogging of late, gone the days when I knocked out one a day and felt that was not enough. August has crept up with indecent haste catching me idle, but that will change, hopefully.
My song of the week for Sunday evening was Belfast Child by Simple Minds. Find it on You Tube and you will understand what I mean when I say that it should be one of the classic songs of the century. A haunting melody from the troubles of Northern Ireland. Susan choose, House of the rising sun by The Animals, Michael choose, Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf and Robert choose a very good song, with loads of good lyrics and excellent guitar solo, but for the life of me I can not remember the name of the band. Maybe Robert will leave a comment.
Talking of time going by, my thoughts return to The Matriarch, never to see the August flowers blooming and the tomatoes heavy with the weight of fruit. A month she has gone and still she waits to say goodbye.
Rain or the lack of it takes over most conversation here at the moment, our lawns are dry and brown, cricket pitches fast in the outfield, this looks to be a long, dry summer and it was only last month or was it the month before, when the trusted weather man predicted a wet July, with flood threats. I do cry inside when the rains stay away, too many months farming brings that hollow sensation whenever I see dying grass and low streams. Nature has some cruel twists but I suppose it is all about a balance. Hard to accept the low times and too easy to forget the times of abundance.
As the Belfast Child said...
One day we’ll return, when the Belfast child sings again.

Echo Falls Chardonnay 2008

Colour: Spring straw
Smell: Strong grape
Taste: Fruity vanilla.
On the bottle: Juicy, peachy, citrus and vanilla.
Verdict: This Mission Bells Winery bottle of Chardonnay does what it says on the bottle and is a great wine for a BBQ.

The BBQ is at the Faydales, Fulia and Femma excelled in creating a banquet to please the most discerning amongst us. A range of chicken, beef and pork, accompanied by tomato confiture and the Faydale salad. Hot rolls and the ever beloved Hellmans Real Mayonnaise. Fulia, as usual was dressed in her latest creation from her exclusive boutique, cut off demins and a crop top just reaching her waist. Sandals by Burtons rounded off this well thought out BBQ best dressed appearance. Femma complemented her mother with a floral top and a casual jumper draped over her shoulders.

Susan, in her best BBQ attire was dressed in her new BBQ attire T shirt and BBQ attire cotton slacks finished off with sandals by Sandals. With everyone dressed with such taste we men felt a little under dressed but being men we set about offering scintillating conversation and intellectual observation.

Safcon and Sam enjoyed a early morning swim at Sandbacks and then a afternoon walk in the park, all things considered it was a good day, well finished with an excellent BBQ.