Monday, 31 July 2017

Just to let you know

This is the first of the big events that I spoke about. Jenson Baxter of Dorset the 2nd has arrived. 10 and half weeks to the day and we have been taken over by this bundle of fluff. Regal and fearless, this warrior of the 21st century has already taken over this house. The house is littered with newspaper as he come to term with where he does his ablutions.

Jenson Baxter of Dorset 1
Susan is weighing out his 70 grams of food and unlimited water. He does like it outside and will be a little confused as to where he will be sleeping. I am sure that he will find some comfy place and curl up after a long day and sleep like a puppy. Actually he fancies the carpet that Sam like so much.
Buy a pup and your money will buy love unflinching, that cannot lie. Perfect passion and worship fed, a pat on the head and he will be a friend for life. Nevertheless it is totally fair to risk your heart for a dog.

He will have his own Facebook page shortly, watch this spot.

Saturday, 29 July 2017


Capitalism, not really doing the job. The rich might get richer and there will be crashes which affect everyone to different degrees. We will fix it and it will crash again but why fix something that will breakdown? What is the alternative, I wish I knew, but I do know what we have is corrupt and flawed.
In this socialistic state we live in, we have over 40% of the work force employed by the government in various shape and form. We, the tax payer, pay for all this and it will rise as the years go by, leading to complete corruption and another crash. The civil servant is so out of touch with the real world, it is almost criminal. They believe the world owes them a good living, minimal work and a generous pension. 

Take for example two people I know, have the same accident, neither are work related. They hurt their shoulders quite badly. One works for himself and the other works for the council. The one working in the private sector is back at work after 3 weeks. They both have pins and screws in their shoulders. The council worker, in a clerical role, knows the system and will be off for about 9 months. 

Then they will play the stress card,  going to work after such a long time will be stressful, so they will gradually get back into work, two days a week to start with and if they find after a month they can cope, they will be asked to do three days, you get the picture. Twelve months after the accident they might be at work. This is not entirely their fault, we have allowed the councils develop a system that is open to abused, quite legally, by those that know the full extent of what they can get away with. We paid for this and will continue to pay, they know the system and will milk every drop they can, to get out of not doing a days work. That is 40% of our labour force, my advise, get rid of half of them and inform the others that it is not the duty of the government to give them a living, that is their responsibility.

Someone once said, 'Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country.'

Enough gloom and doom, life does strive forward. This blog is really a rant as the Borough of Poole have put our rates up again.

Michael has bought himself a Jeep, a Grand Cherokee in fact. 4 x 4 and big enough to sleep in on his numerous trips to quiet beaches and other places of wonder. I have a feeling he has done about 20 countries in approximately 240 days and now finds himself in Australia. Happy travels and please remember to send the odd photographs of your adventures.

It happens again, Susan has bought me a small gift, that is one of my favourites. A gift voucher for Coffee, Panini and Chocolate cake at Druckers Patisserie. Will definitely be using that shortly.
All for now, big things in the pipeline over the next 2 weeks but more about that later.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Royal Mail, Parcel Force and Kangaroo Post

Just to update you all on the status of the parcel with Michaels laptop, that I sent to Australia. Sorry, I know this is news you have been waiting for but, not to get your expectations up too soon, I decided to wait until I had some answers that I could authenticate. I sent it off last Monday, you will recall. I used the ‘Guaranteed not less than 4 days’ option. Tuesday saw it arrive at the international depot and it was prepared for export. This is a 2 day training course for the parcel, to prepare it to fly that long distance. 

Thursday it boarded the plane successfully and after many long hours of total boredom it arrived on Friday in Sydney Australia. There it seemed to have a problem, Australian border control delayed it for 2 days and then let it through. Bit touch and go but we are now 7 days into this journey and must compliment Parcel Force on not delivering this parcel in under 4 days. On Sunday the 23rd it was again prepared for delivery. As it had already done the export training this was a breeze to our clever parcel. At this stage, all is going reasonable well and we are quietly optimistic it will arrive in the next few days. 

Yesterday it seems to have disappeared off our radar. Checking the Parcel force Tracker system, Michael discovered it was not delivered due to an address problem. After some frantic text messages between Michael and I, last night for me and this morning for Michael, we discovered that you can not pickup a missed delivery in Australia. Something to do with it having to be delivered to the correct address. Health and Safety dictates that no unauthorised person or persons may enter the depot. Are they going to send it back?

20 minutes later Michael texted me to say it had been delivered and was in good health. 8 days from Poole to the Gold Coast of Australia, fraught with the danger of bureaucracy, our determined parcel was in Australia, ready for the sun and the famous Gold Coast beaches, we wish our parcel a happy holiday in Oz and to watch out for the Kangaroos.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Susan and the Canadian Trip

Well it did seem like they had some fun, did some work but I do believe they achieved that work / life balance. Yoga on a pier, kayaking and a trek (walk in England) to the top of Whistler, taking in the 3 lakes along the way. The initial reports are quite sketchy but it seems that John J ran up. John Usher did the guided tour experience for the rest of the group. 11 kilometres there and back but I do believe it was well worth the walk.
Susan arrived home very travel wary but did have some gifts for us. I know you are going to be thinking. 'Susan went to Canada and all I got was a T-shirt' Well you are so wrong, Robert got the t shirt and I got a bottle of Canadian Maple Whisky. As you can see from the photo, Robert is modelling his new t shirt and his Canadian biscuits as well as holding the whisky, he does seem to be holding it quite firmly, will have to persuade him to let it go, some time. I do not like that look of triumph on his face, now thinking about it, this might have to wait until he is asleep.

I have just sent Michael his Apple Mac to Australia, did the normal research as to how to get it there for the best price possible in a reasonable time period. Also needed to be insured. £ 115.58 for a service with Royal Mail, actually Parceforce but it is the same thing. They guarantee not less then 4 days, yes, you did read it correctly, not less than 4 days. Rest assure Michael it will not get to you in 4 days, relax, go for a surf, they have given you 4 days to enjoy Australia. I should of taken the 10 day service, he would have had more time to enjoy himself. Hopefully he gets it before he comes home as they do not guarantee deliver time. Bit odd that, I would have expected them to say something on the lines of guaranteed delivery in 5 days or something, maybe I am just not seeing the full picture.

Lastly, two hundred years ago, Cornishman Lewis Tregonwell and his wife moved into their new Bournemouth home, The Mansion. The first house built in Bournemouth was completed in April 1812. This house still stands and is a hotel now. Building work had taken two years from June 1810, when Tregonwell brought his wife Henrietta to see the sandy chine carrying the River Bourne down from Canford Heath to the sea. Now the Bournemouth Lower Gardens.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Great Big Butterfly Count

Good news for all those birdwatchers, Michael and Angela have just confirmed that the blue tit have been sighted in Australia. I do believe once the blue tits arrive the lessor spotted red tits will be on their way. I am delighted to say I can see at last a dozen pairs here on Sandbanks beach. The weather is warm and they are enjoying the sunshine. The other good news is the abundance of pink bumtings basking in the sun. A joy to behold. Also seen in pairs and mostly from behind. The adults can become quite big, roundish birds. They can be found on most coastal beaches, as they like to dry off on the warm sand.

Susan has left for Canada and hopefully we will get some positive sightings of all manner of Canadian birds. Keep your camera at hand and I am sure we will be blessed with the most amazing photographs.

Robert is out the front trimming the hedge, a new experience and we can only wish him well in his first endeavour to trim the hedge. I offered to do it but he insisted, so I have let him get on with it. 

Well another week has just flown by, birthdays, trips and poor Angela has had a tummy bug. Hopefully she is feeling better and ready to take on what Australia throws at her. 

Friday saw the start of the butterfly count in the UK. You find a quiet place and just sit and count the butterflies you see in a 15 minute period. They give you a chart to identify them, helpful, as I would never be able to identify them, butterflies never been high on my list of things to remember. I counted 18 in total. The theory is, that they can measure the health of the environment. I will let you know when the full count is done, the more the better. 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Birthdays and Christmas

These days come only twice a year and my birthday was amazingly good. Calls and messages from all over the world, wishing me an amazing day, from all those I love. Gary phoned the day before my birthday to say happy birthday, in case he forgot, the next day. Thanks to all, remember I love you all. 

We ended the day with a meal at Shell Bay Restaurant. Took the ferry and we had a table looking over Brownsea Island and the harbour entrance, food was excellent, Susan had a whole crab and Robert had a lobster. I had a bread and olive board to start and then a Goats cheese salad and chips as a main. Came home to Chocolate Mousse and double cream. Great day.

I woke this morning to just another day, but it was not just another day, it was the day after my birthday. We all get on with our lives after a special time, but just sometimes, the melancholy creeps in when we least expect it. In this darkness we have an old friend, memories, wishing we were still in the past, catching us off guard. Making us wonder when will we see a day like that again. It is good to stop and reflect on a day like the one I have just had.

Onwards and upwards, Susan has left for a week in Canada and Michael has left for the Gold Coast. David seems to have made a new friend and Mark is enjoying a wee dram in my honour. 

Last weekend we had some memorable sport. Bottas wins the GP in Austria, which is a good thing and Vettel gets second place. That Australian is doing well, must be pleasing to all those patriotic Australians. I must admit, if Hamilton is out of the points or off the podium, it can only be good for F1, he is not the best advert for anything, let alone F1. England bet South Africa by 211 runs, not sure about the reaction in SA to that but it is just a game, rather important one, but just a game.

This weekend we can look forward to another cricket test and another GP. Enjoy.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Cake and Still Images

I find myself in the unusual place of Sandbanks Cafe, most extraordinary turn of events. Had a meeting and thought I would call to confirm I have the right day. Turns out he is at the Beach Polo, my previous blog explains all. That is how I find myself enjoying an Americano at the Cafe.

Just watching a lady tucking into a huge slice of Victoria Sponge cake and has covered it in clotted cream, very clever lady. Not sure about you but for me the only way to eat Victoria Sponge is covered in double thick cream. The boys will remember the days when Susan baked a very acceptable Victoria Sponge. Talking of cake reminds me that Susan has a weight watches league match tomorrow, how time flies. We wish her all the best and hope she loses, that is how the game is played, either she loses or I will have to amend the menu to a lighter note next week.

Warning, adult content. These two images are from the BBC archives. The photos are from a third party and the BBC neither agrees or disagrees with the content.

It has come to my attention through the news, that quite a few celebrities are pregnant and are doing photo shoots for magazines. I can understand them being proud and feeling amazing, but to do nude photos? The latest is Venus Wiliams, the tennis player. This is one photo she will look back on in the years ahead and wonder what made her do something like that. In all fairness, you do get all shapes and sizes and hers is distinctly unique. The other photo shows a softer side to nude photograph. Oh well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Talking of all shapes and sizes, the Great British Summer is here and I had my first and second swim at the beach yesterday, refreshing and revitalising are two words that come to mind. I am thinking of loaning Michael's SUP board and taking to the water for a gentle paddle. Could be fun and there is the bonus of Susan having a paddle too. I will take the camera, do not want you to miss that moment in time.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Ice and a slippery slope

Can anyone explain to me why the concept of ice making is so difficult for younger people to understand. I have a son in his 4th year at university and he still can not understand that an ice tray left out of the freezer will not fill itself and place itself back in the freezer. He will, with loads of optimism, open the freezer to take ice out when the trays, he has left on the side board, are still there. This is a vexing problem and I think we should ask the government to open a very wide ranging enquirer, possible headed up by a younger professor from some acknowledge learning institution, to study this strange behaviour. Absolutely baffles me.

Going to the other extreme. I listened to a radio program on the elderly and how they seem to lose their sexual drive. Most upsetting, I am on a slippery slope to becoming elderly and this is what I can look forward too. This is a simple pleasure that costs nothing, well you can pay for it, that might add some spice but if you in a loving relationship, it comes naturally. As children, we only discover our sexuality when we are about 13, if this radio program is to be believed, we lose it at about 70. My advise is, enjoy it while you can, life is short.

International Beach Polo comes to Sandbanks, another week of frantic marquee erecting and 2 days of polo, parties and just showing off. This is one of those events that many people want to be seen at, sort of street creed for some, better than your photo in Dorset Society Magazine. I did just see a guy get his Q7 stuck in the sand. I would imagine it would take a vast amount of stupidity to get a vehicle like that stuck. 

To add insult to injury, he was pulled out by a old Ford Ranger. Are they permanently in 4 wheel drive or do you have to turn it on? Maybe Russell or Gary could enlighten us, does put me off buying one for Robert, without much experience of driving, he could get it stuck on a tarred road! Susan has just pointed out that they are awful expensive, so the issue of 4 wheel drive or not, is now irrelevant. Any one have a cheap little run around that is reliable, cheap to run and has blue tooth connectivity? 

Thursday, 6 July 2017


I am writing to you from my local coffee shop and as there is a rather strong breeze the red Tits are taking shelter in their nests. Pity, but I read that the weather will be improving this coming weekend, so hopefully, they will be back. 

Talking of birds, we were lucky enough to see the women's volleyball championships on Sandbanks beach this last weekend. Interesting game of jumping, running and tumbling in the sand. Newtons Law does not apply as they all have sports fitting kit on.  Susan says there are men as well, must of missed them, volleyball is really beautiful, the game as well, takes a high level of concentration to watch such a lively sport.

Lets turn our attention to PDP or otherwise known as ‘Personal development planning’. Actually a business tool to gauge how their staff are doing. What their motivation is and are they happy. Also to try and get their staff to get out of their comfort zone. An example is if someone is reasonable expert with Excel but falls down when trying to analysis the data they have. Encourage them to go on a Excel course with the emphasis on reports. That's the theory but I would say it is a good tool in the first 2 to 3 years, after that, I think it could be a negative and just might be making the individuals feels they are not really up for the job. Did they accomplish anything from the previous PDP? If not, then they will feel guilty. Just a thought, any comments or opinions welcome.

Man stares at fire!
First BBQ of the summer. Robert has been camping in the United States of America and he feels confident to take on a BBQ. I have baked a cheese and onion loaf, pre cooked the sausages and seasoned the steak, not to mention tossing a salad. It is up to him now, the charcoal briquets do seem a little old but then again I do not think they have a use by date. We live in interesting times and I am sure we will have the most delicious meal. Actually it is the perfect evening, no wind and a balmy 18deg C.
Morning after the first BBQ, all is well and the food was cooked to perfection. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Castle Hotel

What can I say, new hotel in Windsor and we are the tester. Perks of the job as Susan was invited to a free night in the new hotel. Yes there was some issues but you can see why Susan loves the company she works for. They stick to their objective and entertain the children, all the time, children's theme music blasted from Bose speakers. Lego models and figures adorn the park, even while we were enjoying dinner, they entertained the children with magicians and balloon twisters.

Room was very themed, as you can see from the photo I have so kindly shared with you. Legoland looked new and clean and the rides took Robert's and Susan's fancy, I decided that the better part of valour was just to watch, can not be too careful these day. One irritating point, I am sure has now been rectified, was that there was no room instructions, you know the ones I am talking about. How to operate the TV, fridge and getting hold of reception. Having no idea how to set the air conditioner, was a bit of a nightmare, 20deg C, we were essentially in a sauna. That said, we are seasoned travellers and just soaked up the discomfort, rising with a longing for fresh air and the great outdoors. Great place for children, but the more mature among us, this is one hotel that is best avoided.

Talking of Susan and her work, her team is off to Canada for a week. As she has never been to Canada, it is something she is really looking forward too. One point that does puzzle me, there are no Merlin Entertainment Attractions in Canada. I do believe her desire to visit Canada has added to the motivation of this team trip. Casual mention of kayaking, yoga, trekking and banquet BBQ has been overheard, we wish her and her merry bunch of travellers, a productive and fruitful trip. 
To infinite and beyond, going were Merlin has never gone before.

Saturday, 1 July 2017


Interesting month of June that has just passed. Weight Watchers, the less said the better, Folk Festivals that had nothing to do with folk music and of course the much spoken about, Newtons Law vs The Bikini. Well this is a new month and a new theme. 

I find myself at my favourite cafe, enjoying a rather pleasant Americano and looking out at the beach and quite calm sea. Susan and I went to Brownsea island a while ago and took some interesting photos of birds. Today I am admiring the birds on the beach and note, with some excitement, that the lessor spotted Red Tit is making a comeback. It is a pity I did not bring my camera along, as the bird world would be overjoyed with this observation and sighting. 
There is quite a few about. This is good news as they have been quite rare of late. In the winter months we do see an abundance of Blue Tits but this lessor spotted Red Tit, is showing signs of a comeback. Looking closely, they vary in colour from a light pink to a flaming red. They are not shy and tend to go around in pairs, I must research where they go to in the winter. Also, of some encouragement is the return of the Big Tit, or is it the Great Tit, no sure, but they can be seen in pairs with the Red Tits. Anyway, big, red or great, they are a joy to watch.

It's been a funny old day, not quite getting anything finished due to so many little interruptions. We are in the process of finishing off 3 website and then we can tackle our big project we are doing for a museum. I have discovered that the people that visit museums often are more inclined to talk to others in the museum. I was walking through the museum the other day and a very polite Japanese couple asked me where they could find a Sushi restaurant. Must have been the fossil of the prehistoric fish that set them off. 

Have you noticed how smug men look in their convertibles, women are natural but I am afraid to say, men, all look like gay hairdressers. They have that smug look, look at me, I have a convertible and the sun is shining. All a bit of a swagger. No, leave soft tops to the fairer sex, men just look silly.