Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wooden walls

Given last year's disaster stacking wood for the winter - I'm pleased to report a successful morning stacking logs of oak and one or two other bits and pieces. Last year, Bunny passed on the planks from his rotten barn for us to burn, and they were full of nails. I almost stood on one, twisted to avoid it succesfully, but then lost my balance and dislodged a pile of unstacked logs onto my prone body. Very painful. No planks, no nails, no twisting and no pain.

Which is just as well since me an my li'l lamb are orf fishing this afternoon. Not that I have any idea about fishing, but I know a man who does. I'm planning to take some photos along the river and in the woods, although the weather doesn't seem too encouraging.

Congratulations to the Ospreys for last night's trouncing of unbeaten Premiership team Gloucester. It's not before time, and let's hope there's more of that to come.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Flying and spitting feathers

I've been jetting across the channel more than usual this month and it's had its moments I can tell you. The worst was coming back to this little corner of paradise on 12th September just in time for my daughter's birthday. I got to check in about five minutes after it opened and joined the back of the already impresive queue. It took a full hour before I got to the desk and got checked in. I spun round the corner to get through security, only to find the queues just to get into the queues stretching right back past the check-in desks to the front doors of the terminal building. I tried in vain to explain that this was going to take more than an hour and I'd miss my plane. "Join the queue sir." It was stressful, but I eventually got into the plane some 20 minutes after it was due to leave and they shut the door behind me. Phew.

Spitting feathers? Why? I'm convinced that this was a conspiracy by BAA and the airlines to put pressure on the government to relax the security measures. Which they did indeed do, up to a point, the following week. Ryanair had launched court proceedings against the government to 'make a point'. And BAA, struggling to maintain higher security staffing levels for an extended period were no doubt happy to reduce the number of security lanes open and watch the queues grow. It was a mess. I was lucky, but many weren't.

So at least I got here in time to enjoy my daughter's 9th birthday. And a good time was had by all.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I used to believe that intent and some degree of focus had a sort of momentum that carried me roughly where I wanted to go. I'm beginning to have doubts. Here I am three years after moving to France spending more and more time in the UK. My downshifting plans, more self-sufficiency, less impact on the planet etc. is looking decidedly rocky. Two return flights a month, 250 miles round trip at the French end and seemingly endless miles in the UK. Although when you take a family approach to the question, we don't do too badly on the fresh produce from the garden front. Still, we don;t own our house here yet, so some of the more dramatic insulation and building innovations are on ice. And busier in Blighty means less time to generate stuff here.

Well it's called francerant, so the odd rant is par for the course.

On the up side, we had a fantastic contribution from the Pompey Batala crew to put some rocket fuel samba in front of the local public, and there's a small core of folks willing to give it a try. And I'm getting more and more interest in my photos, (see the Flickr link on the right there).

I plan to spend October not going anywhere and with that intent and some focus hope to get roughly where I want to go. Which is right here.