Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend tales

A great weekend for weather with Mrs DeeJay and I doing as little as possible in the way of household chores in order to be able to spend as much time in the sunshine as we could. Three BBQs in three evenings from Friday to Sunday,culminating with sitting out in the garden until VERY late on Sunday.
We had to visit the allotment twice a day to water everything as it has been so hot, but all of our delayed crops; due to late sowing, not starting off plants early in the greenhouse this year and also our holiday falling at a time when they really needed our attention; have started to really put on a lot of growth now. The potato crop is superb this year and we have been dining on young juicy broad beans recently.

Have you ever heard of "Cupping Massage"?
On my penultimate visit to the Chinese lady who has been treating me with acupuncture to cure my rhinitis (and yes it certainly seems to have cured it) she suggested in her imperfect English that a session (pronounced as COPY Massage) would alleviate the rather 'thick' sensation that I have in my throat. The principle is to massage the chi channels in the back which have an effect on many areas of the body.
A sucker for a lovely smile and being a very trusting soul, I agreed.
Being on my front with my face in the little hols in the massage table, I had no idea what to expect nor indeed what she was preparing behind me. The first I knew of the fact that this was to be no ordinary massage that one might experience at a spa, was when I felt a very warm 'plop' as something appeared to be attached to my back. Aha, I thought, a variation on the old hot stone massage. Nope - wrong!
There were several of these 'attachments' to my back at which point she told me that "some people experience a slight change of skin colour after a treatment. She then proceeded to slide these attachments around my back with what seemed to be a fairly heavy pressure to a gleeful exclamation of "oh yes your back is changing colour".
I discovered when looking in her mirror when putting my shirt back on that my back was covered in a mottled bruise that is still with me, although somewhat faded, today. It looks as though I have taken a severe beating and it has accounted for some very funny looks in the gym locker room yesterday and this morning.
I will keep my big mouth closed in future!!

For an idea of what it was all about see these two videos

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ABC Wednesday - A

The normal ABC Wednesday series that has been "hosted" by Mrs Nesbitt has entered a new series starting again at A.
This new series is being handled slightly differently with a separate blog containing the ABC posts as opposed to the old way of putting a link on Mrs Nesbitt's blog pointing to our own.

If you prefer to see all of the ABC posts in one place please go to ABC Wednesday Blog where you can see the following along with many others

Allotment (with Mrs DeeJay) and Autumn

I am sorry if you remember seeing these, in other posts on my blog Age is all in the mind but they are pertinent to today's letter.

However I also offer you this one with the title "AFFECTION"

Monday, July 21, 2008

My computer is back - sort of!

A great weekend with youngest son visiting in order to repair my PC

He arrived on Saturday morning, replaced the confirmed blown power supply even though it was surge protected and also added some memory for me within an hour or so. That is when I should have called a halt, but being the geek that he is (and proud of it) on Sunday he commenced to tell me about how I could save money by getting all my email and various other things hosted by Google Apps for free.
Now I am not saying it is a bad idea but we really should have done it on Saturday if we were going to do it at all. It involved changing all my DNS records. Now don't for a minute think that I know what I am talking about - because I don't. All I know is that his fingers flew over my keyboard and changed a lot of things and added a few more to my domain records. We then got the message that to take effect it may be between 24 and 48 hours.
"That's OK Dad I will check it out tomorrow" he said.
He did, I got several emails from him at work this morning (mine is not working now due to the changes) telling me that something is not quite right and can I remember .....etc.
Don't be silly son, I have been to sleep since then and this is your senile father's memory you are querying!
So after a morning of sporadic follow up messages from him asking me to do a load of further things that I don't understand he tells me that everything should be OK now but once again we have to wait 24 hours or so for it all to take effect over t'internet.

We also had a great belated birthday dinner for him on Saturday as we were on holiday on the day.

We went to the allotment so that I could give him a load of vegetables to take home with him. One of my neighbouring plot holders has temporarily put her chickens there while she is away on holiday and to our horror we discovered them all loose. It appears that somone has undone all of the wire mesh on one side of the coop. We have a suspicion as to who it might be as one of the nearby house owners has complained about the chickens - goodness knows why we live in a rural community for goodness sake and the cowas on the farm that is just as close to his house make far more noise than the chickens. So we spent a fun filled 40 minutes or so catching them and returning them to the coop once I had repaired it. However we were sure that one of them was missing but nowhere to be seen. Until that is we visited again yesterday to water our plot. Because we had used up all of our water from the water butts on saturday I had to get water from the nearby stream and yes, there I found a dead chicken with its neck broken.
Why can't people live together without messing with other people's property?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

ABC Wednesday - Z

After my holiday and the first week back at work getting in the way of serious blogging effort, I have managed to get back into the swing and to resume posting ABC Wednesday today.

Especially as it is 'Z' today you wouldn't have expected anything else from me except these gorgeous stripey donkeys that we saw on safari, would you?

To take part in ABC Wednesday, visit mrs nesbitts place.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blogpower Round-up recognition

I am proud to have one of the photos from my recent posts about our safari selected to headline the latest Blogpower roundup at Defending the Blog and to be "mentioned in dispatches"
I suppose I could be accused of 'blowing my own trumpet' with this very apt photo :-)

I know that not all of my readers are attracted to some of the Blogpower members views, but these new weekly roundups have been very good at picking out some highlights

Easing back into work!

First week back from holiday last week was made a little easier by having another day off on Friday to play in my work's golf society Summer meeting. 36 holes comprised of an 18 hole competition in the morning for one of our annual trophies followed by a team Texas Scramble over 18 ho;es in the afternoon, was made all the more enjoyable as I won the morning competition and came second with my team in the afternoon. The weather was good all day despite dire warnings of rain and we had a good lunch, dinner and prize giving.

The weekend continued the good weather with only intermittent cloud cover which enabled Mrs DeeJay and me to spend some time on the allotment. We had masses of weed to remove which had grown up whilst we were on holiday and I dug some more of our early crop potatoes (Arun Pilot and Maris Piper). They have done remarkably well this year, especially when compared to last year's almost total failure due to the excessive rain. This year's have cropped very heavily and they are all of a good size with very little pest damage. We pulled rhubard and some beetroots, also our first shallots and onions.
Now that I have some space released by two to three rows of potatoes, we also planted some spinach and some late parsnips.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two in one today!

As I am not in the office tomorrow (a golfing day - 36 holes in forecast rain!) and I am not getting my home PC fixed until the following weekend, I am sharing these last few safari pics with you today. Once I get my home PC repaired I will be able to share some more but these are the limited set that I managed to bring in to work.

More Safari memories

These were all photographed in the Ngorongoro crater

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I thought that I would post here some of the comment that I have just left on Furtheron's blog as both his latest post and this comment may help someone else feeling lethargic and somewhat despairing as we both seem to have been over the past few days.

Its an amazing coincidence about how both Furtheron and I have been feeling recently because not only did we both discover yesterday that we have a really bad case of procrastination at the moment, but also we both separately experienced extreme frustration and doom & gloom last night over some really quite insignificant things.
I will let you read Furtheron's own account, but last night when I discovered that my home PC has died I really went into an "end of the world" thought process thinking about all the things I needed from the PC and could simply not do without. I was as grumpy as hell until Mrs DeeJay simply said "its only a bloody PC" well actually she didn't swear 'cos she doesn't do that like me.
That really pulled me up for a few minutes and made me realise that there are far worse things that could have happened and it is really not that important after all.
The good thing about it is that youngest son, who built it for me in the first place 'cos he is a geek like that, is now going to visit the weekend after next to fix it. See there is a silver lining in everything

Today's Safari memories - Giraffe

I am really thankful that I had put many of these photos on a memory stick to bring them into the office to show some colleagues because when I got home last night to continue cataloguing and processing the holiday photos, I found that my PC is absolutely DEAD! No power whatsoever. So here are a few more shots from Tanzania. Which animal will I show tomorrow?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Safari Pics - Elephants

So as I have somewhere in the region of 400 photos from out Tanzanian safari, I thought I would share some themed posts with you over the next few days to show you just a few of them
Today I give you ELEPHANTS

Monday, July 7, 2008

Back in the saddle!

Or probably more to the point attempting to re-mount after 2 weeks away and not getting back until Saturday morning after travelling for nearly 20 hours in total on two flights overnight.

I had intended to get a post going on the holiday experience and to post some pictures but things are not moving as quickly as I intended what with the garden and allotment deciding to become wildernesses during the 2 weeks away and Mrs DeeJay’s car refusing to start when we got home. Now I am back at my desk, I have some 225 emails to process – oh joy!

So to whet your appetite for some postings to come here is a synopsis of the holiday itinerary.

Day 1 Friday night/Saturday morning

Long, long day leaving home mid afternoon and arriving at first lodge at Mount Meru in Tanzania via Nairobi airport and Kilimanjaro airport some 18 hours later. Overnight at a Game Lodge with a small private reserve.

Day 2 Sunday

First real game drive in the Tarangire Game Reserve seeing many elephant, giraffe, gazelle, antelope, wart hogs etc.

Day 3 Monday

Game drive through Tarangire again seeing all of the above again plus baboon and vervet monkey on our way to the Ngorongoro Crater. We arrived there at a height of 2000 feet to rain and thick gooey very RED mud. It cleared as we descended into the crater where we once again saw many animals including lions feeding on a wildebeest (we didn’t witness the kill), a black rhino, cheetah, hyena, several types of gazelle and flamingos.

Day 4 Tuesday

Leaving a cold and wet crater rim with more gooey red mud we headed for the Serengeti Game Reserve via an authentic Masai village joining them in singing, dancing and buying jewellery from them. We visited their school and saw the delight in the children’s eyes when we left them with some colouring pencils. We arrived at the Serengeti (Masai translation “endless plain” and you can see why!) for lunch and an afternoon game drive seeing lions and their cubs and many gazelle again

Day 5 Wednesday

A 10 hour all day game drive where we saw all of the aforementioned animals again including 4 prides of lion, and the highlight – a leopard.

Back to the same lodge for a second night – bliss!

Day 6 Thursday

A very early start at 4 a.m. in the pitch black for a hot air balloon ride at 6:30. Amazing views and floating over the animals ending with a surreal experience of champagne and a full English breakfast under an Acacia tree in the middle of the bush just knowing that somewhere out there are wild animals.

Day 7 Friday

Left Serengeti and drove via Lake Manyara reserve on our way to Arusha airport for a brief 1 hour flight to Zanzibar.

Days 8 to 14 Zanzibar

Pretty luxurious hotel and spa with lots of service and good food, lazing on the beach and by the pool recovering from the rigours of the first weeks endless driving around on mud tracks in the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Days 14 & 15 – homeward bound

The previously mentioned 20 hour journey overnight to a real cup of tea and our own bed.

More posts later with some accompanying photos and I promise I will catch up with all your posts from the last two weeks