Monday, March 26

reasons to smile

With a bit of luck I may have dodged a bullet, dentally speaking. The X-ray suggests there's only a wee infection, treatable by re-doing the root canal job. Piece-a-cake! Originally I was looking at an extraction and hyperbaric chamber.

I found an old bottle of 7-year-old home brew, and drank it tonight, still tasty after all these years.


Last week I chopped up one of the two falling-over trees. Not ideally how I want to spend my time, but neither do I want to be surrounded by jungle. And the tradesman option would be almost as much work, except that you also get to pay. I used a chainsaw-on-a-pole, a great contraption.

The sawing was the fun part. The bundling up was a pain.

The weekend walk was a 5-hour affair, on level ground and in bright sunshine for a change.

Wednesday, March 21

figures of speech

There was no walk this weekend because of rain. Instead, there were museum visits. I'm not allowed to post photos of the cellmate, so instead here's Mr and Mrs Hank Marvin. In the background is the royal palace of New South Caledonia.

A museum photo of an early car crash, possibly the origin of the term "wrapped around a lamp post".

Possibly the origin of the term cellmate.

I bottled beer number 24, which I hope will be my final brew. Life's too short to waste with buckets and bottles, when you could be savouring real Bavarian stuff. If home brew is a little like playing with oneself, Erdinger would be a night with a Berlin call girl (I imagine). PS this was written before Hotters' home brew vs Erdinger post, not in reaction to it.

Friday, March 16


The brother outlaw, much younger than me but several times larger, has had a stroke. Blood pressure 280/180.

I'm the opposite size, my blood pressure's 110/55, so low that I sometimes get dizzy standing up too fast. It all balances up.

Wednesday, March 14

distraction is easier than focus

Yesterday, as a distraction from the tooth infection, I weeded, mowed, pruned, and went to the backroom gym. Great! Topped that off with an evening jog in the park, aiming to improve on last week (when I had managed half a mile before injury). This time, I retired on the verge of re-injury at the half-mile point - a kind of progress.

Slept for 10 hours, and then tried meditating for 5 breaths. Half an hour later the most I've managed is two and a half breaths. It's amazing how many tangents the mind can come up with. A favourite trick is to veer off and imagine all the people you'll tell about your meditation success. Ha! I'm sure it wasn't this difficult in the past. Now I need to get up and bottle the next brew before work.

Lightning Hopkins was born 100 years ago. Possibly the best ever blues for when you're stoned.

Tuesday, March 13

walkies again

Three hour walk with backpacks along a muddy track.

When we got lost, the iPhone GPS came in handy.

Surprised to happen upon a waterside restaurant at the end.

Bottled the weissbier last week. It used a special yeast, so I started a new lager brew in the same bucket with the same yeast. Today it's finished, so it'll go into bottles or down the drain.

There's a dental disaster brewing, but the cellmate is going out of her way to be an absolute sweetie, to balance things up.

Sunday, March 11

floor-based sleeping

Still missing the dog, and looking forward to when I'm old and settled, so I can get another one. There's few things more reassuring than a contented dog lying asleep on the floor.

When I was a kid we had a hound, a useless thing but good natured.

He liked sleeping in front of the fire, but rarely got the chance. In the evenings he usually had to yield the fireside position to my old man. And at the weekend, when the old man went away fishing, my brother or I would take over the floor.

There are no photos of the old man sleeping on the carpet, but I found one taken, many years later, by the (platonic) love of his life, or maybe by her husband.

Friday, March 9

swimming pool

Although I don't have permission to blog about the cellmate, I'm at liberty to tell you about Albert and co.

Albert was walking with his partner, and observing the houses along the way. People like Albert can take pleasure in houses, without wanting to own them. They came to the house in the photo.

Albert's partner: Oh look, they've got a rooftop swimming pool!

Albert: Oh really? So how deep would you say it is?

They just about doubled up laughing. You probably had to be there.