I am starting to wonder if one or more of my ancestors were hanged from tree’s as cattle rustlers, as the combination of tree and rope seems to be very dangerous for me.


Last year Martin and I set about chopping down a rotten fruit tree in the garden. All was well till I tied a rope round a branch that needed to fall in a particular direction.

As soon as I turned my back to pull the rope the branch, which was only a third sawn through, fell. The impact on my head was so hard it knocked me to my knees.


The curse is not finished with me yet however.

Yesterday was a good day in the Limousin for cutting wood. Sunshine no wind to speak of and fairly dry under foot. An excellent day to tackle the cutting of dead coppice for the fire. It was just for experimental purposes; to see if the standing dead wood can be burnt on the stove straight away, without storing it for the usual length of time.

The plot is only about a quarter of an acre but it is good coppice and densely planted; producing long straight tree trunks. The dead wood left standing is probably because deer have chewed on the bark of the young shoots and killed the odd trunk here and there.


So there I am in the woods with my chainsaw.

I am already scared because I read a book called The Ax last year and am aware how many things can go wrong when cutting tree’s.


Unfortunately I have to cut the wood to fall into the other tree’s as I have no clearing before my neighbours  land. I know this is going to make the fall of the tree slightly unpredictable. When you have cut through the trunk and the tree start’s to fall you put down the chainsaw and walk away; which in itself is tricky;  because of the dense growth.


What I saw after my first cut was spectacular. The tree trunk released from its base by my cut started to spin, lifted in the air, and sat back down 6 feet away. It stood perfectly upright, held in place by the slender top branches of the other trees.


Five minutes later I am back from my car with a rope, which I tied on to the base.

I heaved on the rope for a good while, not realising that my rope had a knot in it that suddenly released. This was at the point where my tugging was at its most reckless.

I flew backwards and landed flat on my back with a fallen tree trunk just at the base of my spine.

I am laid up now on the settee and furious; nowhere in that book did it say Warning you may be an unobservant silly old git, or check for family curses.

In these days of rampant Health and Safety warnings, where chainsaw’s come with scary labels such as;  




 Where was the label on the rope?

I think I shall buy one of those label gun thingy’s and start producing my own warning stickers.



Well so much for 2007.

I could kick my self for all the un-finished tasks I will carry over to 2008 , but I would probably miss.


On reflection I do think life’s about the journey however.


In that spirit I have had a good year and have added to my CV, with a few jobs I have never done before.


1)      Public survey, “Excuse me! Would you mind answering a few questions” “No Sod Off”

2)      Spying on taxi drivers till 4 in the morning.

3)      Learnt to drive tractor. (yes you are not worthy )

4)      Dry walling and plumbing.

5)      Eating a meal with 8 courses.(yes it was hard but someone had to do it)


‘I am rather proud of my job list since leaving school to be honest’,




Meter reader

Clothing designer

Fork lift truck driver

Warehouse supervisor

IT network engineer

Work in dry cleaners

Head wear designer


I actually feel sorry for those people who stay in the same job year after year.

You do get to see more of life I think, by moving around from trade to trade.

Although it is not a recipe for financial success it does teach a person about society and people. That is what life should be about as far as I am concerned.

Learning about the world we really live in doesn’t just mean wildlife on the telly.


In conclusion it was a good year and hope this year will be interesting for us.

Good luck with yours.


Its been quite a few days now since returning home and finding Mimo dead in the road. I have only just been able to write anything at all about her. Yet I have now reached the point were I can celebrate her life and be greatful it was spent with us.

When she was given to us , she was quite ferrel and there was lots of spitting involved, but slowly we gained her trust.

I have never known a cat enjoy play fighting as much as she did, and everyday was a new adventure for her and us.

Everywhere we went in the house or garden she would leap out at us from some hiding place. Her mock attack with ears back and tail fluffed out was pure fun, and now that has gone the house and garden feels empty of fun and adventure. I am sure we will have other cats maybe not here as the road is too dangerous, but we will never meet another Mimo, thats for sure.


Okay that’s the nutter in the wheelchair mentioned then came Lady Nutter.

How I got myself a decent wife I will never know, as my inclination is always to gravitate towards the nutters. Or perhaps  its the other way round ,when I have it, bad luck is like a centrifuge that  pulls the particles that are generated by nutters(that would be Nutons) towards me in a way that they  have no choice in the matter but to interact with me. They have to sit next to me on the bus, and it makes them doubly mad and pissed off.

 So anyway that’s me on the street again with me clipboard, unknown forces at work while I take taxi numbers and passengers numbers yarrda, yarrda.  Three o’clock in the morning I.m pretty knackered and  two club bouncers who I have been standing with all night have been including me in their tea round, but they are too busy now as the punters numbers grow.At this point  without a warm mug of tea I am starting to feel a trifle uncomfortable. Were I have been this past 7 months  five people is a crowd, this  is an oppressive mass of people to me, and many of them worse for drink.

Then she appears my crazy woman, drawn to me by my bad luck and its centrifugal  attraction to Nutons , which begin to whirl around me, “Aaaah lovy” she says “yours ears must be freezing”

and she rubs the ears of a perfect stranger in the street, my ears to be precise. Then she is completely trapped within my event horizon, and begins to rub the top of my head vigorously like a pair of mucky boots about to go on parade. “Aaah and you have not got any hair have you luvy” “Never mind I,ll warm you up”.

At that she walks off, phew! that was close.

Twenty minutes later there is quite a commotion behind me and my bird is being ejected for starting a fight in the club.

Some geezer with a bigger centrifuge problem than me got a smack in the mouth, it wasn,t her fault he was asking for it.

Then the club bouncer got his tirade of abuse, and bless him he took it like a man; well like a small boy scolded by his mother to be precise, except he had a shifty look about him as bouncers do, in case he gets blind-sided by some demented associate. She called him all the names under the sun for not allowing her to finish off the fellow in the bar, there was perhaps only me and her in the world at that time who new that the man needed to be bludgeoned to a pulp, as evidenced by his cocky centrifuge still teasing her Nutons through the window. Somehow at this point I got the idea that this was now all some one else’s problem, as she grew tired of the bouncer who professionally on his part refused to react.

She began to withdraw, well stagger off down the street to be exact, but then she spotted me!

Would I get my ears rubbed within and inch of dismemberment.

I should be so lucky.

“And you” she said pointing at me from the centre of the street; yes with cars weaving around her

” you f****** nosey bastard” She wound herself up to full height from her previous drunken slouch, certain she had found the source of all her troubles. “what the F*** do you want”

Oh there was more.

“You and your F****** clipboard, F*** off now ”

By this time I am certain I was trying to hide behind my clipboard, even though I am some what larger with an increasing big vortex of Nutons whirling around my head. Everyone in the street is looking as much at me as they are at her. Well what is he doing in the street at 3 o’clock in the morning with a clipboard and pen ?

Perhaps he is some kind of professional stalker ever vigilant for the actions of his intended victims. Drawing plans and scheming like Willey Cayotee, for some devious purpose aided by Acme Co.

Well this verbal abuse went on for some time, but lucky for me I copied the club bouncer and did not react to this abuse in anyway, and it worked. The Nutons were dispelled as they obviously need fuel from their victims, to survive.

My interaction with these particles left me with nothing more than a red face.

The moral to this story; stay at home..

The background to the story

I have left France for England for 4 to 6 weeks to sell car in UK and earn some cash from work agency while I am waiting for car to sell. So agency gave me an assignment which involves standing at taxi ranks in the middle of night, counting taxi’s and passengers so Local Authorities can decide if there are enough taxi’s for the population in the town of Leeds. Standing with drunks and boisterous lads and lasses with my clipboard,

 that would be me then

and this is an account of just one night in Leeds West Yorkshire England.

 Standing amongst the drunks tonight two women were talking about me,
either its the booze or the disco music that desensitizes their own
hearing or they think the old git will not be able to hear them I
don’t know but they spoke loudly.

One says to the other whilst looking at me holding my clipboard
” Whats he protesting about”
” don’t know ” her friend replies
” but whatever it is he doesn’t look fuckin happy about it”

I chuckled for an hour, until well about 1:30 am when

One of the most bizarre things happened. Before I begin let me just
say I have not been physically or mentally harmed in any way ( well
maybe a sore toe).

I was physically attacked and verbally abused by a drunk in an
electric wheelchair.
The meanest thickest old drunken bastard—on two wheels  that surely ever lived.

Yes I have seen the comedy were the mean wheelchair bound assailant is
given a punch in the face and the passersby only see that blow and
turn on the man who is only defending himself (Police Story type film).

So (remembering Dr Who and that Daleks can’t use steps )

all I could do was retreat to the top of the steps of a nearby building’s
foyer entrance. Every time I came down the steps he would chase after
me and try to run me down, or run over my toes or hit my ankle bone  with
his foot plate or grab me, it was a Benny Hill type sketch; which those
people waiting for taxis found very amusing .

All the while as he is chasing me he has what looks like a walkie –
talkie type device on his lapel that makes a clicking and shushing
noise and he is giving a running commentary to some one imagined I
suppose, using phrases like

 ” we  are heading north I repeat North  he is trying to get away OVER”.

 Anyway he would not go away and his companion could not stop his
electric chair and didn’t seem at all interested when I asked if she
would take the silly old bastard home.

I had no choice but to call the police and explain to them that he was
preventing me from doing my work. After an hour they arrived and on
seeing the police car he made a run for it or should I say he burnt
rubber and made tracks. They caught him round the corner and gave him
a warning.

I apologised to the police for what seemed a waste of their valuable
time , and they told me he was a local character well known to them.
The whole episode took an hour and a half  to resolve.
I will try explaining this missing hour and a half in my taxi records, on
Monday to the recruitment agency . I’m sure when I leave the office
they will say

‘thats the best excuse we ever heard for bunking of to the boozer for an
hour and a half . 

Anyway here’s a Youtube photo-fit description and a mention of a few other things he gets up to.



any ideas anyone what it is?, it has an impression of a walking stick on the back with 3 lines through it.

DIY in France can be bad for your health. Well maybe just mine. Yesterday I managed to hit my pinky so hard with the lump hammer it split open. Then banged my head on the steel girder in the cellar.Every time I started to sweat small insects descend from were ever they lurk to drink and perhaps snack on  some of my fast flowing blood. Which  serves me right as I will go round advertising the stuff.

The Gods of sanitation smiled upon my enterprise however and I now own sinks and a washing machine which empty into the fosse-septique without the intervention of bowls and buckets.

My boots fit me again,I stand astride my completed task ,hands on hips like a goliath of DIY and stride away for perhaps two paces before I see another DIY task,and my boots feel rather large again. A voice from the house fills the air. No not a deep one saying ‘Were’s me feckin boots’ but that other overseer enquiring  politely of her first husband what his plans are for the rest of the day, and she will keep asking till I get it right.