A foreign country explored

Yesterday, taking advantage of the heat, it being a Saturday, having a spotlessly clean motorbike, and having nothing else to do, I went abroad.

A453, A42, M42, M5, M50.

Yes, I went to Wales.

I left the house at 6am, and arrived in Abergavenny at 9am.

The Blorenge (rhymes with orange)

The Blorenge (rhymes with orange)

I had a hot chocolate and very healthy bacon sandwich, whilst sitting outside the Get Together in St John’s Square.

Putting picnic benches outside there is a great idea; gives the area a very cosmopolitan feel, and enabled me to sit where I could keep an eye on the ZX10R.

Needless to say the local bureaucrats don’t like that idea and are working hard to stop someone from having a success.

Kind of shoots down the ’embrace café culture’ policy of a former Prime Minister.

The fun police strike

The fun police strike

Anyway.

Nicely refreshed I went up the Blorenge (rhymes with orange), and just chilled out. Walked about a bit. Lay down in the long grass and read a bit.

May have accidentally dozed a bit.

Keeper's Pond

Keeper’s Pond

After that break I went down through Blaenavon and up the mountain opposite, Coedcae, to Forgeside, where I went to junior school.

I left it in better condition!

I left it in better condition!

Then I dropped back into Blaenavon, and took the Garn Road through Garn-yr-ew, Brynmawr, into Merthyr Tydfil, through Nant-ddu, and down off the mountain into Brecon, below.

I walked around Brecon a bit, but didn’t hang around because the town was heavingly full of people and far too hot to be in close proximity of many strangers.

I bailed out of Brecon, turned left at Llangorse and headed, generally, north-north east.

I stopped at a country pub about halfway between Hereford and Worcester for some much-needed refreshment.

Ahhhhhh

Ahhhhhh

And then back home.

When I had started the trip I was considering staying out overnight.

Frankly I should have.

The round-trip came in at 427 miles. And that was a bit too much. The heat of the day didn’t help either.

I would definitely do that run again.

And I would extend the road-miles, maybe aim for the west coast of Wales.

And I would stay out overnight. I wasn’t as sharp, towards the end of the day as I should have been, despite frequent stops.

But it was a great run out, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

What did you get up to?

Now that’s what you call a commute

In a fraction under two hours Sam will arrive in Dubai, at half-past midnight.

At 02.50am she will get on another airplane and at just after midday she will arrive in Bangkok.

At 4pm she will get on another flight and at 6pm she will arrive in Hanoi.

The car that will meet her at the airport will take her to the hotel.

At 7.30am another car will take her to the factory.

Now that’s what you call a long commute.

Blogathon 2018: The wrap party

Jesus, what a night!

A certain Miss T Swift caught snogging a paparazzi behind the greenhouse.

Mr E John making off with 5l of engine lubricant and a child’s paddling pool.

Busted getting, er, busted by the rozzers for doing things with Rizlas.

Mr T Jones (no relation because that’s not his real name anyway) getting upset about the green green grass of home turning brown in the heat.

I could list all of the events of the night, but then I’d be here until next year…

And I have alternate plans.

Not least being catching up with my sleep after the very late/early morning finish to the festivities.

I hope the noise didn’t disturb the neighbours too much.

And I hope the sound of furious blogging didn’t disturb the neighbours too.

Let’s face it, the neighbours are disturbed enough already so…

Anyway.

I’d like to thank everyone for not complaining about the last 30 days’ of activity, and the noise, and the dust, and the smell.

Sorry about the smell in particular.

And I’d like to thank you for sticking with it.

The theme seemed fair at the start of the month, but by about day 15, when we were stuck in the high Andes, drawing lots on who we should eat next, the joke began to wear thinner than Donald Trump’s hairstyle.

But I’m glad we ate him first anyway.

So yeah, thank you for sticking with it, whether you were a blogger like Young Masher and Dangerous Dave, or whether you were an avid reader like, erm, an avid.

Let’s do it all again next year!

But with fewer penguins eh? Sorry Elt.

Blogathon 30/18

Concluding the everyday look at everyday objects through the camera lens…

This isn’t the post that I wanted to write, but the one I wanted to write was about a very small group of people. And that means photos and shyness and permissions and all that stuff, so instead of paying tribute to a small collective of awesome folk…

Despite it being waterproof, I only take it off when I’m swimming or in the shower.

I check it so many times a day I couldn’t count.

It measures the distance I walk (not far on a working day), the number of steps I take (as before), the number of stairways I walk up/down, and my heartrate.

It is, of course, my Fatbot Fitbit:

Fitbit

Fitbit

Blogathon 28/18

Continuing the everyday look at everyday objects through the camera lens…

One thing I’ve noticed about my occasional canal walks is the lack of maintenance.

The Canal & River Trust (CART for short) get a significant amount of taxpayers’ funding for maintaining and developing the canal network.

But looking at the obvious signs of neglect along the Beeston canal, you would wonder where CART are spending their money.

The non-towpath side of the canal is massively overgrown with weeds.

And the depth of the canal is very reduced by watergrown weeds and mud.

It looks like maintenance of the canal is being done on the same basis as the maintenance of our roads.

Minimum effort for minimum money.

It is obvious that maintenance is being carried out, but it seems to be emergency-level maintenance.

Basic stuff isn’t getting done, but the obvious fixes are.

As evidenced by:

Waterbike (1)

Waterbike (1)

Waterbike (2)

Waterbike (2)

Blogathon 27/18

Continuing the everyday look at everyday objects through the camera lens…

Pets are lovely.

(insert joke about ‘yes, but I couldn’t eat a whole one’ here)

They make a house a home, as someone once said about something else.

Probably.

Pets are good for cuddles, when they’re in the mood.

Sometimes they’re good for entertainment value

But those nutcases over at PETA want to stop all pets. Domesticated animals are very bad, according to the PETA nutcases.

Here’s a screenshot from those nutcases over at PETA:

Nutcases @ PETA

Nutcases @ PETA

Anyway.

Back to planet earth, not planet PETA.

We have four cats. And a horse. But this is all about the cats.

The cats occasionally bring some of their little friends home.

In recent weeks it’s been fleas.

But Sam’s all over that.

This morning, however, they brought another little friend home.

I wonder what those PETA nutcases would say about this sort of thing?

A friend of one of our kitties

A friend of one of our kitties

Blogathon 26/18

Continuing the everyday look at everyday objects through the camera lens…

The temple of doom.

Everyone who knows me, and I mean ‘who really, really, really,. really knows me’, knows how much I love hate shopping.

Actually, to be fair and open and honest and stuff, I don’t really mind the whole shopping ‘experience’, as we call it these days.

In the right place, at the right time, and under the correct set of circumstances, I tolerate shopping reasonably well.

Some might even say that, under those somewhat unusual circumstances, I borderline enjoy shopping.

If it’s done my way.

Obv.

My way is simple.

A list.

A rough idea of the layout of the store.

No people a very small number of people.

Which is why I like to go shopping when there’s nobody else around.

This evening we visited the Associated Dairies ‘supercentre’ place in West Bridgford.

It is a massive temple to the dog of consumerism, spread over 43 2 floors of open-plan-football-fieldness.

And yet, instead of the scene resembling one of Dante’s lesser-frequented circles of hell, the ‘shopping experience’ was relatively painless.

Almost, but not quite, enjoyable.

But certainly tolerable.

Why?

Almost empty

Almost empty

Blogathon 25/18

Continuing the everyday look at everyday objects through the camera lens…

Walkies!

Because the weather is so awesomely wonderful.

Because it’s Monday.

Because I’m stuck inside working.

I sneaked outside at lunchtime.

I walked off campus and along the canal towpath.

It was a glorious lunchtime walk.

I met a few people; a couple on a narrowboat and then, a couple of minutes later, another couple on a different narrowboat.

I loved the name of the first narrowboat.

And I wondered if it really was

The Kids Inheritance

The Kids Inheritance

Blogathon 24/18

Continuing the everyday look at everyday objects through the camera lens…

Changing gear.

Two weeks ago my NAS started to die.

One of the two storage drives packed up, but because it’s RAIDed (RAID0, to be precise) all the data was still secure and intact.

My immediate course of action was to backup the data to am external 3Tb HDD, and then switch the NAS off, to save wear and tear.

This weekend the NAS replacement programme kicked off.

This baby arrived:

Synology DS418

Synology DS418