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No Gardening This Weekend


Well it looks like no gardening this weekend, as Storm Doris is making it’s way across the UK, bring lots of wind, rain and further north snow as well.

We woke up this morning (and a few times during the night as well) to strong gusts of wind, but so far no reports of damage.

The storm and it’s aftermath are supposed to remain until well into the weekend, so most likely it’s not going to be very nice for being outside, whether it’s gardening or taking a walk. Oh well…

Tackling Our Overgrown Garden


The back garden in our Victorian CottageThis weekend as the weather has warmed up a bit, we decided it was time to start tackling our overgrown garden. We moved house the week before Christmas, and the garden at our new home hasn’t been looked after in a few years, so it’s going to need a lot of work doing on it this year.

The house, an old Victorian Cottage, has a long narrow garden, and used to belong to an old lady, before being rented out, and now it’s our turn to take up residence there.

The garden has what was a nice lawn, but is now a few tufts of grass, a mass of dandelions, and was pretty much used for a couple of dogs to exercise, so that needs a lot of reviving. I think I need to try and get hold of a scarifier, so I can get out all of the moss and other unwanted material, as well as aerating the soil. Then a bit of fertilising and some grass seed, and I think it might be quite nice by the end of the year.

The borders are all overgrown with ivy and brambles, and there are mature shrubs everywhere, some “too mature”, including some fir trees that have got far too tall for such a small garden. So there is a lot of work to do out there.

I really should have taken some photos while we were out working in the garden over the weekend, but our priority was focusing on making a good start on the renovation work, rather than recording our progress, something which I now regret, but over the coming weeks and months we will rectify that.

The photo above is taken from outside the kitchen door, and shows the decking, several of the tall fir trees, and the tall hedge on the right, which will also need a regular trimming during the summer months.

At the end of the day, we want to create a garden that looks nice, but is relatively easy to maintain. If you would like to keep up with our story, don’t forget to follow our blog.

Improve Your Heart Health


Incredibly useful tips on how to lead a healthy lifestyle and to avoid Coronary heart disease (CHD).

Celtic Sanctuary

vegetables-fruit-mixed-heart

Every day your heart beats, on average, more than 100,000 times. Unfortunately the more weight you are carrying, the harder that pump has to work.  This will cause health problems over time.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) usually causes chest pain because the heart is not getting enough oxygen.  This pain varies from person to person.

Other types of symptoms can include the feeling of a “heaviness” or like someone is squeezing your heart, pains or numbness in your chest, neck, arms, stomach or upper back, shortness of breath and fatigue with activity as well as general weakness.

CHD is a result of inflammation forming a build-up of plaque that accumulates within the walls of your arteries.  This plaque will cause a reduction in blood flow that can slow down or stop your heart beating.

Inflammation and heart disease symptoms are linked to free radical damage (oxidative stress) and antioxidant levels…

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My How Time Flies When You Lose Your Writing Mojo


I can’t believe it’s been over 3 years since I last wrote anything here. I have been trying to get back into writing, but since the demise of the websites that I used to write on (Squidoo, Yahoo Contributor Network) and the fact that my full time job leaves me fairly brain dead every evening, I have been really struggling to find the time to write, let alone feel the inspiration that I need to get me started.

So, this weekend, a retired friend that I chat to at the gym, has packed up and taken off to travel Spain for the best part of a year. He has started up a blog on here, and just reading the daily posts made me realise how much I miss writing about the things that happen in my life.

Like many other people, my days are often mundane, but they can also be filled with quirky moments, sparks of inspiration, humorous thoughts, and more.

I hope this is just the first of many new posts here, and maybe, just maybe, I can get a following back, both here and on my other personal sites.

So, if the stories, poems, and other interludes you find here interest you, please click on “Follow” and see which way the future posts lead.

2013 A Year Of Many Changes


2013 has been a year where a number of things have changed in my life, in particular my online life.

For almost 6 years I have been publishing content on Squidoo, however changes to the site early this year resulted in a loss of over 60% of my traffic, and don’t even think about asking about my earnings there!

I have spent months trying to write elsewhere, while avoiding updating my web sites and blogs (including this one), playing addictive video games, and it’s really time I kicked myself into action again. What better time to do this than over the Christmas holidays and to get ready for a resurgence of fresh content in 2014.

One place that I have been writing since the summer is Bubblews, and I added a feed of my latest posts there to the sidebar here. Bubblews is a nice relaxed easy place to write, and although you are unlikely to earn a fortune there, since posts only stay fresh for a short time, it’s been easy for me to create quick updates on there and to meet new friends as well. I do feel somewhat regenerated having spent some time on there, and I think I now know which direction I need to go in.

I also have a book that I have procrastinated over writing for a couple of years now, and on a visit to my cousin in Wales in October I obtained copies of more documents about my Grandfather which will help to fill in some gaps in my knowledge about his time as a merchant seaman back in the early 1900’s. I really do hope that the book will be completed one day, and I keep putting off writing it because of lack of some areas when it comes to life on board sailing ships, but I think the best solution is to fill in the bits that I do know, embellish the rest and I can always learn the rest later or get a co-author even.

So Christmas is almost upon us, only 1 1/2 more days at work, and then a nice long break when I need to try and press forward with fresh ideas.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2014.

Depressing Thought – No More Public Holidays Before Christmas


I had a really depressing thought just now.  Yesterday (August Bank Holiday) was the last public holiday in the UK before Christmas Day, so not only does this herald the beginning of the end of a summer that never really began, but it’s also the start of four months without a day off work.

It’s pretty much the opposite in the USA of course, with no public holidays for many people before Memorial Day at the end of May, but then after Labor Day (1st Monday in September) there is still a 4-day weekend to look forward to at Thanksgiving.

My wife had six weeks off for the school holidays, and we went to Florida for the first 2 of those (to see my daughters), but since then we have done little apart from fixing up the house and tending to the garden, and next week she too is back at work.

As I said, it’s a really depressing thought, summer is almost over, before it really began for us.

Some years when the weather has been disappointing during the summer we do get an Indian Summer, a nice few hot days later in the year, so fingers crossed we get to enjoy a few days of sunshine in September or October, before Old Man Winter descends on us.

Getting Back In The Saddle – It’s Not Always That Easy


Normally when I return from vacation I like to get straight back in the saddle and to write about our trip, however this time I have just been too busy and too tired to think about it.

It’s been more than a week since we returned from 2 1/2 weeks in Florida, where I was able to spend some good quality time with my daughters, as well as catch up with old friends where I used to live, and also to partake of the wonderful Florida sunshine.

The problem with returning from vacation though is that you often need a break, and in our case we have not only had to get over the stress of the trans-atlantic journey, we have had a lot of work to do in the house to prepare for visitors at the beginning of September. I also find that as I get older, it’s getting harder to motivate myself to do things, and so I often put them off until such time as they become unnecessary.  Needless to say it’s not one of my better traits.

So as far as writing goes,  I have had precious few opportunities to put any decent articles together, and haven’t felt the motivation to even select the best of the holiday photographs to share with family and friends.

My writing on all sites has taken a hit too, however I have managed to make some minor updates to my Squidoo lenses, and today I jumped back in the saddle and created a new Burst on Netleeks, which I hope will do well.

My next project, before it’s too late and memories fade, has to be of course to write about my trip to Florida, and with luck I will be able to get down to it before the end of the month.