Thursday, 30 April 2009

Blind as a bat and cat burglars

Last year I finally gave in and got my eyes tested as over time trying to read things in the evenings was getting more and more difficult until it was almost impossible and i had to hold whatever I was reading at an impossible angle to try and see what it said, squinting the eyes was also a good one as well to make out words. I got up to the mighty age of 39 and than 'bam' glasses. it's as if the eye compensates because a few months ago during day time i could read quite easily without glasses, but now i have to have them on all the time to read or play games. I must admit it is easier on the eye as everything is now not blurred anymore and is easy to read. Not sure if i could do the contact lenses just yet, think I will make do with some sensible glasses and get a spare pair of stupid ones for when the kids start bringing friends home so that I can embarrass them!

We had a cat burglar in the other night and I almost caught him as well, next time I will be ready for him! The back door has been open due to the nice weather and to allow the cat to come and go and I was walking in the kitchen when I saw him lying low trying to hide, but then he saw me and ran for his life but it was to late, Toby was not pleased all his cat food had gone!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Birthday clothes and Twittering

Now I know buying a t-shirt is nothing special these days I thought, but I got this in my e-mail today -
exactly a year ago your laFraise order was processed and shipped. We wish your shirt a happy 1st birthday! 
WTF!! Is this something I have missed all my life, should I have been celebrating birthdays for all my clothes, damn I have so many cards to write to make up time!!!
I have been noticing a lot of people on here have started to get the 'Twitter' bug and have I have now joined to see what all the fuss is about. I like it that you can make quick updates and let people know what you are doing or your thoughts there and then but apart from that there is nothing special, so it's a case of waiting and seeing at the moment if I like it. So if you want to follow me, if you have nothing else to do you can find me at mrstu69, '69' being my year of birth and not a preference to anything else to all of you with a dirty mind!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Flu thoughts from abroad!

I have been following the new swine flu outbreak with interest and I was reading The Times newspaper about it online when this quote in the comments section caught my eye.

"We should nuclear strike Mexico and wipe them out to stop the USA getting sick, this goverment is weak?"

bill bob, Arizona, USA

Is this not a little to far just yet, do we just nuke everybody who has just a sniffle or remain cautious until we know the full extent of the outbreak or is bill bob from Arizona right!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

A trip with pictures.

As Mrs Stu and Little G went to day of card making and crafting today I took the fifteen minute train journey went into the city to kill a few hours by train.

We left the station and took a stroll down the hill towards the city.

This is Piccadilly Gardens, not to be confused with the Piccadilly Square in London. Now this used to be nice until the council sold out to a property developer and they ruined the place. There used to be a sunken garden you could relax in with lots of colour with the plants all year round but now it is just boring and drab.

Now this is the fountain that they put in which is supposed to shoot jets of water in the air but it spends more time being fixed and under repair than doing anything else.

This is Market Street, the busy pedestrianised part of the's just like what hell would be ;like with lots of shops (Kimmy you will love it)

This is what I like about Manchester, the really old buildings that have some character.

What better than charcter than a street busker and this one was really good called 'The Hoochie Coochie Man', we spent some time here just listening, before putting some cash into his hat as a thank you.

Like many cities these day we have our very own big wheel.

More busking to listen to and another statue. We lots of them all over the place, some good and some bad!

We had a french market in the city this weekend selling their expesive wares but they did taste nice though.

I think this is te shirtest street in Manchester, it is called Four Yard Street. Actually it's about 32 being sad I measured!

The Terror running through the arches at the back of the town hall.

Our town hall another splendid building, this was built in the days they could really build something nice.

Another statue not sure who it was as there was nothing on it to say who it is.

Well I hope you enjoyed my little stroll around the city, I did take more but I don't want to bore you with lots of pictures, I hope you enjoy them anyway.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Reign of The Terror!

Just a little funny story from another chapter in The Terror's reign of fear and fun. (AKA 2 year old boy).

Yesterday he was playing in the garden and wanted his Bob the Builder cycle crash hat on, that is a lot like a fireman's helmet and he was using Little G's skipping rope as a hose pipe to put out fires, so I decided to go and do something constructive and get the dirty clothes together for washing.

I heard The Terror, come in downstairs and he was running from the kitchen to the lounge room shouting "FIRE", need to put it out, so thinking he was playing I asked him if it was still burning as he ran back to the garden "YES" he called back and then he returned to the lounge room once more, by which time I was down stairs with the dirty clothes and The Terror coming out of the lounge room looking all smug with himself saying "PUT FIRE OUT NOW" fearing the worse i walked into the lounge room to see the sofa and the floor covered in sand! He had been using his sand pit outside to fill his bucket and then run inside to pour over his pretend fire! You just had to laugh at him at the time due to the mess he left. Lets just say his sand pit is covered today and he is banned from it for two days!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Saint George's day....hoorah!

It's that time of year that once more when your proud to be English. Now it's not easy as everybody tries to ban anything patriotic and we are beaten down to an inch of our lives for daring to show any pride towards our own country....yet if you are from one of the other countries from the UK (Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) our councils will help you celebrate your day, they will even put on a parade or a show just to make sure your day goes that little bit better. They even ban flags flying anywhere if you don't have a licence on health and safety grounds. 

So today my flag has been flying with pride in the front garden and sod the council because today it is great to be English,......tomorrow may be a little different and I will take down and fold up my flag until next year.

Now it's time to go and drink my little bottle of cheap French beer I have left!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Cats and things

What a busy week it's been this week I have not have five minutes to myself, like a lot of people on here everything just seems to be rush, rush, rush at the moment with only a bit of time to come up for air!

The weekend is only a couple of days away now so that is something to look forward to, I have not got anything planned but it will be good to try and sneak in ten minutes 'ME' time along the way somewhere, not sure when that will be but I can only try. Just may and have a few beers and a play on the Nintendo Wii, although that is difficult these days as the cat sees the dangling wire and thinks to himself 'great a dangling wire this is a game'. Not realising how this upsets me and gets him ready to be thrown out of the room, especially if a high score is on the way and he breaks my concentration by pulling and biting on the wires. The cat is loving the spring weather at the moment and is spending all his tie outside chasing all sorts of bugs, toying with them and then killing them. It's worse in the evenings when he comes in and sees a little moth and feels the need to chase it all over the house knocking everything off as he goes, the cat is mad!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Monday blues

Another fabulous day today (Kimmy 19C today it's getting hotter) the sun is shining all day the skies are blue and at work like a lot of unfortunate others I am stuck inside all day. No windows or anything that extravagant just four grey walls to stare at for fun, so it's great when work is done to come home, put the shorts on and t-shirt and chill in the garden while getting the dinner done for everybody, that's after taking Mrs Stu to karate and Little G to Brownies.

The government announces it's budget this week and it is going to be either a big series of cutbacks for everybody or we are going to be hit hard in the pocket to pay for or the billions that they have pumped into the banks to keep the economies going in this economic downturn. I can see them making everything a 'green' issue so that they can raise taxes easier under the illusion that they are saving the planet by doing so and like every budget whatever taxes they take are never pumped back into the things that they should be pumped into. The usual culprits of the tax increases are bound to be petrol, alcohol, tobacco and their new one air taxes as the aviation industry is the big bad demon at the moment. I just hope the unelected Prime Minister,Mr Brown realises he will soon be coming up for election and after this financial mess there is no way he will be elected back into office.

Now I am going to take my cheap beer into the garden and kind of enjoy it for what it is and to try and hit the spot it's suppose to.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

If you go down to the woods today....

It was a pretty good day here yesterday with blue skies and the temperatures reaching a mind blowing 13C (kimmy it wil reach 18C this week), so it was time to head down to the woods for some great exploring and climbing. Mrs Stu could not come as she was catching up on school work before starting back at work after the holidays, so I had to be a responsible adult for once and not do anything to daring, so I just took the camera for something to do.

The kids are eager to go off and explore the woods.

It is a ver ypopula place to come and the park rangers have done a great job trying to combat the eroson caused by all the people who visit the area and enjoy it's beauty.

It's better to go off the beaten track as that's where all the good trees are to climb, Little g managed this today climbing across it but as i said be a responsible adult for the day only, I had to just watch, life is not fair at  times!

This place dates back thousands of years and as the sign says it was a warning point where a large bonfire would of been lit as a signal to warn that the Spanish Armarda was on it's way to try  and invade us.

Looking out across a vantage point in the woods showing the green of the grass now that Spring is upon us and the Cheshire countryside in the distance.

How better to finish off the day than this......

....and after all that there were no bears!

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Well the much earned cash that has been saved up is once again going to be burned to thin air, I'm talking jet fuel here as once again we are off on our holidays for four weeks to a nice hot summers holiday to Melbourne, Australia.......oh no wait a cotton picking minute there is no sunshine down there at that time of year it's the middle of winter where everybody freezes for a few months, except for mad Englishmen who still go around in t-shirts whatever the weather. Once again I am giving up the English, summer that is booked in for August 7th-9th where it will might get up to a high of around 22C and then every other day it will rain!

For the second year in a row we are taking the nightmare journey to see the in laws! Mrs Stu feels she has to go and see her sister due to all the problems this year they have had with the fires and having to put down two of her horses. This time there is a change to how we are travelling, Mrs Stu, teaches children so in her authority this year they have an extra week at summer so in total she has off nearly six and a half weeks just for summer and she doesn't want to waste it so she is travelling as soon as she can to make the most of her time with her family. In my place of work I am on the maximum 32 due to the length of my service and if I took off all those days then I would be wiped out for the year and I am not doing that again, so the compromise is that Mrs Stu flies out first in the Wednesday, evening that school finished and I travel 16 days later and then we both come back at the same time as the coming back is the harder journey to make we find. Now I don't envy her as she will have Little G who will be no problem as she is 8 this year but The Terror, is a different matter and he is a law onto himself at times and we usually take it in turns like tag team fighters to look after him and keep him entertained. We are flying with Emirates this time as they are the cheapest and quickest from our airport and they have a great in flight entertainment system which we are hoping to act as a kind of a babysitter. it's either that or unleash him onto the other passengers to cause havoc. 

It's going to be kind of weird not travelling with them and being at home on my own. Mrs Stu has started drawing up a list of jobs for me to do before she goes, like painting the hall and staircase and the lounge room as she says it would be far easier without all of us around! My plan is to hit it hard and fast so I have more time to chill out on my own with the cat, I can see some serious game console time coming here and a few beers.  All I am hoping is that the seats are not to cramped and I can get an exit aisle as being 6'4" and cramped is never good on the legs at least with the kids I have an excuse to stroll up and down the plane to stretch, knowing me I will settle into my seat, turn on the films and then I will be gone until I land 24 hours later!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Work, photos and AFL

What a wonderful day to be back at work after a great six days off in total and finding you have to sort out other peoples problems as they are unable to sort it out themselves while you are away for a few days. I am not saying I am the ideal worker but I would never leave a problem for somebody else to sort out without telling them first and I even had to get my hands dirty to resolve it.

This past Christmas I got Mrs Stu a new camera, a proper one at last with the option to change the lenses and the like. The last camera was pretty good but this one for image quality knocks the socks off the old one and it is better on so many levels and so quick as well with continuous taking. We had a great few pictures of The Terror jumping in the air with his tongue hanging out. Most of the pics I have been posting are with the new one as it pics up so much detail and when we process them onto film as we like a hard copy to look at rather than the screen in case anything ever happens to them at home or the computer dies, the colours are so much more vibrant.

Now being married to an Australian, I decided to follow/barrack a team in the Aussie AFL, a few years back and being the sweet gullible person that I am I opted for the Richmond Tigers, the same as my wife and for the pass few seasons and I have been following them and to put it nicely they are utter crap, but once I pick a team I stick with them through thick and thin and I am not use to supporting a losing team I am used to success by following Manchester United in the English Premiership, I think she sold me a duff team!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Sunday happenings

Today is my fifth day of in a row and I am slowly starting to relax, if that's possible with two young kids around. It is the most time of since last August and then it was just the two days at Christmas, so to have an extra couple of days to spend it with the family is great as I am not back at work until Wednesday. I have just not had the holidays to take as I used them to go to Australia last year for a month and that wiped me out and the other days I have are used for kids emergencies!

Easter has come and gone and the kids now have a huge pile of eggs for them to eat, which under our routine of eating nice things will last them a long time as we like to see them eat more of the good stuff than junk, although the only food The Terror wants to eat is a cheese sandwich. I thought this Easter, the first time in 39 years I was not going to get an egg at all as Mrs Stu was not able to find me one when she went the day before Easter Sunday trying to get me one! At least my mum bought me one :-)

Yesterday was spent out and about again so I am not going to bore you with lots more pics and I will only post two of where we went.

We travelled once again to a place we had never been to called Gawthorpe Hall .
It took less than a hour and we travelled though some beautiful green countryside to get there  up and down the hills, one hill was especially great as it was full of wind turbines and although static they just look great, some people say they spoil the view but I think they add to it especially when they are turning in the wind.

This is another modern property and was only built a few years back in 1605, so a relative new build. It is one of the best properties I have ever been to inside with much of the old furniture still in there.

The kids enjoyed another Easter egg hunt around the grounds with a prize at the end of a chocolate egg to add to their collection. What annoyed me most about the day was the parents who let their kids eat their egg after the hunt and then threw the rubbish on the floor. I admit there was no bins, but so what pick it up and carry it away it's not such a hardship to do!

Then when we got back I quickly got the grass cut while listening to the ipod  and then decided to get the bbq ready for the summer season, it had a right good scrub down with the power wash and then all the cooking plates cleaned and oiled again, the burners got lit again to test them and then I had to turn it all off again and have pasta bake as we had nothing in to cook on it, so today it's a visit to the supermarket as the weather should hold to cook on it tonight

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Splashing in puddles with pics

As it was glorious sunny day here yesterday (actually I lie it rained all day) we decided to go on an Easter egg hunt being held locally at a place called Quarry Bank Mill. Now this building dates from 1790 so it is weathering a bit well. In fact it is in better condition than most new homes built these days and as it was only a ten minute drive away what better place to go to.

The front of the cotton mill, excuse the picture quality as they were taken from my mobile as we couldn't have the other camera out due to the rain.

The rear view of the mill as you can see quite impressive, the people used to have to work 12 hour shifts six days a week including the children. I have no photos of the inside as taking pictures is not allowed and I respect there as it is something you have to see for yourself and not to rely on the internet to get that feeling of what it is like.

The mill keepers cottage viewed from the gardens where the workers were not allowed to go. These have only just reopened after years being hidden by the undergrowth.

Anther view of the mill from the back.

A view from the mill high up in the gardens.

The stream flowing through the gardens that powered the wheel that turned the machinery in the mill itself

Some of the gardens that have been renovated they still of a lot to do to make the gardens what it was in the past, but they have done a fantastic job.

Doing what all little boys should do on a miserable rainy day, splash in puddles!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Mission done and bad cat!

The mission Mrs Stu had tasked was an easy one this time nothing to serious just to get in and get the job done and be out again, whatever the outcome I knew it was going to be wrong anyway however it turned out. The Terror and myself got to the appointed location but unfortunately there were ten others ahead of us and we knew we were in for a long wait. One by one the men and boys ahead of us went to their fate with some success and some failures, there were some failures  but there were mostly nods of success to the two men standing carrying out the deeds. After a hour of waiting and trying to keep The Terror, entertained it was finally his turn to go and when the task was finally done I returned home to the words that I knew were coming whatever the outcome "They cut his hair to short I'll take him next time!" My reaction...Mission Successful!

That lousy cat caused me pain again last night, he comes and goes on his own now (No Doanli, the cat flap is still not fitted!) up until a certain time and then he stays in for the night. Well at his appointed time of being in he decided to break curfew and stay out. Mrs Stu and Little G were out in the garden calling his name and he still wouldn't come and the clock ticked around and my evening chilled back watching the footie was spoilt by the announcement that I had to go and have a walk and see if he was about. Hmm great I thought, so with no luck I returned home and finally went to bed just after 12 locking the doors as the fear of leaving them open may mean everybodies cats come in during the night. I hit the pillow and was out only to be constantly woken by Mrs Stu saying she thinks she can hear a bell can I go and check. Eventually at four I got sick of this, got dressed and went downstairs to watch some tv and open the back door. Ten minutes later the cat wanders in wanting something to eat and now all of today all he has done is sleep on The Terror's bed all day.....bad, bad cat!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Just for Doanli.....

Doanli, here is your cat pic you have been asking for. I will try to get more if Toby will stay still enough to pose for me. Are you happy

I hate school holidays!

First off all may I say greetings to my visitor from the Yemen who has paid a visit according to my statistics box at the side that I have installed and also to the visitor from Mexico, I say hello.

Does anybody have a taser or a stun gun, maybe even a cattle prod I can lend while the school holidays are on over here at the moment as there quite a few of the loud mouths that I would like to silence each day for a few hours! I am quite sure that when I was young I never had a mouth as big as the kids playing outside today, I'm sure they have megaphones surgically implanted at birth and as they grow older they get louder. Mrs Stu has said I have to show restraint as they are only kids having fun, but as soon as they get to noisy then that spoils my fun of whatever I am doing. So annoying that the parents up to a certain age and none of these kids are above 8 are left out unsupervised, they are just left to run wild. 

That's the problem today a lot of parents will not take responsibility for their kids and will blame their kids actions on everybody else rather than their own parenting when that is the obvious choice. I can remember many a time a neighbour complaining about me being noisy and my dad grounding me even if I was in the right, as he said I had to respect elders and not cause a nuisance. My kids are not angels but I am bringing them up to respect others and their property and if they do get to noisy then I bring them in and we can suffer.

Sorry rant over i am turning into a grumpy old man at the ripe old age of 39!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

A Sunday out with pictures

Sunday was a quiet day spent relaxing and visiting a National Trust House close to us, well about 45 minutes away that is. The place was called Old Rufford Hall, and was actually quite nice. The picture below shows two stages of build, the black and white bit dates from 1540 and the brick bit is relatively new and dates from 1652!

The back view of the house showing the gardens.

The kids enjoying the walk at the back of the gardens.

The back view of the house

Some more of the gardens

The entrance to the gardens

The courtyard out back

After we had finished at the house we walked along the canal to where we saw all the house oats parked up

The inside of the house was great with some really great things on show set out with all the original furniture from the house and display cases showing old guns and swords with their history. Unfortunately no photography is allowed in the house due to flash damaging the old things and obviously so people will go and see them instead of just looking on the Internet

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Just a question

We are currently finding money very hard to come by over here and our Government have once again decided to put up the cost of the taxation that we pay per litre on fuel by another 2p and it is now standing at a mind boggling (I like the word 'boggling' at the moment) 94p per litre which works out for those who visit in your own currency, Australia $1.95 a litre, and US $6.32 a gallon. Now I am not up to date with other countries current fuel costs so a little survey just how much are you paying at the pump right now for your fuel, are we the highest?

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Who took them, be honest!

We have had a beautiful day here today with the temperature up to a mind boggling 16C. Can you believe that for England, everybody is out in t-shirts and shorts today. It's not a very nice sight at the best of times but even I have my shorts on for now!

Have you ever put things down inside the house and can never find them again? I have now lost my glasses and just can't find them anywhere! They went back in their case at the end of the evening where i usually keep them at the side of the computer as I only need them for reading and then the following evening they are gone. After grilling the top subject about them, The Terror, he denies all knowledge of even seeing him, but seeing as he has a memory span of the goldfish at the moment on what he does that is understandable, yet he can recite his TV tunes backwards, maybe less TV I think for him. and then the over two culprits in the house Mrs Stu and Little G also deny all knowledge. (The cat is not on the culprit list....yet) I have turned the house upside down and they are not there. How can something just vanish into thin air, there will be pain for somebody when I do find them, or just a stern finger wagging at them!