We went on holiday a few weeks ago and one of our friends came round and fed all the animals for us. A few days after we came back we found a note pushed through the door from the RSPCA asking us to phone them about the cat. We think someone thought we had gone away and left it. Anyway we phoned and didn’t hear from them again.

We also noticed that someone was feeding the cat. A bowl had appeared in the yard and Sarah’s mum saw the cat eating out of it. Over the first week after our holiday we noticed that the cat was leaving more and more food. She has a history of gum infections and eating certain foods can cause the gums to flare up. We took her to the vets and spent £85 on anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics. We also moved the bowl to stop anyone feeding her.

Pasta takes her medicine

The next day I gave her her medicine and by the afternoon she was eating her food again. in the early evening I saw her climbing over the wall of the garden. When I went out later to find her to give her her medicine and couldn’t find her. She didn’t appear the next morning either and hasn’t been seen since.

We’ve phoned the RSPCA but they don’t have her so we asked them to ask their “informant” if they had taken them. We are still waiting for them to get back to us. Hopefully she will return soon.

Diesel the cat

In the meantime we have ended up with another cat – we were thinking of getting another one anyway – someone offered him on Freecycyle. He’s 6 months old, called Diesel and is really cute. He has a big black fluffy tail and after an initial period of hiding seems to be now making himself at home.


P*nis Extention

A few weeks ago our neighbour bought himself a new car. Well when I say new it’s four years old but I guess it could be said to be a bit flash – not to my taste but each to their own.

Since then every time I come home I find the gates to the yard, which are usually left open, firmly shut. Then yesterday 3 security lights were installed each pointing into the yard and at his car. I’m not sure if it’s to protect the car or just to light it so he can see it from his bedroom window at night. I’m surprised he hasn’t painted lines on the ground so he knows where to park it for best effect.

He’s also got a motorbike which every few weeks he gets out of the garage, cleans it then revs it for half an hour or so and puts it away!!!

Men eh!!

Zep – off

So Led Zeppelin are to reform for a one off gig at the O2 arena.

I was kind of interested in going until I found out the ticket prices – £125 each and no doubt there’ll be booking fees to add on top of that. Given that the arena holds 20,000 people that is a turnover of £2.5m for one nights work. I mean why are the tickets so expensive?

I think that this is all getting out of control – the bands who made their names in the hippy dippy daze of the 60’s and 70’s now seem to see their fans as some sort of cash cow to be milked for all we are worth. Ticket prices for re-union shows seem to be going through the roof and greatest hits CD’s repackaging old material seems to be coming out more and more often and getting more and more expensive. Even those bastions of hippyness The Grateful Dead have come in for criticism from some of the loyalist fans in the world for their prices and policies regarding one of the biggest collections of live recordings on the planet.

So I won’t be there to watch Mssr’s Plant, Page and Paul-Jones reliving the past – as much as I would have liked to. I’m content with the fact I saw them 28 years ago and that will have to do.

PS I took the photo at the top -good innit!!

PPS – Apparently over 20 million people disagree with me as that is the number who have apparently registered for tickets in the first 24 hours and the website is still groaning under the weight of people trying to get on

Ian Porterfield RIP

Former Sunderland player Ian Porterfield has died aged 61. Ian was the man who at 3:31 pm on 5th May 1973 scored the goal which caused one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup final history  when second division Sunderland beat the mighty Leeds United 1-0 at Wembley.


Even though it was over 30 years ago I can still remember the moment the ball hit the back of the net. The whole of Sunderland came to a halt that afternoon –  the streets were deserted. We watched the game on our newly acquired colour TV – sales had rocketed in the weeks running up to the game. When the ball hit the back of the net my teddy bear mascot went flying up into the air smashing one of the light fittings in the living room.

Of course Porterfield wasn’t the only hero that day – Jimmy Montgomery’s miraculous double save in the 70th minute surely saved the day. He somehow managed to get himself back up off the ground to palm away the ball from Peter Lorrimer who had fired an incredible shot towards an open goal from point blank range.

Ian Porterfield

Then there was the memorable sight of Bob Stokoe, the manager, racing across the pitch to hug Montgomery at the end of the match and Captain Bobby Kerr wiping his hands on his shirt before shaking hands with the Queen and accepting the cup – an action that kept him in the titles of Match of the Day for years!!

What a waste

We went on holiday to France a couple of weeks ago and because we had a long journey ahead of us we decided to take a packed lunch to save us money and to save time having to find somewhere to eat (especially the kids). I was up till 11 pm as Sarah was finishing the ironing and packing making sandwiches.

Early the next morning we emptied all of the bits from the fridge such as the cheese, milk and ham that would go off while we were away into the cool bag to take with us and then we set off for Dover.

All of this turned out to be a waste of time as when we arrived at the port we were told that we had to throw it all away as there was a ban on personal exports of food due to the foot and mouth outbreak.

Our packed lunch

There were people in caravans who had to throw the entire contents of their fridges away. Piles of food were building up beside the queues for the ferry ticket barrier. This whole situation really annoyed me for many reasons:

Firstly the ban hadn’t been advertised or mentioned on the TV or in the Press. Had we known we would have saved the money we had spent in Asda.

Secondly – what a waste of food – without sounding like a parent trying to coax a youngster to eat his greens – there ARE lots of people in this world who don’t have enough to eat and it is a shame to see so much food wasted in this way.

Thirdly most of the food had probably entered the food chain before the outbreak and some of it – the “butter” spread probably had only a marginal amount of dairy produce in it anyway. Also on the radio on the way to the port they were saying the restrictions on animal movement were starting to be lifted anyway.

And finally – it was all being done on an honour system anyway so if we’d kept our mouths shut we could have taken it to France anyway – hardly an effective form of control.

I’ve almost got a mind to send DEFRA a bill for the food that was wasted and Le Bigmacs we had to buy on route. Especially as the outbreak seems to have been caused by a leaky pipe in a Government (DEFRA) lab anyway

Bloody Banks #2

Sarah had an e-mail on Sunday evening from Paypal saying her card had been deleted as it had expired. this caused a panic as she realised that she hadn’t received a replacement card. She rang the bank who said the card had been sent out weeks ago.  The cancelled the card and said they would send another one out.

Tuesday morning the doorbell rang and it was postie with a recorded letter containing a debit card. Our first reaction was blimey that was quick but further investigation showed that it had been posted on the 30th August – so it as the missing one – the one the bank cancelled. She phoned the bank and they said it couldn’t be uncancelled but assured her that a replacement card had already been posted out to her.

It’s now three days later and still no sign of the card and Sarah faces the prospect of the weekend without any access to her cash.

House Update

It’s been nearly four weeks since this sign


appeared outside the Big Blue House. Since then we have made 7 offers on four different properties before we finally got one at the price we wanted (or as close as we could get anyway)

Moving house is a nightmare – two years ago we said we’d never do it again but there you go!! We started to sort things out last weekend and we are getting rid of stuff we don’t want via Freecycle or the dump!!

We’ve just blagged a load of boxes from Freecycle so we can start packing this weekend – as soon as we finish filling the huge amounts of paperwork that goes with the process of buying a house.

We did have a stroke of luck though – the man who is buying our house has said we can have the internal door with the stained glass in them – they’ll look really nice in the new place.