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Posts Tagged ‘London’

Example of Computer Hooked

                                                                         Computer Hooked – Me??

I know when I have had enough of the computer because I say so, usually after I have been trying to find some information. My immortal words are “sod it that’s enough dam computers.” It’s around this stage the call of the sea gets me so after a good old winge and a cuppa I have a re-think kiss my wife grab the keys and we drive to the beach.

Some of our best ideas have come from these drives. Got a problem we cant get the answer to, we get in the car and head for the coast. Usually by the time we arrive ideas are flowing and often a solution has been found, and I can have a relaxing swim quite possible I’ll get one today thanks to Kindle….

Writing Frustration

But its the times when I’m struggling with my writing and get frustrated that I utter those immortal words.  Times when I can’t get the story to flow or find the information I need, then realise that it wasn’t there in the first place. I think  this all stems from the days we used to drive back and forth to visit my dr. Twice a year we would drive through France on the way to a port, talk about anything and everything. Problems both real and imagined, health, life and my writing and generally put the world to rights, and we still do although admittedly the longest journey we now make is to Barcelona airport.

Computer Hooked?

So why, I wonder, do we seem more able to talk in the car, or walking or having a coffee etc.,  the answer is simple NO BLOODY COMPUTERS!!!  Being a writer I spend a lot of time on one, most of the day in fact.  During the summer when it’s too hot to do anything (like today) if I am not writing I have the cricket on-line and sit in front of my computer either working or reading the reports that come in (and yes I am listening to it).  If my wife is not pottering around the house she is also on her computer talking to her gardening or FB friends whilst doing research or trying to put the wine book together.

It’s not that we don’t talk we do, but with these distractions it’s a bit disjointed.  So come the evening – like tonight – we look forward to petanca.  My wife goes to play bingo with her Catalan friends two nights a week and I go to petanca then we meet up and either go to the club Nautique for a drink by the river and see friends or Reiner’s if we are hungry.

In the early hours of the morning (well they are to us) when it gets light -6am here  5am UK time – and its cool we can now be found in the garden tidying up or watering.  We don’t water at night because the cubes have warmed up and hot water is not good for plants so they have around 3 hours before the sun get up here to enjoy a cool drink.

So with everything considered I suppose I have answered my own question. For some reason the sea is in me and a trip to the seaside is always sitting there at the back of my mind plus there are no computers ANYWHERE.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc (author)

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Well now we have another one, Heathrow was in use as an airfield during the 20s 30s, during the war and in 1946 became the official London Airport because the rich people of south Croydon didn’t like the idea of having London Airport in their back yards. So Heathrow was in existence long before most of the houses in west London were built. Of course all the rich friends of Mr Goldsmith do not want aircraft flying over their homes except, that is, when they want to get out of the country quickly and jet off to tax havens of which they have many. Why can’t they build an Airport where poor people live, because it’s LONDON dummy, only rich people can afford to live there!

Everyone wants all the benefits of modern living but it has to be environmentally friendly. You cannot have nuclear power or oil-fired or natural gas now all that CO2 coal use has been killed off completely. Lets build lots of wind turbines but not in Surrey or Kent or anywhere that rich people live so that their view isn’t spoilt. Why isn’t there a nuclear power station in the City of London? it’s very safe and that is where they need all the electricity for their air-conditioned offices.

Why aren’t there rows of nodding donkeys all over Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey? after all that is where the oil is. Why is fracking stopped in the home counties but allowed in Lancashire and Yorkshire? simple, not enough rich people live there, you would know there is true democracy if there was fracking in the middle of Oxfordshire. All the infrastructure is designed for just that – big cities convenience – but any further west and you enter the dark ages with single line railways and the most atrocious road network in the UK.

We really need another railway line going north and south? but decent railway lines going east and west that is never going to happen. However to keep the rich and famous happy HS2 and HS3 will end up as a giant metro system with a tunnel running from Folkestone to Newcastle after all it would be the simplest solution. Of course it would be slightly more expensive, but hey, it comes from the taxpayer and as we know he has very deep pockets.

So where, I wonder, are you going to get your oil and gas so you do not spoil your green and pleasant land? As a modern society needs vast amounts of energy to run all their new and fancy gadgets how, I wonder, can you have your virtual reality if you cannot handle the real reality. Everything comes with a cost and if you dump the cost on another country the pollution does not diminish, if anything it gets ten times worse. Take a good look at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries and the pollution they churn out because they do not have our technology or regulations they make the World a complete disaster zone.

When London is under water perhaps then the NIMBY’S will be prepared to share the load, but I doubt it. They want it all, as long as its somewhere else and they don’t have to pay for it. Perhaps its about time they left ‘cloud cuckoo land’ got real and joined the rest of society.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc  – Author

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Plot and Counter Plot!

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They look lovely sweet caring lovey dovey love birds  OH NO THEY’RE NOT!!!!  believe me.  Michael came home from his op and showed them where he had been. (Now I have said this before these birds really help him to relax, when our daughter came to visit they helped her as well).  Anyway after Michael had got used to not being able to type or use his hand for a while he would sit there and chat to them all very friendly.  So when they had him in a relaxed mood they got him to fix the rope and wood ladder they had been given then asked for something to chew on.  He found a nice piece of wood pushed it through the bars so it formed a perch then sat back and watched.

 

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Who US???

Well as you can see they made short shift of that, but he managed to stop them for a while.  The bit they were chewing was next to the bars and their intention was to get it to fall to the cage floor once they had chewed through it.  But Michael pushed the wood through so that bit was now in the middle and this is what it looks like now.

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who us??

who us??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But we would not change then for the world.  They shout and holler at the other birds and if anything/one approaches the house they do the same better than watch dogs lol.  The pictures above are them just being themselves, mind you during this time we would listen to the cricket on -line  and they loved it, especially when the test match was on and Tuffer’s was talking, must be his only true birdie followers…

The Finca

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Now for a long time I have also been watching the olive trees and they are loaded so we have been looking at a good harvest and our own oil for next year.  WRONG… because we have not had any rain (I mean proper rain the sort that soaks into the ground)  for over 6 months the olives have formed but when you touch them they are basically stone covered fruit, no flesh to produce any oil.  So bit disappointed but then we have had this before, and it will give me  time for some pruning.  I am just hoping that it rains between now and Christmas or we could be in a bit of a pickle water wise.  Yes I know we chose this finca knowing all the problems but we are told it has been the driest year since 1924…. We did have a few almonds though enough for cooking and Christmas.

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The garden is looking good for the conditions. I have cleared the Cacti garden and planted a few more it’s looking quite good up there. My wife has cleared away most of the dead leaves from the beds.  She found that during the hot weather they help to keep the ground from turning into rock, it doesn’t always work but it helps.  Together we have created a small Bougainvillea garden next to the little house and I built a small wall so she can build up the soil around them and hopefully they will again survive the winter.   The white stuff is their ‘winter blankey’ which along with some bubble wrap will keep their little roots warm.  Now begins the deciding where to put the ‘water tanks’ she is making for the various beds/flowers and to prune the roses.  She cut the lavender back and we now have a nice new lavender pillow to hang over the bed.

 

(c)  M.D. Bosc  Author

 

 

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Summer Has Arrived

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Last year we never went to Club Nautique because the road was being dug up and the round trip to get there after petanca and school was just a bit too far.  So this year now the road works have finished, we started watching the bar from mid June and last Monday after shopping we drove by to see the netting being put in place and knew summer was almost here and we could return  to evenings by the river in the company of our friends.  So on Tuesday after petanca I drove down to the bar to wait for my wife to join me after bingo.  When I got there Pep and his family were sitting in their usual spot and suddenly it felt like home things were as they should be, I am so pleased that I have been to school to learn more Spanish I can now converse better and understand a good deal more.

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This is my friend Pep who like me is a qualified yacht/sailing master (here he’s called a Captain) and we have spent many hours over the years talking about boats and life in general. He gives a lot of his time to the club and youngsters in the summer and in winter its football, he’s a really nice man and friend.

 

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Above are some of the photographs from years past pictures, of friends and the young people who races and are now grown up but still support the club. I sailed for many years on the south coast of England crossed the channel a few times, made some really good friends and met interesting people doing so. Sailing, racing or just messing about in boats provides you with a ‘family’ made from the bond forged by a love of the water and boats whatever they may be.  That’s what I like about Club Nautique the family atmosphere and a real sense of enjoyment by the youngsters who train on the river.

The Ebre is not a river to be taken lightly, its has a strong main stream of fast flowing water, plus back eddies and large boulders hidden beneath it people have died training on it. So I really take my hat off to these youngsters who every year train for the races under excellent supervision and provide a good basis for a very relaxing (if you are watching) rowing sport.

So Glass raised and here’s to a good summer of sailing and friendship.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc (author)

 

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In the Beginning – (more…)

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Grey Mornings

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The valley is a source of constant change, surprise and stunning views, even on a day such as today.  Up here we can have sunlight and think it’s a good morning. However one glance down the valley tells the true story.  If we can see across to the Mountains clearly then thats fine, the sun will shine it will be warm/hot depending on time of year.  However, if like today we look out and can’t see the mountains then we KNOW it’s going to be a mixed/dull day depending on which way the weather pattern and wind is blowing. So the next sunny but blowy day I decided that after everything in the FFZone being soaked it was time for action!

 

The Fly Free Zone

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Remember this?  Well as you know we have the boys and discovered two things about the roof and the vine. First off the vine was so heavy it began tearing the netting with it’s weight.  This meant that we couldn’t let the boys out without being there incase they found one of the holes.  Then there was the little matter of rain, when it did,  the wooden roof was basically a sieve, water poured in.  So with summer on the doorstep bringing those nasty black biting flies we decided it was time to sort it out. I had already laid a new floor and tidied up round the pillars.  Plant pots placed table and chairs in situ all looked very nice, then it rained!!!! so I thought, lets get this done. A visit to the local builders merchant sorted out the roof, 3 panels of painted corrugated did the trick, and new netting added the finishing touches. We did not remove the old netting it will stop the boys from damaging the new stuff when they fly around.   So on a not so dull day we set to work.

 

 

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I was up the ladder undoing the screws then passing the planks down to my wife, Earlier I had cut some cross members shaped the ends to fit the two supporting trunks then nailed them into positing. Finally with a little ‘heath robinson’ know how plus a wife with a broom (careful folks lol) I had the first panel up, then the wind got up!  So whilst I was getting the bolts to secure the panel in place my wife was up the ladder holding on to the panel to stop it moving, one up two more to go. Surprisingly these went up quite quickly and were soon in place, then it rained.  Not a lot, just enough to test the roof and know what  IT WORKED!!  not a leak anywhere.  So I moved a water cube down to the side ran temporary guttering and it duly rained. We moved the vine to the side of the little house so it has a nice new home and is leafing away nicely, lots of green shoots, plenty of sun so hopefully we will get some grapes this year. The weather then kindly rained on and off over the next few days so the cube is now full.

 

The Boys

Well it appears they were not successful with their first attempt at breeding but they are having another go.  I have turned their nest box to face the wall so that the wind doesn’t  blow straight into it.  A necessity as over the past few days the wind has been blowing a hooley.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc   Author

 

 

 

 

 

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Olives and Sam’s Garden

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For those of you who don’t know this is Sam. He was the little Black Redstart who followed me around the garden and played hide and seek in the tree.  We found him laying dead on the gravel one afternoon when we returned from petanca, to say it broke my heart was an understatement. This little chap had provided me with hours of fun and Michael was fascinated by the antics of this little wild bird.  So I decided that I would re-do the center and surround of the olive tree next to the house and call it Sam’s Garden in his memory.

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To begin with I thought to leave the tree garden as it was but viewing it in flower last spring I decided that it needed some filling and just a little tweaking, so here’s what I’ve  done.

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These two photos are the ‘before’ ones showing the garden before I got going. As you can see the tree is very old and divided into three parts. The front two face the house with the third trunk facing the drive. Now unfortunately olive trees grow lots of shoots which have to be cut off and these are no exception, so snipers in hand I got stuck in.  Whilst I was at it I rebuilt the small wall at the base of the little slope then made another at the top forming a small area that I can grow Nasturtiums in and let them tumble-down naturally.

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Then I turned my attention to the front part.  This faces the rose garden, and what a surprise I had, there poking their heads out were two snowdrops. Now when I dug up the lilies which were taking over – only the small clump remains – I found lots of small bulbs in them but didn’t know what they were so I simply replanted them and hoped they would grow.  I had originally planted snowdrops and crocus Michael had bought me but only saw a few crocus appear.  Now I know why so am hoping for a small show next spring.

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These two photos show the  ‘after’ look.  In the first one you can see the small wall at the bottom of the slope and the new one at the top. The clump of leaves in the centre are wild Grape Hyacinths, these grow everywhere and I am constantly digging them up and re-planting them. The second photo shows the drive side and the clump of wild asparagus I found.

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Last year Michael decided that the trunks near the house would look good shaped like saucers and we could leave the back trunk for the birds to play in, so saw in hand he set too. The result is quite good and as it grows we can shape it into shade cover for the bird bath and strawberry patch.

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Ok take a look at this.  This my gardening friends is Wild Asparagus.  It grows around the olive trees and in the forest, so I have cut it back to ensure it produces the tender slim shoots that taste heavenly and make a really tasty omelet.  I shall be wandering round the fields snipers in hand cutting back any I find to ensure we have a good supply.  The season only lasts for a short while but mmmmmmm worth work.

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

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