Saturday, 25 October 2014


In the past week there have been 2  murderous attacks in Canada and one in NYC by recent converts to the religion of peace. Many of societies malcontents and misfits tend to find a voice for their discontent by drifting to whatever ism is in favour at a given time,nazism,communism,islamism ism ism ism! it seems some people are just not happy unless causing grief. I've never felt the need to voice any of my grievances by joining anything until a few years ago when I joined SPAB, a society dedicated to following the teachings of William Morris (pbuh).We are not a particularly nasty bunch as we are more likely to sneak around to your house when you are out and re thatch it or fit stone mullions and we are often found singing the praise of lime mortar.My dear wife puts my zealousness for sympathetic repairs down to my metamorphosing into a typical grumpy old man,I'm not sure about the old bit, but grumpy?.....if the hat fits...wear it.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

finishing part 1

Cut lettering into oak beam in kitchen today, so that's another job done (after sanding and waxing.) next!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Walking dead

We can all sleep soundly now because the big fella is on the job!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Nice cuppa

Caught on camera here is that most rare of English workie! Happiest when drinking tea this most delicate of creatures has to be gently nurtured to get the best from but if lubricated with cha and occasionally threatened remarkable results can be achieved (this one is training to be a police officer god save us!) The back footings of what was once a cattle byre had been washed away by faulty drains over the years and so we decided to rebuild adding two spare windows we had, increasing the natural light in what was a rather pokey building. Upon finish the back of byre may at a future date become a small brewery....we shall see.

Friday, 3 October 2014

final steps

Just a couple of weeks snagging and making good to stairs etc and jobs a good un!

Monday, 22 September 2014

snip snip

Clever chaps those Americans, my experiences with Scottish power here and their elf n safety culture means that cutting trees to clear power lines as shown by my sisters in Napa would be a non looking too.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Beat combo

This now and then pic of the Beatles (quarrymen) was taken in the Childwall abbey pub, a pub I know rather well. The gothic architecture of this red sandstone built hostelry has always made it a rather appealing watering hole and the Beatles connection makes it just that little bit more attractive...I'll have a brown mix please!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


It seems that all was well in my garden here during my summers absence in California. The sunflowers did their thing  and the apples on trees new and old are heavy with fruit, it looks like it will be a good autumn.

Monday, 1 September 2014


Back to England via the fair city of Dublin, the Thudmonkey combined family holiday was a great success....roll on the next adventure!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Pumpkin time

As we prepare for our return to England, America is turning to all things pumpkin as fall rapidly approaches. I'm by and large pretty much a lager drinker with most real ale and flavoured ales passing me by as plain old lager just seems to do the trick. I do however to my surprise like the pumpkin ales that America produces in abundance this time of year and this display in wholefoods this morning needs sampling before we head back to blighty.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Back to normal

With the aftershocks diminishing in intensity it is back to normal here (I hope). A quick trip over to my sisters (vinogirl) meant I was able to raid her table grapes for after lunch...quake or not Napa is a fine place.

Monday, 25 August 2014


Our holiday rental house was pretty near centre of the Napa Earthquake this morning. The house is pretty smashed up and with my slight knowledge of American building practise I'd imagine it will have to come down.All the kids weathered the devastation being wrecked around them but the adults here a bit more shaken than they would care to admit.Morning brought rather exciting sights for the kids with buckled driveways and fallen power lines galore plus a swimming pool that managed to dump its contents around the deck and surrounding vineyard. The serious side was brought home by the fact that 10 minutes after the quake I could see three homes within a mile or so of us time to count my blessings.

Friday, 22 August 2014


Paddling in the Pacific with my little uns.......a good birthday.

Monday, 18 August 2014

American heavy metal

The kids and I went to the Napa American classics car show, all I can say is that if I lived here I'd be skint!