Month: February 2021 (Page 1 of 3)


Or… “My ongoing attempts to make my wife laugh at my smutty innuendos.”

I was just doing the finishing touches to the bedroom yesterday afternoon: fitting the door handle back on; fixing that faulty LED on the bedside alarm clock; fitting new light switches and plug sockets… that sort of thing.

I turned the power off whilst I changed the plug sockets, which meant that the family were in turmoil, as there was no Wi-Fi for ten minutes.

I was rushing to fit the last socket and the screws were in a small plastic bag, which I opened rather hastily with my penknife. The knife went easily through the plastic and sliced cleanly into my fingertip.

There was quite a lot of blood, quite quickly.

Cradling my finger I went downstairs and stuck it under the kitchen tap.

One of the kids came in and looked at the red water pooling in the sink. “What have you done?”

“I’ve cut my finger.”

“With a knife?”

“No, with a tennis racquet.”

There was a short pause as my sarcasm registered: “Oh.  Is the Wi-Fi back on?”

I glared at her and she left the kitchen, just as Mrs M walked in. “What have you done?” she asked, staring at the water which was still running red.

“He cut it with a tennis racquet”, Amelia shouted back from the living room.

“Here, let me see”, she said.  I took  my bleeding finger away from the tap and passed it to her.  “Ouch,,, that’s quite a deep cut. ” She looked at me, concerned. “Are you OK?”

“I’m fine”, I said. “This isn’t the first time I’ve had a big gash on my finger, y’know.”

She stared hard at me for a second and then…

“I’ll need to close that wound with some Sellotape…”

One day I’ll manage to at least get a giggle out of her, I swear it!

Genealogy stuff

Quite some years ago, I was mooching about in WH Smiths and with nothing better to do, I bought some family tree software that was sitting on the shelves.

And so started a quest to see how far I could go with tracing my ancestry.

I started questioning family members and a couple of times was told “Oh, you need to speak to  your Aunt So and so, she’s being doing that for years” or “Have a word with Cousin Thingy, he has a lot of that stuff already”.

And so I spoke with Aunt So and so and Cousin Thingy and managed to acquire a wealth of data… not all of which matched up.

The further back you go, the more obscure the data becomes.

But, the furthest I have managed to get back to, is my Great-Great-Great Grandfather on my dad’s side: Samuel. He was married to Susannah and he died in 1810, three years after my Great-Great Grandfather, Charles, was born.

I’m sure that with some concerted effort and associated costs I could go back further, and maybe I will, someday. But for now, I am happy with what I have managed to find.

Nowadays, my Family Tree software only gets fired up when I need to amend it, because someone has been born or has died.

Or sometimes before a big family event, like a wedding or funeral (back in the days when we had big family events), I would run through it to remind me as to who is who… because I am rubbish at remembering names.

And this week, I fired it up, following a discussion on our family What Is App group, as to who are the oldest and youngest cousins in our particular generation – ie, the children of my father and his siblings.

Turns out, there are 21 of us (2 deceased) and both the eldest and the youngest are living in the antipodes.

No need for for me to try and remember their names, then.  🙂

Under attack

In recent months, the software that I use to protect this site from malicious attacks, has seen a marked increase in the number of attempts that have been made to ‘get at it’ – to use a term I am sure is often cited in the computer tech world.

Why anyone should want to get at my humble little site, is a mystery to me.

But it is concerning.

Our resident expert in such things, assures me that there is most likely nothing to worry about. as it’s probably just bots doing their thang.

I have taken relevant precautions: changed the default login name and password to something which would be far more difficult to crack and stuff like that, but it still concerns me, as the attacks seem to be on the increase. Was it something I said, I wonder?

And then yesterday, I got the report shown in the pic above.  342 in ten minutes! This is getting silly.

Dave, as you can see, it’s over your way, could you have a word?



When you wish upon a star…

Disney+ entered the streaming market a while back, with much fanfare.

Having paid big bucks for the rights to screen (most of) the Marvel films alongside it’s own considerable canon of work and – of course – the recently acquired Star Wars stable, Disney+ has plenty to tempt the TV viewer.

And my kids were very tempted.

But no, I stood firm against their pleading whimpers. “We already have Netflix and we already have Amazon Prime, I am not paying for another streaming service!” I said, putting my foot down.

Anyway, we now have Disney+

And I have to say, there’s some pretty good stuff on there.

Being a fan of the Star Wars franchise, I was pleased to be able to watch The Mandalorian – a spin-off TV series which I’d heard good things about (and the theme tune to which is my current ear-worm).   And I’ve not been disappointed: it really is very good. If you are a fan of the genre, I urge you to watch it.

We have watched several of the Marvel films on there too.  I don’t know why, as we have them all on DVD anyway.

And, I have just started watching another Marvel spin-off: WandaVision. It’s a bit strange, it has to be said, but I am now three episodes in and it is just starting to get interesting.

In other news On other channels:

Last night I finally finished watching Start Trek Discovery. I nearly gave up on this several times but saw it through as I had already invested many hours of telly time on it.  I’m pleased to say that it came good in the end, but boy, I found it a tough watch (I’ll admit to falling asleep halfway through several episodes).

And when I saw that a new series of BACK was airing on Channel 4, I immediately rushed to their online boxsets and watched the first series, before then indulging in the second. What a little gem! How had I missed this, first time round?

Sticking with a comedy theme, I had high hopes for Steve Carrell’s Space Force on Netflix, but after three episodes, I just couldn’t stomach it any longer and gave up. It’s rubbish, avoid it.

Greenland is a film on Amazon Prime, that I watched at the weekend.  It stars Gerard Butler and if you like end of the world / apocalyptic type films, then you might enjoy this. I thought it was done rather well.

And, of course, Richard Osman’s House Of Games on BBC2 has become a regular thing to watch whilst we have our evening meal, because who doesn’t enjoy showing off how clever they are to the rest of the family?

Sprucing up

I am on holiday this week.

Let me re-phrase that: I am not on holiday this week.

A holiday for me is time off of work, relaxing and doing whatever I want to do.

Yes, I am off work – just using up some more of my annual leave allocation – but ‘er inside of the doors has me decorating the main bedroom.

Which is not my idea of a fun thing to do when I am off work.

In fact, sanding down sculpted skirting boards, doesn’t even make it into my top 100 – being somewhere between being poked in the ribs with a sharp stick and having my toenails cut with a chainsaw.

But, it was looking a bit drab and needed doing.

However, just like all such projects, it has grown.

The original idea was just to freshen it up with a bit of paint.

But then, having spent a small fortune on Dulux Matchpots and having painted a patchwork quilt with them on the wall, Mrs M was unable to choose which particular shade of grey she preferred (there are fifty shades to choose from, I’m told) as none of them quite went with the bedding and the curtains.

So, we now have new bedding and curtains.

And a new ceiling fan.

And there’s new carpet coming at the end of the week.

I’d better crack on then, excuse me.

All jabbed up with no place to go

To badly paraphrase Mr Meatloaf.

Yes, yesterday I had my Covid vaccination – the Pfizer one (you don’t get to choose).

I must say, it was all very efficient.

I turned up five minutes before my appointment, was seen spot on time and was done two minutes later.

The worst part was having to sit down and wait for fifteen minutes, before being allowed to leave – just in case I was to keel over for some reason.

I didn’t keel over and drove home without feeling any ill effects.

From leaving the house to getting back home took no more than 40 minutes.

I’ve sat for longer than that in the doctor’s waiting room, before now.

Bathing the dog

Last night Mrs M came back in from walking the dog and shouted for someone to run the bath.

“This dog is filthy!”, she proclaimed.

It was true, Saber had chased something into the woods (a fox or a deer, we don’t know what), but when she emerged she was caked in mud.

To be fair, her underside had been getting messier and messier with all the rain we’ve been having, slowly turning the fields into a quagmire.

It was a job we had been putting off, because (unlike the dog in the picture above) Saber really doesn’t like going in the bath. It’s a three-man job: two to hold her in there and one to wash.  And at the end of it, the dog may be clean, but the bathroom and all of us are filthy.

Somehow, she knew what was about to happen and refused to come up the stairs, but with some tasty doggy treats, we eventually enticed her.

Then there was the usual struggle, as I tried to lift her into the bath, whilst she wriggled and struggled, placing all four feet on the sides of the bath to try and stop me lowering her into three inches of warm water. What’s that about? Get the hose out in the garden and all she wants to do is get as wet as possible!  Take her over to Milton Keynes and she can’t wait to jump in the lake and chase the ducks.  But, standing in three inches of warm water seems to terrify her.

Stupid dog.

Proper kids telly

I was in a Teams meeting earlier this week.

Just one of many, many Teams meetings that I have to attend..

Anyway, there were several of us on the call and we were idly chatting whilst we waited for the main person to turn up – who was uncharacteristically several minutes late, at this point.

Our idle chit chat died to a silence, and it was like that for a minute of so, before Charlotte sang “Tra la la, tra la la la…” as a comedic way to break the silence.

“Reminds me of the theme tune to The Banana Splits”, I said.

“The what?” she asked.

“The Banana Splits”, said someone else, of a similar age to me. “It was a kid’s programme back in the seventies”

And from there our conversation started up again and we reminisced about telly from our childhood.

Swap Shop,  TISWAS, The Tomorrow People, Casey Jones (a steamin’ and a rollin’), The Whirleybirds and just about anything from Gerry Anderson’s canon, seemed to be the most well remembered amongst us… except by Charlotte,  of course, who is only in her twenties.

The Double Deckers was a personal favourite of mine, and I still remember the names of several of the characters and of course, that catchy theme tune.

It was educational too, because in one episode, as I remember, Brains built a hovercraft and remarked on how it was originally invented by Christopher Cockerell… and I’ve remembered that to this day!

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m sure that kids’ telly today can’t be as good as what we had back then.

Anyway, time for bed… said Zebedee.


It was Mrs Masher’s birthday earlier this week.

We did nothing special for her.

At all.

Normally, we would have gone out for a meal, but that’s obviously out of the question.

She could have cooked something special (I don’t do cooking, you know that), but that day she was late home from work, anyway, so it was just whatever was in the freezer.

With chips.

So yesterday, she got to choose whatever she wanted as her birthday dinner – from the limited array of takeaway meals at our disposal.

She opted for Nando’s.

Because she loves Nando’s.

We all love a Nando’s.

Whilst they didn’t deliver, they did do a Click & Collect service, which was fine.

I don’t think the takeaway meal tasted quite as good as when you have it in the restaurant, but… it still tasted great, and when you haven’t had one for a long time, it always tastes even better.

And Mrs M was well happy with it, and that’s what counts.

The Paperboy

Our local paperboy is in his early to mid-thirties.

A tall, well-built black man, who presents quite an imposing figure as he strides along in his dark track suit and bright white trainers; the reflective orange paper bag slung over his shoulder being the only indication as to why he is out so early in the morning.

I remember that I used to have a morning paper round when I was a kid.  Round 9, it was; one of the smaller rounds on the newsagent’s books.

Despite it being quite a small round, I remember my bag being pretty loaded… and on a Sunday it would weigh a ton!

Of course, I always used to nick a paper to take home and I always thought it pretty obvious to the newsagent when my dad cancelled his paper, the very same week that I started, but nothing was ever said.

But I find myself genuinely surprised to see that paperboys (and girls, I suppose) still exist, even if in far reduced numbers.  I personally cannot remember the last time I read a printed newspaper.

Back in the day, I did, certainly. Back when I had more free time.

Of a Sunday, I would like nothing more than to sit down with some tea and toast and spend several hours ploughing through The Sunday Times.

But nowadays, like so many of us, I pick my news up online: the BBC mainly, but also The Guardian and, occasionally, The New York Times.

When I worked in that London for a bit and commuted by train, I would sometimes pick up a  Metro or a discarded copy of the Evening Standard but to be honest, they were so full of celebrity pap, it was hardly worth the bother most of the time.

I reckon the days of the printed paper are numbered… and sadly, the same goes for the humble paperboy/girl.

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