Thursday, 19 May 2016

Our friends above

After my last post on the blitz I thought this would be an apt follow up as I considered those who gave their all defending the innocent below....just look at these pictures,simply stunning.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

May day Mayday

The past week or so has seen the 75th anniversary of the May bombing blitz on my home city of Liverpool. My mum was seven at the time and has some quite vivid memories of that week of constant bombing,destruction and death.I spoke to her quite a bit about it and amongst her memories that stand out is of her brothers venturing out of the shelter in the morning to go and find shrapnel as young lads do oblivious to the danger of unexploded ordinance.She also remembers her oldest brother being trapped overnight in a tram as the city burnt around him.Her father was a fire watcher on the docks and he told of seeing bodies untouched by fire but perhaps killed by blast slumped against walls looking for all the world as if they where asleep.She also told me about her parents quiet desperation as they prayed for an end to the nightly visit from potential death.....we have it so easy now thank God.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Odds and sods

With the help of a couple of sunny days I finished the wall job yesterday.It's only a small wall but it was a tricky little job mainly because I'm an idiot (half an hour working with me would be evidence enough). I've a different but thankfully smaller wall to build later this month but other than some landscaping that's me done this year......I could get to like this lazy arse life!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


40 years ago the Ramones released their self titled album,for many a non event, for some of us it was life changing......pretty obvious which group I'm in.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Getting the lead out......and in.

No rain today so I spent some time leading in the cast railings I salvaged a while back into the copings of the wall we are building.Its an easy job but I think the best way still of securing cast iron and also a fun job to do.Metal has been fixed to stone this way for several thousand years and you can still see Roman examples of it today.You simply melt lead,scoop the oxide slag off the top and pour away the shiny molten lead although any dampness in the stone pocket needs to be avoided as a mini Vesuvius will I found out.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Oh to be in England

It's sunny,it's St.Georges day and as a nation we are celebrating the birthday of William Shakespeare family OTW are happy happy happy!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


My girls have been enjoying a visit from their Aunty Vinogirl over the last couple of weeks.Like all little girls they like to play dress up but with me as a Dad and her as an Aunt they get to dress up as Ramones! Their Aunt returns home tomorrow but she will be followed shortly by these little Ramonettes so we can all get some California sun......Get ready Vinogirl and Bil!

Thursday, 7 April 2016


June 1981, I couldn't sing, couldn't play guitar (much) and I couldn't write a decent tune but somebody was daft enough to let me make a record. To my great surprise some people liked us and the first time I heard myself on the radio I immediately thought "this is way better than working".....and so a layabout was born!

Sunday, 3 April 2016


Over breakfast this morning my 4 year old son asked me "Can you kill a shark by throwing snowballs at it?" now as any parent knows you must never show a seconds hesitation or weakness in front of children so I answered "no!" my son continued on with his business assured and comforted by the knowledge that all was well in his world. As to the shark situation I'm hoping I was correct as telling porkies to my little un on a Sunday is a bit of a dilemma for an upstanding chap such as myself, if anybody wishes to enlighten me vis a vis sharks and snowballs I'd be much obliged!

Thursday, 17 March 2016


I'm not a great lover of St.Patricks day and all the fake Irish shenanigans but as the great philosopher Popeye said  " I yam what I yam!" so happy drunken Irish day to you all.

Friday, 11 March 2016


The pic below shows my Fathers old Liverpool police truncheon, a weapon (sort of!) he called his 'twig'.The truncheon is made of ebony or some such hardwood and I suppose could in the right hands inflict some damage.I myself took a few digs in the ribs from one in my younger years...not from my father I must add! The Liverpool police were armed with this relic when facing the mass violence of the Toxteth riots something that contributed to their rather large casualty rate.Things have changed now and our police resemble robo cop even when going about their ordinary business a necessary evil I suppose.I recorded a single with my little beat combo at the time about  the riots and it was a minor indie hit for us which was cool I suppose mind you selling a few thousand copies of anything from Liverpool wasn't that hard then.....a little bit of vinyl history I suppose.

Friday, 4 March 2016

googley googley

Mooching around on google I found this image of my house taken I would guess 18-20 months ago.Most of the work on the main house is finished but you can clearly see the ongoing work on the new build bothy top left.......history now!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Cap it off

Not the best pic I know but with a storm outside work is strictly indoors. The pillar cap is for a little job I'm starting....strictly as a hobby of course now that I'm a retired gentleman of leisure.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016


Up until my kids started school fulltime 3 years back I was able to spend 4 months a year at our home in California.Time passes however and the demands of life here in England meant selling up and settling into village life with all its quirks and foibles. As much as I love my life  I just cant stop thinking about how just a short time ago I could escape the interminable wet windy weather here pretty much whenever I wished...moan moan moan! I do intend to buy again in America at some not too future point as I find myself constantly surprised just how much I miss everyday life there. So as a sop to my feelings we have just arranged a seven week stay this coming summer, so sod the no doubt coming wet spring....sun this summer is guaranteed!