Friday 29 September 2023

" There"sThin Lizzy In The Bottle""



 A present last night.  Thin Lizzy old band members and their families have joined up with a West Cork distillery from Skibbereen to make their very own Tin Lizzy or Thin Lizzy whiskey.

Lizzy fans like myself will recognise that the Black Rose record sleeve is the whiskey label.

I Wonder if they will distil a Kansas or Blue Oyster Cult or Saga or April wine?  Maybe a Emerson Lake and  Palmer whisky or even a Marillion one?

Wouldn't it be good to walk into a Rock Cafe or pub and say:  " Hi can I have a Thin Lizzy whiskey please?"

I saw Thin Lizzy way back in 1981, Eric Bell and The Gary Moore band in previous years and the Lizzy inspired Black Star Riders in Nottingham in August.

What's the whiskey like Dave?   To be truthful it tasted a bit 🔥 on its own but it's perfect for hot Toddy's.  

We all have had bad chests this week.   It makes you wonder if covid is still here or is it a winter flu?  I think it's  because we turned the oil central heating on this week. How could the lockdown end over night?  I like to have a hot night cap when my chest is bad.  Well that's  my excuse any road.




Tuesday 26 September 2023

Winter Onion Planting.

 We bought 3 bags of Japanese onions yesterday from the hardware store in our nearest town:


I have grown these every Winter for about thirty years.

They are ready to harvest around May but you can eat them when they are young.

This morning I cleared some massive beetroots out of a raised bed in the polytunnel and raked it level and planted the Japanese onions sets and gave them an application of the seaweed and chicken pellets that I bought in Lidl and have never seen since sadly.


I planted garlic last week.  Anyone else planting their Japs?


Monday 25 September 2023

Garden Of Remembrance.



 

A garden of remembrance picture I took when I visited  Somerset recently.  

Old churches and graveyards fascinate me.  I admire the people who have gone before us for their faith and how they built things for the glory of God.

One of my favourite Prog Rock bands are Marillion.  Especially their early stuff with Fish.  I am saw him with Marillion in 1986 and I saw him again on his own in Kent a few years ago.

Fish is a keen gardener like myself and he's also a fine lyricist and poet.

Here's a very poignant song by him:



The video/song is about a young couple dealing with an early onset of Alzheimer's.  It really is a moving and beautiful video.



Sunday 24 September 2023

Stove Lit And Drinking Irish Coffee.


 You wouldn't put a milk bottle outside in this weather.

I have just lit the fire and we are drinking Irish coffees.

Set some garlic in the polytunnel this morning.  Must buy some Japanese onions sets this week if they are in store.

Homemade steak puddings and Yorkshire Puddings for tea.

A typical Autumnnal day on our Irish smallholding.  🍻. 




Friday 22 September 2023

The Victorian Head And Shoulders Plant Shampoo.

 Thanks for all your views folks yesterday.  I am getting over 1700 views a day at the moment. So my gardening posts must be popular.   Thank you also for your comments. I always appreciate them.

Soapwort.

Soapwort sometimes called Soap Weed.

Another one of my perennials that is in flower this month.   It's  also seen in the wild and a garden escapee.

Some gardeners call it a nuisance with its pernicious rhizomes like roots that can invade the garden like Twitch and Nettles.
 
I don't mind it and I always leave a clump of it growing in the veg plot.  I even have some growing in the new polytunnel.   I often dig it up and put it in a plant pot.  If you visited my smallholding I would give you some for free.

The Victorian gardeners often made a soap from the plant.  Even today fine fabrics and tapestries are washed with homemade Soapwort soap.

Here's one of my favourite television series using Soapwort:



 I have watched all the different series  down the agesand  even got a book about the Wartime Farm.  I think I would have liked to have been a Victorian farmer if I had lived in those times.  Probably at a big country estate in Dorset working in a walled kitchen garden and there were be horses and carts and thatched cottages and even a cut flower garden.  What about you? 

Soapwort also makes a nice cut flower for your vase or vaze.


A New Zealand Privet Cuttings Garden In A West Cork Vegetable Plot.


 I decided to make 50 Griselina plant cuttings in a vacant area of the veg plot yesterday.  I dug over the area and inserted or pushed 50 cuttings into the soil.  Hopefully I won't need to water them like the 125 plants I made recently in pots in the polytunnel.

I never bothered with rooting powder or my own homemade willow water juice.  They should strike roots in about 3 weeks.  I might leave them until next Autumn or I may pot them up to make them more portable.  Regular  readers know that I have more than enough plant pots lying around and a big pile of fym and soil.

Is anyone else growing their own hedging this Autumn?
 

Thursday 21 September 2023

"Psst.. Want To Buy An Hedge?"

 

Twenty five griselina rooted hedging plants in pots.

I grew them from cuttings last year.  They are an instant hedge and I even potted them up in my homemade compost mix.

Plant them about 18 inches apart and they will soon establish themselves into a fine hedge.

I made 125 new Griselina or New Zealand Privet plants this week.  Hopefully they will strike roots and I will have some more to sell next year.

 The best thing about growing them in pots means that you can plant them at any time of year and they are growing in a good compost growing medium.  

Like a tree nursery man once said to me: "You can't grow good trees in bad land". 

I think I will set some hedging cuttings in a vacant area of the veg plot and hopefully I will have bare rooted hedging plants ready to plant or sell next Autumn.

Anyone else grow their own hedging? 




Wednesday 20 September 2023

A Peep Inside My West Cork Polytunnel.




 Tigger's Mum asked me when I was telling you my Blighty tales if she could have a look in my office/man cave aka polytunnel.

'Algarve' is my new metal tubed plastic  pal.

So what can we see dear readers?  Well on the right there is our old kitchen table that is now my potting bench.  

The black pots on the left are now filled with shrubs and Griselina hedging cuttings and perennials that I divided with my trusty kitchen knife.

There's kale and Brussel Sprouts growing in the ground.  I forked this over with the pike and found lots of pig muck that last years pigs 🐖 left us when they grazed and resided here last year.

There's raised beds made from old decking and two back tyres off Anna Ford my Ford 3000 tractor.  These are planted with cabbages,  kale, Chinese salads and beetroots and there's Swedes.  

I cut off the leafy tops of these vegetables and feed them to the pigs, rabbits, hens and ducks which they devour.  There's also rogue nasturtiums which also get fed to the livestock.

Even on a rainy day there's somewhere to escape from the not soft dulcet tones of the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner.

This polytunnel is a nuclear and vacuum cleaner free zone!

Here's my Prog hero Steve Hackett with some suitable background music.  I listen to this all the time when I'm watering and making new plant friends:





Tuesday 19 September 2023

Whoops!!

It looks like Hurricane Nigel  arrived early at the smallholding this morning.    Perhaps it's Brexit Party's Revenge after I said Brexit was a disaster?
The Oxford Sandy and Black and the Berkshire were none the worse for wear and lay on their straw bed snoozing.
I sent the missus for baling twine and the sledge hammer and I somehow managed to wrestle the pig ark down and wedged it and drove some posts in with my firewood axe and tied them down with the twine and number 2 son helped hold the posts whilst I hammered them in.  I said the old Laurel and Hardy joke:

"I'll nod my head and you hit it!"  

You have got to laugh haven't you?

It didn't take long to batten down the hatches and it looks it's the start of the gale season? Ten minutes later and a several swear words later we were back to normal.

Over in Blighty the Met office is predicting that Hurricane Nigel will send an heatwave next week.  

It will be like when you get off the  cheap flight planes and on to the beaches in the Algarve and you see all the white legs, old summer dresses and cut off leg denim shorts and maybe a knotted handkerchief a "kiss me quick" hat or ten? Or is that Blackpool I'm thinking of or maybe Benidorm? Any winter holiday plans? I have it's just finding the dosh.

We are lighting the stove in the front room at night now.  Are you?

Sunday 17 September 2023

Sedum Autumn Joy And Thoughts About Cottage Gardens.


Boxes of Sedum Autumn Joy that I grew from cuttings.

They flower at this time of year and I always think they are a sure sign that Winter is on it's way.

They are members of the Stonecrop plant family and like the Buddleia shrub they attract the butterfly's and other beneficial insects to the garden.


A yellow Sedum that we also propagate from cuttings and division.  I also have green and silver stonecrops or Sedums.

They are old perennials garden favourites.  I think this kind of garden seems not to be in vogue at the moment.  Decking, gravel, concrete and shrubs seem to be more popular these days.

What do you think?  Have old fashioned cottage gardens had their day?


Friday 15 September 2023

A Great Gardening Tool Find From The Car Boot Sale.


 I bought this Multistar gardening tool at the carboot sale. Made by Wolf- Garten.  It sounds like a  German Prog Rock band I once saw at Loreley at The Night Of The Prog Festival next to the river Rhine in Germany.  

Why couldn't my mum and dad been German hippies? Organic Vegetable growing  began there along with producing  great Rock musicians like Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth and the Scorpions. Not forgetting the Rock singing  lasses like Nena 99 Red Balloons and Doro Pesch. 

The tool  cost me 15 Euros and it's brilliant.  The small blade on the right is for hoeing and weeding.  Whilst the big tool on the handle is a ridger.  It will be great for the new potatoes 🥔 next year.

I tried it out in the veg plot and I noticed if you run it backwards and forwards a few times it digs up any pernicious weed roots like nettles and couch grass or "Twitch" or "Couch" grass or even "Dog" grass.  

Although  a pernicious weed it's got herbal benefits and it's great for bad chests and urinary problems.  I think dogs 🐕 and cats choose it to make themselves sick and if you see them eating grass then it is a sure sign of incoming rain in the countryside.  Rocks shining in the distance and a cap of cloud on the distant mountains are also a sure sign of rain. If you look out your window you can see it's raining.  Just like today just for a change.

Any way I love my new twitch grass detector and apparently there are seventy different tool heads in the multistar range. I would put it up their with my Alligator Azada hoe made by Chillington Tools in dear old Blighty.

It will soon be Christmas and I am sure any gardener would love one of these gardening tools.  It's a better idea than some socks isn't it?  Mind you can never have enough socks can you?

By the way I don't get any payment when I mention tool companies, Wetherspoon's, Newcastle Brown or any number of Rock bands.  But it they would like to send me anything like some Kansas, Saga or Styx tickets or a crate of Newcastle Brown Ale for Christmas I would be most grateful!

Thursday 14 September 2023

Muck And Cardboard.

I have been doing my winter gardening work in September this week.
On the north side (Northsider) of Algarve the new polytunnel I spread some stable bedding containing straw.  This of course decided to grow and I have decided to use it for next years new potatoes 🥔 site.
I am carrying out a Lasagna garden method of cultivation.  The grass and straw will be a green manure and I covered it with old cardboard and  I covered that with stable manure which the livestock left me a large pile of last Winter.
 


You can see my trusty four prong pike in the fym pile.  Yesterday I piked 10 wheelbarrows of dung and spread it over the cardboard and its a couple of inches thick.

Getting there!  No cardboard under the dung.  We will see if the vegetation like grass grows up and through it.  

Hopefully the worms 🪱 will help take the fym down into the soil.  Not that I see many earthworms these days.  

If you are taking on a overgrown allotment or a uncultivated area of a garden I would recommend you try this method of no dig, Lasagna gardening.  It saves the back breaking and laborious task of digging off the vegetation and composting it.

If I do get any vegetation growing through the dung I will cover it with ablack plastic tarpaulin and place old planks and bricks and stones to hold it down.

That's one Winter job nearly done.  I just hope the rain takes a break today and I can finish covering the cardboard.  Anyone else out there do Lasagna gardening?









Tuesday 12 September 2023

More Eclectic Car Boot Sales Finds. Maybe Japanese Art Treasure?

We went carbooting the other Sunday.  Not selling but buying.

I love looking for bargains and I always walk round the cars boot stalls at least 3 times.  You always miss something or something catches ones eye.  

Here's some of the treasure we purchased:

James Herriot collection egg cups.
Shot glasses from London. I like a night cap, especially if I am camping on one of my roughing  it trips like recently.
Wedgewood trinket dish.
Another cottage teapots from the nineteen forties.  I only paid 5 Euros for that and I will sell it at a profit some time.
Hardwood African warrior figures.
Unusual Japanese lady in silk Kimono next to lake.  It looks like it's been drawn in pencil and coloured in plus it's signed by Yukky Fuzi I think. 
The artists signature.
 Any one got any ideas?  I bet Rachel will have some idea of who it is?  I only paid 5 Euros for it.  

German Shepherd fire screen.  Our Heidi thinks it her.

I also bought an hoe with a blade attachment and a ridger for potatoes and yet another pair of loppers.

Have you been to any good carboot sales lately?


Monday 11 September 2023

Leeks Dung Mulching.

 No not a Prog Rock band from Germany or Holland.  Although it would make a fine name for one wouldn't it just?  Or maybe an Asian recipe? " Fried rice?" " No chips please!" " Have you any vinegar?" May be the name of a Scottish Highland football team? Queen of the South nil. Leeks Dung Mulching 4.

I have been catching up weeding and doing jobs around the smallholding for the last week  or so.  




The weather has been exceptionally good the last week or so.  Rather like June when I finally got to see the Michael Schenker Band in Ballyshannon in Donegal.

You don't here Monty Don going on about Heavy and Prog Rock do you?

Any road or any way.  I followed the early new potatoes by planting Leeks.  My great grandmother came from Wrexham in Wales  and growing Leeks must be in the gene's.

Anyone new to growing will be surprised to know you make a hole with a dibber or stick and plant or drop them in the hole and water the soil around them so they grow a mighty fine white sock.

Broken spade handles makes a great home-made dibber for making holes to drop your leek plants in.  Then water the soil in around them.  I have even used a piece of scaffolding tube to make holes.  If you plant them in the rain you will not need to water them in.  I even managed to take a photo of my yellow wellington boot in the process.

Leeks are members of the Allium family and are great in stews and cooked in butter  in the microwave in a bowl.  

So I decided to give them a top dressing of some fym that had been decomposing in the pile of dung.  It's a lovely chocolate brown colour and I filled my wheelbarrow with my trusty four prong pike to pick up the dung.  Then I spread it around the leek plants.  It looks lovely stuff and I am sure the leeks will thrive in this verdant composted farm yard manure.

I believe you should leave them twelve weeks before picking them after giving a topping of manure in case of worms or other viruses.  What do you think? Are you squeamish about using animal manure around your vegetables?  How long do you leave your manure to decompose before using it?

My hotbed experiment growing beetroots in the new polytunnel was very successful and I just spread about an inch of topsoil over the fresh farmyard manure and wifey sowed the beetroot seeds and the beetroots have been enormous.

Sunday 10 September 2023

Trying To Get Back To West Cork.

 I got up at seven  on the Sunday morning and said goodbye to my friend and I walked to the bus stop next to the pizza shop that the bus station lady had told me that the bus to Nottingham stopped at.

No bus  however arrived at 7.40 and it eventually arrived at 8.40.  "Do You Ever Get One Of Those Days" by Elvis Presley comes to mind.

The bus fare was only 2 Pounds. 

We passed Trent Bridge and the City Ground and I alighted the bus and booked a ticket to Birmingham airport  via Birmingham New Street.  It was only 3 carriages and at every station another amount of people got on the heaving train.

So much for Covid and if you felt claustrophobic.  

I changed again at Birmingham New Street and caught the train into Birmingham International and caught the free train/ cable car to the airport. 

12.30 and my plane wasn't until 9.35.  I bought a drink and bacon sandwich in a cafe and spent the rest of the day mulling around the airport with my rucksack and eventually sat in a bus shelter for the afternoon.   A few people asked me when the next  bus was to West Brom or Birmingham and I told a lady I was passing time waiting to catch my plane. " Good idea", she said.  

I day dreamed and WhatsApped home and walked around again and eventually at 6.30 I checked my rucksack in.  

I walked into Customs and through to Duty Free.  They had all kinds of lucrative offers like a litre of Jamesons whiskey for 23 Pounds.  So I walked past all the alcohol and perfume stands and asked the ladies on the checkouts how many bottles could I take back to Ireland? "One" they shouted in unison.  So much for me bringing some presents home.  I just bought the one bottle.  "I said it's a bit different to the ten bottles they let you bring back from Portugal  per person".   One of the ladies said: "It's because it's one EU country going to another country." 

It was their loss financially.  Yet another good reason why voting Brexit was cutting off the hand that feeds you.

I went to the Wetherspoon's bar to get rid of some English coins.  I didn't pay 2 pounds six pence for a pint this time though.  It was four pounds forty.  I had two pints in total and waited for my plane.

About half an hour from boarding I looked at the flight departures screen and said my flight was delayed.  Myself and other passengers made our way to the departure gate and sat on the floor.

None of the airline company came round to explain what had happened.  At about eleven o'clock a very helpful airport worker said it was very common for late night Sunday flights to be delayed.  For example there could be a storm in Tenerife in the morning and that could be delayed for ten minutes and by the end of the day all flight schedules in Europe  could be hours behind.

A Polish lad who had obviously picked up on Irish sayings said to me: " It's a bollix.  This flights has  been delayed at least three times for me in the last six months".

Eventually we started to queue and the air staff insisted on priority boarding passengers going first.  Not that it mattered that I had already paid to put my rucksack and  camping equipment in the hold.

We eventually walked down the steps out of the plane and the Police boarded our plane that had just arrived from Cork.  Apparently someone said rthey escorted a drunk off the plane.

Quarter  past twelve we started boarding the plane.  My row was not there but a air hostess said two rows were not on this plane.  I sat in in my window seat and a lady started saying I was sitting in her chair.  It was like a Ryan Air Goldilocks and the 3 Bears scene.  "Who's been sitting in my chair?" I heard myself saying.  

The air hostesses made sure the people who had booked the seats were theirs and we who had no such seats because the plane had two less row of seats were gesticulated to follow the hostess and sit in a vacant seat.  

I vowed to a few agreeing and angry passengers that I would never use this cattle class airline again but I'm sure when the wife and myself book our annual flight in the Winter to the Algarve.  We will probably use them.  Maybe Easy Jet from Belfast or an English airport? Even Aerlingus? Whatever happened to the customer is always right?

The flight only took fifty minutes and wifey and one of my four legged pals were waiting for me outside the airport.

We got back to sleepy West Cork at 4 in the morning.  It had only took me 21 hours to get 

back home.  I cracked open the Jamesons and drank a can of Carlsberg.  It was good to get back to wild West Cork were my  life is so less stressful,  I reckon I could have got to Australia in the same time.  Perhaps next time if I ever visit Blighty again I will use public transport and the ferry?



Saturday 9 September 2023

We Visit Another Rock Festival Yet Again.

 Stonedead was my second Rock Festival of the Summer.  Not bad to say I'm 60 in December.

Regular readers will know I prefer Progressive Rock bands to all the other Rock genres like Heavy Rock and Heavy Metal (I do like some of these genres like seventies,  eighties and nineties) And Thrash and.....?

It's situated on the site of a former RAF air base and very fittingly a Lancaster Bomber flew over the 5000 capacity crowd and we waved and cheered at the spectacle.

The festival organisers allowed punters to bring four cans with them.  Yes I opted for dear old Newcastle Brown Ale.  There was also a beer tent but I only drank four cans.  This must be a first because I had no thirst. 

It reminded me of a mini Monsters of Rock that we used to visit at Castle Donington in Derbyshire in the eighties and early nineties.

Deraps, Black Star Riders and Blue Oyster Cult (of course) were my 3 favourite bands.  Here's some shots:

Poster.  I even bought a T shirt 👕.
American school bus diner.
A great Scottish band.
Northern Irish band.  They just need a catchy song or cover and they'll be big.
Reasonable  bar prices for a Rock  Festival.  They even had Newcy Brown.
Blackstar Riders.  Almost Thin Lizzy at times.  They're brilliant!
The best Prog Rock band from New York.  I give you Blue Oyster Cult. They may be old but they are still magnificent.  What a band.  Up there with the best of them.  Godzilla was my favourite and the crowd threw a inflatable small version of the creature into the air.

It was a great day and night.  If interested  then please check out the Stonedead videos on good old YouTube.



One of my favourite BOC tracks.  Enjoy my blog friends. If they're not Prog I will go to the foot of our stairs.  Any chance of April Wine and Styx playing West Cork?

Friday 8 September 2023

An Easy Day In Newark- Nottinghamshire that is.



Newark Castle with it's beautiful 
Bandstand.  I love brass bands and Prog.  The film Brassed Off comes to mind:

Pete Postlethwaite what an actor.


 My old friend who I see once a year decided to go to Eastwood in Nottingham to check out DH Lawrence country and I decided to take it easy and have a day on my own buying blister plasters and taking in the sights.

Palace Theatre.  It looks a smaller version than the Palace Theatre in Manchester where I saw Jesus Christ Superstar many moons ago.
A proper market with proper stalls.
Roundabout nicely landscaped. 
Formal  annuals bedding displays.


Newark Castle. 

A pint of real ale.

Old river cruiser now a pub.  You had to walk down stairs to buy your pints.

A nice town and I tried to gain entrance to its English civil war museum but it was closed.

Newark on Trent.  Is a nice English town that's preserved a lot of its history.  Its suffered civil war and plague but still remains a jewel in Nottinghamshires crown.

I walked to the train station and enquired about the train to Nottingham on Sunday.  I was told they were on strike on Saturday and doing maintenance work on Sunday.  So there would be no trains. What happened to: 'We'll sort it?"

A nice lady at the bus station told me where to catch the bus on Sunday morning.  It only cost 2 Pounds for a 21 mile journey that took in Trent  Bridge and the City Ground.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the Rock Festival.  Next week it be some horticultural posts.  It's been crazy hot here the last few days like June.  Did your vehicle get covered in sand from the Sahara?  Ours did.  How odd.🤔




Thursday 7 September 2023

Train To Nottingham And Caveman Dave Staying In A Hotel.

 The morning after the John Cale concert we discussed our plans for the day.  My friend suggested we book another night on the campsite and I could rest and he would walk into town and get some food.  But in the end we decided to head for town and have breakfast (pint of Doombar or Newcastle Brown Ale 🍺  with a full English, then catch the train to Nottingham.

I turned my mobile phone on and texted wifey to see if she could book us a room for tonight in the hotel?  

We had already booked two nights back in February when my friend found out that Blue Oyster Cult were headlining a festival in Nottinghamshire.  I last saw them in 1988 on their Imaginos tour and wouldn't  miss seeing them again for anything.

Wifey text me back saying she had booked and paid for the same room that we could stay in for three nights without moving but she had to pay by card they would not accept cash payment by my good self.  No-one seems to want filthy lucre in England anymore.  My friend assures me this is a Southern thing and there are no problems paying cash in Lancashire when he goes back.

It was good to know we would be staying 3 nights in a room with a bed, bathroom and a light and a socket and somewhere to charge my mobile phone.  It would be good to have a break from being Caveman Dave for a change! Anyone remember Stig of the Dump?  I think I might be related?

Some pretty pictures of a quaint Nottinghamshire town tomorrow and then it's the Rock Festival..


Wednesday 6 September 2023

Scrumpy Cider Without Rosie.

 Do you like my blog post title?☺

The nice and amiable man at the campsite told us an easier way into town.  There were far less steep hills and it was wonderful not to be carrying rucksacks, sleeping bags and tents.

Next morning we walked into town.  We passed a old overloaded  jeep type of vehicle with a large caravan on its side.  The driver had obviously lost control driving down a very steep hill to Stroud.  There was nobody in the the jeep that had crashed into some bushes.  But there were two fire engines and a police car at the scene.

" Hope they are ok?"

I said to my friend.

"Yes" he said and we both sighed.

We walked into town and looked on Google maps to see if it would take us to Slad.  My walking speed was deteriorating by the minute and soon my friend was several hundred feet in front of me.  We even saw a sign for Slad, the village and home of Laurie Lee.

My friend kept stopping and waiting for me and we even saw a bus stop.  He said he would walk to the village and I would hopefully catch the bus.  Three miles later and no bus passed by.  No one offered me a lift and I limped into Slad.  The number of times we have picked up hitchhikers and let people camp for free on our land here in West Cork

I noticed the church and immediately looked for Laurie's grave.  A jovial old man told me where it was situated.

My friend text me at the graveyard and said he was having a pint of Scrumpy Cider in the Woolpack across the road.


Scrumpy Cider.
I ended up drinking four pints of the stuff!  It was excellent.
A copy of his classic novel.  It's the story of a Gloucestershire young lad growing up around the first world War.  They also made a film of it.  I have read most of his books.  But Cider With Rosie is his classic.  If you have never read it please do.  It's excellent.
A portrait of the Author in the Woolpack pub where he drank.
Laurie Lees wife's epitaph wrote on the back of his gravestone. 
The grave of the great man's final resting place.

I tried to order a taxi but none arrived.  A young barman who told me he wants to be an actor very kindly gave me a lift to meet my friend in Wetherspoons.  I offered the lad payment asked me for a fiver so I gave him ten Pounds.  

I met my friend and had a meal and a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale and we went to see John Cale in Concert.  The theatre staff of the Sub Rooms were so kind and even noticed me struggling  and asked if I required help walking up and down the stairs?

John Cale is the last remaining member of Velvet Underground.  It was like being at a Prog Rock concert with 15 minute long songs and incredibly loud.  He's remarkable for 81 years of age.

I found this video of him playing Manchester the night after we saw him and his band in Stroud. 


It was a very productive day and tiring and we caught a taxi back to the campsite. I had finally visited the home place of one of my favourite writers.



A Bus man's Holiday To See Some Pigs At Balmoral Show.

You know what a bus man's holiday is don't you?  It means going on holiday and doing the same thing that you do at work.  Or on the ...