Tying Up Loose Ends

My achey, achey arms. Yesterday, I had my first wakeboard in 2 years and I am a bit stiff today. But it was worth it, and hopefully the beginning of more to come. I love wakeboarding! I have got a bit on this week so I am setting the scene for the forthcoming week ahead, and also, I thought I would tie up some loose ends from previous posts.

Firstly, my vegetable plot and this is not an organically cunning plan to overthrow the government but my little organically grown furrow into cultivating my own food.

I can’t believe looking back at the original post how ickle the plants looked. I had forgotten that they had started so small because now it’s flourishing. Today, I cut and ate my first homegrown vegetable; my very own broccoli!

Check out the head on that bad boy! What a whopper! Even Hagar was impressed. I have to say that I have been lucky so far, it’s been fairly painless. The only thing that I have had to do is ensure that that it is watered regularly. It could just be beginners luck. It happens like that for me often, I open well and then fail spectacularly from that moment onwards. About 14 years ago, I had a little dabble at trout fishing, spinning not fly, at Lochore Meadows, nr Cowdenbeath in Fife. On my debut trip, I caught a brown trout and rainbow trout and thought fishing rocked. We celebrated each catch with a tot of a rusty nail (Drambuie and whisky) – warm, sweet and potent, yum, yum. However, I have never caught a frickin’ fish since!! It didn’t take me long to hang up my rod!

In my post Competitive Perfection I wrote at the end of it,

‘Six years on we are the new folks on the block in our current quarters. The front of the house is south facing and everyone on our street has a little bench in front of their kitchen window, a little personal expression of who they are. When we moved I swore to Hagar I would not be swayed, and that we would not be joining the bench club. But six weeks in and the ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ competitive brain cell is squeaking naughty thoughts into my head…..’buy bench’ it’s saying. “Aaaarghhh!!!’ I have resisted so far but I am not sure how much longer I can ignore it for. This is part of the paradox, I am the conforming rebel – the battle rages on……’

Hagar couldn’t handle it. He buckled and bought the bench! At least, it wasn’t me. I have stamina and guile.

This week is RAF Odiham’s families Day. Last year there was an article in The News of the World which was salacious and attacking on event which is the highpoint of the year for the station. It had a huge backlash and rumour has it that Matthew Drake was taken off their defence beat as a result of the negative publicity it caused for the rag. The Grenade and I have been booked in for a ride in one of the cabs. We are both ridiculously excited! It’s such a fabulous event and it gives us all an opportunity to marvel at the aircraft. I love the Chinook, which is weird because I drive a red car and have very little interest in things mechanical. Yet since I wrote (in a ghostly manner) Immediate Response, during which I had to learn so much about how to fly it, why we have it and it’s origins, I came to love and respect it’s capability. I know that many people feel violated by the deep rumbling, rhythmic beat of the rotors as it ambles through the skies in the darkness of the night but I have always found it soothing. When we lived on station at RAF Odiham, and Hagar was night flying, I knew he was due to land at a certain time. About 20 minutes beforehand, as I lie in bed awake waiting, I would hear the deep, drumming of the rotors as the aircraft approached. Hearing the sound of the gentle thud of the blades, I would relax knowing that he had returned safely from his night sortie. I then knew that in about 40 minutes time I would hear him turn the key of the door, and followed by the clatter of his blundering around the kitchen like a drunk elephant, making himself some toast and opening his beer. Maybe it’s because he is slightly deafened by the noise of the aircraft that he makes such a racket on his return but it’s more likely that he is a big, clumsy beefcake who is incapable of shutting any door without a slam.

Next weekend we are off to Bucklebury Farm, Reading, to our first Toyologist gathering and I think to receive our first toys! According to their bumpf ‘Toys R Us selected a number of Digital Mums from across the UK to drive their online social media activity. It’s a new programme called “Toys R Us Toyologists”. It is a mixture of work-from-home mums, full time mums, stay-at-home mums and more, but all of the Toyologists are mums who are active within the blogosphere and social media space.The mums are being given toys to try out with their kids, to review, and have been asked to share their experiences. ‘

In the post The Battle of the Boobs and the Bottle I wrote:

“I can’t tell you how many times, I scream at The Grenade, ‘do as you are told, you are not in charge!’ and he screams back, ‘why can’t I be in charge’. Sometimes we have long esoteric conversations about what he would do if he was in charge, but to cut it short, we would basically be living in the doyen of childhood dreams, that is going to Toys R Us whenever he wanted and staying there for as long as possible.”

We are peeing our pants with excitement about this. I think the Grenade is more excited about the Toyology then he is about going up in a Chinook. (He’s a bit disappointed because Hagar has told him they won’t let him shoot the guns!) The Grenade, however, loves Toys R Us. Most parents, grandparents and adults I know hate it but I don’t go for me. I go for him. I love it because he loves it.

The thing is I am now a bit worried that I am going to have children reading my ruminations. It is important to note that this is a blog written for adults not children – check out my new 18 badge on the left. All of the Grenade’s and the Menace’s reviews will be communicated in a family-friendly suitable way by the Toys R Us digital team. It’s is not always suitable for anyone under the age of 18 as it contains adult content. With this in mind I have created a dedicated Toyology section, where I will post all the reviews conducted by The Grenade and The Menace, which should be child friendly. I am not going to change the tone of the blog. It’s my blog and if I want to f*cking well swear then I f*cking well will.

Delighted about my official Toyologist appointment, it got me thinking, where do I stand on this? I have seen lots of noble statements from bloggers about their ethical position regarding the promotion of brands and products, etc. After about a nano second of thinking very considerately about the situation I decided ‘Satan here is my soul’ and immediately added two pages to my blog.

1.) PR Whoring & Advertising

2.) Go-To-Spa-Mum

PR’s come and court me baby, yeah! So who wants to be my opening spa review then. And for the record, I blog because I want to be a professional writer. This is my media. I think there is room for us all. I am definitely not knocking those who do it as a form of cathartic relief, or self-expression but I have bigger fish to fry and so I am putting it out there into the Universe, just so we are clear!

And finally…..Hagar and I are off to Malmaison in Charterhouse Square, in good ole London town. Until the end of August Malmaison are offering ALL SERVING PERSONNEL accommodation on a Friday or Sunday night from £59 Bed & Breakfast for 2 people in a room, per room per night at all Malmaison Hotels apart from Malmaison Oxford and Malmaison London – the rates for Oxford or London are £79 to include Bed & Breakfast – all rates inc. VAT and are subject to availability.   From the 1st September on an ongoing basis they are increasing their rates slightly (please be aware that this is not an increase you can expect to see every year literally they have maintained the same prices for the past 6 years!)  
From September, all Malmaison & Hotel du Vin Hotels will be offering a FORCES discount of £75 Bed & Breakfast at all hotels in their portfolio on a Friday & Sunday night. To book you can contact Laura Dudley and quote “FORCES offer, military blog spot” on 0121 631 5792 or ldudley@malmaison.com or call bookings central on 0845 365 4247 for Malmaison or 0845 365 4438 for Hotel du Vin.

That was a little plugola for Laura, in the new culture of selling out. Hagar and I love Hotel Du Vin, we had our wedding breakfast in the Evian Room at the Hotel Du Vin, Winchester. They are shabby, chic boutique hotels with just the right blend of luxury and comfort. To be honest I would happily live in a Hotel Du Vin but alas our budget doesn’t allow it! We are really looking forward to it and I shall be giving a full review of our stay once we have experienced it. We have never stayed in a Malmaison Hotel before. Malmaison are giving this discount to the forces to say ‘Thank You’ for their sacrifices. Hagar and I have paid full whack to stay in the Hotel Du Vin before so to get it at this rate is a bargain so if you are in the forces I would already recommend that you seize the day and treat yourself!

Blimey, a bit of a long one today. I am off to watch Sherlock now. I am loving it! It’s on BBC One – if you are into a bit of Holmes action then I would highly recommend this modern, fast paced interpretation of the super-sleuth. (Nobody lured me to say that by wafting free Holmes at me. It’s just what I think ok!) Have a good week y’all.


8 thoughts on “Tying Up Loose Ends

  1. Spooky. I was on the phone to the Odiham Hive (we live or rather lived in the American quarters and now just down the road) to ask for their help with some reseach)

    Great brocolli. Growing my first sweetcorn this year – never,ever thought I’d get excited by vegetables.

    • Blimey! That is a coincidence! Did they help you?

      I know! I have some corn too – let me know how you get on. My heads haven’t emerged yet. We can compare ears. It must be an aged thing but hey – why not?!

      • The Hive said they’d look at my questons but I got the impression, they were very, very busy. And they must be with all the ‘freedom fighting’ going on. I’m Hagar on that one. Nuff said.

        My ears! OMG – don’t turn this into a race. I’ll have to rush and get MagiGrow or steroids for mine now:)

      • Oh dear – what have I done? I don’t think the Taliban are ‘freedom fighters’ – I agree with him too. He just doesn’t like the metaphor because Luke Skywalker is a hero – maybe George Lucas should have made the rebels the bad guys!! In my head when I was thinking about the imperialism and rebel factions – in the same way there is the conflict between The Empire in Star Wars which is imperialistic and The Rebel Alliance which is disparate group of fighters. I was struck by this in the Junger book, when the American soldiers armed and talking a foreign language turned up in villages and had to communicate to locals who have never seen a foreigner in their life before. It must be like an Ewok trying to talk with a stormtrooper. Maybe I am just mental – anyway Han Solo was a criminal, and chewbacca was a bandit. But he was portrayed as a loveable rogue. It makes for an interesting debate. I wasn’t saying because the rebel alliance were good guys therefore the Taliban are good guys. It was meant to be a slightly more complex interpretation than that. I do think America is imperialistic – this isn’t a judgement. I am not sure that everything should be about profit! And yet it is a barometer of our success in the Western World.

        It’s not a race – I am just going to stick my usual hands off approach!! I haven’t joined the WI just yet! :0 Although I am thinking about it – I’ll see if my courgettes turn into prize marrows!

  2. Phew! Need a lie-down after that! I love to see chinooks in the sky. I don’t know why but it makes me feel safe somehow. If they are around no-one can get me.
    Not sure about the toyoligist but then that’s my age & lack of smalls I suppose. Really envious of Hotel du Vin. We have one here in Bristol but as yet OH & I have not been to one. Finally those vegiies look great! Well done you, ‘bench-sitting-person’!

  3. I LOVE the champagne bar in the HDV in Henley……I would live there 100%!!! But as correctly pointed out, champagne lifestyle, shampoo budget. Boo. 😉

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