It's Summer, and the longest day has passed us with some of the big yellow blobby thing making an appearance in the sky (occasionally) Temperatures soared to unimaginable heights and at times reached 20 degrees. Phew….It was like the French Riviera (or Italian Riviera) only colder, and without the Mediterranean, and the Yachts and the topless girls (not that I noticed of course) and the Martinis and the fast cars. So in summary then, it was nothing like the above. This is Wales and we don’t ever see things like that. Sadly!!!!

But we do have the Dogs………and they, like us, tend to chill out and soak up a few of the rays from the sun. But everything else is an effort………….

Then of course there is the “ODD” one Spin that acts as the look-out for all the others, this particular Spin needs to be on high alert at all times to ensure no danger or The Dearest One (delete as applicable) can interfere with this period of relaxing…….and we have just the ‘odd’ one to be on alert…..

Just how the Hell that looks alert is well beyond my simple mind……..however!! It wasn’t long before he too gave up and……

Found a chill pill – in that bone……

While still managing to look completely non alert!!!!!

Meanwhile, others of course (The French) dramatic music moment……..had decided to make full use of this Spin down time with further training in the art of cross border warfare. Tactics were discussed and training sessions on the use of stealth, escape and evasion were practiced as these cunning spy shots clearly shows:


“OK, so now try and sneak up and take the hat”
“Good, excellent, and stay low, at night they won’t see you anyway”

And then of course after the training is the inquisitive questioning after the sneaky stealth lesson!!!

“So tell me small black French thing, what’s that idiot been teaching you now”?

As for the rest of them?


“Digging in these conditions, just leads to ………………………these conditions after a while”

And being in all this heat just means you need to take on more liquids……..and its Tea Time!!

“I’ll get that Mini French thing to make us all a cup of tea” “This is just puppy abuse, but one day Spin, it will be payback time” – “Claude said it first”!!!

Oh bless I hear you say!!! How sweet, the nice doggies are out in the sun and enjoying the 3 or 4 days of the English Summer!!

But what about the humans I hear you ask?

Well, The Dearest One was sipping Sloe Gins and the occasional Pimms No 9 in her area overlooking the grass plains of her empire in the sun, gentle music playing in the background. The birds in the trees singing and hopping from branch to branch and flying from tree to tree, a butterfly floats past…………oh can you picture the scene!!!!!!!

No, neither can I??

She was actually sipping Tea. There was no music, if there had have been music and it was hers then it meant there was a funeral somewhere close by!!! She has no musical taste!!!

The birds in the trees were all Robins from the Christmas tree we had up during that particular ‘Happy Holiday’ period……….and who the hell changed Merry Christmas to ‘Happy Holiday’?

The butterfly was probably lost, and the only Sloe Gin she knows is the ‘old boy’ in the village that drives his Land Rover too slow.

Yea that’s great but what about the lunatics next door??

Oh yes………murky and lurky. Well folks they’ve been away on a short vacation where Colin (him of mole hunting fame) took the opportunity during that trip to see his ‘friend’ who of course is the world’s leading idiot on mole molesting, er…….sorry, mole hunting.

Colin’s friend is the ultimate encyclopedia on mole eradication!!

And I’m Barrack Obama’s sister……..!!!

And when they came back!! (Oh no)

He was armed and ready for the mole hunting season ahead. For many days and weeks after they returned from their trip they were hidden away in the cottage, from time to time strange smells wafted through the air……no no not that kind of smell – this was different.

There would be the occasional flash of light from inside, at other times small bangs could be heard. It was clear there was something going on?

Late at night when it all went quiet you could hear that haunting and sinister scientist laugh……..
The Dearest One would drift up there for her cup of mid morning tea, or even a lunch and one night she had had dinner there. She would come back and say to me “You know, I think he’s up to something you know” “Whenever I go up there things are quickly hidden away and there is a deliberate attempt to keep me from going anywhere other than the kitchen”

“He keeps smiling and saying things under his breath like, the time is coming moley” “better watch out” and “prepare to meet your maker” “and to be honest it’s kind of scary”

They were rarely seen out in the garden or when they were they would avoid us or avoid our looks and cheerful ‘good mornings’

Colin took to stopping all the visitors coming up our lane and talking to them, whether they wanted him to or not!! He still does it now, despite what happened?? (Be patient its coming)

We only have the farm as a neighbour yet anything or anybody trying to get past the cottage Colin would leap out of the hedge from their garden wearing his High visibility yellow coat, his black wardens cap and with his “Stop Children” sign proceeded to stop everyone driving up or down our lane and put them under extensive interrogation. One of next doors boys rode up on a horse one morning and he even questioned the horse. When they moved the sheep down the lane he issued each one of them with a ‘Passport’ so they could get passed him when they were relocated again later on.

The Postman threatened to call the police but Colin said it didn’t matter if he did? He would interrogate them as well!!

When the Farmers friends went to pass him to visit the family at the farm he stopped them and stamped their wrists with a pass mark so he could account for them on the way back. I can vouch for this as well as I had to go to the farm to take their Cockerel back after it escaped out of its pen. Colin stamped my wrist!!! And the Cockerels beak!!

By the way, Claude did a marvelous job of catching that cockerel – it cost me five pounds in compensation!!!

Colin was becoming a worry.

Come rain hail or shine Colin the Lollipop man would be out there and whether you liked it or not he was going to stop you and talk to you. And Colin can talk!!!!!!
(Ex Yorkshire Babbling Champion 1907 to 1923)

(Yorkshire Muttering under your breath Champion1932)

(In 1948 Colin was presented with the Freedom to Buggar off from the town after telling the worst joke in history – The town’s Mayor was there to make sure he left)

Colin never fully recovered from this moment

If ever he needed an excuse to go out on patrol then he used a couple of options, cut the grass, clean the car, clean the windows or to use the strimmer for the longer grass.

All of these were used on a regular basis – but he looked ridiculous in his high visibility gear and wardens cap doing all that lot. But there was method in his madness, and indeed he had been up to something, The Dearest One had been right…………….

On occasions there would be a lull in his activities and early in the morning he would drive off returning some hours later. During these times we would sometimes see him moving boxes or objects from the rear of his car and shuffling them carefully out of view into the cottage. We were used to this strange behavior anyway so to us it all looked rather innocent. We of course did not know at that time just exactly what these things were.

Days and weeks went by and not a lot really changed to be honest and on the outside, life appeared to be normal – yes OK I know, we don’t do normal, but it was our normal.

And then late one night after the dogs had been out and had had their evening constitutional moments and we had locked up, all was quiet. The lights in the cottage were out as well. But because it was so dark we noticed what we thought were flashes of light, similar to flash photography. We looked at each other and wondered what on earth was going on next door.

We didn’t have long to wait

There was a considerable flash followed by a huge orange glow with a sort of dull thud – it was loud but the noise obviously dampened by the thick walls of the cottage, being of stone they tended to keep in all the heat and light and of course noise.

But physics being what it is then this loud bang and flash of light had to go somewhere. And it did. It went upwards and blew the roof off the cottage……

Nice one Colin!!!!!

We rushed out to see what we could rescue.

And out came Colin with hair smoking and stood on end, his clothes in tatters and smoking. He had a blackened face, his hands still holding the remnants of whatever it was he had been working on. I noticed Colin’s eyeglasses had only one arm on them and they were leaning to one side. The Dearest One looked on at him alarmed at his appearance

I just laughed

Then out of the smoke and over the rubble came ‘her’. Colin’s wife, The Dearest One’s Mother!!

Her recent blue rinsed hair now a sort of smoky charcoal colour, her face looked like a make-up artist’s work gone badly wrong with black marks randomly placed. Her evening gown was a cartoon characters reference point with it hanging off her in tatters, and her slippers were not quite as they were when recently purchased in the M & S sale.

Through the black marks on her face one could clearly see that blowing the roof off the cottage was the very least of Colin’s problems?

That night gown was 4.99 from Oxfam, those slippers were a real bargain from the sale at M & S and the hair do was a 9.99 special offer.

Colin had entered a world of poo……………

I wasn’t too pleased either!!!!

We all went into our house for a cup of tea and black coffee to assess the damage then to chat about the cottage roof, or rather the lack of a cottage roof.

And so it came to pass that Colin had discovered from his mate that the petrol attack on the moles underground HQ whilst being successful!!!!! was in fact only the beginning and Colin’s mate had given him the recipe for a more powerful weapon.

Unfortunately due to the ensuing explosion earlier we have no idea what it was he was working on. All the evidence destroyed.

Colin is not really a handyman to be fair, he can do the basics but this was clearly one step beyond.

All we learned from his mumblings over the next few days were:

• “I thought it wasn’t connected”
• “And that blue one should have gone on ok”
• “What’s this button do”?
• “OH POO”
• “Fire in the hole”

And that was it really……….

Some weeks later the roofers were with us replacing the cottage roof. The odd couple had sorted themselves out, mother in law’s hair was back to almost normal. Clothes replaced and ego’s repaired.

During the re-roofing phase they decided in their infinite wisdom to sleep outside under canvas so as not to disturb the dogs as Colin put it…..and I’m sure he meant us. He had better have done!!

So we come back now to Colin’s handyman abilities?

I am now of the opinion that Colin was NOT a boy scout? By the time he had the tent erected the roofers had gone and the job completed. In fact his dear wife had been living in the cottage for 3 days before Colin emerged from under the canvas to realise that so much time had passed and he was still nowhere with the tent.

Today, all is back to normal!!!!!

But to say Colin had raised the roof is an under statement

In next week’s exciting episode:

• Colin services the car and they are now experts on all the bus routes and times

• Colin prepares for winter and uses the chain saw!!

• Colin helps decorate the cottage and removes a light switch for access – they went without electricity for 2 days

• And finally, Colin nearly gets run over by Sloe Gin in his Land Rover? Who we found out drives slowly because he can’t see very well. Obviously that Hi-visibility coat isn’t Hi enough

That’s it for this time

Take care and watch out for the Lollipop man!!

Oh I nearly forgot this??

This is one of those things that I feed off and found it whilst loitering with intent looking for something completely different, as you do.

It’s a thing that ‘scientists’ have come up with to calculate a dog’s true age!!! Try it……
You’ll be there for hours!!!!!!

I gave up eventually and converted it to humans and discovered that The Dearest One will outlive me by 53 years and that Colin is actually 147 years old. His wife is 25!!!

Calculate your dog's true age

For first two years:
• 12.5 years per human year for the first two years for small dogs
• 10.5 years per human year for the first two years for medium sized dogs
• 9 years per human year for the first two years for large dogs
For years 3+:
• Small: Dachshund (Miniature) 4.32, Border Terrier 4.47, Lhasa Apso 4.49, Shih Tzu 4.78, Whippet Medium 5.30, Chihuahua 4.87, West Highland White Terrier 4.96, Beagle 5.20, Miniature Schnauzer 5.46, Spaniel (Cocker) 5.55, Cavalier King Charles 5.77, Pug 5.95, French Bulldog 7.65

• Medium: Spaniel 5.46, Retriever (Labrador) 5.74, Golden Retriever 5.74, Staffordshire Bull Terrier 5.33, Bulldog 13.42

• Large: German Shepherd 7.84, Boxer 8.90


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