Cable TV Engineers

Now before I start….I have found a good Cable T.V Engineer, and he’s a nice and helpful guy….but before that….?  Hmmmmm….

Okay…. so what have I seen of their work in the many times they have been called to the house, you ask?  And not just my house, it’s EVERY house….

If you want to know where I’m going with thisCable around room.png…. remember the film ‘Entrapment’ with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones?  Well, there’s a scene in the film that happens to resemble just some of what I’ve seen……


I have no idea who trains Cable T.V Engineers, or where they go; not even a clue how long it takes to learn how to do the job.   Or if Haynes.pngthey have a life size pretend house to practice on, in some hidden factory unit in a secret location.  Or even if the scene from ‘Entrapment’ is in their Haynes manual on how to fit Satellite dish cables in and on the outside of the house. 

Are the rules in Cable T.V Engineers school of training  ”What goes on in Cable T.V Engineers school, stays in Cable T.V Engineers school”?

I have a secret picture Cable school.pngthat was taken in an undisclosed location of what goes on at the 1st day of training.
Proof of the rules that they live by.

What must the conversations be like in the class?  Does it go like this……?

“Sir……. Cable clips!…… How many do we use?”

“Doesn’t matter…. they’re in the van just to fill up the shelves.  But if you do need to use them, just use one at the start and one at the end…. No matter what the distance!”

“And the ladders?”

Cable Van.png

“Try not to use them; they are to weigh the van down and keep it steady in windy weather!

“Sir….. What colour cable?”

“Doesn’t matter, they bleeding-thumball do the same job!  If you can, use a cable that sticks out like a sore thumb, at least people know
we were there!”

 

 

So the finished work……… I’ve seen cables through window frames

CAble in tunner.pngI’ve seen holes drilled the size of the channel tunnel….only to take a small cable  Cable over roof.png

I’ve seen cables over the roof
 

Even cables nailed to a work top in a kitchen….. I kid you not my friends   Cable in kitchen.png

And the easy lazy way to carry a cable is in Cable in gutter.pngyour guttering, where it will sit in water most of the time and rot away

And YES….I have even seen cables following the window line up and down     Cable following windows.png

At least they used a good number of cable clips on that job.

In one house, the Cable T.V engineer put the cable diagonally under the carpet, the old woman looked like she was jumping over a hurdle every time she turned the T.V on.Runner.png  I was half tempted to dress her in lycra and put a number on her back

 

In another house the cables were running over the skirting board, up the wall and plugged into the back of the T.V with not a milimetre to spare.  I was waiting for the inside of the T.V to be pulled out.  Living in a plug.pngThere were wires everywhere, all in the wrong places, for a moment it was like living inside a plug.

 

So what can be done?  This, I don’t know.  Apart from being on your guard, and following the next Cable T.V Engineer and watching every move they make.  Cable everywhere.pngWho knows…..the next T.V cable laid from your dish to the T.V could be running through your underwear in the drawer; into the microwave as you cook your favourite pie; up over the toaster and down the leg of your favourite jeans.


To all Cable T.V Engineers…………..Let’s be having a nice neat job next time!!

As ever on the Easy Blend I’m listening to some great music, today it’s Christine and the Queens – Tilted.

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..

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The Horse Whisperer……..reveals all

So is this going to be inside knowledge?  It may be……. (I said maybe……….not BABY!)

Anyway…….this knowledge came to me in a mystical way, without my control…..I look at it as a gift…  A gift that I must share…. if not, I fear the Horse Gods will literally horse whip me…… and with my soft skin…. Well it’s not good.

Horsewhipped.png

 

What do Horses feel?  What do Horses think?  What would they say if they could speak?

Well……..I, the Horse Whisperer,can now reveal the truth!

Horse whisperer.png

 

It was a day just like any other day, I was walking in the local countryside on the Taff Trail that runs from the Brecon Beacons down to the City of Cardiff.  It also goes from Cardiff to the Brecon Beacons, it just depends which way you’re starting from……  Suddenly, I looked in front of me, the Tarmac on the trail looked damaged……. all ripped up as if a Meteor had crash landed and tore along the Taff Trail.

Meteor.png

 

I felt a strange power surge through my beautiful body (which didn’t take long….I’m not the tallest of people).  There was nothing I could do, everything was still, the sound of the River Taff by the side of me was quiet and the grass stopped swaying in the gentle breeze.  I could see a horse in a nearby field starting to talk to me.  It was as if there was a connection between us, a reason why this horse had picked me.  I knew he wanted to speak for all the other horses, he wanted to speak for the horses from the past…..the horses of today and the horses of the future.

Horse therapy

Horse message

I kept my composure, asking the horse to tell me more…

The horse now relaxed, looks upwards

“Well it’s like this Dave…… What do you see on my hoofs?”

“I see horse shoes…”

“Exactly, I’m made for fields and beaten tracks, just ask my ancestors, we were once peoples main form of transport back in the day,

Horse on wheels

before cars and bikes, before Tarmac was invented.  But some of our owners today, want to go on the same idyllic route as you Dave.   But on our backs, and Dave…….I don’t like tarmac, I’m not built for Tarmac if I did…..I’d have a set of wheels on the end of my legs.  It does my knees right in……and let’s face it….I’ve got 4 of them…..one on every corner.”

 

“The Taff Trail wasn’t built for me either,Pooping it’s for families to walk and cycle on, I’m a very big animal, and please forgive me for being so coarse with my words.  It wasn’t a meteor that ripped up the tarmac……..you see it’s me.  As a Horse I have the amazing ability to S**T and walk at the same time……I know, it takes some doing! ……..our owners know this…….. whilst sitting on our backs just 3 feet away from our arses….and they still take us on the Taff Trail knowing full well that it’s a sure bet we will do it.”

“Our owners don’t seem to care about families with their children, even the cyclists, who I know still can’t work out one of the greatest

Bicycle wheelmysteries of the world…..and that’s how you can cycle in a straight line and only get S**T on one wheel and not the other when there’s such a short distance between them both?”

And then…..in a flash my Horse whispering skills left my body and I was back on the trail as the Horse, chewing on grass, trotted away………… S***TING.

 

As ever on the Easy Blend I’m listening to some great music, today it’s Greg Laswell –  I dodged a bullet.

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..

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My childhood night-time activities

Where do I start?  I can’t tell you them all…..not enough ink in my computer……?

Computer ink.png

I remember being around 10 yrs old…….. not far off the same size as I am now.  Mother Frantony would say it was time for bed, after my milk and biscuits.  Yes, for kids today, still nothing has changed.  The game was how long and slow you could eat the biscuit and drink the milk.  I can still hear my mother shouting now after all these years “Come on!  I’m not stupid, I know you’re trying to drag out going to bed!  DAVID……COME ON!”

Milk & Biscuits.png

Anyway, eventually once in bed in my brushed cotton pyjamas (I love the feel of them!!)  And before I go on……bring back brushed cotton sheets and blankets!

Anyway, once in bed with my young boys dream poster Blu-tacked over my bed, of the iconic Lamborghini, (and by the way, I’m sure Blu tack is different today – my memory of it was that it always stayed sticky

Lambo.png

and never turned hard, and it didn’t take half of your wall with it when you took it off and ripped your poster to shreds), I was tucked in tight, sometimes so tight the mattress would curve revealing the bed springs and send me rolling in to the middle (A good sign you were never going to roll back out of bed)

I loved being tucked in tight, the only problem it caused, was the worry of being caught from a previous act of trying to take one of the “V” shaped springs from the metal bed frame.

‘Why’ you ask?

Gat gun

Well, because they were good for making a GAT GUN.

And I’m man enough…..or…..Not man enough to admit, the last words from me as Mum or Dad were leaving my bedroom were always “Leave the door open……and leave the landing light on!”……  While I’m at it, I’ll also tell you that I would never sleep with my legs straight; they were always curled up in a ball.

‘Why’ you ask again?

Well for some reason I had a vision of an old witch that lived underneath the bottom of my bed, and if my feet would ever stick out of the cotton blankets, she would use her long green warty covered fingers and scrape her red sharp nails down the soles of my feet.

Witch.png

Which is impossible…..even today….as I’ve said, I’m not the tallest and if my Mother knew there was a witch under my bed she would go nuts, and anyway my Dad would have noticed when he last decorated when moving the bed.

You can now understand my dilemma when my mother told me that the blankets are going because this new item of bedding was now out on the market and in the shops….. it was called a ‘Quilt’ or should it be ‘Duvet’ and you don’t have to tuck them in.  My face must have been a picture.  First night with the new ‘Quilt/Duvet’ I’m sure I had a pair of thick heavy duty boots on because I knew the witch would be rubbing her hands laughing, ready to get my feet when I was asleep.  I’d never felt so vulnerable not being tucked in!

Witch rubbing hands.png

Once in bed with my feet curled up, I would take the radio from my bedside cabinet and hide under the blankets trying to tune in to the Police frequency and hear what was going on in the outside world while me and the imaginary witch were in the warm; nice and safe.  The radio needed to be down low so my Mum and Dad didn’t hear, I couldn’t lie on the pillow because you needed both ears to listen, between the bad frequency and low volume.  So the only answer was to use the radio as the pillow, but there was a consequence in doing this.  Because on more than one occasion, I would fall asleep on the speaker, waking up in the middle of the night, with the imprint of the speaker holes on my face.

Speaker face.png

Yes, I tried lying on my stomach folding my arms, but I also fell asleep like it once and my arms went numb.  As I eventually released them my face crash landed in the radio, I couldn’t move as the pins and needles kicked in and there was nothing I could do until the feeling came back in them…….. I know…..a rookie mistake.

I still love radio today, I love listening to radio, I love presenting on radio, and even now, there’s nothing like listening to radio late at night when you’re tucked up in bed.  If you haven’t tried it, get it done!

 

As ever on the Easy Blend I’m listening to some great music, today it’s Heathens by Twenty One Pilots, from the film Suicide Squad.

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..

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Acupuncture….? Really……? But…… oh……OK….

Hayfever gods

For some reason……..and I don’t know why, maybe it’s the ‘Pollen Gods’ sulking in the corner, they decided that when I was thirty one years old, I should start having Hayfever, and NO!…..Hay fevermy Hay fever doesn’t look like this…….

It was a Saturday morning when Mrs Frantony and I were in the mood for a visit to Cardiff City Centre, a 25 minute drive in the car.  The sun was out, the music on the stereo was good so it was time to put my elbow out of the open window.

In car

Now, when I was 17, I did think that was a cool look but I have to admit, I still do this today, but then again I do drive a Land Rover Defender.  For those of you who are well aware of these vehicles…..you have no choice but to put your elbow out when the window is down, due to the tiny gap between the edge of the steering wheel and the door panel……no matter how long or short your arms are!

So, Mrs Frantony and I were in Cardiff City Chinese herbal shopCentre spoiling ourselves with some clothes shopping and a bit of food.  Now at this point my Hayfever was driving me mad, with itchy eyes and lots of sneezing, when we passed a Chinese herbal shop and Mrs Frantony says,

helen

 

 

 

 

So inside we went.

I told the young Chinese woman at the counter I had Hayfever, and she told me to follow her in to the back room of the shop.  She was nice…..so I did.  Then an old Chinese woman appeared through a side door and looked me up and down….(it didn’t take long….I’m not that tall).

She spoke in Chinese to the young woman, poke tongue outthe young woman then translated to me in English, ”Dave, poke your tongue out…”

 

I poked my tongue out to the old woman.  Again in Chinese, she spoke to the young woman, and in turn she translated back to me

 

 

Fire“Dave, you are a fiery person….”

I smiled, trying to keep my face looking like an angelic choir boy, Altar Boylooking like I didn’t know what she’s talking about.

 

Then she said for £10 I could have Acupuncture for my Hayfever.  I thought since I was here, why not?  DavidShe then told me to take my clothes off, right down to my pants.

 

Mrs Frantony left me in the back room and was told to come back in an hour.  The old Chinese woman, who apparently didn’t speak any English (Yeah right!) pointed at the brown leather bed.  I’ll be honest, my first thought was “Am I glad I’ve put on nice tidy blue pants today?!”  She then started to put the Acupuncture needles in my arms, my legs, my feet….. and the bottom of my feet…. Bum walkingthen my face, then my head and my chest…….  the only way of ever escaping was on my bum!

 

Once I resembled a pin cushion, with every single Acupuncture needle that the herbal shop owned stuck in me; the old Chinese woman started to on tablerub my belly, before putting a red heat lamp over the part she had just rubbed and walking out of the room, leaving me all on my own.

 

Now I’m not going to lie to you…….. (I wouldn’t do that) I was thinking “Am I in the Twilight Zone?”  I was wondering how I got to be in this position, considering I only came to Cardiff to do a bit of shopping and yet I was now looking like someone who had just rolled down a thick forest on the steepest, longest hill of the biggest cactus plants known to man.

BeardIt felt like days and days before I saw her again…..well not really….it was 40 minutes, but at the time it might as well been days.  The old Chinese woman took so long to come back, I even had a beard when she came back in to the room.  She turned the red heat lamp off and took all of the needles out of me……I looked like a sieve.

sieve

I put my clothes back on as she disappeared through the side door, then the young Chinese woman with perfect timing as I done up the last button on my jeans, came in and took me back to the front of the shop.  I paid the £10 while still trying to work out how all of this just happened and how did the young woman know I was doing up my last button on my jeans?

So….. I know there are 2 questions on your mind…….Please let me try and answer them.

  1. Did it cure me of my Hayfever? NO, 12 years on and I’m just as bad with itchy eyes and sneezing with more G-FORCE than any fighter pilot has ever experienced, but maybe if I kept going back it would have made a difference…..but I’m in no rush to do so.
  2. Is it really that easy to get Dave down to his pants? I don’t know…… I’m not sure….. Maybe…… NO….. YES…. NO….. OH, I don’t know!!?!??

 

As ever on the Easy Blend I’m listening to some great music, today it’s Aerosmith, Sweet Emotion

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..

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The Cheeky Single Bed

Bigger bedsIt was time to buy my little boy a new bed.  This one was going to be a full size bed and NO, a single bed isn’t ‘just’ a single bed.  You can buy short single beds for when they advance from the cot.

So the new bed arrived and all was well.  On the same day, after advertising his old bed, I had a phone call from someone who wanted to buy it.  This was the conversation “Is the bed still for sale?”
“Yes”
“I see that it’s up for £35….will you take £25Bed in car
“It’s your lucky day…..go on then…”
“Thanks.  I don’t have a car, any chance you can deliver?”

I was feeling generous that day so said “Go on then……”

He gave me the address, which was 7 miles away from where I lived, so I immediately loaded the car and was on my way.

Terraced street

After driving around a one way system 3 times, I eventually found the house and as always (you’ve experienced this I’m sure) the house I was looking for had no number and didn’t follow the sequence of numbers in the rest of the street.

I stood at the top of the steps, they were steep and as I knocked the front door I could hear lots of shouting, which didn’t stop, even when the door opened.  I wasn’t sure whether to laugh because the man would face me and say something, and then turned facing up the stairs and carried on shouting at his wife.

“I’ve come to drop the bed off for you….it’s in the car….”

The shouting was still going on “Yes thanks, just leave it by the door, I’ll get some money for you” he turned again and walked off, still shouting.

Piece by piece I carried the single bed on my own Bed down stepsdown the steepest set of steps known to man and left it by the front door, with no one to be seen.

Miraculously, as the last piece of the bed arrived at the door (and for the record was the nuts and bolts…in a bag….all labelled up) he emerged…. still shouting.  Now remember the bed was £35 but he knocked me down to £25 and……let’s not forget that I delivered it to his house and carried down the steepest steps I’ve ever seen.  In fact it was exactly like walking down the side of Mount Everest with a bed on my back.Everest

Again may I remind you that the single bed was now £25, but in his hand were three £10 notes….yes that’s £30.  I then think to myself that maybe he’s giving me the extra £5 for the delivery and bringing the bed down to the front door….BUT NO!  He looked at me in the eye….and with no hesitation said Paying cash“Sorry I’ve got no change….do you have £5 on you?”Bull in a china shop

 

Now usually I’m on the ball and I’m happy to be like a bull in a china shop and say what’s on my mind…… but that day I thought ‘let’s give this guy a break…he’s clearly having a bad day’, so I said nothing and gave him the £5 change, and drove home thinking to myself that I wouldn’t want to carry a large fridge freezer down those steps.

 

As ever on the Easy Blend I’m listening to some great music, today it’s Dixie Chicks – The Long Way Around

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..

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The entertainment we had growing up on a Council Estate

This was the era of the 1980’s, yep that’s right, when it was always sunny and you always had time to play.  I know what you’re thinking….there was only one place to play and that was outside.  They were the days of playing on the streets with a pen knife in one pocket and policemanin the other, a packet of crisps with a slice of cheese inside (I don’t know why…but I still eat crisps like that today).  There weren’t so many cars on the road and you always saw the local Policeman walking his beat.

These were the days before computers and tablets and mobile H&Sphones and of course before Health and Safety went mad.

Playing as a child was always an adventure, whether in the woods, forestry or in the surrounding streets and if you had a fight, it was a proper fight…you remember the ones with that started with a bit of pushing and some fists, not like today where everybody brings every weapon possible, even a tank on their heads……

Pockets

As well as playing and making up your own games, you also had the older boys who were a little on the crazy side and you were never too sure of what they were going to do.

So here are just some of the things I’ve seen and experienced.

I was playing on the field one day when I heard the sound of a motorbike.  As I turned, I smiled….. a young boy on a Suzuki PE175cc was doing a wheelie up the main hill of the estate.

wheelie up hill

I looked thinking “WOW….who is that?”  He came on to the field riding around me as if he was the sheep dog and I was the sheep.  Eventually he stopped and we became friends.  For ‘Health and Safety’ reasons let’s call him ‘Moriarty’.

A week later my friends and I had just bought ourselves a 99 from the ice-cream van, and were enjoying the sunshine sitting on the wall, wCar up hillhen at a terrific speed, a blue Ford Capri ‘R’ reg, year 1976 with far too many young lads inside, came full throttle in too low a gear up the hill towards us.  But they were playing a game; it was how fast they could turn into the side street from the main hill of the estate.

car on bend

 

 

Of course we were all asked if we wanted to go for a ride….. but there were a few reasons why not!

1. The driver (Moriarty) didn’t have a licence
2. The driver wasn’t old enough to have a licence
3. There was no room (not even in the boot)
4. I wanted to live

And finally 5., Mother Frantony would have hit me with the tea towel, taking it from her shoulder at lightening speed.

This, by the way, was regular weekend entertainment.  So was the time my Dad let Moriarty (thinking he had a bike licence) borrow his bike so we could both go to the Gym.  I was on the back of my Dad’s Honda XL 185cc (a very good bike) with 2 gym bags over my shoulders.  On a long straight road and with a bus in front of us, Moriarty decided it was a good idea to overtake…….  Bike vs Bus

Well….. it took so long I nearly made friends with everyone on the bus looking through the window.  I did wonder if we were ever going to see the front end of the bus and make it alive.  Another occasion was the time Moriarty would borrow other boy’s motorbikes.  Like the time (again with me on the back or as we called it ‘a backie’) on a Kawasaki KX 400, on the road Bike v car(again) overtaking a Ford Escort XR3i and suddenly the chain came off.

Yes…..I look back and see how silly we were and of course how lucky we were and I definitely wouldn’t recommend all of these things…..but when I look back it does make me smile, thinking of the days when we didn’t have a care in the world (You remember those days?).  Dangerous YES, but funny all the same, we all know someone who provides crazy entertainment no matter where you lived.

 

 

As usual on the Easy Blend I’d thought I’d tell you what I’m listening to.  Today it’s Barenaked Ladies – If I had a Million Dollars.

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..