A New Year, A New Start!!

Oh well, 2013 came and went, here’s hoping 2014 will be somewhat more productive.

What happened to the latter half of 2013 I hear you ask? To be honest not a lot really, I failed to keep this blog going, I failed to achieve the targets I set myself and I failed to make an accurate record of the things I did do.

On the plus side, I did manage to produce some pens … most of which I failed to photograph properly before sending them off to their new owners, (another failure to add to the list).

I did make some pens though. I must admit, I am pleased with the results of my attempts to ‘cast’ my own pen blanks with the Corps and Unit colours encapsulated within. I even made a pen in the colours of the old Army Catering Corps for my friend Mick (a former slop jockey). I will have to find and upload the photo’s I did manage to take and save.

We, as in the family, managed to take a holiday. Nothing unusual there, I hear you mutter. Ah, but we went to France. There I’ve said it!!  France … but I don’t like France. Actually I’ve discovered I do like France. What changed my mind? I’m not sure I can explain, you’ll just have to accept it. We took the Caravan across the Channel from Plymouth to Roscoff and drove down to a campsite near Carnac. The campsite was good, the heads were immaculate, stacks of hot water, the kids loved the pool and the beach was less than 5 minuets away. The weather was unbelievably warm throughout and when it did rain it rained during the night. Loads to see and fresh croissants and baguettes. What more could you want!!

The Dartmoor Yomp, for those of you who are not familiar with this event, a quick explanation. You assemble a bunch of Old and Bold, Former Royal Marines and set them off on a sponsored 12 mile (19Km sounds better) Yomp across Dartmoor to raise much-needed funds for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF) and when they have finished they do what Royal Marines and Former Royal Marines do … they have a few wets!! Or perhaps more than a few … Friendships are renewed, dits are told and retold, then they all go home and plan for the next one. Well we attended, the family yomped, including Tigger ( I wasn’t up to it this time) blisters were treated, wets were had, toasts were made and a good time was had by all!! I made a pen in Corps Colours which was auctioned off and I must (belatedly) thank Ronnie Stewart for handing the Kobi Reader he won in the raffle to Doobie, she was well chuffed, as they say.

Ah, Christmas (my favorite time of year … NOT!!!). As per normal, this event appeared to start on or around the 5th of September and by the end of Sept, well I’ll leave you to guess the rest. To be fair once Christmas Day arrived I became a dad again and enjoyed watching the family tear into the goodies that some fat old man had supposedly placed under our tree.

Considering my views on Christmas you may decide that I’m something of a hypocrite as I must admit I was chuffed with my pressies, I mean seriously chuffed!! Marc (my eldest and the family ubergeek) and Nikki had conspired between themselves to present me with a series of packages, which when put together became the basis of a damn good PC. A nice midi Tower (with green LED’s in the fans), a good power supply unit, a Motherboard running the Haswell chipset, 8 Gb of Ram and an i7 processor. Oh yes!! when the finances permit  I will supplement that lot with a nice Solid State Hard Drive, three 2 Tb drives (so that we can run a Raid 5 system) and a good Graphics card for my eventual 3 monitor setup . Nice or what!!

It’s WET!!! In case you haven’t noticed. It’s wet and I’m miserable, bloody miserable. I’m damn sure this little corner of Britain (You’ll notice I did not say Great Britain, more on that later, or maybe not!!) is set to have a greater annual rainfall than the combined total of all the Rainforests still existing on this damp planet!! To be fair, at least we haven’t suffered the flooding that has blighted the rest of the country. I can’t say I would be particularly keen to take up freshwater fishing from my bedroom window, but it may catch on if this weather doesn’t improve!

I can’t use my shed (workshop) at the moment as it has become a casualty of the weather. It’s just as wet on the inside as it is outside. The roof leaks, well what’s left of the roof, that is. I need a new shed!! There, I’ve said it!! However, there is a very small, minor, trifling insignificant problem. A new shed will have to join the list of other things this family abode needs. The tumble dryer is on its last legs, in fact its been staggering along threatening to die for ages, it just can’t make up its mind when to finally give up. The Chest freezer is making some very strange noises, somewhat akin to my stomach when it hasn’t been fed for several hours. The TV plays silly buggers every now and again (we must be one of the few houses in the country still possessing a CRT device and not some dirty great 90″ flat screen) and the Wii has died completely!! Oh well, I can always hope for a Lottery win, except I do not play the bloody Lottery!!

As for the Turnings’n’Toys bit … I do have a Rocking Horse to make (Cheers Tom & Fran) which despite the weather and my own failings IS on target for completion, so it will be ready!!

I have also acquired a nice lump of Oak to make some rather special pens from. Oak? That’s not very special, you say. Well this bit is!! It comes from H.M.S. Victory and I have the certificate to prove it. I will also provide certification with each and every pen. If you would like to own a real piece of our proud Naval History, form an orderly queue please.



What do you think?