Bandit takes a bath

I haven’t written my blog for a while for the simple reason that it’s difficult to get a new topic every week. So here’s the latest news from across the pond.

Bandit, good dog but hates her bath.

Bandit, good dog but hates her bath.

We are planning to go camping to New Hampshire this weekend, a couple of days by the lake will be nice. In preparation we thought it would be a good idea to bath the dogs. Millie of course loves her bath but Bandit is terrified. So we decided to take them into town to one of the local stores where you can wash your dog for a nominal fee. Sharon had tried and failed to wash Bandit in the bath at home. So straight off the golf course on Saturday I ventured into town with Sharon and the dogs. Bandit started to cower as soon as the tap was turned on. Sharon held the dog who was fastened to the wall and I washed Bandit. By the time I had put shampoo on her back she was squalling … and so was Sharon. The more Sharon got agitated by the dog the worse Bandit became. There were people starting to gather to watch the scene unfold. Anyway she is now clean for our camping trip.

Thought you would all appreciate this t-shirt.

Thought you would all appreciate this t-shirt.

I am pleased to announce that I have a new set of irons for golf and a putter I really love. After 20 years with the old irons they are taking some getting used to or at least this was my excuse for a bad round on Monday. I was fitted out for the new irons at Chris Cote’s golf shop in Portland. Took my old 7 iron with me and tried every make and manufacturer on the planet until I found one that suited my swing. Sharon has just told me she is not feeling too good and we wont be going camping this weekend…ah well I suppose I will have to try the new clubs.

Good to hear from David Rowlands, great cricketer and athlete, haven’t seen him for years, hope all is well with you.

Have a great week y’all

Laura and Markus visit

Laura and me enjoying the boat ride and the ocean at Newport.

Laura and me enjoying the boat ride and the ocean at Newport.

It was a real pleasure to have Laura and Markus staying with us for the last couple of weeks. We picked them up at the airport and we were a little worried as they had landed but had spent an hour in customs. We thought that the airline had misplaced their luggage. We had booked rooms at a Marriott hotel in the city center (centre) and had a meal together in Paparazzi on Newbury Street and walked around Back bay. The next day we went on a duck tour after a chance meeting for breakfast. It was the only cold day of the holidays. We had lunch at Fanieul Hall and Laura took a photo of the ‘longest sign’.

Markus and Laura driving the boat in Narragansett Bay.

Markus and Laura driving the boat in Narragansett Bay.

We then drove to Newport Rhode Island and walked around and went to Flukes for dinner and cocktails and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. We had breakfast at Annie’s and went to the International Tennis tournament and then for a boat ride in Newport.

 

We went back to Glastonbury and the animals were pleased to see them both. Had a trip around town and had a Sushi lunch. They hired

Laura and Markus enjoying the water.

Laura and Markus enjoying the water.

a car and went shopping to the outlet mall and we went to Sayulitas for dinner. The next day they had planned to go to Yale but went down to New York and they ended up driving through Manhattan. In the evening we had a fire an invited all the neighbors around. The firefly’s gave us a special display. We did so much while they were here; went gambling to Mohegan Sun and Laura won. we went on several boat rides and swam in the ocean. The next week they both went white water rafting and Markus fell overboard. Then they both went down  to New York for a few days. We had a great time while they were here and we miss them so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A golfing weekend

Bill and me, winners of the Stewart Cup 2016

Bill and me, winners of the Stewart Cup 2016

It’s been a great week for golf. The Stewart Cup, which is played on Stew’s birthday every year at the Newport National in Rhode Island has been won this year by Bill and Tim by two holes in a dramatic final hole. The good guys were 1 down going into the back 9 and Bill chips in off the green on two holes. With one hole to play we are one up but under pressure after Mike gets his close to the hole to possibly secure a tie in the match and keep the cup, then I managed to hole a 30 foot put to secure the victory in a really tightly fought game. A really good day at RI on a great golf course. I now have the pleasure of engraving our names on the cup.

AJ, Chris, Doug and DJ. The loosing team on 4th July 2016.

AJ, Chris, Doug and DJ. The loosing team on 4th July 2016 at the men’s club at Blackledge.

Monday was the 4th July so there’s a public holiday for the Americans to celebrate their independence and for the British to try and take money from the old colony on the golf course . On another eighty degree day and a 7:30 tee time it’s a Blackledge men’s club outing and chance to win money from my neighbor, Doug. This game was not as close as Saturday’s and our team won by more than 9 holes. It’s always nice to take $10 from the opposition.

What I have learned from my experience this week. Firstly that my game is too inconsistent. I am scoring mid eighties but I missed 3 puts on the 4th July within a foot, this is not good. Also I tend to loose concentration on mid iron play and find my back swing to be unreliable. I’ll speak to Sharon, it’s time to get a new putter and get the net out in the garden. On the positive side I am back in the gym and feeling better physically. I’ll be there early on the tee next week, love my golf. Have a great week y’all.

Bridiots

What a beautiful day.

What a beautiful day. Going out fishing on Narragansett bay.

Sharon and I like to take the boat out in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island most weekends in the summer (video of the week). It’s about an hour and a half from where we live. We’ll go down to the ocean on a Sunday as I play golf on Saturday at the men’s club. We pick up some bait from the dock and we fish for Blues, Stripers or whatever gets on the hook. The best part about it is that is just really beautiful and peaceful. Last weekend we anchored about 20 feet deep off the channel and dropped the bait over the side. We caught lots of Scup and threw them back. Then the tide turned and it started to get a bit choppy. Now I don’t get sea sick anymore, once is enough, but Sharon felt a little sick so we headed back in two foot waves. It was really calm when we set off but coming back there was a real difference. Great fun though!

The lighthouse at Warwick, Rhode Island.

The lighthouse at Warwick, Rhode Island.

It’s been a really sad week for the UK. The Brexit campaign was based on mis-informing the public and appealing to prejudices. It was based on EU immigration policy and the fear that the UK is loosing it’s identity. Now the decision has been made so the future of the UK’s younger generations has been put into doubt, the currency value has been downgraded, the economic wealth has been set back years, it is more expensive to travel abroad, the freedom to work without restraint in Europe will be lost, imports will be more expensive, businesses are making plans to leave Britain and there is no exit strategy from the EU and no associated cost of doing so. The next step of course is that Scotland will not be ruled by London so they will vote for devolution, which means the union jack flag will look a lot different. Still, you will be able to have your own laws going forward so you can bring back public hangings, I would suggest starting with Boris and the idiot from UKIP.

Really looking forward to having Laura and her boyfriend Marcus coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks starting next week. We are planning on trips to Boston, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island. They then take a break and go to New York before coming back and staying with us through the week.

What’s going on

Sharon takes the helm.

Sharon takes the helm.

This weeks blog is about the UK. I have been reading, with interest the Brexit debate, the vote to leave the European union. There are some observations I have to offer . Quite recently Britain has been ranked fourth in a global league which measures how much countries contribute to the “common good of humanity”. Using 35 separate indicators – sourced from the United Nations, World Bank and other international organizations – the survey examined the good each country does for humanity as well as what it takes away. Britain came top of the index for its global contribution to science and technology, thanks to the high number of journal exports, Nobel prizes and international publications that the country has produced. However we scored poorly on international security and peace, coming 64th out of 163 countries, yet was ranked second on its global contribution to health and wellbeing.

I have heard the arguments that exiting the European union will solve the immigration crisis and make the country safer and will provide more jobs for British worker. Well the facts show that having migration of people into a country increases jobs. Stopping people from coming in or

Catching Blue fish in Naragansett Bay

Catching Blue fish in Naragansett Bay

building high walls to keep them out will not improve the job situation. Now on the other side of the argument we have the Banks and most business telling us that we benefit from being in Europe. Now I know the banks are only in it for their own gain (like most politicians) but I vote to stay in Europe there are more benefits with a strong Europe and we need to do all we can to help these poor people who have had to move from their country through no fault of their own.

On a brighter note Sharon and I went fishing at Narragansett bay last weekend and caught some blue fish. The problem with these are that they are not good to eat.  Have a great week y’all.

Back to the gym

The captain enjoys a beer and cigar on board.

The captain enjoys a beer and cigar on board.

On the last weekend of May my golf was rubbish. I don’t mean the course or the company I mean my golf game, so after a glance in the mirror I decided it’s time to act. I am ashamed to say that it’s been almost two years since I have been to the gym. The reason being was that they

put the fees up so I joined another gym but never went. It is too cold in the early morning. Then the old gym decided to drop it’s rates and we rejoined. I have decided that the only way my golf game is to improve is to loose weight and get back to the fitness levels of a few years ago. I think my knees are also suffering and they need some help. So Tuesday 31st May is the start of a campaign to get back to the levels of a few years ago. The problem with getting back to the gym is that you know the first two weeks are going to be the hardest and once you’re back into the routine I will feel a lot better. The routine means that I have to leave the gym at 7am to get to work for 8am. I got to the gym at 6:10am and started on my favorite equipment the rowing machine. This gives you all you need for a workout. I turned

Fishing for Blues and Stripers.

Fishing for Blues and Stripers.

up the iPod to my workout playlist which includes serious workout music including AC/DC and off I went. I thought I would struggle but managed an average of 2:08 for 500 meters in 20 minutes. A few years ago I was doing 1:57 but I will get back to these levels.

Last weekend the golf improved, Doug and I won $30, not enough to turn professional but it’s a good start. Doug played really well nd got his best score of the year so far. On Sunday I went sea fishing in Narragansett bay with some colleagues  from work, caught my first striper. Have a great weekend y’all, happy golfing and fishing. Check out the first striper of the year.

Memorial weekend

Ian Rowlands circa 1980. Will be sorely missed.

Ian Rowlands circa 1980. Will be sorely missed.

First of all I was very saddened and shocked to find out that an old friend Ian Rowlands had passed away at the age of 57. Ian was a good footballer and even better cricketer. Ian had represented Northop Hall and played for the county. He had a great sense of humor. Unfortunately I hadn’t sent him for about 20 years. He will be missed.

When Sharon and I first came to the USA, we both had reservations about what we would miss about the UK. Things I thought I would miss but do not include Sky Sports, good beer, British television, an English newspaper. well the truth is I get all the Premier league and European games live. I don’t get the cricket but we get back to back American football all Sunday. Forgetting Bud and the other garbage, the beer (IPA’s) are far better here. We get the BBC and other British television can be found on Amazon and Netflix, but can’t find Phoenix nights. There are a lot of similarities between our cultures but some differences include the way in which the Health service is operated in the USA, telecommunications, veterinary medicine and food practices are better in the UK.

The new fire pit, designed and built by yours truly.

The new fire pit, designed and built by yours truly.

Some of the things Sharon misses include the beautiful scenery, being able to walk out our back door and going on a gorgeous hike, taking the dogs everywhere. Farm fresh food and the soccer on Saturday morning so that we can have the rest of our day together.  We both love the fact that the people are much friendlier. We miss colloquialisms like ‘bobs your uncle’, we don’t miss the rain but Sharon prefers the English weather, it’s too hot for her in summer here. We have fires and get together with the neighbors every weekend.

We have  skiing in the winter and beach in the summer go out boating we love fishing in the ocean. Camping is a bit of a mixed bag,in the UK is much easier because there are no bears no snakes and more tick born disease. You cannot buy a gun in the UK and petrol is less than a third of the price. We love it here!

Have a great week y’all.

Police and paramedics

I needed something to happen for me to write a new blog and it did.

Sharon and Bandit do dog agility in the garden,.

Sharon and Bandit do dog agility in the garden,.

9:30 is my usual bedtime, Sharon’s is much later. Wednesday night was no differant for me. I went to bed, read the BBC news pages, read some sport, turned the lights out and was soon in a deep sleep. Then Sharon rushed into the bedroom like a screaming banshee saying that her throat was closing. ‘Take a look can you see anything’ she says. No you’re fine I said. She says ‘I’m calling the ambulance’. It was like waking up in the middle of a reality TV show.

The next thing I know, the police arrived, just after her sister Sandi and closely followed by 3 paramedics. Now I am not a good doctor and quite frankly a worse patient but the house was now full of police and paramedics. It was now 11:30 when they asked Sharon whether she wants to go to hospital. There was discussion on which hospital she should go to. I could feel that the policeman thought I had something to do with this terrible situation and he started to look around the room for evidence of strangulation and miss treatment. Sharon got in the

Sharon with Millie.

Sharon with Millie.

ambulance and left. I was first to arrive at Marborough Emergency hospital, the receptionist told me that they were on the way and she needed me to complete some paperwork. The medical system in the USA has some challenges. It seems that the priority is to get the medical insurance card before being treated and you know you are going to receive a large bill at the end. After Sharon got settled and waited for the doctor I went to reception to get a more comfortable seat. An elderly couple were leaving and they were told that they would receive their invoice invoice by post.

Sharon and I left the hospital about 3am and all is now well. Sharon is having many tests to find out if she is allergic to anything. At the moment there is nothing that they have found to suggest the probable cause.  The case continues but the husband remains the main suspect!.

This week

Sharon with Millie and Bandit

Sharon with Millie and Bandit

Just heard the sad news that Al, our neighbor has died. Since we had moved to our street Al had been suffering from dementia. He was regularly seen walking up and down the road to get exercise and stimulation of his mind. But more recently during his walks he was held up by his wife Jeanette, while they walked together in their late years. Al always had a smile on his face and a wave for us both and I felt he knew us but he couldn’t speak. Jeanette would call me to pick Al up off the floor because he had fallen, cut his head and she couldn’t pick him up and she always felt guilty that she was ‘putting on us’. I always told her that it wasn’t s problem. I am told that in their early years together they used to drive around in an open top sports car. We will miss Al.

Sharon, somewhere there on her 5K run

Sharon, somewhere there on her 5K run

This Wednesday I had further surgery on my knee. The number of times I have been under the knife for this knee since a football injury some 30 years is too many. This time it was to expand some veins behind my knee to stop swelling in my calf. I am thinking this is the last time.

Today, Saturday, Sharon has gone to Boston with Sandi and her mother for a shower. Not sure if they have these in the UK but it’s a gathering of females and they bring presents for an expecting mother. I am in Honda getting a service for the car. I should be playing golf but it was too cold so Doug and I are taking the day off.

I have finally finished the breezeway, yeah!! Have a great week y’all.

Home improvements

It has been an eventful week here at 47 Littel Acres Road.

Laura and Markus are coming over to see the USA (and us) in July! We can’t wait to see them.

Shishito peppers at Sayulitas

Shishito peppers at Sayulitas

We have been working on a few home improvements. Our refrigerator was leaking a weird brown substance. We got a new Fridge delivered. It is always a panic moment for me if I should tip people – tips in the US are so much more prevalent than in the UK – we agreed I should not have tipped but I am still not convinced. At least he can’t spit in our fridge!!! Our new fridge is hooked up and keeping our food cold! Woo Hoo! Tim has worked so hard on getting our breezeway updated with a newly painted interior and tiles – it looks awesome!

The weather has been not that great as we welcome in April. Saturday was the opening of Tim’s Mens League golf. It was 47F (as opposed to 29F last year) but pouring rain. Turns out his new waterproof jacket…. not waterproof! Oh dear. Still he had a great time. While they were golfing, my friend (whose husband golfs with Tim) and I took our dogs and her kids out to a local park for walk in the pouring rain. We had fun even in the rain. The warning signs are interesting – Absolutely no Golf – who would play golf in a wooded park? Sadly there was also a missing kitten notice which the kids could read – unlikely the kitten will be found as more likely the coyotes have got to the kitten…… Our next door neighbor told us she doesn’t want to let her kitten out

Snow and bitterly cold in April

Snow and bitterly cold in April

as her previous cats have had to go to the vets for animal bites. Our cats – who spent most their lives in England – won’t go outside here. I think it is due to the smells here – I reckon they can smell the predators.

Today we were supposed to get a snow squall…. What we had was a full day of snow. Only about 4 inches but still the roads were a mess. A snow storm in April!!!!

We are planning some holidays for the next year… look for updates!