Progredere Ni Regredere

Its been a few weeks since I posted last so I thought I would update.

The past month has just flown past. This is, in the main, due to my latest obsession, Plot 8b, Honey Hill Allotments. We have now had our plot for just over a month and boy what a month it’s been. We got the plot after it had been left for some time so were really thrown in at the deep end.

We now have the shed in place and I have been planting stuff to try and get some vegetables in before the autumn. I find it hard to believe that everything I have planted has put in an appearance

Before and after June 2nd & July 2nd
Before and after June 2nd & July 2nd










Luckily we were left with some fruit and I have now harvested most of this, Cherries, Redcurrants & Strawberries

The work has been hard but I have found it so rewarding, I think I’ve always been a frustrated gardener, I grew up on the 13th floor of a block of flats so never really had a garden successive moves have seen me end up with slabbed gardens. My mother was into gardening when she moved to Dagenham.

My biggest surprise was the seeds from a butternut squash I cooked, I sowed about ten seeds and they all germinated

Butternut squash seeds from a store bought squash
Butternut squash seeds from a store bought squash









I know have about 8 squashes growing.

Also on the go I have:

  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Broccoli (Purple Headed)
  • French Beans
  • Cabbages
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Beetroots
  • Lettuce

Some of the above I have planted from a seed,  and I’m not too sure what is going to be ready first.

Broccoli & Kale caged up to keep the birds off it
Broccoli & Kale caged up to keep the birds off it







In other news there isn’t a lot to say. Toni visited us last week on her way back from Budapest, Lesley was in Doncaster so I had Toni to myself for 24 hours, we had a good natter and it was great to catch up. We always seem to be on the same level, she gets my jokes and I hers. I really miss her but am so proud of her.

Lesley’s mum continues to get better and the consultants believe they have caught all the cancer from the piece of lung removed.

Radio has been quiet lately but that is mainly due to the fact I spend every evening digging up a lump of Harlow.

Work, least said soonest mended. I will share this one day but I obviously can’t while I still work there. Suffice it to say that something happened last week which has made me start looking around for another job.

Right time to go.

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The retrieving of these forgotten things

I’ve had a better week this week. After six weeks of being pushed from pillar to post this week has calmed down a bit, as normal though it will probably just mean that it will ramp up again in a couple of weeks time.


We come to the end of another season which like last season will be one to forget. Tuesday night we played Plymouth and just like the Northampton game we dominated early in the first half and then promptly fell apart. We ended up loosing 3:1 and though I shouldn’t say this it has saved us the embarrassment of ending up largely outclassed in the playoffs.

I will be renewing my season ticket next year and will keep my seat M115 in the west stand. this is the best seat I have had and the neighbours are good.


Conditions have been poor for a few weeks now with the only real action on 40 & 80m, my antenna isn’t very efficient on 80 so I tend to not use it much. I have been visiting the radio club a lot more lately and I have found myself enjoying it to a certain extent. This weekend is the Foxton Rally and I  may go, I don’t need anything so if I do go it will only to be social.


Toni is here today for one night, she has been in London for work and is off to Portugal tomorrow with her boyfriend for the weekend.

Lesley’s mum has just been diagnosed with Lung Cancer, she has never smoked a fag in her life. It is early yet and she goes in for an operation in a couple of weeks but Lesley is struggling with it and putting on a brave face. I lost my parents a few years ago and I no its not going to be easy for her, it’s not helped by the fact they live so far away.

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I’m living in an age, that calls darkness light

A few ups and down this week, but the weekend is here and a trip to the boat beckons. A strange thing happened this week, about found my bad mood had lifted, don’t know why.


The bands have been flat again this week with chances of any DX virtually non-existent. I have managed a few special event stations on the key however. Friday night saw an EGM at the radio club and I reckon that the was the longest I have spent at the club in a long time. The meeting was a lot about nothing really some changes to the constitution and a vote about equipment.


Toni is in Dallas with work attending a fashion event, she then flies back to the UK, meets up with her boyfriend and goes out to Portugal for a short break before flying back to Florence, I am envious, not the boyfriend bit, but its great to be young and travelling the world. Especially when most of it is paid for by the company.


Lesley has just finished a night shift and we are going to go to the boat today, I have Monday off and am looking forward to the short break. I’ve not been up for a few weeks but the last time I was up she was in pretty good nick

Alfie Stick Left, Alfie lost the 2ft long stick so decided half the tree would make a good replacement







That’ll do for now, the weather doesn’t look to good but a weekend up the boat is better than almost anywhere, I’ll be taking my camera as I have done much photography over the winter.


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Core N’grato

Florence seems like six weeks ago now, it’s funny how a break like that is soon a distant memory, while if I was at work last week it would still be fresh.

Well, we had a great break, we flew into Bologna airport on Saturday morning. The clouds just opened up in time for us to see the Alps. After a cab ride and a 40 minute rail journey we were at Florence Central Station. After a 20 minute walk we were at the hotel, it was a cracking hotel and one we’ll definitely stop at again, especially as I’m coming back again in August.

We had a great week, we never got to Rome but we managed Pisa. Toni took us to some fantastic restaurants and I think we covered every inch of the city. It was great spending time with Toni and we were all shattered by the end of the week. Toni is in Paris this week and will be stopping off home on her way back from Dallas in April, so we wont have to wait too long to see her again.


Orient have finally broken their losing streak at home, on Saturday we faced Crawley Town, this has become a bit of a bogey team for us, but I have to say I saw the best performance from the O’s I have seen in a long time. We ended the game two nil up and while Crawley aren’t a good side, they are the sort of team we normally lose to.

We have another home game this Saturday against Luton Town, one of my old mates from FTA is meeting up with me for the match, so we’ll have a few pints before the kick off and a good old chinwag.

Apart from that, I have nothing else to report.


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I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch them gallop by

So here we are it’s D Day!

I’m writing this at the end of a week which started really well and descended into the snake pit very quickly.

The O’s

Orient played Northampton Town last Saturday, it was always going to hard, especially as Northampton are at the top of the league and on a winning streak. Orient however have been pulling a few surprises since we got the new player manager. However it was not to be on Saturday. We held them well in the first half and ran our socks off, however when they came out in the second half Northampton had the measure of us and ran us all over the pitch, we were very soon two nil down which saw hundreds of “O’s fans” get up and walk out. In the last ten minutes Northampton scored another two goals and I was willing the final whistle. I get really angry when fans do this, I know they pay their ticket and can show their upset whatever way they want, but it is football and anything can happen. But I really don’t think you can call yourself a supporter if you do that, we have got 9 points from the last five games which I think is pretty good in Orient terms!


Now doing my last minute packing for Florence, we are on the 8:10am flight to Bologna. Can’t wait to see Toni, although we talk every day, I do miss her. There are a few more places I’m going to visit, and plenty of walking.

Blast from the Past

I bumped in to an old friend of my dads last week. Patsy Cullen, he worked at Evan Evans with me and my old man, he was a Cornishman, a real character who always had a fiddle or scam. He hadn’t changed at all, still trying to work out his next money making scheme. Poor sod didn’t look like he had a pot to piss in. He was a great guy to sit in a pub with, after an evening with him your sides would be aching. Daft thing is after all these years he still has a Cornish accent. There’s not too many blokes left who worked with my dad and I am in touch with most of them, however they are starting to drop off the perch now.

Right, that’ll do time to go and get my travel stuff together.


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Where the Hell is Horham, oh I get it

Had a good weekend this weekend.


The first Radio Rally of the year always kicks off with Canvey Rally, I haven’t been for a couple of years and as I queued up in the wind and then squeezed into the main hall I remembered why I haven’t been for a few years. It is always ram packed and of late it really doesn’t warrant it. I tend to use the Rally’s to socialise, once a year is what suits me as far as keeping in touch with people these days. The other thing that worries me with the radio hobby is that so many hams give up on personal hygiene. The smell is often overpowering, it may be that these old fellas are widowed and Radio is there only outlet, but they should know better. I went there with the intentions of not buying anything and came away with a Yaesu 2 metre radio and mobile antenna. On the way home I phoned my friend, he asked me how many radios I have, and I really had to think about it. Including transmitters I have built myself I have 13 radios! It surprised me, its easy to get carried away. I know that I can’t use them all the same time but they do all have a purpose.

I managed to get some morse in over the weekend and managed a new entity, I managed to work a station in Gibraltar, although not a great distance, there are so few hams in Gibraltar that it is a rare entity. I then went on to work Alf in Maryland on 15m. It looks like the bands are on their way up again.


We are now all booked up for our trip to Florence in a couple of weeks time, Mrs H doesn’t fancy the drive so we are flying. We have got a nice hotel booked in the city centre and we will be there for 5 nights. I am going to fit a trip by train to Rome, It’s been 30 years since I’ve been there so am looking forward to it. Lesley has never been to Italy before so this will be a first for her. I know Lesley can’t wait, this is the longest she has ever been apart from Toni, even when she was at University she managed to get back once a month or so. She is getting on well in her new job and has been to Berlin in January, is off to Iceland in March and Houston in June, she is also coming back to London in April, and all this is business. I think this has been a good move for her.

Other Stuff

Over the weekend I was having a poke around the various internet tools that my webhost provides, I have noticed recently that this blog has been receiving an increase in visitors, when I say increase you have to remember that two visits is an increase on bugger all. I was curious as there is nothing on this blog of interest to anyone except myself. After about an hour I came across a report that shows me where visitors were viewing the site from. There are always a few random visitors from odd countries which have probably found me through a ham radio site. However I noticed no fewer that 25 visits from Suffolk, Horham to be precise. It didn’t take me long to work it out who, the thing I ask myself is. At this point in the game I can’t for the life of me understand why the visits, someone’s just bubbling away looking for something to make himself feel better, which will only happen if something bad happens to me or my family. It’s not healthy. Anyway keep reading away if it makes you feel better although you’ll never find peace with yourself if you don’t move on, but that’s up to you. Me, I don’t give a monkeys what you think or what you feel.


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You can have it all, my empire of dirt!

As much as I enjoy the winter I do welcome the change as the season passes on, the days are now noticeably getting longer with sunset now putting an appearance in around 5pm. I mainly notice this because of walking the dogs, I take Alfie in the woods for his walks but when it gets dark I can’t see him, so I tend to notice the light changes and the time I take the pooch out.

This week I booked the flights and hotel for our upcoming trip to Florence to see our daughter. We will be staying for 6 days and this will give us a good chance to have a look around the place, we are also hoping to take a train to Rome, I haven’t been there since 1984. Toni has now had the chance to find some other walks and I am looking forward to taking the camera. I got some good (by my standards) photos when I was over in December, Florence is a very photogenic city.

Toni has now started her Italian lessons and she tells me it is a difficult language to learn. She has made some friends over there and her flatmates are very good, she shares a flat with two Italian girls and she is thoroughly enjoying it. She works with a multitude of nationalities and this can only be a good thing, friends all over the world means more travel. I am envious of people who are able to travel, I did a bit when I was younger but never got outside Europe and only did it through work. Don’t get me wrong it was better than working in Tesco’s in Kilburn High Road, but compared to people who can pop a rucksack on and bugger off to New Zealand it does not compare. I learned how travel broadened your horizons early on, I remember coming back from a breakdown on the Spanish border when I was 20, I walked into the my local and my mates were talking about a traffic jam on the Barking road and I told them about an accident I’d seen on the route de la Soleil, and I was hooked.

Right that’ll do for now.


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