Jimmy is Missing!

It approximately 19:48 today it was discovered today that Jimmy is missing.

Could you please keep a look out for the dark haired youth from the picture below:

Jimmy and Granddad visit Alnwick Gardens

A search party comprising Granddad and Dad has been sent out to investigate the Land of the Left Behind which has recently been (partially) vacated by one of the Big People.

Below are some pictures taken during the expedition, but unfortunately the results were not great and Jimmy is still missing.

In Search of Jimmy

In Search of Jimmy

In Search of Jimmy

In Search of Jimmy

In Search of Jimmy

In Search of Jimmy

As you can see they search high and low.

If you do find Jimmy please do let us know, please!

Write something!

This site has had 11% less visitors this month – but why? What’s happened?

ClimbingIt’s simple – I haven’t written anything since 26th July. I’ve not been lazy and I’m not loosing interest, I’ve just been on holiday and as part of my effort to frame a new work-life balance I decided that I wasn’t going to write anything while away, not even on my blessings site (and not facebook, or twitter either). It was also part of my leaving for a while and my ongoing relationship with information addiction.

The result is not surprising – less visitors.

One of the reasons I don’t try and glean any financial benefit from this site is because I don’t want to feel under pressure to keep the visitor numbers up. I have enough pressure to deal with without giving myself any more.

Look out for an update on my journey with tension headaches, I’ve been to the doctor again this morning after some interesting experiences on holiday.

I’ll also be posting some pictures from our trip to Northumberland when I’ve sorted through the multitude. Look out for some new Jimmy and Granddad and many, many floral shots (a project being undertaken by another member of the family).

So, we’ll see how long it takes for the statistics to recover – or perhaps they won’t?

Jimmy and Grandad 2.0

Jimmy and Grandad 2.0It is with some sadness that I announce the retirement of Jimmy and Grandad 1.0. It is with a little excitement that I announce the arrival of Jimmy and Grandad 2.0.

Both Jimmy and Grandad have known that this day was coming and have embraced it with the resilient attitudes you would expect. Many of you will not know this but Grandad has for some time suffered from repeated fractures in his legs due to Jimmy and Grandad 2.0his age, and Jimmy’s clothes have, quite frankly, become a disgrace.

Jimmy and Grandad 1.0 were there to witness the arrival of their upgraded selves and welcomed them with open arms. As with many upgrades some things are better, and newer, other things are not quite what they used to be. You will notice that the new Grandad has had to resort to glasses because his eyesight isn’t quite as good as Grandad 1.0. You will also notice that Jimmy 2.0 doesn’t quite have the same wide smile as Jimmy 1.0.

Jimmy and Grandad 2.0So I would ask you to welcome the new Jimmy and Grandad as they try to take on their new roles. It can be quite demanding to be expected to travel so widely.

Jimmy and Grandad 1.0 will be entering retirement on the third floor of the bookshelf. From there they will be able to continue their studies of human behaviour without having to participate in quite so many adventures.

It is the end of an era.

Jimmy and Grandad 2.0

Jimmy and Grandad visit Vernon Stumpy

Visiting Vernon StumpyAt the bottom of a Japanese Maple tree sits a distinguished gentleman of some years, his name is Vernon Stumpy.

This is Vernon’s favourite place in the whole world. The Japanese Maple has beautiful red leaves and provides wonderful dappled shade when the sun is shining. Vernon now calls this place home, but it wasn’t always like that.

Only a few years ago Vernon had no idea that this place even existed. He was happy with his job as the head of the Gnome Protection League. He was happy travelling the country inspecting the living condition of his fellow gnomids and  making sure that they were being looked after.

One day Vernon heard reports of a gnome in Lancashire that concerned him. These reports suggested that Cyril was not being treated very well.

Cyril’s arrival was also something of a surprise to us. If truth be known, gnomes would not be my first choice in garden ornamentation, so Cyril had been somewhat neglected and Vernon had picked up on this via the gnome grapevine. It wasn’t that we didn’t like Cyril, we just didn’t know how to look after him. So Vernon stayed to instruct us in the best way to look after a gnome, it was a bit like having our very own Super Nanny.

Initially Vernon only stayed to be a comfort to Cyril, but our humble little garden soon found a special place in Vernon’s heart and he no longer wanted to travel the world.

Vernon’s choice of travel arrangement may have something to do with his desire to settle down. He arrived at Teil Green courteously of the Royal Mail, which didn’t look to me like a very comfortable way to travel. He was accompanied by the paperwork from the Gnome Protection League so that we knew where he had come from. A few days later someone from the League called to make sure that he had arrived. We also received regular SMS texts from them checking that all was going well.

Sadly Cyril is no longer with us. One day a bunch of garden giants where playing with a giants ball. Cyril had no chance to get out of the way. With Cyril gone Vernon couldn’t stand to leave this place he had now come to call home.

Grandad consults the gnomeOccasionally Jimmy and Grandad, but more often just Grandad, go and visit Vernon. Grandad and Vernon love to talk about the good old days when life was simpler. They love to enjoy the dappled shade and reflect upon all the change that they have seen. Sometimes Grandma bakes a cake, the two of them love good honest home cooking.

Vernon is very special to Grandad. Grandad hopes that he will always have a friend close by.

Jimmy and Grandad go to Starbucks

Need a hand Grandad?If you only read this blog you may not be familiar with Jimmy and Grandad. It’s hard to know how describe these two characters other than to say that Jimmy is the grandson of Grandad.

They like adventures, and have been on a few, so together we thought that it was about time we told some of their stories.

Jimmy and Grandad live in a perfectly normal house which has recently, because of space limitations, been relocated into the garage at Teil Green. It’s a bit dull out there because there are no windows to see out of, other than the frosted glass one in the door. You can never get a proper idea of the outside world through frosted glass, especially when it’s been covered by the web that Mrs Spider has built in the vain attempt to catch the odd fly or two. Even small people want to see the outside world sometimes, so it was decided that Jimmy and Grandad would join the regular team at the Tuesday Night Quiz at the local Starbucks.

I don’t want you to get the wrong impression here, when we say "local" Starbucks we are not talking about some kind of local establishment which we walk to, this is a Starbuck franchise inside a huge Borders store next to a whole set of similarly huge franchised stores. But it’s the nearest one to us and the quiz is fun.

Starbucks does seem to specialise in large drinks and both Jimmy and Grandad were insistent that they could cope. Grandad’s coffee took an age to cool down to a temperature from which he could Yummystart to drink. Jimmy had a caramel frapuchino (or whatever it is they are called these days). Being over enthusiastic he started drinking before it had even started to warm up. Straight away was struck with that awful pain that you get across your nose when you have eaten or drunk something that is very very cold. We know it as ice cream headache.

This was going to be a long night of drinking for both of them.

When the time came for the quiz it was obvious who had been spending their time where. Grandad knew Oprah Winfrey and Clive James in the picture quiz – too much time in front of daytime TV. Jimmy loved the number puzzles – he loves mathematics at school. The other members of the team also helped out, but even with Jimmy and Grandad’s help Team Chastney was in it’s usual position of – third.

Third was OK this time though, although there was no prized Borders voucher to spend we did at least have the pleasure of beating the team of cheating young people (mostly from church) who were using the Starbucks wireless access to look up answers on the Internet.Caramel and Cream - yummy Perhaps they’ll realise that learning comes from experience, not from the Internet.

There was a lot of debate about the answer to the question: "What is the fastest growing plant?" Andy, the quiz master, was insistent that the answer was Bamboo, Graham was determined that it was Kelp. When they all got home Graham went upstairs to check the ultimate authority on such things "The Guinness Book of Records", to Graham disgust the answer in the 2006 edition was quite clear:

"Fastest Growing Plant: Certain species of Bamboo grow at up to 91 cm [35 in] a day a rate of 0.00003 km/h [0.00002 mph]."

It was certainly better than a night in the garage, but all things have to come to an end, and with no voucher to spend, again, everyone departed.

Where should Jimmy and Grandad go this weekend?

Jimmy and Grandad at Blackpool LightsIt’s been a little while since Jimmy and Grandad have been out.

I think they are feeling just a little upset by having their house moved from my nice warm study out into the garage, so I should probably make it up to them by taking them out.

But where?

We are going to the theatre in Manchester on Saturday night, but I’m not sure I can get away with flash photography in the Royal Exchange . Might be fun to try though.