Tag Archive: home


This week’s unique achievement was some DIY.

I planed a new interior door to fit the doorway, and managed to complete the task without any splinters in my testicular area, so it counts as a great success!

The Good Lady Barljo chipped in (ahah!) with excellent planing of the foot of the door, and I finished off with some sawing, before hanging to prove our work, and varnish to finish.

There was a power tool involved in drilling holes for the handle and latch (sorry Neil, I should have included a trigger warning on the post!) but that passed without incident.

I class myself as not particularly practical around the house, but the more I do, I surprise myself at what I can actually do. Things I build tend to stay built, things I put up stay up, and things I take down seem to get taken down with very little drama.

It’s a talent hidden so well, that it’s even hidden from myself- I don’t have faith in the project before I start it, and I am oft amazed when it works.

What’s a thing that you’re good at that nobody (including yourself) expects? Hit up the comments, tweet me, email me. Anything, I’m genuinely interested!

“If I had a hammer I’d hammer in the daytime. I’d hammer in the nighttime. I’d hammer all over this land.”
If I Had A Hammer – Pete Seeger

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Come along and see me

Riding in the tt races

This week it’s coming up to TT week – that time of year when tens of thousands of motorbikes come and visit the usually (comparatively!) peaceful Island.

I like it – the noise of the bikes, the smell of the bikes, and the foreigners who visit all make it an awesome fortnight.

Some residents don’t like it – the bikes are noisy, smelly, and bring foreigners to our home. To these people, I will often quote that famous manx phrase “There’s a boat in the morning”. There is always the option to leave for a holiday, and no need to bear it with bad grace.

True, it’s not as busy as it was 20 years ago (when quoted figures were 80,000 visitors with 50,000 bikes) but it’s still a very noticable influx, which brings a great atmosphere with very little trouble.

(additional – since I started this, the police figures have been released showing that 80% of arrests were of locals. Grow up, people!)

True, I’m not as busy as I was with the band (although nothing will beat out 12 gigs in 14 nights of 2006, but that also encompassed me driving into a wall at very high speed, so fewer gigs are probably for the best!), but the odd gig here and there is well received.

The TT is a race held on public roads, which are closed for the duration. As with all road races (the best known is probably Monaco for the F1), if the driver gets it wrong there isn’t much forgiveness in terms of run off areas, and this inevitably leads to fatalities, which is always very sad indeed to read about, but the racers know the risks I suppose.

If anyone has the chance- come along and see the races in the next few years, quick! Atmosphere is awesome, our Island is lovely, and the beer & music is totally fantastic!

Musical comedy- Just for giggles

I’ve written some tripe this week, I’m not going to lie to you about that. Some of it I’ve kept to read later, some of it I’ve just overtyped and deleted, none of it will I bore you with.

For one reason or another this week I’ve been listening to two great favourite pastimes of mine combined – music and comedy.

I don’t know why I’m so drawn to the genre, but I really enjoy listening to it. Ranging from the modern issues, such as Tim Minchin and Otis Lee Crenshaw right back through the ages past Tom Lehrer from the 60’s to the post-war gentility of Flanders & Swann.

Some of these will stupidly unfashionable, like admitting you quite like Ronnie Barker’s monologues, but I’ve never really been known for my fashion sense!

I think it’s do with the lyrical plays on words that are always going round in my hand combined with music itself. Generally it’s escapism though. Music in general can just wash you, but this style needs to be focussed on.

If you have a couple of minutes free, here’s what I like from the above and some others.
Tim Minchin: Tim Minchin

Victoria Wood: Victoria Wood

Tom Lehrer: Tom Lehrer

Weird Al: Weird Al Yankhovic

Flanders and Swann: Flanders and Swann

Barljo

Interesting times

This was a note I wrote back in March 2008, when I was packing to sell my flat, to buy a house.  Ultimately, I didn’t sell or move until July 2009, but I think the sentiment still stands, and I quite like the writing I did with this one…

“In ancient China, there was a curse:- “May you live in interesting times”. I used to believe this was particularly harsh.

However, I was walking around the flat this morning after a heavy weekend of packing stuff up, and I realised that at the moment, I was living in the place that I bought nearly six years ago, not the place that I’d made it over that time.

I had a wonderful helper on Sunday afternoon, which just goes to show that two pairs of eyes are better than one when you’re splitting stuff into ‘keep’ and ‘throw’ piles. That second glance over the “keep” pile, and the ensuing “Seriously, John – why are you keeping this?” does wonders for the relative size of said heaps.

I hadn’t realised how much rubbish I’d accumulated over time! Now to the next stage of selling my home and buying a new place for my life.

And the memories. Oh the memories. I found things that brought a lot of thoughts back. Things that had got buried brought back smiles, and also a few tears at happy times gone by. It’s memories that shape my every day without knowing it. I raised a glass to them (Dr Pepper, but a glass nonetheless!)

I’m in a great place right now of getting some whole new memories to carry with me forever. It’s a new chapter for JB, and I’m very happy about things. Looking to move out is finding a new place for that chapter.

Here’s to the future. May you all live in interesting times. In a good way.”

Barljo