Head Rambles - A sideways look at life by an Irish Grandad

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Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Head Rambles

A sideways look at life by an Irish Grandad

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Cleaning up

Head Rambles

The end of the month.

That’s the time to check the state of the finances amongst other things. I discovered I have one less account – the car loan has been paid in full. Happy days.

I thought that was the end of my excitement for the day.

I was wrong.

I was sitting here minding my own business while Penny napped on the couch opposite. The next thing, her arse exploded. There is no other way of putting it. She was as surprised as I was and we both made a dash for the door. She hared out onto the grass while I turned to survey the damage. My stomach churned. The stench was appalling and the mess was – well – very messy – part solid, part liquid.

As I was surveying the damage there was a bang from the kitchen. My mousetrap had gone off. I had heard some scraping noises a couple of days ago and had set the trap and then forgotten about it. Now the poor little bugger had met his demise, also in a very messy way. It’s a very powerful trap.

The washing machine is now churning away. Luckily the couch had a blanket covering it, so the blanket is now in a hot wash with disinfectant.

The mouse is in the bin and the trap disinfected. It’s not a very dignified end for the wee creature but I’m not in the mood for digging graves today.

Life is a barrel of laughs in the Manor.

Posted in Around the house, Penny | Leave a reply

How to save electricity

Head Rambles 15

They are really starting to panic here.

All their virtue signalling about saving the planet and trying to power us with wind is a chicken that has finally come home to roost. We are in real danger of being under-powered this winter with real threats of widespread blackouts.

Their latest move is to increase the cost of the electric between five and seven in the evening. This will apply to all commercial users and also to those poor suckers who fell for the “smart meter” trick. They can’t do anything about the rest of us on the old meters so they are just appealing to our better natures [assuming such a thing exists] and are begging us to not use electricity between five and seven.


I have been giving this a little thought. There must be some way of reducing the electric consumption. I came up with a couple of ideas that might work.

The first is obvious. If you are driving after dark make sure you don’t use headlights. In fact, don’t use any lights at all. The car will still drive normally and you’ll save quite a bit of electricity. The power companies will love you for that.

Another little trick is to buy a load of 6-socket extension leads and daisy-chain them. Plug everything into those so you’ll end up drawing electricity through only one wall socket. That will save a hell of a lot. While I’m on the subject of sockets, make sure something is plugged into every socket. Electricity easily leaks out of those socket holes and can make a right mess of the carpet.

If you’re cooking, or more precisely, baking, leave the oven door wide open. It’s a good way of heating the house as well.

Record all your favorite television programmes between five and seven and watch them later.

And don’t forget to unplug your fridge and your freezer. All that humming uses a lot of electricity.

I hope that helps?

Posted in Around the house | 15 Replies


Head Rambles 2

My head’s in a quare place today.

Back in my school days I had one great pal.

Johnny and myself were all but inseparable. After school we would cycle the couple of miles to Johnny’s place. It was a grand mansion of a place with a field beside it and a river. At the rear of the house there was a basement entrance and the basement was our domain. Our routine was to call into the local shop near the school and buy a couple of cigarettes which we would bring back to Johnny’s and later smoke with great solemnity. That was actually my first introduction to smoking [even though my father smoked like a chimney].

Johnny was a bit of a messer. I remember once he made a pipe bomb. This was the full works – a short length of pipe packed with weedkiller and sugar and then sealed at both ends. He set it off in a culvert in the field. It was spectacular! It was loud enough to have the place crawling with Guards looking for the source of the explosion.

Another favorite pastime was to walk up to the local garage and get a jerrycan of petrol we would then put in Johnny’s car. This was an old banger he kept in the field [it certainly wasn’t roadworthy] and we’d drive around the field doing handbrake turns and putting yet more dents in the bodywork.

There is a legacy of my friendship with Johnny in all the scars I carry to this day.

After we left school I lost touch with Johnny. I met him just once by accident. He recognised me but I didn’t recognise him. I had been one of the tallest in the class and he had been the shortest. Apparently however he put on a massive growth spurt in his latter teens and was nearly as tall as me.

I never saw him again. Once or twice I looked through the Interwebs to see if he had left his mark anywhere. Unfortunately he shared a name with a trumpeter and the latter just filled my search results. Johnny had vanished into obscurity.

For no particular reason I did a search last night. I found him. It seems he was still living in that mansion though the field had been built on. I wonder what happened to the car. Sadly the result of my search had brought me to RIP.ie. He died in 2021, leaving a wife, three kids and several grandkids.

There was always a chance that if I had found him that I might have given him a call. It would have been fun comparing notes. That chance is now gone forever.

Rest in peace, Johnny.

Posted in Times past | 2 Replies

Season of mists and mellow broodiness

Head Rambles 8

This is my least favourite part of the year.

I am definitely a Summer person, or even a Spring person. I don’t do cold, or damp or dark. The Equinox is behind us and the nights are officially [and measurably] longer than the days. The lights are going on earlier and earlier and the central heating is now programmed to give a morning blast. It’s the first time the heating has been programmed in months.

I suppose our Glorious Gubmint are still running with that damned clock changing lark. They could drop it if they wanted and an excellent argument has been mooted that remaining on Summer Time would cut down on leccy consumption a fair bit as the evenings would be marginally brighter. I don’t hold out much hope for a logical response though.

One of the reasons I dislike this time of year is the relentless hype, first over Halloween and then of course Christmas. Advertisements have been appearing for the latter already and there’s still three months to wade through.

We also have a budget next week. They are making grandiose promises saying they are going to help us all with inflation and the doubling of fuel bills. There’s talk of an increase in Social Welfare payments which would be nice. It would be nicer still if they didn’t take all those increases straight back in baccy and ciggy tax.

There are still two gigantic question marks in the sky over the manor. There’s still no word as to what they are doing with my Carer’s Allowance and still no word on my roof grant. I suppose I’ll have to phone them again tomorrow for the pleasure of being left still none the wiser.

We did the lottery last night. Just a couple of lines. It was Herself who wanted to do it in spite of my telling her that would be easier to just burn the money in the garden. I confess I did lapse into some daydreams though. We had discussed what we would do with a good wallop of money and agreed that a motor home would be a great investment. I saw a couple of very nice ones for under eighty grand.. So I had a pleasant afternoon daydreaming of motoring down through France for a couple of months or even longer.

We didn’t win anything of course.

Posted in Rambles | 8 Replies

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