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Cruise Time

Getting a wee little bit excited at the moment, just four days away from our next cruise. We both started three weeks annual leave last night and Wednesday morning we fly to Sydney before boarding the Sun Princess for a 14 day cruise to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. Cannot wait.

This is the same cruise ship we went to New Zealand on so we know our way around, it would be great to see some of the same crew as they were all very friendly.

We have promised ourselves to be a little more responsible this time around, yes we are still going to eat, drink and be merry, but we are also going to do a couple of revolutions around the deck each day to help ward off that holiday fat. Hopefully I will be a little more relaxed about the whole experience second time around, and just enjoy myself.

Last time we didn’t get involved with any on board activities, and to be honest we probably won’t do this time either, but we do intend to make the most of all the amenities on board. The casino, the theatre, movies under the stars, maybe even the pool.

The festivities don’t end when we get back to Sydney as we are having an extra couple of days there before flying home to Adelaide. Brian and I have not spent any real time in Sydney together so we are looking forward to that as well.

The excitement will continue for Brian as he furthers his career in retirement living with a new job the day we go back to work. This year is our year, a holiday and hopefully a new house, and with a new house comes my racing pigeons.

Head or Heart

I am torn at the moment, I have the classic case of wanting to have my cake and eat it too, I need to set my priorities. Do I let my head rule my heart, or my heart rule my head, not to mention Brian, I have to take what he wants into consideration as well. Bugger, it is all too hard.

For a long time I have been sprouting on about wanting to race pigeons again, and I still want to, but I want to travel as well. Caring for racing pigeons is a full-time hobby, they can’t look after themselves so what to do when we travel.

Brian has never really wanted to travel overseas but with our upcoming New Zealand cruise he is getting the travel bug, and so am I, but I want my pigeons. People travel much more nowadays than they did years ago, so more than likely the local racing pigeon enthusiasts do look after each others pigeons to allow for this, but there is only so much you can expect someone else to do for you.

May to October is the racing season, October to January is the breeding season, and April to May you are training the pigeons for the racing season, that only leaves February and March. Now while I am certain that my fellow enthusiasts would look after my pigeons as well as they would their own, they cannot be here 24/7 and if something does go wrong what then.

I have what I think you would call a conundrum and I am not sure how to handle it. I shall continue to ponder. Watch this space.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..15 June 2013

It’s been a couple of days now but I’m back. I have had a really busy week and have been in bed early, no energy, and too tired to write, too tired to write anything coherent and remotely interesting anyway. Let’s see if I can make up for lost time.

My grandson Jayden turned 6 on Thursday, he is a beautiful little boy. Jayden was born 10 weeks premature but you would not know it to see him now, so much life in him, so vibrant, and a wonderful personality. We are off to see him for a birthday lunch tomorrow and should be very popular grandparents as we have the remote control helicopter he asked for. It took some searching but we have it.

This afternoon I will spend huddled in front of the television watching the Adelaide Crows trounce the Richmond Tigers, at least I hope they will trounce them and not the other way around. Come on boys show us some form and do yourselves proud, it is not too late to turn the season around.

Tonight Brian and I are babysitting two of Ryan’s children, Bailey and Calais. Bailey is 13 next month so no trouble at all, but Miss Calais, she is not yet 2 and is quite a liveware. I think Papa and Uncle Brian will be pooped when they get home tonight.

Last night I happened to mention to Brian that I had emailed one of my clients who lives in China, ands he posed an interesting question. When you email someone in a foreign speaking land, what language do they view the email in, is it English or the default language of their computer? If anyone knows I would be interested to hear.

Time to make lunch and settle down to an afternoon of AFL. Bye for now and thank you for reading.

Pigeon Racing: The Queen’s Wings – DVD now available at Graham’s Goodies http://grahamsgoodies.net/. See the Queen’s racing pigeons in the Royal loft at Sandringham.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..12 June 2013

Today has been my day off so I had a bit of a late morning. I woke up with a start as I was convinced it was Thursday and I should have been at work, it took a couple of minutes for me to realise I was twenty-four hours ahead of myself.

The gardener was supposed to come so I held off stripping the beds and doing the washing. He didn’t show which has really annoyed me as although I was able to wash the clothes and put them on the clothes airer, I could not strip the beds as I don’t know when he will come now and it is too wet to get it all dry.

I did catch up on my television viewing, MasterChef, The Truth Is, and The Americans. I am enjoying The Americans in particular, it is quite gritty and the acting is very good. I am not really sure what I think about The Truth Is, the presenter Hamish MacDonald really is reporting on some off beat situations but it is not completely grabbing me.

I have just had a phone call from Brian, a couple of hours ago he was in a car accident, nothing serious he assures me, and no-one was hurt. Luckily he did not jar his back, just some minor damage to the car, the other driver is also OK. He has reported the incident to the police but as it is too late to arrange repairs tonight he will have to do something tomorrow. He can drive the car but has no side mirror on the driver side which will aggravate his back as he cannot turn properly to check for oncoming traffic. The Universe was on Brian’s side today, thank you.

That’s it from me for today. Take care and thank you for reading.

Racing Pigeons [Paperback] by Colin Osman available at Graham’s Goodies http://grahamsgoodies.net/. A book by one of the pioneer’s in the sport of Pigeon Racing. Lots of other great titles available. Tell your pigeon buddies to check out our site.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..9 March 2013

I’m back, sorry I have been a bit slack this week but I have been very tired and just not up to writing. It has not been a very eventful week either so it has probably worked out for the best. Today however, well that is another matter.

Last night Brian and I met some of his work colleagues at The Bath Hotel for a couple of quick drinks after work, and today we had intended to stay at home as we have a 50th birthday party to attend tonight, a good friend from my days at Solver/Wattyl.

The best laid plans of mice and men, Brian propped himself upstairs on the Internet this morning looking at real estate, the next thing I know we are out the door and on our way to an open inspection. On the way we stopped at the Chemist Warehouse in Port Adelaide as I needed a couple of prescriptions, terrible service. The pharmacists are flat-out taking prescriptions, making them up and  dishing them out, while the other staff take their time, oblivious to the workload of the two poor pharmacists, and when they do serve you they cannot even crack a smile.

Off to Vista to check out this house, quite a disappointment, a huge block on an a very steep angle, plenty of room for my racing pigeons but the house was a let down. Back in the car to head home and we spy another couple of open inspections, again nothing very inspiring. One house advertised landscaped gardens front and rear, if you call dead lawn and uneven concrete paths landscaping then it was landscaped. The agent was none too happy when I pointed out their false advertising.

I also took the opportunity to show Brian one of the houses I grew up in, it was almost unrecognisable, but then again it has been 40 years since we lived there. We also drove past the site of my old primary school, you know you are getting old when your primary school has been demolished, Hope Valley Primary School, a lifetime ago.

Now we are back home to get ready for tonight’s festivities. Enjoy your weekend and thank you for reading.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..6 March 2013

Today was my day off so I caught up on all my television viewing courtesy of our recorder, My Kitchen Rules and Last Resort, tonight we start recording all over again. I had a busy day, washing, ironing, vacuuming, and I cooked a nice meal, tomorrow I can relax at the office.

Brian has been telling me for weeks that my snoring is getting worse, something like a cross between a banshee and a stuck pig. It is probably time I did something about it as I am waking up more and more through the night only to find he has moved to the spare room to try to salvage something of a good night’s sleep.

We have tried ear plugs, he has tried waking me up only to have me turn over and start all over again. I have tried to tell him that at least he knows I am still breathing, he didn’t see the funny side at all, I think he feels like smothering me. Tonight I will stay up a bit and give him the chance to fall asleep first, fingers crossed.

As you may know Brian and I have started looking at houses just to get some idea of what is available, and to decide where we would like to live. One of the all important criteria for me is to have enough room for my racing pigeons. To that end I have also started looking at loft designs, do I buy an aviary and modify it, or do I have something built to my own specifications?

A few weeks ago I found the perfect shell that would need minimal modifications so I decided to contact the supplier and get a cost, just so I know what I am up for. I got a response yesterday, $8,250, hopefully we will buy somewhere with an available shed I can modify.

That’s it from me tonight. Happy Birthday Maggie. Thank you for reading.

Own your own copy of Wreck-It Ralph now available at Graham’s Goodies http://grahamsgoodies.net/. Wreck-It Ralph and other Disney favourites now available.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..3 March 2013

It is safe to say I have not exactly been at one with nature this weekend. A couple of weeks ago hundreds of white cockatoos decided to call North Haven home, directly in front of our home. They really are beautiful birds, but they are also extremely noisy. Suffice to say the novelty has worn off. Bye, Bye Birdie!

To say that I have a morbid fear of lizards and snakes would be a huge understatement. Last night as I was about to go to bed I happened to look up at the ceiling above our bed and to my dismay there was a lizard. I have no idea what type of lizard, probably a skink of some description, but I was not hanging around to find out.

I slept in the spare bedroom, but not before trying everything in my arsenal to dispose of this creature, all 2 inches of it. Stop laughing, a lizard is a lizard no matter the size, and as it scurried around the cornices I tried to swipe it from the safety of the bed. I never made any claim to being a hero.

Today Brian and I spent house hopping from open inspection to open inspection. We started in Fairview Park and finished in Bridgewater, we believe in keeping our options open. We saw some lovely homes and some that were not so lovely. There was one quite quirky home in Bridgewater that we both liked but not enough yard for my racing pigeons, and no room for Brian’s dog.

Brian is back to work tomorrow after having 4 weeks off, he is quite looking forward  to it. Life can get back to normal. Goodnight from North Haven, and thank you for reading.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..30 July 2012

Today I was talking to one of the girls at work and was surprised to hear she had never heard of pigeon racing so tonight’s blog, Pigeon Racing 101, the abbreviated version.

Man has made good use of the Homing Pigeons basic homing instinct for centuries, although the sport of Pigeon Racing did not commence until the 1870s. Pigeons have been used throughout the ages to carry messages, in fact a number of pigeons were decorated for bravery during WW1 and WW2 and have been credited with saving the lives of hundreds of allied servicemen.

Many famous people have enjoyed this wonderful sport, among them Roy Rogers, Jimmy Smits, Mike Tyson and the Queen, whose racing lofts are at Sandringham.

There are may theories as to how pigeons home to their loft, some say they use the sun, (my preferred opinion), others that they use the magnetic field of the Earth, but the truth is that no-one really knows, they just do. Pigeons are the athletes of the animal kingdom flying hundreds of miles in a single day to reach their home loft.

Like in any sport you get your duds, there is the constant threat of predators, power lines, and some are just not good enough to make the distance. This is one sport that the entire family can enjoy and it is a shame that here in Australia the sport is not as prevalent as it once was.

Do not confuse the racing pigeon with the feral variety seen in the streets and paddocks, yes they are the same birds, but they are not bred or trained like their pampered cousins, and pampered they are, pigeon fanciers the world over take very good care of their flocks.

It has been 30 years since I last owned pigeons but once in your blood it is there for good and I can’t wait for the day that I once again hear their gentle cooing in my backyard. Thank you for reading.

Please check out this link and tell your pigeon buddies  http://www.grahamsgoodies.net/pigeon_racing.html