An evening at the Castle

Here we are again in November, Halloween has come and gone, Guy Fawkes Night too, and now its time for Remembrance Sunday. Always used to enjoy our annual RAF trials trip to Jersey for their epic 2 Day
being the only place in the UK that held a trial that weekend. The horrendous crossing of the English
Channel in rough conditions at night on the British Rail ferry out of Weymouth but it was worth it for the
hospitality and a cracking good trial.

The RAF Team at Jersey 1972

This weekend I should have been in Roswell NM for the last 2 rounds of our ITSA Championship but with
the RV already winterized against the Colorado cold, and its been down to 14F already, I’m afraid I’ll be
missing it again this year. I had mentally planned on going, the bike is prepped, I’m ready but the idea of a
1000 mile round trip in the Cadi and a night on the bouncy castle somehow has lost its youthful appeal. At
67 I think I like my creature comforts too much ! The thought of 7.5 hours of school bus driving followed by
another 8 in the car does not compute.

A little venture to the local town ski & swap mart, but nothing worth looking at twice and on to another pool
session at the Hollywood. Today Brenda gets a “bye” in round one and I lose my first round which I should
have won. Never mind I set off up the losers side and finish in 5th place. Meanwhile Brenda wins again but
loses her next frame but rallies to win the next which puts her in the final! Now she is up against the lady
she lost to earlier and must now win both frames which indeed she does in fine form. First time win for
her in these competitions and the first time we have had two ladies in the final. Gentlemen beware!!

If the weather stays user friendly Casey and I might be out Thanksgiving week cutting some new trails on
his land to get at some good virgin trials land which we should be able to see without all the vegetation
and leaves. I also have a Jury summons to deal with that same week!

With trials sadly done for the year time to turn my attention to Thanksgiving and the run up to Christmas.
The track record for Xmas lights stands at 3 wins and a second, so to win the coveted prize what can we
do to impress the judges this year? Seems the townsfolk all like the “shooting star” which I made and of
course isn’t available from Walmart  so has a novelty factor to it. 3 more of these are now in the planning

Christmas goodies have been ordered and I seem to be getting in the mood….. hope its not too early.
Might even try to make a Christmas cake this year just like me dear old mother used to make. Hers was
always started way back in September and then fed all manner of alcohol leading up to the icing ritual
sometime in mid December…… every year she would ask about the marzipan which I hated and every
year the emphatic “NO” was the reply. It really was (like Mr Kipling) an exceedingly good cake and I would
cart large lumps of this treasure around with me at Christmas and New Year shoots. Bought ones I’m
afraid are a little bland for my taste!

Feeding the cake Sep-Nov

Icing and decorating mid December

Boxing Day delight !

The list of replenishments included, PAXO stuffing, BISTO gravy, ROSES chocolates as well as one of
my favorites QUALITY STREET, Xmas puddings up the wazoo, and some new Christmas crackers with
all their silly hats. On the regular food what expat can be without BRANSTON, a few tins of HEINZ BAKED
BEANS, AMBROSSIA DEVON CUSTARD and their RICE PUDDING…… and then time for my selection
of HAYWARDS……..and I can eat PICKLED ONIONS like others would eat M & M’s. I have found some
other sweets I remember from my childhood in the form of MELTIS NEWBERRY FRUITS which are on
ebay ?  The last items I’m still toying with are perhaps some PORK PIES and the good old British PORK
BANGERS. It does seem the brand names I loved of WALLS and BOWYERS can’t be sourced but the
search continues. My dear old mother always “smuggled” some out here when she came for Christmas
and had them in her lap when she got pushed through customs in her wheelchair.

The “one” I miss the most…….. The Pork Pie

First batch of goodies arrived yesterday along with a new tree to replace our 8 year old fiber optic one that
gets more problematic with every year. Does seem that everybody has Christmas fever very early this year
with Hallmark starting all its Christmas films in early November and now both Cortez and Dolores are fully
into getting their lights up and working!! ……. hang on boys, we haven’t even got to Thanksgiving and my
favorite mindblower of them all Black Friday !

Well my designs are complete for the new Mkll shooting stars and I might be buying the lights for them this


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