The Cats KnackersYes, yes, yes, it’s been quite a while since we last posted. Many regular readers (…if there are such beasts…) may have thought that we’d gone out of business, or even worse got bored and accepted a ‘proper’ 9 – 5 job.

No such luck, Dear Reader.

Struck by the Gods of ill health soon after that last post in April, it has taken quite a while to fully recover.

We were teaching up at Ecclesfield library on the 18th; a fixed-term contract we had much fun with. A student asked a question, so we bent over his laptop and crack!The Cats Knackers

As we gently straightening up, we felt our lower back, and sure enough, we’d pulled something, and it hurt. Struggling through the rest of the morning, we hobbled back to TCK Towers, and collapsed into bed, ibuprofen and a glass of water at the ready.

Anyway, long and boring story shorter, it didn’t seem as bad as we first feared, but then not a fortnight later, when bending over to pick up a PC, we did it again.

A few days of pain, and we went on a day trip to Sunny Scarborough, and the seating on the coach left much to be desired, and we realised on our return that we’d got sciatica.

We’ve experienced the nagging pain of this before (…it’s an occupational hazard of programmers…), and thankfully, after a few days of morning and evening stretches along with floor exercises (…which were well supurrrvised by The Chairman…), this has now passed, and we can gleefully announce that apart from a slight neck problem, everything is now working as expected.

TCK-wise has been fairly busy with us picking up another teaching gig up at Southey Forum in the library. We’re really looking forward to this (…it starts this coming Thursday morning…), and it is teaching English as a foreign language to mostly newly-arrived refugees and immigrants. Teaching is greatly helped by an English learning website written by a Sheffield company. The only slight downside is that before Thursday, we have to a) get familiar with this big website and b) there are about 500 pages of additional notes and hand-outs to study closely. Eeeek. Still, no worries: we weren’t planning on doing anything this weekend…

We’ve also bought and are still reading ‘Accounting for Dummies’ and ‘Sage 50 for Dummies’, and have started migrating the TCK books over to a proper accounting package rather than a spreadsheet. This has been good in that using the Sage, we can really drill down on finding where we’re making money, and also find out who our best customers are. It’s also been quite good fun learning double-entry book-keeping and learning how to use Sage. Quite why accountants insist on calling ‘debits’ ‘credits’ and vice-versa is still unknown. Probably because they don’t get out much, or have girlfriends.

We’ve hobbled down to the TCK allotment a few times. More good progress here, as ‘proper’ digging, despite what you may think, is very good for the spine. And ‘proper’ digging has been the order of the day as we’ve cleared a load more space and planted quite a lot of stuff out. This picture to the left here is of some of the stuff we planted out a few days ago, and yes: it’s all beans.The Cats Knackers

Beans, beans, that musical fruit…

Still, after the failure of the peas (…and some now woefully fat local Longley pigeons…), the broad beans will be great for snacking on as we work. We can’t imagine any making it back to TCK Towers.

As well as the broad beans, we have dwarf French beans, normal French beans and, of course, the ‘Enorma’ ‘proper’ runner beans. All delicious, but in a few weeks, we’re going to have to clear out the freezer to make room for them all.

Elsewhere on the Plot, we’re in the middle of digging another bed, and have taken out the huge jasmine that was blocking the view from the patio. We have three or four already-rooted cuttings of this plant already planted both out and in pots ready to be planted out, so when the time comes and we’ve decided what’s going where, we can get them whacked back in.The Cats Knackers

In other news, you may recall that we bought some catnip seeds, but when they arrived and we’d planted them, we realised there’d been a mix-up with the suppliers and we were actually sent ‘Brassica Negra’, which appears to be a pretty little herb with cute yellow flowers. We’ve planted some of these out after germinating them in the greenhouse, then ordered some proper catnip. This has now arrived, so tomorrow, if we can dodge the showers, we’ll get this started off both in the greenhouse and planted straight out from seed. This should soon come up, and it will be interesting to see if the stuff we plant out attracts any feline visitors.

Anyway, time it is a-ticking, so we’d better get off, but before we go, just to tell you that yesterday (The 8th of June) was TCK’s third birthday.

Yes, we made it to three years.



Categories: TCK Blog

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