Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Snail's Pace

This time between Christmas and New Year is neither one thing or the other. The weather is still below freezing which is quite exciting for a "weather nerd" like me. We might have what is termed a "freezing day" today with the temperature not going above zero. We have not had one of these days for quite some years (will have to look up in my record book if I could find it!). New Years Eve is my son's birthday (what a time to choose) and today is his 40th - so Happy Birthday to Tim.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Cloud, Frost, Sun

We woke up to another dreary cloudy day. I thought "Oh no, not another one". I am an avid weather watcher and all the websites I follow on this subject forecast a sharp frost and clear skies this morning. The temperature was at zero at 8am and cloudy but by 9am the temperature dipped and I thought "Oh good - cloud clearance" Voila - we now have sunshine!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

The Christmas Spirit

Ding-dong (doorbell) - standing there with a Christmas grin and a plate of newly baked mince pies was our neighbour. I think he fancies himself in competition with the "Hairy Bakers" (Bikers) as seen on British TV!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Animal Magic

Following from Husband's idea for table decorations we have decided to broaden the theme! Thrush is carrying some Rosemary, Owl - Rosehip, Squirrel a Nut, Robin - Holly, Mouse - Pistachio, Rabbit - Ivy and Hedghog some Rosehips. These will grace our table on Christmas Day! Are we mad or what?

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Clever Husband

Well . . . . . . . . he has surprised me and taken me up on my challenge. (See previous post)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Do Not Touch!

Have managed to produce some sort of Christmas decoration ensconced on the kitchen island. However I did not think Husband had noticed - the usual mugs of half-finished tea were deposited in their usual place . . . . . . . . yes, you have guessed it . . . . . . . . .on the kitchen island. Have banned such behaviour and Husband's forfeit is to make a table decoration. I can tell you, this will be worth waiting for (not)!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Compost Creations

I have always liked "patterns" in photos - the frosted leaves in our compost heap caught my eye the other day. Hope the frosty weather comes back - yesterday my rain gauge measured 27mm overnight. The fields were flooded, probably due to their icy crust. Talking of crusts - have eaten too many mince pies today!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

This Is A Bit Sad!

Due to downsizing to a new-build house we have no storage space - we have been good and followed builders' instructions not to store anything in the loft (flattening of insulation). So this year our Christmas decoration effort is a very small flatpack tree!!!!!

All you arty-tarty people out there please suggest how I can make a good table decoration out of fruits and leaves. Thanks in advance (hopefully).

Telling Us It Is Christmas Time

This robin flew and fluttered from post to tree to hedgerow keeping us company yesterday on our walk.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Frosty Weather

I do so like frosty crisp weather - I prowl around the garden taking photos with Husband shouting at me to "get off the grass, your footprints will kill it in this frost". Spoilsport!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

An Early Christmas Present

Heavy frost this morning when I drew back the bedroom curtains, the temperature was -5C. I was privileged to watch four roe deer prancing around in the field beyond - too late to fetch the camera - so you will just have to believe me!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Getting The Hang Of It

Husband is not a very good DIY-er at the best of times - he would be the first to admit it - so I am not being unkind (am I?).

After one picture fell off the wall about 10 days ago - smashed glass everywhere etc - we thought "Oh Well".

Yesterday evening whilst us old wrinklies were sitting with our feet up watching TV there was an almighty crash in the hall. Another picture had flung itself off the wall.

Husband has spent the morning replacing all picture hooks with "self exploding" screws. Our house has these thin plasterboard walls and we were very careful to use the right picture hooks. We conclude that the house has dried out and the pinholes have enlarged over the past two years. I came home from my usual swim to find Husband had just finished the job so I gave him a pat on the back (then suggested he made us some lunch) (no not really!!!).

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Benenden Bollard Bashers

Yesterday Husband and I decided to go to Bath. To achieve this we take a short cut to reach the Park and Ride at Lansdown. At short cut there was a tatty little notice that said "Road Closed for Road Cleaning - 9.30am to 3.30pm". The time was exactly 9.30am. Husband was ready to make huge detour - "No", I said, "It is still 9.30am". With that I jumped out of car and removed bollards - same thing at the end of the short cut. Voila! all done and dusted.

Climbed aboard to Park and Ride Bus and met by chance one of Husband's tennis doubles partners whom I have not met before. She said to me "I gather you went to Benenden". Then ensued a conversation about school etc etc. (I hated the place). She then complained how she had had to reach the Park and Ride area through streams of traffic. I said, in a loud voice, "Oh, I removed the bollards". There was a gasp and titters from many other passengers on the bus who had obviously suffered the same traffic jams.

At Benenden they taught you how to be independent and resourceful (forget about the lessons)!!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Dancer, Prancer, Chancer . . . . . . . . Whatever!

It was the season of good cheer - it was the pub quiz night! The quizmaster was in festive mood and crackers were pulled and funny hats worn - not for us - they might have well been the dunce hats! Husband does not suit hats at all and looked suitably mad. All questions were Christmas related and you would have thought that our team of five wrinklies all over the age of 60 would at least be able to snap our brains into action. Not a bit of it! As usual a lot of the questions were about pop music and films - not our genre I'm afraid.

The quizmaster, due to work commitments, was unable to join in the local panto this year and was sorely missing it - so instead he performed his own "Christmas Carol" at the end of the quiz - all this entertainment for a £1 entry fee - a good community spirit in our village.

Oh well - I am pondering whether to join "The Eggheads"

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Turned Out Nice?

I think Not! In fact for the past couple of days in North Wilts the weather has been utterly miserable - the temperature not reaching above 2.5C, grey, north wind. In fact to be really grumpy - England rugby team did not perform well against Kiwis - but a better game than of late. Husband is upstairs playing very very loud "organ music" - am not a fan of this so I shall clamp wireless headphone to ears and listen to Radio 2 and struggle along with writing Christmas cards - oh bliss, oh joy. I shall enjoy my grumpy day somehow!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Goodbye Jamie

We have really enjoyed having Jamie visit us from Australia but now it is time for him to return to his family. So a big thank you to "Matron" and children for lending him to us. We had some fun and my dad enjoyed his 90th birthday - my son, Tim, joined us briefly for lunch that day. I don't think Jamie's golf has improved, in fact by all accounts it severely declined! I think the pub meals were a hit (apart from me and my fish pie problems)!!

Jamie is the best washer-up we have ever had to stay - I think Tim would also claim that No.1 spot.
Tonight I am home alone - Jamie gone and Husband away for a concert - I think I need a warm puppy to cuddle!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Krazy Kitchen Kalamities

James (brother visiting from Australia) decided to show off his culinary skills. The delicious recipe was to be Chow Mein. Now, being a girl who really only likes standard type food, I was a bit dubious. James had made the kind offer - so he went ahead first asking me whether I had mustard powder in my kitchen cupboard to which I said yes. Off we went to buy the ingredients. Chicken noodle soup, cabbage, mince, onions, rice.

Came the day of the great cook up - what a cock up! He asked for mustard powder - he meant curry powder! Off to the shop again. The concoction began - I left him alone in the kitchen. When finally emerging from the kitchen hot and bothered James sounded dubious but blamed our UK cabbage!!! We have plenty of different varieties in the shops as everyone knows so how can you pick up the "wrong type". The chicken noodle soup, James proclaimed, was different too - I cannot argue with that one as I have never cooked with it before! Then the rice was wrong - actually he forgot to cook it and the dish ended up with a dollop of mashed potato.

As it so happened I have the dreaded gastric flu and was unable to sample this masterful piece of work (whew!!) but Husband said he enjoyed it.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Oh Yuk!

I am becoming very familiar with the smallest room in the house! Gastric flu has attacked just me (so far). Apparently the starvation method is not the modern way of thinking - Ribena and digestive biscuits are the "in" things to eat when one is in this situation. Why does this kind of thing have to happen when my brother from Australia is staying with us?

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Childhood Memories

This mincer is very old - it belonged to my mother. Correct me if I am wrong - but I do not think they are made in steel any more. My brother (over here from Oz) remembers the mincer very well and, I think, covets it. I think mincers today have a sunction cup on the bottom which are useless. This mincer will only clamp onto my computer table which is a bit inconvenient really!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

We Have Been Framed (or there is a ghost about)

Yesterday my brother (over from Australia) collected a very nice photo of his family which had been framed over here in the UK as a present for us. We were wandering around the house choosing the situation where to hang it. Husband had hovered near a large picture we have in the Sitting Room. About 10 minutes later there was a large crash and that same picture flung itself onto the floor and the glass was in smithereens. Husband said "I did not touch it! I did not touch it!" Our problem had been solved - we now had a space for the Australian family picture!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Keeping Fit - (sort of)

Most days Husband and I put our walking boots on. However, Husband is fit for walking and usually takes himself off for about one and a half hours - I am not so agile but can keep going for about 40 -50 minutes.

During these walks we have been busy showing my brother some of the lovely views and villages that are scattered around the locality. The winter sun on cotswold stone is a pale lemony sort of light which I find very attractive.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Cannot See The Wood For The Trees

I have chosen this photo because I think it is nice and calming. I am not nice and calm. Over the weekend I found my identity had been stolen - really kind of someone don't you think? This involved lots of phone calls - the problem being nobody really believes you are who you are! So for anyone else who gets caught like this, trying to sort out the problem by phone, I can tell you, is really hard.

However, with Husband for moral support, I visited the bank and I must say they were very very efficient especially as this kind of fraud involves more than just your bank. It also involves the police and they are now hot on the scent.

At the moment I feel like the Queen because I travel without any money! All should get sorted out soon but my attititudes have changed. I shall now carry cash (probably get mugged instead) with which to pay for petrol (one widely known supermarket is apparently not very secure using a card), also a well known cheap clothing website is not very secure either. All this is very inconvenient for me being less mobile than some. But hey-ho I live to fight another day!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

How Not To Play Golf

Husband and my brother James (visiting from Oz) decided to play some golf . . . . . . . . well I suppose that is what you would call it.

Husband had a first refusal at Bechers Brook.

I think he was getting a little tired by the end.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

I Couldn't Have Done That. . . . . . Could I?

We took Jamie for a meal at our local pub last night and sat by the roaring fire. Living in Australia, Jamie misses traditional pubs.

As you do, we started to remind each other of the past. Not a good idea after a few drinks! Apparently, according to Jamie, we two children hated our next door neighbour and I used to lob my father's 78 rpm records, frisbee like, over the garden fence! I really really do not remember anything about this - surely I would not be so naughty? Surely my father would have missed his precious opera collection of records? All I do remember is that if we got into any trouble, because I was the eldest, I got blamed for it!

Who Needs The Crutches?

Yesterday afternoon just when Jamie's eyelids began to droop a little (jetlag) I decided a nice bit of fresh air will revive the poor creature. Off we set on a walk at a brisk pace - I took the opportunity to practice my best 'heel and toe' walking with my crutches. Halfway round Jamie started limping and stopped in the middle of a wet, muddy, narrow lane and took his boot off to examine his soft feet. Of course a car came whizzing around the corner and he had to hop using MY crutches to the edge of the road. We walked further on and then to my embarrassment he sat down in a driveway and took off boots (meant to be tuff ruff Aussie boots) and socks. I don't think OZ boots are made for walking!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

What Are We Prone To Doing?

After recovering from his horrible breakfast on Singapore Airlines, Jamie revived. Later in the day we had a breath of fresh air and for reasons to be discovered decided to have a lie down!!??

Once you have had a guess and wish to find out the answer to this baffling question please visit

James Has Arrived Safely From OZ

Here he is - two heavy suitcases - hopefully full of goodies for us! I expect mainly tennis and golf shoes - Husband has a sporting timetable arranged.
James relaxed in our kitchen with a bottle of Scotch, he brought himself. (Actually he drank tea - must say that in case "Matron", his wife, has a peak at this blog). I think he did not enjoy Singapore Airlines breakfast which sounded disgusting - the usual dried up omelette and button mushrooms - but a real surprise - a chicken sausage - what on earth was that?

Monday, 10 November 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

My rain gauge tells me we have had 20mm of rain in 10 hours. The excess water is already running off the ploughed field furrows and flooding low lying areas.

Neighbour tells me he has a rat under his garden shed - oh bliss, oh joy!! Just when we had shifted our friend Moley. The rat could have come straight off the fields behind us or from a nearby farmyard cum stables. Neighbours two terriers are in for some fun and have been sniffing around. We invited the dogs into our garden, afraid the rat might be interested in our compost heap - but no - neighbour assured us - no rats had passed nearby. Please Ratty just concentrate on Neighbour's shed!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Husband is a "Lead Balloon"

A friend and I drove down our windy country lanes to a nearby village for "Flicks In The Sticks" (Rural Cinema). Mamma Mia was showing in this tiny village hall. It was packed to the rafters and - wow- did we have a good time! We could even forgive Piers Brosnan his singing efforts.

Arrived home and pranced up to the front door singing "The Dancing Queen" - Husband was not amused. His tiny shell-like ears can only tune in to classical music. Radio 2 is streamed into my ears via wireless headphones so as not to irritate those sensitive ears of his.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Who is Quizzing Who?

Another poor showing by our team at our monthly pub quiz - we came 3rd out of seven teams. The last batch of questions required the answer True or False. The Quizmaster got his knickers in a twist and offered us Question 46 instead of 45 and so on and so on. Of course it was only a 50% chance to get it right or wrong - that is our excuse anyway!!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Tagging Along

I have been tagged by Hadriana to reveal six interesting things about myself - I am not actually very interesting at all - but here goes!

1. I have been "blessed" with size 10 (europe size 44) feet. That has caused endless trouble finding shoes and much teasing from friends and family. My brother calls me Bigfoot.

2. In my youth (long time ago) I was very sporty and gave Virgina Wade a run for her money during an inter-schools tennis match. The very next day had my first knee injury that has prevented me from pursuing any sport except swimming. I am an avid armchair sports watcher of tennis, cricket and rubgy.

3. I loathe pineapple in any form - fresh or in those awful chunks.

4. Suffer from insomnia, I think from birth! Had awful time at boarding school sleeping in dormitories until I was prefect - I then ruled my dormitory with a rod of iron and nobody was allowed to talk after lights out.

5. At school I was head of the "Fairies" group in our Brownies pack. This is really awful because even aged 10 I was head and shoulders taller than my fellow fairies and had the already growing large feet. Head of the "Trolls" would have been better.

6. My family are scattered. Brother in Australia. Step-daughter and her family in Devon living in a tiny village in the wilds of Dartmoor. My son and his family live in London. Due to this - we do not see our families as often as we would like.

Hadriana has requested me to pass on this tag to six other bloggers. I have to inform them of this action and also report back to Hadriana.

So, in no particular order:

My brother Jamie I expect he will not find the time to carry out this task as the computer he uses is in his office in Australia - he should be working!

Gill (That British Woman)

Just Me Really

Part Time Single Mum In France

Strawberry Jam Anne


Sunday, 2 November 2008

My Brother is getting Nervous For Two Reasons

Jamie, who lives in Australia, is coming to stay with us in about 10 days time. He rang up and enquired about the weather - well - we all know what the weather has been like over here - so Jamie, take the hint from the photograph. This is our collection of coats, you will be welcome to take your pick. The hat on the top is for Jamie or Husband, depending upon who is the baldest!

The other issue I know my brother will be pondering upon is whether we have a sufficient stock of Red Currant Jelly in the cupboard. We, as a family, have always eaten large quantities of the stuff and Jamie has brought up his four children in Australia to do the same. Some time ago Jamie informed us that over in OZ there was a dearth of the brand of red currant jelly that the family liked. I imagined loads of jelly swilling around in tankers hastily making their way to Australia, but I know their import regulations are strict so I did not organise a shipping fleet.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Weather Watching

Along with my computer crammed in a cubby hole under the stairs is my weather notice board. If you click on picture to enlarge you can see there is a picture which says "Cold" !!! Below it there is a meteogram which I download every morning - this is generated using our latitude and longnitude points - it is usually quite accurate. To the left the maps are of Europe showing the weather fronts and pressure for the next couple of days - this comes from a Dutch website - they "straighten up" the UK on the map, rather than the usual tilted appearance on a normal map of Europe. Far right are two weather predictions for the week from two amateurs I like to follow.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Four Herons ( And Possibly a Funeral)

Husband is a walk fanatic (as well as a leaf sweeping maniac) and usually takes himself off for a walk every day, if not playing tennis or golf with a load of wrinklies.

When he comes back from these walks I always ask him if he has seen anything interesting - if he hasn't he usually makes something up just to amuse me. However a couple of days ago he came back and reported he had seen four herons standing in the middle of a ploughed field with a kestrel worrying them from above. He was not spinning me a yarn. Neither of us have ever seen four herons grouped together let alone being mobbed by a kestrel.

Husband does not like seeing possible death in the wild so he swiftly moved on.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Leafless - Husband Nutty as a Fruitcake

Husband is sooooooh sooooh embarrassing! We have no trees of any note within our garden . Our house, now just over two years old was built on the site of a large concrete yard belonging to a farm and therefore no trees were within the area. Actually we have an uninterrupted view of the countryside which is a big plus. However Husband dearly loves his compost heap. At our last house he had four compost heaps on the go with plenty of leaves to satisfy their appetite.

At the beginning of October Husband emptied our lonely single compost heap out on to the veg patch (and good stuff it was too). But Husband needs leaves to start off the new season of compost making - on his regular walks he takes this plastic bag and fills it with leaves - but he likes a variety of leaves - today whilst we were shopping at Waitrose I saw him looking with hunger at the strip of grass covered with fallen leaves in the car park. I said "No" - he said "Oh Yes". To my embarrassment and to the curiosity of the other shoppers Husband proceeded to trawl up and down the car park greedily stuffing his bag with leaves. Oh well it takes all sorts!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Slowly Slowly Catchy Moley

After another two huge molehills appeared we decided to ask for help before our lawn became decimated - the mole man cameth. He has set three contraptions (cannot call them traps) to catch the mole alive - he thinks there is only one. This was yesterday. Mole Man will arrive every morning until Mr. Mole decides to be captured and removed to new surroundings.

So far Mr Mole has followed a route just where we had planted spring bulbs which are now uprooted, but he has stuck to the strip of longish grass we had left for poor Rescue Dog to use.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Wonderful Westonbirt

Yesterday we ventured into Westonbirt Arboretum to look at the leaves - actually we visited Silk Wood. Silk Wood, mostly unknown to anyone but us locals, has a public footpath running through enabling entrance into this part of the arboretum free - locals also know where to park! We prefer Silk Wood, to us it seems more beautiful - the main arboretum is too dense making its appearance quite dark.

The colour of leaves was simply stunning - the best ever. We could not decide whether there were more camera lenses or labradors lolloping about! We normally leave Westonbirt to visitors in the autumn knowing that in the winter the place is just as beautiful - in the good old days when we ourselves had labradors and later Rescue Dog it was a lovely place to visit after a recent snowfall.

Today I shall put my feet up having 'overdone' the walking bit yesterday - but it was well worth the effort.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Wholly Holey Moley

This is the work of a sole mole (not a vole) who achieved its goal within one hour! This wretched little rodent has been tunelling vigorously in and around the field adjacent to our garden. Yesterday there was no molehill in our garden - I looked outside an hour later and there was this volcano of earth. Husband suggest that I (note not him) should go out and spear the ground with the garden fork to see if we could harpoon the little chap. Note for animal lovers - no success!

Friday, 17 October 2008

A boring walk until . . . . . . .

We came across this topiary at the edge of Radcot lock. We decided, as it was a nice sunny day yesterday, to follow the path along The Thames near Faringdon. I must say I was dissapointed - the area seemed a graveyard for small motor boats, their owners long gone. It was a sad sight to see - flapping tarpaulins, rusty hulls and peeling paintwork. However we set off across some fields near the river bank - the going was fairly rough for my wonky knees but I ploughed on. Then we came across this lock - it was in the midst of the country with no permanent road access - the lock keeper was hard at work mending some chains - it was evident he had also spent a great deal of time with his little bit of garden!

I think this area of The Thames has not got the same charisma as the canals.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Post Office Games

I receive shedloads of catalogues - a few I subscribe to and the majority I do not. I tried emailing the various companies asking them to take my name off their mailing list - consternation - I found that many of these companies then started sending me two catalogues!

A friend advised me the best way to stop these catalogues from flooding through your letterbox was to just scrawl 'Return to Sender' upon the outside and cover up your own name with a label requesting removal from mailing list and post back. This seemed to work for a bit - just a little bit.

I think our local sorting office decided I was a nuisance and I found the wretched catalogues returning to me with my sticky label torn off to re-display my name and address. I now have a different system - I add the return address on another sticky label - I think the sorting office do not like searching the catalogue for the return address - so far success.

We do not have a letter box - we have an American style mail box attached to our porch. All of the four new houses find these difficult. If we go away we have to arrange for a neighbour to empty our box - I think it can only hold about 5 thick A4 letters in total. You ask why do we not insert a letter box - we have very nice thick oak front doors - it would be a mammoth job to install a letter box - way beyond Husband and I.

Monday, 13 October 2008

My Window Pain

We have been having trouble with a window since we moved into our new-build house two years ago. We moved in during August 2006 when we had been having a hot summer (remember those far off hot days?). In about February 2007 we experienced the first N and or NW wind howling around my bedroom window - the result - an awful moaning noise that changed pitch with the strength of the wind - it was so loud I had to move out on windy nights. We could not find the cause. We padded the window opening with J-cloth - annoyingly the wind would go away and we would have to wait until the next N/NW wind to see the result of our labours. More moaning noises - we took out the little vents on top of the windows and filled them with newspaper - no luck. We rang the builders - they were not interested to find out the exact problem as they would have had to arrive on a day with the wind in the right direction - too much bother for them! I was getting cross because the spare room bed was uncomfortable - we bought a memory foam mattress cover for the bed - that was good for visitors as well as me!

This problem carried on for a full year until I nagged Husband to really DO something about it! The result was we hired a cherry picker device (quite good value we thought) and our lovely next door neighbour who has a head for heights and building experience zoomed up to the window - luck was with us - it was a horrible cold windy day with the wind coming from the north. He could see nothing but raised himself above the window and lo and behold he discovered the window had not even been sealed in properly by the builders!!! The wind had been vibrating against a piece of waterproofing lining. Neighbour cheerfully sealed up the window and all was well - until last week. A familiar moan started again - oh no, not again.

I had a brilliant idea - I bought some blue-tack, hung out of the window and squashed it into the recess above the window. Silence was golden. This weekend we bribed Neighbour to scoot up his own long ladder and re-seal the window (the sealant had dried out). So really, we have to persuade our neighbour not to move house ever so that annually he can renew the sealant for us! Why oh why do not builders check their own work. I would have been fired from my job if I had made such basic mistakes.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Handy Household Tip

These little beauties are used to bake apples in the microwave. Just prepare the apples as you normally would (ie core, stuff with sultanas, add dab of butter and slit skins) place the apples inside containers and turn on microwave. I used them for the first time yesterday and followed the instructions - had the most delicious apples in less than 4 minutes. Saves the fuel used to bake in oven. I bought these through a well known catalogue whose head office is up in the Lake District.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Virgin Outage - more like Outrage

I gather from Virgin help line 50% of its users are without email services, including me! Am thinking of ditching this inefficient service as within the last 6 months there have been many down times. Any ideas which ISP I should change to?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

High In The Sky Trouble

I was amused by a snippet in the news this morning. As you can guess the item in question was certainly not financial news - there is nothing to be amused about on that topic.

Apparently Quantas had an 'in-flight upset' - well, the mind boggles. Perhaps all the passengers developed food poisoning and dashed to the loos all at once creating a weight imbalance, loo paper bulging out under the doors, sick bags taking the strain (sorry, Strine as it was a Quantas plane). On a serious note the plane landed safely and all was well - possible air turbulence.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Car Clutter

Taking stock of the things that travel with me in the car are:
Biro and Paper
Walking Sticks
Plastic Supermarket Bags
In the boot are my swimming things! I am too lazy of offload my swimming bag each day - the "Aqua Set" have discovered that if they leave their cozzies hanging over the back seat they are dry to use the next day - I also leave my pool shoes (size 10) and my washing kit to dry as well.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Narrowboat Names (nothing to do with potatoes)

Yesterday we explored a bit more of the Kennet and Avon Canal starting from Kintbury (towpaths are good flat walking places for wonky knees and crutches). We manned the lock gates for "Maris Widgeon" to pass through - we got talking to the owner and his wife. I was interested in the name, especially because one of my closest friends is called Maris.
The boat was named by her previous and first owner after a brand of wheat. Now that is a surprise - one would have thought that perhaps the Widgeon part of the name was a bird. Apparently Maris Widgeon is a type of wheat especially grown to be used in thatching because it produces very long stalks. So my dear Maris, when you read this - perhaps you were not named after the famous potato but a type of wheat?

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Hoarse from Laughter

Last night was the local pub quiz night - this is made hilarious by the antics of the quizmaster. Eight teams of 4 people took part and unfortunately the team I was in came 2nd last! If we had come last we would have won the booby prize which is often better than the 'real' prize. Last night the losers received Avocado's from Lidls (best price) and highlighter pens!!! So far I have never come last and once first (when Husband was not around - which should tell you something!!). Having thought I was 'laughed out' with no more breath to spare, the quizmaster launched into reading an email he had received from a long lost "friend" (unrequited) via the Friends Reunited website. It was several pages long - everybody was splitting their sides and gasping for breath - well done quizmaster - the entertainment was fabulous.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Oh, What a Forkload . . . . . . . . .

of carrots. Husband was really pleased - he has just harvested this amount of fine looking carrots with one tentative forkload. If all goes well we should have enough to last us well into the winter. In fact all our root crops have done well. The only vegetable that is looking thin and sad are the leeks.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Carriage Chaos

Last Thursday we decided to catch a local train from Bradford-on-Avon down to Weymouth. This train chugged along and stopped at every station, including some request stops with delightful names - Chetnole being one of them. The train passed through lovely countryside especially through the Dorset hills. However both journeys there and back were spoilt by some of the passengers. Sorry this is turning into a rant!!! On the way to Weymouth an unfortunate middle aged man, presumably with some mental problem, shouted all the way with 'time checks', where was the loo, what were we doing etc. Some poor couple had to move with their child. Husband had a crick in his neck trying to avoid eye contact. Not ranting really about this poor man - but on the way back - a family from hell entered the carriage and we had to endure continuous shouting, screaming, fighting from two children aged about 10 and 8. The mother said nothing. In the end I sent a piercing stare to the girl and mouthed "bloody shut up". Silence was golden! I am expecting a knock on the door from the Transport Police any minute!

At Weymouth we made our way to the harbour and watched the trawlers come in with their catch. We ate a very good fresh fish pie at one of the little restaurants and then walked along by the sea. Husband dared me to swim - but I did not take up the offer!

Friday, 26 September 2008

A Great Over (I mean honour)

Very many thanks VLIF for this award, it appeals to me because I just love cricket. I now pass this on to the following:

Malc because of his wonderful humour and his love of pigs! I think he finds these awards a bit 'girlie', but I just love his blog.

Uphilldowndale and Nuts in May for their blogs which contain very descriptive posts and beautiful photos.

Lane and Suburbia their posts make me laugh.

Autumn Is Here

On misty mornings I roam around with the camera trying to spot a nice view of a cobweb. The blackberries in this photo are Husband's pride and joy being a variety called A Parsley Leaved blackberry - their leaves stay on in the winter and there are no thorns.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Canal Walk

A couple of days ago, when the sun shone, (it has gone again now!), we took a walk along part of the Kennet & Avon Canal at Wootton Rivers which is a village near Marlborough. This narrow boat in the lock is owned by The Bruce Trust. To enable wheelchair users to enjoy a canal holiday the boat is actually wider than the traditional narrowboat and very well fitted out.

After an hour or so we rewarded ourselves with a lunch at The Royal Oak pub. This pub, along with many of the other houses in the village, was thatched. There was a very industrious woman sitting in an old shed dressing a wheelbarrow with reeds - apparently there was to be the annual wheelbarrow race in Pewsey that evening.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Mystified by the Cows

The cows are back in the field behind our house - they appeared silently, the calves are grown up enough now not to have mothers calling and making contact with them. Suddenly they are gone again gently swaying through the gap in the hedge to the two fields beyond - then they are back again - and so on. The farmer appeared to check on a water trough and I asked her how far she thought a cow walks in a day given the freedom of a couple of large fields. She said she had no idea! Perhaps somebody else has? I would have a guess at 5 miles?

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Harvest at Last

I am so pleased for our local farmer (this our view from back garden) the combine contractors have arrived at her place at last. Dreadful stories of combines getting stuck and clogged in the muddy fields. The tips of the wheat were just about to sprout so they arrived in the nick of time. We now have the roar of hurrying tractors and trailers through the village with their loads of grain and straw. Apparently their dilemma at the moment is to decide whether to haul the loads of grain to the dryers (about 10 miles away) with their own tractors and trailers or to contract lorries to do the job. When she comes to deliver the eggs on Wednesday she has promised me a map of the farm with all the names of the fields - so much nicer to be a bit more informed! I asked the farmer a question which she was unable to answer - so my next post I will be asking the same question to you! (depending upon the health of this spasmodic computer)

Computer on Strike

This dratted computer took 6 hours to load Windows!!! Now that I am online this is just to say - if no word comes forth from me, the computer is in hospital or I am contemplating throwing it through the window through "Windows"

Friday, 19 September 2008


We took a day out to Wootton Rivers which is a village near Marlborough and near the Savernake Forest. A large majority of the houses are thatched.

This thatcher was on his lunch break I think! However this photo shows a good example of the art of thatching.

We had lunch at a lovely pub in the village which had these four birds on the roof. Referring to my earlier photo of 'Slinking Fox' - I think most people will realise that these are not real birds - whereas some were fooled by the thatched fox!