Friday, 22 June 2018

Today's mystery.

How does a small tyre, complete with inner tube, come to be lying on the grass outside the garden gate at Haddock's.

No doubt there is a logical answer, but for the moment I fail to see it.

I'm now waiting for someone to knock on the door to ask if I've found it. 

It looks agricultural to me; but then there's not much around here that isn't!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Back to the old routine.

The Chestnuts are in flower. Hay is being cut. We're swimming again. Wasps are making a nuisance of themselves (so are the bees that were brought in to harvest the Chestnut pollen). The excess fruit from our Bramley tree is falling like hailstones. The Oxalis continues to annoy me. Haddock's is blooming. My mower (Rory) has now been repaired. Everything will soon need watering. The outdoor wooden chairs have all been oiled. Still a surfeit of Tayberries. Pure blue skies. BBQ in full swing. Life is good. Freddie has overcome his fear of dogs. Grapes are swelling on the vines. There's a strong smell of newly cut grass in the air. Boo Boo can now recite the alphabet; not necessarily in the right order. It's hot.

That's about it.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Rogues Gallery.

Here they are folks; the three most dangerous people to hold positions of power in recent times. One from the US of A, one from the UK, and one from Germany.

The true extent of their collective folly is not yet at its peak; it'll be in the decades to come when everything goes thoroughly wrong. Believe me; at the moment we're simply experiencing the relative calm before the storm.

The world has already celebrated the fact that two of them no longer weald power; and it looks as if more Champagne will soon be opened, as Matron Markel is possibly on the way out too. 

Now all we need are people with enough clout to limit the bloody mess they've left in their wake, and, frankly, it will take a bleedin' miracle.

Hold on to your hats!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Jam Jars, and Lids.

Following-on from yesterday's posting, I found this a bit odd.

Like many, we tend to use old Bonne Maman jam jars for our own jams and jellies. The only problem is that the lids have built-in obsolescence; two years re-use is probably their maximum. I have plenty of glass jars, but a fastly reducing supply of usable lids.

Mr Amazon suggested these 12 lids (above) for $17.08 (€14.74 or £12.91). $1,40 each seems a lot of money just for a few simple lids; that's about the price of a jar of jam!

So, whilst shopping yesterday morning I bought a pack of 6 brand new Le Parfait jars, complete with lids, for €4.99 ($5.50 or £4.10).

Something, somewhere, don't seem right!

Also whilst chez Leclerc, I plumped for the Aberlour Single Malt Whisky for my winter tipple. I decided against the Jim Beam. I think I made a wise decision.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Jam Days.

I enjoy the growing, and I enjoy the preservation.

At the moment it's jam making. We've already had our Strawberry glut, and now the Tayberries/Raspberries are going crazy. They need to be preserved for the lean months; and that means mostly 'Jam'.

I'm a relative newcomer to Jam making, but I really enjoy it; it's a very satisfying process. 1 Kilo of fruit, 600 gms of special Jam sugar, a splash of Lemon juice, 5 mins stirring; and viola!

We have loads of Red Currants, and loads of Black Currants too, but I'll leave the making of jelly to Lady Magnon. She's already made her first lot of Apricot jam; the store cupboard is starting to fill.

The Walnuts are now pickling, and there are Girolles in the freezer.

We're getting there!

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Jim Beam.

In about 1966 I was managing The Fine Art Gallery in London's Devonshire Street. The gallery was situated next door to Peter Langan's infamous Odin's restaurant.

One of the gallery's regular clients was a young officer from the US naval base in Grosvenor Square. He exclusively bought beautiful Piranesi prints; a very discerning collector.

Through some jiggery-pokery he had managed to acquire himself two books of discount tickets for his PX store, and supplied me with bottles of Jim Beam bourbon at a few shillings a time. He offered all sorts of goodies, but I stuck to the bourbon.

I have just noticed that my Supermarket has a special offer of litre bottles of Jim Beam (above), so I've decided to make this my this coming winter's bottle of 'whiskey', instead of Scotch. It's been nearly 50 years since I last tasted it, so I hope it lives up to my memory.

p.s. The last time I saw the above mentioned officer, he was heading back to Grosvenor Square to smash-up equipment. It seemed that the Embassy's naval base had an annual budget, and that if it was not fully used, they had to break-up equipment to such an extent that the budget would be increased the following year. Everything that they smashed had to be classified as 'Lost at Sea' (in the middle of London!).

Lunacy exists the world over; I hope my bourbon purchase doesn't also prove to be lunacy.

Saturday, 16 June 2018


I am absolutely amazed by seemingly ordinary folk who think nothing of stealing. From what I see, almost anyone these days sees theft as acceptable everyday behaviour.

Personally I have never stolen. OK, maybe a pencil from school or a paint brush from college, but I have never knowingly, on purpose, taken things that do not belong to me.

It is accepted that every new invention or service will have the criminal world racking its brains how to abuse it, and I suppose that the Amazon delivery service must have been aware of this.

Many Amazon delivery vans now have an accompanying queue of followers, ready to pounce on whatever package is left on a doorstep (see above). What a dreadful bloody world we live in.

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