Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Billy's first Summer.

Being neither 'mad', nor an Englishman, he stays indoors during the extreme midday sun.

We have established that he doesn't like the heat. He finds a nice spot somewhere on an ancient stone slab, and sleeps until it's cooler.

He loves the early mornings, and equally the cooler evenings, but in between times he's been settling down to snooze in front of Wimbledon or The Tour until things calm down a bit. I really ought to do the same.

On yesterday morning's early walk he saw a baby Fox and a Deer. I'm pleased to say that he did half-heartedly chase the Deer, but soon gave up.

Of course, like all dogs, Billy has his very favourite toy; and for the Summer it's an old towel that we used on his bed. As bedding he didn't think much of it, but as a toy he'll play with it for hours; dragging it around the garden.

If only all our lives were so simple.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

An Open Letter to Boris (after his kind words yesterday).

I have just heard the appalling news that one of my favourite Brighton Boozers is about to close. The Battle of Trafalgar is one of about three Pubs near to our home that we frequented.

So, Boris, if you should become Britain's next PM, forget about all this bloody Brexit, and USA diplomacy, nonsense, and face-up to far more serious matters.

I am, of course talking about the disastrous closure of so many Pubs. I believe that between 12 and 20 Pubs are closing every week. This is a disaster for the UK, as the Pub is the very foundation of good community life; whether it be in central London, or the tiniest hamlet in darkest Shropshire.

Tax on Beer needs to be seriously reduced. A pint of bitter should never cost more than £1. 

Business Rates should also be drastically cut for Public Houses. I recently heard a Publican saying that his rates were around £120,000 pa; THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! How on earth can we expect our Pubs to stay open if they're having to pay such crazy sums.

Make this a priority policy, and the Tories may even get re-elected. Fail to act; and you'd stand no chance!

Monday, 15 July 2019

A message from B B B Boris, on the publishing of my 3,500th page.


Erm, Bonum Mane Cro.

What, erm; what's all this, erm, 3,500 pages business all about?

Cripes; old thingamy tells me, B  B  B  B  Bloody hell, that, erm, ha ha, erm, it's some sort of, erm, numerical achievement. Jolly good.

Erm, well yes, B  B  B Bugger me, erm, it sounds a lot anyway; whatever it is.

So, erm, yes, jolly good, erm, rather busy with all this PM business at the mo'; pop round for a tankard of, erm, cervisium some time.

Sincere vestrum, Ex Borisium x.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

How very British.

Following the unfortunate hacking of Sir Kim's mail, and the subsequent publishing of his thoughts, we were recently discussing how very quaint and old fashioned the British diplomatic service can be, and I remembered that somewhere I had the perfect example.

We've all heard the expression 'Diplomatic Bag', well, if you've never seen one, this is one above.

When a diplomat wishes to take top secret papers from his country of posting, back to the FO in Whitehall, he takes them in a simple canvas bag with a drawstring. No fancy lock and chain, no 'this package will self destruct, etc, no obligatory Aston Martin to avoid thieving enemy spies. Just an open canvas bag in which anything can be carried. A Diplomatic Bag is considered 'territory' of its Embassy, and cannot be violated.

The one above was used by my late Father-in-Law when in both Moscow and Washington. One can only imagine what dastardly secrets (or objects?) it contained! Hmmmm.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

It's a hard life.

With guests around, life becomes quite different. 

Guests love to see all the sights; I don't do 'tourism'. They love to lie by the pool; we never do that.  They want to visit as many good restaurants as possible; yes, we do enjoy that, but my purse takes a battering.

Guests like to take life easy, to get up late, swim, eat breakfast at 11 am, swim, lunch at 4 pm, swim, dine at midnight, before a final floodlit swim, and bed.

In between times, we eat snails, and other delicacies,

whilst enjoying evenings out at our village Marché des Producteurs.

Then occasionally we find little gems that they leave behind, to say goodbye.

After all this I'm exhausted. I need to do nothing for a week (at least).

Friday, 12 July 2019


I haven't bothered growing my own Beetroot for several years, preferring to buy them vacuum packed, ready prepared, in threes; and for next to nothing.

I can't imagine that there's a great deal of difference between home and farm produced. Both are grown outdoors, both are prepared in much the same way, and both taste very similar; I really wouldn't know the difference in a blind taste test.

However, this year I did put in a row at Haddock's, and they have done very well. I harvested the first few yesterday.

I love the earthy flavour of Beetroot, I believe they're very good for you too; most red things are!

The next time I prepare some, I'll do twice the amount. It goes so quickly.

Thursday, 11 July 2019


This photo was taken at 6.15 am on Tuesday morning, and I became quite excited.

For a while it looked promising. The sky became dark, there were one or two flashes of lightning, and the occasional sound of very distant thunder. 

There was even the hint of a rainbow. Then at 8 am it began; just a few drops, then a few more. I became even more excited. 

At 8.15 am there was proper thunder, and it looked as if we might, at last, have some serious rain. Then by 8.30 am it stopped, and we were left with just wet outdoor seats and not much else. The sky cleared, the sunshine reappeared, and it was business as usual.

At about 8 pm (mid-supper) it rained again for about 10 mins; luckily after the BBQ was finished with..

They'd promised it would rain all day, but of course it didn't. Haddock's was bone dry again the following morning.

No rain on the horizon now for WEEKS!

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