Thursday, 25 May 2017

We breathe again!

It's always a nerve-racking moment, opening the pool for another season; you literally never know what you're going to find after nearly 8 months underneath all its Winter coverings. However, we decided that today was the day!

There's quite a rigmarole to follow before everything can start to operate again. Then when all is completed you hold your breath, and flick that main pump switch.

Luckily this year everything worked. There's quite a bit of cleaning to do, both inside and outside the pool, but as far as the pump and filter and pipes are concerned, they're doing what they're supposed to do.

There's quite a lot of muck at the bottom of the pool (which you can't see), but it tends to gather into 'islands', and isn't that difficult to vacuum up. 

You never know, we may even get to swim before June. It's showing 19 C at the moment, so I think we'll wait a bit.

Suddenly Summer is here.

The life and times of a small picture.

'Man beating his best friend, who's trying to bite the hand that feeds him'. Circa 1990.

This (above) was the first of many rough sketches for what became a small dark painting. It was intended to illustrate the world's dilemmas.

It finished as this (above). Sorry about the awful photo.

The picture later appeared in a drawing I did of Wills sitting at his old Amstrad computer.

I wonder where it'll appear next? Answers on a postcard please...

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Almost Veggie.

I've mentioned previously that we are slowly becoming veggie; 'slowly' being the important word.

Take last night for example. We ate a simple tarka dhal with basmati rice, and a very small amount of tandoori flavoured mushrooms. A simple dish that really required no meat.

I blame Lady Magnon for all this common sense. She's not a big meat eater, and would happily eat very simple pasta or rice dishes every day; actually so would I. 

When Haddock's starts to supply a good variety of vegs, we shall no doubt return to our Summer Compost curries, Cumin flavoured Compost fry-ups, and other 100% Compost meals. Maybe by the end of the year we'll be fully fledged veggies (apart from the occasional roast Turkey, of course).

It might sound a strange thing to say, but I really wouldn't mind becoming 100% veggie, other than I would find it difficult to give up that Christmas roast Turkey!

Just for info; The dhal was cooked with spices, yoghurt, and spinach, and the fried halved mushrooms were sprinkled with tandoori powder and garam masala, with a splash of lemon juice. Lovely.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Master Tiggy-Winkle Jnr.

Bok and Lady Magnon found this lost baby Hedgehog, fed it, and returned it to where she thought it's family lived. Then they found it again looking lost. Another day went by and they found it yet again still looking lost.

So, what does Lady M do? Of course she fills a hot water bottle, makes a bed for it, then when it had revived a bit she took it down to the Vet's.

If Lady M has anything to do with it, he'll be King of the Hedgehogs before long; well fed and thriving. We presume this one is an offspring of the adult we found recently.

She returned from the Vet's with bottles of milky 'Recovery Liquid', and a small syringe. Looks like we've got our work cut out! He seems to be feeding OK.

We reckon he's about 4 weeks old. He weighs 100 gms. 

We'll keep you posted!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Journée Champetre 2017.

My village held its annual 'Country Fair' yesterday. No horses this year as someone's thrown a wobbly, and the necessary fields were unavailable. Instead they had a few old tractors and a car or two.

There was an old-ish Peugeot and matching caravan. 

A bizarre over restored orange tractor with a rear mounted engine. 

And a couple of quite nice looking early water pumps.

There were also a couple of organised mass walks (the type where people take ski sticks and rucksacks).

That's it really. Not much more I can say!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Tangiers 1970.

Before the above photo was taken, I had never tasted Coca Cola.

Morocco was alcohol free in those days, so I had no alternative (other than Fanta or Pepsi). Nowadays things are different.

In 1970 you could openly buy large blocks of hashish (they looked like big cellophane wrapped chocolate bars and contained a government stamp) but a beer or a glass of wine was verboten. You really wouldn't have wanted to drink the water!

On entering the country some evil man had made me have my hair cut short. Lady Magnon had a small pair of nail scissors in her bag, and my luscious locks were unceremoniously left at the port of entry.

Still, nothing can detract from that pleasant shock of entering the Maghreb, with it's medieval ways and customs. The dark cool souks, the henna tattooed women, and the men all dressed in djellabas; it was like entering another era. 

Amazingly it is still much the same; and all within a very short flight from London, Paris, or Toulouse. An essential destination.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Scrumping Season.

Our own Cherries aren't yet ripe, so for the moment we rely on the kindness of others.

However, we do have plenty of our own Strawberries, and our Tayberries won't be long.

I really love this early red fruit season; it spells hope for a good Summer harvest.

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