Saturday, 25 April 2015

Doppelgänger No 4007¾.


                       Jo Brand; comedienne.


                    John Sargeant; TV political pundit.

On searching for these 2 pictures, I noticed that others have made a similar comparison before me. But what the hell; there's safety in numbers.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Visiting DOGS.

This dog (we think he's a Bernese Mountain Dog) has been turning-up each morning for the past week or so to join Bok and myself on our first early walk of the day.

We know who he belongs to, and after his first full day with us, about a week ago, Lady Magnon put him in the car and returned him to his rightful home about 2 kms away (she's just done the same again).

However, he seems to have no intention of staying there, and now spends almost every day with us.

He is a lovely dog who asks for nothing more than a bit of canine/human contact and kindness; but, I'd rather that he'd stay with his owners. He's probably just bored.


This one (above) is Bok's girlfriend; unfortunately named ISIS. She comes to play with Bok most evenings. She's a real cutie, and belongs to my friend Laurence.

Isis and Bok have both had 'the snip', so no pups are foreseen.

It's one permanent canine merry-go-round here; we never know what or who'll turn-up from one minute to the next. Thank goodness they're all nice dogs.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Fish ignorant (as well).

I'm not good with fish. I like fish, but I'm hopeless at either choosing, buying, and cooking it. The extent of my ability is frying the occasional Salmon steak, or making a fish finger sandwich.

Most French fish fingers tend to be made from one solid fillet of fish, and are really excellent. I fool myself into thinking that they are the closest thing to actual fish; but without the fins.

I couldn't count the amount of times I've made a decision to 'eat more fish'. I look at them amongst all that ice at the fishmongers, then usually end up buying a kilo of sausages.

But, I always have a pack of the above 'fingers' in my freezer. A fish finger sandwich with tomato ketchup remains an occasional lunchtime comfort-fast-food-favourite.

N.B.'Colin' is Hake, and the crumbed exteriors of the above fingers are not quite as orange as suggested on the box, but reasonably bread coloured. 

Fish fingers have a dubious reputation, but they cater for my dire lack of piscatorial knowledge. I can live with that!

I must remember to buy some more when I'm next out; I don't think there's any left.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


I know nothing about flowers; I don't know their names, I don't know what likes to go where, and I certainly don't know anything about their cultivation. It's all pure hit-n-miss (or looking in a book).

So when something 'goes right', I am justly proud of myself; it's as if a small miracle has happened. 

When I built our 'tower' I knew that I wanted foliage and flowers, I wanted it to be a mass of green with a few dots of colour thrown in, and that's (amazingly) what I've got. It's early days yet, but it will be seriously covered in a few weeks time.

OK, it's swathed in rather junior 'starter' plants; I'm not pretending to be a great horticulturist. I'm just happy that anything has survived at all, and it's all my own bloody work!

But not everything's perfect. This climbing Hydrangea (above) on the North facing wall is behaving in a very strange way. There are leaves at the bottom, and nothing elsewhere. I imagine that the upper part was frosted some while back, and is taking its time to recover.  I don't think it's dead; or maybe it is! We didn't even have any serious frost this winter.

Some you win; some you lose!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

My Favourite Recent News Story.

                                            Discovery: The .44-40 calibre Winchester rifle  was found frozen in time in the heart of the Grand Basin National Park

Some while back Archaeologists found this old Winchester rifle resting against a tree in the Nevada (US) outback.

It'd been sitting there untouched for over 100 years; left to rust and disintegrate where it was abandoned by some person unknown.

I'm not quite sure why this story appeals to me so much, but I found it enthralling. One can but wonder what happened!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Apple growing.

All fruit growers need to be philosophical. It's best never to expect anything other than just a pleasant tree to look at. If it does give you some fruit in Autumn, just be grateful. If you are counting on fruit, you will more than likely be disappointed.

There are some exceptions to this rule. Our Bramley (above) is pretty regular. It would be a strange year to have no crop (as with the Fig and Quince trees that always bear fruit).

This Jonagold (above with Bok) was planted quite recently. It bore some fruit last year, but this year hasn't a single flower on it. I'm not very happy.

In the chicken run is this Reine de Renette which occasionally does well. The hens peck at anything that drops; we have the rest. Nice apple; quite similar to a Cox.

And, meanwhile, this is the state of affairs at Haddock's. Everything doing OK, the Tomatoes are still untouched by frost, but I'm not uncrossing my fingers just yet (I've noticed other local gardeners being equally foolhardy).

We've just had a short spell of overnight rain, so now everything is romping; including the weeds.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

UK General Election Special.


I've been trying hard not to do an 'Election special', but could no longer hold back my enthusiasm.

Not long to go now. The race is on and the knives are out. So, who will you vote for, and how will you decide?

Until we have 'legally binding' party manifestos we will continue to be fed gushings of promissory tripe from all hopefuls (more nurses, more teachers, more child care, more benefits, free sweets, etc); all of which is subsequently forgotten.  If one thing is true in politics, it's that we can no longer base any voting decision on any party's pre-election manifesto. Failure to deliver such promises within a four/five year term of office really ought to be subject to prosecution. Some bloody hope!

No; much better to look at 'track records' before putting your X in any particular box. We must ask ourselves who, after one or two terms in office, regularly leaves the country in a better, or worse, state than when they took over. This obviously rules out voting for Labour, as their record is simply abysmal (amongst myriad other reasons). It also rules out voting for UKip, the Greenies, Lib Dims, and all other also-rans, as they are mostly 'single issue' idealistic parties.; untried, untested, and by the sound of them probably all plain incompetent.

I shan't divulge who I hope will be successful, but here is a highly accurate, totally non-judgemental, and non-partisan, breakdown of the main protagonists and their policies.

Conservative: Lower taxes, some frugality, higher employment, strong economy. Always a safe pair of hands.

Labour: Higher taxes, higher spending, higher debt, and much higher unemployment (can you honestly imagine the financially illiterate Red-Ed, Balls, McCluskey, and Harperson running the UK?.... Matron!). Far too dangerous.

Lib Dims: Gawd only knows (I don't think they have a clue themselves).

UKippers: Beer, anti-Europe, vaguely-hidden racism, and more beer.

Greenies: Bicycles, tree hugging, tofu, rights-4-rabbits, and sandals, all under the 'leadership' of a very odd Australian woman.

All others: Of no importance whatsoever.....All financially juvenile blockheads, with some being more dangerous than others (especially from North of the border).

There; I told you it was non-partisan. When the time comes I do hope that the people of the UK will vote for continued prosperity. If they don't, gawd 'elp us; we could even end up with a Red Ed/McCluskey/Sturgeon coalition, and find ourselves in the 'Gordon Brown Stuff' again!!

p.s. And do remember your Latin....
Left: Sinister (as in sinister). Right: Dexter (as in dexterous). Need one say more?

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