Friday, 9 October 2015

What will replace 'Bake Off'?

                              Afficher l'image d'origine

BBC TV has just announced it's new Winter schedule, amongst which is this brand new reality show which is bound to be a real favourite; it might even replace 'Bake Off' in the top ten list.

'Celebrity Bomb Disposal' will be exactly as described; celebs attempting to de-actify real bombs. The present line-up for Series One includes Julian Assange, Katie Price, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin, Rolf Harris, Donald Trump, and Anne Widdicombe.

There will also be a live audience who will be encouraged to give false advice; shouting 'Cut the yellow wire', etc, and will applaud when things go a tad wrong (they will, of course, be behind a splatter proof shield).

One celeb per week will be 'eliminated', and 'the last man standing' will be given the choice of either leaving with nothing, or attempting one more 'very tricky' bomb disposal to win £1 million.

Sounds like fun, don't you think? It should be a blast!

Contestant nominations for Series Two are already being sought.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Dashboard problem.

                                   Image search result for "kitten playing with wool"

Each morning when I put-up my day's blog, I go at once to my 'dashboard' to make sure that it has actually been published. More often than not it hasn't. It appears on my own laptop, but presumably not on others'.

I then have to start all over again, re-publish; then check again.

This can often be repeated several times before the bloody thing appears on my dashboard; it can take as many as five attempts.

Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone know why this happens? Does anyone know how it can be rectified?

I'm wondering if it's because I have so many (2,300) postings backed-up that are blocking up the system, and maybe I should start clearing stuff from years ago. Any advice would be welcomed.

N.B. I'm not sure how one can illustrate one's 'dashboard'; so a picture of a cute kitten will have to suffice.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Cro; wildlife photographer (?).

If it is possible to have such a thing as a 'favourite bird', then mine is without doubt The Heron.

So when I saw this one yesterday sitting on the horse's water trough, about 300 metres away, I just had to try to take its photo. I hope you can see it.

Without the help of a telephoto lens, I pressed the junior zoom facility on my very cheap camera, and the above was as close as I could get, then I held the camera up to one of the lenses of my battered binoculars and I got the one below. In both dreadful pictures you can just about see the beautiful bird.

National Geographic will certainly NOT be contacting me; I would need a much better camera!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015



Teddy boys appeared when I was about 8 years old, my small native Surrey village boasted about five of them; and very exotic they were too.

There was a couple in our village, Mr and Mrs F, who used to work for my people (she worked in the house, and he did the garden; that sort of thing), and they had a son called Robin.

Robin was amongst the last intake to do his National Service; a two year stint in the army. He went away as a typical village youth, and returned as a motor bike riding Teddy Boy. He had become the village's Mr Cool.

Teds wore long drape jackets, drainpipe trousers, winkle picker shoes, bootlace ties, and wore their hair in a big frontal quiff. The bunch above are pretty typical.

As a boy I'd never really thought about fashion as such, so suddenly seeing these very slick and stylish young men around was quite a revelation; I remember being seriously impressed.

I still like the style today. Nice aren't they.

Monday, 5 October 2015

The bad season.

I'm trying desperately hard to like Autumn, but I'm only being partly successful.

I can appreciate the changes in colours, the fruits, the falling leaves; but I still can't get over the wretched cold, and having to say goodbye to the pool for months on end. And I certainly don't look forward to having to light fires every bloody evening; even though I do enjoy the result.

However, I find walking in the woods much more interesting than in full Summer, and as we're also in Mushroom season, returning with a bagful of Parasol mushrooms, or Hedgehog mushrooms, is always a bonus.

Any day now all the acorns will be dropping, as well as the Oak's leaves themselves, leaving a good old mess to clean up. Then the vines will need pruning, all the fruit trees will need attending to, and Haddock's will need to be completely dug-over and rotovated, in a futile attempt to avoid too much weed growth before next Spring.

On the plus side, the few Curly Kale plants that I put in last month seem to be romping away, and my fear of having no Winter 'greens' looks unwarranted. 

So, we're hunkering down, everything's been stored away, and before long my shorts will be replaced by long trousers. But before all that, let's enjoy the last few days of relative warmth; 20 C suddenly feels very pleasant, and the Autumn skies are glorious. I try to be positive, but it's not easy.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Late toms.

One of the disadvantages of living in town must be the unavailability of tomatoes such as the above; the final few fruits from a huge summer crop.

To the average urban dweller they probably look like unripe and mangy fruits; not something that you'd expect to find at Waitrose.

In fact they are probably the most tasty tomatoes of the year; especially when not 100% ripe. Trimmed and sliced, with a simple vinaigrette, there is nothing nicer for a warm Autumn day's lunch. 

The Italians are very fond of their tomatoes semi-ripe, and it was there that I first encountered eating them like this, the flavour seems to be accentuated by the greenness.

Saturday, 3 October 2015


I recently had a bit of an unpleasant experience. A wasp had stung me just by the ring on my left hand, and, as one does, I just ignored the fact. Wasp stings aren't nice, but they're no big deal.

Two nights later I woke to find my finger actively throbbing. The whole thing had swelled and my ring was cutting off the blood supply. I went downstairs and tried to remove it.

The bloody thing wouldn't budge, and all my efforts had made it worse; my finger was now purple and painful. I didn't want to cut the ring off, as it was a prized gift from Lady M.

I then spent the rest of the night with my arm in the air, hoping that this might drain some of the blood back down into my arm,and reduce the swelling.

The following day I tried again to remove the wretched thing, and after squeezing it with some pliers to make it rounder, it eventually came off; it was a very painful experience.

THEN, a couple of hours after I'd removed it, I was stung by a bee; luckily nowhere that caused any similar problems. The swelling on my finger subsided after about three more days.

C'est la vie!

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