Friday 30 April 2021

Preserved Lemons.

I always make my own Preserved Lemons. It's a simple process and only costs the price of the Lemons. If you buy them ready-made, they are expensive.

Ingredients couldn't be simpler; Lemons, salt, and water. I usually preserve about 6 at a go, and use just half a Lemon when required. This (below) is the recipe I use. It's quick and easy. 

Moroccan Preserved Lemons Recipe - CookingWithAlia - Episode 53 - YouTube

Don't worry if your Lemons eventually develop a white streaky substance in the brine; this is normal, and doesn't harm the Lemons. Mine (above) have been made for several months and the brine is still  clear.

As Alia says in the video, these Lemons are essential in Moroccan cuisine. I also use them when roasting Chicken; which was what I was doing last night when I took the photo.

p.s. If the link doesn't work, just go to YouTube, and type 'Preserved Lemons Alia'.

Thursday 29 April 2021

A different viewpoint of Sofagate.

We've all seen the pictures, and we've all heard von der Leyen saying that she felt 'hurt and alone'.

There were four people at this meeting in Turkey; two had hard chairs, and two had big comfortable sofas. All had individual microphones.

The group meeting involved Recep Erdogan (President of Turkey), Charles Michel (European Council President), and Ursula von der Leyen (EU Commission President). The 4th person, on the right, is Mevlut 'Avu-o'lu (The Turkish Foreign Minister) who, like von der Leyen, was offered a comfy sofa, but didn't complain about it. In fact he explained later that the seating arrangements were in accordance with demands from the EU itself.

What I do know, however, is that I would have much preferred the sofa to the chairs. Others, as we now know, would have liked a chair (or a throne maybe?).

Ms von der Leyen claims that this all happened because she is a woman, and that it was sexism; so was it also sexism against Mevlut 'Avu-o'lu?

Methinks someone doth complain too much


Wednesday 28 April 2021

Suggestions please for the worst Covid-19 related word.

I only heard of this word recently, and, frankly, I think it deserves an award.... what for; I'm not sure.

The story is thus; when bookshops eventually re-opened for browsing, Covid-19 was on everyone's minds, and its potential for fast-spreading was causing fear everywhere. 

We were told not to touch our post or shopping for 24 hrs, so that any attached virus had time to die. We were also told to sing 'Happy Birthday' to time ourselves whilst frantically scrubbing our hands. And in the bookshop world, we were told to place any books we'd handled onto a...

QUARANTROLLY:  n. mobile receptacle for 24 hr quarantining of books that may have been contaminated by virus-carrying person; esp Covid-19. 

There you are! Quarantrolly.

Can you think of a worse word?

Tuesday 27 April 2021

‘Everything is now 'racist' including barbecues’.

Where DO they find these people?

This clip mirrors my attitude precisely. Use the word 'racism' correctly, and it has power; use it cheaply, and that power is lost. You HAVE to pity this brainwashed snowflake of a girl. I don't think I've heard anyone quite as crazy; very sad. One can but wonder how on earth she came to her bizarre conclusion.

Monday 26 April 2021

Awaiting Title.

We are in 'lovie-season' again, with the world's greatest back-slapping event happening over in the USA. Yes it's the Oscars time of year.

I opened my online paper this morning to the usual pictures of Hollywood Hopefuls all wearing strange expensive dresses, and pouting at the photographers. I am pleased to say that I didn't recognise a single one of them.

This one above is called Zendaya, and stood out because she is apparently wearing $6 Million worth of diamonds; they could have been cheap paste for all I knew. 

I don't know what she does, a spot of acting maybe; but seeing a 24 year old wannabe wearing so much money around her neck (even if it was loaned for the occasion) seems rather excessive.

Having been in a few films myself, I know a bit about how this acting lark is done; and it's really no big deal. They are told what to say, how to say it, what to wear, and where to stand, etc. If they don't get it right, they are made to do it again. These people are often pretty poor at what makes them adored by their fans.

I hope the one above gets whatever it is she wants.

Dreaming of Summer.

I'm posting this photo to remind myself of our late dog, Bok. 

Unlike Billy, he always chose to sit with us beside the pool in early Summer evenings. I don't know why Billy doesn't do the same; both our previous dogs, and occasionally Freddie our cat, did; and seemed to love it. It was always an important part of their day.

Shorts and T shirts are now being worn, and our evening aperitives and nibbles are often taken in the shade, rather than in the open, because of the sudden heat.

This (above) is how I like to dress; and is how I am dressed whilst typing this. Simple shorts, simple T shirt, and simple shoes. I never feel better than when dressed thus. Our days are spent doing all the usual dirty-nail 'country things', and in the early evenings we sit outside and listen to music, whilst discussing the day's news or events.

Summer is now just over a month away (for us it starts on June 1st, when we open the pool) and already we're gearing-up to outdoor life. We're avidly practicing our air-crawl, air backstroke, and air-drowning (all very similar to air-guitar).

The landscape is now green again, birds are frantically searching for food for their fledglings, and I keep seeing Hedgehogs in the early-mornings. 

I was born in July, so Summer is very much my season. I can't wait. Vivare aestas.


Sunday 25 April 2021

Alternative Medicine at its Best.

I once heard a radio talk by the Director of Paris's main Homeopathic hospital.

The doctor didn't hide the fact that Homeopathy is a load of nonsense.

He talked of giving patients small phials of pure water coloured both blue and red, and asked them to tell him which colour had the most pronounced effect. He even told some of his patients that it was no more than coloured water. They all came back with preferences for one or other of the colours, whilst saying that they had been very effective!

The power of the placebo is genuine, and so, it appears, is the power of Homeopathy.

Saturday 24 April 2021

Don't you call me 'OLD'.

It used to be that 50 was the age at which you were officially 'old', then it was changed to 60.

Now, I'm pleased to see that the W.H.O. (whose employees presumably have nothing better to do) have revised how we refer to our ages, and have issued the following (rather strange) new classifications.

0-17 Underage

18-65 Youth, or Young people

66-79 Middle aged

80-99 Elderly or Senior

100+ Long-lived Elderly

I've been feeling Middle aged for quite some while, and I'm pleased to see that my feelings were correct. For a while I'd worried that I was just plain 'decrepit'.

Friday 23 April 2021


The Ice saints are still about three weeks away, but I'm throwing caution to the winds and hoping that our frosts are already over.

At Haddock's from Right to Left; a row of Strawberry plants that I potted as 'runners' last Autumn, which are now nicely in flower, then a couple of rows of Red Onions, 6 Aubergines and 6 Peppers.

On the other side of the weedy pathway, a row of Carrots, a row of Perpetual Spinach, and the first row of dwarf French Beans.

The two beds in the background are yet to be planted.

Courgettes are in pots and are almost ready for being planted out, and in a seed-bed (slightly hidden at the top of the photo) are rows of Cavolo Nero, Swiss Chard, and Parsley seedlings. 

All my Tomatoes are in big pots against a south facing wall below the pool.

Hand watering was done at 8 am, just before the sun was fully up. With no proper rain on the horizon, it looks as if I'll need to connect the hose.


Thursday 22 April 2021

The Power of Facebook.

It was the second time this dog had visited us. The first time (a few months ago) he'd eventually returned home by himself; this time he was reluctant to go.

So, Lady Magnon (being a resourceful cove) put his picture on Facebook with our phone number, and waited for the phone to ring; which it did a few hours later.

Her picture of the dog had been 'shared' several times around the village, and word eventually reached the owner who came to collect him early in the evening. The dog had already bedded-down on an outdoor sofa, and had no doubt imagined that he'd found a very comfortable bed for the night. 

He had come to play with Billy; and they'd had a great time. They really enjoyed themselves for a few hours, but we were very happy that his owner came to fetch him.

Nice dog. Lady M removed a few of his Ticks, then was pleased to see him go back home.

He lives about 3 miles away.


Wednesday 21 April 2021

95; Not out!


Happy Birthday to Her Majesty The Queen.

With this image (above) so fresh in our minds, today will not be a day of celebration for Her Majesty. Her thoughts will no doubt be focused exclusively on the recent loss of her husband, Prince Philip. 

However, I, like so many, wish her 'Many happy returns' for her birthday, and I send her my very best wishes.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

That reminds me...

I found this Holly bush in the woods several years ago. We didn't have one at home, so I pulled it from the ground, and brought the tiny plant back. It has now grown into a strapping bush, of over 15 ft high.

I've just noticed that it's covered in flowers. It has never born berries, so I'd always imagined that it was a male plant. However, all those flowers give me hope (not that we'll be here this Christmas).

The bush always reminds me of an event during my time spent living in Shropshire in the early 1980's.

A burley pugilistic member of the 'travelling community' had squatted on a small field at the bottom of our orchard, and without any planning permission, had begun to build a bungalow. 

We'd exchanged words, and I was extremely fortunate to have escaped unscathed.

A couple of days before Christmas that same year, I went down to the bottom of the orchard to pick a few branches of Holly for the house; it had been covered in berries, and looked splendid

When I arrived at the tree with my secateurs, I found that the WHOLE tree had been cut down at the base and taken away; I could see remnants of my tree spread all over the garden of the 20 stone thug who'd threatened to tear out my giblets and feed them to his nice dog.

My Holly was probably already being displayed in houses across the county, as I surveyed the destruction.

There was nothing I could do, other than to curse a bit. Rules don't apply to certain people in the UK, and we had one of them living very close by!

 I wonder if our bush will ever have berries; maybe those flowers are male flowers.

Monday 19 April 2021

The New Roof.

Back on April 8th I showed our neighbour's roof having been totally removed. Their new roof is now advancing, and is looking great. I hadn't imagined that the end wall was going straight up to a point; previously it was a 'bonnet roof', but has now changed to a 'tall open gable'. It will obviously contain a few more rooms, and I think it'll look very good.

My good friend José used to refer to our tiny three house hamlet as the village's 'Riviera', on account of the fine 'original' vernacular houses, the perfect location, and its non-farming group of leisure-loving-residents.

Well, the houses have remained much the same (with one or two blunders), the location certainly hasn't altered, and none of us has yet taken to the plough. Our house is very typical of the area, the middle house has been changed into a holiday centre and reflects that, but the other house (above) is looking as if it'll now take over as 'The big house'; it'll become a little Manoire. And in a prominent, open, position too. All it needs now is a tall pigeon tower connecting the house to the barn, and we'll call it a 'Chateau'.

This is how properties evolve, and often how wealth is displayed. A tower here, or an extra wing there; that's how things work.

I now feel as if we're living in the 'gardener's cottage'; albeit a very nice one.

Sunday 18 April 2021

The Debate Continues.


I still occasionally (very rarely) come across someone who claims to use Vegemite for some purpose other than repairing broken water pipes.

Well let me explain something to you.

Take a look at a jar of Vege-ma-thingy, and compare it to the delightful one of MARMITE.

You will instantly notice one thing on the MARMITE jar; that Royal Coat of Arms on the yellow strip connecting the top with the jar. The Coat of Arms is that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and it symbolises her approval (and use daily of) an exceptional product.

One must remember here that Her Majesty is Queen of the United Kingdom & Northern Ireland, as well as fifteen other Sovereign states; known as the 'Commonwealth Kingdoms'. She is also head of all fifty three Commonwealth States; including Australia.

Marmite is sold throughout her Kingdom, and her Coat of Arms gives confidence and pleasure to all her subjects. The other imitation product might be available in a few foreign hardware stores, and, of course, has no such approval.

I believe that some Aussies rub the brown paste (Vegemite) on their arms in order to fend off attack by 'Drop Beasts'; creatures not unlike Leprechauns.

I do hope that settles the dispute once and for all. If it's good enough for The Queen, it's good enough for me (and millions of others).

p.s. I am not showing a photo of the Aussie product as it has no endorsements, it's an ugly jar, and it is of no interest whatsoever.

Saturday 17 April 2021

So, how did last week's Pub openings go?

I didn't want to illustrate this with the usual pictures of drunken fools, showing us their knickers or exchanging punches, so here's a slightly more sedate picture.

This photo was taken last Monday night in Soho; the traditional partying area of central London. Plenty of drunkenness, plenty of social non-distancing, and of course no masks, or self-isolating beach huts.

In the UK, Friday night is party night, and reports of serious street fighting in central London, and elsewhere, are already circulating. 

The problem with opening-up Pubs, and Restaurants, etc, is that people think they can now behave as if there are no more risks. For them, Boris has declared the pandemic 'officially over'.

There WILL be a spike in cases of infection; of that there is no doubt. The only question must be 'is the new-found freedom worth a few extra deaths?'.

People have had enough of 'lockdowns'; they want their freedom back. Risk-taking has always been the reserve of the young, so enjoy yourselves; but please do continue to be aware of how virulent this virus is, you are NOT invincible. Covid-19 likes nothing more than grabbing onto humans, and it does so with great ease in crowded situations.

As Boris advises "try to show restraint". Not much 'restraint' was shown last night, I'm afraid!

Friday 16 April 2021

'How Prince Harry can show his face in the UK, I've got no idea'.

Tomorrow is the day of Prince Philip's funeral; this is how one Aussie TV commentator (Alan Jones) sees it. I don't think he's alone. It's worth watching; all 2 mins of it.

Thursday 15 April 2021

More Wisteria, less Vine.

Previously the façade of the house, and our covered terrace, have been covered in grape vines; and much still is.

However, Lady Magnon has been complaining about the amount of Hornets they attract in early Autumn, and she wanted them replaced by Wisteria.

So, I took out one ancient vine, and trained a branch from the 'tower' Wisteria around the corner and along the front wall. Its blooms are over now (as I'm sure you can see), but it flowered really well considering that it's only one year old. 

At the same time I planted a Wisteria sucker by the entrance to our covered terrace, which has also actually flowered well this year. It is less exposed to the sun, so is still looking good.

I'm sure Lady M was right. All the grapes always went onto the compost anyway (or went for juice), and we still had plenty if we required any. 

The main advantage will be far fewer Hornets this year; and Lady M will be happy, I hope.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Free Money.

I want you to keep this to yourselves; if too many people hear about it, not only could there be stampedes, but the value of the Pound, Dollar, and Euro, could suffer irreversibly.

Yes, I've found a way to get a regular supply of free money.

Some years ago I was given some secret numbers, and a piece of plastic, that allows me to get money from machines that one finds outside banks, inside supermarkets, and on the high street.

There's a small, well-hidden, slot on the front of these machines (you may have to ask someone to show you where it is). Into this you put the small flat piece of plastic (roughly 5 by 8 cms), which gets sucked into the machine itself. Don't panic; you'll get it back later.

Now you need a secret number. You type this in, and tell the machine how much money you need (don't be too greedy, or it may suspect something). Then you wait a while, whilst it makes strange whirring noises, and flashes lights; then out come the bank notes from a type of letter box at the front, along with the small piece of plastic you used to trick the machine (try not to dance, laugh, or scream at this point).

This is when you need to be careful. I always walk away from the machine, trying to look as innocent as possible; not to bring any attention to myself. Preferably try to look as if you haven't actually touched the machine at all.

It really is incredible. I've been using this method for years, and no-one has yet discovered my scam. These machines have paid for all my living expenses for yonks, and I've encountered no problems at all.

I'm not promising that this method will work everywhere, but if you can find the right sized piece of plastic, and find someone willing to give you a secret number (no, you can't have mine), you could find yourself with a never-ending supply of free money.... just like me!

As I said above; please keep this to yourself.

N.B. The above photo shows a machine giving me more money yesterday; PROOF if needed. I apologise for the quality of the picture, but I was trying to be as discreet as possible.

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Shopping Day.


Tuesday is my shopping day. For the past year I've only gone out once a week, occasionally every two weeks, and that is to my favourite supermarket about 20 Kms away. Leclerc is a quality store, not unlike Waitrose back in the UK.

I'm usually pretty good at getting all we need for the week, but this last week we almost came to a standstill.

By yesterday we were completely out of fruit, out of salads, our bread supply was down to a bare minimum, and (shame on me) I had no onions or garlic. So, my yesterday's breakfast consisted of left over roast Lamb from Sunday night, for lunch I had to revert to soup, and luckily I had what I needed for a Cottage Pie in the evening. 

I mention all this because it's the first time I've miscalculated supplies. Even my stock of canned food is becoming low, my fresh green vegetables from Haddock's are finished, and have finally been grubbed up. I shall leave for my shopping trip, in about 3 hrs, with a very long list!

I may be some while.

Monday 12 April 2021

The British boozer; the future?


The future of the Great English boozer, may well resemble the above.

With Covid-19 restrictions still in place, Pubs are now able to open again with certain provisos.

Today (April 12th) Pubs may once again open to the public, but must follow certain guidelines.

1. Drinkers must remain outside the Pub', and only table service will be allowed.

2. The 'rule of 6' will still apply, meaning only six people may sit together.

3. You will need to book your table, glass house, rug, pod, or whatever, by using the NHS Covid App.

4. When needing the bog, you will have to wear a mask (often essential in Pub' loos anyway).

The photo above shows one example of 'The 21st C Pub'; this particular one is in Gloucestershire.

Personally when I visit my 'local' I want to see a cheery barmaid over the counter, I want the warm ambiance of a 15th or 16th C interior (preferably in Sussex), and in winter I would certainly want an open log fire in a big old inglenook.

When I go for a pint of wallop, I want to lean on the counter, chat with the landlord/lady, ask advice from Jim the village garage man, exchange gardening tips with old man Fuller, and chuck a few darts with Charlie.

What I DON'T want is to be made to sit in some stark bloody greenhouse out in a field, pay a bloody fortune for a simple glass of waitress-served beer, and be made to feel like some bloody great roaming virus.

I'm not in England, but if I was, I'd buy a few cans from Waitrose, sit on my comfortable sofa at home, and sup whilst listening to Vera Lynn singing 'We'll meet again'. 

I ain't going in no glass box; so there!

Sunday 11 April 2021

PATTI PAGE - Mockin' Bird Hill(1951)with lyrics

I think this must be the very first song I remember hearing; my mother used to sing it around the house when I was little. I would have been 5 when it was released. My mother loved it.

Patti Page later sang 'How much is that doggie in the window', which was possibly her biggest hit.

I still occasionally find myself singing 'mockin' bird hill'. The song, of course, brings back lovely memories, but I must say, the lyrics are pretty poor!

Saturday 10 April 2021

Prince Philip. 1921-2021. RIP


A friend came to play.

Billy's girlfriend, Amie, came to spend the morning with us. Her 'mother' had to go out, and left her to play with Billy.

A few years back we always looked after a local woman's dogs when she went travelling. Our home became their 'Maison secondaire', and they alternated between the two seamlessly.

We've always enjoyed entertaining other people's dogs, whether it be for a couple of hours or a couple of weeks.

Amie is like a big cuddly Bear; she's gorgeous.

Friday 9 April 2021

Whatever next!!!

I almost feel like a traitor. For so many years I've sung the praises of good quality artisan French bread (especially sourdough), and here I am now buying packaged, ready-sliced, wholemeal bread, from some unknown industrial source. I had a sudden urge, and let me assure you that this stuff is wonderful. A classic wholemeal 'Wonderloaf'.

Breakfast for me is always a complex meal. There are so many choices on offer; I need to think long and hard before coming to that daily decision. The fridge is filled with options, and as I take my breakfast alone, the choice is entirely mine.

As for many people, the easiest choice is 'toast', accompanied by whatever preference one has on the day. Recently I have had a penchant for Green Pesto. Lightly toasted wholemeal with plenty of thickly spread unsalted butter, and a really good dollop of Pesto, is just delicious.

I don't like to eat anything sweet, so Marmite, or Peanut butter, or Anchovy paste, are usually arranged on the table awaiting that last minute decision, but they are now joined by a jar of good quality, coarsely ground, Italian Pesto.

p.s. When I next go shopping, I intend to buy some sliced smoked bacon... this bread will be perfect for a classic BLT. I can hardly wait.

Thursday 8 April 2021

Never a dull moment.

There are three houses in our tiny hamlet, ours being the oldest and smallest. This one (below) is the furthest away of the other two. 

It is the home of K and F, and their three grown-up children. A very nice family.

As I expect you can see, they are having the entire roof re-done. The whole roof is now off and all the old beams have gone. They will start again from scratch.

I imagine they are making some extra bedrooms in the loft space at the same time.

I'd rather them than me... I remember when we had our cottage re-tiled; it was a major upheaval. This is far more drastic.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

A Quick Tour around our old Barn.

The downstairs of our old Séchoir (tobacco drying shed) is one big open space; I designed it to make the most of its size.

The Kitchen has a large wood-burning cooker, a large range-style gas/electric cooker, plenty of cupboard space, two big fridge/freezers, and a big pantry (out of sight). It's a pleasant place to work.

The Sitting room corner has a wonderfully comfortable L-shaped white leather sofa, a HUGE TV set, and a small wood-burning stove. The yellow square thing by the stove is a game of Snakes-n-Ladders that I made for Boo Boo.

The Dining area and Staircase are just standard. The door at the back goes through to a Bathroom and the Pantry.

The wonderful Italian wood burning cooker, and the moveable island (a table on which I put wheels).

And lastly, another view of the stairs.

From having been a 'project', it's now become a comfortable home. It's still evolving, and no doubt will go through many more changes; especially upstairs where the main Bathroom, and another Bedroom are still under construction. It will eventually have four Bedrooms, and two Bathrooms. 

It's a very pleasant house, it's just a pity that its owners are now living in a big modern Miami penthouse; so it remains empty. C'est la vie!

p.s. Just in case you missed seeing the interior of the barn before I started the work... here it is below.

Tuesday 6 April 2021

The Garden of Eden.

                                           Image associée

I originally posted this informative piece back in the Summer of 2019, but I have now seen fit to add to it slightly.

As all Sussex folk know, the very centre of the Garden of Eden was positioned at Chanctonbury Ring in Sussex; a high point so perfectly situated atop the South Downs that it looks out over the sea to the South, and towards Kent and Surrey to the North.

Adam and Eve Sussex (their correct family names are unknown, but are thought to have been Starkadder and Fuller respectively) chose their home wisely. Not only was there a good Apple orchard, but the serpents thereabouts were of the friendly variety.

However, eventually their landlord (a Mr Good) wished to evict them, and made-up some silly story about them being members of some nudist club, and he wanted nothing more to do with them.

But he was not all bad. Mr Good took pity on them, and before closing Eden's gate behind them, he loaded onto their Ford Transit Van the minimum with which they could survive, before they could find themselves another suitable home.

He gave them a tool box, a cock and six hens, paint brushes and a tube of sepia, six pencils from 2B to 4H, tobacco in a tin, a Latin primer, a selection of verse and prose by good Sussex writers, a small printing press, the basic elements of jurisprudence, a compact medicine chest, a collection of seeds, two pigs, and a large ball of twine.

On reflection, I would now advise Mr Good, that in future, any Chanctonbury residents to be evicted should also be given a No 9 Opinel pocket knife, a box of masks, hand sanitiser, a couple of Astra Zeneca jabs, a bicycle, and some machine on which to play a good selection of instrumental Ska records.

This story is true because Mr Hilaire Belloc told me so. The rest is history.

Monday 5 April 2021

Easter Day.

The Wisteria is now in full flower. The colour of the flowers is much better than in the photo.

My Courgette seeds have sprouted. I won't plant them out for a while.

And one final job of winter/spring was to re-hang the old gate at Haddock's. It now works again; you should have seen it before!!!

Sunday (Easter) Lunch.


I don't want you to think that I'm some old skinflint, but these were so bloody expensive that I almost needed smelling salts.

Still, it was Easter Day, and we wanted to spoil ourselves a bit; and what better way to do so than with a few Scallops for lunch. 

They're exacting things to cook; one needs to pay attention. Too much and they lose their sweetness, too little and they don't develop any. They should be slightly browned on the outside, but remain transparent on the inside; not unlike cooking fresh Salmon steaks. About 3 mins on either side, + or -.

With these being worth their weight in gold, I really watched over them. They were fabulous, I would almost claim them to have been perfect.

Tomorrow I shall start saving for some more!

For supper, a simple roasted Chicken.

Sunday 4 April 2021

Boat Race 2021.

This year, the annual Putney to Chiswick Boat Race will not be held on The Thames, but on The Great Ouse at Ely in Cambridgeshire.

The crews will be racing from the tiny hamlet of Queen Adelaide (the new Putney) to the village of Littleport (the new Chiswick), one of the best rowing stretches on the river, and perfect for racing 8's.

I personally know this water like the proverbial back of my hand, having rowed there countless times; never particularly well. We loaned part of our boathouse to Cambridge's second crew 'Goldie', and often practiced our starts against them. We struggled as they invariably pulled away from us, after the very first stroke. 

In more recent times, in 2016 Cambridge moved into a brand new boathouse in Ely, not far from our headquarters. Ely is about 20 miles from Cambridge.

I do think it's a shame that no spectators will be allowed to watch from the river bank to see Cambridge win later this afternoon, but that's life with Covid-19. We shall all have to watch from the safety of our sitting rooms; unless, of course, you just happen to be dog-walking along the tow-path!! 

Kick-off is around 4pm UK time, April 4th (Easter Afternoon).

Friday 2 April 2021

Be Prepared (for another protest).

I do hope that none of the pupils at The Pimlico Academy in London are planning to travel abroad in the near future. They might need to apply for the UK's new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

It proudly displays our national flag on the front; which they might find extremely offensive.

Thursday 1 April 2021

Fruit and Veg' Growing.

At this time of year, all food production is looking good. It's the period of hope and anticipation.

All the fruit trees are filled with flowers, what vegetables are already in the ground are looking healthy, and there's not a single thing that doesn't suggest a bumper harvest for later on in the year.

However, between now and harvest time, all manner of things can go wrong. The weather, bugs, viruses, animals both wild and domestic, and goodness knows what else. Things can go haywire and we end-up with far less than we'd anticipated; or even with nothing. By then our only option is to start thinking of 2022.

For the past few years my essential Tomato harvest was ruined by Blight/Mildew. As this is a disease that can live in the ground for several years, my crop has been moved to large pots, up at the barn. Everything else remains at Haddock's.

As we intend to migrate this autumn, there is little point in my growing Squashes or Pumpkins so there will be a lot of free space. Anything left in the ground when we depart will be donated to a very nice neighbour, who, I'm sure, will appreciate them.

In the meantime, all is well.

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