Sunday, 22 May 2022
Saturday, 21 May 2022
Anyway, all is now done. The Compact Royce no longer makes clanking noises in first and reverse, and changing gear has become an altogether different experience.
The garage boss previously owned a home in France, and wanted to tell me all about it. I think of myself as a reasonably good listener, but I have my limits. He went on and on and on and on.......
Our heating engineer has just been to make sure our boiler is up to scratch. He says it is.
It's been an extremely busy couple of days.
Friday, 20 May 2022
Even in our troubled times, there seem to be three subjects that, above all others, are grabbing the attention of our daily newspapers. Two of which are courtroom 'Dramas'.
Ex-lovebirds Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are at each others throats in the USA, and here in the UK the protagonists are a couple of WAGS (Footballer's Wives and Girlfriends) called Colleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy.
Depp and Heard are simply an unpleasant pair of spoilt brats who are trying to say who hit who first, with one of them wanting lots on money. And in the UK it's a schoolgirl hair-pulling scrap about who revealed secrets to the press, with one of them wanting lots of money. I cannot tell you any details simply because I find these two courtroom fights as interesting as cold porridge.
What an example to the less privileged outside world. Film actors and footballer's wives spending millions just to prove some pathetic point, about which no-one is the slightest bit interested.
Need I tell you, but their third obsession are that tiresome couple Harry and Mrs Harry, who continue to behave like naughty children. Their main sponsors, Netflix, are apparently making a documentary series about them, filmed at their cottage in California. Yes, they really did quit Britain to avoid the limelight.
All I can say is thank goodness we have the more important members of our Royal Family still doing what they do best, here at home. They all work very hard, meeting, greeting, handing-out gongs, and showing their presence. Charles, William, their wives and a few others continue to do what we expect of them. They are non-political, forward thinking, often ridiculed, but well loved by the huge majority of Brits (and foreigners).
Depp, Heard, Vardy, Rooney, Sussex, and Sussex; are six people we could happily do without.
Their Lawyers and the press, however, adore them.
Thursday, 19 May 2022
I was expecting to pick-up my car from the garage yesterday morning, but it'll now be this morning instead (we'll see). She's having a new clutch, and they had to wait for the part to be delivered.
My oldest is in Bologna; no doubt eating lots of Tagliatelle Bolognese.
On returning from an early small shopping trip, I found a woman's bag just a few metres from our house. I took it home, and as I've done before, I immediately tried to locate the owner.
Inside there was just about everything you really wouldn't want to lose. It contained her passport, her purse containing quite a lot of money, her phone, all her credit cards etc, and all the other paraphernalia that a young lady would carry around with her.
Luckily I found her mother's phone number in the back of her passport, and I called her in Norwich. Then between us we managed to trace the young lady, and eventually she herself traced her belongings by some 'locate my phone' app on her mobile. She knocked on my door about 20 mins after I'd found the bag. It hadn't been stolen; possibly just lost due to over indulgence.
She was a very nice young lady, and was delighted to be reunited with all her stuff. Luckily she hadn't started to cancel all her cards. She told me that she believed people in Brighton were honest; I'm not too sure that they all are!
Another lovely hot day, with a BBQ in the evening. Never a dull moment.
Wednesday, 18 May 2022
Tuesday, 17 May 2022
Monday, 16 May 2022
Sunday, 15 May 2022
Haddock's is no longer a veg' garden, it has now become a mowed orchard and fun area. I hope to build a vine covered Pergola there this Summer, and install a decent BBQ.
Meanwhile back in the UK, I still intend to grow Tomatoes. Haddock's 2 is already in place (below), and all the digging and composting completed. I have bought four 'Tumbler' Tomato plants, and with any luck we'll have some Tomatoes later in the year.
My aim is to grow the Toms whilst we're away, and reap the harvest when we return. What could be simpler?
Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. I think it might depend on the amount of rain-water the plants receive, but I'm anticipating kilos and kilos of wonderful tasty Tomatoes. Knowing what an amazingly dry and mild Winter we've had, I'm anticipating a wet Summer, which would be fine for my plants, if not for tanning on the beach.
Our fingers are collectively crossed! Watch this space.
Saturday, 14 May 2022
The ongoing saga of John's loo got me thinking. The house where I grew-up in Surrey had an outdoor loo, but it was specially built for the gardener. My father had designed the house, which was built in around 1953. He thought of everything.
Our present home also has an outside loo (below), but with the size of garden we have, it certainly wasn't built for a gardener.
Friday, 13 May 2022
You looked at me with an unusual expression in your eyes,
eyes that said your time had come.
You could no longer run or play with friends
now you just sleep; the joy of life has gone.
We stayed close for your last few days
I stroked your loving face and kept you company
Until there was no more use for the word goodbye.
Your new home is now of earth, amongst your favourite toys and games,
and old friends by your side.
I tend your plot with wetted eyes, and
spend my hours alone.
The good times have gone, but everywhere we used to walk
your spirit remains.
I miss you more than words can say.
I still miss him.
Thursday, 12 May 2022
Wednesday, 11 May 2022
Tuesday, 10 May 2022
Monday, 9 May 2022
Sunday, 8 May 2022
Our Lab' of recent times was named Montague-Macbeth Magnon; but known to all as Monty. Our Border Collie/Black Lab' cross was called Bok, although I think we'd misheard 'Pok' from the previous owners.
Our present ball of mischief is called Billy, regardless of him having originally been given the very silly name of Badger. I'm not sure who gave him this name but he had to be registered quickly, and somehow the name Badger slipped through. It still says Badger on his papers, passport, etc, but I soon changed it to a much more acceptable Billy.
Of course to a dog his name simply means 'come here'. All dogs hear their names as meaning 'come here'; whether they take any notice of it is another matter.
I had an eccentric Aunt who had a series of Westies that were all called Rover. My own family had a series of unfortunate Cats that were either called Blackie if they were black, or Tiddles if they weren't. There seemed no point in changing anything.
Recently we had three Hens, and we asked the (then very young) grandchildren to name them; they called them all Richard. So we had three Hens named Richard.
I don't suppose Dogs really mind what names we give them, as they only mean 'come here' to them anyway, but I do pity Dogs who are expected to answer to Twickywickyboo or Princess Koochy-Eyes. It can do nothing for their self-esteem.
The only Dogs I avoid are those called Tyson, Thunder, or I'll tear your throat out (pronounced 'I-frowowt'. They are given such names to reflect their reputations. Those reputations tell me to keep clear.
Preferably Dogs names should be of one or two syllables only. Long names are pointless. A short sharp name is far more likely to get the 'come here' response we desire, rather than some silly name that the poor thing might pretend has nothing to do with them at all.
My two illustrations have nothing to do with Dogs names, but I thought you might like their shameless sentimentality.
Saturday, 7 May 2022
Friday, 6 May 2022
Thursday, 5 May 2022
Wednesday, 4 May 2022
Never a dull footstep.
Tuesday, 3 May 2022
Dear Jacob (as in Rees-Mogg; minister for Brexit)
I have a cunning plan. Why not take the lead and return unilaterally to how things were for travelling EU members prior to Brexit.
Open the UK borders, allow EU citizens to stay for as long as they like, and even allow their pets to step on British soil without all those nonsensical forms and unnecessary jabs they presently require. If they are EU Schengen area nationals; let them roam.
Now that Portugal has fast-tracked British holidaymakers (a clever ploy to get those UK holiday £'s into Portuguese pockets), if the UK was to show a similarly liberal attitude towards workers and holidaymakers coming from mainland Europe, it could only lead to Brussels eventually doing the same, and we could all return to the good-ole-easy-travel-days of The Common Market. Relaxing the regulations could only bring more Euros into Britain; which can't be a bad thing.
If Brussels DIDN'T follow suit, it would only show them to be the pompous, 'foot-stamping', hypocritical, angry people that they are!
As I'm sure you are aware, those of us who own homes on mainland Europe are no longer allowed to live in those homes for more than 3 months at a time (unless we buy an extension visa, or become foreign residents), but we still have to pay all the annual expenses; plus extra gardening costs to look after our gardens orchards, etc. I have owned homes in France for nearly 50 years, and this is not what I expected of Brexit.
I'm certainly NOT prepared to become one of Macron's Citoyens; although it must be said that many ex-pats seem to have little allegiance to Britain (or have homes in the UK), and would sign away their souls for their love of Brussels.
Please note, Jacob, that although we agreed with much of the Brexit reasoning, we both voted against for very obvious personal reasons.
In general, Brexit has been very good for the UK, our economy is outdoing that of the EU and most of the G7. But on a human level it has made things very difficult for movement across The Channel. You, Jacob, have the opportunity to unilaterally change all that; and in doing so, to force the hands of those big-wigs in Brussels.
Act now; return THEIR FREEDOM, and maybe ours would soon follow suit.
Many thanks in advance; Cro.
Monday, 2 May 2022
Sunday, 1 May 2022
Saturday, 30 April 2022
I wonder if any UK council has ever considered removing every road sign, abandoning parking restrictions, and painting over all the yellow lines?
For a month or two, just let the motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, etc, look after themselves and use their own common sense.
Of course there would be arguments when Mr Jones parks in front of Mrs Smith's garage, but these things can be sorted-out quite quickly.
However, as in certain parts of Italy where traffic regulations are seen as being 'advisory' only, things would probably continue quite happily. It would be fun to see.
Friday, 29 April 2022
Thursday, 28 April 2022
Putin has always claimed that his reason for invading Ukraine was to 'De-Militarise, and De-Nazify'.
Can anyone explain to me (especially if you are a Russian Putin supporter) how slaughtering women, children, and non-combatants, is supposed to achieve this?
To 'De-Militarise' you would need to exclusively attack military targets. And to 'De-Nazify' you would need to seek-out those Nazis. In which case attempting to totally destroy all buildings, infrastructure, and essential services, has nothing to do with either of Putin's aims, and becomes just pointless destruction.
So, how's he getting on? Well, the world is pouring new hard-core military kit into Ukraine; which is being used very successfully against him, and as far as the de-Nazifying is going; I'm not too sure if there were any Nazis there in the first place. Such childish claims do Putin no favours whatsoever.
If his is simply an expansionist policy, then why not say so. Why not also tell the Russian people how many of their sons have lost their lives. Why not also let the world's press/media tell the truth about what's going on in Ukraine?
If he has something to hide, or if he is ashamed of his invasion; then he should stop it AT ONCE.
And, oh dear oh dear..... now we see that the effing idiot is threatening to bomb the UK. Maybe we need de-Militarising and de-Nazifying as well. What a plonker!