Monday, 31 October 2022
Sunday, 30 October 2022
Saturday, 29 October 2022
Friday, 28 October 2022
Thursday, 27 October 2022
Wednesday, 26 October 2022
Tuesday, 25 October 2022
Monday, 24 October 2022
Sunday, 23 October 2022
Saturday, 22 October 2022
Friday, 21 October 2022
Thursday, 20 October 2022
During the second year of my degree course I started to paint very 'loose' pictures. Most were based on conflict or tragedy, and contained very little recognisable composition, or signs of skill.
I suppose they were partly influenced by Hockney's and Kitai's early RCA paintings, but not in a sense of imagery. It was the fluidity and unhindered approach to image that appealed; those who know DH's Typhoo Tea paintings will understand what I mean. After years of restriction being stuck in front of life figures, the freedom that they offered was intoxicating.
Wednesday, 19 October 2022
Last year I saw Foxes all the time. I found one sleeping on the doorstep, Billy met one behind the house and they just stood looking at each other for a while, and I saw another wandering about on the roof of the nearby Primary School. Otherwise, if I looked out of the front window at night, more often than not I'd see one or two sauntering about. They were as common as Seagulls or Pigeons.
However, this year it's very different. I've seen a couple, but nothing like last year, and I'm wondering if the Green/Labour Council haven't been carrying out some surreptitious poisoning programme. I'm sure they wouldn't voluntarily have left Brighton en masse, to try their luck elsewhere.
I don't really have a view about urban Foxes. Towns and cities have become as much their homes as ours. I wasn't so keen on them in France when one killed all my 15 Hens during a night of carnage, but here they just tidy-up left-over McBurgers or Kebabs that even the local drunks wouldn't eat.
In fact I think there's something quite healthy about wild Foxes roaming the streets at night; no doubt people in Alaska think much the same about Polar Bears.
p.s. The other thing I've noticed that's missing this year are Milkmen on their electric floats. I fear they may now be a thing of the past.
Tuesday, 18 October 2022
Monday, 17 October 2022
Lettuce has a bad press. It is often described as Rabbit food, and possibly rightly so. It's not surprising that people don't really care for it, as it generally arrives limp and swamped in some ghastly acidic dressing. It doesn't make itself loved.
Back in France, Lettuce is often used in soup, and takes on an enticing flavour once cooked; not unlike Apricots, certain Tomatoes, and Mushrooms that all improve with cooking. These days I see that double packs of freshly cut Romaine Lettuces are sold in almost every store.
It's these Romaine Lettuces that work best in soup. Cut in half lengthways and simmered in a good broth, they take on not only a pleasant texture, but also a haunting flavour that lingers. A splash of Soy Sauce goes well if required.
As Autumn digs-in its heels, we have abandoned our lunchtime salads, and soup has become our lunch of preference. It will remain so until Spring.
So, if you've got a Lettuce hanging around at the back of your cupboard or fridge, try it in your soup. You might be surprised. I now buy mine exclusively for soups.
Sunday, 16 October 2022
In the past I have refused to believe that I look old, but I suppose I now have to admit that I do. At nearer to 80 than to 70 it isn't surprising that I stumble around, and that bits occasionally fall off.
However, yesterday I experienced two age-related 'firsts'.
Saturday, 15 October 2022
Friday, 14 October 2022
Thursday, 13 October 2022
Wednesday, 12 October 2022
Tuesday, 11 October 2022
Monday, 10 October 2022
Sunday, 9 October 2022
Saturday, 8 October 2022
Friday, 7 October 2022
Thursday, 6 October 2022
Wednesday, 5 October 2022
On Monday morning at around 7.30 am, I heard an ENORMOUS crash/explosion whilst walking with Billy. I asked a fellow dog-walker what she thought it was, but we were as baffled as each other.
Later in the day I learned that it was a dustcart that had overturned just down from the park, about 50 yards away, but out of our sight. It had been travelling downhill and turned right just where the camber of the road was against him. The inevitable happened; I imagine he was going a tad too quickly. The dustcart landed on its side and was eventually righted by a huge crane. Below is the slightly crumpled result. It looks considerably less damaged than I would have imagined.
Tuesday, 4 October 2022
Monday, 3 October 2022
Sunday, 2 October 2022
Saturday, 1 October 2022
She has finally been delivered. The new 'Compact Royce' has landed, and I've never seen a car as spotlessly clean.
She does about 50 MPG, and will reach 120 MPH if encouraged. She also has gangster-tinted windows and a sliding roof. She even beeps if I'm about to hit someone whilst travelling at speed in reverse. At the same time she does NOT have too many confusing buttons, knobs, etc; although it'll take me a while to discover exactly what's what.
She has travelled very few miles, the annual insurance costs just under £270, and Road Tax is £165. We don't have Road Tax in France, but with the combined costs it isn't much above what I was paying overall in France per annum. Of course, here in the UK we have an MOT test every year, whereas in France it was once every two years.
I will have to get used to right-hand-drive again. I haven't driven one for about 50 years. I've also noticed that the petrol filler cap is now on the other side.
Aesthetically she is very pleasing, she is comfortable, and drives perfectly. All in all I'm very happy, and I just pray that I'll stay that way. I really don't want to have to buy another one.
Lady M has given me a good talking-to about keeping the inside clean; the last one was like a farmyard.