Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Dyeing the Countryside

I worry about the news that Derbyshire police put dye in a lake to make it unattractive to visitors.

Dyes are complex chemicals that need to be handled with caution. People often wear protective clothing when using them. Could water from the lake migrate though rivers or streams and reach reservoirs? Might the dye poison wildlife? If it makes the water look black it is absorbing light and that would make the upper layers of the water warmer and the lower levels colder than usual, and that could affect aquatic plants and animals.

Did the police concerned know the answers to those questions? Did they even ask the questions?

Sunday, 29 March 2020


As I arose this morning I looked out of the window and saw flakes of snow in the air.

Fortunately they were small and few in number and soon gave way to sunshine, but seeing them reminded me how fickle the weather can be.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Delayed Enlightenment

About seven years ago I bought a tablet computer more out of curiosity than need. I bought a fairly cheap one; paying about £70 so far as I can remember.

It could do lots of things, but the accompanying instructions were so scanty as to be almost negligible. In particular there was no indication of how one might delete something, and there was a lot that I wanted to delete. The device came with a library of e-books, most of them in Russian or other Slavic languages.

Today I investigated the device again, searching the web for instructions, and got to the point of being able to conjure up a 'delete' button, but for a while I couldn't get it to do anything, until I discovered that while pressing the button just once achieved nothing however long I pressed, two short presses conjured up a menu offering deletion as an option. I no longer have Russian books on my tablet!!

Monday, 23 March 2020

I Am Alive and Well

The health crisis has reached a stage where people will begin to check who is still alive.

To save people the trouble of asking , I declare that I'm alive and well. We've found a milkman who delivers milk, bread butter, eggs, bacon and other essentials three times per week, so we should be able to survive without needing to eat the cat, though I'd rather starve than do that.

I post here quite frequently. I shan't mention my health in every post, but assume I'm well if I post without saying otherwise.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

A Small Horticultural Trumph

Usually people dig up their wallflower plants once they've finished flowering. Last year I didn't. Instead I cut off the old flowering stems, and any other straggly bits and let the plants stay where they were.

 They all survived the Winter as healthy compact little shrubs and are now flowering profusely.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

A Sign of Spring

Today I dried my washing on the washing line in the garden. It was the first time I've done that this year. Until now the few weekends that weren't wet were so windy that I feared that anything I put on the line would blow away and end up wrapped around someone's chimney stack.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

A Sinister Sight

When I was out shopping today I saw someone wearing a white face mask. It looked very uncomfortable. That was the first time I've ever seen anyone wearing a face mask in the street, though builders have worn them while doing dusty work around the house. I hope the wearing of such things while shopping  doesn't become a custom one is expected to follow.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Shopping in the Sunshine

Today I set out for the shops wrapped in my Winter clothes, but soon felt so warm I removed my scarf and left my overcoat buttons undone. It was an agreeable foretaste of Spring.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

A Redundant Reference Book

A new telephone directory arrived recently. As I threw away the old one I realised I'd never used it, or any of its recent predecessors. On the rare occasions I need a telephone number I get it from the Internet.

How our habits have changed!!

Saturday, 29 February 2020

A Puzzling Sleep Pattern

Often I feel sleepy in the afternoon, suspect that I may not be getting enough sleep at night and resolve to go to bed earlier. Yet, as bed time approaches, I feel wide awake as I potter away on the computer. If I compel myself to go to bed before about 23:30 I usually wake up every couple of hours or so during the night, while if I defer bed till midnight I usually sleep through the night until around 06:00, and sometimes don't wake till my alarm wakes me at 06:50.

How strange !!

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Don't Shake Hands

When I was teaching, a colleague with a medical background told me that one way colds circulate is by people shaking hands. Even people considerate enough to wash their hands after using the WC often do not do so after blowing their noses. Indeed, even people like me who wash their hands when they can, often need to wipe their noses when no washing facilities are available. Therefore


Wednesday, 19 February 2020

A very high price

I've just noticed that the price on the Daily Telegraph is now £2-50.

In the mid 1950's I usd to buy a copy on the way to school. It cost 2d making it the third most expensive daily newspaper. The Guardian cost 3d and the Times cost 4d, while the lesser papers cost 1 1/2 d.

In those days there were 240 pence in the pound, so 2d was 1/120 of a pound, and at £2-50 the price is now 300 times as much as it used to be. Few prices have risen by so great a factor.

Friday, 7 February 2020

The Undefined

When I listen to the media I often hear people say 'by definition' without indicating what definition they are referring to.

I think that people often pick on phrases that they believe are used by clever people, and use them hoping to appear clever. They frequently fail.

Friday, 31 January 2020

A sad moment

This will be my last contribution to this blog as a citizen of the European Union. Britain is to leave in about ten minutes time.


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Confused vegtation

Flowers we usually associate with the approach of Spring are blooming in my garden at least a month earlier than usual. Miniature irises were the first to come into flower, but crocuses are now following suit.

Usually snowdrops flower first, but so far they haven't even produced buds.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

The First Spring Bulb of the Year

An iris is flowering in the garden, in a tub it shares with a clematis.

I don't recall ever before having Spring flowers bloom so early.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Boldness Rewarded.

In Sainsbury's a few days before Christmas I checked the bundle of vouchers they send me from time to time and found one that nearly matched one of my purchases. It offered points for a purchase from the delicatessen counter. It wasn't quite a match because it required me to spend £2-50 and I'd spent only £2-33, and it was more than a week out of date, but I decided to try it anyway, and the machine accepted it, giving me 150 points, worth 75 p.

Timid readers should heed my example.