Friday, 7 May 2021

Timely Blossom

My apple blossom is now almost over. The pear blossom was finished a few days ago. This is the first year for quite a while that the fruit trees have blossomed close to the time gardening books say they should. Presumably stimulated by global warming, they've been coming into bloom rather ealier. Last year pear blossom appeared in March.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Welcom Spring Sunshine!

When I set out for the shops today I was wearing a light overcoat, but I soon took it off and put it in my shopping trolley, and still felt quite hot by the time |I got home. It was my first outing this year without an overcoat.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Strange Prices

Yesterday I wanted some single cream. I was surprised to find that 300 ml cost 75p, but 150ml cost 70p. Having reistered the anomaly and my surprise I can think of no furher comment.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Compensation for a Cold Spring

This year my daffodils have lasted for an unusually long time. Moderately mild weather brought them into flower in February, and a chilly March and early April preserved them. They are fading now, but they still provide some splashes of yellow to brighten the garden. Grape hyacinths and some other bulbs whose names I've forgotten, have also lasted well, though the crocusses and snowdrops are long gone.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Lime and Lemon Marmalade

A few weeks ago it occurred to me that although I've made marnalade with various citrus fruit, either alone or in combination, I'd never tried lime and lemon. So last week I tried it and was delighted with the result - quite sharp but also sweet and fruity. I think it may be my favourite marmalade.

Recommended quantities are limes 1, lemons 1, water 1, white sugar 3. Wash the fruit, halve each one and put in a saucepan with the cold water. Heat very gently - I use the lowest setting on my electric hob. Check from time to time. With about 1 kg of fruit and 500 ml of water it took about an hour to come to the boil. I let it simmer until the fruit was soft. Allow to cool. Remove the fruit from the liquid and remove pips. Strain the liquid to remove pips from that, and then put fruit and liquid together through a blender. Then heat with sugar in the usual way. It sets extremely easily. I think that limes must be very rich in pectin.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Daylight Saving, Saving

The tedious part of changing the clocks is changing my wrist watch. The process requires pressing several buttons in the correct order and the buttuns are stiff, often requiring both hands to produce a response.

Last time we put the clocks back I left my watch alone. Apart from the bathrooom and utility roon every room in the house has a time piece of some sort - so I wear a watch only on my twice weekly shopping expeditions when I've just subtracted an hour from the time shown on the watch. Now my watch shows the same time as every other timepiece. I'll just need to remember not to subtract an hour from the time shown.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Qualified Pride in my MP

Neil O'Brien MP for Harborough has been 'sanctioned' by the Chinese Government for criticising that Government's persecution of minorities. I feel quite proud to be one of his constituents. I disagree with many of his policies, he did, for instance, support the Government's idiotic 'Eat Out to Help Out' campaign to revive the epidemic just when it seemed to be slowing down, but I'm still proud to have an MP who's been denounced by the odious bunch of Socialist hypocrites who rule China.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Twice Jabbed

I had my second corona virus vaccinnation this afternoon. After more than seven hours I've experienced no ill effects.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Celebrating Video Recordings

When I first saw pictures of recent riots in Bristol I was inclined to wish aremed police could have shot the lot. Then I realised that would have created a bad precedent and invited comparisions with toxic states such as Myanmar. I now realise that the police have numerous video recordings of events and can from time to time release clips from these inviting people to identify the culprits, as the Americans are doing with the rioters who attacked Congress early in the year. An advantage of that policy is that the guilty will be kept in suspense, wondering if they are to be exposed.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Long Lived Wallflowers

Wallflowers are usually considered biennials, planted in the Autumn to flower, and then be composted, the following year. Two years ago, instead of discarding all my wallflowers, I kept one, just pruning it as one would a rather leggy shrub. The following year it was much larger and flowered much more profusely that the plants put in the previous Autumn, so last Autumn I kept all my wallflowers, pruning them instead of discarding them. Having survived a distinctly cold spell in February they are now all thriving as little shrubs and are covered in buds.

There are some special variants of the wallflower that are sold as perrennials, but mine were ordindary garden centre generic wallflowers. It appears that all wallflowers are perennial.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

A Perverse Demonstration

The Metropolitan Police are being condemned for trying to disperse a demonstration on Clapham Common. A picture I saw showed hundreds of people very close together. They appeared to be mourning the death of a murder victim by spreading the covid 19 virus as widely as possible. I wonder how many more deaths will result from the gathering.

Had I been in charge of the police at the scene I'd have been inclined to fire tear gas grenades into the middle of that crowd to disperse it.

Monday, 1 March 2021

Twelve Months Without a Bus Ride

Yesterday ended the twelfth successive month during which I did not use any form of public transport. Somewhere I still have a ticket issued on 27 February 2020 kept as a souvenir of my last bus journey.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Compelling People to be Careful

There has been some talk of making covid 19 vaccinnation compulsory. It may help to consider cases where careful behaviour is already compulsory.

A quick potter through the Internet suggests that use of seat belts in cars may have saved about 16 000 lives per year, and motorcyclists' helmets may have saved aroung 2000 per year. Some people would have used seat belts or helmets without compulsion, so the benefits of the legislation must be somewhat less than that. It appears that upwards of 10% of the British population are refusing vaccinnation. Although it is hard to estimate how many lives would be saved if the refusers were vaccinnated, a saving of around 10% of the covid 19 deaths so far recorded seems a reasonable first guess, suggesting that the case for compulsion is stronger than that for motor cyclists' helmets, but perhaps not quite as strong as for seat belts.


Sunday, 21 February 2021

Winter Flowers

What we used to call 'Spring flowers' are now blooming in the garden, much earlier than they would have done in my youth. They've bloomed early for several years now, but I'm not sure if the daffodils flowered so early last year. What is certainly different this year is that snowdrops, crocusses and daffodils are all in flower together. The hardy cyclamen are flowering too; they've been in flower continuously since late Autumn.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

A Pleasant Surprise

We received two unexpected presents today - half a dozen eggs from a neighbour who keeps hens, and a packet of chocolate from one of the neighbour's cats. The cat stole the chocolate from the neighbour's shopping bag and left it on a plant pot in the garden.

The cat, called Sox, has been interested in our activities since she arrived next door as a kitten a little over three years ago, but while our cat was alive she didn't come into the garden, just watching us from the top of the wall, or lying in wait for us on the driveway. After our cat died in July Sox has annexed our house and garden as part of her territory, and has been keeping our premises mouse free. Now she's shown her appreciation of our friendship!

Friday, 22 January 2021

Coming to Terms with my Antiquity

Today I had a stair lift installed on the main staircase. Climbing the stairs had become a challenge - I could do it, but it was enough of an effort for me to treat it as a serious undertaking. Now I can go up and down as often as I like. As I no longer need to cling to a handrail I can also carry as much as I like on my journeys.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

A Triumph for an Aged Brain

When I went shopping today I forgot my shopping list and had to shop by memory. When I got home I checked my shopping against the list and was delighted to find that I'd remebered to buy every one of the fourteen items on it.

How wonderful that my memory still works - sometimes !

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Relief !!

I don't usually pay much attention to the details of the inauguration of American Presidents, but today I followed news from the USA closely. I wanted to make quite sure that Mr. Trump had indeed been replaced.

At last he has departed to a golf course. I hope the bunker goblins will keep him occupied

Saturday, 16 January 2021

A Delightful Discovery

Yesterday I found some Bath Oliver Biscuits in the local Waitrose.

For quite a few years Waitrose has been my only source of those elegant companions for strong cheeses, but since last March they've been out of stock. Yesterday they were available once more. I was delighted.

Sunday, 10 January 2021


I was vaccinated today. The Medical Centre unusually opened on a Sunday to vaccinate ancients, who attended in great numbers. We had to queue outside on a chilly, but fortunately dry day, but eventually the protective jab was delivered.

Saturday, 9 January 2021


Snow fell yesterday mrorning and some of it settled on the ground. That didn't happen at all last year. It had all melted by the time I went shopping around midday, but it was still quiite a shock. I detest snow!!