Monthly Archives: May 2018

Some Guest Photos

Julia managed some decent shots in the Mencap garden this week – I particularly like the one in the featured image, a parent Great Tit shoving food into a permanently open mouth. As a parent I find that image strikes a chord.

She took some video of Blue Tit parents flying in and out of a box, but it won’t load. However she did get a shot of the other Great Tits in the garden. Three broods, all doing well.

The other Great Tit nest

The other Great Tit nest

 

Matlock and Macaroons

We had a good day today, as I said in the previous post, despite the rain.

It started with a breakfast at McDonald’s, which I view as a treat when taken in moderation. I didn’t bother to tell Julia that I’d had one after yesterday’s blood test in case she went all diet-conscious on me.

After that we moved on to a doughnut and a cup of tea at Sainsbury’s in Matlock. Julia resisted the doughnut and just had tea, but I was in a relaxed holiday mood. We didn’t actually stop for tea, it’s just that I have a Pavlovian response to seeing a teapot. We actually stopped because my breakfast tea had worked its way through. This tea and toilet cycle was to be a feature of the day.

Next stop was Bakewell, which was the point of the day. We were looking for a birthday present for Julia’s sister and an internet search had located the item we needed in Stone Art in Bakewell. You may recall that we went there some time ago and bought a pendant for Julia. This time we bought a pendant for her sister. Pendants are good for presents – no need to know a finger size and no need to know if someone has pierced ears.

I had checked my bank balance when we were in Sainsbury’s, so I was able to do the decent thing and secure a pendant for Julia.

She, as you can see from the header picture, responded by buying coconut macaroons. She also bought a Bakewell pudding, but there is less comedy potential in a Bakewell pudding.

We paused to take the customary pictures of the locks on the bridge, and the trout under the bridge before crossing the river to the car park, which is where the previous post starts. Sometimes I confuse myself with all the time shifts, but I wrote these two posts in order of how much the events annoyed me, and it’s much easier to get annoyed about closed toilets than it is about buying jewellery.

We got caught behind a wide load coming down the Via Gellia and the satnav picked a peculiar route through Matlock on the way back. I hadn’t used it on the way to Bakewell and was only using it on the way back because I hadn’t switched it off after using it to get to the bookshop. It doesn’t seem to know there’s a by-pass these days.

Finally, back at home, we found a letter from the anti-coagulant service – I have four more weeks until the next blood test, having hit the target again. This is good news, particularly for my inner elbow, which was starting to get quite tender.

We then had seafood linguine and Bakewell pudding and custard for tea. Julia did the cooking and Number 2 son did the washing up.

All in all, an excellent day. And I still have material for another post.

 

 

 

 

Bad Day in Bakewell (and Brierlow Bar)

Well, it wasn’t actually a bad day, but when we went to the car park to leave I decided to use the toilet. This is what I found.

Sign at Bakewell, Derbyshire

Sign at Bakewell, Derbyshire

It would have been nice for them to have put up a big sign I could have seen earlier. Then I’d have been able to plan better.

Plan B, because I couldn’t be bothered to walk back into town, was to hang on until we got to our next stop – Brierlow Books.

The toilet bit of the shop visit went well, though there was a queue. There was a queue last time we called too – suggesting the facilities aren’t keeping up with the increasing number of customers. The book buying bit was a disaster, with nothing that caught my eye. So was the plan to buy a nice card for Julia’s sister’s birthday, as they no longer stock the cards we like. The whole place was congested and the two staff at the desk were offhand, to say the least, one to the point of rudeness, when Julia went to pay. This has never happened before – the staff (whatever I may think about the direction the shop is taking) have always been extremely pleasant over the years.

However, even this couldn’t spoil an enjoyable day. In fact, by falling short the bookshop cheered me up – I love it when predictions of doom come true.

You’ll have to read the next post to see why I was happy.

Ah! Forgot the title!

I’m trying to get back to posting every day, but I’ve just realised that I only have 32 minutes.

Julia went back to work today after her Maltese holiday, and found that the rhubarb has faded badly. On the plus side three of the nest boxes have newly hatched broods in them, so the winter of renovating the boxes has paid off. (All the new ones we made were sold off to raise money for new seeds and tools).

Meanwhile, it was the first blood test for a month (a reward for passing the test regularly). There was a staff shortage and, according to the phone conversation I overheard, there was a queue of 33. There had been a queue of 18 when I got there. It took an hour for me to be seen to, so someone was in for a long wait…

Looking at it with a positive slant, I had a book with me.

I loaded this with a minute to spare, and then had to edit to add a title and add categories/tags. There’s nothing like good organisation, as my mother used to say. And this was nothing like good organisation.

 

Things I Thought (But didn’t Write)

I always have more thoughts than I write about, and always seem to have more photographs than I can use too.

Here’s an opener – have you done Rachel McAlpine’s Older Blogger’s Survey? Obviously, many of my readers won’t be old enough to take it, and some of you are perpetually youthful, but one or two of you might find it useful. I found it interesting to get some of my thoughts in line.

Some of the other thoughts I’ve had are uncharitable ones about the idiot who taped my driving license to the court paperwork before sending it back. With finding a cloth and solvent it took me ten minutes to get it cleaned off.

Gloster Meteor stamp

Gloster Meteor stamp

I also wonder who thought it would be a good idea to design a car park where the exit doesn’t take coins, but insists on card payments in a badly lit machine that’s set at the wrong height. It might be OK for owls and midgets but it’s not good for me.

Then there’s the thoughts about British Telecom. We’ve been having a steadily worsening service, so Julia rang them on Saturday to sort things out. It took several hours and a number of false starts. They’ve been charging us too much and providing a shoddy service, neither of which they were prepared to correct. We still won’t be getting a refund but they are going to send us one of the latest routers (we have a Mark 2 and they are currently on Mark 6). They did offer to check the wiring in the house (and charge around £10) and charge us for a new router but Julia, growing ever shorter in temper as a result of her lack of sleep, managed to work a free router out of them. Of course, we haven’t got it yet, so we’ll see what happens.

A stream near Lound in Lincolnshire

A stream near Lound in Lincolnshire

Another thought that comes back to me from time to time is wondering if I’m in a hospital ward somewhere and all the WordPress comments on my blog are just voices in my head.

It could be, you never know. When I was younger I used to wonder if everyone saw the “blue” sky in the same way. What if they were seeing the colour I called “green”? Or even “orange”?

I’ve been dealing with several auctioneers recently – one of them won’t send items I buy with my debit card to any other address than the billing address. Three other auctioneers can do it, Paypal can do it, Amazon can do it, but this one particular auction house, it seems, can’t do it. To add insult to injury, the address I want to  use is one where they already send things.

Life can be very complicated in these days of electronic payments when everyone is scared of fraud. They will send it wherever I ask if I pay by bank transfer, but why should I give my bank details out?

That could easily develop into a rant, so I’ll change subjects now.

2013 £2 coin in presentation pack - commemoration

2013 £2 coin in presentation pack

The 2013 £2 is the first time a UK coin has ever commemorated another coin – in this case the Guinea of 1663. The Guinea is a very interesting coin. I won’t venture an opinion on the £2 as we just sold one of these packs on eBay.

 

I’ll finish up by dotting the post with some random unused photographs, which links us back to the first paragraph.

Thinking about it, there are a few first world problems here. I have just had a letter from Mary’s Meals and it might be a good idea to send them a few quid.

 

A Restful Sunday

I’m struggling to find anything to talk about.

I could talk about my new resolution to alter my entire life after watching Ninja Warriors. However, I would be wasting your time, as I think we all know by now that my resolutions rarely survive the week. Often they don’t actually survive a good night’s sleep.

This week I’ve developed a new way of amusing myself. As I’ve addressed envelopes to send off eBay parcels I’ve been looking the addresses up on Google. It’s very interesting seeing where people live, though I’ve only actually done it twice as it isn’t what I’m paid for, and it’s also a bit creepy.

However, it will probably form another part of the projected novel about the antique dealer and the mummy in the basement. I looked up references to mummies for sale last week – I didn’t find any but I did find an article about artifact smuggling.

There was a mummified head for sale on one site (5,000 Euros if you are interested) and a hand, complete with red nails, on another. I suppose you could build your own from bits if you had the time. I can’t find the links I need for the body parts but here is a link to an interesting auction.

I’m not quite sure where the novel is going, probably nowhere, but if it has antiques and mummies in it then it is off too a good start. I’m going to site the antique shop next to a cake shop and give them a customer who works in a quarry and has access to explosives. That, I think, covers the basics.

Having just eaten a slice of insipid cheesecake I may make the neighbour a cheesecake shop and indulge in some hard-hitting satire on flavourless food.

Anyway, that’s about all for now. Nothing much happened but Julia took the day off after her recent Mediterranean exertions (she describes Malta as being “all uphill”) so we didn’t have to get up at 5 am. It can’t be a bad day when that happens.

The daisy was one I took last week, but there are a lot about in the grass verges at the moment so I thought I’d use it again.

 

Just a Quick Note

I’m off to the airport in a minute to pick up Julia and Number Two Son.

It will be good to have them back, though I have enjoyed the peace and quiet.

That’s probably all I will have time to post today as I’ve been tidying up, sleeping in front of the TV and reading all evening instead of writing. Mostly sleeping and reading if I’m honest.

I was going to make something excellent in the oven for their return, but I ended up just buying some pasties and oven chips. Add a tin of beans and that should do.

In terms of good intentions I’m a bit of a disaster area.

But in terms of TV snoozing I’m world class.

Everyone needs to excel at something.