Monthly Archives: March 2019

And Again!

Sorry about last night. I didn’t have a lot of time between returning home from seeing my Dad and setting off to take Number Two Son to work. In between the two events I ate tea, shouted at TV, lost my sense of humour and realised that I only had fifteen minutes to write a post. I do have a little time after getting back from dropping him off, but it can be a bit touch and go. I will try not to let it happen again.

Unfortunately, the gardens have been attacked again. All the plants that escaped destruction last time have been tipped over, crushing seedlings and losing seeds, including seeds bought by individual members of the group. A lemon tree, which has been growing in a pot for several years has been smashed to pieces, all the drawers searched, screws, nails and tools thrown around and Feathers McGraw has been dismantled again. They also damaged the plastic in the door this time.

The group members are upset, perplexed and annoyed. The police are doing their best. Julia has been preparing a press release, hoping to get some support and possibly donations, but she’s been told not to by her boss, and even banned from putting anything about the attacks on their private Facebook group.

This has put the start of the growing season back by a couple of months. Thank goodness we hadn’t moved the new cacti and succulents down to the gardens.

On the plus side, they sighted Brimstones, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Hummingbird Hawkmoths.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

We’ve entered the sighting on the Butterfly Conservation sightings page – there are 84 for the UK this year, and three in the area (Burton, Derby and Ripley), or 85 and four, after ours.

Sorry it’s a poor photo, but it’s the best I have, and I prefer to use my own when I can.

A Very Quick Post

Bribery, bloodshed, Stone Age values, corruption, anarchy…

No, not Game of Thrones, just a comment on the Prime Minister’s disastrous European dealings and her alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party.

I feel ashamed to be governed by these idiots and soiled by the way the future of the country is being decided by the bigots of the DUP.

There was a time when you bribed someone and they stayed bribed but after Theresa May secured the votes of the DUP with promises of billions in aid, they now turn round and are likely to betray her.

At one time you could rely on the venality of politicians, promise some cash and some knighthoods and carry the day.

What is happening.

We even have a power-crazed person of restricted growth – in our case The Speaker, rather than Tyrion Lannister.




I helped Julia unload the car this morning, as we had various donations from home and neighbours  for the garden.

After that I started taking some flower pictures, until cursing from Julia alerted me to the fact that all was not well in the polytunnel.

I made my way across at a rapid amble (which is about as quick as I get these days) to find that all was not well. The tunnel had had visitors during the night and they had not behaved well.

It could have been worse, as they hadn’t touched the tunnel itself. They had, however, thrown plants on the floor, decapitated Feathers McGraw, rifled the tools, looked through drawers, and emptied the canes from newly made bug boxes onto the floor.

The perpetrators then went on to interfering with cars in the school car park (there were evening classes in progress). It seems that the school doesn’t have cameras in the car park. They have disclaimer notices up so, it seems, they don’t bother with security.


A Dream with an Unlikely Plot

I normally find dreams difficult to remember, and find most of them, including my own, to be incomprehensible and dull.

On the other hand, I need a subject to write about before going to work and packing 3,000 sixpences. It’s going to be a tedious morning and I may not feel like posting after a morning sorting obsolete small change.

Last night, having already slept for five hours in the afternoon/evening, I went to bed and slept deeply again. This wasn’t unexpected as I still have the last stages of a cold, have spent two nights from the last four sitting up until 4 am wrestling poetry submissions into shape, and got up earlier than was ideal yesterday.

The dream started with me in the middle of the action, eavesdropping on Nigel Farage on the eve of his wedding in a Scottish Castle, as he outlined his cunning plan to usurp the British Royal Family using the pedigree of his new wife (who was, it seems, connected to royalty in the distant past).

As plots go, it has a few holes, as I’m not sure what Farage’s current marital status is, how succession to the royal family works and, more importantly, how you go about usurping something.

I’m guessing, with his political history, that he’d take whatever steps were needed to marry, that the lady must have been of Stuart stock, and that you don’t just go down to Buckingham Palace, knock on the door and tell the House of Windsor to sling their hooks. There would, I assume be a protocol to usurpation, which Farage, being privately educated, and having worked in the City, would know about. Otherwise there would be a definite danger that Prince Harry, egged on by his grandfather, would take a horsewhip to the oily oik and cut his dreams of grandeur down to size.

Jacobites have never done well in their attempts to retrieve the throne.

The second part of this unlikely dream centred round my attempts to buy a compass late at night in the Scottish Highlands, pinning most of my hopes on finding a late night TESCO. I’m fairly sure that late night superstores are thin on the ground in the Highlands.

I needed the compass, and a torch, in order to navigate a microlight through the night to London to alert the Royal Family to the danger they were in.

Yes, I realise there are holes in this plot too, including the danger, when knocking on the door of Buckingham Palace with my warning, of Prince Harry etc…

I’m also pretty sure, as I write, that this dream is loosely based on a John Buchan novel.

Why, you may ask, would you need a compass when a mobile phone holds enough technology to land me on the moon, not just London? That’s similar to a plot point in Iron Sky, though I would like to point out I’ve never actually seen it, just read about it.

Anyway, even if I had a compass, and access to a microlight, why would they send a fat man who is scared of heights on an important mission like that.

Come to think of it, why not just phone and tell people.

It’s a good thing I woke up, as there was obviously going to be a point where the whole thing just became very silly.

Microlight over Sandsend

Laundry, Driers and the Decline of Moral Standards

Julia’s new routine means that we no longer have to be up at five on a Sunday morning. However, Number Two Son is still working for another month, so I’m still getting up at six to pick him up at seven.

It puts some shape in my day, which is something that worries me about our new routine – it’s going to be easy to have a lie in and waste the day.

After getting him home I filled the car with laundry and headed off in hope of beating That Bloody Woman to the driers. It went quite well. The laundrette was empty apart from The Big Lad so I filled three small washing machines and set them going. It nearly worked.

Two of them finished, and I got the contents into driers. At that point, the Other Bloody Woman walked in. She doesn’t even wash in the launderette, just waltzes in with bags of wet washing and takes four of the seven machines. She filled two machines and went out to get her other bags. So I grabbed a sweatshirt from one of my driers and chucked it into a spare drier to stop her taking all four. She wasn’t particularly happy when she returned to find the drier taken, but I had, at least, left her the last one, which is more than she would have done for me. Three minutes later my last machine finished and I filled it so I my conscience was only mildly bothered. I hadn’t spent half an hour washing just so that I could allow someone else to walk in and take all the driers.

I’m not sure that I’m a good person these days. All this drier politics is eroding my sense of right and wrong…


Scone Chronicles XIV

I picked Julia up after I left work yesterday and went to Sainsbury’s in Arnold. As we’ve already reported on the scones, I decided to try the toasted teacakes. They have a peculiar dense texture but they toast well, take plenty of butter, and contain a lot of fruit.

Unfortunately the standard of hygiene was worse than last time and the toilets proved to be either untidy or out of action. The tables were so bad that I was unable to wipe the first one down with a napkin and we had to move. It had clearly been worked on by a sticky child with time, and jam, on its hands.

This isn’t good enough.

My sister tells me that things are just as bad in the Sainsbury’s in Peterborough.

We can’t tell whether it’s an attempt at saving money or if they are synchronising themselves with ASDA for the merger.


Toasted Teacake, Sainsbury’s, Arnold

Just a short post today as I’m still tired after coughing and sneezing my way through the night.

We had a good day today, but nothing interesting enough to displace my planned discussion of toasted teacakes.


Home Brewery Company stone

The architectural feature is from the Home Brewery Company building that was knocked down to make was for the supermarket and car park. It now stands beside the entrance of Sainsbury’s on Sir John Robinson Way. Sir John Robinson not only founded the Home Brewery Company but founded a number of local almshouses for the old and poor – a subject close to my heart.

The Mood Begins to Lift

The day started badly when Julia went out to the car this morning, and found that the windows  were all down. It’s happened once before – and with other cars. I always think it’s something to do with the automatic locking, though I never quite work out how it happens. Fortunately it was a dry night and nothing was taken.

This is one of the reasons I don’t like electric windows. I didn’t want them, I didn’t ask for them, I just bought a Volkswagen about 20 years ago and found that I had no window winders, just buttons. Over the years I spent several hundred pounds on repairs and ended up with three windows held shut with blocks of wood as the car eventually ended up being worth less than the cost of repairing a window motor.

Fortunately, the rest of the day was better and I was even able to look at novelty sporrans on-line. Even better, I was able to marvel at the irony that it’s a vegan taxidermist who is hollowing out many of the animals for the new wave of sporrans. If I’d merely seen the words I’d have assumed she was mounting prize vegetables for proud owners.

Julia found a bag of watches today as we continued tidying. It’s a mystery why I placed my two everyday watches in a bag with two broken watches (gardening is hard on watches). It’s even more of a mystery how they ended up in a box in the dining room.

I suspect that Julia’s definition of “tidying” has had a hand in this. She thinks that simply moving my stuff round and hiding things has some sort of benefit. I don’t.

It’s been a stressful few days.

We’ve discovered four boxes of VHS tapes which I thought had all gone years ago, eight bags of books (frankly, I’d rather give the kids away), a box of continuous computer paper (for a type of printer I haven’t used for 20 years) and the thick end of a hundred rounds of shotgun ammunition which I’d forgotten about.

That’s a long story, revolving around moving to town, giving up shooting, then giving up re-enacting, then having children. And, above all, being disorganised, with a bad memory.

I hadn’t realised that most local police stations no longer have a counter service. It took three attempts to find one that was open, but it went smoothly enough after that.

Finally there was the £30 in copper I had managed to accumulate. It cost me ten percent, using the machine in the supermarket, but the remaining £27 paid for the groceries, and it was a lot easier than counting it all out into bags for the bank and making a special journey.

And that’s about it for today.


A Developing Downward Trend

Sorry everyone, I’ve been in poor form regarding writing posts (and even worse form for reading) over the last week or two.

I’m hoping for an improvement over the next day or two, though the way things are going I’m not going to promise too much. I will, I’m sure, be getting rid of the stinking cold that Julia passed on to me and, with any luck I will be able to sneak in a scone or two. This should do a bit to lift the mood.

The downward trend started last week and has persisted. Today’s events were my camera developing a fault and my computer unilaterally, and unexpectedly, uninstalling Word.

You know that things are bad when even inanimate objects hate you.

This is not the end of my bad patch. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning, as Churchill said. I took some photos of Churchill coins this afternoon so this is fresh in my mind.


I’ve titled the photos with links to see if it generates any business. If it doesn’t work try this one for the Royal Mint two-coin set, and this one for the Alderney four coin set.

Sorry about the black spots, it’s something stuck in the camera viewfinder and I couldn’t get the editor to work.



I’m really struggling to get going tonight, after a day of cleaning and tidying. So I’m going to apologise, bung in a photograph or two, aologise for re-using photos, and admit defeat. I may blog later after I return from dropping Number Two Son off at work.


Robin in a Tree






Dullness Personified

This morning we only had two parcels to do, which didn’t take long. In the afternoon we had four more sales. I suspect some people were bunking off and using the office computer for eBay instead of work.

The rest of the day was taken up with refilling drop down menus (which can be tricky if you let your mind drift), sorting coin covers (as in First Day Covers with coins on, not covers for coins) and drinking coffee.

It wasn’t the most interesting day I’ve ever had.

As you look at the pictures of First Day Covers, and your eyes glaze over, you may understand my view.

There was a letter from the Anticoagulant Service when I got home – I have passed yesterday’s blood test and as a reward I now have three weeks until the next test.

A busy evening followed, as I began work on my talk for the Numismatic Society.

I’m sure the enthusiasm will wear off soon…

Now I’m off to pick No2 Son up from work – he had a late shift today. It’s misleadingly named as the night shift is, of course, much later.

I’m not sure how long I can sustain this level of excitement.

I would say “be still, my beating heart”, but considering the dire warnings I keep getting from the Anticoagulant Service this might be tempting fate.