Author Archives: quercuscommunity

On the Way to Work

It was a blood testing day today. I went down for 7.30, missing the initial rush, and found myself third in the queue. Just minutes later I was in the chair, bled in seconds and was out of the car park so quickly there was no need to pay.

After that I picked Julia up, dropped her at work and was at the shop for 9.30. Keen or what?

We had 20 parcels to pack and after a brief pause to eat my marmalade sandwich (I don’t like to eat before the blood test) I set to work.

“A prudent bear always carries a spare marmalade sandwich tucked under his hat in case of emergencies.”

Paddington Bear

I sent a parcel to Slovenia today, which is a personal first, and another to Hawaii, which is a first for the shop. Last week I sent a parcel with a ZIP code of 90210. I’d been close a few weeks ago with 90211 but today I landed right on it. It’s little things like this that keep me happy during the day. I looked the areas up on Google, and it makes me feel quite exotic for the rest of the day.

That was as good as it got. I had the afternoon off, pottered about, listened to the radio as I drove up to Clumber Park, decided not to bother with Clumber Park as the light had gone…

It wasn’t, to be honest, much of an afternoon.

The photographs were taken while we were stuck in traffic on the way to work. We could do much in the way of composition but the colour was nice. There have been better mornings for colour, but not one where we had the camera out and a queue of stopped traffic. Then, being cocky, I took one of a reflection.

Reflected sunrise, Nottingham

Reflected sunrise, Nottingham

 

Some New Challenges

Whilst shopping this afternoon I had a flick through the cookery magazines.

That’s two challenges in one. The first is to stop buying magazines. They are expensive and never as useful as you think they are going to be. I’ll only be buying magazines this year if they have enough free seeds with them to justify the price.

To reinforce the message I’m going to remind myself that it takes me half an hour to earn the money to buy an average magazine.

Second challenge is to find some new recipes.

It’s easy to get bogged down with the same old things. Traybake, pasta bake, vegetable curry, fish pie, cottage pie, stew, hash…

I could do with some new ideas.

Fortunately, I don’t need to get ideas from magazines as there are loads of new ideas on the internet. I will have to see what I can find. I also have a big stack of cookery books. They have all come from charity shops and the food looks lovely.

Time too, I think, to get the slow cooker out again.

Not a Happy Man

Left home at 5.45 this morning to get Julia to work. Face was a bit puckered – felt like I’d been sucking lemons after a night of saline mouthwashes. I’m due at the dentist on Tuesday for round two of the epic tooth tug and want a nice clean mouth.

Went to the airport after that to pick up Number Two Son. Arrived 6.30. His relief was late and we didn’t get away until nearly 8.00. I used my time wisely – having taken a notebook with me, but the sunrise was a depressing, though dry, grey, so no photography.

We got home at 8.45, after a detour to reurn his office keys when he realised he still had them in his pocket.

Fortunately we hadn’t gone far.

Wrote this, mentally ticked another day off my 100. Going back to bed now and will hopefully rise, refreshed, to do the shopping.

 

Another 30 Minute Post

Once again the evening has been squandered with tea and biscuits and curry and poor quality TV. I regret the waste of time, when I have so many things to do, and I hadn’t planned on such a relaxing evening, but it’s been pleasant enough. The only problem is that I have to write a post in 30 minutes before taking Number Two Son to work.

If that seems familiar I can only apologise. I tried to write earlier but couldn’t find the enthusiasm.

Plans for the coming week include finishing the book I’m reading about William Dampier, reviewing a couple of other books and sending some more haibun off. The theory is that if I keep sending them off I will be forced to keep writing and improving. It seems sensible, but time will tell.

I’m also preparing a section of my collection for sale on eBay. It’s the part of my collection that I accumulated because it was cheap or included in lots with things I actually wanted. As such I really ought to call it my “collection” or my accumulation. When I’ve sold it I’m going to use it to buy more things. That’s the nice thing about collecting – you get to buy things for yourself on a constant basis.

It’s the Numismatic Society meeting on Monday. It’s comforting to get out and meet people with the same sorts of personality defects I have. I say “people”, but I mean middle-aged men. There is only one female member that I know of, and very few people under fifty.

And that’s it. Time’s up. I will now fill out the “Categories and Tags” and post for today. Only three days to go…

 

 

 

 

 

Four Days to Go. And Snowdrops.

I have four days to go before the end of my 100 post challenge. Hence the title.

Apart from that, I am short of inspiration.

I had a look round the MENCAP garden this morning. Here are some photographs.

Composting operations are going well, and the woodchip has all been tidied away. There’s even a scarecrow to guard the woodchip piles. This is an important part of the garden as the “soil” is, in places, only a few inches deep over the builder’s rubble that was left after the rebuilding of the school.

There is plenty of bird life about to, though they mainly manage to hide behind branches and prevent my autofocus working. Apart from the normal birds we also have a variety of gulls, terns, ducks, geese and cormorants flying overhead as we’re just the width of a path away from the River Trent. There were gulls and cormorants this morning but nothing stopped to pose for me.

A big project for the coming year is reskinning the smaller polytunnel. That’s what happens when you don’t have a policy of replacing things until they fall apart. Ideally, for you should reskin them after about three years as they become opaque and less light gets to the plants. This one has lasted seven or eight years so it hasn’t done badly. It finally became so brittle that it simply gave up. Julia taped it back together last winter but there’s now nothing to stick the tape on.

Polytunnel in distress

Polytunnel in distress

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Overwintering broad beans

At least there is a good cropof broad beans coming along…

More of the Same…

We only had three sales overnight, which was either a disappointment or an opportunity, depending on your view. We used the time to put more items on eBay. I’m gradually working my way through the box of oddments we’ve been building up.

The competition for most fatuous question of the year is hotting up already, but “How much is a Charles Dickens £2 coin worth?” has set the bar fairly high. The clue is in the question. It’s worth £2. That’s how money works.

Charles Dickens

Picture taken from Change Checker, a great resource for information on modern coins.

It seems that the enquirer hadn’t seen one before and, fuelled by newspaper and internet reports, was hoping it would be rare and valuable. The truth is that so many people are looking for “rare” coins that they all get taken out of circulation and nobody ever does see them. However, there were a number on eBay at up to £3,745 so you can’t blame people for thinking they are valuable.

There were 8,190,000 minted, so I’m guessing they aren’t really rare.

I’m sure there will be a couple more contenders before the end of the year.

I’ve been reading The Spring Journey to the Saxon Shore. It’s the pioneering British haibun and it’s very good. It’s now on my “to review” list. First I’m going to read it again. It was £7 from the author but £13.45 from Amazon. Guess where I bought my copy from.

 

I see we already have three sales on eBay, including something I loaded today. That should keep me occupied for the first half hour.

And now, as midnight draws close, it’s time to go. See you all tomorrow.

 

Distractions…

I have 25 minutes before I have to take Number Two Son to work, so just 25 minutes to write this post. I’ve had all day to do it, but haven’t been able to concentrate and get anything written.

I’m slightly distracted by the different colours that seem to have appeared on WordPress. My “Publish” button is an unattractive shade of red, instead of green and several other things have changed colour too. I’d love to know why, as it’s definitely not an improvement. Things were fine just the way they were, and I can’t help thinking there were more important things to do, like fixing the inability of my site to search for photos that are more than a couple of weeks old.

Apart from that, I’m distracted by the number of things I have to do. I have three book reviews to write, for instance, but can’t seem to get to grips with any of them.

At least I managed to run a few errands with Julia today (it was an unadventurous day off today) and finish a book that arrived in the post yesterday. It was a short book.

And so, in twelve minutes I’ve accomplished what I couldn’t manage in the previous twelve hours.

Amazing what a little time pressure will do.

When I post this I will be in the final week of my 100 post challenge and down into single figures for the haiku challenge. Time to think of what will replace them. I’ve gone off the 100 tearoom challenge as I’m having to think of my weight.

The photographs are from a visit to Anderby Creek in 2017, which was a day I remember fondly.