Tag Archives: accident

Six Thousand Shillings Sitting on a Shelf

We started sorting shillings at 10.00 and finished at 14.30. If we’d started four hours earlier, or spent another hour and a half sorting, it would take the tongue-twisting title to a whole new level.

A sixish start spending six hours sorting six thousand shillings sitting on a sagging shelf is not a sentence to be attempted lightly, or in polite company. Even for an alliteration addict like me, it’s a bit much.

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Silvery sorted shillings sitting in a sorting tray

The sets of  shillings are slowly taking shape. Coincidentally my back is also taking on a new shape, which is much more hunched than it was a couple of days ago. Shilling Sorters Spine is shortly going to be written up in The Lancet.  Or possibly the BMJ. One of my friends was once written up in one of them after the premature detonation of a cannon.

We were re-enacting the English Civil War in the Sealed Knot somewhere in Somerset (that’s not a security measure – I just can’t remember exactly where). The mop for swabbing out the barrel was a bit worn and it allowed a glowing ember to survive the operation. When the powder was rammed home the ember ignited the charge while he was still ramming.

This is clearly a bad thing.

Fortunately, because he was using good technique, the ramrod merely took the skin off his palms as it whistled across the “battlefield”. The blast also blew off his shirt sleeves and peppered his arms with fragments of black powder.

And that, when one of the doctors realised this was a rare chance to write up the hazards of muzzle-loading cannon, was how he appeared in the medical press.

We never did find his shirt sleeves…

Just to give you some idea of what the blast looks like I’ve purloined a photo from the web.

Image result for sealed knot cannon

 

Another of my mates was shot in the small of the back (mere inches above anywhere that would have provided a highly amusing and ribald anecdote) by a cannon at Naseby. But that is another story.

The Week in Brief and the Bookshelf Principle

Just catching up on a few things from the

On Wednesday we visited Dave for a Quercus meeting. It was a cheerful time despite the sadness of winding everything down. Once we’d poured the tea, passed round the cake  and discussed our health we watched the Tour of Britain on TV.

Nobody would mistake us for racing cyclists, but it was going round North Nottinghamshire and we were trying to spot places we knew. They had been sprouting yellow bikes and parking restriction notices for weeks so we knew where it was going. I had thought of going out to take photos but I fought off the temptation.

Although it was obviously sad for the participants it was also funny to see two cyclists disqualified for riding on the pavement.

The same could be said of the crash, as they came round a corner in Retford to find that a man with a Blue Badge had parked his car in the way. I am sorry for the rider who was injured, and the others who fell, both for the pain and the waste of all their preparation. However, I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t also funny to watch, even if there was something evil about my amusement.

It’s also an example of a disabled driver parking somewhere despite the danger. People seem to think that possession of a Blue Badge or the use of hazard warners mean they can park anywhere.

On Friday morning I saw a convoy of silver grey Rolls Royces in the mist, some with consecutive personalised number plates. There were ten of them, which tends to suggest that there is big money in the funeral business. It must have been a big family to need ten cars.

Later on Friday I found myself in Retford, thinking that it might be worth looking at the accident site to see if there was any broken glass left. I’m sure it would have sold on ebay. Unfortunately my mind works on the bookshelf principle and I didn’t hold on to the thought.

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Do I need to title this “Bookshelf”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the bookshelf principle, imagine a well-filled bookshelf with no ends. When you put another book on the shelf one falls off the end.

We used to use it (semi-jokingly) when coaching kids at the rugby club. Some of them had very short shelves and even a piece of litter blowing past could trigger sensory overload. As I’ve aged, I’ve begun to notice that my bookshelf has become shorter.

And that was how, when I saw someone I knew on the market, the ebay idea dropped off the end of the shelf.

Sometime this week I also published my 900th post, I think it was Friday but I sort of lost count. Or dropped another book…

A Tale of Two Cyclists

Second post of the day!

I’ve already written about the Ospreys, in an effort to catch up from last week, and now I’m going to write about bad weather and bicycles because that was the story of the morning.

On the way into town we came to the junction where a bus lane and two lanes of traffic squeeze into two lanes. It’s where I lost my mirror to a badly driven bus a few months ago. It’s also near where the town gallows used to stand and conveniently close to a cemetery. A couple of years ago I was caught on camera there and fined £30 for transferring to a bus lane five car lengths too early. All in all it’s a junction of ill-omen.

On the approach to the junction we had to stop when a cyclist pressed the button to stop traffic at a pedestrian crossing before riding across.

Highway Code Rule 79:  Do not ride across a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing.

Once across the road he proceeded to ride on the pavement, forcing several pedestrians out of his way.

Highway Code Rule 64: You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.  (Their bold capitals, not mine).

Fortunately, just when this was in danger of becoming a discussion about the lawless ways of two-wheeled reprobates, we spotted a second cyclist.

He was struggling in the rain and traffic and just missed being clipped by a bus mirror as he pulled out of the bus lane in front of me. After stopping he failed to get his shoe clipped back on the pedal and lurched in front of a second bus. As an encore he then repeated the manoeuvre and lurched the other way. Fortunately I was far enough back for it not to be an issue.

I have seldom seen such fortitude displayed in the face of  adversity. In the old days he would have been leading a bayonet charge or discovering the source of an exotic river. Modern life is short on bayonets and undiscovered rivers, so it’s nice to see an area of everyday life where fortitude can still be displayed.

 

An Awkward Moment and Some Good News

I went to the dentist this morning, which proved to be a prelude to an embarrassing episode. As I was leaving, I noticed a couple of small pools of liquid on the floor.Oh dear.

A quick inspection revealed that the tap on my leg bag was open. Whether this was due to me not closing it properly, or whether I caught it at some point, I don’t know. Fortunately it didn’t leak on me, just the floor.

This left me embarrassed, and the dentist with the impression that he must have frightened me.

Ah well, I suppose it had to happen some time. If you store urine in a bag attached to your leg you must expect accidents. After my time in Male Urology I know that worse things happen…

The good news is that my teeth passed muster, though the gums need attention. As a result I’ve been trawling the internet to check on ways to enhance my gum health.

It seems it’s all down to eating the right things, and not eating the wrong things. In other words, it’s just like other sorts of health.  As you would expect, some foods appear on both lists.

I may start writing lists for the blog. How about a list comprising chips, chocolate, cheese and cake?

One week it could be Four Foods to Avoid, the week after Four Favourite Foods and the week after that Food Alphabet – Letter C. That’s before the sound of barrel scraping and the inevitable What I’m Having for Tea Tonight.

Finally, some good news. I’ve just had a letter from the hospital. They want me to present myself with an overnight bag in two week’s time. I’m not getting too excited after what happened last time, but it does seem that there might be reason for hope.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Yes, we’ve cleared the board of the autumn display and put up some more Christmas decorations. We’ve signed a few Christmas cards the group are sending to other groups they belong to, hat making is under way and we all sniffed the Christmas cake this afternoon – it’s smelling good.

We put the Christmas tree up again. It looks like they had a private party at the weekend and knocked it over. No harm done but annoying all the same, particularly as they left a messy table and a strange smell in the air.

You may note that the tree is decorated with the remains of the saltdough animals we have been using for school visits – waste not, want not.

Apart from that I attended to the bird feeders, as noted in the previous post, wrote a post on kalettes for the other blog, put a goat back in the barn and lurked outside getting cold as I waited to photograph more birds. I came close to photographing a male bullfinch, but it was too quick for me. Apart from that there was little excitement until the table collapsed, flinging tea and telephones to the floor.

As we tried to clear the mess from the floor we were accompanied by wailing about phones. My reply (“That’s why we tell you not to bring phones and electrical equipment to the farm.”) didn’t go down too well. On the other hand, when you’re up to your ankles in tea and glitter you don’t want to know about phones, or hear the eternal “It wasn’t my fault.”.

Initially we were left with a mass of glitter in the joints between the floorboards but we managed to clear it out eventually. Well, Julia did. I lost interest and carried on writing about kalettes.

Great things kalettes, a proper old-fashioned cross between Brussels sprouts and kale (that is important as these days people tend to think any cross is a Frankenstein genetic modification job). It doesn’t need peeling,cooks quickly, tastes mild, is crammed full of goodness and looks decorative on the plate.

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Kalettes – new superfood or Emperor’s new greens?

 

What we did on our holidays

You can tell it’s holiday time because the roads are clear, the travelling is easier and there are groups of teachers wandering about dressed as ramblers.

So what did we do on our holiday?

Well, we started by looking at the new bantams and chicks to ensure they were OK.

Sadly there was a dead lamb in the barn. It had been found last night by a group of ramblers, having stuck its head through the sheep netting and then threaded it back through an adjacent square. You couldn’t do it if you tried. In the subsequent panic it strangled itself.

No you couldn’t make it up if you tried. The Farmer had been forced to cut the fence to remove it. That was how tight it had managed to wedge itself in.

Now, I don’t like losing animals at the best of times, and I certainly don’t like losing them to accidents, but this was so random that it is hard to see what we could have done differently.

My first job was to check the incubator and then to look up what a flashing “P” meant. Twenty minutes later I established it was a warning that it had lost power at some point. To be more precise, it had lost power when I unplugged it and moved it. So that was 20 minutes well spent.

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It stands for “Power”

Once everyone had arrived we had a good handling session with the new bantams and altered the housing arrangements for the chicks.

We collected eggs, fed the chickens, did a census of the (heat stress has seen a few of the old ladies off recently) and harvested cabbages. We planted Brussels Sprouts (or nobby greens as they are known in Nottingham), made lavender decorations, twisted corn dollies, showed two groups of visitors around (I keep hoping one of them will be an eccentric and generous millionaire). Julia brought what I thought was a small and tender beetroot in from the garden (I say tender but I have no intention of ever eating beetroot). It turned out to be a radish the size of a golf ball and I suspect it will be both woody and fiery to eat.

We also added more photos to the individual pages and did quite a bit of butterfly counting. (You may already have noticed that.)

And we brought the sun-dried peppers out of the polytunnel.

I think that’s all.

Now all we need to do is get the shopping list ready for tomorrow, get set up for yoga, prepare the kitchen.

Number Two son had a broken tooth extracted this afternoon. I wouldn’t normally bring domestic trivia to the blog, but I had to after asking him what time his appointment was.

Yes, it was two-thirty (tooth hurty – the classic joke time!). I tried not to laugh when he told  me.

It’s going to be a bundle of laughs tonight, me trying to suppress my mirth, Julia being motherly and him drinking his evening meal through a straw.