Tag Archives: blackthorn

Management a le poulet sans tete

Just thought I’d showcase my European credentials and vestigial schoolboy French. Also thought I’d avoid the use of English as I know a number of the words I’d like to use are, whilst accurate, likely to cause offence.

We have moved from a stance of splendid  imperturbability to one of headless chicken panic. It took 24 hours. Even news programmes are using words like “drastic escalation” and “dramatic step change”. As of the weekend we will be expected to stop mixing with people and if you are over 70 you have to stay at home for the next three months.



If you were to do a bit of minor theft or low level drug dealing you probably wouldn’t get sentenced to three months. Seems that septuagenarians are currently less socially desirable than petty criminals.

It’s not really going to make a lot of difference to me as I am not noted for visiting pubs, theatres and sporting events. I see a few people in the shop but that is it, and as much of our work consists of packing parcels we can’t do it from home.

It’s actually possible, as Julia has signed us up to a neighbourhood help network, that I’ll be seeing more people than I normally do. I have protested that I’m too old to start being nice to people but, as usual, I have been over-ruled.

On a lighter note, the blackthorn is now in flower, which is always my indicator that Spring has sprung. There is a lot of gorse out around Nottingham now, though that isn’t such a good indicator as there is always some gorse in bloom somewhere.

When gorse is out of flower, kissing is out of fashion, as the saying goes.



My camera card is playing up so the photographs are from my spare card. They are bright and cheery even if they aren’t taken today.

Quick week, sloe sherry

Thursday went by in a flash and Friday wasn’t much better, so it’s now Saturday and this is another of those catch-up posts.

First photo is a night shot of the Christmas tree and fountains at Sneinton Market. Technically it isn’t great but it has the tree and fountains and I thought I’d be a bit festive.



The rest of the time, when I haven’t been catching up on my reading of other blogs, has been taken up with parties, Men in Sheds, sloe gin, sloe sherry, looking up recipes, tidying cupboards and procrastination.

The sloe gin is looking a bit light, though it often does in photographs, but is tasting OK. I’m also making sloe sherry this year, a drink I didn’t know existed until a couple of months ago. After bottling the gin I put the sloes back in the bottle and covered them in a bottle of Sainsbury’s sherry. Yes, it’s that simple. The choice of sherry took more time than the “making”.

In two months I expect to have a dark, sloe flavoured drink that is also good added to stews and gravies. I say “expect” but as yet I have no personal experience. For £5.50 it’s a gamble worth taking.


Meanwhile the “shed” is making progress. We now have the skeleton of a vestibule, so the wind won’t be so much of a problem from now on. We also have the stud work up for a wall to shelter us from wind from the back door. Yesterday we sited the chalk crosses on the walls where our new sockets are going to be fitted, so things are looking up. At the moment we’re using just two sockets and a rat’s nest of extension leads, which is, to put it mildly, a practical and Health and Safety nightmare.

Imagine that you are working on the lathe when someone wants to plug the kettle in. It’s rare we manage this without either the lathe going off or one of the lights going out.

Two more donated filing cabinets were delivered yesterday (meaning we have more and better cabinets in the shed than we do in the office).

By the time we come back in January it will be a lot better from so many points of view.