Tag Archives: snow

Snow, Swans, Superglue

In the end, the snow settled, even if it was a bit wet and half-hearted. It was less evident by the time I arrived at work (it’s always less snowy at that side of town) and by the time we closed it was a bright sunny day with no snow. We do, unsurprisingly, have a touch of snow remaining round the house – shade and a northern aspect hindering the thaw.

I saw two swans flying over on the way to work this morning, and, on he way back from work, saw a cormorant flying over. Judging from its direction of flight it was aiming for the lakes at the Jubilee Campus. I suspect the fish are growing to a decent size as the lakes become more mature.

Did I mention I got some pension documents through the post earlier in the week? I had some more today. Retirement, which had been seeming quite distant, is now a lot closer. Part of this is that although I have over a year until I retire, my work pension is available in a few months. This is what happens when the government tinkers with systems. In the next few months I will be making some important decisions.

One plan I am considering is gathering all my cash together and sticking it all on red for a single spin of the roulette wheel. If it goes well I will have a more comfortable old age. If it comes up black I’m in deep trouble.

After yesterday’s post we had one of those married couple discussions. We have agreed to add superglue to the list of things I am not allowed to handle unless under supervision. If she reads this I’ll probably find that roulette tables have been added too.

Day 90

It snowed this morning. The first snow of the year, and only the second lot of the winter. It lasted a minute. The rest of the day was taken up with a mixture of sunshine and precipitation – rain, hail, snow, sleet and graupel. It was the sort of day that a snow connoisseur would love, so many types, falling long enough to show itself off, but failing to settle.

If I say that was the exciting part of the day, you will probably get the general idea that the rest of the day generated little worth writing about. We didn’t have  a single customer enter the shop to buy or sell, and when we started, only had one customer on eBay. That developed during the day  and we sold several more items and had a number of emails asking question.

The Prize Question of the day was “Will you take £1,000 for this?” It was a modern set of silver medallions and is priced at £2,995. We thanked the offeree and said we were unable to accept his offer. I checked online but can’t find any trace of National Wind Up a Coin Dealer Day or International Stupid Question Week.

They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but I disagree.


Spring in the Mencap Garden

Another customer, from Brazil, has been pestering us about postage costs to Brazil. He wants us to post him something at les than it will cost us to post and keeps telling us that he buys a lot of coins from British dealers with that sort of postage. It’s been going on for several days with him sending us screenshots of people who charge less postage to Brazil than we do. At least half our parcels to Brazil end up with claims that they were lost, or with Brazilian customs sending them back for unknown reasons, so we aren’t that bothered if he doesn’t buy the coin.

That was one of the first lessons I learnt in selling, apart from the ones about honesty and punctuality, some business just isn’t worth having, so move on. It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

Daffodils at the Mencap Gardens


A Tour Around the Internet

February has a habit of catching me out. Spring starts to drop hints, the birds begin to act amorously and then it snows. Even in years that are generally free of snow February often manages to squeeze out a few flakes. As I’ve said before, it probably wouldn’t be considered snow in many countries that get proper snow, but in the UK a couple of inches for a couple of days brings us to a halt.

It’s a bit like those summer heatwaves we have – we don’t get one every year and they only last a couple of days. We all complain and need a lie down in temperatures that would be considered mild in Australia.

As a result, we have few snowploughs and no domestic air conditioning.

However, that doesn’t stop me complaining that it’s unseasonably nippy this morning. Nor does it stop me becoming a stereotype, British and talking about the weather. Whatever next? I’ll be on to Europe, immigration and capital punishment next.

Talking of which, I’ve just been looking at Albania on Wikipedia. I find that it is a member of two organisations I had not previously heard of – the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean. I didn’t even realise it was on the Black Sea. And when I check it up, it isn’t. Quite a few of the members aren’t on the Black Sea, and when you check the “Observer Members” the link becomes even more tenuous – they include Egypt and Israel (which must make for some fun meetings), France, Poland, Tunisia and the United States.

It’s much the same with the Union for the Mediterranean, but the entire EU is in that one – even Ireland, which it’s notably lacking in olive groves and sparkling blue seas. It seems, from reading the Wiki entry, that this is not a particularly effective organisation. One meeting ground to a halt when nobody could agree whether to refer to certain territories as  “occupied” or “under occupation”.  Such is life as an international diplomat.

It’s a good thing I don’t blog about politics or I might be tempted into sarcasm.

There is, it seems, tension between the EU and some of the less progressive states over Human Rights. This led me to checking which countries still executed homosexuals, and then to checking where the UK stood on this.   We last executed men for homosexual activity in 1835. Times and sensibilities were different then, but it was a surprise to find it was so recent.

So there you are, a discussion on the weather followed by world politics and capital punishment for something which isn’t actually a crime in the UK. Only on the internet…


An Excellent Apple Crumble and an Amusing Book

Today started reasonably well and has ended up not being too bad.

That’s probably not the most inspiring opening, but it’s a fair summary. I have managed to get another submission done, have polished up a few bits for another one, tries writing a new form and still had time to cook.

We had shop-bought fishcakes tonight, with roasted cauliflower and cheese sauce (using the remains of the cheese sauce from yesterday’s Welsh Rarebit), potato wedges and sweetcorn. It was tasty, reasonably nutritious, and beige. I didn’t photograph it because the light golden brown fishcakes were the most colourful bit. The sweetcorn had faded to magnolia (it was half a tin left over from the fish pie), the cauli was off white and the sauce was made with white cheese and Dijon mustard, so was light beige.  It would not have looked good on film.

After that we had apple crumble, which is basically a beige topping on a magnolia base. Again, tasty but uninspiring in a photographic sense.

Apart from that, it snowed. Several times. There wasn’t much but as it fell on frozen snow we could have done without it.

I’m sure other things happened in between, but I’m having trouble recalling them. All I want is another 41 words and I can sign this off and go to bed. Then, later in the week, I can have  another blood test. The amount they have been tapping off recently you’d think I was made of the stuff.

Number One Son bought me a book club subscription for Christmas and the first one just arrived – The Diary of a Nobody. If I believed in fate anything like that, I’d think this was a message from a higher power. I am reading a chapter a night and picking up a few tips on diary writing as I go along.



Writing for a Future Reader

It snowed, I wrote, it melted. I cooked two meals, Julia returned. We had bacon hotpot for tea, she said it was salty. The night grew frosty then it snowed again. I watched TV, fell asleep, woke up, made sandwiches and, in the early hours, decided it was time to blog. It will be one of those dull blogs written with a future reader in mind and full of dreary detail about lockdown.

There is something wrong with my routine. I am now in a rut – falling asleep in the evening so I am not sleepy at night. I then work into the early hours, have trouble waking, and feel tired during the day.

It is, as a result, difficult to say whether my lack of inspiration in the last week has been due to being tired, or being uninspired.

Julia has still not had the promised test kit from work and I am not working tomorrow because we don’t know whether she is asymptomatic or just healthy. It is an annoying situation, as I am trying to do the right thing but am stuck in limbo. If she’s clear I’m clear. If she’s positive I’m in isolation for 14 days. Or, if I fly in from abroad, I can self-quarantine for 10 days. Not quite sure why the two things are different.

I just looked at the rules. She has been in close contact with someone with Covid so should be in quarantine, but is being told by work that she should keep going in and test. I have not been in contact with anyone with Covid (in the absence of a test) and  don’t have to quarantine. But if I go to work I will come into close contact with someone who has a health condition and two people who have responsibilities caring for elderly relatives. I don’t want to be responsible for spreading it to the parents of other people after what happened to my father.

It’s an annoying situation to be in. However, it’s not appropriate to discuss my views on the way people are managing this, as I may be rude about people who can’t defend themselves.

Unfortunately, her contact came both before and after her vaccination, so it has had no time to work yet. Full protection takes two weeks.

I have been looking at private tests but there are several different tests available and several different prices. One was offered locally but they didn’t name a price. I can, however, have liposuction at the same place. There are at least two different tests and prices range from £65 to £135.

We can’t get NHS tests because we have no symptoms and, according to the website will be taking a test away from somebody who really needs it (we still have limited testing capacity, it seems).

Sorry, it’s a dull post, but in years to come I like to think it will be  an interesting historical document. I keep having visions of  a future PhD student basing a stellar thesis on my lockdown ramblings.. OK, maybe “interesting” was the wrong word – let’s try useful.

I’m off to bed now. I will review and publish this in the morning.

Snow and a Slow Start to the Day

Julia went to work by bus this morning. I felt so guilty that I got up at 6.30 to make sure her breakfast was ready when she got down. It was only tea, cereal and toast, so hardly the most onerous of breakfast.

We are back on the Weetabix so it needs some time to soak. I don’t like Weetabix because it’s often crunchy due to lack of time in the mornings. However, Julia doesn’t like Bran Flakes, my weapon of choice in the war for fibre and regularity, so we alternate – each one of us gritting our teeth and eating cereal we don’t like to accommodate the other. I suppose that’s what marriage is all about at times. When we retire I think I will make porridge every morning. We both like that.  We could, I suppose, have two boxes open but I regard this as vain and wasteful. I was brought up to be modest and frugal.

She left me with a lecture about doing housework while she’s out. Housework? And ruin a perfectly good writing day?

I’ve had a go at the washing up and I have plans afoot for cooking tea – I think I’ll try a vegetarian version of last week’s casserole for tonight and make chickpea and sweet potato curry for tomorrow, In a minute I will do some shredding. I can do that without moving from my chair.

I’ve just realised that you are probably wondering why Julia had to travel by bus. WE had snow at the weekend, and in England that means we grind to a halt. We had snow on Saturday but it fell early enough for the daytime temperatures to melt it. We had snow yesterday, but it started inn the afternoon and froze overnight. That means that the street we live on is, based on previous experience (32 winters) is a touch slippery and the slope down to the main road holds all sorts of possibilities. I’m getting more cautious on the roads as I grow older, and as my car insurance premiums increase. If it doesn’t melt today, it’s likely that we will have a surface like a skating rink for the next week. I will review the situation tomorrow.

At the moment the sun is out, next door’s conifer has turned green and the roof of the house below us on the hill is starting to show black slates through the snow. I’m hopeful.

It’s not bad weather, it’s bad preparation. When you only have a couple of snowy days a year it’s hardly worth the effort and expense of preparing for snow.

Just before starting work I had a call on the landline – this is usually the sign of a scammer. It turned out to be  a really pleasant Indian gentleman in a call centre. Apparently, all this working from home is playing havoc with broad band availability and our router has been sending out messages. Could I switch my computer on so that he could check the situation?

Yes, I said, as soon as he gave me his identity code. Identity code? Yes, the one supplied by the service provider so I knew callers weren’t trying to scam me.. Ah, he said, he wasn’t actually from the service provider, he was acting on their behalf. Well, I said, it’s unfortunate that they hadn’t given him the code. If he rang them for it, I’d be happy to talk to him further as soon as he got back to me with it.

I actually feel better than I do after I have swearing at a scammer. It’s so much nicer to be polite, waste their time and then disappoint them.

Snowy Detail

Snow pictures are from last year.

Snow, TV and Haibun

It snowed today. First it was slow, soft flakes, then ice clicking on the  windows and, after the wind fell, icy particles falling quickly. I’ve never really looked at snow so closely before. Perhaps it’s true that you watch nature more closely when you write haiku. Or maybe, in the absence of Murder She Wrote, merely means I have time to stare out of the window. It’s a rare day when Jessica Fletcher is absent from our screens, but today seems to be such a day. I had to watch Father Dowling instead.

I use snow in the English sense. It fell a couple of hours ago, gave us a light dusting and has now almost gone. This is, to be fair, early for English snow as it often doesn’t appear until January or February, and some years we have none at all. It may be thicker on the uplands and in Scotland, but compared to many places we don’t really have snow in the UK. We do have disruption caused by snow, but that’s because most of us have no equipment to cope with it.

Big news of the day is that Issue Six of Drifting Sands Haibun is now out and thy have shown exquisite taste in selecting one of mine. I could link directly to mine but will, instead, be more modest and just link to the magazine. Scroll down to Wilson for mine, but read some of the others on the way. From the ones I’ve read so far, I have to say that this is one of my favourite issues.

It’s now time to have lunch and complete the online grocery order. Whatever I die from, I doubt that it’s going to be stress. I’m feeling quite serene at the moment, in the absence of work, modern life and the need to wear shoes. There’s something very relaxing about life in slipper socks.

I’m currently working on a post about the RNLI, but, as usual, gathering the information takes me longer than writing a quick note on daily life, which is why slipper socks and snow rose to the top of the pile.

Tuesday – the new Monday

This morning, as Julia struggled to work by bus again, I relaxed, ate toast and watched the weather report on TV. The forecast stated that there was a weather warning in Derbyshire, that there might be snow on high ground and that it might rain at lower levels. That was all very much like the forecast yesterday, which proved to be so badly wrong.

As I thought of yesterday’s events, and the unexpected snow, a flurry of medium flakes drifted past the window.

“Well, well,” I muttered as I watched them fall.

After about twenty seconds and several dozen flakes they stopped falling. It hardly seemed worth the trouble.

Work was fairly average. There were only six parcels to pack, a much more restful number than yesterday’s 28. We had several people bringing coins in to sell, including three who wanted to sell metal detector finds. One wanted too much money and one had boxes of interesting, but low quality, junk. We did, however, buy a sixpence of Queen Elizabeth I and a Saxon sceatta.


Less interesting than a Saxon Coin

This is how life in a coin shop should be – we have been a bit quiet recently and it’s nice to be busy.

I also put a number of coin sets on eBay. It’s not the glamorous end of the coin trade (if such a thing exists) but someone has to do it. Life can’t all be Gold Nobles of Henry V. This was what last night’s speaker found when he detected a Gold Noble on Time Team shortly after starting detecting. He hasn’t found one since!


Tristan da Cunha has a lot to answer for

I’m going to post this now and then come back to put the photos up, otherwise it will never get posted before midnight. To be fair, it’s not just photos, everything takes ages on this Netbook.

Just finished – it took just over half an hour!

Some Unexpected Snow

We did expect snow this afternoon, it was just that we were expecting it in a different place. It was supposed to be on high ground in Derbyshire. Instead, it snowed on the low ground of Nottingham.


Carlton Hill – Nottingham

At 12.30 pm it started to rain. By 1.00 it had started to resemble a wintry shower.Then it began to look like snow, which it wasn’t, as none was forecast. By the time I parked by the side of the road it was beginning to stick.

I nearly went straight home, as I had things to do, but I went to visit the jewellers instead and watched from their office window as the flakes became larger and formed a four inch blanket of snow.

That, of course, was just the start of my problems.As I sat in the car to come home, the road seemed to fill with traffic. I cut through a side street and joined a main road. If only I had known what horrors lurked ahead…


Snow in the Trees

I won’t bore you with details, but will merely point out that a fifteen minute journey took me two hours as the traffic system of Nottingham proved unable to accommodate snow and travel at the same time. I actually had to stop at KFC to use the toilets. Such are the demands of an ancient  bladder.


Porchester Road – Nottingham

This gave me plenty of time to take photos, as a lot of the time was spent parked and waiting. It was, at the same time, both very annoying and an opportunity for photography.

It’s currently melting nicely, and I’m hoping that driving conditions will be good in the morning.


In the evening I battled with the remains of the day’s gridlock as I made it through to the Numismatic Society meeting. The speaker had managed to make it, so it seemed only fair to turn up, despite the temptation to stay at home. He was talking about his hobby – metal detecting – and was an entertaining speaker.  I now have just 4 weeks to prepare my presentation…

It seems the bridge will be staying closed for a few days more, and that the Highways Agency has been way out in its estimates of the re-opening. Julia is back on the bus tomorrow. I feel guilty but the bus was delayed badly today, and is likely to be delayed tomorrow, despite using bus lanes. In a car we have no chance of getting through without queuing for hours.


Detail on a Snowy Day

Pre-emptive Post

It’s going to be a busy day today so I’m writing a post in the morning to make sure that I get one done today. It’s not quite my Dad’s 90th birthday but we’re having a party today and another one on Saturday. That way we maximise the number of guests without causing any over-excitement. With the average age of the guests, you don’t want anyone getting over-excited. Or having too much sugar.

I won’t be able to go on Saturday but Julia will be going, as will both kids (work permitting).

Snow is forecast, which is worrying my sister as she doesn’t want me driving in dangerous conditions. We don’t handle snow well in general in the UK, but I’ve covered that before. We have an inch or two a year and the country grinds to a halt. We are always caught unprepared and by surprise. Those of you blogging from America, with your eight inches in one day and your own mini snow ploughs, don’t know how lucky you are.

If I win the lottery I’m going to spend the winters somewhere that doesn’t have snow. I’m tempted to spend it somewhere that doesn’t have Christmas either.

Health news is good.

Monday’s blood sample met with approval and my next appointment is now three weeks away. Three whole weeks!

My arthritis has subsided.

Even my face is feeling quite good, though the remaining stitches show no sign of dissolving. This is slightly worrying as I once had stitches that healed into my eyelid. They took some getting out. I’m hoping to avoid a replay of that one.


Pills. These are bigger and brighter and more photogenic than my normal ones.

I’m off in a minute to collect the balance of my prescriptions. They managed to give me three out of the four items last week and the doctors’ receptionist told me that was because I’d only ordered three.

This clearly isn’t true, but I smiled weakly to indicate that I believed her as there’s no benefit in winning the argument and no point in annoying people by proving them wrong.

I think I’m finally becoming wise…