Tag Archives: time

Wednesday Morning and Procrastination is in Full Swing

On Wednesdays, our day off, I traditionally get up earlier than Julia and go downstairs with thoughts of making her breakfast. This thought never gets past the computer, as  I can never resist using a bit of quiet time to write.

Today I sat down, checked emails, read and commented on a number of other posts and settled down to write this. They last ninety minutes seems to have gone in a blur and has covered polio, books, A A Milne, a famous England cricketer in the shower, academic redundancies, several poems, an article on whether Covid has killed our ability to socialise and an anecdote about bird feeding. Plus a few  bits and pieces as I replied to comments on my own blog.

Though I always feel bad about not reading other blogs properly, I do find that time only stretches so far. I may have to stop watching so much TV. Quiz programmes are probably good as a way of keeping my brain active, but they do tend to blur into cookery (which isn’t so mind enhancing) and popular culture (which I am sure reduces my ability to think).

A Robin singing in the fog

The sky outside my window is what Julia refers to as a “Simpson’s Sky” – bright blue with lots of cloud-shaped white clouds. If you have watched the cartoon you will know what I mean.  They don’t have cirrus in The Simpsons.

This sort of sky, when accompanied by a lot of movement in the shrubbery and tree tops, and by temperatures cold enough to require heating in the house, is a clear indicator that it is one of those “brisk” spring days, rather than a day for picnics. However, as it’s considerably better than a  a day with grey clouds and drizzle, I will accept it and allow it to raise my spirits.

Wow! I just noticed that it’s 11.00. Julia has made breakfast and I have been reading more blogs. I must get a grip on time.

I’ve been to Crowland, seeing it through the eyes of a visitor. I have written about Crowland several times. Four times, I think. My blogging life was about more than lockdown, bacon sandwiches and arthritis at one time. But time, as thy say, is a great wrecker.

Crowland Abbey



What happens to all that time?

Over the last few days I’ve found myself sitting looking at a computer screen in the evening wondering what has happened to the day.

Twelve hours pass, and I look at the jobs I’ve done and wonder what happened. (Yesterday was washing up, shredding two lots of paper, taking Julia to work and picking her up, blogging, writing a few haiku, reading a few haiku and making soup and a stir fry.) Even with a snooze and some TV it is hardly a full day.

Tomorrow I will sort books out because once the charity shops open again and customers start coming back to the shop I can start moving them on again. The car boot is absolutely crammed and there are bags of books in the back floor wells too. I also have them piling up at home.

It is a sad thing, but they had taken over and life is, I confess, more relaxing without so much stuff in the house. As a bonus, when we move (which is planned for some point in the next few years) we won’t have as much stuff to sort or move. We will be moving 150 miles, so the less we take, the better. I will probably have to give the kids our new address as Julia seems to want to keep them, but apart from that I’m aiming for a fresh start.

Country Life sent me the normal weekly email and, as long as I can manage an immoderate lottery win, I think I have found just the place for us. I mean, a library by Rennie Mackintosh, a herd of Highland cattle and fifteen bedrooms. That means you can have clean bedclothes every night for a fortnight before you need to start doing housework. If only it wasn’t just 500 yards away from Loch Lomond. I seem to recall it being famous for midges. and after my last experience with them I’m not sure I want another go.

That was how I used to organise myself as a bachelor- fifteen sets of everything and then do the laundry once a fortnight. It’s a good system.

However, talking of Lottery wins, it’s going to have to happen soon, as I’m going to stop buying Lottery Tickets. I never win so I might as well save the money and buy something useful. As of January 1st I’m going to drop the money in a jar and buy Premium Bonds.  There’s still a chance of winning a cash prize and you can actually get your money back when you want it.

Time, Travel and Temporal Trickery

A few days ago I noted that the time on my computer was wrong. This seems to have corrected itself.

I reset the clock at work last week because it seemed to have slowed down during lockdown. We though the battery might be running down but it has now been keeping good time for over a week.

Then, last night, when I tried to set the alarm, using my phone as I do these days (look at me being all 21st Century), I realised that the time was wrong. All the world time was wrong. And the calendar was reading 17th June 2017. To be honest, I could do with going back in time three years and sorting a few bits out, so I wasn’t too upset.

It would be just far enough back in time to make a few improvements, but not far enough back to involve reliving the bad bits, like adolescence.

Obviously it was too good to be true, and as nothing else seemed to have changed, I checked the time on Julia’s phone, set a timer instead of the alarm, and went to sleep.

In the morning, with daylight and glasses, I reset the time and all seems back to normal.

black and yellow analog clock

Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

I have no idea why this happened, or why any of the previous incidents happened. May be clocks are joining in with the rest of the world in a widespread campaign to hate me.

It was my day off yesterday. Julia allowed me to drive her to the laundrette. It is the first time since lockdown. We have nice clean laundry and it smells good because it dried on the line. She has done some things by hand, so standards have been preserved, though I have mainly just aired, rotated and relied on my large stock of shirts and underwear which almost fit. There’s been a certain amount of breathing in as I got to the older stuff, but no disasters so far.

After lunch she allowed me to drive her to the gardens so she could check they were still OK. The grass is growing. We saw a greenfinch.

On the way back we saw two rows of traffic stop as they allowed a lady cyclist to retrieve her hat, which had been blown off. It was a comfort to see that manners still exist, though there was a bit of me that wondered why she didn’t have a string to hold it on.

Tomorrow I have a blood test, followed by dropping Julia off at work and then going to work myself. In the afternoon I will reverse the process (apart from the blood test).

If it wasn’t for the time travel I would lead a very dull life.

brass pocket watches

Photo by abdullah . on Pexels.com



No News, Fake News and Lies

As I sit down to write, the promised blue skies and sunshine have been and gone. It was nice while it lasted. I was going to tell you what time of day it was, but when I looked at my wrist I realised that I didn’t have a watch on. In fact, now I come to think about it, I haven’t worn my watch for nearly two weeks. There is no need to wear a watch when you can check a clock, and I haven’t been far from a clock in the last two weeks.

It’s 13.15 according to the computer, and time, I think, to post. Once the posting is done I can get on with…er…

There isn’t much to do. I know I should be cleaning and organising and writing but it’s hard to motivate myself when I’m enjoying the loafing so much. Normally when I’m on holiday I end up more tired than I would if I was working, having tried to cram in a full week of activity, but this “holiday”, being longer than normal, is giving me time to relax.

I spoke to Number Two Son last night on something called WhatsApp. It’s not very grammatical, but it is, I’m told, free, and it allows voice calls via the Internet. It is a miracle of modern technology and is very much like the old international phone calls we used to make using satellites. You may remember them. They were generally crystal clear, suffered from lag and cost quite a lot. WhatsApp is muffled, breaks up and suffers from lag, but it is free.

He tells me that he is planning on staying in Canada. He still has just over a year left on his visa and is enjoying it, plus he has unemployment pay in Canada, which would not be the case if he returned to the UK. It’s a worry to have him 3,000 miles away at this time, but nice to know he’s enjoying himself.

One interesting bit of news is that the USA seems to be cornering the world market in surgical masks. Reports indicate that the President has banned the export of masks to Mexico and Canada, that the US government intercepted a consignment of masks on its way to Germany and that unidentified Americans bought a consignment of masks destined for France by offering the suppliers more money.

Dig a bit deeper it becomes more interesting. The Germans, it seems, intercepted a cargo of masks that was on its way to Switzerland a couple of weeks ago. And the French government requisitioned an export order of millions of masks being made in France for an NHS.

This seems to be a clear case of pots and kettles, particularly when you read that Germany banned exports of masks before America did, though they now seem to have modified this to allow export to EU countries. It’s a shame we left, isn’t it?

What is strange here is that none of the news is fake, but the way the facts are presented gives a very misleading picture.

woman in black coat and face standing on street

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

I just used the free photo function on WP. Do you mean I’ve been taking my own when there are loads out there I can just use? What an idiot…

Only 51 weeks until Christmas!

Yesterday, one of the customers told me the fact I have used in the title. It makes the year seem rather short.

This, in turn, lead me to calculate the length of time before Spring starts. Just 56 days. That, of course, is only half the story. Meteorological Spring may start on 1st March according to the scientists, but the weather doesn’t always agree.

My parents were married at the end of March and, as they told me for 60 years, it snowed.

One thing you can rely on is the daylength. It’s already feeling longer than it did (and it is actually ten minutes longer than it was on the shortest day). This means that it is lighter when we leave the shop, which makes a big psychological difference. On 29th February, in Nottingham, the day will be over three hours longer than it is now. Even the thought of it is enough to cheer me up.

It’s a sobering insight into the shortness of life. The days of wine and roses are indeed not long…


I was watching the Christmas University Challenge Final tonight and found myself doing quite well against a number of people with high-powered jobs and multiple degrees. The main difference between us, apart from my lack of degree and a job as a shop assistant, is that I suspect they all had confidence, plans ambition and productive work habits. I’ve just spent Christmas watching TV and playing Candy Crush when I should have been writing a best-seller and running an eBay business.

Ah well…

I did manage to get the outline of my presentation done. I have quite a lot of material on 1919 and went through it, with suitable reference to mutinies, Russia, Ireland, strikes, riots, war memorials and the Baltic.

Happy at the breadth and depth of my knowledge, and my grasp of the subject matter, I was alerted to the fact that this feeling was not universal by a gentle snore from Julia’s direction.

It looks like I’m going to have to do some editing.


UK £5 2017

Today’s pictures are all recycled, with vague links to Christmas and 1919.

Where does all the time go?

Last night I came home, did the washing up I’d left to mature for a couple of days and prepared the evening meal. We had some leftover chicken, wrinkly carrots, bendy parsnips, over the hill mushrooms, softening onions and sprouting garlic. I then threw in some stock cubes, pearl barley and water.

I’m thinking of marketing a line of cookware with the motto “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here” featured on the logo.

With hindsight more water or less barley may have been better. And less cooking. I lost track of time and it ended up with a couple of hours on a very low heat. The result was a pearl barley risotto. I liked it, though I was surprised. Julia was equally surprised, and not quite so keen. She doesn’t always appreciate my deviations from the culinary norm, or the fact I hate wasting vegetables.

I watched TV with Julia, replied to comments on the blog, wrote 1,100 words in two parts, did the washing up again and made the sandwiches for today.

Then I fell asleep.

It really doesn’t sound like a lot of work when you consider it took the best part of eight hours. There was a slight nap involved (about thirty minutes – that’s all) and the TV probably took up two hours, so I suppose it becomes a bit more understandable.

Then there was today, which just seemed to fade away. I got Julia to work for 8.30, was at the shop for 9.00, bid on some ebay items by 9.30 and had several parcels packed by 10.00. After that it all became a blur and suddenly it was the end of another week – just one more day to go until Sunday.

Where do the days go, and the evenings and the weeks? In fact, where did this year go? Or my life, come to think about it. If the next twenty years go as fast as the last twenty I really don’t have time for naps.

Now I’m off to find photos for this post and to prepare myself for more postcode facts.

The picture is part of my collection that I found recently after some years in a dusty box – it’s a fund-raising flag used by the Foresters to raise money for their regimental war memorial at Crich.

A Tale of Two Kings

Four years ago I went to the opening of a Great War display at Nottingham Castle. I was there as a guest of one of my gardening customers, as I don’t normally move in such circles. There were several people I knew there, including two local historians and someone who works as a volunteer in the regimental museum. One of them said to me that I was looking very much like a King.

Image result for henry viii

Henry VIII

“What,” I said, “Henry VIII?”

With my ginger beard and regal looks, I have in the past been likened to Henry VIII, though I would like to point out I have no intention of obtaining a divorce or expelling the Church of Rome from the UK.

“No,” he said, “the other one…the bald one…Edward VII.”

Image result for edward vii

Edward VII, or Edward I if you are Scottish

I had to admit, after a few seconds of thinking, that I do look a lot like Edward VII. Considering his somewhat loose morals there is, I suppose, a distant chance of me being in line to the throne.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is what Edward VII would look like if he had less ermine and more Cotton Traders shirts. And no comb.

Time is, as they say, a great wrecker.

Another Note on the Relativity of Time

On the last post I used a picture of my watch. It was fortunate I had a picture to relate to time. As I’ve only got one picture you’ have to put up with it again.However, I do have some confessions to make.

I have several watches. When I’m not wearing them I pull the winder halfway out – this stops the watch and saves the battery. I also need reading glasses, so though I can reset the time easily enough I have trouble with reading the date, so never bother. In other words, the date on the watch was wrong when I took the picture. And is never right apart from by coincidence.

Somehow I get by.

Time, as I say, is flexible.

Does anyone else have this problem with the date on watches?

A New Theory of Relativity

This morning Julia’s alarm, as usual, went off shortly before mine. They are both on our telephones, which are presumably;y linked to an atomic clock somewhere,  so I’m at a loss to explain the difference. My car clock is set from my watch, which I keep two minutes fast,and it agrees with neither phone.

In the days before mobiles we had a time signal on the radio, and everyone seemed to take punctuality more seriously.

So, having had a disturbed night lay there waiting to fall asleep again. This half hour delay allows her to use the bathroom without feeling hassled and allows me to avoid making breakfast. This is either the mark of a caring husband, or a lazy sluggard. I have censored her actually words, but the last three letters are the same. In another example of relativity I prefer not to subject my readers  to profanity.

Anyway, back to the relativity of time. Normally I fall asleep for my extra half hour. Today I didn’t. It seemed to drag on forever. I started to wonder if I’d been in such a deep sleep that Julia had left without me. But no, When I checked my alarm the “hours” had passed in 23 minutes. The remaining seven minutes also dragged…

Normally I’d love an extra half hour in bed. This morning, mainly because we are resisting the use of heating, I decided to tough it out under the duvet as luxury turned into an endurance test.

And that, if I may be so bold, is my Theory of Very Ordinary Relativity. It’s not about things like time travel, or time moving slower at the tops of high buildings. If it was I’m sure that geriatric scientists would live in tower block, not bungalows.

It’s about very ordinary things, like not all time being of equal value and a week on holiday passing quicker than a week at work.

Unless (a) your wife starts worrying about whether she locked the door properly, or (b), you are spending it in Berwick-on- Tweed. But that is another story.



What a difference a day makes

It’s been a busy week. We had lots of people through, as you may have deduced from the blog, and pictures of pizzas. The pigs had the best idea, as you can see in the photo – just sunbathe and let the world pass by.

Our usual Quercus groups were in on Monday and Wednesday (with an adult pizza-making class in the evening as well), seated yoga on Thursday, school on Tuesday, school on Thursday (fitted round the yoga as much as we could) and group with mixed disabilities on Friday. There were 62 kids making pizza on Tuesday, meaning we were taking the pizzas out of the oven, washing the trays and handing them over to the next group while they were still warm.


Pizza as far as the eye could see


And more pizza…


Wild flower mix

That was the good stuff.

Sadly, that sort of throughput, plus a few other odds and ends, brings a lot of problems too, and when you don’t have time to stop and deal with them they can  pile up and spoil the atmosphere. The heat hasn’t helped either, with petty arguments among the group members and a constant refrain of “It’s too hot.”

That’s the difference a day makes – a few degrees cooler and with a few hours to sit down and do things the whole outlook changes. A miserable Friday night has changed to a happy Saturday without much effort.

It’s a lesson I learnt a long time ago. Unfortunately I’ve never managed to memorise it for future use.

I’m also suffering a crisis of confidence about the blog. It was meant to be about Quercus Community and our activities, but as somebody said a while ago, it’s all over the place. I can’t remember the exact words, which were kinder than that, but the truth is that there is no central theme.

My initial aim was to write about the group, the members of the group and what we do. Unfortunately it isn’t easy writing about people who might read what you say about them (I am not always tactful even when I have time to think about things and edit them) and when these people are vulnerable adults the difficulties are magnified. That’s when it became a bit of a gardening, cooking and sustainability blog, followed by the blog that complains about modern life.

It’s a miracle that I actually have any followers when you think about the mistakes I make. Does anybody have any ideas on a direction to take? I’m thinking that it needs to get away from my opinions and back to Care Farming (though I seem to be the only Care Farm about when I search other blogs). That could take in outside care, gardening, foraging, composting and cooking so it wouldn’t be a major change. Might include a few nature notes too – we’ve been getting some good butterflies and have enough jackdaws lurking round for pig and poultry food we’re beginning to resemble the set of The Birds – had a flock of around 70 last night and frequently have 40-50 round the pig pen.