Tag Archives: time

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.