Tag Archives: weather

Monday Monsoon

Another acceptance today, so the power of positive thinking marches on . . .

It’s just one from a batch of ten but they all count, and nine of the ten are now available to use again. It makes life easier when you can do that. I’m hopeful that another two or three will find approval elsewhere.

The potato wedges are sizzling in the oven and it will soon be time to add the veggie burgers and prepare the buns. (Note: I may have deviated from the low carb regime of previous posts). We will be having watercress, and beefsteak tomatoes provided by a neighbour.

After that the quizzes will start and I will be away from the keyboard for a while.

Later . . .

Another design, but still no trousers.

very with the general knowledge sections of Mastermind. This has been a feature of this series. Even from my own relaxing armchair I cannot always outscore the contestants. I can still beat one or two, but I feel my edge is going.

Then on to Only Connect, where Victoria Coren-Mitchell wore a ridiculous mask through the programme. She sometimes does this sort of thing. It’s distracting and annoying.

Then on to University Challenge, where it turns out I know more about apples than one of the teams. We got a few right tonight, though I admit I can still go for several minutes without even understanding the questions.

Last night we had torrential rain and sheet lightning lit up the sky. I like it. Julia doesn’t.  It was majestic We had more rain today and will have more during the week. After that it will start to get colder too. It’s beginning to look a lot like winter.

A Crown, no trousers nd plenty of enamel.

So Much to Do

Now that the ideas are coming, I can’t stop them. Unfortunately I can’ remember them either, so I’m not making he best use of them. This morning I had three ideas coming downstairs. Only one of them was useful. The other two were about gravity and accidental death in the home, but I often think of them whilst making my way downstairs. The other was forgotten before I set foot on solid ground. I know it was a good idea, because I distinctly remember thinking “That’s a good idea.” as I came downstairs. And “I must remember that.” But I didn’t.

It’s the Numismatic Society Auction on Monday night – not the best time for it, being Bank Holiday Monday, but we will have to see.. I have to sort out what I’m bidding on. Fortunately I don’t collect coins so there aren’t many lots to interest me. This could be the recipe for a cheap but exciting night out – all the anticipation of an auction followed by a night buying a few cheap lots. Or even buying nothing . . .

Watch this space.

It’s been a cold day again. The weather is very changeable at the moment -one day Spring then a  day or two of Winter. I can put up with the cold (I’m wearing a blanket like a shawl as I type) but the disappointment is harder to bear. A day of daffodils and blue skies followed by a couple of cold days with grey skies and a sprinkle of cold rain is depressing.

Meanwhile, I’ve actually done a little tidying. I won’t be hanging out any flags just yet as it’s not made a noticeable difference. However, if I do  bit each day (as I often say when making excuses for lack of results) the results will eventually become significant.

I’m now going to make a list of things to do this evening and tomorrow in the hope that I might get something done before I go to the auction. (I’m not neglecting Julia, by the way, I asked if she’d like to go out for a romantic evening tomorrow (coin society auction followed by pizza on the way home) but she said she’d rather stay at home and watch her courgette seedlings grow.



It’s Monday and I’m Back to Work

I’m not sure if I mentioned the customer who contacted us last week. We had sent him a refund after he had waited for his parcel and opened a case on eBay. Despite their assertion they were making allowances for the delays caused by Royal Mail disruption, they haven’t been particularly flexible and we have refunded around £1,000 to date. Fortunately, this customer , having had his medallion, was an honest man and emailed to ask how to pay. This was particularly welcome as it restores my faith in customers. He was American and, though it pains me to admit it, Americans are, in general, more honest than the average European.

We had a real classic this afternoon. Two months ago we had a customer order a medallion and then, just after we had posted it, ask to cancel as he hadn’t read the details properly. We told him that he could return it for a refund, and he did that. He returned it and had a full refund. I would have refused to refund the postage but the owner doesn’t like to quibble and stood the loss of the postage (which was actually the fault of the purchaser, who didn’t read the details properly.

Late this afternoon we had an email from the customer telling us he had been checking on his recent transactions and he has not received his medallion. He either wants the medallion or a refund. He’s out of luck, because we have, as I said, already refunded him. This what happens when you give good customer service.

He has now had an email telling him what the situation is. Hopefully this will jog his memory and he will leave us alone. Sometimes these things happen.

Currently we are waiting for snow, ice, frost, rain or just a coldish spell. What ever it is, we are on the edge of it and the weather forecasters aren’t very precise about what to expect. I have the cover on my windscreen and a hot water bottle ready for bed.

More Time Passes

It is getting colder and I am wearing more layers. As we move into December I have to remind myself that it is only 15 days until the shortest day. I like the idea of more daylight, and the year starting to turn towards spring already. I am less keen on the thought of my life rushing by. It is now only five days until I have to inject myself again, and I need to organise two blood tests. I just hope that I don’t run out of blood.

Casting an eye over various things, I noted a BBC podcast titled “Why do we procrastinate?” I’ve made a mental note to go back and read it when I have time. There is so much interesting stuff available on the internet that it is hard to keep up.

We have frost forecast for the coming week, but so far it has been very mild. This is probably a surprise to those of you living in cold places, as we rattle on about winter so much in UK but rarely have much real winter weather. I have never, for instance, felt the need to wear snow shoes when going about my normal business in winter, or to use a snow blower. Mostly we sprinkle a bit of salt about and walk carefully. Photographs from a few years ago show frost, but I haven’t had to clear my windscreen yet, though this may change.

It’s getting close to Christmas, and with more Post Office strikes coming, I really must send the cards, as all the final delivery dates have been rescheduled. I am starting to worry about the future of our postal service. The constant strikes, on top of the reduced service levels suffered since Covid, are very wearing, particularly as prices keep rising as service levels decline. eBay is already starting to recommend alternatives, which is worrying when you consider how much Royal Mail depends on eBay business. I wonder how long it will be before we see a catastrophic change in UK postal services. You can send emails instead of letters, and use other delivery services for parcels, but what about Christmas? Emails are not an acceptable substitute for Christmas cards.

British Citizenship – a Few Suggestions

I just did British Citizenship Test Number 4. Fortunately I passed. I did, however, get two of the 24 questions wrong. I thought you had to be 21 to become an MP. I should have known as, as soon as I pressed the button, I remembered getting it wrong before. It’s 18. A good age for it, as teenagers know everything there is to know. Much better than getting an old person to do it. Personally I’d just roll dice, as I expect it would be just as successful as a way of running the country.

What interest rate should we have? Roll the dice. Budget for health, defence, education? Roll the dice. Prime Minister this week? Toss a coin.

Then I was told I had got the question about Scottish banknotes wrong. I hadn’t. The citizenship Test needs to rephrase the question, or alter the answer. If you define “valid” as “legal tender” (and what other sort of validity could they mean?) Scottish banknotes aren’t valid in England, but most people accept them. It’s a matter of courtesy rather than a matter of law. Scottish banknotes aren’t actually valid in Scotland either, if you check. Nor are Bank of England notes – they just don’t have  a law on it, but they seem to get by without it.

The rest of it was OK, but I followed up with doing more questions and am quite surprised by how important it is that people applying for British Citizenship know about the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, including the difference between Mary I and Mary Queen of Scots, whereas most people who are born in the UK think they were the same person.

I’d say that if you want to become a British Citizen it’s more important that you know about queuing, driving on the correct side of the road and  the right way to talk about the weather. All the history stuff can be picked up from watching quiz programmes.

The medallion is the one I mentioned a few days ago. It set me thinking about the Citizenship tests. Time flies – I just realised that “a few days ago” wa actually ten days ago.

harrow Council Citizenship medallion.


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


Day 70

That’s bad. I wrote this nine hours ago, the had groceries delivered, cooked, had tea, napped, watched Tv, got writing, forgot about the blog and then fell asleep in front of the screen. So this is hours into Day 71. Ah well, I do my best. I will now load the pictures and go to bed. Header picture is a mid-19th century Russian Rouble made into a brooch. The other photos are the other side of the brooch (it’s in a spinner mount) and the Maundy money.

Seems like it should be a milestone. Also seems like a lot of the year has gone already.


I woke up on a pleasant sunny Spring day and am currently sitting in the dining room typing as the wind buffets the back windows and cold rain patters fitfully against the windows. We are going to have pizza and soup for tea, but are waiting until ASDA delivers the groceries. An earlier delivery means we will be able to relax after the delivery, but also stops us having tea early.

We just had a knock on the door but it turned out to be  a false alarm as it was a cold-caller trying to sell us energy.  He was, to be honest, a very cold caller, due to the wind and rain, but it served him right for disturbing our evening.

Monogram on back

Spin it round and it’s at the front

At work we had a few parcels to do and managed to do a couple of extra deals via eBay by judicious use of email and discount.

We also bought a couple of lots of stuff in, and despite th4 owner’s great efforts, we have piles of stuff all over the place – stacked on counters, out on display and in piles behind the counter. Some of it has already appeared on eBay and I’m hoping it will sell. It is in the realm of “he had fun collecting it”, which is dealer shorthand for “it has no value”.

Amongst other things I packaged up a lovely maundy set (given out at Ely Cathedral in 1987  That’s where my stained glass pictures come from. Then I put a lovely coin brooch on eBay.

Maundy money obverse . . .

 . . . and reverse (they are too shiny to photograph well)

Day 52

Still plenty of wind and rain. It was still breezy this evening, though it all seems to have gone quiet now. This evening I returned home in daylight rather than the normal winter murk and felt, at last, that we were leaving winter and coming into spring. In a few weeks we will be putting the clocks forward and  drop back into winter. It always happens – just as I am getting used to the time again, they alter it and I will spend another three months unable to judge the time by the sun.

I did well at Mastermind tonight and beat all the contestants in the general knowledge round. This, of course, is easy to do when you are sitting at home relaxed. In font of a TV camera I would probably freeze and make myself look like an idiot in front of millions of people. I then fell asleep and made up for lat night’s poor sleep. It’s becoming a cycle. Sleep badly, sleep in the evening, fail to sleep at night, sleep in front of TV. It’s not  good for me and it does little for either my conversation or my writing.

eBay was playing up today. We were unable to send an invoice to someone who was buying multiple lots and then it refused to0 upload photographs. It’s at times like these when you realise how much you rely on the internet. I tried all the normal fixes (variations on switching off then switching on again) but nothing helped. I’m hoping that the situation has improved by the time we start again tomorrow.

And that sums the day up – covid news, WW3 and the storm damage all passed me by, and I wrote about my poor internet connection. Life in the 21st Century.

I slept until close to midnight, posted this about 20 minutes after midnight and re-used a photo from last week. This is not how I saw blogging when I started off all those years ago.

Day 49

If I finish this in the next 15 minutes I will get a note from WP congratulating me on 13  successive days of posting. I’m not sure what business it is of theirs, or why they think a condescending pat on the head contributes anything good to my WP experience.

What would contribute to the experience is an editing system that worked as well as the old, non-improved version, an an absence of improvements that cause more problems than they are worth.

It was a quiet day at work, apart from the wind. Storm Eunice, having arrived in the night and blown a few things about, blew a bit more about in the afternoon, then made a comeback in the evening but as far as we are concerned has not been a great nuisance.

The fastest gust recorded was 122 mph,  the fastest round here was 68, so you can see how much of it we escaped. When I lived out in the Fens we often had winter gusts stronger than that – you could actually see telegraph poles bending in the wind when it got going. Of course, that was in the days when we didn’t have “amber weather warnings” and the internet.

This film is quite impressive, but apart from that I’m not sure that the internet is a great benefit in times like this. I just need to know the weather is bad – I don’t need up to the minute coverage.

Looks like I’m going to sneak in and post before midnight, though it always surprises me how long it takes to finish up. At least I don’t need a title!

I hope that everyone reading this has escaped too much disruption from the storm, I’m always grateful when the wind drops as I tend to worry more as I get older.

An Unsummery Start to the Day

It’s approaching 8.00am and I would normally be leaving the house, but today being a day off, I am typing. I waved my car off at 7.05, as the garage collected it and I now have a day to type and worry about the size of the car bill. I’m hungry but I can’t cook yet as Julia is having a lie in and if I cook the smell will make her want to get up and come down for breakfast. All in all, it’s a messy start to the day.

I’m very tempted by the idea of baked eggs, but I find they work best if kept simple, and as I also fancy the idea of bacon I’m in two minds about what to do.

The prospect through my writing window, is grey. If you told me this was March or November, I would believe you. Apart from the temperature, which is chilly but not actually cold, things are definitely unsummery. That should be a word – meaning disappointingly unlike summer, but not quite bad enough to put a jacket on.  “Typical English summer” is often used in this context, meaning that it’s a disappointingly dull period where sunburn is a distant prospect, even for a nation of people who are inclined to expose too much blue/white flesh to the elements. The average English sunbather isn’t so much protected by sun oil as basted. There’s something about sunbathing Brits that always makes me think of pork crackling.

Note I am referring mainly to the English here, the Scots, according to popular belief, are even more delicate in matters of sun, and the Welsh exist in a semi-permanent miasma of mist and rain.

This, by the way, is my default setting. Leave any chimpanzee alone with a word-processor and they will eventually write Hamlet (or so they say). Leave the English alone with a keyboard and the topic soon turns to the weather . . .