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Monday, 19 March 2018

King's College

Living near Cambridge, we see many famous places that people travel the world to see. We can get in free too. One such is the world famous King's College Chapel shown here.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Village Exhibition

This weekend we have our "Burwell at Large" exhibition where village groups have a chance to showcase themselves.

Burwell is a thriving village with plenty to interest people. One example was the local tower bell ringers who brought along a "mobile belfry".

There are groups in our village covering a very wide range of interests.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Red Legged Partridge

For years we have seen these attractive birds around our Close. Then, a couple of months ago, they disappeared.

Today, a couple were outside our home again, probably after food or a nest site. Anyway, it was good to see them around.


Saturday, 10 March 2018

Cambridge Posters

These posters were on Bene't Street in Cambridge. In the background is Old School Lane where the Cavendish Laboratories were located. Several Nobel Prizes were won here.

Friday, 9 March 2018


For several weeks the Cambridge University Botanic Garden has hosted an orchid festival in its hot houses. We went last year and this. The display was splendid. 

We have had some success in growing these at home. The secret is just a thimbleful of water a week.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Best bus ride in England?

With the closure of the A379 along Slapton Line in Devon we lose one of the very best, if not the best, bus rides in England. I hope they repair it after the storm damage, but I have my doubts.

If you have a bus pass, this is free!

More about storm damage in South Devon

Where I come from in South Devon has been badly hit by recent severe weather and high tides. The road from Dartmouth to Torcross is badly damaged. It is quite likely the road along Slapton Ley will never be rebuilt.


Apparently the government will contribute £2.5M to get the A379 rebuilt.

Head for heights?

Good job I've not got a big tower in my garden!  I get ill just watching this. Imagine working this high!

Caution: if you have a poor head for heights this video is not for you!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018


Most winters these days are mild. This has been the exception with quite a few frosts. Today we have about 3 inches of snow (6-8cms). It has been snowing on and off much of the day. At the moment it looks nice.

EU and Brexit

So the EU has published its draft bill on the UK leaving the EU. Since it was published, the UK pound has lost value against all major currencies. No doubt it will recover, but at the moment the UK seems to be fumbling around over what it really wants once we leave.

Why did we not say the referendum would not be binding unless the majority was x %? As it is the margin of "leave" over "remain" was a small 4%, with almost a half not wishing to leave the EU. I suspect fewer would vote leave now. Many want controls over immigration but still want the tariff-free trade with the EU.

Friday, 23 February 2018

The USA and guns

So the ever modest President has met pupils from Florida who managed to escape the latest mass school shooting. That is good of him.  We seem to hear about these shootings every week in the USA.

His answer? Allegedly, arm the teachers. Why not ask the basic questions about USA gun crimes instead? The USA seems to have more school mass killings by far than anywhere else. Does no-one want to understand why this is? Could it be something to do with the ease of obtaining deadly weapons perhaps? Better checks, yes. Why sell automatic weapons in the first place? Why sell guns?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Church blog - another update

Like buses, they come along together! 

It was months since the churches blog was updated and now it has been updated twice. This time I have added Chippenham (no, not the one in Wiltshire).


The charity OXFAM looks like it is in deep trouble. They seem to have mishandled their operation in Haiti in 2011. It would not surprise me if they lose lots in donations.

If OXFAM people want to use prostitutes this is a private matter and OXFAM should not be involved. The negative publicity is nothing short of a disaster for them.

Painted Pebbles

This is a real craze in our village, especially with the children.

People hide coloured painted stones and others search for them and post a photo on social media (we have a village Facebook page for this) before re-hiding in another place.

The photo show our granddaughter finding one a few days ago.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Churches blog updated

My church blog was updated today with Snailwell Church.


Spring on the way

For weeks now, we have had snowdrops. In the last week, the daffodils have started to come out everywhere. It was later than a few years ago, but they herald the coming of better weather and longer days. We still have winter to get through, but already nights are shorter and the birds are thinking of nests.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018


Very few USA TV shows appeal to me. Exceptions were "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" which both my wife and I got addicted to, goodness knows why as they are a million miles from our life styles.

Another show we much enjoyed was "Frasier" and I see today that the British born actor who played dad has died. This was US TV at its very best. RIP John - you made many of us laugh.

See .

Thursday, 1 February 2018

EU sour grapes?

Although I voted to remain a member, I detect a note of "sour grapes" on the part of the EU. Do I detect a note of bitterness that the UK will no longer pay some of the budget?

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that the UK wants the same policy to apply to all people who wish to live and work in the UK irrespective of the nation they come from.

It also seems quite reasonable that we would want to start work on trade deals whilst we are in the transition period.

No, I am beginning to detect an air of "sour grapes" on the part of the EU. In the end I think the EU will regret this.

All we really wanted was more control over who lives and works here on this small island. We will still trade with EU nations and others as we choose.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Random Kindness

In the news we tend to hear about bad things, but rarely good things.

Well, in my experience there are far more kind people than bad ones. Since my stroke over 4 years ago I cannot remember all the kind things people have done for me.

Only today I received something in the post totally free that a kind person had sent me. It was heartening to hear of other acts of kindness by total strangers on the BBC Breakfast TV programme.


Monday, 29 January 2018

Grumpy old man

OK, I have definitely qualified for grumpy old man status!

Over lunch I glanced through one of the many gifts on sale in the brochures we get sent in the post. I noticed a "New England Chair" that was £450!! It was probably made in a sweatshop in China for £5. Now, some may pay this (perhaps a footballer on £400k a week?), but count me out!

Now, I have nothing against small businesses (or large) making fair profits, but this is ridiculous in my view. Some suckers may be persuaded to part with their money, but not me.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Garden Birdwatch

Every January, I take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch organised by the RSPB. You watch the birds in your garden for any 1 hour and note the maximum number of each sort seen in the hour.

This year there were no blackbirds, no tits, no collared doves. In fact there was a real shortage of small birds. I may just have been unlucky or maybe it was the fact that we have had more frosts which have killed off smaller birds? Anyway this year I saw 2 robins, 2 starlings, 3 jackdaws and 4 black headed gulls and nothing else.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Cheese rolling

This saddens me. A cheese rolling contest has been cancelled this year. They hope to do it in 2019. We English like doing odd things and it would be sad if this tradition died out. It has been held in the Cambridgeshire village of Stilton for 50 years.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Building Site

Our local pub (The Crown) has been empty for years. Last week the builders started work. I think the site is destined for several new houses.

Monday, 15 January 2018


Currently, we have 3 of these glorious plants. They are truly amazing going from just a bulb to a tall plant with beautiful flowers in 4-6 weeks. They give us lots of pleasure is January which can be a long, dark month.

One plant is well out with lots of flowers, one is clearly growing and this one. It is hard to tell if this one will grow.

UPDATE Jan 21st 2018:  Definitely growing!

I recently had a comment on this post in what looked like Arabic. As I was unable to translate it, it has been deleted. Comments please only in languages I can understand please!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A second BREXIT vote?

OK, I may be wrong (I often am!) but I think the people of the UK want to be able to trade freely within the EU, but at the same time want to say who lives and works here. The UK people are precious about the UK parliament having the last word on laws. We also hate waste and profligatism (is that a word?) in the EU.

If a second referendum vote was ever to take place and the questions carefully worded, it would not surprise me if we voted to stay in.

As I have said many times before, there is a lot wrong with the EU and a lot right. Personally, I think the UK people would like a reformed EU. Arguably, the EU has kept peace in Europe (mainly) for half a century, but it needs to evolve or it will fall apart.


A few days ago we went to Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge, UK.  The snowdrops are beginning to appear, although it will be several weeks before they are very common. Daffodils are starting to appear although it will be quite a few weeks before these are widespread.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Amaryllis - magic

We have three of these magic plants.  Just how do they grow so tall so fast and produce such magnificent flowers? Last year I took a picture every week. It took about 5-6 weeks from just a bulb to flowering and dying. We kept the bulb and did all the right things, but sadly it refused to grow a second season. At least we tried!


A year ago I bought a low mileage diesel car which was about a year old. Fuel consumption is low and a year's road tax (just renewed) was nothing.

There seems to be a backlash against diesel cars, but as far as I am aware recent diesels are low emission, clean and efficient.

Until electric cars have a range of 300 miles plus, I am put off electric. Yes, in the end they will be better for the planet, but battery technology still has a way to go.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018


Every day this year so far, we have done a walk. The first day it was by the River Cam and yesterday and today just around the village.

Yesterday, on our walk around the village, we spotted these ducks. They went into the drive of a house, obviously expecting to be fed. They look domesticated, so at best semi-wild.