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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.