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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Barclays Bank and Post Office cash withdrawals

Apparently in the UK, Barclays Bank has had a change of heart and decided, after all, to continue to allow people to get cash from their local post office.

Unless I am mistaken Barclays usually makes billions each year in profits.  Our local branch of Barclays closed over a year ago and getting cash from the Post Office has been a real help.

We know about one disabled lady who would have to walk twice as far for cash if the Post Office stopped its link with Barclays. I suspect Barclays go lots of complaints.

Barclays - you must have been stupid!!

Starter Homes

In the upcoming UK elections I am a floating voter still to make my mind up.

I was not impressed that the National Audit Office (an independent think tank) has said, according to the BBC, that not one of the 200000 starter homes promised by the current government had been built!! Promises!

See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50296672

Old Cottage

Yesterday we did a walk around part of our village. This cottage was extended a few years ago. The extension is so good it is hard to tell what is old and what is new. I think it dates from the early 1800s, but I don't know.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Ely Riverside

It seems ages since I posted to this blog. At the weekend we did a delightful walk at Ely. The River Ouse runs through it and Ely looks good even when the weather is dull!

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Yet More Houses

We moved to this village in 1975 when the population was just over 4000. It is now over 6000. 

Wherever there is a gap more houses get built. These cater for the well healed and rarely for ordinary workers. For example, the space in the photo has recently been built on. At one time it was a pub carpark.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Autumn Crocus

Earlier, we came across this lone autumn crocus in the village. It demanded a quick photo, which I took with my phone.

My first photo with the smart phone was over-exposed, so I went back again with the "real" camera.  This is better and captures the colours.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Roses, Catalona

Although we were only there earlier this week, our holiday seems an age ago! Roses, where we stayed, was a delightful place.

It seems SE Spain has had some bad floods. Luckily the weather was very good for us, as the photo shows.

So we don't forget when we get senile, I have made a blog. See https://roses2019.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

No Litter

One thing that has impressed us in Catalonia is the lack of litter. If any is dropped it is picked up. Unlike the UK they seem to have civic pride.

Huge buffets

At our hotel in Catalonia they provide huge buffets. The photo shows just a little bit. There is free wine and water every meal.

Barcelona Tall Ship

On our 1.5 hour harbour trip yesterday we passed this ship.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Homemade Recordings

Back in the 1960s a friend and I made some homemade recordings using a big horn, lots of shouting and old coffee jar lids! To this day I still have one of these records, but no means to play it.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/record

Monday, 26 August 2019

Grandchildren on Bikes

One of our sons is staying with us with his son and daughter until later in the week. Th photo shows them on their bikes last night. Luckily it is very quiet here with very few cars.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Crab Apples

We have one crab apple tree. Two years ago we had about 500 fruits and made crab apple jelly which is delicious with some meats. Last year we had just 15!  This year we have a bumper crop as the photo shows. Someone once told me these are good every other year.

See https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7661/crab-apple-jelly

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Peterborough Cathedral Sundial

On the west wall of Peterborough Cathedral is this old sundial. I think it has been repainted not too long ago.

See http://sundialsoc.org.uk/dials/peterborough-cathedral0589/

Monday, 5 August 2019

Next door's roses

Luckily the folks next door enjoy gardening as they have a very big garden with very long hedges.

These spendid roses are on their drive just outside their front door.

Trump

As usual, lead by example?  Inane comments.

See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-49230861

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Anglesey Abbey Bridge

This bridge at nearby Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust property, was repaired by one of our neighbours recently. It is photographed by lots of visitors.

Dam Damage

As I write, great chunks of the dam above Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire have collapsed and 6500 residents have been told to evacuate their homes. The damage was caused by the recent very heavy rains. If the dam gives way it could inundate homes.

For those residents who get back to their homes (eventually) it will be very worrying unless the dam is completely rebuilt to modern safety standards.

See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-49189955

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

"Our" Windmill In Action

The windmill right next to our house had its sails turning today as the short video shows. This was taken out of our lounge window.


Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Moorhen

We visit Anglesey Abbey most months. This moorhen was on the mill leet.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Rant!

Recently my wife bought some granola from a local shop. Despite a good look we could see NOTHING about recycling. There was lots about birds and bees on the pack. In this day and age this is stupid and inexcusable. 

In my view all supermarkets should tell their suppliers to make all packages compostable or recyclable or no business. They have the power and should use it. 

In my view, this company should be ashamed.

Garden Flowers

Although we have had a little rain, our flowers are doing well. The photo shows the flowers on one of our patios. They need regular watering!

Friday, 5 July 2019

Website Cookies

Rant time! 

If in the EU we have new data protection measures under the GDPR banner. Now, certainly in the EU, we have to click to accept website cookies. No doubt someone, somewhere thought this a "good idea". 

What happens? Most of us just click "accept" or similar and never read the text. It totally fails. This is stupidity and bureaucracy gone stark raving mad! It sickens me and achieves nothing.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Corpus Clock

One of the most photographed things in Cambridge must be the odd clock outside Corpus Christi college.

Every time I walk past it in the summer there are loads of visitors taking photos.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Interesting Clouds

Late yesterday, we had some interesting clouds high up over "our" windmill.  I think they may be fribatus clouds, which are a form of cirrus clouds, although I am no expert and stand to be corrected.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Frog or Toad?

Today we went to Oxburgh Hall (National Trust) and then on to Gooderstone Water Gardens where we saw this little fellow. Pretty sure it is a frog and not a toad, but I am hopeless! 

See https://www.gooderstonewatergardens.co.uk/

Both places are in Norfolk, UK.

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK

Bury St Edmunds has a great market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is a fine East Anglian place. We enjoy going there.  Often fruit and vegetables are as good in the market as in the supermarkets and far cheaper.

There is a small museum in the market square (at the back of the photo) called Moyses Hall in what is, I think, the oldest building there.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Gilbert and Sullivan

Every year a local village stages a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera in a barn. They are always very good. This year they staged "The Grand Duke". This was a work new to me. As yet, they have still to announce what they will be doing next June.

Sibling Reunion

Earlier in the week my wife, her brothers and their partners met for their annual sibling reunion. This year we met up in Cheshire. Each year we meet in each other's homes and we take it in turns to act as hosts. We have met 17 times. Our turn is next year. As my wife took the photo, she is not in the photo.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Trump State Visit

Now, this is my personal view and others are perfectly entitled to hold different views. Personally I have great difficulty over state visits such as this being funded by my tax money. We pay for the security we provide and for those lavish banquets. Sick.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Cambridge

The centre of Cambridge is certainly colourful. As well as this float (see photo) we had a couple of buskers singing classical opera, which was very good.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Grandchildren

Over the half-term holiday we have seen all 4 of our young grandchildren.

Today, our "London" grandchildren arrived for a few days. The photo shows them with my wife in our garden room.

Mess, but clean mess  😊

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Chelsea Flower Show

This is the most important flower show in the UK. Last week my wife and I went there. Tickets were a special birthday present to us both from my brother-in-law and his wife. It was a special members' day, but very busy.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Lisbon trams

It is very hot in Lisbon today with temperatures in the mid 30s C. Lisbon is famous for its historic trams.

In 1755 about 10% of the city's people were killed in an earthquake. It is a great city these days with about 3M people. Portugal was neutral in WW2. The population of Portugal s around 10M.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Easter Money

Although Easter was very late this year, it has not stopped our local John Lewis store which has had Easter goods on sales since just after Christmas. They clearly smell profits.

I expect it will soon be time to display the Christmas stuff, unless they can think of a new way to get customers to part with their money.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

No further swallows seen

Although I spotted my first swallows last week, none have been seen this week. With poorer weather they should be hunting nearer the ground, so should be easier to see. Cuckoos have already been seen in Devon.

So, what is this?

This mystery object, about 11 cm across and very light, was spotted on a rural walk yesterday. I welcome your guesses/. It definitely NOT a stone.

When I picked it up the green bits lit up and it said, "take me to your leader". OK, I am kidding!

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Tender Moment



This is a real Easter picture!

It shows one of my grandsons holding a lamb. I think you will agree that it is a very tender moment. You can almost sense the love and gentleness in his eyes.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Good news for a change

We seem to be fed lots of bad news (I guess this makes papers sell) but tend to not hear about good news often. So, we end up thinking the world is all gloom and doom. In actual fact the good news far outweighs the bad. So let me bring you some good news for a change.

See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47974844

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Easter Eggs

Our grandchildren are still young enough to enjoy hunting for chocolate Easter eggs hidden in the garden as the photo shows.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Swallows

Just seen the first swallow (migrant bird) flying over at lunchtime. There may have been some a few days ago, but this was my first positive sighting here. The earliest I have seen them here is April 7th.

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/swallow/

Coffee in the garden


This morning it was warm and sunny, so we had coffee in the garden for the first time this year.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Walk this morning

Earlier, we went for an walk at nearby Anglesey Abbey. By road, this is 5.3 miles away. It is owned by the National Trust with grounds big enough to avoid people even when busy. As this is the school Easter holidays, there were plenty of people there!

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Notre Dame - Paris

The images of this world famous cathedral last night looked horrific and I was dreading seeing the photos this morning. Precious medieval ceilings and the spire have gone, but I was surprised just how much managed to survive. 

It will be rebuilt, although I may not be around to see it finished. Thick 850 year old walls stand some treatment!


Breakfast

For the last few days one of our sons has been staying here with his family. He has cooked breakfast. The photo shows our son having his breakfast earlier. It was great to see them all.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

That hum

A fair proportion of people say they can hear a very low frequency audio hum. I can hear it. I have heard it from very early morning (about 5.30am UK time) until now. At first I thought it was someone's washing machine, or perhaps a plane. It sounds a bit like a distant washing machine.

Could it be the distant noise of traffic? Low frequencies may propagate through rocks. It is a very low level, but definitely there. It is worse today than I recall. Weather conditions are a little misty and we can sometimes hear traffic on the A14 road (about 2 miles away) clearly on misty days, which must allow audio signals to propagate further. Normally we do not hear A14 traffic.

I expect someone could "see it" with suitable audio transducers and software.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Margaret are you grieving?

As one gets older thoughts turn to human mortality. All of us dies - this is more certain than BREXIT day.

One poem, spoken to a young child, that hits me is by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a metaphysical poet. You may know it. We are on this earth for a very short time really. Deep down, our mortality hits us in the pit of our stomachs.  Are we really just dust?


Sunday, 31 March 2019

Springtime

Both our children and grandchildren have collected conkers from these old horse chestnut trees in our churchyard. No doubt children from countless generations have done the same. The trees were planted to celebrate the Battle of Waterloo (1815). Spring has sprung.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Norwich

Yesterday we went by train from Ely to Norwich, which is one of our favourite cities. It has some fine old buildings, a really lovely old fashioned market and a great Norman cathedral.

Friday, 22 March 2019

BREXIT Blues

If you live in the UK I expect, like me, you are sick and tired of BREXIT and the apparent inability of our elected MPs to agree on anything. A petition on the UK Government website calling for Article 50 to be scrapped is reported to have over 3 million signatures already. Experts think it very unlikely this is due to bots. Most votes are genuine.

No, most people in the UK and EU are appalled by our apparent lack of ability to agree on anything. There is no doubt that leaving the EU has terminally affected UK politics. A radical re-alignment of UK political parties seems highly likely in the next 10-20 years. I have little doubt that the EU will miss us, assuming we do leave.

BREXIT is going to have far reaching consequences. In the end, I am sure the UK will be fine, whether inside or outside the EU, but these next few years could be difficult as things change.

Cambridge Market

These flowers were on sale in Cambridge Market on Wednesday. Next door was a stall selling sweets. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Kings Flowers

At this time of year the flowers on the Cambridge Backs look splendid. The ones in the photo were on the approach to Kings earlier today.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Alboran Island

Since childhood, small isolated islands have fascinated me. Until yesterday I had never heard of Alboran Island or the Alboran Sea.

See http://www.evs-islands.com/2008/02/isla-alboran-sp-isolated-mediterranean.html .

Monday, 11 March 2019

Daffodils

For a few weeks my wife has wanted to see the daffodils at Hare Park, Chippenham, Cambs. Today we went.  A few weeks ago there was a splendid carpet of snowdrops. The daffodils were disappointing; several clumps had no buds. Although there were daffodils in flower, there were far fewer than we expected.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Tree Trunk

We saw this on a recent walk. The pattern is great.

Returning Summer Bird Migrants

Slowly, the summer bird migrants are returning. Already in Devon there are wheatears, sand martins and swallows. At first just the odd one, whereas by mid April, many will be commonplace once again.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Newmarket

This is our "local" town where we do most of our food shopping. Considering it is world famous as the home of racing, it is actually quite an average sort of place that could do far more to make it look better.

There are lots of short people (jockeys) and drivers of "Chelsea Tractors" who own studs or racehorses or train these.

Considering the wealth some of these people must have, I am quite surprised Newmarket isn't a really splendid town. The photo shows Newmarket High Street on an average weekday.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

HIV/aids Treatment Coming?

A UK patient with HIV who also has cancer is reportedly showing no detectable traces of HIV after undergoing stem cell treatment. I believe this the second reported stem cell success in the battle against HIV/aids. A proper treatment may still be some years away, but there is hope. Already drug treatments have changed HIV/aids to a condition that some people live with rather than die from.


Monday, 4 March 2019

Nest Building

There are signs of nest building in the trees in our churchyard as the photo shows. These birds at least think it is spring. According to the weather forecaster it is from March 1st.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

BREXIT - what next?

This is anyone's guess!

There are several big and important votes in parliament next week and it is in everyone's best interest that a deal is struck. The EU sells us more than we sell to the EU. No-one wants a "no deal" ending.

It seems to me like a game of "who blinks first", except this is no game. Actually I think the EU is miffed that we have the audacity to leave and is scared others might follow if the UK's deal is too good.  No doubt all will be clearer in a few weeks' time.

Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk

Last summer we spent a week in North Norfolk at Holme-next-the-Sea, where the photo was taken. The weather all week was perfect. Where we stayed (house and village) could not be better.

Eye, Suffolk

Back in the autumn we visited Eye in Suffolk which is a fine village with a splendid church. We ate at a little café on the LHS of the road leading down to the church (see photo). Café food was simple, tasty and low cost. We have eaten there more than once.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Blossom

The tree opposite our Post Office is a picture right now. It is laden with blossom. Sadly, this is very transient. A strong wind and another few weeks and it will all be gone.

Devon

In my childhood and youth I grew up in South Devon, where my ancestors lived. I moved away for work, although I return most years. My brother still lives there.