Thursday, September 03, 2009



Graham's funeral took place today and our family were overwhelmed by the number of people who attended, the personal tributes and the flowers. I will make a contribution in Graham's name to charity.

In spite of his ill-health Graham loved life and HIS life in particular: family, his recent visit to Ashbourne, garden birds and flowers, cooking, photography, art, Radio 4, poetry, the Telegraph crossword.

But his greatest passion was his blog. However ill he felt, he usually managed a post and so loved the responses he got and the discussions that ensured. And, of course, his Webuser forums provided him with endless pleasure.

It was a privilege to have been his wife.

Goodbye Graham. May you rest in peace. Yvonne x

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Graham's funeral will take place at 1.15 p.m. on Thursday, 3rd September 2009, at Mansfield Crematorium and afterwards at the Sandhills Tavern, Underwood (map provided).

Graham loved flowers and all floral tributes welcome. Enquiries to Eastwood and District Funeral Services - 01773-713484.


I have been much comforted by all the blog comments and the cards I have received. Our family knew Graham was a giant amongst men but didn't realise that other people did as well. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009



GRAHAM THOMAS MARSDEN, B.A., L.R.P.S. : 28.10.35 - 25.8.09

My dear Graham died this morning at the City Hospital, Nottingham. He did not recover from his emergency operation,

He was dearly loved and loving and all the family are devastated. We know his many friends will share our grief.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Graham in hospital for few days

Graham was taken into hospital last night - NHS at its best: xrays, ECGs, blood tests and loads of medical staff. Will know more after scan but the diagnosis seems positive'

I'll give him your regards and best wishes. Yvonne

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The old soldier is still poorly.

No blog again. Still problems and I've not yet learned how to do the pictures. Perhaps better tomorrow.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

No blog post today

Graham is unwell and there will be no blog post today. He'll respond to your emails and comments when he feels better. Please do not add comments to this post. Yvonne.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blood Test - Lawns mowed - Carol Ann Duffy

The day started with my INR blood-test (the level is 5.1 - it should be 3) and then we went shopping. In Lidl, Y had a severe twinge of sciatica. Although it has happened elsewhere, it often seems to strike in Lidl. Poor girl - she had to hold onto the freezer cabinets for support.

Then we did Morrisons and then home. Although Y was still suffering she felt her planned swim at the Hayley Centre would do more good than harm, and so it proved. I insisted on offering transport both ways.

This dramatic fungi on a tree-stump near the barriers looked worth a photograph. We don't intend to try it ourselves but if edible, one could offer a meal to a large number of people.

Perhaps Bob could help us with identity and also culinary value.

Whilst at Ann and Roy's on Saturday Roy lent us this book of Carol Ann Duffy. Although described as children's poetry there is plenty in there to delight adults too. I'm on my second read through and Y is also enjoying it. She says that although not a poetry fan she loves this. Particularly the two poems about Elvis. I am glad Carol Ann is now the Poet Laureate. She is a premier league poet and fully deserves the honour.

Her thoughts flow with a beautiful lyrical rhythm. And what a well-stocked mind !

I don't know how our WoW people fared today. The weather has been good if they did eventually decide on Calver. A lovely spot with several excellent possible walks. No doubt I shall hear in due course and receive some pictures.

Appropriately, following our Haworth Trip to the Bronte Parsonage, Radio 7 are serialising Wuthering Heights and Heathcliffe is equipped with a delightful Yorkshire accent. Well he would be wouldn't he? Incidentally some of the costumes to be used in the new TV production were on display at the Museum.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob .... Someone told me that Nyger seed and Thistle seed were in fact the same thing.

All these grocery connections.

jbw .... Wowee ! Clever Grandma.

Yvonne ..... You were very brave today to go swimming ! I'm so glad it worked out.

Jill ..... I was glad that, in the end, we rendered your comment 'compliant with the rules'. I didn't want to miss out on an interesting comment but on the other hand ......

Buses are becoming more user friendly, albeit slowly. You would love our trams.


Quotation time .......

"An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it."

Jef Mallett

"Sleep tight - Hope to catch you tomorrow"


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Karen day - Y 'hair' and then 'nails' at Sherwood

Steven sent these pictures from their holiday in Scotland and, for space reasons, I've collaged them together. He also sent some lovely people pictures not for publishing because Y doesn't like the idea of worldwide access to them, particularly the children.

Although the above two snaps depict rather forbidding weather they have had some sun too and sound very much as if they are enjoying themselves which is the main thing. The children are at a super age to amuse themselves, and, with Millicent, no-one will be bored.

I'm so pleased to be able to publish the picture on the left - to demonstrate the return of the Goldfinches.

The level of thistle seed in their feeder had not been going down very much but, over the last couple of days they have made up for lost time.

The Great Tits are more active but are such frenzied feeders (mostly peanuts) its hard to get a decent sharp photograph. I shall keep trying however and when I succeed mug-shots will appear herein.

This morning Karen arrived just before 9.30am and Y's Hair appointment wasn't till 10.45am so we didn't rush out. Its nice to see her for an hour anyway - we learn lots about 'how the other half lives' not Karen, who is quite normal but some of her neighbours and their friends. She sometimes does cleaning jobs for her landlord and she agreed to clean up one of his houses. The tenants had done a 'midnight flit' after having been growing cannabis in the loft.

I took Y down to Eastwood for her 'hair' and then onwards to Sherwood for her 'nails'. I didn't wait for her but came back via Mapperley Top and Newstead. I discovered the road from the A60 to Papplewick and Linby was closed for repairs so my attempt to avoid the holdup near the City Hospital didn't actually save any time. The scenery was prettier though. Y bussed it into Nottingham and then to Brinsley.

In the absence of Reg, WoW tomorrow is being masterminded by Roy. I can't manage it due to a conflicting blood-test but the group intend to go to Calver which is always nice. I've left a message on Helen C's answer-phone.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob ..... Re the Green Man and Black's Head Royal Hotel at Ashbourne. During my time local people simply called it The Green Man.

Re: My 'wheels' versus 'my shooting stick'. I must admit to feeling more tired, and my legs and back ache more. But I am convinced it is the right thing to do. There's no doubt that some people react to you differently if you appear 'disabled' and I don't like to be treated as a deaf idiot. We will see how we go !

Yvonne .... I sincerely hope that the Hayley Pool isn't overcrowded tomorrow. If I'm to drop you off it would perhaps make sense for me to hang around for 5 minutes to see is you want to come straight back. If you don't appear I'll assume that all is well.

I agree about Mrs Cleese, and also the carnivorous pitcher plant named after David Attenborough. The linked page explains and I thought we should have it on record.

Jill ..... I managed to circumvent having deleted your comment. Thank goodness ! I would have felt awful.

Re: Howell & Marsden. The firm was a Grocers but they also had a wholesale liquor licence. The firm owned 3 pubs in the town itself and several more in surrounding villages. These they supplied with the booze. My Dad had a nervous breakdown in 1949 and, as I was only 14yrs old there was little I could do. The family all insisted that the business and the freehold to the premises, including the pubs, be sold off so they could get at the money. It was a tragedy.

The only public transport I use regularly is the tram to Nottingham. These are beautifully designed. No steps.


Quotation time ......

"The smaller the mind the great the conceit"


"Sleep tight - Catch you tomorrow"


Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday recovery day - Y in Galley

First things first. An editorial correction. In the 'collage' of our Haworth trip I wrote that the top right corner thereof was Y. It wasn't. It was some other lady with whom I have no connection.

The picture on the right is the picture I intended to use. This lady IS without any doubt Y. I hope she will accept the apologies of the editor.

Today we have enjoyed a completely quiet recovery day. Y walked round to the little shop for milk (so handy!) and bread (a Luke Evans 'Bobby's foot') which we used to eat all the time but then like so many people we were lured into Supermarket Bakeries. I must confess that I am still in my 'parjies' (is that appropriate dormouse apparel Jill ?). Y has masterminded meals, lots of tea and a good time has been had by all. I feel refreshed enough to tackle the North of Scotland should the need arise.

Our National Trust outing to Sudbury Hall was another triumph for Jean. Everything went according to plan and, as usual, the sun shone. We broke our outward journey with an hour's stay in Ahbourne and I was able to point out our ex- family businesses, then named Howell & Marsden. and the picture shows the two shops which were in use at the same time. Although blocked off now, there were steps and an alleyway in between the shops giving access to the Stable Yard and the Offices.

As you can see we were directly opposite the Green Man & Black's Head Royal Hotel. I guess the name has given some civil-libbers a twinge or two. The snap was taken from just outside a Costa Coffee shop which was handy. Y found it, bless her ! She knows I really like Costa Coffee. A good flavour and reliable.

A surprise for me was how many businesses are still trading under the names I remember. Hulmes the Fishmonger, Peach the Butcher, Spencer's the Café and so on.

After Ashbourne it took under half an hour to reach Sudbury Hall which I personally found a dour and forbidding place. Another odd thing was that the gardens were devoid of flowers. This added to the atmosphere of gloom.

The Museum of Childhood was more attractive but, as Y noted, it is difficult to work out the intended audience. Most of the children I saw were bored as their parents painstakingly tried to interest them in items. Going up the chimney and getting a blackened face seemed universally popular.

None of this however spoiled our overall enjoyment of the day. It was lovely being with our Nat.Trst chums and lots of laughs were enjoyed.

An interesting feature was James May's Plasticine Garden. James May is a Top Gear presenter and his 'garden' which had been at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show was of great interest.

It was a lively, creative idea and for me it was a welcome bit of colour and I liked it. Wendy for instance hated it and some were undecided.

Until I read the notice at the side I didn't realise that this bust, of William Harbutt. an Art Teacher who invented plasticine in 1887, was itself made out of plasticine. A brilliant piece of work and if James May sculpted this too he deserves more respect as an Artist, let alone as a Top Gear presenter.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob ..... You may be right that the rear seats of coaches cause travel sickness but neither of us suffered it. I think that the 'rear seats of cars' have been known to result in 'morning sickness' !

Jill ..... Thanks for your praise for 'staying the course'. Provided I am not alone my policy now is to try and get about using my shooting-stick. As they all do, it makes a seat if I am desperate to sit down.

I have reasoned that, from stick > to lightweight wheels > to heavyweight wheels with seat, was a downward curve which sooner or later would lead to a full-blown wheelchair. I wanted to break into and arrest this downward trend if at all possible. Being 'done-for' is a small price to pay.

No more gallivanting in the near future and I think today has been a dormouse day.

Reg .... Thanks for the update on Maureen's hip and the Consultant's views. I bet it is hard to know whether to be pleased or disappointed that an op isn't recommended. It seemed like a good solution I guess. But, if you have trust in the consultant you have to go along with what is recommended.

Y will be delighted to read about the pool and your solitary possession of it. I feel sure she will fit a session in this week.


Quotation time ......

"Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness ?"

Artemus Ward

Definitely an 'hour in the pub with' candidate.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday - Ann & Roy's Golden Wedding do - 70F Windy

A relaxing morning after our Haworth trip yesterday.

The collage on the left illustrates it. As usual with such places it was 'no photography' in the Bronte Parsonage Museum so the collage comprises The Church, Y at the top of the Hovis lad's delivery hill, some Church stained glass, and the cobbled path down from The Parsonage. I put the cobbled path in sepia because it suited the period and the subject.

Y and I both like 'stained glass' in all its forms, from ancient to modern and, when you get used to it, it isn't too difficult to get exposures right. Even with the Fuji compact which I used exclusively yesterday.

The coach trip, with Lavenders, worked fine. To begin with we were just two back from the driver but knee room was a major problem. We asked, and discovered that the back seat was free, so we moved to it. Brilliant ! In future we aim to book it in the first place. Plenty of room - I sat in the centre seat with my legs down the aisle and Y sat in the window with all the clutter in between us. We broke our journey outwards with an hour in Halifax. We found what looked to be (from the outside) an old pub. It was awful ! An example of the sort of pub where you wipe your feet on leaving, not when going in. The gents had the worst urine smell I've ever encountered and Y reported a similar story about the lady's. When she touched the toilet seat it fell to pieces.

Around 2pm this afternoon we went over to Ann & Roy's at Nuthall to help them celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Good luck to them. We had nice chats to lots of people and, although I was mostly in the one chair in the conservatory I 'circulated' as best I could.

Poor Maureen - she is in deep trouble with her hip. Particularly pain-wise. Nothing seems to give her lasting relief, not even a pain-killer injection directly into it. She is to see a consultant at Heanor tomorrow and all we can do is hope. You could see from her face how much she is suffering.

Y enjoyed her bit of 'social' as she always does. Great nibbles, great occasion, and most enjoyable.

When we arrived home it had been my intention to have a lie-down because I felt done-for. But, I found so many little jobs to do, I didn't manage it till gone 7pm. One job was tidying up this rose which lives in a tub. The plant has earlier produced a long-lasting first bloom of flowers and I thought that this 'second' deserved some judicious light pruning, snipping off of dead leaves and a general sort out round the base of the plant. Then I took it's photo and gave it a good water.

My responses to your previous comments

Peter B.... Thank you for your good wishes for the trip. As you will see above we had a first rate time. The coach driver dropped us at the top of the hill and I managed the remaining short cobbled rise slowly but OK. I was tired out when we finished though.

Bob .... I don't know what it is about Buddleias and Bees and Butterflies. Originally I thought it was something to do with that exotic purply/red of the common or garden variety. But this plant of Derek & Betty's is a 'not very striking yellow' - so it can't be that.

Re: Haworth. It was generally accepted that the 'waterfall' wasn't worth the walk.

Re: stocking up. It might be interesting to do a tour of kitchen shelves and cupboards, garage shelves, and freezer - to see how long (with a reasonable diet) one could withstand siege. Milk isn't essential anyway - is it?

Thanks for the pictures of Moon Pig. What a lovely name for a 'staffie'. Lucky Dan & Em ! I know how envious you must be.

Jill .... Yet another collage today. I made the bottom right corner picture sepia partly with you in mind. It suits the snap anyway.

I think the last reason you suggest about the vanishing caterpillars will be the correct one. They never just vanish but they will all reach the 'chrysalis' phase at the same time.

Of course 'eggs' are a must ! Silly of me to omit them.

Yvonne ...... I know your mother could only cook egg & chips, but it has given you a life time's appreciation of the dish. And I certainly don't mind because its one of my favourites too.

Re: Ann and Roy's 'do'. I think everyone who went will agree that it was an excellent occasion. Simple, straightforward, and nice !

I assume 'Ray' is a typo for 'Reg'. Anyway, I think you ought to resume your Hayley swimming. You don't want to leave it so long that you set up a mental barrier.

jbw .... Although not officially a 'comment' thank you for your e-mail sending me the 'orchid' pictures. The modern variety is mostly Phaleanopsis and, as the linked site will tell you, their care is relatively straightforward. To have one in continuous flower for over a year though must be something of a rarity.


Tomorrow is a Mansfield Centre for The National Trust coach trip to Sudbury Hall which should be good. Comparatively speaking it is quite close, which will take any pressure off the actual journey. Let us hope that we are lucky again with the weather. But Jean, the organiser, is usually so lucky and the sun invariably shines. We are picking her up at 8.30am and look forward to a day with all our chums. Unfortunately, Peter and Joan can't make it.

We are hoping to see them one day next week anyway - because Peter would like another hour 'hands on' learning on his PC. We would like that too because Joan and Y always find something to talk about !

Quotation time ....

"A good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellencies of lively conversation. "

In view of the Sudbury Hall trip, I don't intend to publish a blog-post tomorrow. So, see you all being well, on Monday. Sleep tight, take care etc...etc...


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Routine Shopping - some PC jobs - Tel Crossword etc.

We got going early-ish and it seemed strange with Y not going to BJ. But they go to Scotland on holiday today.

Shopping routinely at Lidl then Morrisons and enjoyed both. I had a Magwitch spasm in Lidl but it soon passed. I had put two jacket potatoes in the oven, on the timer set for 1pm. Don't jacket potatoes smell good when they are baking in a hot oven? I just prepared a little salad garnish to accompany them. I little butter pushed in when I split them and then some grated cheddar cheese. Fit for a King etc.,. Anyway, anything to do with potatoes and Y is there. For pudding we had some sorbet which was most pleasant. I do like a sweet pudding these days - I used to be cheese & biscuits orientated, but no more. Perhaps it's the dreaded second childhood......

Just over Derek & Betty's fence is a Buddleia which is attracting bees and butterflies. I got some steps because the fence is high, but the only butterflies seemed to be tortoiseshells and a cabbage white. On our Echinaciea I saw this comma butterfly who looked as if he had come off second best in some dispute. He/she had lost almost half a wing. Could still fly though - he must have felt like Biggles limping home on a wing and a prayer.

Tomorrow we are going on a day-trip, by coach, to The Parsonage at Haworth (home of the Brontés) and we are both looking forward to it very much. Not a National Trust Trip for a change. The coach leaves Eastwood around 8.30am and we can park at the side of The Sun Inn for the day.

I don't expect we will be back till late evening so tomorow will have to be a blog-free day I'm afraid. I've downloaded a couple of hours of podcasts onto my MP3 player - so, if the weather is awful, and the coach-trip tedious, I have something to listen to.

Last night I kept looking out of my bedroom window but didn't see a single perseid. Let alone a shower. And not a word on the radio/telly/press today ! As I say "they've lost interest".

My responses to your previous comments

Bob .... Your tomatoes certainly do seem to be rather shy ! And I know you have told me that Red Alert is usually earlier than Gardeners Delight. Ah well ! Nature cannot be forced into anything. They will be even more delicious when they do ripen.

As you say your Climber/Rambler will grow again with renewed zest for life.

Jill ..... Of course the sheep knitted cosy has got to be Sheila ! Is the Australian Merino tightly curled, like old lady's hairdos or is it smoother than that ?

Sorry you are still busless and breadless. Let them eat cake .... etc.. We always think that if you have got milk and potatoes you can survive.


Quotation time .....

"It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value."

Stephen Hawking

Hasn't he done well to be awarded the US Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama ? The Medal is the US's highest civilian award.

"Sleep tight - and tomorrow night too - might catch you on Saturday"


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

David & family visit - 69F and 9mph NW wind

I thought you might like to see an uptodate picture of our outdoor tomatoes. They are against the south-facing side wall of the garage. I think this absorbs heat during the day and realeases it steadily during the night. Whatever, they are doing well and taste delicious.

David and Helen and Sky and Brooke visited us this morning (instead of tomorrow when they are doing something with John). We had a great time. David helped me a lot with my new gadget, and I think now it is just a matter of practice and getting used to it. He showed me how to surf the internet, and also how to access my blog, and my gmail inbox.

Helen was pleased to see how well our tomatoes are doing (she grew the plants for me) and apparently the variety, Gardeners Delight, is Brooke's favourite. At home she had 6 yesterday ! The variety is renowned for producing big trusses, quite early, with excellently flavoured fruit.

Both Y and I read both school reports and both girls are doing very well indeed !

Talking of school matters I am delighted to able to report that Debra's appeal was successful and both Ruby and Elli will now go the the same school. Great result because going to a new town, and a new school it is nice to have your sister there too. So Debra, that completely unstaged bursting into tears didn't do any harm at all !

As I have previously discussed it I thought you might like to see a picture of our 'magic' Matalan teapot.

You probably don't need me to talk you through the 'collage' but I will. The top picture shows the cosy and the teapot side by side. The bottom picture shows the teapot with the cosy in situ.

I'm not exagerating if I tell you that tea an hour old is perfectly acceptable AND HOT ! Obviously it is better if you top the pot up having once poured a couple of mugs.

I have discovered a site for a good read. It is called Arts and Letters Daily and the front page is a series of introductory paragraphs to some serious reading. Ok - it caters for the 'egghead' and 'poetry lover'. Anybody who has sometimes enjoyed Granta will be at home here.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob .... Warfarin is indeed an ugly beast but without it my blood would revert to a normal persons 'thickness' and I would have either a stroke or a heart attack.

Then, if it gets too thin, I suffer internal bleeding. The latter of course is why they use it to kill rats.

Hence their scrupulous control of my dosage; sometimes changing it by as little as a ½ tablet a week. Followed of course by the frequent blood-tests until the level becomes stable again.

I sympathise with your wild fluctuations in BP ! I suppose I've got to have something that is OK - and my BP is it. Y is the BP sufferer.

Thanks for updating the Sports Desk. This please click is a link to a report of the Stags v Luton match to which you refer

The 'Ollerton of Yesteryear' also sounds good. These local history items are so important. The link is to their web-site.

Jill ..... How interesting that African Violets don't necessarily run true to colour, in leaf cuttings ! Seeds of some plants are notorious for producing siblings of a different type altogther. But I had always assumed that a cutting from a parent plant would come true to type i.e. dahlias, and chrysanths etc.of specific named varieties. There is another hour or two's research during a sleepless night !

As you know I don't watch that much television. But both of us are completely taken with the quality of Jimmy McGovern's writing. I agree that it can be downright depressing but, in a way, I am pleased he doesn't opt for a populist and artificially cheerful ending. Makes it more believable I think.

I can only sympathise with you being letterless and busless. An enforced walk of a mile is something you certainly didn't need. Wouldn't a taxi have been the answer? ..... Have a doormouse day, until the aches and pains recede.


Quotation time .....

"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome."

Jane Austen - bless her !


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pleasant day - 73F (hottest) - Y down Nottingham

My day started with a blood-test at 9.05am. p.s. the Clinic has just rung and my warfarin level is all over the place again. Adjustments to dosage and further tests in quick succession unfortunately.

And starting with David and family coming over on Thursday, we have a busy weekend ahead.

Nevertheless - A lovely day. According to the Weather Centre we have a 10mph NW wind. But we haven't; it is quite still. And the weather centre is at Watnall a mere few miles away.

I took Y down to Nottingham because she was meeting Joan and they went to The Castle for The Paul Sandby Exhibition. They both enthused about it. As I needed to go to Carphone Warehouse (lets hope for the final time) with a few remaining questions about my LG Renoir KC910 which incidentally is a mobile phone like a Blackberry enabling me to surf the internet on it and send e-mails.

When I got home Karen was still here and, as the weather was so nice, she decided that, after cleaning she would mow the lawns. She did, and they look great - see Picture 1. I wish I had a quarter of her energy.

Joan sent me some more scented leaf Geraniums cuttings to try to root. I've put them in sherry glasses in the tray on the kitchen window sill where our African Violets live.

They obviously like it there because they are doing so well at the moment. Although African Violets only need v.sparse watering they seem to enjoy the moist atmosphere close to the taps and the sink. The flowers you see are a third flowering. Occasionally, with a scalpel, I prune the plants of leaves when they become overcrowded. I know it is possible to produce new plants from leaf-cuttings and I feel I want to have a go.

My responses to your previous comments

Jill... These modern orchids really are a joy. Their flowering period is so lengthy. I put the stem (that I accidentally snapped off) in a small glass of water. Only today did it wilt and have to be binned.

Anenome japonica seems to have a will of its own when it comes to flower colour. You are right that they almost seem capable of changing pink/white/back again. Tracy has a pink and doesn't seem able to get a white to prosper. Ours are mostly white, although this year we have a pink near the rear garden trellis.

With regard to a collective name for a 'flock' of Painted Lady butterflies. Could I suggest a 'Bootsmakeupcounter' of ..... ?

Y has enjoyed the Irish Police ..programme. I was at a conference some years ago in Dublin with The Garda and their General Secretary took a real shine to Y.

Bob.... See above re Japanese Anenome. Sandra could be right. But from our experience I would say that the 'reversion' was from pink to white rather than vice versa.

'The Street' was good again. He seems to be deal with disturbing subjects in a sensitive way.


Quotation time .................

"To die for an idea is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true !"

"Sleep tight - Catch you tomorrow"


Monday, August 10, 2009

At home day - best weather 6am-7am - then rainy

Today we enjoyed a quiet 'at home' day and managed lots of reading, crossword puzzle, computer jobs etc. And I must mention some Radio. A programme called Under The Red Duster on Radio 4. It's a history of the Merchant Navy presented by John Prescott - and he is doing it very well indeed.

The weather first thing was lovely - sunny and still, but by 7am it had started to deteriorate to windy, rainy and cold which has mostly persisted. Y walked round to the newsagents to pay the papers and buy some milk but apart from that we have simply stayed in.

For lunch I cooked some Venetian Sausages (from our Dobbies at Chesterfield trip) and initially I was worried because whilst under the grill they exuded this bright orange gunge. Lots of it. When fully cooked however we were most pleased with them. A good flavour; not over spiced and a nice texture. I served them with green beans, mashed potatoes, courgettes and a mushroom. Into the mashed potato I folded some chopped chives (Y managed two jobs together - we had chives growing in between two patio slabs so she pulled them out and I chopped them). For pudding Y did my favourite red fruit compote, with greek yoghurt.

Picture 1 is something I've been wanting to try for a day or two. A snap of this Orchid with my 50mm lens at f1.8, to achieve the very restricted depth-of-field. Like it or loathe it - thats the effect I was trying for.

Picture 2 is odd in a different way. David brought Y this Kalanchoe plant on Mothering Sunday and it had flower spikes covered in separate flowers. Although the flowers died off the plant didn't, so I pruned it and tended it.

The plant has rewarded me with a second flowering. But this time the flowers are single blooms !

Isn't nature strange ? So unpredictable.

I've just spoken to Helen about the Crabbing Championships and none of our people won anything but everybody had a great time. Helen said the atmosphere was terrific. 1,200 people registered and took part. And I'm sure the crabs found it tolerable because they were all thrown back, replete with food and none the worse for their experience.

Sky still isn't 100% but better, although she still has a nasty nocturnal cough. All being well they are coming over to see us on Thursday. That will be super. Hear all the news, and see the pictures.

I still haven't got my LG Renoir KC910 actually working yet. But I have found a web-site and a forum ! So, it is only a matter of time.

My responses to your previous comments

Jill .... Glad you enjoyed the asters; they get better each day. There are only a few plants but they look so cheery I wish we'd got a bed full. When they are approaching their prime I'll blog another snap.

How clever of you (and Martin) to recognise what butterfly will be forthcoming from which caterpillar.

Shame the stocks have to be sacrificed though. I love stocks and think the scent so typically English.

Long live Amazon. Such a slick organisation. The Govt ought to headhunt some of their IT people and pay them what it takes to have a go at the NHS.

Bob .... Sorry about confusing my right hand with my left hand again. It wasn't a deliberate 'tester' honest.

I'll always be happy to publish Sports Desk items about The Stags. It's the least I can do to support our local team.

As this caterpillar thread has aroused interest - if you would like to research the Cinnabar moth I would be delighted to publish a picture. Cinnabar sounds really exotic dunnit?


Quotation time ......

"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar"

"A bit early - but sleep tight - catch you tomorrow"


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Super Sunday - Canal Walk - Visitors - 75F


We got off to a good start - it was such a lovely morning and we decided on a walk along the Cromford/Nottingham Canal from just before the Langley Mill basin and towards Nottingham. The walk is only a couple of miles away and always pleasant. I took my wheels and although I didn't think I'd make our full circular walk, I did - thanks to frequent 'sits-down'. Took some snaps and the bottom right of the collage is my best effort to capture an example of the large brown dragonflies which were zooming about. Top right of the collage must be a primitive water-lily. I don't think I've seen one in bloom before.

We like to walk down the canal bank and then return via a path through the fields which brings you back to your starting point. Perhaps I shouldn't have tackled the whole walk because I'm suffering a bit now - but it was worth it. I hope the collage shows what a brilliant morning it was. Everyone we met wanted to exchange nice things about the morning. Youths on motorbikes were a bit of a spoiler. They congregate in a farmers field about 100 yards away which would be fine if they stayed there. But, being youths, they have to emerge onto the towpath and the bridges - disrupting people's walks and irritating the anglers.

Difficult to say much because I was a teenager with a motorbike who had great difficulty waiting for the legal age to ride it. My parents didn't know because we kept them behind a shed at a pals house and took every chance we could to fire them up and belt round an adjoining field. In any case it was an AJS 350cc and, as a learner, one was only allowed up to 250cc.

And I always think, these are lads with a bit of spirit who would join the Forces and fight for us, should the occasion arise.

When we returned we decided on the Birds Eye 'fish in a bag' which one oven-bakes from frozen for 25 minutes. Jill has recommended them, and the lady in Morrisons who we like, said "They fly off the shelves - as soon as they come in they've gone". Anyway, the cooking method works - beautifully cooked, full of flavour, and no lingering fish smell in the kitchen.

We were pleased about the latter point because just after lunch Tracy who was in Hucknall she would like to call in. Always nice to see Tracy. And then Peter Green arrived for half an hour. Peter and Joan have returned from holiday (good weather, no transport problems, nice things to do). He had just been to a local Baptist Church where today was the last service due to closure. Then he was going on to another Baptist Church where he was to take the Service. Peter, among his many other roles, is an Ordained Lay Minister. Tracy couldn't believe he is eighty and said all the right things. He looked so smart and is an example to us slobs.

Y has just done my tea - an open smoked German ham sandwich, with three of our own tomatoes. Delicious !

Had a nice chat with David this morning. They have moved to the White Beach Caravan Club Site near Southwold to be handy for Walberswick where the British Open Crabbing Championships take place today. They needed to register at 2pm and the rules are simple. Who lands the single heaviest crab, on a single line, in a 9o minutes period ? David has printed them all T shirts with an appropriate wording and has promised a photo of them all four, wearing same. Knowing Sky's competitive propensities, and with family support, who knows ?

After that they are driving back to Long Eaton and I shall look forward to hearing from them. We have still got those excellent School Reports to enjoy.

My responses to your previous comments

jbw ..... Derby Morrisons seems abit far for us, for a bottle of milk !

Bob .... We also like Mansfield Sainsburys and often pop in, if we are in Mansfield for some other reason. This happens quite often.

Thanks for the pictures and it gives me pleasure to publish this Sports Desk snap of Field Mill. For the benefit of non-local people Field Mill is the historic home ground of Mansfield Town FC, who have always been known as The Stags.

When you say you awoke with 'horse and headache' I can only assume you mean 'hoarse' otherwise I'm reminded of a scene from The GodFather.

Yvonne .... You are right about the 'blue' in the Aster. It should be possible to get the artichoke correct - but I've more or less finished messing-about with it. Like 'the press, I've lost interest' and moved on.

It was a little thoughtless of Vic to begin in the footpath with a hedge-trimmer at 8.10am. Only partly redeemed by his offer to do ours too. If you go and look its hard to see what he has actually cut. I think it may eventually be a job for Alex. It isn't the cutting, its the taking away the cut-off bits, of which there would be many.

Amazon take some beating. Apart from the rock-bottom price the whole operation is so slick. E-mails confirming each stage and a very quick delivery time.


Quotati0n time ...............

"Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps."


Its quite a while since I ended with one of Y's favourites - the train