Monday, September 29, 2008

Busy, busy, busy - Lovely day

Yesterday evening's mackerel sky -

"Mackerel sky, mackerel sky,
never long wet, never long dry"

...said the old adage. And it has been a fairly accurate forecast of today's showery weather.

My first job this morning was my routine blood-test, and at 10pm, they haven't rung me from the clinic so nothing disastrous is happening.

Then over to Mansfield to deliver the Nat.Trst visits info. to Oak Tree Primary School which we found without problem.

Round the Forest Town corner then for coffee with Peter and Joan. Joan seems quite lot better and has lost some weight. She seemed much less 'in pain' and we enjoyed an hour with them.

Picture 2 is their rear lawn which, until recently, was beautifully kept. Then some Badgers decided to visit each evening and play havoc with it. Neighbours apparently have counted 6. They just dig, scratch, and tunnel..

I have tried to illustrate the damage, but the light was poor and the state of ruination is underestimated by the snap.

We had lunch in Wetherspoons and then went to the Cinema to see "The Duchess". Shot mainly at Chatsworth. The "trailer" is under the link and both Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes were splendid. All the cast were first class and the story line was gripping and believable.

Picture 3 is a spider, variety unknown, who has a productive web close to the front door.

When I noticed him/her this morning there was a fly ensnared at about 45 degrees right, and halfway to the top right corner. I went to my bedroom for my Nikon and when I returned 30 seconds later the fly had gone. Escaped or eaten ? We shall never know.


Bungus....... Your pork joint sounds first rate. Shame you couldn't enjoy just a small piece of crackling.

Your mouse-training sounds fun. You'll have them towing little carts and swinging from trapeses by the sound of it.

4 ticks ........ Thanks for the pork-butchery tutorial. Provided my knives are sharp enough and I can find my bone-saw I'm not bad at butchery myself. Its a long story .... some time ......

incy wincy've got to be right about the Med and tides. ..Any and all stretches of water are tidal. They have no option. If the area of water is small the tide may not be noticeable ..... but that is a different matter.


I shall have to leave you all. My 'pit' beckons and my eyes are glazing over.



bungus said...

Peter and Joan‘s lawn does look a mess. I hadn’t relaised that badgers do such damage.
It seems unlikely that they are building a sett in such an open position so I suppose they must be rooting for worms. Perhaps the answer would be to feed them something else – I think that, strangely, like most wild animals, they love bread.

How was Wetherspoons? Does their food trade appear to have helped them through the smoking ban crisis.
I am told that The Plough at Ollerton closed because the licensee had been told by the brewery to put up his price of a pint to over £3 which he refused to do on the grounds that his customers were not prepared to pay even £2.75 because of neighbouring club prices.

Nice spider. I suppose IncyWincy will like it?

Re eating fungus:
An expert (whose knowledge I do not doubt) said on Radio Nottm the other day “Do not rely on books – ask an expert.” But how is one to know who is expert? If it means finding aomeone with a degree in mycology, that could be difficult.
In other countries, everyone is an expert – and a higher percentage of the population die from mushroom poisoning. I believe that someone was very recently admitted to hospital in the UK and recovered. Otherwise, if memory serves me correctly, the last authenticated case of death by poisoning in the UK was in 1954 and that was a case of someone mistaking a London bus for a moped (or the mycological equivalent, viz; Death Cap / Chanterelle).
I try to be sensible, although self taught (from a collection of several books, especially Roger Phillip’s ‘bible’, ‘Mushrooms … of Great Britain & Europe’ which lists about a third of the the 3,000 or so British varieties). After a few early mistakes like the one mentioned yesterday, I have tried to be careful, ie, if in even the slightest doubt, eat a very small portion and observe any effects before pigging out. I am reluctant to say, “You can safely eat that,” preferring “I would eat that.”
It can be difficult: I recall identifying one mushroom as 4 different species on successive days as it grew and changed.

I hadn’t realised that you actually teach ‘shopping’. I once had a neighbour/pub regular who said, “Don’t know how to spend money? See my wife; she’s an expert.”

I think Rymans is a much older firm than Partners, dating from the 60s I would suggest. No doubt there has been a takeover (which the gloomy prospects suggest may be regretted in coming months).

Names for joints of meat seem to vary wildly in different parts of the country (even between Nottingham and Mansfield); eg Shoulder/Hand, Fillet/Tenderloin, Belly/Spring.
I am sure you are right about the basic butchery of a pig but I was looking at a diagram online yesterday which showed at least 20 different cuts. What puzzled me was that ‘collar’ seemed to be considered a long slow cooking joint whereas what we had on Sunday was conventionally roasted and was very tender (but well flavoured too). I would have guessed that it was boned loin. I shall carry out further research.
I believe that pig’s head is essential for brawn.
Personally, I do not rate turkey very highly, much preferring the uneconomical goose (or any game bird, which we get very cheaply).

Incy Wincy:
Hands up!
You are technically correct about Mediterranean tides. I should have said they are insignificant.
My comment was based on
1) 18 months experience and observation while stationed in Tripoli, Libya,
2) a frantic few minutes of scuffling by a friend who had written a scurrilous message about Franco in the sand at Torremolinos in 1963 (in the false belief that the tide would erase it) and
3) the ‘well known fact’ that ‘the Mediterranean has no tides’ (just as Sutton reservoir has no tides).

No wish to score points but, in the interest of research, I googled it and obtained the following astronomical comment
“The Mediterranean sea does have tides, but they are of a very low amplitude… …its tides have an average amplitude of a few centimetres, instead of the metre or so… …in… …the … Atlantic (just to the west of of the Straits of Gibraltar).
The low tides in the Mediterranean are mostly associated with the fact that it has a very narrow outlet/inlet into the Atlantic (although that is not the whole story).”.

anonymousrob said...

I see the Arts Section has met the Food Section with the publication of a mackerel sky (geddit?) I like that sky and feel sure you could drop it into another photo to enhance the finished result.

I'm not sure why you are choosing to walk past the Sports Desk, RG. Not knowing or understanding what you are talking about seems to be a pre-requisite for many sports commentators.

Helen, where in Sicily did you holiday? We had a day trip there from our base in Calabria. Our visit to Taormina had to be aborted due to lack of car parking spaces so we just went up Etna from the northern side. As a result we saw old lava flow, trees and cloud but no activity from the volcano itself.

Bungus, surely there was no CCTV in 1963? How would the Spanish authorities know it was your friend 'wot did it'?

Nineteen sixty-three
No CCTV to see
Franco is a b....

Franco insult in the sand
Who's the guilty one?