Monday, February 09, 2009

Definite thaw even if still 34F


Yet another shot out of the office window but not dawn today. Even though the blackbirds sit happily on the front wall oblivious of traffic, they have until yesterday turned their beaks up at these cotoneaster berries. However, they have now succumbed.

My bird feeders tend to concentrate on the smaller birds to the exclusion of starling and pigeons because they knock the food off bird-tables which then attracts rats. And the blackbirds suffer in consequence. In any case I always consider them slighlty mad - it is that staring yellow-rimmed eye that glowers at you. The one on the right is managed to half look at me whilst kicking up the snow.

No guests for lunch today and I did a chicken stir-fry with mixed chinese veg, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, sliced mushrooms and some fresh basil.. Seasoned with a couple of tbsps Oyster Ketchup and a dessert spoon of toasted sesame oil. Y said it couldn't be faulted for flavour but I didn't put any green bits in. I had planned some sliced green beans but forgot !

There are distinct signs of a thaw even though the temperature is still quite low. By Friday it is forecast to have risen to 41F which should get rid of some more snow.

Amazon really are a slick organisation. I think I mentioned ordering two books by mistake. No problem in returning just one of them. They e-mailed me a barcode label to include in the package and a postage label to stick on the front. What makes me say slick is that in the e-mail was a live link saying 'Print this label' which, when clicked, sent it straight to my printer without any faffing about.

Caught some good radio today. 'Quote Unquote' as you would expect is one of my favourites. One lovely quote was from the late Linda Smith about Jesus being clearly not English because he wore sandals, without socks.

And the afternoon play had Andrew Sachs in a play about Edward Lear called The Need for Nonsense. Interestingly Lear had a Greek Manservant, Grigorio who sounded just like Andrew Sachs in Fawlty Towers. Most confusing !

My responses to your previous comments

Bob ...... I guessed you would react to 'no wind' in the title. It surprised me that you didnt react to 'Derek for lunch' - I expected the reaction "I thought you were having pork chops".

For some reason 'Dancing on Ice' doesn't appeal to either of us even though we know several people who really rate it.

JBW....... You definitely qualify for a Radiogandy Star and probably also a house point for your work on the water-splash at Lacock.

n.b. I notice in my e-mail inbox a further comment from you. Would you mind please posting it in response to today's blog because I don't feel I can breach my 'no multiple comments' rule. Sorry.

Jill ...... Even though the dawn was OK the rest of the day was unexceptional. I think 'Raw' sums it up. Not pleasant at all.

We thought Ann Widdicombe did a tidy job with her Reformation bit in the Christianity series. As you no doubt know she went 'Roman' a few years ago and her interest in the period showed through.

Apple sauce was available although I personally don't like it with meat. Stewed apple always goes with custard in my book.

Some goose-fat came in our Xmas Hamper from Helen and David. But I keep forgetting to use it and do the roast potatoes in about half an inch of extra virgin. They always seem to turn out well. In my opinion King Edwards or Desirée give the best result with Maris Piper a possible third.

I remember the Robert Hughes series very well. An excellent Art Historian.

Yvonne ..... You are quite right about Lacock and this is a print from that very first negative.

I can't remember when you and I went but I have a photograph of that same latticed window from the outside.

Needless to say - I can't find it !

Reg ..... Google Images produced me this view of Lacock of the Abbey from the rear. Perhaps this is the stream which hosts the water-splash.

It would, as you say, be too far for a routine WoW.

Perhaps the answer would be to have an extended WoW and travel down one day, book in B & B and then travel back the next day. With suitable stopping places for taking snaps !

Quotation time ......

"A few strong instincts and a few plain rules will suffice us"

R. W. Emerson


We haven't had the fish for some time



jbw said...

The work by Fox-Talbot was at Lacock Abbey, which is a short diatance east of the village, to go with the picture you have posted.
There is a ford a couple of hundred yards north-east from the centre of Lacock village. If you use Ordnance Survey "Get-a-map" you will find it at grid reference ST 916 686.
If you do make a WOW visit you will need to take either an old Morris Minor or perhaps even better a shire horse and hay wain!

bob said...

Bungus believes berries resemble blobs of paint.
So does the cock blackbird’s beak (ours all have yellow beaks – and they use the bird table although they do prefer ground feeding).

I think the reason I enjoy ‘Ice Dancing’ and NOT ‘Strictly Ditto’ is, having done both in my late teens, I always feel that, with training, I could’ve danced as well as almost any competitors in the latter but not skated as well as any in the former, Todd Carty excepted.
Sadly but fairly, since yesterday’s comment, he’s gone. Cheeky grin apart, he will be remembered for his cat move, his immobile solo, and, especially, his dramatic ‘exit’.

I’m suspicious of King Edwards. I think they’re nothing like pre-ban ones and often suffer imperfections. Maris Piper likewise. Desiree are fine but I reckon Marfona and Estima are reliable too. There are other good ones, of course.

I don’t care for Meryl Streep but I agree about apple sauce.
We’ve goose fat from Xmas.

Are you watching ‘Around the World…’? What an open-minded Anglican presenter.

Writing or sketching/painting or watching telly’ll do for me.

Reg said...

O.K. Ford only shows on multi map at Max. magnification which i did not do last night.

Rob said...

Surprised it's not been mentioned but maybe nobody has seen the Nottingham Evening Post or it's website.....
Durban House, D H Lawrence Heritage Centre in Eastwood is under threat of closure as the local district council is looking to cut spending.

Durban House has a good exhibition space and the Bistro there has been mentioned many times on the blog.

I belive 4ticks teaches painting there as well?


Yvonne said...

JBW: Of course I knew Fox Talbot was at Lacock Abbey. Graham and I spent a whole day there and it was totally fascinating even for a non-photographer like me.

If there's a visit plus an overnight stay at a b. & b. - count me in.

Jill said...

I'm with you, Bob, I think King Edwards are not what they used to be....I use Desiree or Maris Piper. Though sometimes I get carried away I buy some from a named farm - I had some from Waitrose called 'Duke of York', they were terrific and worth the money, they were good roasted, mashed, boiled, jackets, etc. What really irritates me are the ones you buy that all break up into mush on the outside while the insides are still rock-hard.

I went to a yarn-tasting evening last night the suppliers come with little bags of free samples, and stuff to sell, and tell you all about it. You pay £5.00, get wine/nibbles/cake, and a jolly evening, and you get to try knitting with the yarn before buying it. Last night's lady has sheep/goats on a farm in Dorset, produces cashmere (very unusual) dyes it with lichens and natural dyes. Beautiful stuff - guess who came home with two skeins to make what will be a very expensive scarf?

Cold, sunny, snow-free down here.


We have seen the news regarding Durban House. Early days yet. We are attending a meeting there on Thursday will know more then I expect. I am in fact struggling to get paid for some of my greetings cards which they have on sale or return agreement. I sent an invoice in May 2008 and have twice sent reminders but am still waiting to receive what is my money that they are holding. Or are they? I will now begin e-mailing every 10 minutes & see what happens. Will keep you informed.

Roy said...

Our blackbirds do this every year. They don’t touch the cotoneaster berries until all the pyracantha and other berries have gone..Not sure why but perhaps they don’t like them so much!

We visited Lacock a couple of years ago but the main abbey itself was closed, perhaps because the grounds were full of Antiques Roadshow vehicles! Still well worth a visit. Can’t remember a ford though, but I did have a Peugeot at the time.

Knowing how you are all fascinated by local dialect can you remember the word “trassin or trazin”. I used it recently and although Ann knew exactly what I meant, our daughter (mid forties) hadn’t a clue.

It will be a shame if Durban House closes but I’m afraid it’s a sign of the times. The Tourist Information Centre in Ripley was apparently profitable but Derbys CC still closed it when they were short of cash. It always seemed much busier than Durban House.