Sunday, July 29

Rainy Days and Mondays…

It would be churlish to complain about the rain. Here in London we have escaped the worst of the flooding that has caused so much damage further north.

By and large, the flooding that has occurred here has been in low-lying sites such as tube stations. An inconvenience at worst, but nothing disastrous. Two Fridays ago central London had more rain in two hours than it normally gets in the entire month of July. But things carried on pretty much as normal. We had our college end of year party that day, complete with (indoor) barbecue. It was a wonder that we weren’t prosecuted under the new Anti-smoking legislation.

In our little part of the world the only real problem caused by the rain is that the slugs and snails have been busier than normal, shredding everything within reach and even climbing up walls the better to feast on our window boxes.

My good lady wife is back to her nocturnal slug hunting, torch in one hand, slug squishing trowel in the other. Some of the neighbours think we are a little strange.

It entertains the cats too.

Now if only snails moved fast enough to tempt the cats, our problems would be solved….

Thursday, July 26

Making The Most Of It

Our garden is feeling somewhat neglected of late. My Mother-In-Law's illness has meant that the Head Gardener has been spending a lot of time visiting her Mum at the hospital. When she has been at home, the rain has kept her inside for far too long.

Meanwhile, at my college, whilst the teachers are relaxing, we few (Very Few!) in the Library are stocktaking, preparing new books, and re-arranging the shelves. We have over 21,000 books and DVDs at the moment, and by the time September arrives we will have moved every single one eight feet sideways and put them back on the shelves! It's tiring, and when I get home gardening is far from my mind.

However, we managed to get outside this evening, in one of those magical periods when the weather suddenly clears and the blue of the sky looks as if it has been scrubbed clean.

The Fuchsias and Montbretia may be drooping, but the colours set each other off beautifully.

The Agapanthus have been waiting for ages to bloom, and finally found the courage to do so.

My better half stopped to have a chat with our next-door-neighbour. Our gardens are slightly sloping, so she knelt on a garden chair to have a proper over-the-fence chat.

Regular readers will know that our cats are firm believers in only sitting on humans under certain conditions, namely
  • If They Haven't Asked Them To
  • When They Least Expect It
  • And Preferably When It Causes Them Most Inconvenience.
Bernard saw his opportunity and seized it with all four paws!

Instantly relaxing himself, my wife was rendered helpless. Another Success for the Feline Takeover of the World.

Job Done.

Saturday, July 14

The Power of Wine and Cheese

It could be argued that this story should be filed under "Only In America". However, I think this news item about the redemptive power of a good red wine and a piece of cheese holds out hope for us all!

Wednesday, July 11

One Man's Meat...

Sometimes a particular second-hand bookshop will call out to me. Maybe I haven’t been there for a while. Sometimes I just get a feeling...

I was in the Traid shop in Holloway Road when I found this…

I get the feeling that Welsh Dog already has a copy, but if you don’t, you can find it on Amazon here.

It has somewhat mixed reviews…

“I've sent copies to several of my friends as Christmas presents and I'm sure they will find it just as funny as I do.”

Contrasting with…

“Never before have I waited with breath so baited, only to have every dream, hope and wish crushed. This book is nothing of what I had heard. The prose is uninspired, and lend the book a pompous and smug air, not unlike that Jamiroquai Rowling what writes kids books except treats the kids like idiots incapable of keeping a single thoughts in their head. Except this is worse; the witless and insipid text positively inspires vomiting (projectile) from every reader, sucking out the very essence of what makes a good read and replacing your heart with a heavy grey twilight. I do not recommend buying this.”…

One may guess which review, if any, was written by the author:-)


Ever Get The Feeling Someone Is Looking Over Your Shoulder?

I was trying to finish my book yesterday, stretched out in the garden in one of the rare dry spells of the last two months.

Then I became aware....

I was not alone...

Tuesday, July 10

Man at Work!

Apologies for the lack of new writing. I am still at work behind the scenes!

Coming tomorrow - An Interesting find in a charity shop, and a new take on reading over someone's shoulder...

Wednesday, July 4

Tinkering Under The Hood

I'll be upgrading the Template for this blog in a minute. So, just in case all goes horribly quiet here, at least you will know why!

UPDATE 23:00

Mmm. Not bad if I say so myself. Getting There!

Just About Dried Out.

Yesterday's trip to Hampton Court Flower Show was as rain-soaked as we had feared. Large area of the showgrounds were already looking like the Somme and this was only the first day of the show!

Highlights in the show gardens were this, inspired by the idea of a Miller's plot

And this garden, where the designers actually got right to the construction stage before someone said "'ere, It looks like the bleedin' Tellytubbies"

And, at the end of the day, as we trudged muddy and weary through the sodden fields that form the car parks, the sun came out, and we all looked for the plant pot of gold...

Monday, July 2

And The Rain It Raineth Every Day.

The photo above was taken on our trip to the South Bank on Saturday. As you can see it rained somewhat.

(It wasn't really that bad, my better half was actually standing inside a water sculpture).

We found the book exchange hut, took a couple and left a book of our own. I ended up being interviewed on video for a film project on Bookcrossing. I guess they were probably on the lookout for someone suitably eccentric looking, then I turned up, wearing the T-shirt.

We finished the afternoon with an excellent lunch at the OXO Tower Brasserie. After the last few days it was lovely just to slip into the world of the beautiful people, the ladies who lunch, and just indulge ourselves and be somewhere else for a while.

I'm writing this on the laptop, slowly getting a crick in the neck, and cramp in my typing finger. I would sit properly and type with both hands, but Visiting Cat Bernard has me pinned to the sofa by using the simple feline tactic of lying on his back, paws up in the air, whilst lying along my legs.

The look of sublime joy on his face would not look out of place on a ceiling angel in the Sistine Chapel.

Tomorrow we are off to Hampton Court For the Flower Show. Normally one of the highlights here are the water gardens. I wonder if we will be able to tell one from the other. The forecast is for heavy, thundery showers. In defiance, the Legal Eagle and her Beau are going to be taking us there in the convertible. I hope they have been practising getting the roof up quickly. I fear they may end up with the only Volvo to boast an in-car swimming pool.

News and photos soon!