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Yesterday around the middle of the day I caught the bus into town and visited the market.  The market is but a shadow of its former self, even what it was thirty-plus years ago.

Charlotte St MarketCollapse )

  Y'all have a good day when it comes around!
Current Location:
as usual - yawn!
Current Mood:
awake awake
Current Music:
Lullaby - Brahms
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Things in space - the  Perseid meteor shower has begun.  Ah, memories of holidays on the Isle of Wight.  We'd often caravan and the night sky above whichever caravan site was usually darker than we'd get at home, what with all the streetlights etc.  So even though the children were quite young, we'd sit out somewhere dark and watch the 'shooting stars'.

  Should you have a darker sky area near you, Dear Reader, why not take a chair/lilo out on a clear night and try shooting star spotting?  Maybe take a blanket too, it can get a bit cool on clear nights.

  Meanwhile, guess where Susanne Wilson"s picture of Luskentyre Beach on Harris
    No, Dear Reader, it isn't somewhere in the Tropics.  It's Luskentyre beach on the Isle of Harris*, taken by star photographer Susanne Wilson.  A winning entry to the Jolomo Colours of Scotland Photography Competion. Other winning pictures, including the overall winner, here.

  I bet they have dark nights on the Isle of Harri, ideal place for spotting Perseid meteors.

  The Good News for today is that Chris, the repair man, has just phoned to say that he can fix the washing machine!  The part will arrive Monday!!  He can come fit it Tuesday afternoon!!!  Finally!!!!  What a star!!!!!

  Wonder what the weather forecast is for the rest of next week, goodness only knows we have enough washing backed up.  The question is whether we have enough clean clothes to last us until next Wednesday or Thursday, or whether H will have to make another trip to the launderette tomorrow morning?  Hmmm.

  So on that happy note I shall close and go visit the market.  Strawberries, cherries, nectarines, courgettes, cooking apples, cherry tomatoes, and whatever else takes my fancy.

  Y'all have a good day now!






  *The water is probably that shade of blue because it's chilly!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
cheerful cheerful
Current Music:
The Planets Suite - Gustav Holst
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There now, having  complained that none of my Friends is blogging these days, two have.  One was LJ telling everyone about their new G8 and above compatible app.  How all-singing, all-dancing it is.  The next was sewcute complaining about how awful it is and how much she misses the old one!  Meanwhile I'm still using the desk top.

  Anyhew, having mentioned the total lack of insects around next-door's buddliea bush*, I thought I'd have a look at the minibeasts in our yard.  They're what passes for wildlife in these parts!

  Yes, there are the slugs and snails, mainly the Roman Snail.
IllustratedCollapse )

  There are, of course, a lot of other Mini-Beasts out there.  Just that I haven't seen that many recently - apart from the aphids and snails.

  What have you got in your garden/back yard, Dear Reader?

  Enjoy your Mini-Beast hunting!




  *I noticed several buddliea bushes while out the other day, all with no butterflies or bees.  Has it been a bad year for bees, butterflies etc?  I know spring was chilly and summer has been cool, apart from last week.
Current Location:
as usual, also out in the yard
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
Current Music:
Flight of the Bumble Bee - Rimsky Korsakov
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  Dear Friends, where are you?  I don't know whether it's me and my technical (in)competence or you all being busy elsewhere, but the last time a Friend posted was a week ago - sewcute on 21st, annelaure on 20th - after an interesting series about her holiday in the Alps. They're the most regular bloggers.  Everyone else (that's like all four of them) posts more intermittently.

  Hmmm, maybe I'll take some time off posting and do something else too.  Though maybe not today. Aujour d'hui il pleut, un peut.  That's the first time in a while.  Whatever, I shan't be dragging the washing across to the launderette today (sorry, H).  No point in getting wet doing the washing and it wouldn't dry well.  Here's hoping the replacement part gets through to the washing machine repair guy and he comes and fixes the thing soon.  Otherwise it could well be another big trip Saturday.

  The cardigan for a 'real' friend is going well.  It's knitted top-down and I'm past the armholes and onto the decreases towards the waist.  She chose to have it in blue.

  Right, I finally got to Lidl yesterday and got some descaler.  Perhaps now the Really Thick build-up of limescale in the bathroom will start to dissolve.

  Hah!  Of course, Friends might be not blogging because their lives are set to 'Dull' these days.  I shall stop for the same reason.

  Y'all have a good day now!
Tags:
Current Location:
as usual, knitting
Current Mood:
calm calm
Current Music:
Something soothing
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I don't know quite what they're doing in the renovation of next door.  I do know it's going to be one of the smoothest houses in the street.  They've had electric sanders going for days now.  It sounded as if they were sanding floors last Saturday.  Oh I don't mind (really).  It's just that it's the summer, and all that noise comes in through the opened windows as well as through the party wall.  Ah well, at least the dust doesn't.

  Writing of things which make buzzing noises, apparently Amazon is looking at flying things direct to your door by drone.  Test flights will start shortly.

  I suppose it might take traffic off the roads, all those delivery vans and cycles.  After all, if the military can deliver bombs by drone from another continent, parcels by drone to somewhere in the same city should be possible, maybe even easier.  Of course there will be difficulties with other 'air users', aka birds.  Sparrows shouldn't be too much of a problem, but pigeons, particularly Wood Pigeons (which are huge) and Herring Gulls (which are even bigger, inquisitive and territorial in the breeding season) could present real difficulties*.  Come to think of it, in a busy area, there may well be other drones to avoid too.

  Then, of course, there is the question of how the drones will 'deliver'.  Do they land, detach from the parcel and fly off?  Or will they come as near as they can approximate (presumably they'll have an on board sensors or something so that the 'driver' can 'see' where exactly they are) and just 'drop'?  And what about when the recipient is out.  Would Amazon attempt to re-deliver later on, or would they just drop the parcel and drone back to base?  Though I suppose the addressee being out will be less of a problem if delivery is going to be within, say, forty minutes.

  I came past a house yesterday, there was a parcel left on the step.  The house was one of the many flat-front-to-pavement houses round here.  The parcel was half on the doorstep, half on the pavement.  I wonder how long it stayed there and whether the adressee actually got it?

  What is it these days with all this Instant Gratification?  I mean, ok, I get it about having a kettle that boils within a few minutes, rather than the fifteen-to-twenty it might take with an iron kettle hung up over an open fire (or even on the gas ring,) but buy something and have it within the hour?  Why not just get up and go out to the real shops?  They might not have exactly what you want, but you can really look at it - see the actual colour, feel it*, maybe try it for size, and you get the exercise of standing up and walking about.  It's kinda like traditional computer games vs Pokemon Go!  Come to think of it, you could even go shopping and collect monsters en route!

  Should you, Dear Reader, be into delivered foodstuffs - by which I mean the meals rather than groceries, I really should onsider going and getting a Take Away.  Most of the foods you can get delivered are high fat.  More than one of them per week and you'll be needing the exercise!

  Meanwhile we'll continue getting our main grocery shop delivered.  As Readers may know, we don't have a car, maybe we could do with the exercise of wandering around the shop and then hauling it all home, but honestly we prefer a furious burst of activity for around fifteen minutes every other week.  Even if they keep giving us substitutes (some of which really aren't equivalent) and I can't always find what I want on the website search engine!
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  After yesterday's entry (no, Dear Reader, it wasn't a 'rant') against Donald Trump for President - Michelle Obama has replied to his style of campaigning.

"The hateful language... from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country," she said, to loud cheers and applause.

"Don't stoop to their level. Our motto is, when they go low, we go high."


  Good luck to them in this.  Here's hoping it appeals to the electorate as much as Trump's rabble rousing does.  And yes, I do realise that many Americans feel that Washington is totally out of touch with where they live and are angry about it.  But we've all made decisions in anger, then regretted them later when we've cooled down, haven't we?

  Thinking of cooling down, it is definitely cooler this morning.  w00t!  I'm now wearing a cardigan.  Ok, so it's the red linen-mix one but even that's been too hot the past week or so.  I might venture out again today, and further.

  That looks like enough.  Some rambling, some advice (unwanted? Unwelcome?)  A few points and a few political comments.

  Y'all have a good day now!





   *Maybe it won't catch on in Llandudno!  See Wot We Did On Our Holiday - Day One.

  **I once bought a dress by mail order.  It looked really good, the colours were good, the style flattering.  The fabric felt horrible.  That got sent back in very short order.  Which makes me wonder,  if Amazon will be delivering by drone, what will they be doing about returns?
Current Location:
As usual, in a cardigan!
Current Mood:
chipper chipper
Current Music:
Adagio for Strings - Barber
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I saw a clip from a Donald Trump speech last week in which he said that as of next January, when he gets inagurated as President of the USA, he would stop crime in the country.

  I wondered if anyone in his audience had even one thinking brain cell switched on.  I mean, he gets inaugurated (Aaaarrrggh!) and crime stops?  Is this man wearing his underpants outside his trousers?  Cos if he is it's worth bearing in mind that even Superman only stops such crimes/criminals as he comes across, not all of them - and he's make-believe.

  Then it occurred to me, about the only way Trump could cause all crime to cease would be if he was actually the cause of, or responsible for, it himself . . .

  Meanwhile the man keeps making speeches which appear to be intended to scare Americans into voting for him.

'"The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life," he said. "Beginning on January 20th, 2017, safety will be restored."

'The implication is that average Americans are not safe, and Trump cited law-flouting undocumented immigrants, police shootings and homicide rates as evidence of this.'

Yeah, right.

  Now if he were to get elected (perish the thought) and bring in some sensible gun control laws - that might make the US a safer place to live.

  Dear American Reader (and voter) take note from our recent Brexit referendum. The 'Leavers' ran a campaign based on repeating a few ideas until people took them on board - Stop Immigration, Save the NHS, Let's Make Britain Great Again.  Sound familiar?

  Within days of the vote it was clear that all of these ideas were so much hot air.  Immigration would not (possibly could not) be stopped, the NHS was in its present parlous state because of (UK) Government cuts (told you) and as for making Britain Great Again - what does that mean?  Some leading campaigners even admitted that certain claims made had actually been lies.

  Now I know that Hillary Clinton doesn't exactly have the caring, almost squeaky clean image Barak Obama had when he first ran for office, but do you, Dear American Reader, want someone In Charge who appears to be a cynical liar?  Among other things.

  Are you going to allow yourself to be scared into voting Trump?  And are you going to do so without actually thinking about it?

  Y'all have a good day now!





  I did warn you I'd blog about politics, among other things.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
worried worried
Current Music:
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
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Last Sunday morning during Communion* the thought occurred:

  'Cursed is he who is hanged upon a tree'

  Which, it turns out, is from Deuteronomy 21:23

    'His body shall not remain all night on the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.'  Deuteronomy 21:23 (KJV)

  It occurred to me that it was just like God to take something appalling and someone accursed and flip it all to become the most wonderful and important event and person for the whole world.

  Y'all have a good, and blessed, day, Dear Readers!




  *aka The Lord's Supper, Eucharist, but not quite the same as the Mass.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
Astounded
Current Music:
I Stand Amazed in the Presence (How Wonderful) - hymn
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I mentioned my roses in Thursday's entry.  They really are doing well.  See for yourself, Dear Reader.

PicturesCollapse )
  I have grown other roses, in large tubs full of John Innes no3 compost over quite a long period.  They eventually gave up the ghost, too hot in summer I think.  There is always the watering and feeding thing, but they can respond so beautifully.  Maybe I should get some more and have them in pots along the yard wall.  Except there isn't that much more room these days.  Ah well.  Sited where it is we can see the roses from the kitchen window, and the Winter Jasmine, which is nice.  Best of all, neither is bothered by the local slugs and snails!

  Y'all have a good day now!
Tags:
Current Location:
admiring and tending to the roses
Current Mood:
pleased pleased
Current Music:
Roses of the South - Johann Strauss
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It was cooler yesterday, cooler than the previous couple of days, thank goodness.  I don't know how people in climes that regularly have hot summers manage.  But I suppose if you get something regularly then you learn to cope with it.  It's the irregularity that gets us Brits.  Every time!

  Of course, because it was so warm, and schools are now out, various young*, mostly male, eejits were 'Tombstoning**'.  That's jumping off high points into the sea.  The thing is, most of the popular Tombstoning sites don't have that much water to jump into.  The waves come in, the waves recede.  You jump at the wrong time and you're landing in a couple of inches of water, often on concrete.

  Every year this happens, once it gets warm enough.  Most years some eejit recieves 'life changing injuries' - paraplegia/quadraplegia, others get away with mere broken bones or no injuries at all.  Some end up dead, directly.

  All this is reported in the local paper and on the local News.  Notices are put up at popular Tombstoning sites saying that doing so is dangerous.  There are even people patrolling to tell would-be Tombstoners about the dangers, some of them in wheelchairs because that's what happened to them.

  Of course, the Tombstoners are young and thoughtless.  It'll never happen to them.  Until it does.

  Each year it is suggested that a special diving platform could be built where people could jump from a high point into a safe depth of water.

  Still every year, when it gets warm enough, young, mostly male, people insist on jumping off various high points around the city's perimeter into the sea.  Each year a diving platform is suggested too.

  Come on Portsmouth City Council, forget trying to attract various Big Events to 'Put Portsmouth on the Map'** (eg: the Tour de France!)  Goodness only knows you do little enough for the youth of the city in these apparently cash-strapped times.  Get on and actually build a few diving platforms.

  Let's 'put Portsmouth on the Map' for a good reason and not just as the place where yet another tombstoning lad recieved 'life changing injuries'!

 



       *Some of them aged 8-10 years.  Quite what their parents are thinking of allowing 8-10 year olds wander around unaccompanied I don't know.  They certainly aren't safe.  Or making sensible choices.
        You can be sure that if one of the boys gets injured their parents will be up in arms that PCC did nothing to protect them and prevent the injury.  As if it was PCC's responsibility to ensure the safety of their sons, rather than theirs!

      **So called, apparently, because you can end up with one!

     **There was I thinking that was the responsibility of the Ordnance Survey people!
Current Location:
as usual, not jumping off anywhere
Current Mood:
Concerned
Current Music:
Earth, from 'Gladiator' - Han Zimmer
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Today I got  up early and went round opening windows in the hope that, as it was cooler outside, the warm inside would leak out (upstairs?) and be replaced by cooler air.  A couple of hours later it's at least two degrees C cooler in here.

  I also went and deadheaded the roses.  They are doing particularly well this year.  I put on some compost back in the spring, then bent a couple of stems over so that they would shoot from all along, rather than just at the tips.  So now we have three or four longish stems with bunches of blooms at the tips and another three or four bunches, which are at the tips of the bent over stems, coming along.  I think maybe the warmer weather over the past few days has helped, also my watering them.  They're growing in a largish dustbin, so they need watering in warmer weather.

  Pardon?  Yes, of course I've taken photos, Dear Reader.  Only trouble is that transferring them to the computer requires things like a 'box' (found it) and some sort of connector (?) at the very least.  As I keep reminding D and S when I ask them about various technicalities, you have to wind down quite a bit before you reach my level of (in)competence**.  Patience!

  You know, all this sunshine is ideal 'drying weather', except our washing machine is still currently out of order.  What d'you think, Dear Reader, are the chances that when it is finally fixed, the rain returns?

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Oh the things you can learn from browsing the internet!  Did you know that the water chickpeas are canned with/in, aquafaba, can be used as a substitute for eggwhite?  No, I didn't either, but apparently it can.  Even the liquid that tofu comes in is aquafaba and thus useful for more than merely keeping the tofu fresh.  And you can use it to make even ice cream!  Hmmm, maybe, now it's a bit cooler, I should experiment.  Trouble is, all these recipes require quite a lot of sugar.

  All the same, a use for something which would generally be drained off down the sink, not to be sneezed at, I think.  And there's a Mousse au Chocolat recipe.  How much of that 99% cocoa chocolate has H left?

  I suppose the other consideration here, apart from all that sugar, is that beans are generally canned with salt as well as water.  Would this amount of salt (and sugar) seriously affect dietary regulations?

  You could, of course, make your own aquafaba by boiling up chick peas.  I find soaking them overnight helps, then boiling them up for up to twenty minutes in a pressure cooker.  I suppose it all depends on quite how soft you want them.  To note, when making your own aquafaba you may need to fiddle about with the 'bean juice' to get it to the correct consistency to be able to whip it.  I don't know whether the salt added to commercial 'bean juice' affects its properties.  Something to experiment with, perhaps.

  Then you'll have all these drained chick peas lying around, so you might need some recipes to use them, eg: Cinnamon Chick Pea Blondies***, Spanish Chick Peas and Rice, Roasted Vegetable and Chick Pea Tagine, and, of course, Hummus.  I can't vouch for the Blondies, but all the other recipes are simple, easy and taste good.

  There now, it's cooler today.  I might even put the oven on and make something****.

  Y'all have a good day now!



       *To the tune 'Moonlight and Roses', a Chopin Prelude.

     **Like you might need to lie on the floor!  Mind you, I can knit a sock to fit you, personalise a jumper, and do colourwork to a reasonable level of competence.  They can't do that.

    ***Like Brownies, but lighter coloured!

   ****Though not Blondies.  Probably
 
Current Location:
as usual, cooler
Current Mood:
creative creative
Current Music:
'Moonlight and Roses', Prelude - Chopin
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