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Soup(ed) Up!

I make soup.

I've just looked at one of those list of things that if you do at least half of them you're Middle Aged.  I make soup.  That probably makes me either la plus vieille, or New Age.

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  Ah well, if winter come, can spring be far behind?  Dunno, it depends in the UK.  One thing I do know is that it can sure look like it.  And this year I shall have more 'snow on the roof' than ever, come rain or shine.

  Y'all have a good day now!
Freakout Flower

Suppose It Doesn't?

These are anxious times for some, full of Questions.  'What if's?

  From things like - what if the battery on my phone 'dies'?  To  What if there's a local Lockdown here?  In fact, What if Lockdown gets reimposed like back in March-May!  Aaaarrrggh!  People are starting to panic-buy now, after all.  What if I run out of  . . . loo rolls/ flour/ . . ?  Could I cope with being Locked Down 23 hours per day again?

  What if I lose my job? What if I can't afford to . . . pay my rent/mortage/any bills? What if I get made homeless?  What if I catch Covid-19?  What if I get it badly?  What if (and this one is worth thinking about if you're particularly anti-mask, pro-My Rights)  What if I pass Covid-19 on to one of my family and they get Seriously Ill or die?

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  Y'all have a day free of excessive and unnecessary stress now!

* Anyone experiencing a touch of Schadenfreude here?


2020 - Plague, Death, Earthquakes (that's just in the UK)

It's been a funny old year, in an almost totally un-funny way.  I really feel for those who at 23:59, Tuesday, 31st December 2019, said something along the lines of -

  "Thank goodness 2019 is almost over.  It's been a Really Rough year.  2020 sounds so much more positive.  A much nicer number."

  Yes.  Well.  We know how that's turned out.  So far . . .

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  It's not the End Times.  But it's definitely beginning to look like the Times Before the End Times.  Are you ready, Dear Reader?

  On which note, y'all have a good and thoughtfull day now!

Further Consequences

Of the present Government's intention to ditch a Legally Binding Agreement it made last year with the EU.

  Some people have resigned posts they held in Government, because they Do Not want to be even associated with such immoral behaviour.

  Others, eg: Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, have said that they will resign from the the government if he sees international law being broken "in a way that I find unacceptable".

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  Are we now, to misquote a WW1 commentator, a nation of lions** governed by the unprincipled!

  Y'all have a good, and principled, day now!

   *No, you really can't go around doing What You Want to Do, When You Want to Do It and Stuff Everyone Else.  It doesn't work like that!

  **Those who have seen real lions, or Nature programmes about them, will remember that they spend the majority of their time 'Lion' around dozing, leaving the hard work of hunting and cub-raising to the Lionesses, then muscling in to eat their 'Lion's share' of any catch.  Also Making a Lot of Noise in Territorial disputes, taking over the prides of weaker lions and killing any cubs so that they can perpetuate their own (selfish) genes.

  Wonder which casually unobservant proto-David Attenborogh thought that a Lion would be a good emblem?  Some 'Men!'


“You cannot have freedom without a rule of law... And if you don't have it, what you tend to get is corruption and that is death to freedom, it's death to truth, it's death to honour, it's death to democracy.”
Margaret Thatcher, 1 October 1996.

These are alarming times for those of us who, like Margaret Thatcher, believe in a country governed by the rule of law.

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  Either we observe and respect the Rule of Law, or we have Anarchy!  In Anarchy the weakest go to the wall.

  But this Government, and previous Governments in recent years, have routinely dispatched the weakest to the wall.

  It hasn't worked. Today, due to Covid-19 and related mismanglement, there are more 'weakest' than ever.

  Praying for them, and this Goverment.

  Y'all have a good, and thoughtfully considered and considerate, day now!

  *Looking at you here, Government Advisor (who evidently thinks he is 'Above the Law') Dominic Cummings.

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Sic Transit . . .

I've really enjoyed our yarden this year.

During Lockdown I've had the time to sit out during warm spells and really get to know the wildlife.  I've also tried to grow as much as possible out there this year - French Beans, a Runner Bean (the only seed that germinated), courgettes, Patty Pan Squash, red-flowered Strawberries, along with the usual herbs and shade-tolerant/-loving flowers.

  I've also gotten aquainted with the 'resident' wildlife - mostly of the insect variety.  The molluscoid variety, being ravenous, have mostly made the aquaintance of the sole of whatever footwear I've been wearing when we've met!

  What I have enjoyed is watching the variety of Hoverflies and 'our' Bumblebees as they patrol our flowers.  Then today I sat out in the yard for the first time in a while, watching.

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   *Never did get to decide whether they were Buff-tailed or White-tailed Bumblebees.  I was too upset to think of studying the dead one!

  **One memorable Saturday we even had four Bumblebees and a Honey Bee, plus Chalk Hill Blue and Red Admiral Butterflies.

Some Things The Pandemic Proved

  1. The job you were told couldn't be done remotely can be done remotely.  You really don't need to spend up to half your working day commuting!

  2. Many differently-abled workers could have been working from home, but employers didn't want them.

  3. Internet is a utility, not a luxury.

  4. Universal healthcare is necessary.  Properly funded universal healthcare even more so.  More nurses, more doctors, more cleaners, more ancillary staff, fewer Managers!

  5. Homelessness can be solved when it affects the rich - in the UK councils were given money by central government and told to house any homeless they could find in closed-for-Lockdown-and-longer hotels.  Government funding for this continued until the end of June.  Councils also provided various support services to help those so housed to get back into 'mainstream housing', work, out of addiction . . .  In July central government told local councils were told - 'here's a pot of money, you decide your priorities'.  Some of the 'swept up into these hotels to prevent them catching and spreading Covid infection' people are now back out on the streets.  Others are being supported in moving on.

  6. Childcare isn't "doing nothing all day".  As any full-time Mum/Dad will tell you.

  7. Educating children is Hard Work - Schools are not merely 'glorified child-minders'!

  8. Universal Credit is not enough to live on.

  9. There is funding available when the Chancellor finds it is Absolutely Vital.

  10. Wages have nothing to do with skills or value of service, from fruit/veg picker to nurse.

  11. Those terrible 'immigrants' who are 'coming over here taking our jobs' are necessary - they pick our fruit/veg, nurse, doctor and clean our hospitals, clean generally . . . and work Really Hard at it.  How many Brits are willing to put in the hours in fields picking fruit/veg? Or become 'just a cleaner?  Or the years of study, racking up Student Debts, it takes to become even a nurse (3 years, £9,000 per year)?

  12. Cleaners, supermarket shelf-stackers and checkout operators, and delivery drivers are Key Workers.

  13. Some politicians - brewery visit, getting drunk, inability to organise?  And we chose to elect them!

  14. People matter.  Relationships matter.  Keeping an eye out for our neighbours matters.

  15. Millionaires get tested first, but not spared.

  16. What each person does can affect everyone else - wear a mask in crowded areas, in shops, on public transport . . .

  17. We are as strong as our most vulnerable.

And, pay our Key Workers fair wages.  They might have appreciated being clapped on a Thursday evening, but clapping won't pay the bills.

  Let's just hope we have all learned from it!
Freakout Flower

We Survived

The heat.  Yes, I know, it only got up to the mid-thirties (°C) and we had the benefit of some sea breezes, but that was hot enough for us.  Particularly as the temperature didn't seem to drop that much overnight.  Yay the electric fans!  Yay also the British Summer being 'three or four days of HEAT, then thunderstorms.

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  Right, lunchtime approaches.  Maybe I can make a chopped salad without overheating today.  We'll see.

  Y'all have a good day now!
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Out and About

No, mumseyonroad, we didn't go out and not come back - though we've felt like doing so occasionally.  We have been sleeping, or in some cases (mine) not sleeping, in our own bed every night.  Fortunately the NOISY Broadband Installers knock off around 3-4pm weekdays.  Think they might have knocked off around 2pm for this weekend.  It was Very Warm.

  Mind you, we have been out quite a bit.  Even when they'd finished digging up the pavements, bashing them back into place, then digging up the roads, filling them in and thwacking them back, they still insisted in using NOISE to put the concrete edges around things.  Concrete - NOISE, for crying out loud?  You can mix that much concrete much more quietly with a shovel!

  Today they were installing prettilly-shaded purple, narrower-bore trunking.  And yes, it involved NOISE.  We didn't stick around to ask details.  On the hottest day of the year so far we had to venture out into the noonday sun.

  I had a blood test appointment at the GP for 11:25am.  So left 11am to amble and haul myself over the footbridge across the railway.  H says there was level crossing there at one point - complete with Level Crossing Operator with Authority of British Transport Police.  So he could arrest anyone idiot enough to try playing chicken with an oncoming train.

 That was the century before last, when people were given Authority and everyone else was expected to Act Sensibly. Given the level of Modern General Idiocy, I'm amazed they keep the footbridge!  Also very glad.  It's a long way round by road.

  Pardon?  No, it's a routine blood test, while they're doing it they'll be checking everything.

  H, who had ventured out earlier to get the weekly shopping, then ambled off up to Copnor to deliver a card and birthday present.  But that involved going via the cemetery, which has trees and shade, not to mention open space!

  So where else have we been?  Oooh, and in no particular order - Emsworth, Petersfield, the market (twice), the Front (twice),  B&Q, Tesco (twice), the GP surgery, and Wednesday the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Arboretum.

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  There now, think that'll keep you going for another week or so, Dear Reader?

  Y'all have a good day now!

   *I didn't look at what it was called.  The bees don't go for names

  **Once I've consulted with the neighbours