Archive for April, 2023

woman at coop checkout

Sunday, April 30th, 2023

Woman in front of me at the coop checkout. She didn’t quite have enough cash for her shopping so got her card out. The card didn’t work so she asked the cashier to take one item off the shop which meant she could pay with the few coins she had. Makes you realise how lucky some of us are and how hard it is out there.

firmware update

Friday, April 28th, 2023

Been offered a firmware update for my Apple Studio Display. I believe this could be the first time I’ve seen a monitor do a software update. Obvs when you think about it. The telly does one every now and again. I’ll do it later. Busy right now and I don’t know how long it will take.

Miserable wet morning although I don’t mind that. I am comfortably ensconced in the shed. It is v relaxing. All I can hear is drops of water falling onto the shed roof from branches above and the very faint whirr of a fan somewhere near the desk.

I have a call at nine am this morning and picking Jose up from the stayshun at eleven oh eight and the rest of the time will be spent writing stuff. Probs nip to the rose for some groceries too.

There’s a plant pot on the table outside the shed door containing snakes head fritillaries. Looks v nice. I also see the occasional bird foraging in the garden. Apple trees will soon be in bloom. 

The only issue I have with all this ongoing nature is the fact that when sat at my desk I wear my ‘screen specs’ which are not provisioned for long distance vision. Third world problems eh?

I must sort out the bird feeders and finish putting the grass seed down. Too wet today. I also need another string of festoon lighting to complete the ring around the bbq. Might swing by the shop en route to the stayshun.

Yesterday I went to see the Rossetti exhibition at the Tate Britain. It was nice enough and every piece was interesting in its own right. However I’m not totes sure I’m big on this Victorian era stuff. Also I can’t get into the whole ‘art has a theme and meaning’ thing. When you look at big renaissance masterpieces they almost always had to have a meaning. Even portraits would have the sitter holding accessories that meant something. Divine power or world domination or similar.

I’m not saying that this was always the case with the Rossettis but when someone takes years to paint a picture and does many versions until he is happy he got it right there must have been some element of truth in my assertion.

Some of the poetry was good and I did stick my head through the shop door to see if there was an anthology I might purchayse but they seemed to be trying to flog large format glossy books about the exhibition so I gave it a miss and went to the pub.

What was interesting was the fact that addiction to Laudanum seemed to be quite common amongst the artistic community of the time. Amongst a certain class of Victorians in general I suspect. I don’t know how anyone can be creative when this is the case. It’s not as if it was LSD and you got lots of wild visions. I certainly can’t write anything if I’ve had a beer or two. I will go back and spend more time at the Tate Britain.

In other news we have a splendid display of red tulips in front of the bbq area. Pic taken from the shed to show you as I’m sure it will be of interest to many 🙂 Also the onions and shallots continue to thrive. Long may it last.

Listening to a contemporary music playlist in the shed. This is because I am sharing my space today with one who knows about these things. I don’t typically listen to new music. It isn’t that there is no good stuff being produced these days. There is lots of it. I suspect it is because your music listening tastes are cemented around what you were playing at a certain time in life. Perhaps we aren’t listening to tunes just because they are good but because we associate them with a specific set of memories.

I’ve had enough of ‘work’ for the day and now just whiling away the time before my optician’s appointment at three thirty. Decided I like my ‘screen’ specs enough to get another pair for every day use, ie non screen use.

full Lincolnshire breakfast

Monday, April 24th, 2023

Good start to the day with a full Lincolnshire breakfast. Basically same as a full English/Welsh but using spicy Lincolnshire farmhouse sausages from Fosters on Monks Road. Now relaxing with a cup of tea. I can hear what sounds like Marseterchef playing on an iPad upstairs. Each to their own 🙂

My days all start like this, with a variation on the breakfast fare. Today is a Saturday, apparently. I know this because there is a lot more sport on, although with the World Snooker Championships happening at the Crucible all other sports could be forgiven for taking a couple of weeks off knowing that everyone would want to watch every frame. 

This they do not seem to have done. Talk about not putting the customer first! I suppose there are some mavericks who might think otherwise. The Head Gardener’s two sports are football and snooker. Fortunately because of the magic of online streaming she doesn’t have to miss a minute of either sport. A happy Head Gardener means a happy Tref.

Happiness is a warm gun mama. Happiness is good. Try to be happy everybody. There is no other state of being worth considering. Stay positive. Do good things.

As I mature in years (note this is an age thing not an emotional maturity thing – I’m really just a kid innit) I increasingly try to be nice to people, even if I think they are knobheads. Actually with knobheads I just try to avoid them. Life is short. Anyway the point is nice is good. I like it when someone smiles back at you when you smile at them. And why not?

It’s been quite some time since I abandoned convention with clothing. When tidying out the shed yesterday I came across the friesian cow print gelabia and fez that were the tour attire for the rugby world cup trip to paris in 2007. It’s a long story but it is true. This reminded me how comfortable it was to wear. Why not? Now I’m thinking kaftan.

Next December’s trefbash is going to have Music Festival as a theme. A kaftan would work quite well there, maybe with a suitable hat to accompany it. I’ll have to give it some thought as I have already been hatching a different plan for attire for that night. You will find out soon enough. 7th December if you haven’t already got it in the diary. You are invited.

screens on the go

Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

I have various screens on the go. Sort of watching the football although it has become less absorbing since Nuke Arstle slowed down their scoring rate. I also have two snooker matches on, together with open WhatsApp and Facebook windows.

You might think this a little excessive but in reality I only need to watch the replays of all the Nuke Arstle goals as they happen and the long snooker ‘shot times’ mean that it is quite easy to follow two matches. For the hell of it I’ve also stuck France v Wales in the Women’s 6 Nations on. It’s just like being in a sports bar, without the beer. Off swimming after the football so beer would not be a good thing to do. Not got much in anyway.

When I were a kid it would just be a black and white cowboy film on a Sunday afternoon, if you were lucky, or Lucile Ball.

spring in the shire

Friday, April 21st, 2023

Perfect spring day in the shire. Refreshingly wet. I shall not need to water my shallots. Wet is good, in moderation. There is an easterly wind so it is slightly parker knolled but I complain not. I accidentally left the heating on in the shed last night making it already pleasantly warm inside.

Yesterday afternoon I took the money at the golf. This included a quid for the longest drive on the seventh for which I used a six iron. This kept me on the fairway when the others, with their showy drivers, failed. I don’t bother keeping woods in the bag as I haven’t been hitting them very well. I can, or at least used to be able to, hit the ball a long way but not necessarily in the right direction.

The only thing in my diary today is a swim at three o’clock. I have lots of stuff to do but none of it involves a deadline. Some of it, relating to my Isle of Man state pension doesn’t need doing for years but I figured I might as well get it out of the way, sometime.

I did start tidying the cupboard in the shed yesterday pm and this job needs finishing. The problem is it isn’t just the cupboard that needs doing. The whole of the space under the ‘shelving unit’ also needs a good sorting out. I just hide it all with some old bits of corex signage at the mo.

This morning grass has emerged on the newly seeded area of lawn. This all happened overnight. The joys of nature. I still haven’t finished putting the seed down – other areas need sorting out. Norraprobem. Will have to wait until it dries a bit now methinks. A good excuse to put off a job.

I think I will end up doing a bit of everything today. Might as well carry on with the shed tidying as there is now a lot of cupboard detritus scattered over the floor. Some stuff needs moving to the attic. There are several old computers that were retrieved from there a year or so ago during one of the lockdowns. They were part of a project planned by one of the kids that never reached fruition. I’ll move it all bit by bit.

We are lucky to have a house with lots of space. It does however seem to fill up quite quickly. We periodically have a sort out and things get thrown, freeing up space that is then soon filled again.

Tharrldofornow. Stuff to do, as you know.

fine spring day

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

Another fine afternoon in prospect although an easterly will somewhat suppress the temperature. Note the slightly nautical term there, easterly. It’s going to veer north easterly on occasion which doesn’t help the cause. It’s probably not nautical per se but certainly associated with the sea. The shipping forecast perhaps.

From the age of six I lived mostly near the coast. Since leaving university all those years ago I’ve inhabited an inland island called Lincoln. I miss the sea. The nearest coast, the East Coast, is not particularly attractive at least when compared with the rugged scenery of Wales and the West where I grew up.

Too late. Ain’t gonna move now. Lincoln is in any case somewhat of a paradise surrounded by miles of featureless agricultural flatlands. It’s interesting that one of the more noticeable aspects of the Lincolnshire countryside are its churches. They stand out and can be seen from miles away across the fields. A clear reminder of the past.

At one time the countryside would have been teeming with people working the fields and filling the churches. Not particularly because they wanted to be there but because they were given no choice.

Now we choose to live in Lincoln and whether to go to church or not. I choose to go for christenings, weddings and funerals although few funerals tend to be in a church nowadays and I can’t remember the last christening I attended. Probably our youngest son John. Longtimeagonow.

This gap since the last christening could be partly to do with the fact that it is only in recent years that we’ve started going to weddings again as our friends’ progeny reach marriageable age. There ya go. Another throwback to the past. Marriageable age! It’s about time you got married young Godwin, Larkin or Caspian. Or Agnes, Constance or Petronilla.

I had to google ‘mediaeval names’ there. As an experiment I also just googled ‘most popular boys names’ and for the UK it came up with Noah, Theo and Oliver. Still mediaeval really although they would probably have used Theodore, or Theophilus even. Good name Theophilus. I dunno. It’s all Greek to me.

Outside three towels, left out on the line overnight, sway gently in the morning breeze. Two pinkuns and a ddraig goch. Also a pair of swimming shorts left out to dry after my swim yesterday afternoon. Another booked for today. Two forty five.  Actually one of the pink towels is a quilt cover. Doesn’t matter.

At six twenty five it has been light for some time and farmer Noa will have been out on his tractor for a while already. Probably starting to think about going in for his second breakfast. A hard life. We stayed with our friend @Cyberdoyle last summer, on her dairy farm in Wray. Her son, the farmer, was up very early every morning to do the milking. A hard life. I guess working in the great outdoors does offer its compensations. 

Gotta go. Time to mek the tea.

Sat in the shed listening to some calming classical music. The shed feels a little like a fulcrum. No, not a fulcrum because that suggests there are just two sides to life. The centre of Tref’s known universe perhaps.

I looked up  ‘centre of the known universe’ and the folk who know tell me there is no centre. ‘According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere.’

This suggests that the big bang happened everywhere at once. In some respect that is the same as my universe.

I’ve travelled a lot and one thing that has always struck me that people’s lives carry on when I leave their world and return to mine, the shed. So the Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon continues to serve guests when I am not there and the woman selling food in the floating market in Thailand is still probably floating her boat.

So my universe carries on regardless and is still happening everywhere. Everywhere I’ve been. Sometimes my universe has been known to collapse in parts. People die, pubs and restaurants close and buildings are demolished. My universe must be constantly changing.

The centre of my universe is certainly a communications centre. I communicate with many friends I’ve met all over the world. I see them live their lives, their kids being born and growing up and getting married. It is an amazing place to be. Many of them I won’t see in person again. Swayitgoze.

Big mystery innit, the universe, and how it all began 🙂

Pool update. Two forty five today. Already six people in the slow lane when I arrived poolside.  Only two in the fast lane but I know my place. Fortunately it didn’t take long for five of them to get out so I was left with just one other. She was even slower than me but we didn’t get in each other’s way.

After a while a bloke got in who did one length and man handled his way for his second length clinging on to the side. Thought this was a bit odd but hey, maybe he was in rehab or something. Then he dived in at the deepest part and swam along the bottom, reaching the other side in no time whatsoever. Hmmm.

After that his pal came in and they seemed to mostly hang around the side with the occasional dive to the bottom, until the attendant came and shooed them away. This was a lane swim not a social event 🙂

The slow woman then got out leaving the lane to just liddle old me. Did forty minutes of front crawl which I am quite pleased about. This swimming is making me generally a lot fitter and I find that I am walking with more (well a little more) of a spring in my step ish.

Before heading poolwards I planted the plum tree purchaysed a few days ago. Feels good. Obvs it will be a year or three before we start to see results but I am going to make a point of espaliering this one  and doing it properly.

arrived early for swim

Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

Arrived a bit early for my afternoon swim so I nipped to the Coop for some greens for tonight’s tea. Couldn’t immediately see any green beans so I asked the member of staff who was busy restocking the tender stem broccoli. “No we don’t do green beans”. Then I spotted a packet of ‘Fine Beans’ right next to the broccoli. “Ah yes” he said. He’d been on holiday, although I’m not sure what that has to do with the price of soap.

Back in the carpark it was school pickup time. Amazing how many parents sit there in the car park with their engines running. Problem is you would just open yourself up to abuse if you mentioned it.

Was first in the pool. Luxury swimming. Didn’t take long for others to turn up. A bloke with a bigger belly than mine trundled poolside. I thought it would be just typical if he got into my lane, the slow lane, when there were two totally empty lanes. He got into the medium speed lane. Fair enough. 

Then a ginger geezer did get into the slow lane but he was no trouble. Although I am usually one of the slowest swimmers in the pool I caught up with him a few times but when I did I just turned around and headed in the opposite direction.

After him a woman of a certain age got in. I could see her slowly approaching the ladder as I swam up to it. Now some people have no clue and get in just as you are reaching the end to turn. The nightmare sitch is that they start swimming just as you make your turn and thus totally get in your way. She climbed in but tucked herself out of my way, clinging to the lane marker. Fair play I thought. Then she started swimming next to me, the wrong way around. Wot! I soon outpaced her and when ginge came up in the opposite direction she had to tuck in behind me.

Next up was a very large person who swam in the middle of the lane so nobody could overtake anyway and who only pulled in as you approached. I dunno. I did manage to overtake at one point, quite comfortably. Something I only do if there is a lot of clear water ahead. At the turn I found she had already turned and was headed in the other direction. Nowt so queer as folk.

Both she and ginger got out before me and when after thirty five minutes I hoisted myself up the ladder there was only the woman of a certain age left in the lane. Good swim. It’s very rare for me to be the fastest in the slow lane (cue music).

Lincoln 10k 2023

Monday, April 17th, 2023

A great weekend in Lincoln with ⅚ of the family present. ¾ if you count partners. Departures commenced at seven am this morning and by tonight we will have the house back in our sole possession. Pretty triumphant Lincoln 10k from the family perspective and a great steak pie and chips supper to finish off. 

I do have to question the amount of time I seem to put into these meals though. It started on Wednesday when I bought the meat and bones for the stock. Made the stock on Thursday and the pie filling on Friday. The triple cooked chips took much of the afternoon on Sunday. Still have some pies in the freezer plus loads of leftover stock and gravy. Was ordered to bed by 9pm as my snoring was disturbing the serenity of the snooker, apparently.

Today is the second day of the shorts wearing season which is now set until October. In the garden my regiment of onions is springing up in orderly ranks. I will need to plant our new plum tree. 

I am currently enjoying the peace of the shed although I was under the impression that I would be sharing this space today. Don’t mind the occasional hot desker. Minutes after writing this the hot desker has now arrived.

It’s quite handy having a spare desk in the shed. It is supposed to be my projects desk but the only projects I seem to have involve doing stuff on screens which are on my main desk. I need to restart my family tree research at some point and I still haven’t written the hit West End stage musical.

Golf this afternoon. Probs just nine holes. Should be sunny. Need to be back to do some ferrying to the station. My game will not be good but the season has to start sometime.

Big Weekend

Saturday, April 15th, 2023

Big weekend. Guest bedrooms one and two are occupied as is the haberdashery overflow room. 10k runners all, arrived on the 21.01 from Kings Cross last night. Good to see them. 

Our fourth offspring remains in London as he has a gig tonight. Dosh to be earned. Why would you work in an office when you can play the sax?

We stayed up late finishing a bottle of wine. Some discussion centred around the naming of guest bedroom two and how it was really called xxx’s room. That show will run and run 🙂

There is something very poetic about staying up late to finish a bottle of wine. Experience suggests that more than one bottle is involved but yesterday had been a long day for many. Guest bedrooms and haberdashery overflows were sought when at another time more corks would have been popped.

The cork that popped. Sounds better than ‘the screw top that twisted open’. My preference is for screw tops mind you. More reliable. Would be a good name for a wine bar, ‘The Cork That Popped’.  I shouldn’t tell you this but the domain name is available. 

I’m unlikely to ever own a wine bar. My dad advised against it. Don’t buy a wine bar Tref he would say. Knew his stuff, my dad. Take note kids. Dads know their stuff.

Wine is a bit of a treat nowadays. Carbs. Today I am allowed carbs and will tonight probs be the only person on the plonk as the others will be getting in the 10k survival zone. Probably On The Plonk. Another good name for a wine bar. 

Plonk to me is not just another name for cheap wine. I call all wines plonk. Because we don’t have it particularly regularly I tend to push the boat out on wine, without being stupid about it.

The big news of the day is really that the World Snooker Championships have just started. That’s the Head Gardener’s next two weeks sorted. Snooker and soccer are her sports. This one is the highlight of the snooker calendar.

Gotta go. Mid-session interval. Jobs to be done. Probs.

The shed is full of football watchers.   Aston Villah versus Nukearstle. The home side is winning. The game is on a knife edge. At least that’s what the commentator just said. I’m not actually watching the on-pitch action. I’m sat behind a screen doing stuff.

domestic tasks

Friday, April 14th, 2023

Today I will mostly be engaging in domestic tasks. I can’t call them chores. I will be buying balloons, taking campervan Jade back to the depot and making steak pie filling to go in the refrigerator. I also need to purchase some antipasti and a quantity of pecorino which is an essential component of tomorrow night’s spaghetti carbonara.

Tomorrow I am planning on bringing out all my olive oils and vinegars. Over the past twelve months I have somewhat over splurged on these condiments so we might as well get the benefit. The bread will be purchased tomorrow morning. I also have significant quantities of Primitivo in the utility room but I can’t see us making many inroads into the stock as all the other diners are running in the Lincoln 10k the following morning. I’ll do my best.

Back on the carbs this weekend for two nights only. Sunday is steak pie and chips. I’m not making chips just to watch the others eat them all.

@Steve Rowland will likely be down at Sincil Bank for the home game tomorrow so will look out for you. If they sell wagon wheels I will buy one.


Thursday, April 13th, 2023

In shorts this morning as I am off to a ten thirty stretch and flex class. It isn’t quite shorts weather yet but hey. All is quiet. Birds are busy and the blackbirds in particular have been quite energetic worm hunting on the lawn. They must have a brood as they have been observed pulling up worms but not eating them.

Things are quite quiet in the world of business. Folk still off on their Easter break. I like this. I seem to go on holiday when it starts to get busy 🙂

May and June will be busy months for the Davieses and then it quietens down until September at which point life gets frenzied as we follow the Rugby World Cup. I am heading to the Eisteddfod for a short break in August. First time in maybe forty years! That too I expect will be a frenzy, of cultures. Read into that what you will.

I have a team sussing out my accommodation options for the Eisteddfod. Most people end up in a field and I can either take a campervan or the landrover and a tent. The former has the advantage of everything already set up for camping and a huge cool factor. The latter will be a lot more comfortable to drive the 250 miles or so to Pen Llyn. Ideally I’d have a room above a pub but that is living in the realms of pure fantasy.

I do like camping. The issue is the comparison between a small tent with admittedly a comfortable airbed and sleeping bag with the posh hotels I’ve been used to staying in! I invested in a new tent last September for the annual scout group camp but won’t be around for it this year, as you know.

Big batch of beef stock on the go this pm. Picked up some bones from Fosters as part of the meat shop for le weekend. I am confident this is going to be a top quality beef stock. Sometimes they stick in your mind as being outstanding. The secret with stock is to not stint on the ingredients. Good quality in = good quality out as Mrs Beeton used to say (probs/maybs). The stock will gently bubble away for five or six hours.

Tomorrow I will make the pie filling. That will take a few hours in itself and it will then reside in the fridge until Sunday at which time it will form the centrepiece of a steak pie and chips supper. With lots of gravy.


Wednesday, April 12th, 2023

Quite tired this evening having swum for over forty minutes this afternoon. There were only three of us in the lane. I was a little concerned that the other two were a couple of gossiping ladies and would get in the way. However they were faster than me despite their chattering and overtook me at least three times. In fairness to them their overtaking took the form of turning around after catching me up so I was left to steadily plough the lane in my usual rhythmic manner. Actually not sure about the rhythmic bit 🙂

I have been banished to the shed to watch football. The Head Gardener is watching some interior design prog followed by Marseterchef. She doesn’t like me being there when that programme is on as I make derogatory comments about Greg Wallace and laugh at things that aren’t supposed to be funny. Usually when Greg says something. Ah well. This not fair really as lots of people really like Marseterchef.

I am for the moment stranded due to a heavy April shower. Seasonal innit. There is an umbrella to hand but prefer the notion of being unable to escape as long there is an adequate supply of cold drinks in the fridge. You could almost imagine the rain being so bad that the back garden floods and the shed becomes an island. I definitely don’t have enough supplies for that eventuality. 

There would always be Deliveroo or simlar I guess. I think I did use them once during one of the lockdowns but can’t remember what I ordered and it certainly would not have been to the shed. It hasn’t come to that anyway.

The team colours in this game are red and pale blue. Almost the classic combination as represented by my Subbuteo set when I were a lad although the blue could be a little darker. The football is livening up. The home team has scored. Chucking it down at the ground as well. Perhaps they should move inside and challenge themselves to table football.

It’s half time. Some of the ads are v irritating, especially the EE/BT broadband one which seem to suggest that other ISPs provide crappy service and you should move to them. I moved from BT because my notionally 80Mbs FTTC only gave me 15Mbps. Virgin provided a by and large steady 200 Mbps instead and now AAISP do me a gig symmetrical. 

I’ve just realised the reason I normally mute the ads is because they are irritating and repetitive. Sorted. I’ve also muted the half time commentary because that too is boring. Boooring I meant to say 🙂 Yawn. Told you I was tired.

The teams have swapped sides and are starting the second half. I’m not a believer in letting them leave the pitch at half time. They should stand outside with their orange segments and then quickly get on with the game. I realise that isn’t how it works but that’s what I think. Wouldn’t have time for the ads then. 

Ok neither would I have time to queue up for a cup of tea and a wagon wheel but I’d accept that. Not even sure they still do Wagon Wheels. Do they? Certainly don’t have any in the shed and I’m tea’d out for the day.

I think I’ll find a book…

bright sunny morning

Wednesday, April 12th, 2023

Bright sunny morning. The temperatures are set to rise next week which will probs see shorts reestablished as standard wear and the end of the use of heating for the season. Good.

Enough of this constantly changing weather trivia. It is oh eight fifty one and I have a meeting at ten thirty. I don’t have any preparation to do. 

One of the ‘innovations’ I ‘might’ introduce if I had unlimited cash would be a tea lady. OK it doesn’t have to be female but someone who would come when I pushed the intercom wielding a trolley with an already nicely brewed pot of tea with a variety of biscuits.

As I’d want near instantaneous results there would have to be a fresh pot of tea constantly on the go. Don’t want to wait five minutes for it to brew or longer if the kettle has to boil.

Now I realise some might consider this to be a wasteful extravagance but I don’t care, I could afford it. Neither is it environmentally friendly, potentially, to keep boiling water to make a fresh pot of tea.

The answer would be to have a cafe at the front of our house. That way any tea undrunk by me could be sold to passers by or given to homeless people coming inside for a bit of warmth and shelter from the elements.

The biscuit bit is a little harder. Doesn’t matter how wealthy you are if you went into biscuit overdrive you wouldn’t be rich for long you would be obese/dead. My fave choices of bisc would be milk chocolate hobnobs, digestives and bourbon creams. You may have your own faves that are different. That’s ok. Diversity makes the world a more interesting place.

During the first lockdown in order to help the family survive the unknown future I would throw in a twin pack of milk chocolate hobnobs into the shopping trolley. Once opened one of these packs would reside in the biscuit tin in the kitchen and I would on an ad hoc basis when nobody was looking dip my hand in to retrieve a biscuit or two (or three). Every time I opened the tin the level had gone down. Everyone was at it 🙂We went through a lot of hobnobs.

oh five forty

Tuesday, April 11th, 2023

By oh five forty this morning the dawn chorus was already in full voice. A pale white glow rose from the east blending with the pastel blue above. An artist had drawn a restless  treetop silhouette on the backdrop. After yesterday’s storm we are in for a bright sunny morning.

We currently have two campervans sat in our front drive. Back from trips. They are heading down to the depot this morning. Taking up too much space. Bit of a shuttle job with the Head Gardener following in her car to give me a lift back home. No more hires now until the start of May. It is still early in the season and tbh we don’t want to turn it into a full time activity.

Next weekend is the Lincoln 10k and we will have a houseful of sportsmen and women up for the occasion. The runners will need feeding and one of them will be celebrating a big birthday so a tasty meal in prospect for the Sunday night. Steak pie and chips has been requested. They will all have big appetites after the race.

I say race but I doubt we have any contenders. This is all about participation. Mother and daughter will be running together. Brings a smile to my face. I’ll be the only one in the house not running. Norrapnin. In all we have five runners staying.

The last time it was run there was a deluge of biblical proportions. Quite apt on a Sunday. Sister Sue and I took shelter in the Lincoln Hotel and enjoyed coffee and croissants whilst we waited for the ladies to finish their course. 

Over the weekend I discovered the delights of the bar and coffee shop at the Eastgate Tennis Club and may hang out there although I suspect it will be too early for a beer. When the race is run praps.The runners will want rehydrating.

I’ve never been a runner, even when I was superfit and playing rugby. I would typically do 5km once a week to supplement the training and once ran a 10km loop across both Menai Bridges. Only saw the no pedestrian signs once I was on the Brittania bridge and wasn’t about to turn back then. Going back a bit now. Over forty years!!

still the weekend

Monday, April 10th, 2023

It is still the weekend. I think all weekends should be 4 days. In fact I decree it. Whether anyone else will take any notice is another issue despite the fact that it would be a really popular decree amongst us masses.

Years ago the Prime Minister of Ontario apparently ran on an election manifesto of getting rid of all speed cameras. I’m told he won a landslide victory. Mind you we know from recent experience near to home that politicians will say anything to get elected and then don’t necessarily deliver on their promises. 

Anyway enuff of this. We shouldn’t discuss religion of politics here. Rain is a safe enough subject, as long as we don’t stray onto climate change. I won’t need to water the onions or the grass seed today. We do need more grass seed but the Head Gardener only visits her supplier on a Saturday morning after the park run so that will have to wait.

I quite like her new title of Head Gardner. It accurately reflects a standing in the household that can be (is) extended to other areas of our relationship. I am content with this in keeping, I’m sure, with much of the populace.

Decoration for example. Our house has its original dark wood bannisters. After much resistance on my part the bannisters are now some shade of pale white. It is a big improvement. I, as a humble occasional mower of lawns and trimmer of rogue ivy could not see the improvement in advance that the Head Gardener could see.

Clearly to be a Head Gardener requires a high degree of vision as well as creativity and application, or hard work as some may call it. It also requires decision making ability and self confidence when all around are saying nay, ie me.

The Head Gardener and I are off to a garden centre this afternoon. It is rare for the two of us to go shopping together as our shopping styles are quite different, incompatible even. The culture of garden centre visiting, typically on a Sunday afternoon, is something inherited from my father inlaw who was also a keen gardener, maintained two allotments and was for many years secretary of his allotment society.

Visits to the Wirral often involved the consumption of freshly grown seasonal vegetables. In Lincoln our production capacity is much lower but we do enjoy fresh produce over the course of the season. We did at one time have an allotment but at 60m x 10m it was huge and involved far too much effort at a time when we were also raising four children. After a season or two with the allotment the convenience of buying our vegetables in Tesco only 250 metres down the road seemed compelling. We still have a gate to the allotments in our back fence.

Today does feel like a Sunday. This is probably partly due to the wet weather. Dylan Thomas always seemed to remember it snowing when he was a child. I remember it raining. Living in Wales it rained a lot, especially on Sundays. 

The Head Gardener also comes from the western side of the country and would therefore have ‘enjoyed’ the same weather. This could well have explained their frequent visits to garden centres where there is always an indoor section and a coffee shop.

Today’s destination, Scothern Nurseries also has a coffee shop to which we will repair if only to raise a cup of coffee to gardeners long passed. Americano please.

Talking about coffee shops, it has just occurred to me that I have not yet had a hot cross bun this Easter. Wtf?!  This is because I am on a keto diet. Ordinarily I am happy with the keto diet. I don’t miss beer and can survive without bred, rice and potatoes (with the occasional day off) but when it comes to not having hot cross buns then it is starting to get serious 🙂

The not drinking beer bit is easy really because I quickly see the results in being able to tighten my belt by a notch or two. Beer gets replaced with an occasional gin and slimline tonic. The diet is however a total disincentive to go to the pub. There is no point in drinking gin and tonic in a pub. You just don’t get enough gin in your glass, unless you want to push the boat out. 

I suppose I could drink sparkling water or similar but I did Sober October a few years ago and said to myself never again. My problem wasn’t really about not consuming alcohol. It was the fact that during that month of October I spent two weeks away on business at conferences and events where the order of the day was long days at the coal face but hit the bar afterwards. 

I had the long days but serial glasses of mineral water in the bar afterwards didn’t seem quite right. V boring. This was particularly the case at the RIPE conference in Copenhagen (or Amsterdam or similar). You may or may not know that the internet runs on alcohol.

In other news many trees are now coming into leaf and much blossom is to be seen around town. Spring is well under way.