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Christmas came early

Please. Stop. I can only take so much schadenfreude. Twitter has been a delight today. (Above is antifa, flailing their little noodly arms at London police tonight).

Turns out, this was Labour’s worst showing in an election since 1935.

But my favorite story was the LibDems. They were the only party that ran specifically on the slogan “Stop Brexit” and were poised to pick up all the Remain voters who were disenchanted with Labour’s waffling on the issue. At one point, it looked like this election could really revive their brand.

Two things happened. First, even a lot of Remain voters had second thoughts about totally ignoring a democratic vote.

And second, their leader, Jo Swinson, did the talkshow circuit in the runup to the election. She stubbornly and repeatedly insisted that there was simply no reliable way to tell human males and females apart.

Turns out, her party took very large money from a company that makes puberty blockers. This enraged the feminists who might otherwise have voted LibDem. She ended up losing her own seat by 149 votes.

But the best moment in the election was Diane Abbott’s shoes.

December 13, 2019 — 9:56 pm
Comments: 6

Spotted on the road

I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, you remember the name. On the other, Googling it is fraught and you’d surely lose the prude custom.

Not my pic. I saw the van twice today and didn’t have a camera ready either time. It’s from their Facebook page.

If you think it’s a Brit humor thing, there’s also one in Louisville, Kentucky.

Not to be outdone, there is Cold, Hard Nipples Air Conditioning in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Kentucky and Cyprus have more of a need for this kind of thing, obvsly.

December 2, 2019 — 8:40 pm
Comments: 10

Tonight, we switch

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in a 400 year old house, it is cold. And damp. I mean, it’s awesome, but there’s not much we’re allowed to do to keep the drafts out.

Fortunately, this is not a very cold country. Damp, yes, but it stays above freezing most of the time. It has been in the forties at night so far and we have been perfectly warm with wood fires. See above, our Thanksgiving night fire.

Tonight, it drops down near freezing and we’ve switched to coal. Well, not really coal: solid fuel. Which has coal in it, usually. It’s like charcoal briquets. This kicks out a lot more heat, but I don’t think it’s quite as pretty. It certainly doesn’t smell as nice.

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. We did. And I took today off.

November 29, 2019 — 9:54 pm
Comments: 17

No, really…what’s it called?

Hairy Nuts Disco. Honestly, this fungus is called Hairy Nuts Disco. It’s a disc-shaped wee beastie that grows mostly happily on the hairy fibers of last year’s chestnut husks. So. Hairy Nuts Disco.

My local Twitter feed is lousy with fungus at the moment.

Why, yes, it rained again today. Why do you ask?

November 27, 2019 — 8:36 pm
Comments: 8

Says it all, really

Not even my picture. I stole it off Twitter. You can steal stuff off Twitter, yes?

Another day of drizzle. I cannot remember a dry day, literally, in two months. (Reminder: I bike to work).I AM SO TIRED OF BEING WET.

An all around shit Monday, really. Please join me in dropping trou and showing backside at the end of this day.

Not literally, though. You’ll get a wet backside.

November 25, 2019 — 9:47 pm
Comments: 5

Ending the week on a cat

A giant fiberglass cat. I mean, this thing is LARGE. I tried to find dimensions, without luck (I admit, I didn’t try that hard). It’s balanced on top of a shopping center sign in a place called Catford.

Heh. It’s an area of southeast London, probably originally ‘cattle ford’ as there’s a river there. The shopping center that built it in 1974 is long since gone and a succession of different stores moved in under it. They made noises about tearing it down a few years ago, but the locals went nuts and got up a petition.

If you want to know more — and why would you? — Google the Catford Cat. Have a wunnerful weekend!

November 22, 2019 — 9:40 pm
Comments: 6

Hmmm…

It’s the peak of the Orionid meteor showers tonight, and Stonehenge invites you to watch with their new skycam. It’s supposedly a live shot, and yes you can use your mouse to pan around 360° and even zoom to an extent.

I say ‘supposedly’ though, because it looks strange to me. No birds or planes or anything, and no cars (Stonehenge has got very busy roads on either side of it). Also, according to the satellite weather, it’s cloudy over Salisbury Plain at the moment.

English Heritage wouldn’t just lie to my face, would they?

No, I haven’t seen any meteorites. If I watch too long, the way the camera insists on sloooowly moving by itself makes me feel a little icky.

November 21, 2019 — 8:43 pm
Comments: 6

Cobnuts!

Perhaps better known to you as hazelnuts or filberts. Kent cobnuts are a particular cultivar, and are often picked and sold (and eaten!) with their green husks still on. They taste totally different green and they’re awfully good for you.

We have two cobnut trees (you need two, for the tree sex). Every year, they produce a crop and then, before we harvest, every damn nut vanishes.

We got a fine crop this year, though. And I think I’ve worked it out – we were waiting too long. The green nuts ripen, fall off, and beasties eat them off the ground.

I love cobnuts. How the hell are we going to eat so many cobnuts?

September 25, 2019 — 8:17 pm
Comments: 9

No, that’s not sinister at all…

Yipe! This appeared along my daily commute near a park. It was signed by the local county council.

Subtle. Polite. Not at all heavy-handed.

Happy to say, it wasn’t up more than a day or so. And no, local owners are not particularly bad about cleaning up after their doggoes. I hope one of them took it down, indignantly.

Good weekend, everyone. This may be our last weekend of summer-ish weather 🙁

September 20, 2019 — 8:41 pm
Comments: 6

Man makes trug

The Sussex trug, Wikipedia tells me

is a wooden basket. It is made from a handle and rim of coppiced sweet chestnut wood which is hand-cleft then shaved using a drawknife. The body of the trug is made of five or seven thin boards of cricket bat willow, also hand-shaved with a drawknife. They may have originated in Sussex because of the abundance of chestnut coppice and willows found on the marshes. Nails or pins used are usually copper, to avoid rust.

Shapes and sizes became standardised, the most well-known shape being the “common or garden” trug ranging in volume from one pint to a bushel. However, there is a diverse range of traditional trugs from garden and oval trugs to the more specialised “large log” and “walking stick” trugs.

There is written evidence of trug making locally going back to the 15th C, so who knows how long it’s been going on really.

We haven’t got one — they’re frightfully expensive — but I’m told a good trug can hold water. There are at least two shops still making them. We know because we pass them occasionally; they’re a couple of miles apart.

I don’t know if this guy is a freelance trug monger, but it’s a shot from one of the country fairs earlier this month. I didn’t look at his prices.

September 18, 2019 — 8:06 pm
Comments: 4