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We went on the choochoo!

There are several excellent heritage railways within day-trip distance of us. We haven’t been to one in ages. They’ll soon stop running for the year (except the Christmas trains in December), so off we went on Sunday.

It was a beautiful run through the countryside. Sheep and cows and little streams with little bridges over them. Clusters of oaks and blackberry bramble. A proper castle, even! You can go a long way in the countryside here without seeing anything ugly.

We splashed out on First Class and had it to ourselves. On this train, First Class was a corridor with those little wooden compartments, like in the Agatha Christie movies. We forebore to murder each other.

There wasn’t a tea service this time, but we bought a packet of sandwiches in the station and made do.

We were so worried that some of these railways wouldn’t survive the lockdown. Despite much of their staff being volunteers, they’re terribly expensive to operate. Not only have they survived, but a couple of them are working to reach a main line station – and then they’ll be more than just a novelty service.

September 26, 2022 — 6:08 pm
Comments: 6


That, in case you don’t recognize it, is the Three Man Globe of Death. There are three – 3! – motorcycles zooming around in there. It’s been the finale of our local circus for years.

And you know what that means – the circus is here and summer is officially over. The circus is the last event on our annual calendar of events, and it’s always a nail-biter. They don’t decide whether they’re coming to our area until a few days before they actually do.

They operate on a shoestring and each year we worry will be the last. The ringmaster gets older and fatter every time.

But we were spared one more year. Roll on autumn!

Shall we have the Dead Pool tomorrow?

September 15, 2022 — 7:09 pm
Comments: 9

Why ruin a perfect record?

I had today off. It rained heavily. I have done exactly jack and shit today. It was glorious. I’m not about to ruin it with an effort post.

So I give you a riddle. The picture is of a plaster caste of a plaice that I posted about ten years or so ago. Can you tell what makes it unique among front page photos on my blog?

Answer in the comments.

September 14, 2022 — 6:48 pm
Comments: 12

The nights are getting longer

It’s really and truly Fall now – I picked the blackberries today. Just a couple of pounds. We’re short of freezer space.

When I was a kid, I hated it when Mother announced she was making a blackberry cobbler. It meant I was going to have to go pick blackberries and that’s where the rattlesnakes were.

I’m sure you know this, but for the sake of them in the back, there are no vegetarian snakes. Snakes it the little creatures who eat the fruit and a blackberry bramble is their favorite place.

To be fair, the rattlesnakes we get in Middle Tennessee are mountain rattlers – short and fat and shy. In all my years on that farm I only ever saw one, and it was sunning itself in the front yard. My boyfriend shot it and my mother the proto-hippie made us cook it and eat it.

But I’m sure I’ve told that story.

I saw a cottonmouth in the pond once, too. It was swimming with about six inches of its body stuck up out of the water, like the cobra on King Tut’s hat. Creepy.

But hoo my dad had some stories about aggressive copperheads in the mountains!

September 7, 2022 — 6:58 pm
Comments: 16

Holy astroturf, Batman!

When we came out of the supermarket this afternoon, this was parked next to us. Every inch of it was covered in astroturf. I blurred the license plate but not the phone number – I mean, it’s an ad, right?

Available in glorious green from my Twitter.

September 5, 2022 — 6:55 pm
Comments: 9

I made a friend

This cow! Sweet little heifer. He was leading her all around a busy country show and she didn’t flinch.

I asked. Her mother is a milk cow and her father is a meat cow, but they’re going to give her a chance to be a milk cow.

Weasel approves!

We’ve gone out of our way to buy their milk ever since. I mean, we often did anyway – it’s excellent milk – but like a lot of smaller dairies, their milk isn’t ultra-pasteurized, so it usually has a short date on it.

I suppose it’s time to check out farmer’s markets, too. The real ones, where farmers sell stuff in bulk. Not the twee ones, where middle class artisans sell specialty cheeses and bespoke gin to the middle class.

August 30, 2022 — 7:43 pm
Comments: 9

The last of the village fêtes

It’s a bank holiday here today (read: long weekend). The last one before Christmas, believe it or not. That means it was the last village fête of the season. There are a few more commercial events, but this was the last amateur festival.

It was rammed. Packed. Stuffed. Busiest I’ve ever seen it.

They all have been this summer. Chock full of people dying to get out and go somewhere and spend money.

It was a little hard, to be honest, seeing so many happy people celebrating and knowing the shit is most definitely about to hit the fan here.

It’s like, have you ever cut yourself badly in the kitchen? And, for just a second, there’s no blood, no pain, no sign of it…but you know what’s coming. It’s like that.


Oh, I just thought the tombstone was cool. I wasn’t trying to be *that* doomy. Saw it in the churchyard. Completely unreadable, sadly – not even the date.

August 29, 2022 — 6:33 pm
Comments: 15

Two questions

This is our septic tank during installation. It is a complex beastie operated entirely by a finicky computer. Oh, how I wish I was kidding. We had to agree to this to buy the house. If the power goes off for more than a day or so, we cannot shit.

It is my belief that the power will go this winter. Maybe for only a few hours at a time. Maybe longer. I am partial to the occasional shit.

So we’re looking to buy a generator. Uncle B is excellent at researching these things, but I thought I’d ask if anyone had insight.

We’re thinking something small, sufficient to power one thing at a time. Like, plug in our two freezers until they’re down to temp. Same with the fridge. Plug in the shit tank for an hour until it does its thang. We’re not trying to run the whole shebang off a generator.

Just thought I’d ask.

Unrelated, it came up in the comments of the previous thread what supplements people were taking to ward off the coof. My own regimen was zinc, magnesium, C and D (with quercetin on hand in case I needed it). I ran out of C recently, went to reorder and thought…how long am I going to do this?

Well? How long are you going to continue your covid supplements?

Oh, and don’t forget – Dead Pool tomorrow. Be here. Or don’t.

August 25, 2022 — 7:09 pm
Comments: 26


We went to a country fair this weekend, and this was one of the booths. I looked it up and this outfit has been around since 1995, but I wonder if there’s any acknowledgement that business has been booming lately. They haven’t put out a press release in two years.

Meanwhile, just when you think Biden’s team couldn’t be more politically inept, today’s student loan announcement is just right. Ten grand isn’t enough to help anyone with serious student loan debt (who were plumping for blanket forgiveness), but it’s way enough to piss off anyone who didn’t go to college, didn’t take out loans of paid off their loans the painful way.

Bad feelings all around! And all for the low, low price of $300 billion!

Finally, I gather we have a Dead Pool winner. Lavendergirl has tragically taken another life: Len Dawson cut down at 87. I have time to gin up enthusiasm for Friday, so see you back in two days!

August 24, 2022 — 7:46 pm
Comments: 7

Go home, grandma – you’re embarrassing me

This is Carolyn Maloney, politician. She was mentioned in a Breitbart article today. I don’t know anything about her, but she’s a Democrat from New York, so hisssss. I’m here to be cruel about her fashion choices.

Why do older female public figures do this look? See it in color. Blonde hair, red lipstick, glommy eyelashes. She doesn’t look like a young woman, she looks like the mummified corpse of a young woman left out in the sun.

I won’t say it’s only Democrat women who do this, but they’re the ones that come to mind: Hillary, Barbara Walters, Nancy (except not blonde).

Maloney is 76. That’s about the median age of my group of friends (why am I always the youngest in my social circle?). A couple of them color their hair. There are some smart dressers and some more casual, but they all look age-appropriate like the tasteful old ladies they are.

Why would a woman seeking power aspire to look like a bimbo, anyway? If I wanted to rule the world, I’d go to my stylist and say, “make me look mean. Like, BIG mean.” Like, pull my gray hair back in a mean ol’ bun and give me a mean ol’ Hugo Boss greatcoat and a riding crop. I want to look like a Bond villain.

I’d vote for that in an old woman.

August 16, 2022 — 7:42 pm
Comments: 10