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Well, my spreadsheet died and went to hell

It looked great on my computer. Then I uploaded it to Google Docs and it exploded. I picked bits of October out of April.

In the end, I had to simplify it down to a nub of its former self. It needs to be a collaborative document, so people can write themselves on to a calendar.

And now I think maybe Google Docs will only allow you to edit if you sign in from a Gmail. Annoyed.

Never mind. It’s the weekend! Enjoy yours.

September 10, 2021 — 8:30 pm
Comments: 3


I don’t work Wednesdays. This morning over a leisurely coffee, I thought I’d download a free calendar from the internet to do some scheduling stuff.

But I didn’t like the look of any of the ones I found, so I decided to download a template and fuss with it.

But none of the templates were laid out exactly the way I wanted (I need the week to start Monday, for example), so I decided to build one from scratch.

I am not good at templates. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at stealing code. I found a calendar tutorial for Libre Office and I was humming along, comprehending stuff fine, until I got to the bit in the picture above.

If you can’t read it, it’s

By knowing the first day of the month we can get the day of the week. In my example it’s a Wednesday. The function that returns the day of week from a date is WEEKDAY. The formula is =WEEKDAY(DATE(G1,MATCH(A1,$Settings.A1:A12,0),1)). You should get a number from 1 to 7.

Yeah, no. Never mind. I pinched it and it worked.

People who understand spreadsheets can make them sing. I don’t think I’m ever going to be that person.

September 8, 2021 — 8:52 pm
Comments: 10

What do you see?

I see a weasel sucking his paw.

I said to Uncle B, “look – a weasel!” and for some reason he thought I was staring at the mortar between the stones. I think he thought I was tripping.

From the same church as Saturday’s fete.

September 2, 2021 — 8:20 pm
Comments: 19

Summer fade

We went to the third of three church fetes today (there were four, we missed one). It’s the last long weekend of the Summer and that’s probably it for the small local happenings. If we’re lucky, there will be a country show or two still.

It was PACKED. We go to this one every year, and there were at least twice as many there as usual. Maybe three times.

To be honest, it was a little too busy. I don’t like crowds at the best of times and this is hardly the best of times.

I saw one mask, Uncle B saw another and he saw a hand sanitizing station. That was it. Other than that, it was 100% the old normal and nobody cared. They’re going to have a hard time if they try another lockdown, I predict.

Do you recognize the illustration? Would you if I revealed the two airborne objects at the right should be green? They were recolored gray in this instance; I doubt the original had any meaning for the Brit who pinched it.

August 30, 2021 — 5:43 pm
Comments: 7

Bringing in the sheaves

The day they bale the hay always feels strange. I can’t really explain. It’s a cinch a little black and white photo won’t give any sense of it. The color version isn’t much better, either. I need Uncle B’s fancy new lens. Or a drone.

Or 70mm Technicolor!

The actual field is about three times the size of the color pic and the way the bales are dotted along it makes them seem meaningful. Like Stonehenge. The hay, it speaks to me!

They’re baled, not rolled up into those giant rolls, because this was a dwarf wheat crop. I don’t think the stalks are long enough to roll. You can see a few unharvested ears left in front. Didn’t even come to my knee.

Harvest service this Sunday. Here comes Fall!

August 26, 2021 — 7:23 pm
Comments: 13

I have visitation rights

In May of 2019, I bought £50 worth of Bitcoin for a lark. I flirted with the idea of throwing another £5 in every month, but then all my photo ID expired and Coinbase won’t let me play any more.

I must fix that. It’s probably not legal for an immigrant to be without valid ID.

Anyway, they let me visit my money – they’d even let me take it out, if I wanted – but they won’t let me buy any more. That’s made this account the perfect way to make sense of the ups and downs of BTC.

I check in on it every once in a while, when there’s been something in the news about crypto. That there is the real number earlier today – £404.31. Although shortly after it lost £2 then made £1.80 back again. That’s all from my initial £50 (though I think I did earn a few pounds taking surveys or watching videos).

Puts it in an interesting perspective, don’t it?

August 25, 2021 — 6:41 pm
Comments: 4

A peck o’ trouble

I read the old lady’s words – and they do say there be a witch in it, and if you let un out there’ll be a peck o’ trouble – in the correct regional accent. Which probably means I’ve been here too long. Or I talk to too many spooky old ladies.

I’m pretty sure her granny gave her this and told her it was a witch bottle, and she assumed a witch bottle is a bottle with a witch in it.

It’s not. It’s a bottle made by a witch to ward off evil. It was a big Elizabethan thing here, though spells in jars go way, way back.

I still wouldn’t open it. It’s most likely full of rusty pins and pee.

Amazon, Etsy and Ebay all claim to sell witch bottles. Sadly, they’re little pill bottles full of oregano with a pentagram tied on. Show a little creativity, Ebay witches!

A better picture of this particular witch bottle here. Object is from the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

August 16, 2021 — 7:02 pm
Comments: 5

It’s never what you expect

I’m desperate for one of these. Yes, it’s a whisk broom. You know that, I know that, but these demned Limies don’t seem to.

Which is weird, because I’m sure that’s the sort of thing Jeeves used to brush down his employer’s coat, am I right?

Amazon has a proper Rubbermaid one like this, but at a price that appears to reflect shipping it over from the States. Anyhow, I don’t shop at Amazon any more. Call me crazy, but I’m doing my best not to give my little crumbs of money to billionaires who hate me.

The generic name for such a thing here seems to be a corn broom, but my experience of British brooms in this shape is that they’re not wrapped tight enough. They aren’t serious kit. The sort of thing we call a broom they call a besom and they regard them strictly as props to go with your witch costume.

For general use, they use use push brooms, like shop brooms, and small brushes on a handle.

I managed to get a proper, good-quality, US-style kitchen broom at a feed store here once and the girl behind the counter, who worked at a stable, breathlessly told me she had bought one and how wonderful they were for getting into corners.

Yes. Quite.

August 10, 2021 — 7:51 pm
Comments: 7

Best buds

This is an eryngium or sea holly. It is a pretty beast and not necessarily easy to grow. We have another in the nearby back border, but it is a totally different variety.

Where did it come from? Who knows? But it’s growing out of a crack in the pavement narrower than my little finger. The article says it likes poor soil. I guess!

But wait! There’s more! Growing out of the same little bit of a crack in the pavement is also a mint plant. There are dozens paving slabs all around the house, but these two are thriving entertwined in one little sliver of soil. I don’t understand gardening at all.

Bananas. I think these two are honorary banana plants.

August 4, 2021 — 8:54 pm
Comments: 8

We have trailer parks too, you know

They call them caravan parks here, which sounds so much more romantic.

Though I think these guys are mostly city boys. This is a selection of the men locked up in Sussex in July. It was a bumper month, because of the pandemic backload.

Nothing particularly interesting. Drunk driving and sex attacks. Except the first asshole in the article, the Brighton Cat Stabber, a security guard who murdered sixteen cats. May he rot. He got five years, so here’s hoping his cellie is a cat person.

Incidentally, Scotland Yard ultimately decided the Croydon Cat Killer was actually a series of random fox attacks.

Back to our upstanding citizens, number thirteen is amusing, if you overlook the fact it’s a hit and run with serious injuries:

Fenton, aged 40, self-employed, of Lower Waites Lane, Fairlight, ran away from the scene but was later returned by his mother, having changed his footwear. […] he was sentenced to a total of three years and eight months’ imprisonment. But the sentence was appealed, and at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday 6 July, it was increased to five years and three months.

I mostly posted this so you could appreciate their intelligent faces.

August 3, 2021 — 7:19 pm
Comments: 8