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Oh, Monday!


Well, my day started with thundersnow and went downhill from there. First snow of the year, and it came down like a bastard for about two hours. Then the sun came up and the temps rose and it all melted away. It was pretty while it lasted, but no fun on a bike.

Oh, and a badger crossed my path. An actual one. He ran up the driveway and disappeared in a bush. This was pretty cool to see, but not great news if you keep cats and chickens.

I’d like to point out that I have now seen a badger and a weasel out my front door. That sounds like the start of a really odd English blues song.

Then I had two meetings today. Two. I moved to Olde Englande to get away from this piffle.

How was your day?

February 5, 2018 — 9:49 pm
Comments: 10

It snew!


I biked in in the snow. That was fun. And then home. That was funner. And then genius here says, “hey, why don’t we do our weekly grocery shopping?”

See, where we are, it had all burned off by then. Where we were going, not so much. Who knew? It was slushy and slippery and awful almost the whole way.

British stores have decided if they don’t do anything about snow in the parking lots, we can’t sue them for not doing a very good job when we fall and break our asses (thank you, American litigious culture, for spreading misery around the Western world). Not kidding, the slush was over my ankles in the parking lot. My sneakers leak.

It wasn’t very much snow at all, but like all places that don’t get snow very often, everyone lost their freaking minds.

Oh well. Made it home. Warm and dry. Almost gin o’clock. How was your Monday?

December 11, 2017 — 10:46 pm
Comments: 11

Curse you, Thursday!


Woke up to driving rain and gale-force winds this morning. I lay and bed and thought, “hey, at least it’s Friday.”


To be fair, Uncle B tried to persuade me to accept a lift in this morning, but I was all like “no, no…it’s going to clear by noon! I’ll be fine!”


Never trust an English weather forecast. It pissed down all day and both ways, and my end-of-the-week bike battery wasn’t up to a head wind. I’m counting the minutes to Gin o’Clock. See you tomorrow, when the sky will clear and it really will be Friday.

December 7, 2017 — 9:45 pm
Comments: 10

Apocalypse Soon


I pinched the map from the Daily Mail. The swirly thing just West of Ireland is Hurricane Ophelia. We don’t expect to see much of it here.

What the arrows show is the attending wind currents, which have sucked up huge amounts of sand from the Sahara and smoke from wildfires in Spain and made our skies weird and orange (‘Donald Trump colored’ as someone described it). The sun is (was, it’s gone down now) distinctly red-rubber-ball-ish. Very spooky. Do follow the link above and look at some color pictures.

The chickens were having none of it.

This has happened before. If experience serves, we should wake up tomorrow and find a very fine dusting of desert sand all over everything.

October 16, 2017 — 5:33 pm
Comments: 14

And fuck this place in particular


“This place” is Dallas, today. Video in this tweet. It looks like something out of a Warner Brothers cartoon, don’t it?

We have showers tonight, but that thing makes this feel like a gentle June sprinkle (though the wind is s’posed to kick from 20 to 45 at midnight, much whoo-whooing).

Sassamon wins dick in Dead Pool Round 97 with Peter Sallis. A short round, but not the shortest round ever. I’m trying to tidy up my master list of Dick Winners as I have once again got confused. I’m honest, but I’m thick. I’ll publish it when it’s roughed out and you guys can correct my stupid.

But tonight, I have gut homework. See you back here Friday, 6WBT for Dead Pool Round 98!

June 5, 2017 — 9:28 pm
Comments: 9

It snew!


It snew in Scotland this morning. It was back to Spring by afternoon (as the photographer documents), but we are having a cold snap. It’s going to flirt with frost for the next few days, even down here. The gardeners are all worried because things have started to flower.

Janna asked for an update on Jack and his territorial dispute with the neighbor’s cat. It isn’t going well.

I heard him screaming this afternoon and ran next door to his aid, only to find him screaming into the neighbor’s livingroom window. Neighbor is taking care of her daughter’s cat, so Jack was screaming at an extremely elderly cat minding her own business in her own house. I apologized and withdrew.

Half an hour later, he’s next door screaming again. I shouted over the fence and the neighbor said that time it was indeed his nemesis, ginger-and-white. She chased off the intruder.

Half an hour later, he’s next door screaming again. I asked if it was the neighborhood bully again and she said, “no, Jack is standing in the middle of my garden screaming at nothing.”

Between these shrieking sessions he’s his good-natured old self, but he loses his shit when he feels threatened. I’ve warned everyone not to approach him when he’s screaming at air. Will try to find out who owns ginger-and-white. If he’s feral, I might try to relocate him, but I have a bad feeling he belongs to our newest neighbors.

April 24, 2017 — 9:07 pm
Comments: 12

Hang in there – it’s coming!


I had real trouble with the Winters here, at first. They aren’t all that cold — not by New England standards — but they’re just relentless and miserable and gray and (usually) wet. Mizzle, not snow. They seem to go on forever.

But the slide from Winter to Spring is incredibly measured. It has firm landmarks. If you can hang on through January, you can see the path to better times day after day.

First a few snowdrops. Then daffodils and crocuses. Then BABY LAMBS! Then all the hedges and trees turn white with blossom. Then it’s straight into the Month of Birthday and the Summer fete season and everything is concentrated awesomeness until September.

Maybe the signs were there in Rhode Island, too, and I was just too busy driving up and down I-95 to a gray cubicle.

I heard the voice of a lamb the other morning, but I think he must have been driving by in a truck. In the back, not actually driving. Ours aren’t due for another few weeks. Still — look! Crocuses!

Yeah, I know. Flowers look shit in black and white.

March 2, 2017 — 10:37 pm
Comments: 16

Doris Day


The remnants of tropical storm Doris hit us today. The news called it Doris Day, because of course they did. Gusts to 50-something miles an hour.

I tried cycling into work in it. I’ve been out in blows that strong before, no problem – bike and me together are pretty heavy. But a gust caught me just right and knocked me over at speed.

Eh. I was wearing yellow slicker pants that I couldn’t move properly in and I couldn’t catch myself. Didn’t knock me up and over, as in the picture, it knocked me sideways into a ploughed field. I’m fine, bike’s fine. I stalked home, muddy and soaking wet, and called in. There was nothing that really needed me today.

Went back to bed, slept until quarter to one.

True story.

February 23, 2017 — 9:50 pm
Comments: 19

What is this sorcery?


For the past two days, we’ve had intermittent bouts of a thing the locals call ‘freezing fog’. I don’t remember encountering this in Rhode Island (or Tennessee, for that matter).

Super thick, super cold. Visibility was so bad yesterday afternoon, I had to go slower and slower on my bike because I couldn’t see jack. Turns out, the fog was hitting my glasses and progressively coating them with ice.

Ohhhhh…I guess that’s what makes it freezing fog.

The picture isn’t mine. It’s from this Yahoo article about the phenomenon. Only, they call it ‘freezing smog’ and claim it’s down to still air and pollution, with so many people burning coal and wood for heat during this cold snap.

I call bullshit. I don’t know what it is on the Continent, but it’s just plain old (clean breathing) freezing fog here in the rural South of England. Most of the people in the comments are calling bullshit, too, but only because it’s Yahoo and nobody trusts them.

For the kzillionth time, wouldn’t it be great if there were a news organization that earned a reputation for reporting the facts as accurately as possible, so we didn’t have to squint at Every Single Thing we read?

January 24, 2017 — 8:12 pm
Comments: 24

If you don’t hear from us for a while…


We got a robo-call about an hour ago, GLaDOS letting us know we’re in the flood plain. Here’s the map. They’re updating continually, but we are currently in a red zone.

Property flooding is expected for this evening’s high tide, as a result of today’s North Sea surge combining with high water springs.

What happens is, when there’s a high tide and a surge, the narrowness of the Channel squeezes the water onto the land. Violently. I wasn’t much worried at first, but Uncle B has been gleefully telling me stories of whole towns wiped away overnight and, errrrm. Well. We’re packing a couple of bags and cat/chicken carriers, just in case.

I don’t think it’ll be tsunami fast; if there’s a problem, we’ll have time. High tide’s in six hours.

See you on the other side!

UPDATE: well, it’s 45 minutes to high tide, and nothin’. I think we’ll live. Have a good weekend, everyone!

January 13, 2017 — 5:50 pm
Comments: 19