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Ain’t nature horrible…

Today, I stood on the shore and watched a cormorant drown a snake and then eat it. He kept diving down and staying down, then coming up with a weaker and weaker snake until finally he swallowed it whole.

I got some shaky phone footage of it, but it wasn’t very good, so I stole this excellent picture of a cormorant from Canadian Geographic. Who knew there was such a Canadian Geographic?

Not long after, I got a call from Uncle B saying a big dog fox was crawling all over the henhouse. Ten minutes later, he came back. Twenty minutes later, he came back. Half an hour later, he came back.

He wasn’t really fazed by us at all. He ran, but he didn’t mean it. I don’t think he can get into the chicken house, but he can literally scare them to death.

We got on the phone to our local fox-shootin’-guy (he shot 29 in this parish recently!), but we’ll have to keep them safe for a day or two until he can show up. I got nerves that jingle-jangle-jingle.

Have a good weekend, and keep your livestock close!

May 31, 2019 — 9:13 pm
Comments: 20

Cousin Fishy!

It’s #WorldOtterDay and the interwebs are alive with cute otter videos. Excellent photo nicked from NatGeo.

Otters are, of course, mustelids. Very photogenic ones with excellent PR. But don’t worry — National Weasel Day is coming soon and National Badger Day isn’t far behind.

Oh, wait. No. National Otter Day was yesterday. I need to check my Twitter more often.

May 30, 2019 — 8:39 pm
Comments: 6

You monsters! What have you done?

Same country show. I’m going to assume this is part of a game where water was squirted at Der Führer, but there was nobody near it. I mean, the disembodied Adolph head was dripping wet and it wasn’t raining. That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it.

I don’t think it was for sale, anyway.

May 29, 2019 — 9:18 pm
Comments: 7


A display of traps from the country show. And yes, the big ones in the middle are mantraps.

They were legal out of doors in the UK until the 1820s, and many were clearly designed to maim. Given the lack of antibiotics and general filthiness, perhaps kill.

Both of these have metal teeth that would meet in the middle of a man’s leg. Maybe have it clean off. Ouch. A measure of how much landowners hated poachers.

An ancestor of mine was supposedly deported for poaching a deer. On the other hand, my big brother told me that and he’s full of shit. *shrug emoji*

May 28, 2019 — 9:24 pm
Comments: 8

Here we go!

The Summer fete/flower festival/country fair season is upon us and this is a homity pie.

Never had it before. In fact, I haven’t had it now. I’m savin’ it for lunch.

It’s a pastry crust filled with potatoes and an onion and leek mixture. Then it’s covered in cheese and baked. This particular variable has mustard seeds in it, which I haven’t seen in any of the recipes. A nice old lady sold it to us at a country fair.

It looks like the cross between a quiche and a ‘za.

I’ve never heard anyone in the wild say ‘za, by the way. It’s a word I picked up playing an online variation of Scrabble. Very handy for dumping unwanted Zs.

And with that, the festival season begins!

May 27, 2019 — 8:56 pm
Comments: 12

A final birthday to end the week

It’s Queen Victoria’s 200th. Happy b’day, Vicky!

That there is not a commemorative statue. It’s a life-sized cake. I mean, she wasn’t very tall, but still:

The cake in her likeness stands at real-size 4ft 11” tall and required 298 eggs, 26kg of butter and 20kg of fondant.

By now, it’s been cut into 600 slices. And yes, it’s a Victoria sponge.

The Victoria sponge, also known as the Victoria sandwich or Victorian cake, was named after Queen Victoria, who was known to enjoy a slice of the sponge cake with her afternoon tea. The sponge part evolved from the classic pound cake – equal quantities of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. The difference was the Victorian creation of baking powder, which was discovered by English food manufacturer Alfred Bird in 1843, which enabled the sponge to rise higher. This invention, writes cookery author Felicity Cloake, “was celebrated with a patriotic cake”, Victoria sponge.

You know those horrible sweet little mass-produced cakes that look like a red blood cell that you make strawberry shortcake out of? I love those things. I can’t get them here. Cheap supermarket Victoria sponge has saved my strawberry shortcake. Hurrah!

Hoist a gin to Her Maj and have a great weekend!

May 24, 2019 — 8:54 pm
Comments: 12



Neat article about deep fakes. You know, where they take an image and make a pretty convincing animated version of it. They’ve got it so they can work off a single still image. Watch them Facebook profile pics, everyone!

Unfortunately, you’ll have to go to Twitter to see the animated version of Mona Lisa.

Which brings us to Mona Weasel here. It’s a thing I did for a website I used to do, years before this blog. A thousand years ago in internet terms. I stopped updating it and then one day the URL got poached by Japanese schoolgirl porn, or something.

I got me an internet footprint goes back to the Eighties. I’ve been saying stupid stuff in public for three decades.

My P’shop skills have improved somewhat, anyhow.



May 23, 2019 — 8:48 pm
Comments: 10

And in other auspicious birthdays…

Mary Anning (1799–1847). No, no…that’s not Mary Anning in the picture. That there’s an ichthyosaur. She found it, and many others like it. She made a thumping contribution to the early days of dinosaurology but, being poor and a girl, didn’t get much credit for it in life.

I hate to play the wahmen in science card, but for once it’s true.

Her father was an ‘umble carpenter and died when she was 11, after which she and her brother scavenged junk on the beach to sell. That’s when she discovered Lyme Regis is stuffed with fossils. I mean, people barely knew what fossils were at that point; she and her brother thought they’d found an alligator skeleton.

But she soon got good. She had a knack, and fossils became big business. Not big enough, though – she scraped along in poverty her whole life and died a miserable death of breast cancer at the age of 47. She made many important discoveries, anyhow, and eventually got some well-deserved recognition. Posthumously. For what it’s worth.

OH! And she’s believed to be the inspiration for “she sells sea shells by the sea shore.” So there’s that.

May 22, 2019 — 6:52 pm
Comments: 6

Happy birthday, Sherlock

According to the National Archives, today is Sherlock Holmeseses birthday. The birthday of the character? The birthday of the creation of the character? I dunno. They don’t say. They do say

Scotland Yard used to receive many letters from individuals hoping to make contact. Allegedly a secretary was later employed to respond, explaining he was no longer detecting and had left London to enjoy a rural retirement in Sussex.

Hey, we could be fictional neighbors!

p.s. ever since I told WordPress I use a British keyboard, it changes my Z’s to S’s and puts all those gay extra U’s in stuff.

May 21, 2019 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 12

Yep, they’re still washing up

Unexploded bomb spotted at Beachy Head. It’s apparently only visible at low tide, so the bomb disposal squad is waiting for morning. You know, if you want to run out and steal it.

I wonder what damn fool took the picture.

Beachy Head is a tall chalk cliff near Eastbourne and is the UK’s favorite suicide spot. In fact, Wikipedia tells me it’s the third most popular suicide destination in the world, after the Golden Gate Bridge and the Aokigahara Woods. People have been offing themselves there since at least the 7th Century.

The one that sticks in my head is the poor bastard who drove his rascal off the cliff. Now that’s determination.

Happy Monday!

May 20, 2019 — 9:36 pm
Comments: 11