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Horse girls

These little girls were amazing. They were little, too – all twelve year olds. Doing some sort of pony relay race in teams of four. I’m sure the horsey among us will tell me what that’s called.

The course was a sort of figure 8. There were low jumps, and then a place where they had to slow their horses to a walk, then hell for leather down the last two jumps and pass the baton.

They were incredibly poised. The two youngest ponies acted up. One ran up to the jump and noped out a couple of times. One indulged a little bucking and rearing. Both girls got their mounts under control and finished the race.

Why is it always girls and horses? I wasn’t a horsey little girl, but I knew plenty. Why is it never little boys and horses?

I should say, our local team placed first and second.

May 31, 2023 — 7:12 pm
Comments: 9

And then there was the Pearly Queen

Not exactly livestock. The pearlies are a charitable organization. Victorian street sweeper and colorful urchin Henry Croft was the first. He sewed pearl buttons to his clothes to raise attention to his fundraising for the local hospital.

When he died in 1930, he was followed by a procession of 400 pearly kings and queens. They raise money for lots of charitable organizations, traditionally hospitals.

I remembered pearlies in Mary Poppins, but on reflection, I think they’re just cockneys with ornamental buttons. They’re not quite buttony enough for royalty.

This lady seemed to enjoy having her picture taken, but she didn’t hit us up for any money.

May 30, 2023 — 7:03 pm
Comments: 2

Levitating ewe

After a winning performance in the ring, something about the harness around her muzzle irritated this ewe. She began to bounce in the air while her handler tried to calm her down. Uncle B managed to grab this shot of her at full pronk.

I know what you’re thinking: Weasel’s been to a country show and we’re going to get a whole week of cow and chicken pictures. Well you’re wrong, smarty – we got the livestock ring too late and missed the cows.

And, once again, there were no chickens thanks to avian flu regs. Bitterly disappointing, but otherwise an excellent agricultural show. We walked ourselves stupid.

The weather for the whole weekend was gorgeous. It’s a holiday Monday here, too, but dedicated to nothing in particular.

There are two bank holidays in May, on the first and last Mondays. I have no idea why. They’re called the Early May Bank Holiday and the Late May Bank Holiday. This year, though, we pushed the early on forward a week in celebration of Coronation Day.

I’m getting out of the habit of working.

May 29, 2023 — 6:58 pm
Comments: 9

It begins!

Tomorrow is the best country show of the year.

Okay, last year the poultry was under quarantine so the poultry tent just had pictures of chickens. That was pretty lame. Saw some lurvly sheep and cows, though.

It’s a long drive but it’s mostly country lanes. I have honestly never seen the mayflowers so abundant. And cow parsley and elderflowers, also white. It’s going to be a sunny day and a fantastic journey, like driving through tunnels in snow.

We’ll pack sammiches, because the food there is expensive and sometimes disappointing.

Have a good weekend, everyone! I better see me some fancy chooks tomorrow.

May 26, 2023 — 7:57 pm
Comments: 5

My month as a blue check

Okay, it’s only been 20 days, but I have to make up my mind soon whether I want to renew.

By far, my favorite part is bold and italic. It’s a little thing, but it pleases me. I am an emphasis abuser going way back.

I don’t like having a bajillion characters. I prefer the discipline of having to make my point in 280 or fewer. Twitter doesn’t seem like the right place for long-form commentary to me – I never read the long ones, myself. (It remains to be seen whether it will work for video, as Tucker intends).

You only get edit powers on your own tweets, not on comments. On comments, there’s delay before it actually posts them, and you watch the circle count down. It’s like 20 seconds. On the upside, that does force you to proof your tweet one more time, but I almost always hit the button to make it post immediately. Don’t think I like this feature.

I was hoping for higher engagement and I’m not sure about that.

Of course, tarnishing the status symbol for the old blue check brigade is delightful. I expected to be taunted for having bought my check, but that hasn’t happened.

I’m just not sure…

p.s. One of these days, I’m going to fix that poor weasel avatar. The muzzle is too cat-like and it has a hump on its back.

p.p.s. I’ve got a four day weekend coming up, starting…now.

p.p.p.s. Kitty seems all better. Phew!

p.p.p.p.s. No, nobody had Tina Turner this round.

May 25, 2023 — 7:38 pm
Comments: 8


Six radishes. First crop of the year. Uncle B said they went from planting to crop in a month.

I ate one right away to see what it was like (nice texture, spicy). I put two and a half in soup (it adds a surprisingly nice flavor to soup) and the other two and a half in coleslaw (haven’t tried it yet).

Salad days have arrived.

We did something spontaneous tonight – went to a charity auction. We bid on a couple of things but didn’t win. People were bidding way over market value, because charity. I have a hard time doing that, because cheap.

Anyway, back late and knackered. Toodles!

May 24, 2023 — 8:50 pm
Comments: 11

How much?!

Afternoon at Mickey D’s. £16.47 is $20.45. Ow. I can remember when we both ate for £5.

What’s a meal at the golden arches set you back in America these days?

I was the pig who had the Big Tasty which, I have to admit, was both big and tasty. For a McDonald’s, anyhow.

This is the second time we’ve eaten at this one in the last year. The man who drifts around wiping tables and greeting customers looks like Mike from Breaking Bad.

Older. Grizzled. Tattoo’d. Unfailingly polite. Looks like he won’t take no shit.

The thought occurred to me that he was, in fact, hired muscle. I wonder if it gets spicy at McDonald’s sometimes…?

p.s. Kitty was much better today, but went out this afternoon and has been gone for an unusually long time now. Still we worry.

p.p.s. Kitty is back. Seems fine. Hail Bast.

May 23, 2023 — 7:45 pm
Comments: 18

Flat cat

There she is, everyone – my one hen! In the absence of Spoon, this is the remains of my flock. This and three roosters. Don’t worry about her, though – she’s little and quick. She doesn’t have any unwanted chicken sex.

I’m late tonight because kitty isn’t himself and I’ve been trying to work out if he’s really ill. He was limping on his right back leg a couple of days ago, and now he’s just moving stiffly and subdued. I tried without much success to get some Metacam down his neck (kitty Ibuprofen – to my surprise, I had a bottle that was still in date).

If he’s still logy tomorrow, I’ll take him to the vet. Have to get a new cat carrier, though – the old one has been a chicken house since forever.

May 22, 2023 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 4

The white fluffy month

The farmer next door has for some reason herded his sheep from the big field behind us to the small field in front of us (they do this by driving Land Rovers at them and honking). This means lots of sheepy noises this evening.

For the record, sheep do not go baa. They go AHHHHHHHHHH! Which is pretty funny, to be honest.

May is my favorite, and not just because I indulge myself the whole month. All the various thorn trees explode into poofy white flowers (mayflowers, as it were) and the fields are full of poofy white sheep. It’s purdy.

In conclusion, AHHHHHHHHHH! Have a good weekend. The fête season starts tomorrow!

May 19, 2023 — 7:24 pm
Comments: 6


Did you see this? A company called Magellan used remote-controlled submersibles to take 700,000 high resolution photos of the Titanic to stitch together a complete 3D model.

They don’t say what they intend to do with it. I suppose it’s too much to ask that they put it up on Sketchfab like archaeological digs sometimes do, so I can play with it. They’re making a making of documentary, anyway.

Watch the video at the top of the BBC article, at least. Though, as usual, the Daily Mail article is more fun, including trivia about the inventory:

There were also 800 elderdown quilts, 12,000 knives and 12,000 forks, 19,000 spoons, 400 sugar basins, 500 cream jugs, 1,000 finger bowls, 12,000 cups and saucers and 1,200 teapots.

As well as the champagne, the drinks on board included 1,000 bottles of wine, 850 bottles of spirits and 150,000 bottles of beer.

Food included 75,000lbs of red meat, 25,000lbs of poultry, 11,000lbs of fresh fish, 40,000 eggs, 250 barrels of flour, 40 tons of potatoes, 800 bundles of asparagus and 36,000 apples.

Also, I was once made fun of for my spelling of whoa. Or maybe woah. I can’t remember which one I used. Anyway, I asked the internet and it told me:

Whoa is the original spelling. The spelling woah emerged more recently. The earliest evidence of woah in writing is thought to come from online message boards in the early 1980s. Indeed, the increase in the use of the spelling woah is often associated with digital communications.

May 18, 2023 — 7:01 pm
Comments: 12