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Last of the season

A red sweet pepper. There may be more green ones to come, but this is bound to be the last to ripen this season.

How he does it at all is a mystery to me. I am informed that sweet peppers aren’t viable this far north.

Far north, you say? If you look at a world map, the South of England aligns with Hudson’s Freaking Bay.

Anyway, he manages to coax out a few peppers for me every year in his greenhouse. This variety is an F1 hybrid called Gogorez. It’s a squat pepper with a thick flesh, which makes it perfect for stuffing.

Stuffing as in stuffed peppers, not as in turkey-and-stuffing, I mean.

November 23, 2021 — 7:48 pm
Comments: 11

Ha HA! Nice try, overlords!

We have a roast chicken every Sunday, and every Monday I spend a few hours boiling the carcass and plucking the meat off of it.

I hate this process so much. All those slippery bones and muscles and sinews. I know how they all fit together to make a chicken. It haunts me. And I get it on my hands.

I’m funny about touching food with my hands.

But I get at least three splendid chicken-based meals out of it, so I feel totally compelled.

Anyway, I was doing this unpleasant job earlier and it made me wonder (not for the first time) if I would be able to raise meat chickens. I sincerely believe they’re going to push this anti-meat thing until we all eat less meat whether we like it or not because we can’t afford it.

We have neighbors with sheep and neighbors with cows, so we can avoid those meat taxes if they don’t impose them on the farmer hisself.

We don’t have a good place for a pig, but I’d consider it. I got one as an adorable pet when I was a teenager and by the time he was old enough for the butcher, I was ready to hustle him onto the van with my own two hands.

He was an escape artist and whenever I managed to trace him down, he bit me. Hard. Get in the van, piggie.

But chicken. I really like eating chicken. But I really like chickens.

I’m going to have to be pretty hungry before I go there. I’m soft like that.

November 22, 2021 — 7:32 pm
Comments: 16

Decomposing nicely

Come November, I put my pumpkin at the end of the drive and spend the winter watching it implode. It gets creepier and creepier as it collapses from the inside. My own personal memento mori.

The climate is so mild here, you’d be astonished how long it usually lasts. The first really hard freeze shatters it, but we only get one or two of them and that later in the season.

Surprisingly, no – no-one has ever smashed it against the house.

Speaking of decomposing, wanna spend the weekend with me watching Wisconsin burn?

November 19, 2021 — 7:14 pm
Comments: 11

The last of the bonfires…

That’ll go up a treat.

It’s the last of the Sussex bonfires this week. Then Thanksgiving (no, Brits don’t celebrate Turkey Day, but *we* do) and then we slide right into Christmas.

I am so ready for it. Not Christmas so much, more the days getting longer again.

At present, the chickens put themselves to bed at 4. In a month, they’ll be going in at 3:30. Add to that our weather has been relentless grey and dim and dark and I’m developing a stinking case of Seasonal Affective Thingummy.

November 18, 2021 — 8:06 pm
Comments: 14

Journalism today

You’ve probably seen Miriam Margolyes in something. She usually plays the whacky old lady, crazy aunt, witch. She was in one of the Harry Potter films. She’s a dreadful old lefty luvvy, but they all are, aren’t they?

Yesterday she was on Good Morning Britain. Seconds before the end of an ad break, she lifted a buttcheek, let rip an enormous fart and said, “that’s better.”

When the cameras rolled, the hosts were in tears.

Is this news? Is it important? Folks, I will never let a fart story go.

This is my pledge to you.

November 17, 2021 — 7:30 pm
Comments: 5

Jurassic Park, but cat

Okay, this is fun. But the shot-by-shot making of is even funner.

This guy’s whole channel is green-screening his cat, Lizzie, into movies. For the love of it, I guess. I can’t find any evidence he’s found a sponsor.

She’s a remarkably tolerant cat, particularly for tummy rubs (hint: it’s all about the Dreamies).

All the OwlKitty videos.

All the OwlKitty behind the scenes videos.

November 16, 2021 — 7:32 pm
Comments: 5

Return of the angry, authoritarian fridge

Half of the message has been wiped away, seemingly by people opening and closing the fridge. It appears to be a stern injunction never to put the crab and lobsters above the salad.

I have many unpleasant mental images why that might be.

They mostly involve lobster poop. I have no idea what lobster poop is like, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want it on my salad.

Yes, this is the same fish shop as before.

November 15, 2021 — 8:23 pm
Comments: 2

I finally came to one

Spotted on my way to the lecture last night. If I told you the answer is “I went straight” you’d think I was a criminal before (or a lesbian).

I’ve been sitting in the comfy chair snoozing all afternoon. They made me work a five-day week, y’all – and two of them were 9-5! Oh, the humanity!

That photo came straight off my camera and this laptop saves images huge. So I fixed it using an online file compression service that worked a treat, and all they want is for me to share their url on my social media.

There you go. I’m probably all loaded up with Russian viruses now.

Good weekend, everyone!

November 12, 2021 — 7:42 pm
Comments: 11


I’ve had to go to work, a Remembrance Day ceremony, a funeral and a lecture today. And I ain’t done the lecture yet. I am a tuckered weasel.

I have to go. I’m the only one who knows how to work the new security system.

The wearing of the British Legion poppy (at right) is a thing here from the beginning of November until the 11th. Or it was a thing absolutely everyone did for a hundred years and now, just in the last couple of years, it’s considered not woke.

And so, OF COURSE, I’m at great pains to wear one.

You buy them in supermarkets and news agents, usually at a table manned by elderly veterans. But the dang things only come with a straight pin, so they’re always falling off. I’ve been through three poppies this year, but I’m still by-god wearing one.

Oh, and I had to sing God Save the Queen at the Remembrance Ceremony. Which I don’t mind, but it made me think how painful it’s going to be to sing God Save the King when that day comes.

Perhaps I can think to myself that “save” is a euphemism.

November 11, 2021 — 5:24 pm
Comments: 11

Not sure how I feel about this…


We had our antiquated security system updated this week.

As they were finishing up, one engineer said to me, “there’s an app, you know.” And damme, there’s an app.

I can check the alarm status. I can alarm and unalarm remotely. I’m notified if an alarm goes off and which sensor has been tripped. I get a log of every alarm setting event and which keyfob was responsible.

But so, of course, can everyone else in the company who downloads the app. Whee! I’m punching a timeclock again.

I don’t actually mind punching a time clock, literally or figuratively. And I don’t suppose any of the old dears I work for has the slightest interest in a phone app, anyway. But I am perfectly poised between thinking this is a great and useful thing to have and thinking it’s a level of surveillance too far.

On a side note, I’ve had to work a 9-to-5 to babysit the workmen and I am shattered. How did I ever do this day after day?



November 10, 2021 — 6:46 pm
Comments: 6