Friday, 24 March 2017

Then he relocated.

I took the above photo about 10 mins before I went off to bed.

About an hour later there was a short period of thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. Bok HATES storms, and came to join me on my bed. Freddie also turned up; but he always does.

So, I ended up with a dog on one side of me, and a cat on the other.

Not the most comfortable way of trying to sleep. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

All good chums.

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Yesterday, politicians of all colours were praising Martin McGuinness as a peacemaker; today they are looking at terrorism very differently.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

It's an Equinox-ish Boy.

The wait is over.... As of today we have 6 grandsons. Kellogg presented us with No 6 at 10.40 am this morning (in Australia). 

I bought his tree just a couple of weeks back. I thought I was cutting it a bit fine, but he kept us waiting!

The hole was previously dug, the tree had been placed by it's side, and as soon as word came through it was positioned. I have to add that it was quite cold out there this morning, and only just properly light.

As with my five other grandchildren, the tree had to be planted on his actual birth day to mark his arrival. 

I wonder if I'll get to plant any more? Each of my three children now has two children (all boys) of their own.

Boo Boo Minor's tree (for that is his provisional name) is a Royal Gala apple. We only have two other apple trees, so more are needed!

Congratulations to Kellogg and Wills, and welcome to Boo Boo Minor; an equinox-ish brother for Boo Boo Major.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

To each his own.

Certain things in nature take my breath away. This plant (above) is one.

I know nothing of flowers or wild plants, so I can't tell you what it is. However, they grow every year, popping up in the most unlikely places. Later in the year they throw up a tall 6 ft tall stem on which there are a rag-bag of insignificant yellow flowers.

It's now, and until they flower, when they are at their best. They just sit there in their symmetrical splendour, making us smile as we pass by.

Many would no doubt call it a weed, but to me it's as beautiful as any other garden plant.

I left the Dandelions in the picture so you can see its size; they get bigger!

Monday, 20 March 2017

A clasp from the past.

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When I was a wee schoolboy, almost every boy I knew held-up his trousers with a belt such as the one above.

I never thought anything about them at the time, but looking back I now see them as rather exotic.

That simple Snake clasp is perfect; I wonder if it wasn't based on some Roman design? It looks as if it should be.

I can see them making a come-back. Surely today's Hipsters will soon recognise their appeal.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Wisdom of the (French) ages.

Yesterday I had a nice long chat with my neighbour Jean-Claude; he from his tractor, me struggling to contain Bok's excitement.

Amongst other topics, we discussed the fact that the Magpies are nesting very high in the trees this year; in fact they can't get much higher (see pic).

Superstition has it that this heralds a very dry and hot Summer.

How Magpies are supposed to know this, I'm not sure. Even our most up to date meteorologists, with all their fancy satellites, etc, often can't predict the same afternoon's weather.

Maybe they should catch a bag-load of Magpies and study their moods, comportment, and reactions. If they really can predict a very dry and hot Summer they'd be worth studying. 

Mind you, I've never known a Summer here that wasn't dry and hot; but that's probably best not mentioned when superstition is afoot.

Saturday, 18 March 2017


Merguez are one of my favourite sausages. Spicy and deep red in colour, they are made from a mix of Beef and Lamb, and are flavoured with Cumin and Pepper.

Originally from the Maghreb, they travelled north with the fleeing Pied-Noir population, after the Franco/Algerian troubles of 1954-62, and have since become a staple in this region of France; especially on Summer BBQ's.

I remember many years ago that I wanted to take a few kilos back to the UK for the freezer. Instead of buying them down here I decided to stop-off at a Supermarket in Calais, and buy them fresher up there. When I came to the meat department there was no sign of any, so I asked an employee where I would find them. He had never heard of Merguez. They had not yet reached that far north. Nowadays I imagine that they can be bought throughout France, and even elsewhere.

If you haven't already done so, I recommend that you try some. Last night I had a few with some Puy Lentils, and the essential squirt of fiery Harissa. Lovely.

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