Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bound to Get Better

Apparently after 40, life gets better and better until you're 74. So there is something to look forward to, after all.

The first snowdrops are out, but it's going to be a very late spring - this time last year they were over. There's no sign of the tulips I planted, but since there was more snow last weekend, they may well be lying low. There was still ice across the lake at the arboretum today. I decided to work from home, and I'm glad I did. It's been grey and dank the whole time, and the ground is waterlogged. Herbie's not too interested in going out much, but he's very interested in the thought that there may be some ham in the kitchen. If he needs more exercise, I'll just hide some ham around the house.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


... and that includes photos. Herbie looks exactly the same as he's done for months, so this is a photo from before Christmas.

It's been a busy week. Nigel's baby, William Thomas, arrived in the early hours of last Wednesday - needless to say, the car had iced over at the point when Mel realised she needed to go to the hospital NOW, so poor Nigel was frantically scraping ice off the windscreen at 2 in the morning... at least they got there, unlike this poor couple.

Then another member of the team at work left to join the NHS. And another person at work who left suddenly on Friday looks uncannily like the picture of an Irish woman suspected of being a hitwoman in Dubai. Now we're all going to be wondering... (Actually we think she was here at the time the murders were carrried out, but fiction is so more gossip-worthy than the truth.)

And finally, to add to all the excitement, I took the day off so I could get the chimney swept.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Missing Coal

Feeling a bit vulnerable tonight, got home to discover a fair bit of coal missing. I'd filled up the coal bucket last night when I got home, and used the entire bucket during the course of the evening. I didn't have time this morning to re-fill before work, and when I went out to the coalshed this evening, there were only half a dozen lumps of loose coal left. Fortunately there are still a couple of plastic bags of e-coal (a supposedly ecological alternative to coal) but I'm annoyed that while I've been out someone's come into my back garden, gone round the back of the house and stolen several buckets of coal.

I know it's been a hard winter, I know many of my neighbours don't have much money, but hey, I don't either. I've been trying to be careful with my fuel, which is no use when someone else is siphoning it off (wrong metaphor, but can't think of the right one). I used a couple of months' worth in three weeks over Christmas and early January, so my winter fuel budget has not quite worked out, but I don't wait till my neighbours are out and then go steal theirs.

This blog wasn't meant to be a rant about anything, it was supposed to be about Herbie, but tonight it's about me, and I'm cross. I can start padlocking the shed, but I can't stay home all day, I have to work. Where I used to live, it was safe to leave coal in an unlocked container. I want to move again.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Happy Candlemas

One of those old pagan festivals that we've lost is Candlemas, the first of February, when at dusk the lady of the house was supposed to light a candle in every window. I get home from work somewhat after dusk, but I've lit some candles tonight in recognition of the fact that the light is returning. It may be cold, but there is more light than at midwinter.

Herbie is clutching a marrowbone to his chest, while Holly has both a bone and a vegetarian dog chew in the shape of an alligator, which was a present from my sister. I'm not entirely sure why they need vegetarian chews, given the amount of meat I feed them, but it has kept Holly happy for a long while.

A friend at work is waiting for his first baby to arrive. His wife wanted a whole new kitchen installing in the fortnight before the baby was due, so we are taking bets on which is ready first, the baby or the new kitchen.