Make Mine a Lemsip

The rain is lashing down. It’s ferocious, like an angry percussion section. The wind part of the weather orchestra is sending eerie whistles through slightly open windows and helping the rain create little scudding crescendos. I’m supposed to be on a train to spend the day with a friend on the Essex coast to walk and talk along the seashore, share some seasonal food and wine. Instead I’m in bed.

It’s not just the weather that has made me decide to stay in my pyjamas for the time being. On Christmas Eve I went out for a walk and realised I wasn’t feeling my usual happy self. Normally walking does a magical thing of connecting body and spirit for me. I love the way my limbs find their rhythm, breathing follows the same tune, eyes and ears absorb familiar and new sights. So when I found I was having to push myself along I examined my constituent parts and found a cold lurking. Continue reading


Autumn Boating

I have been pretty good about blogging recently, but now I am afloat, so I shall probably be on gold star behaviour for the next few days. It is windy. It is wet. MasterB and I are the only ones at the marina. And as there aren't other cars, I doubt if anyone else has taken their boat out. But since I last came, my neighbours have gone. There is no boat on the starboard side of the pontoon, and tonight the wind is coming from that direction so we are missing its shelter. That may be why I am having a frustrating time watching C4 news too. The winds play havoc with the signal, and it is breaking up so much a coherent narrative is impossible.

Yet the journey was full of sunshine. Golden leaves, trees on either side of the road glinting gold, red and yellow as well as green. It was fortunate the view was good as the journey itself was slow beyond belief due to intermittent road works which meant I was travelling at the end of the school day, so parents collecting their children (what happened to walking home or taking the bus, or cycling?) clogged the roads. Compensation as I neared das Boot. A glance to the right and there were three deer happily in a brown field. I saw a kestrel too, just sitting. I left a stack of egg cartons from not only my own stock, but also Octavia and my neighbours Hugo and Jolita, at Janet Eggs, I didn't see Janet, but her husband was ther with the dogs bounding about him.

People have been shooting tonight. Gunfire has peppered my unpacking and putting away. I don't think Keats references the hunting side of autumn. A great crested grebe was swimming about the marina when we arrived, then a swan. MasterB, released from his cat basket made straight for das Boot, although I was hopeful at one point he would dig a hole and have a pee and or a poo. Doubtless the joy of clearing both awaits me before morning. Continue reading

April Days

Last year's hanging basket has kindly come to life again with no effort from me other than irregular watering. Despite it being April, which you'll remember in the rhyme is the month associated with showers, and we're not talking personal hygiene here, this April rain in any form has been notably absent. Which makes me nervous for May, associated with flowers and my birthday. I am wondering if some new intern at heaven's weather station has seen the flow part of flowers and mistaken it for a month of gross inundation. The forecast is for frost next week, maybe even snow. I may have a stay at home birthday, and the mice will get a temporary reprieve on das Boot.

So make the most of these pix of the season while you can.

Water, Wind and Exploration

It's windy; ropes are creaking and there's a definite rock to das Boot. The wind always affects the Internet connection here, so tonight I have none. Nor do I have a 'phone signal, which is slightly unnerving. Still, das Boot is securely tied to the pontoon, the pontoon itself is secure, unlike the rickety one I saw this afternoon, and I feel in good health.

Aunt was pleased to see me. It turns out Uncle Bill made a surprise visit to see her at the beginning of the week. I think that probably explained why Aunt was looking so upbeat. Swallowing is becoming more difficult. Now everything has to be sieved, but she has a good colour and a bright eye.

The rain that was forecast held off and the sun shone fitfully. After a lunch of pea and mint soup Aunt agreed to an outing in the car. Our goal was the caravan shop so I could buy a new light fitting for das Boot, and then we thought we might see if we could find Jude's Ferry, one of the pubs Aunt wants to go to.

Jude's Ferry was a favourite destination of my parents when they first moved East, and I was surprised Aunt had never been there with them. But maybe she was a bit more strait laced about pubs in those days.

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Happy Easter Cookie Cat

We have had appropriate Easter weather.

For Good Friday it was grey and blustery. Saturday was not much better, but today, Easter Sunday, when the churches once more decorated with flowers and the altars clourful, the sun shone.

I had a welcome day working from home. I took my papers out into the garden while MasterB napped in his basket.

Cookie was pleased to see me. She followed me about as I watered plants in pots, and then chose a garden seat near me for a nap. When I needed to come inside for something, she came too. I didn’t let her through the door into the flat as relations between her and MasterB have deteriorated. Continue reading


Thank goodness the heating was on in the train. I was sodden from the thigh down. After days and days of warm weather, sunshine and gentle breezes, today it rained. I was out on a walk in Sussex. Last night, I looked at the forecast and groaned inwardly. Maybe outwardly too. Under normal circumstances, I’d have changed my plans and opted for a day at home. But this was a special walk in memory of a man who died of pancreatic cancer two years ago, less than four weeks after his diagnosis. Many cancers are now curable. Not pancreatic cancer it seems. It can also be genetic. This man’s father also died of it. He left daughters who have had children. Time bombs. So the walk was to remember him and to raise awareness and money for research. Actually the morning, though grey and windy, was mainly dry. A couple I had never met before collected me from Hayward’s Heath railway station and we drove to the start point. There, a group gathered, pulling on waterproofs and gazing hopefully at the sky. The man’s widow, and the one person I knew before joining this walk, gave me a hello hug. We met on holiday in Greece just three weeks ago. Soon I was introduced to the daughters and the grandchildren, to friends and neighbours. Then we began walking. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA If anyone talks about walking in rolling countryside it means you will be doing as much up as down. This was rolling countryside. There seemed a fair bit of up to begin with, but fortunately that was it. We walked. We talked. The wind blew. It stayed dry. A very nice bunch of people. The pub was expecting us and had arranged tables so we could sit together. More talk, lots of food and some very good cider. Boots back on, we collected in front of the pub. The village still had signs of hallowe’en festivities. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Continue reading

Welcome Home

Back two days but I have only just downloaded my pictures. I’ll have a good look through them soon. It is hot and sunny still in London, and the idea that we lit a fire in the sitting room at Cousin’s on Monday night seems somewhat unreal.

MasterB was pleased to see me, but not ecstatic. He has been well looked after by the Lovely Neighbours, who have confirmed that they are, alas, definitely moving next month. They were having doubts, but then saw a sweet flat with a garden where they will be allowed to have a cat, and the deal was done in less than twenty-four hours.

With Toy

With Toy

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Of Older Persons, New Irons, the Shard and Accidents

With timing that I found infelicitous, my birthday post included an invitation from the hospital to attend the Older Persons’ Unit to check out the state of my bones.

According to the government, I am a mere sprig of a thing, with plenty of years left on the clock before I can even think about drawing my pension. Yet in health terms, I am obviously considered to be heading for my final furlongs.

The double think required to keep both those ideas compatible seems to demand the mixed metaphors. I loved Alice in Wonderland as a child, but never expected to be living in a world where the Duchess and the Queen of Hearts seemed relatively sensible.

Anyway, this afternoon I had my appointment. I finished work at lunchtime, but it wasn’t worth going home, so having eaten, I had a mooch about the City, and did some window shopping for a new iron as I think mine is not going to last much longer. I don’t know if there’s an Older Irons’ Unit, but mine would definitely qualify. It was given to me by a neighbour who sold up to travel the wotld. That was around seventeen years ago.

It was one of those days when you are aware of power tussles among the weather gods; first one then the other seizing the controls, and leaving us mere mortals taking sunglasses on and off, being buffeted by winds, drenched by sudden heavy showers, and warmed by the sun.

I was dawdling along near the Monument when I realised the clouds were stacking up. I decided to head across the bridge to the safety of Guy’s Hospital.

The light was impressive.

Shard Under the Weather

Shard Under the Weather

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