Colder November

November 29, 2008

Woke up this morning and not only was the world white:


But some bugger had stolen our view.

Cold November

November 28, 2008






Fortunately, thanks to your firelighting tips, and in no small part to the efforts of the other half with an axe, chopping wood, we now have a blazing fire. And, if I lean forward and concentrate very hard, I can almost feel some warmth coming off it…

My Kind of Dog

November 27, 2008

Spotted in Bigtown this afternoon: a smiley sort of labrador busily picking up all the discarded plastic bottles along the river bank.

Admittedly, she was doing it because she liked to play with them, not because she’d been trained to gather them up and put in the bin, but as her owner said, ‘Ach well, if it makes me look good, I’ll no argue wi’ that!’*

Still, it’s a thought. And with a different sort of dog (Rottie, staffordshire, growly alsation) trained to return litter to the litterer with menaces, we might actually be getting somewhere…

* As you can see, I’m making great strides with the language. Although the postie was telling me something complicated about his lost horse** yesterday that I couldn’t make head or tail of.

** Not how he delivers the post, in case you’re wondering. We’re not that rural

Right, that’s it…

November 26, 2008

… I’m now having to type in fingerless gloves.

A Close Shave

November 25, 2008

caution_squirrelsTwo of them, actually, as first one red squirrel launched itself right under the wheels of our car, and then its friend played chicken on the road ahead. Thankfully, neither ended up squished on the road. While running over anything is never pleasant, running over a red squirrel would feel like crossing giant panda hunting with clubbing baby seals to death. Cute AND rare: never a good victim combination.

I don’t know what they’re still doing up though. There was ice on the puddles this morning, and still ice on the shaded puddles this afternoon. The sooner they get their little fluffy arses into gear and go and hibernate, the better. That way we can drive and breathe…

Why is it…

November 24, 2008

…that the sheep that regularly panic whenever I cycle past – Oh my God a monster! A monster on two wheels! And it’s looking at us! Run away! Run away! – don’t turn so much as a hair* when the military jets shriek overhead at 300ft?

I’m not even wearing my scary yellow jacket any more.

* or whatever the sheep equivalent would be. Wool? Strand? Curl?


November 22, 2008

So, the Terror Centre – while backing off slightly from its earlier predictions of Armageddon, blizzards sweeping Britain, Hell freezing over etc – is still predicting lows of -2°C this evening, along with ice, rain and a chance of up to 10cm of snow overnight.

All of which makes it an extremely bad time for me to have accidentally turned off the Rayburn… which now has to stay off until it’s stone cold* and safe to relight.

Now then, about those fire lighting tips…

*Of course, in this weather, that may not actually take that long.


November 21, 2008

Brrr. As predicted with much excitement by what Huttonian likes to call the BBC Terror Centre, the wind has shifted around from our prevailing south and south-westerlies to the north. (A cold snap – in November! – who would ever have thought it?) But anyway, the point is, it managed to do the shift during the five minutes today that I was exchanging pleasantries in the papershop.

No prizes for guessing the prevailing direction of my ride into – and home from – the shop. Suffice it to say, that I’ve never come to a standstill going downhill before…

*Bi-directional head wind

Hedgehog Pie

November 20, 2008

It was unavoidable. I hadn’t noticed it on my way out – perhaps it wasn’t there then, because it was pretty recently squashed. Just over the brow of the hill and round a bend, so I didn’t have much warning it was there. Right in the part of the road where I like to ride, where the car wheels have worn the rough tarmac smooth but not yet rutted it out. I hadn’t time to steer around it, and I didn’t want to brake and besides, I thought, it’s already dead. What harm can another wheel do? I’ll just ride over it.

Which is how I found myself spending the ride back watching the splat-splat-splat of the patch of hedgehog gore going round on my front wheel.

In other news, my E number has finally crept up to twelve. Pathetic. Must try harder. If only to ensure that every last molecule of hedgehog has been worn from my bicycle’s tyres…

By His Works, ye shall Know Him

November 19, 2008

Our neighbour is moving out and has left a stack of books behind for us to rummage through and keep or give away as we feel fit. They’re an odd selection – lots of classic boys’ own stuff for the most part, like Rider Haggard and Jules Verne, but there are some other, more esoteric, volumes as well. The other half has just reported the latest additions to the pile: the SAS Survival manual, the Complete Book of Air Rifle Hunting and Language, Truth and Logic by A.J. Ayer.

We’ve passed on the latter two – I’m more of a late Wittgenstein woman, myself – but the former has a section on lighting fires. And as soon as I’ve wrenched the other half away from the chapter on shark wrestling, I shall be checking it out. With that, and your excellent advice, I’m sure we’ll be in front of a blazing fire in no time.

Hopefully, in the cottage, rather than of it.