The Spuds Are In! – (Quick Links 118)

IMG_20180403_151806_365.jpg

Gate Detail At Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club

I took my Mum out for breakfast on Tuesday, something that is maybe becoming a regular thing. We went to Emsworth, and for a brief moment it wasn’t raining, so we were able to go for a short walk after we’d eaten. The photo above was taken there. We had a good chat over breakfast and did a couple of other chores while we were out.

I like Emsworth as a place, and I could actually see myself living there (although I doubt I could afford the house prices).


I had an interesting conversation about how technology has changed the way we think and see the world now, and how everything is much more immediate. It’s probably something that many people have thought about and I suspect the sides are both well rehearsed, but I’m not sure that all of the technology that we have now can actually be regarded as progress.


Pretty sure that we have a pair of Great Tits setting up a nest in one of our bird boxes. I’ve seen one of the birds taking beaks full of nesting materials into the box a couple of times, and they seem to be around the garden a lot. I’m conscious that they are around and am trying not to unduly disturb them, so that they can get on.


Our new furniture arrived on Friday. So far so good, very comfortable. Just need to get used to the room feeling a little more crowded than it did for the past couple of weeks when there was hardly any in there!


I was given an R2D2 travel mug for an Easter present, and gave it a test run on the allotment. It seems to work well and kept my  coffee suitably warm while I was down on the plot.


Work – It’s the financial year end, and I’ve spent a little bit of time getting my business expenses in order and a few other tasks so that I can do my tax return. I have plenty of time to get this done, but I don’t like to leave it to the last minute.


Allotment – The weather really hasn’t been compliant this week. We had a wet Easter bank holiday weekend and this continued until Thursday morning, when for the first time we had a dry day. I did get some seeds (pumpkin, patti-pan squash, tomato, cucumber and sweetcorn) sown indoors and finally on Saturday got my early potatoes in and transplanted out my “spare” broad beans. It then rained overnight which is a good thing but I still haven’t been able to get to do much of anything else. I still have brassicas to go out and some seeds that need to be sown. I’m hoping for a couple more dry days and then perhaps sometime next week I can get a few more things done.


Currently Reading – Not really sure what I’ve been reading this week. I am part-way through A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor [LINK] but otherwise I don’t think I’ve really been reading much. As an author Fermor has fascinated me for some time. A war hero and adventurer, he seemed to live a very full life.


The Week In Wildlife In Pictures – [LINK]



That’s all folks, next week I have a couple of work meetings as well – hopefully – some more time on the allotment planned. Have a good week wherever you are.

Advertisements
Posted in Birds, books, Garden / Allotment, Quick Links, work | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Easter Bunny Cometh… (Quick Links 117)

Easter Sunday today, for us this is very much about family time and my Mum is coming for a Sunday roast a bit later (the joint is already in the oven cooking), and I’ve made another batch of hot-cross buns (that I actually managed to put the crosses on this time).

It’s been a mixed week, I was out on Monday for a work meeting, but I’ve been working from home for most of the rest of the week and it’s pretty much rained everyday  and our dog walks have been pretty soggy affairs.

It was Wilson’s birthday on Wednesday, and I wrote a quick post about it here.

The council came and took away our old three-piece suite, we’d tried finding someone who would take it and recycle it, but it was just to old and worn. It’s still odd to be sitting on garden furniture indoors, but by this time next week I should be sitting on our new sofa, it’s due to be delivered on Friday.


Wind River 

I watched this yesterday, and would thoroughly recommend it. It’s written and directed by Taylor Sheridan who also wrote Hell or High Water [LINK] which is also an excellent film.

Wind River [LINK] stars Jeremy Renner (Avengers) as a wildlife warden who comes across the body of a dead woman whilst tracking mountain lions that have been killing cattle on the Wind River Indian reservation in a Winter Wyoming. The tribal police chief, played by Graham Greene (Longmire) calls in the FBI and Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron) arrives, under-equipped and agrees that the circumstances are suspicous, and asks Renner to help her with the investigation.

It’s a good movie and I really enjoyed it. The acting is good, and the winter scenery is just stunning. At around 90 minutes it’s a short film but well worth it. If you have seen Hell or High Water you’ll likely enjoy this too.


Work – As mentioned above I was at meetings on Monday, and that pretty much set the tone for the remainder of the week workwise as I had some follow-up work to do based on those meetings.

I’m also waiting on some tender deadlines to find out if submissions have been successful.


Allotment – Heavy rain again this week has meant little work on the plot again. I was hoping that I could get my potatoes in but I’ve had to postpone that.


Currently Reading – I read Neil Ansell’s “Deer Island” [LINK] and Chris Riddell’s “Travels with my Sketchbook” [LINK] the latter is based on the drawings made by the children’s laureate during his two year tenure as he was travelling.


The Week In Wildlife In Pictures – [LINK]


 

That’s all follks, a short one this week.

Posted in books, Garden / Allotment, Quick Links, work | Tagged , , , ,

Happy 8th Birthday Wilson

It is Wilson’s 8th Birthday today. I’m not sure where those years went. In dog terms that means he’s reached the status of a “Senior”, but I’m not sure I hold much store by those arbitrary boundaries. He gets some special treats today to mark the occasion.

The weather is not being particularly compliant today, and it’s been raining most of the night and all morning so we might postpone a special walk until tomorrow, or we might just go anyway as the forecast for the next few days doesn’t look any better.

Here’s some older photos:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Dog, pupdate, Wilson's Story | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Glamping in the Lounge (Quick Links 116)

I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, from a garden chair in my lounge. We’re making way for some new furniture and our old suite is in the front garden, waiting for the Council to collect it. We might be in a state of flux for a week or so.

Works been keeping me busy this week, and things seem to have settled back into a bit more of a routine, although we still had snow around at the beginning of the week.

I baked some hot-cross buns during the week. They didn’t last more than a couple of days, and in the end didn’t even end up getting the crosses applied to them. They were good eating though. I’ll be making some more ahead of Easter, just as soon as I get some more supplies!

I also watched IT, and wrote some thoughts about it here.

 


Work – A busy week with phone calls, meetings and some preparation for upcoming meetings and tender responses.


Allotment – First time in a couple of weeks that I’ve actually been able to get on to the plot. It’s still too wet and cold to do much, but I did manage to get some weeding done ahead of hopefully planting in a week or two.


Currently Reading – Another week where I’ve hardly picked up a book or my kindle or when I have I’ve fallen asleep quickly and read very little.


Sudan – The last male Northern White Rhino has died [LINK]. This species is nearing extinction (only two females remain, Sudan’s daughter and granddaughter) and scientists are planning to use IVF and other technologies to revive the species [LINK]. I have mixed feelings about this. Largely we humans have driven this species to this point, mostly through poaching and demand for rhino horn, so maybe we humans should try and do something about it. Actually I feel we should have done this years ago and not reached this point, and maybe our lesson is to prevent this happening with other species. These are deeply philosophical points I know, but I’m not sure trying to use science in this way is the right answer.


France’s Bird Population Collapses Due To PesticidesLINK – [] Not wishing to labour a point above, but when are we going to learn the lessons of what we have done and are continuing to do to this planet under the guise of “progress” and “growth”?


Citizen Science – Really enjoyed reading this story [LINK] about how local birders were able to provide the evidence against a developers claims, but will it be enough. All to often I read similar stories were the “tame” ecologists of a developer produce reports that are fundamentally flawed or even false.


If you’ve enjoyed this post please consider giving it a share on social media via one of the links below.

Similarly you can subscribe to all new posts by using the  link in the right-hand toolbar (and unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in each email).

Buy Me A Coffee


The Week In Wildlife In Pictures – [LINK]


Neil Ansell – Deep Country  I finished reading this book [GoodReads] early in the year, this week I came across this video trailer for it.


That’s all follks. Catch you next week.

Posted in books, Garden / Allotment, Quick Links, work | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

IT (2017) Brief Review

(Warning: Spoilers Might Follow)

I had the opportunity to watch the recent version of IT at the weekend. I’ve been wanting to watch it for a while and had only heard good things about the film. IT is one of my favourite Stephen King books and I’d enjoyed the previous TV mini series from 1990.

Overall I was a little bit underwhelmed. Maybe that was because the film had so much hype that my expectations weren’t born out, but I just felt a little let down by the film.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a good film. I think the casting is strong, and that comes across in the actors portrayals of their characters, and I’m pleased that it stuck pretty closely to the book. The locations were also excellent, and pretty much how I’d imagined them in my head from the book e.g. The Pine Barrens. There was however just something missing for me. It didn’t jump off the screen and grab my attention the way I was expecting, and maybe I need to watch it again as I feel I missed something.

This is of course just Chapter One i.e. it covers the portion of the book where the characters are children – and Chapter Two will presumably (assuming it’s made) cover the remainder – so hopefully the two together will be stronger. I feel however I couldn’t really give it more than a 3 out of 5.

Posted in Film | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Return of the Beast… (Quick Links 115)

As you might have gathered from the title of this post and the photo above, the snow is back. It’s Sunday morning as I write this and when I went to bed last night there was very little snow and hardly any had settled. When I got up this morning, I’d guess we’ve had between one and two inches overnight, definitely more than a couple of weeks ago, however it is not as cold this time. Have to wait and see what happens I guess, there’s a little more forecast during the day and overnight tonight and then it looks like it’s set to get a bit warmer.

I’ve finished the decorating in the lounge this week, there’s still a little more sorting to do as we put things back in place. We’ve also ordered a new 3-piece suite, which should be here just after Easter. We tried to donate our old one to a charity, but sadly it’s too old and worn for them to be able to do anything with, so the Council will be coming to collect it a week Monday.

I’ve also been sorting through a lot of my old books and dvds and donating some to charity, and also selling a few via Amazon marketplace. I sold two within 12 hours of listing them.

It would have been my Dad’s 81st birthday this week, I took Mum out for breakfast on the day as a mark of remembrance.

I’ve been trying to get a decent picture of a heron that’s been eating the frogs in the damp patch of my local recreation ground for a while now. I finally managed to get something half-decent earlier this week. I suspect both the heron and the frogs have been snowed off for the time being!

 


Customer Loyalty – Had an interesting conversation this week when I tried to cancel a magazine subscription. I had the renewal notice and the price and gone up nearly 22%, whilst I like the magazine and I know that production costs do rise, I don’t like it that much and decided to cancel it. When I rang up, as I expected they tried to talk me out of cancelling, claiming that they could offer me a “customer loyalty discount”, meaning that the price would actually hardly rise. Tempting. However why wasn’t I offered this on the renewal? I didn’t feel like I was being treated like a loyal customer at all. End result, subscription cancelled. Charge customers whatever you like, but if you’re not offering your best price to your loyal customers first time, don’t expect their loyalty to last long.


Work – In between decorating and other things, I’ve been catching up on a few conversations that were postponed because of the last snow fall. Will be working on a couple of things this week ahead of meetings the following week.


Allotment – Sadly snowed off again. Had some broccoli plants, which I ordered last year arrive on Saturday. There’s no way they can go in the ground yet, so I’ve potted them up for now, and will plant them out when the weather is a little more cooperative. It looks as though things will be a bit later this year.


Currently Reading – Still not really settled into a new book yet, but I did have a belated birthday present arrive (see pic below). These puzzle books are a lot of fun so far, although I think they start out easy and get harder as you progress through the book. They both also contain a little bit of interesting background information to the history of Bletchley Park and GCHQ


Dr Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018) – 

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”


If you’ve enjoyed this post please consider giving it a share on social media via one of the links below.

Similarly you can subscribe to all new posts by using the  link in the right-hand toolbar (and unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in each email).

Buy Me A Coffee


The Week In Wildlife In Pictures – [LINK]


Cambridge Analytica –  I expect that there’ll be a lot of coverage of this over the coming days [LINK], but it’s pretty scary just what can be done with all that data that we seem all to willing to give companies with no moral or ethical compass. I might well be deleting my Facebook account (again).


Falcon Heavy


Two Days In Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – [LINK]

If you don’t already subscribe to @documentally’s newsletter then you should [LINK]


I’ll be hunkering down for the rest of the day, trying to keep warm and hoping that this latest batch of snow if short lived. Wherever you are in the world I hope your weather is a little more clement, but if not stay safe. Catch you next week.

Posted in books, Garden / Allotment, Quick Links, Wildlife/Nature, work | Tagged , , , , , ,

Birthday Boy (Quick Links 114)

Busy, busy, busy this week. I’ve been doing more decorating and moving bookcases in the lounge to allow me to hopefully finish the decorating in the lounge in the coming week. This has mostly been in between other things: work, appointments with my Mum and my birthday on Friday. Today is also Mothering Sunday in the UK, so we’re having a lunch with my Mum later on.


Work – Mostly this has been rearranging things that were postponed due to the snow, and catching up with a couple of meetings that were in the diary already for this week. I’ve got a few development things to do in the next week as well as preparing for a pitch meeting in a couple of weeks time.


Allotment – The plot seems to have borne the weather pretty well, and wasn’t as badly effected as I had feared, the broad beans certainly seem to have held up well. The weather this week though (mostly rain) has meant that the ground is very wet again, so not much happening. There are a couple of photos below taken last week in the snow, and a comparable image now that the snow has gone to see the contrast.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Currently Reading – I haven’t had much reading time this week, but did get a couple of new ones for my birthday, so expect to get in to one of those in the week ahead.


If you’ve enjoyed this post please consider giving it a share on social media via one of the links below.

Similarly you can subscribe to all new posts by using the  link in the right-hand toolbar (and unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in each email).


The Week In Wildlife In Pictures – [LINK]


When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home – [LINK]


A Map of Radical Bewilderment – On the liberation cartography of Henry David Thoreau – [LINK]


The Wreckage of the USS Lexington Found in the Coral Sea – 


More decorating in the week ahead and a couple of other things, but for now that’s all folks! Stay safe out there and I’ll catch you next week.

Posted in books, Garden / Allotment, Quick Links, Wildlife/Nature, work | Tagged , , , , , , , ,