Friday, 30 September 2016

Preparing for the cold.



Winter approaches; time to start thinking of wood.

I think we've now got enough Chestnut (above), and the Oak has been delivered (below). The Chestnut is beautifully dry, and will probably be our main source of heat this Winter. As Oak is twice as expensive, we try to limit its use.


I've bought a new chain for the chainsaw. Each metre length log needs to be sawn into three.

The past few Winters have been relatively mild, and I'm hoping that the trend continues. I don't like the cold, I don't like frost, and I certainly don't like snow. My fingers are crossed.

For delivery in Autumn 2017, I've also bought a big pile of split Red Oak logs, which is still in the woods. These are the Oaks with the fabulous red Autumnal foliage. I'm told that the wood is even better as firewood that the normal Oak. It is certainly very heavy and dense, so I'm looking forward to trying it in the wood-burner; probably in 2018 (if I'm spared).

p.s. I put away my garden sprinkler recently, thinking that we would have some rain. I'm now having to put it all back again. Bloody weather; back above the mid-20's again, and no precipitation!

We're promised some rain for tomorrow (Saturday); we'll see. 




Thursday, 29 September 2016

Tomato Soup.



Towards the end of the Tomato growing season, I always make large bottles of preserved Tomato pulp; these are specifically for making soup. It uses up all those late-arrival Tomatoes, and goes to creating one of life's culinary marvels.


I take the biggest pot I have, fill it with chopped, and salted Toms, and cook it until it's mush.

I use litre bottles for these, and do 5 at a time (that's the maximum my tallest sterilising pot will take). An hour bubbling away at around 100 C, and Bob's-yer-uncle; job done.  


When it comes to making the soup, I heat the contents of a jar, pass it through a sieve with the back of a soup ladle to take out all the skins bits etc, re-heat, add a dollop of cream and maybe some S & P, and that's it. Wonderful Tomato Soup that actually tastes of both Tomatoes and Summer.




Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The 'Tower', then and now.


                                

It's six years since we reached the stage above, and in the intervening period things have changed a bit.


Now it's almost disappeared!

"IS ANYBODY THERE?"



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Fly in the Ointment.



I love the lazy days of Summer; sitting by the pool with friends, discussing nothing in particular, enjoying a glass of wine.

We've had visitors from all over the world this year. In the photo above he (D) is from Canada/Barbados, and she (S) is from Johannesburg. Others this year have been from California, Australia, and even Blighty. The world seems such a small place, yet our lives and aspirations are so similar.

The only thing that spoils such occasions is knowing that elsewhere in the more primitive world children are suffering, men are being tortured and executed, and women are being forced into slavery.

I know I tend to go on about this quite often, but it preys on my mind; night and day.

When I see pictures of middle-eastern towns that are no more than piles of rubble, or fanatics destroying precious ancient monuments, I wonder if the perpetrators can possibly be of the same species as myself. 

How can one human being be so fond of peace, quiet, and order (me); yet others think of little other than hatred, killing, and destruction.

I suppose it all boils down to 'brainwashing'; or dare I say it, 'religion'. Actually, the two seem synonymous.



Monday, 26 September 2016

Alarming Noise.



Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep....

Cro: What the hell's that bloody noise?

Lady M: Dunno.

Cro: Is it your iPad thingy?

Lady M: Don't think so.

Cro: Well it must be something; it's deafening.

Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep....

Lady M: Maybe you'd better go inside and have a look.

Cro: I may be some time!

Lady M: Well, what was it?

Cro: It was the Toast Alarm; your breakfast's ready!

Lady M: Phwar... open the windows someone!




Sunday, 25 September 2016

An Important Day for UK Politics.


                            Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Jeremy Corbyn"

It's of little interest to the world outside the UK, in fact it's of little interest to most inside the UK. But yesterday the man in the above photo (a Mr Corbyn) was re-elected leader of the UK's Socialist (Marxist/Leninist) Party.

Everyone seems to be happy. His supporters are happy because their man won. His non-supporters are reasonably happy as it'll probably mean a definitive split in The Labour Party. And absolutely everyone else is very happy because it heralds the absence of Socialism in UK politics for the foreseeable future.

As good a reason as any to make September 24th into 'National Corbyn Day'.

Of course this does leave a void. All democracies require a viable opposition, and the UK no longer has one. The Dim/Libs are hopeless, UKip is a spent force, and the poor old Greenies have just ONE ineffectual (but quite cute) member of parliament.

UK politics can certainly now steer a calmer route towards the future, but she would be better served with a serious opposition party overseeing any excesses. Sadly this is no longer the case.

Look at his picture, and try to imagine this would-be Prime Minister meeting President Trump at the Gold Plated House (as it will be re-named).

No, Cro; I just can't picture it.





Saturday, 24 September 2016

Oldie Selfie.


                                          

Self portrait, Rembrandt 1657.

You can almost grab that nose!



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