Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Matters I should have attended to had I not been distracted by The Duchess of Cambridge

Matters I meant to attend to before I was distracted by bridges, Ludgershall and the Duchess of Cambridge, delivered in a punchy series of bullet points as it's all go around here.

1: Feck! Frank's gone. Little remains of the finest TV programme of the 1990s but Graham Norton. Ardel O'Hanlon and Pauline Mclynn.

2: Feck again, Louise Rennison's gone. She was only 63, such a loss.
Madam, myself and Child A fought to be the first to read each Georgia Nicholson book (forget the film) as it came out. Whither poor Moley, whose writings will one day be recognised as the definitive chronicles of his age, and all hail the genius of Sue Townsend, but Louise Rennison and Georgia Nicholson ran them as close as anyone.

3: George Martin now, Feck again

Apologies but I'll break off there. Just been called to the screen by Madam to take in a family experiencing life in progressive decades throughout the last century. 1990's tonight and a brief vignette where the children mock a dial up internet connection in 1996 and are introduced to the world of buffering at 0.5mb.

Internet speed in this house via the phone line dial up connection in 1996 - 0.5mb

Internet speed in this house via the phone line broadband connection twenty years later- 0mb

And we think we are a progressive nation

Nicely alight, I shall now abandon the bullet point approach and attend to Tim Peake, the nation's favourite space bitch, who I feel could turn a few more tricks for the price of his sojourn to other parts of the milky way. Giving out a few Brit awards, popping up on the radio breakfast show and promising to give us all a wave as you make your way across the evening sky should sow the seeds of a late life media career but come on Tim, a little more please. The lottery numbers perhaps, weather reports or traffic news from above or how about pointing out the bits of earth where the lights shine brightest and pondering why we don't spread out a little more.

Well That's Father Ted, Georgia Nicholson, Broadband and Space dealt with, now to attend to the river as in true Sesame St Style this guff is being brought to you by the numbers 47 (for that is the age about to pass me by) and the letter R for river

or Rugby Commentary.

ITV are making a fair fist of it, and Sky had a go, but please BBC drop Eddie Butler's attempts at Celtic lyricism to slow motion pictures of large men coming into contact with each other over an oval shaped ball. he may have written a novel and be quite well thought of in literary circles, but Richard Burton he ain't.

The best bit about the BBC Rugby coverage?

The red button, that allows you to take in Ian Robertson's take on the game with added pictures ( not that you need them) He's right up there with Bill Mc'Claren and Cliff Morgan and another skilled broadcaster advancing in years, who we will miss when he's gone at which point I'll make my repeated appeal for another broadcaster to be given more work,

As a licence payer, Prodnose to the Radio 2 breakfast show as quick as you can please BBC

Ah yes, the river.

Beyond the bridges I have also been shifting some silt with the tin. Quite a bit has accumulated in the last few weeks, as ditches have begun to flow after increased rain. It's a little later than I normally would like to do it, but two weeks should see the job done in time for the grayling to get on with the business of spawning.
Ninety five percent of the work on the pheasant pen is now complete. I'll finish the last few bits of fence work off in July before we get a few pheasant poults and make moves to resurrect the shoot in woods that have been impassable for the past few winters. Currently the valley is brim full of ducks undertaking their ill mannered relations, (who'd be a female mallard at this time of the year?) and there are fifty odd greylag and canada geese on the meadow immediately upstream.

Burning the reed beds went reasonably well on a dry day at the start of the week, and the wall of flame advancing up the valley also drew the eye of the police helicopter that patrols the Highway to the Sun. It may becoming a perennial saying of mine at this time of the year, but burning bits of fen and reed bed increases biodiversity in a chalk valley.

The couple of grayling fishermen who have had a go this month will confirm that the brown trout are in fine form and the grayling are perhaps starting to think of other things, showers of rain have caused the river to colour quickly but it soon returns to sufficient clarity to allow sight fishing, a sign of the increasing contribution to the river's discharge made by groundwater.

The dog won't use the new bridge. He may be cleverer than we think and accessed the step by step guide to bridge building in a previous post, which makes him both an IT wizard and civil engineer. Even on a frosty morning he's opted for the swimming option over breaking step on the bridge.

And at this point I'll break off to bring you news from our music correspondent

I like a little background tune when tapping the keys, and there are those who insisted they could "name that tune in one" by the words that ended up on the page when I used to compile reports on local football matches, although this may have coincided with my "Nina Simone" phase when writing football match reports I would inadvertently turn on the ref when Nina's "Sinnerman" came on

These guys are really good:

Yes the Adele, yes The Osmands (especially the tall one who is now on Pointless) and yes Beat machine ( I think that's right) , and OK this may be a little more folksy than my usual ear worms, but having developed a mid-life penchant for a pulse, the dried thing in a packet that promises to make me live for ever, although it's always good to feel the throb of an artery first thing in the morning and confirmation you've made it through another night, I am increasingly drawn to this musical genre and when in wine, often consider swapping the car for a cart, hitching up a beast of burden, and living a life in dungarees up a wooden ladder building barns.


Oh yes,

And so to Europe,

Or not,

As the whole thing has descended into a nonsensical argument akin to kids in a playground throwing jingoism and project fear at each other. It's worn me down, and that man across the pond with the remarkable haor is giving me the willies

So I'll conclude on a nostalgic note, and hey India, Egypt and Australia ? How about getting the gang back together and doing the "empire" thing again,

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