Tuesday 31 January 2017
From a licence payer and one who wouldn't jump into water at this time of year clad in anything less than a minimum covering of 5mm of neoprene, Stop it BBC.
There now follows an appeal on behalf of the RSPDP (Royal Society for the Protection of Depleted Aquifers)
Crikes we need rain
I'll say that again for the sake of emphasis.
CRIKES WE NEED RAIN!
Yet the media and public disconnect from what constitutes good meteorological conditions for a particular time of year increases daily: our local news programme has just declared the current week a wash out, with scattered showers forecast and spells of prolonged drizzle.
A position has arisen for a suitable candidate to fulfil the position of promoter for a wet week in winter in the South of England. The candidate shall possess excellent communication skills and be able to get a simple message across in words of no more than two syllables to a large audience with limited appreciation of the subject.
We stood by the side of the path and noted the change in body shape and BMI as the field progressed until a chap on a bike sporting the requisite high viz whistling the theme tune from "Chariots of Fire" arrived chivvying along the endomorphic back marker.
It's a great place for a walk and surprisingly peaceful, placed as it is between Pompey and Southampton and its proximity to a very busy motorway, it just gets a bit crowded when Zatopek and Mary Peters et al turn up.
The chickens continue to present us with the gift of eggs with every other one a double yolker, production is increasing and I move their pen every other day as I have delayed their release into the paddock until the threat of flu has passed.
I really value a one day a week break from the grim madness that currently grips planet earth (and feel free to make a contribution here Tim Peake rather than putting all your efforts into blagging another free trip into space)and now a Sunday is spent immersed in the three W's.
Not Worrel, Weekes and Walcott
but walks, wine and Wodehouse,
A brief word from Wooster:
"... in the course of a beano of some description at the Sherry-Sutherland, I made the acquaintance of Pauline Stoker.
She got right in among me. her beauty maddened me like wine.
"Jeeves, " I recollect saying, on returning to the apartment "who was the fellow who on looking at something felt like somebody looking at something? I learned the passage at school, but it has escaped me."
"I fancy the individual you have in mind , sir, is the poet Keats, who compared his emotions on reading Chapman's Homer to those of stout Cortez when with eagle eyes he stared at the Pacific"
"The Pacific, eh?"
"Yes, sir. And all his men looked at each other with a wild surmise, silent upon a peak in Darien"
Thank you Jeeves.
Hey Donald, i know it would be another white male in later life appointment, but you could really use a Jeeves
or was it Astrology?
No matter, if we can all agree that one of the "ologys" is hooey we'll move on
To mark the 25 year event "the firm" have stumped up for, not a clock, but a fantastic trip to Italy where Madam and myself will both break new ground and revisit a few old favourites - report to follow.
Very exciting and thank you very much, the last twenty five years on a special stretch of river have been a blast and a terrific place to raise a family, thank you for having us for the last twenty five years.
Friday 13 January 2017
A weather event heralded throughout the week by a media who now seem to be using comics as a source for meteorological metaphors.
At the time of writing we are promised Thunder Snow, Power Rain and Menacing Fog as KAPOW! Storm Steve arrives in the West to deliver his deadly cargo of precipitation that will fall with a SPLAT! and a BDOING!
Seems the Meteorologists have now too taken the stance of "If we're not scared they're not doing their job" (and I'm pointing the finger at you for starting this Jeremy Vine) It's the first real rain we've had in the region for weeks so in the spirit of counter culture I have rented a village hall where all like minded people can meet for the launch of a new weather cult.
Think "Pagan lite" with all action kept above the waist line
The arrival of rain will be met with rejoicing, panpipe music, no little mead with every wet day declared a bank holiday.
and for that I blame Idina Menzel and her theme from Frozen,
Yes it's clearly Idina's fault.
With one left to burn, we have several substantial willows to attend to on the river bank that will be felled and dragged to the remaining recalcitrant stump by the tractor and the vista will be complete.
It may be that I move with more stealth as the years progress as I seem to be able to get a lot closer to a Muntjac than I used to. We have one who watches me split logs from behind a stick fifteen yards away and we regularly get within twenty yards of others when walking the dog. They used to be incredibly windy but seem to have become increasingly bold.
I recently received an invitation from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to a workshop on watercress in the headwaters of the Test and Itchen, I declined the invitation but well done the H&IOWWT (did I really just say that)
much too low.
Earlier this week I was summoned to Madam's chambers (which also doubles as the living room when I am tied to the kitchen table chucking up guff) to take in Rick Stein's series at 7pm on BBC2. To use contemporary parlance, Rick's lucked out and got the gig of taking short breaks in most of the European cities that we have visited in recent times.
My employer and one fat lady frequented Rick's place in Padstow many times and can confirm (my employer, as all fat ladies have left the room) that fish is Rick's thing.
It's all about the pasta in Bologna and Rick's fish free programme (bar a can of tuna) had us reaching for the tablets as we will be in Italy later this year and wondered if we could tag on a couple of days in La Rossa before returning home. Flight checks were made and instead of the usual "there are twelve other people looking at this flight" it flashed up there are four thousand and three people currently looking at this flight" It may have been an error or Rick's programme has done more for the food capital of Italy than the town tourist board,
Bologna could be quite busy this year.
Rick was in Lisbon the next day and we were again reminded of a tremendous time in a top city albeit with fish very much to the fore, some top trams, a bonkers outdoor lift and some wine glasses from a department store called Pollux that we somehow managed to get back to blighty in one piece,
one of which I am about to drain of delicious Douro before signing off.
And finally, news just in from Chick 'O' Land,
We have received the gift of egg and on the morrow the full family shall gather at the table in the manner of Tom and Barbara to share in the harvest,
Well done the chickens!
Oh yes, Happy New Year!
We've already done that one - ed
Sunday 8 January 2017
Hear hear to that Sir,
We have been banging on about the same subject in this parish for a few years, and can I now propose a period of mourning for each dry week experienced in the south from November to March and a bank holiday for every hundred millimetres of rain to fall in the same period.
It's just a thought, but we really need some rain to fall in this valley.
We have a few geese on the meadow upstream along with half a dozen swans, which I'll take following a few of our rambles about the county in the name of lengthening life.
I think you know what's coming, but yes we're back off to Dublin, on a £65 return flight from the world's best airport - Southampton.
We will once again be ensconced in one of the excellent Elegance rooms at the Fleet St Hotel, Temple Bar,
That's the Fleet St Hotel, Temple Bar
We will be there to take in Jack Whitehall after spending the day perusing the excellent shops the city has to offer and dinner at San Lorenzo's
That's San Lorenzo's one of Dublin's finest Italian restaurants.
We anticipate enjoying the experience so much that we have booked to return later in the year to take in the Dara at Vicar St as he makes preparations for his 2018 tour.
Looking up not down, as we don't do ground game, shooting in this environs returned after a five year sabbatical following half the wood falling over and petulance and pomposity from one who withdrew favours regarding shooting on his land.
Yes, we're back in the shooting game, and it feels goooood.
I'm loathe to mention the thing, but herefollows a bit about Brexit (if you've had enough of Brexit, scroll down to the vitriol regarding the continuation of Richard Madeley's career in various forms of media)
Please can we all agree to pull together and make the best of the situation we find ourselves in and end the chronic sniping and division
Last summer I was sent a link to an article by a baby boomer (we'll call him Rod) that questioned the appeal of sport and weren't we all making a little too much of this Olympic business in Rio?
Rod didn't get sport.
I get sport,
Most U11s get sport,
Once the game is done, the result stands. Winners and losers, we are where we are, now on to the next game.
Arguments over the result of a match long gone achieves precisely five eighths of F*&% A88
We are where we are (that phrase again) and there is niw a requirement to pull together and make it work.
A win for one doesn't mean that the other must automatically fall into line with the other's way of thinking. After a General election, opposition isn't eliminated, it has a part to play in proceedings and in the case of leaving the EU will aid in quelling the voice of the jackboot and nasty nationalist brigade who seem to be under the illusion that they have required more relevance.
Putting my purple of hat of positivity on (currently in post so I'll don the green cap of fingerscrossedity) 2017 is a year to come together for the common cause in a patriotic (not nationalistic or far right) kind of way and make the best of where we are.
Continuing to pick over the bones of a referendum result and vilifying the forty odd percent who voted the other way (I'm looking at you Alison Pearson et al) achieves nothing.
Stop looking back, move on, make this thing work and trust in the next generation, because in my experience they're a pretty clued up bunch
Happy New Year and sorry for banging on, but Richard Madeley is currently on the television in the next room working his way through planet earth's resources of the word "I" and "me" so I had to find something to do as he always makes me cross.