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Archive for September, 2008

Cool Program

Tuesday 30 September 2008

Well, that’s the end of September then.  October will be here tomorrow.  In a way it’s a relief to get to the end of September because we can now stop saying things like ‘it’s not very summery, is it?’ and saying ‘isn’t it autumnal?’  Autumn seems to be on track with a profusion of crane-flies (also known as gollywhackers and skeeter-eaters, according to Wikipedia although we usually call them daddy-long-legs), a burst of reds and browns from the trees, fallen leaves, misty mornings and the smell of apples in the air.  I like autumn.

I downloaded a free program the other day called PhotoJoy which scans your computer for photos – hey, I’ve got loads of those – and puts them in collages for your desktop and screensavers.  I’m not usually one for such novelties and haven’t bothered with screensavers since I discovered that the monitor isn’t going to burn an image there for eternity, at least not on the modern ones, but these are really attractive and fascinating.  If you fancy downloading the program yourself and having a look it can be found here.

I’m off tomorrow to the Dairy Event at the Bath and West Showground so I’ll take my camera along.  This is a show dedicated more to farmers than the general public and although there will be animals there if all is well with no movement restrictions, we probably won’t go to look at them.  Gordon is far more interested in the machinery and I’ll follow on behind until overcome with boredom, at which time I’ll mooch off on my own to find something more interesting to me, which will no doubt involve samples of cheese or ice-cream.  A lot of the companies we deal with will be there offering coffee, cakes and pasties come lunch-time to their (hopefully) loyal customers.  I wonder if they realise we’re less easy to sway with hospitality and more impressed with a better deal nowadays?  Having said that, we’ll happily accept their hospitality since it’s there!

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Monday 29 September 2008

Does anyone know if these are edible?  They don’t smell very nice but the hedgerows are scarlet with the berries and it seems a shame you can’t do anything with them.  The flesh is buttery but I haven’t tasted it just in case I poison myself.  One of these days, I’ll get round to looking it up.

I haven’t done much of anything today other than catch up on the paperwork that snuck up on me last week while I was busy doing other things.  Now the bills are paid and we’re all up-to-date again, at least for the time-being.

Daniel had a surprise this morning when he put his wellies on after breakfast.  A cat had dropped a dead mouse into one of them!  After he recovered from the shock of it we laughed, but it’s a horrible sensation similar to drinking something and finding a large lump in your mouth that you know should not be there!  This happened to me once with a glass of red wine and a large dead fly.  Ugh!  I don’t know which was worse: having the fly in my mouth and having to spit it out, or knowing that the rest of the wine (which I’d already drunk) had contained a dead fly all that time.

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Autumn Harvest

Sunday 28 September 2008

It’s been a lovely day today despite the early mist which took a long time to clear.  The crane-flies bumbled around in the grass when I went to fetch the cows this afternoon and there was a stillness in the air that typifies autumn.  For once, the neighbours’ bonfire just added to the atmosphere rather than choking the house with smoke, so obviously the wind is swinging around.  To kill a little time this afternoon I decided to pick a few blackberries from the bushes at the front of the house, then went around to the garden to gather up some apples.

Now, what shall I make?

Apple and Blackberry Crumble, I think!

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Saturday 27 September 2008

OK, so when I said I was back last week I may have been slightly exaggerating for although I was back in body it took a lot longer for the rest of me to catch up.  On top of my weekend away and what I fondly recall as ‘jetlag’ (the flight was about an hour long but very tiring!), the minute I was back Gordon announced we were about to start on our second-cut silage.  Consequently I found myself back in the forager from Monday to Wednesday and in a state of limpness come the evening.

We originally thought there wasn’t a lot of grass there, but it filled our reserve pit pretty well and took three days to pick up four fields’ worth.  Gordon and Daniel managed on their own on Thursday and cleared the smallest field in a couple of hours as mum had to go for chemo once again.

For obvious reasons she wasn’t looking forward to it this time, not that anyone ever really does, but they promised to slow the process down to four hours in the hope she didn’t react as badly as she did three weeks ago.  Well, it kind of worked in as much as she didn’t react as badly, but she did react and had to be admitted as an emergency to the general ward again.  While I was kicking around Taunton waiting to collect her I did my weekly grocery shop, not thinking that the day might be both long and warm so I had to take the food home before it spoiled in the back of the car then pick up mum’s overnight bag and take it back to the hospital.

When I got there she looked asleep, but opened her eyes and spoke to me – a definite improvement on the last time when we were so worried because she was bordering on unconsciousness!  After a night in the hospital she was ready to come home as I found out when I rang on Friday morning and the nurse passed the phone to her for a chat!  I arranged to collect her in the afternoon as I’d arranged to go to the craft fair in Exeter during the day with friends.  I might have given it a miss under the circumstances, but I had the tickets and couldn’t get them to my friends before Friday morning.

The church above is where my Scottish friends have arranged to be married next September.  We weren’t able to go inside because, as seems the norm nowadays, it was locked tight at all times against vandals and thieves.  I was quite impressed with it though and also with the churchyard, which showed signs of a very affluent past.  The headstones and memorials were grand and elaborate compared to many I’ve seen in this area, and I know it seems ghoulish but I couldn’t resist taking photos.  The stone below is particularly interesting and looks as if it’s sinking into the ground.

PS. If you look at the top photo, I was told the headstones lying on the ground had been vandalised and knocked off their plinths.  Gosh, is nothing sacred?

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I’m Back

Sunday 21 September 2008

I returned from Glasgow this morning, weary and worn-out from a long weekend during which I partied, shopped, met many relatives of my friends and was treated to meals out.  My friends were more than generous, refusing to allow me to pay for anything and generally spoiling me rotten so thank you to them.

I haven’t had a chance to download any photos yet but when I get round to it I’ll post some here.  I’m really too tired for much of a conversation so I’ll catch up tomorrow if I have time.  Apparently we’re starting our second-cut silage so it’s a good job I came home when I did!  I’d hate to miss the fun (or would I?)

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No Photos because ….

Wednesday 17 September 2008

….. I’m packing a bag to take to Glasgow and my camera’s in it!  Oddly enough I feel a bit bereft about my lack of photo-taking in the past couple of days probably because it’s become a habit to take my camera with me.  If nothing else my blog has made me look at my surroundings differently and usually through the lens.  It has, in fact, rekindled an interest in photography that was beginning to lose momentum.

On the up-side, a trip away to Glasgow will no doubt give me many photo opportunities and I’ll be posting what I consider worthy here.  The last time I went to Glasgow I was a child and can’t remember anything about it so it’ll be a new experience.

On the down-side, my flight leaves at 7.00 am, which means I have to be in Bristol Airport no later than 6.30!  Yikes!  I know I’m used to early mornings, but that’s ridiculous.

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Lonely Swan (Part Two)

Monday 15 September 2008

This guy (or possibly girl – I’m not that good at determining the sex of swans, but I assume it’s a male) is still cruising the ditches all on his own.  He hisses at us now and again, but Gordon took him a crust of bread and he was much friendlier after that!

I’m in the process of preparing for my long weekend away to Glasgow to visit my friend Lorraine and attend her engagement party.  It’s the first time I’ve been on a plane alone and I’m not sure whether I’m nervous or just excited.  It’ll be an opportunity for us to catch up and for her to show me the sights.  I’ll keep you posted.

I went to see mum and dad today, and you’ll be pleased to know mum is much improved.  When I rang to see whether they were home she was, according to dad, up a step-ladder covering the top of the wardrobes with lining paper!  Must be feeling a bit better then.

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