The weather maps did not look brilliant from Friday through till Sunday. I do not know where the heavy plumps of rain fell that we were to expect. Thus far, we’ve had a few raindrops and one inconsequential shower which passed by. Unheard of I know, but I actually watered my few plants, my herbs and the edible flora I have planted.

This afternoon I sat on a cushioned recliner in a warm corner of the garden intending to read. I did read, just one short article, following which, I fell asleep in the warmth soaking up lots of natural vitamin D in the process. Good while you can get it. To my amazement, I roused over two hours later. Resolving to go back to my reading, I completed a short detective story by the master of 20th Century mystery, Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, what a perfect team they made!

There is bright evening sunshine now. The neighbours are busy strimming and tidying their flower borders. Another neighbour is watering his garden.

Over at the farm, in the penned off area of the field for the lambs, a very stocky and large Suffolk lamb called Dougal, who towers over his younger compatriots, is very noisily signalling that he wants more feed in the empty trough that he is hoofing and banging. It is hoped he will be show championship material. In any case, he looks as if he is going to be quite a character.


An automated gizmo called ‘links within’ refers people to other articles they might wish to read, rather like the ‘more interesting posts’ feature on blog.

You can understand my bemusement after I had written up a description of a screwed up family to see that there were three photographs of links referring readers to further reading, as follows:

“You might also like”

A flood in full flow, depicting a drowning flower head;
A bleak coastal scene; or
A pawing bull amongst a herd of cows.

This is worthy of analysis.

8| 🙄


There is something superbly decadent about reading in peace, in the comfort of a warm room, especially on a Saturday afternoon. The book has its merits and its in-built decadence too, if you read it that way. I think you are meant to as an integral part of its semi-light-hearted storyline, involving as it does, a behind-the-scenes caricature of the way academics functioned in their work, privately and socially.

The book is one I am skimming large chunks, chunks that are of not much import to me. The missing tracts do not weaken the flow of the stories woven into more stories. Skimming has helped me keep track of an awful lot of characters – too many – a large proportion of whom, I may well have long forgotten. There’s nothing worse than trawling back and forth amongst the pages, even the chapters, to remind yourself who a particular character was or is.

I am fascinated by the reminders of working practices long gone. The book is dated, very dated. For me, it is part of its charm. Roneo documents abound, Xerox machines are regularly used, sit up and beg, bash-it typewriters could keep their typists really hard at work. RSI was unheard of then. It was the time when electronic typing machines were just creeping into the office environment. There are main frame computers, there is programme development busily linking into individual machines in a laboratory; a mini network in its earliest form.

You have to book a transmission line, or more likely, several of them, to arrange an Antipodean broadcast. That must also have been the time of black and white visual broadcasting.

Descriptions of vehicles crop up, at the time, state of the art, probably now part of a rust heap, with the odd one preserved by an enthusiast.

Here, there are description of airline booking desks, staff assistance, flying experiences of yesteryear; the passengers and what they do in their smoking or non-smoking cabin seats. In contrast, elsewhere, some plebs sink in overcrowded leisure trip rowing boats.

The contextualising of characters in the Amsterdam red light district, a district that would be pretty familiar today, though described here, thirty or more years ago. In a couple or three years, will it still be recognisable from the author’s description, who knows?


Today’s Diary:

Annoyed, I woke up late, I thought it was much earlier than it was. It is still so dark in the mornings. I’ll have to start setting the alarm.

Took car to garage to check there was no seepage from battery,other than really cold weather, lights, heating the car,wipers, media, and short runs, all of which caused it to go flat earlier in the week. Collected car two hours later, (nothing wrong with it)no charge. Nice man…

Entertained myself in the warmth of a café while car being examined, (perishing cold outside) and read my papers without interruption – sheer luxury. The trouble was, the first three pages of the main paper read like old news. I checked I had the newspaper for today; it was. Further on, the articles became more sensible and worth perusing.

I took the car exhaust to be checked. Good news, nothing obvious needs doing just now, and if it does become necessary, it won’t be as expensive as I thought it might be. (I’d been given duff information in December on the type of replacement that would be required).

At home, there was unexpected DIY in progress. Made some necessary phone calls and invited myself out to coffee with a friend who lives in the country. It was good for giving the car a bit of a run to charge up the battery.

Friend has lost her second flock of ducks in about eighteen months. She usually has six at a time. The last of the current flock was re-homed this week so it wouldn’t be lonely. There are many natural predators, however, there is growing evidence that these losses are down to a rather large otter that has been seen in the vicinity. In the meantime, said friend will stick to keeping her dog and cat plus a small herd of Highland cattle.

So, the car has had a twenty miles return run today, which, hopefully, will help to boost the battery’s flagging resources, I’ve been out visiting and I’m going to relax for the rest of evening and get back to the newspaper to read some of the interesting articles I haven’t completed.



The the thought of hearing another author badly intone their own writings over the radio waves dismayed me.  However,Ffion Hague’s reading of her own book, The Welsh Wizard, her work on the life and loves of Lloyd George, was  refreshing,sparkling and meaningful.  It was read with a mastery of the vocal art.  This lady, read with lyrical, emotional and dramatic ability.

No doubt, Ffion Hague’s Welshness has a lot to do with her apt speech patterns and her expert use of cadence. It was all so right, so pleasing to hear and generally, delightful.  I would not be at all surprised to learn that she, at some time in her life, participated in choirs and that great annual event of the Welsh arts, The Eisteddfod.


Last night I finished reading a book had not intended to read called Morning Tide by Neil M Gunn. There was a wee bit of emotional pressure put on me to change my mind, so I did read the blesséd work. It was not a major piece of reading, nearly 300 pages, ( A5 size) and was I glad for that. Having read the book, I felt I did not have much to say about the author and his story. I shared my lack of inspiration with hubby, saying that I was unlikely to have much to contribute to the club discussion

Hubby thinks it is a wonderful book as the writer, local to this region, was knowledgeable about boats, and fishing. We had a robust discussion about the style of writing and the use of local brogue; in addition, we considered the clever use of vocabulary, all of which, we agreed, was reflective of its time period and the audience the storywriter would have been playing to at the time his books were being published.

Tonight I go to the book group to dissect the book with anyone else who may have managed to read it. Having shared my feelings about the book with hubby, I now have something to say when the book group meets.