Category Archives: News from at home

What is happening at home

No Escape

AntigoneSome cats are escape artists, but Antigone Victoria Powderpaws (Tiggy) appears to be the exact opposite.

So far, she has got herself stuck

  • in the Girls’ Dorm
  • in the larder (twice)
  • outside
  • in the pan cupboard
  • inside the grandfather clock.

This last one was the most remarkable. She had to open the door before being able to climb in.

It is not entirely obvious what goes on inside Continue reading

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PE Phew

My eye was caught by this in The Times today:

Q My partner is a fitness fanatic and she only ever wants to have sex after a workout. It’s great when our endorphins are racing and we’re a bit sweaty, but sometimes I would like it to be after a romantic dinner, like a normal couple. Why doesn’t she fancy me at any other time?

A There are lots of physiological explanations for why your girlfriend likes having sex after a workout. Vigorous exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that act on the brain to block pain and create feelings of exhilaration, happiness and calm. Exercise also increases blood flow to the pelvis and the vagina. If your girlfriend is doing a lot of core exercises, such as squats, leg lifts or planks, she may be in a heightened state of arousal by the time she gets home. It’s not uncommon for exercise sequences that place a lot of pressure on the lower abdomen, hip flexors and inner thighs to bring some women close to (or even spontaneously to) orgasm.

I have never had a Continue reading

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Old Mark

It is a blessing that old rockers are still having fun.

Mark

Mark Knopfler is a few years older than me, but is evidently still in reasonable shape. Hopefully, my daughter Annabel will rustle up his latest album as a Christmas present.

Meanwhile, I am playing in my local band here Robbies’ Road. The requirements for membership of the band are living on Sampson Road, Myponga Beach, and being called Robert. Or Rob. Or Bob. Sometimes we play covers. Sometimes my songs. And sometimes songs by our vocalist, Rob Weedon (no known relation to Bert). We have fun, too. But it would be hard to pretend that Continue reading

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Hat Trick

I sometimes attempt The Times crossword puzzle. Sometimes I finish it; more often I do not. So I was quite pleased to finish each of the last three days’ puzzles.

Some people think they are a waste of time. On one analysis, of course, they are. But there are so many divergent problems in the world: it does seem to be soothing to solve a convergent problem from time to time.

27181 was moderate. I had to look in the dictionary to see that HERDWICK is a sort of sheep. 27182 was not too bad. 27183 was really quite hard, I thought. If I ever knew, I had forgotten that BASEBAND is a technical term for a radio frequency. I had to check an atlas to see that ORAN is a North African city. And I needed the dictionary again to see that to TORREFY something is to dry it.

It is possible to do these puzzles on line.  But I print them out, partly because Continue reading

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Animal Games

Perdita corkThe animals have been playing a new game: “What Shall We Do with a Champagne Cork?

I throw the cork. If Perdita gets it, she dances around the lawn, throwing the cork up in the air in delight like a killer whale does with a seal. Only rather less dramatic. Obviously. After a while, she gives it back, so that we can do it again.

If Merlin gets it (he is remarkably nimble on his feet), he lies on it, and pretends to have nothing to do with the game at all. “Cork? What cork? I haven’t seen it”.

Melin corkIt is a much better game than “Eat the Spoon”. For that, they operate as a tag team. Merlin jumps up onto the kitchen benchtop, finds a wooden spoon and pushes it off down onto the floor. Perdita then eats it.

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Pandemic

Peter PanFor a while, when I was practising in London, I had to put up with the bit of teasing from my professional colleagues on the Peter Pan front. I looked far too young, they said.

The criticism was unfair, I thought. The thing was, I really was far too young: it was no illusion. I started my law firm when I had only just turned 28 years old, and before very long, I and that law firm was doing some serious business. In those days, I was, generally speaking, much younger than my peers.

At no very obvious moment, all this changed. I am now much older than my peers in the law. I know this because I’ve started to feel a real sense of gratification about eating vegetables that I have grown myself in my vegetable garden. This must be a sign of age, even if Continue reading

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Chutneyed Green Tomatoes

chutneyI tried the first time making chapati to go with my curry the other day. Not a great success for that purpose, although they turn out to be surprisingly nice for breakfast instead of toast with baked beans and egg.

More successful was the green tomato chutney, which I made from my vegetable garden produce at the combined urging of my PA and my housekeeper.

Some people say “chuckney”, with a “ck” rather than a “t”. How did that happen? It may well be by route of the glottal stop: people saying “chu’ney”.

Does that mean that the origins of the stuff are rather working class? I wouldn’t Continue reading

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Pointless News #24196

pine conesThere is good news and bad news on the subject of pine cones.

I am not a huge fan of Christmas festivities generally, but when the children are around at Christmas, they like a Christmas tree, and hence there is usually a trip to one of the local Christmas tree farms. When the farm sells you of these trees, it does not kill the tree. Instead, it lops off the top bit of the tree, leaving the roots and the base, and that part of the tree then regrows. It has occurred to me that if I had, say, half a dozen of these trees growing in my upper paddock, I could do the same thing. Not that I particularly mind the trip to the Christmas tree farm. But unlike my old Jeep, my new Jeep does not have a roof rack, and so getting a decent sized Christmas tree home starts to be a problem.

So, earlier this week, I was taking Perdita for a run in one of the local forests and noticed freshly fallen pine cones. I stuffed my pockets with half a dozen of these, thinking that I could plant them, and hopefully end up with half a dozen pine trees.

It turns out that it doesn’t work like this. It is no good planting entire pine cones. Instead, if you want to grow pine trees from pine cones there is a routine, which works something like Continue reading

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Pointless News # 24189

cpDammit, I really LIKE Christmas pudding. Nothing much to do with Christmas, of course, although something to do with Christianity – it is a Crusader thing, brought back from the Levant. According to Elizabeth David anyway. She would have known about this stuff.

I have a Christmas pudding.  It says “best before” March 2017. I have dropped hints to my family when they have been around. I have said, “Do you fancy some Christmas pudding?”. No bites. Nothing. Not a flicker of the needle. Niete. It is now June 2018.

Carpe diem.

You can microwave these boys, apparently, but that does not seem quite right, somehow. And so I have decided to stick it on my combustion Continue reading

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Cold Serendipity

doc023450I have been suffering from a cold this week, almost certainly gathered from one of those intensive infection tubes known as an aeroplane at the end of last week. Happily, none of my instructing solicitors have asked me to do anything very difficult this week: my head has been spinning. Instead, I have been drinking hot toddies, taking the medicine which doesn’t get rid of the cold, but does at least somewhat stem the dripping nose, and passing the time doing The Times crossword.

Somewhat to my surprise, I was able to finish the puzzles both on Monday and yesterday. There were solution words which I found challenging. On Monday, I had to look up polysaccharide. Perhaps I should have recalled it from my education when I did chemistry, but if I ever knew it, it had gone.

doc023451Yesterday was even worse. I had to look in the dictionary to check that celesta is an acceptable variation of celeste. Pietistic is not a word which has ever fallen from my lips. I have no idea what a stot is, but I presume that it is some sort of bovine.[1]

Nor had I ever heard of a Sanbenito, which is apparently a garment which the Catholics required their victims to wear during the Spanish Inquisition. I looked it up. It is apparently named for St Benedict, a Negro born to slave parents in Sicily in 1526. It had never occurred to me that the Italians kept slaves in this way in the 16th century. It seems that young Benedict would also have been kept as a slave, but his freedom was granted Continue reading

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