Friday, 28 August 2015

A District Nurse parked here

      Inside an old garage, which is desperately in need of some attention and repair, we found a treasure trove comprising an old Ford Popular and a somewhat 'newer' Land Rover.
      The long retired owner explained that the Land Rover was a 'project' but sometimes he gets to the workshop full of good intentions, sits down with a mug of tea and his Daily Telegraph and spends the hours completing the crossword instead. That seems fair.
      The old Ford Popular? Well, that belonged to a District Nurse back in the fifties and it is complete with starting handle, three speed gearbox and six volt battery; that's why she had to have the starting handle. She left her glasses on the bonnet too.
      A little bit of nostalgia found in West Norfolk..

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Don't be vague

      Ask for Haig.
      A proper, heavyweight whisky crate, that arrived full of bottles of beer. The despatch label on one end of the crate says it was originally sent to Simonds Brewery in Reading  from John Haig & Co Ltd., Arches, Bishopsgate Goods Depot (British Railways), London E1 so arriving here by a circuitous route, full of beer, completes the circle nicely.

      Presumably the 'dumpy' bottles were the bottles of Haig with the dimple in the side that people used to save sixpenny pieces in for their holidays or, more likely, more whisky for the next Christmas. That was back in the old days of course when a bottle of Scotch might have cost you two pounds.
      Meanwhile thirty eight bottles of Dr John's finest Two Rivers Ale has been stored in various cool places to allow the sediment to settle and I have to find a new use for a piece of  heavyweight ephemera.
      No problem.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Feather duster please

      Get those cobwebs knocked off the circular saw and start to prepare for the inevitable approaching colder weather.
      I know, I'm a harbinger of doom; early autumn, cold weather and be prepared. It's called the siege mentality, meanwhile the nights are definitely drawing in and, as they say in posh circles, winter draws on vicar.
      You can never have enough logs in the store and that is a fact.
      In the next couple of weeks the old Ferguson tractor saw bed will be started up and the musical clang of logs being sliced up for the winter will start.
      Ah, those heady smells of the fruit wood burning and the woodsmoke from the ash and oak logs. In reality you just have to be prepared for the worst because this could be the winter from hell, the big one, where West Norfolk turns into the tundra and the skaters are out on the drains and rivers. We must be due for one of those hard winters.
      Right, kindling first then the big stuff and then the OCD log stacking begins.
      Can't wait.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

12 o'clock high

      In it came sweeping across the blue summer sky. A hunting falcon is like a fighter aircraft as it closes in on a kill, well, in this case it's a swinging bait but this fellow stooped from half a mile away; it passed over our heads and you could feel the draught as he came within inches of our heads. Another treat for the grandsons at The Raptor Centre and I have to admit it was probably as big a treat, if not bigger, for the adults too.
      The Eagle Owl below, well, he was just as focussed but not quite as fast. The purpose is there in the thousand yard stare, his eyes have locked onto the bait and the stance is like that of a MotoGP rider. Look at where you want to be and you'll go there.
      Fantastic, believe me the Raptor Centre is worth an afternoon of anybody's time.

Monday, 24 August 2015

I told them

      I told them autumn was in the air the other day but nobody listened and here's yet another hint of the cooler days to come.
      We discovered the very first field mushroom of the season while we were walking the two Jack Russells. It was in a corner of the orchard and was growing right on the edge of a bed of nettles. We were very lucky that it hadn't been bombed by apple windfalls; if it had been that would have been the end of it for culinary purposes.
      The first field mushroom of the season now awaits its fate at breakfast tomorrow, along with an egg, smoked bacon and black pudding.
      We'll look forward to that.

Friday, 21 August 2015

A winning smile

      While the two grandsons were staying with us we made the annual pilgrimage to the world of 'pig racing'. It was a heady and exciting afternoon looking at animals, eating ice creams and then the real event of the day, the absolute climax, two pig steeplechases; but it was the lovely toothsome smile of this contented pig that caught the eye.
      What a lovely set of tusks.
      Every time that the pigs race a handler has to run in front of them rattling a bucket of pig nuts but there's nothing wrong with a little bribery. My bet, the brilliantly named 'Chris P. Bacon' came in third and a fiver each way would have softened the blow of not winning.
      If you were on 'Hamela Anderson', in a manner of speaking, you would have been a clear winner in lots of ways.
      Peppa won and those short odds looked a bit dodgy to me.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Nissen of my dreams

      Some lucky soul is restoring and rebuilding a Nissen Hut on a lovely new concrete plinth. Is it going to be a wartime replica but double-skinned for warmth and, presumably, each end of the 'hut' will be filled in with brick and be complete with doors and windows? This is a project we'll have to check on as time progresses and it leaves us with the biggest and most vexed question.
      What colour?
      Is it going to be jet black? Or will there be a hint and a nod to World War 2 giving the hut a touch of camouflage? A space like this would make a great workshop or studio or even a holiday home.
      Some people have all the luck, and by the way I'd go for black.
      The Boss says no.