新年快樂


Gongxi facai everybody! Our Chinese New Year Banquet for the Year of the Rabbit included fried rice, fried noodles, sweet and sour pork, mushroom chicken, tea eggs, har gow, siu mai and jiaozi, with cheesecake for afters.
Admin2 has been reading She and Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai and Naruki Nagakawa, just to check it was OK before giving it to Audrey in her red packet. It was a comforting story about four lonely women whose lives improve when cats move in.
We scored 9 on the GSQ. Sad!

Oh, will your magic Christmas tree be shining gently all around?


So this is Christmas and most of those packages under the tree turned out to be books which was a great boon to both of us; thank you Admins 1 and 2.  And no duplicates!

Below is our simple dinner for two: roast pork, potatoes, Yorkshires, carrots, sprouts, cauliflower, stuffing, pigs in blankets, glasses of port and lashings of gravy followed by — after three attempts — a flaming gold-dusted gin and champagne Christmas pudding three years past its sell-by date and a bit fossilised but still tasty, served with clotted cream and brandy butter. How full we feel now!

Eye Eye Skipper

A new visitor to our garden, the fluffy-bodied, beady-eyed, long-horned small skipper. Its caterpillars live on long grass so they have profited from No-mow May extending into June and July. And at last we had some proper rain today, but it didn’t register on our rain gauge due, no doubt, to the damn pigeons which have taken to sitting in it and probably using it as a toilet.
[update] and indeed they did. Here’s the evidence:
Cleaning it out added 5.4mm to our rainfall tally which is probably fair. Except that changing the batteries added another 5.4mm.
Admin1 is rereading A Book of Scars by William Shaw.
We had a Chinese banquet for supper and scored 11 on the GSQ, restoring our running average to exactly 10.

Considered Trifle

Our concession to the Platinum Jubilee: a sort-of Union Flag in raspberries and blueberries on a fruity trifle based on Admin1’s marble cake (also visible on the right). A splendid meal was enjoyed by all and we scored 9 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading The Killing Song by Lesley McEvoy. Admin2 is rereading Spook Street by Mick Herron.

Fool Me Twice

Admin1 made these sublime fruit fools from garden rhubarb and shop strawberries.
May 2022 had similar top temperatures to May 2021 but higher lowest temperatures, so it was warmer on average. Our solar panel output beat 2013, 2014 and 2021, but was still well below average for the time of year.
Admin1 is reading The Fire by Katherine Neville, a sequel to the entertainingly barmy The Eight, but sadly nowhere near as entertaining or, indeed, barmy. KN has drowned her muddled plot in a ludicrous amount of research, as shown in the extensive acknowledgements at the end. Oh Editor, wherefore art thou?
Admin2 is reading The Fallout by Yrsa Sigurdardottir.

Feed Us All!

Here’s our attempt at the Platinum Jubilee Pudding which we consumed after a very filling and delicious meal of roast lamb,new potatoes, yorkshire puddings, gravy and veg. [The pudding itself was OK in its citrussy way, but not a patch on our usual fruity cakey trifles and we’ll probably never make one again but we had most of the ingredients already and didn’t have to use the recipe which would have taken hours, cost a fortune and left us with a bucketful of superfluous egg whites.] We were too full to think and scored only 7 on the GSQ. Shame!

Easter Eggs

Magpies have built a fine nest next to our house (apparently magpies nest next to humans to keep away their crow kin) and today Admin1 sent up the drone to look for blue eggs or fluffy chicks, but they had built a roof and the tree was in leaf so no luck.
Meanwhile Admin1 had his first stab at making a Battenburg cake which turned out extremely well. A lovely meal was had by all and we scored 11 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading The Stone Chamber by Kate Ellis and Admin2 is reading Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard, which was extremely implausible.

Happy Birthday Gez

It rained and snowed and hailed and sleeted today, with sunshine in between, and stayed freezing cold throughout. It might as well be spring.
Admin1 is reading A Matter of Time by Claire Askew. Admin2 is reading The Soul Breaker by Sebastian Fitzek, a weird book about an amnesiac encountering an outbreak of unconsciousness in a psychiatric clinic.

Pie Day

Actually Pi Day was yesterday but we were unable to entertain the family due to fears of exposure to covid. Today, though, covid was confirmed so all those lovely pies were bisected and transported. We had our family meal on Zoom and scored 10 on the quiz with points for vague answers in the right ballpark.
Admin1 is reading Right to Kill by John Barlow. Admin2 is rereading A Maze of Death by Philip K Dick.

Food of the Day: Veggie Pasta

An extra family meal unaccompanied by quiz but including some strong brandy in honour of of the father-in-law, father, grandfather and great grandfather of those present.
Admin1 is reading The Anomaly by Herve Le Tellier, in which a plane and all its passengers are duplicated. Being French, the novel uses philosophers and logicians to try to solve the puzzle — there’s much theorising about the simulation hypothesis, and the consequences of the passengers meeting identical copies of themselves. Sounds, er, high-flown 😉 , but it’s also full of jokes, and is a terrific read. Shame about the US-centric translation, though.
Admin2 is reading Cabin Fever by Alex Dahl, the antithesis of a Girl book but just as rubbish.

Storm Franklin

Oh no, not another one!
It was a dark and stormy night and the morning saw broken branches everywhere and two trees up the road felled. Our sheltered weather station recorded a gust of 34 mph (there might have been worse ones — it is only working intermittently) and we are well on track for our rainiest month ever.
The wind died away and Orion shone down on us. Our family meal was a magnificent cheese pithivier and we scored a sad 8.5 on the GSQ.
Admin2 is reading Snap by Belinda Bauer, a light read about a thieving orphan searching for his mother’s murderer.