Sitting on the Fence

One of many Red Admirals that, along with flocks of bees and hoverflies, were enjoying the flowers on the ivy this afternoon. Stand next to it and feel the buzz.
A1 is reading The Secret Hours by Mick Herron, who just gets better and better. Though described as a “stand-alone” novel, this is set in the same world as his Slough House stories and features a number of the same characters — though under different identities. Full of biting humour, on-the-nose political and social comments and, not least, a terrific plot, this is the yummiest read in the recent run of (mostly excellent) new books.
A2 is reading Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry (thx A1). The Victorian Scottish medics in a world of crooks, cranks, quacks, mountebanks and murderers.

Second Spring

The warm weather has filled our garden with a second showing of poppies, cornflowers, magnolias, rhododendrons and millions of passion flowers but the cool and rainy days (25.5 mm yesterday) have returned.
A1 is reading Holly by Stephen King. This is SK’s COVID novel, featuring his well-drawn private eye heroine Holly Gibney. Full of ire about Trump, COVID conspiracy theories and medical pseudoscience — “She didn’t die of COVID, she died of stupidity” — it’s an enthralling look at how the US citizenry reacted to the pandemic.
A2 is reading Death of a Lesser God by Vaseem Khan (thx A1).

Kebabs, Rice Salad and Cheesecake

A2’s delicious birthday dinner as cooked by A1 with advice from Shahid. B, G, D and F brought special coffees to the feast and we tackled two quizzes, getting 7.5 for the first and 9.5 for the second. Oh well; our average is still over 10, just.
Admin1 is reading The Misper by Kate London. Admin2 is reading The Cook by Ajay Chowdhury.

Halo, Halo!

Another very warm and sunny so-called autumn day. A2 was out watching a very feeble sundog and willing it to brighten up when she looked up and saw not one, but two, very bright arcs nested together. Possibly a segment of a circumscribed halo.
Meanwhile A1 is reading Death of a Lesser God by Vaseem Khan, which has a pleasingly complex plot and is much darker than previous volumes (and is all the better for it). But VK does enjoy his similes…
A2 is reading The Misper by Kate London (thank you A1), a boy goes missing under the influence of a County Lines panjandrum who is himself under the influence of Game of Thrones (an unnecessary distraction).

September in the Rain

August 2023 was the second coldest, fourth wettest and fifth least sunny August since our records began, though it did include our second sunniest August day of all time.
A1 is reading The Killing Place by Kate Ellis (OK, but something of an idiot plot). A2 is reading You Can’t See Me by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir; a family gathering in an isolated hotel. What could possibly go wrong?.

Super Blue Moon

We were hoping to catch the biggest moon of the year and the second full moon of the month on the rise but it was behind a big tree and we were too tired (A1 from work, A2 from recovid) to chase after it. The big splash at the bottom (Tycho crater) was near where the Russian rocket crashed and the Indian lander landed, but they didn’t actually cause the splash.
Admin1 is reading Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod. Admin2 is rereading Dark Fire by CJ Sansom.

Critter of the Day: Pyrausta aurata

The minuscule Mint Moth. It also likes a good thyme. Look at its lovely long antennae and beautiful blue eyes.
We had chicken, Yorkshire puddings and garden beans for our family meal with blackberry and apple crumble for afters and scored 10 (with generous marking) on the GSQ.
Admin1 is rereading The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod. Admin2 is reading Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom.

Wood Work

Nearly all the entrances to the Scott Hall Playing Fields have been blocked by enormous chunks of trunks to discourage unathletic types (or something) but the wood has weathered in interesting ways so here is a portfolio:
It’s too cloudy for meteors (what Radio 6 Music called an ‘astrological phenomenon’). Admin1 is reading The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman.

Double Cucumber

The biggest cucumber in our garden was this bifurcated/conjoined specimen so it joined our homegrown radishes and shop lettuce and tomato to make a salad for our family meal of courgette and tomato gratin (recipe by ChatGPT), stuffed eggs and boiled potatoes, with trifle for afters. The cucumber slice has a cute little face.
Lena joined us for our meal and we had two weeks of quizzes to do. We scored 10.5 on the first (thanks to Lena’s knowledge of Italian desserts) and an impressive 12 on the second thanks to everybody.
Admin1 is rereading Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. Admin2 is rereading Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel; moon colonies, time travellers and three pandemics.

Here Comes the Rain Again

Ah well, one swallow didn’t make a summer. We have had over 50mm of rain this weekend and July 2023 is already one of the 10 wettest months on our records, and it isn’t over yet.
Admin1 is rereading The Dervish House by Ian McDonald. Admin2 is reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo which was encouragingly undogmatic and an enjoyable read.
in spite of the one-line no-verb lower-case paragraphs