Starling the Show

Singing a song for us.
Admin1 is reading the 700+-page Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson, which posits a high-tech solution to climate change, along with its drawbacks and political problems. In typical fashion for NS, the digressions along the way are much of the appeal: Punjabi stick-fighting, microwaving grapes, eagles vs drones, Netherlands royalty, how to tie a turban, the Line of Actual Control, Texan feral pigs, skycranes, and much else.
Admin2 is reading the 900+-page Anathem, also by Neal Stephenson.
We scored 8 on the GSQ.

Egyptian (Virtual) Holiday

Admin1 has been playing Assassin’s Creed Origins, a vast open-world game set in Egypt, circa 57BC. Some effort has gone into making it accurate, with consultant historians and linguists, and it’s undeniably impressive.
Here’s an eagle’s-eye view of Alexandria at sunset, taking in the Hippodrome, the museum, the famous library, the theatre, docks and ending up at the Ancient Wonder Pharos lighthouse, rediscovered in 1968.

There are also pyramids and the Sphinx…
…and, of course, cats:

Meanwhile, Admin1 is reading The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas and Admin2 is reading The Other Mother by Michel Bussi.

Critter of the Day: Starling

We put our fruit bowl outside to entice the fruit flies out of the kitchen and the tits went for the fruit instead. But here is a starling of sense eating the bird food.
Admin1 is reading The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas. Admin2 is reading The Killing Kind by Jane Casey, a horrible book about horrible people.

Scarborough (reasonably) Fair

Our trip to (occasionally) sunny Scarborough involved pirate ships:
Donkeys (go, Audrey!):
Many, many seagulls (and distant dolphins leaping above the waves but too far away to photograph):
Scrumptious fish and chips from Winking Willy’s famous emporium with its amusing signage:
And finally, let’s all go down the…
A wonderful 20th wedding anniversary trip was had by all! Well, apart from Dave and Bob, the latter of whom had his bubble burst at primary school and they have to isolate 🙁
We stayed again at the Green Gables hotel (great breakfasts, but it bears more than a passing resemblance to Hilbert’s Hotel), and again failed to photograph its magnificent but elusive cat. Next time…

Weather of the day: Snow

The people who normally draw on the road have been drawing on the snow instead.
And here’s a gratuitous pigeon and clouds on the weathercam.
Admin1 is reading The Witch Hunter by Matt Seek which was rubbish. Admin2 is reading Cross and Burn by Val McDermid which is also rubbish.
We scored 13 out of 30 on the mega super bumper GWQ which was extremely rubbish, our worst score this year, giving us an average of 10.57557692 which is nevertheless our best ever (see last year and step backward though the years).
Coffee of the day: Guji Natural Ethiopia which is absolutely delicious. Thx Gez!

Two Turtle Doves

Well OK, collared doves, and in a cherry, not pear, tree.
Merry Christmas everybody!
Here’s our frugal dinner for 2 [update: we’ve been eating leftover pork every day and finally finished it on 3rd January 2021]
Admin2 is reading Death Delivered by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger (thx Admin1). We are watching Lethal White (thx again).

An Unexpected Visitor

This morning Admin1 was disturbed by a cacophony of rawk-rawk sounds from a squadron of magpies in the garden. And looking out of the window he saw why…

…a sparrowhawk, feasting on one of their brethren (presumably). There wasn’t much left to identify the victim apart from feathers.
Admin1 is reading Perfect Death by Helen Fields, which was soapily melodramatic and only borderline readable. Admin2 is reading The Ottoman Secret by Raymond Khoury.

Critters of the Day: Swallows

One swallow does not make a summer, but these two, among many others, appeared on the hottest day this year: 35.5°C, making July only the second coldest cloudiest July on our records.
Admin1 is rereading Dead Souls by Ian Rankin, and having watched Stranger Things series 1 to 3, and the (rather poor) 2017 film of It, has now ODed on cute kids. As relief he’s now watching Deadwind (aka Karppi), a Finnish crime series that ticks all the Scandi Noir boxes: blond female detective with tragic backstory; useless/suspicious dark-haired male sidekick; stylish domestic interiors; local politics clashing with local businesses and social services; torchlit searches of industrial areas; and, of course, they never call in backup.
Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of our blog.

Flying the Nest

Hottest day of the year so far: 31.1 °C and some newly fledged baby birds were leaving home for the first time. Most just shot off like rockets but this little long-tailed tit just hopped from twig to twig in an agony of indecision and anxiety; the adorable patsy in cartoons and wildlife films everywhere. Hope it doesn’t end up as cat meat.
Admin1 is rereading Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin.