Cheeky little critter surrounded by the detritus of its feast. Now that our hedge is gone they just hang around the house.
Admin1 is reading Judas 62 by Charles Cumming.
We scored 10 on the GSQ.
A nocturnal predator enjoying a daytime doze among our overgrown ivy.
Admin1 is reading The Cliff House (should be called Cliff Hanger) by Chris Brookmyre. Admin2 is reading Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard; filming by gaslight in a cabin in the woods.
After allowing recovery time for agonising jabs, we did the GSQ with family support and scored 12.5. Better and better.
The leaves are turning, and this one has a spangle of glittering dewdrops. Winter is coming but the sun is shining and our solar panels have made more money this year than in any year before.
Admin1 is reading The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan.
We scored 12 on the GWQ. A return to form!
An evil spider with a web like lightning and an underbelly with glowing eyes is sucking the life out of a helpless trussed-up bluebottle.
We know how that poor fly felt. We scored 6.5 on the GSQ; our worst score this year that sees our return to single figures.
A young dunnock trying out our unpopular bird food.
Admin2 is reading Girls Who Lie by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir; a cunning and clever book about lying girls.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ. Still in double figures — just.
Admin2 took this unprocessed photo of the Chapeltown carnival with the camera accidentally on night setting. It could pass for an 18th century engraving if the distant sound stage and dancing pen were picturesque ruins, the white vans were livestock and the clothes were not quite so modern.
Admin2 is reading This Is the Night They Come for You by Robert Goddard.
We scored a commendable 11 on the GSQ.
An iridescent cloud shimmers above golden linings and a smoking chimney.
Admin1 is rereading the magical The Secret Commonwealth by Phillip Pullman, which ends on a cliffhanger with still no sequel in sight. Covid has something else to answer for.
And at last we scored 11.5 on the GSQ, bringing our score back to double figures. Good work everyone!
A bird reaching for the berries on the elder tree on another 32 degree day. It all falls apart tomorrow.
Admin2 is rereading the marvellous Piranesi by Susanna Clarke.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ with backing from G&D. Well done everyone.
Here’s an indistinct picture of a goldfinch fossicking in some ragweed.
Admin1 is reading Grave’s End by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster, which was as boring as you’d expect.
We scored 9 on the GSQ but hope that the people in the middle of nowhere will give us some extra help. Rescue us, A, B, D and G!
[update]: And they did. So we scored 10. Thanks guys!
A blue fly alights on a yellow flower in a Ukraine solidarity moment.
July 2022 saw our hottest day ever recorded but was on average only a tenth of a degree hotter than July 2021 and had a lot less rain but only slightly more sunshine.
Admin1 is rereading Salt Lane by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ.
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.
We missed last week’s family meal so this week we had 2 quizzes to do. We scored 10 on this week’s and a mere 7 on last week’s, even with generous marking, so our running average is now below 10. That bee is definitely cleverer than us.
Admin1 is reading Dead Rich by GW Shaw and Admin2 is reading The Chelsea Murders by Lionel Davidson.
It really is a pollen.
Admin2 is reading The Vinyl Detective: Attack and Decay by Andrew Cartmel.
We had stroggers for our weekend family meal and scored 9 on the GSQ.
Happy anniversary eve, admins 1 & 2! We were gifted fizzy wine, ate solstice cake trifle and scored 11 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths. Admin2 is reading Bad Actors by Mick Herron.
Somebody has had a bit of fun with this corroded junction box.
Admin1 is reading The Hiding Place by Simon Lelic, a compulsive investigation into bullying and a subsequent 22-year-old murder at a boarding school. As both Admins went to boarding schools, this rang very true 🙁 .
Admin2 is reading The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz, a disturbing pre-WWII novel in which a Jew trying to escape the Nazis travels round and round Germany by train, without ever finding a way out. (If only Europe had had open borders and tolerance of asylum seekers.)
We scored 9 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading Witch Hunt in Whitby by Helen Cox, but gave it up ‘cos it was amateurish and gossipy. Admin2 is rereading Slough House by Mick Herron. We had our family meal later in the week than usual and scored 13 on the GSQ.
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.
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!
The sun is wrapped up in a thick puffy quilt to keep warm.
Admin2 is reading The Rising Tide by Patrick Easter; an eighteenth-century river policeman investigates a murder and meets Prime Minister Pitt.
We scored 9 on the GSQ. None of our guesses worked out so the only points we got were for things we actually knew.
City Square, the would-be bustling hub of Leeds, at prime shopping time and the place is deserted apart from some trees and the Black Prince.
Admin1 is rereading Dead Lions by Mick Herron. Admin2 is reading The Dark by Emma Haughton, a juvenile mystery/romance, wasted on the locked room/powder keg setting of an Antarctic research station in winter.
Today was the warmest day this year: 23.2 °C.
The next day was cloudy and cool. We ate pork, veg and rice with the newlyweds and scored 11 on the GSQ after a lot of guesswork and bet-hedging.
Thanks to the lovebirds and contributions from the juniors, we scored 11 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading Hot Water by Christopher Fowler, who’s clearly got bored writing about amiable old codgers and switched to nasty and vindictive youngsters; pity.
Admin2 is reading A Matter of Time by Claire Askew.
It has been ten years since we started uploading annual May Day pics of the garden after whatever weather was earlier. During that time the rain and sun have waxed and waned and the tulips and bluebells have slugged it out; tulips in the ascendant this year after an April that was our fourth sunniest April ever and not so showery.
Admin1 is reading A Killing in November by Simon Mason — another unpleasant protagonist whom the author works hard to make sympathetic. Not really successful at humour, and side issues (refugees, jihadists) not explored adequately. But readable.
Admin2 is reading Companion Piece by Ali Smith, which features an imaginary female character who is A Smith.
We had the pleasure of Gez in the flesh for the first time since Mother’s Day and scored, oh dear, worst this year, 7 on the GSQ.
Some cherry and apple blossoms to contemplate, along with lots of blooming tulips.
Admin1 is reading The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard.
We scored 10.7 on the solar panels and 10 on the GSQ.
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.
Welcome to the first poppy of spring, along with many tulips.
Admin2 is reading Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard; a mysterious disappearance on a cruise ship.
We scored 11 on the GSQ.