The sun is wrapped up in a thick puffy quilt to keep warm.
Admin2 is reading The Rising Tide by Patrick Easter; an eightteenth-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.
Another yummy post-cake trifle which we sadly had to share at a distance because unlucky Gez had sprained [update: broken] her ankle. We did the quiz on zoom and scored 9.5.
Admin1 is rereading Breathe by Dominic Donald. Admin2 is reading What You Pay For by Claire Askew.
We had a family meal all together for the first time in a while, and scored 9 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading Unhinged by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger and Admin2 is reading 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard, a compulsive Irish lockdown mystery.
An equinoctial art show in the locality.
Admin1 is reading All Fall Down by MJ Arlidge — problematic plotting again, with idiot characters pushed around by plot necessities. Wholly implausible, too.
Admin2 is rereading Solar Lottery by Philip K Dick.
We scored a lucky 10 on the GSQ.
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.
Municipal plantings coming up.
Admin1 is reading The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky, vaguely competent skiffy which suffers from content/tone mismatch. Admin2 is reading 1979 by Val McDermid, a half-baked potboiler seemingly aimed at LGBTQ+ YAs.
We scored 9 on the GSQ.
Squirrel Nutcase is still eating our bird food but at least he isn’t eating our tulips for a change.
Admin2 is reading I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood, an engaging story about a homeless person with a faulty memory.
We scored 11.5 on the GSQ.
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.
Welcome to these two representatives of a great and greedy flock, dull at a distance but spangled with iridescent sequins in close-up.
Admin2 is rereading Next to Nature, Art by Penelope Fitzgerald; arty people arrive for a course at a country house before the age of social media.
We scored FOURTEEN on the GSQ; 14.5 if you count a narrow miss, which we didn’t.
Admin1 is reading Desperation by Stephen King. Admin2 is reading The Anomaly by Herve le Tellier which was wonderful and full of wonders.
We had a delicious family dinner of roast lamb and a weird dark trifle made from blood oranges, black grapes and chocolate cake and scored 10 and lots of near misses on the GSQ.
Happy New Job, Gez, and a late Happy New Year and quiz at which we scored 10.
Admin1 is rereading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and Admin2 is reading Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson.
At our family dinner tonight (stroggers and blood orange drizzle cake) Gez was drawing on a silver sweet wrapper with a toothpick. We did not see it, but here is a photo of a cat rendered to look like silver paper.
Admin1 is reading Black Summer and Admin2 is reading The Puppet Show, both by MW Craven.
We scored 11.5 on the GSQ.
Distant skyscrapers dematerialising in the fog. Despite the mist and fog all day, the solar panels produced more energy than yesterday with its constant dazzling sunshine.
Admin1 is reading Dead Ground by MW Craven. Admin2 was reading The Incendium Plot by AD Swanston but gave up halfway through because it was boring and unpleasant. Radcliff is an Elizabethan lawyer with a bent finger but he ain’t no Shardlake, bro.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ, which was not too bad considering.
Boom boom shake the room! Here’s a close-up of the cake.
She’s The One! She’s Every One!
Admin2 is reading Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson.
We scored 10.5 on the GSQ; thanks to the self-isolating Dave on Zoom.
Same old view of the sun coming up through the back window. The sky was full of flocks of birds which flew away before they could be photographed.
We had roast lamb followed by two kinds of carrot cake and a banana cake for our New Year family meal and scored 11 on the GSQ. Now is the time to tot up our average score for the past year, which was … badum tish … 11.73921568: our best ever, cf last year and all the years before.
Admin1 is reading The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves (thx Admin2). Admin2 is reading The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star by Vaseem Khan. Gotta get those books back to the library soon.
So lovely to see Carrie and baby on screen if not in reality. With her inspiring presence we scored 21 out of 30 on the Guardian Saturday Special Bumper Christmas Quiz.
Admin1 is reading The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star by Vaseem Khan. Admin 2 is reading The Mist by Ragnar Jonasson.
A black and white bird in a technicolor tree in the afternoon sun.
Admin1 is reading The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan (hey Mr Author, your research is showing!). Admin2 is reading Surgeons’ Hall by ES Thomson.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ.
A delicate pale rainbow spans the sky above the flats as the light drizzle meets the weak sunshine.
Admin1 is reading A Question of Guilt by Jørn Lier Horst. Admin2 is reading Dark Asylum by ES Thomson.
We had venison cobbler and trifle for our family Sunday lunch and scored 10 on the GSQ.
It unexpectedly snowed again today; the temperature was -3.2 °C last night and did not get higher than 1.3 °C today. We had a lovely family meal as the sparkling flakes fell all around outside and scored 12 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading Still Life by Val McDermid. Admin2 is reading Beloved Poison by ES Thomson.