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.

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.

Circumzenithal Arc

Not a very impressive one, but the first we’ve seen in ages!
In other news, our weather station is now integrated with Wunderground, with live updates. Sample below (click on the image to open in a new tab):

We had stroggers and homegrown apple and blackberry pie for our family dinner and scored 10.5 on the GSQ.
Admin2 was reading 1989 by Val McDermid but abandoned it because it was boring and is now rereading Golden Hill by Francis Spufford.

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.

Food of the Day

Our family meal today was the above onion quiche and many salads, followed by rhubarb crumble and custard. Our first garden tomato is shown in the centre of the top plate and the nasturtiums and chives were also home grown. Weather, squirrels, pigeons and cats permitting, we will soon have many more tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, beans, peas, carrots, beetroots, lettuces, pak choi, radishes, broccoli and cauliflowers. We scored a creditable 12 on the GSQ.
Kahawa ya siku: Burundi Anoxic Izuba Natural, which is sublime and tastes of peaches and possibly kiwi fruit. Thanks G & D.

Two Little Ducks

Our anniversary sultana/amaretto cheesecake for our family dinner. The garden raspberries were sublime and we scored legs eleven on the GSQ. Probably would have got twelve dig and delve if Bob hadn’t kept derailing our trains of thought (nought).
Admin2 is reading The Square of Sevens (49 = PC49 = copper; v appropriate) by Laura Shepherd-Robinson.

Clouds of the Night: Noctilucents

These special solsticial clouds popped up at last last night to celebrate Admin1’s special day (this year’s poor showing of NLCs is apparently due to increased solar activity), and the celebrations continued today when people from up and down the street gathered for a shindig on the traffic island and the family and Frankie popped round for a meal of stroggers and sultana/almond cake and custard and scored a respectable 11.5 on the GSQ. Admin1 now has 5 new books and 5 types of coffee beans, some air-frying utensils, a too-big t-shirt, a scare owl and some kanalbullen for fika.

Happy Fathers’ Day C & D

A G&T cake and love from us all.
We also had a cheese and onion quiche and salads for our family dinner and scored 12.333 on the GSQ, bringing our average to >10 at last.
It rained today and yesterday, bringing an end to our longest ever recorded dry spell
Admin2 is reading Westwind by Ian Rankin, which was jejune and implausible but rattled along at a great pace.

Flaming Hell

Hottest day this year so far and identical to the hottest June day in 2022: 29.2 °C.
Admin1 is reading The Axe Woman by Hakan Nesser and Admin2 was reading The Drowned City by KJ Maitland but, without disrespect to the book, found it unengaging and quit halfway through.
We had an unseasonal casserole and strawberry trifle for our family dinner and scored 13 on the GSQ. Yay!

Baby Blue

A juvenile blue tit in the cherry tree.
Admin1 is reading Dark Angel by John Sandford. Admin2 is reading The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru, which starts off like Amitrav Ghosh and ends up like Evelyn Waugh. We had chicken and broccoli followed by 3 kinds of ice creams for our family dinner and scored a dismal 8 on the GSQ. The family took our Love (old Ikea chair) with them when they left.

Adam and Eve

Yesterday the lovely Dave came round and cleared up a bit of our garden including this invasive, poisonous and highly suggestive Arum maculatum (aka snakeshead, adder’s root, arum, wild arum, arum lily, lords-and-ladies, devils and angels, cows and bulls, cuckoo-pint, soldiers diddies, priest’s pintle, Adam and Eve, bobbins, naked girls, naked boys, starch-root, wake robin, friar’s cowl, sonsie-give-us-your-hand, jack in the pulpit and cheese and toast). Today the lovely Dave and family came for tea of roast beef, air-fried pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, stuffing balls, broccoli, carrots and peas with parkin for afters. We scored 11 (rounded up) on the GSQ. Our other visitor today was a stupid pigeon which hopped into our house and started eating the cat food, then hid in a corner and took ages to chase outside again.

Swarmer Weather

Thank you Ceri for taking this photo of bees on the move in the next door garden. It was an amazing sight, a big surprise and gave everybody a buzz on a lovely sunny day (12.4 kWh).
We had spag bol and a very solid rice pudding for our family dinner (sans Dave, who was camping) and scored a very solid 11 on the GSQ (with input from absent Dave by email).

Two Seasons

Spring petals and autumn leaves. We had chicken and tomatoes for our family dinner and scored 9 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is rereading Heartstone by CJ Sansom. Admin2 is reading Ascent by Jed Mercurio, bought from the traditional charity shop on the way back from the jab. It has a rocket on the cover so it’s bound to be good. [And it was — a fictional Russian Apollo 13.]

Raindrops on (Prim)roses

Admin1 has been reading Standing by the Wall by Mick Herron and Admin2 has been reading The Twyford Code by Janice Hallet; the cover art makes it look like a cosy crime caper in the mould of Richard Osman but it is a tricky misdirectional slow reveal in the manner of a Girl Book, though no girls were involved, presented as a screed of transcripted audio files. We are now reading other things so we need another photo.
Meanwhile we had our traditional Sunday dinner with the delightful inclusion of Frankie and scored a sad 9 on the GSQ.

Plum Blossom Time

Suddenly there are buds all over the little plum tree. Let’s hope there are plums this year.
It is also Booktally Day. So far we have read 2597 books in 10 years, 288 in the last year.
We had tuna pasta bake for Sunday tea (thx Admin1) and scored 11 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading Nightrise and Admin2 is reading Death’s Door, both by Jim Kelly.

Bob’s Birthday Tea

ChatGPT writes:

Bob’s seventh birthday was quite a sight,
A spinach quiche and salad made it just right.
With a parkin cake and candles so bright,
And a Mandalorian to top off the delight.
Lego Nindajo, a Roboraptor too,
And a book about Egypt to learn something new.
Bob’s birthday was filled with surprises and joy,
A celebration to remember for this little boy.

Meanwhile in the real world Admin1 has finished writing his book Photodesk: A Manual, Which ChatGPT reviewed with pinpoint accuracy, knowing only the title and author. Who needs humans?
Admin1 is reading Death’s Door and Admin2 is reading The Moon Tunnel, both by Jim Kelly.
We scored 10.5 on the GSQ. [later: tried it on ChatGPT. It got 9 :(]