This is the hump race. It will mean four down and three left to go. This month the race was located in South Devon with race base in the seaside town of Beesands.
One of the many reasons I love Australians is their, sometimes quirky, perspective on life as this article below regarding the recent flooding in North Queensland points out. The world could be falling down around your ears, tormented by floods, crocs and snakes but there is always something more pressing to deal with – ensuring the beer keeps flowing at the pub 🙂 Aussie rocks!
Excerpt from the BBC news site:
Manager of the Albion Hotel in Normanton, Donna Smith, said a four-metre (13ft) crocodile had been seen stalking residents and dogs in the flooded main street.
She also warned the town was expected to run out of beer in two days.
“We can put up with a lot of drama, no fruit and veggies, but nobody wants a pub with no beer,” Ms Smith told Brisbane’s Courier-Mail newspaper.
I spent yesterday in the back of a car giving directions as we toured 10 different rental properties in Newport, (Gwent in Welsh), Wales. A mate of ours is looking to move to Newport as the rent is cheaper and the commute is fairly simple via train into Bristol. Only 26 minutes, assuming they are running on time.
The benefits of Newport would include more housing space for less money, ability to save more quickly for your own home, closer to the stunning mountains, rivers and coastal areas in Wales, easy commute to the two main business centers of Bristol and Cardiff (you could include London in this as it would not be that much further for a day trip for work). However the downsides are obvious signs of a struggling town with lots of shop closures, large numbers of rental properties on the market (good for the renter but starts ringing alarm bells as to why), obvious signs of working class families really struggling to make ends meet and to that disorderly youth that just don’t have anything to do in the city and hence get into all sorts of trouble.
Speaking of Wales, the six nations rugby tournament is on at the moment and Wales won against England last night. Doesn’t appear to have been any blood shed yet!
After the rental properties tour we did a quick jaunt into the Brecon Beacons which still has a lot of snow on them at the moment.
Well besides having an incredibly busy and slightly stressful day at work today nothing spooky happened. Not that I was expecting it to.
Sitting at home now after having eaten a lovely dinner and thinking about tomorrow, Valentines Day. Generally we don’t do anything for Valentines. Why? Call me greedy but I quite enjoy feeling loved every day of the year not one day in particular. Call me cheap as I really dislike the inflationary pricing because of the date. Call me an old fart as we have been together long enough now that our idea of a posh night out is getting a clean pair of jeans on and heading down to the local Thai takeout. No the last point is a bit of a stir, but we do enjoy a good Thai meal.
However, I am not that cynical that I don’t appreciate the fact that many people do celebrate Valentines. Good on you. It is especially lovely hearing peoples stories about what their special someone did for them on Valentines. Nice to hear good things for a change.
Anyway, if that’s you, have a great Valentines and I look forward to giving all the correct sounding oohhh’s and ahhhh’s when you tell me all about your special outing.
We haven’t forgotten! Hope you had a great day managing to stay cool somehow in that scorching heat wave. Love Carls & Steve
As you know on Monday Steve and I took off to Kew Gardens as it had snowed down there. When we got back to Bristol there was a bit of snow around but not much. About 4am Tuesday morning I got up and looked out the window and what a sight. It had snowed. Not tons but enough to make the place look so pristine. I took a photo from our bedroom window. Normally this view is pretty grotty so the snow made a dramatic change to the view.
By mid morning on Tuesday the snow was starting to melt so we were quite blue. But, low and behold late Wednesday and Thursday night we got more snow. Bring it on!
Bristol and many other parts of the UK are at a stand still at the moment. With buses canceled, salt supplies nearly depleted, only major roads being salted/gritted leaving many “stranded”, schools closed, you would think that this is chaos. In all honesty, yes I am sure it has been highly inconvenient for a large number of people but it has been 2 days out of the last 18 YEARS. Get over it!
What amazes me is that you have people with these lovely, large, gas guzzling, 4×4 vehicles, traveling at 10 miles per hour as they have never actually used the 4×4 option since they purchased it. Over here they are called Chelsea Tractor drivers. Darn fine vehicles owned and used for appearance sakes.
About 3/4 of the team I work with didn’t show up today due to bus cancellations etc. My train line was running perfectly and I really enjoyed the walk for the last 2 days in snow. People have been smiling, talking to each other for no reason other than to comment on how beautiful the snow is. They have been really enjoyable snow filled days.
I have long been fascinated and probably have held a rather romantic idea of living off-grid in my strawbale construction home with my small holders set up e.g. vege patch and limited livestock. I have also thought that going off-grid probably is not that easy or more people would be far more successful at it than they appear to be. Reading this book, I would be right.
Basically the book takes you through the journey of a London freelance journalist who had bought a small place in Spain and was investigating how to improve the off-grid experience he was having. The book meets a number of different characters with varying levels of independence from water mains, electricity and sewage. It looks at different types of systems used e.g. wind, solar etc and how well (or in most cases) how work intensive they are.
It would seem that there are many people out there wishing to go off-grid but realising when they get there that it is hard work as many of the options require continual maintenance, receive little support from the manufacturer/supplier and most importantly if you try to do it on the cheap then you will shoot yourself in the foot. Do it right the first time so it doesn’t need to be done again!!
Anyway, I still have half the book left to go but am enjoying it so far. I don’t think it has tarnished the dream but has definitely given serious food for thought and reinforced my feeling that you need to make the right contacts and ensure that those you buy from or get info from are also living the experience and therefore show they can live by their product/advice.
This posts title comes courtesy of Steve. I thought it was rather clever.
The BBC and local news stations had been predicting heavy snow falls but to date we had yet to see them. Imagine our surprise when this time they got it right.
I had been waking up throughout the night to check for snow but to no avail. I was already up, dressed and ready to leave for work when Steve mentioned checking the Earthcam websites to see if there was one for Kew Gardens. He has been wanting to visit Kew or the Eden Project if they were ever likely to be covered in snow. I found a live webcam for Kew and what should I see but lashings of snow!
I quickly called into work for an impromptu annual leave day which I was granted much to my delight. Changed into our winter gears – thermals, microgrid, Goretex jacket and ski pants and we were off heading to London. Now this was rather impulsive and most people would say a bit on the crazy side. Everyone else was trying very hard to avoid driving or going anywhere near London but here we were heading straight into the city. In fact apparently 6 million people didn’t go into work today across the UK!
To be honest, this meant driving down was easy. The roads were generally pretty quiet. Yee hah! We got a park right outside the main gates (free parking too!) and made our way in. We have annual tickets to Kew so didn’t even have to pay to get in. Love it.
The gardens were spectacular. I love it here in summer but in winter it is a totally different place. Also, Heathrow airport had grounded all flights it was so peaceful today especially with that certain type of “heavy” quiet that accompanies snow. Normally there are flights going over every 90 seconds. Today was bliss.
We took the burner and coffee in with us and hunkered down for a hot drink halfway through our walk. It snowed pretty much on and off all day while we were there.
We stayed until just after 2pm but had to finally leave in order to ensure we avoided driving back through the snow in the dark. Believe me, leaving was hard to do. What a magic day.
On the last post I made a comment about eggs not being available anywhere on the River Cottage shop menu for brekkie. After some research brought about by a good point made from a work colleague it would seem that egg laying is seasonal? Who the heck would have known. I thought I was (or I try to be) reasonably up to date on where my food comes from, how it was handled/treated and making choices appropriate to season. So it surprised me when in my naivety I have assumed that as I can always buy eggs year round in the supermarket that hens lay at the same capacity all year round.
Apparently egg production decreases over the winter months. Due to shorter daylight hours production drops off. So they don’t stop altogether but you wouldn’t expect the number of eggs as during the lighter months. How about that. I wonder though if this doesn’t affect us as much downunder as we don’t get the same type of incredibly short days as what we get here in the UK? Anyway, that is your bit of possibly insightful news for today.
If I’m incorrect, blame it on Wikipedia 😉