Saturday, 17 February 2018

Winter Olympics

It seems scarcely possible that it was 34 years ago we watched Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean win their gold medals at the Winter Olympics at Sarajevo with this routine.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Apple howling

I'm sorry I missed this. It took place not many miles from here and sounds a lot of fun!

Get the full story right here.

Friday, 5 January 2018

I didn't think it could happen

I wouldn't call myself a technophobe - but I'm not exactly a technophile either. (Why does blogger recognise technophobe but not technophile?) Nonetheless, I bought myself a Kindle some months ago, presumably for a reason that made sense at the time although I have long since forgotten what it was. I probably puzzled myself by doing so as I have always said that I enjoyed the sensation of holding a 'real' book in my hands - especially a new book - and turning the pages. You wouldn't catch me reading a back-lit screen!

Well, I have to admit I was wrong.

Reading is something that I have always enjoyed; once I had learned to read, of course. I always have a book 'on the go', generally a library book. That is, the books were generally library books before the Kindle transformed my reading habits. Although it was not a transformation of my habits, merely a change from hard copy to electronic. And, somewhat to my surprise, I now prefer to use my Kindle. Of course, it does mean that I have to pay for my reading material now instead of borrowing from the public library; in the past I have been too mean to buy books!

So what is it about the Kindle that has so drastically altered my view? Well, in no particular order:
  • I can slip it into my pocket far more conveniently than a book for reading in the doctor's waiting room or in the hospital outpatients' department.
  • There is no need to scrabble around looking for the bookmark that has fallen on the floor or slipped down the side of the armchair. (I refuse to mutilate books by folding down the corner of a page to mark my place.)
  • The size of the font can be altered - a boon for those late evenings when the eyes are tired.
There were more things I had in mind - but that's just where they are now; right at the back of my mind!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Santa's cats

I was on Ho Ho Ho duty at the garden centre this morning and was just about to start putting on the gear when one of the women staff at the centre poked her head round the door.

"Are you doing Santa this morning?" she asked.

I replied in the affirmative.

"Would you mind if a friend of mine brought her two cats in to see you? She treats them as her children."

So there I was later on with a cat on each knee while the owners took photographs to be used as their Christmas card next year.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Il Stroncapane

During the last two and a bit weeks since I last posted I have had several ideas that I fully intended to set down here. But something always got in the way - Life with a capital L. Now, of course, I can't for the life of me remember what any of those ideas might have been.

Another senior moment, I suppose.

Anyway, Il Stroncapane.

It was while doing the washing up yesterday evening that those words flashed into me mind. What caused this flash of Italian sunshine is beyond my comprehension.

And what, you ask, is Il Stroncapane?

Some years ago, my Good Lady and I had a holiday in Tuscany. As was in those days our wont, we rented a place for a week, self-catered breakfast and ate in various restaurants in the evenings. We visited Florence (disappointing, except for the baptistery doors), Siena (cram-packed with tourists) and Pisa (Piazza dei Miracoli miraculously empty when we arrived but after a stroll around it was filled with people pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower as their photos were taken).

What? No tourists?

We also took a look at the famous triangular piazza in Greve in Chianti. Just like Siena, there was hardly room to breathe. But in a small town closer to where we were staying is another triangular piazza. For my mopey, the piazza in Figline is more attractive - and wasn't full of screaming tourists!

The piazza in Figline
And tucked away in a corner of the piazza is - or was then - a restaurant that became our favourite that holiday: Il Stroncapane.

I wouldn't mind going back there sometime.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Blue eyes

I'm always a sucker for blonde hair and blue eyes, especially when they come with a young lady. yesterday I fell in love again. Mind you, she was only born in the early hours, but my latest granddaughter will be able to twist me round her little finger before she's much older. And here she is, Katie Elizabeth Rose.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

I'm late!

With all the kerfuffle going on, I never did get round to posting yesterday as I had intended. You see, yesterday was Trafalgar Day, the anniversary of the battle in 1805 in which the British fleet, commended by Admiral Lord Nelson, defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets off Cape Trafalgar. Nelson's flagship was HMS Victory, which has the distinction of being the oldest commissioned warship in the world!

Borrowed from the Daily Mail but I see another has copyright. Sorry!
I sometimes wonder how much of the ship actually saw the dockyard at Chatham when she was launched in 1765. A bit like the story of "my grandfather's axe. My father gave it a new haft and I gave it a new head".

Nelson, of course, was shot and killed during the battle and his body was preserved in a barrel of brandy.

Which reminds me of the story of a guide on the Victory telling a party of tourists, "That plaque on the deck is the spot where Nelson fell." To which one of the tourists responds, "I'm not surprised. I nearly tripped over it myself!"

On the quayside at Falmouth, Cornwall.