Wednesday, 27 February 2008


Which I am actually disappointed not to have been awakened by. (and yes, am fully aware of dangling participle)

An earthquake classified as 'significant' happened about 1.00am and was 5.2 on the Richter scale (the largest since 1984). Market Rasen in Lincolnshire is 112 miles northwest of Norwich, and loads of people here either felt it, were awakened by it. It was quite the conversation topic at work this morning :) Wayne's wife was watching t.v. and noticed their animals behaving very oddly right before it happened.

But I slept right through the whole thing like a mossy log.

I wonder if fish behave peculiarly before earthquakes -- they seemed to have normal appetites, however, this morning, Jasper cramming 4 food pellets into his mouth to Carrot's one.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Bag snobbery

I am showing tendencies of developing a honed sense of BBS (British Bag Snobbery).

Let me explain.

Early in 2006, I noticed a culturally comic item in British society. Because people actually walk in this country, there is the need to carry more than perhaps only a credit card and a tube of lipstick. Therefore, a cute tiny purse just doesn't cut it. And a backpack just shows a little too much trekking attitude.

So, even if you don't carry a backpack, you still need a bag for all your stuff (if it is from a shop, it is called a 'carrier bag', funnily enough. Although, really, why do you need the adjective? Would you get confused and try to make a sail out of it -- a 'sailor bag'? Or make a hat out of it -- a 'hatter bag'? But I digress; this is a mockery for another day.). Of course, people do carry non-plastic bags as well; I suppose these are just called 'bags'. I carry stuff in a non-plastic bag. Stuff you might carry in your 'carrier bag' include: lunch, your work shoes, your knitting, a scarf, hat and gloves. You might even like a large enough one to put your stupid purse/handbag in, which holds your single credit card and lipstick because you are too vain to not carry it.

However, many British people do try to show how posh they are by the type of carrier bag that they carry. People carrying a Harrod's green plastic bag in Cardiff or Norwich have not just come from buying some incredibly rare snail-crossed-with-quail eggs. They are not transporting a Waterford mustard pot to go with the products they just purchased at Ye Olde Colman's Mustarde Shoppe. They are, in fact, indulging their overdeveloped ego of British Bag Superiority. And they look pityingly sideways upon all the cretins hurrying by with their mere Jones Bootmaker bags or cloth Body Shop bags (which show that you care for the environment) or (heavens preserve us!) the dreaded Primark bag. (Note: Primark is kind of like a cheaper and chavvier version of T.J. Maxx -- or as they like to call it in this country T.K. Maxx. I do LOVE me some Maxx!)

Well, I carry my shopping bags (which are not plastic -- I try not to use or keep those pestilences in the house because they breed when you aren't paying attention) because I like my jute shopping bags. They are mostly from Sainsbury's (because the ones from Tesco with only a few ladybugs are not as cute as the old ones.). But there are a couple which appeal to my embryonic sense of Faux-British Bag Snobbery -- e.g., my one from the Cardiff Riverside Real Food Market and the one from the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, where my dearest Lindsey Cousine took me for brekafast close to Tarrytown, NY. These indicate me to passersby as a (slight hypocrite though my inconsistency makes me) semi-regular organic and Fairtrade food consumer.

On the way home this evening, during a shopping dash into The Green Grocers, which is the best place to be sanctimonious about buying organic in Norwich, I almost caved and bought the tiniest jute carrier bag you have ever seen that does not have a get-well plant in it. All 8-inches square of it cost £1.99 (that is pretty damn close to $4.00USD. And that, my friends, is both absurd and foolish.)!

But it was pink.

And it did have their logo emblazened on it.

And this would have allowed me to look lazily askance at the cretins in Sainsbury's whilst packing up my fresh fruit and veg, as if to say, 'Well, reeeeaally, I am not accustomed to eating this food for the plebian masses. I only just popped in here because I didn't want to contaminate the planet by spewing carbon from transport just for my selfish needs.'

However, it occurs to me that pride is one of the Seven Deadly. So, it is really for the best that the bag was left today (it is Lent, you know, you bunch of heathens). However, in a moment of weakness, I worry that the spirit may cave in -- because really you wouldn't want to put your organic, free-range eggs in a big old ungainly jute bag with 8 bananas, 4 cans of soup and 3 litres of milk... now would you? And... it is pink!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Helmet Hair not really fun. Of course, it is amusing, no doubt, to others. But not really so much to you. And when people smile at you in your purple cycle helmet, you really sense they see you as an imposter and are not thinking, 'Oh! What a good safety-conscious ladeeee.' No, they are thinking, 'What an utterly foolish purple-hatted idiot. Well, it takes all sorts.... bless.'

Okay. Now I am over my paranoia :) I shall continue to wear my silly helmet (well, on Wednesday when I again trek to work) and have my fabulous little clicky lights that are LED and extremely bright (although my coat has to be tucked under my bum or the back light is hidden. This is challenging when you stand up to pedal up a difficult grade and your coat gets free and then when you try to tuck your coat in by moving your hips forward during pedalling movement... well, let's just say that's not such a cunning plan. Fortunately there was no traffic at all coming when my bike jerked suddenly and demonically to the right towards the middle of the road during this attempt.). It also happens (entirely accidentally, I swear) that my cycle helmet matches my bike, which is also a silly, yet fun, purple colour melange.

In case readers haven't figured out, one of the errands yesterday was to buy some lights and a helmet for me, because a) E cooks really too excellent food; b) i eat too much of this outstanding nosh [esp. the soda bread]; and c) i don't even have to walk the 10 minutes to the bus stop anymore. The helmet has been the easiest excuse with it getting dark so early in the winter, but even I admit that the 3 months I have been 'planning' to get one is a bit long.

Yesterday's other errands involved:
* going to church
* going to B&Q (for board to make an additional dish shelf and for the Clever E to make a perfect shelf to go under my kitchen sink cabinet). B&Q is no relation to Home Depot, even though they both use way too much orange in their marketing plan and have the same fonts in-store. Maybe they are cousins. They should not marry; it would be frightening. HOWEVER, in a Normal for Norfolk way, my local B&Q was fined last year for requiring interviewees to dance during their job interviews... and another mention. And even the Tube paper!
* going to St. Clement's to a) put scratch cover on the two pieces of wood I am allowed to touch, b) pick up rubbish from the churchyard, and c) decide on my plan of cleaning attack for next Saturday (it will involve spider webs, dusting, and a dead pigeon -- hoorah!).

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Light and colour

This morning, I have watched the light transform in a most amazing way.

My first attention to the matter (due no doubt to the alertness brought about halfway through my cuppa tea) was when a second glance out my front window provided the visual information stimulus that the house across the square (1A, which I would really have liked to have moved to if it weren't £150/month more than my cute house -- although admittedly tiny, twisty stairs and inattentive persons don't always mix well...) was no longer yellow, but appeared quite blue-white. This transformation of light happened within 63 seconds, i swear. It was quite bizarre!

Upon walking to window to check if this was the result of a solar eclipse, my eyesight going, or an alien invasion (spaceships affect light filtration, you know. Don't Panic.), it was actually only the result of the bank of cloud moving southeast-ish, with the bluest sky appearing in its wake. The cloud bank was a beautiful collection of deep pinks, purple and violent grey edged with silver white. At the section closest to being overhead there were a couple of stragglers who were pure white, just tootling along to keep up.

The skies in East Anglia are truly amazing and change so very quickly. Sadly, i do not seem to be able to capture much depth of outdoor colour with my camera (esp. blue). I have had a couple of fits. Every time I see some splendid array of colour, I think of the Norwich School and how it is no wonder such landscapes and skies sparked them.
This is the best example I could find online (George Vincent, Trowse Meadows, near Norwich, 1828), and it is not such good quality, so readers will have to come for a visit and we will go to the collection at Castle Museum...

Now the clouds are all gone, the sun is shining BRILLIANTLY, and it is time to inspect the house for dust (due to the good light). I shall need another cuppa tea.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

My Pet Church (and more)

We have the keys to the pet church!

Today, E and I were invited along on a field trip to some of the 'churches over the water', which was part of a continuing ed. class from UEA, which our friend at the NHCT is taking (and at the same time, we were allowed the keys to St. Clements!). I am quite disappointed to have missed taking the class actually, as it would have fit into my non-travel schedule this Spring so beautifully. Alas, and alack.

First location of the morning was St. Clement's (at a cloudy and cold 10.30). No photos were taken, since I am a snob and think one can get better images when there aren't a load of people milling about, which will be possible during the hours we open the church to the public (although hopefully not emtpy the whole time).

There was a short lecture by the class leader, after which a brief milling about. It is thought that St. Clement's may well be the oldest church site in Norwich, it being in the ancient section known as 'Northwick' (hence, Norvic and then Norwich). The church as it stands now is 14th century. There is no proof, but it may be that St. Clement was named such as a result of Danish influence, the Danes being particularly taken with St. Clement. I got to practice locking up procedures under eye of our coordinator, Michael :) I passed! He also let people go up the church tower, and I am quite looking forward to venturing up myself (i like climbing things, esp. if my mama is at the bottom telling me not to).

We moved down Colegate to St. George's Colgate, which is the last remaining functioning church over the water (on the north side of the River Wensum). The nave dates from 1459, and it has an amazing collection of memorials. This font was moved from St. Saviour's. Detail to (L) shows some gargoyle faces; on some fonts these faces are matched at the tops of the columns above with angels, which represent them crushing the demons of hell.

We were not able to go into the next 3 churches.

From here, trip continued down Colegate, across Duke Street to St. Miles (hmm. I was glad to be with the group, or I might've gotten lost!). St. Miles is actually St. Michael and All Saints or St. Michael Coslany. Coslany was the village, named after an island of reeds in this section of the Wensum. In case any readers have forgotten what it looks like, here is a photo (one of my pseudo-daily records) showing the fog that has been a regular meteorological occurence lately.

St. Mary Coslany is directly to the rear of my house, and is the oldest round-tower church in Norwich. There are only 4 in Norwich. (For more diatribe on round towers, memory [which is dubious, as evidenced by previous post] hints at previous exuberance on subject.)

From St. Mary's Plain, we turned the corner into Oak Street to St. Martin at Oak. This is now an artist's studio (rented from the NHCT), and there is always an annoying and unattractive red truck pulled up the front sidewalk and yard-parked next to the door. How tacky! I took no photos, because I was annoyed. It is quite obvious that someone lives there, although Michael said that he was not supposed to be... We were supposed to be able to go inside, but the artist(s) would not answer the door and also appear to have changed the locks. This was disappointing, because it was the church I was most looking forward to seeing inside.

Lastly, we crossed the ring road (St. Crispins), walked up Quakers Lane through Gildencroft to St. Augustine's. It is the only medival church outside the ring road, and is the only church in the City of Norwich from which you cannot see another church (although it was pedantically pointed out that the tip of the Cathedral spire weathervane was just visible over an office building roof). It is not known whether it is named for Augustine of Hippo or for Augustine of Canterbury. From the Gildencroft side, the tower rebuild is most evident; both E and myself assumed this was post-WWII, but it is, in fact, 17th century!

Along the western side of the churchyard, is the longest row of Tudor houses in Britain.

Redundant since 1999, St Augustine's interior still looks like there will be a service on the Sunday, although someone might want to dust :)

Detail of the organ pipes, avec fleur de lis. Although coming from Louisiana, one might think that this signifies a love of all things French for some strange reason, the fleur de lis is variously representative of the Holy Trinity, the angel Gabriel, and the Virgin Mary.

Most of the windows are simple geometric designs, but this monument to Leonard Harry Pert, 'killed in battle in France May 3rd 1917' is quite splendid in comparison.

Memory of a Gnat

At the moment, am reminded of the time I burnt an entire loaf of sliced cinnamon raisin bread... 4 slices at a time.

Whilst the chef went to get supplies for this evening's sustenance, I was given the simple task of taking the soda bread out of the oven in 5 minutes... many promises of paying attention were made, assurances of responsible behaviour. However, the brain only kicked in 19:30 minutes into the England game, when E arrived back , the triggering event being the chimes as the door swung open.

I am told that the soda bread is fine. Although the dish towel in which it is wrapped is smouldering dramatically. I am penitent and contrite. E is very kind, congenial, and thinks all will be fine (this could be because England is currently winning and could signal that there will not be a final between Wales and France). He is so tolerant and just too blasted calm :)

The commentator just referred to one of the players as a halfwit (hahahaha)

Friday, 22 February 2008

The American Lawsuit Mentality spreading.

On the front page of the Telegraph today is the heart-warming tale of the engineer who is being sued by a cake decorator because she claims that the tip of her finger was severed whilst she was undertaking the socially necessary activity of shoving junk mail through people's letter-slots.

She is now unable to undertake her 'intricate work'. Not to be catty or overly personal (but I am Southern), but she does look like she has eaten a few too many of her failed cakes.

Item 1 (from The Daily Wail)
Item 2 (from The Telegraph)

Dialogue from the British ARmy Rumour Service (or ARRSE for short) which just makes me giggle.

On a much more depressing note: it is worrying me that Forsythe, the Snail may be an ex-snail. I am quite sad. We shall give him another day in the same spot until I remove the body and see if there is any hope.

On my field trip to Historic Norwich Churches tomorrow, I shall perhaps pray that he is not actually deceased. Or pining for the fjords.

And on the final depressing note, how is it already bloody Friday? Good heavens.

Monday, 18 February 2008


There are few things cuter than animals in clothing. And it is even quainter when they are in clothing for a practical reason (rather than because amrie wants to see how the kitty looks in a pinafore). I have been charmed by this for quite a while, but keep forgetting to blog about it.

The horses put their little windbreakers on in about November and look like Aristocats character actors for the winter (and we all sing...). And then right before Christmas, people start walking their dogs in their little extra warm coats. Spoodle has a Police Dog coat, and passers by are dim enough to ask if she is on duty (she looks like very much like Weenie, Eloise's dog which looks like a cat; so this is incredibly hysterical). Other dogs are attired in plaids and various Country Gentry-wear, and I just love it!

It is definitely animal-clothing weather at the moment, as my fingers are fairly blue from my walk back from the Tesco with my shopping bag in hand and no gloves (i couldn't find them, Mama. I really do wear my gloves religiously... and yes. with moisturiser). It is at the moment approximately 0*C. (and some odd person has just driven a very small antique truck down the sidewalk past the front of my house. I am bemused as to why or how.) It is supposed to get to -4*C tonight (about 24*F). The fog is so thick that one's gets the impression that one's glasses are fogged up, and at night, everything glows. There was a magnificent frost this morning that looked like snow.
Another interesting (and quaint as well, but not in a condescending sort of way) thing is that traffic and weather reports in the morning cover the entire country! This kind of makes me smile, but I really like it. It takes less time to cover the traffic in the whole of the UK than it does to cover the traffic in Dallas or Atlanta. And they are covering not only road traffic, but train traffic and delays as well. And this is just marvelous.
Tonight's entertaining task is to make a delish carrot soup!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

St Clements Colegate

Now, I don't know if it is sacreligious to say that one has a pet church -- however, I am so VERY excited to have a pet church project!

At Norwich Heritage Open Days last September, I gave my email to a nice man to say that I would be happy to help with any Norwich Historic Church Trust projects that they might have (that would, of course, coincide with my actually being in town). And I expected to hear nothing...

Until I got a surprise email early in January asking if I would be interested in an unusual project dealing with St. Clements Colegate, which had been vandalised at the end of 2007. But of course I would be! But my return email got no reply, so I was disappointed.

Until I got the same email again last week, indicating that my reply had not been received in the first place! So, another keen reply was dispatched immediamente, and I got a phone call later that night to meet on Sunday afternoon (today) and find out more.

So, E and I trotted on down this afternoon, and met the Methodist minister, who has been the caretaker for the past 30 years, and the nice man from the NHCT, thinking that they wanted me to dust some pews, or sweep, or pick up the rubbish from the heathens who throw their pizza boxes into the church yard on a Saturday night.

St. Clements is at the opposite end of Colegate from St. Miles, about a 3 minute walk from my door. I pass this church rather frequently (probably 10 times in the past month) and have noticed that it has looked a little worse for the wear lately. As I found out, this is because it is no longer opened every day for a refuge and place for prayer. Some horrid person went in during the day on St. Clement's Day, set fire to the organ and the altar, and stole some pieces from the altar, leading the minister to decide that his time as caretaker was done and that he could no longer carry the burden of keeping it open.

Most of the churches in Norwich were decomissioned in the 1960s and 1970s, and sadly all but St. Clements were gutted of all ecclesiastical furnishings. They are now primarily just empty shells which are open when the Trust, or other groups, can organise for them to be open (as at the Heritage Open Days). Some have been converted for other uses -- such as St. Miles out my front window, which is a science discovery centre; St. Gregory Pottergate, which is now a boho artsy garage sale location of a weekend; St. Mary Coslany, the round tower church outside my back window, which is a publishing storage facility; and St. Swithins Church, now the Norwich Arts Centre. Including these four churches, there are 11 churches within less than a 3-minute walk from my house, and only one still functions as a place of Christian worship: St. George Colegate.

After an interesting discussion (and brief history of the church by the minister, who has written The Church Over the Water, which is a must-read for me soon. The 'over the water' part refers to the part of the city where I live, which is over the river Wensum from the centre; it was formerly one of the four boroughs of the city.), lo and behold, I was asked if I would be willing to be one of the key holders, come down and open the church up for tourists to drop in on a sort of regular basis, and generally help care for it! I am soooooo excited, and have plans to go and buy 47 gallons of lemon oil as soon as possible (as the pews and Victorian panelling are all looking a little dry). It was bitterly cold in there today, but my guess is that once my OCD behaviour kicks in, there will be no icy extremities :)

The oldest marked tomb in the church dates from 1514, and E and I got a lesson in Latin. I have been told that I will impress visitors if am able to rattle off meanings of Latin inscriptions :)

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Greater Blue Crested Warbler

After a lovely walk along the vile section of the River Wensum (the part where unruly Yutes throw Strongbow cans and burger wrappers and other random rubbish such as traffic cones) this chilly evening, listening to birds and feeding apples to gypsy ponies (that was me, not E. he is really not much of one to have anything to do with things Gypsy and urged me away from the camp.), we were twitching (aka, bird-watching) our way back towards 'civilisation' when the shrill sound of a police siren rent the peace in two.

E said, 'Wait! What kind of bird is that!?' I decided it was the Lesser Spotted Norfolk Crested, even though we were not able to spot it for verification, still being a little ways from the big round-about.

Upon emerging from the path and onto pavement around the round-about, an ambulance came whizzing around the circle, flashing its blues. Eamonn has named this the Greater Blue Crested Warbler (since it warbles its song more than the LSNC, which just goes 'weeee-oooo, weeee-oooo!'. And it also only has blue lights instead of blue and red.).

The next time any readers are in Norwich, we will be happy to take them out twitching for these two lovely additions to our social habitat.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


There is a potential crisis in Britain.

It was mentioned every 30 minutes this morning on Radio 4 in voices filled with gravity.

It involves the unreasonable limitations set on immigration, which gives favour to Eastern European immigrants over Bangladeshi immigrants. This is slated to have an irreversible detrimental effect on the curry industry:

BBC coverage
Reuters coverage
Mirror coverage
Telegraph coverage
Channel 4 coverage
TimesOnline coverage
... and these are just major items from the first two pages of a Google search...

Why this is a news story is slightly beyond me. Although I suppose there might be an Enchilada Crisis if the vigilantes on the Rio Grande do their work...

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


Well, the Super Bowl is over. No idea who won. Just by chance am I aware that Wales beat the bejeezus out of England at Twickenham this weekend -- for the first time in 25 years. The score doesn't show it, but if you had seen the second half, you would be aware. We had to wipe a salty tear of joy.

And today was Pancake Day. And they were Super! I had savoury -- with mushroom, chicken, cheese sauce.

And, it really doesn't matter that I am not a voter in Super Tuesday (although there is not a vote in Loosyanna today. Who made the decision not to have ours on Mardi Gras? Surely the fact that 98% of the population would be heavily intoxicated would not influence this choice... (titter)), because there is plenty of coverage here, and it was a topic of discussion at the Rotary meeting tonight in a conversation of which I was not part. Of course, it was also a topic in two conversations of which I was a part...

It is simply common knowledge; it is highlighted on every news show; it has multiple pages in every (serious) newspaper; it is part of DJ banter on music stations and significant segments on Radio 4 (which is kind of like NPR, but much better, except that it doesn't have Car Talk). E has provided us with an Electoral map of the US and a booklet outlining the US political process, both of which were just part of last week's Independent highlight of the election. On The Independent site at the moment, the front page's 'World' section has one headline and three out of four following titles covering the US election.

Much of the coverage is rawther entertaining. An amusing article followed Hillary's teary outburst, which, if you read between the lines, indicates that not everyone here is part of the Clinton Cult (although the fan base is quite large).

It is kind of off-puttingly embarrassing not to know the intricacies of every NUANCE of propagandising of the US political process, although it is really not such a shameful thing, since a great many people here do not vote nor take an interest in their own politics, other than when bad things are in the news. I think it is just that US politicking is more entertaining and cowboyish, with its forked-tongued orange tans and over-whitened teeth, so Brits pay a little more attention in a voyeuristic sort of way so they can mock it. If any of us watched 'Today in Parliament', though, that is pretty funny, too (and the Brits do do an outstanding job of taking the mick out of themselves, which I think is very good form). It really is sad that politics makes such easy fodder since these are supposedly the people in control.

Today, we (the girls from work) also (FINALLY) picked up our fired pottery pieces from Sally's b-day a couple of weekends ago. But at the moment, too sleepy-poo and snuffly-grumpy to photograph my clever spoonrest (and it appears to somehow be a bit drippy with yummy chicken soup-ness which is for lunch tomorrow). Shall cover this enthralling topic in self-indulgent manner tomorrow :)

Sunday, 3 February 2008

A Year On

A year ago this weekend, I moved to Norwich (well, myself and my clothes and wool did; the rest of it and the fish dawdled in Cardiff with E and B for another several months)!

I started my new job a year ago tomorrow (using the days of the week/month, not dates), and tomorrow is E's first day at his new position as a software developer for Anglia Healthcare Systems. He is to be doing something extremely intelligent and insightful with programming systems. Do not ask me to explain it.

It is hard to believe that a whole year has gone by, and I must admit to it being a slow year for the blog and the Flickr (although I need to set up a new Flickr anyway since every picture added causes an old one to be deleted, which is unacceptable).

Things I have done this past year:
* re-established myself in a working environment
* learnt to add 'u's to various spellings (such as colour)
* joined library
* trained self to say data with a long 'a'
* travelled to Australia
* been in Katie B'Loomis's wedding
* travelled to the States 6 times (4 times for work)
* visited Flee 4 times
* spent my first Thanksgiving in the 'Port since 2004
* went to a wedding in Ireland
* bought my first bus pass
* lived by myself for the first time since 2004 (!)
* bought a snail
* named said snail (appropriately) Forsythe
* joined a knitting group
* attended three beer festivals (Sheringham, Norwich, Hackney)
* dragged E to various Norwich Heritage Weekend events
* went to third Christmas panto of my life
* learnt (sort of) how to re-cover a chair
* learnt what draught excluder is, how to bleed radiators, and how to insulate a 15th century abode for winter
* located cat rescue charity from whence to adopt a kitty
* psychically influenced E to move to Norwich so as to be personal chef (and kitty-sitter when I am away... oops, did I say that out loud? Meow!)

The Judith has expressed disappointment at her spawn not providing photos of recent changes in the decor of the abode. This will now be remedied.

Kitchen is quite a bit fuller in accessories. Here are just a few things that have been added since the Christmas hollyday:
* a pasta maker
* a bread bin
* a bread pan
* a Kenwood Wizzard food processor
* a stoneware roasting pot
* a wine rack (although this is now in the fireplace)
* a storage cabinet for some glasses
* a clock
* a Norfolk Broads travel poster
* a colander
* various cooking utensils (including a rolling pin)
* a pot rack (not up yet)
* two sets of scales
* a lamp
* a radio (so as to listen to Radio 4)
* 1 pair black and white toile wellies

Since my last photos of main room, some things that might be different:
* futon (instead of mattress on floor)
* sewing box
* polka dot fabric on chair (Clem is going to have to come help me finish it, if it is ever to look like it didn't come off the short bus. but it IS very comfortable, and I am perfectly fine with it.)
* red velvet door curtains (for draughts)
* some pictures
* a poinsetta

(These are really not quite as 'set' as I had intended, but perhaps there will be better photos after car boot sales start again, and I can add some more interesting items and take some better pictures :) )

Saturday, 2 February 2008


Computer being complete idiot prat, so unable to inform interested readers in timely manner of brief arrival of snow. By this point, it is mostly gone, except for the sneaky trap of ice on my back steps. It has been bitterly cold and gorgeous. So, I am staying inside, being obsessively tidy(ish) and drinking tea so as to retain a small piece of dignity and state of physical health (and to stay warm).
This was picture of St. Miles yesterday morning on my way to work (have been keeping sort-of-daily record of St. Miles from same photo spot since 1 January, and need to get off my duff and coordinate them, I suppose).

The snow was supposed to start at 3.00pm, but didn't get going until about 7. Here is what it looked like at approx. 8.00 pm last evening (!) -- I had to keep going outside in my pajamas to check on it, you know.
And, finally, what it looked like first thing this morning (at about the appropriate time I would normally have been leaving for work. Were it not Saturday, that is.).

Some more randoms: At the point photo to R was taken, the flakes were massive and you can see their little wobbly paths through the air. Photo to lower L appears like rain perhaps, but it is after flakes have gotten tired and smaller. Is of steps at Rosemary Lane.

Whilst wellies are better than Birkenstocks at keeping out slushy water, they are slippy on iced pavement. Salt makes ice make crackly noises. Large clumps of snow falling from overhangs onto people's heads as they walk past is amusing.

Tip of the day: If your bathroom window shade is blowing in the wind, and your window is shut, you might want to consider that some draught excluder stripping would be a good plan. Of course, the process of putting this in whilst standing on top of your toilet lid with the window open and snow blowing in does render your fingers completely numb within 37 seconds. Esp. if you are obsessive and must clean the dirt off the inside ledge with some anti-bacterial cleaner before excluder is stuck on.

Completely unrelated to the snow, fish habitat is finally in a more attractive state and Jasper has a more interesting bit of scenery in which to act like a complete nutter. It was quite traumatic (what with the leaning log, the silting sand, the blasted filter, disagreement over the colour-order of the sand and gravel) for everyone, and everyfish, involved (except for E, who somehow manages to stay calm at the most inappropriate times), but we are all now swimmingly happy :) Jasper has naturally decimated the leaves on the front-most plant. Carrot keeps loitering under the log arch in a slack-jawed sort of way and missing his dinner. Forsythe LOVES the log, and is neglecting his walls...

Friday, 1 February 2008

#1 on Google

If you are looking for buttermilk for baking bread, and your name is Eamonn, and you happen to live in Norwich, and you decide that the internet might be able to help you, you can type in 'buttermilk' and 'Norwich' into the Google searchbar. And it will bring up my blog! (of course, now it may bring up two returns since I am using similar strings...)

And this just makes me laugh.

Sadly, this Google search will render nothing remotely useful on how one might locate soured pre-butter-form milk in containers larger than 1/2 pint containers. The British just don't know what they are missing (although it actually does not quite taste the same anyway. But it cooks well!).