keeping warm

Just over a hundred quid’s worth of heatlogs and kindling delivered this morning, in the rain. Back brace on, I managed to wrestle them indoors before they got too damp, though putting them next to the Green Party printer in the cupboard under the stairs will have to wait.

This delivery brings me up to 16 packs of heatlogs, about 48-50 days worth of fires, which should see me through until well after Christmas. I haven’t given up on the central heating – on mildish days it’s clearly the most economical option – but it’s going to work out cheaper to use the stove when it’s really cold/damp/my back is acting up badly.

email to my MP

Last night I sent

Dear Robin Walker,
it is very clear that His Majesty’s Government has departed very considerably from the manifesto on which it was elected. There is no democratic mandate for the financial policies now being pursued, which have caused widespread turmoil and attracted widespread condemnation. The current Prime Minister was appointed through the votes of a tiny number of Conservative Party members, and likewise lacks any shred of democratic legitimacy.
I would hope that you (as a self-described One Nation Tory) share my concerns both about the abandonment of the “levelling-up” on which your party won the last General Election, and about the financial gamble which has already threatened everything from the stability of sterling to the near-bankruptcy of some large pension funds.
This cannot go on. I urge you to use discussions with colleagues and Party members at the forthcoming Party Conference to seek a return to a responsible and fair financial policy. I would hope that you have sufficient courage to speak out, and if necessary to vote against the Chancellor’s policies in the House.
I don’t expect it to have much effect, though if enough people write similar letters his sense of self-preservation might kick in!

cat flap

After eight years of banging noisily in even the most moderate breeze, the cat-flap cracked across and was clearly on its way out. After a certain amount of intemperate language, and a bloody knuckle, the replacement is in and looking good. I’m not convinced it will be any quieter … the package announces it as a “Katzenklappe”, which sounds slightly ominous …



Up at 0630, for a trip to Birmingham as part of the vaccine trial panel. I got the stunningly-handsome Doctor (Paul) today, who I haven’t seen for a while. Sadly, as I had no adverse effects, I was only with him for six minutes!

Home at lunchtime, and a rather drear afternoon. So crumpets called … I’m rather out of practice, but still… Getting the holes right needs a careful balancing of heat, and yeast cookery is always a bit tricky. However, they always taste better than shop-bought, and I’m not unhappy with these (admittedly, some of the others didn’t turn out quite as photogenically …)


One of a pair of flowerpot holders that I commissioned from potter Chris Greening – at last month’s Open Studios, which I collected today. I’m really pleased with them, and must be firm with myself that they’re about tidying up houseplant containers,, and NOT an excuse to get any more!

Chris had several pots in that shape but in brown glazes, and several pots of different shapes in this green-with-blue glaze, so I asked him to make me two specials. £50 for the pair, and I’m delighted. Collected on the Brompton bike – its first serious outing, as I’ve not really been able to cycle much for a few days due to dodgy back.


The first young leeks of the season. It feels suitably winter-like: temperature was down to 2C last night, and it won’t be long before the first frost.

It’s chutney time !

It’s chutney time!
A bowl of green tomatoes that at this point in the year are unlikely to ripen, the last of the Worcester Pearmain apples, other bits and spices … and the stench of boiling vinegar. Fortunately, it’s warm enough to have the doors and windows open!

so close!

It’s the Equinox today. I’d been aiming for an average of 4,500 steps a day during the lighter months of the year, from equinox to equinox. Sadly, I had a rather bad ten days earlier this month, where walking was very problematic, so I’ve just missed the target, with an average of 4,492 steps. Still, much better than the last couple of years …

Target for the dark six months of the year? Being realistic, I’m frequently so mobility-impaired as to be unable to leave the house … honesty compels me to say that 2,000 would be realistic, but I’ll be incredibly hopeful and settle on 2,750 !

more autumnal

Central heating now turned on! Although it’s comfortably into the higher teens by lunchtime, last night’s overnight low was 4 Centigrade, which meant a very chilly bedroom when getting up!

I did manage an afternoon walk, about half pat three. Ankles and knees still not happy from a cold damp start to the day, so I stuck entirely to footways along roads (rather than paths, tracks, and towpath), just in case things gave out completely and I had to ring for a cab to get home!


A glorious sunny afternoon, and only a week until the Autumn Equinox. The haws on my Glastonbury Thorn are looking magnificent! No doubt hungry birds will discover them shortly …