Monday 24 December 2012


Ivy thought this was funny...

Sunday 23 December 2012

Have a good one

I doubt I'll be blogging for the next few days so... one and all!

Wednesday 19 December 2012

A mid-week scRamble

The Kitchen
At the moment all my ‘spare’ time seems to be spent on the d****d kitchen. I can’t believe it has taken so long.  And now, believe it or not we have two more leaks. One in the bathroom and one under the sink where the pipes were disturbed for the new sink installation.  Did you ever do something you regret you started?  Still, I’ve finished all the scrambling around I’m going to do before Christmas.  The kitchen is fit to store our utsensils and cooking pots and to make Christmas dinner.  That will do for now. So now it’s time to start thinking about how to put up decorations without Ivy taking them down again… 

Silly Spammers
I love those spammers who leave a comment on every single one of my blogs saying how much they like it and how it resembles their own.  I’m not sure that my recipe blog, word blog, book blog, Exeter blog, Pensby blog and Hebridean blog can all have much in common with anyone else’s single blog but what really amuses me is they don’t leave their blog address.  They have Google+ enabled.  As a result you can’t see their profile or the blog / website address that they are trying to direct you to.  All you get is their Google+ page with a suggestion that if you want to make friends with them you send them a friend request.  Like, I’m that stupid???

Harry Patch

When Partner-who-drinks-tea and I were in Wells in October we saw the grave of Harry Patch.  Harry was the last British Tommy to survive the horror of the trenches of World War I. He died aged 111 in 2009. He never forgot those lost and always made sure to remember lost Germans as well as Allied troops. 

A quote from Harry: “Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims."

Partner-who-loves-tea has had a bad bout of flu and is still nowhere near recovered.  Indeed, in some ways she’s just as bad now as she was a week or more ago.  One of the side-effects of this has been her stopping drinking tea; i.e. tea as we know it – black tea with milk and sugar.  She has transferred her affection to green tea which previously was only an occasional tipple for her.  I don’t count green tea as proper tea and at this rate I may have to think of a new name for my partner…

When do you open your Christmas presents? 

We open ours on Christmas morning but it seems a lot of people do it on Christmas Eve.  I would be interested to know whether you have a particular family time or a national tradition as to when they are opened.

Monday 17 December 2012

The Codex Gigas

The Codex Gigas (English: Giant Book) is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world.  It is also known as the Devil's Bible because of a large illustration of the devil on the inside and the legend surrounding its creation. It is thought to have been created by a  single scribe in the early 13th century in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice in Bohemia (modern Czech Republic).  It contains the Vulgate Bible as well as many historical documents all written in Latin.  During the Thirty Years' War in 1648, the entire collection was taken by the Swedish army as plunder, and now it is preserved at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm, though it is not normally on display.  Just the writing alone, not counting the illustrations, would have taken five years of constant writing to complete.

The codex is bound in a wooden folder covered with leather and ornate metal. At 92 cm (36.2in.) tall, 50 cm (19.7in.) wide and 22 cm (8.6in.) thick it is the largest known medieval manuscript.   Weighing 74.8 kg (165 pounds), Codex Gigas is composed of 310 leaves of parchment allegedly made from the skins of 160 donkeys or perhaps calfskin.  It is thought that there were originally 320 leaves, the missing ones perhaps containing the rules of the Benedictines.

The legend goes that it was written by Herman the Recluse a monk who broke his monastic vows and was sentenced to be walled up alive. In order to forbear this harsh penalty he promised to create in one single night a book to glorify the monastery forever, including all human knowledge. Near midnight he became sure that he could not complete this task alone, so he made a special prayer, not addressed to God but to the fallen angel Lucifer, asking him to help him finish the book in exchange for his soul. The devil completed the manuscript and the monk added the devil's picture out of gratitude for his aid.

The devil's picture seen here in a facsimile of the Codex.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Newtown, Connecticut

I can't really think of any other subject to blog about at the moment. And yet I can't find any words.

So I shall just suggest you visit Tabor and Beth who have found appropriate words for this tragedy.

Thursday 13 December 2012

Mid-week Adventures


We had our first heavy frost that stayed all day yesterday,  12th December. 

Loft Adventures

It will soon be time to get the Christmas decorations down from the loft. It would have been done before now but for the contents of the kitchen being spread about the dining room and conservatory which are the rooms we decorate.  

Last time I went in the loft I was busy sorting stuff when something landed on my back and gave me the shock of my life. Needless to say my reaction was to straighten my back and lift my head.  There isn’t room to do so in the loft.  So the shock was followed by a sharp bang on the head.  I swore, loudly, and tried again to straighten.  That resulted in another bang and the sudden attachment of ten claws to my shoulders.  At least that identified what had landed on my back.  I swore again.  She disappeared into the dark.  I called for Partner-who-loves-tea to assist me.  No point in catching the little blighter if there was no one to hand her down to.  No answer.  I then texted her.  Texting one’s wife from up in the loft!  Ah well, I suppose  modern technology has its uses.  By the time Partner-who-loves-tea appeared at the base of the ladder I had caught the offending moggy and could hand her down to be locked away until I’d finished in the loft.

So now, every time I go in the loft I have to make sure Ivy is locked away first... 

"Who?"  Me?  I'm just enjoying the view..."

"Just two more steps, ít's easy this."

"I know that's how he got in there."

"Curses, foiled again."

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