2 December 2012

Good morning to you all on a cold, cold, frosty morning. The rain and flooding from last week are still much in evidence in various parts of the country but we’re almost dried out in our area. There is one stretch of my morning walk with Molly – the railway cutting just beyond the recreation ground – which is still impassable which causes her great consternation every morning. She starts off down the cutting every morning and I have to call her back explaining that we will be in big trouble if we come home from the morning walk covered in mud – the afternoon walk generates enough mud to keep us busy.

FloodingAlthough most of the real flooding has occurred elsewhere in the country, we did have our own little spot of drama the other day on the road which passes the reservoir (for those of you who know it). On Wednesday afternoon we took Molly to the reservoir for her afternoon walk and, as we approached the parking area, we noticed some traffic cones and a helpful police sign indicating that the road was flooded. And, indeed it was, to a depth of a couple of feet, I would guess. As we walked across the section of the reservoir closest to the flooded road we noticed (a) a Land Rover Discovery and (b) a large white van approaching the flooded area from opposite directions. The Land Rover, you will be surprised to learn, went through the flood like a boat; the van got about half way through the flood before it stalled. The driver of the van saw us watching and, somewhat sheepishly, announced that “it wasn’t this deep this morning!” Fortunately for him, the Land Rover stopped, attached a tow rope and dragged him back to dry land.

Stuck Van in FloodThen, on Thursday afternoon we spied another white van in the same spot – stuck (the photo at the right, taken with my phone – click for a larger version). No driver to sheepishly admit his foolishness this time – the van was abandoned. What is it about drivers of white vans?

And, while we are on the subject of flooding, I was amused to read in the Guardian on Friday that the government has, rather sheepishly (I’m liking the word “sheepishly” this morning), been obliged to restore some funding to the flood prevention programme which they cut on taking office. At the time there was much criticism of the decision and warnings that failing to maintain spending on flood defence would prove counter-productive.

The agency points out that every £1 spent on flood defences saves £8 in avoiding future damage.

What’s that expression – a stitch in time saves nine (or, in this case, eight)?

Thanks to all of you who sent “Happy Anniversary” wishes last week. We had a wonderful day and enjoyed a lovely meal at the Inn at Farnborough in celebration. And “yes”, after forty years we are still talking to one another.

Several little items caught my eye over the past couple of weeks which I’ve not had an opportunity to share yet. Firstly, a nice little video on the BBC web site about the work of an early 20th century photographer named Edward Curtis who tried to capture on film the last remaining American Indian tribes before their lifestyle disappeared completely. If you are interested in native American Indians there are lots of great photos in the clip.

Native American

Secondly, the world’s longest chocolate structure – a 112 foot long, 1250 kg chocolate railway train which looks fabulous. It’s on display at the Brussels South railway station if you’re in the vicinity. If not, the video will have to suffice.

Thirdly, another selection of daft supermarket deals similar to those we featured last year about this same time. These include the usual collection of “bigger value packs” which are, in fact, more expensive than multiple smaller packs and other “deals.” My favourite – the flowers “reduced” in price from €3.50 to €3.90. Be sure to check the link to the right of the photos which includes a further twelve examples including the Sainsbury’s crusty rolls at 40p each or two for £1.00.

And finally, our very best wishes to Dad for a speedy recovery from his “walking” pneumonia – does it get better if you just sit down?

And finally, finally, this from Adrian Raeside and The Other Coast – I’m thinking of nominating Molly for this position. She is extraordinarily accurate with all her timings.

Atomic Time Keeping

Love to you all,



One thought on “2 December 2012”

  1. Dear Greg and Penny,
    A belated Happy Wedding anniversary to you two. To still be talking to each other after 40 years is an accomplishment!
    I learn a lot from your blogs. Never heard of Edwin Curtis, the photographer of American culture. I have been interested for years in American Indian culture. I went to Canyon du Chen in Arizona for an Elderhostel week run by the Navaho Indians and their present day efforts to preserve remnants of their way of life. Among many things, I heard about and met a “Code Talker”. A secret code, never broken by the Japanese during WW2 was developed by the Navaho, in their language. Code Talkers would be dropped in before an invasion, or in the first wave, establish radio contact and give coded information on the enemy for plane bombings or ship bombardment of Japanese positions. Their work was essential for the US winning against the Japanese.
    Today’s problems; too much rain, flooding, your happy anniversary and Robert Sr’s walking pneumonia is enough to deal with at present. Love, Bunny W.

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