5 April 2015

Good morning. Very pleased to report that Penelope has largely recovered from her “low-level” flu-like symptoms of last week. I am less pleased to report, however, that I have been dealing with the fallout as I spent some of the week feeling somewhat less than excellent. Still, I reckon I escaped with considerably less discomfort and inconvenience than she.

We enjoyed a lovely day and “over-nighter” with Annabelle  on Monday. Nick and Lucy were off to London for a grand day out which culminated in the Interstellar Live Concert at the Albert Hall. They had a great time and so did we!

We moved to Daylight “Savings” Time (or British Summer Time, if you please) last weekend. As you know, I have not been a great believer in the idiocy that is daylight savings time. There is, as far as I can see, no logical reason for arbitrarily altering one’s clocks.

Daylight Savings Time

However, it’s now clear to me that I have been mistaken all these years and Daylight Savings Time is an absolutely brilliant method for generating extra hours of daylight, not to mention the unintended beneficial consequences for all mankind.

Why have I changed my mind?

As many of you know, our Molly, as she descends into outright dementia, has become an early-morning barker. Most mornings at about 6.00 am she decides it’s time for everyone to be up and answering to her beck and call. So, she barks.

On Monday, after the clocks had changed, she didn’t bark until about 7.00 am!! What a miracle – an extra hour of sleep and an extra hour of daylight saved!

After last week’s sourdough “disaster” it is a relief to be able to report that this week’s effort was very good. In fact, it was just about excellent! Sharp sour taste with sufficient largish bubbles and a delightful chewy texture and crunchy crust. So, now that I’ve cracked the sourdough challenge, what shall I try next? Any and all suggestions welcome.


I wrote about the family party Ms Playchute organised last week. I neglected, however, to mention that there were, amongst the mayhem, a few quieter moments when Annabelle read Grandma and Teddy a story.

Annabelle Reading to Grandma and Teddy

We had some high winds one night in the week which I slept through quite soundly, of course. Ms Playchute heard it and it brought down a large elm tree just up the road from us as well as dismantling part of our fence. So, I got to spend much of Friday in the misting cold clearing up the mess and repairing the fence. Normally, I would have been able to delay undertaking this task for weeks or at least until the sun was shining. When it comes to selling your house though I guess you don’t want to show off too much debris and devastation. There’s been some interest so, whatever it is you’ve been doing with your fingers and toes, keep doing it.

I had an “interesting” e-mail from sister Sallie in the week. All it said was, “Stopped in a bakery and thought of you” and it was accompanied by the following photo.

Hot Sauce

I cannot imagine what it was that made her think of me?

I saw this selection of photographs in the Guardian – The best of Weegee’s New York street photography – and thought they were terrific. Great light in some of these.


And finally, our heartiest congratulations to our favourite International Diplomat Jordan Ryan who has just been named Vice President for Peace Programs at the Carter Center in Atlanta. What is it about those hot, humid environments he seems to love?

Love to you all,