Amazing fungi 

14 November, 2015

Lots of beautiful toadstools and mushrooms are showing themselves here at the moment. I wish I could find a local ID course.

This is meant to be a grid of pictures, but I have a feeling it isn’t going to come out that way… Crubeens crossed!


Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling)

12 November, 2015

career of evil

I listen to audiobooks at virtually every free moment. Walking Piglet, cooking, out for a run, tidying the house (ha… that doesn’t take long!), driving etc, and very quickly after starting to do so I ran out of the ones I knew I’d enjoy i.e. biographies, autobiographies, old favourite novels and so forth. I therefore had to find something else, and about 3 or 4 years ago I began to listen to thrillers of various sorts. I found I enjoyed them. Bring on that murder and gore!

Some 2 or 3 years ago I downloaded a book by a new author — Robert Galbraith — and enjoyed it very much. It was The Cookoo’s Calling. Not long afterwards it turned out in the press to have been written by J K Rowling, and I felt very smug to have enjoyed it before I’d known that it was written by the Harry Potter author :) Heh…

I know I enjoyed the second in the series too — The Silkworm — but I’ve just finished the third: Career of Evil. I listen to a lot of books (as I’ve mentioned…) but it’s quite some time since I found myself regretting the impending conclusion before I was even half way through the book. This was one of those occasions, though.

I’d highly recommend this to anybody who doesn’t mind a bit of blood and guts, and relishes suspense and a tightly woven story that keeps you guessing right up to the end. Brilliant!

I now feel bereft, of course, and I hope it won’t be an awfully long time before the fourth comes out. Go and get it :)

Raichle boots — worth re-soling?

1 November, 2015

broken boot

Hi peeps.

I have a nice pair of Raichle boots. The uppers fit perfectly, but the soles were always very slippery and I wouldn’t have bought another pair. I’ve not worn them for prolly 8 years or so, since I stopped wearing leather boots. I bought them because they were just stiff enough to take a crampon. I wore them today, though, because I’m currently without decent footwear. My Inov-8s have given up the ghost and the little Salomon trail shoes I’ve been wearing recently for walking from home don’t really do the job on soaking wet days in sopping wet fields full of cow poo/on slippery surfaces.

I therefore dug out the Raichles because Piglet insisted on a walk, and for the first hour or so I was delighted to be walking in such comfy boots and keeping my feet warm and dry. Lovely :)

Shortly after that, though, I noticed an odd flappy feeling to the heel of my right foot, and when I stopped to look I saw that the heel had come away. Presumably something rubbery had perished during the boots’ long sojourn up in the attic. Twenty mins later the same thing happened to the other boot. Uh-oh…

I’ve Googled boot repair, because the uppers were so very comfy. My feet aren’t quite the same size, but both feet were cozy today with no toe bashing/need to crumple up the toes of my slightly longer right foot. Nor were either of my feet swishing around in too large a space. Everything felt very secure.

It sounds from what I’ve read as though re-soling often isn’t successful, resulting in an upper that no longer fits well.

Has anyone had a good experience? If so, can you recommend a repairer?

Alternatively, can somebody please suggest a nice, light, ideally non-leather and non-membranous boot? I did have a look at Salomon boots online this morning (in the past Salomons have seemed to fit my feet well), but they all seem to have a Gore-tex membrane, which I’ve never really felt was a very good idea. More Googling seems to suggest that maybe Raichle no longer make boots.

I’d like something grippy, if at all possible. The sort of thing I can wear for walking Piglet on wet, slippery wintery days in low-lying fields, but can also wear with confidence up in the Lakes or over in the Dales.

Suggestions welcome :)

Mi and Pho — Manchester

20 October, 2015

Unusually, I spent the day in Manchester today. I knew I’d be finished with my commitments by early afternoon and so I decided to try to find somewhere truly yummy to have a late lunch. The availability of truly scrummy food is one of the few things I miss, now that I’ve moved to a tiny village in the heart of farming country. It’s a fair swap, but still… I do miss it!

I was very tempted by the prospect of dim sum at the Yang Sing, where I’ve happily pigged out many times in the past, but I’ve recently watched a lot of very happy-looking people eating/making pho (– apparently pronounced ‘fur’ without the ‘r’ –) on YouTube, and so I decided to go Vietnamese instead. Yum :)

TripAdvisor currently ranks Mi and Pho as ‘2 of 1,852 restaurants in Manchester’, so I decided to go for it. Unfortunately, it’s almost 20 years since I lived in Manchester, and so I’d forgotten that Palatine Road goes on for a loooooong way… My anticipated £5 taxi fare therefore turned into £17.50 including tip, but I reminded myself that a brief jaunt round the food hall in M&S would have inflicted much more damage and tried not to fret :)

I eventually arrived at the restaurant and shot in, in case some speedier diner might grab the only remaining table. I immediately saw a sign indicating cash only, though, and so I shot out again even more quickly than I’d entered and made a strategic visit to the cash machine next door. It was working. Phew!

Newly cash-rich, I re-entered the restaurant and bagged a table. Even at 2.30pm it was fairly busy, and so it was with a sigh of relief that I sat down. Exciting!

The staff are friendly, and quickly came over to say hello and proffer a menu. It was at that point that I think I made a fundamental error.

Upon reflection, the whole point of pho is that it’s made with a rich beefy, boney stock that has simmered for hours. Since I’ve recently given up meat I decided to go for the prawn pho rather than the beef, which is what I really wanted. The soup I received was good, but I think there’s a limit to what can be done with prawns in the production of stock, and so it wasn’t quite the unctuous concoction that I’d been hoping for. My fault, I think, rather than theirs. And major kudos to the restaurant for clearly using different stocks, based on the customers’ choice of main ingredient.

Summer Rolls - Prawn

Summer rolls – Prawn

Pho -- Prawn

Pho – Prawn

I enjoyed my lunch, but I think I’d have enjoyed it more if my choices had played to the restaurant’s strengths rather than having being constrained by my conscience.

It also turned out that it takes more than 50 minutes to get back to what used to be G-mex from Northenden, and so I spent the next 49 minutes in a state of increasing anxiety at the prospect of missing the coach home. I eventually jumped out and grabbed a second taxi, and managed to arrive with approximately 6.517 seconds to spare. Phew!

My lunch –with a glass of home-made lemonade– cost just over £10, which was great value. Taxis and buses to and from Northenden came to approximately £27. Oops… I’d have been able to eat my way through quite a substantial part of the Yang Sing’s dim sum menu for the cost of the transport alone, but I know I’d have regretted not having tried out something new and exciting.

In summary, then, I’d very much recommend Mi and Pho, but I suggest that you should allow them to provide you with what they do best, which prolly isn’t a conscience-stricken semi-veggie’s version of the fantastic Vietnamese cuisine :)

Les barricades mystérieuses, Francois Couperin — Gorgeous!

21 June, 2015

Francois Couperin

Watching The Tree of Life just now I had to stop and dash upstairs to the computer, to identify this beautiful music. Just gorgeous!

And a slightly too fast (IMO) version, but what amazing playing!

Back to the fiLm now :)

Happy times to all current Challengers

20 May, 2015

Such happy memories of my last Challenge! Would love the chance to do it again :)

So! Does this still work?

15 May, 2015

ZOMG… another week from Hell!

But muzicks almost always brings us through, if we give it a chance! Me, anways. :)

I’m sure this is already here somewhere, but it’s so close to my heart that I’m posting it again. I love it, and remember being unable to afford to buy it back in the 70s when I was a sprog at skool and singles cost 50p but I only got 10p a week pocket money, so I just had to run through it in my mind as I was jogging to the train station to get home. And now I can just look it up on YouTube and listen to it any time I like! And it still brings such a huge smile to my face :)

This always happens. Friday night, YouTube musicks search madness. Multiple editing of an earlier blog posting.


Here’s another one from the same time. I was in love with the physics teacher, Mr Goley, though, and so actually saved up my 10p’s in order to be able to buy this for him. I wrapped it up lovingly and secreted it in the physics and chemistry lab for him. My friend Moira Finn helped by keeping watch. Thank you, Moira :) Since I’m now in my 50s (*faints*) he must now be absolutely ANCIENT!!!! But I can still see him walking jauntily along the bottom corridor, and remember him bathed in a cloud of lovely Aramis :)

This got to Number 1, but for some reason they didn’t play it at the end of Top of the Pops. Never quite got to the bottom of that! Must have been something political going on, as Number 1 was always played at the end of the show. Since I didn’t have my own copy, having given it away, I was outraged, and wrote to the BBC to complain. They didn’t reply. Hmmm…

And here’s the later version from Babe. Couldn’t believe it when I switched on the DVD (ok, so prolly it was a video) and one of my fave tuneZ of all time came on! Turned out to be the Best FiLm Evah! Maaaaa…. xxx

BFN :)


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