5°C, wind rain & cold. Dammit.

Two years ago, the days reached 19°C with some consistency. Today, outside looks like one of those awful holidays in Wales- cold rain driven by winds that shake trees as if they think they’re at some sporting event.

There is a grim looking pile of marking that has to be done. What fun will today bring?


7°C, it’s clear out there for now

With all the to-ing & fro-ing I have walked some blobs of dirty oil paste onto the stair carpet. It’s best to get these things when they are fresh, before any drying happens. So, to soften the stuff, use some water-soluble de-greaser (like Jizer) then wash the carpet with Stardrops to get the de-greaser out. I’m delighted to announce that it worked. So thrilled was I that I attacked a similar stain in the back bedroom which must have been there for a year.
Now may carpets have ultra-clean patches. So another job unwittingly adds itself to the list. Clean the carpets in the summer once it gets hot. How satisfying, see…

It reminds me of a story from University where the house we rented had a carpet in the kitchen. Stupid place for a carpet, true, but we had to clean it to get our deposit back in the summer of 1985. With various scrubbing brushes, including a nail brush, we did it & got the money.


4°C, clear. Showers later.

I can hear a rumbling above. the deep-throated rumble of hot air out the jetpipes of an airliner. So, with a novelty website to check what aircraft it is- Planefinder, I see nothing on the computer screen. Oh dear, not as good as suggested.

Later: there is supposed ot be one overhead now- from Manchester to Heathrow flying at 18,000 ft. It’s clear sky above & I see nothing up there. It’s obviously a stealth-airliner!
Erm, unless there is a delay and the website is a few minutes late. Ah, yes, that’ll be the reason.
You can get apps for phones that do the same thing. So get one for your smartphone and wonder around with your phone looking upwards worrying about where the missing planes are.

Lime green

8°C, grey after a blue start.

I have painted the top landing in this house. It’s a complicated shape on that landing with lime green on the sides and a paler green on the end and ceiling. It looks great from below (which is painted a wheat-cream colour). But if you go up there, the colour bleed from surface to surface makes the whole space a Stygian abyss. You feel as if you are drowning in the deep & briny.

I may change my mind tomorrow, or maybe have the urge to over-paint some of it. There are some good ranges of classic paints to choose from. These are more like the Farrow & Ball ranges- more chalky flat matts with gentle colours that give a more contemplative mood to a room. Crown do a “period flat” which has attractive colours, but the surface is not washable  so can’t be used in some places.

I hope I wake to the feeling that it works anyway. Even so, it’s a good problem to have.

Panic on the streets

8°C, grey with a little rain.

I went for a bit of panic petrol buying yesterday. When I got to the Panic Station, there was only one car before me. Perhaps I have missed a window of opportunity all the drivers who have already panic bought a tank of petrol will have run it near dry just in time for the coming tankers’ strike. Now, why would they do that?

Charming stop-frame video:

We tried to do this at work with year 7s. They didn’t really get the idea, but at least they made a video of some sort.

To be doing?

-2C~? Clear

I know language is an organic thing that evolves over the decades. But there is a trend that doesn’t rest easily with me, the prevalence of the passive present continuous voice. It’s everywhere and sounds so weak and excessively wordy. One day, not too far in the future you’ll hear this:

Will you be taking this man, to be having and to be holding…?

Yuk! Sometimes this form is necessary but more often it’s clumsy , wordy and just glaringly ugly.