Cash in hand

26°C, Sun, little wind.

It’s morally wrong: BBC. Spot the stupid assumptions-

  1. Cash paid to a builder is not declared for tax purposes.
  2. house-holders have a responsibility for the way tradesmen handle their tax affairs.

It’s okay though, politicians can make such declarations because they are experts on immoral behavior. This isn’t going to go down well, phrases like “people who live in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones” spring to mind. I suppose it’s true that I am drawn into grumbling about the social demons policiticians and bankers. Grumbling is a bad thing and has the danger of becoming a habit. Let’s leave it there.


English: Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator). F...

English: Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator).

28°C, crisp bright sun. CR:30miles

Emperor Dragonfly: strange fluttering near the kitchen sink earlier. Strange because I was sure the tap was off properly, then I saw it. A huge bejewelled pre-historic creature, caught up with its biplane wings on the window sill. Its body was decorated with malachite and metallic patches, then at the head- huge compound eyes. Huge and iridescent, the head had no space for anything else, the eyes were wrapped all round. It seemed wrong that a few pieces of cob-web hung from its tail.

I caught it in a sandwich box, the usual plastic cup was far too small. Within seconds, it was free. A magical encounter.

Cycling: only 30 miles, but I put the hammer down. Even so, I’m not as fit as I used to be- only 16.7 mph average. But still, it was fun & no real hay-fever until the evening. A very fine day.

Life in pot

15°C, rain

Three months of rain would suggest that summer is as good as cancelled this year. All that water has driven the garden wild, it’s a jungle out there. I have some work to do this weekend with the nearest thing I have to a machete.

It’s no normal summer when a little 5″ pot can stay wet without once drying out. Such conditions seem to suit the curious little guys who live in there.

After work each day, I visit their pot to see how they are doing. This picture shows today, they are taking form. Last week they were barely more than the little bits left over when you have rubbed out a pencil mistake. If you waggle your finger in the water they scurry back down to the silty layer that has collected at the bottom.

Starting from the day we break up for summer, the sun has promised it will put in a sustained appearance. I must make sure their little world remains habitable for the charming little dudes. Presumably, they must be larvae for some flying insect. Let’s see this through.


16°C, rain

Three months of rain. The met-office say it’s the Jetstream running unusually far south this summer. Normally it flows north west of Scotland and sends to occasional storm down the northern approaches. This year it’s overhead. For those who don’t know, I ought to explain what this Jetstream is- think of a giant hosepipe in the stratosphere that is gushing water over our little island archipelago.
An image worthy of an animated visualisation don’t you think.

Waiting for them

15°C, rain

In biggin Dale yesterday. I was on station to wait for the DofEers who might make a wrong turn and walk off the map. Two groups were supposed to come by and I would sure see them while reading my book (Murakami 1Q84). Sometimes I snoozed, sometimes I sneezed and sometimes got up for a walkabout.

They never came. Was I generous to give them five hours before moving? It certainly qualifies as a a blissful day- becoming buried in a book that grew in my mind. Would that I could write so well.


20°C, light summer clouds. CK:30 miles

I am poisoned. I think it was triggered by contact with Ivy. It causes a reaction that takes a few days to reach full rage. I have furious itching on my hands, especially on the webbing between fingers. On advice from the NHS, tried an anti-histamine. The cure was worse than the illness. Saturday I spent the day with the feeling you get in the days after a cold- detached, listless and fuzzy headed. Hydro-cortisone seemed to reduce the irritation, but it still took nearly a week.