Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I have to admit that I have spent a few leisurely days since my return from Colchester. Some walking... very slowly when I take the pooch out; pottering around the garden and catching up on old TV programmes on you tube (The Duchess of Duke Street). I currently have a fascination with late Victorian and Edwardian history and society. I had planned a blog on the refugee / migrant / exodus currently exciting the media but I believe I will leave that to others. Suffice it to say I am avoiding twitter, main stream media particularly the BBC and the more excitable political blogs. I can feel compassion for those displaced by wars but it remains telling that the majority of the migrants at the gates of Vienna and flocking to Western Europe are young males from countries other than Syria. Better to fund good support closer to Syria or to bring in families from those camps but... Back to my above stated fascination with a picture of Lillie Langtry...

I am pleased with the garden despite my less than assiduous attention to it this summer. Several cucumbers, raspberries, lots of jalapeƱo chillies, garlic, herbs and a lot of tomatoes. The latter are still predominantly green although I have picked a few juicy red 'uns. My plans for next year include the removal of a willow tree which, although I like it, is taking over a large part of the garden. I can clear a space for the green house / shed which has taken my fancy although the prices for them hasn't!

                                (Picture courtesy of this company )

An alternative for our small garden is a potting shed such as this one:

Being realistic I shan't be buying one until next year as paying off the mortgage remains my number one priority. I can however plan a proper retirement to include the garden, a measure of self sufficiency including brewing, etc... My delightful neighbours have supplied some delicious apples and blackberries this past week so fresh home grown fruits galore! 

Friday, September 04, 2015

Refreshed and revitalised following my return from Essex and the inevitable traffic jams we encountered on our way home. No.1 had the guided tour of Colchester as we enjoyed the sunshine and dodged the heavy showers. The weather was more akin to April rather than September but enjoyable all the same. The family are all doing well although my brother is again looking for employment. He quit his last job after the change over to a zero hours contract matched its name and provided him with zero hours employment. When he was offered any work he found on arrival that he wasn't required and he was sent home. After three weeks of this nonsense he told them to stick it and he eventually signed on for a training course via the job centre. His description of this whole escapade leads me to an inevitable conclusion: either the managers of such schemes are fond of Kafka or they are clueless, useless numpties who are not employable in any other industry. He has completed the course but the several weeks wait after applying for certification without which he cannot work and still no sign of the paperwork... Rather than press a few keys and press print I believe they have commissioned Anatolian monks in an obscure monastery in the Caucasus to produce the certificates from rare lamb skins, gold leaf and squid inks when the moon is at its fullest at the autumnal equinox. 

No.1 enjoyed Colchester and he expressed an interest in eventually moving south and away from Grimsby. He likes London too and the lure of the bright lights and better prospects means he will inevitably move on. We passed through one small village as we drove slowly behind a hearse and discovered the whole village turned out in their Sunday best for the funeral at the church. This prompted a discussion between No.1 and me about the young leaving towns and villages for better opportunities when he'd identified the mourners as predominately elderly. I suggested that for the elderly, gardening, chatting with friends and watching the world go by is quite a pleasant way to live life. Naturally he disagreed referring to such a lifestyle as boring and dismissed my statement that 23 years ago I had the same beliefs. 
After the driving and a lot of walking I have decided to put my feet up today and enjoy watching the world go by. On our way home we'd stopped at Beers of Europe from whom I bought several bottles of Belgian beer and tonight I shall indulge myself by sampling some of them.