Back on 12 December last year, we had a spectacular rainbow out behind the house — so clear it felt you could reach out and touch it. Here’s a photo of it that I took on my phone, completely unedited:
That’s all: just something beautiful for these dark times.
I recently learned that Pink Floyd played a gig in my home town, a little under a year before I was born (on 12th March 1968):
It’s a strange thought. I am 52 years old. Pink Floyd are even older. For the princely sum of nine shillings and sixpence, I could have seen them play less than a mile from the house where I grew up, if only I’d had the foresight to be born twenty years earlier.
Do you have unmetered Internet access?
Do you have a nearby neighbour with either metered or no Internet access?
Give them your wireless password for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. (You can change it later, to lock them out when the crisis has subsided.)
At this time, access to the Internet is literally a lifesaver. Not only that: with video calls the only human interaction some people have, lots of data is a lifesaver. A connection limited to some number of Gbits per month is not going to cut it.
My eldest son, Daniel, just turned 22. Sushi is his favourite food, but of course we couldn’t take him to a restaurant during the Coronavirus crisis — and even in peacetime, the nearest good sushi restaurant to us is 67 miles away in Solihull. So I prepared his birthday meal.
Here, I am making the last of the nigiri — mostly salmon, some tuna. In the middle of the plate is a roll of my own invention, inspired by Peking duck pancakes in Chinese restaurants. It’s shredded chicken, sliced spring onions, hoi sin sauce and avocado. It was a big hit.
I’m fond of the old WWII slogan Keep Calm and Carry On. It’s not just that it captures something appealingly British (yes, there are still appealing aspects to the stereotypically British character), it’s that in most circumstances it’s such excellent advice.
These are not most circumstances.
Our family was away from 24th-31st July, cruising in a boat on the Norfolk Broads. In fact, we were in this specific boat, “Glistening Light”:
During that week, my middle son Matthew had a burst of creative energy, and wrote and recorded an EP of five instrumental tracks (six if you count the very short track “(edited)”), which he titled Head in the Clouds. It’s very sunny, optimistic and quirky.
We’re fortunate to have a lot of green space out the back of our house — it came about because we moved out of London to rural Gloucestershire, and the prices of property vary wildly between the two places. There’s about an acre all told — some of it garden, some of it largely unused field.
When we moved in, there were basically no trees on the land at all (see above, taken from the top floor of the house in November 2005, a few months after we arrived.)
Late last year, I spotted a treble clef, growing naturally, in the wisteria on the front of our house:
On the 13th of last month, having just got back from a fattening week in the USA, I weighed myself after my morning shower, and registered 105.4 kg. Today is the 13th, exactly one month on, and I weighed in at 99.0 kg. That’s a loss of 6.4 kb, which is almost exactly 14 pounds or, as the England have it, one stone.
Here’s how it was done:
(That’s just a single spicy crab roll in the photo, by the way: I cut it into twelve narrow slices instead of the traditional eight thicker slices.)