Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cobb barbeque for camping

I’m not sure whether this latest purchase is going to be a good idea or not. Indeed I’d never heard of the Cobb barbeque until I read an enthusiastic recommendation from a fellow motorcyclist on The Rev Counter.

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The Sixteen: Handel’s Jephtha

We went to this wonderful concert last month, a Christmas present from one of our children:


I’m not going to attempt a critical review. My musical knowledge isn’t up to it. Suffice it to say that I must admit that at the start I was thinking, “Gosh, this looks awfully long”. In the final part I was thinking sadly, “Ah. It’s finishing soon. If only it were longer – I’d love another hour of this!”

Harry Christophers is a genius. If you get a chance to hear The Sixteen live, do it. We certainly shall.

We’ve had enough cold calls

On Friday, we finally decided we’d had enough. Fridays seem to be the worst, but every day we’re pestered with unwanted telephone calls. It’s a common story, I know. But now we’ve got this …


It’s a trueCall call screener, and it’s a class act. Programmable to block or accept all sorts of different calls, it’ll take messages and record calls. Best of all, it tells spammers, scammers, survey monkeys, and ambulance chasers, “We’re not interested in your call – please hang up now and don’t call us again!” That is, of course if their CRM software hasn’t already cut the call when it detected an answerphone. Deeply satisfying.

Caravan Course

To give our confidence a boost, we went on an introductory caravan driving course, organised by the Caravan Club. It was fantastic. There were a few lecture classes, but in all honesty we’d both read the book that had been sent out with the course papers, and the talks didn’t add much.

The glory of the course was the practical work, tackled in groups of three. We started with the simplest of all manoeuvres, driving forward, and allowing enough room around a slalom course.

Caravan Course 005a

But soon we were adjusting mirrors before starting the dreaded reversing.

Caravan course 001a

We were shown how to put little telltales on the caravan to help with reversing and to avoid jack-knifing. Then plenty of practice, with one person driving, one person acting as banksman, and one person observing

Caravan course 002a

We were shown how to get out of trouble if you went too wide, or cut it too fine:

Caravan course 003a

We practised shuffling the van in order to move it a metre to the right or left. We reversed nearside to the curb, and offside to the curb.

We left on day two more than happy that we wouldn’t disgrace ourselves. Thank you Dave at Appletree Driving!


We’ve got away with it for a long time, but finally one of the many local urban foxes found its way in to the smaller run. It was housing two cockerels belonging to a friend.

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Integrating the flocks

We’ve been maintaining two small flocks of birds for a while, corresponding to our two hatches of eggs early in the season. The first batch turned out to be 3 boys and 5 girls. We chose the best looking (in terms of Ixworth standards) of the cockerels, and culled the other two. The flock became known as “the allotment chickens”, because they were transferred to the allotment first, leaving “the garden chickens” behind for the time being. The garden chickens consisted of 2 cockerels and 4 hens.

We’ve now got just one big happy family.

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Happy New Year

From both of us, and of course from the chickens. I’ve rather neglected the blog over the Christmas period, partly because in these dark days not much is very photogenic. So I have a New Year Resolution:

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