Category Archives: Uncategorized

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:

I'm part of Post A Week 2013

You know you’re getting old when …

You know that you’re getting old when you have to ask your children’s advice on technology, rather than vice versa.

I’m long out of date on personal computer technology. OK, the basic building blocks remain the same, but who knows which are the best value and most reliable disks, processors, and memory? The younger generation, that’s who!

So grateful thanks to my son, who made up the parts list, then assembled the computer itself for our latest desktop PC. The previous one, which had a wonderful array of SCSI disks, finally expired beyond economic repair.

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This is rather out of time, but I’ve only just downloaded the pictures from earlier in the month. One of our little traditions is to do an annual “bluebell walk” in the woodlands that have been preserved to the north-west of Watford, including the delightfully named Merlin’s Wood.

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King James Bible

We’ve now done our King James Version 400th anniversary Bible readings. It was more fun than we’d imagined. Wednesday was the better day, because the weather was fine and we got a fair few visitors. Here’s Jean getting stuck in to Jeremiah Chapter 51:

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Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Chronicles

Next week, as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations of the King James Bible, St Mary’s Harrow on the Hill is organising a Bible reading. That is, a complete reading of the entire Old and New Testaments.

There will be four people reading at any one time, sufficiently far away from each other not to interfere, in order to get through the whole thing. There will be readers from other churches, and from the local synagogue, too. We couldn’t resist volunteering, of course. We said that we’d be happy to do some of the less popular bits, like Kings or Numbers.

We’ve been allocated a 2 hour slot on Wednesday morning to read the end of Jeremiah and the start of Ezekiel, and a 1 hour slot on Thursday to cover a slab of Chronicles.
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Wed 21 July: Wawa ON to Blind River ON

We finished the Lake Superior part of the ride today, rather to our regret. What a superb road! We rode southwards from Wawa, stopping for a few final photos at Old Woman Bay:

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New blog – the Bikes and the Bees

I thought that I would start a blog to document both our motorcycle tours and our beekeeping activities.  Both very different, I know, but both in their way subject to minor triumphs and disasters which are worth recording and perhaps amusing, and reasonably photogenic.