26 November 2023

Another perfectly reasonable and acceptable week – what are the chances of that? It’s still pretty wet although it hasn’t been lashing it down this week so there’s that to be grateful for. It’s continued “unseasonably warm” but the weather people are saying that’s going to end any day now. Indeed, it’s been so “unseasonably warm” that I had to drag the lawn mower out of hibernation and give the lawns yet another short, back and sides. This is crazy! We should not be needing to mow lawns in late November!

Whilst mowing the lawns I realised the extent of the mole infestation we’ve been enduring over recent weeks/months. We’ve always had moles (or a mole – Penny tells me they are solitary animals) at the top of the garden, in the orchard, and I did explain to them/him/her that as long as they stayed up there, out of the way, I wouldn’t bother them. But, come down and start destroying the “croquet” lawn and there will be questions to answer. Now that he/she/they have trespassed on to and commenced to digging up the “croquet” lawn, I have a dilemma. On the one hand, I love that our garden is a wildlife haven and that we attract a variety of little furry animals. On the other hand, I did love the fact that if we so wanted, we could play a game of croquet on the main lawn. Not so much now – I fear the balls could easily disappear down a mole hole. So, what’s your view? Do I set a lethal trap? Do I set a humane trap? Do I let him/her/them dig up the lawn to their heart’s content? Hmm.

Thank you to those of you who voted in the “Which pie should Greg try next?” referendum. A wide range of suggestions but the BBQ Beef, Bacon & Cheese and the Chicken and Chorizo just pipped the others. I will let you know which one I try and what I think of it in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, I have continued my training for a place on the Olympics Eating for England team. We were out to dinner with some of our lovely neighbours on Thursday, Penny had one of her fellow primary school readers to lunch on Friday so that required a splendid meal and then that same evening we were out to the Moreton Pinkney Garden Club annual dinner across the road at the Village Hall. Then, as we were still hungry the following day, we went out to dinner on Saturday to the Plough Inn at Everdon. The fact that it was our 51st wedding anniversary was a mere coincidence.

And, as it was our wedding anniversary yesterday, that gives me the excuse to post this historical/hysterical photo of a lovely autumn afternoon at the Eddy’s farm in Connecticut again.

God knows what we were thinking!

You Could Not Make It Up? The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. Clearly, you can make it up as you go along as the Tories continue to demonstrate. The tax “cuts” he announced overwhelmingly favour the richest 20% of the population and will be paid for by cuts in public services. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I recently finished reading Hanging Charley Flinn and can heartily recommend it to those of you interested in the “wild west.” It’s “the short and violent life of the boldest criminal in frontier California” and is written by Matt Bernstein, brother of Ben’s wife Brex-Anna. It’s his second book (he previously published George Hearst: Silver King of the Gilded Age) and I found it very interesting, a vertiable page-turner. While Flinn wasn’t perhaps an outlaw on the scale of Jesse James or Butch or Sundance, he certainly led a “colourful” and exciting life. He was an accomplished pickpocket and burglar who, at one point during his short career, also raided the Santa Cruz Treasury. He was active in the San Franciso, Sacramento and northern California areas and settled for a time in Healdsburg at about the same time my great-great-grandfather migrated to Healdsburg from Minnesota. Exciting times!

I ran across an article in the Guardian this week about a range of exercise “fads” over the ages. I was particularly impressed with the Horse Action Saddle as endorsed by H.R.H. the Princess of Wales!

Meanwhile, keep happy, keep smiling, keep exercising, be good, be careful, and keep safe. And be gentle to wasps and bees.

Lots of love to you all,


3 thoughts on “26 November 2023”

  1. Re. your ‘dilemma’:

    Moles – completely harmless, unless you happen to be an insect, grub, slug, worm, or other garden ‘pest’. Don’t eat bulbs or plants. Actually aerate the soil by their industrious tunneling, so v/good for your lawn and other garden areas. Their little hills, out of which mountains are often made, can easily be raked over and, voila! the grass will grow again.

    Lawns – an obsession of upper class Brits, eventually trickling down to infect those in the middle and lowers and, in my not so humble opinion, a waste of garden space.

    Croquet – French, adopted by same upper class Brits and could, in fact, be rendered somewhat less boring by the introduction of rules requiring the circumnavigation of said molehills!

    Hmm…..moles versus croquet? Perhaps ask the moles, whose skin in this debate is clearly significant.

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