Last night dinner preparations were delayed while we stood ( suitably wrapped up ) in the garden with a glass of champagne watching Jupiter and Saturn shining low in the western sky. They sparkle like diamonds. As an encore the northern lights also make an appearance. An unusual occurrence this far south. It seems they're showing up thanks to a particularly fierce solar storm.
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Monday, February 27, 2023
By six thirty the beach has perhaps a dozen people on it. A couple of arthritic labradors, a Chow and a hyper active furry mutt are all greeted by Sophie. She is slowly but surely coming to terms with the fact that there's a world of dogs out there and seems to be rather enjoying this belated discovery.
Sunday, February 26, 2023
Anyone planning a trip to London had better go soon. There's the Easter rush, then Biden is planning a state visit and of course come May there's the coronation. Angus planned to go down for his annual doctors check-up in late April. He's now going in mid-March when a) he can get a room and b) the room doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
Sophie has had a major muzzle trim. Two inches of fur off her jowls. An inch off her beard. The hair on the tip of her ears cut back so that she is less prone to picking up detritus on our walk along the foreshore. Now she appears merely shaggy rather than unkempt. The look she gives me as she's loaded into the back of the car tells you what she thinks about being trimmed.
Saturday, February 25, 2023
The first glimmer of peace talks in Ukraine and the quiet wooing of delegates by Trumps re-election team are the topics of conversation this morning. One of the Manhattanites comes out with the interesting fact that in 2021 road fatalities were the second leading cause of death among Americans under 45 - ahead of Covid or gun violence.
Friday, February 24, 2023
The sheep have been moved from their pen down by the estuary. The sheep may have gone but their 'scents' linger. Our morning walk is interrupted as my shaggy companion rolls on her back in grass infused with 'parfum de mouton '.
The fun of twitter is often in the replies ( although these days the replies seem to be interspersed with ads and blue ticks you didn't ask to see ) :https://twitter.com/AgathaChocolats/status/1628220574198599688
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Lots of activity out at sea this morning. The local news says that some Russian naval vessels have been seen 'snooping' around the wind farms off the Dutch and Scottish coasts. Sophie is up and in a talkative mood as she hears some jet fighters heading off over the coast with their afterburners on.
Yesterday was busy. The bookcases are put in. Then, the one on the left is taken out. There is 'snagging ' to be done. The joiners fear they will be with us for a third day but somehow they manage to get all their work done by the time they leave. The electricians who had been asked to come and take down the old wall mounted picture lights don't show up. The joiners decide to do the electrical work themselves. Sophie is unhappy with the more senior of the two joiners. He has once again appeared without biscuits. She makes her disappointment clear by ignoring him and looking imploringly at the other.
Overkill or exclusivity? There are now 24 Michelin starred restaurants around DC . https://washington.org/dc-guide-to/michelin-guide-dining-washington-dc
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
The joiners arrived at seven thirty and finished at four. They will be back this morning to finish off the installation of the book cases. The younger joiner brought biscuits. Sophie adores him. The elder didn't. He is ignored.
The gardeners were an hour late. The two gentlemen who finally show up are exceedingly cheerful retirees in matching lime green weather wear. They set up their company four years ago and now have fourteen employees. Demand for their services is robust. We use them at the house we let out in town. If it wasn't for the fact that we were one of their first customers we would have to wait three months for an appointment. It seems that people want a garden but they don't want to maintain it themselves. They describe this as the 'look don't touch' approach to yard work.
It's been an exceptionally mild start to the year but it's still too cold and windy for Sophie to safely have a full on trim. I'm guessing things will have warmed up enough for three inches of fur to come off by mid-April.
Last night we dined, virtually, in Clayton GA . 'The Font' cooks while Angus opens and pours the wine and reads out what's on offer. Imagined choices are made. We started doing this during the pandemic and have carried on as it's an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend that pre-dinner hour between seven and eight. Menus have certainly moved on from the days when Angus was a student. It's also a surprise to discover that Georgia now produces wine :https://www.fortifyclayton.com/fortifymain/dinner-menu/
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Monday, February 20, 2023
How remarkable to see the American President walking through Kyiv while air raid sirens sound. I'm not sure what that signals but it's a brave thing for anyone to do https://twitter.com/ZelenskyyUa/status/1627631915263004672
On our morning walk we meet the secretary of the local council. She is out walking her two Jack Russells. They have been joined on their walk by a third Jack Russell which belongs to the couple in the cottage facing the village hall. I've never seen or met these people as they have old newspapers piled up in their windows. The three Jack Russells greet Sophie then rush off in pursuit of some crows. Someone has chained a bike to the bus stop. It's been there since Friday night. The secretary of the local council says the police aren't interested. This, Angus thinks to himself, is not really surprising. 'It's an orange mountain bike' she adds. A red metallic Vauxhall Corsa has been parked blocking the track that leads to the turnip field. It has also been there since Friday. 'Joy riders' says the secretary of the local council with a vehemence that implies blocking the track to the turnip field is a miscreants dream.
After that our Monday morning is quiet ...
With technology dogs will need to find new excuses :https://video.nest.com/clip/3db4b191f107447b8625e2587f973456.mp4
This is a great idea for the Scottish winter :https://careomax.com/en/landing/discover-careomax-heathero-heating-jacket/
Sunday, February 19, 2023
Sophie heads off to the waters edge at something approaching a sprint. The PONette has a philosophy that says enjoying life is something that must be taken seriously.
Saturday, February 18, 2023
There's a strong wind this morning - a constant 50 mph pounding with gusts of up to 70. The window frames shudder under the onslaught. When I come downstairs and open the curtains Sophie can be found sprawled out on the floor. I know she's awake because her tail is gently swishing from side to side. The family diva takes the executive decision to sleep on for another ten minutes. The rug is soft, the room is warm and important decisions can wait until such time as breakfast is ready. Even the worlds greatest guard dog is allowed to cut herself a little slack.
So starts a Saturday morning with a Polish Lowland Sheepdog lady who is determined to enjoy every moment of her day. A trip into town for a coffee and a bacon roll now awaits. Angus has an eight am rendezvous with the barbers.
Every evening, over a glass of wine, we print out a menu and dine virtually. This is a habit we got into during the pandemic and still maintain. This menu has something called Pigeons in Pimlico. It's apparently an 18th century dish. https://mountstrestaurant.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/DINNER-MOUNT-ST-MAIN-MENU-3-FEB.pdf How many diners would know what it is ?