Archive for January, 2010

Cargo Cult

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Tonight’s menu included baked potatoes. I was just about to get them out of the oven when the door came off in my hand. Did I curse and blaspheme …? No: for that 1) the little buggers were, by that point, cooked, and 2), far more importantly, I ordered a new cooker three days ago, […]

I May Be Some Time

Friday, January 29th, 2010

As the fates would have it, I was scheduled to do my turn at invigilating this afternoon from three to five. All very well, since I am not prone to donning my ruby slippers of a Friday, except that last night we had more snow. Not in vast amounts, at least as far as the […]

So Near And Yet So Far

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

In the course of pootling about with Google, as one does, the Professor came across the records of the Scottish Parliament, and in particular an Act of 1700 in which William II (i.e. WilliamandMary) confirmed the possessions of the Earl of Errol. These included ‘the lands and barony of Delgatie, with the corn and […]

Oranges are (sometimes) the only fruit

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

When we went to the farm-shop the other day, rejoicing in our newfound freedom to leave the house, we found that Seville oranges had come into season. I have just made quite a lot of marmalade, a process which, as usual, lent new shades and depth to my understanding of the word ’sticky’. Marmalade is […]

A man’s a man for a’ that

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

We had a jolly evening yesterday: our friend who supports a quietly vehement passion for the literature of the Scottish Enlightenment on the proceeds of a small but real railroad in New England was visiting the University, and we all had dinner with the Boss. We’d arranged some time previously that when this fixture took […]

Bored Now

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Our wicked friend the Papyrologist used to change the subject ruthlessly when he’d had enough of a topic by saying ‘Bored now. I spy with my little eye something beginning with — S’. Answer, Sky. Or if we were in a car, it might be, R, and Road. The rule was, the answer had to […]

Mysteries of the night

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

It is quarter to twelve and I have just been out with Miss Kit. As Barnyards predicted, the water has gone right down, the dam is still a dam, the path is no longer a river, and so forth. But as we wandered about in the pitch dark under a clear black sky strewn with […]

Acqua Alta

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

We woke up to our own little local version of Venice’s recurrent nuisance. All that snow, prompted by rising temperatures and quite a bit of rain, came off the hill in the course of about twelve hours. In past melts, we’ve had water lapping at the edge of the track: this time the track […]

Getting back to normal

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

We rang Keith the Plumber, who told the Professor about a valve on the boiler which was there to let air out — it took several goes but in the middle of the morning we were finally rewarded by the thing firing up. Also, most of the snow came off the roof in the […]

Winter Fuel

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

With the kind help of Miss T’s parents we once again have fuel, acquired in 20 litre drums and poured into the tank. Between us we put I think six drums in last night, which proved not to be enough to push the airlocks out of the system. We found this morning that those saints […]

Little Drip

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Son of Big Chief Running Water, according to an ancient joke first recorded on the walls of King Tut’s Tomb or thereabouts. You might think, though, that if it’s minus ten or less at night and below freezing during the day, water coming through the ceiling would not be the complication you first thought of. […]

The good news and the bad news

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Well, the good news is that if Barnyards ploughs the back drive for us, the oil tanker will be able to reach us, probably. The bad news is that having lost a tractor in a snowdrift (no, really) he can’t do it till Monday, though he has managed to get round his cattle, I’m pleased […]

Oh, and just to add that special touch

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

The Professor had arranged to come back here today with the friends he has been staying with in Edinburgh. I could not have been more pleased, but have spent the day having forty fits about getting them in — and getting said friends out tomorrow morning, since they have come up in order to […]

This is getting boring

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

We had another six inches of snow in the course of the day: it’s up to the top of the wellies and anything but entertaining. Miss Best Friend is still okay with it, and forges about like a small black tank. Miss Kit has to be carried to the end of the garden, and when […]

Great Escape, sort of

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The Professor and Dr Biswell left yesterday morning for Manchester: Dr B absolutely has to get back to work, and the Prof had people he wanted to see. The idea was to get as far as Edinburgh last night and go on today — the Edinburgh bit worked fine, but by this morning the […]

Winter Festivals

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

I dunno. You wait for an hour then three come along at once. We have been necessarily reliant on our own company for the last fortnight. Yesterday Our Man in Luxembourg, who spent Christmas in Macduff with his lady mother, grew abruptly sick of staring out at the weather, took the country bus down […]


Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

We are getting rather fed up with the Met Office. In the last few days, we have been offered apocalypse of your choice. Heavy snow (it landed on Newcastle); gale force winds; sleet, more snow, etc. Actually, it hasn’t been doing very much. We have come to the conclusion that the forecast is […]

Happy New Year

Friday, January 1st, 2010

You will doubtless be amazed that surrounded as we are by acres of snow and ice, we have failed to go anywhere or do anything more exciting than make up the fire. I asked Dr Biswell if he would like any gastronomic marker of the occasion (I don’t do dessert in the general way […]