Archive for February, 2010


Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I’m off to London tomorrow, and very much looking forward to seeing something other than snowy fields. Life has been utterly dominated by weather for more than three months, and it’s getting very wearing. As the Professor was saying this morning, it’s the having to think about it ALL THE TIME. A gay […]

PS to previous blog

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Colman no.2 has appeared, so I think we’ve just lost Mrs Black. But the cats are looking a bit desperate. Their chubby, bearlike proportions are induced by short legs and lots of fur, and I wonder how much cat there is underneath.

Cat News

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

There are changes in the cat world. We haven’t seen Mrs Black for about a fortnight, and we haven’t seen one of the Colmans for three or four days, so we are coming to the sad conclusion that this brutal weather has been too much for them and they have frozen to death. None of […]

Antiquarians’ Rot

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

The aftermath of viva-ing the Northern Gentleman was having the externals for the week end. No hardship, since they are cultivated and interesting characters: this morning, after a leisurely breakfast-cum-dissection of aspects of the Reformation, we took them off to visit our local castle, which is a grim fortalice which has been subjected to occasional […]

White Smoke

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Those who know and care about the Northern Gentleman might like to know that as of about midday, he is now a Doctor of Philosophy. He appeared for examination in a very cool linen suit, looking considerably more elegant than anyone else involved in the enterprise, and proceeded to display both cool and sang-froid to […]

Weather again

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

I went into Aberdeen today, exams business. It was iron-hard frost this morning, about three below by 10 am, having clearly been much colder during the night. I dealt with my administration, filled a bag with library books, and put myself on a 2 o’clock bus, simply because the Prof is once more poorly and […]

Tolerable Gravel

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Tolerable gravel is a phrase which occurs within both the letters and the novels of Jane Austen. Clearly, people knew what it meant at the time, and I think I do too. Upper-class women’s shoes were thin soled with glue-stiffened fabric uppers, but with tolerable (thick enough, well drained) gravel, ladies could walk on ‘the […]


Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Last night, there was a horrible coughing in the back kitchen, not unfamiliar. The boiler again, making a pitiful, consumptive, ‘Doctor, will I ever dance again?’ sort of noise. Resignedly, we called our brilliant plumber, only to discover that he has gone offshore. An accumulation of people not paying bills, which in my view is […]

Fingers Crossed (again)

Monday, February 8th, 2010

This has been the first day of a new venture in help with the garden. We’re not sure what to make of this chap; but it may simply be that he is shy. Not unknown among rural types. He has done an excellent first day’s work, and he is clearly keen to do more. […]


Sunday, February 7th, 2010

The snowdrops are out in increasing numbers, and very welcome they are too. But it’s always nice to see the first flowering bulb that isn’t a snowdrop, especially since the snow only melted a couple of days ago. I’m therefore delighted to report that there is a small but real clump of purple crocus on […]


Thursday, February 4th, 2010

We now have a gleaming new cooker. It was delivered without fuss, despite the snow, when promised; when the delivery man was misled by his SatNav and sent to the grain-store (this happens) he rang up for instructions. The Cooker Whisperer turned up within an hour of the van’s departure, and fitted it. Also, it […]

Some things are just annoying

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

According to NASA, who ought to know, ‘It has been established that 2009 was the second warmest in the global record and the warmest ever in the southern hemisphere record. In total, average global temperatures have increased by about 0.8°C (1.5°F) since 1880 [according to Nasa GISS figures]’. It’s hard to believe, looking out on […]

Curious moments

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Today’s paper-pushing, student-calming and so forth ended in a curious sort of gig which was entertaining 43 Arab maidens from the Emirates. They have been on some sort of empowerment course in Dundee, and were up for a day’s worth of Aberdeen, where it was, on and off, snowing. We therefore excused them […]