Friday, 21 March 2014

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good

A couple of weeks ago, Nancy in Charlotte left a comment about Primula eliator – Oxslip – which she has planted and is hoping will be happy in her neck of the woods. We both hope this works for you, Nancy, as it is a lovely plant and just as quintessentially English as its cousin, Cowslip, as is demonstrated by this quote from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglatine.”

Cowslip or Primula vulgaris

I’m not sure which musk-rose Shakespeare had in mind but I assume not the Rosa moschata (which I understand is a native of the Himalayas and unlikely to be common in England in the late 1500’s) although he would probably recognise Rosa rubinosa as his Eglatine. Any thoughts, Nancy?

The Bad

Anyway, enough of that. We have moved. That part wasn’t too bad but having arrived we started to hit the usual IT problems that seem to beset us whenever we do anything unusual on the computer front. This time, of course, it was a transfer from one ISP to another and so I called in a chap called Richard Bravo to help us out. In the old days I would probably have struggled on until I found some sort of resolution but life is too short so I thought we needed a bit of proper expertise for once. I’m glad I did as I would not have solved this one. It seems that the house is so built that the wi-fi signal from the hub cannot penetrate properly into my study. This is, as I have now learned, easily solved: use the house ring main as an ethernet connection. There, now you know (but my guess is that it will mean as little to you as it does to me).

Meanwhile, I have been having problems with my PC which has been infected by various odd programmes I don’t want which has slowed it up to the point where some things are quite painful. Richard took it away and carried out some clever first aid and all seems to be well again.

The grass covered car – again. 
These pictures were sent to me by Ros Foreman with the following comment. “Photos attached of another artificial grass covered car taken during the Iford Butterfly day event in 2012. It was parked in a field being used as a car park and was almost camouflaged against the real grass.”

The Ugly

Another Richard, with the help of Nick and Dean, moved us. These guys are not beautiful but they’re wonderful which, in the circumstances, is far more important.

Moving can be extremely stressful but this trio made it pretty much stress-free. We were so lucky with the weather. It was wonderfully sunny but the fine spell broke on Thursday so the “window” was quite short. Anyway, all the boxes are now unpacked in the house even though there is still a fair bit to be done in the office. That doesn't really matter, all the urgent and important stuff is to hand and the rest can be done gradually over a couple of months.

The main downside this time is that I have put on weight. This is because we have been spoiling ourselves and eating out (mainly in The Cott Inn) most lunchtimes. Time to cut down.

Taken at lunchtime to-day: one of the hanging baskets now adorning the walls of the old Cott Inn.

We do not know what this chap is called. He was wandering around Totnes market with a lead over his shoulder but I couldn’t work out to whom he belonged. He was obviously on very friendly terms with a number of people, traders and customers, but clearly none of these were his owner. In the end, I ran out of time (or, to be more accurate, the parking ticket on the car had) so he has remained nameless.  
And finally, I promised a photograph of a carver chair.