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Zooming OR how to be sociable and busy when going out isn’t convenient

This blog is the first of mine with no illustrations. After a year of using virtual meetings I doubt very much whether anyone needs to see screen-shots of how to schedule a zoom meeting or yet another screenful of participants’ faces in their individual rectangles. I first heard of zoom in April 2020 when a […]

Using our coppiced hazel

We have a hazel between the shed and the compost. Normally it is a large bushy plant as it has been coppiced at least twice in its lifetime. This year I coppiced it again. The rather unusual picture below was taken one summer to show the morning glory climbing the tomato plant!  As you can […]

The Backs in Spring

In Cambridge there is a line of beautiful college buildings that have their main entrances (facing east) along streets in the centre of the city. At the back of these colleges (on their west sides) are gardens and open spaces that slope gently down to the river Cam. An area, accessible to the public, of […]

How to make Hot Cross Buns

First find the recipe – last used a year ago and very old. It involves making bun dough first and at that point the spices go in (which I forgot one year and had to add later). Assemble ingredients and weigh out the flour, adding dried yeast (unlike the recipe which says fresh yeast), salt […]

Improving the terrace

In summer and autumn 2020 our gazebo sat on the terrace just outside the conservatory doors and was a great success, astonishingly. But it covered several, admittedly rather poor quality, flower beds, so a month or two ago we decided it was time to plan some improvements to boost the overall quality of the area. […]

Books that I have read during 10 months of lockdown

I normally read quite a lot, mainly fiction, whether on kindle or hard copy. I am a member of a monthly book group which keeps me supplied with titles that I would not necessarily have chosen myself which is interesting. Otherwise I read favourite authors and books that come my way via recommendation. Friends quite […]

Advent Wreath

A few years ago I signed up for a course at a local church on making an advent wreath. It was brilliant. We started from scratch with a bale of straw from which to pull handfuls that we steadily twisted and bound (with wire) into a ring about 30 cms in diameter. The next step […]

Making Mince Pies

Mince pies are wonderful in November. We often start making and eating them then as the weeks around Christmas are overloaded with other traditional (and substantial) food. This year Christmas has started really early with lights in people’s gardens, prolific online present buying and other jolly activities which are all part of cheering things up […]

‘The Glass Room’

A novel by Simon Mawer I belong to a book group that meets once a month. We take turns to choose and present a book and my name came up soon after lockdown, for the May 2020 meeting. The book I chose was Simon Mawer’s ‘The Glass Room’ that I first read, and very much […]

Double glazing throughout

Regrettably for years our 1930s house did not keep us as warm as it should. So we have steadily made improvements. We had a loft conversion 16 years ago that involved a new properly insulated roof and double glazed veluxes, so that was a start. After some thought we decided not to do anything to […]

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