Archives for 2020

Ice Tray

Through the ice

The ice tray

Big sky on the way home

Big sky walking home

Relecting Meadows

Thames Reflecting

Castle Meadows reflected in the flood waters.



What was Tony Lane is again damp this year.

Painting Cows

When it was dry the cows munched contentedly there. If you look closely you can see Fay sketching them whilst chatting to M-A the farmer.

Student Fridge

Student Fridge

A shelf for beer. A shelf for not-beer.




Not sure who the little elf-like character is.

Mud Run

Wittenham Clumps

F & F decided to walk Ewok & Yogi at Little Wittenham. I thought it would be nice to run home. I didn't really budget on the fact that the rest of South Oxfordshire has been walking at the Clumps so the route home was a mud bath.

Two bikes

Two bikes, locked up halfway home. I was curious about the story behind them.

Post-run feet

But my toes were cold so I thought better of waiting around for someone to come back to them so I could ask. Next time I should probably wear proper trainers and not my VFFs.

Either that or knit myself some toe socks.

Ewok Reads Positive News

Ewok reads Positive News

More Water

Wet Wallingford

Wet Wallingford

Wet Wallingford

Yup. Still the water rises. So more water pix.

Lake Gerald

Wet Wallingford

In the 2014 flood little F christened the puddle that emerged half way across the field 'Lake Gerald'. No, we don't know why Gerald either. It looks like it might be on the way back.



The water. It's back

Water is back

It's a bit wet. And the river has noticed. Latest recorded level 4.85m at 9:45am Sunday 27 December 2020.

Cut short our dog walk yesterday to grab the canoe and help a couple of stranded boaters. And their dogs. That's what comes from reading Rutger Bregman in the hot tub in the morning.

Family Chaos Christmas Zoom Quiz

Zoned out on a Zoom Call

"Life is too short" said Yogi as the Christmas Family Zoom Quiz descended further into chaos.

"Wait until the arguments over the count start" replied Ewok "I bet it's only a matter of hours before we start hearing claims that Chavez stole it".

Christmas Portraits

Family Pics

Finn by me.

Family Pics

Family Pics

Fay and Harvey by Finn.

BBQ. In Socks. On Christmas Day.

Christmas over indulgence

Perfectly done H.

Christmas over indulgence

Christmas over indulgence

Exhausting too.

It was the night before COVID Christmas…

Dogs Christmas

Dogs Christmas

Dogs Christmas

Tub Life

Tub life

Is there a theme here?.


The end of corona

The Corona, it's all gone

Settled for the Evening

Settling in for the evening

Settling in for the evening

The boys know how to deal with dark cold evenings.

Ranking Chocolate

Ranking Celebration Chocolates

Ranking Celebration Chocolates

Ranking Celebration Chocolates

Ranking Celebration Chocolates

Day Θ in the Lert Hands Face Space COVID-avoiding house, and we've resorted to ranking chocolates. This series ranks Celebrations. I'm pretty sure there will be more to follow.

If you want to play along at home, print this post, fold down the middle to hide the hands, then ask the players to guess which person ranked which chocolates which way. Hours of family entertainment.

Training Who


Another in the occasional series where we ponder who is training who

This car is electric


Not sure if this will be the car, but the car will be an electric car. Or a bike.

Wood Stack

Log pile

You might think I'm a little mad stacking wood. Even if I'm doing my best to follow the recommendations of the best.

But after the year we've had, I don't blame me. Thanks Boris. World class mate, world class.



F had his first proper lesson today. Drove all the way home too. Very impressive.

I claim credit for all the clutch control exercises I've been setting him along the lane!

The Shortest Day

Shortest Day

Working from the garden on the shortest day of the year. In other years I'd be on a bike longing for lighter evenings.


Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Happy birthday F.

Dog in a basket

Dog in a basket

Ewok sums up how we all feel about this year. I'm going to spend the rest of the day hanging out with the washing in the laundry basket.

H does Yogurt


Yogurt. Two at once. Snack for champions.







Sidmouth with the Devon contingent. Smashing. Bagels were good too. And some very nice photo-walking with A. Super.



It was higher than it looks. Honest.

More sketching



Sketching the view.

Nearly but not 10k

Around Stepper Point

Around Stepper Point

Around Stepper Point

A jog from Padstow over to Trevone-ish and then up and around Stepper Point. Longest run to date, at 9.75km. Brov helpfully pointed to the short cut I took along the low-tide line across the beach & the 250m that cut from the distanace. So close.

More running views are available.

I'm wondering if I run now for the run, or run now for the views.



Parking at Polzeath. Walking was better.

Reading Spot

reading spot

A lovely reading spot to tackle my 積ん読.

Sunrise at Padstow

Sunrise at Padstow

A winter sunrise treat.

Padstow Sunrise ios

(and an iPhone version).

Padstow Rock Ferry

Padstow Rock Ferry from the old boat yard

Reflecting on the Padstow—Rock ferry.

Padstow to Harlyn (and back!) for lunch at The Pig

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

Up early

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

and out with the tide

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

for a walk from Padstow

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

via the rainbow at Trevone

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

to Harlyn (look familiar?)

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

for a drink and some lunch at The Pig. Lovely.

Thanks to Alice for the recommendation; the pink runner for final ½mile directions; the folks at the Pig for a most excellent lunch; and the weather for conspiring to miss us with its worst both on the way there and on the way back.

Padstow to Harlyn for lunch at The Pig

And thanks to the farmer for missing with the muck spreader.




Fay sketching. She is faster than I can snap.

Twenty Three

23 years

Us at 23

Twenty three years of lovely. Lovely.

Padstow Gig Club

Padstow Gig Rowing Club

Padstow gig club out for an early morning row across the river.

Padstow December Night

Padstow December Nights

Back in Padstow for a we're-in-teir-1-but-act-like-tier-2 break.

Padstow December Nights

Padstow December Nights

First time seeing the December lights. Beautiful.

Padstow December Nights

And a sneak peak at the Padstow Bookseller (and Burgers and Fish).



Mum or dad with the kids.

Nearly Frosty Morning

Morning dog walk

Morning dog walk

Morning dog walk

H must hate early morning dog walks like this. Because this is when I spam his snapchat feed with pics. Lots of pics. Sorry H.

Drains. Mostly




Today I have been messing about with drains. Mostly. Well, mostly in between work. Not that messing about with drains isn't work, just not the sort of work I was planning for today. That all changed at 11pm last night when the bath decided to empty itself into the shower. Clever stuff plumbing. It tried that trick back in the summer. I thought I'd fixed it then, but it was just waiting for the perfect moment to spring the mucky drain water into the bathroom experience. All fixed now. Well, I can hope.

Pre-Dinner Snack


I was taking too long cooking dinner (it was a new receipe and I'd missed the cook in the oven for 60mins bit when checking earlier in the day). To keep hungry mouths and rumbling stomachs at bay, some cheese and tomatoes and stuff.

Tidy your room

Tidy your room

Yes, it's a mess. No, it isn't H's mess. Shhhhh! Don't tell him.

Paving. Crazy

That paving is crazy

That paving is crazy!!!

Ghostly Trees

Ghost trees

Early Brita

Brita Granström

Fay's Christmas present. Damsons and Susie Cooper by Brita Granström. It's beautiful.

We usually have a rule to not open pressies until the 25ᵗʰ. But time this year…

(The book is Bird Life of the Seasons edited by Charles A. Hall and published in 1911.)

The sound of fall

This is what the sound of autumn falling leaves looks like

The fog hadn't lifted for two days. Whatever the forecast claimed. Distracted by an unusual noise, I realised I was hearing the sound of autumn leaves falling. This is what the sound looked like.

End of 6k

Way home

6.03km and 3 PRs but brov is still waaaaay ahead of me (and F is still waaaaaaaaaaaaay out of sight).

Does this look comfy?

My pillow

Answers on a post card please.

Footpath, what footpath

Footpath, what footpath

This is the start of footpath 390/8/10 (as designated on the definitive map for Oxfordshire). If you look closely you can see where it stops.

Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sunday

Perfect lazy Sunday. Watching squirrels chasing the rabbits, and checking where they bury the nuts. Our rabbits are very clever, not many can bury nuts whilst being chased by a squirrel.

Ottolenghi's Ragù

Ottolenghi's Ragù. A success :)

First recipe from Ottolenghi. A success. This more veg less meat is going to be fun. Much fun. And flavour. Much flavour.

A Great recommendation from Kevin. :bow:

Imitation 2


Now he's imitating Ewok!

Big Paws Yogi

Big paws Yogi

Wow, big paws Yogi!

"Yes, but I saved you a sock".



Porridge Face

Don't call me porridge face

Don't call me Porridge Face!




I'm not 100% sure how to take this one, but I'm going to go with "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".

(But, who is imitating who‽)

Ghost Run

Ghost house on Shillingford Hill

Between cooking dinner and an evening work call an after dark run to Shillingford and back. The big house on Shillingford hill appeared to float in the sky above the silent swift running Thames.

Benson Weir fades to oblivion

And the jog over the weir was positively spooky lit only by a head torch. Good for getting the pulse running, especially as my pace was sooooo sloooooow (I blame the mud, lot's of mud).



Yes, it took me ages to arrange the clouds just like that. Ages, absolutely ages.

Wet Dogs

Wet dog

Wet, very wet.

Autumn Colour Fall Color

Fall colour Autumn color

Apparaently, these colou(u)rs stand out. Who knew?

Walking in the rain at the Clumps

The Clumps

The Clumps

The Clumps

Mabli's puppy classes were cancelled. Maybe because of the weather. The news didn't put us off walking at The Clumps, although it probably should have.

Ewok said "Next time I'll stay in the car". Dogs these days.

Expanding Books


Every month a book drops through the letter box from the lovely @wallingfordbook.

Every month I think "there's no way I'd ever pick that" and every month (so far!) the book has been a delight.

Expanding my comfort zone :)


Autumn Fields

The cows are strip-grazing1 along the lower meadows. If you look really closely (or zoom in a looooooooot) you can glimpse the pod.

Autumn Fields

They're keeping the lonely tree company.

Benson Lock

Benson Lock

In lock down #1 the water inside the lock was crystal clear. No traffic to stir up the sendiment. It would make a decent outdoor pool!

Benson Lock

I've never noticed the lamppost before. There's something potter-esque about it.

Benson Memorial


Walking past the memorial on the way back from the dentist.


I tried to get the green plants in front of the cross to 'pop' in Lightroom, and only later realised how beautiful they were in blue and white.

The Weir

The Weir

Weir II

Running, err shoes‽

Morning run

Home Office Views

Home Office Views

Home Office Views

Home Office Views

Three views from around the office. One day I may get round to painting. Any recommendations for the colo(u)r?

F and E

Finn & Ewok

F and Ewok. Fay thought the better angle was from the floor. I blame the glass of red with dinner. Ewok was a tad confused.

Emergency Stop


"When I hit the dashboard with my clipboard I'd like you to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop as quickly and safely as possible."

Are we lost?

"Alternatively, just keep driving and we'll see where we end up"

Remembrance Flight

Remembrance Flight

Remembrance flight. Don't forget.

> First they came for the Communists > And I did not speak out > Because I was not a Communist

> Then they came for the Socialists > And I did not speak out > Because I was not a Socialist

> Then they came for the trade unionists > And I did not speak out > Because I was not a trade unionist

> Then they came for the Jews > And I did not speak out > Because I was not a Jew

> Then they came for me > And there was no one left > To speak out for me

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984).

> The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

J.F.K, 1961 (attr. Edmund Burke).


Path into infinity

The mad sky morning in monochrome.

Mad Sky Walk

Mad sky morning walk

Mad sky morning walk

Mad sky morning walk

Mad sky morning walk

The sky for the morning dog-stroll was amazing. F thought it was worth two thumbs.


Two dogs a sleeping

There are levels on the sofa. The boys know their place(s).

Frost and Flowers

Frosty Flowers

Frosty Flowers

Frost this morning. It might mean the end of the cut flowers.

Muddy Walks

Path to bleakness

A muddy morning walk with Mr Ewok and Mr Yogi.


Mr Yogi was not impressed.

Between the rain

Even when the sky cleared and some brightness peaked out.

Woodland Walk

Morning Fields


A morning with mist and sun and atmosphere. Would have been a nice morning to try and get the view from the clumps, but I think the lie in is preferable.

Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point

Stocking Up

Stocking up

With lockdown #2 looming, the senior branch of the family lost no time in checking and restocking supplies. There's enough pasta here for {insert political statement about school dinners at halfterm here}.


Fay & Les

Brightwell Footpath

Brightwell hill-ish

The footpath from Brightwell. A gentle run back from the garden centre with VFFs.

Christmas, too soon?

Too soon?

It was the Sunday before lockdown, and all round the house, the family was stiring, "what about a tree?" they didn't shout.

Still, just in case.

River Stour

River Stour

The River Stour at Stirminster Marshall. A post-pub lunch stroll with K&M and the lovely hounds.



F ready for a Halloween Party. Small gathering is probably a better description than party. It's six afterall.



We're shopping as if H was still at home. We're collecting a large-ish stock of eggs. Lots of eggs.

Widget gadget holder thingy

Widget gadget holder thingy

For seven months of COVID I've been using this widget thingy for the complex multi-household shopping extravaganza.

Yesterday I figured out that the trolley has a holder widget for the barcode scanner gadget.

I'm getting somewhere. Slowly.

The fence

The fence

Autumn Coming

Turning trees

Colours are turning.

Taking back control


Earlier today, the UK government department for international trade announced:

> The bakers used a lot of soya sauce in the first challenge on #GBBO, so it's a good thing it will be made cheaper thanks to our trade deal with Japan

Setting aside that they probably meant Soy not Soya sauce, many folks pointed out that a) there is currently 0% tarrifs on imports of Soy sauce from Japan, so a trade deal with Japan won't decrease the price, and b) most of the soy sauce sold in the UK is manufactured in the EU: the Netherlands, Poland and Wales.

Of all the Brext snafu's this is hardly the hill to die on. But, it's good to know "we've taken back control". Hope folks who wanted that end up happy with what they get.



"Yogi, I think F is trying to copy your coat with his new jeans." said Ewok.

"You mean to tell me that they're meant to look like that?" replied Yogi.

"Yes, it's called fashion."

After lunch

After lunch coffee views

After lunch, coffee and views.

More Rainbows


Rainbows. More rainbows.

Sun, rain and shadows

Rain, sun and shadows

The second door

New doors

After H removed them and granddad helped (or did we help granddad?) replace the first, today was the day to replace the second. And we did.



The boundary. Highway to garden.

It was meant to be the garden, but shutter lag.

Benson Heron

The Thames at Benson Weir

There's another Heron. Or maybe it's the same one. F wasn't around to spot this one.

Window Frame

Window framed

Another in the sporadic series.

Week End

Evening light

Yes, it is the week end.



Politics essay. Or maybe history. But probably not media.

Dog Life

Ewok's Chair

Ewok's Chair



Field Shapes

The field

Someone's been here, creating shapes in the earth.

Mice, the evidence

Sandwich machine

I found evidence of mice in the kitchen this morning. The evidence was very similar to the evidence for similar mice when we stayed at Dorothy's place in France sometime in the year 2000. It's amazing what happens when the rest of the house is asleep.


Three all

3-3. Two from F, including an amazing space-creating fake that left two defenders sliding to block a shot that wasn't there. Some lovely play to watch. Some nice sideline (distanced) socialising too. Could have done without the running commentary from the opposition manager, but I managed to tune it out after a while.

Lovely Fay


Wallingford Bridge

Waiting for the green at Wallingford Bridge

Has anyone else noticed that the lights at Wallingford Bridge are always red? Even early in the morning when the sun is struggling.

Walking the dogs. Again?


Days like this when we both want to walk the dogs in the morning. Funny that. Ewok's advice was to make the most of it.

London. Again.


London. The third trip since March. Probably the last until next year.

A beautiful Autumn morning for a ride through the city, from Paddington to Shoreditch House. But things were very quiet. Whether the backstreets around the British Museum.


Or the lack of the usual (pre-COVID) traffic queue from Chancery Lance to Holborn Viaduct.


Or Shoreditch High Street at the A1202. All quiet.

And yes, you can see where I used to work in that last picture. I nearly popped in to say 'Hello', but there was nobody there.

Boys Chill



Ewok fell asleep sitting up on the bench.

Yogi tried to fall asleep with his chin on the bench. A different bench.

Couch to 5.97km

Running Landscape

Running Landscape

Running Landscape

5.97km in 37m 32s (which is <drumroll> </drumroll> 6.06 minutes per km) ± whatever imprecision there is with free-Strave-on-iPhone. That's an improvement from week 3 back in May. It's almost as if I'm starting to enjoy it.

And, it's probably worth all the effort just for the running views. There's quite a collection of them!


Why did't you walk down and up the garden for 31m at the end to make it 6k? Finn

The Barn at Hardcourt


Path to the barn

If you1 have money (£5.45) and either young children or older relatives then the place to be on a sunny Autumn Sunday was Hardcourt Arboretum (part of Oxford Botanic).

The barn

I was promised a Gnome workshop. I was disappointed until I realised there was one accompanying me.

  1. Bonus points if, despite the COVID signs, you also don't know how far 2 metres is. 

The doors

Measure once cut twice

Ewok, falling asleep on the sofa, as Granddad explains for the eleventyeth time how to "Measure once, cut twice".

Or was it "Measure twice, cut once"?

Whatever it was, it worked pretty finely.


Sky space field

Some thinking space for mental health day.

Carnage in Colour

Hedgerow thinned

The hedgerow thinned. Looks different in colour.

Thames Water

Water Main

In the space where there was once a hedgerow there is a sign for a water main.

Ewok and Yogi

Yogi & Ewok


Cleared hedgerow. No wildlife highway here.

There was a hedgerow here. It was a highway for wildlife. It's gone. Tidy, but gone.

Relevant Linescapes: Remapping and Reconnecting Britain's Fragmented Wildlife by Hugh Warwick.

Here's how the hedge was before.




Beautiful rainbows.

Thames Path Spill

Thames washing the Thames path

The Thames spilling onto the Thames Path to say hello. Hello!



Can you find it?

Commuter Coffee

First commuter coffee since March (at Cholsey Coffee Stop).

I've been missing my commuter coffee from Lesley at Cholsey station, but she's now at Wallingford Station1 each weekday. W00t! So this morning I extended my morning commute from a walk halfway down the garden to a ride to Wallingford and back. lovely.

  1. Wait, what‽ Wallingford has a station‽ 



Yes, it's been a tad damp.

Running skyscapes

Running skyscapes

Running skyscapes

A fitting way to celebrate finishing Born to Run (thanks Sean!), my first 30 minute run. Evs.

Door. Mat

Door mat

Ewok was impressed with the new door mat. Either that, or he was waiting for my back to turn before tucking into the cardboard.

October in the Garden

October in the garden

October in the garden

October in the garden

October. It's not May.

Blue Shoes


They are shoes. And they are blue.

Sunday Lunch

Sunday Roast

Lazy Wet Sundays

Lazy wet Sundays

Fay and Yogi. Chilling on a lazy wet Sunday. Demonstrating how to behave "Fearlessly with common sense." Whatever the $%&! that means.



Storm Alex blew the table tennis table over on Friday. Leaving us with a wet and miserable Saturday in which to hunker down. We lit the stove early and treated ourselves to a take-away curry [1]. Looks like more of the same today.

[1] After first checking that locked-down H had manage to secure some essential supplies.

The Lookout


Ewok. Looking out for squirrels and rabbits. Unfortunately, they have more sense than to be out and about in this weather.

Another Day Out in London

Paddington. Platform 1. 0840 on a Friday rush hour.

Paddington. Hammersmith & City Line. 0845 on a Friday morning rush hour. Covid.

Another day out in London. The second in five months. That's a little less than the four-times a week I was averaging. The trains were quiet. Paddington too. And the bike?

Paddington, five months later. Still there.

Still there. Just a little dusty. I brought it home for some TLC.

Waiting For Tea

Ewok waited patiently for the tea.

Ewok, waiting patiently for a swig of my leftover cuppa. Who could possibly say no?

Shoes. With fingers.

New shoes. I'd blame Born to Run, except I got my first pair of these before that book was published.

New shoes. I'd blame Born to Run, except I got my first pair of these before that book was published.

Just like the first pair, these are unpopular.


Ewok keeping me company

Ewok snuck in to keep me company today. Snug.

The Thames at Wallingford

River Thames at Wallingford

Football-related injury at the weekend, so dropped F at sixth form and then walked the dogs at the other end of town. Variation.

A Castle Meadow Morning

Castle Meadows

Game Day


Mabli Visiting


Ewok. Proud of his lump

Mabli came to visit. The boys were very well behaved.


Back f22

H's new digs. Very similar to the last digs. Probably won't be as much fun as last year, but after six months stuck with us I don't think that matters!

Do you have everything


This morning's discussion: do you have everything? That's, of course, everything.

Leaving for Uni

Leaving for uni

Leaving for uni

Heading to uni. Again.

Window Frame

Window frame

Another in the occasional series.





Technology. Stuff that doesn't work right yet. Which is why low tech rules.

Tree in the Copse

Copse tree

The Copse. It's made of trees.

Winter, it's coming

First of the autumn leaves

Up for an early call and then a walk with the dogs. Overnight nature had decided to send a reminder that the seasons are changing. The first of the autumn leaves are down. Winter is coming. But then winter is always, always, coming.



Starting things new with folks spread all over the world. Everyone is 2D now.

The Doors

Removing Doors

Removing Doors

H does the doors. There's now more space and more light with them removed. But. The dogs now have freedom to roam. Didn't think that one through did we!

5k with F

Running the loop

Third 5k ever. That's ever ever, and the second with F. This time he'd recovered from whatever football-related injury he was carrying, upped the pace by an extra 1m30s per km, and left me back in the metaphorical dust.

I say that it was an injury, but it might have been slow-dad-sympathy.

The View From The Pod

View from the pod

Sat in the pod admiring the view and getting distracted from the work I should be doing.

Kissing the horizon

Kissing the horizon

Sunrise is getting later, but still beautiful. As was yesterday.

A grey day view

Grey Monday

After a week of mornings each blessed with a lovely sunrise today was grey. There's beauty in that there gloom.

Watching the Game

Watching the game

September sun. Perfect conditions for watching youth football. Enjoy it now before spectating in the wind, rain and sleet that we'll have to endure before Lockdown II.

3-0 up. 4-3 down. 4-4 final score. The right result. Bonus: a stonking left footed curving shot from outside the area, into the top corner of the net from F. Well played all.

Freecycling Bar Stools

Three ikea bar stools

Three Ikea bar stools have been with us since flat pack heaven. The last 10 years they've been in the shed, but now they have a new freecycled home. Nice one F.

A Walk at Christmas Common

Somewhere near Christmas Common

The woods

A catch up, lunch and a walk at Christmas Common, with the lovely H&D.

I have a feeling this is a prelude to something we've seen before. Wow, that was six months ago.


Path home

Sky on the evening walk.

Sunset panoramic

Worth a panorama. It's been a while.

Castle Meadows Evening Stroll

Castle Meadows Evening

Castle Meadows Evening

A lovely evening stroll with F, Ewok and Yogi around the Castle Meadows. The whole world felt like it was getting ready for bed.

For some reason I had Halide set to computational photography depth mode, so the DoF effect is very overdone!

Pod at dusk

Pod at dusk

Online Tutor

Tutor chat remote

F's college transition session was with a tutor via a video call. Not quite the on-campus experience he was hoping for.

Team Tea Mug

Team tea mug

Cooking Audience

Cooking with an audience

Activities for Not-Quite-Lockdown. Cooking with an audience. 10/10 mate, 10/10.

Morning Dog Walk Views

Morning dog walker's sky view

The sky put on a very VERY good show for this morning's perambulation.



The boys were most impressed.

morning autumn


Clear nights and crisp mornings. Memories of a previous September.

Watching a pod grow

Garden room construction

Garden room construction

Pod progress

Pod progress



Jon built an awesome pod for us in the garden. Sparks by Tom. Network by me. Views by God. It's the work from garden plan for the winter. Brrrrrrrr.

Me and my shadow

Me and my shadow

£&#*?! Moles

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The Scythe



I borrowed Doug's Austrian scythe for an overdue cut of the wild flower meadow.

I learnt there's a reason people get "farm fit". Yogi & Ewok learnt to get "jump clear of an out of control swinging razor-sharp blade fit".

Welcome Mabli

Welcome Mabli

Welcome Mabli

Welcome Mabli

Welcome Mabli

Welcome Mabli. Welsh for loveable. Well named Mabli, well named.

Stadium Views

Stadium View

Another Sunday, another stadium view. This time the main pitch at Wallingford Town in the social-distance enforced stands. Football in the sun with decent coffee [1]. Pitch perfect.

[1] Home brewed, of course.

Sunrise for the lonely tree

Sunrise along the riverbank

Early morning stroll to catch the sun rising for the lonely tree.

Misty Morning

Path, just, to nowhere

Mist in the valley


Autumn is on the way. It's dark in the morning again. Clear, cold nights and mist in the morning. Heading down the field the path disappeared to nowhere. But along the bank it cleared… until the next patch rolled along.

Photographing Photography

Photographing photography

Yes, this one is a bit meta. But, there was a warning.

The Yogi Stare

The Yogi Stare

Perfected over years. This is the Yogi stare. It's effective.

River Bank Picnic

Picnic spot

A bit more than a year later we headed up river for a stretch and a picnic. Tranquil. We should do this more often.

Wood Store

Wood store

The boys helped D&S stock up ahead of the nights drawing in.



A new spot to work from

New spot to work

This thing appears to be going on a bit longer than most folks expected. So some commute $€¥£ diverted into a pod space place in the garden.

Impatient Ewok

Ewok moved in before the plaster was dry

The plaster was only just dry, but Ewok had moved in with his chair.

First Day

First Day

First day

Just back from a first (orientation) day. Time for a few days off to recover!

Enough Already

Enough of lock down

Yes. We've had enough.

Good Morning

Good Morning

Warming Up

Warming Up



There is something to be said for lounging on the river bank, watching random strangers navigate a gentle waterway in punts.

There is something to be said for lounging in a punt, watching random strangers on the riverbank waiting for you to fall in.


Botanic II

Oxford Botanical Gardens

Oxford Botanical Gardens

Oxford Botanical Gardens

A COVID compliant afternoon at the botanic. As lovely and beautiful as the last and first time we visited.

Oxford Botanical Gardens

Overheard near here:"It's a shame they've been too busy to keep this bit tidy, it's all so overgrown!"

A night out in a quiet Oxford

Night out in quiet Oxford

Masks on for a bus ride into Oxford.

Night out in quiet Oxford

A walk the long way past the castle to...

Jam factory Oxford

...the Jam Factory for the best dinner out in ages. The food was tell-your-friends-fantastic.

Night out in quiet Oxford

Night out in quiet Oxford

Night out in quiet Oxford

Followed by a post-dinner sight-seeing tour of the city at night.

Night out in quiet Oxford

The view from the hotel is, well let's say it's not shabby. And Oxford is lovely right now, with loads of traffic-excluded socially-distanced spaces to explore.

Running Views

There's a footpath there somewhere

A post appeared next to the footpath

Running views. The fields are ploughed, so the footpath is rough. In places some kind of inspection cylinders have appeared.



The Waterfront had a queue longer than the waterfront. Genius idea from Fay — picnic along the river instead. Grub from M&S at the garage. But OMG, cars! Number 18 was cute though.

First Game

Wallingford v. Wallingford

Wallingford v. Wallingford. First post-Covid game. Wallingford won.

People Parking

People parking on pavements

People parking on pavements

People parking on pavements

People parking on pavements

I went for a run. Some of it in the road. Because.

Theatre. Outdoors!

Regents Park Theatre

We has a night out. Outdoors out.

Regents Park Theatre

In the middle of a park. In central London town.

Regents Park Theatre

It was a musical theatre production. In a theatre. Outdoors. With singing, dancing, music and everything.

It was quite good.


Quite good? It was _amazing_!!!! Fay

Dartmoor Loop








A twenty-something kilometer stroll around Dartmoor. From Two Bridges to Two Bridges. Taking in Wistman's Woods (L9), Winford Steps (M12), Bellever Tor (L11), and more.


A great day with great SMMS company. Thanks chaps.

Hotel View

Followed by dinner and two sleeps at the White Heart in Moretonhampstead. The first sleep was a post-dinner nod in the lounge.

Proper Walk

Honiton walks

Honiton walks

Honiton walks

Honiton walks

Honiton walks

Honiton walks

Honiton walks

Honiton walks

An awesome walk around Honiton with BAF.

Honiton walks

Yes. It was a proper walk.

Changing Trains in Exeter



I got to Exeter in time to miss my connection. But a kind Giraffe helped me out with a Katsu Curry while I was waiting.

Another loney tree

Lonely Tree

It's that lonely tree. Again.

Fixing the washing machine

Fusion Reactor Drive

The door seal started to leak. A YouTube video and a spare park from eSpares felt like a good idea. When the nice person on the video said "and now you just have to put it all back together" I had a little wobble.

Door seal repaired

It all turned out nicely.

Walking the loop

Walking the loop

We waked the old river loop this morning. Except the last / first leg is no more (since the meadow track at Tony Lane was removed last summer). There was access earlier in the week to repair the footpath surface, but the contractors had done an excellent job of reinstating the barbed wire. Instead we walked there and back (which isn't a loop...)

Steps and Ramp

Steps and ramp

R has built us a small patio, with steps, around the tub. It has Fay's ramp for sledging (or maybe that's for the wheelbarrow, I'm not sure). All with awesome timber from D&S next door. H assisted a little with the heavy lifting!

Too Wet For Walking

Too wet for walking

"It's too wet for walking" said Ewok. "But perfect weather for a morning snooze."

"Bet you're glad you didn't go camping with Finn" said Yogi. But Ewok was already asleep and didn't hear him.

Stubbed Toe Sunset


I watched the sunset while nursing a stubbed toe or three. I may survive.

The bed's too big without you

Ewok requested a wider bed for his birthday

Ewok wasn't sure if the bench had shrunk or if he had grown. He decided to sleep on it.

The Oak Tree

Oak tree imposter in the lavender

While pruning the lavendar (which was a great move BTW) the Oak sapling was accidentially decapitated. Whoops. Fortunately it appears to have recovered with gusto.

Exam Fiasco

Exam fiasco in three books

The (still ongoing) exam fiasco in three books:

  • What went wrong — Cathy O'Neil on algorithms that "exploit people and distort the truth while posing as neutral mathematical tools".
  • Why that matters — Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett on "how more equal societies are better for everyone".
  • How it could happen — Philip E. Tetlock on how "people that make prediction their business are rarely held accountable".

ofqual published a technical report which neatly explains (in §9.5 & §8.4) how their model is biased in favour of small cohorets. Those just happen to be most independent (aka private) schools.

It's probably a good time to remind myself of the blurb for Mistakes were made but not by me:

> Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell?

Footpath Squeeze

Footpath, or not to footpath. How close can a plough go...

Footpath, or not to footpath. How close can a plough go...

Ploughed right up to the field edge, the footpath is squeezed. Muddy walks for a while.

Steve Cuing

Steve Cuing

The regular evening at the pub is slowly gradulating from video call to physically spaced in a backgarden. This week numbers were slightly reduced due to Holidays-up-North and Post-A-Level-Result-UCAS-University-Data-Crunching. Thanks Steve for hosting and for cuing the sounds.

Keeping Cool in the Heat

The cushion

Ewok found a comfy spot to stay cool(-ish) in the heat…


…until Yogi and Finn arrived.

The Artist

The artist

M came to stay. In between the rain drops some awesome creativity happened!

Running Sky

Running Skies

I went for a run. It was still hot. It wasn't a good idea.

The sky was nice though.

Dinner at Pebble Beach

Dinner date

A lovely meal out with Fay (it's been a Covid-while!) at Pebble Beach. Not a bad view of the needles in the evening light. Not a bad sunset sky on the stroll home either.

End of a warm walk

Phew, it's a bit warm

Phew, it's a bit warm

"Phew! It's a bit warm" said Ewok. "Time for a drink I think" replied Yogi.

Afternoon Snooze

Garden snooze view

A little snooze in Jessica's lovely garden. A shady spot with a view.

Sunday Lunch Les

Sunday Lunch

Sunday Lunch

Sharpening for the carving.

Ansel Inspired New Forest

New Forest Rambling

New Forest Rambling

New Forest Rambling

New Forest Rambling

New Forest Rambling

Some Ansel Adams inspired pics of a walk in the New Forest yesterday.

One bit had a reputation for being very muddy in the winter. Not sure if the boot was as a consequence, or a piece of art someone had created.

New Forest walk

Let's pose in this holly tree

A stretch for Pip, Ewok and Yogi in the coolness of the New Forest. A pause for a famly snap (in a holly tree, well posed).

Another morning walk

Morning walk

Morning walk, posed to send to an away-on-holiday F.

Beer sunset

Evening sky from the pub

First round at the King Billy as the day was closing. Beautiful views across the valley.

Evening sky from the pub

Glow, stars and satellites in the darkness to guide the ride home. Lovely.

Dinner (local)

Dinner. Veggies from the farm next door. Rounded: zero food miles

Dinner by Fay with (very) local veggies from two fields over courtesy of Beatrice. Very tasty.

Book illustration characters

Balloon Artist

Fay is illustrating. Meet bob the balloon.

Finn's Away

Morning sit

The boys are missing little-getting-bigger-now F. I'm not sure how much he's missing them.


Cap. Last legs.

The hat is now a teenager. It's showing some signs of wear. But yesterday, it still managed to keep a head shaded and dry the long river way to Wallingford and back.

Rose Garden

Rose garden

Dinner Delivered

Dinner in the garden

Le Clos is shut. It's very small, so little space to distance while dining, and there's scant sign of Wallingford Town Council creating something amazing for outside eating [1]. But, Stefan is doing home deliveries. We had a very enjoyable dinner with wine at the bottom of the garden last night. Yum.


[1] Or at least based on the evidence of the May minutes and June agenda…

Worldclass Telecoms

World beating telecommunications

Many things are world class these days. Our response to COVID. Our democracy. Brexit. We even have world class telecoms. This post posted courtesy of a home broadband connection that is 10x slower than the one we had 10 years ago. There's a certain symetry there. Maybe we could adopt this phone box for the community. It's outside St. John's school. I wonder what it could be?

Patch of Blue

Happy Saturday


Yesterday's patch of blue got bigger. It reminded me of something.

I thought there was a saying, an expression of good luck or blessing to a departing friend, to wish them clouds. Because clouds bring rain which is kinda essential. But, when I went searching, I couldn't find it, so here it is:

> May there always be a cloud on your horizon.

Field edges

Field edge

Many Beds

Many beds

When Ewok can get away with it, he loves to re-enact scenes from his favourite fairy stories.

Woodinville has a new chair

Woodinville has a new chair

It's quite comfy he says. Thanks Granny!

Grumpy or Guilty

Ewok. Looking guilty.

Not sure which look this is from Ewok. maybe grumpy, maybe guilty.

View from Finn's Room

The view from Finn's room

Possibly the best view from the house. But don't tell anyone else I said that. There may be trouble.

View from the tub

Tub views

Relax time. Cuppa with a soak and a view. NPR in the background. Radiolab.

Dorchester Walk

Wittenham Clumps



Walking around Dorchester in the lee of the clumps.



Yogi, keeping me company.

Morning Cloudscape


Very different from the evening light.

Spikey Pointy Sphere Flowers

Pointy sphere flowers

They have another name, but I can't pronounce nor spell it.


They're called _Echinops_ (or a Globe Thistle) fay

Morning dog walk

Morning dog walk

Morning dog walk

Evening light


Bob's field at the bottom of the garden was looking golden this evening.

A walk in the woods

Walk in the woods

A walk around the other side of Honiton.


What time is it



A makes the best cake. Apologies to J and H.


River Otter

The River Otter. It meanders.

Thelma Hubert

Thelma Hubert Gallery

There's an art gallery in Honiton. They have a Richard Long exhibition!!!

Flying Furniture

Say "No!" to flying garden furniture

Say no to parasols flying away.

I need new specs

New specs?



Plums. From the garden.

This month's coffee

This month's coffee

This month's selected coffee from horsebox. It's nice!

Day Out in London

Day in London

Day in London

Train home

Masks On! For a day trip to London by train.

Day in London

Day in London

The bike survived a few months stranded at Paddington and, with some air added, was good for a swift ride to Soho for lunch with the new team.

Day in London


Garden Friends

Garden friends

Garden friends

These amazing creatures remove black fly more efficiently than anything. A lady [bird|bug] friendly garden pays back big time.



One of these is more creative than the other.

> "The reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we've always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts."

Steve Jobs

Past tense?


H painted the bathroom

H painted the bathroom. It's fresh.

The Age of Absurdity

Water bottle

Check out for this item (on a popular online retailer) tried to entice me to subscribe and save. The site claimed that most purchasers opt to receive another water bottle every two months. That's about how long it takes our house to loose one too…

> "I didn't loose it, I just don't know where it is"

Needless to say, I declined.

Sunday Sky


Mustard in the herb garden

Mustard in the herb garden

Encouraged by A's 'perfect tomato', I have endeavoured to perfect the humble mustard plant. To start, I envisioned the outcome that I want to achieve.

Book Subscription No. 1

Evening read

An evening read, enjoying the first book from Wallingford Bookshop's wonderful subscription service (thanks family!!!).

The geek in me is trying to figure out if an algorithm would ever pick something that fit as well as this. Here's hoping the answer is no, and the gap that remains is part of being human.

Update: it was a good read. Complete with a rickroll.

Gateway to Castle Meadows

Castle Meadows

The gateway to the castle at Castle Meadows.

Two new kids in the house

New kids are near the house

Every year the pigeons come back to the Yew tree to nest. We're wondering if it is the same pigeons...

This year two little ones. And yes, that nest is a precarious as it looks.

and the clouds departed…

And the clouds departed

…just as the working day was ending. Run (regressed two weeks!) then a dog walk with Finn (before he beat me, twice, at CoD).

First Day

First day

Ready for the first day. What you don't see is the playlist. But you might have guessed from the lockdown project. Or maybe not.

National Meadows Day

National Meadows Day

Here's a late entry for National Meadows Day (which was on Saturday): a dusky damp view of the front garden meadow.

It's come on a long way since the spring.

Dog walk sky

Dog walk sky

Go away…

Go away, I'm reading how to make coffee

…I'm reading How to Make Coffee. You'd have thought that by now I'd have figured that out.

Half Selfie [1]


A long time ago we met a couple (in Matt's in the Market) who did this strange thing of taking a picture of themselves while holding the camera at arm's length facing the wrong way. We thought them most odd. How times change.


  • [1] Half ∵ for a full selfie both of us would have needed to take the picture.
  • [2] Note in this picture, Fay's amazing impression of small eyes Aiddy.

Morning Coffee Work

Last amzn wfh coffee

End of something, before the start of something else. One more benefit of working from the garden during a lockdown [1] is that a catch-up coffee has two views, one this end, one that end.


[1] -ish

Leaving pressie

Leaving Pressie

For some reason, the team thought a bike related theme was appropriate... I really must have been a bit of a bike bore. Maybe it was all the T-shirts ;)

Merci folks.

Mind the generation gap

Mind the generation gap

One is nearly taller than the other.

J's book of garden things

Nana's garden record book

J has a book in the garden potting shed. It's full of details of plants planted in the garden, going back years.

It's an awesome idea, one we may nick.

Festival Finn

Festival Finn

Missing festivals, but found a hat.



Monochrome Waterperry

Monochrome Waterperry Gardens

Monochrome Waterperry Gardens

Monochrome Waterperry Gardens

Fay requested these in colour, but I'm not sure how to put that back...

Vanishing Points

Vanishing Point at Waterperry Gardens

Vanishing Point at Waterperry Gardens

Vanishing Point at Waterperry Gardens

Vanishing points at Waterperry Gardens.

Yew Henge

Yewhenge at Waterperry Gardens

Yewhenge at Waterperry Gardens

A lovely afternoon away from the house at Waterperry. Quiet and peaceful. Peace. Peace. Peace.

A highlight: Yew Henge, a one-third scale replica of Stone Henge in Yew and Box, surrounded by meadow.

Evening view


Ewok. Relaxing

Ewok, relaxing

Ewok. Relaxing. Demonstrating how to invest time in the garden.

The Hedge Desk

The hedge desk. Height adjustable, but slowly.

The hedge desk. Height adjustable, but slowly.

Introducing The Hedge Desk™.

> "Work in tune with nature"

Height adjustable, but slowly. Clip the hedge to lower. Wait for the box to grow to raise. On size fits all. Eventually.

Available now in kit form. Send SAE for details.

Best mum

Judging the best mum competition

Judging the "my mum's better than your's" competition.

It was a draw.

Field Crossing

Crossing the field

Crossing the field

Crossing the field

Crossing the field

Peas. Lots of peas.

Old Sarum

With lovely Fay at old sarum

With lovely Fay at old sarum

With Lovely Fay at Old Sarum.

Lower Woodford

Views near Lower  Woodford

Continuing to be a lert on a catch-up afternoon stroll around Lower Woodford and the Avon valley. Beautiful.

Yogi. The Poser


Ewok and the haircut

Lockdown hair cuts

Are you laughing at me or my haircut?

Framed Selfie


Lazy days with Ewok

With Ewok

He's better at this relaxing thing than me.

Running Landscapes

Running landscape

Running landscape

First day of staycation

First day of staycation

I could get used to this.

Fay's Puddings

Sunday roast

With the boys

With H

We're not talking right now


(I'm working on the hair.)

Goodbye LHR16

Goodbye LHR16

Returning Devices

Tuesday evening, returning test & dev devices during my last working week. Bye bye to a locked down LHR16.

The manual of project code names

And yes, there's a story behind the book.

Lockdown dog days

Ewok's field

Evening walk

I think there's something out there

Hair by dad

Lockdown Hair

Lockdown Hair

Lockdown Hair

Finn's second lockdown hair cut. Hair by dad with background beats from a Faroese-Icelandic minimal, experimental techno duo.

Checking out the rabbit damage

Yogi and Ewok

That's damage caused by the rabbits. Not damage to rabbits. That would be a very different thing.

Field Margins

Field boundaries

Field Poppy

It's all at the edges.


Phase 3 in progress

Steps down the garden, not finished, but getting there.

Running Sunsets

Running sunsets

A bonus from learning to run (couch to 5k, slowly) is the sunsets.

A lesson from iPhone-in-your-pocket photography, low light things look good, initially, but quickly get over-processed when you view on a big screen.

Nose for a good burger

Yogi has a nose for a good homemade burger

Yogi has a nose for a good burger. Chef H's special.

Quality Inspection


Plant Shopping

Barrow of plants

Barrow of fewer plants

Mum went plant shopping. A barrow of stuff for the garden. Ewok wasn't too impressed.

walking through wheat fields

Walking through wheat fields

Walking through wheat fields

Lonely tree

Walking through (or maybe along) wheat fields to (one of) the lonely trees. It's about as far as we get these days.

Garden field

The field in the garden

Rain on the way

The garden. Looking more like a field.


Another ice lolly Ewok?

H interviewing Ewok for his lockdown experiences. Or, getting some attention with an ice lolly bribe.

Tidy, Dry and Light

Shed. Tidy.

After fixing the roof, the shed had a spring clean. Lighting added thanks to a solar panel on the (new!) roof and an old car battery. The panel also covered a hole where I'd missed the beam with a roofing nail!

The Beach

Dreaming of the beach

Reading Alex Garland. Dreaming of the beach.

Horsebox Coffee

Horsebox Coffee

Coffee by post. First delivery from Horsebox. Quiet lovely, but I need to tweak the grinder and shot weight I think.



Tracks across the field.

crossoak at 15

Ewok. Lookout.

May 2020. C r o s s o a k is 15. Here's looking back to May 2005. Ewok is impressed.

Fixing a hole

The shed


I'm Fixing a hole where the rain gets in And stops my mind from wandering Where it will go

With big help from F and H.

Currently Reading

Trick Mirror

Jia Tolentino's Trick Mirror


Nature taking back

Evening bike ride went full-on cross country.

End of a lockdown ride

So it was getting a little past dusky by the time I made it home.


Ewok in the morning sun

Ewok. Making the most of the morning sun.


Wild garden this evening

Wow. The patch of wild turf is turning into something quite special.


Explaining Barnard Castle to Yogi.

Yogi, disappointed to find that Ewok's 2001 edition of Brewers does not contain the definition of Barnard Castle. But happy that Uncle Professor has the 2005 edition that does.

Meanwhile Ewok found a similar definition in 1984 edition of A Dictionary of Slang attributed (from 1864 no less) thus:

> ‘Come! Come! That’s Barney Castle! an expression often uttered when a person is heard making a bad excuse in a still worse cause’.

Wikipedia may or may not decide that Dominic's visit is worth noting.

Update: observant readers have noted that the rules were very, very clear. Crystal in fact. We even captured a copy of them in a post back in March. I surmise therefore, that members of the cabinet, including the Attorney General, aren't avid readers of c r o s s o a k.


Summer garden seating

Summer seating!

Blue Sky

Blue Sky




Taking Cover

Taking cover

Yogi, taking cover from the April showers in May.

Good Morning Sky

Morning sky

Nice sky this morning.

Locked down Wallingford

Locked down Wallingford on a Wednesday lunch time

A lunch time ride into town to drop a couple of things into the Post Office. Quiet.

Morning Office View

Morning office view

Someone asked for the morning view. Here was this mornings. A tad distracting at times.

Evening Ride

Shillingford Bridge

Heading to Brightwell Barrow

Evening ride. Shillingford - Brightwell loop.

Fellow walkers on the path

Old man walking

Met on my evening ride. Two gents out for a stroll.

Happy Birthday Yogi

Happy birthday yogi

Five? That flew!

A Lert

A Lert

I don't agree that the government's official advice is unclear. It's simples. Just be A Lert. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Punch Bag

Punch bag

Evolution of the lock down gym. The punch bag. Hope the tree holds.


Brunch by H

Sunday brunch by H. Fan-tas-tic.


Butterfly on a door

May in the Garden

Meadow land

Pear in the garden meadow

May in the garden

W00t! it's May in the Garden.

Previous years:

2019 | 2018 (May-ish) | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 |

Moving Wood




D & S graciously gave us some of their seasoned 'grown in the garden' timber to help with the garden project. H & F helped move and restack the store. We apologised to the rabbits for the disruption, but hope they'll snack on the other side of the fence now.

Couch to 5K

Running path

Following the NHS Couch-to-5 app. On week 3. Gave up keeping up with Rosemary Conley's keep fit video. Let's see how the running goes...

Stay Alert!

Stay Alert

Latest guidance: Stay Alert. With a particle diameter of ~0.125μm I'll be sure to keep looking carefully. Could be tricky while the opticians remain closed.

Lock down book sorting

Lock down book sorting

Sorting by colour (after Hazel and Paul). A tad tricky when your colourblind [1]. I think this may have been a better picture in monochrome. Anyone remember Ilford XP2?

[1] ish



Yogi contemplates.

School Photos

Missing school photos

Finn 'liberated' the school photos that were hanging on the wall.



Someone has tagged the jumps.

Lockdown Walk


Thames at Shillingford


Tree Blossom

A circular walk (with the dogs) for yesterday's lockdown exercise. House - Lane - Wood - Path - Sotwell Hill - Shillingford Bridge - Road - Wood - Lane.


Three Circles

Three circles


Three circles


Three circles


Hey Finn!


Finn. Keeping cool.

Smaller Eyes than Me

Ewok has smaller eyes than me

Yes, I found someone with smaller eyes than me. Okay, Ewok's are only small when I make him pose facing into the morning sun.



Every time I pass the jumps get a little more sophisticated. The textures a little more intricate.


Yes, that's a contrail

Yes. We. Saw. A. Contrail.

It was that exciting. We had to stop and get a photo.

Imagine, the days you could get into a metal tube and fly a mile high in the sky between countries and continents in hours.

Project Update

Lock down project

Progress on the lock down project. Place an old cassette tape on top of the box to listen to a Spotify playlist. Lift the cassette to pause playback, replace to continue. Switch the (cassette) tape to change the playlist.

An RFID tag on the tape triggers a reader in the box. The ID on the tag maps to a playlist which a Raspberry Pi plays via Mopidy through a Denon amp and Q-Acoustic speakers.

Well, what else was there to do?

Evening run

Evening run view

Yesterday's evening run 1 from Brightwell. Stopped about here when Elliot Adamson whispered in my ears:

> "Do you feel overwhelmed and confused by the global predicament? You are on the right track."

Nicely done Mr. Adamson. Nicely done.

  1. Currently a run is defined as a series of short periods running interspearsed by similar periods walking. Sounds good though. 

Shady Spot

Ewok in the shade

Ewok, always to be found in the best spots in the garden.

Watership Down

Watership Down

Also known as tomorrow night's dinner.



Lock down sports

lock down sports

Basket ball on the lane. They're much better than me!

Yogi's Haircut

Before the haircut

Before the hair cut.

Yogi after the haircut

After the hair cut (note the stylish shire-horse cut).


No longer weighed down with a thick winter coat, Yogi is free to roam.

The Tree Window

Tree window

There's a tree in the window. There's a window in the trees.

The end of cow parsley path

Fields of cow parsley and wheat

At the end of Cow Parsley Path is more Cow Parsley. A lot more. Just as well we like it.

Lockdown Coping Strategy No.16

Lockdown coping strategies number 16: sleep

Ewok and Yogi have refined their coping strategy. It's called Sleep. It works very well. I may have to adopt it.

Evening Scenes

The meadow

The copse

Cow Parsley Path

Along cow parsley path

Most of the year this is 'The Bank'. Now, it's 'Cow Parsley Path'.

Early May in the Garden

Early may in the garden

This is shaping up to be a good year for May in the Garden.

Before the hair cut

Yogi doesn't look too sure about this

Happy dog

Before the hair cut, Yogi needed a wash, brush and dry.



Lockdown lunch. Bacon cheese burger by Harvey



Yesterday was running Cat6 Ethernet down the garden. Today was hooking it up to some WiFi.

Hopefully that'll be more reliable than the TP-Link PowerLine convertors.


Today's challenge - running CAT6 to the shed

Today's challenge: running ethernet cable down to Fay's studio. A tad tricky when you're colour-blind [1] and trying to figure out which wire goes where.

[1] ish.

Brave Finn

Fresh trim

A fresh trim for a brave Finn.

Now taking bookings for post-lockdown appointments.

Wild flower progress

Wild meadow flowers

Progress in the wild flower meadow. The rabbits like the patch in the front. But the back is doing well.

Positive News

Positive News

A little ray of sunshine dropped through the letter box this week. Positive News.



Peaking out.



It will be alright in the end.

If it's not yet alright, it's not yet the end.

Thanks EWBA.

Home is growing up


Wow, this home has grown up a bit.


That's (almost) ten years ago

Abstract selfie

Highkey selfie

Ewok, rabbit hunter


On the look-out for rabbits. Ewok style.

Nearly May

It's nearly May

It's nearly, but not yet, May in the garden.

Lock down dog walk

This gate is the only thing between us and those rabbits!

The fork in the path

The jumps are growing

Enjoying morning walks with Fay and the four-legged boys. We're extremely lucky to be here.

Happy Birthday Harvey

Harvey and Fay through the window

A birthday in lockdown.


This feels like yesterday!


2020. A steaming pile of crap of a year.

This could sum up most (not all) of 2020 so far. In general, a big steaming pile of crap of a year. Here's to H2.

A lazy lockdown Sunday

Time for a snack boys

Tub-side Corona

How does he do that?

Lock down afternoon lazy

The lazy gardener

Still risky

It's risky

The People vs Tech

The people vs tech

Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Phone and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead? Like, read this book.

The People vs Tech


Then read Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism

Job done

Job done

Well, almost. Now time for a beer, shower and a dip in the tub.

Lock-in for lock-down

Lock-in or lock-down

We may have reached the point where we drink our way through the rest of lock down.

Flower-powered Yogi

Yogi with some flowers

Yogi disappeared into the garden to count flowers. He was gone for some time.

Wild flowers

Ragged Robin

Red Campion

First two flowers in the garden wild flower meadow. Ragged Robin followed by Red Campion.

Home office

Home Office

The home office is quite distracting. Bird song on conference calls is quite soothing.

Outdoor Gym

Outdoor gym

Lock down dinner

Lock down dinner is served

Lock down dinner is served. Tonight's chef special: H's Protein Blockbuster Stir Fry. Yum.



Hazel made birthday cake for Fay. Last long it didn't.



Something is not right with the perspective.

Spot the Ewok

Spot the Ewok

Playing hide and seek in the garden. Ewok won.

Bridleway to Brightwell

The bridleway to Brightwell

The bridleway from Shillingford bridge (ish) to Brightwell (ish). For my approved exercise.

Team Challenge

Paul's team challenge

Paul's team challenge. Something to do with players who have never played together or at the same club or country or something.



Friday Night is Pizza and Movie Night

Pizza factory

Movie night wine selection

Lockdown bread baking competition

Loaf the notch from the bread machine a give-away?

An evening at the pub

An evening at the (virtual) pub

An evening at the pub. Catching up and talking rubbish with occasional sense and insight about music.

Me and my shadows

Me and my shadow


Sun up down

Nighty night

Good morning

Good morning

Good night. Good morning.

In Profile


F, in profile, for A's drawing.



As I said previously, get ready for more abstract object studies of stuff around the home. A lot more. I'm not getting out much.

Wheat Field

Wheat field

More abstract

Shower room corner

> Shower room corner, Aiddy 2020.

As I said previously, get ready for more abstract object studies of stuff around the home. A lot more. I'm not getting out much.



A hedgehog found the bird table.



>A cairn is a man-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn

Cairn on wikipedia

Tub Life

Tub life


Yogi. waiting for the family to join his workout session

Yogi. Waiting for the family to join his workout session. The weight was long.


A message from the new prime minister

A message from the new Prime Minister. Thanks Boris.

End of the day

Yogi's chin

Wine o'clock

Lap dog

End of the day, so wine o'clock with the lap dog and the other one.

Glass, water

Water, glass, light, on wood

> Glass with water by light on wood.

As I said previously, get ready for more abstract object studies of stuff around the home. A lot more.

I did warn you.

Bird house

The bird house

The Bird House is 10. Yes ten years old this April and still going strong, if a tad faded and woodpecker pecked.

WFH Lab Setup


Working from home rig

I work on teaching computers to watch TV. Yes, that strapline is inspired by Douglas Adams (he of Always Carry a Towel fame!).

Working, or trying to work from home, means replicating part of our lab setup. This isn't it.

Pasta Cheese

Pasta and cheese thingy

April 8th is now Pasta Cheese Back-off Day. This year Amelie won. But the judging was split... by about 210km.

Dogs from above

Dogs from above

Dogs from above

Yogi and Ewok. From above. A new perspective.

Dog walking is exercise

Dog walking is exercise

Are we walking the dog, or is the dog walking us?

iPhone Recycling

Packaging from my first iPhone

The packaging for our first iPhone (the Cisco-Linsys one, not the Apple one). Found in the loft, now in with the cardboard recycling.

Lockdown Gym

Outdoor lock down gym

H's DIY lockdown outdoor gym. Membership rates are a bargain.

Daffodil Hill

Daffodil Hill

Local dog walks now start and end at Daffodil Hill. Named because it's a hill with Daffodils. Well, a bump may be more accurate. You know, kind of a like a mole-hill type hill. (But with Daffs.)

Sign Stories

Behind every sign, a painful experience

Behind every sign is a story.


Favourite treescape

Favourite treescape

Favourite treescapes. One has sequoias. Yes, the sequoias are tall.


Stepping through the doorway

Stepping through the doorway.



Lockdown Life

Work from home coffee

Lockdown means coffee

Looks a bit risky

Games of Risk

The badger

A chance to see if I can grow hair like a badger

Badger protector (or a hat)

And hats for video conference calls to hide my badger head.

Washing the garden

Washing the gardens

Making sure the box hedge stays nice and clean!

Spoon Fork Knife Spoon


> Cutlery on the table. Aiddy, 2020

I did warn you.


Skype beach towel

Doing a lot of Skype recently.

Bike Ride Views

Rest stop

Sky from the ridgeway

A ride with Finn. Our exercise for the day...

> You should only leave the house for very limited purposes: > * shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible. > * one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household. > * any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. > * travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home. > >These reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household. > >These measures must be followed by everyone.

Guidance: Staying at home and away from others (social distancing), UK Government Cabinet Office, Published 23 March 2020


Dog walk

Dog walk

Following the advice for fresh air and exercise every day.

The Lawn Man

Cutting Doug's Lawn

After the wood came the lawn. Helping keep nature at bay for our lovely neighbours.

Bath Mat

The bath mat at rest

> Bath Mat at Rest, Aiddy, 2020.

Get ready for more abstract object studies of stuff around the home. A lot more.

Home School Art Club

Remote art




Working from garden

Working from garden

More in the Working-from-Garden series.


4m spacing in the Waitrose line

The queue at Waitrose with 4m spacing protocol. Shopping success with supplies for us and 4 other folks who are advised to stay home.

The customer

The customer

An illustration for working backwards training for the team. Working from home means a lack of conference rooms to illustrate the concept of leaving an empty chair to represent the customer.

Working from garden

Working from garden

Weather is nice, so working from garden rather than working from home.



In the UK, today is day 53. 8,077 cases, 422 deaths. Twelve days since I was last in the office. Four days since the schools shut. Six days since H came home from university. One day since the government said "shutdown".

Patch of wild turf

Wild flower turf laid

We had some wild lawn turf left over, so we added a patch in the front.

Privilege comes in many forms

Working from home. Privilege

Privilege comes in many forms. Today, it is being able to work from home. Even though the various gremlins in the VPN'd internet connection conspired to make that harder than usual.

Unusual sight

Unusual sight

Awesome skies for plane spotting today. Very, very few planes to spot.

Log Splitting

Log splitting

Log splitting

H. Splitting wood for Doug and Susie.

Sunday Stroll

Sunday walk

A stroll rather than a walk.

Sunday walk sky

Fresh air. Blue sky. And Fay taking physical distance protocol to the extreme.

Exam Results

Exam results

Exam results

The bitter-sweet moment of passing your exams without taking your exams.

There's a book all about "when" that advises against endings like this.

Coping okay

Tub life

The boys experimenting with coping strategies today. It's (very) early days, but I think they may have this one sorted.

Social distancing

But Yogi and Ewok aren't too sure.

Lie in

Or maybe it's just Ewok that hasn't figured this out yet.

Happy mother's day

Happy mother's day

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

Fay, Julia, Jessica. Awesome mums. Thank you!

Afternoon tea

Yup. That's tea, gin and beer.


First in a long running championship

First in a long running championship. Fay won the first round.

Finished When

When, Daniel H. Pink

Finished a book all about timing. Well timed.

In coming care package

Later the same morning, a care package arrived from Mart. Cheers mate!

Dogs. In hats

Dogs in hats

Dogs in hats

There is something wrong with this. Very wrong.

Ewok curled

Curled up

Ewok watching


There might be space for a comma somewhere in "Ewok watching".

Empty spaces


Road closed

Social distancing walk

Three views over three days. Empty space. Increased social distances.

Drawer Find

Bottom of the drawer memories

Tidying. Fay found these. One of us had more hair then.

Feet. Walk

Feet. Walk.

Feet. Walk.

Feet. Walk.

Everything looks fine from here


Wet Sunday Project


A little project for a wet Sunday. RFID tagged cassette tapes trigger playback of songs, albums or playlists via mopidy on a Raspberry PI through NwAvGuy's oDAC and a BOSE Soundlink II.

> NwAvGuy: The Audio Genius Who Vanished

In IEEE Spectrum, 24 Feb 2014.

Home for a weekend

Breakfast of champions

H came home for the weekend to catch up with friends, eat eggs...

Window cleaner

...and clean windows.


Then. He went.

After the gathering

After the gathering

A gathering. Not a party.

Water. Meadow.

Water Meadows Being Water Meadows

The water meadows doing what they do. Again.

Dog walk N of ∞

Dog Walk N

Dog walk number N in an ∞ series.

Yogi grumps


Yogi is NOT happy about the thought of self-isolation.

Toulous Lautrec


I don't think we'll be going.

Walking around Shoreditch


Principal Place

It’s all a bit rubbish

There's a low-frequency pattern to these types of walks.

Post-walk snooze


Muddy Knees


"They're more muddy than mine" said Yogi.

"That's from winning in the quarter-final" said Ewok.

Emma's Birthday


From which I learnt that there are two styles of 20's fancy dress. Upper class and me.

Comfort level


Comfort level++

Battle of the views


A glimpse of the snapchat "my morning view is better than your's" battle between H and I. H usually wins.

Wet train from Cholsey

Wet train journey


A towel is always useful after a wet ride to the station. Keeps the seat dry for future passengers. Thanks Douglas.

Post milk generation

Post milk generation

Day out




A day out in London town (some galleries, bookshops, music spacey things and wotnot), with some lovely grub to finish the day. Thanks Fay xxx. At least this year we didn't need passports.

Old tech

Mini discs

Steve was pondering whether the right format to listen to an album on is the format it was originally released on... CD, vinyl, 8-track etc. Serendipitously, the very next day I was sitting next to a pile of Minidisc history.

Trip hazard

Trip hazard

If I trip and damage myself, do you think the insurance for the Tesla owner would help out? Asking for a friend.

Books on the stairs

Books on the stairs

We're getting close to initiating the One out, one in rule. Troubling.

Three brothers

Xbox action

Ewok really doesn't like playing Fifa.

Vanishing Point

Path through the wood. One day I will get a photo the captures the vanishing point the way it feels to see it. Today was not that day.

Path through the wood. One day I will get a photo that captures the vanishing point the way it feels to see it. Today was not that day.


The early morning ghost train

We're through to the other side, with darkness beginning to recede. Last week I had the first morning daylight journey into Paddington. It was tad foggy. Like a ghost train.

Book stack, rotated

Book stack rotated

Not the normal stack rank for this time of year. (Or at least not normal for BigCorp that are yet to abandon the practice.)

Part of the current 積ん読. I'm beginning to have doubts about the osmosis theory of knowledge transfer. I might have to read these...

Field, Mud, Track

Field, mud, tracks

On the morning walk. A field with mud and a track.

If Nik passes by he'll hopefully notice the source of inspiration. Again.

Radio Silence

Ewok and yogi

"It's all gone very quiet" said Yogi. "Yes" replied Ewok, "Nana nicked Granddad's phone charger"

Weekend Project


Something for a weekend project. I wonder what it will be.

Bike Rack


RF18 AOL decided to join the little bikes in the rack. Nice.

Rising London Skyline


The City of London's rising skyline. From Bishopsgate.

Cartoon Time

Stories with Nana

Laughing at cartoons by the wonderful Dave Walker.

Herbie's Birthday

Birthday cake

Fred, Xbox pause

Granddad checking in



Granddad's Wisdom


Photographer at work


Seattle at Night

Seattle Convention Center

Missed from the Seattle series: Seattle at night (or at least the convention center bit).

Please tell us about food

Please tell us about food

Going up

Westgate escalator

Do not touch

Caution very not surfaces, do not touch hot group heads.

Do not touch the hot group heads.

Seattle in January


South Lake Union Cranes, Seattle

This was Feathered Friends

Space Needle from Day 1

Public Space

"The 20th Century was about getting around. The 21st Century will be about staying in a place worth staying in."

James Howard Kunstler

Globes, South Lake Union, Seattle

Coffee. Anchorhead. Seattle

Ladro coffee, Seattle

With coffee. Of course.



The anecdote to cold, damp, winter days.

Party Suit


Party bound, Mr Wick style.

Shoe repairs

Shoe repairs

Turns out the glue works. Or at least it works for sticking soles back on. Well, 3 times out of 4. The Vibram FFs were just that bit too tricky for me.

Stockholm, again


Stockholm, again.

Crazy walker

The crazy walker

Fay told me that this look was festival style boy scout. She then went on to comment that I'd probably be arrested. It wasn't my fault that they shrank in the wash.