Archives for May 2020

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.