At issue

Tissues come in boxes. Sneezes, buses and issues come in clusters. There are washing-machines and dish-washers and there are washers. These latter, often small, usually rubber rings, available in innumerable sizes, prevent water pipes from leaking at their joints. Only a tiny minority appreciate that these apparently inconsequential little things, one costing perhaps just 10p, are sine qua nons in the maintenance of our equanimity, treasure, and quality of life.

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Another week, another blister pack; but not another blog. Not this weekend, I’m afraid.

My apologies for this hiatus. Normal service will be resumed, I hope in time for next Sunday’s blog. If you are a subscriber, of course you will be notified by email. Thank you for your interest and patience.

There’s loads of absolutely riveting stuff to look forward to:

The ring-necked parakeets are back; I reveal my cunning ploy to out-fox them;

How the old fox is out and the new fox is learning how to become a pro varmint;

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Ear here

The difficult business of writing is made easier by addressing something that’s pre-occupying me. Physically small, it’s in other respects sizeable. It’s my missing hearing aid.

An acquaintance of Joan, who’s suffered enough to know, in a recent talk proposed there are the wonderful things in life, and there are the dark things in life, and in between there are the mundane things. For the time being, I’m mining the mundanities for their brighter moments. I, for one, do not want to lose, in a coma of familiarity, the sense of their value, the satisfaction they can bring, the time they take, nor, I suppose, the opportunity for living-in-the-moment they provide.

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On fire

Last night Joan and I went with a friend to see “Frozen” at the Theatre Royal. It must be the bleakest drama I’ve ever seen, Sophoclean in its bleakness. From a bleak start it’s all downhill to the bleakest imaginable dénouement. Even here though, joy is evident: the wonderful acting (Jason Watkins is not the only one to excel), the compelling structure of the drama, the writing and the wonderfully simple but effective stage design, are all evidence of professionals who love their craft. If you’re of a resilient temperament, don’t miss it.

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Wildlife, no wild life

From the bottom up, first there are the worms. I’m sure they perform the very worthy function of conditioning the soil, mostly unseen and unappreciated. But I have reservations. They make worm casts, which are fine when the weather keeps dry; they can be brushed away on the lawn grass with no one the wiser. When the weather is changeable though, they become the lawn-obsessive’s nightmare.

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Put the kibosh on

Now there’s a word. A word, I discover, of which the etymological origins are the subject of much scholarly speculation, as yet unresolved by evidence. Sounds like some sort of exotic central Asian samovar: ”Put the kibosh on, would you dear, I’m dying for a cup of tea.” Or exotic oriental headgear: “Do put the kibosh on, darling; you look perfectly wonderful in it”.

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Routine investigation

We wonder at the rainbow sheen on the wings of a peacock butterfly as it suns itself on a buddleia, and our enjoyment is barely diminished when we consider it’s just a temporary appearance in a much longer cycle that has turned for millennia. There are thousands upon thousands of these exquisite creatures, yet they’re so thinly spread we see them rarely, and their lives so short, we never become habituated to their fleeting beauty. We just thrill at the moment when we can get up close.

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Keeping active

One day it seemed I’d been parachuted onto another planet, a slightly faded version, where the force of gravity is greater, the air thinner, and movement painfully slow. Out there, hurtling time continues its implacable and unnerving acceleration, except when you’re brushing your teeth for the recommended full two minutes.

How can this be? I’m doing my best to be upbeat, confronting the issues, and trying to find sustainable solutions to the interconnected problems, by shining a light on them and making them more transparent and accountable, naturally.

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