Jonathan: Over the years I’ve learnt to recognize and accept the inevitable, where there’s little choice but to grit one’s teeth and adopt some ‘innovation’ which though ill-suited to our circumstances, would cost more to circumvent than to tolerate. As far as computers and operating systems are concerned, the compromise I’ve adopted is to adopt new operating systems when replacement of the computer itself is necessary. Unfortunately I seem to have allowed Microsoft to entice, cajole or bribe me into setting aside my better judgement and install Windows 10 on a Windows 7 computer that is already 3yrs old. I wish I hadn’t. The first thing I noticed – when it was already too late to cancel the whole thing – was how they were trying to sneak past me as ‘express basic settings’ or something similar the most outrageously intrusive configuration, ‘sharing’ with Microsoft (in fact actually allowing them to use) a huge raft of very personal information – on profiles, contacts, computer usage, location, and Continue reading →
Denise: Ladies Bedstraw is plentiful this year, especially so along the road that passes between the garden and the shore, and very easy to find, pick and gather up sufficient of the flowering tips for a dyeing session. The colour achieved (left two skeins) is the same delightful lemon-sherbert of the flowers. Fennel is always plentiful, as it is the abundant fine foliage that is used rather than the flowers. I dyed two lots from the same dye-pot: the first took the full strength of the colour – which is a warm yellow (third skein from left); the second lot had to make do with what colour was left in the pot, but to be honest I prefer the ‘residual’ (right-most skein)
Jonathan: As I’m retiring – by degrees – from civil engineering and construction, some of the work that has mainly or even exclusively fallen to Denise over recent years has passed my way. One of the first is picking gooseberries: I wonder why that might be!? The poor weather this year, and the replacement – last year – of many of our bushes with younger stock has resulted in a much smaller harvest this time around: but I’m still kept busy regularly picking! This seed tray full – about one and a half to two kilograms, is from one of the remaining older bushes, and is about a quarter of the total yield from that bush! We’ll not be selling any gooseberries: we’ll need them all for ourselves and for making our preserves for sale.