What are you going to do today?

Not quite, in many places the ground surface never thawed despite that sun. It really was bitterly cold (which I love!). I was wearing more than I usually do skiing!

Is that from near Wilmington, Mike?

We had a family walk today near Bolney and it was cold but sunny and completely still. I’ve learned to avoid the Downs if there’s any risk of a North Wind!

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I don’t mind the wind in fact I love it so long as it’s not knocking me off my feet.

Yes it was not far from Wilmington just past the Long Man before dropping down to Alfriston, then along the river for a bit and up into Firston Forest and over to East Dean, then back up to my start point at Butt Lane (I think that’s the name!). The lower sections and the forest were pretty wind free but up on the Downs it was bitter! I had planned a walk along the cliffs - Beachy Head to Cuckmere Haven but decided that might have been a bit too much with that wind!


Mozart C minor piano concerto K491. Takes you through the whole gamut of emotions. A mighty edifice of power, sorrow, melancholy, and tearful humour.


Later today, aka tomorrow morning, our boy & I will be taking wife to Heathrow, from where she’ll be flying off back to Taiwan for two months to spend some time en famille, and particularly to spend time with her mum, who’s been rather sick recently. He & I shall return chez nous for two months of daddy-parenting. What can possibly go wrong :~}

Although both of us will obviously miss her hugely, I’m kind of looking forwards to it too. But if you notice fewer of my woffly wine-posts for a while, you’ll know why!

Her work company have been incredibly helpful & understanding over this, and she’ll be carrying on her work remotely from Taiwan.

A slightly emotional night here though, as you can imagine. One of the prices one pays for international relationships.


Well, it’s the first weekend of December, so it’s time to make mince pies. With some of @JayKay’s recipe for Mrs Kirkbride’s Cumberland Rum Butter. Thanks again for the recipe, Joy, so much better than regular brandy butter.


I hope that all goes well for you all, @crocos - especially with the way that travel rules are changing without notice, it must be a bit nerve-wracking.


You’re not wrong, @robertd - we’re both conscious she may get stuck there, but what to do. Normally we have at least an annual visit to/from Taiwan as a family, but COVID put a fine stop to all that. With almost 3 years now of no time physically together and so on, it’s the best thing to be doing, no doubt.

Her mum’s prognosis seems reasonable & long-term, but one never knows - I was working in Korea when my dad fell ill, same age as I am now, and I took a risk on there being good time to go etc; but it turned out there wasn’t much time, and I still sometimes feel sad about that to this day.

So we both know the risks-rewards etc, and are happy with it. It’s our boy who’s in a bit of a state about it. He loves Taiwan and time en famille there as much as we do, and he really wants him & I to be going with her too. I’ve got all sorts lined up with him here though, so I think he’ll be okay once he’s used to the new situation. We shall survive :~}


Listening to Katie’s playlist on you tube this morning as I get ready

From the Dubliners to Telemann and Bach
Madness to Dolly Parton
The Clash to Amy Winehouse

Thinking of her and smiling under the sadness


Listened to Pretzel Logic last night in the car, driving to see my girlfriends in Lewes. What an album! :star2:

My two (very different) favourites are:


beyond their perfectly formed pieces, I adore their storytelling!


I still have the vinyl of that, classic album…


That indeed is a fantastic record, and Steely Dan have to be up there as one of the best bands ever in my view; such clever music and lyrics.

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Sunday afternoon - weather outside is truly awful. So did some garden tidying, and then my least favourite chore: end of month invoicing (I’m self employed). Fortunately going out this evening for a couple of pints: Timothy Taylor Landlord, or Black Sheep. Yorkshire beer makes everything alright (usual disclaimers apply).

Roll on Monday.


Today, I made a thing.

A day forging a pairing knife from a billet of steel (admittedly the actual professional did the grinding and sharpening).


That’s very cool. How long did it take?

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0930 - 1730. A really interesting process - heating in the forge, shaping the divide between the handle and blade, shaping the handle, shaping the blade. Konstantinos (Nouko Knives, Bristol) then ground the profile, then let us do the annealing and quenching in oil, then finally grinding the cutting edge.


How was it?

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It was delicious, but my eyes were bigger than my belly and I chose the fattest steak possible. It then took much longer than anticipated (or would have at least, spoiling other elements of supper) so it was a little under-cooked.

I preferred the previous week’s Denver steaks, very fine indeed.

Edit: bigger. My eyes were bigger, not higher

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I’m reading this…

…and it’s making me yawn looads of times.


Just so we can cut to the chase, can you skip to the bit where it explains the point of yawning? And share, obviously.