Category Archives: Family Member

Kitchen duties

Monday 16th November 2020, 8.50pm (day 3,371)

Clare, Joe, kitchen, 16/11/20

3,371 days into this blog (nine years, two months and 22 days) and I am buggered if I am going to let this profoundly boring and pointless period see it peter out through sheer lack of interest. But it’s not very interesting, is it. This is the true impact of this bloody virus. It’s made the world so goddamn boring, suddenly. (With no offence meant to my family members, pictured here, who are about the only things that are keeping me sane.)

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Clare in the Entwood

Sunday 1st November 2020, 2.10pm (day 3,356)

Clare in Entwood, 1/11/20

Nothing about the politics today, no grouching, I promise. Let us just celebrate the peak of autumn. I have pictured this wood before (by now, I’ve pictured most places near my house before), and have always called it the Entwood because here more than anywhere else round here the trees feel like they have feet, that their residence in the ground is temporary.

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Joe the filmmaker

Monday 26th October 2020, 1.55pm (day 3,350)

Joe filming me, 26/10/20

Time is on our hands. I can’t easily get into Manchester this week as the train line is having one of its bouts of ‘maintenance’. Joe is on his half-term break. I needed a film making for teaching purposes and it gave us both something to do, and him something to put on his portfolio for later life.

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Joe’s tour of inspection

Saturday 17th October 2020, 10.55am (day 3,341)

Joe inspects Staffs Uni, 17/10/20

Astonishing as this may seem, our Joe is now at the stage where he is putting together applications for university in 2021-22. Staffordshire University, in Stoke-on-Trent, is on the list, but all any of them can offer at the moment are ‘virtual open days’ which provide info, sure, but not a feeling for the place. And that’s essential if you’re going to spend three years anywhere. So we arranged for our own little tour of inspection today, both of the campus and the city. And despite it being dead, like the set of a post-apocalypse movie dead — the campus tour did not seem to be offputting. Perhaps then we will be seeing more of this place in the future.

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Joe portrait

Sunday 13th September 2020, 1.50pm (day 3,307)

Joe at BTFC, 13/9/20

Joe was eight and a half years old the first time he appeared on this blog, on its tenth day in early September 2011.  Nine years have passed, and his frequency of appearance is diminishing.  I guess that as time goes by this will continue, as he constructs his own life.  For now it is still pleasing that he likes to hang out with the crumblies now and again, and today was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

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Clare at Clitheroe Castle

Monday 17th August 2020, 12 noon (day 3,280)

Clare, Clitheroe castle, 17/8/20

Clitheroe Castle is at least 910 years old but despite having been in a state of general ruin since the English Civil War, that is the 1640s, it is just about still standing on a spot with a really good view (as castles should have).  On our first day of a week off work for the both of us, Clare enjoys said view — ignoring the rain coming in behind.

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The tree consultant

Sunday 9th August 2020, 10.15am (day 3,272)

Tree consultation, 9/8/20

The plum tree seriously needs pruning, and now is apparently the time…. this information being imparted by Peggy, fellow member of the allotment society and knowledgeable in these matters.  Expect some documentation of the subsequent surgery, at least, once we get our pruning saw.  Yes, this would be a nicer photo without the water butt, but it is what it is.

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Sandscale Haws

Monday 27th July 2020, 2.45pm (day 3,259)

Sandscale Haws, 27/7/20

The beauty of Cumbria is not entirely found in its lakes and mountains. The coast is also very fine. After a terrible morning’s weather put the high country out of bounds, we got out anyway and Sandscale Haws, near Barrow, gave us something to enjoy as the weather cleared. Joe practices his ballet moves, it seems.

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Unexpected stash

Sunday 21st June 2020, 2.55pm (day 3,223)

Whisky samples, 21/6/20

A long-awaited visit to my family, unseen since lockdown began. A welcome interruption that highlighted how pointless all this is becoming. Why my sister Vicki was dishing out the whisky samples in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, well, that’s a story hidden beneath the surface of this picture. Particularly as I don’t even like the stuff. (I know whisky is a noble drink with much character and history: I just can’t stand it.)

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Joe heads for the hedge

Thursday 28th May 2020, 4.15pm (day 3,199)

Hedge strimmer, 28/5/20

What are we losing at the moment? There is no sport that is meaningful (meaning, played in front of spectators). I’m assuming that very little music is being performed or created; if it is, it’s not happening round me. Maybe some great novels are being born in all this crap but we won’t be seeing them for a while. There is only this endless banality, and if my blog is itself banal under lockdown, that’s the way of it. But the hedge on the allotment still needed strimming, and that’s Joe’s job.

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