Snow management – 11 February 2021

Another day removing the snow from the paths and from the cars.

Scamp started the effort by brushing the snow from the roof of her car. Then while I got rid of the rest of the snow on mine and ran the engine for a while to get rid of the condensation that gathers on all the glass surfaces, Scamp started to get rid of the snow that had accumulated on the path in to our house and the next door neighbour’s. Most of it was wind blown snow, but a small amount was fresh snow. When she was finished and the car was dry inside, I used up almost all of our remaining white salt to make sure the path stayed clear of snow and hopefully of ice.

After lunch we went for a walk down to the shops, more for the exercise than for any great shopping expedition. I think we bought more food for the birds than for ourselves. The plan was for Scamp to walk back with the bags and I would go for a walk in St Mo’s. I changed it slightly to walk up the path behind St Mo’s school and along a path that I’ve walked many times, but today I was wearing wellies and I could just wade through the areas that I usually have to avoid because they’re too deep for my leaky boots. It was like a whole new landscape with hardly any landmarks because everything was covered in a white duvet of snow.

Went for a walk in St Mo’s and followed some deer tracks for a while, but never saw the maker of the tracks. The tracks looked fresh, but either they were hiding somewhere or were just over the next hill, or the next one again. PoD was a whin bush covered in a shiny ice crown. Shot into the sun it really sparkled. Everything else I took was just a cliché snow picture.

By the time I was coming home it was chilling down again and the temperature when I got to the house was -0.5ºc and it felt about a degree below that. We had bought some fat balls for the birds, so I put three of them on a tray in the back garden. An hour later they were all gone. I suspect it may have been a big black crow or a magpie that was the culprit. Even a flock of starlings wouldn’t devour three fat balls that quickly.

Yesterday’s sketch, posted today was the beach at Pigeon Point in Tobago. If you’re going to draw and paint a beach, make it a peach of a beach. Pigeon Point fits the bill.

Today’s sketch is a strange one. The prompt was ‘Draw’. What I drew was my right hand holding a graphite stick. If my right hand was the model, then my left hand was the one that drew the sketch. It’s harder than you think drawing with your left hand. Even knowing exactly where you want the lines to go, doesn’t mean that your muscle control will ensure it goes where you intended. A worthwhile exercise.

Tomorrow I might manage to get my car out for a drive. Today I got it to move, but not far. Scamp may have to wait until the mountain that’s in front of her’s has melted away a bit before she is mobile again. Other than that, it’s wait and see what the weather brings us.

Pencils, paints and brushes – 1 February 2021

February and two sketching challenges begin today.

Another day in the frozen north. No snow, just frost on the cars. We didn’t need to go out, so we stayed in until we were sure that things were warming up, then we made our move.

We were heading down and round Broadwood today. The main paths were mostly clear and thawing nicely, but in the shade of the trees round the boardwalk at Broadwood the ice was as treacherous as usual. Today’s PoD was taken from there. It looks like the whole loch is just one big sheet of ice, but five minutes away, round the corner it’s open water. Strange. We watched a Goosander slipping and sliding on the ice trying to grab what appeared to be a piece of lemon.  It eventually gave up and went back to fishing. Thankfully round the corner the paths were much clearer. We walked our usual route round the end of the loch and on over the dam then down near Blackwood and back up to the stadium. That took us neatly to the shops. I was the only one carrying money, so I got to go to M&S to get veg for tonight’s dinner and a loaf.

Back home and after lunch I got a call from Colin to reassure me that he was keeping fine, with a bit of a chest infection, but definitely ONLY a chest infection. He’d been to see two doctors on Zoom or something like it and they had prescribed an antibiotic which he says is working. It must be cold today because he said he was going to work in his big heated greenhouse, but ended up coming back into the house for a heat. While we were talking he was watching his wife going for her second circuit with the dog “Round the Policies” as he puts it. A walk round his enormous garden. We chatted for a while about things in general and commiserated with each other for holidays lost and cancelled and agreed to keep in touch.

Ray was the only one of the Auld Guys who still hadn’t replied to my email from last week, so I phoned him, or tried to. The phone rang for about seven rings then stopped and a lady’s voice told me “Thank you. GOODBYE!” As abruptly as that. No chance to leave a message. Strange. I checked on the computer if I had the correct number, but it was. I thought I’d leave it for a while and phone later.

Dinner tonight was Chicken stuffed with spinach and wrapped in Parma Ham with oven roasted chips (home made). A Scamp creation which went down very nicely. Pudding was Cherry Crumble. Again, from Scamp’s fair hands. Equally delicious. Then the phone rang. It was Ray. Great to hear his voice. We discussed phones, RSPB Garden Bird Watch and how boring life is now. He’s a bit put out, because Nic hasn’t sent him a letter with his vaccine appointment yet and I’ve got mine (strangely the same day as Colin’s wife’s – but in a different town). I suggested the lack of letter might have been down to him being English. He just harrumphed! We also agreed to keep in touch.

In the afternoon I put on the heater in my room and started on the first prompt for Every Day in February and 28 Drawings Later. The prompt was “Coffee”. I managed that, as you can see. Not my best, but I’m a bit rusty and also I couldn’t find my favourite ‘Sword Brush’. I’ve found it now buried under a pile of papers on the dining table. I’m hoping for a better result from tomorrow’s prompt.

That’s about it for today. A day with a walk, two contacts made and a coffee cup painted, not to mention that chicken with parma ham.

Tomorrow we have no plans, but snow is forecast for during the night, so we will be at the mercy of the elements again.

Baking and house building – 28 January 2021

We thought it might be a good idea to go out early for our walk, and it was.

We walked down round the path to Broadwood and, after some discussion, went round the boardwalk. At first there seemed to be no birds on the water at all. Then I spotted what looked to be a grey heron, but a small, scraggy one. It was standing on the ice that still coats Broadwood looking very sorry for itself. I took a few photos, expecting it to fly off immediately it saw me, but instead it decided that it too wanted to go on a walk and disappeared round the corner, on foot (or on claw). I’m thinking now it might have been a young or perhaps sickly bird. Must check the next time we’re down that way.

We walked round one of our normal routes, noting the speed at which the new Covid testing station had been built in the carpark of Broadwood Stadium. It shows what can be done if the need arises.

Back home and after lunch the weather closed in even more. That fine smirr of the morning was now a drizzle and heading to full tilt rain. I decided the grey heron photo from the morning would be PoD. Scamp decided it was time we started making the Gingerbread House. That is, it was time I started making the Gingerbread House. She was simply the overseer, the ‘Gaffer’ and I was the labourer. I know my place. Bear in mind that this project started out as hers, then became a joint effort and now it was all mine. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I know, I’ve been there before. Apron on, time to get started.

Melted the butter over a low gas and added the sugar, then transferred the dank brown sludge to a big bowl and after letting it cool a bit, added the flour then kneaded it into a soft(ish) ball of dough. Chopped it in two and rolled out each piece and placed two templates on top and cut round the rectangle (Roof/Wall) and the triangle (End Wall). Did the same with the other piece of dough. Crushed up some sweets and poured the resulting scraps into the window holes of the Roof/Wall. We should have made a video of me smashing a poly bag of sweets with a claw hammer. Really funny, really satisfying! Scamp cut out two ‘adorable’ gingerbread people from the leftover dough, two Christmas trees and two candy canes, all using templates she’d prepared earlier. Baked the lot in the oven for about 15mins and surprise, surprise they actually looked like they’d work!

We let the gingerbread and our tempers cool while I made Carrot & Lentil Curry with Flatbread for dinner. Curry was good. Flatbread was exceptional.

Assembly was the bit that worried me, but the glue we made with beaten egg white and icing sugar was fantastic, if a bit messy, especially when a bit of back pressure on the piping bag allowed some of the mixture to escape back up the bag and onto the carpet (oops!). Actually, the assembly was a dawdle. I was expecting some of the disasters you see on GBBO, but it just worked. That’s what happens when two professionals follow the instructions. Decoration was a bit clumsy, I admit I have to work on that, but the overall effect was ok and much improved by Scamp’s careful placing of the Smarties, althought I do believe she sampled a few. Thank you JIC for an imaginative Christmas present. We both had a good laugh.

Now the Grey Heron photo got PoD, but I’ve made the corporate decision to use the Gingerbread House as the lead on the blog.

It’s really raining now, teeming down, but the weather fairies say it will dry up by tomorrow morning, so we might get out a walk. If not, we’ve a cake to eat.

More dancing – 24 January 2021

A lesson this time, not a dance.

Yet another cold morning. It was -4ºc when Scamp was making the breakfast.

Of course we weren’t getting up at that time. Never on a Sunday! However, once we’d had breakfast showered and were ready to face the day I did take a walk to examine the frost on the car and managed to get a couple of photos of the little ice crystals. One was posted on Flickr, but it didn’t achieve PoD.

It wasn’t until well after midday that we steeled ourselves and went for a walk around St Mo’s pond. I took a few more frosty photos there and it was one of them that produced the tiny frozen trees that made PoD. It was a close run thing with my other favourite photo, a leaf covered with hoar frost.

It was just above freezing when we arrived back at the house. Dinner tonight was Bacon and Borlotti Beans. Now becoming a firm favourite. Then we had to move all the furniture around for tonight’s dance class. First off was a reprise of last week’s Mambo Marina followed by our ongoing stumbles through Rumba and finished off with the Midnight Jive. We weren’t too bad at that. It was me stumbling round the rumba that was the low point. Even with Stewart and Jane’s encouragement, we are finding it hard. Not insurmountable, just difficult. It doesn’t help that we are dancing on a carpet and they are demonstrating on a polished wooden floor. However, the hour passed fairly quickly and with a bit of practise over the next few days we’ll get there, I’m sure. If not, we’ll have invented an new dance, The Stumble Rumba. It does have a certain ring to it!

Spoke to JIC at night and were surprised to hear that they had had a full day of snow and we had none. Maybe I shouldn’t say that. You never know what we’ll wake up to tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning I’m supposed to be doing a rubbish uplift for Shona. Hope the skips have been emptied over the weekend to make room for it all.



We took Katy skating – 23 January 2021

It was a cold start again. No snow and only a little bit of ice, but frost covering all the cars.

We decided we’d make a fairly leisurely start today. In fact it was well into afternoon before we booted up and walked around St Mo’s. I reckoned there would be enough ice for Katy and there was. I took Scamp on a trek out into the wild woods at the back of St Mo’s. I thought I’d make a slight detour to show her my hibernating ladybird, but shock, horror, no ladybird. Perhaps the two sunny days recently have brought it out of its winter sleep. Let’s hope so. We did find a lush crop of hair ice on the exact same log I’d found it earlier in the month. Plenty of other logs nearby in the same state of degradation with no sign of the strange ice formation on them. Apparently it’s linked to a specific type of fungus. Strange stuff.

Katy had been wanting to go skating for weeks, but the thaw had put paid to her chances. I was sure the ice would be thick enough today and it was … but only just. I got her to pose and even as I was setting up the camera, I could tell that the ice was starting to melt. I could even see the dead leaves under the ice moving in the current. Took a swift half dozen or so shots from various angles. Some with extra illumination, some not. As we were walking away from the tiny pond I ’chimped’ them and none of them were truly sharp. Not to worry I was sure I’d find a more accessible shot on the other side of the big pond.

We walked round the pond after we’d survived the tangled brambles and the two leaps of faith across the burn. There I found what I was looking for. The rain from last week had frozen solid on the path making walking it without YakTrax treacherous. Not so for a minifig with ice skates. Katy posed again and this time I got the shot. Not perfect, but much better than the first shots. I have to be careful here. Katy is not technically a Weeman. She is a WeeWummin. She’s my ice skater. She made PoD.

Dinner was Fish Fingers and Baked Potato for Scamp and M&S Beef Burger with Baked Potato for me. Both washed down with a glass of Malbec. Not the best tasting wine I’ve ever had. It tasted raw and bitter to me, although Scamp found it really nice.

Entertainment started at 7.30pm in the form of a Zoom Dance. It was a particularly well attended dance and our feet are feeling the effects of dancing the night away. It finished just half an hour ago. Great fun as usual and another Zoom Class to look forward to tomorrow.

Apart from the dance class we may go out for a walk if the weather is conducive. It may be cold tomorrow as the temperature is -2.4c just now.

Under the weather – 16 January 2021

I suppose we’re always under the weather. It doesn’t matter if it’s rain or snow our sunshine, the weather is always above us, ergo we are always under the weather.

However I had a sore throat, was a bit shivery and ached all over just the typical symptoms of a cold. I could have languished in it and stayed in bed with a good book, but I was a big brave boy and I had things to do, so I forced myself to get up. As usual, a hot shower helped and a couple of fizzy vitamin C tabs kicked some more life into me, as did a cup of coffee. It was raining otherwise I’d have gone out for a walk, if it was dry, but instead I stayed in for the morning at least.

Lunch was beans on toast. When was the last time you had beans on toast? I can’t remember, but it was a long time ago. You forget just how good simple food can be. The rain had stopped, so I suggested to Scamp that we might go out for a walk and she agreed. Just a wander around St Mo’s would do today, sticking to the paths for once. No wandering into the woods, getting wet and making the cold worse. It got today’s PoD there which is a single seed on the cow parsley that I love. Apparently they are edible for humans as well as birds and taste slightly of aniseed. I may try them sometime. It looked as if all the ice had gone, but only from the grass and the paths. There were still ice floes on the pond. It was nice to see the ducks returning from their winter holiday in the Canary Isles. They flew in when we were on our second circuit. I hope they enjoyed the visit to their little yellow cousins.

Back home we were having good warming food for dinner. Mince ’n’ Tatties with Cabbage for me and Bubble ’n’ Squeak for Scamp. Again, plain, simple food. Before that there was Limoncello to make. I decanted the yellow liquor from the jar and ditched the lemon rind. Then, I mixed a cup of caster sugar with a cup of boiling water to make the syrup and poured it in in stages into the alcohol. Actually all the syrup was needed to sweeten the limoncello and then it could be poured into a vodka bottle with the remainder half filling an old limoncello bottle. One to go into the cupboard and one to chill in the fridge. Home made Limoncello. A great Christmas prezzy. Thank you again Scamp.

After dinner we watched a video of what we hope Stewart & Jane have planned for the first of the Sunday Zoom Dance Lessons. Actually looking forward to it now. Feeling much better after a decent walk round the pond in the afternoon and I’ve just taken the second of my vitamin C drinks of the day. Hoping to feel back to normal tomorrow.

So, tomorrow we’re hoping to do a bit of dance practise and that’s about it. Weather looks like today. Rain and sunny spells.

Walking the Canal – 12 January 2021

It was a cold start this morning, but it was worth it.

We both agreed we should go out today in the bright sunshine and under a blue sky. I defrosted the car again, but this time we both bundled into it and drove down to Auchinstarry and had a walk along the footpath almost as far as Twechar. A few other folk were also out taking advantage of the cold dry morning. The canal didn’t look as if it had thawed out this year. Lots of boulders and tree branches sitting on the ice were testament to that. I know the branches could have been floating down the canal, but I doubt they would have been that high out of the water. The boulders and stones? That’s a different story. That ice hadn’t melted for ages, maybe since the last ice age, or at least since about December last year. The path too was icy and we had to tread carefully. It’s a rough tarmac path and usually it gives good grip, but it felt like the ice had melted there and just as it was beginning to flow, the temperature had dropped again and it was frozen in place. Possibly it was black ice which is always more difficult to see than the usual frost.

We turned just before Twechar because the path narrows at that stretch and there isn’t so much to see. Scamp wasn’t impressed. I think she wanted to carry on to Kirkintilloch, but I suspected a roadblock or a path block with fifty Kirky polis waiting for us as we passed Twechar and attempted to enter East Dunbartonshire without reasonable cause. The polis would all start arguing about who would get to write the On The Spot fine and who would pocket the money. We’d have to be quiet as we sneaked away while the argument grew more and more heated. The Twechar polis would then be brought in and they in turn would challenge the Kirkintilloch polis with forming an unruly mob and breaking Covid-19 rules. That’s why we turned back. Nothing to do with the lack of photo opportunities or that I was getting cold.

The walk back was just as scenic as the walk there and I was pretty sure I’d one, if not two candidates for PoD in the bag. Passed more folk out walking in the sunshine, everyone making sure they were keeping a decent social distance. It was Scamp who noticed that the stretches of the canal that were in the sun were still frozen solid while the ice in the areas in the shade looked a lot thinner. We didn’t come to any sensible reason why. Answers on a postcard please if you have knowledge of this anomaly.

I did think of going back out again after lunch (poached egg on toast), to try out an idea for a photo, but decided I’d keep my idea until tomorrow, when more ice and possibly snow is forecast to descend.

With some time on my hands I finished off the Toilet Calendar which is finished and hanging in the little room. Both of us are pleased with it. It’s got twelve photos, six from each of us of sunny climes.

Dinner tonight was Fish and Cabbage Risotto. Sounds mingin’, I know but it’s quite delicious.

Tomorrow we have our second visit from Barbara ready to administer another test and ask more searching questions. This time we will be ready with answers without looking blankly at each other, saying “Um? … Ah? … I’m not sure.” Possibly a walk in the morning again, but this time closer to home.

Almost Tropical – 11 January 2021

When I got up to make the breakfast today the thermometer was reading 7.9ºc outside. That’s almost tropical!

After a cup of coffee and a quick glance over Flickr, Instagram and FB and, of course a quick pencil in of some clues to today’s Mild sudoku we made our plans for the day. I was still struggling with the A5 calendar for the downstairs toilet and Scamp was driving over to her sister’s to deliver a parcel. I got a bit further with the calendar, but was considering shelling out for a commercial DTP package as all the open source ones had bits missing or a mysterious way of working that I couldn’t follow. The Scamp returned and we had lunch which was yesterday’s soup with some tortellini flung in to add a bit of extra flavour. Now I don’t know if it was the tortellini or the soup, but something didn’t agree with Scamp and we decided to shelf our plans for a walk until everything settled down.

After an hour or so she declared herself a lot better and thought a walk in the fresh air would do her some good. The rain that had been plaguing us on and off had dried up and gone elsewhere, so we got our boots on and went over to St Mo’s to see if the ice had gone. Thankfully it was almost gone, with just a little floating ice island in the middle of the pond for the gulls to land on. I found today’s PoD hanging on the branch of a tree. The white fur of the ear muffs really stood out against the dark of the woods behind.

Walked back and I resigned myself to completing the calendar using Apple Pages and Numbers. The Mac version of Word and Excel respectively. Good because they now come free with the OS, but nothing to write home about or even to write home on. With that said, they were completing the task and after a bit of work I had a master page made.

Not wanting to tempt fate we decided to pass on the Veg Chilli and settled for a standard Monday dinner of ‘Red Spaghetti’. Basically a tomato sauce with whatever the fridge had available and in date flung in. It seemed to work fine with no after effects.

While I had been making dinner, Scamp had been busy, initially making a short list of holiday pictures for the calendar. However she’d also found a folder of photos taken in 2009. Our first cruise, and tonight we sat and watched nostalgically as images of a younger couple, who looked a bit like us but with fewer wrinkles, flitted across the TV screen. Chromecast is a wonderful thing.

Tomorrow looks good in the morning, with the weather deteriorating as the day progresses. Scamp drove her car up to her sister’s today. I might drive mine for us to have a walk along the canal.


Another cold morning – 6 January 2021

Another day for the YakTrax.

It was a lovely bright morning, but cold. Temperature was around -2ºc and we were daft enough to go out in it, and BEFORE COFFEE TOO! What were we thinking. Well, the weather machine in the house was predicting snow and it made sense to us to go out in the morning, even if it was cold. It would be much more sensible to go walking in the cold rather than in the snow. That was the logic. It made sense to me. It was bright enough to get some decent images without having to hike up the ISO too much. After struggling with dust bunnies last night, I just wanted to take some photos today.

Scamp suggested we go round Broadwood because the paths there would have more footfall and therefore be a bit cleared than the ice rink that is St Mo’s. I agreed. Broadwood would make a change too. She also suggested that it would not be a good idea to try to cross the Broadwood boardwalk which is made of plastic panels and doesn’t give you much confidence or a decent grip when it’s covered in ice. Again, I agreed. I’d agree to anything if it gets us out of the house these days and with the added benefit of a chance to take some photos.

Most of the paths were, indeed, free from ice and walking was easy. We did try one of the less travelled paths, but it was low lying and prone to flooding. Today that flood had converted to solid ice. No grip. No chance. We chose to go back the way we’d come, then extended it round Broadwood Stadium. There were a few people out walking this morning. I think most were like us, just wanting to get out somewhere in the sunshine. There’s no point in complaining about the dull days and then staying inside on the bright ones.

Back home and after lunch I was all set to make some Limoncello. As a Christmas present, Scamp had given me four lemons, a bag of sugar, a bottle of vodka and a set of instructions for making Limoncello. Today I’d decided to make it, but first I wanted to sketch and paint the two remaining lemons, the other two having succumbed to mould in this warm house. I promptly got a sketch done and started laying down washes using the strange paper pads of paint Hazy had given me for Christmas. Such strange colours which, when dry bear no resemblance to colours when wet. There’s an intense blue which looks purple with a copper sheen when dry. The warm yellow turned to quite an acid yellow on the painting. Intriguing. They mixed beautifully, so beautifully I got a bit carried away and ended up with a multicoloured mess. A most enjoyable mess, though! I’ll try again tomorrow, hopefully.

When I was setting out the two lemons for painting, I discovered that one had a big mould spot on it. It had to join the others in the bin. Luckily I’d bought some lemons at the weekend and started to pare the rind off with a potato peeler which is ideal for the task. The lemon peel went into a kilner jar and as per the instructions, I poured the bottle of vodka over them, clipped on the lid and gave it a good shake. It’s now in the drinks cupboard and has to stay there for a week before it gets its sugar added. The little bare lemons look exactly like little sheep after they’ve been shorn of their wooden coats in the summer. I may take a photo of them tomorrow, huddled together.

I wasn’t satisfied with the morning’s shots, so I went out again in the afternoon and got a shot of a rare form of ice called Hair Ice. I’ve only seen it once before, over a year ago, in fact it might be the same bit of wood it’s growing on. Google it and be amazed at what nature can produce. By the time I was leaving St Mo’s a freezing fog had descended and I was glad to be on my way home to a warm house.

Dinner tonight was lentil soup and Savoury Slice. Another of Sim’s recipes that Scamp’s adopted and adapted. She wasn’t happy with the results, but I thought it was fine. I was even more pleased with the coffee cake she made. Quite delicious.

The Hair Ice didn’t get PoD. Scamp liked a morning shot of the bench in its frosty coat and that became the winner.

Snow forecast for tomorrow from very early morning until early afternoon. We are having a visitor tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more about it tomorrow.

The ice is melting – 5 January 2021

Time to get the boots and the YakTrax on and go for a walk.

Just a walk round St Mo’s, but the ice is still treacherous, even more so as there was a slight melt happening and the water was covering the ice. With care it was possible to get round and that’s what we did. Just one circuit. The ducks haven’t returned from their holiday in a warm place and it looked like the swans had become frozen to the ice that covered St Mo’s pond, but they were just pretending and got up and staggered around while we watched. The worst bit of the walk was the boardwalk, because the ice runs for the whole width of the path with no snow and therefore nowhere to get a better grip. However, again, the YakTrax proved their worth and we completed the walk intact.

I made a loaf after lunch because we needed bread or at least we would tomorrow. For speed and also because I couldn’t be bothered with the faff of hand kneading, I asked the mixer to do the hard work and it did produce a decent dough. Set it to prove and headed off to St Mo’s again for a second chance at some photos, although I reckoned I had one in the bag already.

I tried another of the daring camera on the ice shots, but the ice was melting and I could hear it creaking a bit under my boots. I could also smell the decomposing leaf mass under the ice, so it definitely wasn’t as stable as I’d have liked. Four shots and I was off onto dry land again.

Back home and an hour or so’s work and I had a mono PoD of a park bench and a colour shot of the view from the ice. The PoD came from the morning walk with Scamp and the colour shot was from the afternoon.

The bread had completed its first prove and I placed it carefully into a Banneton which is a round basket made from rattan to do the second prove. Rattan is a climbing palm that grows in Indonesia. There, you’ve learned something today. I don’t often use the banneton, but it was recommended for the long proving times necessary for sourdough bread. It certainly produced a very decorative spiral pattern on the dough which rose quite quickly in the warm living room and the bread baked beautifully. Too late for our dinner unfortunately, maybe just as well because I don’t think it would have gone too well with a fiery chicken curry. The ice cream afterwards did go well with it.

Spent an annoying hour trying unsuccessfully to get rid of some dust bunnies on my sensor. I think I ended up with more than I started off with.

Spoke to Canute tonight. We were supposed to phone him, but instead, he phoned us. Had a long talk about the ‘joys’ of grandchildren. Living with Covid and the effects it had on small retail shops. I’d forgotten that his school clothes business would now be Click ’n’ Collect. It must be so difficult for small businesses in these days of constant on – off closures. We wished him well on his operation at the end of the month.

Tonight the temperature is forecast to drop to -5ºc. We may not be going far tomorrow.