Italy, One Last Time

I’m staying in a village in the Colli Euganei National Park near Padua.

These a few images from our first evening.

We’ve eaten well and here’s some foodie shots to make you jealous.

Today we walked around some of the mountains before the rain set in.

I’ve had a great time with three old friends, who despite this image are a grand bunch.

Back to Blighty tomorrow… I wonder what dog thinks of my absence?

Posted in holidays, miscellany, walking | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Images of Venice

We decided to walk around the town today and the countryside tomorrow. Here are some images

The last image is what you first see on leaving the station. It’s easy to be blown away.

And then the threatened storm rumbles in

Posted in holidays, miscellany | Tagged , | 44 Comments

Ok So I’m A Lucky…

Just landing… it started like this

Went to this…

And ended with these

In point of fact I’m staying an hour away with friends for some walking but it happens Venice is the nearest airport. Maybe we’ll pop in…

Posted in holidays, walking | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

‘Armless #carrotranch #99wordstories #littletittweaking

This week’s prompt is

September 26, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a broken arm. What happened? Is there a cause and effect because of the broken arm? Was the injury faked? Why? Go where the prompt leads!


Little Tittweaking’s first laureate (appointed to celebrate 1000 years since Daisy Doesit stopped on a conical hill, announced, ‘Yon Tit’s weaking’ (weaking – dialect: dripping, or spouting) and took a drink, before locals chased her away) is Stan Tzar, a Stalin-inspired purge-poet. Stan’s speciality is the four line shitter, the first three lines of which fail to prepare the listener for the spite of the fourth. His first iconoclastic peroration included this paean to Daisy and her pursuers:

Who would hurt our Daisy

Or do our Daisy harm

Tread upon her dainty hands

Or break her bleedin’ arm…?

Posted in #99wordstories, Carrot Ranch Congress of Rough Writers, creative writing, flash fiction, humour, little Tittweaking, miscellany | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Week Thirty-Six: 2022 – Just One Last Thing

This week has been about the Quilt show, one way or another, so I thought I’d finish with this.

It’s a twelve foot square panel that had to be laid on the lawn and was tricky to photograph.

Can you focus in on the centre? Familiar? Maybe more to the Brits. It’s a representation of Grenfel Tower post the fire. One of the Dulwich Quilters created that panel in response to a challenge. Let me quote from the brochure to explain the context and the concept.

‘Constructed for the Festival of Quilts in response to the Quilter’s Guild stimuli ‘40 years, one moment’. Grenfell Tower was 40 years old when the refurbishment too place, the one moment what we witnessed on out TV screens 14 June 2017. The panel was gifted to artist Tuesday Greenidge and her teams who are constructing a series of quilts to mark the fifty’s anniversary of the fire.

The panel has now been incorporated into a much larger piece stitched in memory of an Italian family who lived in the tower.

This part of the memorial quilt is titled “Mum, Grenfell is on fire”.’

Eventually they hope the quilt panels will be two hundred and flirty metres long, the height of the tower. Quite something.

I spent Saturday at Lord’s Cricket Ground, watching the last domestic international cricket match with my fellow outlaws, my daughter in law’s parents. Neither are cricket fans but both wanted to experience a match and the ambience and atmosphere.

Things went well. The seats gave a good view, the coffee was perfectly acceptable and I managed to explain one or two of the odder of the nuances of cricket to them.

It was slightly unsatisfactory for them that they had to leave shortly before the end to go to dinner with their children; it was bubbling up to an interesting finale. Then the game came to an abrupt halt in a way that has caused a fair degree of controversy since. I could explain but I won’t. You’ll be asleep before I’ve set the scene; just know that one English batperson was ‘mankaded’, a rare form off dismal that was first effected in the 1940s by Vinoo Mankad against an Australian, Bill Brown and has been controversial ever since. I’ve never seen an example live before. Had I had to explain it and the historical reasons for its controversial nature, I fear I might have tainted their watching experience for ever.

This week is in two halves; the first part in the garden and the second in Italy for some walking. I may not blog as much if at all while I’m away, enjoy the excitement of an exchange rate that will make a cappuccino as costly as the aggregate of my holiday mistakes.

Meanwhile, the garden is looking perkier, even though we still have a hosepipe ban.

Posted in 2022, Dulwich, miscellany, quilts, thought piece | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments

The Economic Inevitability of Haystacks

This week’s #writephoto prompt is

The Economic Inevitability of Haystacks.

After retiring from the Scots Terriers (Motto: Always fear the dogs of war) Major Shirley Som-Mishtake RSVP, WTF Lefthanded and Bar took up farming Little Tittweaking’s Lower Bowel. In 2022, Shirley began ploughing the Midden fields prior to planting a fast growing crop of genetically modified Monet trees. This generated a lot of local approbation.

Monet trees gained their bad press, because of the impression given that, if they included in one’s diet they proved conclusively there is such a thing as a free lunch. In fact, they were originally an invasive French species that had begun to overwhelm the indigenous equivalents by repetitively filling the landscapes with idyllic haystacks dominating the more prosaic imagery of the earthy, less bucolic locally-sourced bales. Gradually, despite the exponential increase in tourism from visits by groups of mindfulness spotters and radical Pilates activists, local people were horrified. Lily Pond, an itinerant straw baler formed the Campaign for Real Landscapes and gradually the benefits of having a Monet tree shrank.

Recently though, there has been a shift in thinking. Clever people, accepting that occasionally when there’s been a complete balls up, we can all benefit from the necessary if naturally unwelcome support of a truss have revisited the much maligned Monet tree and understood that with the odd tweak it can create the environment for a ‘trickle down’ event. This hypothesises that by sapping the strength of the host plant the surrounding land will all become fertile and fecund.

Shirley is a new adherent to this philosophy. He went to Harrow and has always enjoyed the delicious sense of having his balls gripped by something wild eyed and blond. Sadly, most experts believe that the result will be yet more jolly impressions of a mythologised agricultural past and eventually we will all find ourselves living in sodding haystacks.

Posted in #writephoto, creative writing, humour, little Tittweaking, miscellany | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Being Blown Away

Today, I walked 17,000 steps and climbed Kilimanjaro. And it was all done indoors.

How? Why? Tomorow and Sunday the quilt group the Textiliste belongs to hosts their bi-annual exhibition. Long time readers may recall they held a special last year, as a What did you do during Covid themed show, but this was back to the tradition. And the Textiliste, because of her extraordinary calmness under pressure, artistic eye and ability to hold several thoughts in her head curates the whole thing. Me? I climb ladders and stairs and hang quilts. It’s a full day, for sure.

They have competition quilts, team quilts, quilts that have been made to be raffled.. this

There’s a shop full of goodies,

a village of quaint houses

some sunflowers to remember Ukraine

and the completed cabinet of curiosities marking the end of the Queen’s reign

and so much more. But mostly they are just joyous examples of artists at work, exploding with ideas and colour. If my images fail to do them justice, that is my fault. Enjoy this sneak preview…

After the weekend, I may be able to post some other details, but let’s absorb this first.

And the Textiliste? This is one she co-authored with a friend

and these are inspired by Mind the charity they are supporting with the money they raise from the door, the raffle and the shop.

Posted in quilts | Tagged , , | 39 Comments

And finally…

I needed to walk Dog so we thought we’d catch the train into town and have a look at the Green Park floral tributes before they go off to be composted.

There must be a few businesses who’ve made money out of the Queen’s death, florists being one. But purveyors of large sized black tights for all the flunkeys, Union Jack vendors, sand merchants to stop the roads being too slippy, portaloo hirers and sellers of black ties have also done well. And if the numbers of foreign accents yesterday was anything to go by, the continued Disneyfication of the Royal Family will boost tourism too. It was nice to see so many people out and about, taking it all in.

Naturally my biggest concern was Dog deciding to relieve himself on some treasured card from class 5 at High Holiday Primary School but he behaved impeccably and later crashed out on the sofa…

Tomorrow, Friday I will climb a couple of Kilimanjaros helping set up the Quilt Exhibition the Textiliste has been curating for the last year. It takes place Saturday and Sunday in Dulwich Village if you’re about, in Bell House.

I dropped off some of the frames and backing cloths tonight and had a sneak preview of the Cabinet of Curiosities that they’ve set up again. It seemed appropriate, given the theme of this post to include a picture here.

Posted in dog, London, walking | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments

Once A Lawyer…

I was accused the other day of ‘still being a lawyer’ even though my official retirement from that career was umpteen years ago. I gave it some thought and realised the evidence is plain. Here are 15 reasons why you can take the boy out of the law but never the law out of the boy.

  1. I find I still say ‘whence’ and ‘hitherto’ and ‘wherefor’ when talking to my family
  2. I cannot avoid defining things as in ‘When you say you’ll be late, what do you mean exactly?’
  3. If I buy something that has a set of terms and conditions I look at them from a distance, sigh and mumble ‘I’m sure they’ll be fine’.
  4. Then I make someone else sign the contract
  5. When I write a shopping list it has a list of exclusions on the back
  6. I insist on things being in writing: so if there’s chocolate in the fridge with no name on it, I think it’s fair to claim squatters rights since  it obviously doesn’t belong to anyone.
  7. I can bullshit for longer and with greater fluency than all my friends save those who are also lawyers.
  8. I enjoy dressing up in gowns; wigs not so much.
  9. In any family discussion I am inclined to say, ‘But you said on the 27th March….’ and have a contemporaneous note of the conversation in my journal.
  10. I am happy using expressions like ‘contemporaneous note’ and don’t feel a dick when I do.
  11. I keep a note of how long things take to do though my attempts to introduce time sheets into our daily routine have thus far floundered.
  12. I am aghast when, having cited a clearly binding Authority, the precedent is ignored: as in ‘but I always watch the rugby/cricket/football/golf on Saturdays’.
  13. I feel more comfortable if I’m allowed to include a simple errors, omissions and indemnity clause on the back of wedding presents, birthday cards and invites to dinner parties. It’s like checking the tyre pressures before a long journey.
  14. Like well trained members of the judiciary, I have the ability to sleep while appearing to be awake.
  15. I can be utterly convincing on all subjects (save incest and Morris Dancing) even though I know absolutely nothing about them.

I expect everyone will laugh at this; after all most people do these things anyway, don’t they? I mean, I’m not that odd.

Posted in humour, law, miscellany, thought piece | Tagged , , , | 53 Comments

Internally Combustive #99wordstories #carrotranch

This week’s #99wordstories prompt at the Carrot Ranch is

September 19, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about mud on the tires. The tires can be from any conveyance or serve as an analogy. How did they get muddy and why? What impact does mud on the tires have on the story (plot) or characters (motivation)? Go where the prompt leads!

Internally Combustive

From three, Sandy Mudd wanted to be a car mechanic. He re-sparked plugs and dipped sticks until everyone said he’d surely be the youngest ever winner of the Total Spanner award. His ambition to join Little Tittweaking’s star team at The Greased Monkey, was set back when he displayed his supersized big end during a speed-dating event at the Compost and Rot for which he was temporarily banned. Sadly, his exceptional dexterity when nipple greasing Penny Forthem’s open top failed to help and anyone asking as to his whereabouts was always answered with ‘Mudd’s on the tyres.

Posted in #99wordstories, Carrot Ranch Congress of Rough Writers, creative writing, humour, little Tittweaking, miscellany | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments