January 13th, 2017



We had snow overnight- not very much, but it has settled and frozen. Birds are flocking round the feeders. My mother-in-law in Manchester- worried by a report of flooding on the Essex coast (at a guess about a hundred miles from here)- rings to ask if we've been evacuated yet. Ailz whose grasp of geography is equally approximate says, "Now you know where I get it from."


There's a crisis in the NHS and the Labour party should be all over it- giving the government a really hard time. And it's not. If Labour can't stand up- loud and proud- for the NHS- which is its creation and close to the heart of what it's supposed to be all about- then what on earth is it for?

Instead Corbyn has been banging on about a wage cap for the very rich- a noble cause- but not- right now- a burning issue. It's like there's a  World Cup match in progress and everyone is glued to their sets and Corbyn is out in the yard bouncing a ball against the wall and going, "Look at me, Ma,  I just scored again!"

I supported Corbyn. I like and admire him. I don't think Labour's current feebleness is all his fault. Not at all. But wouldn't it be nice to have an opposition that- well- did some opposing?

Wish I Was In Herefordshire...

I was taking some cardboard boxes to the bonfire site and my right-hand boot got stuck in the icy sludge that the horses have made and my stockinged foot came out of it and plunged into said sludge. I sorted myself out- avoiding the complete collapse that threatened- and then immediately repeated the sequence with my left-hand boot and foot.

The snow is going- either melting or blowing away, but the wind is cruel. There's something about this weather that makes me fidget and itch- and want to rake my forearms with my finger nails.

Two good things:

1. Ailz bought a coconut and fresh coconut is like dried coconut but even better- creamier, moister, more subtly and fragrantly flavoured.

2. Phil Rickman has just published the 14th Merrily Watkins mystery- All of a Winter's Night- and I'm halfway through it. Those who know the series will know that he mainly uses real locations- most of them in Herefordshire or elsewhere on the Welsh borders. This time the central location is the Romanesque church at Kilpeck with its wonderful carvings.

Wish I was there...