Friday, November 20, 2015

There's a spider in the old barn

This morning I went into the garage to put the recycling bin away. The garage is an outbuilding, a barn, well over 100 years old made of local stone. I find it fascinating. Unfortunately when I moved the ordinary bin out of the way there was a huge, giant, enormous, big, enormous (did I say enormous?), big spider on the lid. I think that it was a Cardinal spider.

The French Wikipedia is more dramatic as it gives the maximum length of the spider, including legs, as up to 13 cm which is just over 5 inches! The English Wiki talks of body length only. Mine wasn’t that big. It’s fast too; speeds recorded up to 3.5 Km/h = 2.17 mph. As it happens it is harmless to humans (excepting heart attack when you see one up close).

In bad weather I hang the washing out in the garage – I really hope that the spider does not like fabric conditioner. This is what I wrote about the barn a few years ago: The barn

The tunnels mentioned in the story were built many hundreds of years ago and were a way of moving protestants to safety during the many religious conflicts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Exciting times

I have finally published a book on Kindle!! It’s taken quite a while and challenged my knowledge of Word, but I got there in the end As from today you can buy Angie Brynner & Company from Amazon for your Kindle. Did you know that if you haven’t got a Kindle reader you can download an App for smartphones, or you can read using your tablet or computer?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bumblebee update

Unfortunately I found this lying on the grass this morning:

I don't think that the cats would have done this.  I haven't seen any cats in the garden since the nest appeared as it's close to where they come in and out.  Looking online I have discovered that badgers enjoy a bit on honey and sometimes foxes.  I don't think that there are many foxes around here and badgers?  I've never heard talk of them.  I'll have to grab a passing farmer and ask them if there are badgers locally.

The gate into the garden is locked at night so I don't think a human would have done this.  Good news is that the bees are still going to and fro so there is some of the hidden nest left.

Friday, November 06, 2015


This last week has been interesting as far as nature is concerned. We’ve had a nest of red-tailed bumblebees in the garden in a wall behind the hedge this year. They are very beautiful and it’s been fascinating to see them coming and going. Rob and I have left them alone, especially after he was stung when he was mowing the lawn near to their nest. Can you imagine how the noise and vibration would seem to them?

This week he was stung again and his leg was quite swollen. I checked up online and that can happen and it’s ok. As it happens they are bees that do not die, they can use their stings over and over. I found this wonderful website all about bees. When the weather gets cool enough the male bee population will die, the old queen will die and the young queens have all ready flown away to make ready for their own colonies next year. I will be sad to see them disappear and feel privileged that they chose our garden.

A couple of mornings ago I found a European House Centipede on a kitchen work surface. These are insects I have a lot of time for as they are excellent hunters and rid the house of just about every insect you can think of. I find a clear Tupperware container and pop it over them and then carefully slide a thin piece of stout card underneath (careful not to trap their legs) and let them free outside.

The next one appeared when I was sat on the toilet and of course feet look like good shelter* on their level. I caught up with this one in the bedroom and popped him outside. We’ve had a very mild autumn so far and it looks as if it is going to end soon if I’m finding them indoors. If you do find one or two it’s an indication that you haven’t got any large infestations of other creepy crawlies in your home. If there is nothing for them to hunt they leave.

 *in 1902 an entomologist observed that they frightened the ladies when they headed for the shelter of their skirts

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nose Job

Jus over a week ago I had four little patches of Actinic Keratosis burnt/frozen off my nose. I knew that I had a little patch of something on my nose for some years, but never got round to doing anything about it.  It took less than 5 minutes which included the writing of a prescription for a product to help with healing.

 I’m just waiting for the scabs to fall off and that should be the end of it. I will be using sun cream more regularly from now on.

(Taken a few days ago) 

Not very in focus I know, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

It comes in threes - or is it fours?

Yesterday morning I had to use my card to buy some stamps at the post office. I reversed my pin number. I was sure that I had the right number; three times. Now waiting for new number so that I can start using my card again…

When I was waiting to catch the bus to the clinic for my leg injections, a car drove past at great speed and soaked me as it went through a big puddle. The driver in the car behind looked as shocked as I felt.

At the clinic I was told that the government is making cuts again and so my injections are to be considered as aesthetic. I won’t be refunded at all for the sessions. Last year it was my glucosamine that was considered ‘comfort’ medicine. Let’s hope that the Minister of Health doesn’t ever suffer from arthritis or restless legs.

This morning, just when I thought it was safe, I opened the bathroom cupboard and a new bottle of nail varnish hit the floor and spattered everywhere. I managed to clean it up without too much trouble. The bathroom smells of acetone now, even after I removed all traces to the bin outside and cleaned the floor afterwards. I learnt today that spilled nail varnish dries a lot faster that nail varnish applied to your fingernails.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The big six-oh

My birthday has come round again, but this time I’m going up into a different decade. I’ve had lots of presents and fuss from my family and enjoyed the Happy Birthdays from my Facebook friends . It has been a good day so far.

I’ve been thinking what to say about this decade; We had “Life begins at forty” and I said myself “But it really gets going at 50”. “Sweet 60s”?!

I can still play air guitar with the best. So here, live and all the way from the Red Square in Moscow is Sir Paul McCartney and friends just to wish me – and anyone else in Blogland who has one today;

Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Time passes so quickly when...

It’s just over a week since we got home from a visit to the UK. We had a great time, but it was very tiring as we now have Dom and J-M to visit too. They only live around an hour from Stansted but we took about three hours to get to their house. It was a very rainy night and the vital road to take us into Colchester was closed that very evening. Anyway we finally arrived and refreshed and were shown around their new home and it was time for bed. Dom was supposed to be working, but she had a heavy cold and spent the morning in bed so J-M showed us around their new home town; it’s a really lovely place.

Then we popped to see Christian and J. Unfortunately it was my turn to be ill. Stomach upset, but no pain. I spent half a day in bed. Fortunately It was a day when no great travels were scheduled.

Then we were off to visit our mothers. We had a lovely afternoon with Rob’s mother and took her out in the wheelchair and sat in the beautiful grounds of the care home; Christian came too, so she was especially pleased. My mum is fine though we didn't have much time to see her..

Very soon it was time to go back to Dom and J-M for the final evening. Why do holidays always go so quickly?

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


Well, what have I been up to.? Both Olivier and then Dom and J-M came to visit. Dom and J-M are now living in the UK and Dom has started work. She also went off to a conference in Malta at the beginning of the month. She said that the weather was very hot over there.

Olivier popped home for a weekend as there is a holiday mid-August. He seems to be happy and this year his sessions at university will be 4 weeks long alternated with work for 4 weeks.

Christian, who I’m unsuccessfully trying to call Chris, helped me to install Windows 10. He used team viewer to take over my computer. I’m used to Window’s 10 now – it’s not much different to Windows 7. Mahjong and Spider Solitaire aren’t there anymore. All my scores over the last 4 years have been lost. There is Spider Solitaire, but it’s not the same. I’ve managed to find the original Shanghai Dynasty Mahjong that I used to play. I need a bigger version nowadays so that I can see the pattern on the tiles.

All of a sudden the weather has turned Septemberish. We still have lovely sunny days, but with very cold mornings. The washing doesn’t dry in a couple of hours outside anymore.

 Some blue sky for you, taken in the last week of August. Even the leaves aren’t as green now…

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Château on fire?

I thought that they were just marks on the postcard but it seems that something (smoke? ectoplasm?) is coming out of the window....