It was picture-postcard romantic to live deep in the beechwoods in a thatched cottage built for the game-keeper in the mid 1800s, wood-smoke curling up from two tall chimneys every morning as the mist cleared in the Spring sunshine.
But these days our little friends Elf and Softy are daring to point out that even the newest, tightest, most efficient woodstoves pump invisible particles into the rooms they heat. And this time they are absolutely right! Much to the chagrin of the green wellie brigade and other country dwellers with a preference for traditional heating.
I acquired ‘solid’ evidence during the Viking years. First, a dripping nose which coincided exactly with winter sojourns at home; second, the state of the fly screens which we needed in the woods and which were yellow with smoke-dust after a few months’ use (there was no dust outside in the woods!).
So before you chuck another log on, you might want to think again.
One of the things that will remain with me when I leave Vikingland for pastures old and loved is the memory of compulsory outdoor lunches and preprandial drinks sessions dictated by the first marginally optimistic weather forecasts of Spring. ”16 grad. Dejligt. Det er så hyggeligt!”’ They’ll happen throughout the country next week – after I leave. Perhaps, in some cases, because I have left! The participants will be pale, cold and prevented by tradition from escaping inside to a warm fire.
Ever since the world’s media started to report hygge a few years ago, the natives here have allowed their inbred hygge to acquire disproportionate importance in their lives. And now they want UNESCO to recognise it as an ‘intangible’ treasure alongside the Mediterranean Diet and Turkish Coffee.
Back home I shall retaliate post haste with Afternoon Tea and the Village Cricket Match experience. Now that’s what I call hygge.
It must be the proliferation of wannabe journalists that’s responsible for the ridiculous attention given to the American festival of Halloween – in shops and in the meeja. Because if nobody wrote about such rubbish, nobody else would find it interesting to participate in such childish games.
Continue reading “Don’t be silly”
I noticed today that access to Oxford centre will be restricted to electric vehicles by 2020. Great idea, close to my heart. Continue reading “Nostalgia”
Like everything else, even the hot and sultry weeks old Srius used to offer us have changed – to cool and damp. And countless Charioteers (at least I have lost count) are taking their R and R away from the proferred joys of our W and W (er…. wit and wisdom?).
The remaining participants are ‘off’ politics, off royalty, off meteorological mysteries – so what’s left? The culinary arts, garden rescue, tales of times past….and of course, love – the passion that drives us.
Better to let sleeping dogs lie, eh?
Squeeze the facts to fit the goal – and yes, your bum does look big when you do!
There’s a self-styled voice of reason in the Olde Countrie called the committee for the protection of rural England or CPRE for short. Its latest protest concludes that the major road projects over the past few decades have failed to the extent that they have increased the traffic on the roads affected!
I’m tempted to write ‘d’oh!’ But Backside is otherwise imprisoned today so here’s a more reasonable response.
They cite the Newbury bypass as evidence. Now I remember it from before it was installed – a legendary bottle-neck in Newbury town which held up north/south traffic every day. Of course the CPRE is correct, the traffic was diverted and the town recovered. And the traffic entered rural Emgland’s holy portals. But more traffic? Unlikely. Why suddenly drive around remote villages? Maybe a few white vanmen enjoyed careering along ‘short cuts’ but they’ve always done that.
I must consign the CPRE to its fate as a special interest group we cannot rely on!
Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers
At my local convenience store today.
The hitching post and buggy parking spots have been there for a while and are often used (sometimes just to leave a deposit as evidenced), the electric car charger is new and as far as I know, unused.
A few captions spring to my somewhat biased mind:
Sublime or ridiculous
Charging or discharging
Bullsh!t or horsesh!t
Nonsense or horsesense