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Saturday, 27 August 2016


My old "local" team, Plymouth Argyle, had a dreadful start to the football season, but have now won the last 3 games and are currently in the play-off places. Mind you, it is very early days.

My current "local" team, Cambridge United, is currently at the very bottom of the league. Unless they buck up they could lose their league place at the end of the season.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Swifts gone

It is now several weeks since I last saw (and heard) swifts overhead. I guess they have started their journey south. For a few months they are an English summer. Then one day you realise they've gone. I miss them and look forward to their return next May.

I had the rare privilege of holding a swift many years ago when one landed accidentally in the road. We kept it in a box overnight and fed it insects. The next day it just flew away. They really are lovely birds.

Farewell and safe journeying over land and sea. See you next year.

"London" grandchildren

All being well our "London" grandchildren are here next week. We love seeing all our grandchildren, but I shall be very exhausted by next Friday.

Monday, 22 August 2016


When getting some fresh parsley from the garden, I had a surprise when this fellow appeared! I am told it is a frog and not a toad.  As you know, I am not an expert on frogs and toads!


A picture of a brimstone (?) butterfly on the sweet peas. Taken a few weeks ago at Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust house a few miles to the east of Cambridge, UK.

One of our sons called them flutterbys, which is a much better name!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Stroke and not feeling well

Since my stroke, nearly 3 years ago now, I have felt giddy when on my feet. I tire easily but I am not sure if this is a separate issue or as a result of feeling giddy. To be honest, I have not felt well now for almost 3 years.

My health has prevented me doing so much. Yes, compared with many, I know I have come off lightly. But, I know how I was and the frustration is so great.  All my amateur radio field work is on hold and most amateur radio antenna work is impossible without the help of others. I am very grateful for the help that has been so generously given, but I would prefer to be able to do this myself.

Life can be cruel, but my limited energy is better focused on making the best of what I have and not hoping to be fully mended and as I once was.

Friday, 19 August 2016


See .

Brazil is struggling, but this is a major setback for disabled athletes. Up until this Olympic Games the outlook for disabled athletes was getting better progressively.

Garden Birds

Young Starling
We have lived at our bungalow for 3 years now. We see fewer small birds than at our old house despite lots of cover and an orchard right next door. Here we see a young starling on the seed feeder. I am sure there are more starlings than a few years ago. Also great tits and long tail tits seem more plentiful. Starlings are greedy birds, but lovable.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Railways in Burwell

Our local museum has an exhibition about railways in and around Burwell. Passenger traffic ended in the early 1960s but freight traffic limped on for a few more years. They also had a video of the branch line to Mildenhall from Cambridge which went through Burwell.

UK Pound

At the moment, the UK pound seems to have stabilised since we voted to leave the EU. The value (about 10% lower) should work in favour of exporters, although less so if their raw materials are imported.

Imports become more expensive.  Does this mean we will buy more UK food like UK bacon? At the moment we import far more than we need.

See .

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Rio Olympics

It seems hard to believe that the London Olympic Games were 4 years ago. At the moment, the UK is 3rd in the medal tables, which is very good.

Preparing for the Olympics takes hours and hours of dedication and very hard work. To all Olympians from any country my thanks and best wishes. There is no place for cheats. For those who perform at their personal very best, my praise. Thank you.

We will blink and it will be time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Thursday, 11 August 2016


It is still too early to tell how this is going to pan out.

The euro, yen and dollar exchange rates have moved in favour of UK exporters and making imports from these nations more expensive.

I have the feeling that the euro will collapse in value in the next 18 months as the remaining EU nations wake up to Greek debt (there is no way they can repay this) and the likelihood of the Greeks defaulting and leaving the EU. This would really hit Germany.  In the end I think the UK will be fine. The UK was a net contributor to the EU and we voted to leave. This puts an even greater burden on the richer EU members.

It would not surprise me if we had a snap General Election here in the UK, especially if the Labour party commits self-imposed suicide and splits in two. Our current Prime Minister, Teresa May,  did not vote for Brexit and neither did any in my family. If a General Election was to be called then the Conservative Party is likely to get a huge majority.

I am currently reading a book on the history of Europe 1789-1989. I had little idea how the borders and alliances changed so much in the 1800s. Clearly Europe is still evolving.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Stroke update

Every now and again I give an update on my recovery from my stroke in 2013. There is very little change! I seem to be on a plateau now with most (all?) foods OK but I still have problems with drinks. Beer and orange are OK in small sips but I find tea (especially Lapsang Souchong) and coffee hard work. I used to love these!

All the time I feel giddy on my feet and I still tire easily after any physical or mental activity of more than about 15 minutes. My emotional threshold seems lower - I worry and cry more. I have a sick feeling most of my waking time. Sleep is fine, although I sometimes muddle dreams with reality: for example I was convinced my younger son had decided to break a journey to the Lake District here next weekend. He is coming but they have no plans to visit the Lake District. I must have dreamed this! I can drive and most cognitive functions are fine. My fine motor skills are not as good as they were.  My voice is poor.

In summary, I am having to adapt to the new "me". If things improve, great, but after all this time I am beginning to, reluctantly, accept my limitations. The main problem is people see me and say how well I look. Indeed I do look well. Inside I still feel unwell. In some ways it would be easier to have a disability that people could see.