Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Back to work*

*[about as misleading a title as it can be: Ed]
The late spring bank holiday weekend is over.  The weather was simply perfect here in beautiful Ruislip. Other parts of the UK may have had chill and rain but we were treated to blue skies, steady but not overpowering sunshine and temperatures into the high 20s. And to cap it all, as we all go back to work today it has turned damp and colder with blanket grey-white cloud.

Well, okay, when I say "back to work" I am of course speaking generically. I shall not be commuting this week but, you know, I shall be thinking in a kindly and well-disposed sort of way of those who are. I remain on standby, to "take the call" from any of my clients but I am confident that neither the phones nor the interweb will be bearing any communications from them for a while.

I suppose now is the time to record the sad news that, for the first year in memory, not a single frog has been seen in the aquatic centre on my estate [the pond out the back: Ed] and therefore no frogspawn or tadpoles have ensued. There is a nationwide decline of amphibians and it has reached Ruislip. On the other hand birds that seem to be sparrows have been nesting in the thick shrubbery on the garden fence. Sparrows were once so plentiful we took them for granted. In recent years they have been wholly absent from the back garden. It's heartening to see them return.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Our sports correspondent confirms...

Yes, there is a classic England batting collapse so it must be summer

Friday, May 17, 2013

Our climatologist speaks

It must be summer, there's a test match at Lords.
[Is that it? Ed]

Thursday, May 09, 2013

A spot of breeze

Spring seemed to have passed rapidly into summer just a few days ago. We basked in beautiful sunshine and calm, clear skies. That was then. Today we seem to have lurched back to the fag-end of winter with gales and rain. On my homeward journey on the Met the train made an emergency stop near Northwick Park where workmen were on the Chiltern Line track alongside us removing part of a tree that had fallen over the rails. You don't see that too often and you certainly don't expect it at this time of the year.

And on arrival back in beautiful Ruislip, Mrs. Commuter greeted me with the news that a fence panel between us and next door was blown down - it belongs to my neighbour so he can have the pleasure of trying to stick it back.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Two or fewer wheels

My trusty bike developed a slow puncture at the weekend. As it is some 40 years since I last messed about with basins of water, chalk, rubber patches and that horrible glue, I invested in a new inner tube, only to be embarrassed to discover I was not certain how to put it on to the wheel. It seemed to be too big and as I inserted one end into the outer tyre, another section flopped out. Never mind, a return trip to my friendly local bike shop with the wheel, the tube and the outer,  and a freshly pumped wheel was to hand. Only for me to find I now could not refit it back on the bike because the brake blocks were in the way and it had to be deflated again.

They say you never forget how to ride a bike. What they don't say is that you can easily forget how to fix a flat.