More news from Britain

What’s happening in Britain? Let’s start in Colyton, Devon, where a woman hung out her wash. Because people do that here. Dryers aren’t as common as they are in the U.S. If people get any sunny weather, out go the clothes.

So how is this news? Well, after this earthshaking action, she got an anonymous letter asking her “with kindness not to put your washing out at the front of your house” because visitors would see it. “Help us all keep Colyton a town we can all be proud of,” the letter said, and it suggested she “consider using a tumble dryer or hanging the washing indoors.”

The writer claimed to represent both local businesses and the entire neighborhood. Not to mention all of England and probably Jersey (that’s old, not New Jersey) as well. 

Irrelevant photo: a poppy

This being modern (as opposed to Victorian or, say, Arthurian) Britain, the whole thing got splashed all over the town Facebook group and in no more time than it took to wash a load of laundry (I’m making that part up; I don’t know how long it took), neighbors had hung out their own washing. Underwear hung from artfully displayed laundry lines in shop windows. Laundry dangled out of windows. Someone hung pyjamas across the town square and ran a bra up the flagpole. I’m old enough to remember when boys thought it was harmless (or maybe didn’t care if it was harmless) to steal some girl’s bra and run it up a flagpole, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this one was put up by an individual of the female persuasion in the joyous spirit of take that, you old busybody.

There’s talk of it becoming an annual event.

So here’s to the anonymous letter writers of the world. Long may their efforts backfire.

Meanwhile, in sports news, 4,500 doughnuts were accidentally delivered to the Old Trafford cricket ground. Or maybe that’s the Old Trafford Cricket Ground. My sports allergy is bad enough that I don’t know if that’s the formal name and therefore capitalized or an informal name and therefore lower case. You probably–and wisely–don’t care. We’ll move on.

I haven’t been able to learn much about the incident except that the kitchen was left “reeling.”

A single doughnut has 425 calories. Give or take a few hundred, since we don’t know the size of the Old Trafford doughnuts or of the imaginary one whose estimated calories I googled, or whether either of them are frosted. But let’s go with 425. It’s a reliable looking number. That means the Old Trafford kitchen was (at least briefly) in possession of 1,912,500 calories’ worth of doughnuts.

I think. At my best, I’m a hazard around numbers, but I’m pretty sure I got that right. Even if I didn’t, though, we can agree that it’s over the recommended daily allowance for pretty much anybody. Even someone who’s simultaneously male, in training for a marathon, breastfeeding, and pregnant.

If anybody could figure out how much space 4,500 doughnuts take up, I’d love to know, because I assume the Old Trafford kitchen isn’t huge. You can arrange them in any pattern that suits you and measure them either metrically or in imperial measures. Or you can compare them to the size of a double-decker bus, a football field, a phone booth, or Wales. Or Delaware. Your choice, although I’m pretty sure Wales and Delaware are too big to be much use. 

Since we’re talking about food, it must be time to mention that Britain was grappling with a shortage of carbon dioxide in late June and its largest wholesalers had begun rationing beer and cider–cider being a popular alcoholic drink here. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, this happened just when the country was in the grip of a twin drinking emergency caused by the conjunction of the World Cup and a heatwave.

At the end of June (which is when I’m writing this), the word was that supplies were expected (maybe) in early July, which would be just in time to prevent a complete national disaster. If, in fact, they come in as predicted.

The shortage also affected soft drinks and the production of dry ice. Not to mention the meat industry and some medical procedures.

It wasn’t just a British problem but a European one, and it was caused by a combination of high demand and routine maintenance shutdowns. But the price has been low, so in spite of the looming meltdown, manufacturers haven’t had a big incentive to get production up and going again.

What kind of plants produce carbon dioxide? Ammonia and bioethanol plants. Which makes me realize how little I know about how those little bubbles get inside the water.

There’s a certain irony in having a carbon dioxide shortage when the world’s facing global warming caused by too much of the stuff, but it comes from having too much in the wrong places and not enough locked away inside those cans and bottles. The drink manufacturers have done their best to hire people who’ll pick it out of the air, but with Brexit looming there’s already a shortage of people to harvest strawberries, so where are they going to find anyone willing to pick carbon dioxide bubbles?

In case you think this is funny, the shortage also affected the nation’s crumpet supply.

The British Beer and Pub Association, which knows how to address a crisis, called on the government to increase its “storage capacity . . . to ensure this does not happen again.”

By the time you read this, enough carbon dioxide to keep the nation guzzling may well have fizzed its way through the supply chain, but if you’ve been reading about an increase in the suicide and homicide rate, you know the cause.

In other news, a mugger in Crawley robbed a man but left behind a plastic bag with 123 candy bars.

Was the candy worth more than the money he got? A quick and highly inaccurate survey of candy prices tells me that bars range from £.50 (note the decimal point–that’s half a pound, not fifty pounds) to £1. So should we say, fairly randomly, that he’d have to have taken in more than £85 to come out even?

The closest I can get to how much money he got is that it was “a small amount.” So he lost money on the deal.

The police checked with local stores but none of them reported that many candy bars missing. 

A hundred and twenty-three candy bars is not enough to cover an area the size of Wales. Or even a football field or a double-decker bus. It is enough to fill one plastic bag, although we don’t know the size of the bag, which is why it’s not one of the standard size comparisons that newspapers use.

Unlike the guy in Crawley, the writer Ian McEwan got mugged by a standardized test. He’s well enough established that one of his books is assigned as part of the national curriculum. You’d think that’d be great, wouldn’t you? Well, it has its problems–ones I wouldn’t mind having, but problems all the same. 

McEwan’s son (let’s call him McE 2.0) read McE 1.0’s book for his A-levels, which is the standardized test I just mentioned. So before the test, McE 1.0 spent some time going over the novel with McE 2.0, discussing points he could make in his essay.

McE 2.0 got a C plus. Because what does the author know about the book he wrote?

Meanwhile, whoever wrote the English literature questions for a lower-level standardized test, the GCSE, mugged him- or herself, along with some 14,000 students, by mixing up the Montagues and the Capulets in a question about Romeo and Juliet. The question assigned Tybalt to the wrong one of two feuding families and ended up asking an unanswerable–not to mention nonsensical–question.

You could, in theory, answer the question by tearing it apart, but that would be a good way to flunk the test since the standardized marking doesn’t create a lot of latitude for creative thinking.

This marks the introduction of the new, tougher GCSEs. So far, they’ve been a stunning success. Slip in an unanswerable question and you can really thin the herd.

The exam board has apologized but to date it hasn’t fallen on its sword.

From there, let’s move on–not to the recent wedding of Megan and Whatshisname but to the people who pontificated on it. Or one of them, anyway.

Thomas J. Mace-Archer-Mills, Esq., appeared regularly in TV interviews during the uproar. He’s described as having “a posh British accent, traditional attire, and a sense of authority on all things royal.” He’s also “the founder of the British Monarchist Society and Foundation.” But it turns out that his name is actually Thomas “Tommy” Muscatello and he’s from Bolton Landing, New York.

He got the Britishness bug when he was cast in a school production of Oliver Twist and apparently learned an upper-class British accent for the role. You can believe that if you want to, but I’ve heard too many Americans who think they learned a British accent. They’re embarrassing. The best I can say for his accent is that none of the articles about him say that he got it wrong.

They also don’t say that he got it right.

As far as I can tell from the articles I’ve seen, no British media outlet interviewed him. I’m going to take a rash guess and say they picked up some whiff of phoniness. Possibly a strong one.

Since I mentioned at the beginning that we had a heat wave, let’s end by acknowledging that Britain doesn’t have any official definition of what a heatwave is, but the Met Office is working on one.

The Met Office? That’s Britain’s weather service and it’s not to be confused with the Met, which is London’s police department. And if you have trouble with that, it gets worse: Scroll down far enough through Lord Google’s offerings and you’ll find the Met Office offering the police weather forecast.

Do the police have different weather from the rest of us? Possibly, but to make the whole thing even more mysterious, the page I found offered me the police weather for Poland, although it was–I checked twice–from the British weather service. 

Polish police didn’t seem to be expecting a heatwave. Unless of course they define it differently there.

However you define a heatwave, though, Britain isn’t good at heat. Train tracks were buckling in 30 degree centigrade heat. What’s that on the other side of the Atlantic? It’s 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Which is hot but on the normal side of normal in a Minnsota summer.

I never heard of train tracks buckling in the heat in the U.S. The rails are laid with a small bit of expansion room between one section and the next. Britain’s rails don’t seem to be, presumably because 86 degrees is a heatwave. I can understand why no one wants to pull them all up and lay them down differently, but if this is the new normal we’re going to have problems.

113 thoughts on “More news from Britain

  1. Love love your post – though I’m on the other side of oceans, we still are with drying out clothes in most of here, and train tracks steam when it rains haha. I wish you’d visit India and write – would sore love your notes from here, but know what, I’m going to try and write from a Nation. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I did like the ‘laundry’ story when I heard it on the radio, I’m glad we are still a nation of subversives.
    No we are useless at snow and useless at heat, I’m currently attending a wedding on the Isle of Wight where it’s already 29 degrees, (84.5F) and the wedding is outside at 1pm. I expect there’ll be fainting and fights.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We are really not very good at dealing with “extreme” weather in this country…even the definition of extreme that we have which is not actually extreme by the standards of places with extreme weather.
    It is too variable, and everything we get is a surprise… I suppose that is why we talk about it so much.
    Not rain mind you…rain is never a surprise!

    Nothing would surprise me about muggers in Crawley, I have been there (it is 20 mins from where I live). It is not the most salubrious of areas, and the people don’t seem that bright. Well..I suppose some must be, but they don’t seem to be the ones who venture out whenever I am there.

    Admittedly I avoid it so may not be the best judge…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve enjoyed reading it! 😊 And Coylton situation, so hilarious. Anytime I ‘ll hang out my wash from now on, I’ll do that with a smile haha 😊

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  5. Hysterical!

    I realised a few days ago that British kvetching season had begun so I’m not surprised about the hanging-out-the-washing letter. It’s the heat, we’re just not used to it. Like the incredibly deep ‘comes up to the top of a pea’ snow we get in winter, we’re just not used to it.

    “….her father-in-law wokking her down the aisle…” Nope, not a British accent by a long chalk. Waughking maybe, but wokking, never.

    There’ve only been a couple of American actors who’ve done a Brit accent so well I’ve thought they were Brits, and one was David Anders as Kensei/David Monroe in Heroes). Try this: https://youtu.be/mkzmselndNE?t=2m

    Here’s the thing about the doughnuts – if they had holes, they weren’t as calorific, if they didn’t, they weren’t doughnuts, they were imposters.

    Love the bit about McEwan’s test!

    Oh – and nice poppy. It’s called a Ladybird poppy. (Or, for you, Ladybug.) :)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The railway track that could buckle in the heat is continuous welded rail. It doesn’t have the little gaps between short sections that caused the hypnotic clicketty-clack of trains of old. According to https://www.american-rails.com/railroad-track.html, “Today, virtually all main lines with speeds above 25 mph use welded or continuous welded rail (CWR) as it is much easier to maintain than the older “stick” or jointed rail that required being bolted together.”
    So they use it in the USA, and they most definitely use it in the UK.

    The same web site says; “The one drawback to CWR is its tendency to kink, or turn into spaghetti, during the high heat of summer. … However, warm temperatures are needed when installing CWR as doing so in cold weather when the steel tends to contract can result in buckling and warping when warmer weather prevails.”
    Well you can be sure that most CWR in the UK will have been laid when its cold – if Network Rail waited for warm weather before doing any track replacement, they’d hardly replace any track at all! So I guess they just get on with laying the stuff, and work on the assumption that we don’t get heatwaves (defined by the Met Office or not) very often. Except that we do have one right now. So the cold-laid track might buckle.

    But then, a bit of buckled track is insignificant in face of the fact that Network Rail, Govia Thameslink and Northern Rail have been utterly incapable of timetabling a decent train service at all over the last few weeks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • In fact, they might be grateful for some buckled track to blame the crisis on.

      Thanks for your explanation about laying track. I first noticed the welded track (although I didn’t know what it was called) when the line washed out in Devon–the track hung in midair like steel spaghetti. But I would’ve thought trains went far faster than 25 mph on the old gapped track.

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      • >But I would’ve thought trains went far faster than 25 mph on the old gapped track.
        Oh they certainly did in the UK. The article was from the USA, and maybe in the past the trains went slower there. What is true is that passengers get a better ride at fast speeds if the rail is welded, and I suppose it would be impossible for the French TGVs and Japanese bullet trains to safely reach the speeds they do if the track were gapped.

        As for the ongoing timetable fiasco, I suspect that’s the result of gaps in communication and expertise. Most of the people who knew how to timetable trains were made redundant years ago when the railway was privatised. After all, why waste money on salaries for experienced staff with essential knowledge when there are profits to be made and dividends to be paid?

        Liked by 1 person

        • My partner’s father worked for an American railroad, the Santa Fe, so I consulted her, and her estimate of train speeds in the fifties is that 60 to 70 mph was pretty normal. In fact, in one town where a train had hit a car, the sheriff got mad and started writing tickets for any train that exceeded 30 mph going through town.

          But you’re surely right about expertise and privatization. Who needs that?

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  7. Love the story of the letter that backfired. Hooray! I’m a huge fan of clotheslines, and I have one in my backyard. On most sunny days, there is laundry on the line. Why clean clothes are considered unsightly never fails to baffle me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I would think hanging your laundry out without underwear might give passersby the wrong impression. Or maybe it would make you appear more interesting. We have read about homeowner associations around here that have banned hanging laundry, even in the back yards of member houses. Seems absurd to me – I hope to never live under the rule of such a group.

    As for the donuts: Assumbing 4″ x 1.25″ donuts, that’s about 90,000 cu inches or 55 cubic feet. That should fit nicely in a large corner, if you’re tall enough to stack them near the ceiling.

    You would think they would have laid in extra CO2 in advance of the World Cup games. Win or lose, drinking will be the response. This one falls under the heading of poor planning.

    Love your posts. I expect to d much better on future English history exams.

    Liked by 3 people

    • And if you don’t, you’ll have someone to blame. Which is always useful.

      Thanks for your help with the doughnuts. I’m too short to stack them to the ceiling but I’m not to proud to climb on chairs to get at top shelves, so if anyone wants to provide the doughnuts, I’m prepared to help stack. Although I do foresee a problem about how long we have to leave them there and–damn, I do hate to see food going to waste.

      Good point about the underwear. I hadn’t thought of it that way. From here on, I’ll be watching the neighbors’ lines.

      Liked by 1 person

    • >You would think they would have laid in extra CO2 in advance of the World Cup games.
      Maybe, there isn’t the infrastructure there to store the stuff. Unlike doughnuts, you can’t keep CO2 in boxes!

      The problem is that the CO2 is a by-product from the manufacture of other chemicals, notably fertilisers. Farmers use less fertiliser in the summer, so production is reduced then and fertiliser plants are shut-down for maintenance. The companies making the CO2 by-product don’t have an incentive to make more just because of demand. Unfortunately no one seemed to have noticed that for other sectors of the economy, CO2 has become indispensable. For example, there’s a big cool-chain distribution system in the UK (chilled produce, such as dairy, ready meals, meat, salad vegetables), and this relies a lot on dry-ice (frozen CO2) to keep the produce cool in transit.

      Businesses using CO2, and dependent on it, all seem to have assumed their supply was assured, whereas the producers assumed nobody would be bothered if the supply dropped. And the government have washed their hands of the affair because, hey it’s a free market, so it’s just tough if sectors of the economy collapse because of a fragile supply chain.

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  9. My neighbor would fit in nicely in Devon. When I look out my bedroom window I get to see her laundry on the line (which is one of those moveable things that creak and groan every night and every morning as she moves it). I can handle the under things, but I really would like her to put some grease on those moving parts.

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  10. I enjoyed the laundry protest…very British.
    When living in England I had a neighbour ask me not to grow rhubarb in my front garden as it let down the tone of the area. I told her that the plant was, in fact, gunnera but not being a gardener she was not impressed, so next year I put a clump of rhubarb by the front step so that she could appreciate the difference.

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  11. As a student, while spending a junior year abroad, in the town of Freiburg Germany, I was given a police ticket of 5 Marks for leaving my laundry on the line over night from Saturday to Sunday. It bothered those walking to Church, catholic only then in that area, on their way to mass. Accents? In London in the theater there are two kinds of American accents, 1. bad, 2l the same Canadian playing all the American parts, since they can’t hire American if a UK member can do the part.
    Not that they aren’t good actors, but I think I’ll skip Streetcar, thank you very much. Love your post. Keep it coming.

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  12. Scientists over here in The Former Colonies have been dithering for a decade about a shortage of helium – which is stored underground someplace.Obviously with the immigrant ban, we have no one who can be hired to pluck helium out of the atmosphere.
    One year one of our standardized tests aske”How many angles in a triangle?” Every student got it wrong, because the answer programmed in to the grading operation was “2.”
    This morning NPR reported that it had hit 90 degrees (F) in Ireland and people were frantic – and it has not rained in 2 weeks, s in water rationing in some areas. While I am not unsympathetic, it has been above 90 for 6 straight days here in NE Ohio. As you say, this may be the new normal.

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    • Two angles in a triangle? My brain locked up trying to picture that. But the answer is what the test says it is. When my partner took the test for her chemical dependency counseling license, she had to memorize what she considered the wrong answers in order to pass. But she got her license.

      Cornwall’s having pretty much the same weather as Ireland right now, and (sorry, I hate to get all serious on you) it genuinely is a drought–although there’s no official definition of that either. The ground here doesn’t hold water the way it does in Minnesota, where I used to live. So what I’d consider a short spell of dry weather quickly turns into a crisis. And rains that wouldn’t be apocalyptic in Minnesota cause floods here.

      As for the hot weather, I swear everyone here longs for hot weather, then wilts when hot weather comes.

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      • I must admit to being dismayed last Winter. ..a case of “be careful what you wish for.”
        Real drought in places as temperate as Ireland and Cornwall is a disaster…it’s bad enough in places expected to be dry, like the American Southwest. A case of getting worse before it gets better, I’m afraid.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not sure about the getting better part. Weather patterns around the world do seem to be shifting and storms are becoming more extreme. Global warming, presumably. I don’t think we’re headed into permanent drought here or anything, but people who’ve lived here longer than I have do comment on subtler changes that they’ve seen.

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    • Of course if the question is “What do the angles of a triangle add up to”, the answer is 180 degrees exactly, or always less than 180 degrees, or always more than 180 degrees depending on the type of geometry you’re talking about: Euclidean, Hyperbolic, or Elliptical. But doubtless the last two answers would always be wrong according to the programmed expectations of the test. This means that the great mathematicians Lobachevsky, Bolyai, and Reimann, who devised Hyberbolic and Elliptical geometry between them, would have failed their UK GCSE maths exam if they’d ever have attempted it.

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  13. I’m trying to crawl into the son of Ian McEwan for a moment. Well, I love his dad – his words, I should say – but he might not, especially after this help he got. I love the coverage (at least in this article), it’s so British. :) Imagine what kind of noise they would make out of it in the States.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m trying to imagine it even being covered in the U.S. and can’t figure out how the press there would spin it–or even whether. But it must’ve been weird for the poor kid, having to read his father’s book as if it was, you know, just some book and his father just some disembodied guy who wrote it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Someone hung pyjamas across the town square and ran a bra up the flagpole…. That story might just be my favourite of the week! Lol
    As for the trains and the heat… no surprise. I was once in a tube that was stopped and evacuated because there were “the wrong type of leaves on the track”. 😳🤔😄

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I’ve been pondering on the donut story. Did they mean to order 450? 45? I love that the donut people just delivered 4,5000 donuts without checking first to see if it was an error. I could look it up but that would take the fun out it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re in no danger of the fun draining out through the hole in the doughnut. I did look it up–or at least I tried–and couldn’t find anything sensible about how it happened. I hadn’t thought about the bakery that delivered them, though. You might, now that you’ve brought it up, expect them to double check an order of that size.

      Liked by 1 person

        • A couple of people have (as I hoped they would) calculated the amount of space the doughnuts would take up, and it comes to either a good-size garage (I think that’s one layer deep) or a good-size corner of a room but stacked to the ceiling. So I’m guessing a single truck should do it, even allowing for the boxes they’d come in.

          How hungry were you? Can we talk about healthy eating?

          By the way, a local artist followed my tweet of one of your posts and left a comment that she loves your use of light and shadow.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. If there is any way that I can help, or at least believe that I can help, to end global climate change by drinking more beer, you have my full-throated support, Ellen. Anything for the cause.

    According to the website areaandperimeterofadonut.com* the average donut is 7.2 inches squared, or .05 square feet. This, by measure of my keyboard calculator, comes to 225 square feet for 4500 doughnuts, which, by the way, is 375 dozen. Now then, according to storageforyourlife.com** 200 square feet is the size of a “small” garage and 250 square feet is the size of a “basic” garage. According to the adjoining pictures that is the difference between having one car and some stuff in the area or having no car and a lot more stuff in the area. Really, I guess, the larger the garage the less likely you are to put a car in it.

    So, then, your 4500 doughnuts will fit nicely into a basic garage, with perhaps a bicycle off to the side. Don’t try and stuff them into a small garage, though, because you’ll have to eat 500 pastries to get the contents down to size.***

    Brilliant post, you made my morning.**** Have a great day, friend!

    *the actual website is http://www.spikevm.com/calculators/area-perimeter/area-donut.php.
    **that is the real url for that one.
    ***I did that calculation in my head so it’s probably WAY off.
    ****Well, you and the 950 milliliters of coffee I’ve consumed. 😏

    Liked by 3 people

    • The offer to drink all that beer is incredibly public spirited of you. I’m awestruck. And your calculations are fantastic. I have no way to check your math. Or–well, I could do the calculations myself and if my answers agree with yours then we could both be sure that you’re wrong, but since there are so many ways to be wrong in math and (usually; we might get some wiggle room out of the size of an average doughnut) only one way to be right, I could easily come up with a different wrong answer, so honestly, let’s take the easy route and decide that you’re right.

      But you’ve reminded me that we haven’t figured in space for all the coffee we’d need if we’re going to eat that many doughnuts. So we probably need to super-size that garage. And buy bigger jeans.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m echoing Dan on the HOAs that won’t allow any wash to be hung outside. Not okay. Not so much as a rug thrown over a fence. Awful. I have a retractable and so I enjoy non HOA city life. I love the town’s reaction.
    There’s a movement within HOAs to prevent food gardens anywhere out front. Can’t stand it.
    I love the imagery of people picking bubbles from the sky.
    Heat is relative. AC is not. I’ve got the heat, but I’ve got the AC. And here everyone says how mild British summers are. Pshaw!
    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mostly British summers are mild. It’s just that when they’re not, no one’s prepared for it. I saw pictures in yesterday’s paper of a garbage truck whose wheels had sunk in melting asphalt. It must be formulated differently here than in the US, because we’re nowhere close to temperatures that would melt streets at home. I’m sure someone knows how to explain it but I don’t.

      Food gardens in front of houses? The sky would drop on our heads if we all had to admit that we eat.

      Liked by 1 person

        • True enough (except that you must be using predictive text, because you said I’m an easel riser; I just love what predictive text does to actual thought). I used to be a night owl but somewhere along the line a switch flipped and suddenly I’m up at absurd hours of the morning. And loving it. It’s a beautiful time of day.

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          • I use an iPhone 5. I don’t know about predictive text. I call it auto correct. I type the right words and move on. Sometimes I look back and the words have been changed. I am impulsive so I tend not to do much proof reading. To anxious to hit send and share my brilliant (I think- I am also egocentric) thoughts. I don’t like to reread what I have written. Then after I hit send I reread it and see the mistakes. Does press needs an edit button like they have on Facebook.

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              • Auto correct? More like auto interfere. Auto we know what you want to say better than you do. In fact, we should all just take a vacation and let our devices talk to each other for us.

                And having typed that, I’ll now hope that I get to see the full text of your earlier comment, which WP won’t divulge just yet.

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            • Aha! Now I’ve found the text I couldn’t read earlier. I didn’t know Facebook had an edit button.

              I’m an endless rewriter, but when I comment on other people’s blogs it’s often off the top of my head and I don’t always reread, so I tend to spot the typos (or stupidities) just as they’re heading out of reach.

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              • After you post a comment on Facebook at the bottom on the comment click on the word more on the bottom right hand corner of the screen. At least that is where it is on my version.
                Looking forward to your nest post.
                Boring here. We did have fireworks onJuly 4. Georgia made them legal a few years ago and every year my neighbors buy more. This year set a record of noise. A lady told me her 100 pound Shepherd just hides under the bed in terror firm the noise.Back in the eighties an Englishman ran a restaurant downtown. It was a good restaurant with English fare. On July fourth he would hold s loser’s party. Likeable chap. I did not like most of the dishes. My mom was taught to cook by her English grandmother but she never served the puddings and pies Jerry served on his restaurant as main dishes. We did have tea and biscuits in the late afternoon. Her grandmother always served tea.

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              • Good to know Facebook’s editable. Thanks. I don’t do a lot with Facebook. Too much of my time already disappears in pointless occupations.

                British food isn’t–how should I put this?–famous for its excellence, but some of it is good, and the desserts can be wonderful. One of my favorites is the apple pie a nearby cafe makes. The crust’s a little sweet compared to American pie crust, and the filling is tart–almost unsweetened. And it’s served with clotted cream, which is whipped cream that’s been beatified. It’s gorgeous.

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  18. We looked at a house once that had ‘covenants’ which included not allowing clotheslines. That was all it took to bring me to my senses! I recently installed one of the retractable lines from an Amish outfit online! I can’t imagine life without a good clothesline. Mine doesn’t even creak or groan. There’s nothing like the smell of clothes that have dried out in the sun. The tricky part can be having enough sun to dry them. Simply loved the town’s reaction. Some folks just need to get a life!

    Not so sure about Tom’s solution to climate change. Drinking beer has been known to produce the expulsion of various gases, though I’m not sure if that includes Co2… then again my understanding is that methane is worse, so he may need to rethink the offer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Methane is worse, sadly. And cows produce it, even though they don’t drink beer, just eat grass and hay and such. It is, in all seriousness, one of the things climate scientists have to figure into their calculations. Which much make for the occasional moment of mild hysteria.

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  19. Meanwhile, 10 years ago in Ontario, Canada, the government overruled the ‘no clothesline’ position of many cities & towns. It was better for the environment not to use all the energy of tumble dryers to dry our clothing. This is also the same province in Canada that ruled in 1996 that women have the right to be bare breasted in public. I’ll let others handle that one.

    Love your blog!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks.

      My first thought about Ontario (and I say this as a former Minnesotan) was that given what the temperatures are like for so much of the year no one’s likely to try. Then I remembered that both Ontario and Minnesota do have indoors. Where it’s warmer. Anyway, hats (and shirts if anyone wants) off to Ontario. A leader in all things clothing related.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I trying to think how bare breasted is better for the environment. Bare naked would save even more clothes, laundry, soap, energy. Now let me think what else we can do without. Could be a lot of stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

      • As long as it’s not in the northern winter. I lived in Minnesota too long to be tempted.

        For a while, Britain had a naked hiker–I think he was called the naked rambler. But even he wore boots (and presumably socks). And, I think, a backpack. He kept getting arrested, so I’m not sure how far he ever got to ramble. I haven’t read about him in some years. Maybe I’m just throwing cold water on every idea today, but I’d worry about gorse and nettles. In a choice between them and arrest, I’d be tempted by arrest.

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  20. I always love it when I realize that an actor who’s playing an American is actually British.I used to wonder if it’s an easier accent to do, then my little cousin, who’s Scottish and 7 years old, knocked off a perfect one–she’d learned it from watching Youtube videos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • From what I’ve read, people are best at learning accents until they’re around eleven, at which point something freezes up and they’re unlikely to ever learn a second language without an accent. (I suspect that doesn’t apply to accents in a person’s own language, because I know too many people who’ve shifted accents at an older age.) I remember my nephew, at around three, doing a perfect imitation of my partner’s original Texas accent, which she can shift in and out of.

      A friend of a friend coaches actors on accents, and she’s amazing, both in her ability to narrow down an accent’s origin and to imitate it. My best guess is that British actors–and I’m generalizing–take accents more seriously than American actors do, because any number of them have moved to the US and play American roles seamlessly.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: British news you almost missed | Notes from the U.K.

  22. Long may that laundry wave! I’m just astonished that laundry *will* dry outdoors in Devon. In Virginia it would in the 1970s, but now if you hang out a dry towel on a sunny day you bring in a damp towel at sundown. And we always hear about England being the damp climate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. The people who hang their laundry outside here are tough. Not to mention ready to (a) run out and bring it in if it rains or (b) prepared to leave it out till it stops raining and let it dry–again. Cowards that we are, we hang ours indoors most of the time.

      Liked by 1 person

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