Quick review of July & August …

Well this is going to be quick and probably consist of a bulleted list (again), because not very much happened really.


  • We had a spell of good weather, you could even say we had a proper summer and it was even extremely hot for a couple of weeks.
  • I did 5 webinars to help fulfil my work CPD requirement.
  • We went to 2 events at the Cheltenham Music Festival both on Saturday, 13 July – the first featuring a discussion with Guy Barker (a jazz musician) + another rap / beatbox improviser discussing the areas of the brain involved in improvisation (so a bit science-based too) and the second featuring Wynton Marsalis (another jazz musician). None of the other classical or world music events appealed, but it means that we will manage to attend all four Cheltenham Festivals (Jazz, Science, Music & Literature) in 2019.
  • I enjoyed a couple of self-indulgence sessions having massage and separately having my nails painted.
  • Having tried an Audible 3-month trial with a Douglas Adams sci-fi book, an Adam Hills (comedian) memoir and concluding with “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood – so I thought I had covered a wide range of books – I decided that I really didn’t like listening to other people reading books to me and much preferred to read them myself, so that I could apply my own interpretation. I’ve subsequently bought a copy of “The Handmaid’s Tale” for my Kindle, because I think that I would enjoy reading it.


  • The weather deteriorated – still warm, but intermittent rain and unpleasantly humid.
  • I started to have two 30 minute hand exercise sessions (privately) each week to try and improve my dexterity & grip, with a lady working as a rehabilitation and physiotherapy assistant at our local hospital. The lessons are held at our house, which helpfully lies almost midway between the hospital and her house meaning that she can stop off on her journey home most of the time.
  • For work: I had 1 more webinar and I spent some time contacting my Clients & catching up with my online Financial & IP work management software.

As I warned you – pretty mundane and not very interesting really. However, next month we are visiting my parents in France and in October we can look forward to a full programme at the Cheltenham Literature Festival … so there are more interesting posts to come.


Snow & Igloos …

At the end of my last post, I left you with the tantalising prospect of forthcoming bad weather – SNOW. We went to bed after a light, fluttering of snowflakes, but still enough to settle.

Night time after slight flurry of snow

So we went to our warm, cosy bed with the possibility that we may awake to some snow … And the weather didn’t disappoint!

View from our bedroom window (upwards) upon waking up


View of our garden upon coming downstairs
All snow, so down tools.
Unfortunately, no work today!


Well, unsurprisingly it was not going to be a work day and with the weekend to come, perhaps it might have started melting before more work could commence.

So what could one possibly do? … I know, it’s time to start thinking about building an igloo – and here to our rescue came our neighbours from the house behind (and we just happened to have a lovely, big window from which to view their efforts). How best to build an igloo? Now we don’t have ice from which to cut nice building blocks, just lots of mouldable snow. Trial 1: Let’s just free form a wall by pulling all the snow together – No, that is never going to work when it comes to building a high wall, let alone forming some sort of roof. Wait for inspiration … Out comes an old rectangular, recycling box into which we can pack the snow down to form ‘snow bricks’ – Yeah got it, that’s working really well !! And so the walls slowly begin to rise.

Voila – a completed two-person igloo
Fun in the snow courtesy of our ‘back door neighbours’


Yes, just about room for two people


Well that was fun! In the meantime, Kevin has started the practical snow moving by first clearing the pathway leading to our front door and then clearing the pavement and adjacent road to our driveway, so that he can at least get the car out and facing in the right direction.

Guess which is our house: Pavement & turning circle – cleared
Pathway to front door – cleared