Thursday, April 15, 2010

The wrong kind of clouds and other mixed bits....

Today the skies are quiet. All air traffic has been grounded while the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland flies over northern Europe. And us. I am wondering what the skies will look like tonight, if the grounding is still in place.
Down here in Middle England, the tulips are starting to bloom, and they are a wonderful splash of colour. And so is this double daffodil which was part of the mega bag of assorted daffs I got last autumn for a bargain price.

The broad beans are starting to shoot and some of the potatoes have green tops pushing their way through the soil, so the garden is awakening at last. The seedlings are taking their own sweet time to do anything, but then it is still cold.

The last few days have been busy and draining, because the funeral was yesterday. It was a lovely service, and lots of people came, so that was so good for the family. My friends and I sorted the food for the tea, and isn't it amazing how just the right amount arrives - people are so kind, and we could not have calculated better if we had tried. And it is interesting to see how people from outside this village seem taken aback by the community spirit here. How sad that it doesn't appear to flourish in cities very often. Here it is a given that friends will rally round, and as when Geoff died, they were out in force yesterday. A good feeling.

So I flopped by evening. And crocheted a little while reclining on the couch in a comfortable manner. And glared at the tv. It is not co-operating, and the old sky box is about to totally expire I think, so I keep getting the tv equivalent of the blue screen of doom with nasty little messages telling me that no satellite signal is being received. Stupid box. I get the free channels only, so you can't call the satellite people and snarl, because it would cost more to fix than to subscribe for a year. AND I gather we are switching to digital next spring, so the analogue channels will cease transmitting then. Gee. That means we will not get ANY tv unless I:
  1. get new ones,
  2. get a booster aerial,
  3. and or freeview boxes for each tv in the house,
  4. or subscribe to either Sky or Virgin (cable).

    But that is next year so it can go in the "too hard" basket till then, and I will continue glaring at the blue screen or pixilated garbage I get to watch. You can tell I am totally thrilled to bits about it all.

    However, that brings me to the next point, which is what I will probably get to miss tonight on tv. The very first live televised debate between the 3 main party leaders in the UK, based on the American candidates debates. Oh joy. They are all apparently extremely nervous. I wonder why.

    In the UK, you see, we have Prime Minister's Question Time every week, and it is broadcast live. They screech at each other, jump up and down, insult each other, shout and jeer, while the Speaker is yelling "Order ORDER" and they have been known (the back benchers) to throw things at each other. Believe me, it is a real circus. And there is always a winner, and loser. They are used to this. But with the 3 live televised debates, they have agreed something like 76 rules, including the one saying that they will all shake hands at the end. They are not used to debating/arguing in a quiet restrained manner. The audience has been vetted, as have all the questions, and there is a set time limit for the answers as well.

    Hmmm. Just what we need. One week down, and 3 to go still until May 6th.

    Well. My brain is a trifle absent right now. Maybe a snooze is in order.


Vee said...

Lots of interesting things here today. John just told me about the volcano in Iceland. He'll be interested to hear about the volanic ash dropping on you folks. His grandfather was alive just after Krakatoa blew and he would describe the most vivid sunsets to little John. So much so that all these years later, he has just finished reading a book about it.

Your friend's passing...I'm so glad that you've all rallied around to comfort in the ways that mean so very much.

Staring at the screen while it tells you "scanning...scanning." Yes, it's fun is it not. If it's any consolation, it happens to those who pay, too. What's become of this age? Why were such things so much better years ago? One would think we'd improve.

Do let us know how your politicians do. Very amusing. I love Brit politics and the way that they carry on. I'd feel ever so much better if we could just "have at it" by times, too.

Dawn said...

Our politicians are so much more "civilized" - ha!! That sounds like much more fun than the way they do it here!

The volcanic ash is amazing - I clearly remember when Mount St. Helens blew way out in Washington and we had ash on our cars. Incredible.

It is amazing how there is always enough food at a funeral dinner when you have no clue how many will be there. Like the loaves and fish, it seems.

Olson Family said...

Hope the giant cloud passes soon - have several different friends stranded in the UK in various places. Might require me to take over some duties at church on Sunday for which I'm not prepared - God will provide.

The circus of the UK politics is always what comes to mind when some of our politicians get a little cranky that someone took a little stab at them here or there - so much backstabbing because they're afraid to say what they think in public. Maybe a happy medium is best - clear the air but without throwing things? It will be interesting to see how the debates go. :)

Dawn said...

Me again! Your countdown got me excited for myself as well - our Cambodian family that I wrote about awhile back has made their reservations and will be here that week-end - a visit after 28 years! And so many years of trying to locate them.

Which picture are you referring to - the new one I just put on last night of me standing in the kitchen, or the one I just took down for now of the elegant hat? Thanks either way!