Drawing In

Yet again it’s that time of the year where I really notice the nights drawing in.

A seemingly short while ago, there was light in the sky ’til 10pm or so, and the chickens didn’t get put away ’til then.

Tonight they were in their coop and all locked up by half eight. Soon it’ll be seven, six, and they’ll be away before I’m even back from work.

Winter’s coming.

Pigs Arse

Yesterday while driving home I had one of the more surreal driving experiences of late.

Pulling out in front of me was a truck with a load of topiary pigs. Yes, topiary pigs.

So half my journey home last night was spent looking at the arses of three green pigs.

Three Pigs Backsides

It’s not the best of photos – taken while waiting for traffic to sort itself out – but you get the idea.

Irritation – Follow Up

As it turns out, the irritation on my foot from the hornet sting now appears to have eased off.

I took a dollop of Piriton anti-histamine this morning, and all now seems to be fine again. Thank chuff.

Rain, Storms

When it rains heavily (particularly when it does so at night) having the animals becomes distinctly harder work than any other time. This weekend has been a perfect demonstration of that – we had a proper thunderstorm on Saturday night / Sunday morning, and heavy rain last night/this morning.

Hound has decided that heavy rain equals Thunder, and skitters round the room to lay next to my side of the bed. I don’t mind this too much – she’s been really good this weekend on this score, without getting stressy and stupid, let alone trying to burrow through the wall as she has done on previous occasions. But she still makes enough noise to wake me up, which isn’t great. Saturday night we ended up moving into the living room again (for some reason one of Hound’s “safe places”) because it was proper thunder etc., and it’s easier to have her in there than down the side of the bed.

Sunday night we had heavy rain, so Hound came round to my side of the bed again. This time though it was Psycho Cat that was the pain in the arse – having got utterly soaked, he decided that the best way to warm up and dry off was to snug into the back of my knees, and then turn round repeatedly so that everything dried off evenly. It has to be said that there is little worse than being woken up by the sensation of cold wet cat fur in the back of your nice warm legs.

The little shit even then went back out again once he dried off and warmed up, and was whining again by 7am that he was cold and wet and why wouldn’t anyone do anything. I seriously wonder sometimes whether it wouldn’t be easier to just drown the little fucker and be done with it.

So all told


Until this weekend, I’d never even seen a hornet.

This weekend though, we’ve had five of the buzzy bastards in the house, including one which stung me. Not, it has to be said, the most positive introduction to the species.

We don’t know where they’ve been coming from – no signs of a nest anywhere around etc., but they’re definitely making their presence felt.

The sting was kind-of my own fault – Herself told me there was one in the bathroom, and I went in to splat the sodding thing. Being aware that it was a flying buzzing thing, I was looking in the air for it, not on the floor – and so I stood near it, which was apparently enough provocation to the fucker.

I’ve never been stung by one before either, so had no idea what to expect – or even whether I was allergic to the stings or not. (Fortunately, it looks like I’m not) Liberal dollops of antihistamine cream and some ibuprofen later, all’s been OK today. But I can tell you for sure that the sting hurts like a motherfucker.

Hopefully that’ll be my last dealing with hornets. But if they are making a home somewhere close by, it probably won’t be. I’ll be damn sure to be wearing shoes next time though.

Road Maintenance and Sarcasm – The Response

Following on from the post earlier this week about certain idiocy with roadworks near us, I actually got a response from Norfolk Council about it. In less than a week!

As Surfacing Engineer for Norfolk County Council Environment, Transport
& Development Dept. I was responsible for the construction phase of the
resurfacing operations at Church Steet, Hingham and your complaint has
been passed to me for action.

Firstly I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the
surfacing works in Hingham carried out over the last two weekends.
During our initial consultations with the businesses and parishes in the
Hingham area the Vintage Working weekend was not identified as a
potential issue.

The official diversion route for this scheme was extensive and required
traffic to be diverted along the B1077 from Carbrooke to Attleborough,
along the A11 to Wymondham and then back to Hingham via Wicklewood &
Hackford. Special advance warning signs were planned for various
locations along this route to intercept cross country traffic such as Gt
Ellingham crossroads.

Unfortunately the Traffic Management contractor did not identfy any
signage at either Bush Green Lane or Lt Ellingham Road junctions and I
apologise for this oversight. This has raised a potential issue with
publicity of local events and the need for NCC to consult in future with
all parish councils etc on the diversion route to check for any possible

If you have any further queries relating to these works please give me a

In fairness, that’s not a bad response, all things considered…

Road Maintenance and Sarcasm

Over the weekend, one of the significant crossroads near us was completely closed for re-surfacing. The problem was that at least one route to get to that crossroads didn’t have any mention of said road closure.

Which means I get to send sarcastic emails to Norfolk County Council. (Again)

To whom it may concern,

I’d just like to congratulate the person(s) involved in sorting out signage for the road closure in Hingham this weekend.

If (as many people did) you took the road from Little Ellingham towards Hingham using Hingham Road->Little Ellingham Road -> Attleborough Road to the crossroads in Hingham, there was not *ONE* sign saying that the road ahead was closed. The signage was in fact before this junction (at roughly the spot of the red circle in this map)

This meant that anyone coming through on the route from Little Ellingham came round the corner to find the entire road closed off, and then had to turn round and go back. This also had the effect of stuffing a significant amount of the newly resurfaced road before the junction.

Of course, the road from Little Ellingham isn’t that heavily used. Except when Little Ellingham has its Vintage Working Weekend event- yes, the weekend just passed.

I look forward to any response Norfolk Council deigns to give in explanation of why there was no thought given to this route, or signage on it.



I know it’ll do bugger-all good, but I felt better having written it. And that’s what matters.