Wulf's Webden

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Monday 20 May 2019
by Wulf
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Just a Minute

Just a Minute is a long-running Radio 4 entertainment series. The panellists have to speak on a topic for sixty seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Try it and you realise it is much harder than it might sound on the surface. There are just so many things you might really, really want to say… oh, there we go – I’ve made an idiom of myself already.

It is now onto series 84 and I have to admit that I tend not to rush to listen to it in the way that I once did. However, I’ve just finished tonight’s episode, which caught me by following on from the news while I was tidying up in the kitchen and my enthusiasm has been piqued again.

Sunday 19 May 2019
by Wulf
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Artweeks 2019 – 5

As with last Sunday, it is too late to give an effective recommendation from this afternoon’s Artweeks tour as we explored South Oxfordshire, which finished up today. We visited the Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot, several exhibitors around Aston Tirrold and then a show at Blewbury.

If there was time to pick a favourite, it would probably be the exhibition at Blewbury Clubhouse, with work from Charlotte Houlihan (#242), Yvette Phillips (#243) and Eleanor Wong (#244). Next week to north Oxfordshire… and I’ll see if I can do that early enough to suggest places you could visit.

Saturday 18 May 2019
by Wulf
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Fred

A little while ago, a friend lent us a DVD with a film and short TV series on Fred Dibnah. Both were produced in the late 70s / early 80s and featured Dibnah, a steeplejack and steam engine enthusiast from Lancashire.

Even having watched it, the process of doing things like putting ladders up the side of a tall factory chimney, building a platform round the top and then gradually demolishing it brick by brick, leaves me awestruck. I’m not too bad at heights but I think I’d struggle to do that!

Certainly not a manual for health and safety but some classic British television that I was aware of but had never seen until now.

Friday 17 May 2019
by Wulf
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Kinda Well

Since moving into my house, I’ve taken quite frequent pictures from various upstairs windows. I’ve got shots of the front and back garden over almost a decade, illustrating the initial remodelling and then settling into maturity. Later on, I added a view of what I’ve called the Herb Hexagon garden, after the fact it was home to the majority of our herbs and that the centre was a hexagonal paving stone.

It has been a bit of a pain though. Since we added a cover to our washing line, I have had to make sure the line is up before taking the photos so you can see the patch. The hexagonal stone got relocated a long time ago and, now, we’ve removed a good number of the herbs too. As well as blocking photos, we found that flowering herbs like thyme attracted bees that would get caught in the nets on the side of the cover.

Today, I finished off digging a deep hole in the patch and installing an old dustbin. We can use a hose to transfer water from the butts in the front garden. Because the bin is sunk down, gravity is enough for this – not fast but, since it involves minimal effort, it doesn’t need to be. It becomes a kind of well and, as extra water storage, will help us capture more water during wet periods.

Thursday 16 May 2019
by Wulf
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Proxy Vote

This time next week, the UK will be voting in the European elections, possibly for the last time (or possibly not). In most of our elections, we vote for individual people who represent a party. When voting for a member of the UK Parliament, you are balancing how much you support the party and how much you trust the individual person concerned to work on behalf of their constituency.

In the elections for the European Parliament (in England, Wales and Scotland at least), you vote instead for a party and they pick the actual candidates. It is called the d’Hondt system and I found it explained on the iNews website.

Therefore, it is much more about the policies of the party rather than the people and I think the critical ones at this juncture are around Brexit. Given that Brexit means the elected members might never get to take up their places, it makes a lot of sense to treat it as a proxy vote on the subject. There might not be another public vote before a Brexit decision is made but if there is a strong swell for the parties that take a remain stance it should send a message. I know which direction I’d like that to go in but, stepping back to a more dispassionate stance, it will be interesting to see whether turnout indicates apathy or engagement and whether the results suggest a shift in consensus or that the nation continues to be deeply split.

Wednesday 15 May 2019
by Wulf
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Washy

I had some sight reading practice to do on the bass tonight but, once I’d got that done, I decided to play around with some of the wealth of effects on my Helix LT unit.

Tonight was about stacking delays and reverbs. A couple of each, which is more than I’ve been able to do with my previous units, and I’m right into ambient swell territory, spinning clouds. A lot of fun!

Tuesday 14 May 2019
by Wulf
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Beansprouts

Back in the day, when I was at university, beansprouts were a major part of my diet. Home-sprouted mung beans to be precise, which was a cost effective ingredient. I’ve been trying again recently and think I’ve finally recovered the necessary skill.

The vessel is a peanut butter jar, whose plastic lid has been drilled with small holes. The mung beans go in a layer at the bottom and are left to soak in water overnight. However, while that is necessary to rehydrate them, it appears the trick is drain and rinse them regularly, leaving them damp rather than drowned.

I’ve now got a handful of sprouts, ready to cook up tonight.