Frevva Autumn

One of my morning perambulations caught up with them – and you thought that perhaps I was joking about the hire boat company and the names… 😉 Nope, not joking. I never joke. Joking leads to weak smiling and smiling makes my face ache.

For clarification, I think that the boat is named after a small and feathered beastie that invaded English shores some short few decades ago, rather than a medically discombobulated isolationist. In the name of total transparency (Parency Lives Matter, trans or otherwise) here are details of the boat from the hire company themselves.

We are most definitely in the tatty, cheap, second-hand and hurriedly-bought-in season where in better times we would have had mists and mellow fruitifulnessnous. Her Majesty’s met office tell me that today is likely to be very much ho and quite a lot of hum, ho hum, but that the three or so days following will include rain, rain, rain, more rain, wind, wind and winds in the forties of the Imperial Miles Per Royal Hour.

Oh, there’s autumnal colour a-plenty about, but it seems this year to have been rather rushed, we have been autumned without due care and attention. Perhaps my mind has been on other things. Pantodemics and the inexorable rise, rise and rise of ignorant, barbaric medievalism (in the form of a certain murderous “religion of peace”). The headlines, when not taking one’s head unexpectedly off one’s shoulders, do rather take one’s mind off the better things of life.

By way of distraction from the politically “correct” gibberings of the Chamberlain-esque appeasement monkeys, there’s a small patch of garden that some green-fingered person tends to, right alongside the Wellness Trust’s services building. Even after all of the wind and nonsense of late there are some tres bon flowery things in there. Here’s one.

Here’s another.

Do plants suffer from measles?

They’re very pleasant, whether they have measlies or not.

The world can’t, at heart, be all bad when there are living things in it whose major purpose in life is to populate crappy corners of the world and to shove up delicate little works of art in pastel shades. I like plants almost as much as I love dogs, and both far more than I like people. 🙂

The view to the other side of the services building would be considered equally beautiful – by those aficionados of The Modern Brutalist School of Art.

I’ll just blether on for a sentence about the interesting juxtaposition of bare, stained, and weathered worked woods accented by barbed wire under tension, and leave it at that. Not everyone finds modern art palletable. Um, palatable.

I’ve checked on the growth and enthusiasm of the local greenery and berries, and my Bradshaw’s Folk Lore scale reckons that there’ll be a bit o’winter this winter.

Bradshaw is though, inconclusive in the matter of whether it’ll be a proper winter or a totally naff winter.

I’ll put on my hat with the streamers, tie on the knee-bells and fetch a bit of greenery inside along with the sheep, just in case. Justin Case is always the first sheep in, he’s not fond of the cold. I’d better dig out the Steeleye Span CDs too, and that Mike Oldfield one about his rather being on horseback.

Talking of strange happenings, there has been one amazing incidence of serendipitous victualling of late.

Into my possession has come (an analogue of) one of those tinned steamed puddings that I blethered on about a while ago, the sort that you boil in the tin for six or seven days or something.

I suspect, from the manufacturers involved, that it will need not some little tinkering and encouragement – and perhaps a few more spots – but it’ll be fun to give it a go. Mr Stove can cook it for me when next he’s in roaring blaze mode (which, from the weather forecast, ought to be in the next two or three days). Can I make the nineteen-seventies live again?


Titter ye not, madam – the pudding, while still served in the Parliamentary dining rooms, has been re-named ‘Spotted Richard‘, because the Membrum Virile of our government can’t stop themselves guffawing at the Americanism that is “dick”. Spotted Dick would not have been my first choice; that would have been Treacle Sponge. Who knows though? I may find more of the things if I keep looking.

Have to have something to keep my mind off Global Insanity, and that something may as well be putting on weight ready for hibernation. I’ve taken to scattering cotton wool and torn-up newspapers over my bed. Ought I to be worried? More than is usual, I mean?

Aha – as I type, Messrs Fountains, gardeners to the Wellness Trust Ltd (formerly the Canal & River Trust Ltd), are blitzing the towpath. I needs must then nip outside once they’ve departed, to take the grass and cut hedgerow trimmings off the sides, roof and solar panels. Three gentlemen, two with petrol-powered strimmers, one bouncing along at a spine-tingling rate on one of those mowers that looks like a balloon-tyred prop from a film about Love on Moon Base Three or some such.

They’re all in head to toe high-vis outfits with boots and hard-hats and gloves and face-visors, fit for a walk in outer space.

Not unlike most of the population these trying days.


I’ll let you know what the Dick was like.


  1. Sadly I feel that there may be lurking unseen horrors be-spattering your abode, residues of those long walks by the waterside with just a dog and your thoughts for company, with no thought of aforesaid doggy natural actions. I used to enjoy the tinned chocolate sponge most but needs must I suppose.

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    1. I have high hopes for the rain, rain and rain forecast for the coming days – it may yet wash away that which is best not thought of if at all possible.

      One school that I went to (and I went to many) – an appalling school, dismal academic standards and lousy in almost every other way too – served up the most incredible puddings for our school meals. One of these was affectionately known as “chocolate concrete” and it always came with chocolate custard. The trick was to allow the custard to soak into the concrete (while eating whatever was the main course) – the pudding was then a toe-curling delight that almost, but never quite, compensated for the first lesson or two of the afternoon. There was a strawberry version of concrete too which, while splendid, wasn’t chocolate. 🙂

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      1. I also went to many schools. One of them used to serve up delicious chocolate sponge, occasionally with the chocolate custard you mention. Unfortunately, the more usual accompaniment was a kind of slightly thickened plum juice/syrup. I think the horror of that combination is what caused my lifelong aversion to fruit of any variety combined with chocolate. I adore both in isolation, but cannot deal with them together. A certain well-known chocolate orange is my idea of a treat from hell.


        1. That sounds positively horrible. I suppose that the only way it might have been more so would have been if it were prune syrup. Looking on the bright side though you’d be cheap and easy to interrogate – slap a Terry’s Chocolate Orange down on the desk and demand the invasion plans and you’d be done! 😉

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  2. Ah, ye olde spotted dick reminds me of free school dinners and very runny custard – those were the days my friend. I think Heinz still do the others although not sure about treacle, only golden syrup – Heinz is a 6′ blonde swede I think. Actually Heinz do the treacle as well as the golden syrup just asked Mr. Google and the revolting sticky toffee that oozes its way into everything these days and they do strawberry jam. Lay a few down in the cellar for after 1st of January!

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    1. I dated a 6′ blonde turnip for a couple of years.

      Have to wonder if the “treacle” is a misnomer (or some other form of gnome) and they really use golden syrup in the pudding factory. Either way, delicious, provided that they’re not sparing with the treacle syrup. A good jam roly poly is a most splendid thing too.

      The moment that I can find a good pudding dealer who’s not doing time at Her Majesty’s pleasure (what a peculiar phrase), I’ll be stashing a box of assorted tinned sponges in the engine bay.

      The really neat thing about tinned puddings is that once you’ve eaten the first one you can use the tin to make an emergency mini stove over which to cook the next pudding. All you need is some hedgerow kindling. 🙂

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  3. Autumn has certainly come sudden-like. One day we had green trees, the next, all yellow, brown and red.
    And Rain, Rain, Rain. At least it keeps the hoy poloy indoors. Sadly, I’m not any more fond of getting wet than they are, so I’m indoors, too. Still, it means there’s nowhere for the blasted virus to jump to next.
    The council gardeners have no respect for anyone’s property. They chuck their cuttings wherever they go. And as for the hedge-trimmers–Trimmers? Hedge mutilators I’d call them.
    Keep warm by Mr Stove and keep out of the way of those whose greatest desire seems to be to spread the virus to as many people as they can.

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    1. I am mightily glad that both indoors and outdoors were invented, I like the contrast. I don’t mind the rain, really. Most walks of late have been in rain, and there are fewer people about and also the sense that the world is in the dishwasher on a quick-rinse cycle.

      I have no idea how many wheels a quick-rinse cycle has.

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  4. Only just read the first sentence before I go out and battle the virus by way of Ludlow market. It’s a wind pain from too much Vesta curries full of pretend meat by way of knitted tofu… I will return…


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    1. When you said ‘came into my procession’ did you mean you had purloined it by way of slipping it down your left knicker leg by way of a little lite pilfering when at the corner shop? Now before you carefully explain canals don’t have corners, although now I come to think of it, I do seem to remember your talk a while back of a dogs leg lock or did I dream that the night I forgot to puff on my opium pipe before bed?

      I suggest you do a Boris when cooking the aforesaid Spotted flycatcher and wear a ruddy tin hat. A bombe by any other name.


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      1. Oh I never wear underwear while shopping. Nope, paid for good and proper. For perhaps the third time this year I … went into a shop. I did so for practice, and because I’d run out of ciggies. Well, for practice anyway. The pud was sat sitting there in an otherwise empty patch of shelf – the “Best Before” date was a month expired. but I can’t imagine that in the case of puddings these things are minute by minute accurate! At least, I hope not…

        The instructions on the tin tell me to pierce the lid and then simmer in a pan of water… but rather than me simmering in a pan of water I’m going to simmer the tin.


    2. Ludlow Market? Are you insane? [Don’t answer that, I don’t want to blow your cover.]

      All that I can advise is to wear knee, elbow and buttock pads, and to always shoot first.

      Goot luk.


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