Sunday, 31 July 2011

Get Back.....

'Tis odd having UK television and - at last - radio on tap. It's been years since I watched telly, never had  much interest in it really, though my brother spent much of his working life as a specialist sports (soccer) producer and deputy editor on The Big Match and creator of The Saint & Greavsie some years ago with LWT among others. Still, since our Satdish now seems to be producing the goods, it's great to have Radio 4 again on stream without being at the mercy of variable internet speeds.

Last night, however, there was a 'Wallender' on one or other of the freeview channels, so I gave it a go. I was glad to see it was one I hadn't before seen up in Sweden and was, more to the point, from the Swedish production, rather than the Kenneth Branagh version. The Swedish edition is actually fairly good, albeit in Swedish. But I have a fundamental grasp of the language which is sufficient to follow it okay, although it is of course also subititled for English speaking audiences.  We have read all of Henning Mankell's novels, on which the character/series is based, and must say that the Swedish production and the actors seem to be close to those portrayed in the books.  I've never seen a Branagh version but J has and thinks it weak in comparison.

The problem with this is that it is difficult not to be distracted by reading the subtitles, though it's also interesting to note how much is actually edited out and not translated at all - a fair bit actually!

J is again back in London. She returns again on Friday, flying into Malaga where she has once more left the car in the car-park.  I must nip down to the bank tomorrow as I must pay our friend, Dorin,  for the Satdish and his sterling efforts - it took a fair time to set up - with the various Spanish authorities (electricity etc) and the Satellite stuff.

In addition, tomorrow will probably see the return of our old friends, from London on holiday, who used to live here in the village. They are apparently driving down, so assuming they left either Friday evening or Saturday some time, I'd expect them to make it here by tomorrow evening.  J and I did go down and clear up the entry passage/terrace into their place which was pretty overgrown with snaking tendrils of Jasmine, Vine etc., and Ivy that was secured to and virtually completely covering the front-door.

It seems that Summer is about to make a reappearance in the UK, well SE England at any rate! Doubt whether it'll make a great show up in the North of Scotland or the Hebrides. But who knows, fingers crossed maybe.

 I've been bitten by a Mozzie recently and find that although 'tis a nuisance I have developed a sort of immunity to this. I assume that's because I lived in northern Sweden for so long, where bites were numerous and colossal numbers of the sodding things were everywhere in Summer. I see from some blogs I follow and enjoy reading that the dreaded Midge is out in the northern reaches of Britain/Scotland. They are a prize pest but I'm now wondering if this new immunity to Mozzie bites might not also assist and apply itself to the Midges!  In Sweden, in June, we were inundated each year by enormous swarms of tiny black flies - gnats - which used to drive J bonkers. I was again largely immune to their efforts and found them a minor irritant at worst.

Last night, as I prepared to bed down for the night, I noticed a huge buggy thing on the bedroom floor. At first I thought it was something Charlie had caught and thoughtfully brought in to play with. Further investigation revealed it to be - I think - a type of flying (possibly a female cos of the smaller clawey bits) Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus):

It was a fairly big booger, already belly-up, presumably after Charlie had taken an interest in it. These things make a loud, bumbling-buzzing noise in flight and are rather off-putting but are not a threat. Normally I scoop them into something and release them outdoors. But this one was already a gonner.  We always come across them in France and the biggest we encountered was almost as big as J's hand. This was in the French Pyrenees many years ago, a real monster of a thing! I was sad to find it dead but glad not to find it in bed, I suppose!

These beetles are usually bigger, with more obvious pincer thingies in France. Here's a couple of good (for me anyway) pix of one I prepared earlier - caught and released in the Charentes last summer:

Don't those clawey bits look menacing?!  More like a flying Lobster methinks than a harmless bug!  Our good French friend, Patrick, has a collection of these things, pinned professionally and exhibited on card etc., because he is a genuine eccentric and a Le Fabre enthusiast - a remarkable Frog who was a true Polymath, if ever there was one!

I asked a fellow blogger,,  a fine potter in Wales, if she could make me a mug;  not only has she done this incredibly quickly but it has already arrived in London and J will be bringing it out with her on Friday.  I'm looking forward to using it and to many years of use! Many thanks Gwynneth. It'll probably outlast me!


  1. Apparently it has been hot in Scotland- and it is warm and sunny here too.

    Good to hear that the mug has done part one of its journey safely

  2. Grey and drizzly today,(Sunday though so that's alright) but Summer has definitely been here. i have been fancying one of G's mugs too, so might well indulge myself this month. xx

  3. It's been a beautiful day here today.

    More wildlife shots for your blog.

    Any chance of a photo when your mug arrives?

    Sft x