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Mirth, Marvel & Maud, Walthamstow, London E17

Hello RGL crew! It's that time of year again where we explore the new entries in the Good Beer Guide. Which means a whole bunch of new pub articles for you to peruse at your leisure:

- The Albion (plenty of real cider in Kingston)
- The Angel (the Wetherspoons close to Angel tube station)
- The Antwerp Arms (a community-owned pub in Tottenham)
- The Black Horse (dog-friendly pub on the Kingston/Norbiton borders)
- The Brewhouse and Kitchen (microbrewery in Highbury)
- The Cricketers (Stonegate pub beside Epsom Common)
- Cronx (bar in the Croydon Boxpark, run by the Cronx brewery)
- Draft House Old Street (fashionable outpost of the ever-growing chain)
- The Dundee Arms (gloomily lit, narrow pub in Bethnal Green)
- The Flag (large pub by Watford Junction station)
- The Greenwood Hotel (huge Wetherspoons in Northolt)
- The Greystoke (Greene King pub on the Ealing/West Acton border, but with a better beer selection than that would immediately suggest)
- The Hope (sounds like a pleasant place to watch the cricket in Richmond)
- Jono's (oddly-decorated pub in Ilford)
- The Midland Hotel (stained glass and hexagons in Hendon)
- Mirth, Marvel and Maud (see picture above - an Antic pub and performance space, in a converted cinema in Walthamstow)
- The Mitre (more stained glass, this time in North Sheen)
- The Mossy Well (Wetherspoons in Muswell Hill featuring a large model cow)
- The North Star (bare lightbulbs in Ealing)
- The Northcote (above average pizza in Leytonstone)
- The Shelverdine Goathouse (Antic pub in South Norwood)
- The Taproom (deep fried courgettes in Woolwich)

Next week there'll be some non-pub updates! Stay tuned...

Wedding anniversary

Sep. 15th, 2017 07:13 pm
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Today was out wedding anniversary.

I made Mike a card:


(I've only had the book on paper quilting for a year, after all!) Worth clicking to embiggen, ifIdosaysomyself.

Mike very kindly did all the mucking out.

(While he did so, I took Jo to the vet. Over the last week or so, she's been occasionally yelping or whining, but it's got more frequent and last night she had a particularly bad spell that involved her making a noise for a minute or so. The vet couldn't find anything particularly, but did think she was maybe not *quite* so keen to take her weight on one of her front legs. It may also be a neck thing, although she did have a good feel around there. Short walks and more painkiller than usual for a week, and we'll see how she goes on.)

We had a quiet lunch at home.

(During which I took some ibuprofen for a headache and Mike had a migraine pill)

After lunch, and Jo's walk, we headed off to darkest Sussex to look at a horse.

He's called Thunder Joe, a name which is definitely going to be unused in full.

We liked him enough to ride, and it seemed to go quite well.

Even if it did hail while I was on him, and we were in a field with overly-long grass, which is one of my least favourite places to ride.

We'll go back and see him again next week, with riding instructor, using a school that they can borrow just down the road.

If riding instructor answers her text messages....

Afterwards, we headed home again.

I'm not sure how the day has been utterly exhausting, but we're both worn out now!

We had a lovely special anniversary dinner...

(Party-left-over soup from the freezer, and the other half of the loaf of bread that neither of us ate much of for lunch

...and now we're on the sofa with a bottle of wine.

Thankfully, Mike did a run to France yesterday!

Smart duck

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:27 pm
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When we went to put the animals to bed (before dinner! The nights are drawing in.), Eskarina was sitting on her own by the pond. She looked up and wiggled a bit when I walked over to get the feed dish, but she didn't jump up and head for bed, which was ominous.

I gave Mike the rugs I was carrying (most of the boys rugs are off being cleaned at the moment, but their two thinnest ones go in our washing machine ok so I took advantage of a sunny, breezy day to de-stink them) and went to pick her up, which is when I realised that she had a piece of nylon thread wrapped around one of her legs.

Fortunately, she didn't wiggle while I untangled her, and even more fortunately she hadn't been struggling enough to have actually cut all the way through the skin. As soon as I'd finished, though, she was off with a flap of her wings and a squawk.

It got me thinking, though (after I'd picked up the rest of the thread and thrown it away): it doesn't really surprise me that, say, elephants go to people when they need medical help*: they're smart. Similarly, dogs do it because they're tame. Ducks, though, are neither of those things. My runners are fairly domesticated, but anyone who's ever seen the reaction when I have to pick one up knows that they're not at all tame**.

Mike pointed out that birds are quite smart for brain size, and it's true that I'd be fairly unsurprised if, say, a corvid that I'd been feeding did the same thing. On the other hand, I'd be completely astonished if the robin, who follows me around when I'm carrying the duck / wild bird food, nagging me to hurry up with it, did the same thing.

* Elephants also, I just heard on the World Service, go into stealth mode when in danger from people: they hide out during the day and travel fast at night if they know that there are poachers in the area. There are now plans to look out for this on the researchers' movement trackers, so that they can alert the rangers to be on the look out for trouble when they see that sort of movement pattern!

** Except Esme, she was fairly tame, poor little thing.

The boys are back

Sep. 11th, 2017 01:29 pm
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I have a bean-pod-cut, sustained while helping Mike prep dinner veg last night. It's a bit like a paper cut, but more absurd.

Definitely autumnal...

Sep. 10th, 2017 06:01 pm
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- fungi in the woods
- misty mornings
- light rugs on the boys overnight (and associated repeatedly checking the rain radar to see when we should bring them in to make sure they don't get caught in a shower just before the rugs go on them)
- no longer need to water the garden
- two evening haynets for the boys
- bringing them down the hill on my own when Mike's in London
- entrance to ex-Mrs Up The Hill's field turned into a swamp....

So, today we moved the boys back into our field. That meant a busy morning: leave the boys in the stableyard; go up the hill for a final poo pick and taking down the electric fence; put the electric fence back up in our field (the grass is still growing, so we'll put them in a small bit of it for a month or so and then start strip grazing for the winter); point out to the boys that the gate to the field is now open and watch them charge in to start noshing).

I've also started the sloe gin, which will be much more abundant than last year. It somehow seems wrong to be picking them so early, but some of the ones we picked today were almost over-ripe.

It's nearly time for jelly making, once we've fitted in a day scrumping on the common. The chilli one last year was quite a hit, and the patio chillis have done well (unlike the conservatory ones, which are pathetic), and I've not made a sloe one for a few years (and have plenty of sloes still in our hedge if needed). I probably want one more, suggestions welcome....

Ah well...

Sep. 7th, 2017 07:37 pm
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The vet says "no".

Back to the adverts we go....

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