If I seemed despondent about the weather yesterday, it was because it was the wettest day I'd seen for months. You should have seen me rummaging through the wardrobe looking for a raincoat.
Did this one still fit? Was that the one with the tear on the shoulder? What about this one with all the cobwebs on it?
Last year the winter was so mild that I hadn't needed my wet-weather gear, and you know how things tend to get lost if you don't use them for a couple of years. I eventually found a light raincoat, some gloves and a cap, deciding I was ready to venture outdoors at last.
At least I wasn't squelching about in the mud at my sister's place. While she was out feeding the horse and the poultry, I was content to take the dogs out in the backyard and throw a few pieces of apple for them to chase. The ground was damp enough underfoot out there, but it was great compared to the duck pen.
Not that the poultry were a great source of comfort to Julie. She had three of her chickens die on her in the space of four days.
And when that happens, there's always one that you miss more than the others. In this case, it was the littlest one, the hen we nicknamed "The Roadrunner" because of her long neck and determined expression.
Julie used to joke that she was like an anorexic supermodel in build, but sadly that seemed to be what did her in - she stopped eating and simply faded away.
It's surprising how much personality you can get in even a chicken.
I have been listening to quite a few Old Time Radio programmes lately and there are some gems among them.
Of course they aren't all winners. For example last week I listened to a 1953 episode of Hall of Fantasy "Out of the Sky" which was quite competently made but for a modern listener lacked a single spark of originality. It was rather like watching one of those old black-and-white B-movies on the late show:
Strange deaths arouse suspicion.
The government investigates.
An alien invader is discovered.
The Bomb is dropped.
In the last scene the hero stresses the need for continued vigilance.
I mean, there's nothing wrong with it but there's nothing much right with it.
We shouldn't fall into the all-too-human trap of making sweeping generalizations like "All OTR shows are neglected classics" or "All modern music is rubbish."
After all, that's the dictionary meaning of prejudice -- pre-judging things.
The Australian magazine PC User is celebrating its 200th issue and there have been some amusing flashbacks to issues of previous decades.
I especially liked the reprint from a 1995 issue that solemnly advised us that a multi-media capable PC needed at least a 400MB hard disk!
Things have certainly changed.