18 January 2021

Milestones

Last week two milestones were reached on the very same day. The official worldwide number of COVID-19 deaths  hit two million and the number of visitors to "Yorkshire Pudding" since June 2005  reached the same figure. That's a lot of "hits".

It's as if the entire population of Perth (Western Australia) or Minsk (Belarus) have either died from the virus or they have visited my blog. I would like to think that the latter might have been  a better choice though some contrarians might disagree with that. Ah well, I know that I tried my best.

It is likely that COVID has in fact  claimed the lives of far more than two million people. Calculation in western countries is pretty comprehensive but what about more challenging, less developed countries like Malawi, Bolivia, India or Egypt? In such countries accurate tallying is far more problematic. Maybe we will never know the true death figure.

Thanks to Yorkshire Pudding visitors past and present for tarrying here from time to time. Much appreciated. Onward to three million.

Blog counter last Friday morning

17 January 2021

Bliss


There may be other stuff going on in the world right now but I don't care about all that. Don't care about COVID-19 or Ugly Trump or Scruffy Johnson or global warming or the death of Phil Spector or even the fact that Hull City only drew with Blackpool yesterday. No - this weekend, all that I care about is the new addition to our family - Little Phoebe.

She came to our house today with her soft skin, her tiny fingernails, her sighs and her plaintive cries. And she fell asleep while her mama and papa enjoyed the Sunday roast I had prepared after we had toasted Phoebe's arrival with a bottle of "Bolinger" champagne.

And later I held her in my arms, close to my chest and sang the song I have chosen for her babyhood - "Lavender's Blue" - an agricultural song from long ago. I will use this song to comfort her and send her to sleep:-

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly,
Lavender's green
When I am king, dilly dilly,
You shall be queen

Who told you so, dilly dilly,
Who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly dilly,
That told me so

Call up your friends, dilly, dilly
Set them to work
Some to the plough, dilly dilly,
Some to the fork

Some to the hay, dilly dilly,
Some to thresh corn
Whilst you and I, dilly dilly,
Keep ourselves warm

And one day, when I am gone and she is a woman she might hear this song again and think to herself - "I know that song but I don't know how or why".

Finally, sincere thanks to readers of "Yorkshire Pudding" for all the lovely messages I received in the comments section of this blog after the last two posts. I have read many of them out to Frances and Stewart. It's very uplifting to think that there are so many good people out there thinking such kind,  genuine thoughts about our heavenly babe. Thank you so much.

16 January 2021

Pictures

I love this picture of our Phoebe. She is now a day old. Frances took the photograph with her smartphone. As I write, they are both still in the maternity hospital.
But this is the very first picture that was ever taken of her. She is in the midwife's arms and she is singing, "Tutti frutti, oh Rudy / A whop bop-a-lu a whop bam boo!" See how she grasps the imaginary microphone so expertly:-

15 January 2021

Phoebe

Phoebe arrived an hour ago. She weighed in at 7lb 12oz. I could hear her exercising her lungs in the background and Frances said, "She's perfect!". I will go out soon to buy two newspapers so that one day Phoebe will read about what was going on in the world and in the city of her birth the day that she was born - January 15th 2021. Let us hope that the life she paints will be long and lovely in spite of the ups and downs that are part and parcel of being human. 

14 January 2021

Snowy

This morning I leapt out of bed and threw back the curtains. Now that wasn't supposed to happen - Snow! And it was still falling.

After breakfast I ventured out to feed the garden birds though it wasn't long before the seeds and suet were hidden by  falling snow. Our sheep - Beau and Peep - were wearing snowy blankets and our fox  - Fake Fred  was almost suffocating in the white stuff.

At half past ten there was a knocking on our front door. It was lovely Sophie - a thirteen year old girl who lives across the road from us. She had been sent home from school because of the snow and could not get in her house. Naturally, SuperPudding was here to save the day! Their front door lock is ridiculously stiff and it's awkward for the key to turn but with my super powers I had no difficulty.

After a BLT sandwich and a mug of coffee I decided to head out to take some photographs. Stubbornly, Moody Clint refused to take me anywhere. 

"No freakin' way man!" he said. "Look at that snow! I would be skiddin' and slidin' around like a freakin' ice dancer!"

I protested, "But I own you! You do what I want. Not what you want!"

My pointless protest received a mouthful of South Korean obscenities.

Alternatively, I found myself trudging up to Ecclesall churchyard. It's somewhere I have taken pictures before in snowy weather. I gathered plenty of images but these were I believe the best:-



13 January 2021

BrewDog

In the middle of a terrible pandemic we need some "good news" stories.  Down in London there's a groundbreaking craft brewery called "BrewDog". Founded by two Scottish fellows who are passionate about beer, the company has been tremendously successful, progressing in leaps and bounds. Of course  COVID-19 has thrown and unwelcome spanner in their works but still they are looking forward.

At the back end of last year BrewDog teamed up with Bosh! to produce a new alcohol-free vegan beer. I don't like commercial advertising in this blog but on this occasion I will make an exception...

An alcoholic version of the beer should be arriving before Easter and when it does appear I will be ordering several cartons. Getting hitched up with BrewDog is a hell of a coup for Bosh!. I guess that continuation of production will depend on sales and of course it's not too easy to promote new beers when all your usual outlets have been shut down by government restrictions. Fingers crossed, BrewDog/Bosh! beers will still be around with thriving sales after this unholy virus has been driven back into its cage.

12 January 2021

Robins

Damflask Reservoir earlier today

Damflask Reservoir is within Sheffield's city limits. It was formed in  1896 when the damming of The River Loxley was completed. Damflask had been the name of a small village - the remains of which now lie at the bottom of the man-made lake.

I was over there today for a short walk in afternoon sunlight  before our golden orb dipped below the hills. On another occasion I shall circle the entire reservoir - some 3.5 miles but today was not the time for that.

Just before I turned about, ready to head back to Clever Clint The South Korean Silver Machine, I was joined by a robin. He hung around like an old friend as I wilfully bemused him by imitating various bird calls. Slowly, I slid my camera out and managed to get several photographs of my new feathered friend. A recent poll by the RSPB (Royal Society for The Protection of Birds) revealed that the European robin is in fact Britain's favourite bird.

The European robin is not to be confused with The American robin which is a bigger bird that got its name "robin" from early European settlers who, because of the bird's breast colouring, were reminded of the robins they had left behind on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. American robins are more common and will often be seen in flocks but the European robin tends be solitary and territorial.

Here's the American robin:-

And once again, here's the little European robin that welcomed me to Damflask Reservoir:-

Most Visits