Sunday, October 13, 2019

Mutterings - Oct 13

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Say something :: Anything!
  2. Eventually :: Event-u-ally (said slowly) was it a John Cleese-ism?
  3. Contract :: Bridge
  4. Worth :: Harry (a UK comedian of the 50s)
  5. Nasty :: or Nice?
  6. Corrupt :: Politician
  7. Virus :: Noro-
  8. System :: Backup
  9. Supportive :: Friend
  10. Dictator :: Mussolini

Transfer to Porto

After enjoying another evening and breakfast at Calheiros we took an Inntravel arranged taxi to Porto for a few extra days stay at the Hotel Pestana . We'd arranged a trip to the Graham port lodge for a tasting that afternoon and so wandered over the river and a walk alongside admiring painted walls:
But those are fake buildings!

See the album for the rabbit! I'd rather gone off the sweetness of port but the tasting and introduction to the lodge was much enjoyed! That evening we ate at Jimao Tapas e Vinhos close to the hotel - busy I'd recommend booking (which we did).
Oh and at lunchtime we ate at da Terra - a vegetarian restaurant with a serve yourself infinite buffet!

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Mutterings - Oct 5

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Cold :: Fever
  2. Center :: Stillness
  3. Squared :: Root
  4. History :: Course
  5. Stiff :: Dead
  6. Computer :: Board
  7. Fold :: Tri(-fold) cord
  8. Trip :: Fall
  9. Away :: Manger (is it Christmas soon?)
  10. Stuffy :: Old-fashioned

Friday, October 04, 2019

Around Calheiros

A final day of the manor houses' walk was a very gentle walk around Calheiros with grandstand views of the house:
Paço de Calheiros in the distance

For the rest of the day we enjoyed walks around the grounds with extensive gardens.

Mutterings - Oct 4

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Care :: (in the) Community (allegedly!)
  2. Siblings :: Siegmund (Sieglinde) must have been provoked by Jessye Norman's deth
  3. Underpants :: Knickers!
  4. Compassion :: Alongside
  5. Best :: George - there is ancient football knowledge somewhere..
  6. Festive :: Hat
  7. Incomplete :: Specification - lots of those
  8. Educated :: Eton - not me!
  9. Similar :: Mirror..image
  10. Pretentious :: Tw*t

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Up to Paço de Calheiros

More on that even more receded holiday in May! The next day's walk was a very gently affair, we arrived at the final manor house around lunchtime. If you do this spend more time in Ponte de Lima - where by the way the lamp posts play brass band music at you - I think this was set off by motion detectors and they seemed to be still activating late into the evening, if you're allergic to brass band music walk down the middle of the road!

Outside our room in Paço de Calheiros

A slightly ascending route and we ended up in a wonderful room for 2 nights in the manor house - the picture is a view from the terrace outside the room. Extensive grounds and the house is worth the look around. There were quite a few groups for the evening meal in a grand dining room!

Mutterings - Sep 19

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Guest :: Account
  2. Intimidate :: Overbearing
  3. Flavor :: Vanilla
  4. Suspicious :: Glare
  5. Contaminate :: Pollute
  6. Bordering :: (on the ) absurd
  7. Language :: Watch (your)
  8. Corrupt :: Government
  9. Satisfy :: Wine bottle
  10. Monthly :: Pay cheque

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Mutterings - Sep 15

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Ring :: Wagner
  2. Chess :: Gambit
  3. Fulfilled :: Accomplished
  4. Drawing :: Still-life
  5. Favor :: Grace
  6. Proof :: QED
  7. Million :: Bonus
  8. Pad :: Across (as in an animal padding across somewhere)
  9. Chest :: Inhaler
  10. Code :: Breaking the ...

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Prorogation and Tory Whipping

I wrote this letter to my MP after an earlier exchange of letters where David Rutley's response failed to address any of my points and was clearly a form letter from conservative central office. I got the first response around 24 hours after my email, his was sent my post - why(?). I'm still waiting for a response from this.
Thank you for your speedy response to my email about the deselection
of rebel tory MPs, unfortunately your letter addressed none of my
points and seemed to be to be high grade flannel from Central Office,
but no doubt you're a little busy. Let me then offer these questions
for hopefully a more to the point consideration.

Were you there at the Chequers meeting which agreed that Tory MPs who
rebel on Bexit will be ejected from the party and not allowed to stand
in the future?

Do you agree with that position?

Will the same sanctions apply to anyone from the extreme right of the
party who votes against any agreement by Johnson's 'negotiating' group
delivered before 31st Oct?

Did you know about the decision to prorogue Parliament more than 24
hours before it was publically announced? (the leader of the House
appears to have difficulty with this question hopefully you can give a
more honest answer)

Was the decision to prorogue Parliament announced on 28th Aug discussed in a full meeting of Cabinet beforehand?

If the answers to either of the last 2 questions is no, then your
letter saying 'nothing to see here' 'usual practice' is clearly a
lie. I remember (you may have forgotten) that the decision to extend
the Parliamentary session was taken to give the time for Bexit to be
done. To therefore prorogue 6 weeks before the current departure date
seems a little at odds with that!
I guess these direct questions are a little harder to flannel around. I see his twitter handle on the linked parliament page is still incorrect - should be @DavidRutley rather than @DavidRutleyMP. David Rutley is a tory whip.

Mutterings - Sep 10

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Baby :: Computer
  2. Standard :: Gold
  3. Pose :: Freeze
  4. Rubbish :: Bin
  5. Clear :: In the .. I'm thinking of this Blitzstein song
  6. Hope :: Obama
  7. Circumference :: Magellan
  8. Scramble :: Rock
  9. Gasp :: Interview (I was accused of this at an interview when a previous employer was brought up)
  10. Hunted :: Look

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Mutterings - Aug 25

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Adopt :: Parent
  2. Turbulence :: Nexus
  3. Constituent :: Demanding
  4. Reckless :: Fall
  5. Habitat :: Hull (my brother in law worked at Habitat in Hull back in the 1980s)
  6. Spare :: Tyre
  7. Horror :: Film
  8. Influence :: Destructive
  9. Indulge :: Ice cream
  10. Humanity :: Caring

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A day in Ponte da Lima

(this is getting a bit drawn out.. sorry for the delay in adding updates!)
The next day was around Ponte da Lima, we took it gently around the town. But we did include a visit to the Vinho Verde visitor centre - with tasting!

Beth examines some vines

That evening we ate at Casa do Provedor where I risked the local speciality of sarrabulho - pigs' blood rice and quite enjoyed the experience!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Into Ponte da Lima

The next day of our Minho holiday was the longest (17km) but probably the flattest! Ascent through vineyards and then down to the river Lima and along an Ecovia into Ponte da Lima
the plane tree avenue

A pleasant walk but on a very hot day, a cafe was advertised in the instructions but we were too early in the season and it was closed. Eventually we reached the town and walked though the wonderful Plane tree avenue pictured above to our destination for the evening Mercearia da Vila a hotel rather than a manor house in an old grocer's shop (that website is all in Portuguese!) We ate out that evening at Taberna Cadeia Velha close to the river and lovely views of the setting sun!

After the meal a sunset!

Men and Volunteering

I was at a (church) Readers lunch today at which I was the only male and during our discussion we talked about ratios of men and women as leaders/volunteers in church events. Last night I attended a service rota planning event where (apart from the vicar) I was again the only male. I've just checked our list of volunteers to do Bible readings and that's around 75% female, our church is fairly well gender balanced (a slight bias towards women).

I also thought back to last weekend when - as a followup event to Macc Pride at which I was a steward (again a volunteer role) - there was a pub afternoon for feedback and news. When I arrived there were around 15 women and me(!) a few more women arrived before there was just one other male! I've also inspected the rota for St Michael's which opened its doors that day to welcome folk who wanted a break from the noisyness of the event (and some children's activities). Yes you guessed, again all female!

So more (on this limited set of data points) than just a church problem? I go to some geeky voluntary events which tend to be fairly male - but that's on a pretty male concentrated population to draw on? Is it that men are too busy wanting to be the main wage earner even when they're retired?

Monday, July 15, 2019

Mutterings - Jul 15

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Baby :: Talk
  2. Stripes :: Tiger
  3. Family :: Home
  4. Draw :: Firearms
  5. Girl :: Power
  6. Cup :: Ball
  7. Tested :: Allergy
  8. Vanilla :: Sex
  9. Bronze :: Medal
  10. Visit :: Holiday

Friday, July 05, 2019

Starting the Caminho

We left the Quinta da Malta - taking the packed lunch in a monogrammed bag and after a taxi transfer to the Santuario Nossa Senhora da Aparecida (a place of pilgrimage) we followed the Caminho de Santiago for the rest of the day. Fairly gentle and flat meeting a few fellow walkers en route who were mostly intending to walk a little further than us that day - onto Ponte da Lima - we were taking 2 days over that. Mouths or Cushions!?
I think we got to our stop that night early afternoon Quinta do Sobreiro - we were the only guests that evening but were well looked after. It was a very hot day so we stayed in the shade the rest of the day.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Mutterings - Jun 30

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. School :: Secondary
  2. Print :: Job
  3. Falls :: Victoria
  4. Manages :: Company
  5. Hop :: Beer
  6. Location :: Location..
  7. Skipped :: Lightness
  8. Sneeze :: Cold
  9. Prism :: Spectrum
  10. Program :: Pascal

Sunday, June 23, 2019

An introductory walk

The initial walk was a gentle affair around Durrães as far as the Ponte das Tabuas - a bridge on the Caminho (pilgrim) trail to Santiago - a route we met a few times during the holiday! Ponte des Tabuas

It was a gentle walk I think we regularly beat the Inntravel timings by quite a bit this week. We were back at the Quinta da Malta for lunch and enjoyed a gentle afternoon with another bottle of local wine! We also had a look around the farm associated with the manor house with lots of organic produce which was used extensively in the food. We were a day behind some other walkers and during the afternoon some others arrived who then were a day behind us. Another relaxed evening meal before thinking about the first transfer walk.

Mutterings - 23 June

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Late! :: Never!
  2. Swallow :: Summer
  3. Infection :: Hospital
  4. Mobile :: Data
  5. Honey :: Hive
  6. Cup :: Goblet
  7. Sensational :: Skin
  8. Twist :: (and) Shout
  9. Thump :: Agression
  10. Work :: Hours

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Mutterings - June 16

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Guy :: Fawkes
  2. Forces :: Equal (and opposite)
  3. Governor :: Supreme (of the Church of England)
  4. Done :: Sold!
  5. Premature :: Baby
  6. Insist :: Threaten
  7. Congress :: Library
  8. Invest :: Trust
  9. Immunity :: White (blood)
  10. Society :: Free

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Manor Houses of the Minho

We're recently back from 10 days in Portugal - as ever an InnTravel walking tour! The photo album of the trip is here.
We travelled to Porto via Brussels and then tram and train to Durrães where we spent 2 nights at Quinta da Malta one of a number of manor houses which formed the stops for the trip - family homes rather than hotels but we were well cared for. Tiles on the route to Durrães.

We arrived for an enjoyable meal with lots of local wine and a gentle inspection of the huge gardens to the house.

Mutterings - June 4

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Apartment :: Arondissement (I was listening to a programme about Francis Poulenc and his living in Paris)
  2. Fitness :: Gym
  3. Trouble :: Blast!
  4. Storm :: Lightning
  5. Winning :: Ways
  6. Dryer :: Normal (from a social media cartoon "what's normal - a dryer setting...")
  7. Photo :: Scan
  8. Stomach :: Ache
  9. er :: winn-
  10. Pert :: Bosom (blames Daily Mail...)

and catching up...

  1. Confusion :: Stammer
  2. Benefits :: Fringe
  3. Nervous :: Spasm
  4. Stuffy :: Teacher
  5. Illegal :: Drugs
  6. Optimism :: Sunshine
  7. Where :: Locate
  8. Symptom :: Bruise
  9. Dry :: Humour
  10. Sarcasm :: Confuse

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Mutterings - May 25

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Anxiety :: Complex
  2. Yellow :: River
  3. Compulsive :: Tic
  4. Nobody :: Knows (.. the trouble..)
  5. Irritation :: Sand
  6. Heartache :: Insomnia
  7. Noise :: Phones (either head or mobile!)
  8. Lock :: Head
  9. Untimely :: Demise (Belloc?)
  10. Disappointment :: Angst

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Mutterings - May 8

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Reference :: Dictionary
  2. Sleepy :: Dozey
  3. Deprived :: Sleep!
  4. TNT :: Arabic (numerals - via this incredible (stupid) Petition
  5. Complaint :: Back
  6. Monthly :: Bill
  7. Sarah :: Rachel (Old Testament..)
  8. Records :: LPs
  9. Butter :: Melt .. Mouth (and wouldn't!)
  10. Shone :: Moon

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Mutterings - May 5

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Freelance :: Contractor
  2. Bottle :: Courage
  3. Links :: Missing
  4. Choice :: Free
  5. Materialistic :: Grasping
  6. Case :: Attache
  7. Fancy :: Takes (your)
  8. Protection :: Climbing
  9. Toast :: Burnt
  10. Extravagant :: Show-off

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Mutterings - Apr 25

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Advice :: Line
  2. Volume :: Button
  3. Link :: Hyper
  4. Learn :: Listen!
  5. Save :: Screen
  6. Upcoming :: Releases
  7. Summer :: 1993 (film..)
  8. Always :: Cline (Patsy)
  9. 2019 :: Now!
  10. Response :: Time
and last week's
  1. Boardwalk :: Plank
  2. Son :: Prodigal
  3. Trampled :: Underfoot
  4. 30 :: below
  5. Speak :: Easy
  6. Fun :: Games
  7. Best friend :: Companion
  8. Memories :: Cats (oh dear - Lloyd Webber...)
  9. Shallow :: Rapids
  10. Sun :: Reaction - the way the sun is powered..)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Two Op 1s!

An interesting day musically - piano meetup at z-arts - 4 Rachmaninov preludes by different players, a stunning Berg sonata (Op 1) I've never heard it live before and this was I assume an amateur playing it! Someone else played the first movement of the Beethoven Op 111 sonata- I played some Bach (fugue from WTC in G min we had a lot of that key from various people!) and then in the evening to the Northern chamber orchestra chamber evening with the Mozart clarinet quintet (played with the contrabass clarinet version) some Schubert songs for baritone acc by string quartet - including the Erlkönig (another Op 1!) and then the Schubert string quintet a wonderful performance. The string quintet was interrupted when the second violin's bow broke at the end of the scherzo, but a performance of intensity throughout. The baritone Matthew Sharp doubled as the second cello in the Schubert!

Here's Glenn Gould playing the Berg Sonata

Mutterings - Apr 14

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Economy :: Urban
  2. Podcast :: Music
  3. Go to :: Unstructured (programming!)
  4. Radio :: Gaga
  5. Modern :: Harmony
  6. Pleasure :: Music for (and old LP label)
  7. Everyday :: Interaction (I resisted pleasure!)
  8. Last month :: March!
  9. Fundamental :: Tone (music again!)
  10. 100% :: Give

Friday, April 05, 2019

Mutterings - Apr 5

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Expectation :: Great (Dickens!)
  2. Corner :: Case
  3. Hesitation :: Deviation (Just a Minute)
  4. Buzzing :: Discussion
  5. Headache :: Sinus
  6. Social :: Circle
  7. Insurance :: Home
  8. Foolish :: Things
  9. Tiara :: Diamond
  10. Senator :: Roman

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mutterings - Mar 21

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Combination :: Lock
  2. Frustration :: Weep (with)
  3. Whatever :: Shrug
  4. Backtrack :: Search
  5. Shut :: It (Vince!)
  6. Beautiful :: Laundrette
  7. Mindful ::
  8. Master :: Roger (Delgado
  9. Contribute ::
  10. Idiotic :: Babble
My mind appears to be trawling through film and TV! Rather late to come to this set of words...

Monday, March 11, 2019

Mutterings - Mar 11

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Impatient :: Driver
  2. Unplug :: USB
  3. Spot on :: Vet treatment
  4. Matter :: Mind (over)
  5. Grouped :: Isolated
  6. Frequently :: Absent
  7. Scratching :: Pork!
  8. Birthday :: Present
  9. Quake :: California
  10. Squeak :: Bubble

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Mutterings - Feb 28

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Stupid :: Boy! (Dad's Army?)
  2. Delete :: This (C++ or hiding traces?)
  3. Morning :: has Broken
  4. Disassemble :: Decode (as in disassemble a program)
  5. Schedule :: Tight
  6. Required :: Field (too much form filling)
  7. Denied :: Access
  8. Calendar :: Julian
  9. Wind :: Up!
  10. Eyeliner :: Pencil


Monday, February 18, 2019

Mutterings - Feb 18

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Cancellation :: Penalty
  2. Suspect :: Interview
  3. Fireplace :: Dogs
  4. Spring :: Zebedee (magic roundabout strikes...)
  5. Commute :: Retire
  6. Places :: Recalls (to recognise..)
  7. Fraud :: Electoral
  8. Adoption :: Meeting (probably political)
  9. Election :: Vote
  10. Moving day :: Packing cases

Friday, February 08, 2019

Mutterings - Feb 8

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Hurry! :: Late!
  2. Dumb :: -o
  3. Fudge :: Nut
  4. Sturdy :: Theology (I had supervisions with John Sturdy from Gonville and Caius when reading theology)
  5. Printing :: Press
  6. Itch :: Scratch
  7. Creaks :: Bow
  8. Paste :: Cut
  9. Waste of time :: Country Walk (well according to some - not me!)
  10. Let down :: Betray

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mutterings - Jan 30

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Doubled :: Fugue (well double really!)
  2. Choreography :: a points!
  3. Surprising :: Result
  4. Punched :: Card (ancient IT..)
  5. Followers :: Twitter
  6. Stunts :: Fall
  7. Comics :: Daily
  8. Elaborate :: Deceit
  9. Fumbling :: Climbing
  10. Period :: .

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Mutterings - Jan 8

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Bias :: Die (a single cube with numbers ;))
  2. Boxing :: Day
  3. Kennedy :: Dead (occasional pop culture references here..)
  4. Podcast :: Music
  5. Myth :: Greek
  6. Movie :: Star
  7. Building :: Empire State (don't think I'd seen the next line?)
  8. State :: Galleon - a Joyce Grenfell connection
  9. Hotel :: 3 star
  10. Book :: Lyrics
  1. Scrabble :: Domino (at one point we had cats called Domino and Scrabble)
  2. Gin :: Forest
  3. Problems :: Emotional (Maths..)
  4. Agreement :: (Hand) Shake
  5. Superior :: Lake
  6. Cough :: Syrup
  7. Resolved :: Cadence
  8. Joy :: Peace
  9. Beginning :: End (of the)
  10. Plan :: Map