Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Putting OnThe Glitz....

I've been looking through the shops' Christmas folders ...

It's not enough any more to crawl out of bed , shove the Roast of your choice ( Turkey, Beef, Goose or Nut ) into the oven and collapse over some burnt toast, while admiring the contents of someone's stocking . No, one's supposed to dress up for the occasion ...in special Christmas gear. And I don't just mean a Santa hat . You've all got to have the right onesie

 The children

The dog

And the husband

Whilst drinking an Apple, Banana, Mango, Avocado and Spinach smoothie
         ....I'm looking forward to it

Monday, 11 December 2017

Snow , Salt And Socks.

Yesterday it snowed everywhere . And , as a family , we don't really do snow .

In Leeuwarden , I sat cosily inside , eating baked apples and reading a murder story. In Amsterdam , YD resolutely walked round the block and rushed back up to her flat and Netflix . In London , Smitonius refilled both bird feeders.  In Leicester , Middle Daughter and family were mildly surprised to find they had two sleds and took them off to the park , after lunch.

Here the Town Hall dusted off the salt spreaders and they trundled round town with flashing golden lights all day , joining in the Christmas fun . Then the local news warned us that so much slushy,  salty snow could freeze solid overnight and might make early roads extremely dangerous .

And this morning , I opened an email from MD to find a photo of Elder Grandson's lower lip twice as large as usual with some decorative embroidery on it . Not a sledding accident ; no sooner than they'd got home than he'd fallen on the stairs , split his lip and ended the day in A&E . Outraged, later on the 'phone today to me, he explained , "I had SNOW on my sock".

Oh dear , perhaps he'll never be part of the bobsleigh team. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

How Can I Have Forgotten ?

It's only 340 days or so ago , so how can I have forgotten that days in December shrink from twentyfour hours to seven , that in December rolls of Sellotape are only two foot long and that in December the town's entire population takes it in turns to join the queue in the Post Office.

 That there'll be wet snow on the day you've arranged to meet a vague acquaintance for coffee and icy fog when you go Christmas shopping in Groningen . And no heating on the train when you come back from Amsterdam.

Still , at least this year , even though M&S has closed in Holland, I've managed to get hold of a Christmas pudding , know where the nutcracker is and have posted the cards so if all else fails Christmas won't be a complete washout.

And I've seen the perfect Christmas shoes.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Keeping Busy In My Old Age ...

No , I haven't slipped down the back of the sofa or gone off on a round the world trip ... 

I've just been pursuing a certain Pokemon character . I've got the whole thing down to a T .

Pick the toy shop with the most plastic clutter in the window . Fight your way though a sea of pink sparkly things and fluffy things . Interrupt one of the employees who is rushing out of the stock room with a trolley piled high with shiny boxes .

The best informed member of staff usually looks too young to work anywhere . You might in fact remember him from his pre-school meltdown days , in which case don't remind him that he was frightened of the swing or forget to admire his almost-moustache . Don't try to impress him with your computer skills ; let him find the right Pokemon pages.

If  they haven't got what you want , don't despair . Have a coffee and look in another shop or two .

 By day three , get on a train and widen the search.  Eventually, like me,  you'll find something roughly right and the manager will throw in a free pack of Pokemon cards, delighted with the prospect of getting rid of you .

On the way back to the station, remember that Birthday Boy and all his/our relatives will need Christmas presents next month .

Monday, 6 November 2017

Bits and Pieces

Aldi have always sold roasted almonds . I was just rather surprised last week to find that the ones they now stock are adorable . It says so on the packet .

I'm temporarily immortal , having just had the 'flu vaccination .Can't help feeling that if I'm going to do anything remotely risky , this might be the moment .

Though when we tried some Tai Chi this week at the gym , it was swiftly demonstrated that I'm not going to be part of any band of Superior Pensioners weaving graceful patterns in the local park's dawn light . Not having any coordination at all , I kept on getting teetery and tied in knots . All attempts to remain serious , graceful and balanced reduced me to giggling hiccups , so I had to retire to the treadmill instead .  There's something very sobering about the treadmill ...
The Class Swot persevered and , taking to it like a duck to water , asked for more next week . Meanwhile I seemed  to be rediscovering my teenage silly-arse self .

The sun shone for an hour this afternoon and I took the chance to have a coffee on the balcony . Sudden commotion as two little boys cycled past , bells ringing and bellowing "Alarm !", "Alarm! " . Had I not just poured out the coffee , I might have joined them ... it looked much more fun than dusting . 

Is everybody else's deep freeze full of pumpkin soup too ?

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Miaow !

The new ... in theory , temporary ... municipal library which rejoices in the name "Pop-Up Library" ( such a dispiriting name ) is full of bewildered Leeuwarders , cardboard boxes , new machines , an assortment of old armchairs and new Ikea dining tables , a windup gramaphone and the roaring of mechanical dinosaurs in the lobby .
And , depending on the time of day , Dutch lessons for bewildered foreigners , spontaneous Bible lessons by a young man in a wooly hat ,  unofficial lessons/workshops on how to use the new machines for the older staff by the very youngest stagaire  and weird clanking of hot water pipes .
 No , it's not the most peaceful of places any more . 

Until I sat down at one of the tables this afternoon to hunt for my library card and found a cat .

 I think all libraries should have a cat and I hope he comes to the old jail/new library , sometime in the Spring . 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Maternal Solicitude ...

When the children 'phone , you naturally want to hear all their news , so you ask about what's been going on . How are their children , partners , partners' parents , work , their friends , the cats , the garden  ? ...  yes , being related to me must be like being picked up by the KGB .

It's an empty nest thing , I suppose . For some reason it took me ages to get used to not knowing what they were wearing that day , once they'd left .
A fully furnished picture of their home life makes them seem nearer .

And now Younger Daughter has introduced a further character ... After years of showing no interest in gardening or of growing anything at all , she now has a plant .
So now , of course , every week I'm also asking after Mint . Together we glowed as she reported that it had two new "branches" ( she's still not mastered the jargon but it's just a question of time ) ...

Now , as long as I don't start saying , "And how's Minty this week ? "...

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Local Gentry

It's museum time again . The new season's exhibitions are beginning and the one I went to yesterday was  simply titled  , "Rich In Groningen" .

 It was a collection of locally held treasures  , some  from attics , some from country churches and a lot from the museum's vaults .
 Lots of crests , uncomfortable furniture

family portraits by the barrow load , silver goblets , gorgeous wall paper copied from odd scraps of the eighteenth century originals in the city archives , even the odd angel .

Since the city , in an attempt to avoid corruption , had a complicated system involving having four mayors , electing two at a time every two years there were lots of portraits of tubby chaps in black and splendid lace jabots ... and a definite family look to them .
In fact , there was a certain family look to most of the portraits and the same names pop up again and again .

But the occasional parvenue pushed forward and , since anyone could , would design himself a crest .

The Reverend Rudolphus Kuen and his wife Elizabeth had a particularly nice one .

I left , designing mine as I went . Aubergine with a bay leaf wreath and soup ladle rampant ?

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Operation Stonebreak

Sorry , it sounds less clunky in Dutch ,"Operation Steenbreek "... or maybe it doesn't , but anyway , whatever you call it ,  it's in full flood .

It's a nationwide scheme to make towns and cities in Holland greener . Leeuwarden did a survey and discovered that up to 77% of the gardens in some neighbourhoods were totally covered in stone slabs , with a resulting decline in wildlife . Hedgehogs , bees and butterflies are becoming scarcer ...

So this weekend , all you have to do is dig up one of the flag stones in your yard and take it along to these young people and they'll swap it for a fruit bush  .

All of which sounds admirable ...  but I live in a flat  .  Neighbour and I pondered how to hack a chunk off our respective balconies and totter down the road with them but couldn't quite see ourselves managing it .

It'd probably be simpler to buy a couple of bushes at the local nursery ... I wonder if we asked at the town hall , they'd even give us a grant ? Two Euros fifty each ?

Friday, 1 September 2017

You Know It's Bad When ...

You know it's bad when you get a birthday card like this from one daughter , the second gives you a calendar from the year you were born that she'd found at an antique fair , and the third just gives you a giant pot of miracle-promising body lotion .

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Shortbread , Swans and Morris Dancers

That's right , I've just been to England .

Fish and chips , country buses , lots of Red Leicester , the V&A , London pubs , amassed aunts , the biggest and best pizza I've ever eaten , Rosy Pig cider , a folk festival and ( temporary ) tattoos .

It was all great fun and ended far too soon .

I think I'll probably be doing it again next year .

Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Ritz Is So Last Year ...

Well , it will be next year when Leeuwarden will be European City of Culture along with Valetta .

 I don't know about Valetta , but we're not really a tourist Mecca and those who come are mostly really keen sailors , who , rather naturally , tend to bring their boats with them . Hence a slight shortage of hotel space .

But a couple of local farmers have had a brainwave  et voilà...............................

 They've reckoned that they can fit around 5,000 huge drain pipes on their land and are planning to fill each one with a comfortable layer of straw . The guests can put up a curtain if they want but you'll be cosily grouped together and , in theory ( though this hasn't been tried yet ) pipes could be stacked up to make bunk beds for groups . Showers and loos will be dotted about and breakfast ( farm fresh eggs , bread and cheese and milk from the farm ) is included in the 20 Euro per night price . 

 You'll be woken at cockcrow , of course , but there'll be plenty to do . You can cuddle the cows  or just learn how to milk one ,  ride a horse or help to clean out the stables . Those who want to get into town for a concert or event can use the farm's planned tractor taxi service ...

 And where are all these drain pipes coming from ? Apparently they're all to be used in various projects locally in 2019 and the building firms are happy to have a place to stash them till then . Now , all we have to hope for is that next summer's better than this ....

Monday, 26 June 2017

A Week ...

A perfectly normal week , really .

The sun shone , then it didn't . I discovered that you don't want to be cycling as fast as you can over a metal bridge when a huge clap of thunder makes the whole world rock . Then the sun shone some more . Then it rained again and the bread ran out . I discovered that peanut butter doesn't go with raisin bread .

Went out to dinner with friends and had some very nice Balinese chicken in coconut milk , some satè skewers and pickled vegetables . As the restaurant gradually emptied , people drifting off to the open air concert in the middle of town , we sat and watched a tiny mouse , not much bigger than a lemon seed , dart about clearing up the crumbs . It deserved a medal . Left up to him , Leeuwarden will be more than ready as European City of Culture in January .

 One daughter flew to Malaga for an old schoolfriend's wedding , another broke her toe and is now learning to walk in one of those huge shovel-shaped shoes A & E give you , and the third was looking after a friend's cat . I offered commiseration , enthusiasm and sympathy by 'phone .

I read five books , enjoying them all , especially Kate North's Land of my Dreams and Roddie Doyle's Bullfighter . Thought of making some muffins . Didn't . 

And didn't go to the Agricultural College's Apiary's Open Day , yet again . That's right ... it rained .

Monday, 19 June 2017

Four Birthdays in Five Days ...

Four birthdays in five days and not one of them mine , but I don't mind at the moment . I think I'm quite old enough for the time being .

One of the birthdays was for a young lady who seems to have turned fifteen and  5'11" overnight and who plans to become an interior designer ,  and another was for Elder Grandson who astonishingly , is now ten and wants to be a skateboarding dude .

This , when I heard it , seemed startlingly unlikely since he'd much rather stay inside and explain mediaeval history to you than go outside but his parents took him at his word and Sunday saw him looking long and lanky on a skateboard ... in a helmet and some shin pads his mother had unearthed from somewhere . His Alexander Technique aunt spent the afternoon helping him to find his balance , his mother promised to get him proper knee-pads to replace the improvised shin pads before  next weekend and he was off ...  

And I can clearly hear his two year-old voice , snuffly with a cold , telling us a joke about a dinosaurus and dissolving into giggles long before the punchline ...

Monday, 29 May 2017


You might not be surprised to hear that I didn't take part in the potato peeling competition . What can I say ... I didn't go to the Haka workshop , either . I did wonder if I should go and find this rather fine statue but the sun shone , instead .

I sat on the balcony and admired boats , canoes , sup boards , cruisers , yachts , Zodiacs  ...
     I particularly admired the young couple who live on the third floor opposite my flat , who man-handled their giant , already fully inflated Zodiac up the stairs to their flat on Friday evening and down again in the morning , especially since between them they probably don't weigh more than twelve stone . ( Perhaps that's why ?) 

More than 140 row boats went past on Friday evening, too , at the beginning of a watery Elfstedentocht ; more than 250 kilometers from town to town through the province , overnight by lantern-light . It would have been wonderful to stand alone on a bridge out in the fields at midnight and watch the lights approaching , with only the sound of the oarlocks ... a bit spooky , perhaps .

Browsing among Audible's new releases for something nice to listen to , I discovered "The Vampire's Legacy" :  A Vampire Pregnancy Romance by Samantha Snow . Good grief !
Blurb says : "But no-one could have predicted that within just 48 hours of meeting this mysterious stranger , she would be giving birth to his baby ". ( Sister Ann Brigid might have warned you ... and did , regularly , if I remember ) . Mind you , the 48 hour pregnancy recommends it as I remember our Firstborn arriving three weeks late , though , to be fair , she's never bitten anyone . Still , I chose a Barbara Vine ,instead .

 Our supermarket's now labelling their tubs of olives , 10 Calories per Olive . You have been warned .

 And finally , a middle-aged daughter excusing her father's non-responsiveness to the doctor's receptionist today , "Sorry , he's as deaf as a canary ... or aren't they deaf ?"

So , now I've de-cluttered my head slightly , I'll go out and see what else is going on ....

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The Social Whirl Begins Again ...

It's the Season ... the time to see and to be seen by the world  , at large .
Now that we can all go out for longer without freezing to death , we're being offered all sorts of treats . It's time again for Shanty Choir concerts , jumble sales and fêtes , a sportspark opening with songs from  'the Armenian Bob Dylan ' , a balloon competition and freestyle football ...
But I've got my eye on this month's top local event . The 2017 Open  Potato Peeling Championship in St. Annaparochie next Tuesday . There will apparently be a wide range of knives and potato peelers available ( also for lefthanded contestants ) , though one can bring one's own , and everyone's welcome to enter . You'll have 268 seconds to peel as many potatoes as you can and at the end of the day there will be a tie-breaker for the best five entrants ... top prize is 75 Euros , so I might start practising now and  , what's more ,  you get to keep your peeled spuds to take home . Bring your own bucket , presumably .
But I'll leave you now to further plan my weekend , since I've just caught sight , on page 10 of this week's local paper , of a hooivorkdarten event , not to mention some spijkerslaan . My Fries   isn't really fluent   is nonexistent but , as far as I can work out this translates as pitchfork throwing and nail hammering .
On reflection , this sounds slightly risky .  I almost prefer the sound of Britsum's  " I Love The '90s"  fête . 

Oh yes , I've just realised that I've forgotten to include this weekend's Pzza Dough Painting and the otter-spotting .

Monday, 8 May 2017

Spring Hobbles In ....

I'm not convinced myself , but , in theory , it's Spring .

Most of the time there's a wind that would have the nose from your face , as my mother would have said , and last week the temperature mid-afternoon mostly hovered round 9 degrees Centigrade but at last the trees are getting leafier and greenery is appearing again .  This shop window confirms it

 It's time to buy shorts , hunt out this year's teeshirt ( paler than pale pink or a whitish sort of blue , I think  . Those of us who've gone grey will barely be visible this summer ) and some snazzy sunglasses , just in case the sun ever shines brightly enough to warrant it .

While this lady and I

 weren't quite foolhardy enough to abandon our winter coats this weekend in Alkmaar , lunch was eaten outside in a sheltered courtyard cafe and a very pleasant day out was had . Vintage clothing was purchased , vintage china wasn't . Scented candles were sneezed at and cushions admired . Dove grey kitchen accessories were looked at and left where they sat . Shoe shops resisted , prettily wrapped chocolate not . A proper Day Out with the comforting reassurance that we know what's what even if we don't need it all today .

Churches and mediëval buildings admired . Cyclists avoided , even the very small boy hurtling down a side street , obviously late for hockey practice , who nearly took me with him on his handlebars


Street stalls with everything from tulips to clogs , herring to mangoes lined the center of town ; shoppers snuffling around as though they hadn't eaten since this was the entrance to a butcher's shop .

 Coffee and cakes were demolished and Primark raided .  Cafe terraces filled with the very young and the very old and those in between wandered home to feed the cat and put the children to bed .

We drove back north past five windmills in a row , sheep , cows , tulip harvesters and a briefly glimpsed , rip-roaring Irish Pub With Barbecue . Drop In !!
 Another time , perhaps  .... The winds are icy again today

Sunday, 23 April 2017


Say  "Sits"  out loud and rather quickly . What do you think you've just said ?

Well , in most countries you might be assumed to have sneezed  . But here in the C17th if you were frightfully fashionable and rather well off ,  you would have been talking about chintz ... glazed chintz in particular or , these days , you might be going to the  Fries Museum to see their latest exhibition . There's a wonderful  three hundred year-old silk kimono , magnificently preserved and vibrant , that's worth the trip alone .

When the Dutch East India Company managed to elbow their way into the market , picking up this beautifully hand painted or blockprinted  cotton in India to exchange in Indonesia or Japan for spices and china , it became increasingly popular and pieces began to find their way back to Holland ,  to Hindeloopen in particular . There it inspired painted furniture , bed covers and the local women's costume and in fact you can still , in the old fishing ports , see women wearing dresses trimmed with chintz bonnets , decorative sleeves and aprons  .

As eventually the handcarved blocks were brought back by returning East India Company employees and copied  ; the dyeing techniques and the original processes simplified , and substances like buffalo urine , metal salts and saffron replaced with easier to get hold of materials , local factories made cheaper copies . Nearly everyone has some Hindeloopen patterned cotton  around if they've inherited a grandmother's bed linen ... I've got pieces myself , bought in thrift shops and vintage stores .

But two hundred years ago , every scrap of this treasure was hoarded ; stored in airtight chests, sometimes for generations , and eked out to make bodices , baby clothes , collars and cuffs , mittens ...
And , of course , when totally past their best , the more modern pieces found their way to patchwork quilts . Needless to say , I would love to own this quilt

But what I really , really wanted was this very rich little girl's version of Barbie . A C19th doll and her  chest of clothes . TWO straw hats !!

Oh yes , and the hem of this dress . For one of the more tomboyish Bennet sisters , perhaps.


Monday, 10 April 2017

What's The Opposite Of Kondo ?

I have to go to  Briekantiek , then I could completely de-Kondo my life . They sell furniture , jewellery, pitchforks , old tiles , garden furniture ,

holy statues , paintings , straw hats , wood burning stoves of every vintage , rugs , door knobs , giant candle sticks ... That's right . It has absolutely nothing I need , let alone could use .  
Though if I bought the " industrially unique" ( their words , not mine ) crane built in the early 1900's   , and just about visible here behind the red truck , I could free

 myself from the tiresome neccessity of climbing up and down the stairs from street level .
Apartment block one-up-manship ... being lifted onto one's balcony by one's very own personal antique crane . Perhaps I could have it monogrammed ? Attach a crest from the huge heaps of decorative ironwork in Briekantiek's barns. A crest and monogram ? A bit much , perhaps ?
Well ,my new neighbour has prayer flags and a Buddah ... I'm going to have to  pimp up my balcony somehow , till the seeds from those tiny wild sweetpeas that I kept from last year's crop  come out . Once they do , it'll be a bit like Sleeping Beauty's castle . They twine their way round everything at a mile a minute .
 And I've got a little starter kit for growing radishes from the supermarket's Little Gardeners promotion this year , only radishes are one of the very few vegetables I don't like ( fennel being the other one ) . A major investment is called for , obviously . 99 cents for a packet of seeds from Lidl won't make me self-sufficient but will be fun . Courgettes perhaps ...they grow themselves apparently . And if I chose yellow ones , it'd add a touch of Bling .
It's all right , I'll calm down soon ... it's just that Friend and I went to the Collectors Fair in Utrecht at the weekend and all those endless stalls of stuff   does this to me every time . By the end of the day coming home with three soup tureens , a 1930's nightie , a moth eaten toy monkey , five egg spoons and a donkey-shaped velvet teacosy begins to seem reasonable , though obviously we're all avoiding the anatomically correct plaster cast of a diseased lung .

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

It's A Willie Nelson Day

It's a mournful and sad sort of day . If I'd been listening to any other kind of music , I'd just have said I was gloomy , but today's definitely mournful and kind of blue . I'm missing the grandchildren .

Smaller Grandson's class is having a Cake Competition this afternoon and I'm not there to see all their entries or to buy a slice at home-time ( funds raised go towards a much needed make-over of the infants playground  ... welcome to T. May's England ... ) 
S. G.'s chocolate cat cake , which he designed and baked with his father's help looks very stylish , the ganache is shiny and they both managed not to eat all  the Smarties so Puss has a spotty bow tie as well as a CheshireCat smile .

Elder Grandson took to school like a duck to water but we all wondered how his little brother , a much shier child , would cope . Young , imperturbable teacher has let him ease himself in , discover how to read , work out how to do sums using his fingers and toy cars and to work out what he's really good at ... drawing and running very fast , apparently . But better than all this is the group of friends he's made .

His mother , having watched them all hare around the playground , asked him,
 "Who's in your gang ? " whereupon he looked slightly disapproving . "We're not a gang . We're a team ."
 Having said all this , this same child announced over breakfast the other day that he wanted to stay at home to paint instead of going to school . Being told he couldn't , he looked mildly thoughtful but followed along . Getting into his class , he walked up to the teacher and said quite simply,
 "Good morning . I've got nits . " Sadly , same imperturbable young teacher didn't recoil and send him home immediately as he'd hoped  , she checked with his mother , laughed and gave him some pegs to organise instead .

So ,  potholed playground or not the little local primary school's doing as good a job with him as they have with his big brother .

Friday, 31 March 2017

Serves Me Right , I Fear ...

Train travel must be familiar enough not to need a special section in etiquette guides , surely ? You know , the usual things ; give up your seat to the obviously pregnant or ancient , don't use your 'phone in the Silent carriages , take your crap home with you  ... that sort of thing . Dutch trains have screens in every compartment with travel information and little timely reminders about responsible behaviour .

The young chap taking up a double seat the other day can't have read them lately .
"Is this seat free ?" I ask idiotically , gesturing to the overnight bag , laptop case , sandwich box , anorak and cuddly blanket piled up next to him . He sighed theatrically , put the film on Pause and said ,
 "I can make room for you " whereupon everyone nearby swivelled round to see just how much room I 'd need ....

 So it goes without saying that I'll not be rushing to the local beauty salon that's advertising their grand reopening tonight with a Pampering Evening with Bubbles and Bites .
 Probably not for the likes of me ... might be a nibble too far

Monday, 20 March 2017

Hoovered Up Last Week

Odds and ends ...

According to a Daily Telegraph quiz on Friday , I'm only a Plastic Paddy . My various , rather distant Irish ancestors would be mortified , but unsurprised ; I haven't been there for over forty years . Never mind , one of my cousins is called Patrick Joseph Mary , and you can't get much more Irish than that ... I'll have to put it on my application for a passport if Brexit threatens ...

A sentence from a Guardian book review last week caught my eye , "Many Britons can date their childhood to the suffix their subconscious applies to the word "Raleigh", be it Roadster , Chopper or Burner ." That the suffix that I came up with was Walter says it all , really ...

The Den Haag  exhibition of clothes Givenchy had designed for Audrey Hepburn was beautiful ... columns of black satin with only giant pearls or a swirl of tulle for the evening  , hot pink or mustard coats with tiny pill box hats , beautiful embroidery ... but the most striking gallery was dedicated to her work with Unicef . The photos of her with refugee children showed her at her best , glowing and alive in capri pants and simple cotton shirts with three toddlers draped round her neck . In another corner there was one of her handwritten recipes for pasta reproduced with her wooden spoon  ,  a photo of her on a gigantic sofa with her cat and another of both the designer and herself buttoned up in his tweed coat in the snow . Not just Holly Golightly but someone you'd like to have known .

The three of us were fading away with hunger by this stage so repaired to the museum cafe  for lunch . Was unable to resist one of the weird pink rolls , though filled with cheese rather than smoked mackerel . Had to ask ... why's it this colour ?  Made with wholemeal flour and beetroot juice , apparently  . Which just leaves the question why ? Another desperate attempt to make us all eat our  Five A Day , perhaps . In case your baker produces beetroot bread  , be warned . It just makes the bread slightly sweet and heavier .

And this week ?  Blood oranges , "The Trouble With Goats And Sheep" by Joanna Cannon on audio , yet more rain and the poop test . Lots to look forward to ...