Here comes the sun


Sun03 For the first time this year, in fact for several months, I felt the magical warmth of the sun. There’s been little enough sunshine recently… nothing but rain, more rain and, oh, just for a change, some snow. So when the sun did make one of its rare appearances for a short period this week it was even more surprising to feel heat.

In reality our sun is nothing special. Officially it’s a yellow G2 dwarf, an average middle aged star even though it contains 99.8% of all matter in our solar system. No reason to get excited about the middle aged bit… it’s got about five billion years to go yet and is now in its most stable phase.

Just one of billions, our sun is special for us because it’s the perfect size, perfect age, perfect distance, perfect temperature and perfect brightness for life to exist on a planet like Earth. But we won’t actually last the full term of five billion years… the sun will expand as it gets older, engulfing Mercury and Venus. Earth might survive that stage, though not for long. The sun will then contract to a fraction of its current size, and fridge salesmen will be redundant.

Light as well as heat has been exercising my mind this week. I’ve set up some propagation trays on the study windowsill, with only two occupied at present by tomato seeds and broad beans. Seedlings for both have made an appearance so the battle now is to ensure enough light to stop them getting too leggy. There’s a halogen light in the garage which would give off really bright light as well as warmth, but I can’t figure out a way to set it up with the approval of the domestic executive. Just have to see how the current set up goes for the time being.

Having already mentioned the amount of rain we’ve had you’d think it would be obvious the ground would be slightly damp. But that didn’t stop son David and me having the first pitch and putt match since early December. Boy, was it wet! The golf balls kept embedding themselves in the green and we both came off after almost two hours with soggy feet. Not to be deterred, the following morning I took grandsons Connor and Sammy to the local sports field for a game of football… and couldn’t find a single dry patch anywhere! See photos below.

Had a quarterly Hill Rise Allotment Association event on Sunday… Bob Lever, ex-commercial nursery manager and member of the East of England Orchards project gave advice on maintaining fruit trees, including a demonstration on how to graft one type of apple on to another. Bob takes cuttings of heritage or unnamed or unusual apple varieties to graft on his orchard, thereby preserving them. If you want to read Bob’s article on the Bramley orchards of Wisbech click here. Very informative and interesting, although after standing still for most of two hours I felt as cold as I ever have and could hardly speak when I got home.

No response from Halfords on my claim for £109 for the failed hub gear on my Pashley Sovereign bike, so they’ve now received my County Court claim, see copy below. Since I’ve sent them copies of emails from both Pashley as well as Sturmey Archer, the gear maker, stating the part should last the lifetime of the bike, and Halfords have confirmed the failure was not due to lack of maintenance, I don’t see how I can fail. Did someone say ‘famous last words’?


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