Monday 25 January

Icy cold this morning, so the snow is still here. We saw a fox limping across the garden early on. But no deer. M and S is apparently importing venison from farms in New Zealand. Now this seems seriously crazy when we have plenty of deer in the locality.

The brilliant sunshine tempted me out for a walk, so I met Barbara in the Shirley Hills, which is open park land about half way between us. There is a viewpoint, and the visibility was very good today. In the background here you should just about be able to see Canary Wharf.

In the other direction you could just about see the Wembley Arch but that would not have come out on a photo. The high rise blocks of Croydon were much more visible of course, but not a great architectural triumph, it has to be said.

So there we are, our winter wonderland. It was most refreshing.

I read quite a bit this afternoon, still catching up on the weekend papers. Though as I skip over all the very repetitive Covid news and much of the other gloomy stuff, you would be surprised that there was anything left to read. Book reviews and TV reviews are quite interesting. I noted that The Times said that “Finding Alice” (ITV) is a convoluted story with an unbelievable heroine, but the acting is good, and there is something about it which does draw you in. So I will continue watching.

I submitted a comment to Croydon Planning Committee this afternoon. There is a proposal to pull down the very large house at 7 Bramley, and build a 4 storey block of 9 flats there. It is so utterly out of keeping with the rest of the road, completely bizarre. So far 153 objections have been registered. Perhaps two lovely detached houses could be put there, which would be in keeping, but a block of flats?? But I have a feeling it will be approved, as planning seems to be a general free for all now, and as Croydon Council is bankrupt and in total disarray, who knows what may happen?

Tonight is Burns Night and many will be having their haggis and neeps, followed no doubt by a wee dram. I had hoped to post a small video of my niece playing the fiddle and her friend on the bagpipes, but I am a bear of very little brain and have not managed to upload the mp4. So I leave you with an authentic Scottish pipe band, in Blair Castle, playing the same tune, the Atholl Highlanders. Please raise a glass to Rabbie Burns.

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