Snow logs and what to do about them

Today marked my second visit to the butcher. Because of all the wild meat we bought from Joseph yesterday, I didn’t need that much. I did buy some duck, though it was French not Swedish. I don’t mind that it’s French but it seems odd when there’s so many ducks around us. Mind you, that could be why. Maybe the Swedes don’t eat a lot of duck.

I also bought a piece of local cheese. It’s called Lyckeby and was made at a small dairy not far from us called Gårdsmejeriet Sanda. The cheese has a very distinctive taste. Unlike any cheese I ever remember having. I went to the website to find out about it.

In a rather circular and unhelpful way, the only thing the website really says about the cheese is that it’s a lot like another cheese that I’d never heard of. Västerbotten, it’s called.

Fortunately, Västerbotten has a Wikipedia entry which explains a lot about this style of cheese. Given my overall love of cheese, it’s excellent to meet a new type. It made me remember a time before I knew about Liverot, or Stilton. Of growing up in a world of Cheddar and Kraft slices. It’s good to know there’s always new types of cheese.

Speaking of Wikipedia entries, Greg Jenner (of the You’re Dead to Me podcast, among other things) Tweeted today about a photograph included in an entry for a physician of the 11th/12th century. The photo was just that, a photo. Obviously there were not a lot of cameras around when the physician was alive. Greg said the style of shirt was wrong for the period.

I went to have a look, but it had already been changed. And that’s why Wikipedia is better than a print version of an encyclopedia. A printing error would have had to wait for the next edition. Wikipedia was edited as soon as the error was discovered. That’s a good information source.

Away from information and onto more immediate problems. Freya needed a bit of a haircut around the eyes today.

She never likes it but must prefer being able to see. Mind you, if I really think about it, she spends a lot of her time with her eyes closed anyway, so she probably doesn’t mind having to filter everything through a curtain of champagne coloured hair.

Something else that needed clearing away were the snow logs on Max. Snow logs is what we call them. They are left in car parks, driveways, footpaths, anywhere a car can go. They are the result of an accumulation of snow and muck in the front wheel arches of cars. And they don’t like letting go.

Consequently, the build up causes the wheels to scrape against them as you drive, particularly when turning. They make a horrendous grinding noise. We figured we needed to remove them to save our winter tyres.

These snow logs do not like giving up their grip on the wheel arch. Mirinda spent ages chipping away at them. Eventually I employed a fence paling to spear them off. This worked. In future I’ll clear the arches after every trip.

Speaking of keeping things moving, tonight I listened to Rob Thompson give a somewhat energetic presentation for the WFA. I haven’t seen him before though his reputation appears to be quite legendary among members.

Tonight’s webinar was about the Army Service Corps or Alley Sloper’s Cavalry as it was sometimes derisively known.

Alexander ‘Alley’ Sloper was one of the earliest comic strip characters. He was “Red-nosed and blustery, an archetypal lazy schemer often found “sloping” through alleys to avoid his landlord and other creditors…” Rob included the two helpful drawings above.

And, from there he never stopped as he described the logistics nightmare that was the First World War. The extraordinary feats of the impossible carried out by the ASC. His equally extraordinary title said it all: Lemons, chewing gum, whale oil and rivets: Everything you ever wanted to know about the ASC on the Western Front but were too afraid to ask.

Having heard Rob’s talk, I can safely say that had it not been for the ASC it’s doubtful we would have won the war. This was further proven by how inefficient it started to become nearing the end of the war as other regiments took men away from the ASC, leaving the corps without the expertise which had kept it running smoothly in the first place. It’s an indication of how smoothly effective they were that the army figured it could just chisel away at the ASC without consequence.

It was an excellent, high octane and informative almost two hours of talk and Q&A. I’m sure everyone found it amazing. Contrary to the faces in this photo of the Q&A session, everyone was generally smiling.

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