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Friday, September 02, 2016

Comic Cuts - 2 September 2016

A rather dull week comes to an end. We didn't really do much over the weekend—although I did manage to solve the mystery of Mary Norton's Wivenhoe house—and I've spent most of the week pottering around and catching up on mail.

Actually, the week got off to a poor start with a trip to the dentist... I'm now due to have my back molar taken out under anaesthetic next Wednesday, which I'm not really looking forward to. My regular dentist has passed me on to another surgery because it's a deep-rooted tooth and they're planning to drug me up and then shunt me off home in a taxi. Mel has had to take time off work to make sure I get home safely as I gather I'll be in no fit state to look after myself.

I nipped along to a local history show on Saturday to have a chat with the chap who runs the local history society and asked him about Mary Norton, who featured in a column a couple of weeks ago. I knew she had lived in West Street but not where. John, an expert in local history, actually remembered meeting her when he was around 10 or 11, so was able to confirm that she lived at number 27 in the late 1950s and early 1960s before moving to Arlesford, a mile or so down the road, in 1963 or 1964. You can see her West Street house at the head of this post.

We seemed to spend most of the bank holiday house cleaning, as we were shortly to have our landlady pay us a visit as there are a number of things that need doing (the shower needs fixing, there's a leak in the utility room roof, etc., mostly just general run-of-the-mill stuff that all houses will suffer from as they get older).

Our landlady seemed most impressed with our tomato plants, which are providing us with another reasonable crop of tomatoes. I think the figure from last year was 141 tomatoes in total... but I don't think we're going to get that many this year. We've had 64 tomatoes so far. I just don't think we'll get another eighty, although we can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that we've had four cucumbers compared to last year's three—and very tasty they were, too! The first one was huge, as you can see from the photo. That's a pound coin sitting next to it.

I'm not sure if the yellow tomatoes have a special name, but they're incredibly sweet.

I did warn you that this week was a dull one. I spent Tuesday putting features unused in the magazine up onto the Hotel Business website, so for the next two weeks you'll be able to read a seemingly endless stream of articles about putting together your Christmas menu. (Only "seemingly endless" because it does end after two weeks.) That meant starting on the next issue on Wednesday, attacking a build up of over 200 emails. My delete key is almost worn out!

Next up for me is the ongoing bits of research I'm doing for the next book, interrupted by trying to write some reviews, which you'll be seeing here shortly.

Our random scans this week are five titles from  the pen of Patrick Quentin, the pen-name used by Richard Wilson Webb and Hugh Callingham Wheeler in collaboration and later by Wheeler alone.


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