How is this Midwinter?

Today, according to my little diary, is the day of the winter solstice (15:54 UTC, if you want to get technical). Many a time and oft have I read of Midwinter, and its more popular cousin, Midsummer.  Picture my astonishment, therefore, on discovering that these are simply different names for the winter and summer solstices.

Which seems bizarre. The only way in which the solstice is the same thing as the middle of winter is that it’s the shortest day of the year. And yes, short days are associated with winter.

Nordkinnhalvoya-polar-night
Short day in Norway. Photo taken at midday.
But are they what winter is primarily known for? No. What do you think of when you think of winter? Cold, right? Is Midwinter the middle of the cold season? Not even close. One could be excused for thinking it the beginning of the cold season.

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Beware the Agapanthus

I can’t believe people actually plant this stuff, deliberately! OK, it’s low-maintenance and mildly decorative, but so is convolvulus, and you all know how I feel about that. Another point of similarity with convolvulus: it spreads, and where it grows, nothing else survives.

Last week, I was having one of those days where all you seem to do is uselessly spin your wheels in the mud. You know the ones? I got frustrated. I got angry. I got a spade and a large garden fork and I took out my anger and frustration on the largest patch of agapanthus.


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How to Live a Happy Life: Advice for Cats

Rule ONE. VERY IMPORTANT. Do not allow other cats to bite you in the bum.

Either learn to fight, or learn to run. Because humans are uptight beings, and if they find a sizeable hole in your hindquarters that did not appear in the original design, you will be shoveled into the Box of Illimitable Dread and this will happen:

Actual bum not shown out of deference to the sensibilities of our readers.

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