Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside

iphone tracking map

1 Comment

Phone tracking

I just read this post from Red Hen Run’s blog, all about Google tracking where we’ve been with our phones.

It turned out that I’ve somehow switched off Google tracking (info here) but then I decided to investigate Apple tracking (more appealing than the work I should be doing).

I sort of knew my phone tracked where I’ve been, but it was a bit strange actually seeing a map.  On the phone it doesn’t show the routes, just ‘frequent locations’ I’ve stopped at (though apparently the full data is stored and transferred to my desktop when I sync my phone).  But it does also include full details of the times when I’ve been at each location (I can see just how many extra hours I’ve done at work!). The records go back further than a month.  Here’s part of the map.

iphone tracking map

iPhone tracking map

Here’s where I found out how to view the map and details – and how to switch various things off, should you be interested. I’ve switched that off now, as it doesn’t seem all that useful, but it’s made me more aware of what my phone is up to.  l don’t think you can actually stop apple collecting the data though, other than by switching the phone off.



Burgundy-drop Bonnet and Greensleeves

Mycena haematopus

Burgundy-drop Bonnet (Mycena haematopus)

I found this pretty little fungus growing on a rotting log in the garden. It’s only about 2 cm across the cap, and when I broke the stem, it bled! Dark red-brown juice oozed out. There are a couple of ‘bonnet’ fungi that do that, but I think this one is the Burgundy-drop Bonnet, Mycena haematopus (‘bloody-foot’ is more gory than burgundy).

As there’s a big storm forecast for this weekend, we’ve picked the rest of our apples, and I’ve bagged them up and labelled them according to recommended eating times.  We have: Scrumptious (those are past their best now), Ellison’s Orange, Gala, Fiesta, Greensleeves, Herefordshire Russet, Sunset, Laxton’s Superb, Tydeman’s Late Orange and Bramley.

Apples to store

Apples ready for winter storage


The Apple Book  (which is full of beautiful apple paintings and very good descriptions of well over a hundred apple varieties) recommends using plastic bags with pencil-thickness holes poked in them. I prefer the idea of old newspapers, but the bags do make it quick to check whether any are beginning to rot, and last year they did keep very well in the bags. They didn’t shrivel up like ones I’ve paper-wrapped in the past. Some of them should still be good to eat into January.

The box of apples is kept in the shed.  Some of the apples were picked last week, but a mouse had got in and started nibbling one of them, so this is my high-tech solution to keeping the mice out:

Apple storage to avoid mice

Anti-mouse technology

1 Comment

Black jelly

Yesterday I went for a walk to find blackberries, and accidentally came across this beauty, as I was taking a photo of a butterfly next to it. It’s head looks rather like a little cartoon dog!


Southern Hawker dragonfly head – can you see the dog-face?

Little windfall hedgerow apples, about an inch across were chopped up with two Bramley cookers from the garden – the first it has produced since we planted the cordons about seven years ago. They’re not really quite ripe yet, but the Bramley next to this was damaged, and both came off together.


Bramley apple on left, hedgerow apple on right

jellybag in action

Jelly-bag in action. Look at that rich colour.
Really must get those chairs recovered…

Along with about a pound of blackberries, they boiled up beautifully, and then I drained the juice with this wonderful arrangement, then added about 1.5 pounds of sugar, boiled until the jam thermometer said ‘jam’ and poured into jars. Wonderful-tasting B&A jelly. Yum.


Shiny, shiny apple

Tada!  Our first apple of the year, picked yesterday evening.  Supposed to be ready in September, but I couldn’t resist trying one, as they were so red already – just look at that polish!  We have about ten different varieties grown as cordons against a wall, so plenty more apple pics to come.  Not quite fully ripe yet, but tasty all the same.

red apple

Discovery (whoops) Scrumptious apple

Yay!  I ran 5k again today, only the second time this month, and about the tenth one ever, since the first one back in February.  Can’t say I enjoyed it much – from about 2 minutes in, I was ready to stop, and my calves were complaining much more than usual, I suppose from the lack of practice at longer runs, so serves me right.

Still, at about 25 minutes I realised I wasn’t thinking about my legs or my breathing any more – I was thinking about blogs, and what makes us think the way we do about things – but I will save the details for a few days, so as not to pre-empt someone else’s interesting project.  Watch this space for more information next week.  🙂  (No giving it away now!)

So, with that distraction, instead of stopping at 30 minutes, I kept going until I’d done 5k, which took me 45 minutes, which is ok.  Had another apple as a reward, and some lemon and lime curd on a rice-cake.  Nom nom nom.   🙂

PS  Just edited apple name – I got mixed up.  Discovery looks similar and is also an early variety.


Cleaning windows and running a mile

Our summer task is redecorating the outside of the house. Today I’ve been up a ladder, with a toothbrush and ‘household cream cleaner’, and a lot of elbow-grease, preparing window frames for repainting.  Black mould does not come off easily.


There are 16 panes in each window and I’ve prepared two windows. That makes well over 100 edges I’ve scrubbed down. Painting will start tomorrow, if it’s fine, and will probably take a couple of hours for each window. Yes, plastic would be easier. But not as nice. I’m not thinking about how many other windows there are.

So, as light relief from all that, I ran a mile this evening. It wasn’t as fast as I could run in the middle of the 5×50 challenge, but 12:08 min/mile wasn’t too bad, and I really enjoyed myself. Funny that it has taken until my 50s to find out that I actually like running – but better late than never.

In the garden, our apple cordons are coming on well – the fruit is starting to blush from all the sun we’ve had.

Apple cordons

Apple cordons beginning to ripen