Little Chef

Came back from a short walk yesterday evening to find our buddleia as busy as a motorway services cafeteria. Bees covered with pollen dust. One little fellow was so enamoured with the feast that he seemed to fall asleep in the flower spike and was still there when we went back inside. Nice to know the six-foot former Glaswegian buddleia is providing much needed refreshments for our stripy pals.

Still waiting for the lepidoptera gang to arrive…

Butterflies, take note!

The bee’s knees

After nearly two weeks of sweltering hot weather, it looks as if our buddleia will soon be getting a well deserved drink as some rain is forecast over the comming weekend. Several pinky-purple (I think that’s the correct Pantone colour name, lol) spikes have now appeared and quite a few more look ready to flower very soon. And the bees also seem to have this buddleia on their map of ‘Places to Visit’ ๐Ÿ˜€

I titled the post to indicate that we are happy with how the buddleia is progressing after barely a year in our rear border. As for whether bees actually have knees…um…I’ll get back to you on that one ๐Ÿ™‚

Colouring in the crossword

Maybe I’m being a bit self-effacing, but I do sometimes joke that I’m ‘just going to colour in the crossword’ — as if I have not the faintest idea how to solve the clues. I’ve been doing cryptic puzzles for several years, on and off, with varying degrees of success. I wouldn’t consider myself ‘genius level’ just yet, but I think there is some steady improvement as time goes on.

Aside from gradually picking up a few of the setters’ tricks (anagrams, reversals, letter substitutions etc — and the fiendish reverse hidden answers) both Shana and I enjoy seeing familiar old words in a fresh light. A few examples follow, from today’s Guardian puzzle 28,502 set by Qaos.

16a. Act of avoiding the answer after retirement to ‘Do you spend?’ (7) Answer = EVASION… which, if you read it backwards (ie, after ‘retirement’) says ‘No, I save.’ I shall spend the rest of the day reading everything backwards — but please note, I have no intention of playing any heavy metal records backwards

3d. 5050 รท 1 close to infinity? That’s remote (6) Answer = LONELY. Clues with figures and symbols sometimes disorient me (I wonder if that’s deliberate, lol) but I was quite happy to realise that the big number just needed splitting up into a couple of Roman numerals, and the รท sign just meant put something else between those numerals — in this case, another number, this time written as a word, ‘One’.

To be honest, I could have selected most of this puzzles clues as a possible Clue of the Day. Picking a COD is often a bit arbitrary in my opinion. Even if I had failed to finish the puzzle and had to fresort to either Shana’s brainpower or my crayons (haha) Qaos would already have provided plenty of entertainment…as do the other setters on the FT and Independent, against which I also pit my wits/wax crayons. Apparently, these puzzles are a good way to keep one’s mind active…

Failing that, it’s good practice for learning to colour…inside the lines!