Watching the snow melt

At least one person is reading this blog and I have proof that they got to the last line of the post before last because they emailed me over the weekend to point out to me that you should not give hedgehogs milk as it’s bad for them. This reference will not make sense to you unless you’ve read to the end of the post before last so go back and read it now.

In the email there was also a link to the RSPCA’s advice about hedgehogs which says that the ideal foods to leave out are minced meat, tinned dog or cat food, crushed cat biscuits or chopped boiled eggs. The last one surprised me but it’s all good news because we have a cat and we also keep three chickens which are currently producing an egg each per day. My other half does not eat eggs and so there’s always a surplus, even if I make my way through quite a lot of them and we give plenty away. Maybe this week I will chop up some boiled eggs and leave them in the garden overnight and see if they are still there in the morning. If the eggs are gone it won’t necessarily be proof that a hedgehog has visited but I will be fairly certain my other half hasn’t been out into the garden for a midnight snack.

I had a quiet weekend watching the snow gradually melt. I spent a very cold Saturday afternoon at Vicarage Road with my Dad as Watford handed West Bromwich Albion a footballing lesson. Admittedly, the state of WBA at the moment meant that anything beyond ‘Lesson 1: This is a football,’ would have added to their knowledge of the game.

On Sunday, I received an embargoed copy of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee report into combatting doping in sport, or more specifically combatting doping in athletics and cycling. Presumably as far as Damian Collins MP and the rest of the committee are concerned there’s no doping in any other professional sports, which came as a heck of a relief. We’ll discuss its contents at length in The Cycling Podcast this week and I may return to the subject in a future blog.

Anyway, the report arrived in the morning and, as I explained to Daniel by text, I planned to read it over brunch.

‘Brunch?!’ replied Daniel. ‘FFS, Napalm.’

Given Daniel’s insistence about the hours during which cappuccino may or may not be enjoyed, I was surprised he objected to my reference to such a specific mealtime.

‘It’s a traditional Home Counties meal,’ I explained. ‘It must be taken between 10.30 and 12. Very popular at weekends. If you ever visit England and try to order brunch outside those hours people will laugh and sneer at you.’

He then said something about brunch being breakfast for Instagrammers but I was already 10 pages into the DCMS report by then. There was plenty to digest and a few lines leapt out at me, although a lot of the information was already in the public domain following the Fancy Bears hack in September 2016 and the subsequent DCMS parliamentary hearings. Anyway, there's plenty to talk about when we record The Cycling Podcast on Tuesday.