I had to provide a picture for Drifting Sands Haibun this morning. I generally try to avoid that sort of thing but I keep being linked to a mystery photo of a younger, less hairy and, let’s be honest, less handsome man. I decided that the only way to combat the interloper was to provide a photo of myself. As you can see from the header picture, personal grooming has not been a priority in lockdown. Not that it has ever been at the top of my list.
So, who was the mystery man? Turns out it was the Nottingham journalist Simon Wilson. I’m not sure how he sneaked into the magazine, but it’s not the first time he’s caused confusion. I tracked him down using “Search Google for Image”. I then, of course, had to check my own picture. I am still on page that mainly comprises sex offenders and drunks, though this time there were two theologians on the page too. Plus a man advertising that he would like to rent a room. That, I feel, is the plot of a horror film waiting to unfold. Who invites someone into their home in response to any internet advert, let alone one featuring someone who looks like me. To make things even worse, halfway down the page toy can find Gary Glitter. I suppose he’s unknown outside the UK, but he used to be known as a popular musician.
Sorry – just looked and realised how big the picture is. I don’t seem to be able to reduce it. If you are of a nervous disposition, I apologise.
This is the promised Part II, in which the day improves. The morning wasn’t too good but the day improved as it went on. The group has baked mince tarts and iced the cake, so the party food is underway. Our fully-qualified and licensed Santa Substitute has collected the suit and is going to practice tonight (he has already grown his beard at the sides ready for the Big Day). I can’t post a photo of Santa yet as it will spoil the surprise.
Christmas Cake – iced and ready to go
I managed to get a few Fieldfare photos, but with only one skittish individual as a subject it proved difficult. The bird was intent on eating hawthorn berries and when it was in the tree it was either moving or partially obscured by branches. When it was on the ground it spent most of the time in various hunched positions eyeing up berries. I did get a shot of a Yellowhammer, but it was small and blurred. It’s only the second one I’ve seen this winter, which is a bit annoying when you think they were regular visitors to the allotment during the summer.
Fieldfare and hawthorn berries
Fieldfare in tree
And finally, after worrying that the guinea fowl had been absent all morning, they finally appeared, waddled across the yard and started to eat all the food under the bird feeders. I suppose it saves waste, but I’m not sure the Chaffinches were happy. A word of warning to the guinea fowl though, if people consider you good to eat it might be a good idea not to eat too much in the run up to Christmas.
One of the things about working on a care farm is that there is always plenty of variety.
We now have access to a set of skittles. One of the group is a regular player in the local leagues and he’s training us up for a game at the Christmas party.
I’m not sure it’s going to be a great game. I managed a complete miss, which ended up in the raised vegetable bed that formed the back of the “alley”. We’d been warned about that by the farmer’s mum so we had to cover it up quickly!
I also managed to put several balls straight between the skittles without even making one shiver. That’s one of the differences between skittles and ten pin bowling, apart from the lack of shared shoes and heating – the spacing between pins is wider than a ball.
If I say I was about average you’ll get some idea of the standard. Fortunately we do it for fun.
In the afternoon we turned our attention to making paper chains.
On Saturday they will be used to decorate Santa’s trailer. I’m not really looking forward to it, as I may have mentioned before. Small children, four hours overheating in false facial hair and a bumpy trailer ride – what could possibly go wrong?
Finally, courtesy of a £5 hat from TESCO , I have an elf to help me. I’m not sure which of us has the better deal. He gets to use his own beard but at least I’m spared the humiliation of knitted comedy ears.