Tag Archives: lapwing

A Lucky Escape

I went to Urology today. I was clean, fragrant and mentally prepared. My paperwork was in order, I had filled in my IPSS test and monitored my liquid intake and output for three days.

Those of you who like anagrams and word games may well be looking at those letters and pursing their lips. If you know that IPSS stands for International Prostate Symptom Score, and is therefore connected with urine, that pursing is probably becoming more pronounced.

I asked if they realised it was a badly chosen anagram and after a moment of thinking the nurse smile and said, “Yes, it does look like they’re taking…”

The result of today’s tests?

We didn’t actually get that far as there’s another procedure that needs doing before the test results will mean anything.

However, I’m not downhearted. Or annoyed. Or wondering why the hell we spend so much money on a health service.

I’m just glad that the whole fiasco only took forty minutes and gave me a whole day of beautiful Spring weather.

We went to Carsington Water, saw plenty of birds, Scarlet Elf Cups and two Brimstones.

I had a Chicken Tikka pie and chips for lunch Julia had a pasty. What more can I say? It was “Today’s Special” and I love a bargain. I’m on nine types of fruit and veg for the day and about to make it ten with an apple. May go mad and have some grapes for eleven.

The pictures are from the stones in the Sheepwash  car park and a few other things we saw around.


The sun is shining…

It’s starting to feel like Spring again, with blue sky and sunshine, though the temperature gauge in the car was showing 2 degrees Centigrade outside.

As we passed East Bridgford there was a buzzard in a roadside tree. Later we passed around 200 Lapwings in a field by the side of the A46 (the most we’ve ever seen there) and as we turned into the lane there were a couple of Fieldfares sitting on fence posts. We hadn’t seen any for a couple of weeks and I’d assumed that they had moved on to prepare for the trip back to Scandinavia. The fact that they were perching on the posts is new behaviour (we normally see them in the fields, so they may well be getting ready to go). It seems that  they may stay as late as may, though I don’t recall ever seeing any at that time, and that a couple of pairs a year stay and breed in the UK. That makes sense – I know I’d rather stay here than fly across the North Sea every spring.

Topic of the morning was what runs faster – a hare or an ostrich. No, I don’t know how we narrowed it down to those two. The hare is our fastest land mammal – top speed 50 mph and sustained speed up to 35 mph. The ostrich, which can take strides up to 12 feet long, can manage 60 mph at top speed and can maintain 45 mph. Considering the relative lengths of their legs I would say that the hare is doing well.

Back to boring paperwork for now, will see what the rest of the day brings…


Plovers, soup and pruning

It’s been quite a good day. There was a light coating of frozen snow in Nottingham this morning, following on from several short, sporadic falls of snow interspersed with rain. However, as we left the city behind, things seemed to warm up and there was no evidence of snow as we drove to the farm. I would have expected it to be the other way round as you always expect towns to be warmer, but I wasn’t complaining.

We saw lapwings by the roadside this morning, now returned from wherever they go in winter. I know they go to Ireland from the north of England the ones from the south go to France and Iberia. I’m not sure where ours go from the Midlands, though they do seem to come back at this time of the year. There are actually large flocks of plovers in the pits at Netherfield, so they may only nip down the road. You can never tell.

The group did the measurements for the Woodland Trust this morning and I did some of the pruning on the apple trees in the agroforestry project. I was originally  booked to do it all, but they have since decided that it was cheaper to get me to teach the farm apprentice to do it. For definitions of cheapskate, click this link.

When the group was doing the trees they heard, and saw, a pair of buzzards circling. I wasn’t close enough to hear them, but actually saw three wheeling in the sky above a plantation on the property next door.

To warm everyone up at lunchtime we used the new soup-maker Julia bought me for Christmas. I’m always suspicious of gadgetry and it’s take me a while to get it out of the box. To be fair, I threw in a half-bag of slightly mouldy carrots, two onions, some potatoes and a stick cube (chopped small) with four cups of water and produced a half-reasonable smooth vegetable soup. Considering the ingredients I actually used I think that was a good result.

It’s also easier to wash up afterwards as I always seem to get soup on the wall when using my normal hand blender method.

I’m now converted.

If only they did one with an automated veg chopper…