Tag Archives: rehearsal

Birds, Butterflies and Blogging

To be accurate the title really should be Birds and Blogging as there are no butterflies about, so if you have come here looking for butterflies I must apologise.

I’ve just been talking to a pair of birdwatchers who were going round the nature trail. The birds decided to cooperate for once and as we spoke we saw Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, a House Sparrow, a male Reed Bunting and a Robin. Two pairs of bullfinches and half a dozen fieldfares flew past too. That means I’ve seen as many bullfinches in a week as I normally see in a year.

They had seen Pied Wagtails, Bullfinches in the hedgerows and Linnets drinking from a puddle on the way round.

I filled the feeders in the middle of the morning and one of the Goldfinches refused to fly off until I was three feet away. It started trying to stare me down when I was about twelve feet away and almost growled at me…

They are much more aggressive than I realised. If it was five feet taller I really wouldn’t fancy my chances against it.

Julia is having a day off. It’s the first day she’s missed in five years so I suppose I can allow it. She’s at the graduation of Number One son. He didn’t bother going to the ceremony when he graduated from his first degree but now he has a second he’s decided to go. The fact his girlfriend is graduating at the same time may have some bearing on his new-found eagerness for academic ceremonial.

Julia described the whole affair as “Like Hogwarts without the Sorting Hat.”

The dance rehearsals went well this morning, and the group has been producing friendship bracelets under instruction from Dave, our co-founder. Julia and Dave were working for Nottingham City council when she was told she had to re-apply for her job and he came to the end of a fixed term contract. Somehow this led to a discussion that became Quercus Community. I can’t complain because this turned out to be the best job in the world for the last five years. It doesn’t pay much, but I do have plenty of time for birds, butterflies and blogging. I also get to do things that don’t begin with “B” but I can’t be bothered to list them all. The range of words describing my activities over the last five years start with alpaca and end with zoology so it’s been interesting.

It’s Dave’s birthday soon and we’ve had cake to celebrate. He’s claiming to be “thirty next birthday” and everyone is nodding politely. I will make no comment.

As you can see from the photos, he threw himself fully into the choreography, though when I asked the group who was the problem in the Dreamcoat number they were unanimous in pointing him out.

 

 

It never rains, but it pours…

More pom-poms.

More dance rehearsals.

Creative differences with the big song.

Plus rain.

A visit from Social Services.

An accusing phone call from the Safeguarding Team.

Four weeks left and we are going to struggle to end on a high at this rate.

 

 

If that was a poem (and it could be, given the short lines and lack of rhyme) I’d call it Wet Wednesday Blues.

In fact, let’s have a go at that.

 

Wet Wednesday Blues

More pom-poms.

I wind wool in my sleep.

More dance rehearsals,

And rain on wet sheep.

Creative differences with the big song…

The sound of belly-dancing bells,

Give me dreams of being stalked by Santa.

If I had been a good boy, I would have presents, not 

A visit from Social Services

And an accusing phone call from the Safeguarding Team.

We are running out of luck,

But with just four weeks to go,

Do I give a fig?

 

I’ll be looking for at least one new career next year. Maybe I’ll cross poet off the list…

(Just to make it clear, we are in trouble for sorting something out ourselves and not involving Social Services and a ream of paper. Can’t really give much more detail – just to say that two weeks ago somebody not connected with the project made a remark that one of the group considered unacceptable and Julia sorted it out that day. It hasn’t happened again but it was reported to Social Services yesterday so they have to investigate.)

 

 

 

Poppies and the end of the beginning

The poppy project is starting to take shape. Apart from that, it’s been a strange day – D minus 47, or minus 13 if you count days we will actually meet.

Fortunately the group is taking it well, with a few mutterings about farmers and plenty of discussion about what they are going to replace us with. It’s a little sad to be so easily replaced but that’s just how it is. In another way, I was thinking that it’s good that we have taken them to this point and they feel happy to embark on a new venture.  If this had happened a few years ago I’m sure we would have had more trouble about the change.

We’re not finished yet, as we’re still looking for somewhere to go, though we’re driven by optimism more than reality.

Dave, one of the founders, came to visit. He was working with Julia at the council when his contract came to an end and she decided she was fed up of constantly re-applying for her own job. The rest, as they say, is history. He’s been ill for a while, but is now on the way to recovery. That brightened the day, as the group always likes to see him. We’re going to get Men in Sheds to help repair his old electric wheelchair, which is currently refusing to go in the same direction as the joystick.

It seems like a small enough fault, but in the context of a man who likes to get out and about this represents the very narrow margin between sightseeing on a river bank and being featured in a high profile emergency rescue.

He’s challenged me to a wheelchair race when he gets it fixed, so watch this space.

Vicki brought the poppies in from the Barnstone Brownies, so the display is looking good. She’s really put a lot of effort into this, with making poppies and doing research – shame we won’t be able to build on it for next year. I’m thinking of burying the poppies after we’ve used them. It will be both an artistic statement, and an ancient military tactic: there is so much salt in them that the new tenants, with their promised landscaping, may find there is a permanent bald patch where little will grow.

We’ve also been doing a bit of packing, some Christmas planning, and rehearsing the Christmas entertainment. That might be better expressed as Christmas “entertainment” as a bit of Bollywood style belly dancing, a carol (yet to be decided) and a rendition of I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts is going to have an uncertain effect on the audience.

Finally, we have a picture of me wearing a hat from the lost property. According to Julia I look like the oldest of the Lost Boys. I’m not sure how to take that. If it’s a reference to Peter Pan it’s probably OK, but if it’s a reference to the film I’m not so keen.

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The Oldest Lost Boy