Tag Archives: robin

22.07 and not a thought in my head

I’ve let the day run through my fingers again.  It is now one hour and fifty three minutes to midnight and I don’t even know what I’m going to write about. There isn’t even anything I can use in my drafts folder.

I note from checking the internet that Black Lives Matter called off their demonstration in London today rather than contribute to the problem. That, I feel, was the right decision and has put them right back on the moral high ground. Really, being anti-racist is to always have the moral high ground, but you know what I mean. Vandalism never looks good. An organisation that will give up its right to make a peaceful protest is clearly one that will, eventually, prevail.

The trouble with modern life is that we have so many people who know “their rights” and not enough who are prepared to think things through. Just because you have a right doesn’t mean you should exercise it. If I were ever to go on Room 101, “people who know their rights” would be top of my list.

Talking of this, we had a right to protest about Tibet when the Chinese President visited during the early years of Tony Blair’s premiership, but we weren’t allowed to exercise this right because Tony Blair was concentrating on trade. Tony Blair went on to even greater hypocrisy, we allowed various other shady dealings and I got older. With age comes the realisation that you can’t do anything about it, which is why I confine myself to shouting at the TV and asking young people to stop mumbling.

In the meantime I’ve been thinking about statues.

I haven’t come to any conclusions, I just thought I’d tell you I’d been thinking of them.

I quite like civic sculpture (or public realm enhancements to use the jargon term) and think we should have more of it. We have some round Nottingham on roundabouts, such as a depiction of the Flying Bedstead, racehorses outside the race course and various robins and wickerwork. I’ve often thought they would make a good subject for a series of posts but it’s tricky parking and taking a photo when they are on a busy road.

The timings contained in this post may be nonsensical as I note my watch and computer clocks differ by over an hour. I’ve been using the computer as the more reliable one but just did a time check and my computer clock seem to be 77 minutes slow. Technology! Pah!

Photos are selected from the free Media Library as I can’t find any of mine and didn’t want to steal photos from the local paper.

art beautiful bloom blooming

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Pictures of Happier Times

I couldn’t find the photos I was looking for, so I hope these make a suitable substitute.

This group is from the Whitby area, in the days when we used to get into the car and drive where we liked. With hindsight, we should probably have done less driving, both from the viewpoint of pollution and cost. We will be making some changes once the lockdown finishes.

Spring flowers are always good – I am missing them at the moment as we live in an urban area and the local front gardens are a bit of a wasteland. We will be looking at the front garden with a view to making it more of a spring garden – at the moment it is great for butterflies and pollinators but it is only just about to start. We should look at starting the flowering earlier. We have said this before but always put it off on the grounds we have plenty of time. As current events show, this isn’t actually true.

Apart from driving where we liked, we could also have as much food as we liked. The fragility of our supply chain has been an eye-opener over the last month, as has the behaviour of panic-buyers. It has been very dispiriting to see pictures of bins of discarded food at a time when some people are struggling to get any at all.

After holding back and buying only what we needed, we spent a nervy couple of weeks worrying about supplies. If it ever happens again I’m not sure what I’d do, because our political masters and supermarket CEOs were wide of the mark when they talked of “plenty” of food being available and “robust” supply chains. I haven’t been able to buy flour or even a bread kit for the last month. We even had two weeks when we couldn’t buy courgettes or potatoes.

Finally, a few Robins and a sheep – something to look forward to as things return to something that resembles normality. I’m not sure they will ever be quite as they were because I sense we are all a little more afraid of what the future may hold for us.

It’s tempting to get philosophical and political here, but instead I’ll end with a feelgood story.

Plans, plans, plans

The plan for the morning was to rise early, sneak downstairs as Julia slept and get writing. I have haibun to write, submissions to make and a new ambition to fulfil.

I want to hit my sixth WordPress anniversary with an average of 365 posts per year. I’m currently on 333 a year. I think that means I have to write 365 next year, and a further 160 to catch up. That’s 1.5 posts per day.

So, I need to examine the reasons for my deficiencies in posting.

One, obviously, is idleness, indolence, sloth or laziness. There are some nice words for it, but it all boils down to one of my defining character flaws. I don’t like hard work.

Two, which is a similar thing, my talent for procrastination, time-wasting, loafing and wandering off on the internet, either to play games or browse Wikipedia. Recently I found a new games page and I am now a dab hand at Nine Men’s Morris and, thanks to Wiki, can also discuss its history and variations.

Three, memory. I sometimes forget to post. You’d think one a day would be simple enough to remember but I have a lot to remember, such as my name, computer passwords and what Julia just said to me. Some days it’s hard just remembering how to walk and breathe at the same time.

Four. Sometimes I just fall asleep at the keyboard, leading to fifty five lines saying ggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg etc

Or, worse, with the pattern of a keyboard impressed in my face, like one of Dr Who’s more low-budget adversaries.

Today I will attempt multiple posts.

Watch this space.

Today’s picture is the recycled Robin from the Garden Centre in Scone Chronicles 3.

An Unhappy Man

The header picture is today’s entry in the Nugget or No-gett Competition. Answers at the bottom of the page.

I had a car accident yesterday, just one more brick in the wall of misery that is my mediocre life.

It wasn’t even an impressive accident.

The short version is as follows.

I had to move my car to allow someone out of a space in front of the shop where they shouldn’t have been parked in the first place. I was irritated. I forgot to engage the electric handbrake properly. Normally it engages itself if I forget.

The car ran down the slope (it’s so gentle I didn’t even notice it until yesterday) and gently came to rest against the car parked next to it. If I’d left my wheels straight, or if he’d been parked straight the cars would probably have not been damaged at all. But above all, it wouldn’t have happened if I had put the handbrake on.

So there you are. A minor collision at less than walking pace while neither driver was in the car. Some scrapes and paint transfer and, in my case, one dinge in the paper thin metalwork of my car.

It’s going to cost me £400 despite being insured, and I’ve already spent well over an hour on the phone in the last two days. Much of it was to a cheerful lady who was, she told me, based in Cape Town. I wish I was. They have good weather, penguins and a high crime rate. We have drizzle, idiots and a rising crime rate.

If you’re going to be robbed you might as well be warm and watching penguins as it happens. They aren’t puffins, but they are an acceptable substitute.

Puffin at Bempton Cliffs

Puffin at Bempton Cliffs

This is a Puffin. Cute as a penguin, but able to fly. It also had a chocolate biscuit named after it.

Presumably they outsource the call centre because it’s cheaper. This has, so far, not shown up on my insurance costs. Over the last few years, despite a full no-claims discount and, until last year, an impeccable driving record, my policy cost has rocketed. I’m beginning to think they have abandoned actuarial tables and are just making things up.

 

Answer: That’s right, it’s a Herring Gull, so No-gett. 

 

 

 

 

Scone Chronicles XVII

We went to Harlow Carr yesterday but decided not to repeat either the scones from the garden or the cost of the main tearoom.

I couldn’t get all the way down to the bottom of the garden this time, as going downhill (I refer here to my direction of travel, rather than in my accelerating physical decline), is tricky with a bad knee. So I returned to sit near the sycamore key sculpture.

As I sat, a robin played hide-and-seek and a blackbird perched on a dead tree turned it up to Number 11.

Here I eavesdropped on several bizarre conversations (which may have been more mundane if heard in their entirety) and waited patiently, taking a few photos, as Julia went to fetch tea.

Eventually she returned, and placed a cup of tea on the bench next to me. Then she sat down next to me and we talked of robins, rhubarb and whether she had anything in her bag. Knowing her as I do, it seemed unlikely she’d been to a tearoom and not purchased comestibles.

She had done us proud, with a pair of Fat Rascals.

Yes, make all the jokes you like. They are rock cakes with spice. My Mum made them like this for years. Betty’s claim them as a traditional recipes, add cherries, nuts and a daft name and suddenly a legend is born!

They were very nice. They were even better with butter (though the butter pat was a bit chunky and needed slicing rather than spreading.

Of all the things I’ve eaten in the Scone Chronicles, this was the tastiest. It was also the best dining experience. No sticky tables or dirty cutlery here!

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Fat Rascal at Harlow Carr

Still no pictures, Julia pointed out that the netbook actually does have a USB port, but when I connected the small camera, with yesterday’s card, the computer refused to cooperate.

I’m beginning to hate this bloody netbook…

As you may have noticed I can now add photos…

 

Change is Easy…

I’m giving the new editor another try. I don’t particularly want to, but I do want to access some of my older photos and I can’t do that in the normal editor. Anyway, it’s time I started embracing new technology.

Julia has had an adventurous day, first cutting herself whilst trying a spot of woodcarving, then melting a hole in her fleece when she transferred her attention to pyrography. Well, I say “attention”, but if she’d been paying attention she wouldn’t actually have melted the fleece.

I’m now going to put some photos in, if I can. The new editor doesn’t seem keen. I’m already remembering why I switched it off and went back to the old one.

This, hopefully, is a selection of my favourite photos from the last year.

Spice selection
At Clumber Park



Cromer


Robin at Clumber, Nottinghamshire
Fungus close-up

I’m not finding it as easy as the old editor because I’m having to load one large photo at a time.

Change is easy, as they say, but improvement is hard.

A Summary in Pictures

I’m in a hurry and may be back late tonight. Hopefully some pictures will keep you entertained, and give a clue to what my day may hold.

 

Day 102!

After failing in my challenge to write 100 posts in 100 days I decided to keep quiet about my new challenge, which was to write 100 posts in 100 days.

I’m consistent, if nothing else.

I’m also better at writing than I am at counting. When I checked to see if it was 100 days yet, I found it was actually 102 days since the first post of the run.

It doesn’t really matter – I’ve managed 100 consecutive days. Now I can relax.

To celebrate I’m going to have a nice cup of tea and chuck in a gratuitous robin picture.

We had the talk on framework knitters last night, the one I nearly went to last week. I’m going to visit within the coming month, and check out the tea room, so watch this space!

 

Spring is Coming

You don’t have to take my word for it – look at the birds.

The Black-headed Gulls are regaining their black heads.

The idiots are also out in force. This prime example spotted the perfect spot to stand and ruin my shot. Then he moved a few feet away before coming back for another go.

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Idiotus Domesticus

Robins were singing in the dogwood hedges (Cynical note to self – Robins are always good for attracting likes).

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Robin and dogwood

And the ducks are looking in fine fettle for breeding.

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Finely fettled ducks

And finally – it’s clear what is on this pigeon’s mind, even if the object of his desire isn’t interested.