Tag Archives: robin

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.