Tag Archives: seals

Monday and Moving Up a Level

I spent the night alternately laying awake or making trips to the bathroom. As I finally drifted off into an exhausted sleep an old alarm clock of Julia’s, which wasn’t actually set and hadn’t been used for years, decided to start working and sounded an alarm at about 5am, then again half an hour later. It will, as a result, never sound another alarm.

Then, at 6.30, having woken up yet again for a bathroom break, I gave up, got dressed, had a glass of water (which apparently makes the blood flow better) and set off for my blood test. The car parking is still free, due to Covid, though I’m not sure how that makes a difference, and the service still suffers from random halts, where they don’t seem to do anything. I was still finished just before 8.00, despite the delays and the need to puncture both arms in search of blood.

I went home, picked Julia up and took her to work. It worked out nicely and we were ten minutes early. That meant I arrived at work in plenty of time, which gave me time to have coffee and read haiku on the computer before starting to pack the eBay sales.

This relaxing interlude made up for the hassle of getting into the shop, as my front door key decided to play up. Once or twice a year it does that. I suspect it is a lock problem rather than a key problem but there isn’t much I can do about it.

The day passed smoothly, I went home, washed up, set a vegetable stew going on the hob and prepared afternoon tea for Julia on her return from work. It was one of my better days as a husband.

The afternoon tea will be the basis for a new scone chronicle soon, but I’m out of practice and it might be a day or two yet. My sister sent us an afternoon tea gift box, which formed the basis of four days of afternoon tea.

Tonight we were told we will be moving up to a Level 3 lockdown, but as I don’t socialise, go to the pub or eat out it is not going to affect me a great deal.

That could be the title of my lockdown memoirs “The Man Who Stayed at Home”.

I’d like to be able to travel a bit more, particularly as it’s seal time soon, and I’d like more reliable access to toilets when we are out, but I’d also like a better computer, world peace and a substantial lottery win. Sometimes you just need to get on with your life and be grateful for what you have.

Seals, Solstices and Slimming

First, and last, day back at work after Christmas. I’ve been given Monday and Tuesday off, so I don’t return to work until next year.

I just had a look at the weekly seal update from Donna Nook, as we have failed to get there so far this year, and the news is not good. Numbers decreased by 90% over the previous week, so I suspect they will all be gone by now. With various things, we just couldn’t get to the coast this year. This included being asked to change days at work, meetings for Julia, and floods. It seems like everything stacked up to prevent us going.

I will use some of last year’s pictures with this post to give a flavour of what might have been.

The day was hectic, with 16 parcels to get to the Post Office before it closed at 12.30 and a constant stream of customers and phone calls. Most of the calls were about selling gold or silver but a few were about the perennial favourites – “rare” coins and “valuable” minting errors. They mainly occurred when I was already using both hands for wrapping packages.


Last year’s seal at Donna Nook

We just got everything packed in time. Saturdays are always a bit of a rush, due to the Post Office closing at 12.30.

All the people who rang about selling gold and silver came in and sold us the stuff, as did a couple of other people who turned up on spec. We also had a group of regulars in, so things got quite busy.

Just one more Bank Holiday to work round then we can get on with work again.

Finally, after returning home in what appeared to be almost daylight compared to recent weeks (it’s the solstice effect – day length is actually only two minutes and eighteen seconds longer than it was a week ago) I found a leaflet from Slimmers World through the letter box. I’m sure it wasn’t meant personally but I do have a growing feeling that the whole world is having a laugh at my expense.

Could Do Better

Although I haven’t published anything for the last two days I have actually written three posts and, inconveniently, fallen asleep in my chair before midnight.

As a result, the first piece became redundant, the second was consigned to oblivion due to being rubbish, and the third is still in the pipeline. I thought I’d better write this fourth piece just to explain the situation. It’s not very interesting, but it won’t take long, and it will let you know I’m still active, even if I am inefficient.

We had a massive postal day on Monday – packing 25 parcels in just over three hours. Several of the parcels had multiple items in them and two of them went abroad. (When you have to stick £9 worth of stamps on an envelope it can take some time).

I was still seeing stamps as I did various things in the evening and, after a lot of work for little result, I fell asleep in my chair.

Ditto for yesterday, but with fewer parcels. I am really going to have to start making better use of my time.

I will write more later, but have to sort a few jobs out this morning. We were planning on seeing the seals today but Julia forgot that she has a meeting at 5pm, so that was a non-starter. Maybe next week…

Not that it’s a tragedy to miss the seals – they make great photo subjects but they do, for some reason, give birth in the wrong place, at the wrong time and in the wrong weather. I really don’t understand how evolution dictated that they should give birth in November in the UK.

It may be to do with the availability of fish, in which case I may never know, as the life of a fish is a mystery to me.

Laundry, Laziness and Lincolnshire

The new week beckons, and as I’ve booked a holiday I have nothing to do but collect my camera from work and host a visit from the electricity board, who have to bring the earthing of the house up to modern standards.

It’s been OK since 1928 but British Gas won’t tackle fitting the new boiler until it is done. As with all work of this type I expect they will look for more faults and give me a lecture on the age of the system. Pardon me for the gloomy nature of my expectations, but I have a wealth of experience to back it up.

I’m also waiting for a builder to contact me. The wait is a worry as it suggests a cavalier attitude to punctuality and customer care. However, all the decent tradesmen we used to use have retired so we have to find a new one.

Three hours later…

Laundry is done. The shopping is done. I have delivered a lecture on economy to myself – though only after spending £6.40 on stuff we didn’t need. It’s time to write the rest of the post as the bacon and black pudding cooks. I’m doing it in the oven with some other stuff for later.

But first, noticing an absence of post from last night I had to find it and publish it. I seem to have prepared everything then failed to post it. Another Senior Moment in a growing line of them.

That was pretty much the theme of last night’s conversation, with four of the nine present being sixty plus and one teetering on the brink of it, the conversation was mainly about health, holidays and memory (or lack thereof). I didn’t actually catch all of it as my hearing is also going.

Three hours after that…

Lunch has been consumed. Jessica Fletcher has brought the killers to justice in her home state of Maine – the most dangerous place in the Union, if TV is to be believed – and the beef stew is bubbling gently on the hob.

I’ve prepared the Mediterranean veg for tonight’s fish cakes, but that is as far as I’ve reached in my culinary plans. I did have plans for a vegetable curry too, but so far I’ve failed on that. The idea of a cup of tea by a warming gas fire is far more attractive.

And with that brief snapshot of life in the Midlands, I will drift off with my cup of tea and see if my wife has any birthday chocolate left.


Donna Nook – the seals are back!

Seal Report for last week – 362 bulls, 1,254 cows and 872 pups. That’s quite a lot of seals. I’m planning on getting the cameras sorted and heading off for the coast at the end of next week, though this depends on the rain to a certain extent. Not so much the rain itself as we are used to that, but the floods might be a problem. There are still active flood warnings in effect for Lincolnshire, and high tides are contributing to the problem.

A Tried and Trusted Formula

I’m all out of ideas so I’m falling back on the old stand-by – nature photographs and a cute seal.

The seal did its part, but the camera work could have been better. The need for better camera work is a contiuing feature of this blog.

Here’s a selection of dragonflies, or damsel flies. I’ve not been doing too well at identifying them this year. I must do better in the coming year. But you’ve heard that before, haven’t you?


It’s an orchid at Strumpshaw Fen – not sure what sort – sorry

Must do better on flower ID too.

I do have some proper subjects to blog about, but I’m just varying the pace for a day or two. That sounds feasible, I think…

Some Photos

Here, courtesy of Julia, are the seal photos that should have been in the last post. She downloaded them onto a flash drive, then added her Pied Wagtail photo. Of course, as soon as I returned from running No2 Son to work I tested the camera again and it worked. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?


Seal at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire



Seals at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire


Pied Wagtail at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire


Seals at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire


Seal at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire



Redshank at Donna Nook, Lincs



Promising Much, Delivering Little…

I had so much planned, but it is not to be.

A year ago I delivered a pale shadow of what I promised, when I forgot to take my card and could only take 30 photos.

This year, pockets bulging with cards and batteries, I took several hundred photographs. There are some really good ones there, but unfortunately you’ll have to take my word for it because my camera won’t communicate with the computer and the card reader on the computer is, to say the least, erratic.

For now you will have to look at the ones from last year.

We had a good day out, despite threatened storms, rain, fog, an idiot in a high-vis jacket and a hacking cough.

We also had fish and chips.

As days go, it was pretty good, and it isn’t over yet.


Reeling in the Years

I’ve just been looking at the early months of 2017 on the blog. I seem to have had a much more interesting life in those days, though I did have more spare time, which probably helped. Annoyingly, I also seem to have been a better writer and proof reader.

That gave me the idea for the title, and sent me off to You Tube for an hour or two of nostalgia interspersed with cooking, picking Julia up and checking eBay.

That’s the trouble with the internet – always so much distraction.

I have put the leftover curry in the fridge (for my lunch tomorrow), made the tomato and vegetable sauce for the pasta bake and am currently roasting chicken and vegetables. I keep meaning to take photos but I always forget.

We were planning on seeing the seals at Donna Nook this week, but the weather forecast for Wednesday is looking bad – high winds and rain. We may leave it another week. I actually wrote a second post about the seals last year.

Loking at last November I’m struck by how little we are now doing, and, at the same time, how much remains the same.

I also need to know how to search my own site, instead of searching entire months for infornation. Does anyone know?




Donna Nook – Seals (1)


Donna Nook Seal Sign

Julia expressed a wish, many years ago, to “see the seals” while we were in Norfolk one summer. We didn’t manage it that year, and various things like work and children ganged up on us, meaning we didn’t actually manage it any year. Finally, whilst compiling my modest bucket list, I had a look on the internet. Having frittered away the first half of the year with hospital visits I thought we’d missed the chance for this year. Imagine my surprise when I found that Grey Seals came ashore to give birth in November. I mean, there are twelve months in a year and it seems to me that at least six of them would be better suited to lying on a beach giving birth.

Having established that there were seals at Donna Nook (including 154 pups counted on Saturday) and that the day was going to be nice we went to bed on Sunday night with a plan in mind. Part of the plan was to take Number One Son to the station for 7.00am and another part was to remove my camera card from the card reader and put it in the camera before setting off.

I believe those last three lines are what is known as “dramatic foreshadowing”.

At 6.00 the alarm went. I oozed into a passable impression of action and by 6.45 was in the car and on my way to the station with Firstborn.

He checked his phone and muttered something. It seemed he was checking how much he was going to have to pay to upgrade his ticket, and he hadn’t liked the answer. The choice seemed to be pay £45 or wait for a later train and be late for work. To be fair, last time he did the journey he booked the upgrade in advance and it only cost £6. It’s not a bad way to run a business, charging people £45 extra just to travel at a convenient time.

And that was how we ended up travelling to North Lincolnshire via Leeds.

It was a lovely day, and we saw deer grazing in the fields by the side of the M1, so it wasn’t a total waste. I will leave you here, with a video of seals, and continue the story later.