Tag Archives: spring


The Council doesn’t seem to have gritted last night, with the result that the roads are worse than they were during the last snow.  Everyone knew it was coming, apart, it seems, from the man who arranges the gritting.



This was the picture at 5.30 this morning. After a Saturday of snow flurries it finally started to settle overnight and was completely white by morning. We have four inches, which hardly qualifies as snow in some countries, but is big news in the UK, particularly in March. The TV weather report has just claimed six inches for Nottingham, so it may be worse in places.

What I really want is some warm Spring weather and a few flower pictures. There are plenty of flowers coming out, but it always seems to be a grey day when I have a chance for photography.

The outlook isn’t too bad, though I’m not sure how good it will be by the end of the day when I go to pick Julia up. The TV weather reports keep telling us where the snow will appear during the day, but is a bit short on information about when ours will melt.


Snow in Sherwood, Notts

I’m beginning to see mental pictures of Vladimir Putin as Ming the Merciless in the film Flash Gordon. As I recall, it starts with an outbreak of bad weather caused by and evil, bald mega-villain.

Image result for ming the merciless

Normally I use my own photos, but I’m short of galactic supervillains so I’ve sourced one on the internet. I’m hoping that by giving a link to the film they will forgive me for lifting the photo.

This is the “After” photo, taken in the light after I got home. Time to blog and eat breakfast now.



A Day Off and the Last of the Fish Pie

I blogged a bit this morning and made some plans. Julia was due on a training course at 1.30 so it made for a short day.

After dropping her off for a two hour refresher on Safeguarding I went to find a charity shop that needed three bags of second-hand books and assorted rammel. I couldn’t find one, as everywhere was so busy there was nowhere to park.

I went home and read my post before I filled two more bags with paper, including a large amount of old business paperwork from 2004-6. They missed collecting our recycling bin last week because of the snow. I feel, as I continue filling it, that they will regret this decision when they have to remove a month’s accumulated paper clearing.

The letter from the anticoagulant clinic showed I was right at the top of the range, but [assed. I don’t need to go back for two weeks.

Then I collected Julia. As usual, the training was a waste of time, though it does allow the council to tick boxes. Don’t start me on the state of Safeguarding in the UK.

She helped me find a charity shop with parking outside. She also told me off for what I said to a bus driver who sounded his horn at me in an impatient manner as I took the bags out of the car. After all the time buses have spent holding me up over the years I think he could have waited thirty seconds for me.

He even made eye-contact as he went past, just to be more aggressive about it. If he was a lip-reader he would have found this an upsetting experience. Even if he wasn’t a lip reader he could probably still make out the few short, simple words I used.

Later we went shopping as the light faded, and were surprised at the volume of birdsong. Spring, I suspect, has arrived.

Then we returned home and ate Fish Pie. Julia topped it with sweet potato this time so we’ve had four different toppings in the last week – potato, potato and swede, potato and parsnip and sweet potato.

It’s not quite the lifestyle I envisaged for myself when I was young and ambitious.


Days Lengthen, Spirits Lift…

The theme of coldness carries over from the last post.

At around 10pm I went out to put a sheet on the car windscreen and ended up having to clear the screen before I could put the cover on.

It’s notably crispy this morning, though not quite as bad as I was expecting.

On a brighter note, I’m excused washing duties as we have Number One son visiting. We have a quinoa salad for lunch, made with tinned beans and sweetcorn, Eventually I intend making pots of the stuff using proper quinoa instead of the microwavable alternative and I will soak my own beans.

For the moment it’s enough of a culture shock without the extra cooking.

And talking of culture shock – it’s full daylight now. The days are really starting to open up now. If only the weather was more spring-like.

This may be good news for North Korean athletes who, it seems, are likely to do a spell in a labour camp after failing to perform in the Winter Olympics. At least it won’t be dark and dismal. This would tend to suggest that the carrot and stick approach may not work, particularly when the carrot is “extra rice” according to the article.

Meanwhile, anyone who came fourth in an event where one of the Russians won a medal is waiting to see if they are going to get an upgrade. I really despair of a world where an entire country is banned for drug use and the replacement “neutral” team provides 50% of the positive drug tests at the games.

I’m not going to add anything more, as there are plenty of accusations flying about relating to GB’s rise to sporting success and I don’t want to say anything that may prove embarrassing in the future.

This article is interesting, and puts things in stronger terms than I would dare.  You can’t blame people for taking a chance to be an international athlete, but it’s important to keep it in perspective. There is no surge in African Winter Sport. If we want to help Africa we should make it possible for the continent to host the Olympics. After what happened with the Commonwealth Games this may take some doing.

At least my joints are feeling better and I seem to be able to think again, even if I can’t solve any world problems.

The Odd Couple and Strange Pigeons

We went to the park today to see the ducks. The first thing I saw was a Wood Pigeon in a tree and a charm of Goldfinches drinking from the stream which acts as an overflow for the pond. The pigeon looked a little rumpled and the Goldfinches were too quick for me, so there are no photographs of those two.

We were surrounded by feral pigeons at one point. I counted them twice, getting 57 in one count and 62 in the next. Call it 60. That’s a lot of verminous skyrats. It may be that I’m being unfair to them, as they do look quite tidy, and even seem keen on taking a bath.

The odd couple are still there, though the goose does seem to be paired up with another goose too. The three of them were together on the grass at the far end of the pond. It now looks a bit like one of those situations where a man has married but still has one of his old mates hanging round, or playing gooseberry.


The birds seem to be paired up and defending territories, but apart from daffodils and a few mahonias there is nothing much happening to suggest Spring. Outside the walls Spring is definitely here but inside the park things are a bit behind. It may be the trees, or the stone wall holding cold air in, but it just seems like the park is a couple of weeks behind the surrounding streets.


At the Garden Centre

We had some time to kill yesterday in Peterborough so we went to Notcutt’s Garden Centre at Ferry Meadows for an Apple and Cinnamon scone. I took the opportunity for some spring flower photography.

The scone was large and had a good flavour (much of it down to sugar, I think). On the downside, it was a bit dry and crumbly and could have done with more apple. It wasn’t bad but I won’t be rushing in to buy another.

Dad’s brother Tom was down visiting from Lancashire. He’s 86 and much fitter than Dad, who just turned 88. That’s probably due to a lifetime working outdoors, in contrast to Dad who spent most of his time in cars and offices. He travelled with his son and daughter-in-law this time as the drive is getting a bit tiring these days.

After Peterborough they are going to Buckinghamshire to see my Uncle Jim (94). He spent his life using a bicycle and never owned a car. He met my aunt when he was stationed in Lancashire during the war and after he left the army cycled up from London to see her. He’s still 100% mentally, though he recently had a knee replaced.

I’m seeing a pattern here.






If I Ruled the World

According to the song, if I ruled the world every day would be the first day of spring.

Looking out of my window I’m not sure that would be a good thing. I’ve been looking forward to Spring, but I’d rather assumed it would feature flowers, blossom and warm weather. Currently, we are about four hours into Spring (which officially started at 10.28 am GMT) and the cold rain has only just stopped. I’m still waiting for the sun to break through, but I fear I may be waiting in vain.

The rest of the week looks equally miserable (and so do I).

For those of you reading in the Southern Hemisphere, congratulations on your Autumn Equinox, and apologies that the rest of it may make no sense. I suppose that somewhere down there you must have cold rain and cloudy skies, but I find it hard to imagine.

However, back at the opening sentence, if I ruled the world things would be different, even if if I couldn’t control the weather.

I won’t go into detail, because the sun has just emerged unexpectedly and I’m off out. Here are a few photos to put you in mind of Spring.

See you later. 🙂



A Walk Round the Lake

Life can’t be all nature reserves and rarities, so yesterday saw us back at Rufford Abbey. There was, as usual, nothing rare, but there’s always something worth seeing.

The Robins were in good voice.


Singing Robin – Rufford Abbey

We spent a while watching two Magpies building a nest in the tree tops (without being able to get a clear shot) and a pair of Nuthatches popped out of the woods to have a look at us. They are always a challenging subject as they tend to flit about without regard to the needs of photography. This was the best photo, despite only showing one of the pair.


Nuthatch in an Elder tree

We saw two Wrens and managed to get a couple of shots (they are worse than Nuthatches for flitting about), checked out the Great Crested Greebes (now in full breeding plumage) and watched a Grey Heron drop in to fish. Great Tits and Dunnocks also cooperated by posing.

Despite the fact we walk here most weeks, there’s always something new to see and always something new to learn. I never knew, for instance, that magpies build nests using branches that are nearly as long as they are.