Monday, March 26, 2007
I was intending to write something about the joys of being a grandparent but I was interrupted by some furry acrobatics of the highest order. Remember the pictures of the squirrels? Well, I lengthened the chain of paper clips to prevent squirrels from eating the bird food, thinking it would do the trick. I had not counted on the determination of our furry-tailed friends. Just take a look at this four-minute video clip. I believe I have to extend the hanging arrangement much more.
One positive thing that came out of this squirrel show was the discovery that if the branch is very flexible and moves at first attempt to move out on it, the squirrel withdraws and seeks an alternative, perhaps the easy pickings on the ground. I understand much better now why squirrels are such good survivors, just look how persistent this one is; aaand… I do not spend all day watching wildlife through the patio doors, honestly.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
One major disadvantage of being an expat is understandably not being able to attend birthday parties in the family. But adding to the traditional card and phone call with singing, I am now trying to use my new blog to celebrate a birthday of a loved one.
So, ‘GRATTIS’, dear sister! We hope you are all having a good time and not only a virtual birthday cake!
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It gave me a tremendous boost of satisfaction, so I have to repeat it tomorrow! When I returned and was warming down I looked up towards the sky and saw this beautiful sight, cherry blossom, lining our street.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Well, wouldn’t you believe it! It seemed safe to hang balls of food in a plastic net from a small branch, but no. I was completely flabbergasted at seeing a squirrel performing a brave balancing act in order to get to the yummy seeds. Squirrel Junior was the first one to find the tempting ball of food. How he managed to stay up is anyone’s guess, but he used his tail to good effect. He even grabbed the food with both paws and tried to pull it off straight up, but the metal paper clip and the net were too strong for him, and he nearly tumbled to the ground in his frenzied attack.
Later Big Daddy Squirrel turned up, probably having been informed by Junior, and continued depriving the little birds of their added nutrition. How thoughtless of them, big bullies! I wish I had had a full battery in my digital camera so I could have filmed it, because the show Squirrel Junior put on was beyond belief. Big Daddy was a more experienced and strong individual and he held on comfortably just munching away until I opened the patio doors. He then gave the opportunity to this little fellow to fatten himself up.
(Photos taken through a glass door with full zoom, which explains the slight blur.)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
All week we had a good fire going in the stove, which, with the help of the electric heaters, soon raised the temperature and dried it all out. We ran out of logs and had to borrow some from our friendly neighbours. Then we just pottered about, read books and papers and were lazy in general. But the following Saturday we had new firewood delivered by a farmer, four m3, which turned out to be a full horse box which he had pulled with his old, nearly clapped-out car. It took an eternity to shift it all and stack it in the shed. My body protested even two days later. But when we go there next time we will have firewood to burn, literally. I bet it will be a sunny and warm Easter just because of that, Sod’s Law, you know.
Monday, March 05, 2007
It is not easy being a Liverpool fan sometimes. They lost on Saturday despite better chances, most of the play etc, to arch-rivals Manchester Utd, 0-1 in extra time! But if you support a club, you support them even on a bad day. West Ham fans have my sympathies though; they seem doomed now.
I can at least enjoy some lovely spring weather now. Nature is bursting out of its winter coat and the birds are getting very busy in our garden. I am not an ornithologist but it is quite nice to sit looking through the patio glass doors and watch all the bird activity. They come to feed right outside the doors so I feel a bit like Bill Oddie or David Attenborough on telly. Our regular garden visitors are great tits, blue tits, robins, long-tailed tits, crested tits, greenfinches, nuthatches, tree creepers, green woodpeckers, spotted woodpeckers, blackbirds, magpies, jays, various warblers, chaffinches, and I am sure I have missed some others. But the greatest entertainment is the squirrels playfully chasing each other up and down and around the thick tree trunks. It is like peekaboo on speed!
Leave you with a few flowers from yesterday.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
At last sitting down with a cup of tea and Amy Winehouse coming out of the PC speakers. Yes, I know she is not exactly a role model for budding singers but blimey can that woman sing! She seems to have a strong self-destructive streak the way she lives her life, but how can such a young artist first record "Frank", a jazzy masterpiece, and then several years later "Back to Black", a gem of soul and R&B? I only hope she manages to record a few more albums before she kills herself with 'pills 'n needles'! Oops, that was a bit crass, wasn't it?
Anyway, I have now developed (slightly pretentious) my blog further. It is the usual thing with computer software, you need to spend time to get to know it, as all bloggers know all too well I guess. Since I have so many national loyalties I thought it would be a good idea with some flags to liven it up a little. Maybe they will feel like a nuisance later on, but they fly only softly and gently, so maybe not. Then there is the issue of Links; I could initially only think of two obvious ones since I quite like football. Oh, by the way, the rainbow is from the French countryside, as are the two previous, rural photos.
Oh, one more thing, I am now listening to a singer from Cape Verde whom I stumbled upon on the iTunes website. She is called Mayra Andrade, sings in Portuguese, wonderful music which is a mix of African, Brazilian, Portuguese..... music, relaxed, fascinating and sensual. I do not understand much of the lyrics but I just listen to the sounds of the language, her voice and the music itself. Truly caressing sound waves!