Saturday, June 22

Walking in the Chilterns today.

Is this a Llama I see before me, or an Alpaca? Time to buy an Iphone Ungulate Identification App.

Tuesday, May 28

In Praise of Serendipity

Yesterday was a Bank Holiday, and not only that but it was sunny too.

Taken aback by this unusual conjunction, Angela and I thought we would go for a stroll.
We both felt like a walk by the Thames, so we hopped onto a 4 bus and were soon whizzed through an empty City and decamped at the South Bank.
Apart from doing a circuit up to Tower Bridge and back, we had no great plans.
Picking up a coffee we soon bumped into what would be the first of a trio of exhibitions to investigate, all with free entry, though two of the three tempted us with stuff to buy.

The first was Everest 1953, a photographic exhibition celebrating the first conquest of Mount Everest, sixty years ago tomorrow. The photographs were breathtaking, some even in early colour processes.

After Everest, near the Globe, we came upon the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers Annual Exhibition.
I am learning a little lino-cutting at the moment, so this exhibition was a fascinating chance to see the wide variety of printmaking techniques being practised by experts.

The third exhbition was just outside the London Assembly building, sometimes unkindly referred to as "The Testicle". The display was of environmental initiatives and wildlife in the U.K. You can find the link here

In between we managed an excellent lunch at Zizzi, a restaurant chain new to us and chosen more or less at random.

At Tower Bridge we crossed to the North Bank for the return trip.

I always find Tower Bridge fascinating - I made a quick sketch to send as a postcard to my friend the Legal Eagle. After knowing her for nearly thirty years I managed to fall ill at the weekend and missed her wedding.

So Rachel, this little sketch is for you....

Wednesday, March 20

You Know You Are Getting Old When ...

They start selling Televisions as Antiques

Monday, March 18

In praise of old pubs

Yesterday Angela and I joined a ramble around Ware in Hertfordshire. Although muddy in parts, the walk went through some lovely countryside. 
Perhaps the best bit of the walk was the lunch stop though!
We went to The White Horse in Wareside. It was like stepping in to the past. Public and Saloon bars ( so no problems with our muddy boots), a piano, a lovely real fire, real ale and two lovely dogs asleep. In their own beds by the fire. 
Talking to the landlord, he told us the two Jack Russels earn their keep. He goes out shooting rabbits and the dogs retrieve for him. On a good night he can get 30 rabbits. No wonder rabbit pie was on the menu!
The photos above are of Henriette, the walk leader, getting to know one of the two dogs. 

Saturday, March 16

Half Board

We poached a lovely fresh trout this evening. The fish was big enough to have half each and still have a little left over. 
We finally realised we have become "cat people".
We found ourselves looking at the chopping board we had divided the fish on, thinking  "what shall we do with the juices?" And coming up with this solution!

Tuesday, January 29

A Room With a View

I was birding in South Devon this weekend. This is the view from my hotel room. 

Wednesday, January 23

Neigh, Neigh and Thrice Neigh.

In the light of the recent revelations about Tesco's burgers , maybe Waitrose might go for a re-design?

Snow Joke

Following on from our wash-out coach trip, this weekend a band of intrepid MBS birders are scheduled to be in South Devon for a long weekend. 
Let's hope the snow clears in time
We will be praying to the Snow God. 

Sign of the times

The Saturday before last was spent in horizontal rain; we were allegedly birding in Hampshire.
The road sign said it all...
Luckily the Ship Inn was warm, very welcoming, and did lovely chips!

Sunday, January 6

Twelfth Night (plus or minus 1)

Time to say thank you to the Nordmann Fir for 2012, and pack the fairy away for another  year. Back to work tomorrow. Normality?

Saturday, January 5

Free Pee!

This sign was at Marylebone station this morning.  I am always happy to get something for nothing!

Tuesday, January 1

A Tail of Mice

Cats are by nature hunters, beautiful but ruthless.
Last year I kept a tally of how many rodents our cats, Tigger and Fluffy caught.

Fluffy managed a haul of nine mice.
Tigger caught, killed and ate twenty.
Plus a wood pigeon, a rat (brought in to the house alive, oh joy!), a blackbird and a magpie.
Tonight Angela and I were eating our supper when I heard a sound I recognised; Fluffy calling to let us know he had a mouse.
Various noises off occurred, and when we next looked in the hall, this is what was left...

Hampstead Heath New Year!

Happy New Year. 
The champagne isn't mine by the way. 

It is something of a tradition among birders to kick the year list off with a New Year's Day  birding trip. 

Today 7 of our birding group met for our regular Tuesday stroll which coincided with the first day of the New year. 

23 species were seen, with superb views of Green Woodpecker  and brief glimpses of Kingfisher as the highlights. 

A lovely morning, sunny and bitterly cold.
Perfect birding weather.