Saturday, November 14, 2009
- Et bien, lui répond sa maman, c'est Dieu qui a créé les premiers parents humains, Adam et Eve. Adam et Eve ont eu des enfants qui plus tard sont devenus parents à leur tour et ainsi de suite. C'est ainsi que s'est formée la famille humaine.
Deux jours plus tard, la fillette pose la même question à son père.
Celui-ci lui répond : - Tu vois, il y a des millions d'années, les singes ont évolué lentement jusqu'à devenir les êtres humains que nous sommes aujourd'hui.
La petite fille toute perplexe retourne aussitôt voir sa mère : - Maman ! Comment c'est possible que tu me dises que les premiers parents ont été créés par Dieu et que papa me dise que c'était des singes qui ont évolué ?
La mère lui répond avec un sourire : - C'est très simple ma chérie. Moi je t'ai parlé de ma famille et ton père te parlait de la sienne.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
La fourmi travaille dur tout l'été dans la canicule
Elle construit sa maison et prépare ses provisions pour l'hiver.
La cigale pense que la fourmi est stupide, elle rit, danse et joue
Une fois l'hiver venu, la fourmi est au chaud et bien nourrie.
La cigale grelottante de froid n'a ni nourriture ni abri, et meurt de froid.
La fourmi travaille dur tout l'été dans la canicule.
Elle construit sa maison et prépare ses provisions pour l'hiver.
La cigale pense que la fourmi est stupide, elle rit, danse et joue tout l'été.
Une fois l'hiver venu, la fourmi est au chaud et bien nourrie.
La cigale grelottante de froid organise une conférence de presse et demande
pourquoi la fourmi a le droit d'être au chaud et bien nourrie tandis que les
autres, moins chanceux comme elle, ont froid et faim.
La télévision organise des émissions en direct qui montrent la cigale
grelottante de froid et qui passent des extraits vidéo de la fourmi bien au
chaud dans sa maison confortable avec une table pleine de provisions.
Les Français sont frappés que, dans un pays si riche, on laisse souffrir
Cette pauvre cigale tandis que d'autres vivent dans l'abondance.
Les associations contre la pauvreté manifestent devant la maison de la
Les journalistes organisent des interviews, demandant pourquoi la fourmi est
devenue riche sur le dos de la cigale et interpellent le gouvernement pour
augmenter les impôts de la fourmi afin qu'elle paie 'sa juste part'.
La CGT, Le Parti Communiste, la Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire , les Gay et
Lesbian Pride, organisent seat-ins et manifestations devant la maison de la fourmi.
Les fonctionnaires décident de faire une grève de La Elle
L'ancienne maison de la fourmi, devenue logement social pour la cigale, se
détériore car cette dernière n'a rien fait pour l'entretenir.
Des reproches sont faits au gouvernement pour le manque de moyens.
Une commission d'enquête est mise en place, ce qui coûtera 10 millions d'euros.
La cigale meurt d'une overdose.
Libération et L'Humanité commentent l'échec du gouvernement à redresser
sérieusement le problème des inégalités sociales.
La maison est squattée par un gang de cafards immigrés.
Les cafards organisent un trafic de marijuana et terrorisent la communauté...
Le gouvernement se félicite de la diversité multiculturelle de la France.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Why, I hear you ask as you begin to wonder if there's anything on television that could tear you away from this blog, why has the Old Scrote been standing in his garden pond? Not only standing in it, dressed in greeen boiler suit and black wellingtons, but bending down and ferreting with his hands under the water. Looking for stones.
You see, mes chers potes, there used to be beautiful mango-shaped boulders around the edge of the pond, and in the chute of the waterfall (to make the cascade more interesting).
And now there are none. They are all in the pond. I am not one to point the accusing finger, but if I ever get to New Zealand, certain young persons had better watch out. In fact, the pond had become so eutrophic that it was effectively dead, so I was already in the process of cleaning it out when the Case of the Missing Boulders arose.
Tomorrow, if the Lord spares me - and the way I smell at the moment, I doubt if He wants me anywhere near Him just now - I will be back there trying to empty the pond of its oily black mud so that I can start afresh in the New Year.
It's good to have a plan.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Un monsieur âgé a un sérieux problème. Il est complètement sourd depuis plusieurs années. Il va voir son médecin qui lui prescrit un nouvel appareil auditif haut de gamme.
Au bout d'un mois, il retourne voir son médecin qui lui dit :
" Votre famille doit être contente de voir que vous entendez très bien ?"
L'homme répond :
" Oh, je n'ai pas encore dit à ma famille que j'avais un appareil. Je ne fais que m'asseoir et écouter les conversations.
J'ai déjà changé trois fois mon testament..."
How would Nelson have fared if he had been subject to modern health and safety regulations?
"Order the signal to be sent, Hardy."
"Aye, aye sir."
"Hold on, that's not what I dictated to the signal officer. What's the meaning of this?"
"England expects every person to do his duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability. What gobbledegook is this?"
"Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."
"Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."
"Sorry sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free working environments."
"In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle."
"The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It's part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."
"Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it. Full speed ahead."
"I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."
"Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest, please."
"That won't be possible, sir."
"Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness. And they said that rope ladder doesn't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."
"Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."
"He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle Admiral."
"Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."
"Health and Safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled."
"Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card."
"Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."
"Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."
"A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and Safety won't let the crew up the rigging without crash helmets. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"
"I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."
"The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."
"What? This is mutiny."
"It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."
"Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"
"Actually, sir, we're not."
"No, sir. The Frenchies and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."
"But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."
"I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on a disciplinary charge."
"You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of your King."
"Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules."
"Don't tell me - Health and Safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"
"As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu. And now there's a ban on corporal punishment."
"What about sodomy?"
"I believe it's to be encouraged, sir."
"In that case... kiss me, Hardy."
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Nightjars, closely related to the American Nighthawks, are often known as "goatsuckers" from the age-old belief that their huge gaping bill was designed to enable them to suckle on sheep and goats after dark. I love the Turkish variant - çobanaldatan - which translates as "shepherd deceiver".
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A Hobby shotting over Cambourne yesterday evening was a nice surprise.
In firstname.lastname@example.org, jake allsop wrote:
"shotting"? Either a vowel or a consonant has gone astray here, Gavin!
In email@example.com, Richard B wrote:
Probably the vowel, given it was over Cambourne.
In firstname.lastname@example.org, Mike N wrote:
Must've been a Wildvowel with all the gravel pits around... Sorry, I'll leave now ;-)
Cambourne, for those who don't know, is a modern development and considered soulless by many.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
My thanks to Angit for the following:
Outside Bristol Zoo is the car park, with spaces for 150 cars and 8 coaches. It has been manned 6 days a week for 23 years by the same charming and very polite car park attendant with the ticket machine. The charges are £1.00 per car and £5.00 per coach.
On Monday 1 June, he did not turn up for work.
Bristol Zoo management phoned Bristol City Council to ask them to send a replacement parking attendant.
The Council said, No! "That car park is your responsibility."
The Zoo said, No! "The attendant was employed by the City Council... wasn't he?"
The Council said, No! "What attendant?"
Gone missing from his home is a man who has been taking daily the car park fees amounting to about £400.00 per day for the last 23 years...!
£2,400.00 a week…Tax Free!!----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was wondering how to supplement my meagre pension income.....
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
You will gather from this that I have had visits this summer from both sides of the family. They've all gone back now, leaving me with poignant memories and an incontinent Zebra Finch for company. Ah well, that's the way it crumbles, cookiewise.
Talking of owls, we took my eldest granddaughter, Sophie, with us on one or our expeditions, and here she is, proudly holding an owlet in her hands (It's ok, she is legally covered by our licences!).
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Why, then, I hear you ask, do you have the damn thing in your house? It's because it's real owner can't stand it. She was in her local pet shop when the owner said they were going to put the bird down because it had something wrong with its middle toe. So, D, being a soft-hearted lass, "rescued" it, and I eventually agreed to look after it for a while out of the kindess of my heart.
My son asked me recently if I intended to get another dog. The answer is no, but I am beginning to wonder if I could get a collar round stripy bum's neck and take her for walks on a short lead. The exercise would do me good, but I have to say, I don't like the idea of having to carry a poop scoop round the fields of Haddenham. So maybe not.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Dear Mrs Scrote, she writes, well, dear, you HAVE been quiet lately! I am sorry to hear about your anus horribilis. My husband, the late Mr Trellis, suffered from the same complaint, bless him, but I don't want to go into the details. Suffice it to say that he would absent himself for about an hour every morning and would then reappear bent double. Still, his malady had one positive side-effect - he managed to read the whole of War and Peace during his morning absences. I remember him coming back one morning and saying "Well, I'm glad that's over!" I think he meant the War, but he was often vague about details.
Anyway, dear, I hope you will soon be back to your old self. To be honest, I haven't been feeling myself lately either, which makes for a very dull life.
Yours in sisterly solidarity
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, widow, retd.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
He killed the noble Mudjokivis.
Of the skin he made him mittens,
Made them with the fur side inside,
Made them with the skin side outside.
He, to get the warm side inside,
Put the inside skin side outside.
He, to get the cold side outside,
Put the warm side fur side inside.
That's why he put the fur side inside,
Why he put the skin side outside,
Why he turned them inside outside.
With thanks to Peter W for reminding me of this spoof.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
He looked around and couldn't see anyone. He thought he was dreaming when he heard the voice say again,'Pick me up'
He looked in the water and there, floating on top, was a frog.
The man said, 'Are you talking to me?'
The frog said, 'Yes, I'm talking to you. Pick me up then kiss me and I'll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. I'll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous because I will be your bride!'
The man looked at the frog for a short time, reached over, picked it up carefully, and placed it in his front breast pocket.
Then the frog said, 'What, are you nuts? Didn't you hear what I said? I said kiss me and I will be your beautiful bride.'
He opened his pocket, looked at the frog and said, 'Nah, at my age I'd rather have a talking frog.'
Monday, May 18, 2009
A durable box made of "woodcrete" is available if you are prepared to stump up about £57 or more (the Schwegler box).
So, we think we have come up with an ideal compromise: a durable box that costs no more than a wooden box. Click here for full details.
You start with offcuts of the pipe used for water mains. You cut these into 400mm lengths, cut an access hole in the side for the birds, put a plywood platform in the bottom of the pipe, plug the ends, paint appropriately, and there you are: a cheap but indestructible nest box for Swifts.
At least, we hope so. We have made twenty and are getting them erected in suitable locations to see how they fare, and how well the birds take to them.
If it works, we shall be heroes. If it doesn't, well, all we've lost is a few offcuts of pipe, a lot of elbow grease and our reputations. No big deal.
Acknowledgment: photo by Dick Newell
Friday, May 15, 2009
There's something about new birth that renews your faith in the universe.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
The coffee, by the way, was awful, but it always is when I make it
Friday, May 08, 2009
So you go to the doctor, and he recommends a course of antidepressant medication.
You are grateful.
You pop the first pill, and then, idly curious, you read the accompanying leaflet, which contains a list of possible side effects. They include...
hot flushes, dizziness, panic attacks, uncontrolled trembling, nausea.
Am I missing something here?
It's not only the mills of God that grind exceeding slow, but it looks like we've got good corn at last.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
If clicking on the word "cartoon" doesn't work, paste this url into your browser window:
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I put up a couple of Swift nestboxes for a nice lady in Huntingdon. She is very short, and seriously plump, and her husband, though taller, is equally abbondante. And what struck me was that this couple, who are old enough to have children and grandchildren, are unaffectedly happy with each other. You know, that kind of serenity that is almost palpable. Bless them, bless all couples who achieve this karma, despite the tribulations of life.
The only consolation I could give my self, perverse bugger that I am, was that in order to talk to me, she had to stand close to me and look up into my nostrils.
I will work on this envy thing, but I doubt if I will get far with it. It requires more energy than I am capable of right now, despite Metatone.
Now, to cut a long story short, he decided that the Old Scrote needs a course of antidepressants.
Damn, this is what happens when I neglect the release that my Friday "Grumpy Old Man" slot gives me. So, if you will forgive me, I am going to do a Friday slot today (Tuesday), with no disrespect to Sertraline Hydrochloride.
I get furious with those safety devices that prevent you from opening bottles of medecine, bleach, etc, without breaking a fingernail and pushing your blood pressure up the Richter Scale.
I am outraged that the government is considering fitting control devices to all cars so that we will automatically be forced to respect speed limits regardless of the exigencies of the road conditions.
I am appalled that ordinary people round the world are suffering as a result of the greed and the incompetence of the world's wunch of bankers.
I am disgusted that Gordon Brown has no clue which way his arse is facing.
Well, that's enough. I should let the Sertraline Hydrochloride kick in, make me serene, etc. Anyway, who can be depressed when John Higgins won the Snooker Championship? That guy is brilliant, has ice in his veins, a lovely family, and is as rich and successful as he deserves to be.
Bet he doesn't need the happy pills.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
And you must forgive me if I have had a glass or two more than usual tonight:- I don't like losing old mates.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
My next project is to build a full scale box (about 30 cm each dimension) using offcuts of plywood retrieved from one of the farms we visited yesterday.
And here, for those who have never seen one, is a Little Owl. It was introduced into Britain from the Continent in the eighteenth century and is now well-established in all suitable habitats.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Technician arrives to install new boiler, turns out to be 20+ year old young woman called Charlotte. I make no comment, being not a reconstructed male, but at least a discreet one, and she gets down to the business. Next day, her two "helpers" arrive, a middle-aged guy called Chris, and an apprentice called Sam. And Charlotte is their boss. I LOVE IT!
Now, I have a new CH boiler system, everything is the dog's b..........s. And, as a bonus, Charllotte's partner, Martin, works for a farmer Ramsey way, so, thanks to Charlotte's intercession, today Peter and I went over there to put up a Barn Owl box, and to arrange to repair another to make it more effective.
I love Charlotte, not because she is a fine young woman, though that isn't a bad reason, but because she is a mensch. And we did something for Ramsey's Barn Owls into the bargain, thanks to her. I just hope young Martin realises what a wonderful partner he has.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Saturday, April 04, 2009
The presentations were in most cases excellent, by which I mean people spoke clearly, the technology worked (Powerpoint, of course) and lots of good information and thought-provoking ideas were put forward. Only one speaker mumbled, and only one overran her time.
All in all, a good day out, but I do have only one minor quibble. The person who designed the seats was clearly a dwarf with a bum the size of a hot-cross bun. My backside was in agony after about half and hour. But, let's face it, suffering has always been the price we seekers-after-truth have had to pay for enlightenment.
Anyway, I didnt really enjoy it, but my late hubby, bless him, thought it very erotic - is that the word? - and said that you could eat every part of a duck except the squeak. Or was that pigs?
Listen, dear, you eat what you fancy, and feed up that husband of yours - he looks really skinny to me, not a good advertisement for a country that prides itself on its gluttony.
Friday, April 03, 2009
So, da guys are coming next Wednesday to fit the new boiler, and whatever it costs (which is a lot), it will be three hundred sovs below quote, thanks to Amber. Amber, I will remember you forever.
And if you guys understand THAT allusion, you must be as old as I am!
I panicked. A lover's tiff? Had she finally succumbed to the charms of that muscular male from the other day? Or, heaven forfend, had one of our local poachers had her on his plate with baby new potatoes and succulent garden peas?
I tell you, mes potes, this kind of thing really takes it out of me. It's worse than cholesterol. But just now, kissed by the rays of the late evening sun, there was MRS Mallard, calm as you like, but MR Mallard was not with her.
I know, or at least I hope, this means that she spent the day on eggs, while he noshed in my garden, and that he is now on incubation duty in order to relieve her so she can in her turn get something to eat.
I hope so. I really didn't like the peas-and-potatoes scenario.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
And yesterday, returning from another successful erection, I climbed out of my Land Rover, my mind on the good bottle of wine I was going to open to celebrate another well-sited Barn Owl box.
And the Land Rover continued to roll. I had forgotten to put on the handbrake.
And it hit the garden shed.
And there was the sound of wood splintering.
And there was a great mess....
....which I have spent most of today putting right. The shed will never be the same again, but I effected a pretty cool repair. I took the photo above AFTER the repair, but you can still see some signs of the splintering, and you can certainly feel the MENACE of the vehicle.
My only problem now is how I will face Sue when she finds out I fulfilled her prediction and trashed my own garden shed.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
"Oh, those belong to ole Keith L, But....", he says, pointing across the fen to the derelict Cross Drove barns, "that's where you ought to put your boxes.That's where the ole owl is."
He told me that they belonged to Graham M. "He's a good ole boy, he won't mind." So I checked and, yes, ideal with evidence of roosting Barn Owls. So I tracked down Graham M, and got his blessing to put up a box, which I did. Then I tracked down Keith L, who had sold his land and barns on to Nick E..., another good ole boy. So I tracked down Nick E, who said go ahead, which I did.
So two more military boxes have now found homes on Haddenham Fen with every chance that Barn Owls will breed in them. On top of that, I have made the acquaintance of two more good ole boys. Maybe one day someone will call me a "good ole boy", but I doubt it, as I am a newcomer, only been here 26 years.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
In the old money there were 12 pennies to a shilling, and there were intermediate coins worth threepence (the bronze "thrup'ny bit") and sixpence (the silver "tanner"), and of course the silver shilling at twelvepence. If someone put down, say, a tanner, they left six spaces representing six pennies before the next coin was laid. So, voila le truc: Deggy and Philip and me walked along the line of pennies, and every time we saw, say, a threepenny bit or a tanner or a shilling, we would put down a penny and surreptitiously pick up the coin of greater value.
But of course we were not surreptitious enough, and we were caught in flagrante delicto. A very indignant lady - the kind known to scousers as "her with the tin tits and the iron arse", ie large, corseted and vicious - grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and took me to my house, where she declared my crime to my father. I fully expected him to beat six kinds of sh.... out of me, but, to my surprise and my relief, he told the Battleship that is was HER fault for putting temptation in my way, and that she should get off his property before he set the gerbils on her.
Good old dad.
Then he clipped me round the ear.
And I glowed some more.
They are nice bulbs, even though I can't use them because they do not fit inside my various lampshades. But I can hardly believe that they are worth £75 each. In fact they are very nice bulbs, a pleasing elongated shape that makes me think I could post them back to EAGA with a suggestion as to where they could stick them.
Pyrocantha, produces bird food in the form of red berries;
Hebe, formerly known as Veronica, great for insects and as cover for small birds;
Ceanothus, aka Californian Lilac, pretty when in bloom, purple-blue flowers attractive to butterflies, moths and other insects;
Penstemon, bell-shaped red flowers, great for bees and other insects;
Exotic grass, pretty feathery seedheads;
Buddleia, aka Butterfly Plant, amazing spikes of purple flowers, irresisitible to insects.
Forsythia (below) : short-lived but spectacular intense yellow flowers. This shrub was planted some thirty years ago and is now rather straggly, like its owner, but still manages a good show most years.
Friday, March 27, 2009
I just, metaphorically speaking, threw a brick at my TV set. Well, I switched it off with a curse on my lips. It was occasioned by yet another of those items telling me what else is likely to kill me if I don't stop it RIGHT NOW. In this case, it was SALT. When it's not being salt, it's SUGAR, when it's not being SUGAR, it's RED MEAT, when it's not red meat, it's BACON SANDWICHES, when it's not ............. well, you get the picture.
Damn these people, damn them all. I had a phonecall last night from one of my dearest friends. She has a brain tumour and nine months to live. She doesn't drink, she doesn't smoke, she has always been very physically active. So, you bloody experts, tell me please what she has done wrong to end up with a brain tumour. Today I had an email telling me that one of the finest birding people I have ever known has passed away, after three months fighting prostate cancer. He was a very healthy active individual, always on the go, a good man of moderate habits. So, you bloody jeremiahs, tell me what he did wrong to end up this way.
Damn them all. And damn the media, who are never happier than when they are giving us another scare story.
Hey, mes potes, it IS Friday, my grump day!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
You know what they say: "Love is a fellow feeling; adultery is another fellow feeling". But not in my back yard, please.
Monday, March 23, 2009
As a bonus for a good weekend, I had my Hampshire birding mate, Martin, to stay. He's the one who has month lists and trip lists as well as year lists and life lists. The task was to see how many species he could clock up his visit to the Fens (and the North Norfolk Coast). And I was there to help him, well, egg him on anyway. The target was one hundred species, and I believe we got up to ninety something. Let's face it, in Costa Rica, you'd clock up a hundred in the first hour. But this is the East Anglian fens and this is the month of March, so it wasn't bad. We were let down by the fact that most of the summer migrants have not arrived yet, though we did get Chiffchaff and Garganey (see pic).
So, with all of this joy, how could I be grumpy?!