Friday, April 30, 2010

Grumpy? Not me!

OK, OK, it's Friday and you are wondering why I am not in Grumpy Old Man mode. The truth is I am serene again. But, you know me, I can always fake it. So here goes:
What a bloody disaster it was to let the three party leaders go on television together, American Presidential candidate style, and witter on platitudinously, occasionally scoring puerile points off each other or smiling vacuously like an advertisement for Sensodyne. Talking of smiles, I think Gordon Brown has a great future in Hammer Horror Movies once he's booted out of Number Ten. As long as he smiles....
This new electioneering departure has been good for the LibDem contender, Nick Clegg, though, because nobody knew what he looked like till the TV debates.
I will vote, of course, because it's my civic duty to do so, and also because I like to disconcert the blue-rinse ladies who man, if that's the word, the polling station. I usually, on picking up my ballot paper, ask a question like "Which one is the Fascist candidate?" or "Do I put a cross against the Labour candidate's name if I don't want him to get in?"
You know, I think I will stop at this point, because my heart really isn't in grump mode.
That's serenity for you.

Pure fluke

I have just been reading Katie Fuller's (Bogbumper's) account of her surprise female Redstart, and how it was pure fluke that she happened to be looking out of the bathroom window at just the right moment, otherwise she would have missed it. Well done, Katie!

In this context, I want you all to know that I have created a list of all the birds that have been in, or flown over, my garden, but which I didn't happen to see because my fluke wasn't switched on at the time. It's a much more exciting list than the list of birds which I HAVE seen in or from my garden. My "didn't-see" list includes:
Barred Warbler, Ring Ousel, Wryneck, Common Crane, Golden Oriole and many more.... but I won't go on as I don't want to make anyone jealous.
PS My psychotherapist says she's still worried about my mental state.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trellis discusses religion

I sometimes wonder where the good lady gets her ideas from....

Dear Mrs Scrote, she writes, I was shocked to hear that somebody saw you going into a Catholic church the other day. I can't believe you are a popist, so I expect you just poped in out of the rain, or maybe to admire the priest's apse. Personally, I can't stand all that parpheneralia and rigormarole, you know, the smell of burning incest, saying Harvey Maria all the time and generally making more fuss than is needful. Give me Primitive Methodism every time, just simple prayers, a few Welsh hims, plus fire and brimstone and gnashing and wailing of teeth, etc, and then home to a nice hot cup of lava bread.
Yours faithfully, sic,
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, Retd

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trellis grasps tne nettle

Dear Mr Kim Il-sung, she writes, I think the reason you have a bad back is because you have exposed yourself, if you will pardon the expression, to a lot of nasty radiation from your nuclear fishion (Forgive my spelling: orthopaedics was never my strong point). And with those thick glasses of yours, you probably can't even see where you're going.
Give it up is my advice. As Mr Trellis, my late husband, always used to say: "There's plenty more fishion the sea."
Respectfully yours, Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, Retd.
PS Is it true you lot eat dogs? Hot ones, I suppose. Just my little joke.

Upright, almost

That's it! I've had enough! After a week of living in my pyjamas sdraiato sul letto, and occasionally upright in my dressing gown wandering around the house like a geriatric Noel Coward smelling of embrocation, I decided this sunny afternoon to get dressed in my day clothes and sit in the garden pretending to be well again.
And I enjoyed it, despite the occasional lower back twinge. Birds getting into breeding mood, bumble bees bumbling and celandines and violets popping up all over the lawn - a mechaieh!
Staying in bed all his life writing his magnum opus might have suited Marcel Proust, but I need a degree of verticality in my life. After all, what's the point of being six foot four if you don't show it off. Bad back permitting, of course.

Friday, April 09, 2010


Two common Cranes made a brief appearance in Cambs on a wash not far from where I live. My thanks to the eagle-eyed David H for spotting them and letting us know, and to Paul M for the photograph above.

Friday is Grump Day. Isn't it?

As I am sure you know by now, Friday is my day for being grumpy. This is so that I can be serene on the other six days in the week. I apologise right now on this Friday, 09 April 2010, for not being grumpy, but the serenity has seeped osmotically into it. All right, I can be grumpy because my LBP has re-emerged, but in truth it is my own fault for lifting heavy objects carelessly, and not putting a coat on on a very cold day. All right, I am feeling ratty about wind turbines, politicians and the plague of rats in my garden, but hell, there's little I can do about any of them, so why get worked up?
In fact, there are so many good things in my life right now that grumpiness doesn't get a look-in. The weather is good, the garden is beautiful, especially the forsythia, the hyacinths and the daffodils, the birds are plentiful and eye-catching (at least in my garden: the fens are still quiet), and I am blessed with wonderful friends and colleagues. Que mes vols? as they say in Catalunya.
I really ought to stub my toe or catch my fingers in a door, or at this rate I will become unbearably serene.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

One man and his box: Part 2

And here it is, erected inside a building almost as derelict as the old scrote in the photo. The building was a "steamer house", if that means anything to you.
Plenty of evidence of Barn Owl roosting in this building, so, fingers crossed, the box could have young in it by July.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

One man and his box

On a recent visit to the local landfill site, I managed to scrounge some offcuts of ply, horrible stuff because it had been used by builders for shuttering, but good enough to make an indoor Barn Owl box. The problem with shuttering is that none of the angles are right angles, and the wood tends to warp in curious ways. Nonetheless, here is the finished product - I mean the box, not the Old Scrote standing next to it - and it will be put up in a barn next Tuesday. All we need then will be a pair of warped Barn Owls who don't mind living in a box with no right angles.