Monday, June 28, 2010
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green...
I'll be honest with you, I don't lilt as much as I used to, but it's a lovely day and there are still ten ducklings young and easy under the apple boughs. And it's going to stay that way as long as I can keep the cats, rats and foxes out of the back garden.
Envoi: the sharp-eyed among you will have spotted that it's a plum not an apple tree. Poetic licence.
Alone and palely loitering?
The answer is in the next two lines:
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.
David H and I went round the fen yesterday checking Barn Owl boxes. Not too bad, with 5 boxes containing young Barn Owls, and another 6 containing breeding Stock Doves. But the fens themselves were devilish quiet: no Marsh Harriers, just one Common Buzzard, a smattering of Corn Buntings and, in one spot, a fever of Yellow Wagtails. Oh yes, and Reed Buntings, Skylark, Common Tern.....
Wait a minute, I think I have woken up grumpy this morning. Time for some roughage
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Dear Mrs Samovar, she writes, I understand you are in the publishing business and would like to publish "The Collected Letters of Blodwen Trellis".
Nothing personal, dear, but I don't think I could work with a woman who goes around encouraging peasants to touch their foreskins.
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retd.
Well, it's a lovely evening, time for me to take a stroll through the village to give the peasants a chance to touch their forelocks.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Anyway, I remembered a gem, when a German couple got on a London doubledecker. The bus was crowded, so she sat downstairs while her husband had to go and find a seat upstairs. When the conductor came to collect the fares, the lady pointed to the ceiling and said "The Lord above will pay".
She meant, "my husband/the gentleman upstairs will pay" In German, "Der Herr oben wird bezahlen". I add the original German for the benefit of any Englishwoman who might one day find herself in a similar situation on a Berlin double-decker bus.
PS A small prize goes to anyone who can tell me what the English translation in the sign below should be.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Today I persuaded a lady in Norfolk to put more Swift nestboxes on her house, so you can imagine that I am cock-a-hoop about that too.
Then I made a small detour to visit St John's Cathedral in Norwich, a breathtaking piece of Victorian Gothic.
Oh yes, and there are still 10 ducklings in the back garden.
After a day like this one, I'm not even waiting for the other boot to drop. Who cares?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
10oz Self-Raising Flour
5oz Shredded Suet
¼ pint) Milk
3oz Castor Sugar
1 Lemon, zest only, finely grated
If, like my late husband. you prefer a Plain Dick, just leave out the raisins.
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retd but still able to stir a pudding.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Admit it, the footie on the telly is mega-boring, you'll be much happier clicking on THIS.
Duck update: down to 10 ducklings. Highlight yesterday was Mother Duck, head down, aggressively driving off a rat that was drooling for its dinner.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
As soon as the temperature rises a few degrees Celsius (or whatever system you use) above freezing, he takes off his trousers and dons his shorts.
Those knobbly knees tell you that winter is over and that spring, if not summer, is on the way.
Mind you, there's a vicious north-easter blowing this morning. At this rate, his knees are not going to last long.
PS Mrs Duck is back, but with only eleven fluffies this time. At the moment they are all tucked warmly underneath her. THEY aren't fooled by the postman's knees.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The two males that accompanied her everywhere (I don't know which is the husband and which the fancy man, but they both tripped the light fantastic with her from time to time) were in constant attendance.
Anyway, this morning, I looked out to see that she was in the garden pond with thirteen ducklings. That is prolific. As to the fathers, they disappeared the moment I screamed (with joy, that is), and haven't reappeared since.
Now I feel a heavy responsibility for the safety of the thirteen fluffies. I have put an upturned wheelbarrow near the pond, but I doubt if it will fool the foxes. Meanwhile, the crows and the jackdaws are circling....
With drama like this, who needs Springwatch?
Another of Angit's little gems:-
Un jour un fleuriste se rend chez le barbier pour se faire couper les cheveux. Après sa coupe, il demande combien il doit. Le barbier répond ''C'est gratuit, je fais du bénévolat cette semaine'' . Il quitte tout content. Le lendemain, en ouvrant sa boutique, le barbier trouve à sa porte une carte de remerciement et une douzaine de roses.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'
Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
As you can gather, when it comes to the ladies, I am not in the least ageist.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Good heavens, Mrs Scrote, she writes, I know you can be a bit wild, but I never thought you had naughticle blood in your vines. All I can say is A l'eau c'est l'heure and hope you don't throw up over anyone. Personally I hate the sea after the one trip I took with the late Mr Trellis on the Mona Lisa, you know, that Camel Laired boat that goes from Holyhead to the Isle of Man. I didn't smile once, I can tell you. Nor did my late husband after he tried to touch a matelot's bottom for luck.
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retd, landlocked.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over
I am no sailor, but there are days - like today - when I know exactly what Masefield was feeling. But I'll be all right once I've mowed the lawns, weeded the borders, trimmed the vine, swept the pathways, washed the windows, sanded down the woodwork on the porch, polished the ---- well you know what I'm getting at.
Have a nice day!
Sunday, June 06, 2010
It was a good party, though. After a day when I received visits from friends and neighbours, and several phonecalls, emails and facebook messages, we sat down for a celebratory meal of köfte and basmati rice, followed by cake with candles.
Best of all was the singing of Happy Birthday - Jeremy and Jackie and the three boys, Joe, Matthew and little Alfie, and on the phone from San Diego, Sarah and the munchkins, Sophie, Kiki and Harry. And my lovely friend "Angit" was with us too.
If this is what birthdays are like, I am going to have one every year from now on.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
It is important for grandparents to do what they can to help build up the character and moral rectitude of their grandchildren, without, of course, usurping the role of parents. Thus it was that I had occasion to talk to my grandsons about truth and lies, using, in the best parable tradition, the story of George Washington. You know the one: George's father discovered that his favourite cherry tree had been cut down. He confronted his son and asked him:
"Do you know what happened to my cherry tree? Someone has chopped it down."
The boy looked into his father's eyes, and knew that this was an important moment in his life.
"Father," he said, "I cannot tell a lie." He paused. "A big boy did it and ran away."
Character building, that's what it's all about.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Dear Mrs Scrote, she writes, you're not going to believe this, but Myfanwy Roberts - you know, the one with the warts - well, I hear she's getting married! Yes, her! And she's not even pregnant as far as I can tell. Some people are all swank, know what I mean?
Hope you are well, dear. Let me know if you need any more incontinence pants.
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retd.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
He was born in 675 and was christened Wynfrith, but is always known as Boniface. I was christened Jack, but am always known as Old Scrote.
Among his many achievements was the compilation of the first Latin grammar written in English. One of my few achievements was the publication of my Student's Grammar of English.
He left England to go to convert the heathen tribes of Germany, and was finally murdered, put to the sword by Friesian barbarians. The nearest I got to emulating Boniface in this respect was trying to teach English to assorted German-speaking students. As to the manner of my death, I would prefer to be shot by a jealous husband on my ninety-fifth birthday.
All of this is a way of letting you know that it is my birthday on Saturday, just in case you want to propose me for canonisation, or whatever.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Sent: 01 June 2010 16:55 To: email@example.com From P: "I have had a long think and I know I am ignorant but what please are or is N-dubz?"
Then, a reply from S.
To P, From S: "Ashamed to say I know, but N-dubz are a rap (music) band. You know the type,they sound like a combination of someone building a shed whilst nailing their feet to the floor, and a steam hammer. So you can practice, just say these words in quick succession whilst wearing a baseball hat backwards - you'll soon see what I mean: "ooh, ah, chi, chi,wolla, wolla, bang, crash, f***, wow, bang, init, crash, woop, crash, ting.""
I thank the Dear that I have never heard this group, and, with luck, never will.