30 June 2008

Garden Update

The following two photos show the changes in appearance of the main lawn. We have not quite decided how to finish the area around the conifers but no doubt a decision will be made in due course.

01 Apr 2008

19 Jun 2008

Elsewhere, the fight against the grass continues; below is a photograph of Annette's head as she drives the mower through the bracken in the top field (there is a pathway there - honest).

23 Jun 2008

We have now had a new gate fitted adjacent to the Patio and the end of the wall made to look much better; more progress and a smaller bank balance!

28 Jun 2008

A couple of weeks ago, the metal gate from the road to the field finally collapsed so we had to replace that as well. All the gates are now relatively new so there should be no further expense with regard to them.

28 Jun 2008

29 June 2008

Snake Update

I found the snake again today and it is a Grass Snake I believe. This time I had a camera so if anyone has a different opinion, here it is.

26 June 2008


Just a few words on birds during the month of June.

Our pair of magpies has turned into a family of five.

"One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told, eight for a wish, nine for a kiss, ten for a time of joyous bliss."

I look forward to the Silver turning up!!

It was quite funny to watch the young, in their early outings from the nest, chasing baby rabbits around the lawn. They have now learned to live in peace! It was also funny to watch two of the youngsters trying to eat a rubber ball that had been left in the field by Brandy! One other habit the whole family have is to get as much seed as possible from the feeders, which obviously are not designed for large birds. They have stood on rocks and reached up until I moved the feeders away from the rocks. They then stood on the bird bath and launched themselves at the feeder, thus knocking seed to the ground, where they able to eat in comfort.

Blue Tits:
We had one, and possibly two, families of Blue Tits in the roof. All now seem to have successfully flown the nest.

One family of sparrows have now vacated the nest that was in the garage roof.

There are some swallows in the area although we don't see them very often. I did catch one coming out of our large shed one day and subsequently found two flying around inside the garage. They had, I guess, come in over the top of the roller door and forgotten the way out. They soon vanished when I opened the door and haven't been seen since.

These are probably the friendliest of the garden birds, or possibly the least afraid of humans. I can almost guarantee that if I am digging in the garden or hedgerow, a Robin will turn up, look at me and then jump down and pinch the worms and insects that I have disturbed.

Looking out of the kitchen window one day, I spotted a Buzzard sat on top of an electricity pole; when viewed through binoculars, it was sitting on top of a rabbit, which it was tearing apart. It subsequently flew off, complete with its prey.

The Goldfinches disappeared for a while but have now turned up again. I have not seen any sign of a family of them, which is a shame. We still see the odd Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Dunnock with plenty of Blue, Great and Coal Tits. We have a pair of Wagtails who rarely come into the actual garden but spend hours in the field. Likewise Blackbirds prefer the field to the garden as do the Wood Pigeons.

That's all for now; I was hoping for some photos but cannot get close enough, or do not have the camera when I do get close.

P.S. Nothing to do with birds, but I did see my first snake in the top field the other day. I think that it was an adder but wouldn't put too much money on it. As usual - no camera!

17 June 2008

Father's Day

On Sunday, Maria and Annette went on a planned shopping trip to Trago Mills and left me dog sitting and to do what I wanted. Unfortunately, the weather in the morning was very wet, which precluded a walk for the dogs (I have become a fair weather walker) so I caught up on a couple of TV recordings including 'Doctor Who'. Very strange!
As the day progressed, so the weather improved and I got out into the garden to carry on the fight against weed and grass. The shoppers arrived back at some time in the afternoon having spent four and a half hours in Trago - phew!
We had decided to have a barbecue for tea so preparations were made in anticipation of Clive arriving from a day at work. By the time we were ready to cook, I was still getting all the garden tools back in their homes, and, as Clive had arrived, he took over the cooking duties in a very attractive pinny, as can be seen below! Thanks very much Clive.

He did a great job, and, as the evening was very pleasant, we ate outside using the picnic set that Maria had bought some time ago.
Thank you to all those who contributed to a very pleasant day for me. The cards and presents were much appreciated.

14 June 2008

Annette's Birthday

To celebrate Annette's 40th birthday, a day out for the four of us with the two dogs was planned. Fortunately the weather was set fair so we set off for Boscastle, one of our favourite places and somewhere that the dogs can be let off their leads without any trouble. Because we had the dogs we took Annette's car with Clive driving arriving late morning. We took a slow stroll out to the rocks at the entrance of the harbour where SKS took the following photograph.

It is very nearly four years since the flood, which devastated this little village and work is still ongoing although it seems to be largely cosmetic now.

We decided to have lunch in a little cafe down by the harbour, where we could sit outside with the dogs. The photo on the link was taken before the flood. I believe that the only part of the building to survive was the back wall. It has now been completely rebuilt. We had a variety of sandwiches with salad and they were all delicious. Lunch was followed by another slow stroll back to the car with stops at various shops, resulting in a number of small purchases including an ice cream. Annette drove us home in time for a rest before we got ready for the evening meal, which Clive had organised at Trevose Golf Club.
I drove this time and we arrived in time for a quick drink before we went in for the meal. We were treated very well indeed by all the staff and the meal was excellent. Of course, for anyone that knows Trevose, the view from the dining room is spectacular, (see the photo on the home page of their website) especially as the sun was still shining when we started the meal. For sweet, Annette had strawberries and clotted cream, and Ian, the wine waiter, organised a candle and arrived with some of the staff, and, together with the rest of the dining room, sang Happy Birthday, much to Annette's embarrassment.
The meal was completed with coffee and liqueurs, sitting in the bar looking out of the picture window before the drive home. We had a lovely time and, hopefully, Annette also enjoyed her day.

13 June 2008

Mary Poppins

As part of Annette's 40th birthday celebrations we went to Plymouth yesterday to see 'Mary Poppins'. As we had booked the matinée, we combined the trip with some shopping and, despite my general hate of shopping, it turned out to be a very good day out. Fortunately for me, Annette did the driving and I was left in the back of the car to snooze!

The show was excellent; it has a number of differences to the film with some new songs but still included the big show numbers i.e. "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and "Step in Time". There was also some impressive "flying" with Mary flying up over the audience and ending up disappearing over the top of us as a finale; we were in the Upper Circle so a real treat for the many schoolchildren in the audience. Bert, with a better cockney accent than Dick van Dyke (who hasn't?), walked up the side of the stage, across the top upside down and still singing, and down the other side - very impressive. For those who were watching closely, Mary did slide up the bannisters on one occasion. All in all it was a very entertaining show with a splendid cast, including two very engaging children playing Jane and Michael, and I would recommend it to anyone, except very young children.

We drove home afterwards and then we all ended up at Annette's for tea/supper. We hope that today, which is Annette's birthday, will be equally good. As I write this, the weather looks beautiful so here's hoping for the best.

11 June 2008


Last night, Maria & Me, together with friends Dot & John, went to the Hall for Cornwall to see "SHOUT", a musical featuring some of the songs of the 60s and starring Claire Sweeney and Su Pollard. The consensus of opinion in our group was that the best singer was a young girl who played the part of Betty. I am afraid that I don't know her name but she was very good indeed. The most surprising was Su Pollard; although, for the most part, she sounded exactly the same as Peggy in Hi-De-Hi, she has a tremendous singing voice and also the ability to act out the words as written in the song. The outstanding performance featured Su and "Betty" singing a duet including "You're My World". It made the hairs on my arms stand on end. The total cast was six women and one man; he played a variety of parts in many guises, which largely consisted of speaking the TV adverts that were in vogue during the sixties; not PC these days; "You're never alone with a Strand" comes to mind. Anyway, there wasn't much of a story line but the music carried the show through and all the performances were good. In between the songs there were plenty of comic moments and I would say that the whole audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves, not that we could see many of them since we were in Row B and right in the middle.