Wednesday 27 June 2012


I thought this was so upbeat and cheerful that I’d post it for others to enjoy. It doesn’t matter that you may not understand the words – it’s beautifulJ

Cornershop is a British Indie band.

Friday 22 June 2012

Green Day

Fiona at Raindrops and Daisies is hosting Green Day. Just post a photo of something green and link back to her blog. Quick and easy . . . 
My 'green' was taken on a calm dry day this summer when damselflies were able to fly. Today they would be blown away by gusty winds battering the trees and shrubs.

In London with Bethan

Bethan’s wedding dress has arrived and she went to try it on yesterday. She invited me to go with her and I was only too pleased to obligeJ

There are some minor alterations to be made but it is a beautiful dress with some wonderful appliqué work. The hour-long appointment passed all too quickly but Bethan now has a better idea of what jewellery to wear. She’s seeing Gee, her chief bridesmaid, this evening and will ask her advice before she reaches a decision.
Bethan and Gee, about six years old

She and Gee have been friends since they were four years old and have grown up, grown apart and grown together again. They have a friendship that is effortless and easy and will last through their lifetimes.

The Hokey Cokey

The Hokey Cokey is a great party song and dance and a favourite at school parties. Younger children enjoy it and may perhaps learn their left from their right, though that is debateable . . .

Older children, from eight or nine years old, particularly boys, regard it as an opportunity to demonstrate their strength and speed and the whole thing can get dangerously out of handJ

Bethan sent me this version of the Hokey Cokey – it’s not very easy to sing!!

The Hokey Pokey (or Hokey Cokey) Shakespearean style

O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke.
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from heaven’s yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke – banish now thy doubt.
Verily, I say, ‘tis what it’s all about.

The young people in the clip seem to be learning the dance – I hope they assimilated the moves by the end of the song which goes thus:

You put your whole self in,
Your whole self out,
In, out, in, out,
Shake it all about.
You do the hokey cokey and you turn around,
That’s what it’s all about.
Oh, hokey cokey cokey,
Oh, hokey cokey cokey,
Oh, hokey cokey cokey,
Knees bend, arms stretch,
Rah, rah, rah!

Now I have a feeling I shall be singing this for the rest of the day. How about you?

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Underwater sculpture park in Grenada

This sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor was conceived to honourAfrican slaves who were thrown overboard from the slave ship 'Zong.'

More of his fascinating, beautiful work can be seen in the following clip. Over time these sculptures in the clear, shallow waters of Grenada will develop into artificial coral reefs.

This made me smile

This made me smile. 

I suppose Great Grandma would be a candlestick phone and Great Great Grandma would be a Morse code key or semaphore flags!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Bill and Beatrice Crow

Bill and Beatrice Crow
Waiting . . .
Our suspicions that Bill and Beatrice Crow were expecting the patter of tiny claws were confirmed last week when we spotted two young.
 Demanding . . .
The parents are very assertive around us now, demanding food as soon as we appear in their territory. Bill approaches very close, followed at a safer distance by his mate. He has always been bold, Beatrice less so, but I suppose the demands of their offspring have made them both more confident. The two youngsters can fly but still depend on their parents to provide sustenance.
Beatrice flies off. Bill has pale blotches on his wings.
We cannot tell whether they recognise us, or the dogs, or a combination of the two. They were a little wary when Elliot, Eve and Louis were staying with us and accompanied us on an evening walk a couple of weeks ago. They soon seemed to realise that the children were part of our pack and meant them no harm. That’s probably anthropomorphic but it’s difficult not to apply human reactions and reasoning to them. They know the route we normally take and fly ahead of us and wait for us to catch up. 
How much can I fit in my beak?
Bill is greedier and more observant than Beatrice and tries to collect as much as he can fit in his beak. He picks up the food immediately and flies off with it. Beatrice is more cautious and picks it up, then drops it and picks it up again.
Approaching . . .
They are so used to the dogs that they fly down to gather biscuits from the water while the dogs are swimming in it.  Invariably they pass over the pond to spot exactly where the food is then swoop down and grab it. Legs and tail feathers are momentarily dipped in the water – a heart-stopping moment for us as we wonder what would happen if they miscalculated and found themselves submerged.

However, strong wings carry them safely away from an environment that is not their natural element.
This is Bill, with the blotchy wings
Water-softened food . . .
We have not yet managed to take photos of the young ones - they're very wary. We wonder if the youngsters will learn from their parents that we are a source of food or whether, when they are independent, Bill and Beatrice will chase them away like other crows.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Wedding processionals

Wedding processionals

My youngest daughter is getting married next month and most days there is wedding talk of one sort or another with one or more of the family members. Yesterday Bethan sent me some video clips of wedding processionals, asking which I thought would be most appropriate.

Naturally, having watched the ones she sent I browsed a few more. I thought I’d share one or two with you.

The first one is remarkable for its length. The groom must have wondered if his bride would ever appear.

Dancing down the aisle seems to be popular and great fun but the man in this clip is not convinced of the wisdom of it. In fact he appears to be cringing at the whole spectacle.

Now I have to persuade Barry it would not be a good idea for him to emulate these performers . . .

I was tagged again

I was tagged again by mybabyjohn/Deloresfrom ‘The feathered nest.’ The format was similar so I think this game has been going on in the blogosphere for some time. Again, my apologies for the delay in responding – I have been busy.
However, the questions are differentJ and relate to the summer activity of going on a picnic.

1.     Will you make the food yourself or get take out? We’ll take our own food.

2.    Will you use paper plates or pack real plates? Plates???

3.    Country or city park? Definitely the country.

4.    Invite some friends to come along or not? We might go with family or else on our own.

5.    Use a bug spray or a screened dining tent? Those who need it will use spray.

6.    Bring a ball and bat? We shall take the Kong for the dogs.

7.    Pack the kids bikes? If the grandchildren are coming we might take bikes.

8.    Laze around the picnic site for the day or have an activity planned? You can’t laze around with dogs and grandchildren . . . There will be walking and playing with dogs and spotting birds and insects and identifying wild flowers and taking photographs.

9.    Hope to find a picnic table or bring your own folding table? The ground is the best table there is.

10.  Decide at the last minute to just go to a restaurant? Never. Not many restaurants will accommodate four dogs.

11.  Throw up your hands in defeat and stay home for a picnic on the deck? That          is entirely possible but not nearly as much fun.

Again, I throw this open to anyone who  wishes to participate. Lazy, me??

I was tagged . . .

I was tagged by Sherry fromthe Mama Diaries. I’m sorry it’s taken me a long time to get round to answering, Sherry.

1. Favourite Book? This changes according to what I’ve recently read. 'Oryx and Crake' by Margaret Atwood was fascinating. 'Tschiffely's Ride' by A' by.F. Tschiffely was a book I read in my early teens and made a great impression on me. 'Touching the Void' by Joe Simpson is the story of his unbelievable survival in the mountains after a fall that broke his leg.

2. Favourite color? Blue in all shades.

3. Sweet/salty food? I used to have a very sweet tooth but now I prefer salty foods.

4. Gift someone gave me that I'll always remember? The flowers my husband brought home for me late one night. He bought them from a flower seller who was tired and wanted to go home. When I unwrapped them all the heads fell off but I didn’t mind because it was his kindness to the flower seller that touched me.

5. What is my favourite blog post? I am not analytical enough in my writing and so all my posts please me – well, most of them, anyway;-)

6. What annoys me? Public speakers who ‘umm’ and ‘er’, people who use ‘of’ as a verb as in ‘I should of gone to bed early’ and too many other things – I’m a crabby old bat.

7. Truth or dare. I’m not brave so I’ll go for truth – but maybe an adjusted truth . . .

8. Did I collect anything as a kid? I collected glass animals and displayed them on glass shelves in my bedroom.

9. Bath or shower? Shower – quicker, easier, more refreshing.

 10. Would you ever use gel pens? I used to use them a lot when I was teaching – a different colour for every day. Now I use fountain pens.

11. What makes you happy? My family, my animals, birds, dragonflies, flowers, sunrise, sunset, the scent of newly mown grass – too many to list.

I'm not good at tagging people so will just leave this open - if you care to play, please do so:-)