In Memory of….

We seem to be losing famous people by the day at the moment but there was one at the weekend which particularly struck me.

Barry Hines wrote A Kestrel for a Knave which was made into the film Kes. When it played at the local cinema back in 1969 my Dad took me along to watch and my love affair with birds of prey began. I loved the film, who can forget the bullying games teacher, the scene where our hero gets the cane for no reason and the tragic outcome. If you haven’t seen it please do, you won’t be disappointed but you might struggle with the Yorkshire accents.

Later at school we read the book in English, the whole class waiting the moment when our quite posh English teacher had to read the line “and put his hand in the dog shit”. Imagine a class of 13 year olds hanging on every word and the disappointment when she substituted poo for the offending word!

So in memory of Mr Hines here are a couple more of my recent kestrel shots.



Kingfisher Update

Last weekend was the first time since the Boxing Day floods that I had managed to get down on the riverbank looking for the kingfishers. The devastation the floods caused is apparent everywhere you look. The two hundred year old bridge over to the church is damaged beyond repair and closed. All along the river bank detritus clings to branches way above my head. Plastic waste is everywhere and in one tree the complete front bumper of a car complete with number plate hangs forlornly.

Its a depressing vista and it will take awhile for Mother Nature to work her magic. The banks of the river have been stripped of vegetation and all the kingfisher perches are long washed away. The geography of the river has changed as well. Where I used to sit for hours on end now has a totally different view and the pebble beach where dippers and grey wagtails entertained me has been moved 50 yards downstream to a more inaccessible spot. It will be interesting to see how Nature moves back and what Spring will bring.

I didn’t see the kingfishers so at the moment I’m just hoping they survived the floods and will be back soon. I’m sure they will find new spots to sit and fish and hopefully their nest site survived and they can produce a new family to delight me through the year.

Hopefully the next time I blog about them there’ll be some pictures!


One American we don’t want over here!!

Down on the river yesterday and I thought at first I’d spotted an otter. When it swam up to the bank though I realised it was a mink. These are not a British native and were either released into the wild by “do-gooders” or were escapees from mink farms where they were bred for their fur. Now they live wild and can be devastating to local wildlife. I know it’s not their fault they are here and are just acting naturally but we really could do without them.

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The World Just Gets More Stupid Day by Day

Today I’m going to eat at least 48 doughnuts. Then I’m going to eat some lard and wash it all down with double cream.

Then according to the European Courts if I’m enough overweight I can claim disability allowances, get my employer to buy me a new chair and widen the doors so I can get to my reinforced desk. They’ll even let me park right outside the door so I wouldn’t run the risk of doing some exercise walking from my car to the office.

“Important to the ruling, is the EU court’s judgement that the origin of the disability is irrelevant even if someone’s gross obesity is caused by overeating or gluttony”

When did we stop taking responsibility for ourselves and become so reliant on nothing being our fault.

I’m sat shaking my head.


Kitchen Update 4

Well I think we’re in the home straight and I’m really glad because its starting to wear us all down a bit.
We’ve got new cupboards and work surfaces and they’ve started on the new floor as well. I am getting a bit sick of having all the dining room furniture in the sitting room though.




Get a Grip People

According to the BBC news this morning 71% of parents are worried about spending too much at Christmas and a similar number are expecting to go into debt to pay for it all.

WHY, get a grip you idiots. Your kids don’t need an iPad or a pair of Beats headphones, nor do they need the latest must have toy or a computer. Why would you go in to debt to get these things. They’ll still love you whatever they get, so stop putting pressure on yourself and giving kids unrealistic expectations of how the world works.

You don’t need a 40lb turkey, a 20lb ham and enough beer to float a battleship!

One of the girls I work with has 5 kids, the youngest of which are 1 year old twins. And for Christmas she’s buying the twins iPads each !!!!!! I know she can’t afford this and I have tried to explain the futility of what she is doing but she doesn’t get it and nor do I. Last year she bought the other three kids a Playstation EACH.

Is it just me?

iPod Challenge Update 3

As the B’s draw to a close I’ve had to suffer some Bad Medicine in the guise of Bon Jovi !!

Oh dear……what was so bad with peoples lives at the tail end of the 80’s that they thought listening to Bon Jovi would make things better.

Its the musical equivalent of Formula One, over blown, over hyped and over produced. I’d rather have spent the last hour ironing socks and underpants which is as equally pointless as this musical misery.

But I guess that’s one of the hardships this journey into the depths of my iPod will throw at me and I guess at some point I either borrowed this or bought it. Please let me have borrowed it I could have spent the money on cheese.

Anyway at the start of the C’s there’ll be one of those little guilty pleasure that you don’t confess to. It’ll be like an angel pouring melted marshmallow and honey into my ears. Karen Carpenter. Sssshh don’t tell anyone I’ve got my street cred to consider.

You Couldn’t Make It Up

I’m a bad man I smoke an e-cigarette. I haven’t touched tobacco for well over two years I’m now just addicted to what the wife calls “my dummy”.

At work today I took a crafty drag and without thinking blew a smoke ring.

One of the girls I work with got really excited and asked me to blow another. When I did she straight face asked me if I could blow a boat like Gandalf !!!!

She was most upset when I told her that it was probably created by CGI !!!!

iPod Challenge Update 2

Well I thought if anyone was going to break me on this endeavour I did think it would be B*Witched, I never considered it might be The Beatles of all people.

What is Revolution 9 !!

In the past I guess I must have just skipped past it but I’m not allowing anything to be missed on this challenge so I had to endure it.


Forgive me B*Witched for I have wronged you.