Did you have a fabulous Valentine? I hoped you did. I think we all need a little bit of love in our lives, whether with our girlfriends, family, or that special someone. I don’t need a special day to show my love for my loved ones but I just love the excuse to be extra loved-up on the day. As usual Babe and I exchanged lovely, soppy cards. I gave him posh M&S chocolates and I got a tree, not any tree but a Kilmarnock willow with catkins!!! He knows me so well. Just imagine, queuing by the till, other men clutching bouquets of red roses and Babe dragging a tree. I just love him soo very much.
"Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine"
I thought I was dreaming when I spotted a life-size replica of an elephant at the piazza during my lunch break. I wanted to get a closer look but it was near a “Free Hugs” guy and with the winter virus running rampant, I don’t fancy one. I’d to Google to find out. It was a promotion by RBS for their Indian Summer opportunity. The winning university team will travel to Mumbai for three weeks and work with a community project. Warwick University had won it last year and they wanted to keep the reigning champions title. Good luck to those who are participatingThis week, we’d the 19th visitor to our bird-feeder. Words were tweeted and twittered fast and quick. Babe sent me this photograph of a very adorable Long-tailed tit feeding from our feeder. I was quite surprised to see him on his own because they are usually in a flock wandering through like flying teaspoons or bumbarrels with their extraordinary tails as handles. Perhaps, he was a scout searching for food and will fly back to his extended family, tweeting that they are all invited to my garden party.
‘And coy bumbarrels twenty in a dove
Flit down the hedgerows in the frozen plain
And hang on little twigs and start again
~John Clare ‘Emmon sails heath in winter’~
On Thursday, at 5.15pm, I received an e-mail from my manager, who was working from home. He wanted me to give him a provisional idea of how long it will take for me to upload the British Official publications records from catalogue cards onto the library system. And he wanted them before Friday’s lunchtime!!! I don’t even know a card catalogue cabinet exists. I quickly ran up to the 4th floor in search of this ancient relic. It was at the end of the room. I counted 22 trays full of cards. I brought the 1st tray down and was contemplating to take it home with me so that I could make a start. But, I decided not to. I’ll thrash it out tomorrow.
On Friday, bright and early, I started counting the number of cards contained in an inch. There were 86 cards. Each tray was approximately a foot long. That means 1032 cards. There were 22 trays which meant 21,704 cards. Based on the work that I’d done with another project, it would take me 5 (???) years to complete. The bibliographic records need to be populated because the information on the card catalogue was very basic. I’m now waiting to see if the project has been approved. The challenge is that I already have 2 projects in the pipe-line and a third will be the icing on the cake, NOT!!!
Since we didn’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day, Babe surprised me with tickets to see a Malaysian Night at the university. I have been working here for 6 years and this was the first time we attended the event. And we were glad we did. It was a magical night. For 3 hours, I was transported home. As most of the audience were Malaysian, the girls were elegantly dressed in traditional costumes and the Malay language enveloping us.
We thoroughly enjoyed the performances. Warmest congratulations to the members of the Malaysian Society for putting up a very comprehensively unforgettable display of Malaysian culture and multiculturalism. Kadazan, Bollywood, joget (Malay dance), ballet, waltz, hip-hop and a dragon dance was beautifully merged together to produce a stunning showcase. The highlight and piece de resistance was the well acclaimed dikir barat. It was very well put together and energetic performance. Apart from the usual songs in Malay, they managed to pull it off with songs such as Black Eye Peas ‘I’ve got the feeling’ and Cee Lo Green’s ‘Forget you’. I was impressed.
We kicked ourselves for not bringing our cameras. We have been to a few events at the Warwick Arts Centre and they were very adamant that no photography and videos was allowed. But not tonight. Nearly everyone had a camera except for us. I was fuming. I managed to get this photograph when the students were making a lot of noise around the campus, promoting and highlighting the event. But there’s always next time. We enjoyed the event so much that we are looking forward for next year’s show. And this time fully equipped with our cameras :-).
We ended this magical week with a walk around Brandon Marsh. We were surprised to see the car-park full and there was even 2 coaches on the road. What on earth…do they know something that we don’t!!! It was a lovely, warm, bright Sunday and I guess everyone just want to get out and about. We checked out the first hide and it was standing room only. Hmm…we decided not to wait for an empty seat and quickly walked to the next hide. But we still managed to get a shot of this Pintail who vowed the visitors.
At East Marsh Hide, we found a seat and scanned the lake. On the main island, there were hundreds of very laid-back lapwings soaking the warm sun. In contrast, Lesser Black-backed gulls, Herring gulls and Common gulls were competing with each other to be heard. A pair of Shelducks and Golden-eyes were enjoying a swim. A flock of widgeons was fast asleep on the opposite end of the bank and a Common Snipe busy feeding just below the hide. But what caught our attention was this very odd-looking hybrid among the Canada Geese. I think this was the first time we’d seen him in the reserve.After about an hour, we left as the hide was getting more crowded, noisier and warmer. We spotted a group of people along the path observing a Gold-crest. We were quite surprised to see Carlton Hide empty but not for long. We saw a Bittern flying and disappearing into the Newlands reeds-beds. Unfortunately, it was quite a distant away. This was my first sighting for the year. Then, Babe spotted this handsome Buzzard checking out the surrounding. We decided to head for home when the hide began to fill up again. When we arrived home, Babe saw a raptor on top of the tree overlooking our garden and bird-feeder. We quickly got our camera and started clicking away. It was a Sparrow-hawk, the 20th visitor to our garden. I really don’t expect that. Although I don’t want it to treat my bird-feeder as a takeaway, I don’t have a choice. This is what Mother nature is all about.