Britain braced itself for another barrage of torrential rain, high winds and disastrous flooding which caused widespread damage across large swatches of the country. Yellow warnings were in place for the south western areas and I’m glad that the Midlands were spared. These were the remnants of the Atlantic storm, Nadine, which swept across the country and brought a month’s rain in 24 hours.
If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm
Hurricane Nadine, which became downgraded to Tropical Storm Nadine, was circling the Azores in the Atlantic. There was a battle between warm, moist air to the south interacting with an area of low pressure running towards the south of the UK. This warm air gave the low pressure area a lot of energy as it came into contact with colder air from the north, resulting in the unusual position of the jet-stream and creating some very tumultuous weather.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.
And what a wet welcome it was for the students to the new term. The library was buzzing and I got into the midst of things. I officiated the first library tour of the year by introducing a group of new students to the delights of the library. New and the not-so-new students were encouraged to register on-line for “Get Started Sessions”. They chose which date and time that suited them most. Instead of using the lift, I took the students through the scenic tour by using the stairs to walk up to the 3rd. floor. I explained that different floors have different study environments which they need to be aware of. Level 1 and 2 were suited to group work and Level 3-5 were for quiet/serious studying. By the end of the 45 minutes tour, they were given a goody bag in exchange for filling up the feedback forms.
After the hard work, I treated myself to some amazing cakes baked by very talented colleagues. It was for a very good cause. My colleagues and I made time for what matters in life by joining the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support. Well done to everyone for raising lots of money. What better way to help a great cause than putting the kettle on and tucking into some very tasty homemade cakes.
It was for a very worthy cause. Everyone knows someone who had cancer in any shape or form. It was said that one in three of us will get cancer and it will be the toughest thing we ever face. And when facing this fight, we need a team of support in your corner with you. Macmillan Cancer Support provide the medical, emotional, practical and financial support. This dedicated team gave cancer sufferers the strength and energy to fight and get through the battle against cancer. What a wonderful and worthwhile cause.
AM and I joined an exercise class held at the Bell Green Community Centre. We have been walking regularly after work for the past few months in a bid to get fitter and lighter. But as the daylight gets shorter, it became harder to find time to walk. The next best solution was to join an exercise class. We were in luck when we found one right on our door step and it only cost us £1 a lesson instead of the normal £5 if you join a gym. Woo-hoo, what a bargain. It was old school exercises, no aerobics or Zumba. Just plain basic movements. But I laughed my head off when Billy Ray Cyrus, Archy Breaky Heart came on. Line dancing to end the session. Yee-ha…
I was intrigued this week when I read about a bell ringing taster session on the Intranet. The Warwick University Bell Ringing Society (WUBRS) hired the Charmborough Mini-ring - a portable bell tower - for a performance beside the Koan sculptures outside the Warwick Arts Centre. These bells were smaller versions of those in English churches. The Society were running demonstrations, answering questions, and inviting interested passers-by to try out ringing a church bell. I didn’t take part but watched the WUBRS in action while enjoying the melodious tinkle echoing throughout the grounds.
I took the bus to work on Friday because Babe had one of his bad days. About 10 minutes onto the trip, the bus broke down just before the roundabout. The bus driver told us that another bus was on its way from the depot in town. With the rush hour traffic, it was supposed to arrive in 30 minutes. It was raining and it was freezing in the bus. Everyone was so miserable and I was so tempted to nip back to the casa for a cup of coffee. How I wished 007 was around since it was Global James Bond Day.
Global James Bond Day marked 50 years since the first 007 film, Dr No, was released. Bond fans were getting ready for the much anticipated premiere of the 23rd Bond film, Skyfall at the end of the month. And all I want was to get to work in one piece and the bus did arrived at about 8.35 am. The bus driver did his best to get us to work on time but unfortunately we were caught up in the rush hour and arrived at 9.15 am. After reporting for duty, I treated myself to the magnificent 7 fry-up at the library cafe and then only I was ready to face the world.
I took the bus home after work as Babe wasn’t fit enough to drive. I took the first bus into the city centre and it was the number 16 via the Kenilworth road. I got off near the Belgrade Theatre and made my way to M&S to get a birthday card for my mother-in-law. I walked past a toy shop and purchased 2 Olympics memorabilia pen for only £1 each. I also bought 2 packs of plastic spiders which I planned to hang into a curtain for Halloween. I made a pit stop at Primark to check out some duffle coats. I fell in love with one but they only had it in red, black and grey. I was hoping for either purple or patterned. I might check in Matalan in the weekend.
But the weekend was spent at Bradgate Park. We were hoping to see the rutting season in action. As usual, a pit stop at Groby Pool was a must. The water had risen considerably and only the usual residents were out and about. I was quite surprised to see a Red Admiral and a Comma sunbathing. It was still warm enough for them to be out and about.
Since we were early, the car-park in Bradgate was quite empty. As soon as we walked through the gates, we came across a feeding frenzy. Dozens of Jays were flying in and out of this majestic oak tree They adore acorns, which they hoard away like a squirrel, a practice that had contributed to the spread of oak woods.
“From bush to bush slow sweeps the screaming Jay
With one harsh note of pleasure all the day”
We were standing right under the tree watching them choosing the acorn. I felt so blessed to get this close to such shy woodland birds. Check out the black moustachial streaks in contrast with its pinkish plumage and intense blue patch on the wing. We were there until our necks creaked. But it was worth the trouble. From time to time, the harsh screeching call trails behind them as they flew away to find the perfect spot to hide their treasure.
From time to time, we could hear the gruff bellowing of the stags reverberating from somewhere deep in the the forest. I wish they would come out in the open. We haven’t heard the sound of cracking antler against antler either. Solitary deer were seen here and there watching the visitors watching them. We were having a drink soaking up the warm sun when 2 BMNR gang joined us. We’d a wonderful time exchanging tit-bits of what we’d seen. They must have been here very early in the morning because they were on their way home.
We continued our journey and followed the path that they told us. It was behind Lady Jane Grey’s ruins, below Old John’s folly. We walked to the rocky outcrops where we’d some amazing views of the park. A herd of deer were busy feeding among the bracken. A flock of birds flew in and landed near the outcrop. I crept closer and I think they were Redwings, an early winter migrant.
Then a very slow walk downhill. We were surprised to see Lady Jane Grey’s house open. I thought it was close in October. I would love to go in and check out the Little Owls but our parking time was nearly up. As we walked along the River Lin, we came across this Widgeon but I’m positive it wasn’t our favourite bird. I threw in some pieces of bread and it was ignored. And he wasn’t as noisy or bossy as usual.
On the drive home, I had my camera on my lap. I was hoping to see this Buzzard again at his usual place, perching on the electric pylon. And I was in luck. The traffic lights turned red as we reached the runabout. I was busy clicking the camera to my heart content. What a majestic bird, surveying his kingdom.
Sunday was spent chilling at home. We’d a lot of tidying and clearing up to do in the garden. Babe trimmed a lot of the bushes and shrubs and we only managed to do a fifth of the garden. We’d to get proper gardening tools so that we could do a better job. It was a hard task for Babe and he only managed the lower branches. The vegetable patch was getting very bare although the leeks, curly kale, perpetual spinach and purple kale were still going strong. I’m preparing the top raised bed to plant purple sprouting broccoli. I saw some seedling plugs at the Range last week and was hoping to get some soon. The artichokes too were doing well and one was even flowering, brightening the garden when everything was beginning to shut down.
Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?