Double, double, toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
Double, double, toil and trouble
Something wicked this way comes.
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing
Act IV, Scene 1 from Macbeth (1606) by William Shakespeare
Nobody knocked on our door. I was looking forward to greet any tricksters in my witch hat and skeleton gloves. I guess even ghosts, witches and vampires were scared of the rain. It was a horrible night to be out and about.
Home is where the haunt is
The weather wasn’t going to stop me enjoying the yumminess that Halloween had brought to the table. I got to fulfil my annual pumpkin fix. They were so cheap in the supermarket. It was death by pumpkin. So far I had made stuffed pumpkin and my first pumpkin pie which was utterly to die for. I have another pumpkin on the table and I’m planning pumpkin soup, muffins and pie again because it was really delicious.
The traffic had been horrible on Tuesday. We were inching along Kirby Corner for nearly 30 minutes which normally took us 5 minutes. We were cold, hungry and thirsty and decided to detour to Cannon Park for some refreshments and, fingers-crossed, the traffic will be gone by then. And we weren’t alone. Quite a few people decided to do the same thing. We did a bit of shopping and was delighted when the Danish pastries were reduced to only 15 pence!!!. We picked a few packs, got a carton of apple juice and sat in the car, enjoying our feast while watching the still queuing traffic.
After demolishing the pastries, it was time to join the queue. And about 10 minutes later, we found the culprit. A bus had broken down right in front of the traffic lights and the sensor had detected it. This meant that the light changes every few minutes, letting only 2-3 cars through. The best thing was that although everyone could see what was wrong, no one drove through the red light. I salute the British attitude although we arrived home at 7.30 pm when the usual time was at 6 pm.
I nearly missed the ISWG meeting. HI came to my office to remind me. Oops… I ran up 4 stairs and arrived breathless, just in time. After settling down, the meeting began. We welcomed a new member to the group, KH. It was a short meeting because 2 of our members from Customer Service were needed at their service points by 10 am. Our main agenda was to revamp and resurrect the ISWG Library Strategy for International Students. which we hoped to produce next year.
This week we’d another party for SC’s retirement. She was leaving the library after 20 long years of service. The table was groaning with delicious finger foods and we’d a lovely time polishing them up. We also raised a glass to wish her congratulations because she recently tied the knot. Wow…what a way to start her retirement. Unfortunately no photographs because I’d forgotten my camera. Doh…
On Friday, we popped over to Kenilworth after office to check out Waitrose. We’d not been here for ages although it was only 10 minutes away. Traffic jams and limited parking stopped us from going there. But we’d to bite the bullet because I’m searching for agar-agar. I wanted to make marshmallows and had been hunting high and low for the blasted ingredient. We managed to squeeze the car in the very tiny parking lot. We quickly browsed the pricey shelves before getting what we came here for. I got a pack of sushi, Clearspring agar-agar flakes, Taylor and Colledge Organic vanilla bean extract and a Helston Hidden Clementine Xmas pudding which I’m reserving for the festive season
I spent the weekend chilling at home. I de-cluttered a lot of clothes and I’ve got a bag for the charity shops. I cleared a space under the kitchen cabinet for a washing machine and brought the gardenias into the house to over-winter. The garden feeder was busy with our feathered friends and the bushy-tails. We still need to do more clearing up in the garden. Babe scattered peanuts in their shells for the bushy-tails and they really appreciated it.
On Sunday, after doing the shopping, we made another late evening trip to our favourite playground. We found out that at least 5k starlings have joined together for the mumuration display. I’m soo looking forward to that. We made a pit stop at East Marsh Pool to see if the female Redhead Smew was around. She was somewhere in the lake but it was too dark to see.
We then walked straight to Carlton Hide and waited and waited. At 3.55 pm, the first flock flew in. Then more and more joined in putting on another mesmerising performance as they wheeled and swooped in unison, creating dark shape shifting clouds and appeared to move as though they were a single being. The noise and sight of seething masses of thousands of birds swirling like a shoal of herring above the Warwickshire skies made this among the most spine tingling of scenes that I’d ever seen.
It was feathered fantastic. The din of thousands of squeaking voices, the whirr of wings tearing through the air and the giddy rotation of the perpetually swirling smoke of birds was for me one of the most awesome wildlife experiences. The smaller congregation or “moots” flew in from different directions and joined the liquid amoeba, swelling in numbers. Then they began raining down into the reeds and … the sky was empty. Late strays flew straight into the reeds to join the flock. How I wished that I could see them huddled together, whispering in the darkness, catching up with things. Bonn nuit, my feathered friends.
I came across this sculpture during one of my walks. Around Zero by Michael Stallard was one of the three new sculptures that had recently joined the University Art Collection and had taken up residence across campus. All three works had been donated by Eric and Jean Cass through the Contemporary Art Society. It was fun wandering around campus trying to locate them. I spotted this between the Senate House and the Mosque. I had seen the second and still hunting for the third. That should be fun.
This week we received news that WFP became a daddy again. The stork flew in and dropped a bundle of blue. Congratulations and he kept that quiet…