Sunday, 27 January 2013

A week in the freezer

  It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily. “So it is.” And freezing.” “Is It?” “Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said , brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

~A. A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh stories~

Warwick University S40  21-01-2013 14-36-45

The snow was still falling, light and dusting, drifting down in the most lazy of fashions covering the already knee deep lying snow with a dusty of perfection. Snow-boots were a must if I want to be out and about. Although the pavements were like an ice rink , I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to be out and about in the pristine white washed world. I just loved the trees casting feathers of snow from their branches and looked as if Mother Nature had gone mad with the icing sugar and sprinkled everywhere.  It was magical, very Narnia-like.Warwick University S40  21-01-2013 14-44-21 

There is nothing in the world

More beautiful than the forest

Clothed to its very hollows in snow.

it is the still ecstasy of nature

Wherein every spray

Every blade of grass

Every spire of reed

Every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance

~William Sharp~

Warwick University S40  21-01-2013 14-57-11 

Throughout the week, the campus had been buzzing with the winter graduation. What a photographic opportunity for the graduates and their families to have their memories captured among the snow showers in their flowing gowns. Unfortunately, the areas surrounding the Arts Centre was cleared of snow. It was a pity no one was brave enough to walk on stage wearing wellingtons. That would be soo cool :-). Anyway, hats off to our new graduates.Warwick University D3100  24-01-2013 13-54-19

This week we also gave a toast Ae Fond Kiss to the Scottish bard, Robert Burns. My colleagues and I celebrated Burns Supper by having a Chinese at Wing Wah :-). Sacred bleu!!! We nearly had to cancel because a weather front dubbed a ‘snowbomb’ was forecasted. A final blast of snow was expected to be dumped but thankfully we were already in the restaurant and was too busy getting stuffed to notice. We were expecting to be snowed in but a pity it didn’t happened. We could just continue eating…

As usual, I started my first course with sushi, prawns and mussels. I wasn’t please with the starters that I’d another plate laden with the first course. For my main course, I’d the stir fried egg noodles with bean-sprouts, steamed fish, tiger prawns, mussels in black bean sauce and Chinese vegetables with the seafood medley all washed down with steaming cups of Chinese cha. Yummy. We checked out each others laden plates. We girls can really eat. CM brought her bf along and I bet he was shocked to see how much we could put away. It was a night of good food, laughter and bonding. We also wanted to wish RSC good luck because she will be off to have her baby.

Earlier during the day, most of us sneakily watched another Scottish lad, Murray, beat Federer in five sets to set up an Australian Open final against Djokovic on Sunday. Woo…hoo. His inner resolve was the critical factor as he saw the job through: 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 to play in his third final. I was up far too early on Sunday morning to watch the game but abandoned an hour later. It was heart breaking to hear on the radio that the world number one, Djokovic, had won his fourth Australian Open title as Murray's hopes of a second major win ended in pain. Bradgate Park D800  27-01-2013 14-27-28I’d to stop watching the game because the day dawned bright and sunny and we wanted to check out Bradgate Park. It was lovely to see the sun after weeks of dreary, cold weather. We headed towards the main car-park and found out that the authorities had closed some parts due to ice and mud. So we drove to the third car-park. It was freezing, very windy and there were pockets of snow snuggled among the rock crops. When the wind blew, it cut right through to the bones. And then it began to rain. Eeek….Bradgate Park D300s X2  27-01-2013 13-22-08 

But we continued our adventure. We spotted a Kestrel hunting by the reservoir. Although the weather wasn’t favourable, there were still hundreds of people out and about. We walked past the fields towards the waterfalls. We’d never seen River Lin so high and so fast before. The snow had thawed very fast. We turned back and walked towards a herd of Fallow deer, feeding among the bracken We watched a pair mock fighting, their antlers clashing and crackling. I guess they were practising for the next rut.Bradgate Park D300s X2  27-01-2013 15-05-042We didn’t stay long because it was freezing and the weather began to turn for the worse. We made a pit stop at Groby Pool and were glad we did. A snow goose was spotted among the Greylags standing on the frozen pool. Someone was feeding the ducks and we waited to see if the goose would waddle closer. We couldn’t wait long because we were slowly turning into ice-cubes.  Groby Pools SSSi D300s X2  27-01-2013 15-53-038_cr Yesterday was another day spent at our favourite playground. A thermos of coffee was a must because it was bitterly cold in the hides. The Big Freeze had given way to the Big Thaw as warm winds from the South West swept across the country. The rising temperatures had sparked floodings due to the rapid thaw of the built-up snow and ice. It looked like the current cold spell had gone out with a bang. According to the Environment agency, one way to minimise flooding was to build a snowman. Unfortunately, when I got up Saturday morning, all the snow had been washed away :-(.Brandon Marsh D800  26-01-2013 15-20-024 In the reserve, we treaded carefully on the very, very muddy and slippery path. The once pristine snow was now slushy and disgusting. We spent more time watching where we put our feet than checking out the natives. It was that bad. The Robins were still out and about but they were busy singing their hearts out and being territorial. Despite the melting snow and ice, the reserve hadn’t been flooded but the main island was still underwater. We spotted the distinct stripey patterning of a Shelduck  asleep in the middle of the frozen lake. Brandon Marsh D3100  26-01-2013 15-28-07We continued on towards East Marsh Hide. It was very quiet here, even the usually noisy Wigeons stopped whistling. A gaggle of Greylags flew in and among them was a White Goose. We watched them swimming leisurely from one end of the lake to the other. After a swim and a quick wash, off they go, flying towards the golf course where they will be grazing on the grass. We then made our way to Carlton Hide to see if I can catch a glimpse of the Gold Crest which Babe had spotted a pair earlier during the week. Again, it refused to turn up. Next time, perhaps.Brandon Marsh D800  25-01-2013 14-50-012Babe managed to take photographs of the squirrels when the garden was blanketed in snow. Despite the deep snow, they remained active and was out and about hopping in the garden, ransacking the peanut feeder. I’d to put sheets of wire on my pots to prevent them from digging and storing their treasures. Soon, they should be charging after each other as the time for courtship reaches fever pitch. I couldn’t wait. Coventry D3100  19-01-2013 09-37-04After a fortnight of sub-zero temperature, the temperatures were set to increase.  Hopefully the sun was shining wherever you are so that we can wrap up freezing January on a warm note together. Warwick University S40  21-01-2013 14-32-21 

If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.

~Frank Lane~

I am sending get well wishes for my uncle F, aunt HAR and cousin ZJG. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Heaven’s Drift

Coventry D3100  18-01-2013 12-35-03 Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.

~William Hamilton Gibson~ 

The white stuff arrived and bang on time. There was a very light dusting when I waited for the bus and it began to get heavier as the time ticked on. I was turning into an ice-cube. When I got down from the bus and walked from Westwood, I’d to put my hood up and the snow had began to settle onto the ground. As I settled down to do my work, lo and behold, when I looked out the window, swirling, great feathers of flakes were falling thick and fast. And kept falling. Coventry D3100  18-01-2013 13-20-47

After that, everything was blurred. I called Babe and made arrangements to take the afternoon off. Drivers had been warned to stay off the roads when the blizzards hit and I don’t want to get caught. Babe called me saying that he was caught in traffic and it was nearly 12.30 pm before he arrived. We joined the thousands that were leaving at the same time which meant that Gibbet Hill came to a standstill, gridlocked and were nose to tail.  As buckets of the biggest, fluffiest flakes of snow heaved down, nothing moved. It took us 2 long hours to get out of the university’s ground!!! Luckily, I’d my camera with me to keep me occupied :-).Coventry D3100  18-01-2013 13-05-17

As we plodded through Coundon Wedge, the area was alive with the sounds of delighted kids and adults having fun on sledges and frolicking in the drifts. A few snowmen were already dotted here and there. Lucky sods!!! It was another 2.5 hours of slow-moving traffic and driving in treacherous conditions before we reached our casa. A total of 4.5 hours to drive 12 km. I pity Babe who’d been sitting in the car for 5.5 hours. As we entered our driveway, the snow was soo thick that our car skidded and slipped. Babe had to reverse out again before making another manoeuvre. Phew, we made it to our driveway in one piece.Coventry D3100  18-01-2013 16-00-45From the warmth of our casa, I watched the world turned white, almost obliterated with the lightest and softest of snow, tumbling merrily from the sky. A pristine blanket of snow, moved slowly covering the garden. The moment  I loved most, spellbound and I wanted to drink it all in. I can’t get enough of winter’s bewitching atmosphere. There was nothing like a thick covering of snow to make us see the world afresh for a few brief days. And the eerie silence. The falling snow muffled the sounds of everyday living. It reminded me to slow down, to hibernate :-).Coventry D7000  20-01-2013 11-17-34

The winter is a stillness and a darkness and a sleep

But not a death, for in the earth the roots of life go deep.

A rest …then re-creation and a glad new burgeoning.

Every day in Wintertime is one day nearer Spring

~Patience Strong~ Brandon Marsh D7000  20-01-2013 12-20-23

Saturday morning was spent indoors. Outside, the temperature had plummeted, struggling to see the mercury rising above freezing. Up to 10 inches of snow had blanketed the country overnight. The more serious amber “be prepared” warning was in place. I switched on the tv and saw the wave of snow had swept across the country and freezing conditions had resulted in some areas looking like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow. Among the beautiful snowscapes, there were traffic chaos and disruption all over the place.  Coventry D3100  20-01-2013 12-07-56

On Sunday, we were itching to check out how the natives were faring out at our favourite playground. It was still snowing down buckets and the temperature at –5C but as the saying goes Brandon Marsh D7000  20-01-2013 12-33-41

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing”.

So here we were in our winter wonderland dressed as the Michelin man, ready to face the elements. We huddled under our thick coats, huffing and puffing, our breaths in bursts of white clouds with the snow crunching underfoot as we walked. I loved the winter landscape with bare skeleton trees, the bleakness and that great feeling of red frozen cheeks, the not so great runny nose and the brisk icy wind on my face. The minx in me couldn’t wait to come out and there I was laying on the pristine snow and making snow angels, with snow falling on my face. It was fa-bu-lo-us.Brandon Marsh D7000  20-01-2013 12-28-36

We plodded onwards along the path and headed straight to East Marsh Hide. The lake was frozen over with the exception of the centre. Unsurprisingly, the birds were standing one legged surrounding the unfrozen water. There were Widgeons, Teals, Tufted Ducks, Shovelers, Mallards, Gulls, Greylags and Canada Geese. And the best bit was when we spotted not one but 3 foxes at different locations on the bank opposite the hide. Woo-hoo and then a Muntjac made a brief appearance.Brandon Marsh D800 DX X14  20-01-2013 13-41-047 We could have stayed here for hours but it was freezing. I wanted to pop over to Carlton Hide to see if the Goldcrest was out and about. Babe had taken some beautiful shots of them earlier in the week and I’m hoping to see one. We waited for about half an hour in the very cold hide and nothing appeared. It was getting dark and the snow was getting heavier. It was time to go home.Brandon Marsh D800 DX X14  17-01-2013 14-43-03_cr

“Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do- or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.”

~Stanley Crawford~Brandon Marsh D3100  20-01-2013 12-23-21

I hoped everyone had taken advantage of the weather because who knows when days like this might come again. Stay safe.Brandon Marsh D800 DX X14  20-01-2013 14-06-060

Prophet Muhammad's Birthday

His perfection procured exaltation,
His beauty dispelled the darkness,
All his attributes were good ones,
Pray for him, and for his family. Salwaat!

"And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life"
Holy Quran 19:15
Allahuma salli ala Muhammadin wa Aal-e Muhammad
O God! Shower thy blessings on Muhammad and the descendents of Muhammad

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Back to Work Blues

It was a very sad goodbyes to late lie-ins and lazy mornings of home-made waffles in pyjamas and furry slippers. And hello to getting dressed in the dark, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. It was a shock to the system after nearly three weeks away from the desk as I very reluctantly settle back into the work routine. Before getting into the car, we had to scrapped the ice. We couldn’t feel our fingers. The mild start to 2013 had also came to an abrupt end as temperatures dropped below zero at the start of a cold snap expected to last for weeks. Winter at last !!!Warwick University D3100  14-01-2013 10-55-42

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour

~John Boswell~

I’d to take the bus to and from work for a few days as Babe had caught the ‘man-flu’. My Prince had turned into a frog and was even croaking like one. It was hard on him especially when he’d other health problems to content with. Then I started sniffling and coughing, again. Oh no… I know it wasn’t the flu cos I’d my jab ages ago. We both went down with nasty cold viruses and the residue of it was still lingering. I dragged myself to work because I don’t want to call in sick after only 3 days starting work. I took it very easy at work and sat quietly at my desk. This adorable Pied wagtail kept me company.     Warwick University D3100  14-01-2013 12-39-05

Things too were falling apart around us. The toilet handle broke and we couldn’t flush the toilet. We informed the landlord and he couldn’t come ASAP. The hot water tap in the bath was blocked again. The electric kettle top fell off and the fog light died a day before MOT!!! Not the best of starts to a new year. But at least, this orchid was blooming beautifully, a burst of pink to cheer me up. Coventry D7000 F  13-01-2013 23-13-50

The weekend was something to look forward to. On Saturday, I took the bus into town to run some errands. I returned the library books and used their fantastic self-service machine when I borrowed more books. It was very easy to use, Then I waited at the very busy Specsavers to have my eyes tested. I think I definitely need to be wearing glasses as I’m having problems reading at night. The lovely sales assistant and I had fun choosing the glasses solely for VDU use only. Librarian chic comes into mind. Babe and I will check out a few retail outlets for another pair of tri-vision glasses.

When I left the shop, I could hear loud drummings outside the Lower Precinct. I joined the crowd and to my upmost delight, a group of Morris dancers were performing. Woo-hoo…but I kicked myself because my camera was at home!!! A first for me. I was there for about 30 minutes before I made my way to M&S. I wanted to get a talcum powder and checked out the sales, if there was any left. A few rails were still standing and I managed to pick 3 dresses to try on. The funny thing was that a woman was trailing after me because she’d an eye on one of the dresses. Oh no, she’s not having it until I tried it on. I tried all the dresses and decided on the shift dress which would look good with a pair of black pants or black tights and boots. Fortunately, the purple floral classic dress was a bit too ‘old’ for me and gave it to the woman who was waiting outside the changing room. She was that desperate. I hoped it fitted her and that I’d made her happy.

On Sunday, after days of wallowing in the house, Babe wanted to get some fresh air and stretch his legs. We popped over to our favourite playground to grab a bit of the winter sun. Reed buntings were out and about along the path. Robins were either singing their hearts out on the tree tops or pestering us, begging for food. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to bring any mealworms. Redpolls were still flying in and feeding on the birch tree outside Baldwin Hide.Brandon Marsh D7000 F  17-01-2013 13-41-59The path was still very muddy. We spotted the very bright Scarlet Elfcups on the fallen deciduous woods along the path near Teal Pool Hide. Outside East Marsh Hide, dozens of Wigeons were busy grazing on the Wigeon Bank. They were so intent on feeding that they stopped whistling. We went to Carlton Hide and waited and waited. A Great Spotted Woodpecker landed on the dead tree. The hide began to fill up. The Bittern watchers had arrived and the noise level went up. A cue for us to leave.Brandon Marsh D300s X2  13-01-2013 14-41-28

Life, so far, had been easy, calm and quiet  as we settled into 2013. It was time for slowing down, for taking stock as the dormant month of January crept onwards. I had not been out walking during my lunch breaks, preferring to catch up with the blogging world. At home, I curled up with a book and a hot-water bottle by my feet.  I went to bed early. January was definitely a slow month, a winter month, an uncompromising dark month.Coventry D7000  14-01-2013 09-39-24

To live content with small means.
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
    and refinement rather than fashion.
To be worthy not respectable,
    and wealthy not rich.

To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,
    act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,
    and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,
    do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
    unbidden and unconscious,
    grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony

~William Ellery Channing~

An appropriate verse for January don’t you think? A reminder for us to slow down.

I received another sad news from Malaysia. There was another death in my family. My uncle, Pak Ngah Aziz had passed away peacefully. Inna lilla wa inna lilla hirra jiun.

Coventry D7000 F  13-01-2013 23-15-02

Sunday, 6 January 2013

♫Birds flyin' high you know how I feel♫

Snettisham RSPB D50  04-01-2013 15-28-30

Birds flyin' high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel
Its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me
yeah, its a new dawn its a new day its a new life for me
And I'm feelin good

Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River runnin' free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel
Its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me
And I'm feelin good

The mild weather that heralded the beginning of 2013 continued on. What an amazing start to the new year to be blessed with such good weather. Its sacré bleu not to be out and about, breathing the fresh but nippy air. So here we are, wrapped up warm and checking out our favourite playground. We weren’t surprised to see the car-park full. Along the path, we were serenaded by Chaffinches, Robins, Goldfinches, Blue and Great Tits. It felt like Spring was here. This very handsome Reed Bunting caught our attention.Brandon Marsh D50  03-01-2013 12-29-35

Then we checked out the feeding station at the Fishermen’s car-park. We stood very still and waited for the natives to get used to us being there. One by one, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Robins, Blue and Great Tits started flying in and feeding on the table. But what caught our attention was when Babe spotted this adorable Vole, darting in and out of the undergrowth, taking advantage of the seeds being dropped by the birds. Woo-hoo and this photograph by yours truly was tagged as favourite by the BBC Winter Naturewatch. I’m so chuffed to bits. But I can’t compete with Babe because he had loads already tagged on the website.Brandon Marsh D50  03-01-2013 12-37-29

The latest was of moi feeding Mr. Hood in my palm, taken on the same day. Have you ever had a bird standing and feeding on your palm? You feel as if you’d something very delicate resting on your hand. Their dainty feet was quite cold too. I felt so blessed that it trusted me enough to feed from my hand. I was grinning from ear to ear.Brandon Marsh D7000  03-01-2013 12-48-22 

The Robin is the one

That speeches from her nest

Submits that home and certainty

And sanctity are best

~Emily Dickinson~

We continued walking on the very muddy and slippery footpath. In Baldwin Hide, we were disgusted that people have been standing on the benches because they were covered with muddy boot-prints. How selfish was that. We’d to wipe them off before we could sit down. When we looked out, we noticed that the island opposite the Wright Hide had disappeared under water. A few Greylags, Canada Geese, Mallards, Lapwings and Gulls huddled on the partially-flooded main island. Cormorants in their winter colours were using the pontoons as their perch. Brandon Marsh D300s X2  03-01-2013 13-00-027

Then another slow walk towards East Marsh Hide. It was much cleaner. We sat for a while enjoying the whistling from the noisy Wigeons and the playfulness of the Gulls. When we popped over to Carlton Hide, we’d to squeeze in among the twitchers and photographers. I wonder what they were waiting for. A Kingfisher suddenly hovered in front of us and flew off before either of us could get a photograph.

The hide was getting noisier by the minute that we decided to leave. Nothing will appear with such a racket. It was a shame actually because the views of the reed-beds was amazing. It was glowing as the late winter sun shone on it. A Jay flew onto the dead tree but it was too far to get a good photograph. We wanted to walk to the screen but it was just too muddy to get through. Then it was a slow walk back to the car.Brandon Marsh D7000  03-01-2013 14-23-049

We decided to start the new year by checking out a new site that we’d not been before. Our destination was a 2.5 hours drive to the Snettisham RSPB. After filling the car with petrol and purchasing a few essentials such as a pack of cheese and onion pasties and mini pancakes, we made our way onto the motorway. There was so much traffic on the road. I think most people were like us, having a long extended break. After having a McWee* near Peterborough, we continued our journey when Babe spotted this handsome bird riding the waves. We managed to stop at a lay-by and I jumped out, rattling a few shots. It was a Red Kite. Woo-hoo…Roadtrip Snettisham RSPB D3100  04-01-2013 10-34-031

As usual, the nearer we got to the reserve, the bumpier the road became. I was excited when we drove through a field of grazing Greylags. I’ve seen them before but to see hundreds were something else. We managed to get a parking space and began checking out the area. We saw this pair of Egyptian Geese having a rest beside the fishery. It was amazing to get this close to such colourful birds.Snettisham RSPB D800  04-01-2013 12-24-50

We splashed through very muddy path, climbed 3 sets of steps and encountered a landscape steeped in local history, from shingle digging in WW2 to the devastating floods of 1953. These shingle pits were examples of saline lagoons and were filled with Mallards, Tufted ducks, Golden Eyes, Shelducks, Teals, Wigeons, Galdwalls and Shovelers.  The cries of the Curlews were echoing around us. We were intrigued by the rows of colourful and mismatched holiday homes lining the lagoons.  Snettisham RSPB D800  04-01-2013 12-52-22

Finally we arrived at the beach, the first contact with the wash. And wow… a dramatic vista greeted us. There was a saying: “Where there’s muck there’s brass”. For naturalist, it was more of where there was mud, there were birds. And it was a bird paradise. There were thousands on the mudflats as far as the eye can see. Then we caught sight of a cloud of Knot which contained a mass of a thousand birds, morphing into globular shapes like a living lava, shimmering above the mudflats. Simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g !!! Then slowly, they began dropping a few at a time.Snettisham RSPB D50  04-01-2013 13-14-41

We’d never seen so many big, black and white Shelducks dabbling on the mudflats. Curlews were everywhere, flying in with its undulating display flight and its rich bubbling, rippling call, brightening the winter afternoon. It was busy feeding and with its long down-curved beak, the curlew was a master at winkling out tasty morsel.Snettisham RSPB D300s X2  04-01-2013 13-08-47

We walked along the shingle beaches towards where the hides were situated. Blackbirds were gorging on the berries. A flock of Turnstones wheeled in with their twittering call trailing behind them and started feeding among the debris. In their duller brownish-black winter colours, these short-legged and dumpy waders started butting and poking under the stones, finding something juicy to feed on. They were quite tame and weren’t bothered with us watching them.Snettisham RSPB D300s X2  04-01-2013 13-07-050

We tried to walk the 2 km trail that ran around the southernmost pit but gave up cos Babe was already exhausted. We sat in the freezing Rotary Hide where we could see either the lagoon on one side or the sea on the other. Unfortunately, the natives on the mudflats were too far away. On the lagoon which was just below us, we spotted Golden Eyes, Mallards, Lapwings, Little Grebe, Coots and then a flock of Wigeons flew in. We’d never seen so many flying together. They always make me smile, dabbling around the lagoon, whistling contentedly.Snettisham RSPB D300s X2  04-01-2013 13-35-056

Hundreds of Greylags were grazing in the field across the hide. Suddenly we were assaulted with the sound of honkings and when we looked out squadrons of Pink-footed geese filled the sky and were landing into the lagoon at the wader watch point, their bellies full from a day’s foraging. The long shallow Vs as they traced across the sky in huge skeins, one after another, was simply awe-inspiring. I would love to see them roosting but the temperature was beginning to come down and we don’t want to walk out in the dark. Snettisham RSPB D50  04-01-2013 12-55-017

More geese were flying in and a lot of people were walking in to watch the roost. We would definitely come again in summer to witness the renowned whirling wader spectacular where thousands of birds take to the air as they were pushed off the mudflats by the incoming high tide. Just imagine the noise and cries from thousands of beating wings flying over your heads. I couldn’t wait. And check out the spectacular sunsets.Snettisham RSPB D300s X2  04-01-2013 15-27-21 

To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and the flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly as any earthly life can be.

~Rachel Carson~

Snettisham RSPB D300s X2  04-01-2013 13-05-011

Saturday was spent chilling in and dismantling the Xmas decorations. I brought down 2 huge boxes in December and I dragged up the stairs 3 boxes!!! How did they managed to multiply was beyond me :-). Babe had caught a cold and was sniffling the whole weekend. On Sunday, I started the day by walking around the block. I really needed to get rid of the festive indulgement. After a leisure breakfast of mushroom omelette, reading the Sunday papers and while listening to the local radio station, the above song by Nina Simone came on air. How appropriate.

NIST was back safely in Kent. We thoroughly enjoyed her company and we hoped she did too. We spent the days trying out lots of recipes, especially from home. She missed the food and we’d a wonderful time in the kitchen. We tried roti jala but there was something wrong with the batter that it ended a pancake and had it with prawn sambal, murtabak, fried hor-fun, sate and baked chicken biryani. Yummy…Babe gave us a lift into town and I kept her company until her bus arrives. I took the bus home and had the first surprise of 2013, the fare had gone up by 10p to £1.80!!!

Bradgate Park D3100  01-01-2013 12-52-30

Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.


*Using the facilities at McDonalds. Babe didn’t like to use without buying something and we ended up with the cheapest item in the menu :-).