Friday, 28 February 2014

Where are the snowdrops?

“Where are the snowdrops?” said the sun.
“Dead” said the frost, “Buried and lost, every one.”
“A foolish answer,” said the sun
“They did not die, asleep they lie, every one.
And I will awake them, I the sun,
Into the light, all clad in white, every one.”
“It’s rather dark in the earth today”
said one little bulb to its brother.
“But I thought that I felt a sunbeam’s ray.
We must strive and grow ’til we find our way”
and they nestled close to each other.
They struggled and strived by day and by night,
’til two little snowdrops in green and white
rose out of the darkness and into the light;
and softly kissed one another.

~Annie Mattheson, 1853-1924~

Bradgate Park - Warm winters day  

There was something so perfectly formed about snowdrop flowers. Small, white without a hint of colour, but in February, they were the most treasured and welcomed of the early flowers and heralding the end of the British wintertime. Although they used to be 'February's flower', climate change meant that they were now flowering as early as January. Even so, they were still considered to be the first flower of spring, symbolising purity and the cleansing of the earth after winter. Bradgate Park - Warm winters day

According to legend snowdrops first appeared when Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, after the Fall of Man, to a land where it was winter: cold, snowy, dark and barren. An angel consoled them by promising that, even here, spring would follow winter. As a token, he blew upon some falling snowflakes which, as they touched the ground, were transformed into snowdrops. In this way, Hope was born. Ever since then, snowdrops have appeared during the bleakest winter weeks as a sign of the better times to come. Aah…what a lovely tale. Bradgate Park - Warm winters day

Because of their presence in monastery churchyards, snowdrops share with other white flowers a folklore that represented 'the passing of sorrow'. Richard Mabey, in his Flora Britannica (1996), recorded that in some parts of the country single flowers especially are viewed as death-tokens. Even today, many people won’t take snowdrops indoors, and the sight of a single snowdrop blooming in the garden was taken as a sign of an impending disaster. You have been warned. Ashlawn Cutting - Early Spring

But I adore them. I was so envious of photographs of flower-carpeted woodlands of Galanthus nivalis, replacing the non-existence winter's blanket of snow. Even if there were snow, they may not wait for it to melt before emerging from their winter sleep, instead pushing right up through the snow, a delightful sight for the winter-weary. For me, when the snowdrop flower, spring surely can’t be far behind? We managed to find a few clumps here and there unlike the compact masses they were associated with. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Apart from snowdrop hunting. I’d been very busy at work. I participated in another ALCTS e-forum on Authority Control in the Library Catalog. We agreed that searching styles and tools were changing but there were still the need for control of terminology. Authority control facilitated both social tagging and retrieval. Keyword searching was more successful when authorised forms of names and subjects appeared in the bibliographical record and were augmented by authority records with variants and additional information for disambiguation and identification. We as cataloguers, metadata experts and other information specialists were trained to accurately describe materials  and were key to developing a catalogue in any format environment. Without the catalogue, the materials were just lost in a warehouse.

Then another ALCTS webinar on RDA : Revising, Developing and Assessing or, How the Instructions Evolve. There was a lengthy introduction on the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA and also how proposals were regulated and interpreted. We also found out that it took about 18 months for the Program for Cooperative Cataloguing (PCC) Task Group to identify any issues and have it published in the Toolkit. But cataloguers were allowed to apply any changes using their judgement but if there were any differences, they still need to resort to the PCC. We were made aware that there were significant changes made and will only be apply in April such as access points for a series of conferences and the restructuring/clarifying of relation designators where the editor of compilation was removed and the definition combined with editor. Some of the changes were quite major which we need to be aware of.

It was not all work and no play. I attended 2 leaving do’s. One was for a colleague, CF, who’d completed her 10 month contract with WRAP. I’d forgotten to defrost the vegetarian spring-rolls and resort to purchasing a dozen goey cupcakes from Tesco. We’d a lovely time polishing the food and there was so much that we were munching something the whole week. It didn’t helped when it was also JG’s birthday and she brought homemade sponge cakes with home-made strawberry jam, a very boozy fruit cake and 100% dark chocolate shortbread. Yum…yum. We also said good-bye and good luck to GX who was leaving us for new pastures. I’m going to miss him a lot because he was one of my rounders partner-in-crime. The very best wishes to CF and GX.  Shots from Warwick University

I took leave on Valentine’s Day. I made many plans but the weather was against us. In fact, more stormy weather headed across the Atlantic. Another 3 cm of rain hit the already saturated and soaked flood stricken South-West. The jet stream destructive weather left half a million families without power, claimed 3 lives and flooded thousands of homes, and left Somerset and Worcestershire further underwater. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.

~Christina Rossetti~

Brandon Marsh - Winter scenes

We celebrated by visiting our favourite playgrounds. First was the nearest, Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve. We were stalked by the robins and as usual, we just had to feed them. At the moment, they were very territorial and were so busy chasing their opponents away. All you could hear were their sharp ‘tick’ or high-pitched ‘tsee’  which indicated territorial defence or alarm. The flood water had resided and it was lovely to walk on the very muddy path. A pit stop at Baldwin Hide and we saw that the island had totally disappeared even with the sluices fully opened, the pool was still to bursting point. Brandon Marsh - Winter scenes

We continued on and spotted one of our favourite fungi, Sarcoscypha coccinea or commonly known as the scarlet elf cup, scarlet elf cap, scarlet cup or fairies’ baths.   They grow on decaying sticks and branches in damp spots on the forest floors, often buried under leaf litter or in the soil. The cup-shaped fruit bodies were usually produced during the cooler months of winter and early spring. I loved that the red of the fungus stood out in dark contrast to the green, moss covered moss that it grew on.  No wonder, in past times they were made into arrangements with moss and leaves and sold as table decorations. Brandon Marsh - Winter scenes

We stopped at a nearly full East Marsh Hide of twitchers and photographers. Hmm… I wonder if there was anything interesting about. We couldn’t see any. But, most of the natives were here because the main island was flooded. We spotted a few displaced cormorants looking a bit loss. The Gulls were practicing their fishing techniques by picking sticks and throwing them back into the pool. A ring of roses made up of Shovellors, Galdwalls , Wigeons, Mallards and Teals were going round and round at the opposite end of the hide. Some Gulls were taking advantage of the situation and picking up anything that had been disturbed. We didn’t stay long because Babe wasn’t feeling too good.Brandon Marsh - Signs of Spring

After a good rest, the next day we checked out Draycote waters on the sunniest day of the year so far. And we weren’t alone because for the first time, we’d to use the overflow car-park and we managed to bag a space because someone was leaving. Perfect timing. We didn’t expect to see anything much because of the large number of people. Who can blame them? After nearly 3 months of rain, everyone wants to have a a little bit of tan and top up their Vitamin D. Since most of the crowd were walking towards Farborough bank, we decided to be brave and climb the Hensborough hill. From here, we’d stunning views of a windsurfing competition.Draycote Waters - Winter light

We continued downhill towards the Bank trying to dodge the oncoming joggers and cyclists. The glowing orb that had been peeping occasionally was out. Sunlight was streaming through the trees and the air smelt fresh and healthy. We chatted and photographed as we walked, while listening to the twitterings of the Robins, Chaffinches, Long-tail, Blue and Great tits flitting about on the canopy about us. When we sat on the embankment wall checking out the displaying Golden Eyes, a duck flew in and dispersing the flock. Oh hello…it was the long awaited Long Tail duck, the only species that we’d not seen here. I’m so pleased that finally we met the oldsquaw.Draycote Waters - Winter light

We continued on along Draycote Bank. We scanned the nearby fields for hares but we didn’t see any. On the horizon. a pair of Buzzards were riding the waves, their meowing calls echoing around us. On the rocks, a pair of Pied wagtails were playing hide-and-seek with us. We enjoyed watching them watching us with their looping flight and descending glide. In the lake, a Little Grebe was feeding right below us. A dumpy and short-necked bird in breeding plumage and the yellow spot on the bill was visible to us. When it spotted us, all we could see was a distinct splash as it dived.Draycote Waters - Winter light

‘Now up, now down again that hard it is to prove

Whether underwater most it liveth or above.

~Michael Drayton, Poly-Olbion~Draycote Waters - Winter light

We walked towards the Valve Tower before taking a another breather on the wall. We recharged our batteries with a cold drink and a cheese and onion pasty. On the waters, we spotted a flock of Great Crested Grebes, Tufted ducks and Golden Eyes. We then turned back because Babe was exhausted and the heat was getting to us. We made a pit stop at The Overflow to see if we can see the Long Tail duck again. Unfortunately, it was fast asleep quite a distance away. A loud ‘teck-teck-teck’ trills of a wren caught our attention, We spotted it creeping among the dense vegetation.Draycote Waters - Winter light

Above us, the excited contact calls of the Long Tail tits reached us as they wandered through the trees. We watched the extended family partied among the thinner twigs of the trees, pecking in and around the buds. Then I spotted a vibrant yellow flirting among the foliage followed by a very high-pitched call. I rattled a few shots before I realised that it was a Gold-crest. Whoop…whoop. My first sighting in Draycote. Draycote Waters - Winter light

Our final trip was to Bradgate Park. But first a quick peep at Groby Pool. Except for a family of Mute Swans, most of the natives were chilling out in the middle of the pool. The island was teeming with Cormorants and Herons and I expected them to be busy as it was the breeding season. Then we joined the hundreds who were trying to find a parking space at Bradgate. We saw a car about to drive off and patiently waited for the space. As usual, I made use of the facilities and took a slow walk back to the car because along River Lin, I spotted clumps of flowering snowdrops.Bradgate Park - Warm winters day

We think the whole of Leicestershire was here. Everyone was taking advantage of the lovely weather on the last day of the school term holidays. I don’t blame them. We didn’t walk along the river because the ground was like a mud-bath. We scanned the fast-flowing river for our favourite Wigeon but he was no where to be seen. We spotted a herd of Red Deer on top of the hill, near Old John but they were just too far away for us to walk to. The herd quickly dispersed when a dog came to close. We continued on and spotted 3 Red stags resting below the deer sanctuary. We crept as close as we could and hid behind the trees while rattling hundreds of shots.Bradgate Park - Warm winters day

As crows fly

in the dawn light

on the cold hill

the deer are running

~Chris Powici~

Bradgate Park - Warm winters day

We didn’t stay long because a couple of walkers with a dog spooked them. We heard the cries of the Green woodpeckers echoing around us but they were just too fast to be photographed. We headed to the field beside the visitor centre where a herd of Fallow deer were having a siesta. A Pied wagtail flew in to say hello. A pity that Lady Jane Grey ruins were still closed for the winter because we often found some exotic birds taking shelter in the grounds. We left as more and more people were pouring into the park.Bradgate Park - Warm winters day

We’d a splendid early spring week and we hoped yours were brilliant  too.

After clouds, the sunshine,

After the winter, the spring,

After the shower, the rainbow…

For life’s a changeable thing

~Helen Steiner Rice~

Brandon Marsh - Signs of Spring

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The North Wind Doth Blow


The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will the robin do then,
poor thing?
He’ll sit in a barn,
And keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing,
poor thing! Aberystwyth D3100  07-02-2014 15-55-010

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will the bee do then,
poor thing?
In his hive he will stay,
Till the cold’s passed away,
And then he’ll come out in the spring,
poor thing!Roadtrip Aberystwyth D3100  07-02-2014 10-49-39

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will the dormouse do then,
poor thing?
Rolled up in a ball,
In his nest snug and small,
He’ll sleep til warm weather comes in,
poor thing!

~Mother Goose~Brandon Marsh - Signs of Spring Blown away! Flood-hit Britain was battered by 100mph 'Wild Wednesday' severe storms and rising water levels, with no prospect of an end to the misery in sight. It caused travel chaos across road and rail networks as motorways were flooded, major road bridges closed and rail lines offering limited - if any - services, stranding travellers that brought the country to a standstill. The wind amplified by down draft was literally blowing people off their feet. Roadtrip Aberystwyth D3100  07-02-2014 10-47-00 
The Thames rose to its highest level in more than 60 years and coastal areas were battered again by large waves. The Thames barrier was closed to protect communities to the West of the capital. The Met Office had issued a red weather warning - the most severe level of threat - for ‘exceptionally strong winds’ of up to 100mph. The rare alert was in place for western parts of Wales and the north-western parts of England.  Roadtrip Aberystwyth D3100  07-02-2014 10-49-39

We have been checking the weather forecasts in Aberystwyth ever since our ‘hometown’ was battered by the storms. We wanted to see for ourselves the devastation and try and support the community. But we wanted to make sure that it was safe to do so. After about a month, we managed to make the trip when there was a gap in the clouds and the sun shone. It was 4C in the car when we left Coventry.  It was raining and there were lots of surface water on the road. Roadtrip Aberystwyth D3100  07-02-2014 10-49-25

Road-works were also popping up everywhere. Frost on top of the hills were glistening in the sun as we drove through the majestic Cambrian Mountains. The fields around Welshpool was flooded and if there was another heavy downpour, I don’t want to know where the water was going to go because the ground was thoroughly saturated. Our first stop was Bwlch Nanty-yr-Arian which meant mountain pass of the silver stream and was shocked to see the devastation. What happened? We were saddened to see so many trees felled. Look at those poor bare mountains.Nant yr Arian D800  07-02-2014 13-15-45

It was a shock to the system to see the size of the area which have been cleared because of the outbreak of Phytophtora ramorum. This was a fungus-like pathogen killed many of the trees that it the disease known as ‘sudden oak death’. Larch trees were felled in an effort to slow the spread of the disease to other areas and other tree species. In contrast to the name, the oak trees were so far resistant to the bug. Natural Resources Wales aimed to replace them with 130k oak and other native species, replicating the ancient oak woods which once covered most of Wales. It will be a good few years for the area to get back to its original state.Nant yr Arian D800  07-02-2014 13-16-57

After using the facilities, we had a little picnic in the car overlooking the Rheidol Valley. The views were absolutely breathtaking. We noticed a lot of work had been carried out around the visitor centre. Apart from the scenic walks, world class mountain biking facilities and breathtaking lakeside views, an adventure play area and animal puzzle trail was also added. We then made ourselves at home in front of the bird-feeder and rattling hundreds of photographs. There was a large flock of chaffinches and house sparrows. Due to the lack of trees, they were making use of the children’s playground to perch. Nant yr Arian D3100  07-02-2014 13-20-033

Among the flock, we spotted a Robin, Siskin, Nuthatch, Goldfinches, Marsh, Great and Blue Tits taking turns to feed. Unfortunately, they were being chased away by the aggressive Chaffinches. I also purchased a Welsh love-spoon to add to my collection. Originally, these spoons were hand carved by young men and offered to the girls they loved as a token of affection. Today, as well as being a gift of affection, they were a purchased as momento from a visit to Wales. Nant yr Arian D300s X14  07-02-2014 13-21-061

Then it was time to made our way down to the lake, dodging the machineries littered along the route. Above us, Red Kites were careless soaring in an easy gliding flight with their five  foot wingspan and long, deeply forked tail.  More and more started gathering, circling tantalisingly above us and since the trees were no longer there, we could see them more clearly. Some were even perched on whatever tree stumps that were left. More people were making their way down towards the feeding area, waiting patiently for the warden to wheel in the barrow of meat. The crows too were beginning to gather. All waiting in anticipation.Nant yr Arian D300s X14  07-02-2014 13-24-33

Red Kite sauntering up the valley
like a London VIP guest-of-honouring
at a country fete, the buzzard
a drab country cousin, the larks
and wheatears scuttling aside and lying low,
myself blatantly starstruck.Nant yr Arian D800  07-02-2014 14-13-22

All elegance and perfection of winged line,
circling and cruising on,
it patronises the predictable forest,
the stream, the old-fashioned farm,
the sheep-untidy fields. Naturally
superior, self-consciously serene.Nant yr Arian D300s X14  07-02-2014 14-04-51

Plumage subtle but dominant,
the red-brown coat caught at an angle
in a snapshot of sunshine, offset
by a classic pattern of black and white.
The hooked curve of wingtips
matching the ruthless beak.Nant yr Arian D300s X14  07-02-2014 14-05-055

The black fighter planes that use the valley
for practice, imitating war
as they scream and blare overhead
in sudden blasts and invasions
hold none of the terror and easy power
of this silent forked intruder.Nant yr Arian D300s X14  07-02-2014 14-09-06

Squinting into the sun's glare
as the kite shoulders down over the hill,
and thinking of the dead sheep up there
that disappear entirely within days,
I linger mesmerised, like a
shadowed vole or a mountain hare.

~Irene Earis ~

Nant yr Arian D300s X14  07-02-2014 14-32-041

And then the warden arrived and started scattering the carcasses. And hell broke loose when the Kites began plummeting and swooping down grabbing pieces of meat from the ground with their talons. It was amazing to see hundreds of them diving for the food and yet they never collided into each other, while competing with breath-taking feats of aerial display. Some were trying to feed on the wings  but as usual the meat laden birds in the air were being flushed and mugged. It was crazy because there were so much food on the ground and yet they preferred seizing food from one another.Nant yr Arian D300s X14  07-02-2014 14-33-36

I particularly liked to watch them swooping over the lake, picking up any pieces that was accidently dropped into the water. There were hundreds in the air and hundreds swooping over the lake and the feeding area. You just don’t know where to point the camera. Their mewing cries echoed around us. A kite’s territory depended upon the abundance of food. Where food was plentiful, a large number of them could be found living together. And I’m glad that these magnificent birds have made this beautiful Welsh landscape their home. Nant yr Arian D3100  07-02-2014 14-12-52

Then we made our way to Aberystwyth. Scenes of a battered promenade greeted us. Work were still being carried out, repairing the sea defences. Most of the windows and doors were boarded up and large mounds of shingles were scattered everywhere. We managed to find a parking space near Constitution Hill from where many of the amazing photographs of the explosive force of high waves battering the sea-front were photographed. The waves crashing on to the promenade remained one of the images of the great storm of 2014. We came across a mess of gritty sand, broken pavements, mangled railings, crooked information boards and torn flags which still fluttered. Life continued. Shops were open, tourists gawked and took photographs, walkers and joggers pounded the pavements and finally I managed to ‘Kick the bar’.Aberystwyth D800  07-02-2014 15-14-54

We walked along the picture-postcard Victorian sea-front, one of the worst to be pummelled by the massive waves during the devastating  storms. Long stretches of the familiar white railings were gone. Impressively the sprouting spring bulbs in huge planters hung bravely on by the roots, their pale green leaf shoots exposed. The handsome dragon seats still remained firmly anchored in place. Further towards the pier, the railings of the paddling pool had disappeared, and beach sand extended right across the road.Aberystwyth D800  07-02-2014 15-32-55

Then we reached the area which was fenced off. The grade II-listed seafront shelter which was the symbol of the resilience of the town had been removed. The 1920s landmark was badly damaged and was being dismantled for repair. The shelter partly fell into a hole after its foundations were washed away as massive waves pounded the seafront. It had been used by couples, rowdy students, sodden holidaymakers and the homeless since it was built. I remembered the number of times sitting here enjoying an ice-cream watching the sun going down. I’m glad that Cadw, the body which looked after Wales' historic monuments for the Welsh government, had told Ceredigion council that it wanted the shelter to be repaired and replaced in its current position. Aberystwyth D3100  07-02-2014 15-28-05

Near the marina, the waves were beginning to build, spewing foam pounding the rocks. We finished the coffee and biscuits. We also fed the noisy gulls and cooing pigeons while keeping an eye on a dancing Pied wagtail and a cocky rock pipit. Giant waves were crashing onto the rocks as the winds got stronger. We were wondering where were the surfers. But I rather them stay safe then risk their lives. I took photographs of the River Ystwyth and River Rheidol as they converge into Cardigan Bay. I wanted to check out the starling murmuration but it was drizzling and we still have a three hour drive home.Aberystwyth D3100  07-02-2014 15-55-09

We drove through the buzzing high street trying to dodge the cars parked haphazardly along the road. We made a pit stop at Morissons to purchase a few packs of Welsh cakes. We later diverted and took the scenic route through the shingle-strewn Borth. We hoped to see the ancient 5k year old bronze age forest that had been unearthed by the storms. Unfortunately, the tide was high and a few brave surfers were trying their luck. It was freezing and very windy. We drove through the tiny village which was still recovering from the storms. Then it was straight onto the A44 and back safely to the Midlands. Roadtrip Aberystwyth D3100  07-02-2014 17-08-02

On Sunday, CC and I made a very expensive train trip to London to have lunch with a good friend of ours, DCL. We made this plan ages ago and as usual it was difficult to find an agreeable date. I was early at the train station and spent the time people watching. CC came packed with her luggage as she will be flying back to Canada the next day. We met SJ and her sister who were on their way to the opposite direction, to Birmingham. The train arrived on time and it was surprisingly empty. As we rode through the countryside, we saw pockets of flooding here and there. It would take months before things get back to normal.Shors from Home


We arrived in London in one piece and made our way to the Indian restaurant, Chutney. It looked very ordinary outside and was quite small, about 20 seats at a glance. But then when I wanted to freshen up, I found that downstairs, it had 2 floors of basement seating!!! Started in 1987, the restaurant specialised in South and North India vegetarian food. It was buzzing with people of different nationalities. DCL was going to be late because she was stuck in the Tube. Shors from Home *

By this time, we were already very hungry that we decided to started with the starters. First, I chose a very refreshing hot ginger and mint drink which really warmed up the cockles.  We started with an assortment of papadums and crispy snacks all served with homemade pickles and spicy chutneys. Yum…yum. DCL arrived just as we were finishing and while she attacked the starters, I queued for the fried spicy potato cubes with muttar panir, saag bhajee, a bit of thoran and brinjal bhajee. We’d a wonderful time checking out each others plates. There was plenty of laughter and sisterhood. My second trip ended with a plate of bombay aloo, tarka dhal and wiped clean with plain paratha. I forgo the rich desserts and had some fresh fruit instead.Shors from Home*

After about 2 hours of good food and company, we made a slow waddle towards the train station. I still have an hour to kill that we decided to have coffee at Cafe Nero to continue our chinwag. It was so relaxing. After hugs and promises to do this more often, I made my way to catch the 4 pm train back to Coventry. I was the only one in the carriage and was trying hard not to fall asleep. Thankfully, the views of the breath-taking sunset kept me busy. Shors from Home*

Babe and I also made a late afternoon trip to our favourite playground. A hovering kestrel over the reed-beds greeted us. By the time, Babe parked the car and took out the cameras, it had flown away. At the fishermen’s car-park, we met a few regulars with their eyes trained on something under the logs. They said it was a wood-mouse but when we managed to take a few shots, we found out that it was a vole. A buzzard flew right above us scattering the birds on the feeding table.Brandon Marsh - Winter sun

The main path was flooded again and we spent the time feeding the robins. In fact, they stalked us as we were walking towards the woods, along Goose pool. We were hoping to see the Gold-crests but they were no where to be seen. A large flock of Long Tailed tits were moving in rapid surges through the trees in restless waves. They were just too fast to be photographed. All we could hear were their high-pitched excited twittering. A Reed bunting flew in to check out the party. Brandon Marsh - Winter sun

wind song

sheet music


from the stand …

a reed bunting

~Claire Everett and Amy Claire Rose (2011)~

At work, I attended a brief introduction to a tool used by the Acquisition teams. Talis Aspire was a cloud-based, reading-list application that enabled universities to transform resource discovery and access for students and academicians 24/7. Lecturers with subjects and acquisition librarians were able to create reading lists using a simple drag and drop tools. It was hoped that library linking, acquisitions alerting and resource location functions will make it easier for students to connect with the library and find what they want. We highlighted a few setbacks such as investigating a way to move a number of bookmarks to a list in one go, rather than having to add them individually. Lecturers, too, shouldn’t be allowed to add or delete items from reading lists whilst the list was being reviewed. The library could easily end up buying things that were no longer required or missing essential items if we don’t have control over it.

I was volunteered by my manager to attend a Risk assessment workshop conducted by St John’s Ambulance and the British Safety Council awards. Risk assessment is balancing the degree of risk against the cost of control measures ie the higher the risk, the greater the effort required to combat it.  It meant that knowledge of the risks faced by the organisation and a measure of the extend of these risks was needed. It was a long day for all of us to absorb everything. And we’d to prepare a risk assessment task in order to get a certificate. I’m still thinking whether I want to put myself forward as a risk assessor. Warwick University Ipad mini  06-02-2014 12-28-17

We were surprised to see a Peacock butterfly in the bedroom. It was over wintering in the house and must have woken up by the warmth of the central heating. We followed it fluttering happily in the house. We don’t want to put it out because it was raining and there were no flowers for it to feed from. After a few hours, it settled down to sleep at the corner of the bedroom which happened to be the coolest part of the room. Fortunately, the heating in the bedroom wasn’t working. During the winter, butterflies need to stay cold in order to hibernate successfully. Warm snaps may wake them up and this would be fatal. We checked again and it had disappeared elsewhere. We hoped that it had finally found a safer place to sleep.Shots from Home

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.

~Rabindranath Tagore~

*I didn’t take any photographs when I was in London. As usual. when I was away, Babe took these photographs of my feathered friends having a party at the bird-feeder.