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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dotty Dog Dotty, the Nature Hides, Dragonflies and Birds of Prey



Dotty, our lovable mongrel bitch, is a complete fruit cake when she thinks she can get out into the fields for a good long run. She knows when we are planning our visit to the bird hides and begins to start yelping and whining - fearful that she might be left behind. 

We can't say, "Calm down Dotty, you are coming too." Because that will make her even more excited. She will start to bark her head off with excitement. Our cat, Bob looks on with an expression that seems to say, "What's the big deal."

Inside the car, she knows we mean business and then the barking starts. We can't shut her up for the first few moments as dotty Dotty the excitable dog just can't contain her excitement. It takes about fifteen minutes to drive to the nature reserve and  dotty Dotty settles into a combination of heavy panting a whining.

Once there, we escort her over the bridge by the pumping station, and she is off. She zooms up the bridal path below the dyke where various bird hides look out across the fen towards the distant spires of Ely Cathedral. Carole and I walk for some time allowing dotty Dotty to get her over excitement out of her system. Eventually, she does and we select a bird hide to look out of.

Inside, Dotty settles down while we open the shutter windows to do some bird watching and talk about all sorts of things. We have coffee and a few cheese and biscuits too.

We spotted many birds of prey from Buzzards, Marsh Harriers, Kestrels and Hobbies. Also swans and Goldfinches too. Some of the snaps are below.




























A Shop of Fine Wines and Whiskies with a Picturesque Riverbank Stroll


Carole and I decided upon a trip to St Ives where a car showroom was. I am thinking of buying a new car, so we had a look at some. We left with some thought on what we might like but did see one vehicle that ticked many boxes.

Afterwards, we decided to walk around the town centre of St Ives. It is a typical picturesque English town and I've mentioned it before on other blogs. We stopped at a small cafe and had a panini each with a cup of coffee. Afterwards, we decided to walk further along the high road and out of the town centre. We usually cut down an alleyway leading to back streets where our car is parked.

I said to Carole. "Let's skip the alleyway and walk along the main road. I think there is at least one more alley further up and closer to the car park."

Carole agreed and as we strolled along we came upon a wine supermarket. The shop front was modest to look at with a display window either side of a central doorway. However, upon looking through the open doorway, we noticed it went back a very long way with row after row of wine shelf displays.  

I decided to go in and have a look around. It was like an Aladdin's cave for wine lovers. There was everything from all the various wine making nations of the world. I then saw some of the various spirit displays and looked at the fine whisky selections they stocked. Some of it made the eye widen with delight and repulsion. There seemed every type of scotch whisky, but there is a particular Irish one I was looking for. A good old regular Irish Whiskey. I found it easy among the Irish stocks.

As for the one that made me grimace with a touch of repulsion, well... ?

I might be writing unfairly because I never tasted such a thing and being an Englishman, I don't like to sound unpatriotic. However, English whisky does fill me with doubt. I'm of the opinion that it should be left to our Gaelic neighbours. I might be wrong, but I would not chance an English whisky against Irish or Scotch. Even as an Englishman, I'm shuddering at the thought. Heaven only knows what Scotsman or Irishman might think. I would add that some of them were priced at usual levels so it was not cheap or over expensive.

Carole called me over to look at one bottle of whisky that was well over £1,000. I suppose one would be very worried about drinking that. It would be more of an investment I think. We continued looking around the establishment and I was delighted by the selections of French red wine. I have earmarked a fine box of six Clarets for nearer Christmas.

Before leaving, I bought a bottle of my favourite Irish whiskey as I do have a soft spot for this particular tipple. One might notice that Scottish whisky is spelt without an e in the word, but Irish has the e (as in whiskey) I think American whiskey does so too.

We continued to walk along the main road passed the museum and saw the river make way towards the road. Neatly running along parallel with us as we walked the lovely river bank. We found the next alleyway that came out directly from our car park. However, curiosity had the better of us and we decided to explore further along the river. Up to an old church and a walkway bridge.

It was a most scenic stroll before we went back to the car and drove back to our little hamlet town of March. We spoke of options concerning the car along the way.








Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The Sight and Sound of Ambient Things.


Our bedroom window overlooks the raised decking of our garden. My wife and I sit here. She likes doing her Sudoku book puzzles and I like reading and messing about with multimedia. Sometimes we talk about minor little things but we do enjoy the garden in the summer.

My wife Carole is always doing things to enhance the garden and she is keen on various types of plants from perennials to fruit trees and shrubs.

We bought a nice water feature earlier in the year and now we have it on all of the time. We put pot plants about it at the edge of the decking while the water gently trickles down the tipped old pots effect of the fountain and waterfall. It's a joy waking up in the morning because the water feature is usually gently trickling away amid the terracotta pots and the array of plants.

Carole is usually up before me when I have rest days from work. She turns on the water feature from the bedroom and then goes straight out into the garden and lets out the ducks and the chickens. I gradually wake up to these nice little sounds of nature and know I have a fine day ahead.

Bob - the wild furry Rag Doll cat comes bounding in and meowing for his first feed of the day, He is a great old lump and is probably one of the laziest cats in the world. He seems incredibly laid back too. He never goes far and wanders about among the ducks and chickens, usually giving them a little room as he goes about his business. He is disinterested in them and the ducks take no notice of him either.

Also, Dotty our highly strung and excitable dog comes bounding in for a fuss too. She is always happy and loves to be around people. The dog and cat take no notice of each other and Dotty, like Bob, gives the ducks their space when she goes out into the garden to check the perimeter. Carole and I call this Dotty patrol. 

She will kill any rat or mouse she comes across. The mice are attracted to the chicken and duck feed and come in from the farm fields across the road. Sometimes she catches them, but the little field mice are very quick. We've had two rats try to set up home by the shed near the chicken coop, but Dotty got both. She also manages to catch the odd mouse now and then.

Bob, the cat, catches voles and brings them to the garden door sometimes. We are always surprised by this because Bob is such a fat old lump and can hardly move. He has none of the gracious ways that one usually associates with a cat. When he scales the garden fence, which is six foot high all the way around, he always looks as though he just made the jump. When he drops from the fence top upon the decking, he has the finesse of a hippo trying to be a ballerina. He hits the floor with a splat and then just gets up and waddles off.

Carole planted some sunflowers seeds as we were both keen on getting some big sunflowers going. However, our ducks ate them. They wander the garden freely. We had them in the chicken coup but the matriarch chicken started pecking the drake. Once this started all the other hens ganged up on the drake. We decided to move him and the three girl ducks into the garden and put their duck house here too. 

We also had a smaller redundant chicken coup here. Since the duck move, there is also a solitary chicken wandering the garden too. This new addition is because Carole suspected the other chickens began to gang up on this single chicken too. I don't know, but this is what Carole is convinced of. 

Then there is her rabbit called Willow. He likes to bound about in his little garden space. His raised hutch has a ramp leading down into the enclosed bit of garden and there is also four guinea pigs too.

Because we only had one sunflower seed left, Carole put chicken wire mesh about it for protection from the ducks. I laughed at such antics at first. Then she showed me the shoots sprouting up. This was only a few months ago. Now the sunflower is taller than me. We are delighted with it.


Now the sunflowers are taller than me.

Ducks doing their duck things.



Marsh Harriers and Ice Cream



I was off of work today - the second day of my four days rest cycle. The weather was glorious so my wife and I decided to drive out to Hunstanton in Norfolk. My youngest son Ryan came along too as he has been staying for a couple of weeks. There were a few little traffic jams along the way, but once there we went to the little town centre in Hunstanton for coffee and pastries. Along the grass cliff top, we looked out to sea. I took the odd photo here and there.

After the coffee, we went back to the car and decided upon Wells Next the Sea. Another seaside town we wanted Ryan to see. I could not resist a minor diversion to the bird hides of Holkham Hall. I always like to see if I can get a few snaps of the Marsh Harriers.

Inside the bird hide were three men bird watching. They were very sociable and were talking of buzzards far off by a church spire where Holkham Hall Estate is - beyond a line of trees. It was quite far and on the other side of the approach road, we had travelled by car, beyond the marshland.   

I asked if anyone had seen Marsh Harriers and they replied they had not up to the present. I sat down and looked out with my camera as a Marsh Harrier suddenly flew low over the marsh. I called their attention to this and we all four eagerly looked through our various scopes.

I was clicking away with the 70 - 300mm Nikon lens. One of the bird watchers commented that the lens must be good. I had to reply that I never usually got good shots, but was able to enhance on my computer to get one or two shots of reasonable worth. and put them on my blog called Retro Brit. One man wrote it down. So I hope he gets a look at this.

I got about 60 - 70 shots of the Marsh Harrier and then bade the three bird watchers farewell. From here my wife, Carole, my son Ryan and I went to Well Next the Sea for an ice cream. There is a shop there that does a variety of flavours. We walked around the small quayside and then went back to the car and made our way home. All in all, a nice beautiful day out.


The shots were, of course, at some distance. However, there are a few images that are clear.

















Friday, 9 September 2016

Vivien - The Vintage Fire Engine.




While at work today, I drove past Wisbech Town Hall and saw the famous vintage fire engine called 'Vivien.' This vehicle was in service around Wisbech from 1932 to 1963. It was named after the Mayoress in 1932 and was one of the most up to date fire engines of the time. Fenlanders were very proud of her and even though she has long been out of service, Vivien is kept in fabulous condition. She often suddenly appears before an event. We are wondering if she'll be going to Sandringham on Sunday 11th because there is an event if vintage cars, falconry etc.

She was attracting a lot of attention and as I parked my van to about my work, I could not help taking a quick snap on my mobile. She still has her starting handle at the front.  


Monday, 29 August 2016

Father John Will Aid Any Man Seeking His Help. (Even a Dreaded Black and Tan)




Father John is a good man. A well-intentioned man. A man of compassion and conviction. He will aid any fellow man who comes to him, seeking help.

Father John must solve a dilemma of conscience. He must help two men from either side of a bitter and murderous conflict. He chooses a radical way of trying to achieve his goal. Read, the story set in Ireland of 1920. 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Read - THE LAST DAYS OF THUNDER CHILD by C. A. POWELL



The science fiction adaptation story of the grand ironclad – HMS Thunder Child will be on sale in the UK from 2017. It is available in the USA now. 

This adaptation is set in the original time of 1898 in Queen Victoria's Britain. A nation of steam and iron where the notion of something or someone greater was unthinkable.

That was until the Martians came with their gigantic fighting machines that spewed heat rays and poisonous smoke upon the little creatures that tried to scatter before the inhuman onslaught.

Read the new adaptation on sale in the UK from 2017. It has already generated rapid interest in the USA.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Guy Verhofstadt is a man with Cheaply Acquired Nobility.



Guy Verhofstadt is ranting on about democracy. What democracy? No one ever asked us to vote for the EU President. We never got to decide the political ideology of the unelected EU. It was imposed upon us. Perhaps the intention was well meaning, but until the EU goes to 500+ million peoples to win a vote with clear policies that Europeans can choose for themselves, this unelected body is going to continue to lose hearts and minds. I voted to leave. Not because I wanted to, but because I don't want this type of EU. It is a great shame because the EU could have been a wonderful idea. It has been hijacked by well-meaning liberals that are totally out of touch with the millions of little people they should be winning votes from. Guy Verhofstadt is a man with cheaply acquired nobility among others like him. Unelected people who want to pat themselves on the back. People who don't fear or respect an electorate because they don't exist for their elitist parliament.

Monday, 22 August 2016

The Civilization of Humans Upon the Planet.





The civilization of humans upon the planet. Watch Empires grow and crumble as new ones spring up and flower, for a short time, and then, once again, to wither. Some dynasties last for over a thousand years with boundaries changing and reforming. This goes on until 2016 AD from 3,000+ BC. Our world, our species. Humans in all their glorious horror and beauty. Untamed and metamorphosising all of the time. Hopefully developing towards goals that will go beyond the planet we live upon. How will the next four thousand years look if we could see the speeded up development of years and the map change to one of our universe?


    
    

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Two Queens of Roman Britain Meet.



Ancient Britain in the year of 61 AD


The Iceni warrior queen is defeated by the Roman Army and Boudicca awaits her poison elixir. 

The Druids will make sure her corpse never falls into Roman hands. Her remains will be hidden forever and her name will echo in eternity.

Before Boudicca - the Iceni warrior queen could commit suicide, she had one final task. She would indulge an audience with a hostile queen. A treacherous friend of the Roman Empire. 


The two queens are bound by a devious plot from exiles in the north lands of Caledonia and decide to meet.

One a Monumental failure - the other was an obscure success who was forgotten from history.

Years later, in 69 AD, and during the year of the four emperors, Cartimandua will go into exile in Gaul. As she sits upon a jetty waiting for a Roman galley to take her away from Roman Britain. While passing the time, she indulges three Roman guards with her tale about the meeting with the legendary warrior queen.

Read: Meeting Boudicca by C. A. Powell