Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hit the road, Jack

Takeaways don't bounce.

Apparently it's my fault. If I hadn't been trying to keep up, Ned wouldn't have run so fast that he fell over and squashed supper and cut himself so many times that we run out of sticking plasters. The curry still tasted nice though, even with the unplanned addition of a quantity of A+.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

There's something moving in the sidewalk steam

The things that can be done with sheep!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

He'd smile from the bar on the people below

Today was the Big Day for Ned's charity abseil down the Fort Dunlop building, in aid of the Stroke Association. Every time he looked at a picture of the building over the last few weeks he commented on how it seemed to be getting taller and taller as he became more and more nervous. But he did it! The weather was perfect, if flipping cold in the shade.

Oh heck, it's very high!

Here we go!

The point of no return.

Ned's the one on the right

The Eagle has landed!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'd reside by the side of the silvery sea

When I was a little girl I lived in Budleigh Salterton (yes, a real place and not a music-hall joke); see the picture in my profile ...

mainly in this house (then called Rill cottage because of the rill that ran a few feet away).

My mother's family had lived in the area virtually since the beginning of time, and we only lost contact with the place when my great-aunts died in the early 70s; I went back at the time to help sort out their house (which, if there was any justice in the world, would still be my mother's home, but hanging on to resentment only damages my soul) but haven't been back since. My great-grandmother had the house built for her, and I'd love to live there - we even still have a lot of the original furniture. I wonder if the current owners want to sell?

So when we had a golden opportunity to visit the town again I seized the chance, despite me having a pounding headache and Ned (aka Mr Snotty) a feverish cold. We walked along the beach to the rocks at the end where, as a child, the challenge was to throw a pebble over the river onto the cliff edge and have it settle on a ledge without bouncing off into the water. As a four year old this was a feat beyond me - I was a rotten thrower anyway (father always reckoned that the safest place to be when I was throwing was beside the target) and the river seemed really, really wide.

In the near half-century since my last attempt the river seems much smaller and my aim improved somewhat and after a few abortive attempts I finally succeeded - at last I've navigated the rite of passage and my pebble sits snugly on the cliff. (I wonder why I didn't take a picture of the ledge, just for my own satisfaction. Oh well, I'll just have to go back again sometime.) And so does Ned's so that's good too; a short celebratory victory dance was performed, much to the disgust of the nearby bird-watchers and we could have our picnic with a satisfied glow in our hearts.

The beach at Budleigh is a pebbly one, but it's not like the shingle on most beaches; the pebbles are smooth and flattened and rounded and tactile, and there are some wonderful colours among them. There are so many uses for them ...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Looking down on creation

For this week's Tuesday Challenge we had to take a picture where our camera was at least 30 feet (10 metres) above the subject of your photo. I get wobbly standing on a chair, so I wasn't over-impressed at this at first! And my camera is a very very very basic point-and-click (with monumentally irritating shutter delay) so no chance of doing anything particularly fancy. But then I found a couple of places where I could keep my feet firmly on the ground, so that was okay.

The first one has had a tweak or two - I'm not sure whether or not that's against the rules, but anyway ...


Here it is untweaked. See, it still looks like Toytown!

The other one is totally au naturel - utterly untampered - so I know for sure that's not cheating.

Jacob's Ladder

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reality came around

I know that people mean well when they bring us 'abandoned' or 'I think it's injured' wildlife, but what they're generally doing is actually lessening that animal's chance of survival. With young animals the mother invariably knows exactly where they are, and is only staying out of sight until the terrifying humans have gone before returning to their babies. If the humans abduct the youngster the mother is left bereft, and the baby itself has to survive the third-rate upbringing that's the best we humans can provide. Even if they are actually injured it's best to leave them alone. Minor injuries they'll probably recover from anyway; treatment for more major injuries would involve so much handling by humans the animal is likely to die of shock.

Our hearts sink when the door opens and someone proudly and carefully enters with a cardboard box, and the words "We thought you'd be the best people to bring it to". No we aren't! But once you've picked it up it can't go back because it'll stink of human and then will be abandoned. So we have to decide whether to put it down straight away or keep it overnight with food, water and warmth then release it in the morning.

That's what I'll be doing with the not-quite-fully-fledged collared dove that's currently in the utility room. It stood more chance before it's 'rescuer' came to its aid.

Leave. Them. Alone.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Can you put your hands in your head?

After conducting extensive experiments I can confirm categorically that Omally is not a pedal-bin. Even if you stand on his toes really hard the top of his head doesn't flip up.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

You don't know how much they all mean

Good Lord. I'm absolutely stunned.

During the morning I set up a fundraising page to try to achieve Ned's target of £75 for the Stroke Association. In under 12 hours we've surpassed it. Thank you all so very, very much. (But let's not stop quite yet!)

Ned is now feeling absolutely terrified and has passed nearly enough bricks for an extension. And I'm making sure the life assurance policy is paid up.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Set my hopes up way too high

Ned's not sure what he's let himself in for; although his vertigo is less than it was, due mainly to his current job which often involves being off floor level, he's still not entirely confident at height. So he's not sure why he volunteered to take part in the International Man of Mystery abseil in aid of the Stroke Association down Fort Dunlop in three weeks time. The thing is that he needs to raise £75 in donations before the big day so, as they used to say on Blue Peter (and might still do for all I know), that's where you come in. Any donations to enable him to scare the living daylights (d'you see what I did there?) out of himself will be very gratefully received.