Ducklingwatch

Just like my own offspring, the ducklings were late arrivals. And they’ve also now flown the nest. Or waddled, rather. Having calculated, with the help of my RSPB guide, that their hatching date should be 3rd May, we were relieved to return on the 1st from a week in Yorkshire to find that all was still well. We were none the wiser as to what would happen once the bundles of fluff broke free into the big wide world – otherwise known as our secluded back garden with no water flowing through it or easy exit route – but all advice seemed to point towards letting nature take its course.

D-Day came and went with no change in mother duck’s behaviour, which consisted of interminable hours sitting in her hideaway amongst the now more luxurious euphorbia. Perennial geraniums carpeted the edges and she was so well hidden that the best view was from an upstairs window. With the onset of some welcome warm weather it was a pleasure to throw this open first thing in the morning and take frequent glimpses without spooking the expectant mum.Continue Reading

Duckwatch

The start of the new financial year puts me in mind of the expenses scandal, whereby an esteemed MP considered it perfectly legitimate to claim the cost of his duckhouse against taxes. In early April this year, our own humble garden is the scene of an unusual occurrence. A favourite jaunt of ours is toContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Dreamscapes

For years I’ve had a recurring dream.  It’s not the same location every time, but the scenario definitely reflects a theme.  The context varies in fact from places that I recognise to those that I’ve never visited in real life. Often the setting is a mish-mash or an unlikely jumble of incongruous places and faces.Continue ReadingContinue Reading

A smart way to end the year

For someone who claims that a few written words can paint a thousand pictures, I seem to have developed an unhealthy fascination for emojis. Gone are the days of being a borderline technophobe.  Running a writing and proofreading business means I have a well-established professional working relationship with my laptop.  And even before Way BeyondContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Velodrama in the village

It’s not unusual to see cyclists trundling past on Sunday mornings. Generally they’re heading for Kinver Edge, though, on chunky mountain bikes.  Today is something else entirely: some 15,000 lycra-clad bodies speeding through on streamlined road racers with the slimmest of precision wheels.  It’s the first ever Vélo Birmingham, and following a shift in theContinue ReadingContinue Reading

On board in Menorca

With the dawn of a brighter, calmer morning comes the promise of plenty of activity in the bay. Colourful activity. Activity that takes you places. Soon the beach fills up and swimmers clad in various hues dive and splash in the gentle rollers, within the limits of yellow buoys marked out for that purpose. Don’tContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Taking Menorca by storm

Someone turned the volume up on the storm and I wondered if I’d ever get to sleep. You couldn’t check progress visually as by early evening we’d already made good our defences, bringing vulnerable terrace furniture indoors and fastening all the shutters. It sounded as though peeking through the front door wouldn’t be worth theContinue ReadingContinue Reading

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