Saturday, 16 December 2017

Happy Birthday

Today is Friend-uber-special's birthday.  I wonder if she will remain friends after seeing the following -

Many happy returns from across The Pond.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Some old photos

I've just been looking through some old photos and thought I'd share some with you.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Prophet of 1949

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Words - Hypnagogic and hypnopompic

It’s a long time since I did a word blog posting.  I came across these two the other day -  hypnagogic and hypnopompic

Hypnagogic is an adjective relating to drowsiness, particularly that confused, dream-like, transitional state as you drift off to sleep.  Hypnagogic hallucinations may occur as you go from wakefulness to sleep.

Hypnopompic is an adjective relating to the semi-conscious, state prior to complete wakefulness from sleep.  Hypnopompic hallucinations may occur as you wake up.

(Note Hypnagogic is spelled with an ‘a’ and hypnopompic with an ‘o’.  (In the book I came across them they were both spelled with an ‘o’ which was incorrect.).

Sunday, 5 November 2017

An October Break - Part 1

In October, partner-who-loves-tea and I had a week’s break in Southern and Midland England.  The first few days were spent visiting family in Exeter and we stayed at the Fisherman’s Cot on the River Exe.  The morning we left the river was swollen from the heavy rains that had fallen overnight. 

P-w-l-t drove us up to the Cotswolds and we stopped at Bourton-on-the-Water.  

We had a walk and then visited Birdland.

At times it was hard to know whether we were more interested in the birds or they were more interested in us!   This Northern Helmeted Curassow was happy to say hello.

This Occipital Blue Pie was a bit more shy.

I especially enjoyed seeing the birds that are on the British list but which I rarely get the chance to photograph at such close quarters like the Redshank, Stone Curlew and a pair of Snowy Owls.

By contrast the Masked Plover comes from the other side of the world being an Australian species.

Isn’t this wonderful plumage on the Queen of Bavaria Conure?

I’ll show some more birds another day.  

We spent that night at Shipton-under-Wychwood in the Cotswolds.  We had hoped to stay at the Shaven Crown which my Great, great grandfather and grandmother once ran but there was no room at the inn when we tried to book.  

So we ended up at the nearby Wychwood Inn and an excellent choice it proved to be.  Comfortable, friendly and first class food! 

This is the former post office in Shipton. 

And this is what it looked like around 1900 when it was run by my grandmother’s godmother, Nel Dee and her sister Adeline. 

There will be more about our October break another day....

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

A Year Old

My grandchildren became a year old the week before last.

Toby -

"Hello, I'm Annabel, who are you?"
"i'm Toby."

Katie -

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Sunday, 29 October 2017

King Penguins

The king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is a large species of penguin, second only to the emperor penguin in size.

King penguins eat small fish, mainly lanternfish, and squid. They are less reliant on krill and other crustaceans than most Southern Ocean predators. On foraging trips king penguins repeatedly dive to over 100 metres (300 ft), and have been recorded at depths greater than 300 metres (1,000 ft).

King penguins breed on the subantarctic islands at the northern reaches of Antarctica, South Georgia, and other temperate islands of the region.

The king penguin is the emblem of Edinburgh Zoo.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Mersey Tunnel

At the time of its opening The Queensway Tunnel linking Liverpool and Birkenhead under the river Mersey was the longest road tunnel in the world, a title it held for 14 years until the opening of the Vielha Tunnel in Spain in 1948, though it remained the longest underwater tunnel as of 1955. The tunnel, which cost a total of £8 million, was opened on 18 July 1934 by king George V, the opening ceremony was watched by 200,000 people. 

There were also dock exits and entrances at both ends, controlled by traffic lights..

In those days the tunnel had green toll booths at the ends, manned by attendants who handed out tickets.  

This ticket was among the possessions of my Uncle Eric.  He retained it because it was a memento of the day he came through the tunnel to Liverpool to get married at Liverpool Registry Office.

Friday, 27 October 2017

The Avocet

Partner-who-loves-tea and I have just had a week away and one of the places we visited was Birdland at Bourton-on-the-Water.  One of the birds we saw there was the Pied Avocet.  The four species of avocets are a genus, Recurvirostra, of waders in the same avian family as the stilts. The genus name is from Latin recurvus, "curved backwards" and rostrum, "bill".  The common name is thought to be derived from the Italian (Ferrarese) word avosetta.   Francis Willughby in 1678 noted it as the "Avosetta of the Italians".   

Avocets have long legs and they sweep their long, thin, upcurved bills from side to side when feeding in the brackish or saline wetlands they prefer.

The Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta ) is a distinctively-patterned black and white wader with a long up-curved beak. It is the emblem of the RSPB and symbolises the bird protection movement in the UK more than any other species.

They had been extinct in Britain for a long time because of land reclamation of their habitat and persecution by skin and egg collectors, but during or soon after World War II started breeding on reclaimed land near the Wash which was returned to salt marsh to make difficulties for any landing German invaders.  Its return in the 1940s and subsequent increase in numbers represents one of the most successful conservation and protection projects.

Avocets are found along the east coast of England in summer and in the Exe estuary in winter. 


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