- 16:59 Just discovered that Tontosgirl ate our dinner at lunchtime. She did note there was enough for seconds. I wonder why? #
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
(About 75 secs total).
Don't forget to compare it to the original video tour here.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
I discovered on Wednesday evening that my AOL service was not working correctly, and was preventing me from connecting to the Internet. Running through the self-diagnostics on the software this told me that there was a missing file and to reinstall the software. This I did. It did not resolve the situation. When I phoned technical support on a number that charges at 5p/min. I was told by recorded announcement that there were extremely long delays, and I should connect to the Internet and seek help on-line. (Which I was not able to do because your software was "apparently" not working). After 15 minutes of waiting I gave up.
The following day I checked the AOL homepage from work to see if there were any known issues. None were listed. That evening I tried again, and reinstalled the software again with the same result. Again I phoned technical support. Eventually I got through (after a 20 min wait). Only to be told it was a known fault (with the type of modem that I was using that you supplied me with), would be fixed within 2 hours (impressive since it's already been out for at least two days, sorry I don't believe you) and that I should connect through Internet Explorer.
Please can you therefore provide me with answers to the following:
- Why you couldn't put an announcement on you technical support line to tell people this and save me running up a phone bill of at least £1.75 (cynically I suspect that this is so that you make yet more money from your customers)?
- You didn't list this supposed known issue on the website homepage?
- Why your support staff are extremely unhelpful and rude?
- Whether you are prepared to refund me the cost of my phone calls?
- Whether you are prepared to refund me the proportion of my monthly charge while I have been unable to use the Internet through the usual means and this problem continues?
- What my MAC code is so that I can move to another broadband supplier?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
There was however something that I really felt I needed. I want our allotment to be as sustainable as possible. As it's close by this means that I can walk there and back. The downside of that is that it means I have to carry everything with me that I need. At the moment that's mainly fork, spade and bucket. Along with some water or juice to keep me hydrated as I dig. If we had a shed I could actually leave the digging utensils at the allotment, but the shed is a longer term investment. Not for the here and now. Instead. Today. I went and purchased the next best thing.
Dear Blog Reader, I give you:
Monday, July 14, 2008
- Ensure that allotment is readily identifiable by clearly displaying our plot no. (3b)
- Rough dig entire plot (approx. 52' x 26', and covered in weeds, the previous "tenants" were kicked off)
- Ensure all the edges and paths are clearly defined
Monday, July 07, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
So there we were yesterday, the dog (not-so-muttley) and I (not-so-Dick Dastardly), just walking across our back garden to get the bbq out of the garage. Fathers day you see, parents coming for dinner.
As we walked across the yard, a pigeon decided to come in to land, he obviously wasn't expecting to see us. Instead of completing his landing he opted for aerobatics, going into a tight climbing turn into, straight through the open potting shed door.
Now the potting shed, to a pigeon, is probably the length of an aircraft carrier flight deck, except this aircraft carrier is enclosed on all sides. That didn't stop him trying to fly the length in both directions several times, running into the windows at either end, feathers flying everywhere.
Here, I entered the fray, or at least the potting shed. I managed to corner him. Dick Dastardly would have been impressed and hired me on the spot! I picked him up making sure I had both of his wings against his body and his feet tucked up underneath, and carried him outside. I could feel his little heart racing, and he was looking at me. I'm not sure what he was thinking, but he didn't peck or struggle, and I'm sure his heart began to calm down.
When we got back out to the yard I just put him down on the ground, stepped back and he flew off, probably none the worse for wear. Dick Dastardly would have sacked me on the spot.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I've added a blog to this today, one that I have been regularly reading for a while now, and haven't gotten around to adding. I have now.
I am posting about this because I think you should go and read a couple of posts. Before you do however, note that some of the other posts might be a little NSFW, nothing extreme, but without looking through the blog as a whole they could be taken out of context the author, is both honest and candid.
The posts I am referring you too, follow. The reason, because both made me cry.
Read this one first, and then
This one next. (also follow the link at the end this one).
I've mentioned that we haven't seen our fish for a while. Prime suspect in their disappearance is a Heron who has been around a lot recently, and may very well have made a meal or more out of them. It is also possible that the conditions in the pond are not that suitable. I spent some time cleaning the pond out at the weekend, removing a significant amount of detritus and dead weed. I'd been thinking for a while that the oxygen levels in the water may well be low, and looking for a solution other than oxygenating pond weed (there is already quite a bit of this, and it's making the pond very crowded). The solution is a solar powered pond pump from Smart Solar. It arrived this morning, and was up and running in under an hour. Now I'll just have to wait and see if any of the fish make a reappearance!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Today is the penultimate day of my leave, and on Monday I'll have to go back to work, boo! It is a glorious day though and I managed to have nice walk with the dog this morning before it started to get too hot, and snap the photo above with my cameraphone, a Speckled Wood butterfly.
I've also spent some time in the garden this morning, and have pulled out the old broccoli that has now finished, and replaced it with some fresh seeds, as well as some leek seeds, and our last two sweetcorn plants. The broccoli took up so much room, that hopefully all of this will fit in the same place! I've also planted some more radish and some perpetual spinach for our summer salads, as well as harvesting some lettuce for lunch and dinner today (see below).
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Our anniversary. I've been on leave this week, which I normally do, the week of our anniversary. Often we will go away somewhere for a few days, but with my GF being ill, and money a little short we decided to pray for good weather, and go for a picnic lunch later in the day. Part of her illness means that she feels worse in the mornings than later in the day, so until picnic time arrives, and because it's our anniversary and it should be a day of leisure, I am sitting watching the birds in the garden, and also keeping an eye-out for our pond fish.
As you can see from the photo above we have a clan of starlings who are making for considerable entertainment at the moment. They haven't quite yet mastered the suet feeder, but their greed to eat the suet means that they are having to learn fast. A few days ago I watched one, with on leg of the feeder, and the other on top of a nearby post. A better image would be imagining someone trying to get into a boat that is not tied securely to the dock, slowly the boat moves away when one leg is in the boat and the other on the dock until...SPLASH. Well this is what was happening to the starling. Replace boat with suet feeder and you can probably see what was happening. The starling though, instead of putting both feet on either the feeder or the post, or even flying away, kept eating faster and faster. Eventually the gap became to great for him to maintain a grip and he drop off, fortunately remembering that he could fly before he hit the ground!
There seem to be more birds about in our garden generally now. When we brought the house, the previous owner told us all about the birds and how he used to feed them, but most of the first six months we were here we saw very little (and given it is the same six months of the year now, this is even more puzzling), anyhow that was then and this is now. We have our starling clowns, the goldfinchs that nested and raised at least three young (although we are certain that the dead one we found was one of theres'), as well as a whole range of other garden birds:
and other visitor who, whilst nice to see close up, even if he is a bit camera-shy, a Heron. He's the reason I am watching the pond, because we haven't seen any of our pond fish for a few days, but the Heron has been around. We know definitely he has had one of them, and also a frog, because he left behind the evidence, but what we are not certain about is whether he has had more / or whether we have any fish left. So I'm keeping an eye-out for them.
Anyway enough for now. Enjoy your day everyone, we will be picnicing later!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
across a pack of 'Brownies' (the girl scout variety, not the chocolate
version). They were walking in a long crocodile and making loads of
When I led school groups on forest hikes, there were times when we all
walked as close to silent as we could get, to see what we could see.
Often this meant that we would see far more wildlife than if we were
walking normally. I say normally because it's actually very difficult
to walk silently if there are twenty of you and most are under
sixteen! Anyway I digress.
As the brownies approached I saw just off the path less than 50 metres
away a young female roe deer. She was in the open and standing stock
still watching the brownies approach, I don't think she'd seen us.
Quickly I clipped the dog back on his lead (he doesn't tend to chase
deer but I didn't want to take a chance). As the brownies drew level
with us I put a finger to my lips and pointed, heads swivelled as
slowly one at a time mouths fell open in amazement. Magical.
The deer stood for a while and then eventually turned and walked back
Later that evening I had a second close encounter. I was sitting in
our conservatory looking out at the garden, when a large shadow came
overhead. Surprised I looked up to see a heron landing on our garage
roof. Now he's probably the one who's been killing the fish in our
pond, but nevertheless I wanted to get a picture. I didn't manage it,
he flew off (fish-less, I hasten to add), before I could get the
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
Have a look at this photograph, do you count three chicks or four? Having looked at this and the other photo's I took this evening I'm pretty sure that there are four chicks in the nest, although it's hard to say because to know for sure would mean we are too close to the nest.
So what are those multitude of things, well actually I could probably get the list down to about four with out trying hard, and split that equally between the higher priority than blogging and the lower/equal priority to blogging. The former are work and looking after / supporting my GF who is still not well. Work is the 9 to 5, and then being tired in the evenings. Supporting my GF is much more complex as there are many things that she is simply not well enough or able to do, and obviously these are why they are more important than sitting down to right a post.
The less important are the garden and gaming. I've written several posts about the garden, and as GTA IV came out this week I could write lots of posts about that (but other blogs are there well ahead of me so I won't). The last couple of days however given the fact that it's a bank holiday weekend have meant gardening. The work started last weekend, with clearing an area of patio to plant some wild grasses and flowers for insect habitat has been going on a-pace. The ground has had to be lowered a bit, and this has meant multiple trips to the tip with bags of mainly builders rubble, as this seems to what was under the paving stones. Fortunately there is enough soil there too, so at least we won't have to bring in loads of soil to finish the job off.
Anyway I think suffice to say, I am a crap blogger, and if I am ever to improve I really must write more often, which I will try to do, but I make no promises. In the meantime however, I am alive, just time stressed!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
It's liberating in a way. Less tied to modern convention, slightly off-grid. It started with an extension of my weekends, I've never worn a watch at weekends and one day it extended into the week. Since then it's been a daily thing, except for a few odd days. Despite having it on all day, I've not looked at it, instead referring to where it has now been a habit for me to look; wall clock, mobile phone, computer screen.
It might also be something wider than that, my txt comment to my GF today that I'd rather be doing something else than work, despite the fact that the wages pay the bills!
In the meantime though if it is a symptom of something more than just not wearing jewellery, I'll keep my off-grid ways.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
The rest of the time he sits in the top of the Hawthorn tree nearby and stands guard. He sees everything, but is very tolerant of our comings and goings. As the sun sets he disappears, I am assuming he just drops down the hedge, and gets in, out of sight and into relative safety.
With the weather we have had this week and last, with everything from storms to blizzards, he's been on station, and she's been on the nest. Their perseverance to succeed makes me proud, to think they chose our garden to build their nest.
As they have very kindly built their nest in full view of our conservatory window, it's possible for us to see what they are up-to without disturbing them in the slightest. It's a kind of reality tv wildlife show.
Monday, April 07, 2008
So you think it would be safe to say that it would contain gingko and volcanic mineral extract, or at least have gingko and volcanic mineral extract or perhaps even volcanic mineral extract and gingko in the ingredients list someplace ? Perhaps not surprisingly however neither ingredient appears on the list on the bottle.
So no gingko and volcanic mineral extract, I guess means no reinvigorated skin.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Just about to unpack my birthday chiminea
Was it fun? Have you lit it? Did you have a good b'day?
Well, actually Will asked that ages ago, and I didn't really want to type a post that said, "No, because the weather's been lousey and we didn't want to sit in the rain just to try it out."
However on Friday, after we'd got back from the hospital, the weather was good, and we had everything we needed so I unpacked the Chiminea, filled it with combustable material, and the rest speaks for itself. It was only a light dinner, with a couple of burgers each and some beer, but I'd say we christened it perfectly, and it kept us nice and warm as the sun went down.
I can see it getting a lot more use too, as it's way more convenient than getting out the whole barbeque when there's just the two of us to cook for. All we need now is the right weather, and not the snow that we've had all day!
Friday, April 04, 2008
We realised a few days ago that the Goldfinches were back in the garden, and I checked that the niger seed feeder was in good order and that we had plenty of stores to keep it topped up.
It wasn't until yesterday however that we noticed that they were busy building a nest in our cherry tree. It's difficult to spot because it's well hidden, but from a distance (we're giving them loads of space because we don't want to disturb them) it looks like a tight little ball of twigs and fluff.
Anyhow they've been really busy today, still nest building I think, and so watch this space (and my twitter feed) for Goldfinch watch:
Thursday, April 03, 2008
If you have nothing better to do around 2pm GMT, please keep your fingers crossed for her that;
1. The results are a diagnosis
2. That there's a treatment
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Surprisingly my local team are favorites to win at the moment and lift the cup overall. Can they do it? I sincerely hope so, but you never know. I shall watch with bated breath the whole march.
Play up Pompey.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
If I won the lottery, I'd definitely have to have a bigger garden
Go on then - what would you put in your bigger garden?
Friday, March 28, 2008
"Cauliflower and broccoli cheese war awesome. Bonus, made enough for tomorrow night too :-)"
Hi Alan, I arrived here via Will's place. Can I cheekily request a post about the Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese War?
Pleeease don't tell me it's just a typo, a cheese war sounds most exciting
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
There were lots of seeds to plant, and seedlings planted earlier in the year to pot on. So I've planted:
Sweetcorn (in Blue Peter style in cardboard toilet roll tubes, to promote straight growth, see pic),
Rhubarb (long term investment, as it probably won't be in a condition to eat for two years),
And planted out into the great outdoors (hope we don't get too many hard frosts):
I've also be training our Wisteria, so that it grows over the arch, above our front gate, rather than trys to entangle itself with every passer-by.
Finally I moved the sensor from our digital weather machine, so that it is not in a little micro-climate that makes it read 15.7 Celsius when it's actually snowing!
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Birds Singing. Every morning on my walk to the station I can hear bird song. I hear it at other times too, but in the mornings when it is early it is most noticeable. Recent weeks it has been the male birds, staking out their territory and seeking pretty female birds to make more beautiful music with.
Trains. A constant tune in our lives, as we can hear the trains pulling into and out of the station. It's actually quite a therapeutic noise.
[Update: Just as I'd finished this post, and hit publish, a steam train came through, whistle blowing, engine puffing]
Fire Station. We are close enough to know everytime they have an emergency call, and here the fire tenders leaving the station.
Police Spotter Plane / Coastguard Helicopter. Both of these are based at an airfield near us, and it's quite common to hear one or both at all hours. Either taking off or coming back into land.
Football Club. Just nearby, most noticeable when the local side is doing well!
Royal Mail Sorting Office Air Conditioning. When the wind is blowing in the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) direction we can hear this running when we're in the garden. It's a low hum and so easily tuned out.
Fog Horn. Only when it's foggy but easy to hear many a ship in The Solent. Strange because I never really considered that we were that close to the sea.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
My phone appears to have developed a fault. I keep getting a message which says "Inactive SIM" on the screen.
I have tried turning the phone off and on again, and turning it off removing the battery and SIM and then replacing them and turning the phone back on again. This seems to solve the problem temporarily but then it reoccurs later.
I tried to call customer services from a landline, and after completing all of the press 1 for this 2 for that, was told that all operators were busy and was cut off.
To say the least I am extremely unhappy. This is not the first time that I have had a problem with contacting orange, and I am seriously considering leaving once again.
Please can someone contact me to resolve this current problem.
p.s. I can be reached on either 0**** *****7 during the daytime or 0**** *****4 - no point in you calling my mobile because it isn't working again!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Anyway this morning when out walking the dog, I noticed lots of these little plastic balls all over the stream. I managed to get those that I could find out and into a bin, but I wonder how many had already floated downstream?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
As however this blog is Wild Tales - here is another nest-box link. Enjoy and Happy Valentines.