Sunday, 9 November 2014

Birthday Shenanigans, Squeaky Robins and Weather Stations......

My oldest niece turned ten today (happy birthday Suss), so we all went to Winchester to celebrate over lunch. Zizzis Italian restaurant lives where the Hampshire Chronicle Newspaper was once printed, and the building's decor reflects its three hundred-year old association with the production of the paper. I was particularly taken with this snippet about a slow-news week painted on the wall. Wouldn't it be great if today's newsreaders occasionally said, Well, nothing whatsoever has happened, so we're cutting the news short.....


Suss had been given a box of dares which my youngest niece Em (aged five) had enormous fun getting L to do. Her favourite was making him walk across the restaurant in the style of a cowboy. His ensuing swagger was a little too realistic for comfort :o)

K (my sis) told me a funny tale about her sister in law, who was walking through Covent Garden last week when she was offered what she took to be a sweet from a market vendor. She unwrapped it and put it in her mouth without really looking at it and a second later was assailed by the most revolting taste. She took a swig from her cola bottle in an attempt to get rid of the foul taste and the thing promptly exploded and began to fizz. Within seconds she was frothing at the mouth and people were staring at her, doubtless wondering if she'd got a bad case of rabies. It turned out to be a bath bomb. Poor Clare. This sort of thing happens to her all the time :o)
The most publicly embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was years ago when I was working in a very old bookshop in Winchester and this bloke rang up and asked whether his book order had arrived. Instead of saying: to be honest, I'm not sure for some reason (panic) it came out to be sure I'm not honest. I was mortified, and what was worse was there was complete silence on the other end of the phone before he huffily said perhaps I could speak to someone who knows what they're talking about.


Back home and the weather station needed putting together....Yikes! How on earth am I supposed to assemble all of those bits into something resembling a weather station?

 
Oh, like that.



It was Quite Easy actually and Fairly Blond Proof.

Now all I need to get it working are some AA batteries. I had hundreds, and at 5pm this afternoon when all the shops had shut realised they have all disappeared, appropriated by the boys for their x box controls which eat more batteries than Poppy does shoes....

Talking of which, I went to Mole (Scats) yesterday, because Ma told me they were selling Father Christmas and Reindeer coats for dogs and I thought they would be perfect Christmas Presents for T and P, only to discover that they were very expensive and not as funny as I had expected. So instead I came home with a Squeaky Christmas Robin for them....


I had no sooner stepped through the door with it and given it to them when then this happened....

It's MINE......


No, it's MINE.....


The problem was solved thusly.....(although they still fight over the same one :o) ).....


I'll leave you with some pics from the garden. Mrs Dunnock and one of the baby rats. I'm hoping to get more birds in the garden this week as the temp is falling so I've put peanuts and fat balls out in addition to the normal seed mixes. My bird count has been a bit low this summer as they all bugger off into the vineyard and woods when the weather's warm and food plentiful. Usually our garden list is pretty good, so I'm looking forward to seeing the GSWs, Nuthatches, Willow Tits, Siskins, Goldfinches, the occasional Thrush, Coal Tits and others back again :o)



Hope you've all had a lovely weekend? Sunday night again already....

CT :o)

18 comments:

  1. Lucky doggies!
    Your weather station looks interesting -what kinds of information will it give you/what does it do??

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    1. It will record temperature, rainfall, wind speed and direction. It links up to the computer so should make analysis easier. It's for a paper I am working on looking at correlations between moth flying times and weather patterns. It's a three year study so I should have plenty of data by the time I come to write it up :o)

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    2. Wow, sounds very interesting and essential work. Is this connected with your degree-is it a four year course?

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    3. It will hopefully form my dissertation if all goes well :o) The course is 3 years part time with a final fourth year full time for the BSc. To be honest, I'm so interested in moths and run the light trap here regularly and submit all my records to the county moth recorder anyway that I would be working on it regardless of the dissertation- it just seemed like the logical subject to pick. Added to that is the fact that moths are under studied comparative to butterflies but as important for pollination and as indicators of climate change and biodiversity and it makes the subject matter all the more relevant and interesting. I'll let you know how it goes- hoping to have the weather station up and running later this week. Hope your course is going well - rewarding and hard work in equal measure, as per mine I expect :o)

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  2. HI On hearing about your sister's story, it reminded me of a person I know who was offered a sweet on a bus and it had some drug in it and had it not been for the bus driver noticing him, stopping the bus and getting an ambulance, he would have died. He was extremely ill for some time. How evil some people are and now simply this could happen to anyone. Love the shot of the Dunnock.

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    1. That's horrific Margaret- what a wicked thing to do to someone. Luckily, Clare's experience wasn't deliberate trickery- she just didn't look at the wrapper before eating it.

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  3. Typical doggies, they always want the toy that the other one has! I can imagine that Pops takes anything Teddy has and runs off with it!! xx

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    1. You're absolutely right- Pop makes off with all Ted's toys and often hides them under the sofa! xx

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  4. Ha ha. Blonde proof. No offence taken, as they say :)

    Jean x

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  5. The weather station looks interesting and fun and the project fascinating. I did something similar years ago to try and find a correlation between frog spawning dates and winter temperatures. To my surprise I found I really loved statistics and the creation of graphs etc.

    Thanks for answering my question re: sewing up the blanket. I am hopeless at sewing :( I used to knit jumpers but gave up when my mother could no longer sew the pieces together! Hence the obsession with scarf making!! I'll post a few photos of progress but I suspect the blanket will take me at least a year to make!! I'll check ebay out for cheap wool - thanks for the suggestion. At the moment I am using remnants left over from scarves which is creating an extremely weird colour combination!! :)

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    1. I have a sneaking suspicion I will also enjoy the stats and graphs, once I learn how to do them well! It should be a useful and interesting project to work on. What were your results with the froggies?

      I am not a great sewer either so I'm sure you'll be fine :o) I've become a fan of weird and wonderful mixes of wool colours- I love them all jumbled up together in a patchwork blanket. Very cheerful. Can't believe it's a year since we were having this self-same conversation! x

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  6. I think that you are the only person I know who seems to like rats.
    Leanne xx

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  7. Loved your funny stories!
    I have to admit when I saw that picture of the unassembled weather station my eye was caught immediately by the moulded container, not the working parts. It looks like an American city with skyscrapers, in a box.
    And for the record, I have no problem with rats, either.
    All the best :)

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    1. Ooh, you obviously have a creative eye- I just saw a knobbly box :o)

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  8. I don't know how I missed this post CT, so sorry, but the bath bomb made me laugh-poor thing!
    I can't wait to move and get the weather station back out. I checked it was all packed up safe a few weeks ago. I really miss it.

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    1. Clare is a lovely person but I can so see that happening to her :o) Will let you know how the weather station works out. Hope you get into your new house soon x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x