Sunday, 11 March 2018

Bees, Toads, Dogs & Cross-Country Racing

So, another busy week closes. Summer 'is a cumen in' (as the old song has it)- I had my first bumble bee rescue of the year on Thursday. On my way into town I discovered a large bumble snoozing on the car. I couldn't leave her there so I picked her up (ignoring the leg lifted in warning telling me how ferocious she was) and transplanted her onto the daphne, where she hung for ages feeding. Tired and hungry and a little chilly after a winter hibernating underground, no doubt. The last thing a bumble wants to do is sting you; they go through an elaborate warning routine to put you off picking them up which involves lifting a leg or two then showing you their sting, but as long as you're careful they are fine being gently picked up and placed somewhere more safe.

The toads have also come out of hibernation. A few nights ago I woke and heard a tawny owl calling softly outside the window. In the pauses between his 'whooos', the toads could be heard, also singing They make a soft, cooing noise a little like a bullfinch's call. It's a lovely, quiet song that I look forward to hearing every spring. I have lost count of the number of times I've been serenaded back to sleep by a toad.

On Friday the dogs had their hair cut. They smell nice and look neater. Ted is all ears though and Poppy all eyes. 

Yesterday, we were up early and off to Wiltshire for White Star Races' Larmer Tree Half with friend Sue. I wasn't running (too slippy hilly for the knee just yet) so contented myself with cheering instead. Apparently, it was a cracking course, a little over 14 miles with a couple of big hills and a thigh-high snow drift thrown in. M and Sue had a fab race and there were lots of people dressed as peacocks.

Last night we went into Winchester to see The Importance Of Being Earnest at the Theatre Royal. One of my favourite plays at one of my favourite venues. It was a treat from M and we had box seats where we had hot chocolate (me), and beer (M) and salted caramel ice cream (both). The play was excellent, very funny and perfectly performed. I didn't fidget once, which is very unlike me, and found myself laughing out loud (If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.” And: "To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution."). Algernon was particularly good.

This morning, we've been into the New Forest for a CC6 race with fellow club runners. 5 miles along forest tracks, through mud, up a few tidy hills. I really enjoyed it, ran a steady pace with my knee newly strapped using a fancy strapping technique done for me on Friday by Angela, and all was well. It was bloomin' freezing out on the plain though, a really cold, strong wind that had everyone shivering and reluctant to peel off the layers at the start. Once we got into the trees it warmed up and I rather regretted my layers. A cup of tea and some lovely homemade cake at the end were just the job and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A good way to end the week. Now it's onwards to the Grizzly Cub. Happy Days :o)

Hope you are all well?

CT :o)


  1. Love the bee story.
    I often pick them up when they are in distress.
    They are such gentle beings.

    Some lovely pictures there.

    The Importance of being Ernest.....saw it many years ago.

    Have a good week.

  2. What a classic! Such a great play, plus a couple of good films too. x

  3. Sounds like you have had a full and enriched week. Good to have a happy bee story. I’m in need of a bit of culture at the moment. Hopefully Amsterdam will help to tick that box. Looking forward to hearing about the Grizzly, not too long now. Hope the knee is holding out. B x

  4. P.S Ted and Poppy you looks so smart I wouldn’t have recognised you both xx

  5. On my walk I really looked hard for bees today. I only spotted one. Rain tomorrow should wash away the last of the snow and ice. It's very muddy too. No flowers only snowdrops. Tomorrow is a big day. The annual visit to the lady who does my feet.

  6. I love The Importance of Being Earnest as well, brilliant play. Saw it at Chichester with Patricia Routledge once, fantastic. We have something croaking in our pond. I assumed it was frogs, but maybe it's a toad? We haven't had it in previous years. I would be thrilled if it was. Loads of frogs as usual, and a newt or two apparently although I haven't seen them. CJ xx

  7. I shall remember the handy tip about bees lifting their legs in warning. Very envious of your theatre trip with its hot chocolate and ice cream. I took the girls to see TIOBE when David Suchet played Lady Bracknell; such a great play. I love the new haircuts - I've just been watching Crufts (very exciting!), but Poppy and Ted win my heart every time. xx

  8. I Love the sign !
    Poppy and Ted look wonderful. How long will it be till you take Poppy out for a run and she becomes all muddy.
    I have seen quite a few Arizona bees on my blooming Lemon tree.
    They are nice solitary bees and leave us alone. With the rain we have been getting I am hoping our spring flower bloom soon.

    cheers, parsnip

  9. Well done on your bee rescue- I didn't know that tip about them lifting their legs- it's useful to know.

  10. I was amazed over the pictures of the bee on your hands! The dogs look very smart. We went for a walk along part of the Grizzly route on Friday and thought of you! Sarah x

  11. It's that time of year again when you're never sure what to wear for a run. The weather here is varying from freezing to quite mild. I'm glad your run went well. X

  12. Well done on the bee rescue and thanks for the "leg lifting' info. I didn't know that as I often get "grumbled" at if I am moving on to safety.


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