Sunday, June 17, 2007

Feathers and fathers

Happy Fathers' Day to all fathers out there, first off. I managed to remember to send my stepfather the chocolates he's allowed to eat (ie the ones Mother doesn't eat first ...), so I am a Good Stepdaughter today, hurrah! Mum is apparently taking him out for an airing, which includes a concert and some tea, today, so we took bets on how long it will be before he grumbles about something. My money's on the first half hour. Lord H however says that we misjudge the man - and in fact all it is is that Jim's (stepfather) inner happiness quota is very deeply hidden. Indeed it is ... Jim, of course, swears blind he never grumbles, but Mother and I know better, aha!

Oh, and Mother has her MRI scan on 28 June, so I'm hoping that things are clearer after that. The doctors do seem pretty on the ball, I must say - which is a miracle in our family, as in the past they've failed to diagnose both my father and my grandmother until it was way too late for either of them. Thank God that medical knowledge seems to have come on a little since the 1970s ... However, the plus-side of both those serious cock-ups is that my mother and I now know all the early warning signs of diabetes! You never know - it could come in handy some day. In the meantime, I've advised her to eat blueberries a lot as apparently they're good for colon cancer. We hope this means they help hold it back rather than encourage it on ...

This morning, I had another lazy lie-in (hurrah!), followed by the ritualistic cleaning of the car. Lord H also helpfully gave me a brief run-through of the different bird calls of a thrush, a blackbird and a robin. Never say that here in downtown Godalming we don't know how to have fun, eh ... Once I'd got those sorted out, we spent the rest of the day at Pulborough Brooks in Sussex - the bird sanctuary which Lord H visited last week. It was great! We joined the RSPB (, and then did the two mile ramble through the sanctuary, stopping for ages at each bird hide. We saw: herons (including two in flight), swans, moorhens, a robin, blue tits, great tits, a skylark, a blackbird pair, deer plus one fawn, lots of rabbits, one stoat (and therefore one terrified rabbit, but it survived ...), and loads and loads of LBJs (Little Brown Jobs - aka birds that don't stay still for long enough for you to identify them, but they're ... um ... brown). We also listened to the whole of the birdsong CD, so I am now totally confused. I think there's going to be a whole lot of UB in the future (ie Unidentified Birdsong) ...

Tonight, I'm planning a little writing, and then we'll probably watch the "Dalziel and Pascoe" video we've saved from the week.

This week's haiku:

Swallows fly the nest,
new wings dancing in sunlight.
They leave us bereft.

Today's nice things:

1. The possibility of Jim being less grumpy for a whole day!
2. Pulborough Brooks
3. Writing.

Anne Brooke


Lover of Books, Films and Good Coffee Shops Everywhere! said...

Glad to hear you are getting so into the bird watching 'lark' (excuse the pun!!). I don't know about you guys but when we find a hide and we are lucky enough to have it all to ourselves we get really put out if anyone else dares to come in - as then you feel that you can't talk except in an absolute whisper and you certainly can't open your crackly bag of crisps!! There are exceptions though, ie when we come across some experts and they give us loads of advise and tips.

We joined the RSPB last year (we are suckers for a discount and a free gift!!). Oh, what will we do without Springwatch tonight!

Anne Brooke said...

Must be me age, Sue!!! Yes, I'm going to miss Springwatch too!



Peter said...


My advice is don't try to learn all the bird songs all at once... Just pick a few common ones. Like I said before Great Tit's song is them saying 'teacher' over and over again. Listen to that one on the CD. Then pick a few more common birds and have a go at learning them. And don't worry about the LBJ's

Lord B-I-L

Anne Brooke said...

Good advice, Lord B-I-L! And yes I did remember your saying about the "teacher" song - but we didn't hear one while we were there, darn it!

Thank you!