We don’t get them every year, but we do seem to get them fairly frequently….
Sometimes we have a pair but more often than not it’s just a singleton. Compared to the usual greys these little chaps stick out like a sore thumb.
Just barely into the new year and we had a gorgeous sunny morning. This guy was just sitting, enjoying the rays.
This was how my car windscreen appeared during our recent frosts ……
And here is part of the roof …..
I never fail to be amazed by nature.
For some days now we have been warned that our road is to be closed for two days. Presumably to fix the surface which has been abysmal for getting on for thirty plus years.
Along with several neighbours, I moved my car off my driveway the night before so that we wouldn’t be stranded during the upcoming works.
The picture was taken around lunchtime. By sunset this evening there was still no sign of any activity.
The yellow sign is the only notification we, the residents, received that any works were planned.
I rang the number shown, only to be informed that the number had been replaced by a new number !!!
For those interested the new number is 0300 555 1388
Eventually I spoke to a very pleasant young lady and I had explained that I have a delivery scheduled. That schedule had taken into account their published road closure. And, since their work schedule seems to be something of a moveable feast, I was concerned that my delivery could be jeopardised. Especially, if the carrier cannot get access to my house driveway. I suspect the carrier may baulk at having to carry my goods a couple of hundred yards. Especially as the multiple packages will be a two-man lift.
I also queried why no leaflet drop had been made informing the residents that they would be stranded for two days. The lady that lives opposite does not go out often and would likely not have seen the sign. Apparently, leaflet drops aren’t always made, but had there been any businesses in our road then there probably would have been one.
So, let’s worry about the businesses but not individuals.
Another thing I was told during the call is that they often allow a day either side of a project schedule and when she checked her system she informed me that the works were actually due to start yesterday. So, in essence, they are two days behind schedule.
Aforementioned pleasant lady informed me that my query/ concern would be forwarded to the engineer responsible for these works. Presumably to come back to me with their plans.
At the time of writing I have received only an acknowledgment email along with a reference number.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
A couple of weeks ago it was decided that we, and our Ozzy rellies, would take a trip across to the Isle of Wight. The most flexible way is to take your own car across on the ferry, rather than rely on public transport on either side of the Solent.
Travelling into Pompey around morning peak traffic times is always a bit like a toss of the dice. Albeit late, we eventually made it to the Wightlink ferry port. Luckily, for us, our ferry was late arriving. Apparently this was due to the low tide meaning the ferry had to take a slightly longer route across the Solent. Once loaded aboard, we made our way up to the lounge, where we had hot chocolate and toasties for breakfast. I also took the opportunity for a couple of snaps.
The following pictures show the scene around the ferry.
In the background, above the fishing boats, you can see Viviers Fish Market. They are the suppliers of some truly scrumptious fresh fish. Proof is, as they say, in the tasting and we have recently had some superb Halibut, a couple of Bream and a couple of dressed crab.
The bland looking building is the Land Rover BAR building. Having now seen it several times, I’m still not sure about the design. It looks like they are waiting for the wrapping to be fully removed, to expose its true shape.
The ferry was soon underway and after a short voyage, arrived at Fishbourne. We disembarked and made our way to our first destination, Osborne House.
Osborne House is a former royal residence, built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as a summer home and retreat. Now under the care of English Heritage, both the house and grounds are made available to the public. A few pictures are posted below.
Unfortunately, due to filming of a new drama about Victoria and her indian servant, the fabulous Durbar Room was not available for viewing. In addition, photography was prohibited in other rooms as they were dressed for filming. Apparently, any images would be copyright, because the film company had installed some of their own furniture.
After touring the house, we had a pleasant lunch in the Terrace Restaurant and Orangery. Suitably refueled we headed down to the Swiss Cottage
and on to the sea-shore via the Rhododendron Walk, dotted along which there are a variety of carved animals and birds.
Queen Victoria had her own “Bathing Machine” in which she would get changed. The “machine” would be run into the sea and she would descend the steps into the bracing waters of the Solent. Also on the beach at Osborne is a decorated “alcove” which during our visit gave shelter from the brisk breeze blowing in off the sea.
Returning to the house we spent some time, and of course money, in the gift shop.
From Osborne House we headed off to view The Needles, a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise out of the sea off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight. They are also home to The Needles Lighthouse built on the western most stack.
An unusual sight was this, apparently tame, fox being enticed to feed.
Not sure about the fashion statement this guy is making.
It was soon time for us to think about a spot of dinner before travelling back to the mainland. We had already decided to head to a regular haunt of ours, The Folly Inn.
The Folly is a rustic pub perched on the banks of the River Medina, just up the river from Cowes in Whippingham. They serve good food, good beer, are friendly and provide a great location to chill and watch the yachty world go by.
Suitably replete, we headed back to Fishbourne for our ferry ride back to Portsmouth. With the autumnal evenings drawing in we were welcomed back to harbour by the Spinnaker Tower.
Driving out of Pompey was a lot easier than our rush hour entry. We were soon home and relaxing with a nice cup of tea.
From a recent visit to Birdworld, Farnham in Surrey.
On Sunday we made our annual pilgrimage to my great granddaughters school, for the Summer Fayre. It’s always well attended and this year was no exception. There is always plenty going on to keep you entertained and it seemed that this year the school had excelled themselves.
Scattered throughout the school rooms, and around the grounds, were many stalls offering you the opportunity to win a prize. There were tombola stalls where you could try to win a teddy, some chocolate or perhaps a bottle of something alcoholic. Other stalls tempted you to guess the weight of the cake, or the number of sweets in the jar. Alternatively you could try your hand at the more traditional hoopla and hook-a-duck games. For those of a more sadistic nature there was Splat the Rat.
I found it quite interesting, the number of opportunities there were to win bottles of booze. Most surprising, since many of the purchasers of tickets were well below the minimum age required to carry off their prizes, needing to go and find an appropriate adult to carry off their booty.
Early on we were entertained by the rousing sounds of bagpipes and drums courtesy of Harbour Pipes & Drums, a locally based marching band.
They came back for a second performance later in the day.
There were some truly dubious characters roaming around the school grounds, one of which my granddaughter claims is her dinner lady. My dinner ladies, when I was at school, never looked like either of these folks. I’ll let you decide which one is her dinner lady.
As usual there was a brilliant demonstration of birds of prey, despite a certain amount of truculence from one of the owls which decided she didn’t want to play anymore and flew up onto the school roof.
Earlier in the day the handlers had apparently lost a bird to the lure of the tree tops.
In the gallery above is a photo of a juvenile Spectacled Owl. Actually, this specimen is one year old. Last year he was just a little bundle of white fluff in the palm of the handlers cupped hands. Apparently this species takes four years to attain its final plumage colour.
I am disappointed that I missed the Dog Agility Show. I’m sure it would have been highly entertaining. I was busy visiting my granddaughters classroom, viewing her art. I include a couple of examples below.
I’ll let you decide if she is a budding Picasso, or perhaps Gainsborough, as I can’t make an objective comment, biased as I am.
The weather was kind too, making this a very enjoyable afternoon.