View From The Conservatory


I was both astounded and disappointed to discover that my last “View” was posted just over a year ago. I know that we have been busy and there have been other more recent posts.

Admittedly, the conservatory has been rebuilt and we did take off to Australia for three months followed by a month in France and a fortnight in Antigua. There have been several lesser UK based jaunts. However, we have also spent time at home and I have had my camera to hand. So, feeling suitably ashamed, here is a compilation of pictures taken over the last few weeks. We are now into the UK summer season and the garden plants are growing like crazy.

First up then is a regular subject, squirrels. Once again we are being visited by the albino variety.

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Albino Squirrel

As you can see they do have the requisite pink eyes.

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Albino Squirrel

Here in the UK squirrels are sometimes referred to as tree rats. The example above is the most rat-like squirrel I have ever seen.

Of course we do have an abundance of the grey variety. Just a few days ago there were four greys in the garden. Of course my camera was out of reach and since these guys were raiding the bird feeders, any movement on my part just scared them away.

I thought that the pure grey squirrels would have attacked the albino, but apparently not. Judging by the shenanigans going on, high up in the trees, I believe the albino may have found a partner. Maybe we’ll see some piebald babes around this year.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many flowers on show already. So, just a few snaps ….

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Iris

This Iris was discovered in a shady overgrown area of the garden. It was not planted by us and, as we are the only owners of this property since it was built, we have no idea how the Iris arrived. Pretty though.

We have a few rose bushes, which we did plant….

…… and a few other plants that we bought as plugs for potting on ….

And finally, for now ….

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We don’t know what this is. The plant is a climber and for the moment it is in a pot on our deck and is entwining itself around the handrail.

Great To See My Taxes At Work


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.5j7a7715-1

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.

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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.

 

Crookhorn Post Office


Fuming !!!

Have just been to Crookhorn Post Office to post a parcel.

Stood in the queue for only a minute, was two from the counter. The cashier completed serving the lady at the counter and announced that she was going to have to stop serving as there was a task she had to complete by 12:00.

The time, on the Post Office clock was 11:55

The lady in front of me explained that she only had two parcels. This cut no ice with the cashier who just confirmed that she couldn’t take the parcels. I received the same response when I challenged her.

The lady with the two small parcels left, muttering “Unbelievable”, as did I with my single parcel. I was muttering something much stronger.

I took myself off to Waterlooville Post Office where, I had been informed, they were open until 12:30.

I paid the £0.70 for parking and arrived at the doors of the post office to be confronted with a queue snaking its way to 3 cashiers. I joined the queue and waited a few minutes with no movement. I heard someone announce that the post office would close in 20 minutes. I estimated it would take at least 40 minutes, based on the number of folks in the queue, for me to get to the counter. Assuming that each cashier would take a minimum of two minutes per customer. Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared to wait another twenty minutes and then be told they were closing, so I took myself home

Apparently the Crookhorn Post Office is open until 12:30 ????

The following screenshot is taken from this web page The situation is worse when you look at the Post Offices own website which claims the post office is open until 22:00.

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In my opinion, if the Post Office publishes opening hours through to 12:00 then they should continue to offer that service right to the wire. If there is a reason why they cannot honour the published hours then please amend the opening times accordingly.

Come on Post Office – Get your act together.

 

 

Nature


Over the last few days I have been trawling through my photo archives and thought I’d share a few.

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Scarce Swallowtail

The swallowtail was fluttering around the village of Collonges la Rouge in France. It led me a merry dance from flower bed to flower bed before settling long enough for this photo.

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Meerkat

Loved these little fellows long before they became stars of a certain advert series.

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Otter

One of several residing at Marwell, this little guy didn’t want to share his fish.

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Otters

More Marwell Otters.

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Snow Leopard

Another resident at Marwell and my favourite of the big cats.

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Snow Leopard

View From The Conservatory


Just thought I’d share a picture of these two guys.

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Goldfinches

We rarely see Goldfinches in our garden, just maybe once or twice a year, and this is the first time I have managed to get a photo. The focus is a bit soft due to the effect of shooting through double glazing and being at full zoom.

Kalbarri WA


On arriving at Kalbarri we managed to locate our accommodation, despite the best efforts of our sat-nav which was intent on sending us off-road again. We were also confused by the name of the motel. All of my paperwork from the booking referred to Kalbarri Reef Villas. On the same street we found Kalbarri Seafront Villas and immediately behind was Reef Villas. No mention of Kalbarri on their signage but a quick chat with the manager confirmed we were in the right place. So Reef Villas it was and we were soon checked in, car unloaded and ready to explore.

The beach was just five minutes walk from the motel.

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Kalbarri Beach – Kalbarri, WA

Kalbarri is to be found at the mouth of the Murchison River where it joins the Indian Ocean.

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River / Ocean Meeting Place – Kalbarri, WA

Unfortunately, Gerry ricked her back on our first morning here. This meant that we had to curtail some of our exploring. So a tour of the gorges to see Natures Window & “Z” Bend was kicked into touch. The problem with these attractions is that they are only accessible along some sixteen kilometers of dirt road, not really conducive to reducing back pain.

As an alternative we decided to visit the numerous local ocean lookouts, all of which have paved roads right up to the car parks and also, in most cases, smooth pathways to the lookout. The following are a selection of the photo’s I took. I hope they give you a flavour of this area.

Some of the Aussies were really chuffed to see a car, with references to an English football team, sporting the Aussie flags.

While we were at the Blue Holes, a fellow Brit spotted the Pompey stickers and the rego plate. He was originally from Salisbury and knew all about our home area in Hampshire.

Every day pelicans are fed down on the Kalbarri foreshore. There is a seated arena for the early risers to use and children are invited to feed the pelicans. The couple that run the feed are very informative, with a touch of humour.

After touring the coastline, we returned to Kalbarri and found a site on the foreshore so that I could go fishing.

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Me Fishing – Murchison River, Kalbarri, WA

Although I did get a few bites, I didn’t manage to catch anything.

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Chatty canoeists – Murchison River, Kalbarri,WA

The fish weren’t the only things biting. There were crabs in the river who were taking a repeated interest in my feet. The canoeists were friendly and chatty, interested in how I was doing. I think they were also amused by how far out in the river I was.

Later the same day we were, again, down on the foreshore to watch the Australia Day fireworks.

During our all too brief stay in Kalbarri we were lucky enough to eat at the Black Rock Cafe. Here we had our evening meal on the day that we arrived. Good food and a table to watch the sunset. For our breakfasts, we visited Angies Cafe where they do a really tasty Bacon, Egg and Tomato Toasty as well as filling Tuna Patties (fish cake). Both establishments seem to be very popular.

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Angies Cafe – Kalbarri, WA

Angies was our last stop in Kalbarri, before heading off to Jurien Bay.