View From The Conservatory


For Christmas our granddaughter, knowing our love of wildlife in the garden, gave us a set of rustic residences to place in our garden.

First up is the Bug Hotel. Although the sign on the outside says Insects & Bees, I don’t think we will be that exclusive.

Bug Hotel

Next is the Squirrel Feeder. It’ll be nice to have something specific to them. Although I am sure the birds will make free with the food, just as the squirrels do with the bird feeders.

Squirrel Feeder

All that is left is the bird nesting box. Given the number of cats around our neighbourhood, we’ll have to be careful with where we site it. That’s a job for tomorrow.

View From The Conservatory


I know we are still officially in Winter, but a little bit of sunshine and elevated temperatures soon convince the plants to venture above soil level.

Amaryllis

This is one of two Amaryllis, a gift from my sister. I’m ashamed to say they were neglected and started to grow in the delivery package before I acquired suitable soil and pots. With suitable nurturing it is leaping skywards although at this stage it does remind me of The Little Shop of Horrors.

Outside, on the decking, I now have a number of pots and troughs, starting to show the fruits of bulb planting late last year.

Only yellows at the moment, but time will reveal more, I’m sure.

IFOS 2001 – Retrospective


As for many of us, I have had a bit of time on my hands. Some of that time I am spending going thru my old photos. And so I have come to browse some photos from a little under twenty years ago.

I had recently purchased my first digital camera, an Olympus C-2040Z. 2001 was also the year of the International Festival Of the Sea (IFOS). This was in place of the annual Navy Days and a much grander affair. The focus was shifted, very slightly, away from the Royal Navy warships and the event became a celebration of the sea and the history and heritage from around the world.

Here, I present a selection of pictures from the day that I spent at a super event.

Continental Car Ferry – P&O Catamaran Arriving from France
Flag Officer Spithead – Insignia
HMS Victory
Tall Ships
ARM Cuauhtemoc
Christian Radich & Statsraad Lehmkuhl
Stiltwalkers
Lord and Lady Cod ?
Handsome Couple
Jelly Fish ?
Buxom Wenches
Seagull
A Kazoo or Two
Julia Mary – A Gabbart Sailing Yacht
Steel Drum Band
Far left – RNLB William and Kate Johnston (ON 682) was a Barnett-class lifeboat stationed at New Brighton in the English county of Merseyside from the summer of 1923
Miscellaneous Craft
HMS Nottingham – Type 42 destroyer of the Royal Navy
Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Jacob Van Heemskerck (F812)
Research Vessel Triton
RV Triton
RFA Argus (A135)
Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Jacob Van Heemskerck (F812)
The luxury yacht LILIAN OF STOCKHOLM
A Family Of Frigates
Helicopter Ballet
Royal Navy Rescue Helicopter
A Flurry of Flags
Helicopter On A Stick
Standing Room Only
Smell The Roses
Posing For The Spectators
Chinook
Chinook
All Smoke And Mirrors
Patriotic Puppet
Patriotic Puppet
Historic Street Market
Cumberland Guard
Beautiful
Pocket Rocket
Cumberland Guard
Continental Car Ferry – Arriving From France
Continental Car Ferry – Arriving From France
Figurehead – ARM Cuauhtemoc
Tall Ship – Artemis

View From The Conservatory


A, relatively, peaceful afternoon, was disturbed by the raucous sounds of this helicopter hovering close to the road at the back of us.

Initially, we thought it was an air ambulance. However, a quick flash of its side, emblazoned with the word “ELECTRICITY “, gave the game away.

This is one of five helicopters operated by Western Power Distribution. What this one was looking for is anyones guess. Under normal circumstances these helicopters are used for the maintenance and repair of networks and also during emergency and fault conditions.

Still, it gave us a little excitement in our otherwise boring, pandemic, blighted lives.

View From The Conservatory


Yet another Squirrel photo. Nothing much else to say really.

These little critters are always stealing the bird food. I don’t really mind as I have several feeders around the garden.

Given the cold weather, I would prefer them to eat, rather than starve.

View From The Conservatory


squirrels_cropped

These are just two of the four squirrels that were tearing around in our garden.

Sadly, the one on the left has lost most of the skin and fur from the top of his head. It was looking very sore from the nose up to between the ears. Possibly had an encounter with next doors cats.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photo, I did try to clean it up a bit. This was taken on my phone, from about fifteen feet away and through the double glazing, hence the reflections.

Cretins, Morons, Imbeciles


A nurse, who works at Queen Alexandra Hospital, has suffered a panic attack, following an attack against the hospital bus on which she was riding.

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/people/queen-alexandra-hospital-nurse-suffers-panic-attack-after-hospital-bus-attacked-youths-portsmouth-3106179

The bus was attacked by youths throwing stones. One of the windows alongside the nurse shattered, bringing about the panic attack.

One can only imagine the thought processes going on inside the heads of these morons. They certainly have no concerns about the potential consequences of their actions.

This is yet another example of the same moronic behaviour that sees youths attacking all of our emergency service workers.

Who on earth thinks its a good idea to attack our firemen while they are trying to save lives at risk in fires and road accidents. And who thinks its a good idea to attack our ambulance crews and paramedics while they are attending those same incidents.

And then we have the police having to stoically endure interference on a daily basis, whilst putting their own lives at risk, going about their business, to protect us from these same idiotic morons.

Presumably, these are the same thought processes that make firing fireworks at peoples houses. As was happening, in Portsmouth, only a few weeks ago.

This imbecilic behaviour isn’t restricted to the Portsmouth area, rather it is endemic to the whole country.

I don’t understand the whys and wherefores and I don’t pretend to have a solution. What I do know is that the ASBO scheme isn’t good enough. Some youths see being awarded an ASBO as a badge of honour.

When I was a youth, the older folks used to say “they should bring back National Service”. I find that I am now of the opinion that is a good idea.

Going further back in time, to the 16th and 17th centuries, there were the stocks and pillory. Now the idea of these really appeal to me.

Throwing rotten fruit and veg at these miscreants would give some instant feelings of retribution to their victims. And, just maybe, these morons would be too embarrassed to offend again. They would certainly be a very visible reminder to other would be offenders.

I think today’s society could learn something from our ancestors.

A Rare Bird


Pre-pandemic the skies over Hampshire were fairly busy, with flights descending into Heathrow, or heading further north, interspersed with those heading to a myriad of international destinations.

Latterly, as we all know, the number of flights worldwide are very much reduced. So much so that the sound of a flight, mid evening, triggered my curiosity.

Courtesy of flightradar24

So, flying overhead was this flight.

Originating in Spain from Madrid and heading into London Heathrow, with just 10 more minutes flying time.

I’m guessing that the, near silent, Hampshire airspace will become quieter still, as fewer people are prepared to travel when the UKs new rules are activated on Monday.

£4.2m development approved – Ignores Needs Of Locals


https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/politics/controversial-ps42m-housing-development-portsmouth-gets-go-ahead-2951117

Yet another development goes ahead, driving rough shod over the needs of, and ignoring the existing issues that plague, the local residents.

Proposals for 16 affordable homes, comprising 7 houses and 9 flats, to be built on the corner of Doyle Avenue and Nothern Parade in Hilsea.

16 homes, but with parking provision for only 12 cars. According to the councils own standards the site should provide 29 parking spaces, yet they approved this much reduced proposal.

Why ? Why have guidelines if you don’t stick to them ?

“The surrounding roads are past saturation point as confirmed by the highways engineer. Evenings and weekends are dire as people are parking illegally” So says Janet Rennell-Smith, a local resident from nearby Westwood Road.

Lib Dem Councillor Lee Hunt, not missing an opportunity for a dig at the current Conservative Government, said “The city council is under huge pressure from the Conservative government to build 12,000 new units of accomodation in or city and that’s what we’re trying to acheive”

Typical blame game from the Lib Dems, sounds like our honorable councillor is saying “It’s not our fault, we were just following orders”

Tory Councillor, Terry Norton, was at least prepared to stand up to all that “pressure” and requested that the proposal be rejected.

This is typical of the local councils, in this area, who crumble and give in to the all powerful developers rather that standing firm and considering the needs of their constituents, the folks that voted them into office in the first place.

Our councillors should be forcing developers to provide adequate parking for any new development and to ensure that any such development does not exacerbate any existing issues.

Portsmouth is an island city so is cannot expand past its coastal border. Any development that provides an increase residential units will always add to the traffic and the need for parking. Portsmouth is already blighted by a lack of available parking. Many folks cannot park outside their own homes, typically ending up several streets away. Portsmoth council has also created further parking issues after closing roads in Southsea, supposedly to protect people exercising during the pandemic lockdown.

This new development will only aggravate an already fractious situaion.