Category Archives: Countryside

The Great Escape.

great escape

Along with the critters Boo and Gupta have a poly tunnel in which they grow a variety of vegetables and fruit. One of the fruits they grow is raspberry. I like raspberries but so do the blackbirds and they seem to have an uncanny knack of scoffing all the ripe raspberries 5 minutes before I arrive to harvest them. There are more raspberries growing outside the tunnel but the story is the same. All the ripe fruit gets eaten before I get to them.

I searched for an hour to find these. Bloody birds!

I searched for an hour to find these. Bloody birds!

There is also a hedgerow that grows along two of the boundaries here and a great many blackberry bushes grow here. I’m fond of blackberries too and harvesting them brings back a great many good memories of my boyhood when my brothers and I would walk up to Wimbledon Common and fill bags with blackberries that my mum would add to a variety of pies she made. We would have blackberry pies and my personal favourite, apple and blackberry pie. My mum made the best pastry ever and the pies were mouth wateringly good. The pies would be served with custard or ice cream and we would argue over who got the custard skin! It was great. So yesterday evening I took a wander round collecting any raspberries and blackberries that I could find so they could go in freezer to be turned into pies at some later time. As I walked along the narrow lane that runs down one side of the smallholding, I noticed a chicken come out of the hedgerow, walk across the road and go into the field oppositeChicken Crossing the Road.

“Oh look” I thought. “A chicken. I wonder where’s he’s off too.”

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Another chicken appeared, crossed the road and went into the neighbours field. It was closely followed by several others.

chicken4

“Oh dear” I thought again. “I wonder who they belong to as it’s going to be dark soon and the foxes will have them.”

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Then the penny dropped.

“Oh fuck.” I thought. (Looking after animals is very thought provoking.) “They’re Boos!”

By this time 11 or 12 chickens had crossed the road into a neighbouring field. They had found a gap in the fence and decided to make a run for it.

“What is this? Bloody ‘Chicken Run’? Where’s Mel Gibson?”

chicken-run

Acting with uncharacteristic speed, I grabbed a nearby rock, found the gap and plugged it. Then I vaulted over a gate into the field the chickens were in and proceeded to round them up. Have you ever tried to round up chickens? It’s well nigh impossible on your own. They are right bolshie bastards.

fuck u chicken

I ran around the field trying to get them back across the road but they just scattered to all points of the compass plus some more. I had no alternative. I had to get John the talkative 73 year old neighbour involved. I banged on his door, told him the story and told to hurry as it would be dark soon. As he put his wellies on he was chatting away 19 to the dozen.

“Yow know what Dick? This happened to me a few years back. It were 1963 and I were cutting the grass on a caravan park I were staying at. Or were it 1964? It might even have been 1962 but no matter. I were cutting grass in this caravan park I were staying at in Newport. That’s Newport in Cornwall, not Newport in Wales. Or is it in Devon? Yow know what Dick, I don’t know which county it’s in but never mind, it weren’t the one in Wales. Or were it? So these chickens escaped from a neighbouring farm into the caravan park I were staying at. I used to cut the grass there as a favour to the owner who gave me a discount for cutting the grass. It were 1963. I’m certain of it. Anyhow…….”

WTF!

“Mate. Will you hurry up and put your boots on. I’ll meet you up there.”

Whereupon I rushed off despite the raging headache that I had suddenly developed.

John duly arrived and we started to gather the clucks up. Then he paused, leant on his spadeGARDENER WITH SPADE - ILLUSTRATION

and said;

“Yow know what Dick? This happened to me once before. It were in 1963. I were cutting the grass at the caravan park I were staying at. By the time we had sorted ourselves out it were getting dark so I fired up the old 8 wheeler they kept in a barn. It were an old Foden unit. Built in 1951 if I remember correctly. Anyway, I turned on the headlight and do you know what? Them old headlights lit up the whole caravan site. I’d been cutting the grass there just before this happened and you could see where I had cut……….”

“Mate. Can you get to the point please? It’s getting dark and we’ve only recaptured 8 chickens.”

“Ar.” said John. “That’s my point. I’ll go and get my old Kubota tractor and light up the field. I got that tractor in 1994 and I repaired everything on it. It’s better than new now…..”

So off John went to get his better than new tractor while I enjoyed the peace and quiet and tried to stop my ears bleeding.

Soon John arrived on his Kubota tractor and lit up the field with it’s headlights.

“Yow know what Dick? This tractor has the best head lights ever. I put extra lights on, a bigger battery, sonic boom headlights. You can’t get them sonic boom lights anymore. Them went out of business in 1913 but I got hold of some of them lights. I put vapourless hayday quilt bulbs in. Thems full of arsenic yow know. Or is it cyanide? Anyway, yow have to be right careful with them. Look at that! Them lights could light up the moon from here. Well, they could if it weren’t a bit cloudy and the moon weren’t so far away……”

Eventually, after much cursing and threatening to blow the bastards away with the shotgun, we managed to get all the chickens gathered up and put away.

“Yow know what Dick? This happened to me years ago. I were cutting the grass at this caravan site I were staying at in 1963…..”

I invited John in for a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit. I was grateful for all his help. He’s a lovely, helpful bloke who just happens to rabbit a lot. I couldn’t hear a word he was saying as my ears were stuffed with cotton wool in an effort to stem the flow of blood. He didn’t seem to notice, or care. He was quite happy to tell me tales of 1951 Foden 8 wheelers, mowing grass and Kubota tractors and I was happy for him to tell them.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.

auto

Another One Bites The Dust Goddamn It.

gardener

Christ on a bike!

JesusChristOnABicycleArt

This farming malarkey is hard work and I’m only dealing with a few animals and crops. Having said that I am enjoying myself. I’ve learnt some Welsh words like “Look you”, “Isn’t it”, “Boyo” and “Tidy”. I’ve learnt not to try and get an egg when a hen is sitting on it as they have sharp beaks and are prepared to use them.chicken on eggs

Avoid John the neighbour who is a Brummie and can talk the hind leg off a donkey and judging by the number of three-legged donkeys around here, frequently does. I’ve realised that dogs can’t count as no matter how many balls you throw for Chalky, he always thinks there’s three. The pillock.20150908_123342

Birds are stupid and the bloody spiders here are gigantic. Last night I HEARD one walking across the floor! I had to open both French doors to usher the bugger out. There was no point trying to kill the blighter as I didn’t have access to any weapons big enough. A cannon may have been enough but the collateral damage wouldn’t have gone down well with Boo when she gets back.

This is what the Pest Control companies around here use to kill spiders. A bit extreme but so are the spiders!

This is what the Pest Control companies around here use to kill spiders. A bit extreme but so are the spiders!

Shortly after shooing the spider out last night I was startled by a “Tap, tap, tap, flutter, flutter” noise.

“What the bloody hell now?” I thought. “A fucking dragon?”

I looked around but couldn’t see anything so I concluded it was likely to be a branch tapping on the window. Then I heard it again. Strange. I still couldn’t see what was causing the noise, mostly because I was too lazy to get off my fat arse and take a proper look.obese_2074995b

It was quiet for a while then I heard it again. This time I also saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Inside the log burner in the lounge was a bird! It must have fallen down the chimney and couldn’t get back out. See what I mean? Birds are stupid. It was only a sparrow but it made me think two things (I’m clever like that). First I thought how polite it was for a wild animal to be knocking on the log burners door for permission to come out. Secondly, and more importantly, how the fuck was I going to get a soot and ash covered wild bird out of there without getting aforementioned soot, ash and feathers all over Boos house? So I gathered up numerous towels, an old sheet and covered the door of the burner. I opened the burner door and the blighter flew out from under all the towels and sheet and flew around the whole of the ground floor trailing soot, ash and feathers everywhere.

“Should’ve shut all the the doors.” I thought belatedly.

Finally, after much pursuing of the tiny sparrow and after tripping over Chalky, who was also in hot pursuit, I managed to get the bird by the front door and let it out. I looked back in disbelief. The whole of the downstairs was like a war zone. There were feathers, soot, ash and bird shit everywhere!

“Jesus bloody Christ!” I thought. “How could such a small animal leave such a trail of destruction?”messy-house

Many hours later, after much use of vacuum cleaners, furniture polish, dusters, old rags filled with earwigs and much cursing the house resembled something vaguely habitable. I went to bed!

I woke up this morning and staggered downstairs for my first brew of the day. I fed Chalky and as I went to feed the goldfish, discovered one was missing. Well, it wasn’t exactly missing, it just wasn’t where I expected it to be. It was belly up at the top of the tank!dead-goldfish Bugger me! Another critter bites the dust!

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

 

One Down, Plenty More To Go.

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My sister Boo is a very efficient person. She and her husband have to be. They own a small holding with a great many animals to care for.20150904_082538

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So when I arrived in Wales to look after their place I was given a great many important instructions. So, for instance, I know where the chocolate cake is.

The care and feeding of all the animals was carefully explained to me. The clucks and ducks get fed twice a day. One type of food in the morning and another in the afternoon. I know where all the bedding materials are, what to do with the eggs once they are collected, when the bin men come and how to divvy up the general rubbish with the recycling and what bags each go in.20150904_112504

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I know what to do with the crops in the poly tunnel, how often to water and what type of watering (deep root at present).20150904_112421

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However, Boo failed to give me one important piece of information and misled me on another. The misinformation first. She told me the battery powering the electric fence had no power left. Wrong! As I discovered when I brushed against the crotch high electric fence and received an electric shock to a part of my anatomy that no man should have shocked. Made my eyes water!20150904_084321

The information she forgot to give me was what the bloody hell do you do with a dead chicken?

When I let them out this morning one of them stayed in the hen house, so I gave it a poke and said;

“Oi you lazy bugger. Time to rise and shine.”

It stayed put. So I picked it up to discover rigor mortis had set in.

“Oh bugger!” was my first thought. Then I thought,

“What the fuck do I do with it now?”

Couldn’t eat it cos it wasn’t an eating chicken and I didn’t really fancy plucking, gutting and decapitating it. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to bury the damned things as it may be against the law as the carcass might pollute the water. I couldn’t just chuck it in one of the fields for the Kites and crows to eat. Well I could but the neighbours might get pissed about it. So what to do? I scratched my head. I scratched it again. I thought about it long and hard and after 3 or 4 seconds of thinking hard thoughts I put the carcass in a carrier bag, dumped it in the bin and let the bin men take it. They came today. Problem solved. I just hope any other critters that decide to snuff it do so in their sleep on a thursday night so they can go in the rubbish the next day. Unless its a bloody horse!20150904_084208

I think the bin men might notice if I binned a whole horse. Crikey, this farming lark is difficult. Decisions, decisions.

Time to go feed the animals again, water the crops, scratch Chalkys chest and throw his balls around the fields for him to chase.20150903_113235

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

It’s Only Me

I have absent from the blogging world for a little while and I’ve just realised how long it’s been since I posted anything since returning from my holidays. I’ve knocked out a couple since then in the mista…

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. I’ve just realised what I have written! “Knocked out a couple”…..? What must you be thinking of me? That I sit in front of my screen having a Jodrell while waiting for inspiration to strike? Hahahahaha.

Jodrell Bank

Jodrell Bank

Rest assured that I don’t. You’ll have to take my word for it though.

Work has been manic since my return and we have a new task that has been proving to be a bit of a nightmare. I always love it when my boss phones up and says;

“Houston. We have a problem, don’t you”!!!

My Boss

My Boss

It always means that the soft brown stuff has hit the fan and it’s heading in my general direction.

Anyway, that aside I did intend writing about the progress, or lack of it, in my garden but I’m in Wales for the next few days looking after my sisters smallholding

Boo & Guptas smallholding taken from the fields towards the house

Boo & Guptas smallholding taken from the fields towards the house

and all her critters and crops.

There are three horses,20150902_113751

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a dozen ducks,20150902_113333

a large, indeterminate number of chickens (they’re always scuttling about making it impossible for me to count them)

This chicken is called "Mrs Bogbrush"

This chicken is called “Mrs Bogbrush”

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and a labrador called Chalky

Chalky. Along with his favourite balls

Chalky. Along with his favourite balls

along with a semi feral cat called Morgan.

Morgan

Morgan

Plus all kinds of fruit and vegetables to take care of.

By the time Boo and her husband Gupta get back from their holidays, I suspect there may be slightly fewer animals to deal with!

It’s lovely here and it’s been some years since I’ve been in this part of the world and it was really pleasant to be driving along and recognising village names from back in the day when I was in Wales most weekends for canoe races.QuentinBonnetainAction

I might just take a wander down to some of them for a look-see and remember my long-lost youth. In the meantime though, I’m busy feeding animals, clearing out hen houses, shovelling up horse muck and picking raspberries, strawberries, aubergines and that kind of stuff. It’s bloody brilliant!

Boo and Gupta live on the edge of a small village not far from the coast. All the locals seem to be called by their job names as their real surnames are all Jones. Or it might be Evans or Jenkins or some other Welsh surname. So the bloke who delivers logs for the wood burners that everyone has is called Dickie Log, the school cook is Betty Cook, the carpenter is called Dai Saer (Saer being Welsh for Carpenter) and his wife is called Betty Dai Saer. The landlady of  the local pub, The Commercial Inn, is run by a lady called Betty Commercial. There’s another bloke called Dai Buns who may be a baker but may not and the guy who keeps all the roadside hedges trimmed is called Eaun Hedge!!! The local farmer is called John Ty Mawr (Ty Mawr is Welsh for Home Farm) and so it goes on. Boo and Gupta are called Boo and Gupta Wyndarra because the name of their smallholding is Wyndarra! Wyndarra being Australian but that’s just like my sister to put a spanner in the works! Apparently, most of the women (of a certain age) are named Betty as that was the name of the midwife who delivered them all. Electricity arrived in the village in 1963 and some of the inhabitants here remember revising for their school exams by candle light! The Interweb is unbelievably slow and it is taking me bloody ages to download the photographs I’ve taken but do you know what? I think it fantastic here. Boo and Gupta (so-called because of his love of curry. Also known as “Stink” when he’s had a curry!) dreamt about having this life for many, many years and they achieved it 6 years ago and I envy them. It’s not easy but it is plain to see that they are living the dream.1926889_654140781288958_206925591_n

I have to go give the clucks their afternoon feed now, so on with my wellies (I brought them along in case I found any stray sheep!) and off into the fields, the fresh air, the rain and the wind to feed the animals and think some thoughts.

Have a smashing day.

More Dick soon.auto

For Lily Moose. Life and Death

Lily is someone I have recently met via blogging. She may blush at this but she writes the bestest best blog ever. So go check it out at mixedupmoose.wordpress.com.

Lily doesn’t like spiders so I have deleted the pictures of the offending beasts from this post. The replacement photos have absolutely no relevance to this post but I think they’re funny.

In my last post I had a bit of a rant about certain slimy creatures and PIL was a bit put out by the effing and blinding that took place. This post however, I’m sure will be a lot more sedate. Talking of swearing and cursing reminds me of my mate Bunsen. For many years Bunsen was a “chock head” in the British Army.

My mate Bunsen. He looks EXACTLY like this

My mate Bunsen. He looks EXACTLY like this

A chock head is what the rest of the army call the Royal Engineers for a very good reason I’m sure. Anyway, Bunsen finished his career in the army as a senior NCO. He is the only man in the history of the British Army to be reprimanded for the “continuous and persistent use of foul and abusive language towards the sappers under his command.” He is also the only man I know to have mislaid a bridge. I would love to have a been a fly on the wall for that conversation!

This is not the subject I intended writing about.

My working week is a bit odd. I start on a Sunday usually and work until Wednesday some weeks and Thursday on others. Sometimes I’m working away from home for days on end. When I’m home though I think most of the lovely people who read my meanderings know that I like to take Dexter out for a nice long stroll in the boonies and have good look around and a poke about in the undergrowth. You have to be careful what you poke though. I once accidentally poked a wasp’s nest.swarmingwasps_0508_445x260

Big mistake! I ran off screaming like a girl but I didn’t get stung which I think is testament to the speed at which I departed the area. Warp factor 10 and a bit!runningbees

Yesterday, we were just strolling along the edge of a field. It was a gloriously sunny day and it was as peaceful as you could wish for. The crops were starting to sprout, some were already in flower, bluebells were springing up all over the wooded areas and hedgerows. The wild garlic was flowering and stopping vampires from pestering me. It was a truly beautiful day. Then rising out of the trees in a display of the most graceful flying I have ever seen were two large birds of prey. The way they swooped and circled each other made me think they were showing off to one another which in turn, made me think that perhaps they were a mating pair and that they had been on the nest so to speak when Dexter and I came along. They moved higher and further along as we walked along and it made me think and hope that maybe in a little while there will be three or four of them swooping about overhead. I certainly hope so. I’m no ornithologist but I think they were buzzards.

I wish I had taken this but I found it on the intertube

I wish I had taken this but I found it on the intertube

A twitcher would know what they were immediately although what Tourettes has to do with bird watching is beyond me. I really do hope that they do breed and there will be a few more beautiful birds gracing the air. As a matter of principle Dexter and I will avoid that area for a week or two so as not to disturb them.

A bit further along and a little while later, a movement in the corner of my eye caught my attention. Lots of sp****s are now out and about spinning their webs, catching their prey and scoffing it. What I had seen was a fly caught in a web by one of its legs and struggling to escape. The owner of the web had shot out of its lair and was struggling to subdue the fly.157577b8984b3815cc9e21ffc520bf2b

Now despite all the space, right next to this web was another one and in its struggle to subdue the fly, sp**** 1 must of touched the other web because a slightly larger version of sp****1 came rushing out, bit sp**** 1 and killed it! Nice way to treat a member of your own species I thought. Sp****s aren’t that much different to humans after all. While sp**** 2 was dragging the body of sp**** 1 back to its hidey hole it, in turn, must have touched another web because a big, black bastard suddenly appeared on the scene, bit sp*** 2 which dropped the carcass of spi*** 1 and the big bugger dragged sp**** 2 back to its dining room for lunch!aea51d5284a492b86cdfdf3dcc642f3a

Wow! You don’t get to see that every day. I know I keep banging on endlessly about this but today I saw what I hope will lead to new life. I also saw death and nature at its most savage albeit on a small scale and the reason I saw these things, as well as all the other wonderful stuff is because I was looking around admiring the beautiful things our world has to offer us and taking notice of it. To my mind, walking around paying attention is probably the best way to unwind, relax and to realise just how lucky we are. I know I am fortunate to live in the countryside where it’s easy to do this but even in urban areas it’s easily done if you make a little effort.

This scene is very close to where I have the great fortune to live

This scene is very close to where I have the great fortune to live

The fly? It escaped.

I asked PIL to check through this post for me to pick up on any errors. She was extremely pleased there has been no swearing today. Phew. I might get lucky later.

 

 

Have a fucking great day!

More Dick soon.auto

 

Life and Death (continued)

In my last post I mentioned how peaceful it had been when Dexter and I went for a walk yesterday. Having said that, something was preying at the back of my mind. Usually it’s something vulgar.2901_sharon_stone

But not yesterday and I couldn’t put my finger on what I was missing. Dexter and I have just returned from todays stroll in the country and while we were out the penny dropped. While there is a certain amount of livestock farming where we live, sheep, cows and possibly pigs, most of the farming is arable. Today, we walked a broadly similar route to yesterdays but giving a wide berth to where we saw the buzzards. I am very conscious of the fact that the fields and crops we walk through are someones livelihood and  keep to the tracks made through the crops by the farmers tractors. The fields we walked through today are growing oil seed rape which I think is called “canola” in North America. At the moment most of it is in flower. What was missing yesterday and also today was the sound of bees buzzing about pollinating.

Hardly a bee to be seen or heard

Hardly a bee to be seen or heard

I think I heard maybe 20 or so and saw no more than a dozen. Normally, I would expect to see dozens and dozens of ’em flying from flower to flower but not now. I know the bee in Britain is under threat from a mite that can devastate whole colonies in a year. It seems to be even worse this year. A lot of the trees and plants in the hedgerows are in flower now as well and they should be covered in bees but they’re not.

All these flowers and not a bee anywhere

All these flowers and not a bee anywhere

I like bees.bee:wasp

It’s why PIL and I try to have as many bee friendly flowers in our garden as possible and why we have clover growing in our lawn. I am now going to spend a little time looking into what is going on here because if crops aren’t pollinated by bees then the crop fails. No apples, pears, oranges or cherry. No fruit of any kind. It’s the same story with all crops.

I apologise if I’ve ruined your day. If not, then have a great one.

More Dick soon.auto

Life and Death

In my last post I had a bit of a rant about certain slimy creatures and PIL was a bit put out by the effing and blinding that took place. This post however, I’m sure will be a lot more sedate. Talking of swearing and cursing reminds me of my mate Bunsen. For many years Bunsen was a “chock head” in the British Army.

My mate Bunsen. He looks EXACTLY like this

My mate Bunsen. He looks EXACTLY like this

A chock head is what the rest of the army call the Royal Engineers for a very good reason I’m sure. Anyway, Bunsen finished his career in the army as a senior NCO. He is the only man in the history of the British Army to be reprimanded for the “continuous and persistent use of foul and abusive language towards the sappers under his command.” He is also the only man I know to have mislaid a bridge. I would love to have a been a fly on the wall for that conversation!

This is not the subject I intended writing about.

My working week is a bit odd. I start on a Sunday usually and work until Wednesday some weeks and Thursday on others. Sometimes I’m working away from home for days on end. When I’m home though I think most of the lovely people who read my meanderings know that I like to take Dexter out for a nice long stroll in the boonies and have good look around and a poke about in the undergrowth. You have to be careful what you poke though. I once accidentally poked a wasp’s nest.swarmingwasps_0508_445x260

Big mistake! I ran off screaming like a girl but I didn’t get stung which I think is testament to the speed at which I departed the area. Warp factor 10 and a bit!runningbees

Yesterday, we were just strolling along the edge of a field. It was a gloriously sunny day and it was as peaceful as you could wish for. The crops were starting to sprout, some were already in flower, bluebells were springing up all over the wooded areas and hedgerows. The wild garlic was flowering and stopping vampires from pestering me. It was a truly beautiful day. Then rising out of the trees in a display of the most graceful flying I have ever seen were two large birds of prey. The way they swooped and circled each other made me think they were showing off to one another which in turn, made me think that perhaps they were a mating pair and that they had been on the nest so to speak when Dexter and I came along. They moved higher and further along as we walked along and it made me think and hope that maybe in a little while there will be three or four of them swooping about overhead. I certainly hope so. I’m no ornithologist but I think they were buzzards.buzzard1

A twitcher would know what they were immediately although what Tourettes has to do with bird watching is beyond me. I really do hope that they do breed and there will be a few more beautiful birds gracing the air. As a matter of principle Dexter and I will avoid that area for a week or two so as not to disturb them.

A bit further along and a little while later, a movement in the corner of my eye caught my attention. Lots of spiders are now out and about spinning their webs, catching their prey and scoffing it. What I had seen was a fly caught in a web by one of its legs and struggling to escape. The owner of the web had shot out of its lair and was struggling to subdue the fly.5151 Garden Spiderxx

Now despite all the space, right next to this web was another one and in its struggle to subdue the fly, spider 1 must of touched the other web because a slightly larger version of spider1 came rushing out, bit spider 1 and killed it! Nice way to treat a member of your own species I thought. Spiders aren’t that much different to humans after all. While spider 2 was dragging the body of spider 1 back to its hidey hole it, in turn, must have touched another web because a big, black spider suddenly appeared on the scene, bit spider 2 which dropped the carcass of spider 1 and the big bugger dragged spidey 2 back to its dining room for lunch!spider1

Wow! You don’t get to see that every day. I know I keep banging on endlessly about this but today I saw what I hope will lead to new life. I also saw death and nature at its most savage albeit on a small scale and the reason I saw these things, as well as all the other wonderful stuff is because I was looking around admiring the beautiful things our world has to offer us and taking notice of it. To my mind, walking around paying attention is probably the best way to unwind, relax and to realise just how lucky we are. I know I am fortunate to live in the countryside where it’s easy to do this but even in urban areas it’s easily done if you make a little effort.20140617_135825

The fly? It escaped.

I asked PIL to check through this post for me to pick up on any errors. She was extremely pleased there has been no swearing today. Phew. I might get lucky later.

 

 

Have a fucking great day!

More Dick soon.auto

 

Looked. Saw nothing

Out today with Dexter for his walkies and my chill out time as usual on my days off. It was very misty and visibility was down to maybe a hundred yards at most. All the colour was washed out and it was impossible to see anything so everything was on audio. I could hear the seagulls and I heard something run off into the undergrowth but didn’t see a damned thing and it was brilliant. As everything was so still and quiet, if you listened carefully you could hear stuff you wouldn’t normally. I could hear bird song with amazing clarity, I could hear Dexter snuffling around in the undergrowth, I heard the rustle of leaves, I could hear the squelch of my wellies as I walked through the mud, I heard Dexter fart two hundred yards away! Thank goodness we have five senses. Today was a nice reminder to use more than just one.

Very still and very quiet. Bliss.

Very still and very quiet. Bliss.

Yesterday was the complete opposite. It was a warm and sunny day. Visibility was great and everything looked as sharp as a pin. I took the chance to continue with Dexters training and spent some time getting him to “Sit” and “Stay”. When I say “some time”, what I really mean was “a lot of time”. As it was such a clear day it wasn’t just me that could see everything for miles around. So while Dexter was happy to sit for a second or two, something would distract him and off he went in pursuit. Still a bit of work to do there I think.

I saw a rabbit! I saw a rabbit. Honest. I saw a rabbit!

I saw a rabbit! I saw a rabbit. Honest. I saw a rabbit!

 

I saw a squirrel! I saw a squirrel. Honest. I saw a squirrel!

I saw a squirrel! I saw a squirrel. Honest. I saw a squirrel!

Unfortunately, Dexter now also answers to “Sit. You bastard”!

An hour later!

An hour later!

More Dick soon.

Have a smashing day.

auto

 

 

 

We Just Looked

 

I had started to think that the other dog walkers considered me a bit of a weirdo. “Oh no! It’s that boring old fart who talks to the trees! I’ll pretend to be on my phone. He’ll get bored and go away.”10154113_623459451077541_1328958650979066160_n

Thinking about it, that’s probably exactly what they think but today I met a soul mate. She had a dog, she was out walkies but she didn’t have a phone. She had BINOCULARS! We had a conversation. She was called Amelia, her chocolate-brown labrador was called Willy (as in Wonka), she had only just moved to the area, she ran her own successful business from home. She was posh and very plummy. She took a break to take her dog for a walk every day and never took her phone with her. When I asked about that she replied, “Oh do fuck orf! My staff can manage without me for a couple of hours.” I liked her. We saw stuff, we shared her binoculars. We saw a Wren poking about in a tree, we saw and heard a Woodpecker doing that headbanger thing that Woodpeckers do. We concluded Woodpeckers have a Slipknot album playing on a continuous loop in their heads.

A heavy metal fan

A heavy metal fan

We saw Jays, Magpies, Blackbirds, Thrushes, Pheasants, pesky wabbits and a tiddly little mouse. We found Badger setts and pesky wabbit holes. There were countless seagulls circling overhead searching for freshly washed cars to crap on. Why is it that little birds never crap on your clean car? It’s always birds with cow-like arseholes.fly-dumbo-fly

Anyway, we saw dozens of clumps of wild primroses in flower and a copse full of wild garlic springing to life. The two photos below are ones that I took earlier today.20150312_113522

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Wild garlic growing nearby. The leaves are great to eat. Helps to avoid getting bruised necks too

I like garlic. I eat it to keep vampires away. It seems to work because I’ve never been attacked by a vampire let alone met one since I started to eat it. Mind you, I suspect that a girl I knew when I was a teenager might have been one because she was always attacking my neck. I think her fangs must have been blunt as she never drew blood but by Christ did she bruise my neck! My mum, when she spotted the bruises said I should be very careful as I might make her pregnant! That’s one of the things I loved about my mum. She was a fountain of wisdom and she was the holder of all knowledge in the known Universe. Until then I had never known how female vampires got pregnant. I thought baby vampires were found under a gooseberry bush like everyone else. Now I do know. They take a lump out of your throat and Bish Bash Bosh, nine months later you’re father to a baby vampire. Breast feeding that little sucker must be a nightmare! Be warned.vampire-roman

I digress.

So there you go. At least two people on this planet know that it won’t end if you don’t carry your phone everywhere with you. Three if you count my sister Boo but she doesn’t carry a phone with her anyway in case she falls over again and breaks it. You could also include PIL. She does carry a phone with her at all times but it’s at the bottom of her bag where she can’t hear or find it!

Try it. Go out for a stroll and look around. Leave your phone behind. I promise you the world will not end. Your company won’t go bust. Your wife/husband/whatever will not leave you. If, by some fluke, any of these things do happen though, don’t blame me. I’m just a lunatic who talks to the trees!

Have a fantastic day.

More Dick soon.

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Just Look 3

Oh no! He’s off on one again! Don’t deny it. That’s what you’re thinking but I just had to write this. I could not believe what just happened.

A lot of stuff I see when walking the dog or indeed, just on a normal day-to-day basis, tend to small things. Plants in flower at the wrong time of year, little critters scampering around in the undergrowth, birds catching prey in the distance, so I understand to an extent that other people may not notice. They may well see things I don’t and I’m fine with that. However, today was different.

Once again, despite the rain, the wind and the chill I was walking Dexter out in the boonies. We bumped into a bloke we see from time to time also walking his dog and we walked together for a while. Typically, this bloke was on his phone sending emails I think and he was totally wrapped up in it. No conversation, no looking about, so I get bored and Dexter and I eventually go off in a different direction. While we still all walking along together, I noticed something about 200 yards in front of us just as we came out of some woods into a field. I didn’t say anything because I was curious to see how long it would take this bloke to notice. We got closer and closer and still no reaction from my fellow dog walker as he emailed all kinds of unknown stuff to all kinds of unknown places. It amazes me we get 4G in the middle of nowhere! Dexter woofed at the thing in front of us. The other dog also woofed at it. No reaction. Eventually, we squeezed past this thing and STILL he didn’t notice! I was astounded. A few yards further on I said my farewells and strode off in a different direction. It wasn’t a thing of beauty he missed, it wasn’t a small plant in flower or any kind of wildlife nor was it unusual except that it didn’t belong. I went back later and took a photograph. I think this bloke will soon become a statistic. You’ll see what I mean a bit further down.

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How can you NOT see this!

If I ever get to the stage where I don’t notice stuff, any stuff, I want my children to take me to the cliffs at Beachy Head and set me off walking towards the edge!

By the way, the beard’s coming along just fine.

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Have a smashing day. Open your eyes and take some time to look around.

More Dick soon

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