Cowart's Common Room
I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Do hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Lamps out soon, if you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams
Camillax

Posted at 24th Jul 2017 - 12:17AM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 6

HO's 90th

We are an hour east of Bodeaux, Domaine de Polu, a lovely house that step daughter and husband spent rather a lot of years altering and doing up. It had not been lived in for 50 years.
After a peaceful morning till about 12.30 the first contingent arrived - HO's second daughter, husband and 2 little adopted daughters, 19 months and 3. About 5.30, the son, wife and two girls, 14 and 11, ompleted the gathering.
They are all busy preparing a BBQfor tonight and tomorrow we celebrate the 90th birthday.
The weather is pleasant after wickedly hot weather. Bitty clouds keep passing over the sun but inbetween it feels pleasantly hot but humid.
I will post again as and when!

Posted at 23rd Jul 2017 - 05:39PM   Posted by Withy Brook   HO's 90th Comments: 6

Lark Post

Uploaded Image

A soggy kind of world this morning, in these parts between the mountains and the sea, the rain pouring down and the town huddled in a grey blanket, awash in the deluge, adrift in clamminess. But the rest of the day is promised fine, that is if you can believe the promises and the photographs of weather watchers. Withy, I know takes pictures and has even featured in a fine exemplar of the English countryside with weather in the background. Others are not so skilled: there was a picture a day or two back taken by someone in the loved but unlovely town of Penarth that just showed grey sky.

Penarth (head of the garden) was one of three ports involved in the Coal Trade. In the beginning the Marquis of Bute built Cardiff docks but being a rapageous old man he demanded heavy duties on the coal exported to power the British empire. So some bright soul, probably another Scottish marquis but I know not who, had the bright idea of building a less expensive dock at Penarth, next door. Which he did and for a few years it flourished until yet another somebody or other came along, appalled by the prices that Cardiff and Penarth were charging and built Barry docks, again a little to the West, but then came the first world war and the export of coal that had been growing exponentially, declined. Barry then imported bananas and Penarth ran pleasure cruisers to Ilfracombe and Cardiff became Cardiff Bay and from the very wharves from where once coal was exported we now have food festivals, Octoberfests and all the joy of a thriving waterfront.

Anyway I am quite sure that you did not want to know that. But just one factlet before you go (if you haven't already gone) - Cardiff was where the first million pound cheque was ever signed - in 1913 - and it was for coal of course. It exists somewhere, allegedly, to this day, I think in the archives of the Marquis of Bute's successors, probably in Edinburgh. I trust it was cashed.

Anyway have a good, happy and arithmetic day.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 23rd Jul 2017 - 09:32AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 4

Pic of the day

Uploaded Image

Especially for Fennie. WinkLaughing

Posted at 22nd Jul 2017 - 11:20AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Pic of the day Comments: 10

Lark Post

Uploaded Image

Yesterday I started to write a post about Freya for whom Friday is named, but just when I had finished the computer crashed and Freye went the way of all the old Norse gods, vanishing into the misty hills and fjords of the ether.

My old Macbook bought in (I think) 2006 has never crashed in its life but my current Macbook crashes frequently. Anyway I lost the post. But here is the image of Freya I would have used. The only woman (or man) ever to have been able to herd cats. She also had a cloak of falcon feathers so she was a sort of Nordic wonderwoman in her day, but very pleasant apparently, and not at all pushy so that you wouldn't know she was a goddess if her chariot was parked around the corner. She also had responsibilities for many things: Life, love, death and sorcery among them - so when your spells go wrong, seek help from Freya and repeat them on a Friday.

A mild sort of day today - a sky of blue and white - a fresh damp feel to the air. Have a good day everyone.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 22nd Jul 2017 - 08:18AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 7

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

This week seems to have flown by, have a lovely weekend everyone.

The kettle is on for a brew, if you can't sleep and there are others on linw then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams
Camilla.x







Linked Image

Posted at 21st Jul 2017 - 10:31PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 16

Quote of the Day

Very Happy

Linked Image

Posted at 21st Jul 2017 - 12:23PM   Posted by Camilla   Quote of the Day Comments: 7

Pic of the Day

Linked Image

Posted at 21st Jul 2017 - 12:20PM   Posted by Camilla   Pic of the Day Comments: 6

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Back soon, just off to make a coffee.Very Happy

If you cant sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams
Camilla.xLinked Image

Posted at 20th Jul 2017 - 11:43PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 14

DOVE BITE - sad death

I don't have time for anything nowadays, now I have a new baby grandson - sorry I haven't been here on the Coo.

A brief update on the pidgies, hopefully with a few photos if I can get them to upload.

The new pair, Sorrel and Serafina, have only one, very big, baby as the other egg didn't hatch. She is white, like her mum, and seems to be pure white, which is odd, as her dad, Sorrel is brown. I would've thought the brown colour was dominant, but don't know anything about genetics. I've called her Solitaire, to please Fennie, who didn't like my choice of singleton name last time (which was April). Solitaire is now about 20 days old, but as I don't know exactly when she hatched I am not sure. Mum and dad are sitting on new eggs now.

Pan and Mariette are thinking about a new nest as their baby Jethro (also a singleton - do you like that name, Fennie?) is now two weeks old. Their older two were Jack and Jill, and if you remember, I think I told you that Jill was deformed, like Pascal, with stunted wings and tail so couldn't fly, but she was an adorable little thing. Unfortunately I found her dead in the cote on Tuesday morning, and I have no doubt she was killed by either Pan or Sorrel. It is awful, and I felt quite sick that I hadn't protected her, but I hadn't realised she would need protecting. She was only 7 weeks old. I did think the day before that she was a bit poorly, and maybe that's why she was killed. Pigeons don't like illness. Her sibling Jack is fine, and comes back to the aviary each night - as does April, over 11 weeks old.

Primrose and Pascal remain offspring-less as their one egg failed to hatch.

Top to bottom - Jethro with unhatched egg/egg cracked - not fertilised/my new baby grandson!!/Jill - last day/Solitaire



.Uploaded Image

Uploaded Image

Uploaded Image

Uploaded Image

Uploaded Image

Posted at 20th Jul 2017 - 09:43PM   Posted by Faith   DOVE BITE - sad death Comments: 5

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FAIRY NUFF

Dear FN,

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday.

Have a lovely evening celebrating tonight, lots of bubbly and a celebratory cake too I hope.

Love and Best Wishes,
Camilla.xx



Uploaded Image

Posted at 20th Jul 2017 - 03:54PM   Posted by Camilla   HAPPY BIRTHDAY FAIRY NUFF Comments: 11

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks.

Hope you have been managing to stay cool with the heatwave we are having at the moment, boy was it hot today.Very Happy

Afternoon tea at our daughters today could not sit under the huge Sun umbrella in the garden for shade as the wind was too keen even though the weather was hot for fear brolly would fly off somewhere. Managed to find a shady spot in the garden though to sit out in.

Supermarket shop on the way home and Quiche and salad for evening meal with a big glass of ice cool crisp white wine and slumped on the sofa to watch Lewis drama and fell asleep on the sofa. Awake now but I could still sleep for England.Very Happy

If you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams
Camillax

Posted at 19th Jul 2017 - 11:55PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 9

Afternoon Lark

Uploaded Image

Well it's Joanna again tonight - transporting us to a wonderful world far away where I have never been but to which, you never know, I might yet travel and stay at night or two in one of those royal palaces of Rajasthan, (which my spell checker says I have spelt wrongly but which Wikipedia says is correct nevertheless). Still I do not suppose the spelling is critical.

There is a story told by Indians who come to Wales about one of their folk at the time long ensconsced in the Welsh valleys, many years ago and when trains were trains and ran to the most unlikely places. Anyway, one day our man wished to return to India for a family funeral, but found he could not book a through ticket from Cardiff. He found he could only buy a ticket to London, and from there only to Paris, and so to Istanbul, and Cairo and Jeddah, or wherever before finally he could at last buy a ticket to Delhi.

Now he found all this a bit of a palaver and once the funeral was over said so to the ticket officer clerk at Delhi railway station. "But where do you want to go, sir?" asked the clerk politely. "To England, replied the man, or rather to Wales" "Of course to Wales sir"," came the reply. "And where is it in Wales that you would like a ticket to?" "I live in a very small village," said our man. A mining community, no-one has heard of in the Swansea valley called Cwmtyrch." The clerk nodded and consulted his almanac provided by the great Indian railway system. "Yes sir," said the clerk after the shortest of intervals, "But would that be Upper Cwmtyrch or Lower Cwmtyrch?"

It's an apocryphal story of course and one to go with that other great apocryphal (or perhaps not!) story told by Indians about Gandi being asked what he thought about British civilisation and snapping back immediately that it would be a very good thing.

Well, I am sure Joanna did not travel to India by train, or even back again, but it's surprising how much endures from those times. 'Port Out, Starboard Home (POSH) - the locations of the best (shadiest) cabins on the liners - and India Pale Ale - who remembers that? Actually I don't think you have to remember because I think you can still buy this beer that was hopped to excess to preserve it from the rigours of train or sea travel. And very good it was too whether or not you drank it on the croquet lawns of Simla or the tiger swarming jungles on beside the Hoogli. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 19th Jul 2017 - 06:14PM   Posted by Fennie   Afternoon Lark Comments: 11

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Beautiful day with the weather yesterday, on walking back from the post office in the village I noticed how many more cars were around some with bikes on back and others with a boat on top, no doubt holiday makers, perhaps Piccadilly Circus has come to Winterton

Very Happy

Just made a pot of tea but won't be long before lamps out soon, weary old owl tonight.

If you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams
Camillax

Posted at 19th Jul 2017 - 12:23AM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 7

Afternoon Lark

Uploaded Image

It's a hot and sultry afternoon - about 25 degrees or a bit over - hotter than yesterday anyway. The air is laden with the scent of tree pollen, limeflower especially, and so thick that it seems to come in slices. I walked to the castle and back without incident. Nor did I see anyone with a camera to talk to about ecology.

I suppose their is some ecology here. We have wild things and plants and trees and of course children. Sometimes it seems that there is no other purpose in life but to reproduce ourselves and we have been doing that successfully since before the stone age. So why do we bother with ecology or even interior decorating? That is what I want to know. That's a question I should like to put to an ecologist, although now that I come to think about it the Stone Age people, or some of them at least, did take time off from reproducing themselves to decorate their caves with fetching images of wild beasts.

These early people may have been wild and hairy and have communicated by grunting but they could draw. And beautifully. And no doubt they had ecological pretensions as well. They lived in a landscape after all, side by side with the sabre tooths and the bears and lynx and wolves and perhaps things that were rejected from Game of Thrones, which programme I have never watched but whose images are the stuff of nightmares.

Anyway, enough of such thoughts. The beautiful and knowledgeable Alice Roberts is on tonight talking about our perceptions of Vikings, who probably also decorated their interiors when they were writing sagas, ecologising or pillaging. I have Viking blood apparently, an armful at least. We shall see what that means. Meanwhile we await the thunderstorms promised for this evening. Longships must have been dismal in the rain.
.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 18th Jul 2017 - 05:54PM   Posted by Fennie   Afternoon Lark Comments: 5

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks.

The weather was very hot today, phew! As Patch and I came back from our walks over the dunes late afternoon I saw a man taking pictures with what looked like a very expensive zoom lens camera. He got closer to one of the purple gorse bushes close up and began clicking away with his camera. Patch and I walked on a little just nearing the entrance of the dunes when the man caught up with me. I was the first to speak... 'Lovely day I said' did you get some great shots saw you were taking pictures of the gorse bush'? 'Oh no he said it wasn't the gorse I was taking picture of'. 'Ah I said then you must have been taking a picture maybe of a butterfly, have you seen a Purple Emporer perhaps'? 'No not this time but if you happen to go to Suffolk and go to Minsmere you might see one of those there'. He handed me a small card and said he was a Ecologist. 'Have a look on the website if you get time'. We said our goodbyes and he drove off.Very Happy

Ecological Experiences
Wildlife Tours & Photography
Talks and Lectures

God knows what my son would have thought... He always says to me, 'mother you can't just keep going up to strangers and having a chat with them who you don't know from Adam'. Ah well there you go.

Just off to make a cuppa, hope all owls and larks are well.

If you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams
Camillax

Posted at 17th Jul 2017 - 11:25PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't  Sleep Chat Post Comments: 8

Afternoon Post

Uploaded Image

Later this afternoon I am off to a reception at the Welsh Assembly to mark the start of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union. It's very kind of them (or rather the European Commission in Cardiff) to invite me as I hold no position these days and do little except cheer from the sidelines. I also won't be able to stay long as I have to get back for a Town Twinning meeting, which had to be rearranged for this evening. Still enough time to pay my respects.

Estonia is a fascinating little country and certainly the place for Camilla to go if she wants advice on the cyber world - for Estonia is to digital what the Spanish Main was to gold. Europe's answer to California, though why Europe's answer couldn't be in Andalusia or Sicily, I do not know. But I suppose in the long winter nights of a latitude far to the North of FN and Bradan you have to do something and it might as well be digital. Anyway it is their turn at the Presidency which means that they get to chair all the committees and to some extent get to dictate the agenda. Now this should have been Britain's Presidency but we turned down all the advantages that a Presidency brings on the sniffy grounds that as we were leaving the EU a Presidency would no longer be appropriate. How to lose friends and alienate people indeed. But Britain's loss is Estonia's advantage. And now it appears we won't be leaving the EU after all, or at least not for a very long time.

A couple of years ago we had, thanks to Rosie, an Estonian workawayer who lived with us for two weeks and painted all the doors and windows in the house. In return we fed here, took her to see the sights and helped with her English. She was a lovely woman called Leah. She didn't like the Russians much, though given Estonia's history this isn't surprising, so they are glad to be locked into the EU, though very sad that Britain should be leaving. That is about as much as I can tell you about Estonia. I cannot even tell you about the photograph above which is the logo of the Estonian Presidency, but it will be something to ask about this evening. But if you should see a Goldfinch (or is it -crest?) munching thistledown then it's probably Estonian.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 17th Jul 2017 - 02:34PM   Posted by Fennie   Afternoon Post Comments: 7

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Do hope you all had a lovely weekend.

The Wimbledon is over for another year. I have watched the highlights and saw the men's finals, well done Federer this years champion my all time favourite since Borg who was another favourite of mine.

Walked Patch over the dunes after the match and we got thoroughly soaked to the skin, no longer had we left the house and the heavens opened, gave Patch a good rub down with fluffy towel when we reached home again.

Just made a cuppa and won't be long before I hit the sack, if you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams
Camillax

Posted at 16th Jul 2017 - 11:51PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 7

Lark Post

The Enchantings are coming today for lunch. It seems ages since we saw them. Plus Nana aka London Granny and YD but Kevin is away in Germany, teaching or training people not to fall off ropes and crash into floors from a great height. Sadly the sky is leaden this morning but there is a promise of sunshine later and we may yet decamp to the beach to return with yet more pocket and bootfuls of stones. Young Beanie has her heart set upon Geology I imagine. Anyway she has been fascinated by stones from an early age. Sadly we shall miss the Wimbledon final or most of it unless the rain pours down, but there we are. We could be sowing the seed for a future champion. Theo has long arms and legs and isn't bad at hand eye coordination either.

Yesterday I ran J over to the big Waitrose in Barry to stock up for today's invasion and drank a coffee in the café while she dithered around the shelves. (Do you remember that lovely phrase of Milla's, written in a blog perhaps around 2008, "I too dither, but I dither briskly." Ah dear Milla. She had a way with words and nothing good to say about her bag of fluff called Lolly - a dog whose sister ED seems now to own and which is equally useless and clueless). Anyway where were we? Ah yes! Well in the course of her dithering J picked up a bag of fresh mussels, reduced, with a sell by date about three hours away and these we bought home and cooked for supper in a sort of faux moules à l'escargot fashion. Cook mussels, extract meat into shallow dish, pour on melted butter mixed with parsley and crushed garlic, top with a cheese and breadcrumb gratin and grill until nicely brown. And quite delicious it was too.

I see all owls are sleeping late but I must away and hurry up for there is much cleaning and tidying, washing etc to do before they all arrive.
Crossed fingers that all is still well with everyone.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 16th Jul 2017 - 09:27AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 3

Ocktoberfest

Uploaded Image

Surprise surprise! I have just this minute learnt that Cardiff is staging its own Octoberfest in September, just to show what a European (and Remain voting) city it is. I have sent invitations to many including Ivy. But of course everyone else is welcome too. Sadly I am no longer able to drink beer in copious quantities but I should enjoy a little tipple served in the Bavarian style and with maybe a Bratwurst and fries.

I have never been to an Octoberfest though one of Younger Daughter's early boyfriends served as a waiter in the real one in Munich in times past. I asked whether he spoke German: he said 'no' but that it really didn't matter. Ah, the joys of 'free movement of the people.' Viel Spaß.

Posted at 15th Jul 2017 - 10:23AM   Posted by Fennie   Ocktoberfest Comments: 5

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Having difficulty accessing internet this evening, very slow.

Sleepy owl tonight, just off to make a cuppa before lamps out soon.

Have a lovely weekend.

If you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams
Camillax

Posted at 14th Jul 2017 - 11:08PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 11

Pic of the day

Uploaded Image

I was tidying up some files on my computer and rediscovered some scans of old photos.
After training to become a Naval Engineer my Dad was on passage to Bombay when he caught chickenpox just before they arrived so they wouldn't let him back on the boat when they left again.
Instead he spent 2 years at the Naval Base in Bombay only being shipped back in time for D Day, this is him with his workmates... on dress down Friday by the looks of them! Not a Navy uniform in sight. Very Happy

Posted at 14th Jul 2017 - 12:15PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Pic of the day Comments: 8

Lark Post

Uploaded Image

Well today is 14th July. Fete de la Liberté. The day of the storming of the Bastille and the release of its six prisonners to the detriment of the 87 or so guards, most of them Swiss, who perished in the ensuing havoc. The power of the mob. And most of it was started by hatter or felter from Thetford in Norfolk - Thomas Paine by name - who wrote a book called 'The Rights of Man' and there have been courts dancing to his tune ever since and even Human Rights lawyers making a pretty penny out of those principles that he enunciated when he wasn't making felt or hats. Who knows he may even have visited Winterton and walked on the same sand dunes as Resident Owl.

Of course revolutions consume their own children and when Thomas Paine, began to inveigh against the French revolutionaries, they said 'Off with his Head' and he was put in prison with a big red X marked on the door of his cell indicating that he should be put on an early morning tumbril. But our Thomas suffered from asthma - as it seems do most people in Norfolk and doubtless making felt didn't help - so he asked the warder whether he wouldn't mind leaving the door open so that he could get some air.

As he was chained up at the time the warder agreed but the effect of opening the door was to hide the big X on the front of it and so he was never collected for the guillotine and so let off and told to go and foment revolution somewhere else. So he went to America and bent Thomas Jefferson's ear about the Rights of Man and citizens being created equal and having rights to happiness etc. Normal for Norfolk, you might say.

Anyway our French neighbour had a little party last night to celebrate - a day early for some reason and we sang the Marseillaise. But of course forgot about the hatter from Norfolk. Still no doubt Thomas Paine is quite used to this by now.

Have a good day owls and larks.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 14th Jul 2017 - 08:20AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 4

Lark Post

Uploaded Image

A glorious morning of high summer, the scents of butterflies gently wafting through the arching foliage and hares running in the fields trailing leverets behind them like a kite. So many shades of colour, the bright and dark greens of the leaves of the fig and chestnut, the olive green of the walnut and the grey green of the little olive tree I have on the front lawn. The grasses too in every shade of faded green to dusty brown.

The jackdaws fly in, mob-handed for the breakfast, followed by the collared doves and the fat wood pigeons. Meanwhile the sparrows, hiding in the Bay Tree have a quick knee trembler before starting the day. They may think they are unseen but the tree is shaking in a way that can only mean one thing. Still I am glad that something still has the energy even though it will mean yet more youngsters and a greater food bill.

Yesterday I picked up my repaired car and a mouth-wateringly high bill. Truly it is cheaper these days to buy a new car than to have the old one repaired. On the television the adverts say you can have a new car for £99 down and £20 a week. Amazing! But still I have the old one back now and it has the touch of familiarity about it, though what I really want is an Alfa Romeo with incomprehensible instructions in Italian. They aren't practical cars but don't they have class and verve? Vroom! Vroom! Even Resident Owl in her bright red sporty Jaguar wouldn't stand a chance.

Talking of which I do hope that all is well over there on the East coast where the Haddock come calling and the seals prowl the beaches looking for Alsatians. And why 'Winterton' and not Summerton?' Not a place you go in Winter, surely? Even though you might live in the fens.

Take care everyone and may your day be handy and useful. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 13th Jul 2017 - 08:18AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 2

Lark Post

Uploaded Image

Well the Coo is very quiet. Hush, hush, whisper who dares, the Coo is asleep and dreaming of hares. Hares? Well I suppose so. Though there are no hares in Wimbledon thought there are plenty of hairs that have to be kept out of the way with bandanas or editors' capettes or with a judicious knot or two in a hair bangle. I watched a bit of the tennis yesterday - The match in fact, the one everyone is talking about, though every time I got bored and got up to do something there was a break of serve. Always the way. Anyway well done Joanna Konta and commiserations to Simona Halep who looked fierce and determined but managed to produce defeat from the jaws of victory.

I do hope the Coo merely has its feet up and isn't beset with tragedy. Or maybe it cannot bear any more posts from me and has turned its face to the wall. Or maybe it thinks that ten years is long enough. But there we are. Why doesn't panetone ever go stale? I found some yesterday left over from Christmas, took a slice and it tasted fine and not a bit stale, or mouldy despite all other foodstuffs going mouldy in two weeks in this weather including even the marmalade. But not willing to risk more than a slice I put it out for the birds who thus have had an Italian breakfast this morning. They will be demanding coffee and croissants next.

Take care everyone and smile (or take a St John's Wort tablet) and have a good day.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 12th Jul 2017 - 07:59AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 9