Cowart's Common Room
Woodland Lark

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Resident Owl, see below, asked for a picture of a field mouse, for some reason. (Now I hope she isn't about to swoop down on poor Mrs Tittlemouse - for such she is - and gobble her up, though if she came down on her owly wings and carried off the creepy-crawly person whom Mrs Tittlemouse is confronting, then I am sure Mrs T would be relieved and would stop clattering her dustpan. Actually I am not sure it is a Creepy-Crawly person as such, for if memory serves me right, which it doesn't very often, these folk tend to inhabit the plate rack - so this may be an ordinary beetle crawly person. I had thought it might have been a Bumble Bee whose family, you may recall, infested Mrs T's nice little sandy home, until Mr Jackson, the toad, came along asking for honey, of which Mrs T, had none, resulting in Mr Jackson exclaiming 'Poof-poof-poof! No Honey, no honey Mrs Tittlemouse?' and opening his mouth quite unnecessarily wide in Mrs T's well-mannered opinion, showed he had no teeth. (Why have there never been good Toads in literature? There now: an opening for someone!)

But was there ever a Mr Tittlemouse? We are not told. Did Mrs T ever go out at night - dodging the owls - seeking male company or singing in a club? Did she, in other words have a double life? This we are not told, which is why I am asking. But to be sure if she found a potential replacement for Mr Tittlemouse One (and I feel quite sure that this gentleman must have been eaten by a passing owl) then Mr Tittlemouse Two would find himself quite impossibly well cared for and certain to live a long and happy life in the sandy passageways of the woodland bank. Mrs T might indeed advertise in the Woodland Times. Gentleman required for widow. Must be in the habit of wiping his feet!)

There, I have written too many words already and quite forgotten what I was about to say. So I will just wish all Cooers a good start as we embark on our second decade and also some relief from the troubles and afflictions up with which some of us are currently having to put. So have a good day everyone. The sun is shining. And if there is one thing that I can guarantee today it is that you will not be eaten by a passing Owl. We must be thankful for mercies, however small.
Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 22nd Apr 2017 - 08:52AM   Posted by Fennie   Woodland Lark Comments: 3

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Off for an earlier night soon, whacked.! but not before I have had my nightly cuppa.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend have a lovely one.

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

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams

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Posted at 21st Apr 2017 - 10:12PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 6


I appear to have 'lost' Behind the Bike Sheds on facebook. I hope I haven't accidentally deleted it or anything silly like that. Anyone else having problems? If I have accidentally locked myself out will someone invite me back in ... please?Blink

Posted at 21st Apr 2017 - 02:39PM   Posted by Lampworkbeader   Lost? Comments: 2

Pick me up

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I've just discovered a new (old) genre of music, Neo Swing (sometimes called Electro Swing) and it's sooooooo good at getting you through the doldrums of the end of year accounts.
During the seemingly endless entering of data I put some of this on to listen to the other day I soon found myself typing along in time to the music oblivious to the tedium of the task in hand.

Here's a taster...

Tape Five on YouTube

I've always liked Swing and occasionally one of the new tracks pops up on an advert or suchlike and I never knew who or what to search for to find the modern bands. Very Happy

Posted at 21st Apr 2017 - 10:55AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Pick me up Comments: 7

Morning After Lark

Well I do hope that resident owl has been able to pass a satisfactory night, albeit in a state of high anxiety and that things are quiet and on the mend on the Norfolk front this fine sunny morning. Did we all go to Paris yesterday, or was it a dream. I heard as we were about to land that a policeman, no doubt with a wife and young family had been shot by a suspected bearded lunatic, within a stone's throw of where we would have headed had the world of yesterday evening been real and not virtual.

At such uncertain times, compounded by elections bursting around us here, there and everywhere like a species of artillery barrage, we need an image warm and comforting to remind us that we have only to reach out in our minds to touch each other and to support each other and to make each other laugh - and that can be no bad thing.

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Posted at 21st Apr 2017 - 08:18AM   Posted by Fennie   Morning After Lark Comments: 6

Aperitif Anyone?

As the sun is over the yard arm and as it's our anniversary, we might gather for a little glass of champagne, do you not think? And savour the moments we have enjoyed together.

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But we shall have to hurry for I have arranged for a bus shortly to take us to the airport and a flight to Paris.

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We shall stay at the George V, just off the Champs Elysees

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So dust of your best frocks and coats and hats and let's go party. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 20th Apr 2017 - 05:42PM   Posted by Fennie   Aperitif Anyone? Comments: 10

Happy 10th Birthday to Purplecoo

Happy 10th Birthday to Purplecoo.!

Who would have thought we would be here still at this wonderful amazing site, I for one was hoping we would. We are so lucky all thanks to our dear Westerwitch and HS and Almighty Admin. Thank you kindly.

I may not have met all friends here in person, but I feel that I have already you are all pretty fabulous, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your friendship.

Congratulations to us all.!

Love Camilla.xxLinked Image

Posted at 20th Apr 2017 - 12:01AM   Posted by Camilla   Happy 10th Birthday to Purplecoo Comments: 14

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Phew.! what a day.... have been at the A&E for most of the day for my HL,
will post post more later.

Hope all owls and larks have had a good day, just going to slip into something more comfortable, and tea here I come. It was the first thing I did when I arrived home, put that trusty kettle on.Very Happy

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

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams

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Posted at 19th Apr 2017 - 10:53PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 5

Evening Lark

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. . . or, a contradiction in terms, you might say, larks being associated more with morning and when not with morning then with foolishness: what larks! people say in stories written in the 1930s and those a generation later might describe a folly as 'larking about.' You think it would be the other way about but it isn't - no one I think ever larked about before about 1950, life being much too serious. Still 1950 was a very long time ago now and we are nearer to 2050, which I suppose, I won't see, though I might if I were to live as long as that Italian egg eating lady who lived to 117 or was it 116? A long time she lived that last person born in the 1800s. She might have had a mother who drove ambulances at Waterloo. To which I have been and which is well worth a visit, though everything there is in French and all about Napoleon. Rather like going to the Normandy beaches and finding everything in German. Mind you it is in German as well as French and English and maybe these days in esoteric languages too. Gosh, I have quite forgotten what I wanted to write about: it has been that sort of day, hammer and tongs since daybreak and now too tired to do anything and yet I must do some piano practice. I have eight label orders on my pad and another two pending, plus work for the Charter Trust and the Town Twinning. I am worn to a ravelling, or should it be an unravelling?

Anyway that is all from the Lark - sweet dreams and soft sleep, beautiful dreams of unicorns and black golfs with speedy engines. Take care good people and may you be well-preserved from all the perils and dangers of things that go bump in the nightVery HappyVery Happy

Posted at 19th Apr 2017 - 08:55PM   Posted by Fennie   Evening Lark Comments: 5

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Well I never got round to mowing the front lawn or pruning the bush so will do later today. What a terrific wind we had here today lovely sunshine at times just extremely windy.

Pot of tea before lamps out soon, if you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams

Posted at 18th Apr 2017 - 11:57PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 8

DOVE BITE - Dwight and Demelza

The babies, Dwight and Demelza, are over four weeks old. They move freely about the aviary, but have not yet been outside, and still like to spend a lot of time sitting in with mummy Mariette, or daddy Pan, whoever is on the new eggs. If Pan doesn't take them outside by the end of the week, then I will.....but so far I have left it all up to him and Mariette.

Pascal is not tolerant of the babies, and pecks them when they come near. I think he is in a mood because he and Primrose don't seem to be having new eggs. I don't really understand it. They had their first babies, Myth and Magic, when they were only just over babies themselves - and a while later they had babies that didn't live more than a couple of days..... and now, nothing.

Below, Demelza, left and Dwight - peas in a pod!

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Posted at 18th Apr 2017 - 08:20PM   Posted by Faith   DOVE BITE - Dwight and Demelza Comments: 4

Political Lark

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Gosh, what a difference a few hours makes. We are into a General Election here on the Coo and will no doubt be bombarded fiercely with paper and sloganeering for the next seven and a half weeks. I called into Waitrose this afternoon and an old friend, knowing I was of the Lib Dem persuasion even asked me whether I would be standing? He used to be Mayor of the town and I am still wondering whether he was in jest. Still it is nice to be asked.

But apart from politics there's not a lot happening. The family have disappeared, we are back to work. I have plants to plant and the lawn to mow. Louise Lear is telling me that there will be frost, but luckily we are fairly close to the sea and that keeps us warm. Anyway I am not digging up my newly planted geraniums: they will have to take their chance.

Planting them was the only thing I did do over Easter. You set aside tasks to keep you busy over the four days of holiday and then you find it comes to an end before you have done any of them. Always seems to happen - with Christmas as well.

Anyway try not to get too caught up in the political whirlpool. The only thing I predict is that the election will not be predictable. Expect the unexpected. We shall probably be invaded by Scotland and hacked by the Russians. We live, as the Chinese say, in interesting times.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 18th Apr 2017 - 06:03PM   Posted by Fennie   Political Lark Comments: 7

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Hope you had a lovely Easter holiday and enjoyed all your choc eggsVery Happy

Drove out to see daughters new house yesterday afternoon although she has not got the keys yet, passed a most beautiful church at the end of the lane it was surrounded with pretty spring flowers in a wonderful setting and quite tranquil. Patch and I found the footpath along the side and walked over near the corn fields. Met a lady there who I swear would be a lookalike for Mary Berry.

Off to down pillows soon, if you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams

Posted at 18th Apr 2017 - 02:18AM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 6

I am so excited...

About 25 years ago I reached the height of my career. With that came a company car. I had a budget for a car and chose a black Metro GTI.

The girlfriend of our next door neighbour was at the same level as me, both tax managers, but she was in industry and I was in practice. The difference? She got a black Golf GTI.

I have had Golfs since, but have always lusted after a GTD (same as GTI but diesel)

Today I bought a black (it had to be black) Golf GTD. I don't care if I never buy another car. I have saved in my 'car account' for this for 25 years.

There was a bit of a downside today while I was doing a test drive. Himself in the back asked the salesman 'considering our age (ie my age) do you think we (she) will be able to handle the car?' It's a good job I was concentrating on driving.

I haven't decided yet if I will allow Himself to drive it. I'm thinking not.Evil or Very Mad

Posted at 17th Apr 2017 - 03:33PM   Posted by KitKatCot   I am so excited... Comments: 10

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

I hope you had a lovely Easter day, perhaps you had a chocolate egg to indulge in. I have not one chocolate egg at all but I will be indulging with some uneaten chocolate gateau later with my hot cuppa.

Patch and I got soaked in the rain this afternoon, but had lovely walks over the beach.

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

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams

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Posted at 16th Apr 2017 - 10:43PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 11

Pic of the day

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Posted at 16th Apr 2017 - 12:44PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Pic of the day Comments: 5

Happy Easter everyone!

I hope you all have a lovely family day. Sorry I haven't a suitable Eastery picture to put up, but no doubt Fennie will find one. It is sunny and bright here in my little corner of Surrey. Mariette is sitting on her new eggs while her big four week old babies run around on the shelf.

My youngest daughter, the preggie one, is coming to lunch with her husband and I will see my other daughter and my grandchildren tomorrow. Bill is at Silverstone watching the motor racing.

What are you doing today?

Faith xx

Posted at 16th Apr 2017 - 07:47AM   Posted by Faith   Happy Easter everyone! Comments: 9

Poem of the Day

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Posted at 15th Apr 2017 - 11:55AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Poem of the Day Comments: 7

Unicorned Lark

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IKEA on a bank holiday is always busy. Younger daughter rang about something or other and I said we were going to buy a bookcase; meet you there for lunch. And so we did. Where else can you buy a multiple course lunch for six people for £21? I had an excellent breast of roast chicken in a colorful sauce with Parmentier potatoes and a rice salad with garlic bread, coffee and a jelly (uneaten by the little ones) to follow.

Beanie was wearing her Rapunzel dress. Imagine a crinoline from which the hoops had slipped so they were now in a hula hoop around the hem of the long skirt and you have the image. Beneath that she wore blue suede boots, a Christmas present from Uncle Duncan who works for Clarks. The outfit was completed by a backpack as though Rapunzel were off to the jungle, which I suppose IKEA is on a Bank Holiday.

In the back back were eight unicorns, I kid you not. Not real unicorns, of course, (whatever were you thinking?) but pretend unicorns made by those people who make 'My Little Pony' (not real ponies either - how disappointing a child's world is these days!) with impossibly long manes, all combed and plaited in the most garish coloured nylon imaginable. Still the unicorns' eyes glistened with sparkle and impossibly long eyelashes.

Beanie has impossibly long eyelashes too. Maybe she was made in the same factory. Anyway all eight unicorns came out to watch her eat her dinner only bothering her occasionally when a plait became undone.

Little Theo, now 8 has become all serious and doesn't have anything to do with unicorns. He is in the first set for maths (they have sets at the age of eight?) though he doesn't like maths. Instead he draws robots and dreams robots and is determined to grow up a master of artificial intelligence. Meanwhile I just wanted a bookcase and to escape without buying more fancy dress clothes (his mother bought Theo a robot suit) or soft toys (her mother bought Beanie a cat to compensate - not a real one) I just bought the bookcase and a dozen glasses for £4.20 to replace the ones the dishwasher (still working by the way - yippee!) had made cloudy.

And then we came home. As J was even more tired than me I volunteered to cook supper - Sea Bass (Fish on Good Friday, brownie point please!) with potatoes sautéed in butter and some asparagus found homeless in the fridge bottom but fortunately only just a week beyond its BB date. As you can see I am still alive.

Have a good day everyone.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 15th Apr 2017 - 09:19AM   Posted by Fennie   Unicorned Lark Comments: 4

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Just returned home after a lovely evening out with extended family at our local pub, super meal good conversation, many laughs and a large brandy what could be better.

Raining heavily here, off to slip into jim jams and make a coffee. back later if I don't fall asleep on that comfy sofa.Very Happy

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

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams

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Posted at 14th Apr 2017 - 10:17PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 7

Good Friday Lark

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Should you wish people a Happy Good Friday? - possibly not. Too many memories of boiled fish and kneeling for hours on end without so much as a hymn to relieve the tedium. The symbolism of Christianity has always been doom laden - torture and hell more powerful symbols than light, resurrection and Heaven. Or for me anyway, lost child that I still am. Not so much a sinner as an incompetent, the one a result of the other. So I am glad to throw off that belief which tormented me in my youth, even if I do still enjoy the rituals witnessed occasionally and of course I enjoy the buildings, the architecture of the great religious houses and beyond that the sacred music which more than anything has the ability to transport a soul to another happier and more restful place.

So if you can wish someone a Happy Good Friday I wish it to any secular souls who may be around and I pray (am I still allowed that?) for peace in the world and to be free of the current daily catalogue, of bombs and missiles and dead and dying. It is too much. We need to grow up. What unites humanity is more than what divides it. Even North Korea must want things that are better provided through the bounty of peace than the weapons of war. Bomb them with Easter eggs perhaps. Flower power.

Still the world feels more dangerous now than perhaps at any time since the deepest days of the Cold War and in danger of ending not with a whimper but with a bang.

This has turned into a sad old reflection hasn't it? Quite the equivalent of boiled fish and hours of kneeling. So today I shall be positive and plant some nasturtium seeds, maybe buy eight or ten geraniums and take J to IKEA to buy yet another BILLY bookcase. We may not yet live in IKEA, but IKEA lives with us. Very Happy Very Happy

Posted at 14th Apr 2017 - 08:48AM   Posted by Fennie   Good Friday Lark Comments: 7

Mud Lark

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Our Owl's exertions on the beach with her beautiful grandchildren reminded me of an advertisement years and years back for perhaps something like Phytosan (Fortifies the over 40s) or maybe it was Horlicks or something, anyway the advertisement showed a group of children literally run into the ground and having collapsed exhausted around a triumphant granny who had obviously won the race, or the cricket match or the football or whatever it was, and the parents of the children calling out 'Amanda, Julian, Lucy' (or whatever names were common then) 'You mustn't tire your Granny out!' - whereas of course it was the parents who were tired out, and the children collapsed, while Granny (having eaten? drunk?) her Phytosan was still running around like the proverbial Duracell bunny.

Still I am sure the children had a lovely time with their grandmother.
But yesterday I am afraid I did not have a lovely time. Mike came round. We got the pressure washer to work and then he left me and I pressure washed away the afternoon amid a lot of noise and water. The problem of course which I should have foreseen is that there isn't anywhere for the water to go and the patio gradually filled up like a muddy paddling pool. The washer dislodged earth from between the flags and around the flags, from pots and flower beds and so, and as fast as I was cleaning the stones they were being covered with a fine muddy silt exactly like those pictures of a serious flood.

The mud even splattered up the walls of the house and to add insult to injury my patio has gone from being an even browny-grey weathered colour to something like a builders' merchants yard. The result is brash and horrible. If I could go back in time to yesterday I would, and I still have this massive clearing up to do.

And I didn't even want to wash the patio - it was Mike's idea. "Why don't I lend you my pressure washer - bring those flags up a treat!"
Ah well! You have to laugh. The ups and downs of life. And the worst thing is that I have to pretend that I am grateful and how good the patio will look when it is finally swept and cleaned. But he meant well, did Mike.

"Always beware of people who mean well," says Jeffrey Bernard in the play. He may well be right.

Have a better day than I will.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 13th Apr 2017 - 08:33AM   Posted by Fennie   Mud Lark Comments: 9

Ta Da!

The dishwasher has worked and not leaked! Neither in the house nor outside.

I know that you have been desperate to know this.

All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 12th Apr 2017 - 06:02PM   Posted by Fennie   Ta Da! Comments: 4


Just to let you know, Homework is posted. To be handed in by 23 April. Chop, chop...
Don't be leaving it until the last minuteVery Happy

Posted at 12th Apr 2017 - 05:43PM   Posted by KitKatCot   Homework Comments: 1

Rainbow Lark

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Good Morning people and may you be covered in rainbows. Resident Owl is excused duties as she is looking after her family like the excellent and kind owl she is, so we are the neglected and the down trodden, sent barefoot into the streets in rags and with snivelling noses to beg for scraps. Ah well I shall do my best for a scrap.

But I cannot stay long for I am due across the road in an hour to take part in a Skype conversation with our French opposite numbers on the Twinning link, and then later in the morning I have an appointment with my Greek dentist (he of the Montelbano walk) and hygienist, who used to be in the navy and has tattoos to prove it. Still she has more or less cured my bad tooth, for which my last dentist prognosed a root canal filling.

And then Mike is coming this afternoon for a session of pressure washing, me having failed to make much headway last time. We shall see if he does better.

How will you occupy your time in retirement they ask - not that I am retired as seven orders on my pad attest. And we have lost our sun and are back to grey skies. I shall have to have words with Louise Lear about that.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 12th Apr 2017 - 08:06AM   Posted by Fennie   Rainbow Lark Comments: 5