Cowart's Common Room
Litter Lark

A continuance of warm sunshine - the settled weather that you could associate with Edwardian summer holidays: not too hot and everything green and lush. Yesterday after my French class I walked up to the Bastion - the mini castle at the corner of the Town Walls that partly enclose Old Hall Gardens - to see how our Charter Trust project to demolish the old and ugly cattlesheds was coming along. And what a transformation - a sudden eruption of acres of level and empty space and now surfaced smooth. The Walls themselves, with their battlements, are now visible for the first time in 50 years so it looks as though we are protecting some medieval city, which I suppose we are.

But knocking down the Cattlesheds means that the young have nowhere to go for their nefarious and undesirable nighttime activities. Some went to the Bastion for there was a litter there yesterday of a dozen beer cans, cigarette packets and possibly other detritus in the grass. And yet there is a bin within 25 yards. How can we teach the young to respect property and take their litter home? And these youths do not live in some poor derelict and deprived area. They live in one of the smartest and most affluent towns in Wales. What is more this is a British phenomenon - it simply doesn't happen in Europe. I believe this casual attitude to elementary wrong doing - ignoring minor crime - is simply storing up trouble that later ruins the lives of perpetrators as much as their victims. So what can we do? I took as much rubbish as I could carry to the litter bin, but this isn't a solution.

Answers on a postcard - but have a good day and enjoy the sunshine.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 22nd May 2019 - 08:10AM   Posted by Fennie   Litter Lark Comments: 5

Hello Ivy

Hello Ivy, I see you are on line, good to see you in skool. How are things with you?

Posted at 21st May 2019 - 08:28AM   Posted by Inthemud   Hello Ivy Comments: 1

Plaids and Kilts

Over to YD's house yesterday for a most belated kind of birthday party and I received my present from ED which was (as I had asked for it) not entirely unexpected - to wit a dressing gown - a big heavy towelling dressing gown in a sobre dark grey. It weighs a ton and I wonder how I shall ever wash it for surely it would most unbalance the washing machine. But I am a fan of dressing gowns and indeed would wear one all day, outside and in, if society permitted. You feel so much freer in loose clothing than you do with normal tight, buttoned and belted ware and especially when you have lost whatever sort of figure you may have once possessed. I suppose a Highland plaid was something like this though I have never managed to understand how a single piece of cloth could be fastened in such a way as to make a kilt (presumably without pleats) and a covering for the upper body too. Maybe FN could advise.

On the way there we popped into the new Range store that has taken over from Homebase on the outskirts of Cardiff and I spent almost £50 without meaning to. I had meant to buy a lampshade to replace the paper one that collapsed last week and costing about £2, but J wanted one with rabbits on costing four times as much. Then we bought plants. the Leylandii felling have created so much new light and space. Once you have spent more than you intended the odd extra £5 for fertilizer or £4 for a Mop head just doesn't seem to matter. And here am I living on my savings!

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 20th May 2019 - 08:09AM   Posted by Fennie   Plaids and Kilts Comments: 11

Homework has been marked

Hello everyone, I have marked the homework, wasn't easy. Hard to judge everyones achievements as these are unique and special to you all. But I have given out stars so go and see.
Well done everyone for having pride in your achievements!Very Happy

Posted at 19th May 2019 - 02:17PM   Posted by Inthemud   Homework has been marked Comments: 0

Sunday Lark

Last night we saw the hedgehog in the garden snuffling around in the dusk of the street light erected behind our garden to light pedestrians up the hill path at the rear.

It was hoovering up the crumbs from the bird table and doubtless a few slugs and beetles as well. It moved easily enough and showed no apparent ill-effects from my accidental attempt to skewer it a week or so ago. Quite a large hedgehog too, unless it is pregnant like the large rat in the garden which leaps out of the hedge on to the bird table, munches a few peanuts and the launches itself back into the greenery.

My fig and chestnut tree continue to suffer with weak growth and small or curled up leaves. Ross at the bookshop thought it might be the glycophosphate that the treeman had poured into the crack between the house and the paving slabs where a most persistent ash had been growing and displacing the stones. But the grass around isn't affect. Time will tell but we need some good rain.

And now this morning we are off to YD's in Cardiff. ED is coming over to give me my birthday present - last week she didn't manage as MIL was ill again and she had to stay to give care. But the weather seems to be picking up.

Have not felt well (weak and feeble) these last few days with sleep disturbed etc. Still maybe this is par for the course at this stage of life though I am half wondering whether the glycophosphate has got to me too!

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Posted at 19th May 2019 - 09:07AM   Posted by Fennie   Sunday Lark Comments: 4


Last call for homework, I will be marking tomorrow sometime

Posted at 18th May 2019 - 05:37PM   Posted by Inthemud   Homework Comments: 0

Shine a light

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Went to Chanonry last night with HO, lovely evening light so I got my camera out for a change and took quite a few photos... whilst HO took none as there were no Dolphins about!
This is where we got married and the last lighthouse keepers wife has just brought out his memoirs of his (and his fathers and grandfathers) life as a keeper all over Scotland.

Posted at 18th May 2019 - 02:21PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Shine a light Comments: 7

Happy 38th Wedding Anniversary Withy

Dear Withy,

Wishing you and your husband a very Happy 38th Wedding Anniversary.

Have a truly wonderful day celebrating with your friends and family, hope you get to indulge with a delicious cake and some fine bubbly too.

Love and Best Wishes,

Congratulations.!Uploaded Image

Posted at 18th May 2019 - 01:20PM   Posted by Camilla   Happy 38th Wedding Anniversary Withy Comments: 8

Weekend Post

Afternoon All,

Quite a cold day here today much the same as yesterday although we do not have the misty light rain showers. Looks like the weather is going to be pretty much the same for the rest of the month, so different from last year when I think we had it so much warmer. Let's hope June is more agreeable.Very Happy

No plans for the weekend apart from a little tidy up in the rear garden and new edit to do for next Friday's publication in the Gazette.

Our local Town Hall cinema is showing the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' film next Saturday, £5 for the tickets. I have seen the film before and thought it was excellent and I can see why the actor Malek who portrayed Freddie Mercury from Queen received many Oscars, simply amazing I thought.

Enjoy the weekend.Very HappyLinked Image

Posted at 18th May 2019 - 12:58PM   Posted by Camilla   Weekend Post Comments: 3

Afternoon Post

Afternoon All,

Apologies for not being around much lately, soo busy with everything and my HL seems to be relying on me even more so that I am worn to a shravel.Smile

A colder day today here with light misty rain against a grey cloudy sky. The Collared Dove who had her two baby's well they fledged and flew away on the 14th May. Now this morning I see the same nest is being used again with the parent Dove bringing more extra twigs back to it so I expect more baby's born again in June. Well at least the mother bird did not have to wait nine months for a birth.Very Happy

People have been so kind in congratulating me on my new post as a voluntary village correspondent. Ian the lovely delivery driver who often calls with my parcels said to me this morning... wonderful news. Claire who first nominated me for the post rang in the week to ask if I would like to go along to the Wednesday meeting at 7.15pm next week in the village hall a council meet I think and Claire said it would be lovely for everyone to get to know me as putting a 'face to a name' and stop by for a cuppa too there.

My Jag failed the MOT.! the front exhaust I am told is broken so I have booked it in again for next Monday afternoon, £100 including labour and VAT so not bad really.

Enjoy the rest of the day everyone, and have a wonderful weekend.Very HappyLinked Image

Posted at 17th May 2019 - 02:27PM   Posted by Camilla   Afternoon Post Comments: 8

Positive Noah update

See Private Forum.

Posted at 17th May 2019 - 07:15AM   Posted by Faith   Positive Noah update Comments: 0

Lark Post - Be Enheartened

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I do hope our Camilla is OK. She seems to have vanished, melted perhaps in the sunshine, or maybe that part of Norfolk has finally sunk beneath the waves. Still we are all waving and hoping that no real life disasters have come along and if so that we are here - so far as distance allows - to help and encourage. Which is a funny word for while you can discourage and dishearten and encourage you cannot enhearten, which would seem like a useful word.

Some people who could doubtless today do with some enheartening are the Euro candidates from Change UK which party seems to be damp squibbing to a degree. Here in the picture I am talking to a lovely lady who runs a school stationery emporium in town. She is now one of Change UK's euro candidates in Wales and a nicer person would be hard to find. I am sure she would do an excellent job were she ever to be elected. But Change UK seems to be going down in the polls while others are going up.

This is our Town Twinning stall at the recent May Fair. It was cold and with a bitter wind. Many politicians did the rounds and offered support and we signed up one or two potential members. Anyway best wishes to everyone and may the elections bring sweetness and light to our politics though I somehow doubt that they will. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 16th May 2019 - 08:33AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post - Be Enheartened Comments: 9

Sheep and Bleakness

Another beautiful morning, but then sometimes it is the case that a fine May signals a poor summer and vice versa, but the weather is so topsy turvy these years that we may be baked from now until October with water rationed, reservoirs dry, fish dying etc.

Whatever I did observe yesterday as I sat in the Castle Bailey an ash tree and an oak in close proximity. The oak was in full leaf whereas the ash was still sprouting. It reminded me of "If the oak comes before the ash, we shall only have a splash (of rain in the summer) but if the ash comes before the oak then we are truly in for a soak." I suspect that in these parts at least the oak always comes before the ash, but it might be different elsewhere. We could ask Shelagh if she is still around. I miss her posts of sheep and bleakness.

Anyway make of it what you will and have a good and sunny day. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 15th May 2019 - 08:18AM   Posted by Fennie   Sheep and Bleakness Comments: 8

Good morning

Good morning all. Another lovely sunny morning, with Breakfast tele very busy spreading the word about the menopause. It is a long time since I was there, but my main symptom was hot flushes. HRT looked after it for many years but then I decided I should stop. Lo and behold, back came the hot flushes. I then discovered Evening Primrose and I am still taking strong doses of it, at 88, and if I stop, back they come! My menopause was stated by a hysterectomy aged 43 so it is a long time ago but provided I have the EP all is well!
There now, have I pressed a button? I am not sorry Fennie! It is so important that the tabu is lifted and that men fully understand what is going on.

Posted at 14th May 2019 - 09:19AM   Posted by Withy Brook   Good morning Comments: 6

Enchatlings by the Sea

The Enchantlings and Grandma came down on Saturday afternoon and gave me a cake made of chocolate Brownies with eight candles. I asked why eight? But it seems those were the ones found in the drawer. Incidentally I do feel there ought to be a convention (and one that could be exploited by candle manufacturers) for those persons older than nineteen. Candles denoting ten years might be thicker or greener or come with stars to distinguish them from single year candles. (Candles could also be made with two ends to avoid having to throw away barely lit ones left after blowing!).

But still there was work to do - we put out the old mattress for collection today suitably wrapped in polythene as instructed and we took out the old light-fusing washing machine. Then we went to the beach.

I blame the moon for making it High Tide. YD said it didn't matter and we did find a patch of sand and sea the size of a puddle for Beanie to paddle in. I wore the T shirt and shirt over that YD had bought me for a present making me look like extremely old mutton dressed as extremely young lamb. She is most kind in the clothing department but I fear I am a lost cause. I wonder sometimes that I am not wearing a wing collar. Afterwards we ate ice cream in the café with a bowl of hot chips, which I felt went with the clothing. Then back home for a late lunch.

Poor Theo was in the grip of Hay (May?) fever with a sore nose which had kept him awake most of the night. He was not a happy bunny and even unhappier when I beat him at chess. I remember the same sense of pain and injustice at being beaten at his age, though I suspect he is a better chess player than I am on a good day (Wouldn't be difficult).

All being well the new washing machine will arrive today. There are loads of dirty washing to be done. The sun is out again. Have a good day everyone. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 13th May 2019 - 08:44AM   Posted by Fennie   Enchatlings by the Sea Comments: 5

Skool Trip

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This is your accommodation for the Skool trip... well, exept it isn't 'cos it's just the kitchen and dining table essentially so we'll have to camp as there isn't room to sleep in it. Very Happy

Posted at 12th May 2019 - 12:46PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Skool Trip Comments: 12

And the Most Popular Book is ...

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Sea Room by Adam Nicholson is the most popular choice for our 2019 Summer Read so how about 31st August to start making our comments? That way we will all have a chance to get stuck in and finished.

And when we've all got to the end of this fascinating and unusual book I vote we all go to the Shiant Isles for a Purple Coo end of summer holiday trip. The water might be a bit choppy in October but who cares. I've got a tent and all the camping gear and I'm certain there's somebody on here able to manage a wee boat.Wink

Posted at 11th May 2019 - 12:45PM   Posted by Lampworkbeader   And the Most Popular Book is ... Comments: 8


A beautiful morning: blue sky and a fresh crisp, newly ironed feel to the atmosphere. But the birds have started nesting and raising young and are ravenous. Yesterday I ordered 300 fat balls from the Gareden Wildlife company They have been discovered now by the starlings who stab at them viciously and they disappear in no time at all. I even caught a jackdaw hanging on grimly to my fat ball container while taking great lumps in his bill.

And talking of jackdaws there were six on the bird table this morning and it's only a small one. The old hands fly straight in, swooping down and, with a touch of the air brakes, alight daintily on the feeding platform; the newbies make for the roof and then slither off in ungainly fashion with much random flapping of wings. The newbies also content themselves with one peanut or two before departing, too nervous to risk more, whereas the old hands settle in for a crop full paying no attention to me or anyone else. There's a big fat woodpigeon, too, who waits lazily for me to come out with the food.

He definitely has a Body Mass Index problem and yet he has a good rate of climb if disturbed for he has to clear the high hedge. This he does by flying the length of the garden before turning into the wind and rising like a balloon.

Yet it's the collared doves that rise like rockets. Yesterday one ascended from the ground to the gable end of the house - about six or eight feet horizontally and maybe 30 in height. That's an angle of between 75 and 80 degrees if my trigonometry is to be believed. In comparison a normal small airliner like a Boeing 737 will struggle to do more than 55 degrees. Even that looks steep to us on the ground.

But why do some birds have such long legs? What is the purpose? (I exclude herons and waders) but Corvids - what use are their long legs - which are far longer than you think they are. Weight for no purpose, unless it is for alighting on my bird table.

Something to ponder on this sunny day!


Posted at 11th May 2019 - 09:41AM   Posted by Fennie   Birds Comments: 5

Fennie’s birthday

Fennie I am so sorry that my birthday wishes are so belated. I was very occupied yesterday and never got round to my iPad! Anyway, happy belated birthday or perhaps I should say, best wishes for the year ahead.
As for years ahead - we none of us know what is round the next corner, so we must try to enjoy each day/year as it comes. I have always said I wanted to live to 100 but now I am more sensible. I would still like to do so, but only if my quality of life is reasonably good!
I used to drink the strongest gin I could get - pilot son-in-law still brings back bottles from abroad that are much stronger than here but now I don’t like that, my liver having been damaged by years of drinking it. Luckily, it mends, so my regime of 1 gin 3 nights a week (a weak one) has helped it, I believe. I drink Seedlip Garden on the other nights.
Gin in first, then a slice of lime, gently squeezed, then 2 cubes of ice and topped up with a tin of (diet) Schweppes tonic.

Posted at 10th May 2019 - 09:28AM   Posted by Withy Brook   Fennie’s birthday Comments: 8

Morning Larks

Morning Larks,

Lovely to wake up to some sunshine here this morning after rain and dark clouds yesterday. Much colder and wetter this month I think than last year when we had it so hot.

The Hollyhocks are looking a tad untidy at the moment, they are growing again like 'Jack and the Beanstalk' just that I need to stake them as soon as I can as I did last year. Gardens need mowing but have put that on ice until tomorrow.

Laundry just hung out, let's hope the rains stay away.

Have a good day everyone.Very Happy

Posted at 9th May 2019 - 11:54AM   Posted by Camilla   Morning Larks Comments: 4

Happy Birthday Fennie

Dear Fennie,

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday.

Have a wonderful day celebrating with friends and family, hope you get to indulge in some delicious cake and a bottle of bubbly too.!


Best Wishes,
Camilla.xLinked Image

Posted at 9th May 2019 - 11:07AM   Posted by Camilla   Happy Birthday Fennie Comments: 21

Time to choose a book

Once again it's time to choose a book. Click HERE to make your choice for our Purple Coo Book Group Summer Read 2019. Don't be shy because there really is a book to suit everyone this time ... and that includes a certain Scottish Fairy from down Inverness way, Aye, FN.
Very HappyVery HappyVery HappyLaughing

Posted at 8th May 2019 - 09:26PM   Posted by Lampworkbeader   Time to choose a book Comments: 5

Perils of the Treasury

A wet morning with a slab thick grey sky out of which a light rain is falling persistently. Yesterday I performed my first practical duty of being the new VOGANTM Treasurer. I paid in 34 cheques to the bank for people coming on our two summer trips. Listing them all and making sure the totals tallied seemed to take an age. I am not used to this bank HSBC where the staff wear read coats and sitting on their high stools behind the counter look like pixies. Still they smiled and were genuinely helpful.

This bank is in an old Edwardian building that looks like a diplomatic mission and though it has been fitted out in the modern style the building retains its idiosyncrasies. Three broad steps lead up to the service area so you ascend as if greeting royalty. And when you turn round and head for the exit the stairs which you do not expect, catch you out. My exit was less than dignified as a result.

The high sycamore at the bottom of town that I see from my window is slowly coming into full leaf - young green against the heavy grey sky. I think if I were in charge of a small Atlantic coastal country I would design a flag of thick bands of dark grey and green, with a splodge of white to signify hope.

Have a good day, folks.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 8th May 2019 - 08:20AM   Posted by Fennie   Perils of the Treasury Comments: 8

Exciting Find.

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I've just come across this on the Tate website.
It's from Turners "Inverness" sketchbook and it's the view I look out on everyday from work, sketched just a few hundred meters along the road from the Studio. ShockedVery Happy
The tall building in the foreground is the old wooden lighthouse which was only replaced a few years ago when the new RNLI building went up on the same spot and now houses the light on it's roof.

I knew he came to Inverness but didn't realise he spent so much time on the Black Isle as the sketchbook is full of local views. The top drawing is in fact the continuation of the bottom one and shows the mountains looking west up the firth.

Posted at 7th May 2019 - 05:11PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Exciting Find. Comments: 8

Royal Names

What names do you think will be chosen for the new Royal Baby?

Just thought we could drop some in a hat and see if any of the names we choose might be chosen.

I'll start you off.... Jonathan Henry CharlesVery Happy or perhaps the name William might be chosen as one of the names too.

Posted at 7th May 2019 - 02:08PM   Posted by Camilla   Royal Names Comments: 9