Cowart's Common Room
Lark Post

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This reminds me that it is again Monday (the weeks these days contain no filling) and a wet Monday it is again to boot. My theory about either having good weather in May or in August continues to hold and a good early summer is paid for by a bucketing in these dog days, which are not of course dog days at all, for 'dog' for some reason implies heat.
The French refer to a heat wave as a 'canicule' the root being derived from the Latin canis - a dog - and so our word 'canine.' Where 'canister' comes from I do not know - but perhaps canisters were first introduced to contain dogs - you never know - at least without looking it up.

But anyway Monday seems to have become the day of the French conversation class when we gather in the Bear Hotel and converse with a charming lady called Carinne who has lived here for twenty years and whom you would never think of as French until she begins to speak. She is also rather elegant but it emerged in the conversation last week that she hated shopping. 'Yet you are always very chic,' I said. 'Ah' she said, 'My secret is the charity shop,' and indeed that is a wonderful secret to have. I have a brand new blazer from Harrods, with lovely brass buttons that came from a charity shop.

So to remind me of what August should look like and also of my French case here is the sign from the back road into the Mill. Whether such signs ever deterred anyone is a moot point. The message is the same as 'Trespassers W' (which, said Piglet, was short for Trespassers Will which was in turn short for Trespassers William - the name, said Piglet, of his uncle who had two names in case he lost one.) Happy Days!

I hope that Resident Owl is in Recovery and sleeping the sleep of the just after her domestic exertions at the weekend. A good day to her and to everyone (especially the pidgies who seem to be fated and that at a rate of knots). Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 21st Aug 2017 - 08:28AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 2

Teaching to the Test

You may have heard of 'Teaching to the Test' regarding education. I have always thought that it is no way to educate our young people. The couple of hours Himself and I have spent this afternoon has proved my case.

In our jobs we both have to do what is called CPD, Continuing Professional Development.

Until recently, this has meant going to a number of 3 hour seminars throughout the year. Some were so boring that you dropped off to sleep, but most gave you some new information and more important, many told you about things that you may have missed.

The new thing is now... Ta Da... webinars.

Himself asked me to do a webinar with him, just to make sure that he clicked the right online boxes etc. It was supposed to take 1 hour. Logging in took about 15 mins! Then we started off, at the end of each little module there was a test. You needed to make 80% in the tests to pass. He passed! Strictly speaking I passed. He was watching the video, I was making notes.

I wrote down everything the speaker was saying, in the order that she said it. The answers to the questions matched the notes I had made.

If a Farmer should phone us today to ask about worming his sheep, who would he want to talk to? Me? who passed the test or the the man who has 40 years experience?

Posted at 20th Aug 2017 - 05:13PM   Posted by KitKatCot   Teaching to the Test Comments: 1

Wedding pictures

Had a lovely time yesterday evening. OH's great niece got married about 3 miles from here on the day we flew to France for his 90th birthday. Last night her parents invited us over to see some of the masses of photos, so we got some idea of the event. It was enhanced by the fact that the bride and her younger sister were there. The groom was at a stag party!

Posted at 20th Aug 2017 - 11:31AM   Posted by Withy Brook   Wedding pictures Comments: 5

Sunny Lark

Morning All,

Finally we have a very sunny morning with not a cloud in sight and forecast says it is going to be dry, hooray!

Wonderful 18th birthday celebration for our grandson yesterday sadly we had lots of rain intervals so the meals were interrupted by garden and house, but we had a lovely time and much fun was had by all.Very Happy

Have a lovely Sunday everyone.

Posted at 20th Aug 2017 - 09:43AM   Posted by Camilla   Sunny Lark Comments: 3

Montelbano at the Castle

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The new season of Inspector Montelbano starts to night, though the cast are all getting older. In their review The Times said you couldn't complain about Montelbano for it would be like complaining about your Mum's Shepherd's pie. Very Happy I shall watch it anyway, though whether I shall understand the plot is doubtful. Nothing to do with it being in Italian it is just that I am poor at understanding plots and have to have them explained to me.

The weather has calmed down considerably and was quite docile when I made my way to the Castle this evening, which looked as beautiful as ever in the falling sun. But this afternoon I noticed an abundance of ivy flowers all along my hedge which had attracted a swarm of wasps - at least they look like wasps - but small ones rather than normal size. As this hedge borders the footpath I have a problem if someone were to get stung. Of course the wasps won't cause a problem unless they are disturbed but some people are very silly. Usually it is honey bees but this year it is wasps. Any advice appreciated.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 19th Aug 2017 - 07:06PM   Posted by Fennie   Montelbano at the Castle Comments: 6

Drunken Lark

Morning All,

Never made it to the perch last night apologies, this wee owl was too intoxicated.Very Happy

Slight hangover this morning may have indulged a wee bit much on the old brandy and red wine last night, mind you I don't feel at all guilty.Very Happy

Spent a lovely day over the beach yesterday with family and the little girls, girls wanted to go naked so back to nature I call them the water babes.

Today more beach and this afternoon a planned big BBQ over at our daughters house later this afternoon to celebrate our grandsons 18th birthday so lots of family and friends will be there, fingers crossed the sun stays out and no rain. No drinky poohs for me though I will be driving.

Hope all larks are well.

Have a good weekend everyone.Very Happy

Posted at 19th Aug 2017 - 10:40AM   Posted by Camilla   Drunken Lark Comments: 4

Pigeon Photo of the Day

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Loopy, my cat, had a quick sniff at Lily Rose yesterday, so I snapped it! Loopy, so far, has not harmed the pigeons but I wouldn't trust her! And Lily Rose is always supervised of course.

Posted at 19th Aug 2017 - 07:58AM   Posted by Faith   Pigeon Photo of the Day Comments: 4

Windy Lark

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The afternoon being wild, the wind gusty, the clouds scudding across the sky and the light alternately Mediterranean bright and Scandinavian dull, I decided on a Poldark excursion along the tops of the cliffs, though not having a horse I had to make do with Shank's pony, always an acceptable substitute.

But what wind! It blew from half a dozen directions at once, the grass rolled flat before it, but here one way and there the other so that you were alternately pulled and pushed by an unseen (though not unheard) hand. I have never felt wind like it before. When it happened to be behind me it made me run, when against me it made me stop and when at my side it had me lurching violently. In certain places it was like a narrow liquid torrent that you could see on the grass in front of you. One moment you were in a light breeze, the next step and you were in a wind tunnel - a few steps and you were out of it again. There seemed no rhyme or reason to these hurricanoes of wind. A few birds - one I think a peregrine - surfed the storm, keeping high up, well clear of the cliffs. Meanwhile below, the grey sea lurched and foamed and raged as though it were trying for an Oscar.

Adhering to my optician's instructions I wore my sunglasses but once on the cliff the wind simply snatched them from my face. A hat - even a beanie - would have been an impossibility. I would have taken pictures but wind isn't terribly photogenic and besides I found my phone had gone flat. So the picture here is an old one, taken on a calmer day.
No wonder ships dragged their anchors in such weather! Talk about blowing away the cobwebs. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 18th Aug 2017 - 06:44PM   Posted by Fennie   Windy Lark Comments: 7

Pigeon Photo of the Day

This miserable little scrap is Poppet. I meant to write up Poppet's story, but he died last night so the story is a bit like a pricked balloon...... in a nutshell Poppet had been poorly since I first saw him before August even started. Somehow he struggled on - went missing for a couple of days when we had that torrential rain - somehow struggled back and was a real little fighter. But the other night I found him pathetically standing outside the aviary at dusk, so put him inside and he died two days later. RIP Poppet you were a real little sweetheart.

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Posted at 18th Aug 2017 - 09:50AM   Posted by Faith   Pigeon Photo of the Day Comments: 5

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Family arrived safely lovely afternoon spent with the little granddaughters son and DIL over at the Park here which I had only accidentally came across two weeks ago when I was doing a tour around the village here on private market stall day. The sun managed to shine and it got quite warm after a night and morning of heavy rain.

Sore eyes tonight I must get my eyes checked out I keep putting it off feels like I have some grit in the left eye at moment.

Patch boarded with Elaine yesterday morning until next Monday I must admit it's a lot quiter without him.Very Happy

Off to down pillows soon I could 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

Posted at 18th Aug 2017 - 12:32AM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 5

Pigeon Photo of the Day

Line up on the aviary - a week or so ago - is L to R - Jethro, Demelza, April

All this year's offspring of Pan and Mariette. I am pretty sure that Demelza and April are males.

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Close up is Jethro

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Please don't feel you have to comment on all my pigeon photos!

Posted at 17th Aug 2017 - 01:56PM   Posted by Faith   Pigeon Photo of the Day Comments: 3

My new grandson

Now 6 weeks old and looking very like his mummy did at that age.

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Posted at 17th Aug 2017 - 09:16AM   Posted by Faith   My new grandson Comments: 6

Lark Post

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Yesterday I dipped at random into an old forum - Light Entertainment I think it was - anyway one that hadn't been open in years and there we all were. Like entering a house full of sleeping ghosts their voices as real and their avatars as happily vibrant as ever. An exercise in nostalgia if ever there was one.

Anyway this is today and there is little to write about. I cooked supper last night - pasta and cauliflower with plenty of garlic and chilli and olive oil, with prawns as a starter. I had been trying to follow a recipe but what recipes don't give folk like me is a time line to follow - zero minus forty minutes, weigh out the linguine, zero minus twenty five minutes collect herbs for the prawns, zero minus fifteen minutes . . .etc. ending with zero minus thirty seconds, bring to table. I suppose I could work something out but usually I end in a muddle with things overcooked, things undercooked, things not ready, things forgotten and things there was no time for. I suspect I am not alone. Mike our neighbour who has been decorating his house came over with a wonderful gold medal winning wine, of which I drank far too much, but it was delicious.

And today we have the Enchantlings yet again - my chance to learn even more about Minecraft and somehow I have to fit in a visit to the optician to discuss my peripheral vision which now and then goes AWOL and to despatch two parcels of labels.

Weather is not up too much and as muggy as ever - perhaps it is better where you are. Take care and have a good day.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 17th Aug 2017 - 08:17AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 4

Wet Lark

Morning Larks.

Much heavy rain here this morning and forecast looks like it is in for the rest of the day which is a shame as son and family are arriving lunchtime until Monday morning. So the beach will probably be a miss for today, mind you children don't seem to mind the rain do they.

Truly pampered yesterday and it was lovely just to slump in the salon chair with my book and do nothing for a change with a coffee instead of rushing about like a mad hare as I have these past few days.Very Happy Linda my lovely stylist looked very well and told me she had not long returned from a holiday with her husband in Italy and then on to Crete where her MIL owns a large villa.

Off to sleep around 9pm last night which is early for moi and now just having a cuppa, will take Patch over to Elaine's at 11am and then back to tidy up the main sitting room.

Have a good day everyone.Very Happy

Posted at 17th Aug 2017 - 08:04AM   Posted by Camilla   Wet Lark Comments: 5

New homework is up!

Simple one!

Posted at 16th Aug 2017 - 09:02PM   Posted by Faith   New homework is up! Comments: 1

Elvis - 40 years

It's 40 years since Elvis died. Did you like him? I'm listening to Elvis hour on Gold - and yes I did like him, especially as a slightly older man in his white Vegas outfit!

Do you have a favourite Elvis song?

This is probably mine.....

Posted at 16th Aug 2017 - 11:10AM   Posted by Faith   Elvis - 40 years Comments: 6

Pigeon Photo of the Day

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This is Jodie - aged about 5 days. She is Pan and Mariette's latest baby; sibling to the one that died in the nest. Her older brother Jethro, is less than 40 days old himself, and still has baby fluff on his head.

Pan and Mariette's other offspring are Dwight and Demelza, still seen and doing well. I think Demelza's a male actually! Have to call him Mel. Then there's April who's 3.5 months and still comes homes to the aviary at night. Jack, 2.5 months, has left home. His sibling, Jill was the deformed one.

Update on Lily Rose, the collared dove - today she is sleepy and poorly, after a lovely sunny afternoon yesterday when she seemed fine. I don't expect her to survive, unfortunately.

Posted at 16th Aug 2017 - 08:51AM   Posted by Faith   Pigeon Photo of the Day Comments: 6

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

The day turned out to be very hot by early afternoon, it is very muggy and humid tonight so I have switched my trusty electric fan on to cool, Windows slightly open too it's like an oven in here.

Saw a long shaped insect in the garden here this morning which was brown and was darting about and sort of hovering like a helicopter could it be a DamselFly or a Dragonfly and are the two similar? I was thinking is it a Horsefly but then aren't Horseflys like a large Fly but without the long shape? Answers on a postcard please.Very Happy

Tonight I have my left arm above elbow slightly swollen up and itchy, have applied Hydocosene Antiseptic bite cream.

Just enjoying a cuppa before lamps out soon, off to have a spot of pampering tomorrow can't wait.

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

Night Night,& Sweet Dreams

Posted at 15th Aug 2017 - 11:52PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 4

Pigeon Photo of the Day

I am always taking pics of the birds, and most just languish inside the pooter, so thought maybe I'd try to do a photo a day! Well, I'll try anyway.

Save water and bath with a friend! This is Pascal and Primrose enjoying 'Pan-free' time. He is on his nest and therefore not bossing everyone in the aviary about

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Posted at 15th Aug 2017 - 07:38PM   Posted by Faith   Pigeon Photo of the Day Comments: 3

Homework is marked.

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Homework is marked, not an easy choice, so many good skills to have.Very Happy

Posted at 15th Aug 2017 - 02:09PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Homework is marked. Comments: 4

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Apologies for not being around on the site today from the moment I woke up I have not stopped.! phew....

Just off to make a pot of the old Yorkshire, my life saviour.Very Happy

Back later that's if I dont fall asleep on the sofa.Very Happy

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

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Posted at 14th Aug 2017 - 10:19PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 4

Morning Larks

Overslept this morning so I must be quick. Hope all is OK elsewhere. So here is a hare to remind me to be quick as a flash.
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What beautiful creatures, such strength and power and magical too. Almost mythical in that they really belong with unicorns and dragons, so I don't expect to see one day. But nevertheless keep a look out, the world has been (quite literally) sprinkled with star dust from the Perseid meteors so you never know what may happen. Anyway had a good, happy and fulfilling day, smile at your neighbours and make some random act of kindness.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 14th Aug 2017 - 08:54AM   Posted by Fennie   Morning Larks Comments: 8

DOVE BITE - New Rescue

Lots happening in my birdie world. Sorrel and Serafina's new babies, Biba and Nova, are now about 13 days old. You can maybe just see them here behind Daddy Sorrel. They both seem to be completely white, like big sister Solitaire. How can that be with their daddy being brown?

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Pan and Mariette hatched their eggs a few days ago, and I was happy to find two empty shells, thinking we would have two babies this time. But on Friday the aviary started to have a unpleasant smell and by Saturday it was horrendous. It could only mean one thing....I removed Mariette from the nest, with much protesting, and felt around til I found a sodden fluffy lump..... the poor little thing had died probably on the first day. Very sad and I have no idea why. But thankfully the other one seems to be doing well. Bigger brother Jethro is only himself about 38 days old.

My friend brought me a little collared dove that a friend of hers had found injured.

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This is one of the first photos. She looks pretty settled, but was in a bad way with one entirely closed up eye and a wound under her wing. I had some of my homeopathic drops that I get from a man on ebay, and they are brilliant, clearing up any eye problems usually within a couple of days at most. This is the wound under the wing, healing now.

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Lily Rose, as I call her, has been seemingly unafraid of me from the start. When her eye opened I started taking her out of the 'hospital' hutch to get some sun and be with the pigeons, and she will happily sit on my knee or perch on my hand. I have been hand feeding her, but trying to wean her off that. But so far I havent seen her eat or drink on her own. Sorry photo is not the right way up!

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By the late afternoon today, Lily Rose was not content to be in the hospital, so I kept an eye on her as she walked about or sat on the lawn. I really don't know what I am going to do with her tomorrow as I have to go out in the morning. Being confined can stress this type of bird, but though she can flutter I don't think she can fly well enough yet.

I'm also looking after a funny little pidge I call Poppet, but more about him maybe tomorrow if I get the chance to write another dove bite!

Posted at 13th Aug 2017 - 09:02PM   Posted by Faith   DOVE BITE - New Rescue Comments: 9

Surrey with the Fringe

Had this going in my head all day and will just have to learn it now.

When I take you out tonight with me
Honey, here's the way it's gonna be
You will sit behind a team of snow white horses
In the slickest gig you've ever seen

Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry
When I take you out in the surrey
When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top
Watch that fringe and see how it flutters
When I drive them high steppen strutters
Nosy pokes will peek through their shutters and their eyes will pop!

The wheels are yellow, the upholstry's brown
The dashboard's genuine leather
With Isinglass curtains you can roll right down
In case there's a change in the weather

Two bright side lights winkin' and blinkin'
Ain't no finer rig I'm a thinkin'
You can keep your rig if you're thinkin that I'd keer to swap
Fer that shiny little surrey with the fringe on the top

Would you say the fringe was made of silk?
Wouldn't have no other kind but silk
Has it really got a team of snow white horses?
One's like snow, the other's more like milk

All the world'll fly in a flurry
When I take you out in the surrey
When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top
When we hit that road hell-for-leather
Cats and dogs will dance in the heather
Birds and frogs will sing all together and the toads will hop!
The wind'll whistle as we rattle along
The cows'll moo in the clover
The river will ripple out a whispered song
And whisper over and over
Don't you wish you'd go on forever
Don't you wish you'd go on forever
Don't you wish you'd go on forever
And you'd never stop?
In that shiny little surrey with the fringe on the top

I can see the stars gettin' blurry
When we ride back home in the surrey
Ridin' slowly home on the surrey
With the fringe on top
I can feel the day gettin' older
Feel a sleepy head near my shoulder
Noddin', droopin', close to my shoulder
Till it falls kerplop

The sun is swimming on the rim of a hill
The moon is taking a header
And just when I'm thinking all the earth is still
A lark'll wake up in the meader

Hush, you bird. My baby's a sleepin'
Maybe got a dream worth a keepin'
Whoa, you team and just keep a creepin'
At a slow clip clop
Don't you hurry little surrey
With the fringe on the top

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 13th Aug 2017 - 06:54PM   Posted by Fennie   Surrey with the Fringe Comments: 3

Happy Birthday Withy

Dear Withy,

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday.

Have a wonderful day celebrating with your friends and family, lots of bubbly and lots of cake too I hope.

Love and Best Wishes,
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Posted at 13th Aug 2017 - 11:08AM   Posted by Camilla   Happy Birthday Withy Comments: 11