Cowart's Common Room
Hot Lark

Afternoon All,

Phew, what a very hot day it is today.! hope you are enjoying the sunshine, I am not a sunbather as I used to be in my youth so trying to stay cool in the shady part of the garden what shade there is seeing as it is South Facing. Have the fan on to cool which helps for Patch too. Not a good night last night, too muggy and it took me hours to finally get off to sleep with blocked sinuses. But we must look on the bright side at least it is not raining although the garden to do with it.Very Happy

Men's Tennis Finals at the moment, who will win I wonder.

Enjoy the rest of the day, stay cool.Very Happy

Posted at 15th Jul 2018 - 02:56PM   Posted by Camilla   Hot Lark Comments: 2


Homework is marked!
Very Happy

Posted at 15th Jul 2018 - 02:30PM   Posted by Inthemud   Homework Comments: 0

Lost Things Homework

Hello everyone,
There have been some amazing and intriguing responses to the Lost Things Homework! Now I did say originally that 14 July would be last day for handing in homework but then I suggested we could extend to the end of July, so am just asking is anyone else planing to do this homework? If so please let me know and i will keep it going, but if everyone who wishes to contribute has now done so then I will mark Home work tomorrow afternoon.
Thanks everyone

Very Happy

Posted at 14th Jul 2018 - 06:45PM   Posted by Inthemud   Lost Things Homework Comments: 3

14 July

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It is 14 July. The French Fete Nationale. Bonne Fete à tout le monde.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 14th Jul 2018 - 10:50AM   Posted by Fennie   14 July Comments: 5

Just call me Mozart

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I've been a brave girl and finally put some of my compositions onto the Hand's Up for Trad Music Hub online for other musicians to see and use if they like them.
They also run a wee sort of competition, the folks that run it look at all the compositions uploaded over the year and pick their top 20. There's no prize other than knowing they really like your music.

I've been working over the last several years to put together an album's worth of tunes written on or about Skye to eventually publish as a music book. A little goal to work towards when I don't take exams or lessons or perform.

I did produce a music book many moons ago with a couple of friends that also composed - we sold them locally and in the small ads of the Scots Magazine (which gives you an idea of how long ago it was!).Very Happy

Posted at 14th Jul 2018 - 10:47AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Just call me Mozart Comments: 5


It was probably the depredations of the grand children that half wrenched the upstairs radiator off the wall. The degree of wrenching has since become worse so that I feared that one good nudge would send it crashing to the floor and leave me with broken pipes and a hefty plumbers bill.

So today I tackled it myself: turned off the water, undid the pipes, remove the radiator, drilled new holes for the brackets and reassembled everything. And so far it hasn't leaked! But I haven't yet tested the central heating, but there's no reason to be a problem. So I gave myself a double tick and a gold star.

Twenty-dour degrees here this afternoon. Not excessive but the sun is fierce and I must water the garden this evening as there is still no sign of the promised thunderstorms. Meanwhile I shall go for a little walk. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 13th Jul 2018 - 03:56PM   Posted by Fennie   Goldstar Comments: 7

Duck post

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Up with the larks this morning as HO was meeting some folks early at the point, so a leisurely breakfast is being had at the Studio before I open up for the day.
It's Friday the 13th so hopefully no one will come a cropper today, one of my school friends had his 13th birthday on Friday the 13th and always took it to be a lucky omen instead, I guess it's all a matter of perspective.
We were married on "9/11" that is the 11th of September in the UK so the date has very different meaning to us.
My dance teacher was born on April Fools day and had quite an affinity with clowns. Laughing

Posted at 13th Jul 2018 - 08:51AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Duck post Comments: 11

Larks 1; Owls 2

My abiding memory of the football World Cup will be seeing the crowds in Hyde Park throwing their beer in the air when England scored their (only) goal. I couldn't help feeling for those on whose heads the beer landed. Unpleasant even if we had won; horrid as it dried into stickiness amid the realisation midway through the second half as Croatia were getting stronger and England weaker, that we wouldn't.

I rather wished I hadn't watched the match now and found something more useful to do than sit for three hours in front of the television. Forty-five minutes is about as much as I can take easily. Think of what one can do in three uninterrupted hours! Though in truth having slept badly for the last three weeks in this torrid tropic of a summer, I was half asleep anyway.

Do hope everyone is well both literally and metaphorically. This morning it is blessedly cooler though South Wales is still the hottest place in Britain - no wonder we produced the best coal if the weather was like this in the past. The first £1 million cheque ever written was scratched out in the Cardiff Coal Exchange in 1913. It is now (or was recently) in the archives of the Marquis of Bute (see Camilla's post on Cardiff castle) in Scotland. When I was on the UNESCO Wales committee I wanted us to enter the cheque on UNESCO's 'Memory of the World' register. But nothing happened, at least not at the time and the Wales committee has since been abolished.

Today someone is coming to give us a price for replacing the glass in our windows that have steamed up. But the hot weather has displaced most of the 'steam!' So the windows look clear.

Have a good day everyone. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 12th Jul 2018 - 09:29AM   Posted by Fennie   Larks 1; Owls 2 Comments: 10

Lark Post

I have come to the conclusion that the air conditioning on the new car is broken. So I've a tangle to sort out with the garage.

For once the skies are grey this morning though it is still hot. No rain is forecast (surprise) but possibly some may arrive at the end of the week. Meanwhile the air feels so thick that you could spread it on your morning toast.

England play Croatia tonight. My father used to affect not to know how to pronounce Croatia. He would call it Crowshire (as do some of the football pundits). He extended this to pronouncing 'Croat' to rhyme with 'goat.' Despite this being a silly affectation it always made me laugh and it is an affectionate memory that remains.

Very HappyVery Happy:

Posted at 11th Jul 2018 - 08:42AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 13

Tea Anyone?

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I'm in the middle of a load of printing so I've started early before the heat gets too strong. Cup of tea and then one more batch of 5,000. I'll do the rest this evening. Who would believe that South Wales would be the hottest place in the country? The rest of you I gather are basking in cool breezes.

I picked up the new car yesterday and drove it home, the interior being like an oven as I couldn't find the air conditioning controls. Moreover the fans were on fast, creating a lot of noise but to no effect. I'm sure it is just a matter of exploration. This car has more buttons and dials than anything I have ever driven. It has sat nav as well, although being a French sat nav it will only allow you to enter six digits of a postcode (ours has seven). I'll get around to posting a pic shortly. Certainly the car looks very swish. I imagine it could give Camilla's Jag a run for its money.

Yesterday after supper I sat in the garden watching the sky where the contrails of the jets aiming for Heathrow were showing pink as the caught the dying rays of the sun below the horizon. The sky was a dark blue and so the effect was remarkable.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 10th Jul 2018 - 10:24AM   Posted by Fennie   Tea Anyone? Comments: 13

We Haven't had a Mystery for Ages

We haven't had a mystery for ages so what do you think this is?
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Posted at 9th Jul 2018 - 12:47PM   Posted by Lampworkbeader   We Haven't had a Mystery for Ages Comments: 16

Lark Post

I am given to thinking that the Creator could have dispensed with the fires of hell and instead just given us constant hot humid weather with an endless diet of football and Brexit controversy, though I might well change my mind if a devil were behind me pricking me with his pitchfork while the flames roared below (but surely I wouldn't then last a moment and so my torment would be extremely short?) And how come the devils themselves do not get burnt? And was it God that created Hell, or was it Lucifer? Despite attending a Catholic school for a time my theology is deficient. I think they discouraged questions.

Maybe I am approaching the end of life - lack of sleep and a feeling of mortality a consequence of the hot weather. Of course I stir the pot of Brexit controversy and I watch at least some of the football. But you can have too much of a good thing and the constant excitements and disappointments leave the soul ragged.

Last night I dragged pillows (no need for bedding) downstairs and opened the sofa bed. It wasn't much cooler. I sleep until about three or four and then wake. By then it's colder. Last night I was hungry and so took two and a half digestive biscuits and a glass of milk and managed another hour or so. But my brain was racing: a new thought or memory every five seconds. Impossible to engage with such thoughts, which are mostly bad anyway, or to keep them away.

Yet another hot day is in prospect, the temperature already mounting. Business is very slack. Ah well, have a good day. Stay cool and hydrated. There is a surprising quantity of water in the river at least. Our aquifers run deep.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 9th Jul 2018 - 08:20AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 8

Sunday Lark

Morning Larks,

Phew! Boy it's hot hot hot today.

Had a lovely time at my son in laws big birthday celebration in the garden weather was hot but not quite so hot as it is today. Met lots of people I had not seen before and a lady who used to work on the ward where I worked years ago although she left before I had so did not know her then. Got to spend time with a tiny 6 month baby boy who was just gorgeous amazing amount of hair for a tiny baby and two front teeth already too and he did not cry once bless him. Lots of food at the party and lots of drink although I kept to lemonade seeing as I was driving got back home at 10pm. Elaine kindly walked Patch home for me he said he had a lovely time playing with her dogs .

Laptop still on the blink all to do with it not allowing me to log in with my chosen password which I have had for ages and I don't want to change the password why is this I wonder anyone else been asked to change their password for security reasons?

Have a lovely Sunday everyone.Very Happy

Posted at 8th Jul 2018 - 10:43AM   Posted by Camilla   Sunday Lark Comments: 13

Wrong But Romantic

We went out yesterday to Homebase, J wanted to buy some paint and we came back having bought a car on the spur of the moment and haunted by a questioning feeling of whether we had been brave or foolhardy.

As the old Citroen garage with whom I had dealt for many years was just across the road from Homebase in Bridgend I thought I would enquire in a general and non-committal way whether they ever got C5 estates traded in for re-sale. I had safely imagined they would say that they only saw them rarely and then they went straight to auction. But then there, on the forecourt, was a C5 saloon that looked brand new and with a price tag of £4995. Not only that but it said it was a 'Citroen Approved' used car which meant that it had passed 101 checks. The garageman showed me the workshop bill for doing the checks - £979 including new discs, pads, full service etc etc. Plus he said there would be a year's warranty.

We went for a little test drive. The car was beautifully comfortable and handled well. It was quiet and generally in first class condition and drove like a new car. The only obvious problem was that this had been a smoker's car and despite valeting the car reeked of tobacco smoke. (Yet J said she didn't notice this - perhaps I am super sensitive to the smell of tobacco as I am to eucalyptus). Moreover, they said they would give me £3,000 for my old car - which I considered a very fair price.

J whose back suffered from the hard ride of our existing car was very happy at the soft ride of this one (and the potholes in our roads get worse by the week) and so we bought it. I pick it up on Monday before which I have to change the insurance.

It is bound to be more expensive than the old car (the road tax is £175 more for a start) but the C5 is very beautiful. Storm Grey the colour with black upholstery. A big five seater with an enormous boot and a two litre diesel engine that glides along floating on air.

On my post the day before yesterday KKC suggested I should stick to Skoda and I sneakingly suspect that she is correct. The Superb is a lovely car and very comfortable too, though it comes with a big price tag. As with all things - we shall see, but I am grateful for the suggestion. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 8th Jul 2018 - 08:49AM   Posted by Fennie   Wrong But Romantic Comments: 4

Sunny lark again

Yet another sunny morning. I get torn between being sad to see our brown lawn and enjoying the lovely sunny warm weather. Another thing that is happening is that shrubs and roses are flowering prolifically due to the weather last summer and this spring but - they are going over far too quickly because of the heat. Still, I'll opt for the heat!

Posted at 7th Jul 2018 - 09:10AM   Posted by Withy Brook   Sunny lark again Comments: 4

To C5 or not to C5

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There isn't a single cloud in the sky today, though it isn't very hot. 23.5 degrees according to my outside thermometer, which is the temperature at which silkworms should be kept, apparently, for opposite this temperature it is marked 'Vers à Soie,' the thermometer being French (or at least a copy of something French) and Vers à Soie meaning silkworms. There's a cool breeze, too, which probably would also have suited the silkworms, though the only worm like creature I have seen today was a very small caterpillar, striped orange and black, of the cinnabar moth, which is a lovely scarlet and black creation, whose caterpillar lives on ragwort.

You'd think with all this hot air there would be an abundance of buzzards in the sky - but I have seen few this year. I thought I saw one just now but it is only a seagull. What seagulls do in Cowbridge I know not. They cruise about the sky, land on people's roofs, make more mess than any other bird but apart from that they do nothing and certainly don't eat or drink.

After my long hot drive last weekend (gosh we are already Friday) I am thinking again about buying another and bigger car. I am not sure that it is sensible however. It would almost certainly be older than my current one and have done more miles (if I were to buy a C5) and cost more to run. On the other hand it would be more comfortable. Difficult when only one of us drives. I wonder whether the white smoke is coming out of Chequers yet? Have a good evening all.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 6th Jul 2018 - 06:13PM   Posted by Fennie   To C5 or not to C5 Comments: 6

Robin Post

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Morning all.
Doors and windows flung wide open again, tea on hand and sun-catchers in the making... the day is shaping up well so far. HO is off out on one of the tour boats today with some guests from WDC Germany, they've got a lovely day for it, the sea is flat calm.

Posted at 6th Jul 2018 - 10:22AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Robin Post Comments: 10

Hot iambics

I picked a book at random from the bookshelf - it was a Shakespeare miscellany and now I am turning my thoughts into iambic pentameters, which is not difficult once you get the rhythm: (I think I'd like a cup of tea) dee dum dee dum dee dum dee dum.

It reminds me of that apocryphal meeting on a country lane of Shakespeare and Shelley. Coming towards them was an old bow legged man.

Shelley said: Behold along this dusty road, comes a man whose legs are bowed.

Shakespeare replied with: Lo! What manner of man is this that holds his b***s in parenthesis.

Still hot and sunny here, humid too; no sign of rain

(Still very hot and sunny here. A cloudless sky, no rain I fear. The grass is all but shrivelled up, but to Waitrose we, to buy our sup).
Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 5th Jul 2018 - 04:26PM   Posted by Fennie   Hot iambics Comments: 9

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Apologies for not popping in today on the site iPad not charged this morning and my laptop has given up the ghost and was out in the morning drove over to Holt salon for a spot of pampering and a hair trim. While there had a browse in shops and had lunch out. Traffic was heaving too met every conceivable tractor or haulage lorry you name it I was behind it. Although I did find a different route on journey home which was better and not so twisty so will take that route again and less time getting home too. Then decided before going straight home I would drive over to a garage near me where Polish chaps wash your car for you , I had the Silver Service.... Car wash then hoovered all inside and wax too, car was gleaming when I saw it finished so gave them £4 tip job done!Very Happy

Patch was boarding at Elaine's for the day as too hot for him in car all day, he had a lovely time with her dogs and Elaine gave Patch a bath too and she walked him home, I hardly recognise him now all clean and snowy white and fluffy .... Until he rolls in pooh out I expect .Very Happy

Off to land of nod now, very muggy here so have switched the fan on.

Sleep well all, but if you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams


Posted at 4th Jul 2018 - 11:28PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 5

Mystery and Wonder

A lunch time mystery for you to ponder - though maybe, now that I come to think of it, it is a mystery only to me and that you will know the answer. The mystery is:


Indeed why are corned beef tins the shape they are - a rectangular cone, which no doubt has a special name: trapezoid or some such. But why not just have an ordinary tin opened by an ordinary tin opener? It can't be for health and safety reasons for I have cut myself on corned beef tins more than any other.

Cod's roe (delicious fried) used to come in similar tins with keys once (now it doesn't come at all which is disappointing as it was a favourite of mine). But it must cost twice as much to make a tin - even a normal circular tin that they used for cod's row and then to score it in perfect parallel circles and then to provide a key and solder on a tab.

I once asked what 'corned' referred to in corned beef and was told that the beef used to be (perhaps still is) preserved by pickling in salt before canning and that the salt came in 'corns' - or maybe in 'cornes' with an 'e' this being the French and Latin word for 'horn.' If you think cornucopia you can sea how a horn might be stuffed with salt for transporting to the plains and frigorificos of Uruguay. (But if you have frigorificos why would you bother to preserve the beef in salt?).
Life is altogether too complicated and there still isn't any cod's roe despite the return of cod to our waters (when it isn't being eaten by FN's stock of aquatic mammals!)

And if you were wondering what the wonder was, the wonder was that it was raining - still is now I look. Great fat drops from a grey sky. But it isn't yet 'heavy' rain. Ah well that's me done. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 4th Jul 2018 - 02:14PM   Posted by Fennie   Mystery and Wonder Comments: 5

DOVE BITE - murder most foul

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I came home this afternoon to find heaps of feathers in the aviary and my poor dead Cloud. She had been attacked and killed by a creature unknown. I have felt very sad as she was very special and I have had her since I brought her in suffering from paramyxo in December 2012 - so about five and a half years.

I made the decision last summer as I was out such a lot (helping my daughter with the new baby, now 1 year old) that I would allow Cloud her freedom and not lock her up while I was out - so she has been free to go in and out of the aviary and do what she pleases. I never thought something would attack her inside the aviary.

I feel I've let her down and while I laid her out, I kept saying 'I'm so sorry Cloud' and I kissed the top of her little head. Poor sweetheart she was very badly mangled, and I can only hope died quickly.

Possibly culprits:

One of my aviary pigeons/another pigeon? - very very unlikely. All my birds were used to her funny ways and Sorrel was only mating with her yesterday (just for fun!)

Squirrel? - the squirrels are pests and go into the aviary to eat, but I have never seen them take interest in the pigeons - just the food. Though they'd very likely take an egg if they could.

Mink? - possibly, but they stink and there was no lingering smell in the aviary.

Fox? - unlikely during the day.

My cat Loopy? - No, she's really good with the pigeons and NEVER goes in the aviary. There are no other cats around either.

Hawk? - well the state of the body look like a hawk attack, but this is not the time of the year for sparrowhawk kills, and I doubt a hawk would put itself into the potential danger of the enclosed space of the aviary.

The ONLY thing that was different about this late afternoon, when I got back, was that there was a crow circling around and calling. A young one was on the roof. Maybe the culprit was the adult crow. I just don't know. This is the young crow on the roof - I don't know why it didn't join the parent.

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Cloud is now laid out, covered, in the sitting room. I wanted to keep her with me a bit longer, but will have a little funeral early tomorrow morning with prayers from my special book called 'Pet Prayers & Blessings' by Laurie Sue Brockway and Victor Fuhrman. I am not looking forward to telling my grandchildren she is dead - when I go to babysit the kids, and stay over, Cloud always comes too.

Pigeons have personalities and Cloud was funny and feisty. RIP Cloud - I love you.

As soon as I saw the mess in the aviary, I knew there was nothing I could do for poor Cloud, and quickly checked the four babies and thankfully found they were ok, plus Lacey and May both still on their nests. Now of course I am concerned that the crow (or whatever it was) will return to the aviary and attack more of my birds. Maybe I need a scarecrow in the garden!

Today I brought a new white dove home from the Wildlife Aid and am calling her Candy. She was confined very near where it all happened and must've seen it - not a good start. I expect she will fly away never to return when I release her tomorrow. Pan seemed depressed, possibly he saw it too.

To end on a more positive note - here are Puck and Peaseblossom this afternoon, Oberon and Titania's adorable babies. The darker one is Puck

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Posted at 3rd Jul 2018 - 09:52PM   Posted by Faith   DOVE BITE - murder most foul Comments: 11


I keep my old 2006 MacBook computer for occasional use as an iPad. It still functions though it can't cope with modern software. But when I went to charge it this morning the charging light didn't come on. I thought maybe the battery had died - the battery is only rated for 500 charges and this must have had more than 1000. Amazon told me a new battery would be £45. My helpful Georgians in town said they could get me a battery for £30.

Then this afternoon I had the same problem with this computer. That was worrying as I need this one for urgent work I couldn't wait for a new battery. But I couldn't believe two batteries would fail on the same day.

Turned out the problem must have been a power surge for the 3 amp fuse in the charger on this computer had blown. With a new fuse all is well. I presume the same will apply for the other one but I shall have to buy some more 3 amp fuses. If so I will have a battery costing £30 that I do not need - but I hardly mind this. Seeing the charging light come on this afternoon was easily worth £30.

Very Happy

Posted at 3rd Jul 2018 - 06:40PM   Posted by Fennie   Phew! Comments: 5

Sandside bay.

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OK... so... we'll maybe give the beach combing a miss then! ShockedMr. GreenNeutral

Posted at 3rd Jul 2018 - 04:00PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Sandside bay. Comments: 13

Lark Post

Well back again and yet another sunny day. This could be the African veldt. I look for zebras and giraffes from my window, or the odd lion basking under a thornbush, great herd of wildebeest making their way towards a dwindling waterhole. Then I remind myself I am not on safari this is home, where anything that is not watered is shrivelling. Even the birds have taken themselves off.

Yet it was lovely to be away for a couple of days - that is the being away was lovely - the travelling to be away was tedious and tiring and I am resolved not to undertake long drives any more. Fortunately the car has air conditioning.

The gardens both at College and at my sister's house in Suffolk are glorious and the company mostly as good as ever. At dinner I was sat next to a woman who hailed from Mauritius so we talked about my favourite bird - the dodo - and I remarked on the similarity of pigeon squabs to dodos and how with a bold selective breeding initiative on Faith's part we could reverse engineer a dodo in a few years. I don't think she was totally sold on this idea but then I have yet to convince even Faith herself.

Have a good day and stay cool. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 3rd Jul 2018 - 08:09AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 6

Donovan Update - brief

The Wildlife Aid have asked me to take in another white pigeon - I will collect it tomorrow. I asked after Donovan and got the following message (as I expected) -

Sadly the pigeon you brought in on the 18th was put to sleep, there was a big mass on its abdomen, and the skin had started to go necrotic.

Posted at 2nd Jul 2018 - 05:20PM   Posted by Faith   Donovan Update - brief Comments: 4