Cowart's Common Room
Morning Larks

Morning Larks,

A rather chilly day with a grey sky a keen breeze blowing well at least I will get another line of linen dry.

Slightly better nights sleep last night, but the boiler is on the blink again so no heating at the moment but at least we have hot water.

Feeling much better than yesterday so gently goes it.Very Happy driving over to see our daughter later this afternoon for a cuppa.

Have a good day everyone.Very HappyLinked Image

Posted at 22nd Mar 2019 - 11:21AM   Posted by Camilla   Morning Larks Comments: 5


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This photo reminds me of spring though it looks more like high, or even late, summer. Well something needs to remind me of spring. Here the sky is of an opaque whiteness, like a low powered fluorescent tube. This combines with a hidden sprinkler system which is switched to intermittent.

My back is a bit better and I shall try walking into town later for the paper. I have hardly moved the last few days and it has made me feel awful: a continuous mild headache that extends from one end of my spine to the other and extends to my forehead with occasional sharp stabs if I try to twist or lift. I have had to cancel any plans to attend Saturday's march, not that I see any point to it. Meanwhile I have to decide whether to go to my old friend's funeral in Le Havre on 1 April (always assuming that we don't unexpectedly 'crash out') in which case it is doubtful any ferries would take the risk of running. If I don't go I feel I shall be letting the family down and if I do then in my present state I shall probably do myself (or someone else some harm). I am not quite right at the moment even without the back problem, though the two may be connected. Oh what a depressing post this is! I did want to write about Spring.

The spring has sprung
The flowers is riz
I wonder where the birdies is
Dee birds are on the wing
But that's absurd! De wing is on the bird.

There that will have to do. Have a good day

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 21st Mar 2019 - 09:33AM   Posted by Fennie   Spring Comments: 12


I haven’t visited my blog for years! Today I went there to see what I had written about Sockburn Hall which was in a ruinous state in2009 when I visited.
I am shortly visiting with my eldest brother to see what its saviour has done. The repairs etc are complete and I can’t wait to see it. It has been removed from the “at risk “ register.
So good when a big old house is saved.

I forgot to say that my grandparents lived there for 30+ years before it started to deteriorate.

Posted at 20th Mar 2019 - 03:06PM   Posted by Withy Brook   Blog Comments: 5

Afternoon All

Afternoon All,

Phew busy day so far, have pruned my one and only climbing rose bush in the rear garden as forgot to do in February and listening to Monty Don he said best to prune no later than end of March. Watered the plants, hung out a long line of washing mainly bedding, cleaned the windows, walked the dog, emptied the dishwasher and having a sit down before I mow the front lawns for the first time this year. Late afternoon after my walk again with Patch over the beach I must 'touch up' and repaint the iron frame window box.

Beautiful day, clear blue sky, lots of sunny intervals quite warm and just a hint of a gentle breeze, perfect.Very Happy

Enjoy the rest of your day everyone.Uploaded Image

Posted at 20th Mar 2019 - 01:04PM   Posted by Camilla   Afternoon All Comments: 2

Happy Birthday Irish Eyes

Dear Irish Eyes,

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday.

Have a wonderful day with friends and family, hope you get spoilt rotten. Enjoy the cakes and bubbly.

Love and Best Wishes,
Camilla.xxUploaded Image

Posted at 20th Mar 2019 - 11:49AM   Posted by Camilla   Happy Birthday Irish Eyes Comments: 3


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Watching the poor people in Mozambique I was reminded of this though the animals seemed in short supply except for an open box of chickens on someone's head. Strange that so few humans were saved in the Ark. Noah must have been of a David Attenborough persuasion. But how was the Ark powered? It doesn't have sails or oars or a rudder. Julian Barnes talks about 5 arks one for each of Noah's sons with the one containing all the mythological creatures - the behemoths, unicorns, griffins and so forth - lost at sea when this son fell into a drunken rage.
I always though there was just one.

According to the British museum's Irving Finkel (who looks more like Noah than Noah) the ark was just a very large coracle but it's all written down on Babylonian tablets, dimensions, gopher wood and all.
Goodnight everyone. Sleep tight.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 19th Mar 2019 - 10:54PM   Posted by Fennie   Floods Comments: 4

Sparry Post

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Sparry is still up and about this morning, fixing me with gimlet eyes as though I am the one responsible for all his woes. His feathers look even more in aid of a good groom: he has a wonky tail as well as a wonky wing. But he is eating a little and pooping - is that good or bad? He is calmer now but the longer he lives the more the difficulties will mount in the future unless I can find a refuge for him. Meanwhile my own back is still twisted and painful and I am virtually immobile. So we are a couple of crocks, the bird and me.

Has anyone read 'The Goshawk' by TH White - a wonderful book about training a Goshawk using a medieval manual. At one point he stays awake for about 36 hours reciting Shakespeare to the Goshawk until the bird falls asleep on his arm. One for Lampie perhaps though it must be 50 years since I read it.

In the utility room, where Sparry is, I have both a hawk and a handsaw and the wind isn't even southerly - in fact there's hardly any today at all.

Have a good day people. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 19th Mar 2019 - 09:20AM   Posted by Fennie   Sparry Post Comments: 20

Final Countdown

Update in the private forum. Please don't put any replies whatseover here in the common room, thanks.

Posted at 18th Mar 2019 - 02:50PM   Posted by Faith   Final Countdown Comments: 0

Morning Larks

Morning Larks,

Hope you had a good weekend.

A lovely bright sunny day here pleased the severe winds have passed a bit, quite chilly still though. Another line of laundry just hung out... chores.!

No plans for today apart from a small grocery shop and walks later again with Patch.

Daughter is quite poorly at the moment, she had 2 teeth extracted last week and unfortunately had to ring 111 at the weekend and see an emergency dentist who told her she has a very bad infection in jaw and mouth.

Let us know how Sparry is Fennie, no hawk pics but have posted Mr Foxy instead.Very HappyLinked Image

Posted at 18th Mar 2019 - 10:31AM   Posted by Camilla   Morning Larks Comments: 5

Sparry - news

Well this morning Sparry looks a lot better. He didn't bate when I removed the cover from his box and instead just looked at me quizzically, but in quite a friendly way.

He was sitting on the hammer I had given him as a perch and wonder of wonders his drooping and broken wing seemed to be back in place on his shoulder. A veritable miracle if ever I saw one.

Two of the pieces of cooked chippolata sausage seem to have disappeared leaving red stains on the box floor. Hopefully this is the remains of the sausage and not something come out of his other end that might indicate haemorrhaging. But the stain seems too pink for blood.

I did give him water on a soaked piece of kitchen towel. I think he will bate if I try to put a dish into the box.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if he recovered and flew away (but not of course for his victims). I suppose I could train him to fly to a lure and land on my glove with leather jesses on his legs with bells on.

But his wing! - 'imp out this country's drooping wing' says someone in Richard II - just as applicable today one feels. Of course if Sparry tried to flap it it might just come apart again. But birds can recover remarkably quickly. Just don't tell my sparrows.

When he's better I'll try to take a picture. I'm still not quite sure he is a sparrowhawk. He seems rather small and has grey eyes rather than orange and quite drab and brown but with very long legs. I looked for a stock image but all the hawks look much the same and come in a whole raft of colourways. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 18th Mar 2019 - 08:27AM   Posted by Fennie   Sparry - news Comments: 8

Bird Help Please

This afternoon walking near the house there was a bird lying in the road that appeared to have been hit by a car. It wasn't moving. As I approached it fluttered to the pavement - it seemed to be a small sparrowhawk or perhaps a merlin, possibly the same one that I saw the other day. It seemed to have broken or dislocated a wing, which was at an odd angle.

I suppose I should have walked by on the other side but being a muggins I dropped my hat over it and now it is in a box in the utility room with a make do perch and a couple of bits of sausage.

The question is what should I (what can I) do? Any ideas?

Help help!


Posted at 17th Mar 2019 - 05:55PM   Posted by Fennie   Bird Help Please Comments: 8

Chilly Lark

Morning All,

Intervals of some lovely sunshine today here but the cold wind is a tad bracing albeit not quite so windy as it has been all this week. Still I have washed and hung out on the line lots of winter clothing to dry but slightly annoyed that I never looked at the washing label on my new black cardigan, took it out of the machine and noticed it was a tad smaller after looking at the label I saw... Wash by Hand.!

Spent some time tidying up my wardrobes yesterday afternoon, I have too many clothes.! a few items of clothing I can give to charity. Counted my trousers and I have 12 pairs, as for jackets and coats over 20, good heavens.Very Happy

Lots of folk about renting holiday cottages here, and Sunday always seems to be the busiest day, beach cafe was fit to burst with line of customers queuing up for their orders. I now know that the very deep footings I came across on the dunes a while ago is not going to be the new spot for the beach cafe to be erected re the erosion of the beach, no it will be for the new site just past the cafe of a renovation project for Winterton Life Boat which happily it has got enough funds to go ahead now.

Have a good Sunday everyone.Very HappyLinked Image

Posted at 17th Mar 2019 - 11:29AM   Posted by Camilla   Chilly Lark Comments: 7

Weekend Post

Afternoon All,

Another very blustery day a grey sky sadly not even a glimmer of sunshine, but no matter Spring will be on its way again soon.Very Happy

Enjoy the weekend everyone whatever your plans may be.

Fennie, I hope the cold virus has not taken hold too strongly for you and you managed to chair the AGM last night and all was well.

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Posted at 16th Mar 2019 - 01:03PM   Posted by Camilla   Weekend Post Comments: 6


Woke up to quite a good covering of snow, when I had to get up, as one does. By the time I got up properly, there was stuff running down the window which was wet sleet. Now there is still snow on all plants etc and the ground but it is looking all sludgy and will be gone completely before too long - to be followed by far too much rain and more gales.
Say it very quietly, in case the weather imps hear, - next week the gales will go away, it will become drier and even, by the end of the week, should get warmer!!

Posted at 16th Mar 2019 - 09:09AM   Posted by Withy Brook   Snow Comments: 5

Afternoon Post

Afternoon All,

Apologies for not being around lately, anyway hope everyone is alright and are coping with the severe winds we have had recently this week. Still fierce winds today too and tomorrow even fiercer, but at least it is dry bright and lots of sunshine today and less cold.

Shipping Forecast.!Very Happy

Have a good day everyone.Very HappyLinked Image

Posted at 15th Mar 2019 - 12:59PM   Posted by Camilla   Afternoon Post Comments: 8


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It's the AGM of the Twinning Association tonight and it has been left to Muggins here to take it seeing as M (Secretary) is seriously ill and A his partner has taken him to France before Brexit smashes up reciprocal health arrangements and makes travel insurance for someone with a medical condition prohibitive. So I am without a Chair or Secretary, but never mind I am sure Muggins can muddle through with the rest of them. At least I am prepared and yesterday met two potentially excellent recruits whom I hope will not only join the association but join the Committee as well bringing new blood to the old show which began in 1988 when we were all young and vibrant. Now all we want to do when we visit Clisson is to sit in someone's garden and enjoy a three hour lunch and good company. Yesterday, meeting the new people, I spent far too long talking about Clisson's history on the frontiers of Brittany and its magnificent castle which even when ruined would be eminently defensible with its moats and rivers and parapets, and not nearly enough about the long garden lunches in the sunshine.

In the old days we used to get grants from the EU which meant that we had to engage in some educational activity during our visits so we had to forsake our long lunches for visits to sewage farms or even proper farms with cows, including one that was automated entirely, the cows given the decision when to approach the automatic milker, get milked, get a helping of food depending on their volume of milk, and wander off again contentedly. You wouldn't have thought it possible, would you, for cows to be milked by a robot but it is and before milking comes a sort of car wash of the udders, all to the sound of soothing music - a sort of Radio 1 for bovines of the Friesian persuasion. Actually I find the details rather revolting and it makes me ever more inclined to be a vegan until such time as they can synthesize milk in a laboratory - shouldn't be too difficult, should it?

The rain meanwhile continues to pour out of an opaque and leaden sky. Most certainly an inclemency but being fresh out of sherry I have had to make do with whisky, digestive biscuits and aspirin as I feel to be going down with a cold. At least that is my excuse. Have a good afternoon, folk.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 15th Mar 2019 - 12:56PM   Posted by Fennie   AGM Comments: 2

Happy 39th Wedding Anniversary Irish Eyes

Dear IE,

Wishing you and your husband a very Happy 39th Wedding Anniversary.

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


Love and Best Wishes,
Camilla.xxUploaded Image

Posted at 15th Mar 2019 - 12:43PM   Posted by Camilla   Happy 39th Wedding Anniversary Irish Eyes Comments: 5

Hot but not Cross

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Easter must be coming M&S have their special hot cross bun range in again - Toasted blueberry this morning with butter and blueberry jam. Very Happy

The little chocolate ones make a delicious pudding spread with marmalade and baked in a dish with a pint of real custard poured over them... just in case Fennie's diet is getting him down. Wink

Posted at 15th Mar 2019 - 10:56AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Hot but not Cross Comments: 4


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I have been struggling to lose a bit of weight but we found this book on the shelves: 'The Dopamine Diet' by Tom Kerridge. (Fortuitous as it seems I have been writing a lot about Dopamine and Parkinsons recently.) Anyway Tom is a chef who lost 11 stone by cutting out the carbs and replacing then with phenomenally tasty combinations of flavours, which he claims enhance your brain's quotient of dopamine and therefore happiness.

Last night we made his pizza. It was the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life, full of rich flavours and every spice on the road to China. But instead of a stodgy pizza base Tom suggests an omelette! And then the whole thing is baked to a crisp in the oven. Delicious!

I don't know if I am losing weight but who cares? Tonight we are having Shepherd's Pie - made with real shepherds! The only problem is that this isn't fast cooking but very slow cooking and re-cooking and you need a bulging stock cupboard! So I can imagine this perhaps not lasting long.

To the hospital yesterday afternoon to visit poor R who was lying in the mental health ward (he has Alzheimers) but is so incapacitated by his other conditions - pneumonia, arthritis, cancer hip replacement etc - that his mental health is the least of his worries I would have thought. Perhaps he recognised me, perhaps not. Mostly his eyes were fast shut. Anyway he looked on his last legs, breathing laboured, face sunken, hands and spindly arms all bruised and blotchy from catheters and whatnot. Again I pray that I never fall into that helpless state. I am a terrible person in such circumstances - no empathy whatsoever.

But to walk out of the hospital - even if you have only been a visitor - is such a release and for the first hundred yards I feel as though a big hand will reach out and haul me back again. The revolving door revolves with agonising slowness. I am sure it will stop and trap me and a nurse will rush up and bang in a catheter and a chloroform mask. Horrible, horrible places, where even the visitors look ill.

Posted at 14th Mar 2019 - 10:09AM   Posted by Fennie   Pizza Comments: 7

Mystery Monday once again.

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The mystery flower is a camellia, although it now looks a lot tattier than this after the storm.

Posted at 13th Mar 2019 - 12:10PM   Posted by Lampworkbeader   Mystery Monday once again. Comments: 6


Please see Private Forum Crying or Very sad

Posted at 13th Mar 2019 - 07:55AM   Posted by Faith   Doomsday Comments: 3

Soup de Jour

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Adventures in soup.
New freezer to microwave mugs in hand we have been having adventures in soup to replace the rather boring selection of cuppa soups we can get our hands on.
The latest soup de Jour is an experiment that will be repeated often which HO has christened Bhangra Broth, it was delicious.
Recipe to follow...

Posted at 12th Mar 2019 - 02:54PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Soup de Jour Comments: 5

Mystery Monday continued

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Does this give a bigger clue? Reminder, it is a spring flower.

Posted at 12th Mar 2019 - 02:23PM   Posted by Lampworkbeader   Mystery Monday continued Comments: 9

Morning Post

Morning Larks,

Well we have Storm Gareth at the moment whoosh.! and what a severe wind it is today which I hear will last until later in the day tomorrow. I can only assume that Gareth originates from Wales well his name anyway.Very Happy

Horrid night, couldn't sleep asthma bad, sinus bad and feeling pretty rotten today too because of it, so a gentle day for me on the cards. Booked to see Gemma at surgery tomorrow morning where she will do my six month asthma review, also she will check my BP again. I could weep at a drop of a hat today.... c'mon Camilla get a grip.

Rolling Eyes

Have a good day everyone and stay safe in these high winds.

Posted at 12th Mar 2019 - 11:56AM   Posted by Camilla   Morning Post Comments: 6


Just heard that it was the school's Eisteddfod today. Theo played 'Calon Lan' and won first prize! Well done, Theo.

Very Happy

Posted at 11th Mar 2019 - 06:51PM   Posted by Fennie   Eisteddfod Comments: 7