Oh hellfire and corruption, apparently I now have a programme I don’t want – MR GATES please sack all your staff, Windows whatever I have and Word 10 is utter crap!! I hate it, and once you press the wrong button – easy to do in my case, you get their rubbish and now I have a damn advert in the corner of my screen that won’t go away. I know you are going to give away 99% of your income, but quite frankly you should give some of it to the people you and your miserable staff have frustrated to the point of wanting to throw their NEW computer out of the window, I am going back to my old one and to hell with the extra speed I wanted, in fact I may get a damn Apple just to see if life is easier. Stop changing things it is NOT BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have just noticed that there is a button that says Purchase or Upgrade – there needs to be one that states GO away and leave me alone, I was much happier without you. But of course now half the Word documents I get have a bloody X in the name and can I open them no, not until I get some programme that then completely screws up my computer, and now the damn dog has thrown up on the cream carpet…………….
OK, by the time I got a tissue one of the others ate it! I am not having a good day! Oh that reminds me – a tip, Vanish – the stuff in the god-awful pink containers does not work, it does not work on stains on clothes, at least not the ones I can achieve, and it certainly does not work on carpets, however all is not lost because Rug Doctor does!!
I am a little stressed, life has been tough over the last couple of weeks, we have been busy – that is good, we have been working on the lights in the field for the owl evenings, that is very good, although Richard has said he is never going to put lights underground in grass again and I am never going to dig another bloody hole. The drainage is nearly finished,which is also very good, although the weather today has held us up – rain, but I am not complaining (at least not about the weather!) because we have had a lovely autumn ( this damn advert is driving me nuts) in fact I am going to change programmes - ahhhhhhhhhh bliss, one that is old and works, hooray. Where was I, oh yes, drainage, nearly done, although my lawn does not look quite as smart as it did as the digger has dug its way across it, regardless of that why I should worry I don't know as the horses also went across it the other day and apparently they are incapable of just walking across it, oh no, they have to gallop and leave huge holes, so the digger has just added to the less than smart look to it. However it will recover and we will have a well drained site.
The churned up bits of the field have been rotivated (my new computer has US spelling - why - I have no idea I bought the damn thing in the UK, but there you go, and it does not recognise the word rotivated, it thinks I mean motivated and I have to tell you, my field is not in the slightest bit motivated right now, more soggy!) and I am going to sow grass seed tomorrow, Mark Davies said I will hold the record for the latest sowing, but its great weather for it!
Birds are well and flying superbly I have to say. Adam and I tried out D'Arcy Spice and Gypsy King in the new lights about five days ago and Holly and I tried out Bramley and Hemp last night. They all flew brilliantly in the new lighting, although we tripped over a ton of stuff because it is not yet finished, but I have to say I think the end result is going to be pretty damned good, well worth the effort, so thank you Richard HH, Annabel and all the others who have worked so hard in the cold to get it done.
Cremorne is back on line and flying very well as is Dusky Emperor. And today we moved the baby Steller's from its mum and dad to an enclosure on its own, so it has a couple of weeks to grow up before we start work on it.
OK I need tea and a book to forget the day and bed, in that order!
Well my beautiful field is not quite so beautiful today. I wanted to clean out the top pond and clear around it. There were five or six scrubby trees that needed to come out, and sadly a beautiful Field Maple that I have been worried about for two years and it was confirmed that it was dying and getting close to dead, so that went too. I am going to plant a new one to replace it. The pond has been dredged (well most of it - more to finish tomorrow) and a huge pile of sludge is now lining the fence of the horse field, it is not attractive, but I am hoping it will dry out quickly and we can spread it and reseed it as the grass there is crap anyway.
We are enlarging the big pond and removing some of the shrubby trees at the front so that we can see water from the flying ground. But it sure is a mess at the moment. I love doing this sort of thing but only when it is finished, I always have that feeling of - oh damn was this a good idea!! at the beginning of the job. But actually the top pond is going to look stunning fairly quickly.
I am still struggling with the new computer, I tried right clicking on the windows thing - in the old programme you could get to all your files and move them around easily, can you do it with the new one - oh no! I don't know where the desk top icon is and there are an increasing number of things that I find don't work. Aggggggggggghhhhhhh, I suppose I ought to be used to it because it always happens when I change computers.
Adam brought down a book called Birds of Prey Winged Master of the Sky, and it is just amazing how bad it is. The photos are a joke because they are so far from the right species that we all fell about laughing at it. I was going to email them and tell them that regardless of the statement at the front that says the publisher, author and editors cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions etc..............well if they deny responsibility who the hell is going to be!! It was published by Chartwell books inc. in the
Its been a lovely day, perfect for messing up the field, and really good flying weather, the peregrines went very well as did most of the other birds. Dusky Emperor is coming on a treat and looks wonderful in the air, my Goshawk is loose, although not quite as obedient as I would like and I chickened out of flying him today, with two diggers and two dumpers in the field, I need to choose a name for him now. And Delectable is wonderful, he can now fly from one bench to the other and gets so excited, the dogs are around when he works and occasionally try to knick he meat! He is a joy to work with and the public seem to like him as he bounces around!
I suspect I will not be riding this week, too much to get done during the day, but I had a good ride yesterday, Henry is always exciting, although not always in ways that I am expecting, however his emergency stop was much more impressive that the Range Rover we met on one of the corners! Nettle seems better, although slowing down fast, I hate it when they get to 12 years old. Still she is still coming down for coffee and lunch, so that bodes well.
This service was at the church at Aymestrey near
When father died, a ton of people emailed or wrote or phoned and said how much he had done for them and helped them, and made a difference and I told them it was a shame they had not thanked him while he was still alive and when he could have felt appreciated, because once they die, it makes no difference. So Kate, this is to tell you that I will miss you.
I have bought a Land Rover!! At least I will have by the end of next week and it arrives the following weekend - hooray!! Its very nice, and only done 55000 miles and is blue, which is good. I now have to get the trailer matched and painted and the signage done. When I got back I had to run Nettle to the vets, she was not well yesterday and I am glad I did - poor girl she had a temperature of 106 and was most definitely not having a good time. So couple of shots, one to bring down the temperature and a good dose of antibiotics, and pills for a week. This morning she was looking a bit brighter and now is looking much more cheerful, thank goodness.
I have only managed to go riding a couple of times, this week, its been one of those frustrating weeks where I don't seemed to have achieved anywhere near what I would have liked to. However Mark started on Tuesday, and that is already making a difference, which is great. Holly was off for two days on the records course, which I am still not convinced about, the design and the whole ethos, including the damn price for the software is all aimed at very large zoos, not at small places like us. Its overkill, over priced and I suspect not what we need at all. You can see I am not convinced!!!
I have a new computer, to do the records we needed one for Holly and so she gets mine, which will be fine for staff needs, and I get the new faster one. BUT when you buy a new computer nowadays you get Windows 7, and that means no outlook express. I really do not understand software writers, don't they know the old tried and tested and truthful saying, if it aint broke, don't fix it!! I liked Outlook Express, I really liked it and now I have to use Windows Live Mail, and I don't like it half as much. Plus everything is far more complicated that it was, aagggggggggggghhh!! And then there is the usual problem of when you change computers, there are a ton of things that don't work until you (or in my case Adam!!) fixes it. Thanks a million Adam Bloch, its much appreciated (I think!)
And where the hell was the 22 degrees and warmest day in October that we were promised, it did not happen!!
We were given a lovely juvenile male Goshawk yesterday, he is going to be Simon’s bird, and is larger than my boy, and in far better feather condition, which would not be difficult at this point, and paler in colour, but I am happy with mine, he is coming on a treat now. We were also given a lovely lovely jack merlin, he is quite stunning in his adult plumage and I really want to find him a mate as he has bred before and I just love merlins, his name is leprechaun so you can guess where he came from originally.
Holly is off on a two day ARKS/ZIMS course tomorrow, this is the computer software system that zoos use, I have to say I have never been impressed with it, and I find it interesting that Zims, the new system has just come out after god knows how many years, and already they are working to ‘upgrade the system’, should it not be new and good if we are paying a bloody fortune for it I ask myself. I am not convinced I could not do better with a good excel file.
All the birds are relishing the sunny day after the rain yesterday, and all have flown well, Dusky Emperor did her first circling flight today, so that bodes well, we need a few windy days and I think she will get the idea. I am getting Hemp (Eurasian Eagle Owl) going again for the Owl Evenings and Eager (Long-eared Owl) who apparently is not in the slightest bit eager to start work again! Casper has finished moulting and so is going to come back into work for the winter, he is a perfect winter bird and if the weather men are right and we are going to get another winter like the last one, he will do well.
I think we are going to leave changing the flying times for one more week and start on the winter times next Monday, its been so nice it has seemed a shame to change the times at this point, however the light is starting to go earlier so it has to happen soon.
Peter Dowle’s team are starting in the garden tomorrow, I have given him a budget for new plants, not enough, but some, and they are going to move some around in the next week, while we can still see what is there. I love the garden and find it very exciting to do things in there that change it and improve it.
The compost heap walls are done and we are going to move the old compost/muck heap into one side on Thursday and then next week we are starting to clear the top pond and enlarge the bottom one, and then that will be it for work for Mike Turner, who has been here a year now!! Its all exciting stuff, oh and the play area is down, leveled and ready for grass seed and then we build the new one!
We actually had to give up on the falcon day on Friday, the rain was so persistent, we got most of it done, but have asked the three people to come back for the last session on another day, it was getting to not be fun. Luckily yesterday was lovely and so the hawk day went fine. However this morning it is wet again, so I did not get out for a ride.
I have finally caught up on emails, and a little other work, I need to get some stuff for our website done and for the RRF website as well, and clear my desk, then it will be time to start some serious writing again, which I have not done for a long while now. That is planned for when Mark Parker starts as I hope to have more free time at that point. Plus I am putting a wood burning stove in my office soon, as I promised my sister I would and it will make it a great deal more pleasant to work in during the day, plus be a sensible and conserving way of using all the wood I have.
The birds are doing fine, Dusky Emperor is now flying free and is looking like being rather good, which is great. We had a very nice lady Dr Emily Shepard from Swansea University here this week trying out some data loggers on some of the birds. Adam’s Harris Hawk did a good job for us, as did Dusky Emperor and Pinotage, however Alexandria must have pulled off the connection to the battery as it did not log her performance, which was a shame, however hopefully we will try with some other birds at a later date.
My goshawk is coming on in leaps and bounds, he has no tail worth talking about because having arrived with three broken tail feathers some of the others have gone, but I want to get him fully trained and flying loose before fixing it. We showed him a dead rabbit yesterday, and that did not take long for him to decide it was fun to chase and catch. Even without a tail he is very agile in the air and can turn on a sixpence I am looking forward to getting him loose and out hunting. We have been working with Delectable, our baby Griffon Vulture, he now comes out of the aviary onto the grass by the Turkey Oak, has learned to fly onto the benches under there, gets very excited by the whole thing and yesterday we brought the visitors up after the last bird on the 2.00pm demonstration and they watched him do his stuff, it was his first official demonstration and he was brilliant, and goes back into his aviary for a rat!
So now its raining again but the trees need it and are pleased to have lots to drink, the birds are dry because our aviaries are completed rooved over and in weather like this I am always pleased that they are, the horses are in because they were looking miserable and Sedge is not impressed with the weather, he is most certainly a fair weather dog! Its time to get on with the newsletter which needs to be done to encourage people to come on the owl evenings which are fast approaching now it is October!
It is fun to share the daily goings on here, some good and some bad, some funny and some sad, but all a part of our daily lives.
And as I said before its a pretty cool to be here and it is a great place to visit, you should try coming and watching the birds and meeting the staff and of course the dogs.
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An interesting video on Lead
I find it staggering that people who want to hunt don't see the value in changing their ammunition from lead to a safer product. We have stopped using lead in petrol, in paint, in our water pipes, but they still want to use lead - ah well, apparently eating it not only kills birds but leads to reduced intelligence in humans......................
NO ONE is asking you to stop legal and genuine hunting, they are just asking you to change your ammunition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!