Tuesday, 28 December 2010
OK I have to have a bit of a rant here, I watched the news the other day, and listened to some politician stating that airports must be punished, yup that was the word, if they fail to get people off on planes in bad weather. And today a labour MP was stating that the government was going to be responsible if children got flu. So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the airports are going to be punished because of the weather and the government is going to be blamed for a virus that has been around for donkey's years.

Well I am sorry guys but is it not time that human beings remembered a couple of things. Firstly we are supposed to be the most intelligent animal on earth, although I have to say I seriously doubt it, and secondly if you make plans to fly somewhere in December it might be marginally bright to remember that December is in the Winter part of our year, which historically can mean snow, sleet, ice and so on, it should not come as a surprise, it is a part of our calendar. Its a good thing we have winter, it makes us appreciate the other seasons, and does a great deal of good to the earth, it is natural process, which is more than can be said for going abroad at Christmas. So if you plan to do such a thing, factor in that you might not get there because its bloody WINTER. Similarly if you shove a whole load of children together in one building in the winter, guess what, they are going to get colds and flu, we all do, its a natural process, it is not any one's fault. If you want to get vaccinated, then ask, do it, don't wait to be offered a freebie. Stop trying to blame anyone and everyone for things that happen in life, take some sensible responsibility and face up to the fact that you can't control the weather, and neither can the airports or the trains, or the roads, and you can't control diseases, just limit them.

If you really want to blame someone for something that is not your responsibility or in your control then ask the government one question - why do power and water companies get fined if they hike up the price of their product, but oil companies can do it at the cruelest time they can and get away with it. Then tell the government that the national forests belong to all of us, we do not want them sold off, because if they do sell them off we will lose not only superb and beautiful and ancient forests, but we may well lose the rights to walk our dogs, walk our children, ride our bikes and enjoy forests that are at the moment ours. They do not belong to the government, they belong to us, so leave them alone please. Tell that to the government very loudly or you will lose your local forests and once they are gone, they are gone.

Oh and a word of warning, I bought a Kindle a while ago, I like it very much, it means I can carry a ton of books with me if I go somewhere all on one little machine. However what Amazon do not tell you when you buy one is that you have to make a choice, you can either buy books on Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.com, not both. Now why this is so, heaven alone knows, it is about the stupidest thing I have ever heard because the damn things are wireless so you can download them from anywhere. Amazon.co.uk does not have as good a selection as the US store, but it may have a book that the US store does not have, and guess what - you can't get it if your Kindle address is in the US. Interesting, and something that Amazon needs to address because they do not tell you that little fact in their advertising.

The thaw continues apace, most of the snow is now gone - hooray! Where we have walked on it regularly, we now have a delightful ice slick! Which makes for interesting forward motion. We have had fog, and then thick fog all day, I was hoping to get the horses out for a ride but it was not safe in the poor visibility. I am hoping that once the snow has gone, so will the fog as it seems to rise somewhat spookily from the melting snow. Simon and I got the trained birds out for a bath this morning and we are leaving them in the outdoor hawk walk tonight as it is due to be only down to 5C which is positively warm! Neither of the two recent Common Buzzards arrivals survived, but Simon released one Tawny Owl last night and we are going to let another go tonight. Which will bring us down to one Tawny Owl with a broken leg and one Little Owl who's eye does not look very good, time will tell on that one. We have two burst pipes, one in the stables, which I knew about and turned off before it thawed out, and one in the weighing room which Simon spotted before it did any damage, and I hope that is it. I would be seriously worried if I had gone away for Christmas and then the thaw arrived when I was still away, I wonder how many people are going to come back to flooded houses, its not a good time to go away.

Well I tried letting go the Tawny Owl, but I don't think he is ready to go yet as he managed to fly into the bottle bank, he is now back in his box safe and sound. And my plans for riding tomorrow are out of the window as Henry has lost the third shoe in a row!! I am going to borrow a metal detector soon as he only has to lose one more and I will have a spare set!




Sunday, 26 December 2010
I have just been watching Countryfile and someone ought to tell the idiots doing the sound editing that if they want us to hear the stags roaring turn the bloody music off. It is getting harder and harder to hear the dialogue in many films and documentaries because of the increasingly invasive music, we don't need it, get rid of it please! I was also annoyed at the shots of the two guys with the four week old Honey Buzzards, they should not be stroking them as they are stripping off their waterproofing of their feathers, and they should not be holding them by their legs, they should be supporting their whole bodies, it is a big beef of mine that ringers hold birds extremely badly more often than not, they need a lesson!!

It is getting warmer, I just came in from getting the horses in and feeding them and it was positively balmy! At least in comparison to this morning it was, this morning was so cold that the hairs in my nose froze, which I have to say is a very odd sensation, and the dogs coats were frozen after their first walk where they had been chewing on one another. The thaw is set to start, although by the looks of things it is not going to last very long. Still thawing the outside water pipes will be a relief, apart from the fact that the ones in the stables have broken apart - again! The consistency of the snow has changed, and it might even make a snowman at this rate, although more snow is possibly forecast as the warmer weather hits the frozen ground.

We have had two more injured wild buzzards in over the last two days, we get more buzzards than any other species, although we have three Tawny Owls in right now as well, but two are ready to go, we just could not let them go in the awful weather, hopefully they will be able to go in a couple of days. However we are rapidly getting over crowded, I really have to do something about a proper hospital this coming year, it is a vital need and an important one.
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Well we did run the Owl Evening last Saturday, the snow was not too bad, at least not in this immediate area, although it was much worse around us, and Jan was stuck in Cheltenham trying to get out for over two hours. About half the people made it and six mad people (but very nice!) drove all the way from Norfolk and then back again just for the evening. I have to say they not only did well, but watching the owls fly with a bright moon on the crisp and cold snow, was particularly special, and as they were late arriving, not surprisingly, I gave them a short guided tour after the flying. It was a good last Owl Evening of the year and those who missed it are going to come to one of the ones we are going to run in February.

Monday it started to snow at about 12.45 so Holly left in case she could not get back, so did Angela as it gets much worse in the Forest. It carried on snowing until about 8.30pm and I know because we went carol singing in the snow, it was very Dickensian, and great fun, although a bit cold by the end of it.

I wanted to have a drinks party before Christmas but did not dare invite people until I knew that the heating oil had arrived because otherwise they would have frozen in the house, luckily the oil arrived, so we are safe and warm, the hay arrived for the horses, and I even managed to go shopping for food, although it was a good job that Jan came with me or I would have taken one look at the overly full car park and driven home again!!

Wednesday Mark and Adam with help from John, Zoe and Josh, and all the rest of us did the new (yet another replacement for something taken down) shelf perch on the eagle side of the indoor Hawk Walk, so that it is ready for the heating elements to be put on. It was great teamwork and we got finished just before dark, Mark and Adam finished off the finer points on Thursday morning. The only disappointing thing was that the snow at no time was any good for making a snowman, it is very fine and does not stick together, I guess because it is so cold.

Simon's Goshawk caught its first rabbit this week, not sure who had the larger grin, him or the Goshawk, although we were amazed last week when Simon admitted that his supper had been 18 chocolate penguins'!! That has to be a record, even Adam thought he would not manage that many!

My drinks party went well I think, at least everyone said they enjoyed it, although on reflection I guess it would be unlikely that they would have said they hadn't!! Anyway thanks to Nick Swan all the radiators worked, so the house was warm for a change (and only for that evening!) and I lit the fire in the sitting room as well as the wood burning stove in my office, so it was toasty warm in both rooms. I put the food in the dining room and the dogs were very good and did not steal any! It was lovely to see the house full of people, all the mulled wine went, I was even nice to the children who came, although we did throw them out in the snow for a short while! The Christmas tree looks lovely, the house looks lovely, oh and guess what, the Piano is fixed, no longer ivory, but plastic, but it looks so nice and its great to have it back, and it is tuned and I have a piece I want to learn on it.

All staff are off now until early January, although Simon insists on feeding the birds which is very nice of him, but I suspect it is because he wants to watch and see who is thinking about nesting. He said that Athena (Tawny Eagle) was sitting on the nest which is very good news. He and Joan are here most of the time, so I bump into them occasionally.

I have had a lovely Christmas so far I went to midnight mass last night, it was really deep and crisp, although not particularly even! It is lovely to sing carols, they are my favourites. The horses went out early into the field, they play in the snow! And the dogs and I went round the field, we ended up on the ice on the pond - it is ssssssssssoooooooo thick now. Alice and James Lowe invited me to Christmas lunch which was wonderful, although I may never have to eat again!! I still have to remove a splinter from my thumb, the only problem with this weather is that cuts don't heal, they just crack, and take much longer to get better. A very very merry Christmas to all. Oh and whoever sent me the Lily of the Valley stuff, thank you so much, but I have no idea who it was!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010
Hummmmmmmmm dilemma, do we run the owl evening this evening or not. The road here has traffic going up and down, if we do run it it will be very magical as we have about 1/2 an inch of snow on the ground and the flying will be amazing in the new lighting and snow! I think I will take a short drive and see what it is like and then decide. Its very beautiful outside and not as cold, although not exactly warm, a thinnish covering of snow on the ground and trees and hedges, very lovely to see, particularly from my office window! If there is no more snow we will go ahead with the owl evening.

The birds are coping, they seem settled, we have grounded more than usual and are flying just the bare minimum, and all the owls will be fed up after tonight and stay fat over Christmas, and then come back into work in the middle of January, ready for opening in February! The timber is here for the heated perches in the Indoor Hawk Walk, so they will start to go up on Monday. I had to buy two new deep freezers to have some back up of food in case the weather got like this for long, and they are now full, I have enough dog food until February, more hay is coming next week (by tractor so that should not be a problem) I have horse food, the only thing I seemed to have forgotten is human food, so there is no butter, bread, or much else, but there is loo paper and bubble bath, so that is OK!

We went through all the photos for the photo competition last week, all the runners up are on Facebook, so have a look, and you will see all the photos, which I have to say were lovely, it was very difficult to choose. If you don't know where to go Linda has put a link on the Links page of our website, that will take you there. Of course I can't get on because as usual I have forgotten how to! Oh and I think on the entry form it said that there would be a 2011 calendar, that will be a 2012 calendar as we would not have been able to get the 2011 done in time. The winners will be contacted next week. And have a look at the advent calendar today (18th) its Holly's Birthday and Linda has put up a surprise picture for her!

I was hoping to go out for a ride today as Joan is here for a stay and we could have gone out together, however that is out of the window with the snow, the roads are not good for horses with iron shoes, and it is not fair on the drivers either. So it will be a walk with the dogs, a walk with the Goshawk, and an Owl Evening! Talking of which the dogs go down to the cafe so that we don't have to clear up the floor, however last night they were all put back in the house except for Rush who was missing, I said not to worry I would look for him after the flying and everyone had gone, because he would be around, well could we find him, Jan and Holly refused to go, Adam was out looking we looked everywhere and finally after Jan and I were off the site and walking round the fields next door, he was found shut in Charlies Room, looking very sheepish. Dogs who would have 'em!
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Well the cold has gone for a couple of days, it has been pleasant not to have to wrap up like a michelin man for a while, although the day before yesterday the morning was a white frost again, its due back any minute now, if we can just get away with no snow for the last two Owl Evenings, I will be pleased. The ones over the weekend went fine, all lights worked, all owls worked and the dogs did a lovely job on the floor keeping it clean of bits of roast pork!

I managed to borrow a trailer from a good friend on Saturday and went and collected Dante, who was ready to come home, I had ridden him the day before at the Riding School and so was a little more confident. He loads so well, he is very good and Henry was delighted to see him back. John and Josh came for the day and gave all the birds baths, it was the first time they have been able to bath safely for about two weeks. I did have someone ask what we did about the water and I pointed out that unless the local wild birds could find running water, which I had none of that I knew around here, they were stuck with ice. We leave our baths frozen because I don't want the birds to bath in this extreme weather and as it was after the Saturday Owl Evening we had to collect up Gypsy King and keep him in over night as he was soaked and on the ground.

On Sunday I rode Dante out, I was very pleased, he was good as gold, and I then took Henry out who was also good, but fractionally less so, I rode Dante again on Monday and he is really amazing for a four year old. He will come on I hope as we get to know one another better. They play first thing after their breakfast and run around and rear and generally make a horrible mess of the field, but it is good to have them both together again.

My Christmas tree has made it into the house today, but that is about it, the rest of the day went haywire and I did not get half the things done that I meant to. We did manage to move the owls around in the Owl Courtyard though. They are all where I want them and the Tawny Owls are now moved up, so they should have a better time and not get terrorised by the wild Tawny Owls that live in the Leylandii hedge behind the Small Falcon block. And hopefully they will breed this year.

I sent off all my Christmas cards on Monday, so hopefully most will get there before Christmas, although I suspect that the foreign ones will be late, however its a dual purpose one, with photos on both sides, so it will be in time for the New Year!

The new Christmas Shop button is working well and the idea now is that even if people buy a present on Christmas Eve we will email them or the recipient a nice document stating that they have a present of a special day (or whatever it is) and it is in the post to them! That way people don't have to worry about it not getting there in time. Give is a go if you are stuck for ideas!!

Took my Goshawk for a walk with the dogs today, he was busy eating the front leg of a rabbit, and so was not worried, he is very good particularly as I have not spent that much time with him. The dogs were good too. Henry was good when I took him out today, its Dante's turn tomorrow, I am hoping to get the others to come and ride on occasion as it would be nice to get them out together.


Today you have most definitely been able to smell snow coming, its very odd it has a particular smell, very fresh and cold and something else, - snow I guess!
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Yesterday was even more beautiful and even more bitterly cold, the haw frost had increased over night until every blade, every leaf, every tiny twig and all the cobwebs were blanketed in sharp white crystals of frost. We have covered over half the aviaries now with builders plastic sheeting and it is helping. We are still working on the heated perches and they are coming on and we are managing to keep things going. My staff are wonderful as they continue on in the freezing cold and get things done. The food drawers are well over half way in the aviaries, so my target of Christmas looks like being met. They did deviate yesterday because we made two more bird tables, one for outside the shop and one for my courtyard, the small birds are really suffering in this and we all wanted to help. So now there are three feeding tables and several of those plastic feeders. We will be disinfecting all of them once a week as that is really important for the health of the wild bird populations.

We had no water in the flat over the shop, or in the clinic to start the day yesterday, so Holly and I managed to thaw it out and get things moving again. We have had no water at the stables since Saturday, and as I was taking buckets down for Henry I must have spilt some, because I realised that after mucking out his stable, my skirt felt stiff - the water had hit my skirt and it was frozen solid!! Interesting!

The place does look lovely, half the frost has gone - it is a balmy -4 today, much warmer than yesterday. The insane thing was that on Saturday night after the Owl Evening, Simon, Adam and I were finishing up and we all said 'isn't is warm, much better!!' and as Simon looked at his temperature gauge, it was three degrees!! That is not exactly warm, but it certainly felt better! We are due for a thaw at the weekend, I hope we have no burst pipes, its a shame that thaws come at the weekends because it is always more expensive for everyone.

Oh I saw a new Andrex advert last night - no real puppy!! What is with that - animated Labrador Puppies - yuck! And as for the Coca Cola advert, one does wonder if any of these large companies have actually got the brains to understand about their carbon footprint. The amount of lights and electricity they show being used in their adverts is criminal and totally irresponsible.

I went out for a short trip and bought a Christmas tree yesterday afternoon, completely forgetting that a photographer was coming to take my photo for a portrait in Cotswold Life Magazine, (of course it may have been a mental slip because I loath having my photo taken, I always look god awful). And yes I got a real tree, and yes it is good for the environment, they turn into compost at the end of their time, and while growing they provide an environment for wildlife and produce oxygen, so don't get a fake one, they are very bad for the environment and only produce waste that takes 20 years to break down - if ever. The background for the photo is beautiful though, our curly hazels covered in haw frost.

We had a beautiful juvenile Merlin brought in yesterday, it seemed OK, but quiet, however this morning it was not looking well, and very sadly died, we don't know why as yet. John was here yesterday and today, and so with him and Dick and all the staff minus Robin who is not well, plus Neil and Anabel, we got four of the owl aviaries in the Owl Courtyard re meshed with Zoo Mesh, they look very good in comparison to the other side. But I was very disappointed to see that the people who make it in the US had patched it in several places. I think that is very very poor, so Hey you Guys, we don't do that sort of thing over here and sell it to people, it is not good enough. We can't do the other side as two of the pairs of owls have laid eggs!! So we start again with the breeding season far too early.
Footnote: I had to go onto the birds of prey center website in Awendaw SC yesterday as I could not remember the address and I needed it for some records, it was interesting to see as usual they are using Linda Wrights photos - AGAIN - without permission, when they have been asked more than once not to do so, you would think that by now they would have some decent photos of their own, but I guess not!
Monday, 6 December 2010
I have the nicest smelling soap, it is Lily of the Valley, which is absolutely my favourite and one of my favourite flowers as well. In fact I want them at my funeral, so I had better die at the right time of the year, which is going to be tricky as I also want carols, hummmmm there is a dilemma!!

Beautiful and Bitter would describe today, it has been bitingly cold, mind and knee numbingly cold, with fog and a haw frost. The haw frost has been interesting, it is white spikes of frost on everything, grass, plants, trees, fences, the lot, and over the day the spikes have grown. At coffee time (10.00 am) there was about an eighth of an inch of everything and Holly and I took photos. By lunchtime, it was longer and now (it is dark) some of the white and frozen spikes of frost are nearly half an inch long.

Prototype number 2 is now in the Indoor Hawk Walk, and sure as hell today is a test as it was - 7 outside for most of today!! The hot spots have risen to 25 C, and the cooler spots, barely feelable heat, so Richard came over, he also very very kindly stopped off at Robin's in Ludlow to collect more fuel for the pellet burning heater in the Education Room, which was amazing of him as I was dreading the drive over there. He has put the heated perch, prototype 2 on a better power supply and we will see how it does over night. If it holds, we go into production. Everyone, staff and volunteers alike have been amazing in this cold, they have got the front of Barn 3 including the secretary birds covered with plastic and today the King Vulture and Turkey Vulture, who were looking miserable in the cold. The feed trays are in Barn 2, Barn 3, the small falcons and owls, both moulting aviaries, with more to come, I think we will get it done before Christmas, which is amazing considering what we are having to deal with in the weather.

Actually it is better to stay outside in this cold, I find that if I have to go in and do stuff inside, going out is tough and it takes about half an hour before your body temperature starts to cope with the cold. I have to thank Jon from LA zoo, he left his gloves behind - and they are great - not a chance of getting them back Jon!! Sorry about that! possession being 9/10ths of the law and all that! I have never had such warm hands before.

Henry is so good, he is missing Dante who is not back yet, the frozen ground is causing us problems, so I mucked him out this afternoon, he goes out in the morning, and I left the gate open for him. When I went down after dark to get him in, groom and re rug him and feed him, he was standing in the stable with the door wide open waiting for me, he is a love. Dante is well and I hope to go over and ride him soon, Sunday did not work out.

Mozart is in again, he does not love it, but I dread to think what the temperature is going to drop to tonight. The tethered birds seem OK and the falcons and juvenile Harris Hawks are in the heated room. I wonder how many people will have huge problems with their birds because they do not recognise the dangers of this extreme cold.

I was invited to a drinks party last night and amazingly I went, I tidied up, and changed and got in my land rover and drove round the lanes to my neighbours, it was a christening party. I managed half an hour and then as more and more people arrived, 90% of whom I did not know, I chickened out and quietly departed. The drive home, which was only minutes, was magical, partly because I will never stop appreciating being home again and partly because as I drove, very slowly and carefully, because it was treacherous, the lights of the landrover caught the frost and icy road and turned it into a ribbon of tiny diamonds glistening until the lights faded in the distance.

This December we creep forward on a weekly basis, getting jobs done and dealing with the weather, but we are getting there and its satisfying to see the changes regardless of what is thrown at us, although I have to say, I will not be sorry to see the back of this cold, it is hard on our birds, so imagine what it is like for wild birds.
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Prototype number 2 on the heated perch task seems to be working so far, we are reaching temperatures of 35 on the hot spots, but that is indoors, the test will be when we put it into the indoor Hawk Walk and see if it can hold reasonable temperatures there, which I hope we will do tomorrow, although it will depend on who I can catch to help me move it as it is bloody heavy!! We are now on closed hours and so apart from Simon who insists on feeding round in the mornings, everyone is off over the weekend, apart from one of them coming in to help with the Owl evening on Saturday.

The one we had last night was amazing, it was very cold with a bitter wind, so once we had done the two guided tours Holly and I were more than ready to warm up in the cafe. We did the indoor flying in Charlie's room because we are using the Education room to keep tethered birds warm. The Bio Tekno Air heater made by Vanertekno of Sweden is doing a stunning job warming the whole room, and we have had to turn it right down so its not too warm in there for the birds! However it does mean that the public can't go in there for the indoor part of the owl flying. It is going to be a squeeze in Charlie's room tonight!! After than we went out into the lit up field and it was snowing!! It had been snowing for about 15 minutes and it looked absolutely amazing in the columns of light coming from the ground all around the flying area, it was just magical. The owls were not sure about the snow, I think because the flakes were so big and they were huge, it made visibility for them difficult, however Holly and I managed to get all three to work, and we kept it short because you could see the guests were worried about the drive home. I saw them all out, sent Holly home and then went to finish off outside. I have to say the snow was slightly less magical when trying to unscrew the electrics and put them away out of the wet in a blizzard!! However it all got done, I checked round, turned off all lights and locked up and then took the dogs round the field and checked on Henry before going in for a hot chocolate!

I had been a little concerned about Mozart in the cold so I went out again at about midnight and he was not looking that happy, so I brought him in, which made me feel better. I am so very glad that all my aviaries are fully rooved over, I know I say this time and time again, but I really feel for all those birds in open and exposed aviaries in this sort of weather. Once we put the plastic up on the north and east facing aviaries they are really very cosy, and no one is wet, which they would have been today as it has been warmer but raining. And that is dangerous for the birds if they are wet and then it freezes.

I had my first peaceful day for a very long time, I even watched a movie! The dogs are not pleased it is December as they have less to do in the day at the weekends, but I had a wonderful time, apart from all the phone calls wanting to know if the Owl Evening is on tonight!! Tomorrow I think I am going over to ride Dante, and then if all goes well I hope he will come home as Henry is lonely without him. Although I was not to pleased with Henry, he was only home about two hours before losing a damn shoe!
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
I have had such fun this evening, its been very cold and I mean very cold over the last few days, the snow that came a couple of days ago, only about 3/4 of an inch is still here, I love the crunchy noise it makes when you walk on it. We have been very worried about the birds, particularly now we have a freezing north wind, and so we have put up plastic sheets over all the north facing enclosures. It makes a huge difference inside, I went into Delectable's enclosure and Hemp's, and the temperature difference is amazing, so we are going to do more tomorrow.

Richard has been working very hard on the heated perches, we tried one system with a mat that is supposed to heat floors, but it was not man enough for the job. So now we have cable that Anabelle has laid down to strict guidelines (!) on a four metre bench made by Adam and Mark, Tom made the first one! Now we are going to do a couple of other things to it and then plug it in and see if it give us the temperature we want for the tethered birds. If it does we go into production.

I seem to be spending money all the time at the moment, which is a little scary. I have had to order two new deep freezers, which seems a little odd in this cold, but we don't have enough space for back up food supplies if the snow increases. I also had to order a new oil tank because getting oil in time for heating is increasingly difficult and we were down to the last dregs over the last two days - Cold weather is expensive! We had one pipe burst in the stables and I caught that one, although not before we had an ice slick on the concrete, why the people who had this place for four years put down concrete instead of the perfectly good gravel yard I will never understand, in this weather it is lethal.

The birds seem to be coping, we are closed now and have grounded all those that would be vulnerable to this unusually cold weather, but the others are flying really well. Although it is not much fun flying them in the field!! The pond is full, completely, thanks to the mains leak in the field opposite. However the down side of telling the water board that they had a leak is that we ended up with no water for about 15 hours!! That wonderful saying I learnt on my first trip to Africa came into play with the loos. 'If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown, flush it down!!' A wonderful saying and very apt at times like these.

Henry is coming back on Friday, a little before I expected him, but his stable is ready, and Dante will be back the following day I expect.

I seem to have a huge number of appointments this month, I hope I can find the time to get some writing done as well.

But to go back to this evening, there were a few people in the village I needed to invite to an Owl Evening. So I hopped into my Landrover and drove up the snowy road in a crystal clear night in December, what could be more wintery and Christmassy. My first call was some
people I did not know well, but whom had supported the Centre, they were in and so I invited them to come, and I hope they will, I was given a glass of wine and a Corsican Beer to take home and try. Next call was up the hill and through the snow which was starting to fall, to a friend who used to do my accounts, as I walked up to his house with Christmas lights in the trees, he arrived home and I was invited in for a glass of wine! I invited them to come and after a chat left for my last port of call. This was to a house I have known since 1966, and now belongs to the son of the old old friend who lived there, it was lovely to go there again and good to see John and his wife. So a Sherry later and an invite from me and a bottle of wine to take home, I drove the Landrover down the track towards home, with crisp air, snow on the ground, and the right feeling for the time of year and a grin on my face, it is so very good to be home.

Hello

I have to say that keeping a weblog can at times become compulsive and at other times a chore. Sometimes I am berrated for not keeping it up and sometimes I get wonderful comments from people who follow the news of the Centre.

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

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHZGQ8i8AwI

HC

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