About Me

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An itinerant observer and thinker about life in general, sharing some moments of wandering and wonderment.

Sunday, 28 July 2013


I don't know what it is about me, but I seem to be someone who looks after folks pets when they are on holiday, namely chickens and rabbits. Yes even here up in the Fens.
<<< This rather camera shy rabbit is called Toffee, due to its rather gorgeous colouring. The daft dog has a soft spot for rabbits and the two of them have become quite pally, sniffing nose to nose when I feed it morning and night and  then there are the lovely chooks, one rooster & three ladies that lay.
They are all named after herbs which is rather fun. Being bantams their eggs are small but just the right size to go into a fresh bacon and egg sandwich (guess what I have for breakfast) the eggs were still warm this morning before they got hot in the frying pan. Very tasty!
Also spot the dovecote that houses about thirty white doves which fly over the garden in a small cloud and can be clearly heard joining in with the wild birds in the earlier hours of the morning, adding their song to the dawn chorus. Of course, small as he is, the rooster likes to prove how loud a voice he has to add to the morning musicality. Little show off!
Then just this afternoon going to a local artists "Open Studio Day" I came across this tiny, leapy frog on the Village Green.
<<< It really did not want to be photographed and it took me several patient attempts to get just this one semi decent  photo. Also on the village Green there was a bring a picnic and wait for this ... "Duck Race Day". Now as followers of my blog will know, the mad mutt made friends with the old call ducks, but this new lot just don't want to know. As it was so hot, we headed home and got on with other things such as getting a water butt ready for the rain that was forecast this afternoon. The skies certainly turned dark and gloomy for a short time ...
a few spots of wetness fell as the dark clouds almost raced overhead, probably moving faster than the ducks on the village pond! The washing on the line survived being rinsed yet again and the rest of the afternoon and evening remained delightfully dry. Around the "gone to seed leeks" the bees were busy gathering the last tasty morsels of pollen before the beautiful globe shaped seeding heads turned into seeds (for next years leeks maybe) ??
Yes ... moving thoughts. I am seriously considering moving up here. Much to my own surprise I have realised that (despite the flat landscape) I really do enjoy being here.
There is a diversity of nature that is wider than that I am used to in Wales and back home, I certainly don't get Muntjac & Roe deer barking in the twilight. The bird life here is just wonderful, watching all the different species come in to gorge on the many feeders here is a daily pleasure and I have made new and long lasting friendships here in arable country.
I also have to consider the future and with arthritis, a deteriorating spine on top of other medical ailments I need to think more sensibly about my long term future. I know I will dearly miss Wales and it's mountain farmers as well as the many happy years I have spent there, it is a tough call and not a decision lightly made. But just to balance the equation, there are local cattle and sheep farmers. Who knows what path the future takes, but just like my folks who loved rugged, at times barren terrain .I too have changed my attitude about the fenland landscape, it's all very appealing, so folks out there, watch this space!

Saturday, 27 July 2013


Today started as have most days over the last few weeks, sun shiny, bright and very hot. The kind of weather, sunflowers love! When I was last up here for the first few months of the year, I wrote about how flooded the local arable fields were and the desperation of farmers unable to get tractors onto muddy, sludgy waterlogged ground. How very different that all seems five months on. Now, almost desperate for rain, local farmers have been irrigating their fields. So luckily, the winter/spring weather has topped up the reservoirs and just as I write this post the rain has started again and it sounds loud on the window panes. The good news is that I don't have to water all the pots in the garden but elsewhere, no doubt the earth has been dry as a bone ... not good in this hot summer weather! The great watering can in the sky has almost so far, failed us until tonight.
When I took the mad mutt out for a late afternoon walk today, I was surprised at just how cracked and parched the arable land has become despite some brief periods of rain during the last few weeks, and yet I have witnessed the water sprayers on potato fields!
Everywhere I looked there has been that contrast between green and gold (hence the title for this post) all too soon the arable crops will be harvested in and ploughing for next years rotational crop will begin again, earlier on this year they were harvesting beet here.

The apple trees here are ripening fast,the first being the cider apple tree ... already sweet enough to eat. I wish I knew how to make cider! Yummy (home made) scrumptious! So ... as I look around at the landscape here all I can see is green and gold under ever changing skies. I can hear the rain on the window panes, a welcome sound after the long hot days of drought. During our late afternoon walk I witnessed fissure type cracks in the soil, not a good sign, hopefully tonight's rain will ease the current situation and the fields now dry will drink their fill. 

Yes, the last few cornfield poppies were still in bloom and it reminded me of those that I have lost when I served in the RAF and of course of my Dad who did his national service in the RNVR. I miss him so much. He loved my blog because it helped him to understand my life back in Wales, though (typical proof reader) he often emailed me regards spelling mistakes, for which I was grateful. I missed him lots today, he loved seeing my photographs on the computer when he was too ill to walk anywhere and it was my way of sharing the Fenland scenes that he loved so much.
So, these green and gold photo's are for Dad ... 

He had a heart of gold and also as a keen environmentalist he cared about the countryside. Something that he and my mother instilled in me from a very early age and for which I will be eternally grateful. I also miss my mother who would as an illustrator of fungi, have loved to have seen this on an old apple tree in the mini orchard here ...
a beautifully formed, almost perfectly formed bracket  fungus which I have as yet to try and identify. I'm not that good on my mycological knowledge and I miss her expertise.
 Much as I love Wales, it has been lovely to be up here in the summer months and to see the fenland under different skies, with arable fields ripening in the summer sunshine. Taking the dog out has given me a break from sorting out this place and I have loved hearing both Roe & Muntjac deer calling in the twilight as well as owls hunting in the dim glimmer of hot summer evenings. I have fallen in love with the Fenland landscape despite still yearning for the hill farming community that I have had to leave behind me, all be it temporarily. New days, new challenges and many, many happy memories! Let us wait and see what the future has in store, but here's to both my parents and the crazy pathing path we have travelled in our lifetimes. It has been interesting to be up here during the summer months to see the Fens in a different light and  to have made so many new friends.
Here's to the future, whatever path it leads me.