Sunday, 28 September 2008

The Brave Few

Yesterday we paid a visit here. We only live about 10 minutes away and last visited about 20 years ago.

It is a sad place, a place of loss and memories and death. Taken at face value it is a huge collection of war time memorabilia housed in the original buildings that date from the period. 40's music plays gaily in the background whilst you wander around the exhibits.
A marvellous record of the past you might think, but each mangled engine, each shattered propeller, each bullet hole in the fuselage represents the loss of a young man's life. And they were young. Story after story relates the downing of the various aircraft on show and the name and age of the pilot. Most were between the age of 19 and 24 with only a few months of training behind them before they were expected to take to the skies.
Imagine that... they weren't even old enough to vote (21), yet they were old enough to die a horrendous death and be proud of be labelled a "hero"! One comparisson made by today's standards was to imagine passing your driving test and then being put behind the wheel of a grand prix racing car and told to get on with it! Imagine your own son, husband or brother. (My brother at 19 couldn't even get out of bed, but that's another story!)

I found it a very sobering experience and of course your thoughts turn to the soldiers that are fighting right now, this minute, somewhere far, far least back then they were fighting for King and Country, our Country.......

Dev X

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Tales from the Fairy Glade

Are you sitting comfortably, then I will tell a couple of tales. There is a family that live in a small cottage, on a country lane surrounded by woodland. They live a simple life growing their own food and keep a few hens. Does this sound like anyone you know..well it is me actually. Living as we do in the country we are invariably visited by the local wildlife. Since getting the hens we have attracted the attention of the local fox population who have put young, tender chicken on their menu. We have lost 3 birds and have disturbed Mr Fox on several occassions thus averting more attacks. On one sorte he actually had Marmaduke in his mouth. A bonk on the head with a broom was enough to make him run for is life and saved our handsome man bird.


It is hard because we are sharing their environment, (note that I say we are sharing their habitat and not the other way round). I firmly believe that they have as much right to be there as we have. It is just such a shame that we are at odds with each other because they are beautiful animals. At great expense we have now installed an electric fence which, fingers crossed, seems to be working and the foxes have kept a low profile. That is until yesterday at breakfast. As I sat there at the table eating a fresh laid egg I was aware of movement out of the corner of my eye. There in the corner by the chalk pile was a fox sitting there looking at me looking at him. Within a few seconds he was joined by another one who sat beside him and looked at me looking at them! It was one of those special moments in time and would have made a smashing photo if I could have gone out without disturbing them. They seemed perfectly at ease and on checking later it looks like they have dug out a bit of earth and made themselves a little den.

Several days later I did manage to take this rather poor photo whilst Mr/Mrs Fox was asleep. Couldn't get close enough but he is the brown blob in the middle of the picture!

The second tale involves a collared dove having a bath in a rut in the lane that was full of rain water. As I approached in the car, I slowed down and assumed that said bird would jump out of the you do! Well, not in this instance. She cocked her head to one side and stared me in the eye. Literally stared me in the eye, and in my head I could hear her say; "just you wait a minute whilst I finish my bath", and so I did. I sat and I sat and she splashed and preened and splashed somemore. She eventually jumped out, shook her bottom at me and then flew into the hedgerow, and that was that! So wish that I had got my camera with me. Good job it was a country lane with only little old silly me at the wheel. There are those who would have driven over her and the some who go so fast that they probably wouldn't have even seen her!

A bit of help please, I note that when I click onto photos that I place in my blog, they do not come up on a seperate screen like those on other blogs. Can anyone advise what I am doing wrong. In the case of the fox piccy, if you could click on and then enlarge the photo you would see the fox more clearly. Dev X

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Weekend Weather

There is a definite chill in the air now, especially first thing in the morning before the sun rises over the hills and early evening when it disappears behind them again. I woke up yesterday to a fine mist laying in the valley that shrouded out my surroundings, making them invisible. The sun was pale and watery and lacked any real warmth initially.

All was calm and still. The sun rose higher in the sky chasing the damp curtain away to reveal a bright blue sky the colour of cornflowers. Small pockets tried to resisted the suns rays but to no avail, and by 9 am there was no doubt that it was going to be a beautiful day. The lawn glittered like a crystal carpet and the flowers and shrubs were decorated in equal splendour.

A truly beautiful autumn day. Hope you all had a lovely weekend too. Dev X

Monday, 1 September 2008

Nature's Harvest

Lets me talk you all for a walk around the lanes where I live. It 's a cold blustery day, (no change there then!), the sky is leaden and full of huge angry clouds blowing across the landscape below. The wind rushes through the trees making it impossible to hear anything else. No bird song, no traffic on the distant valley roads, nothing but the wind. There is rain in the air as always and that faint metallic tang that forewarns the approaching thunder.

The fields are barren now, their harvest gathered between the storms. We have had a rare, dry and fine weekend and the combine harvesters have been working until midnight. Their steady drone could be heard and the occassional headlight glimpsed through the hedgerows and on the dark hills above the valley.

There is beauty everywhere you look and the hedgerows have some of the finest jewels on display.

I once read somewhere that the more berries there are on the trees, then the harder the approaching winter is going to be...not sure if that is just an old wives tale... but there sure are some heavy crops out there.

Tonight we will light a fire and draw the curtain for the first time in ages. The wind is on the increase and the rain is coming down fast, but inside all will be warm and cozy and a hot chocolate is top of the list, along with my book as mentioned in my last post. I have a lovely new notebook and pink pen and I can feel a few lists coming on. Dev X