There’s a pheasant in my garden

pheaasant 2Walked out to fill the bird table earlier today and nearly had a heart attack when something relatively big and fast ran into the bushes. I was just in time to see the streak of brown and the long tail. It was a female pheasant. I don’t know what she was doing in our garden, but I threw down some seeds for her. She was really shy and flew off when I tried to take a pic so I’ve had to borrow a pic of what she looked like from the web.

We get quite a lot of different types of birds in our garden. Apart from the usual crows, rooks, the odd gull, blackbirds, tits, finches and robins, we also see the odd bird of prey, ducks (in the stream running down the back of the garden) and herons. More recently, what we think was a peregrine falcon used our back fence as a resting place.

falconIt’s really nice. We’ve also had hedgehogs, neighbours’ cats, our guinea pigs and the odd feral child in the garden too!!

Anyway, how’s your week been? Busy getting ready for the festive season no doubt!! I’ve been the same. I’ve been finishing a lot of projects up for work and also completing various home-made gifts. I haven’t taken pics of them yet (apart from the bears and the hat), but I’ll do that before I give them. So there’s been a fair bit of knitting and sewing going on. I’ve also been getting food etc in for Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I hate Christmas shopping…it’s always too busy, too hot and too full of very rude people. I do most of my shopping online and in October!

This week has been interesting weather wise. We were hit by what the press are calling the ‘weather bomb’ earlier on in the week. That meant we had everything the weather could throw at us: heavy rain, very strong winds, hail, sleet, thunder and lightening (a new one for me – I’ve never known it to do that in winter), low temperatures, ice and sun. Thankfully it’s died down and it’s just very cold and icy here. Makes me glad we’ve got a cosy warm house to go into. We’re lucky.

I’ve had one of those weeks where I’ve been forgetting a lot of things. I think it’s because we all have a cold and it’s making my head a bit woolly.

Went to the boy’s nativity during the week. He was one of the singers being one of the older children. The actual nativity play was called Baubles and was a take on the Christmas story. It was enacted by the Primary 1 pupils who were all incredibly cute and very good. All of us parents, grandparents and carers really enjoyed it. Well done P1-3. You all did very well.

Next week the girl is doing a carol concert, so I’m looking forward to that. I like attending these, it really starts off Christmas for me.

Anyway, I’m off to have a little read of my book – Elizabeth Hunter’s  A Fall of Water – before I start dinner.

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

My 100th post

From one of my first posts…she’s a Golden Eagle. What a beautiful bird!

I can’t believe I’ve written 99 posts already on this blog. It seems like yesterday that I decided to just go for it and write about stuff. You see I had a blog before and I thought because I am a writer that all I could write about was writing. I soon dried up because there’s only so many things you can say about writing before it all starts to get all very samey and boring. So I lost interest in the blog and I stopped writing it. Then I decided I wanted to change the look of the blog – it was grey and depressing (not my idea for the design) and I really didn’t like it. Unfortunately, I was unable to change the look and unable to get into the blog after a while. So that’s why when I decided to finally just write about anything that took my fancy I started up this blog.

This is him looking cute. I’ve chased him away from that patched hole about four times during the time I’ve been writing this. Wee besom!

Hold on…Sam the Guinnea Pig is chewing a hole in his playpen. That’s better. Have stopped him nibbling. He’s basically nibbling on the Duct tape I use to cover up the hole the bad rabbit Albert chewed in the playpen (which is one of those pop up ones) when he stayed here this year. The GPs have been doing  a bit of scrabbling under newspaper lately. They seem to love sitting under it and chewing on the pages. I use the newspaper on the bottom of their cage and the playpen…it makes cleaning up a bit easier. Often it looks like they have escaped as they have flattened themselves underneath a page.

Anyway, here I am on my hundredth blog with not much to tell you. I managed to finish the cardigan I was knitting and it actually fits and looks great on. I am really pleased with it, although I haven’t managed to take a pic of it  yet. Maybe I will wear it on Saturday on my first day on a mindfulness course I’m doing in Glasgow. Am really looking forward to it. I don’t really know what to expect, but I think I’ll enjoy it anyway. Am going with my friend Tracy so we’ll have a laugh if nothing else en route there and back! This is the first weekend of a four-weekend course.

Just finished Mark Boyle’s The Moneyless Man which I found really interesting. I agree with him on a lot of counts particularly when he talks about how  a lot of people are so caught up with being consumers and the dreadful waste there is in this world of things like food and clothing. Don’t get me wrong, we do buy new stuff, but only stuff we need. I have never been one to keep up with fashions, so buying the latest look never crosses my mind. I buy clothes I need and I keep them until I absolutely can’t wear them any more. Then they are cut up for toys or quilts or stuff for the kids, buttons are saved in my button jar or they are placed in the charity bins. It kills me to throw away clothes. It kills me to waste food and I do my utmost to not do this. Sometimes I have to chuck something out (like the soft cheese in my fridge today), but I do my absolute best not to. Anyway, while I don’t want to live without money, I think he has a point – as a race we need to stop being so wasteful and destructive…it’s unsustainable and we’re already ‘reaping the rewards’ of our total disregard for the Earth in the form of earthquakes, floods, drought and horrendous weather. And let’s not forget the mess the banking world has gotten us all into thanks to greed.

Anyway, I really hadn’t intended to use this 100th post as a rant and a rant it’s turned into. Sigh.

I also finished The Family Fang. I didn’t think it was hilarious and I kept waiting for it to become funny. There are some bits that are faintly amusing, but that’s all. I found it quite sad actually. I couldn’t believe parents could so totally disregard the feelings of their children in the way Camille and Caleb do. I feel about it the same as I do the book about Tracey Beaker…sad and disgusted about the neglect her mother  shows her. Am not sure I would read either again although I did find myself enjoying both books. Hmmm.

Am re-reading a biography of Charles Dickens again. Okay so he wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t always the jovial papa he’s made out to be, but he’s a fantastic writer and this book is really inspiring.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings about books…much as I love them…I will finish this with a quote Mark Boyle uses as inspiration (it’s from Ghandi) – Be the change you want to see.

Dawn xx

PS did anyone see Gary, Tank Commander the other night? Now that’s funny.

I just had to show you these…

Okay, so these were taken way last year, but I’ve been dying to show them on a website or blog. This is me following a hunting expedition with a Harris Hawk near Loch Lomond. My lovely hubby bought a hunting session for me as a birthday pressie because he knows I love raptors so much. The pics are of me with Orla the Golden Eagle and Mozart the European Eagle Owl (who appears briefly in DarkIsle: Resurrection – which is OUT NOW!!). I just loved them. Orla was magnificent, really beautiful. Mozart was a wee honey, very cuddly. If you want to see them both, they are at the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre, Loch Lomond. It was enthusiasts from the centre who took me out hunting. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re looking at it from the rabbits’ points of view!), we didn’t catch anything, but I had a fab time anyway.

Dawn xxx