23 January 2014

Titbits... birds and motoring

January will soon be over, can you believe it? Does time fly for you or does it drag? A week or so ago a couple of blue tits took over the nesting box. It’s fun to watch them checking things out and fighting off any other blue tit showing signs of being attracted to their accommodation. Apart from one year when bees took over the box the blue tits always nest here. Remembering the expression coming home to roost made me wonder if they were indeed the babies who were born here. Is anyone familiar with the behaviour of birds?

Our resident robin has become very vocal. He has started to greet me each morning when I collect the milk from the front doorstep. I always bid him Good Morning but our conversation doesn’t go any further than that! I’ve tried, believe me, so much so I reckon the neighbours think they’ve got a potty woman in their midst. Robin still greets us when we top up the feeders in the back garden but I guess it will take time for him to trust me completely.

Sad news is that our favourite blackbird has disappeared; he’s the one recognisable by a damaged wing. Fortunately it never stopped him flying or bathing and as blackbirds go he was quite friendly. Now he has gone....sob. After seeing him around for something like three years, we miss him. If he’s been taken to the garden in the sky, I hope he met up with his own kind.  

I wish someone would pass a law solely for pedestrians who seem to think they’ve got the right to walk in the path of cars, especially on car parks. We not only have to manoeuvre our vehicles in tight spaces, we have to dodge the people who saunter in and out without checking to see if a car approaches. Maybe they think they have more rights than motorised vehicles. And what about those with fully laden trolleys? They are so busy trying to control them they completely ignore safety rules. I swear there will be a dire accident one day.

Looking out of the window right now, you wouldn’t believe it was still January. The sun is brilliant; it makes the winter-bare garden look lovely. Snow has so far avoided us but there has been a fair amount of rain, causing floods in some areas. Fortunately we live on a hill so flooding doesn’t affect us. However, folk do have to contend with early morning sunlight when the sun is low in the sky. This is not normally a problem unless you’re five foot two with eyes of blue which means the sun glares below the visor and is thoroughly blinding.

No amount of fancy visors will block that dazzling glare and believe me I’ve tried a few. Right now I have extended visors that can be adjusted by a fingertip when I change direction. Very good, except they come in ‘shaded brown’ which distorts sunlight even more. I feel a bit of a fool driving whilst peering through the visor, trying to make out what the guy in front is doing. I push the visor up and down (according to external visibility) so often it’s a wonder I don’t let go of the steering wheel. If by any chance you don’t hear from me for a while ... it could be that the sun (or something) eventually got to me! I’d better go and eat some dinner while I can. It’s Lancashire Hotpot, in case you’re wondering!


  1. Well time is definitely flying for me, in fact it's a bit scary! The weather here yesterday and the day before was glorious, not so today we've had sleet!! I'm so looking forward to Spring, I'm not a Winter person at all.

  2. I always enjoy reading your posts Valerie. And set me out a plate would you? That Lancashire Hotpot looks lovely!

  3. All about the Birds and the Bees at our house!

  4. mmm the hotpot looks good....
    its freezing here, we are in the arctic vortex again....sorry your birds gone missing too, that is sad

  5. Good morning Valerie!

    Yes, can you believe how fast January flew by? I was just talking about that with one of my relatives on the phone last night.

    " I always bid him Good Morning but our conversation doesn’t go any further than that! I’ve tried, believe me, so much so I reckon the neighbours think they’ve got a potty woman in their midst."

    HA! I do the same thing with the squirrels - I talk to them! And they never answer me back either, they just flick their tails. I suppose that's their way of talking?

    It's freezing here. And we just got hit with a TON of snow. The sun is out and shining though.

    Hey, that Lancashire Hotpot looks so YUMMY!

    Have a super Thursday, Valerie!


  6. The older I get, the faster the time flies by. Yesterday I was 36 - today I'm 66! I know what you means about pedestrians, it's a wonder some of them survive. Oh, and your dinner looks lovely! What all is in it?

  7. I agree with you on pedestrians. And being a pedestrian, driver and cyclist myself I realise that all these three groups need to start talking to each other. :-)

    January. When I got my February copy of Prospect last night I knew that the first month of the year was gone. Time flies.

    Greetings from London.

  8. Oooh Pearl, please, please keep the sleet at your end of the country.

    Sorry to hear about the arctic vortex, Brian. Hopefully we'll soon be boasting about good weather.

  9. Ron, I had a feeling you talked to the squirrels. Still, that's better than talking to the trees (remember that song?)

  10. Mona, the hotpot consisted of beef and an assortment of vegetables.

  11. Cuban, you are brave cycling in London. I couldn't cope on a bike in all that traffic.

  12. Wow, I don't know how you can drive at all if the visor doesn't shade your eyes. Sometimes when I'm driving right into the sun I really can't see a thing till I put the visor down.

  13. tell what's in the hotpot! You know how I love to cook Val. Looks like spuds and some other goodies, in the photo.

    I can so relate to the annoyance of pedestrians when driving although I haven't driven a car for a few years now (our green initiative when we moved here to bc!) But I do remember how silly some people were, not even looking as they stepped off the curb, wearing hoodies to obstruct any clear view of cars coming..etc, what a pain. It's definitely NOT always the drivers fault, when these kinds of accidents happen. So many probably could have been prevented.

    Have a grand day! Hugs,G

  14. I think some people's eyes are just way more sensitive to sunlight than others. Mine have always been; I wear dark glasses when I'm driving and if it gets dark I usually forget to take them off. At least I have no problem seeing at night. And no, I don't know who hit that pedestrian's cart the other night... :)

  15. I didn't even SHOW himsefl the photo...all I had to do was ask what the hotpot thing was and I got "YUMM!" LOL. Guess that answers that question!
    Oh, and the delusion that shopping carts are impenetrable shields has happened in this country, too. And the worst place for pedestrians thinking they're protected from moving vehicles....the hospital's parking ramp. Sorta works out handy for those who got it wrong!!

  16. "January will soon be over, can you believe it"

    The strangest thing, but the older I get the more I mark the passage of time by what bills are due. Usually this comes in the form of my car payment. And by my count, it's just 10 more car payments to December. The year feels nearly up already! ;-)

  17. Geraldine, it was just beef and mixed root/green veggies. Oh my, I couldn't get anywhere without my car!

    David, I agree, our vision does vary. I have transition lens on my specs but that's not enough to fight the glare of the mornign sun.

    Mel, I'm pleased himself likes hotpot - true Brit, eh?

    Herman, gosh yes, BILLS. They certainly do come around quickly. Ten until Christmas, huh? I think I'll go back to bed....

  18. Oh time definitely flies in the Shifley household especially with the two little kiddos growing up so fast. I really enjoyed this post today, Val. It was just an enjoyable read and I'm glad I got to partake. Hope Joe is doing well, and you are too.


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