Saturday, 30 January 2016

Vanishing Birds and the Green Man

We are now the proud owners of an exercise bike.  Richard's worn out just assembling the thing.  I chickened out of that little job, opting to walk the dogs round the park instead, which was pleasant despite the bitterly cold edge to the wind whistling off the Mersey.

With a group of other people, I took part in the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch.  There we all were, sat in an enthusiastic row by the windows, binoculars at the ready, armed with shortcake and tea, and eager to spot wild birds...and there was hardly a bird to be seen.  The entire hour-long count scooped all of two magpies, one sparrow, six woodpigeons, one crow and a seagull - and the RSPB's list of desirable birds to spot didn't include crows or seagulls anyway.  Normally there are all sorts of birds hopping around.  Oh, well.

My sister Evelyn gave me a pretty white and purple cyclamen a couple of years ago, and it was among the plants transplanted from our old garden and brought here when we moved house.  It has come into flower again, which is lovely.  It's now growing in a recycled rubber cauldron-shaped tub along with snowdrops which are pushing up through the soil, and with a small Lady's mantle (alchemilla mollis).

I'm currently reading a real page-turner called Thunderhead by Duncan Preston and Lincoln Child, which has a strong archaelogical theme based around the discovery of an Anasazi Indian city in Utah.  I've read a few of their Agent Pendergast novels over recent months and have thoroughly enjoyed those, too.  If you enjoy thrillers, I recomend these novels.

People sometimes ask me what books I read, and the simple truth is that I read all sorts, non-fiction and fiction alike, and I read a broad range of fiction genres.  It all depends on how I feel at the time, and on whether something about the proposed plot catches my attention.  I'm not one of those people who feel compelled to finish a book; if a story bores me, then I'll abandon it happily in favour of something else.

Above is my latest watercolour painting.  Richard says that the eyes (in the original painting) seem to follow him round the room.

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