Sunday, 7 November 2010
Its been an eventful week, the mammogram was as delicious as ever, various female friends not only agreed at my (stolen) description but suggested that if men's testicles were treated in the same fashion a different approach would probably have been adopted by now!

My new Landrover had some interesting behaviours, a whining noise when I turned the engine of and at one point it lost power, I was informed that was quite normal!! Not sure about that, however it has been behaving ever since. The autumn is definitely in full swing and we have leaves everywhere, it always seems like such a pointless task to collect them when there are so many more to come, however it is fun to scuff through them, even at my age.

On thursday I started the day with a lovely ride in the morning on Henry and got lost in the woods, but we had had a good time and it was amazingly warm although windy. My Barbary Falcon who has been flying superbly was even better the day before and Linda took some cracking photos, however on Thursday when it was hellish windy and we were all looking forward to her flight as she loves the wind, we all watched her rapidly disappear. Simon, Adam and I leapt into the Landrover and off we went down wind. We followed her to Gloucester and then lost the signal, we drove around for about another hour or so and then decided to get back, finish off the day and regroup. So back home, moved horses, put birds away, finished feeding the owls, put the dogs in the house and locked up. Adam and Holly drove off towards Ledbury, Malvern and then Worcester, Simon and I went M50 Evesham and then towards Oxford, Mark and Robin did Tewkesbury and then towards Stow on the Wold. We probably started out at about 5.30pm and none of us had a signal by 8.30, we were all a bit miserable. Then Simon and I had chosen the Cirencester road out of Bourton on the Water and as I was driving and he was map reading and the receiver was on the seat, there came a bleep, it is the most wonderful noise when you have not heard one for about six hours. We phoned Holly and Adam and told them to go home, we asked them to phone Robin and Mark and we started to track her down, it was extremely dark and still very windy. We finally ended up at Farmington Quarry and Robin and Mark caught up with us. As we were standing in the road checking the signal a truck pulled up and a very nice chap asked (not surprisingly!) what we were doing, we explained and he said it would not be good to go on the land in the direction we were looking as it was full of Partridges, so he kindly called the keepers and owners and the keepers met us (by this time it must have been close to 9.00pm) they took us a little closer and we reckoned that was about all we could do that night, the signal was saying she was up in a tree, so we agreed to meet at 7.00am the next morning and home we all went.

Simon and I got up early and got to the quarry at about 6.35am, we still had a good signal and we triangulated the bleep so we were happier about exactly where she was and phoned Olly the keeper, however at 6.45am she moved! So off we all went tracking again, and luckily the roads went where we needed to go. Olly left after a while, he was really helpful in telling us the lie of the land and Simon and continued about half a mile, we got a signal on near and took off over the fields and there she was on a house in a steep valley. I walked towards her swinging the lure, whistling and tripping over pheasants! As I stood there on the hill outside a lovely house an upstairs window opened and a chap called Richard asked me very politely what I was doing, I said I have a falcon on your roof and I am trying to get it down, 'Oh' he said, 'that must have been what I saw fly past when I was on the loo!' yes I agreed! Why were you flying it here, he asked quite rightly, I wasn't I replied, I lost her 30 miles away yesterday and she came here on the wind. Luckily she came down at that point and so we parted and I and Simon went back to the car with a huge sigh of relief and big grins on our faces, tripping over yet more pheasants on the way, it would be a great place to fly my goshawk!! We worked out that we had driven 250 miles and used up 39 man hours to find her, but it was worth it.

I was glad to get her back as it was Bonfire night and we were having a small firework party, so we needed to get organised. Plus we had a Hawk Experience Day as well as the normal daily stuff. I made a Guy in the afternoon, Simon donated the jeans, and I added a jersey which was a vile colour and made his head out of an old T Shirt. Adam built a stunningly good fire with all the rubbish wood from the workshop and yard, John helped as did Simon, it really was a great bonfire. I made mulled wine and put some sausages in the oven. Over the week there had been talk about marshmallows being toasted and we had a great idea that we could clean up an rake and cook 16 at a time!! However the fire was so good we could not get close enough to do it! At some point chocolate coated Marshmallows had been mentioned and Sue had a chocolate fountain, which she lent us.

The recipe said you have to thin the chocolate with water or cooking oil and Adam had the bright idea of using Baileys, which I thought was brilliant, so I had got lots of Galaxy chocolate, and a bottle of Baileys. Well he and John and I were in the kitchen getting it ready, Adam took over the chocolate melting as he said I was doing it wrong, it was very thick, so he duly added the baileys, however that did not do the trick, so we added a bit of cooking oil as instructed and that was where things started to go wrong! The chocolate sort of curdled, it went a very dark brown, the oil refused to mix in and it was never going to work in a chocolate fountain, so we started again! Then Adam had a bright idea, he would roll the now very thick and somewhat oddly textured chocolate in something and make truffles, so did I have some hundreds and thousands, well, surprise, no I didn't, I offered him bisto gravy powder, but he turned it down, luckily we found some cocoa powder! He put the mix into one of my T Towels and rung out the oil!!! The T towel looked like nothing on earth, at least nothing that I can repeat, after he had scraped the chocolate out! He and John made about 12 and I then called it a day and asked John to go and throw the rest in the hedge and perhaps a badger would enjoy it later that night. I managed to drop most of the truffles in the deep freeze, we tried one and I have to say that you could taste the Baileys, but there was not an inkling of Galaxy taste left!. Adam made a second batch with just chocolate and oil, you have no idea how much oil you have to use to get it to flow, it sort of puts you off.

By this time staff and neighbours were arriving, so we took out the mulled wine, sausages, chocolate fountain and put them under Adam's gazebo in the car park, turned on the lights that Richard had put up to light the trees, it was of course by now raining non stop!! Holly brought Marsh Mallows and Maceroons - they were very good, John and family brought pizza and already cooked baked potatoes, and so we celebrated Guy Fawkes night in the rain, with a stunning fire, great food and good company. The fireworks were good and lasted all of three minutes!! It finished in time for me to go to sleep in the new David Attenborough series that I really wanted to watch!

0 comments:

Hello

I have to say that keeping a weblog can at times become compulsive and at other times a chore. Sometimes I am berrated for not keeping it up and sometimes I get wonderful comments from people who follow the news of the Centre.

It is fun to share the daily goings on here, some good and some bad, some funny and some sad, but all a part of our daily lives.
And as I said before its a pretty cool to be here and it is a great place to visit, you should try coming and watching the birds and meeting the staff and of course the dogs.

An interesting video on Lead

An interesting video on Lead

I find it staggering that people who want to hunt don't see the value in changing their ammunition from lead to a safer product. We have stopped using lead in petrol, in paint, in our water pipes, but they still want to use lead - ah well, apparently eating it not only kills birds but leads to reduced intelligence in humans......................

NO ONE is asking you to stop legal and genuine hunting, they are just asking you to change your ammunition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHZGQ8i8AwI

HC

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