Saturday, 13 November 2010
Six years ago today, I was packing up birds with 30 or so friends and volunteers, the CITES team were down here, two vets were here, we had just really got going with boxing up 190 of my best and most beloved birds to make the mammoth trip to South Carolina to start up life anew. Six wonderful black Labradors came with me, and Annie Millar came for the first month and a bit to help me get sorted and settled. It was an exhausting and stressful day, and it ended with even more exhaustion and stress the other end as we unpacked the birds. But that is another story and one I plan on writing this winter!

Suffice it to say that I met and renewed some stunning friendships in South Carolina and elsewhere in the US, and those will last my lifetime, I also met or renewed aquaintences who treated me appallingly badly and those too I will never forget! However I will always be in huge debt to the various friends and colleagues who helped and supported me to get back to here. As I write I look over my property, knowing my staff are getting ready for an experience day, Jan has come in to get some biscuits for the dogs, the sun is out, the pond is glistening at the bottom of the field, the remaining leaves are blazing golds and browns and yellows, the field is still a vivid green apart from the myriad holes the damn horses made in it yesterday and coffee time will happen at the appropriate time.

Although my ill-fated sojourn to the US failed it has made me appreciate all the more what I had, and what I have now, so regardless of the hard work and the stresses and strains, today is a good day memories and all!

The owl evening went very well last night, the weather was kind and the rain and clouds left, the stars came out, Robin did one guided tour and I did the other and Adam and Robin and I did the flying demonstrations. Richard moved on a little more with the electrics and the lights worked brilliantly. Cool Ground, (Snowy Owl) looks amazing as he crosses them!

I am now going to shampoo my office carpet as the wood burning stove is in and there are marks to prove all the hard work that Mike Turner did to make it all work safely and securely. Now talking about the wood burning stove, I cannot recommend the people I bought mine from, they may do good stoves I have yet to discover that, it seems OK, but their customer service afterwards is appalling, so watch out. Woodburning Stoves Limited.Com is the company to look out for. My stove arrived, all fine and dandy, we followed the instructions to put it in, and doing the first fire to the flaming letter! I had a little nice dry kindling, some bits of wood from the old quarantine quarters (three years old at least) and one nice dry two year old oak log, that I had known the tree it was from! We turned the airflow down so it did not burn too hot as instructed, so imagine my concern when I opened the doors after about 1.5 hours into its first lighting and just about 24 hours after it had arrived to find that all the rope that is around the doors as a seal had stuck to the inside of the stove and pulled off. Not surprisingly I phoned the company to ask if this was usual. I was instantly and I mean instantly blamed for burning green timber and thus tar had pulled it off. I pointed out that I knew all the timber I had burned intimately and none was green plus the damn thing had only been alight for less than two hours. I was told I would have to buy stove rope glue, I asked why I would have to buy it, why would they not send it as this presumably is not supposed to happen on day one. I was told they don't have it, I pointed out that they manufactured the stove and so must have the glue around, I was told yes they did manufacture it, so why no glue I asked - because they are made in China I was told, so you do not manufacture it then I stated! You can see this was not going well and at no time had there even been a smell of an apology.

I was told that I would have to get the glue because everyone had to maintain their stoves and this was a part of it, I said I had not expected to have to do maintenance work on a stove that was 24 hours old!! I finally got an apology, of sorts, but no help. After the owl evening I wrote a complaining but polite email stating that I thought their customer care needed to be looked at, among other things! I pointed out that I dealt with probably more customers than they did and that if something I was involved in went wrong in less than 24 hours, the very first thing I would do would be to apologise and in my case I would have told me (I know complicated) that I would send a pack of glue in the post.

But not a bit of it, apparently I was complaining about something entirely insignificant, although I now cannot use the stove until the glue that I have to buy arrives, and they can't understand why I am upset. I wrote back and said forget it, and perhaps their customer relations was a scottish thing - well I know, but I was pissed off by this point, and still am!! So be warned, don't use them if you hope for any sort of customer help in after sales as you are doomed, they don't know what the word means!!

OK, back to the carpet!



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.

Blog Archive

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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