Sunday, 23 October 2011

Well the ironing board is still in the van as the rest of the day did not really go as planned. I did manage to get out for a ride, although I suspect today I will not succeed. I took Mollie onto May Hill and I have to say she was very good, almost too good, I was pushed to get a canter, but at least no explosions which is great, she was a little more excited on the way down, silly horse, but all in all perhaps the change of food and help from Sally and friends (thanks all) over the last couple of weeks is making a difference.

By 5.30 on Saturday afternoon we had all decided that Michele who is our American Student who has been here since mid-September had been sick for long enough, she has had three bouts of vomiting and this last one was not stopping, so I phoned Gloucester Hospital A and E to see if they would see her. They asked me to phone the duty GP at a different department, so I did and they said one would phone me back, which he did. We managed to get Michele down to the phone and she told him the gory details, and he then was passed back to me, he said that she should be taken to the Dilke which is a small hospital in the Forest outside Cinderford. So off we went, bowl in hand. We found the right place (eventually) and the doctor examined her, and decided that she needed IV fluids, which we both concurred with, however they could not take her at the Dilke so I needed to take her to – guess where – Gloucester Hospital A and E! So off we went again, bowl handy. We got there and I grabbed a wheelchair – whatever complete moronic idiot designed the wheelchairs they have in there should be shot, it is impossible to push them forwards in any decided direction, the only way they work is backwards. Why on earth don’t designers actually try out their work before they are allowed to make a final product, it never fails to amaze me how many things that have supposedly been designed by some brilliant designer are utter crap. I could mention many objects, many wheelbarrows being up there, however actually a good wheelbarrow would probably have been better than this bloody wheelchair!

Anyway, I took Michele into the waiting room – the counter there is unpleasantly high, difficult to see and for older people almost impossible to hear the people on the other side. I suppose it is that high for security, what a great shame the human race can be so completely vile at times, to make hospitals have to be careful of their staff who are there to help the sick and injured is a sad reflection.

After answering all the same questions I had done twice before because apparently the computer had not sent through the records (we know what I feel about software!!!), I left Michele in the wheelchair and rushed out to put the car somewhere that it would not be clamped. I have to say I find it iniquitous, as do many other people, that visitors have to pay to come and see people who are ill in hospital, its again a shameful thing, there is a 15 minute car park for people who have brought in emergency patients, obviously another idiot thought that the patient would be seen and dealt with in 15 minutes!!!! Dream on! When I got back, she had gone, wheeled (probably with difficulty) into a room which I then had to find, but only after a doctor one presumes, told me that if I looked in cubicles I might see something that upset me – I guess he did not know what I do for a living! After more questions and another bloody pressure check we were taken to another room, where eventually I went out to see if anyone was actually going to come and see her and give her fluids, a nurse arrived as I went out she was very nice, found her a trolley so Michele could lie down, took blood pressure (third time!) and bloods and put her on a drip. By nearly 9.30pm we saw a doctor, who decided that she should be admitted, bear in mind that decision had already been taken at the Dilke over two hours previously but had to be taken again according to some new rules, (which incidentally the doctors and nurses think is pretty stupid as well) one wonders if the same idiot who invented that particular wheelchair was the person making up the ‘rules’ because they are as ridiculous and time wasting and inefficient as the wheelchair.

Michele was looking better by now, half the bag of fluids was now inside her and her colour was better and she was talking again! So I left her and drove back home to the dogs and Anabelle who had been looking after them and the Woodburning stove and Mollie in the interim period.

Michele is still in the hospital, I have managed to speak to her this morning, she may be in for a while, they are assessing her and Anabelle has gone in with computer, pyjamas’s toothbrush etc., and some of us will go in and see her this evening – opppppppsssss there goes the ironing again! Well break my heart!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

It’s amazing how things always come at once. I spent days working on finding the best new walk in deep freeze, Although if the winter is going to be as hard as they are predicting I could probably do without one anyway!! Just leave the food out and it will stay frozen! However that is not really what we need to do. So to get a new walk in freezer, we need to revamp the freezer shed, which means new cladding on the outside, as the old stuff really is past its sell by date and will probably fall off soon anyway, and then insulation, oh and moving the water softener. Well the softener is about 25 years old or more, probably more I suspect. So it is very worn, hideously ugly and a nightmare to move, consequently that means a new one, and I might tell you not many people can give you advice on water softeners, but I now know far more about them than I did before and really wanted to know anyway. However a new one will hopefully be on its way soon and is much smaller, much neater and hopefully easy to put in as I can’t afford to pay someone to do it! It is interesting though, we de-commissioned the old softener and I can see a difference in the water quality in a couple of days and not a good difference, so we really do need a new one.

Stupidly at the same time I wanted a shower in my bathroom, because on a bad day, having two baths in one day, which could happen, is wasteful of water and heating oil, and time consuming as well. So what did that lead to – the electrics need to sorted out!! Oh and the plumbing. I now know why the water in my bathroom tasted so utterly disgusting, but having now got rid of the now defunct header tanks in my loft, the water pressure is higher so all the loos leak, and the dogs water drinker, and the washing machine in stock room, and so on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess we will sort it all out but boy it’s all a great deal harder and more expensive that I needed at this time of the year.

It’s a glorious day, the autumn colours are amazing and we have some of our regular photographers coming, so I guess it is a good photo day as well. Simon is off to India next week, he is going to be helping them get ready for the coming breeding season and looking at helping one of the other centres get ready for artificial incubation and rearing. The new doors on the Hawk Walk are making a huge difference to the warmth for the birds, the handles are on, they are closing more easily although some need to be adjusted, and we don’t have to worry about the birds. I am now looking into the tubular heaters and we will be set for the winter for the trained birds. Just need to win the lottery fairly soon!

All the birds are going well and improving and Simon’s merlin should be loose before he goes away! Finally Alexandria is getting fitter as is Lady Isabel, and I am pleased about that in fact today Alexandria flew brilliantly as did Banded Krait my merlin.

We will put the next chapter of the Mozart book on the website on opppppppppphs wrong, it is November 1st, I hope people are liking it, bear with it, I think you will enjoy it. And ...............I have bought an iron and the ugliest iron board in the whole world, so I can start to look less untidy, of course it would be better if I actually got the ironing board out of the van where it has been sitting for four days!!! It will happen though.

Sunday, 16 October 2011
Well, I had a day off today, Sally took me to a Three Day Event, well maybe it was a one day Event, but whatever it was great fun and afterwards I bought some new jodhpurs as mine are falling to bits. So I flew no birds and did little at home, it was very good for me. I did take Mollie out when we got back and she was somewhat hairy to ride I have to say, never mind, I stayed on and my new jods were great. Oh and on looking at my photos of people jumping, I don't think the pro's have anything to worry about!

If you look to the side there is a new newsletter on the website, I have also done a slideshow which is on YouTube, with a link on the side and finally I have decided to publish a book on-line, see the link and click on it if you are interested.

So we start with the Mozart book, which I will, or to be more accurate Linda will put on the website a Chapter at a time, she has done a great job with the page, I hope you like the book, please tell others if you do.

Friday, 14 October 2011

I have to admit to having a fairly unproductive day, the internet is supposed to save you time, and it does but you have to know the right terms to find what you need. I spent much of the morning trying to find out about walk in deep freezes as we desperately need to get back to having one. Our old one died finally after about 26 years – which I guess is pretty acceptable, however having tried very good commercial chest freezers they just don’t work for us, they take up a ton of space and don’t give us enough room to have back up food. With a potentially hard winter coming we are very uncomfortable not having at least two months’ supply in hand. So hence the checking prices online. In the end because I was not sure what size we need, we resorted to drawing out the internal measurements in chalk on the concrete outside the shop – I am a fairly literal person after all – and then drawing in the size of pallets to see what we could get it – it worked OK ish, so now I just need to find the best price for what we need and what I can afford.

It is significantly colder this evening, I had to fly one of the falcons late in the day, because I had had that unproductive day etc., and noticed that I was not exactly warm and the sky was very very clear, which to me means cold. So I mentioned it in passing and the general thought was that it was not going to be that cold this evening. However about twenty minutes later Simon came back and said OK it’s going to down 6 degrees, so we put all the metal grills back up and closed the doors for the first time!! And then I realised that I have to get good door handles to pull to close them properly – back to the internet and find out the right name for the bloody things, they are incidentally called Pull Door handles and they cost anything from £1.98 to over £100 each!! I suspect I will be going for the former as I need 29 of them!

The birds flew well today mostly, Adam’s Steppe Eagle is really coming on, the Steller’s is also starting to circle which is wonderful. D’Arcy Spice is back on line, Sidewinder is coming back into work – a bit manic, but doing well. And Rinkhals is being persuaded that trees really are a good idea and would she please go into one. Unlike my merlin whom I would be delighted if I could persuade him Not to go into one!

The light has been beautiful in the last few days, I love the low autumn light when the sun is out. Although yesterday it was damp and misty and that was just as nice. Oh and look what Simon has just got - a Harley Davison Motor Bike, its pretty smart and if he could get it up the stairs to his flat it would be in the bedroom with him!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Winter Flying Times were instigated today, which should mean we have a little more time at the end of the day until the light goes. We managed to get most of the birds done although the wind was very blustery and fierce at times, my Merlin was amazing!!

Mollie was somewhat like an unexploded bomb in the wind, which made for an interesting ride this afternoon. And she can buck when she wants, to!!

We continue on with the insulation of the outdoor Hawk Walk, I was very pleased we are doing it when someone said that it stated in the newspaper that we were going to get temperatures of -20C this winter. So we definitely need to get done in time for those! At least we know what we are doing this year and can make the trained birds much more comfortable.

Nathan and his Dad looked at the bottom hedge that I want to lay, but most of the trees in it are too big, so I am looking for someone to cut it down – for the wood, there is a great deal of valuable fire wood in there.Then once that is done and the spring comes it will shoot from the base and we can get it looking nice and lower, so we get a better view of the birds flying.

Rush is pretty much back his normal self, much happier now the stitches are out and no longer trying to scratch it thank goodness.

He did not like his T shirt though, which I thought was ungrateful as Sally gave it to him and Holly collected it specially!


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Cooler weather now, I even lit the wood burner yesterday, although it is warmer this evening. Rush is much better I ended up taking out his stitches late last night and he has been much more comfortable. Sorrel is a little lame which worries me and so is Indigo, they all need to lose weight, as indeed do I! That should help all of us.

We are still working on the insulation of the floors of the outdoor Hawk Walk, it is taking more time than I had hoped it would so if anyone out there is keen to do some digging in the next couple of weeks, just let me know, this is the perfect place for it!!

I redid all the letters and leaflets for all the courses and experience days in the last couple of days, there were 18 of them and it took a while I have to say, but needed doing urgently. Adam Bloch and Holly did the wedding photos on Thursday, they looked great and the car was wonderful, I could definitely have given it a good home, well OK perhaps not a great home, but a very appreciative one!

I have not had time to ride Mollie, which is annoying particularly as the days are getting shorter very quickly now, however on Monday we ground Fortina, Karis, Hare and Deception, so that means that I have less birds to fly and hopefully will have a little more free time.

Holly’s Barbary is going really well, as are the two merlins, Simon’s is still not loose, it is going to be the longest merlin training in the world! Azor is coming on and the Steller’s Pioneer was very spectacular today! Casper is back working, he is such a beautiful falcon, and he is coming on nicely.

We start the Owl evenings any minute now, I hope you have all booked in as they are going to be good this year, not that they are not always good I hasten to add. Other than that, I am going to have a new bathroom I really want a shower in there and my bath has pretty much rusted through, so there is a new bath sitting upside-down in my bedroom waiting for the rest to get here and get done.

Also in my bedroom are about a million tiny flies, who moved in about a week ago, Sue and I have been hoovering up the damn things but they appear to be endless, at least they don’t bite like the ones in South Carolina, which is something.

Sally sent me this link below, as some of you may know I love only classical music and this is very moving, what a great idea and how very appreciated, humans can be amazing, its just such a shame it only happens rarely! Please click on it and watch with your sound up, its wonderful.

Monday, 3 October 2011
I am struggling to get the next newsletter done, usually I can do a newsletter in about two days, but we have been so busy and I have had to be at every demonstration for the last six days, that I just don’t get enough time to be able to focus, and in the evenings I am too damn tired to do a good job.

Rush is OK, he is still not comfortable and I have been trying to find a new protective collar that a lady spoke to me about today. Those plastic Victorian Collars are awful, the dogs hate them, he gets particularly stressed and if they move about quickly, which they do, and hit you they are bloody painful. I found some inflatable ones, but I am not sure that I liked those, this was supposed to be a much smaller softer version of the plastic Victorian ones but I am damned if I can find it. Anyway the results have come back and it is a grade two tumour, but the vets have managed to take enough skin to have got all the cells, so hopefully he will be OK.
He is still crying on occasion so I am going to take him for a checkup tomorrow, but I think he might be just trying it on a little! Right now he is wearing a sleeveless T shirt that Sally gave him and it works a treat to stop him licking and is far less stressful than a collar and less painful to me as well!

My Barbary Falcon is not improving at the moment, he still thinks he is a lawnmower, where Holly’s is going really well – annoyingly!! However I will persevere and hope that with the temperature dropping he will find a little more energy. At least my merlin enjoyed the wind today! Azor is starting to go well though (Steppes Eagle) and we have the Snowy Owl and the Ural Owl starting off as well in time for the winter Owl Evenings which start at Halloween.

We had the most amazing mushrooms, or toadstools growing in the Centre this week, not sure what they were, but they were impressive. I did have a lovely mushroom ring as well that I was looking forward to photographing, but it got mowed the other day! Damn it – too late!


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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