Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Well!! Its ages since I wrote, the holiday was great, first in 25 years, I think it would be fair to say that I can now ski - sort of, but very slowly, although I did have a crisis of confidence pretty much every day except the last two. It was lovely to see Anna and David and Dinah, and Anna was incredibly patient with me particularly. But by the last day and a half I was enjoying it. David preferred it when it was sunny and visibility was good, me, I was only looking about ten feet beyond my ski’s so I did not care about visibility. The snow was lovely, Anna’s friends the Van Looks, could not have looked after us better and it was a good time in beautiful scenery.

However since I got back I am still trying to catch up on bloody office work and emails, so I am thinking that I will wait at least another decade before I have another holiday!!

Tomorrow is our last day closed, we reopen on Wednesday! We are all looking forward to it, we have done a lot over the winter. The curly hazels at the top of the Hawk Walk are out and replanted in the wood, the Clematis that was out of control in the Acacia tree is now cut back dramatically and the electricity cables are free of branches - Richard did most of it up a ladder. The Hawk Walk is looking great – much clearer and easier to see the birds and the higher middle lawn has been extended. Mark and John have redone the ceiling in the café and it looks so much better, Angela has repainted it all and it looks clean and fresh. A good deal of black stain has been put onto various aviaries to smarten them up by Anabelle and John, the Freezer is going well with one or two blips, the freezer shed is looking very smart. We have four Christmas type trees planted in the bed outside the car-park – from the Duncombe Estate, more on that later. The machine shed is done and stained and the machinery in and dry, and my horse trailer looks very smart with its new coats of paint. The wood is looking good and clear, the dead Yew Tree is out of the flying field and a new and very beautiful Liquid Amber tree from David Kay has been planted, it will look wonderful in the autumn.

The hedge is nearly finished being laid in the bottom half of the wood, so access is a little tricky at the moment, but will be cleared soon. Adam has done an amazing job on the Pavilion in the flying field, it looks wonderful and will be the information point for all the courses, art workshops and all the special events for this year, he also has done a stunning painting which is up in there (and for sale!). Talking of Adam, he and his Mum and Dad have had a tough time lately with his Dad taking pretty seriously ill and having to go to hospital, however we heard today that he has the all clear which is great news, (now you two, you have to seriously think about moving!!!)

Holly has just about caught up with all the paperwork, and Robin is getting ready to get all the new stuff built for the I Zone – which will be the new Education Room. Linda has been working hard on the website and the new one for the Falconry Weekend in September. Jan has the shop clear, cleaned, and up and running with a reasonable amount of stock and we are off to the NEC for the Spring Fair to see about new stock for the season next week. Catherine has left us, she was in charge of the shop on a Thursday and Friday, and was wonderful with the customers, we wish her luck with a full time job, Sally will join us this week and take over and has promised to get all the computers with the same filing system, that will mean we can all find everything!!! Simon has been kept busy with birds laying eggs, we have exciting eggs in the incubators, so fingers crossed we will have some wonderful new birds to fly this year.

The new King Vulture seems to get on fine with Pelfour, and the two White tailed Sea Eagles are back out and hopefully will start training soon. We also have a beautiful European Black Vulture, whom I am trying to find a husband for, she is magnificent.

Needless to say that now it is nearly February, the glorious mild and warm weather that we had through most of January has gone and its cold and grey, but its dry!! And that is the main point, so wear your thermals and come and see us soon.

Oh and we have a new member of the dog team, Richard gave us a tiny and I mean tiny little Patterdale girl puppy!! She is enchanting and only arrived yesterday!

I have to drive to Yorkshire on Thursday, I have a lecture for the British Falconer’s Club branch up there and Anabelle is coming with me, we are staying with Charlie Heap, who is over the moon right now as we are starting an ICBP Branch at Duncombe Park just outside Helmsley, and finally the planning permission came through while I was away. Its an exciting prospect and we are looking forward to the joint effort.
The birds are flying well, and Cremorne is back to join the team, while the Steller's moults.

Don't forget that we have three Owl Evenings, February 10,11 and 12th - last of this year until next winter!

A friend sent me this – I did laugh!

Banned from Sainsbury's
Didn't like shopping there anyway.

Yesterday I was at my local Sainsbury's store buying a large bag of Winalot dog food for my loyal pet and was in the checkout queue when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.
What did she think I had - an elephant?
So, since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Winalot Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in
hospital last time, but I'd  lost 2 stone before I woke up in intensive care
with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it
works is to load your pockets with Winalot nuggets and simply eat one or two
every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well
and I was going to try it  again. (I have to mention here that practically
everyone in queue was now enthralled with my story.)  Horrified, she asked me
if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me I told her no,
I stepped off the kerb to sniff an Irish Setter's arse and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. I'm now banned from Sainsbury's.

Better watch what you ask retired people.
They have all the time in the world to think of daft things to say.

Note to self – ‘I used to visit when I had the children!! So now you have stopped because???? I usually tell them not to leave it another 30 years because I will probably be dead then, however I am now going to tell them that they should be going out more – without the children they will have a better time!!


sue hyde said...

glad you enjoyed your holiday. wonderful photos. love the patterdale girl - whats her name? see you soon x


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



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