Feb-you-airy carries on

Saturday 8th of February 2014

Old songs that keep replaying in my mind. My mum used to sing them all day long when I were a nipper:

We’d have seen the war in China
If the weather had been finer
If it wasn’t for the houses in between.

Wiv a ladder and some glasses
You could see to Hackney Marshes
If it wasn’t for the houses in between.

Actually from 1899 – well before my time, but I remember it from my childhood. The “war in China” bit isn’t in the original – dunno where I got that from. Think they were ‘music hall’ songs – doubtless from my parents’ courting days.
MapMyWalk 3.58miles

Sparrow

Sparrow

Looking rather less than highly gruntled.

 

Two grebes

Two grebes

Changeover, one sits on the eggs while the other mends the nest.

 

Colours

Colours

The fungus and lichen make a great colour combo.

 

Bark

Bark

Silver birch bark with lichen looks almost like a satellite view of forest and valleys.

 

Moorhen

Moorhen

Running across the canal.

 

Fungus

Fungus

Titchy fungus, was yellow – is brown.

 

Flowers

Flowers

Female hazel flowers (again!) – they’re only about 2 – 3 mm across.

 

Sunday 9th Feb

From 1915:

I’m Burlington Bertie
I rise at ten thirty
And saunter along like a toff
I walk down the Strand
With my gloves on my hand
Then I walk down again with them off
I’m all airs and graces
Correct easy paces
Without food so long
I’ve forgot where my face is
I’m Bert, Bert, I haven’t a shirt
But my people are well off you know.
Nearly everyone knows me
From Smith to Lord Rosebr’y,
I’m Burlington Bertie from Bow.

This was apparently a parody of a similar song about a young man with money.

 

MapMyWalk 6.39Miles

touching ...

touching …

  ... down

… down

Couple of mallards in the act of touching down.

 

More bark

More bark

The textures!

 

Still there

Still there

 

Passing

Passing

We seem to have more than our share of overflights.

 

Measels

Measels

Dunno if the red spots came before or after the twigs detached from the tree.

 

Ivy fruit

Ivy fruit

Extending the fruit eating season for birds.

 

Thorns

Thorns

Dog roses have thorns that would deter anyone.

 

Chesterfield canal

Chesterfield canal

This is the canal between Shireoaks and Cinderhill.

 

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

On the tiny patch between Duke’s ridge and Cinderhill bywash.

 

Singing

Singing

Fit to bust!

 

Seat

Seat

Moss and lichen on a bench just west of Shireoaks.

 

Magpies

Magpies

One watches while t’ other leaves.

 

Monday the tenth of February twenty-fourteen

Map my Walk 3.56miles
Tongue twister:

Oh, I’m not a pheasant plucker
I’m a pheasant plucker’s son
And I’m only plucking pheasants
‘Til the pheasant plucker comes.

There’s a lot more but I suggest you Google it.

Sparrows aren’t half as common as they used to be but seem to gather in flocks in a few shrubs and bushes.
As I’ve commented in the past, wrens are common but hard to photograph. Their colouration and skulking habit makes them elusive.
Whereas robins are really easy, they tend to sing from high exposed branches. Whether they’re defending their territories or advertising for mates I don’t know, possibly both?
Thrushes similarly, but less commonly, sing gloriously from treetops.
Bluetits are from time to time very acrobatic when swinging around in alder trees.
Goldfinches, which I’d never noticed until I started photographing them, are so frequently seen as to be called common.


Ian’s dog Archy brings me sticks – from inches to yards long but generally the bigger the better.
The two moorhens were having a real scrap. Their mates were looking on as the fight went on for over ten minutes. It wound up with one chasing t’ other up the bank and under a bramble bush.
More sparrows, this time in the cultivated ivy overhanging the canal.
Bullfinches are commoner than I’d realised – usually seen in small flocks.
Crows aren’t often within range.
For once a wren looking my way.

 

Tue 11th Feb ’14

MMW 3.89
Not sure where this comes from:

… one digging, one covering up, and one looking for fresh places …

Something to do with a soldier with diarrhoea & his mates digging new latrine holes. Or a cat that drank syrup of figs, three other cats assisting …


Sparrows, grebes bullfinches and mallards.

 

Wodenstag der zwölfte Februar

To the doctors’ – can’t recall why, particularly MMW 4miles

When father papered the parlour, you couldn’t see him for paste.
Slapping it here, slapping it there, paste and paper everywhere.
Mother was stuck to the ceiling, the kids were stuck to the floor.
I’ve never seen such a bloomin’ family so stuck up before!

 

Squeak has found a new place to kip: on top of cupboards in the kitchen.
A lone female goosander on the pond. one half of our cygnet pair.
The grebe – still there!
… and goldfinches to finish.

 

Thursday 13th

Before my walk I did the usual walk up the canal and down to town.

The crow passed by, robin fluffing in the sunlight. The pheasant pair look as if they’re meeting but she walked straight past, ignoring him totally.
Gotta have a long tailed, haven’t I?
Then bus to Ranby.
Walked Ranby to Retford on the Chesterfield Canal towpath. MMW: 6.69 miles
A walk I’ve done a load of times. Love the willows on the first stretch down to Barrack corner although the recent winds have taken their toll – there’s quite a few fallers and broken branches.The willows arch over the canal all the way down. The crow looks almost white in the sun. Sweet chestnut seed cases litter the woods at the side with robins chirping merrily. Another of those mysterious numbers.It’s quite “birdy” down the stretch to Forest locks: robins, tits and chaffinches.
Love catching birds with wings spread. The field fare (there were a load on a field) I had to get twitter to identify – I’d no idea!
I told C&RT about the fallen tree and it was sorted by the time Nb Epiphany came through.

Fourteenth of February ’14

Valentine’s Day – never really took much notice of it. MMW 3.9miles

Apparently:
Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.

To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.

No change with the nest sitters. Up to docs again – presume it was prescription collection. Went a different way – up “Brook Terrace” which I’d seen from Google maps. Didn’t know the playing field up there existed. Past the Norfolk Arms – after the premier Duke of England? And on Bridge Street a soggy looking pied wagtail.

6 thoughts on “Feb-you-airy carries on

  1. So pleased that you continued the blog – I love it! I know lots of old music hall songs, my grandparents sang them to me all the time. Probably of a slightly earlier vintage than the ones your mother sang – ‘Two little girls in blue’, ‘The boy I love sits up in the gallery’, If you were the only girl in the world’, ‘On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep’ and etc etc. My father sang and whistled all the time too – traditional English folk songs and all those daft songs from the fifties with stupid lyrics (‘Close the door they’re coming in the window – those ippity pippity pips!’) and from musicals like Carousel and My Fair Lady. I sang to my own children (who all went on to join choirs) and to my grandchildren. Much better than things in your ears with canned music. Bet you can remember all those songs from ‘Sing Something Simple’ of a Sunday teatime. Why are blue tits so cute and robins so cheeky??

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    • Oh no, my mum sang all those. In fact I’ve already got one down in the next blogpost. I don’t think music hall songs changed much from Edwardian times up to WWII.
      50’s: How about “Flying Purple People Eaters”? Or was that later.

      Things in your ears as you walk are horrid! How many birdsongs do they miss? (Not to mention greetings from me)

      The Cliff Adams Singers was it? “Old ones, new ones, loved ones, neglected ones.”

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  2. My dad always used to sing the second verse to Daisy, Daisy “Michael, Michael, here is your answer dear, I can’t cycle, makes me feel so queer. If you can’t afford a carriage, call off the blooming marriage, cos I’ll be blowed if I’ll be towed on a bicycle built for two”. I never did know if it was really the second verse, or he just made it up 🙂

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    • I don’t think it was the second verse.*
      Nice to see you back, Alison. 🙂

      *It was (almost):
      “Michael, Michael, here is your answer true.
      I’m not crazy all for the love of you.
      There won’t be any marriage,
      If you can’t afford a carriage.
      ‘Cause I’ll be switched,
      If I get hitched,
      On a bicycle built for two!”

      I didn’t know that!

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      • There you go – my dad was full of it, but that’s how he confused you, half the time he was telling the truth 🙂

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