Friday, 30 October 2009

A funny thing happened today... I googled Ivinghoe Tearooms to see if they were open (highly recommended) and found myself in Miss Whistle's blogspot . It turns out that Miss Whistle is an occasionally homesick Chilterns Girl now living in L.A. who has recently been visiting her old stomping ground. I loved reading her stuff and can't wait to visit her recommend The Sir Charles Napier. I only wish I had found this foodie haven a couple of days ago and joined a Fungi Foray in the beechwoods. Like her I am reading Alan Bennett's Untold Stories - a bit unwieldy in bed- and until she reminded me I had forgotten that Tender Is The Night is one of my all time greatest reads. I was happy to see that she writes poetry on her blog and that it looks good, not wet.
Looking at last week's header I was disappointed at the pixellation. Even my little camera bulges my pockets so this was another pic taken on the mobile phone. So I looked for an alternative and found stacks of lovely local pics as well as many more exotic ones on Jason Gallier's website. I am sure I saw him taking the one of haybales at the foot of the beacons.... and there are some great shots of my other favourite place, Pembrokeshire, too. The one I've used is of the Reservoirs because the other thing I didn't like about my autumnal header was that the colours were not quite as glowing as the real thing, and Jason's weren't either (sorry). A bit like bluebells....

This is where we walked today, from Aldbury to Ivinghoe, below the ridge along the beautiful vale that stretches from Clipper Down to Wiggington; it surely has a name. It was cooler today and hazier and the leaves are falling now and a little breeze got up so we fell to talking about sailing, which is what I shall be doing tomorrow if it doesn't rain. And I should take my bulgy little camera, but not on the lake.......

Monday, 26 October 2009

Soooo hard.... keep blogging! but the Indian Summer continues, thankyou God!

August was sooo wet and DULL, I didn't think I could bear the Autumn coming but this is the eighth week of still, mostly warm, mostly sunny weather and even now that the clocks have gone back - dark at 5.30 p.m. - today was lovely. Went to the reservoirs with the boys and it was like being on the beach, the water was the lowest I've ever seen it. Found a dead pike, v scary and smelly.

I was there the other evening and there was a great commotion among the ash trees to the west of Startops. Having seen flocks of naturalised Ringnecked Parakeets as close by as Bury Lake, and Cassiobury Park, I thought at first thatparakeets had reached Tring, but on checking it seems much more likely that they were jackdaws roosting! Follow the link to a really dedicated twitcher who seems to know all there is to know about birds in Herts, Beds & bucks. I hear that the parakeets - which I love for their beautiful colour, streamlined shape, excited clamouring cries and overall exoticism - are a threat to owls, woodpeckers and other natives by inhabiting sought after holes in trees. A real shame but I can't help hoping they are here to stay.

Recently seen: Hurt Locker ***, Broken Embraces ***, Dorian Gray hmmmm **, and The Time Travellers Wife - I loved the book but sadly *. But 500 Days of Summer - I loved it and have just bought the soundtrack, catch it if you can.

The books haven't been so great recently, the last good one being 'Home' by Marilynne Robinson, as good as her Housekeeping, but really, don't bother with her much trumpeted Gilead unless you are desperately ecclesiastical. And although I really rated Patrick Gale's Notes From An Exhibition as probably my best read last year, his The Whole Day Through was disappointing even though I couldn't put it down.

So now the dark nights are back how long until my next post? And any tips for keeping warm sailing on cooler (bloody cold) days? In this very still weather I have graduated to a Laser with no recent capsizes. I find the combination of mesmerising ripples, sudden gusts and long afternoons outdoors to be just what the doctor ordered but am not sure I can keep it up over the winter.....

While on dark nights, I slowed down on the way home tonight to allow a very dapper young badger to cross the road which was so much nicer than the several knocked over ones seen in the past few weeks. Apparently the lack of rain would encourage them to forage further afield and therefore cross more roads, so please watch out and give way to badgers.