Monday, April 27, 2015


As I headed out to take photos this evening I remembered that I wanted to get a photograph of the gorse. It's been extraordinary this year both in terms of abundance but also intensity of flower. It was in bloom at Christmas, but now it's really singing four months later.

As I wandered near Norley Wood my first surprise was two medium sized birds that flew towards me, and within about six to ten feet. I was blown away to recognise that they were both cuckoos, a perfect sighting, which only left a vague doubt as I'd not heard them calling up to that point. A minute or so later I was rewarded with the song, presumably as soon as they had landed somewhere. They looked exactly like the pictures you see in books.

My next sighting was even more exciting considering there is only about 300 pairs in the whole country. Buzzard size but much slenderer, and with feathers that fanned out very prominently, with bars across the tail and wings. Again miraculously it circled around me at about 150-200 feet so I had a great view and time to check the details. Fairly certain it was a goshawk...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happy Anniversary

Today is my parents wedding anniversary, 58 years I seem to think they have notched up!

I would ask them but they are out of phone range on a walking trip in the back of beyond...

When we were young we just thought of ourselves as pretty normal sort of people, but I guess this image from the seventies tells a different story.

Happy Anniversary Gill and Julian from the Mippy Clan

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Stand and Deliver

Had a great bike ride in the forest with Popsie today, whilst the boys were racing on the Solent. We packed a picnic and stopped near Burley on the banks of Mill Lawn Brook, and were treated to a display of horse drawn stage coaches in spectacular finery. The horses, the passengers and the carriages were all dressed beautifully, and Popsie thought it was fantastic to watch. It was quite an insight into a by-gone era for me too.

The highlight of this was one of the most impressive carriages with the word "Carmarthen" prominently on the side, along with "Cardiff" and "Tristar". As I had a sandwich in my paws, and it all happened so quickly I didn't take a photo, but I am guessing it was a facsimile model that ran the route from Carmarthen, but certainly nothing I have ever seen before.

Having just googled I have come up with the following explanation. I think they were Tristar horseboxes from Llanwrda, or sponsored by them; hence the Carmarthen livery...!

Bike ride with Popsie started at Blackhamsley near Hincheslea, down to Wootton Bridge and into the Incvlosure through Brownhill and across to Holmsley Inclosure and then across the Ridge to Whitten Pond. I have to be honest I have never really looked here before but it was quite nice, and plan to ride over Dur Hill one day!!

We headed back towards Goatpen Plain, before heading north through Burley and picking up the track through Oakley Inclosure across to Bolderwood and Canadian Cross. We came back down Holmhill to Highland Water and stopped at the Portugese Kitchen and again at the Reptilery a little while later. Some spectacular sightings of Sand Lizard, a nest Adders and babies, a Black Adder and a Smooth snake both of which quite rare. We saw a slow worm, common lizards, and a green frog.

No photos of any of this either, I really have been very lazy!

Great day out though. We rode from 9am until 4pm, and the boys were on the water for the same length of time...

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Chatting to my mother earlier, and she tells me that on return from their walking trip, it's time for my Dad's next exhibition in Carmarthen. This was taken when I last visited and she was fishing through boxes of paintings. The picture shows my sister Juliet and family on a summer holiday overseas eating at a restaurant.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

We arn't

Usually one has to try, but occasionally a picture just falls into your lap. This was such an occasion, as we rounded the bend heading through Rochford up towards Frogham. Miranda is the snail lady, having a collection in a cage at home. Knowing they were unadoppted only added to the humour of the moment!

Highlight of the day which was pretty good anyway as it involved a bike ride around the New Forest with the clan, was just as we sat down for a fruit bun beneath some lovely oak trees - my first cuckoo of the year. A burst of song that lasted minutes without break. Consistent with the last four years as my records show it was 20th April last year, 20th April in 2013, 14th April in 2012 and 9th April in 2011....

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bottle fed

She's been in her element feeding the lambs, and I have to admit I enjoy it myself. Best bit though is when they jump up on my lap and start trying to suckle anything that comes to mouth...

Sunday, April 12, 2015


"Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven, sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love's a game, wanna play?.."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Facetime me

Found this from aFacetime session with my sister, Juliet and niece Elsbeth, along with Popsie...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Partners in crime

We have been for a bike ride today and the kids have been mischievous, as though you'd expect otherwise...

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Double Trouble

Miranda's little friend Alfie came round after school, and after roller skating a while we went down to visit the lambs. They are a well balanced couple, having lots of fun right up until it was time to send him home as I was busy cooking dinner. I have promised to put a picture up of them on the blog so here it is!

Nice of you to shake Barry's hand Alfie, very good manners you have!