Roger arrived yesterday morning, fresh from
Tuesday 30 June 2009
Roger arrived yesterday morning, fresh from
Monday 29 June 2009
Jackie joined us to see the Chris Barber Big Band at
Sunday 28 June 2009
This morning at the start of a hot day I headed off to
Saturday 27 June 2009
The foxes visited again last night. Today our evening walk took us along the sea front then round
Friday 26 June 2009
Thursday 25 June 2009
Glad because we spent the morning at Warnham Nature Reserve. We arrived just after it opened and just in front of a school party. At the Heron Hide we watched a Great Crested Grebe swallow a huge fish after several attempts. There were two adults and a youngster in grey plumage. Found a Meadow Brown with its wings open, maybe due to the lower temperatures early in the day. The jewels today were Brilliant Emerald dragonflies. Several of them were settling on reeds by a bridge and one soon became part of a mating pair.
Sad because we attended Don’s funeral this afternoon. He and Maggie have been good friends of Sue’s in her congregation for many years and Don kept her in touch with things by email when we were in Saudi. The service was well done, we learnt a lot about Don, who had been in ill health for a long time and passed away peacefully last week aged 82 years. He was a kind and gentle man and will be missed by all who knew him.
Wednesday 24 June 2009
A day in London to see the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery. It was a sunny day so we walked through St James Park where we ate our sandwiches and were entertained by the water fowl and squirrels. The mounted Guard at the entrance to Horse Guards Parade attracted many tourists with their cameras - the horse had great patience. First Prize in the exhibition was Changeling 2 (above), one of a series of his daughter by Peter Monkman. The other awards were also well deserved. The exhibition consisted of a very interesting selection of 51 portraits. We voted for People’s Choice: Sue - White Linen, me - Agnes. I couldn't understand why the creator of Imagine hung the hair of his subject from a clothes line as I thought this spoilt the most arresting painting in the exhibition. My Honourable Mentions are: Christina, One in Two, Madeleine, My song, John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood, Philip and Joe (Grandfather and Grandson) and Angela from
Tuesday 23 June 2009
Returned to Kithurst Hill as it has been a few weeks since the last visit. Sunshine into the later afternoon, so plenty of fliers around. Many Meadow Browns & Painted Ladies, possible Brimstones flying high, Large Skippers, Tortoise Shells, and my first Ringlet photos. The roadside bank is a blaze of orchids, and there are patches of a lovely yellow flower in the meadows.
Monday 22 June 2009
Sunday 21 June 2009
After Sammy & Nute left, I headed off to Cissbury Hill as it is a noted local butterfly hotspot. The views were truly amazing on this particularly clear day. To the west the Isle of Wight and to the east Beachy Head can both be clearly seen. The one mile ditch around the fort is butterfly rich. I saw one Marbled White (but no photo), around 100 Meadow Browns, 50 Painted Ladies, Small Coppers, Small Blues, Common Blues, Large Skippers, a White, Cinnabar moth and a Yellow Shell moth.
Yesterday Sammy tried her luck at finding treasure on the beach. A few bottle tops, a washer and aluminium foil were dug up. Nute & Sammy went off for an hour with the mini kite, and apparently it was very successful on the beach, flying vertically with no effort. This morning Sammy marched us to the sea for a dip, this time both Aunty and Granny joined us in the cool waters. We are now watching the regatta, multi coloured sailboats are going every which way, each flotilla keeping to its assigned area. The train will hopefully start them on their return journey to The North. A fun trip for all, we hope they return.
Saturday 20 June 2009
Sammy’s early morning swim woke us up then we headed off to Warnham Nature Reserve for lunch and a walk round the nature trail. She had several Springwatch moments, the cygnets getting top marks. We saw nuthatches at a feeding station, and watched three terns on two nesting platforms in the lake, plus three herons the other side of the lake. Woodpigeons received a lot of attention, with some butterfly shouts in the meadows – Meadow Browns, some skippers, a Speckled Wood and a Painted Lady on some bramble flowers. No dragonflies today on the ponds, too overcast perhaps. Another blog may be needed to cover the metal detecting on the beach and a swim later.
Friday 19 June 2009
We received the dreaded call “we’re on the way”. Sammy,10, and grandma Nute, arrived late afternoon and Sammy led us to the sea at the first opportunity and plunged in for a paddle. This soon became a full swim. The gentle beach slope meant this was quite safe, and we paced the shore wondering how soon the novelty would wear off. The answer was “not too soon”! Oh the joys of youth. More beach fun tomorrow apparently!
Thursday 18 June 2009
Lovely summer’s day, so off to Mill Hill for a walk after lunch. The whole hillside was white with wild privet flower which was especially thick on the lower slopes. Plenty of Painted Ladies, Meadow Browns, a Red Admiral, a Large Skipper, a Small Blue, possible Marbled White. Magnificent Pyramid orchids were seen all over the hill. A group of model glider pilots picnicked at the top and up to three gliders were in the air at one time. A superb Spitfire was among the models.
Tuesday 16 June 2009
After lunch and a morning of photo editing, we drove to Warnham Nature Reserve near Horsham for a stroll in this perfect summer’s day. Sue enjoyed the beauty it. We watched the tern family attacking the gulls that came too near their floating nest. This are the furthest inland that common terns have been recorded nesting apparently. Sam, the warden, created a floating platform with the right substrate and they turned up soon after. A swan family with four cygnets were near the path, and the male eyed us suspiciously, but allowed us to pass. Two Large Skippers gave me a photo op.
Monday 15 June 2009
Day spent finding best car insurance deal & editing yesterday’s dragonfly photos. Evening walk along the beach to the kite surfers some of whom had difficulty taking off. Some scudded along & performed aerial leaps. Red and white valerian (Centranthus ruber) grew by some beach huts. We collected oyster shells to cover the new balcony pot which has ivy geraniums. Perfect evening walking weather, warm with a light breeze.
Sunday 14 June 2009
Friday 12 June 2009
A lovely summer day spent scanning Sue’s ancestor photo album. Later in the afternoon we visited the garden centre and bought a couple of Geranium Ivy Leaf (Decora Lilac) for £3 for the new blue plant tub on wheels we bought from Lidls for the western sheltered corner of the balcony. Admired the planting over a glass (or 2) of the new Chardonnay I bottled recently.
Thursday 11 June 2009
Bea’s last morning with us was spent metal detecting on the beach followed by tea on the balcony. A lovely sunny day with a light breeze – perfect conditions. We managed an hour on the beach while a high low tide started to make its way in, but found nothing. Bea caught the 10:20 bus to Brighton. The rest of the day will be spent bottling wine and making pickled onions and chutney.
Wednesday 10 June 2009
John Constable was an incredible portrait artist, we never realized until we saw today’s exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. My favourite was Mary Freer, aged 13. A damp day, but only drizzle. The Tube strike had no effect on our bus from
Tuesday 9 June 2009
Off to Arundel to explore the Antique shops. Kim’s Bookshop produced some holiday reads for Sue and Bea and a Collins Caterpillar guide for me. Great lunch in Butlers, as usual great food and service. Walked by the castle, passing three moorhen chicks, four goslings then loads of wildfowl at Swanbourne Lake. 50p bags of wildfowl food from the café provided entertainment. The prize was waiting for the walk back – a Water Vole, the first I’ve seen in perhaps forty years. It sat on the bank eating its veggies quite unfazed by our presence then clambered down the bank and swam over the stream.
Monday 8 June 2009
Sunday 7 June 2009
Bea and I attended the Springwatch Festival at
Saturday 6 June 2009
We took Bea to
Friday 5 June 2009
Strolled along the beach and round
Thursday 4 June 2009
The hot, humid spell of the past few days has given way to a light breeze. An evening Regatta took place off the beach, the top of which is now a carpet of Yellow Horned-poppies and white Sea Kale. A few days indoors scanning, editing and uploading family photos to a gallery has kept me busy and out of the sun. Had my first puncture in the Ford Focus on the way to a metal detecting club meeting, so missed that. New identical tyre costs £120, ouch!