The life of keithlard

I took the camera out for a wander to try and get lots of pictures of WILDLIFE ekcetera. I was a bit glum at first as I did not really get anything much, it is very hard taking pictures of birds especially, as they keep moving around and flying off. So I spent a lot of time hanging around suspiciously in the woods.

It was a beautiful day though and it was nice sitting quietly in the sunshine by the river watching blue tits fluttering around and listening to woodpeckers. It is awful hard to identify little songbirds as they tend to be (a) quite small, and (b) very good at not being seen. So it is bird listening rather than bird watching, I am trying to learn what all the different birds’ songs and calls are.

One thing I learned from watching David Attenborough’s wizzo series The Life of Birds is that birdsong actually means something, and they are not just messing about and jamming. Generally a male bird sings for the same reason that you do when using a public lavatory where the door doesn’t lock properly: to say ‘Hey I am here and occupying this territory, keep out!’

Birds tend to stick to their patch of territory and they will know their neighbours. If one day they don’t hear a neighbour singing, it is a good sign that he has died or flown away, and the territory is ripe for takeover. So the song is also like the Soviets rolling hundreds of tanks through Red Square every year: it is saying ‘I am strong and powerful, do not mess around with me or you will regret it.’

At breeding time it also attracts females of course, and the louder and more varied and impressive your song, the more of a chick magnet you are. It means ‘I am so genetically well-endowed that I can waste precious resources sitting here warbling all day long’, in much the same way that a ridiculously expensive and oversized SUV asserts your status as a human being.

So it is all very interesting and the more you sit in the woods and listen the more different types of songs and calls you realise there are. It would be good if there was a Michel Thomas course on bird songs.

In the end though I got lots of great photos (coming soon!) and returned home in time for a snack before zooming out again to a meeting of the Finchley Guitar Trio (it is now the Archway Guitar Quartet as Matt’s housemate Chris has now joined us on mandolin). So much musical fun was had by all (MP3s coming soon once I’ve edited them to cut out the mistakes and laughing).

Then when I got home I made and ate delicious home made samosas!

It does not get any better than that really.

Photo by Jim Higham


If you do not like bees, or do not want to know the score, look away now.

Two of those guys are living in windmills!

Four hours stuck in a wigwam with a bunch of sad-acts who know more about me than I do. Two of those guys are living in windmills! That’s like one step away from Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.” — Jonathan Creek

The scary thing is that I do want to copy Jonathan Creek and be exactly like him including living in a windmill. And the other day I was stalking him by nearly visiting his windmill at Shipley in West Sussex, although that was by accident.

I think the appeal for me is that he is a tall intellergent man with messy hair who lives on his own, solving impossible murders and doing mortgage adverts, and is immensely attractive to women. That is nearly like me except for the adverts. And the murders.

Photo by Garry1968


It is a cheap joke I know

This blue tit was having a bath in the little pond. Splish, splash!

Meanwhile his friend watches nervously in case the attendant comes to tell them off for bombing.

There was a large flock of these great tits swooping around, chirping and gossiping in various trees, but this was the only one brave enough to come near me when I was sitting by the pond. This is the hardest bird that the others are all afraid of, a bit like Ross Kemp out of East Enders.

Coppett's Wood

Coppett’s Wood is a wizzo nature reserve just right next to the 24-hour Tescos at Colney Hatch. It is right up the road for me so when I accidentally went for a drive around in the Audi yesterday, I thought I’d pop in and investergate the progress of SPRING ekcetera.

I had a happy afternoon wandering around the woods and fields looking at various birds, insecks and flowers and such like. There are many things of intrest in the wood including the remains of the old sewerage works, hem hem, not pictured.

Where will the twisty little pathway lead next? Perhaps to the wonderful magic land of the bacon pixies. Or round the back of Tescos.

It’s all gone a bit Blair Witch.

I know it is a bit annoying just posting pictures all the time. You will have to put up with it though, and enjoy the misery.

Plymouth, Citie of Onne Thousand Surprises

Drake’s Island and Plymouth Sound

Old and new buildings jostle together in Plymouth, Citie of Onne Thousand Surprises!

The war memorial on Plymouth Hoe

Disaffected gulls hanging out at the Barbican

Fluffy pub cat at the Rashleigh, Polkerris (not near Plymouth, but it is nice)

Enjoying a pint at Polkerris and watching the sun set over St Austell Bay

The adventures of a little phone

In my Yoga Journal daily insight today it said I should try and be positive about life changes and have faith that things will be good in the future. It is hard though sometimes.

As befits someone in my position I went to Sainsbury’s and bought about one million calories of comfort food. On the way back from the calerie shop there were blackbirds singing and I saw a super white dove (or pidgeon, it is the same thing really). Also spring flowers were out and so forth.

It is still a lovely world.

I should have known better than to try and install my nice new big USB disk today, as not only did it not work, but my mouse stopped working. I think it is one of those days where if you just keep fiddling, gradually your whole computer falls to pieces like a clown car, followed by the walls and roof of your flat.

I had another go when I came back as I was feeling more cheery after seeing blackbirds, and after wrestling with kernel images, initrds, and package dependency hell, I got it working! So I have a big fat envelope for keeping movies, intellergent documentaries or baffling Jonathan Creek mysteries.

The mouse works too now!

Eden 4

Eden 3

With some assistance from Lucy’s macro converters

Eden 2