Monday, 2 April 2012

Monday's Diary

 In 2006, shortly after we arrived in Trelawnyd, I decided to write an on-line diary chronicling the mundane and the new in our new country based life here in Wales.
Ok some days I will go off on one ( as the meandering rubbish of yesterday will testify to) but generally the purpose of Going Gently is simply that of a daily journal.
So today, I will return to those little daily dramas...those tiny snippets of the every-day, so to speak

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. It was a beautiful spring day, and as usual part of the St Michael's Church  service was held by the ancient 14th Century prayer Cross in the old Graveyard.
I snapped a few photos of the small congregation and remember feeling suddenly  a little melancholy at the thought that in perhaps ten years time, the congregation would have been whittled down to almost nothing

 Today, everything is all very different. The weather is cold, wet and miserable, and the bright greens of yesterday have morphed into the more traditional browns and greys of a damp spring.
The rain has however transformed our tiny back garden from it's winter "nothingness" into a pre flowering  greenery, as great clumps of Aquilegia vulgaris have started to flourish. 
Mother-in-law Sorrel arrives on Thursday, I am hoping that the granny's Bonnet's will be flowering by then.

On the field, not all the animal relationships have remained Walt Disney-esque, and a marked split within the ranks of the geese has resulted in Camilla the Canada goose being ostracised from the flock.
The only reason I can think of that this may happen, is the fact that Camilla may indeed be a "Charles"
and that the resident gander, the benign Russell, has decided that another male is surplus to requirements, but watching the interaction between ALL of the geese, it is noticeable that even Jo and Winnie seem somewhat wary of "Camilla" when "she" approaches.
Last night a somewhat lonely Camilla was housed with the "Crackhead whores" in the hen house next to the goose house
(perhaps the more knowledgeable goose keepers amongst my blog readers could give me a few ideas of what is exactly going on?)

Camilla or could it be Charles?
Yesterday ,several of the neighbours made a point of happily  mentioning that Albert seems to be "back on form" now. The skinny, somewhat elusive cat has obviously endeared himself to the residents of the five houses in our part of the village, and his recent absence from their gardens has been worrying for all of them that enjoy the company of a cat who resembles Sammy Davis Jnr 
It's funny howmany people enjoy vicarious pleasure in someone Elsie's pet.

This morning I snapped this somewhat blurry photo of Albert,wrapped around George and Meg after they all had returned from their morning walk.
It is nice to see Albert back on form............

Weight Watchers weigh in 14 stone 5 lbs
No weight loss this week
Must have been all that white wine!!!!


  1. It is nice to see a photo of your garden there, I don't think I have seen one before. I can't help feeling a bit sorry for the gender confusing Camilla, hope she got on with the crackhouse team.
    I had the pleasure of delivering (I use this in the loosest possible sense)5 puppies yesterday from my friends dog. Awesome experience.

  2. Your thoughts on the church congregation having disappeared in ten years is one I share. I am not Christian, but the thought of our nations' churches being abandoned...well, it's just not British, is it? Hopefully the Daily Mail readers will save the day.

  3. Yes, it's the wine John. I'm off the stuff now as I just pile on the pounds after a wino binge. Meths only from here on...

    I've noticed the dwindling congregations at church gatherings too, although I don't think that has much bearing on the numbers of folk still believing in God. Just that they don't go to church.

  4. Good job my name is not Benny! By the way Dolttle's duck was called Dab-Dab.

  5. John -- your garden is amazing - beautiful. As for sexing geese, our friend who breeds them for the table at Christmas says that it is a difficult thing to do - he waits until they begin chasing one another at this time of the year - soon pick the ganders out then.
    Lovely photos too.

  6. I love my glimpses into your world.
    Thank you. Rather a change from Manhattan.
    Happy Easter.

  7. Hi John! As luck would have it my husband is a bit of an expert on Canada geese because he raised them when he was a young lad.
    He wonders how old Camilla is?
    Three years old is the magic number for Canada geese.
    That's when they come of age and start looking for a mate. They also mate for life.
    How aggressive is the attitude of the other geese toward Camilla? If they "put the wings to her" and chase her off, "she" is likely a "he." The more aggressive the chase, the more likely Camilla is a coming of age male.
    If they generally ostracize her and chase her less violently, it's likely she is a she, because they do mate for life and, like all women, the ladies don't like it when a single chick comes into the mix who might flirt with their husbands.
    Sometimes, like humans (!), the females can be just as violent as the males so that's not always true.
    But if Camilla is three, chances are that's what's going on.

  8. cAmilla is just over one year
    I wonder if the other 2 females who have always grown up together see her/him as a threat?
    They are laying well and getting a little " nesty"

  9. Church and religion have been the world's greatest ever con trick, and they're now, at long last, being sussed. The legacy, however, is wonderful buildings and art works!

  10. p.s. One of my hens has recently laid 2 tiny yolk-less eggs... any ideas?

  11. The Church congregations are dwindling here too; another lost generation. Poor Camilla, or Cameron. They are, I believe, one of the only birds who mate for life. He/she must be lonely. The Canadian Geese in our back fields should, if not already, be sitting on eggs by now. Our neighbour at the Garden Center next doors has a huge pond that attracts them. So happy Albert is returning to good form. Love your garden by the way.

  12. Normal occasionally cro
    What are the shells like. ? Crinkled shells can be a sign of infection in the bird
    I suspect she's just working overtime! These are often termed cockerel eggs and happen when young birds are ' getting' going so to speak, often in the spring

  13. Thanks John. Shells normal... maybe it's just Spring!

  14. Is Sorrel prepared for the farting competitions between Mabel and Albert?
    Jane x

  15. A lovely gentle round up...any more Albert farts?

  16. Glad to hear that Albert is back to being himself.

  17. Your flower garden is already looking pretty nice, John!

    The churches around here are growing, maybe it's the location?

    Glad that Albert is being more himself.

  18. For Christ's sake don't google "sexing a goose", at least not on your own PC!

  19. Anonymous2:20 pm

    Your yard looks lovely and it is so good to see sweet little Albert back on track and keeping the dogs in line. Hope your MIL visit goes well.

  20. Everything looks lovely there, John.

    Would the other geese see Camilla/Charles as a threat because she looks different and is now an age where s/he's competition?

    I'm glad to see that Albert is back on form. I miss my elderly neighbour, Mr P, who has suffered a stroke and has since moved south to live with his daughter; actually, i didn't see him much, but he had some ducks, a cockerel who liked to crow to the world, a few hens, and two cats. One of the felines would come over on his daily rounds, as he thought our yard part of his territory. He wouldn't let me pet him, but he did enjoy the catnip. I miss seeing Tux.


  21. I especially loved all your photos today. Our weather has gone from warm to snow to rain to frost. Our poor flowers are taking a beating.

  22. I hope Camilla (?) gets her social life straightened out. I feel sorry for singletons. I live near a busy four-lane road that borders a wetland area. The geese couples will lolly around on the grass near the road oblivious to the traffic. A few years ago, one of a nesting pair was killed. Every spring the surviving spouse would come back to that spot and wait. It really made me sad to see the poor thing sitting there alone.

  23. Ah, yes - my apartment neighbors enjoy Emma the Calico Queen's antics and worry about her when they don't see her for a while. In fact, I think I could be lying on the floor for a few days and they would only be concerned about my cat!

    Nancy in Iowa

  24. Ditto on the garden photo, so pretty and full of life. Love it! And like Elizabeth said, I too enjoy the glimpses into your life from the other side of the world. I can live vicariously (Benny turn away now) through all your animal experieces. I look forward to reading each new post.

    And I've learned a valuable lesson, don't take a drink of something as I start reading.

    "Charles and Camilla"...your animals have the greatest names.

  25. Are those snoozing animals sunk in goose down? Well, so am I. Still not warm enough to put it away.

  26. Do hope your geese aren't tapped into the zeitgeist...!

  27. I've just read your post to my daughter who said...
    "Canadian Goose?
    "Crack House Whores ?" Then I mentioned " Vinegar Tits" That's why we love you Dr Doolittle"!!!

  28. Indeed it is good to see Albert back to his old self.
    The photos are lovely, and how I picture an English (Welsh) garden.

  29. steve
    I had to look that one up!
    thats sweet of you

  30. There's nothing quite as beautiful as the British countryside when it's sunny, and nothing quite as dreary and depressing when it's overcast and damp.

    I look forward to the definitive ruling on the gender of Camilla/Charles. If comments on his/her appearance go down badly, my money's on Camilla.

  31. nick
    I suspect she IS female.. I think that jo and winnie being assertive 3 year olds, the prospect of another gal in their nest , is too much to cope with!

  32. Just wanted to say that your place and your life look very special.

  33. I could say the same for yours vera... even if you dont have a proper kitchen xxx

  34. Oh joy, a botanical name in use. Columbine, granny's bonnets are a joy in themself. Your garden looks quite colourful, and is that trusty winter-flowering Erica vulgaris in there?
    Nice view through the churchyard daffs :-)

  35. PS Re Cro Magnon's yolkless eggs... as you say it's what the youngsters do. I understand that they are the first eggs of pullets (do you use that term?)the teenage hens just coming out of chick stage. I fried one for Kitty's breakfast the other day - she doesn't like yolk in her eggs.


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