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Archive for December, 2010

I was rather a naughty boy at school, never in the running to be a prefect or monitor.

My first job was in a stockbrokers earning £3.00 a week. Perhaps there was a chance to extend myself and become a ‘Gecko’ in the financial markets, but I could not drop my tail or hang upside down from the ceiling. I was more of a plodder, not quick or flash and no long tongue flicking in and out. What I did enjoy though, were some pears, usually Bartlet, however Bosc pears were better especially cooked in red wine.

I have continued to plod steadily through life although not always sure. Perhaps I should have been a Monitor after all, with the right crop report, I could have traded places with President Bartlet…  Or perhaps made a few films?

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For the past few days I have seen a large white bird the same size as Ebert on the river. I did wonder if it was a white Heron, but am informed its, a Great Egret and a lady at that this is her story…

Yes, I am a very tall, stately lady. Slender, elegant and very very good at fishing, so good in fact that this Heron insists on taking a pole near me, in fact he’s been hanging around me ever since I arrived. If I am on the edge of the river he’s somewhere in the bank, head tucked in and sitting on dry, I repeat DRY land, how on earth does he expect to catch any food? Here I am wading around step by step in the shallows ( my reflection is just beautiful) even in this cold but I am not starving I am catching fish.

However, I have to admit that he does have his attractions and I have not yet found a mate still…. anyway, I can’t stand here chatting even if it is about someone as gorgeous as myself a girl has to eat you know. There is a little backwater I know of  further up the river, now if I can only get away from my admirer…

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On the 22nd October 2010 the Earth was hit by a major solar storm, vast amounts of  radiation disrupted the Earths magnetic field and the views of the Aurora Borealis were immense. These storms hit the Earth on a fairly regular basis but are ignored as if they were of no concern to us, any damage caused to the magnetic fields affect our communications and weather patterns. After this storm major weather disruption has affected large areas of the World, severe cold fronts have repeatedly affected the northern hemisphere bringing an early winter and record low temperatures, even in the southern hemisphere variations in the weather have been acute, snow in Australia. The Sun is our largest source of energy and radiation, it’s affect on the Earth’s weather must be greater than anything man can do, so why do we ignore it when forecasting weather, surely all factors should be considered, but it’s as if this does not exist for Meteorologists, when will they wake up?

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Since the nights here have turned really cold I have been sitting under this roof above a doorway huddled on a small no, minute ledge of stone and snuggled into the corner where although not a soft bush I am able to gain some protection from the wind, rain and cold.

I get here around dusk and stay put till the morning, its ok, but the ‘Big Ones’ will appear in the night-time and disturb me. The door opens and light streams out then there are exclamations of  ‘Oh look he’s here again’,  I don’t mind that, so much as the bright light thats directed at me. Anyway they wander off to the house of their dragon and a few minutes later all is quiet; then comes the ‘he’s still there ahhhhh’ bit followed by the closing of the door which is followed by a chunk, chunk sound then all returns to peace.

It is not that there are no other places to roost but this is warmer. I have tried other parts of the buildings but most of them are taken, the nesting problem is a little difficult, don’t suppose the `Big Ones’ have that problem in their world.  Still I am looking round for a better place to spend the nights, I might even find a mate then a nice warm nest then…. oh no what am saying, eggs, chicks, mouths to feed no no I’ll stick to my ledge for now.

Ahhh  this is it getting warm.  Thinking back I did try sheltering on a ledge by the chimney stack but it was too open and I had to puff up my feathers to keep warm I looked like a puff-ball with a beak then one of the ‘Big Ones’ pointed a flashy thing at me. Well whatever keeps them happy, after finding this little space I am fine for now but if it gets really cold I will have to consider cuddling up to the chimney, the dragons house is too smelly and noisy and only last for a short time.

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45 Years

Yesterday we had been married 45years, ups, downs, good times and bad all the things that make a strong marriage and of course LOVE. So I decided to take Mrs Bosc out to a local restaurant called Carpe Diem. Its out in the sticks and run by two men who know a lot about food, ambiance and making an evening perfect. We had heard a lot about this place but never been, so at 6.30pm we left for the restaurant. We were not to be disappointed.

We knew the road as its on the way to the coast. When you are driving in the day it’s easy to spot the the turn off but at night it’s slightly different, I almost missed it. You turn down this small track like road and continue for quite some way then you come to a fork in it here you keep to the right and a few yards further on you see the lights. It is done up like Christmas magic, two big Santa’s at the door and lights. Inside however, it takes your breath away, decorations, tables set, chandeliers of different types and seats so comfortable that you wonder if your meant to be sitting in them. Then there are three settees set around a table where you can sit either after dinner or before.

The decorations are simple but so well presented that a world of wonder prevails, so close your eyes and imagine. You enter through a glass sliding door and enter into a room full of tables and chairs set out in different numbers, a room typically Spanish. Lowish ceiling with two huge beams set across the main room resting on arched pillars. Other thinner beams running the length of the room across them with typical ceiling pots set in between giving the feel of a Spanish home. The other side of the room is enclosed with a glass folding wall, which opens up in summer. In this side of the dinning area two huge chandeliers hanging, decorated and glowing. There were space heaters placed about the restaurant so we were warm. Our table was next to an old range with a typical nook which was decorated with olive branches on a white material base with a nativity scene set up on some bricks and baubles mixed with fir cones placed around the base a lighted pot with air blowing upwards giving the effect of a fire. The rest of the decorations were typically seasonal. Fir with lights or thick red tinsley thongs threaded through it. Christmas music was playing Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Boney M, Perry Como and others. The colour scheme of red, green, gold and white. The tables were set impeccably, with candles and individuall decorations.

When we arrived a very nice young lady showed us to our table and then bought glasses of pink Cava along with the menus, whilst choosing we were treated to nibbles of the exotic kind. Left to select our menu from a very wide range of dishes, including Ostrich, Kangaroo and Gazelle along with more traditional fare. I chose a cannelloni for starters my wife fougra, for the main dish I had pork my wife duck, for desert I chose a selection of sorbets but the biggest thing was my wife chose the cheese selection it arrived at the table on a huge round platter, eight different cheeses with a dish of nuts, a pear and glass of bread sticks. All this washed down with coffee, the wine was a perfect 2002 Grand Reserve Terra Alta.

Needless to say we are having Christmas dinner there and I will be taking pictures.

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Today has been a rather cold and dreary day so around 2pm we decided to go for a drive, Mrs Bosc to see if she could get some pictures of Erbert the Eron and I wanted to see if we could find a way up to the windmills they have been puttin up on the range behind the village.

We drove along the winding roads through the mountains to the Falset Vinebre road, twisting and climbing through the passes. The terrane is rugged with valleys layered is vines and olive groves, with the season ending the remaining leaves of the vines are ruset in colour.

We came to a bend in the pass and there rising through the clouds were the tops of windmills rising like spectors. We travelled on a little further and as the angle changed so more appeared, as though sentinals standing in line watching, waiting for instructions to begin their turning to produce electricity.

For once we found the road easily, we did not get lost as usual, and the climb up to the ridge was interesting. As we climbed we saw the windmills appearing out of the clouds majestic standing tall and still waiting…

The return journey was eventful for pictures of Erbert and his friends, so I have managed to place his photo on his story. Even if I say so myself he is a handsome bird, although what his ‘friend’ is we don’t know I think its a Stork Mrs Bosc thinks it’s a white Heron.

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An Interview With Michael.

Hi everyone, the following link is my interview with the Walthamstow Guardian for which I must say a big thankyou. Both Lindi (Editor) and Nick (Reporter) have shown their kindness to a new author from their part of London. I hope you enjoy the reading, and yes thats what I look like:-

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