Archive for January, 2012


Since the landslide we have had to take a different route into town, so you might think whats the problem. Well they have been resurfacing the road so we have had to take other routes. Today we started off going out the ‘top’ way up the valley along the ridge towards town. But just before we started our climb we found the road shut and a detour in place. Off we set and wound our way along a track recently opened only to find ourselves at the foot of our normal hill. So we had driven a good distance only to go round in a semi circle ending up where we would normally climb into town. So the moral of the tale is this. When road-workers are about STAY AT HOME!!!

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Buried Deep

Buried Deep.

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Hospitals: Are You Fit To Die?.

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Attacks On The President.

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Who Am I?

This is ‘Spector Thrush’  however there is a slight problem, exactly who is he?  Is he a song thrush who will delight you with his singing,  a Mistle Thrush with a rasping sort of sound  or  Is he just a plain Spector Thrush  in which case I shall have to contact 001 Claude Pheasant.   So who can tell me who my newest visitor is:

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The Mask Of Janus

The Mask Of Janus.

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I had heard about Claude from a friend of mine in the UK.  He told me that Claude has been going around telling everyone he has a bit part in the next James Bond movie, a really far thinking guy.  When I asked if this was true his Lordship (my friend and Claude’s agent) said not exactly. Claude wanted a bit part in the film, well Claude being a nice guy I decided to interview him and find out what makes him cauk….

This is Claude

I must explain a few points first. As you can see Claude is neither slim or fast, but he is exceedingly agile, either that or Farmer John is a really bad shot, Claude says he could not hit a barn door at 50 paces.  Having seen Farmer John and Claude in action I am not so sure.  Claude also has a female friend who is ‘in the business’ and a couple of ‘ard nut’ relatives, and this has given him a hankering for adventure.  Any way I flew over for a day with Claude to get his story and see him in training with Farmer John.
MDB:  Well Claude I hear you would like a bit part in the next James Bond movie.
Yes Michael. I am very good at ducking and weaving Farmer John trains me at least twice a week, but I really think my forte is as an undercover pheasant.   You know, I could fly in and perch near windows and things listen to conversations, get the info. I am very photogenic you know.
MDB:  But wouldn’t you be scared of being shot at  Claude? I know Farmer John is tutoring you how does he do it Claude?

Claude being embarrassed

Well I sit here on the fence he stands back there with his gun and aims for that outline on the barn door.  You can see the holes in the door where he has missed,  well out of my way.  Now and again a bit of shot will whistle past me but he’s such a rotten shot sometimes I don’t even have to move, it can be embarrassing.
On the barn door is an outline of a big fat pheasant…
MDB:   Why is that outline on the door Claude?

Claude in training

Well I sit on the fence here and he fires at the shape on the door then I move a long a bit and he fires again but sometimes he can’t even hit the barn door and nearly gets me.  But it is kind of him to help me so I mustn’t complain.
MDB:  I understand you have a friend who is an undercover agent Claude.
CP: Yes she’s called Dawn Eider, she’s one of the Sussex Eider-Downs.
MDB: Does she give you any tips or advice about how to be an agent?
Yes she does but it’s not really helpful to me. Shes a female and I’m a male and I only like females, which makes some of her advice unhelpful. She seems to do a lot of her work in bed, and she can make me a bit hot, but that’s her undercover work.
MDB:  So have you done any acting before?

Claude showing his feet off

Oh yes. I was the original model for the whisky advert, you know the one that uses a grouse.  Well before they found Gregory McPeck they needed a prototype to see if the strutting and everything worked.  So my agent (his Lordship) suggested me, I was the one who came up with the footwork.  Doing quite well untill some idiot decided that ‘Famous Pheasant’ didn’t sound quite right and any way being a Scottish whisky they should have a Scottish bird and brand name.  So  his Lordship suggested McPeck (he was his agent as well) and that was that.  Mind you I have noticed that there is a new guy on there now,  Duke McEllington they call him, plays the piano he’s a jazz pianist from the USA, I really like his music.
Do you have any other friends or relatives who are, shall we say, in that line of work?
Well there’s my Uncle  Emery Board,  he’s a really rough character.  Won’t stand any messing from anyone or thing. He even shortened my Aunts nails one day because she kept him awake scratching.   He’s taught me how to look mean.
Then there’s my cousin  Buster Crab. He sounds tough, but the other week he had a break in and Uncle Emery says he’s got shell-shock.
MDB:    What about your agent my friend his Lordship, has he been able to find you any work this year?

Claude being a Gossip

Well, he did have this offer from someone called Cordon Ramsey. He wanted a pheasant for one of his cooking programmes, but I had heard about how he shouts and said no way, he can go shout at another peasant.  But there is a chance I may be in a tv serial.  Perhaps I shouldn’t say anything, but his Lordship has been approached by this director who is looking for a kungphoo pheasant to appear in a series with a werewolf, vampire and a ghost.  Don’t mind the first two but not so sure about the ghost, they’re spooky.
MDB: Well thank you for your time Claude and allowing me to interview you.  I have enjoyed meeting you and hope you get your bit part.  I think Farmer John is ready for some more target practice take care Claude.
I would like to thank my friend his Lordship for allowing me to interview Claude.  Also Farmer John who let me watch a practice session.
However, I did notice the outline on the barn door and the position Claude sits in when ‘practice’ is going on are getting closer together.   Keep swerving Claude.

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It is that time of year again, when all the birds start their nesting. Now the winter has been rather mild so far which means we have seen the birds earlier than normal.  This morning I woke to see a rather fat bird about the same size as Boris sitting in the olive tree outside the bedroom. 

Now this bird is, I think, a Mistle Thrush.  It’s brown with a cream coloured chest and the markings looked to be in lines. It was just sitting there totally unconcerned watching as the Great Tits and Robin’s as they looked for insects in the branches.   On my way through to the kitchen I saw ‘Bobbin Robbin’ sitting in the almond tree looking as fat and cheeky as ever doing a somewhat subtle bob.  It took some time for me to realise that Bobbin was watching the new comer,  well I thought, are we in for feathers or does this new  ‘kid on the block’ have just a bit more than looks. 

Well that was at the beginning of the week. since then he has joined the ‘Gang’ and can be as bossy as Boris, but I have noticed that Boris is rather respectful to ‘Spector (yes my wife named him) and goes to the olive tree to have a tantrum.  As for Bobbin Robbin he does not take any notice of ‘Spector but, if Mrs ‘Spector arrives he makes himself scarce along with ‘Spector himself.  So I know who really rules here. 

As usual my wife gave him a name  ‘Spector Thrush.  When I asked why she said “well he watches the others very closely and with his colouring he blends in with the scrub”.  Can’t argue with that, but I caught him face on this morning and he  just stood and stared at me, mmm I wonder, is there something  there I should watch out for???

Dum diddy dum dum dum dum dum  dahdah da da da…..

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One of the things that we are most scared of living where we do is fire,  and today was the day when the fear nearly came to life.

My computer has been ill and I have not been able to work for a few weeks, so when a fellow author told me about a really good ‘computer man’ I got in touch and today (Saturday) was ‘mend the laptop day’.   My wife took it into town to Paul and I stayed behind, well it was Saturday and that means football on tv.  I also had a few jobs to do and the weather for once was sunny. 

I had been outside checking a few things and could hear what sounded like ‘firecrackers’ going off in the forest.  It was not a shooting day – that’s Sunday’s and Thursday’s – it could have been the village letting off day time fireworks – as they do – but there was no smoke in the sky.  But I felt a bit uneasy so armed with my mobile I climbed the ridge and looked towards the river.  Bloody hell I thought.  I could see the cause of the noise now, a fire, creeping towards the forest and going quite well.  So I phoned the Bombers who told me they were on the way and sure enough they turned up as we were speaking.  

Now these guys are really on the ball, they are ready for such events as they practice at the bottom of the track and we have often headed out to petanca only to find them with hoses across the track putting out ‘pretend’ fires (non-existant fires).  Then came the procession of cars up and down the track Agents Rurals plus various other vehicles. 

The weather here has been damp and cold for the past few days so I suppose that someone thought it was ok to do some burning.  The problem is at around midday the wind is blowing and it’s really not wise to burn after 11.30am, as this is when the wind starts to wake up.  I can only surmise that as I said someone decided to do some burning and it got out of hand or a dog-end was thrown from a passing vehicle, the third supposition does not bear contemplating.

Now you might be wondering where my wife was  –  still in town with the repairman.  But I had an escape vehicle … my bike!!

But all’s well that end’s well.  The laptop is well again and the fire is out, but it does make you think it may not have looked much a of a burning BUT!  if it had reached the forest………..

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