Wonderful Women Wednesday

Today Victoria created a bit of barista art on my latte. I only mention it because it’s the first I’ve had for ages. It’s one of those things you don’t miss until you get one. Odd.

Tonight we were back in town, sitting in a theatre, watching a play. Following last Saturday’s awful experience, tonight was, thankfully and as expected, fantastic. Mind you, you’d expect that from the RSC.

Mirinda had a meeting so we met in Trafalgar Square before heading up to Haymarket. Then, right next to the theatre (literally) was a delightful restaurant seemingly dedicated to a dog. The chairs even had different breeds of dog embroidered into their backs. Directly behind me was the dog itself – Brumus. We felt right at home.

And the meal was delicious. Mirinda had steak while I had trout. I can’t speak for the steak but the fish was lovely. Poached and sat on pesto sauce with a shaved fennel and orange salad…total yum!

Gary’s dinner

My only issues with the restaurant were how many staff members came over and asked how things were (all of them it felt like), the speed with which they cleared the tables (you had to hang on to anything you wanted to keep…like your drink) and the lavender and eucalyptus hand lotion in the toilet (I reeked all night). But they are minor quibbles and nothing to be too concerned about. The restaurant and food were so good we shall definitely be back.

Of course, the most bestest thing about Brumus is the proximity to the Theatre Royal Haymarket because that’s where we were going to see Queen Anne.

[I have to say that the best seats in the house appear to be B1 & 2 and, if we ever go to this theatre again, we have to get these seats!]

We decided to see Queen Anne because of the cast, really. We’ve been fans of Emma Cunniffe (Queen Anne) for many years. Most memorably she was brilliant in The Master Builder with Timothy West which we saw in Guildford back in…I think it was 2005. She’s also been in just about every TV police drama.

And then there’s the brilliant Romola Garai (Sarah Churchill, Lady Marlborough). This is the first time we’ve seen her on stage. She was delightful in Emma and very foxy in The Hour on the BBC. She is very appealing and we were really looking forward to seeing her on the stage.

And here is where things differ from last week when the actors were off the telly. The cast of Queen Anne were stage trained and can manage both with aplomb. It makes such a difference.

The story revolves around the ascension of Queen Anne (daughter of James II of England, granddaughter of Charles I) and her reign following the death of King William III in 1702. The play shows her struggle to understand the workings of parliament and the difficulties with deciding who she should believe. This is made more difficult by the factions vying for her attentions. Her long time friend (in her mind anyway) Sarah Churchill is concerned that Anne should follow her directives and plays her like an emotional fiddle.

The play, written beautifully by Helen Edmundson, is new and fresh and wonderful. The two central women are superbly drawn and performed. But so was everyone in the cast. The use of mixed race actors was great and the satirical political songs were bitingly brilliant fun. I can’t say how much I enjoyed this play. It was fantastic.

BTW, here’s a short video I shot while waiting for Mirinda. I know, I know, my panning is a bit too fast. I’ll do better next time.

Posted in Gary's Posts | Leave a comment

Terrace Tuesday too

Emma wants to help on the terrace

Creating the Summer Terrace is something we’ve never done before but it makes sense if you consider we now have hygge during the depths of winter.

Hygge transforms the house to something a lot more cosy and warm and welcoming. In summer, the welcome is for the sun and as much time as possible is spent outside, among the plants and greens of nature.

Eating takes on an al fresco feel as we move from dining to terrace table, moved to slightly under the tree in Clive’s Corner to save our heads from the worst excesses of the sun. It’s almost like we’re sitting with the birds amongst the leaves and branches.

That’s what we were doing today. I say ‘we’ but it was really me under supervision. After Skyping with mum, I set to high pressure spraying the side closest to the Crazies before moving the terrace furniture around to reflect a more outdoorsy feel.

Last night we ate outside and did the same tonight even though the rain was threatening to enguzzle everything. (In fact we had a horrendous storm later on. There was something phenomenal like 100,000 lightning strikes…not all on our garden, I hasten to add. One small village in Cornwall was almost swept away by the deluge.)

And I managed to create a lo-carb salmon and dill quiche. The fill is the standard fill I have used countless times (pre lo-carb) but the pastry has had me flummoxed. The quiche I made last week gave me an idea. I made a pastry with a mixture of almond flour and ground up walnuts. You can’t roll it. You have to pick bits off and press them into the quiche tin.

Lo-carb and delish

And it worked well though the walnut made the ‘pastry’ a bit crumbly. The thing is, the fill is very rich and needs something solid like walnut to cut through. Almond alone just won’t do it. Next time I might try Brazil or hazelnuts.

Anyway, apart from the crumbling, the quiche was pronounced pretty damned good and we ate it, with a salad, outside.

Oh, and I shot a little video of our Summer Terrace…

Posted in Gary's Posts | 1 Comment

Monday on the terrace

George A Romero died today. Aged 77, George is responsible for making the undead popular. His Night of the Living Dead is a classic. Created for pennies, it made millions back in the late 1960’s and the zombies rose to fame and fortune. Without him, perhaps The Walking Dead wouldn’t exist.

From the photos I’ve seen of him, George looks like he was quite a genial and jolly chap and nothing like one imagines given his films.

George A Romero by nicolas genin – originally posted to Flickr as 66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7936953

Then, as if completely dissatisfied with remaining alive in Trump’s America, the wonderful Martin Landau died as well. I remember him best for the original Mission Impossible TV series. He was superb. He was also extraordinary as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. He was so good he was given the Oscar for Best Supporting actor for it. I also remember him in Space 1999 but that’s best forgotten.

Martin Landau (1968) by TV studio – ebay, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26963268

The most exciting thing that happened to me today was the fire alarm going off at the gym. I was on the bike, pedalling nowhere like a lunatic when suddenly, piercing through my earplugs came a raucous beckoning. There were about five of us in the gym and, when the alarm hadn’t been silenced after a minute, we all headed down the back stairs to the fire exit.

We then all stood around, waiting for…well, for someone to tell us we could go back to our various workouts. Apart from the six of us from the gym there was also a woman in a swimsuit, towel wrapped around herself modestly.

It made me wonder what would happen if the alarm went off while you were in the shower. It’s not the fact that you’d be naked because you’d have a towel with you but you wouldn’t have any shoes. When I mentioned it to Mirinda she asked if I wore shoes in the shower like everyone else. I replied that, yes, I’d seen some people with their shower shoes but they were few and far between and, quite frankly, laughed at. She considered for a bit. She agreed with me.

Anyway, the alarm went off (as Mirinda pointed out an alarm going off can mean making a noise and stopping making the noise…which is a fun fact about the English language) and we all went back to whatever we were doing. It was all a bit exciting.

The rest of my day was spent cleaning the terrace ahead of our very important visitors on Sunday.

Posted in Gary's Posts | 1 Comment

Summery Sunday

After the horrors of yesterday, today was spent in quite a bit of restful nothingness. Well, for me anyway. Mirinda was working on her DBA for most of the day.

Of course I walked into town to buy up for our now traditional Sunday Japanese Feast – pork belly, miso soup, raw fish, griddled veg, etc – and, while nothing big was happening to disrupt the traffic, there was a group of chaps building a scaffold.

There must be some work going on in or on the Boots glasses shop in the Borough because that’s where they were erecting it. It wasn’t too bad when I walked by but I reckon the traffic probably went a bit annoyed during the day.

Works in The Borough

Back at home I set to trying to remember everything that had to go on my new laptop. It made me wonder how non techie people manage to do it. While it’s very easy to just take a laptop out of the box and get it working, it’s quite another setting it up to work properly with all the software that was on the old one.

A few things were a bit irritating (and Sonos was still being a pain when I finally gave up and went to bed) but it was all working well…eventually. Because some things take an awfully long time I was up and down, in and out, doing other things at the same time. Like making dinner.

While most of our now traditional Sunday Japanese Feast takes about half an hour, the pork belly needs to cook for three and a half hours and rest for 30 minutes. And, of course, it needs checking every now and then.

Mirinda, during one of her breaks, decided she wanted to rearrange the furniture and some pots on the terrace. This meant I was going from terrace to office and back again a few times.

Still, it was still quite a relaxing day…which, of course, means a short post!

The new Lenovo

And I almost forgot…the 13th Doctor is going to be a woman! Jodie Whittaker will take over from the old white male during the Christmas Special this year. About bloody time, I say.

Posted in Gary's Posts | 1 Comment

Don’t let the gin do the driving

It’s very rare that we go up to the West End and see something truly terrible. When it happens it feels like time and money has been wasted on something that really should have a stamp of quality on it. It would be like buying a Business Class seat to Australia and discovering an entire family of chavs are sitting around you, feet on the seats, cheap booze in their hands.

People might call me a theatre snob (I don’t care) but The Philanthropist performing at Trafalgar Studio 1 is awful. Actually, the word I originally used was ‘shit’ but I think ‘awful’ is somehow more descriptive. It was also dull and boring (I had a bit of a snooze in the second half) and the actors, with a couple exceptions, were appalling.

The bad acting was the biggest shame because we’d only booked to go to the Trafalgar Studio theatre again because of the cast. We went there to see The Maids and the theatre was horrid – uncomfortable, squishy and hot. This time, add to the mix a guy sitting next to me who, had he spread his legs any wider, would have been doing the seated splits.

But, let’s leave the theatre out of it because the play was even worse. Dated, over wordy and saying nothing about anything apart from how clever the writer is with words, it is firmly entrenched in 1960’s Britain. You couldn’t [prise it free with a winkle picker and why would you? It should have stayed there, limpet like and forgotten.

As for the actors…there is often a problem with very good TV actors when they transition to the stage. I think that if an actor starts on stage then gravitates to the screen, it’s a lot easier. When it’s the other way around you tend to get what we watched tonight. Really bad acting. Too quiet, too small, too stereotype…there was nothing interesting.

Thornton Wilder said ‘Give me three feet of space and a few emotions and I’ll give you a play,’ or words to that effect. This play had a brilliant set which, fortunately occupied more than three feet because emotions there were none.

The worst one was Matt Berry. Matt is superb in the IT Crowd. Very funny and surreal but on stage he is worse than forgettable. Seriously, I really want to forget him but his lack of talent keeps going around in my head like an ear-worm made flesh.

When I say he was the worst, it’s only because he had more stage time than the truly awful Lily Cole. She isn’t even an actor. I reckon she must know someone in the production company because there’s no way she should go anywhere near a stage. I found it quite difficult even looking at her. When Philip says he doesn’t find her attractive, I reckon most of the people in the audience nodded enthusiastically.

I could go on with the bad acting but it’s too depressing so I’ll highlight the two half descent performers who struggled to perform with so much lack of…anything.

Firstly, easily the best actor on the stage was Charlotte Richie as Celia. Valiantly she persevered, upstaging herself because of the awful direction and trying to snatch anything from the wooden and so quiet he may as well have been silent, Philip. She was a breath of fresh air every time she appeared. Sadly that’s not saying much because the pollution of amateurism was thick in the air.

Secondly, Tom Rosenthal as Donald was very good. Possibly aa little bit ‘studied’ where he should have been more natural but with such terrible direction I’m just surprised he managed to rise above it and be any good. Clearly a talented performer, Tom, like Charlotte, instantly brightened the stage when he entered.

Which brings me to the direction.

I’m a fan of Simon Callow. He is a bit of a national treasure and, from all reports, does an excellent Charles Dickens. The thing is, his direction of this play implies he has no idea what he’s doing. Of course, that is nonsense. The man is an experienced and professional theatrical all-rounder. How on earth he could have sat at rehearsals watching this and thinking it was any good is well beyond me. Perhaps he needed the money and just let them be terrible. Makes no sense to me. Had I directed it, I’d have walked away and told them to put someone else’s name down as director. Simon Callow, maybe.

The thing was made even worse because of the awful train ride into town. For reasons known only to South West Trains and maybe a few select people, all the train times were changed by 15 minutes today. We didn’t know and there were no posters at the station. We went up in order to get the 5:28 only it was now 5:43 and stopped at a lot more stations. Rather than the normal just short of an hour, it took an hour and a quarter. Given it left 15 minutes later than expected, it meant we had half an hour to get to the theatre to make curtain.

That sort of rushy-rushy, quickly-quickly arrival does not put us in the best frame of minds, I can tell you. Anyway, we made it thanks to a very good black cab driver. Pity really because if we hadn’t made it maybe they wouldn’t have forced to watch it.

And then, of course, there was the train ride home. Given we were happy to pay the upgrade to sit in First Class, we were happily sat in the relative comfort when we were invaded by all sorts of human dregs. This always happens and I really, really wish that the South West Trains ticket inspectors would get off their arses and check tickets on Saturday night trains…or get rid of First Class.

So, basically, a pretty awful night. Fortunately, we’d had a brilliant day so we can now forget the preceding paragraphs.

Gail Next Door belongs to the Bourne WI and told Mirinda that the Bourne Show was on today (from 12:30) and that we should come along. So we did. It was a lot of fun. Gail reckons it’s better than the Frensham Show but I don’t know…I reckon Frensham just pips it.

Anyway, they had all the usual stuff mostly to do with charity collection and child entertainment. Unusually they had a gin tent where we partook of a couple of odd G&Ts. Now I’m not generally that keen on G&T but with the addition of a swodge of lemon and a sprig of rosemary…well, I have to say it was delicious. And very strong. Mirinda’s had fruit in hers. It was also very strong.

Of course, there were Morris Men and a band and vintage cars…

They also had a display of flower arranging with some pretty tough judges. I didn’t get to see it but Mirinda disappeared into the church while I minded the girls. I volunteered. Happily.

I think the highlight for me was the band playing the theme from Game of Thrones as we left. Sadly I didn’t get them performing it but I did get a bit of them at the beginning with this short, giddy-vid.

Oh, and my new laptop turned up just before we left. That’s my Sunday sorted then.

Posted in Gary's Posts, Theatre Review | 1 Comment

The doctor will see you now

John Spurgin (1796-1866) is on MIMSY as being an engineer who applied for and received a patent in 1837 for his ‘endless paddle chain’ which he felt was just the thing to improve steamships.

An example of Spurgin’s endless chain

His People record was very sparse until today. Following a few hours of fevered research, I’ve completely fleshed him out.

First up, he wasn’t an engineer. Born the son of a farmer, Spurgin was sent off to school to make something of himself. Which he did in spades. From Chelmsford Grammar School (1804-1813) he studied at St Thomas’ Hospital before matriculating from Conville and Caius College in Cambridge.

After a few years studying medicine in both Cambridge and Edinburgh he finally attained his MD in 1825. He was almost immediately elected as a Fellow in the Royal College of Physicians. He had quite a thriving practice in Bloomsbury which he eventually moved to Hyde Park where he stayed.

His friends spoke well of him, saying he was a funny, entertaining sort of chap with a genuine caring nature – quite handy in a doctor. This ‘caring’ was probably what prompted him to become the physician at the Foundling Hospital from 1835 until his death. He also found time to be a physician at St Mark’s Hospital for the last 11 years of his life.

An amazingly busy man, John also found time to write a few books.

I reckon you can tell the mettle of a man by the books he writes. (That isn’t to say you can’t tell the mettle of a woman by the books she writes it’s just that I’m writing about a man.) One of John’s most famous titles is Cure of Sick: Not Homeopathy, Not Allopathy, But Judgement.

Allopathy, for the uninformed (of which I was one until today) is the use of medicine to cure certain ailments. It indicates the sort of doctor who just instinctively reaches for the prescription pad rather than judge what’s best for the patient. Of course everyone knows (or should know) what homeopathy is – the greatest fraud visited on the human race since religion was invented to convince the hard of thinking that fairy stories were real.

It seems to me that John Spurgin had the sort of brain that refuses to stop. While working at the Foundling Hospital he found time to invent a sort of early elevator which he called ‘an endless ladder.’

In order to p[rove that everyone can have a foible or two, in his youth, John fell for the philosophical and religious work of Swedenborg. While being an inventor and scientist of some greatness, Swedenborg went a bit mad. In 1741 he had a dream where he felt he saw and experience Heaven and had a chat with Jesus. This chat led him to believe that he could visit both Heaven and Hell whenever he felt like it. These visits and conversations led him to write a treatise advocating a change to the Christian approach. These writings are what led John to his view of the world.

Regardless of his strange belief system, John Spurgin continued to practice medicine in London for his entire adult life. During his career he worked extensively on the blood and its properties in numerous lectures and booklets as well as writing Drainage of Cities, Reserving their Sewage for Use and Keeping their Rivers Clean in 1858. This book was a very advanced ecological and environmental piece in which he advocated a series of conduits by which sewage would be diverted away from the Thames rather than into it.

Then, tragically, John was heading home after visiting a patient (remember when doctors made house calls?), when, passing Bishopsgate, he was set upon by thieves who must have figured a 70 year old man was an easy target. Rather than just rob the good doctor they attempted to garrotte him. While he didn’t die immediately, the injuries he received from this incident eventually led to his demise.

An amazing polymath, John Spurgin deserves to be remembered for his charity, his dedication to Real medicine and the fact that he somehow remained cheerful in a world that did not necessarily relish cheer.

Posted in Biographical sketch, Gary's Posts | 1 Comment

Nothing but good

My ASUS laptop, the one that tried drinking half a cup of coffee in Budapest, the one I use in my office for just about everything, stopped working today. There was no warning (though for the last few weeks it has been wheezing a bit) it just stopped. I tried to turn it on but, apart from a very small flicker, there was nothing happening.

Fortunately, I back up everything to the Cloud so it’s not a big problem as far as ‘stuff’ is concerned but it will be a right pain reloading all the software I had on it. Still, I’ve had it a fair few years and it has been a loyal friend.

And this is where I love the Internet. Having found a Youtube video on how to take it apart, I cleaned it then put it back together only to find that that made absolutely no difference. I then logged onto Amazon and checked out new machines which I then searched, found and read reviews of the ones I liked best. I then ordered one and it will arrive on Saturday.

Of course, because the laptop was dead, I used my phone and my hybrid for the above. And it made me wonder how people without computers manage. I guess they hark back to a simpler time when every town had a post office, a single phone box and a few carrier pigeons.

In an odd coincidence, today, while at the Talking Newspaper, one of my readers, David, was complaining about a computer he tried to use at the library to print something. He was very funny, complaining that computers only slowed things down rather than make them easier or quicker. He had a woman showing him how to print off an email but he felt she was just talking jargon and made no sense to him. Surprisingly, he doesn’t have a computer at home and his mobile is…well he doesn’t have one of those either.

I was presenting the Haslemere edition and along with David I had Rosemary and Liz, two wonderful readers. It really was a fantastic team to work with. And, like me, they all like finishing as quick as possible. In fact, Rosemary’s husband, Pete, who picks her up, upon discovering that I was presenting, declared he’d be back at 3pm because I’d be bound to be finished. And, brilliantly, we walked out of the studio bang on 3pm, just as Pete walked in from their car.

Because I was so early finishing, I decided to pop into Starbucks on the way home before going shopping. Normally I can’t because I feel guilty about the dogs being alone for so long but Mirinda was working from home so I figured, why not? And did. Then, having ordered my coffee and gone to sit down, who was sitting working on her laptop? Mirinda having a break! We enjoyed our coffees together.

I also got a lift home with the shopping which is a bit of a treat. Another treat was finding a recipe for a lo-carb pastry. It sounded good (uses almond flour rather than wheat) so I gave it a shot tonight, making Rachel Khoo’s quiche but with the lo-carb pastry. I reckon it turned out pretty damned good.

Mirinda called it a major success. So, all round, a lovely day with the added bonus of our newest acquisition.

We’ve been wanting a wine rack and when Mirinda saw this little beauty, it was only right that we bought it. Mirinda is in the photo for scale. Freya is in the photo because she’s complaining that the new feature is in her corner.

Mirinda rang the hospital and they said he was still alive. Once he gets past critical they will put him in a cage with a load of other recovering collard doves before releasing them all together. This is good because Mirinda was worried we’d have to go and get him to return him to his partner in our garden. Now she figures that his partner in our garden will have to find another love before next spring.

Mirinda will ring back next week for another update.

Posted in Gary's Posts | 2 Comments

Hold the phone!

I’ve just read something good about America. This has amazed me. After the blood stuff this week, their strange attitude to poisoning their own population with their food and just general stupid Trump-idiocy, I was amazed to read that the Oregon State Legislature has legalised small amounts of cocaine, heroin and other class A drugs for personal use.

I’ve been saying this for years. If you really want to fight a war on drugs, it’s pointless arresting and criminalising the people who use them. All that does is fill the prisons up and cause petty crimes against innocent people. By making the drugs legal (like cigarettes and alcohol) the price can be controlled and the Evil Suppliers will have to move onto something else to destroy the world.

Then there was (the classic) series 3 of The Wire where, under the command of brilliant Major Howard “Bunny” Colvin, the police stopped cracking down on the drug dealers in Hamsterdam and crime dropped, violence fell, the whole thing worked brilliantly. Of course it couldn’t last because some arse decided that if the police ignored something that was against the law (regardless of how good it was for society) then what use were they? Subsequently everything went back to the way it was and gun crime increased, criminal overlords made lots of money and kids suffered. Oh, and Stringer Bell died.

So well done Oregon! Definitely a step in the right direction. (Here’s a link to the Lund Report, if interested.)

Mind you, once US pharma get hold of legal heroin, I reckon the price will rise and the quality will drop off when they try adding corn syrup to it.

And following the success of Aussie Johanna Konta yesterday, poor real British tennis player, Andy Murray was knocked out of Wimbledon today.

Here in Farnham, the rain stopped, the sun came out and the temperature remained at a decent level which is ten degrees less than it has been.

Possibly better news than the Oregon drug stuff is the fact that at weigh-in this week I was down to 80.3kg. I was well pleased. I still have a way to go (apparently my ideal weight is 73kg) but at least I’m going in the right direction.

I didn’t take many photos today except for this one of the Avenue of Trees:

And this one that I took in the park, under the sun in order to show Denise that I don’t have orange hair:

And for anyone wondering about the fate of Kevin…Mirinda will be calling the hospital tomorrow for an update.

Posted in Gary's Posts | 1 Comment

Johanna Konta

The news was full of the success of tennis player Johanna Konta today. She is the first ‘British’ woman player to reach the quarter finals at Wimbledon since Virginia Wade 40 years ago. She’s 26 and was born in Sydney. She moved to the UK when she was 14. She then decided to become a British citizen which means she can be a British tennis player. So, another fake Brit to join the likes of Mo Farrah and Bradley Wiggins.

But enough of Johanna and her wonderful performance for her adopted country. Today was mostly about the rain. The first we’ve had in…well, it feels like as long as Johanna Konta has been British but it’s probably more like a few weeks. And it was plentiful.

I was sitting in the office, Skyping with mum and was forced to close the windows and door for fear of getting drenched in the sudden downpours. Even Emma joined us in the office, giving up her usual post upon the stairs, guarding the front door against all comers…or people walking three streets away.

I’m not complaining about the rain. The garden seriously needed it and the water butts were well depleted. By the time the sun (which never appeared) had gone, the garden was looking refreshed and sparkly. That could be a slight exaggeration because it was quite dark and we don’t have glow worms.

What did look sort of sparkly was the planter that Mirinda planted up yesterday.

This is one of the planters left vacant by the removal of the dried out conifers to the nursery up the back. That sounds quite good but it’s just the back of the garden, in front of the rotting shed and it’s full of sick and dying plants slowly being reclaimed by weeds. It’s the last stop before the crematorium that I call the burn bin.

The planter now looks very bright and cheerful on the terrace rather than a big box full of dirt…which it was before Mirinda planted it up.

Something else that I’ve been told looks bright and cheerful is my hair cut.

At Starbucks

I decided to have a change of hairdresser. This is the work of Colette of Ruby Mane. I reckon she did an excellent job. I’m fairly certain I’ll see her again though I probably won’t wait six months like she reckons.

Posted in Gary's Posts | 1 Comment

The thing about Kevin

Today’s post is a bit fraught so, to ease the reader’s mind a bit first, I’m going to start with this Park Panno.

The work van that Gardener Dave is using has a rather touchy alarm. In fact, it doesn’t need to be touched to go off. Another vehicle moving within 15 feet of it is likely to have it screaming and tooting like a banshee. While obviously annoying, it has also proven to be a hazard to wildlife.

At one stage this morning (I was in Farnham and missed it but returned to be more than adequately brought up to date) Mirinda and Gardener Dave were chatting on the terrace when the alarm suddenly sprang into life. There was an instant kerfuffle in the tree and two collard doves leapt into the air. One of them flew off over the garden but the other, poor Kevin, flew straight into the extension.

When I arrived it was to Mirinda and Dave telling me there was a poor bird lying on the tiles and could I help it while they held the two vicious cockerpoos back.

The collard dove did not look well. It was on the floor, beak opening and closing, eyes blinking, fear etched onto its feathery face. Normally if I reach for the birds that fly into the house, they simply shake themselves off and fly away home. Not Kevin.

I carefully picked him up and carried him out to the dovecot, figuring he’d be safe from dog investigations if I put him up high. I tried to stand him up but one of his legs appeared not to be working and he kept collapsing. I gently opened his wings (as I’ve seen Vets on Telly do) but there didn’t seem to be any damage to them.

I assumed it was like Carmen used to be with her paws. She would hurt one and carry on like her leg was broken then, after a bit of hobbling and pity she’d suddenly forget it was sore and go running after something…usually food related. But this was not the case with poor Kevin.

And proving the truth behind the expression ‘bird brain’ Kevin kept jumping off the dovecot and onto the grass. He managed to drag himself under the shrub which has to be the worst place to go for survival. (As I write that it does occur to me that Kevin may have been trying to commit suicide.)

Eventually we gave up putting him back on the dovecot and just left him to heal, keeping a close eye on Freya – Emma didn’t seem too bothered. Except Kevin didn’t heal.

After Gardener Dave had finished for the day and driven his evil beeping van away, we carefully placed Kevin in a big plastic box filled with newspaper (so he had something to read on the trip) and drove him to Leatherhead.

Poor Kevin

There is a closer place to take collard doves (and other wildlife) but they were full up with birds and, like the NHS, had no available beds. Mirinda rang around and found out about the Leatherhead wildlife hospital so off we set.

We ignored Maxine because she just wanted us to go via the peak hour M25 (and other major roads) and we made it in pretty good time with little traffic to speak of. Mind you, we missed the entrance and had to turn around in the crematorium which probably worried Kevin more than anyone else. We pulled into the proper car park and Mirinda took him inside while I walked the girls around to ablute.

Wildlife Hospital

Mirinda returned quite quickly to say that Kevin was resting comfortably and she had a patient number in order to check up on him tomorrow. She was rather taken with the hospital, instantly deciding if it were closer she’d volunteer to work there. I’m not sure in what capacity. Avian Naming, perhaps.

The drive back was just as pleasant, mainly because we went via our old haunts around the Horsleys and Bookham.

It was a day of the unexpected. Apart from my haircut. That was expected.

Posted in Gary's Posts | 1 Comment