Sparky and the Loquats

Loquat 1

Sparky the Squirrel tucks into a lovely loquat, while sitting in the apple tree.

Sparky and Loquat 2

Sparky does not stand on ceremony. What he wants, he takes. Here he is in the apple tree, casually leaning over to pluck the fruit from the neighbouring loquat tree.

Sparky and Loquat 3

Everybody’s favourite tree in early summer, our loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is very busy. Many different birds come to feast on the ripe fruit, which is a little like a small apricot. Even though there is plenty for everyone, some still want the tree all to themselves and squabbles are not uncommon.

Cape White Eye and Loquat 1

Here are some Cape White Eye having a feast. They are tiny little birds and it’s difficult to capture them as they flit around and are never still for a moment.

Cape White Eye and Loquat 2

You can see from the photo just how tiny these birds are; barely bigger than the fruit they are enjoying.

Cape White Eye and Loquat 3

As it’s very hard to see them, I just point my camera in the general direction of the rustling of the leaves and the sound of their peeping and hope for the best!


All these photos were taken through my window, which explains the cloudiness.



Ode to a Mosquito



Haiku 48

Little blood sucker

I slapped myself in the face

But got the blighter


Why is it that every mosquito I’ve ever known waits until you are just dropping off to sleep before it comes whining round your ear?

Last night a mosquito did this. I thought to myself, “Oh, for Pete’s sake!” and slapped hard at it, in a futile attempt to bat it away.

I slapped myself in the face, which was a bit of a surprise!

But I got the little blood sucker!


In the past I have even covered my head in my sheet and stuck my foot out for the mosquito to munch on – but it still comes buzzing round my ear!


Sunday Musings #115

I’d be 100% more motivated if Samuel L. Jackson yelled at me to get things done.

– Unknown


I dunno. This “End of Year Time” can be exhausting. It’s called the Silly Season* here. So much to do; so little energy left. Add to that temperatures of 38C and Not – one – breath – of – Wind!

I could definitely use some help from Sam the Man!


* In South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, the Silly Season refers to the Christmas/New Year festive period, our summer, due to an increase in social engagements, usually involving copious amounts of alcohol.


Peterborough Cathedral

Peterborough Cathedral 1

Peterborough Cathedral, or the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew, to use its full name, originated in 655 AD.

This magnificent cathedral started life in Anglo Saxon times as a simple church and monastic settlement and was one of the first centres of Christianity in central England. Over the centuries it was destroyed, rebuilt and added to in various architectural styles until ending up as the unique structure we see today. (Click on the link above for more info).

Why did I visit here?

Well, my long train journey from Edinburgh, Scotland to Aldeburgh, Suffolk was broken both ways by a two hour stopover in Peterborough.

It was very frustrating, as we were travelling on to Ipswich, but missed the connecting train by a few minutes (it is scheduled this way! The train you want to catch departs the station a few minutes before you pull into it.) And trains to Ipswich were only every two hours.

There is not much else to do in Peterborough apart from walk to the Cathedral for a visit!

Peterborough Cathedral 2

I like the view above as you walk across the square, also full of old stone buildings, and see the cathedral towers in the distance.

Our first walk there was a little longer than necessary, simply because of bad sign-posting! We followed the sign posts for the cathedral, from the station. This took us to a series of underground walkways combined with a cycle track, which we duly followed. However, we seemed to miss our way somehow and came out on a major road.

Well, we trundled along there, thinking ‘How hard can it be to miss a cathedral?” and so eventually found it.

Peterborough Cathedral 4

It was only on our return walk back to the station that we saw where we had gone wrong. Along the cycle/walk way there were some steps up to the quickest route to the cathedral. Easy to find from this direction, but virtually impossible to notice from the other way. I stopped and turned round to look at the steps that we had missed, and yep, there was no sign pointing that way.

Peterborough Cathedral 3

Even more frustrating is the fact that we had all our bags with us, both times. There is nowhere at Peterborough station that you can leave your bag. If they set up some storage lockers they would make a fortune!

We’d looked online for tips and followed the suggestion of asking at the hotel directly opposite the station to see if we could leave our bags there for a while, but no luck. Maybe too many people before us had taken this advice and asked?

So we were forced to drag and carry all our luggage with us to the Cathedral and once there, drag it around the interior of that ancient edifice.

So, yes, I visited Peterborough Cathedral twice during my short UK trip last August. It wasn’t so bad though. On the return trip we sat outside in the sun drinking tea and eating excellent food, with a clear view of the cathedral shining in the sun.


A Shaggy Dog Story

LM 2

Here’s my very own Shaggy Dog.

LM 1

My, what big ears you have Mr Wolf!

Twice a year Little Monkey has a bath.

She hates it!

LM 3

The only thing that makes bathtime bearable is –

LM 4

The treats she gets afterwards!

LM 5

Nom Nom Nom

LM 6

Hey Mum! Come give me a tummy tickle!

LM 7

And after all that hard work, a little nap in the sun.

LM 8

Finally dry enough to come back inside.

All Done and Dusted – and Fluffy!


post script: LM’s last bath was in March! Even though she is not a stinky dog, I really think the minimum number of washes is two a year. Now she smells so fresh and her coat is even softer. She is getting lots of extra cuddles!

post post script: A Shaggy Dog Story is a very long winded kind of joke with a pointless punchline.

For example: This is the shortest Shaggy Dog Story I know; one my Dad used to tell me.

One dark and stormy night, two men were crossing a bridge. And one man says to the other, “Antonio, tell us a tale.” And the tale ran thus. One dark and stormy night, two men were crossing a bridge. And one man says to the other, “Antonio, tell us a tale.” And the tale ran thus. One dark and stormy night, two men were crossing a bridge. And one man says to the other, “Antonio, tell us a tale.” And the tale ran thus. . . . 

You get the picture!


Blue Monday

Blue 1

Just because it’s a Blue Monday, doesn’t mean it has to be bad.

Blue 2

This bright blue plumbago adds a lovely dash of unusual colour to my garden.

Blue 3

It’s interesting how all the funny little spikes develop into beautiful petals and that they each somehow find their place to make up the full bloom.

Blue 4

Blue Monday can be fun too.

Have a good one!


Sunday Musings #114

I go on YouTube just to watch a music video and 5 hours later I am watching a tutorial on how to talk to giraffes.

– Unknown


I’m sure I am not alone in this!

I don’t know what is so addictive about YouTube? But whenever I’m browsing in the wee hours, no matter what I started out watching, I always seem to end up watching people fall off horses!

So, what catches you?