Despite the drought this summer – or perhaps because of it – the hawthorn berries are especially luscious. I’m not sure I remember ever seeing them this plump.
As the autumn progresses, that bright red will fade to a duskier shade, as berries are striped from branches by birds, rodents and squirrels. Perhaps this abundance will help keep creatures alive in the coming months. I have no sense of how badly the wild beings were hit by the summer heatwave, but my feeling is that we lost far too many of them.
Interrupting this blog to go feed the little – and not so little – feathered guys. And possibly one small squirrel…
I have no pets, save the wild birds. They aren’t quite as cosseted as the cats – and one of the rats – were. Thanks to the Beloved, who kept feeding them when I was poorly – and my friend L., whose example I followed when I first began to feed them, my enjoyment of watching them through the kitchen window has only flagged when I was ill. This, despite having a cat(s).
Al E. Cat (shown above), along with Jake, was one of the most persistent and successful of hunters. Rest in Peace, dear cat people I have loved. I hope there is lots of tuna, and small rodents, wherever it is you are.
Feeding the birds, and how I talk about it – not just to the Beloved, but also to the birds themselves – is a good indicator for how my mental health is. If I’m feeding them, and talking to them, things are (probably) ok. The only reason birds haven’t featured on this blog, this month, is that I still can’t find my camera, and the camera on my phone is not very good. Hence, although we have a robin who is a semi-regular at the fatball feeder, the robin photo is most probably that of a different bird. Without looking it up, I don’t know how long a robin can live.
I built a relationship of sorts with the blackbird shown above: that was, if he realised I was putting out food, he would find someplace close to perch. Plus, he didn’t mind if I watched him eat. Blackbird is probably my favourite garden bird: he’s handsome, and smart with it. I have seen one, and possibly its overgrown adolescent child, near the feeder, if not actually on it, earlier this month.
If sparrows could speak, and be heard through the kitchen window, they’d probably ask me to stop praising them when they eat, and encouraging them to eat. They are our most regular customers, but we have seen bluetits, a great tit, collared doves, and at least two wood pigeons.
Sadly, I’m writing this inside, rather than in the garden. One of the pluses, for me, of feeding the garden birds is it means I go outside at least once a day. A persistent non-Covid cough, plus the lockdown rules, and the reasons behind them, means I’ve spent a lot of my post-hospital time indoors. Which would be fine, if I had spent more time on my current Work in Progress (WIP). Of course, I didn’t. It’s an urban fantasy, and I’ve sadly become a bit unstuck over how to portray the Sidhe (faeries).
I’m also supposed to be doing some weeding, planting, and general tidy up in the garden. I started great guns, but my interest apparently soon faded. Mind you, it wasn’t helped by the fact we’ve had so much rain.
I have been out more recently, in two different parks. The trees were a glory to see, and I also got to see two collared doves have a disagreement in one park, as well as wood pigeons, starlings, blackbirds, and even squirrels. The other park has a large aviary full of parakeets, and – I think – cockatiels. I even talked to the park blackbirds, which may be an eccentricity too far.
I hope you get out to see your favourite birds, and catch sight of some wonderful trees, this holiday weekend. Whether that be in a wood, a park, or your own garden; and whether you are enjoying Spring Bank, or Memorial Day, I wish you a blessed Sunday, and Monday.
Just how mad was Alice, anyway? And was she mad in the sense of “I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore”? Or in the mental health sense of the word? And would I be proud, annoyed, or indifferent if the council changed my street name to Crazy Sheila Street?
I’ve had nearly a month since the Psychiatric Powers That Be (P2TB) revoked my sectioning. To be honest, it’s been a pretty good run. I’ve done some writing, some housework, some cooking, even some socialising with the Beloved, and the lovely young woman who is in a “support bubble” with us.
Feeling a tad of melancholy yesterday, and today. Why? Well, partly because I still have my American tax return to do. That tax return is one of my mental health triggers, and the reason I considered jacking in my American citizenship. But, hell, although both my parents are dead, and the flights are extremely expensive, the USA was my home, and still is home to many people I love.
The above was the initial cover for “A Yorkshireman in Ohio”, the sequel to my short story collection,”Koi Carpe Diem”. “Yorkshireman” is now known as “When Stoats Go Wrong!”, and has a beautiful new cover. Am I going to leave the original cover to occasional use on this blog, or my Facebook page? Am I hell. Sooner or later, I’ll fulfill my intentions to use the image on a sweatshirt. And, of course, if “Stoats” ever gets finished, it will be the illustration for the story “Yorkshireman in Ohio”.
I’ve had a bit of fun recently on Twitter, asking if there were a bipolar flag, would it be half black, with tears; and half white, with the word “ooops!” on it? This got a few likes, plus the question, “What about mixed episodes?” This is a good question, and prompted me to ask myself, “What about the times when we’re all right?” Would the purely black and white version harm the campaign against mental health problems’ stereotypes, and stigma?
It’s tempting to fill this blog with pictures, rather than write some more. I want to continue writing, though. Lately I’ve been a bit lax about writing the latest Work in Progress (WIP), an urban fantasy titled “An Harm it None”. I’m up to nearly 7.5k words, which would mean I was finished or nearly so if “An Harm” were one of my long short stories. I’ve also been writing around one poem a week, and seriously considering submitting some to a new poetry mag, “Northern Gravy”.
Leaving writing behind, and going back to mental health, I’ve been thinking about running and/or helping out at a “Time to Change” stall at Doncaster Pride, assuming that Donny Pride goes ahead this year. I do hope it does, it’s a great event.
After a bit of research, it turns out that the anti-stigma movement “Time to Change” closed back in March this year. This is a shame, as I helped out on a number of their stalls several years ago, and they were generally good fun. Doncaster Pride, however, looks to be taking place on 7 August, in a local park.
I’m going to go back to bed for a little while, then get up and get on with my day. Wherever you are on the mental health scale, I wish you a blessed Sunday, and a good week.
Champagne isn’t really my thing. I do miss having the occasional glass of cold white wine. And what better place to consume it than a lovely garden?
Sadly, my garden isn’t lovely … yet, at least. I am trying (1) to turn it into a beautiful plant filled experience, with the addition of several bird friendly feeders & features (eg, the RSPB birdbath, which needs to be moved to a level bit of ground, assuming there is such a thing in our garden).
I’ve been listening to a lot of Oasis lately thanks to Youtube. I particularly like “Champagne Supernova”, and of course “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, the video of which features Patrick MacNee, looking like a fine example of an older woman’s eye candy. Oasis is better than I remember, possibly because I was too taken at the time with Blur’s “Woo hoo!” song.
Sadly, I will be without feline company this year, unless some of the neighbour’s cats choose to pop by, and stick around. I really should set up the chair (above) and see what/who I catch. That chair was a regular cat magnet as far as the late Al was concerned. I seem to recall that Jake also loved those chairs.
I’ve just come in from spending an hour or so out there, planting and weeding. I’d almost forgotten how nice it can be to sit on a garden chair, and have a cuppa.
It’ll probably have to be tea and cake – or biscuits – for me, for the time being, rather than wine and cheese. I’m on some/one med which doesn’t mix well with booze. Nothing wrong with tea and cake, though. Even better than a champagne supernova.