A summery day at last.
We had our family meal of spag bol and garden berry cake four days late owing to illness and scored 10 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading Guilt Edged by Leigh Russell. Admin2 is reading Conquest by Nina Allan.
A juvenile blue tit in the cherry tree.
Admin1 is reading Dark Angel by John Sandford. Admin2 is reading The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru, which starts off like Amitrav Ghosh and ends up like Evelyn Waugh. We had chicken and broccoli followed by 3 kinds of ice creams for our family dinner and scored a dismal 8 on the GSQ. The family took our Love (old Ikea chair) with them when they left.
But the pigeons are eating the blossoms instead of waiting to eat the cherries.
Admin1 is reading The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman. Admin2 is reading Shadows of London by Andrew Taylor.
Hello birds. Nice to see you again.
Admin2 is confined to the house with agonising leg pains and consoling herself by rereading an all-time favourite: 334 by Thomas M Disch; how the underclass live in the 2020s, as seen from the 1970s.
It’s raining, it’s snowing, it’s coming and going. It’s melted and gone — oh no, it’s back on!
Admin1 is rereading Europe at Dawn by Dave Hutchinson. Admin2 is reading The Innocent by Ian McEwan.
Here come the pigeons.
February was our driest February ever, slightly warmer than last year and below averagely sunny.
Admin1 is reading Cold Reckoning by Russ Thomas. Admin2 is reading At Death’s Window by Jim Kelly.
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody. According to Medieval folklore, Valentine’s Day is the day that birds mate, so it gets its lovey-dovey image from dove love.
Admin1 is reading The Moon Tunnel and Admin2 is reading The Mathematical Bridge, both by Jim Kelly.
A military bird conducting observations.
Admin1 is reading The Skeleton Man by Jim Kelly, a complicated tale of an evil deed in an insular East Anglian community; reminiscent of Ann Cleeves in its large cast and convoluted family relationships and squabbles.
Admin2 is reading About Grace by Anthony Doerr; a precognitive hydrologist dreams his daughter drowns and leaves home for 25 years to save her. If you like weather, clouds, snow and floods, this is a book to get immersed in.
It’s Birdwatching Weekend so here is a bird and a nest (probably not related).
Admin1 is reading The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Rowbotham, which was compulsively page-turning (read in an evening) but didn’t have much else going for it.
Admin2 is reading The Kingdoms, a bloody-gory wibbly-wobbly twisty-turny time-travelling tour-de-force by the incomparable Natasha Pulley.
A blackbird finds a tasty snack on our lawn.
Admin1 is reading Empire State by Henry Porter. Admin2 has been reading Sixteen Horses by Greg Buchanan but is probably going to abandon it because:
The one-sentence paragraphs.
And the unfinished remarks___.
And because it is so ponderously literary and slow.
And also because it is about cruelty to animals.
Today the family all tested negative so were back around the table eating stroganoff and parkin. It was a joy to see them all again and against the odds of our ignorance we scored 10.5 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is rereading Unseen Academicals by Sir Terry Pratchett. Admin2 is rereading My Idea of Fun by Will Self; a nasty book from an era of nasty books.
A young dunnock trying out our unpopular bird food.
Admin2 is reading Girls Who Lie by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir; a cunning and clever book about lying girls.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ. Still in double figures — just.
A bird reaching for the berries on the elder tree on another 32 degree day. It all falls apart tomorrow.
Admin2 is rereading the marvellous Piranesi by Susanna Clarke.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ with backing from G&D. Well done everyone.
Here’s an indistinct picture of a goldfinch fossicking in some ragweed.
Admin1 is reading Grave’s End by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster, which was as boring as you’d expect.
We scored 9 on the GSQ but hope that the people in the middle of nowhere will give us some extra help. Rescue us, A, B, D and G!
[update]: And they did. So we scored 10. Thanks guys!
We found this late-night visitor perching in our bathroom after some sort of contretemps involving open windows and cats. It didn’t want to leave but it left us some feathers.
Meanwhile props to (outstanding achiever) Bobs and Auds for their amazing school reports.
Admin1 is reading Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary
It’s probably just sunburnt. Today was our second most sunny July day ever: 13.1kWh and counting.
Admin1 is reading Eversion by Alastair Reynolds. Admin2 has tried reading Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary (distressing), The Dead Line by Holly Watt (jejune) and The Buried Life by Carrie Patel (rubbish) and is now rereading Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson which is pleasantly cooling.
Another super June moon, rising at midnight.
Our luckless ringed bird has been traced. The poor thing had only lasted 7 days and flown 3 kilometres after being ringed.
Some interesting facts discovered from ringing data….
* Oldest bird – Manx shearwater, 50 yrs 11 months
* Furthest travelled – Arctic Tern from Wales to Australia 18,000 km
* Strangest recovery – Osprey ring found in stomach of a crocodile in The Gambia!
Admin1 is reading Where Ravens Roost by Karin Nordin; another unfinished book, this time given up in irritation at the useless protagonist and his constant arguments with everybody.
We are watching Borgen – Power and Glory.
Admin1 is reading Witch Hunt in Whitby by Helen Cox, but gave it up ‘cos it was amateurish and gossipy. Admin2 is rereading Slough House by Mick Herron. We had our family meal later in the week than usual and scored 13 on the GSQ.
Next door’s bird table is popular with pigeons, squirrels and blue tits but its most enthusiastic patrons are starlings, which arrive in large crowds. Lately they have been bringing their children in their grey school uniforms. The children are as big as the adults and perfectly capable of feeding themselves but they still expect their parents to feed them (teenagers eh). Admins 1 and 2 have spent ages at the window trying to catch them at it but Admin1 finally managed to get the picture.
Admin2 is following in Admin1’s footsteps, rereading Dead Lions by Mick Herron.
A fluffy little critter tweeting in the branches.
Admin1 is rereading Joe Country by Mick Herron. Admin2’s old book to reread was The Man Who Japed by Philip K Dick; the protagonist, driven by unconscious desires, subverts the country’s morals with propaganda. Couldn’t happen here.
Are you looking at my bird?
Admin1 is reading A High Mortality of Doves (ooh, sorry, doves) by Kate Ellis. Admin2 is reading Dead Man’s Lane, also by Kate Ellis.
The solar panels reached double figures (10.163kWh) for the first time this year today.
Magpies have built a fine nest next to our house (apparently magpies nest next to humans to keep away their crow kin) and today Admin1 sent up the drone to look for blue eggs or fluffy chicks, but they had built a roof and the tree was in leaf so no luck.
Meanwhile Admin1 had his first stab at making a Battenburg cake which turned out extremely well. A lovely meal was had by all and we scored 11 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading The Stone Chamber by Kate Ellis and Admin2 is reading Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard, which was extremely implausible.
Looking over its shoulder.
Admin1 is reading The Ottoman Secret by Raymond Khoury. Admin2 is rereading We Can Build You by Philip K Dick, which abandons the storyline of plucky robotics startup versus bald American hypercapitalist halfway through to segue into a mass of psychobabble about a love-hate relationship between two mentally challenged characters.
We have an infestation of these smartly dressed birds at the moment. They are as bad as squirrels.
Admin1 is reading I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood, which Admin2 liked but Admin1 just found highly irritating. Admin2 is reading Right to Kill by John Barlow. Today was our equal warmest day this year: 15.0°C
A robin flying through the ivy. Merry Women’s Day Eve everybody!
Admin1 is reading Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, a wonderful and engrossing novel about books, libraries, and hope in dark times. Admin2 is reading The Dumas Club by Arturo Perez Reverte, an overblown Eco-esque conspiracy thriller linking The Three Musketeers with a manual for summoning the devil.