Friday, April 25, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Apologia Paucitas

I guess it’s a combination of omnipresent distractions and feeling rather drained that has led to the paucity of blog postings of late. Sometimes, it seems as if the PC suffers almost as much from “brain fog” as do I. When the computer has its silly little glitches, I get so hung up on resolving them that fiddling about with programmes etc. takes the place of purposeful use of the machine. I love those moments when, after hours of frustration, one can simply rest back on one’s laurels having thwarted its best laid obstacles; oh the glow of self-satisfaction!

Mind you, there are always more little tasks to perform, around the house and in the garden, than stamina reserves permit the serious contemplation of. Or to put it another way, the contemplation is as great an endeavour as I can manage.

Recent weeks have seen an increase in my already sizeable bed-rest requirement; although I’m usually managing to remove myself from the duvet realm whilst it’s still morning, my hour of retirement has advanced somewhat. It’s strange how exhaustion suddenly overwhelm one; by the time I get up the stairs, I no longer have the stamina or patience to brush my teeth. The effort of getting undressed, without confusing myself, is challenging enough. The more exhausted I become, the more fitful the sleep pattern but, this doesn’t preclude an abundance of vivid naturalistic dreams at some point when a more general somnolence yields to the arms of Morpheus.

No matter how prolonged the bouts of sleep, it almost invariably proves unrefreshing; mid-morning usually finds a distinctly under par Malcolm, headachy, catarrhal, painful sinuses, ears, and tender glands. Apart from that, the sundry other muscular and joint pains proffer only a minor degree of discomfort at present, so maybe some things are picking up.

Sorry, I don’t want this to sound like I’m complaining; I really do enjoy my more alert moments and, thank God for the gift of family, friends, food in the belly and the privilege of observing all the piscine and avian activity in the garden. Just having the time to sit and stare is a rich gift in and of itself.

I trust that somewhere, in that jumble of words, you will discover the reason / excuse for the paucity of postings.


This post also appears on 'Mals Murmurings'

Thursday, April 10, 2008

SFO wrong to drop BAE inquiry, court rules | World news |

Surprise, surprise ... it's wrong to yield to blackmail ; admittedly the bribes that were to be investigated are probably par for the course.

"In a stunning victory for the activist groups that launched the legal challenge, the two judges said Tony Blair's government and the SFO caved in too readily to threats by Saudi Arabia over intelligence sharing and trade."

SFO wrong to drop BAE inquiry, court rules | World news |

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Looking Forward

Blossom Time - Harrogate Stray

Now that's what I'm looking forward to! Don't get me wrong though, I generally love all phases of all seasons but, as our temperatures have dropped somewhat the last few days, decided on a sneak preview of changes to come. (Strange that I should go back to an image from last spring to do so).

We enjoyed a little walk this afternoon, appreciating the new shoots and buds as they gently unfurl.

Meanwhile, a little question. When does an apple tree become a thorn tree?

Answer: When it's branches are wrapped and bedecked with thorn branches, in an attempt to prevent a couple of neighbourhood cats climbing up to the blue-tit's nesting box.

No matter what cat deterrent device we utilize in the garden, our endeavours always seem to come to naught!

Fishy Business on 'Mal's Murmurings'

An update on our calico fantail, CALLIE'S PROGRESS, can be found on 'Mal's Murmurings'

Friday, April 04, 2008

Houdini's Release

Houdini, the uninvited furry house guest, on his fifth trick failed to escape. This morning, very early by my standards, I ventured up to the wild area of the garden, live-capture mousetrap in hand and, released the charmed little critter into the undergrowth.

The Houdini title was well-earned, although I suspect his first visit (to) and escape (from) the trap owed more to the friction of the floor covering than the meeces innate skill. On that occasion the door failed to click into place and, young Houdini beat a hasty retreat. On another occasion he managed to tip the trap onto its side, thus enabling easy access to the lure bait, of which not a single trace was left.

Two further times, the little ‘un visited the trap and, managed to evade capture. Last night, shortly after we’d retired to bed, I decided to create my own live capture trap. No use contemplating sleep when my mind’s buzzing so, having donned dressing gowns, ma belle et moi, returned downstairs to bring this idea to fruition. Of course, it was far from easy to work out the best positional strategy for the new creation. Our discourse on this matter proved quite hilarious, even the proposition that little H could climb up onto the arm chair and dive down, as if from the high board, to sample the delights nestling far beneath the one way opening seemed almost plausible.

My beloved muttered, within presumed earshot of the little critter, “don’t you realize we’re trying to save you. We don’t really want to bring in capital punishment!” We duly positioned the new device, in close proximity to the original live trap, and bade our unwelcome house guest “good night”.

Come early morning, young Houdini, obviously regretting the discomfort he was causing his human friends, surrendered him self to the lure of the original live-capture trap.

Having released H into the wild, we decided to err on the side of caution and, once again baited a couple of the humane traps, just in case our guest had invited more of his friends to enjoy our domestic domain.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Creature Discomforts

Reptiles, I love them, such a rare kind of beauty. That feel of silken sunshine as you handle a snake, a skink etc., straight from the warmth of its vivarium; the sensation’s just so difficult to describe. Much as I love handling reptiles, I’m not sure that I’d have the necessary skill and dedication to look after them. One side of me hates the idea that they should be captive* but, they’re so wonderful to observe. Feeding’s another problem, especially as they like live bait, ranging from crickets to mice, to day old chicks, dependent on size and species, is a bit of a turn off but, the only vegetarian lizards I’ve considered seem to have been the larger ones. Strange that I should want the reptile to be vegetarian when I’m not!

Having said that, were a reptile suddenly to slink across my living room floor, I suspect my immediate reaction would be to flee the scene. And as for the little meeces that I’d have to consider feeding them with, fresh or frozen, I love those little creatures (in their right place of course). When a mouse suddenly scurries across the room, that’s a different matter; my response proves irrational, feeling slightly queasy. Last evening, in the dining room, both my beloved and I witnessed a scampering little furry creature heading away from a packet of wild bird feed. On close inspection, I find that the little critter has developed a taste for the suet balls.

Both Helen and I kept glancing around the room as we ate our meal, looking for further sightings of this tiny foe; all the time hoping, of course, for non-sightings! A trip to the hardware shop was called for to acquire a couple of live capture mouse traps which I duly baited and, by morning one of the traps had tilted but, the carpet prevented the trap door from slamming properly shut. The live capture traps have now been placed on smoother surfaces and, I’m just hoping we have a swift capture, otherwise I might have to resort to the more conventional type of trap (which I understand has a higher success rate – but do I really want the mouse executing?). We try to keep the wild end of the garden friendly for all types of creatures; I wish they’d respect their boundaries, and ours too!

*Of course, come to think of it, there’s an apparent contradiction between my concerns about whether reptiles should be held captive, whilst no such concern crosses my mind about keeping fish in both pond and aquarium.

An earlier posting for today, Callie's Return, can be found on 'Mal's Murmurings'