Archives for the month of: June, 2013


There’s a big boulder in the middle of the dog run – rather a nice one: it’s a couple of metres high and children like to climb up and sit on the top. The other day it struck me that it looks very much like a dachshund’s head. I haven’t got any dachshund photographs for comparison but here are a couple of Topsy. I think you can get the idea from them:



In the goathouse yesterday, while it was raining:


goat eye227

Some goats have much longer horns

…than others.





sunset rain

I saw these two the day before yesterday, so there are still bees around. I haven’t seen many this year, though.



Perhaps it’s something to do with the weather.  Norway had already outlawed neonicotinoids before the EU’s recent ban; it has its own much more sensible rules about pesticides. This old Guardian article about the ban had a picture of a woman wearing a bee hat. I bet she doesn’t wear it on the Tube during the rush hour.

Here is a detail of a strange procession I saw today:


Some of the people appear twice; it’s because I took it in sections, and meanwhile they kept walking.  Here is the whole thing, but to see anything at all I have to turn it sideways. Even then I can’t reproduce it with anything like the correct number of dots per square foot.  I just hope you’re not looking at this with an iPhone.


Later on the dogs went into the lake. Topsy had a proper swim. She’s getting quite good, I think she had all her feet off the ground at some points.



And Jack had a paddle. I don’t think he’d go in at all if he didn’t see Topsy doing it.


This lot aren’t here thanks to me, they’re wild.

We have tons of buttercups at the moment but they don’t photograph well. En masse they just look like small yellow dots.

The fly is for scale.fly4610

Here are a few more insects, for scale.


These are all different dandelions.


One more.


This is another very pretty wild flower that I have to be terribly careful not to mow when I cut the grass. No idea what it’s called.  There’s one that only grows around here and is therefore called something-Asker, but I’m not sure this is it.  Hope that helps.


I should have taken some of the lavender.  And of a slug because that’s why I can’t show any irises.

Yesterday, I took these pictures of some of what’s currently in bloom here. I planted roughly half and the rest are have planted themselves. Panorama

I’m afraid I’m awfully bad about names. Dyv’s uncle gave us this rose with small flowers.  He repeated the name for me many times over the years.


Now he’s dead and I can’t ask him again. It actually doesn’t matter I’d only forget it again within five minutes. I like single roses (flat ones like this) best until the French very double ones come out. Then I like them best.


This is one of the self-seeding thingies that are all over the place.



We have three or four large lilac (syringa) bushes. They were here when we got here. They are SO dull except for the week or two when they have these wonderful scented flowers (and they’re well worth waiting for).


A Bramley apple blossom.  About five years ago, I planted two Bramley trees. They don’t sell cooking apples in Norway.  God knows why.


A flower from a huge cow parsley that has planted itself next to the rose bush above.


I’ve got a couple more. I’ll post them separately in case this file is getting too big…

My daughter made me this card.  I can draw cartoons but I can’t think of captions, so I was very admiring.

elephant card4257

She also picked me a vase.  This cheered me up a lot.



Here’s a model of the GCHQ Building, built on the outskirts of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 2003. GCHQ does a lot of computing and listening to the internet as the Guardian noted today. But see how green the model is: a doughnut in parkland with hundreds of trees. Probably quite “green” too, I expect. Jolly nice, what?


And here’s an aerial photograph of what was built. Everything that is grass-green in the model is asphalt-grey in reality, and in contrast to the several hundred trees on the model, in this photograph I can’t see a single one.


Here’s a drawing of Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California, designed by Norman Foster nearly ten years later. Apple does a lot of computing – well, you probably know that. But see how green the drawing is: a doughnut in parkland with hundreds of trees. Probably quite “green” too, I expect. Jolly nice, what..?


Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.  Actually I can’t stand Blossom Dearie.  Anyway this is the view from the kitchen last night.  Note the mist hovering over the lake.



This was last night. I first heard them from our house, fifty yards down the road. They were making the noise you get when you blow down a mailing tube, only when you got close it was more like the long blast you hear when a ship leaves New York harbour. They are huge, so-called ‘beef’ cattle, though I’m sure that’s not the name they would use. They make the Friesians look like toys.


They were all following one cow. I don’t know where they were off to. They were headed towards the forest.


I haven’t seen them since.


It’s more than a hobby, Jack has a magnificent obsession. He wants people to throw things so that he can retrieve them.  Here he’s asking me to throw this stick that he’s laid at my feet, but it could be a ball or a stone, he doesn’t care. He does this all day long, indoors and out.  It’s his only interest apart from going for walks – oh, and he enjoys confronting the goats from the safety of the other side of the fence.


And here he is retrieving it.  He’s not very good at it. He dashes off without looking where the projectile is headed and so if anything unexpected happens, he’s screwed. Then he seems to blame me, but I’m damned if I’ll run after a small stick myself. So after a couple of minutes he’ll find something else to lay at my feet. Sometimes it’s tiny: a twig the size of a wishbone will do.


In between throws, he’ll torture it.


Often he’ll shake it to death


and sometimes he’ll gnaw it to death, but it’s a token gesture.  All he cares about is the chase.