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One thing after another

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You will be forgiven for thinking that these days it is ‘just one … thing after another’. Like Alan Bennett quoted in The History Boys. It seems that we have just taken on one emergency and think we can cope, when another one rears its ugly head. In very uncertain times it is a comfort to see the wild animals follow their usual pattern. I have seen huge groups of birds getting together roaming the fields. This autumn there have been large flocks of goldfinch on the seed heads of grasses, it is the first time I have seen so many together. And of course, there are the ever-present crows marauding the fields looking for grubs and worms. Then there are the ladybirds. Have you been invaded? We have been inundated this month, there are so many flying towards our south facing house wall that it has been impossible to sit outside without becoming covered with them. Now they have come indoors through invisible cracks and settled down for the colder months in a safe corner of the bedroom. Th

It's Not A Boy! Chapter 12, Scotland - Part 3

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What was it like being trapped in the 1950s? Mam decides to take matters into her own hands.

When all is complicated

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‘Thank you for your purchase… We are pleased to receive your order… Your order is with despatch team… Shipment scheduled to be sent… Your package is on its way… Shipment with our delivery service… Your order is on its way… Delivery tomorrow…Delivery today… Out for delivery now… Delivered’ You may be familiar with the emails you can get if you order online. For my last order I had twelve separate messages. Then at the end ‘How did we do?’ I did not take the survey. Somehow it is all too much. What happened to ‘Thank you for your order' and then a delivery? How we have complicated the world until it is almost not understandable. The garden and the seasons are more predictable. Now we are in October we are well and truly into autumn. Our luscious fruit and vegetables have suddenly stopped. The few remaining tomatoes hang limp and green, the peppers, aubergines and courgettes have withered overnight. We had our final sweetcorn meal for lunch yesterday with butter (low fat margarine

It's Not A Boy! Chapter 12, Scotland - Part 2

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We all set off for an adventure at Hull fair when Dad and Uncle Sid buy sheep in Scotland.

Robin on my Teacup, Country Calendar - October Part 1 - The baby owl

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Watch out for the intruder behind the fence, she completely upstaged me!

A hedgehog warning?

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Everything seems to be changing. For a start there are naked ladies in our garden under the medlar tree. I am, of course, writing about the autumn crocus. We planted the bulbs there and they suddenly appear every October in white and lilac colours. They are called ‘naked’ because the flowers appear without the leaves. We are planting our other bulbs now, in pots, hoping for early cheer. I have chosen parrot tulips as I usually do. But for a change I have also put crown imperial fritillaries in an old metal watering can, which is doubling up as a plant pot. They look wonderful on the packet, and I am told that they attract blue tits for their nectar. This is the time when creatures come into our houses taking shelter from the cold.  Some, like ladybirds, are welcome but craneflies called daddy longlegs are often not wanted. Looking like big spiders they are coming in through open windows. They are hatching out from our lawn and laying their eggs in the soil. The eggs change into l

It's Not A Boy! Chapter 12, Scotland - Part 1

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A new chapter of my book It's not a Boy! opens. I go into a new class at last and I meet a girl who was an American war baby. Her mam had fallen in love with a good looking soldier who left her.