Sunday, 29 March 2020

Life in one Lincolnshire Village

Owl Wood is top left

This aerial view shows almost the entire village. 

The houses and cottages back on to the village green, rather than the more usual arrangement, which is to have them facing it.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that some people have lived in the village for many years without even realising there is a village green - for the entrance is hidden, unless you know where to look.     The village hall is further along the road, so no clue there!

The only other village asset is the local pub, the white buildings, bottom left.

Of course even the pub has had to close for the duration of the restrictions.   They are still providing takeaway meals, with contactless payment and collection, delivery for those who cannot collect.  A useful service, but not one I use.   

Best of all, they have organised grocery shopping, along with fresh fruit and vegetables from their local suppliers, which is a wonderfully useful service.

I placed a small order last week, just to see how it would work out; it was quick and efficient and the fruit and vegetables were in perfect condition.   I am very grateful for their hard work in setting it all up, and so, I imagine, are a lot of other locals.    Thank you D & K.

Arnold, the old rubber tyre horse.

This peculiar creature is a rubber tyre horse, Arnold.  He lives in Owl Wood and belongs to my grandchildren. 

The other day I noticed that he seemed to have grown a beard - you can't see it on this shot.

I peered inside and found that the wrens have been busy building a nest, right at the back, where I hope they will be safe from cats, rats and squirrels.

Wrens nest, inside the 'horse's' head.

I wonder how many hours of work went into making this nest - lovingly lined with moss and feathers.

Blue tits have taken up residence in the boxes at the back of the house, but I am still not a hundred percent sure about whether the owl box has got squirrels or jackdaws inside, all I know for sure is that it is not owls.

We set up the wildlife camera last night, to monitor the squirrels nut bucket, we had a suspicion that they were not all going to the squirrels...

This is what the camera caught last night - a very large rat.

I told you the cats had been slacking in their duty.   In her younger days Sparky would have dealt with this one but I think she is too old and stiff to tackle it now and Millie doesn't really 'do' rodents, unless they are small and sweet.

The wind seems to have dropped now, so with luck I may be able to get this posted to the blog.   Our internet connection has been pretty dire for a few days, not that it is ever particularly good, but at least it worked.

Stay safe, well and happy.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Double Bed? Single Bed?

When I sat down to write this post it was supposed to be about life in one Lincolnshire village.  Tomorrow, perhaps.   My thoughts have been hijacked by Millie.

The cats have taken the new laws and regulations to heart. 

Normally they would be out and about, hunting, sunbathing, persecuting birds, mice, rats and rabbits.

Instead they are spending most of their time sleeping indoors.

Sometimes they curl up together for an hour or two, but that always ends in tears.

Millie, the small ginger cat, has decided to take up social distancing.

For the last few days she has ignored all her usual beds, cushions, and rugs.  This tiny basket has become her favourite retreat.

Talking of beds, the vegetable beds have been dug over now, including the two which were going to be removed this year.    I have decided that this is not the year to cut down on growing food!   The polytunnel is ready for action, the small greenhouse cleaned out.

Time for a rest.

Are you managing to keep busy and motivated?
Stay safe everyone.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Camp Granada "...I'd rather be at school..."

Found in my letter box today:

Letter from my granddaughter.

When I was a child there used to be lots of very amusing songs on the radio - I loved them and quickly learned the words, then probably drove my parents crazy with my frequent renditions of them. 

This letter from my granddaughter reminded me of Camp Granada - the novelty song about a letter which a boy who was away at summer camp is supposed to have written, begging his parents to take him home...  I'm sure you know the one.

To translate the letter:

To Gran
I hate what mum and dad think is a school day.   I'd rather be at school and I mean it!   It seems like paradise to be at school now.   Please rescue me soon, please, I beg you.   Please, please, please!!!

Her parents are teachers and have organised a few morning lessons for the two children.   Nothing too arduous, but they want to establish a bit of routine.    A couple of lessons, then the children are free to roam in Owl Wood and the gardens before lunch.

It does explain why my granddaughter called across the garden asking me to return her letter because she didn't mean it now.      Once I told her that I hadn't seen her letter (the truth at that time)  she went off perfectly happily.

I fully expect to find letters from her parents because I imagine they would rather spend a week at the rock face, teaching a class of 30 students, than an hour or two trying to teach their own.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Violets, Butterbur, and Letters from a Girl.

I wonder whether anyone else has noticed what a good year it is proving to be - for violets!   Scented violets in particular.   The byways,  lanes, fields and woodlands seem to have far more of these miniature beauties than I have managed to find previously.

Most excitingly, the same can be said of Owl Wood.   A couple of years ago there was just one tiny patch of scented violets, now they have spread far and wide, much to my delight.   There are also drifts of primroses running up and along the banks, under the trees and spreading beautifully through Owl Wood.

White violets are pretty, but lack scent; there are masses of them on the verge outside Parsonage Cottage.       It is the deep violet ones that have that wonderfully elusive scent, which gains strength when the flowers are brought indoors and gradually warm up to room temperature.

Letter from a Girl

My granddaughter continues to write her daily letters.   This is the one she wrote this morning, before heading off to school.

To Granny,
Friday is our last day of school because more than a hundred people have died of coronavirus.  The only people who are allowed to go to school are children of key workers, Mum and Dad are key workers.     *****'s going to Dad's school and I am going to Mum's.  Children who have special needs can go to school too!
Love from ******

As ever, there is no peace in this house, as I was trying to take a snap of the letter, Sparky tried to snatch it away.

Letter from a Girl Photobombed.

I walked Toby for an hour this morning,finishing up by the old watermill.

The old watermill
click to enlarge.

The Butterbur has grown surprisingly quickly; the flowers are now about nine or ten inches long, and look very different from those round, virus-like flowers of just a couple of days ago.

So that is life in my little corner of Lincolnshire.   As always, lots going on which doesn't make it on to the blog, but that is true for all of us.

Stay fit, keep busy.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Sad! Very Sad! Meloncoly!!! Letters from a Girl, 2

This morning's letter from my eight year old granddaughter.   😢

To Granny,
Parents evenings have been cancelled because of Coronavirus all all training clubs cancelled.   50 people have now died from corona.
I'm worried.

No need for me to play amateur psychologist here, the worry is plain to see.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Coronavirus on the Verge


I am happy to say that life, here in the sticks, pretty much goes on as normal, by which I mean that each morning I still take Toby-dog out for his three mile hike, whether he likes it or not.  Some dogs have a tough life.

This morning we headed off in the direction of the lovely old watermill and there I espied a very large coronavirus-like thing on the side of the lane.   


This weird looking plant starts off quite low to the ground but eventually opens up on a long stalk and the green leaves grow to look like four foot high rhubarb leaves. 

This is the first one of this years crop, soon the lane leading to the watermill will be smothered in them.   Until we moved here, about 14 years ago, I hadn't come across these strange flowers.    Their preferred habitat is wet meadows, damp ditches and riversides. 

A few years ago I did some research and found that Butterbur was one of the plants which they tried out as a cure for the Bubonic Plague.

These days extract of Butterbur is sold as a "herbal supplement used for pain, upset stomach, stomach ulcers, migraine and other headaches, ongoing cough, chills, anxiety, plague, fever, trouble sleeping (insomnia), whooping cough, asthma, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), and for irritable bladder and urinary tract spasms."

I copied the uses from the internet, noting that 'plague' was also included!

Please do not rely on this to treat the current 'plague'.   It simply struck me as bearing a very similar shape to the coronavirus and the neat link to the plague made me smile.

Have a good weekend.  Stay safe.