I'm fully aware that Perth is an expensive city, but this still took me by surprise. It's a quotation for mowing my lawns. $150. That's about £100. The grass had got quite long, granted, but I've only got a 10m square area out the back plus the strips to the front and side out the front. Obviously the bloke needs to pay his mortgage and pay for food and all the other things which cost a fortune in this city. But even so, a hundred quid to cut my grass!
A very welcome sight due to the cooling breeze of the downdraft. :)
At beach in Brighton, Melbourne
On the road in rural Victoria
The views here just go on for miles, all along the coastline. Absolutely epic.
The journey has reached Launceston in Tasmania.
Bakers beach, northern Tasmania
Last evening in Australia.
On 19th December I sent my computer back to the UK via air freight. The snapshot shows where it went. It got to the UK only a day after I did, but then they sent it to Hong Kong and Germany (twice) before delivering it. I wonder if it claimed the air miles...? :)
Considering our options at Waters End Farm in Kent. Pretty place.
My camera is still on its way from Australia, and my old phone takes dreadful photographs, as yesterday morning's effort demonstrated. Here's a better photograph, taken with Tina's phone, in bright winter sunshine. The field directly outside our barn leads down to one of the lakes on the property, and in the distance is a windmill, which is lit up at night. So yes, definitely a pretty place.
London, from the dome of St Paul's.
Currently renting a holiday cottage in The Cotswolds. Very pretty.
Lizard Point, at the bottom of England.
Bouley Bay, north Jersey. My new phone takes considerably better pictures than my old one. :)
On 5th June 2014, the day before the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I was at St Ouen's Beach in Jersey. After some surfing, I got chatting to an older chap who told me he was there waiting for the UK's last surviving Lancaster bomber to come over. Apparently it was to be based in Jersey overnight so it could take part in the French D-Day commerations the next day. I only had my little compact camera with me, but I put it in movie mode and shot this brief video. Quality is what you'd expect, but it was a nice end to the day.
Just what you want to see when you have a headache from sitting in the sun all day. A Eurofighter warming up...
Sitting in the sun for several hours. Full marks to Tina for thinking of frozen water bottles.
Standing 20m from the runway at Farnborough airshow. Avro Anson in the air.
The hedgehog feeding box has been busy recently. But was it 'hogs or mice? Unfortunately the evidence is now in.
This isn't going to become the mouse-cam blog, but I had to share this one as well. The window is painted on, stupid creature!
Missing, as we do, our favourite Churros Bar in Perth (San Churro at Hillarys), I got Tina a Churro maker plus ingredients for Christmas. Yesterday we had a go at making some. Fortunately they tasted way better than they looked.
At the Imperial War Museum, London. Great stuff on WWI at the moment.
A gem from Private Eye.
Bit of a failed project , this. I thought it might be interesting to make a time lapse video of the nuts in my bird feeder being depleted over a few days. I set up my wildlife camera accordingly and took about 16,000 stills over 6 days. I removed most of the stills where nothing was happening, but nevertheless what I've ended up with is a very dull video of the squirrels slowly demolishing the feeder. Literally - they've gnawed away at the bottom of it. Time to invest in a squirrel proof model.
Having had the local mob of squirrels demolish my bird feeder, I invested in a new one. Serious bit of kit this. It's a heavy duty feeder with a steel shield which slides over the peanuts when the squirrel's weight pulls it down. Ha! Victory is mine!
Not 5 minutes after dealing with the hornet, I found one of my tippy mouse traps had been sprung, which is unusual for daytime. Investigation revealed a harvest mouse, seen here in my patented mouse storage device (a jam jar with a couple of holes drilled in the lid). Not very welcome because they eat our vegetable seeds and wisteria buds, but unbearably cute nevertheless. Tina cycled him (her?) down to the local visitor car park and released
Tina found this hornet buzzing up against the inside(!) of our kitchen window. Big, angry and unwelcome. It got a puff of Raid, a quick photo (with coin for scale) and then ejected. Ah, the New Forest...
After yesterday's success with the harvest mouse, this morning I find this. It's the sort of thing which makes you despair of modern life, isn't it?
Tina's birthday. Bacon sandwich and a glass of Champagne. That's mah girl!
Sat watching TV yesterday evening, and suddenly there was a bat flying around the room! It came in the open back door, did a few circuits of our lounge, then, clearly perplexed by its situation, it sat on the floor for a few moment to consider its options. I managed to grab my phone and take this admittedly awful photograph. I didn't want to get too close since the poor thing was clearly distressed enough as it was. I therefore present the photo
Disturbing photo of the year. I finally caught one of the rats living under my decking. I left the mess to clean up the next day, but overnight the corpse was dragged down into the rat's nest where it was stripped of all soft tissue by its cannibalistic mates. Eww.
Something's living in my drain. I once read Stephen King's "It". Eeep!
This is evidence of the mole highway running under our lawn. We must have had 50 molehills pop up over the last 2 weeks.
Two more rats, and two more mice caught in traps. This one was living under the decking. The bait is actually rat poison. They like it!
A few days off sick gave me the chance to build the Mecanno electric buggy Tina bought me for Christmas. I feel the need to lash it up to an Arduino. :)
Tina was out in the garden when she spotted this Smooth Newt. Aw, cute, er, newt!
Another few cm of snow overnight. No big deal unless you have a cattle grid and a small car with skinny little tyres. The bars under that snow are cylindrical and offer no grip at all. My plan is to hit it at speed. :)
The badger's back... I still can't make up my mind whether this is the interesting sort of thing you see when you live in a rural area, or whether it's a hedgehog eating predator who needs to be kept out at all costs.