31 October 2009


This evening Ian and I each carved a pumpkin for halloween. Ian also decided to carve a watermelon and it definitely adds a spooky green colour to the mantlepiece.

This year I departed from carving the usual pumpkin face and went for something a bit more tricky. I copied this from a picture on the internet. It began by looking like a deer, progressed to a rabbit:

and hopefully now looks like a cat:

21 October 2009

Happy 60th Birthday Dad!

My father John, aka scriptor senex, for those of you who only know of him in blogland, is 60 years old today. We're having a family get together this weekend, but for now I shall post a few photos.

My Dad has a love of natural history

and is rarely to be seen without his camera and an animal or two

Happy Birthday from Ian, William and I!

17 October 2009

Happy Birthday William!

Today is the two year anniversary of our having rescued William the tabby cat from his cage in the cats protection league shelter. Not that the cage was particularly small and the people at the shelter are very loving, but William, having been "in care" twice before wasn't having a very enjoyable time.

When we first met William he was the least friendly of the over 13's that we were restricted to because of our proximity to a major road. He sat at the back of his cage (as far away from us as possible without going down a ramp to another level) and miaowed a silent miaow. We had several cuddles of the other more friendly cats, but it was William that stood out because he seemed so sad.

We nearly ended up with a different cat when the cats protection people fetched us a tabby called Tigger instead whilst we were signing some forms. Luckily the mistake was noticed and Tigger returned to his cage (most put out having been freshly flea-sprayed) and William was brought out.

After bringing him home we were slightly concerned that he was going to remain sad and unfriendly as he promptly hid behind the fridge and refused to come out for 48 hours. Luckily we discovered William's second passion (after IAMs cat biscuit) - heat. Only a couple of minutes after putting the dining room fire on he came out, sat in the middle of the floor and got fussed for 3 hours.

Since then he has settled in very well (see here) and apart from being a little on the nervous side he is a most welcoming and loving cat. Not knowing his actual date of birth we are celebrating his 15th birthday today. Happy Birthday Puss!

William, in a rather uncomfortable looking position.

11 October 2009

A first

Yesterday we went for a walk in Haldon Forest. One of the paths offers wonderful views of the Exe Valley

The forest contains a number of sculptures, most of which are of a musical nature. This crocodile was off the path and I would have missed it if Ian hadn't spotted it

The forest is very popular with cyclists and horseriders. Unfortunately this baby grass snake that Ian found in the middle of the path appeared to have been run over by a cyclist

It was upside down and I was convinced that it was just one of those little rubber toy snakes until Ian moved it off the path. This is the first snake I've ever seen in the wild and it's a shame that it was dead. Hopefully we shall find a live one someday.