So, apparently today is the thirtieth anniversary of Ye Olde Punke Rocke. If we ignore the seemingly ludicrous notion that punk rock acutely started at any one particular moment in time and accept this anniversary then I'm ashamed to say that not only was I not at said Pistols gig but I was probably still into Queen at the time anyway. I was a bit of a latecomer really..... I do recall "Pretty Vacant" and particularly my leetle bro' buying "God Save the Queen" and thoroughly enjoying my 16 year old self pogoing around my parent's sitting room..... but was '77 so at least a year late. Oh, well, whatever. Happy birfday punk... still luvving ya.
And while we're talking of my leetle bro' I should mention that I'm just about to shoot off to his secret Alpine lair for a weekend of skiing with him. How 1977 is that eh?
We mean it maaaaaan.
(And here's the Blog report from my last Skiing trip..... three years ago).
..and it appears to have been a week since I last posted!
Sorry. I don't know where the time goes to these days. Anyway.... I trust any of you living round about these parts noticed how Thursday was a lovely sunny day as was Saturday morning. This is important as Zee and I had chosen Friday (grey and wet) for a stroll up the banks of the River Lea from its mouth opposite t'Dome as far The Lea Bridge (which is the other end of Lea Bridge Road to the Planarchy Towers Estate). I'd never really thought about why Lea Bridge Road was called that before....hmmm.
We got the idea for the walk from last months BBC Wildlife magazine which had covered a slightly longer walk as a wildlife spotting jaunt through an urban setting. These things seem wonderfully straight forward until you actually start, don't they? We found the mouth of the Lea relatively easily and, despite the gathering gloom and reflections on the wet Dome which suggested a downpour on its way decided we would continue... except the council, presumably unaware that the Beeb had covered this walk in their most recent issue had chosen to close the Nature Reserve which signaled the start of the walk for a month. Cue backtracking and picking up the riverbank walk about 100 yards before it stopped again.... "one of the few places where you leave the waterway" alongside the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Northern approach (yes, it's as picturesque as it sounds). Here we came across a large lorry full of lager. The driver wanted to know if we were "local". Bizarrely he was supposed to be delivering his beer to a spot about 100 yards from our finishing point (some five or six miles back the way he'd already come). We gave him directions and declined his kind offer of a lift. Within a couple more minutes we were off the A12 and back alongside the water. And despite being still only 50 yards or so from the raised dual carriageway it seemed like a different world. Within a moment we had seen cormorants, mallard, coots, moorhen and as a special treat a Great Crested Grebe. It seemed like it was about to start raining when we were plunged into the near dark of a large railway bridge crossing above us. This yielded my favourite pictures of the day.. the graffiti caught in the shaft of light and the stickmen dancing around one of the bridge supports. Then, on past Three Mills Island, the old Big Breakfast house, the bottom of Hackney marshes and finally to Lea Bridge Road and a quick detour up to the Waterworks Nature Reserve to say hello to the Dabchick. And through it all we met only one other couple of walkers.... I hope we get around to doing it again on a better day for photography but it was anyway amazing to find such a walk through London's East End. It will be interesting to see how it changes over the next few years as quite a long stretch runs alongside the site of the Olympic village to be.
Thumbnails of all the pics mentioned above, here.
Only a little wary of the claim that it was one of "Lee Valley Park's most significant visitor attractions" and this was a sunny Saturday afternoon, I decided to venture back to the Waterworks Nature Reserve yesterday. I needn't have feared for although there were no Kingfishers this time it was not, I think, because the thronging hoards that had scared them away. THere was only one other group of visitors, a mother with three smallish boys. But a glorious sunny afternoon even if the wind remained bitterly cold. I sat there watching a Little Grebe for a good half an hour (they stay underwater for ages!) only to find I could barely move when I tried to stand up. Pretty place to be though, isn't it? I really should have changed lenses so you could see the lecci pylons and gasometers in the background..... then again maybe I'll save that for next time.
I collect photos of signs. Indeed I'm nearly as likely to stop the car or bike to photograph a sign as a Dragonfly. Particularly nice colourful ones against blue skies. This is one of my favourites. Not only does it clearly signal the danger to cyclists of getting their wheels' stuck in the railway track but also the falling cyclist very clearly has a cycling helmet on (as is the law in EnZee).
More? Well, maybe some day but there isn't going to be a well organised series... this is Planarchy where things come and go, as and when (sometimes it's so good to be a Planarchist).
My first Kingfisher! Not a good photo but it's the first one I've ever seen let alone photographed. Not, sadly in the garden, but a couple of miles down the road (further into town!) in a relatively newly opened nature reserve on the site of a former water works. Very peaceful. I was actually trying to get a decent picture of a swan's reflection at the time when a flash of orange caught my attention. Also some present were a couple of Shovelers. Are these the crappiest ducks or what? They always make me think of bog standard Mallards with comedy bills. Or maybe they are just Mallard before the nose op?
And hot on the heels of the frogspawning anniversary comes another. Long reading regulars will probably be as shocked as me to realise that yet another year has passed and that it is now seven years since must smaller versions of Dee and Kay came to live with us. Where those years have gone and particularly the last one I really don't know.....
This last year has seen Dee leave behind her interesting teenage period (about 18 months) and a reversion back to the lovely girl she was before with many of the signs of adulthood responsibility also beginning to show. Kay, meanwhile has finally overtaken her elder sister in height and just begun her interesting teenage phase. The celebratory meal will be a curry on Friday night as usual for when they get to choose.
Onwards and upwards.
Mrs.Planarchy said she heard the frogs croaking last night. Sure enough, this morning the pond is full of frogsborn. It seems a little cold still to me and indeed there is a frost forecast tonight. We've got wireless web access in the garden so why the frogs don't check before spawning I really don't know. Having checked last years Planarchy frogwatch I am shocked to learn that it is a year to the day since they last started their spawning. So, clearly they just like to do it on the night of the 10th March. Fair enough.... but I think I may spread some fleece over the pond tonight as I'd hate the leetle tads to get frozzed before they're even born.
What are you feeding your stressed out rats? Plenty of rice bran I hope... for the latest research from Japan shows that Rice Bran lowers Rat's blood pressure. Oh yes. Good to see this research into animal welfare though isn't it?
I trust Joseph is amused as I am that this likeness of him has sold to one of the UK's mass market tabloids. I shan't be asking you to look out for it as, firstly it probably appeared weeks ago (and I do seem to recall some stories about Stalin's refound popularity in Russia last month) and secondly I'm sure Planarchy readers don't read tabloids anyway. But if anyone did spot it I would be interested to know where and when. Whilst we're on the picture spotting does anyone recall seeing a picture of two vine weevil larvae in the Radio Times recently? Otherwise, have a good weekend everyone.