Jan. 1st, 2012

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2012 has started on a bum note already.

We have squatters.  Avian squatters.

The RSPB has been running a campaign for several years now bewailing the plight of the starling.  "We must all work together to save these iconic birds" they say.  "Their numbers are dropping at an alarming rate!!" Etcetera.

Well, we came home from our morning walk to hear rattling and banging in the loft, so Operation Save the Bird went into full swing straight away.  This involved: a) closing all doors and curtains leading out onto the hall and landing - except the bathroom; b) opening the bathroom windows as wide as possible; c) opening the loft hatch; and d) taking cover and waiting with bated breath as the trapped bird zooms for the light and freedom as fast as possible.

Nothing.  A few faint rustles, that's it.  J was dispatched to the loft while I waited on point duty below.  He took on the role of beater, and discovered not one but two starlings were hanging out in the loft (Eeek!!  My 'Star Wars' toys are totally at their mercy). Unfortunately, the aforementioned starlings decided to flap about his head, but didn't feel inclined to venture out to the escape route below.

It's now about to get dark, and our feathered visitors are still in residence.  We've got the loft hatch and the bathroom windows open in the hope they'll come out soon, but so far, they're staying firmly put.  I guess they'll either find their own way out, or they'll come out of the hatch when they're hungry and thirsty, but I can't help worrying that they'll take a wrong turn and wind up stumbling into a wall cavity or whatever.  Which means they'll die a horrible lingering death and we'll be left in a house that's reminiscent of an Edgar Allan Poe story,,,

J's verdict?  "They're a couple of chancers."

Yes, well.  I just hope they don't wind up raising a brood of kids in my Shuttle Tydirium.

Could be worse.  Could be squirrels.  Or  - gulp!!! - bats!!!

Apart from that...  New Year went very well.  Watched Jackie Bird until the bells, then wandered round to our friends' house (yes, the same ones as last week...)  He's going to Skye to shoot Bambis tomorrow (bleaugh!!!), so we didn't get half as drunk this time, and I got to play with the kitten.  My fingers are scagged to heck from kittie claws, but that's by the by.  We stumbled into bed at 3 am, and that was that.

Hope you had a good one!!!
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J has just put up the new calendars for 2012.

Calendar No. 1 is the RSPB British Birds Calendar, and January's featured bird is...

Yes.  You've guessed it.

The STARLING!!!

[For those who are interested, they decided to stay put for the night.  This feathered saga may go on, and on, and on...  I would like to add at this point that we've NEVER had these problems with Squinty & her pals.  Sigh...]
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I didn't pay much attention to the fact that 'A History of Ancient Britain' was on tonight.  I assumed it was a repeat...

I was wrong.  J switched it on ten minutes into it, and it's been quite brilliant.  It's a special programme, detailing the results of recent excavations on Orkney which have revealed a Neolithic temple complex which is up there with Knossos in its monumentality. 

It's a brilliant programme, absolutely mind-blowing.  I'd argue that it's probably the most exciting archaeological work going on in Britain today, even outdoing the Stonehenge Environs Project, and that's saying something.

If you can catch up with it on i-player or on demand, then do - it's well worth it!!!

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