Jul 9th

Curio Bay New Zealand and the Hoiho Penguin

By Sandy H

Curio Bay is a coastal embayment in the Southland district of New Zealand

best known as the site of a petrified forest some 180 million years old

 

Luck was on my side, the tide was out and I had the chance to explore the bay and the petrified stumps and logs that scatter the bay.

It was an incredible feeling touching something that is 180 million years old.....

The bay was deserted,  and I was standing gazing up above at a beautiful rainbow all was quiet and peaceful.

Suddenly some young lads began calling to me,  they were up above me on the cliff top,

"excuse me excuse me"  they called....

 

I turned and there right beside me not five metres away stood the most magnificent

Hoiho,  A yellow eyed male penguin.

He was standing so close to me on the rocks I think I could have reached out to touch him.  But new better than to do that.

I had no idea he was there,  I stood very still and quiet so as not to frighten him.

He shuffled his body and turned his back to me.

These were very pecious minutes and I knew I had to move slowly but quickly out of his way.

My last look at this beautiful bird and slowly I moved....

He began calling to his mate,  she came waddling across the rocks towards him.

I moved again,  eventually she waddled up to him and away they went, across the rocks into the safety of their hideaway.

 

 

The Hoiho Penguin

 

Several hoiho or yellow eyed penguins nest in the area around Curio Bay/Waikawa

They are one of the rarest penguins in the world with an estimated total population in New Zealand of between 6000 and 7000

The population has declined because of the clearance of coastal forest in which penguins nest.

They are also affected by introduced preditors, such as stoats, ferrets and dogs.

Which may disturb their nests.

Eggs are laid in September/October and both parents incubate and help rear chicks.

Birds usually leave the nest for the sea early morning, returning late afternoon/early evening.

The Hoiho is an endangered and unique species: a living symbol of the Caitlins.

Distinguished by its distinct yellow eyes and headband, the hoiho is a shy loner and a forest dweller.

Its Maori name imitates its shrill call and translates to 'the noise shouter'

 

These penguins have excellent eye sight and hearing and are easily frightened.

 

I feel very fortunate to have seen one so close and hopefully unintentionally did not frighten him too much.

 

 

Jun 27th

In reply to today's news about waiting times for the NHS

By Maureen J

A Tale of Two Doctors

Two patients limp into two different doctors’ offices with the same complaint:

Both have trouble walking and may require hip surgery.

The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The second patient sees his family doctor after waiting three weeks for an appointment. He waits another eight weeks to see a specialist, when he gets an x-ray, which is not reviewed for another week. Finally he has his surgery scheduled for six months from that time, pending decisions regarding his age and remaining value to society.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

 

 

The FIRST is a Golden Retriever taken to a vet. The SECOND is a Senior Citizen.

Jun 25th

Gr'Auntie May

By Bill W

In the decade after WW2, when the nation was still licking it's wounds and austerity had become the norm, kids were expected to do their share of chores and getting part time jobs was manditory.....well it was for  the kids where I lived.

"Go round to your Great Auntie May's, see if she wants to swap any of her ration book coupons at the Maypole (a small shop in the vicinity), and take some of this fire wood for her," Mum said....impatiently.

"Why do I have to call her Great Auntie May, Mum, can't I just call her Auntie May, I asked?

"No you certainly cannot my lad, because she is my Auntie May, that makes her your Great Auntie May, so show some respect", growled Mum.

 

 

Later.........

 

"Mum says I've got to call you Great Auntie May", I told my Mums Aunt.

"Well, our Bill, why don't you just call me Gr'Auntie May", she laughed.

Mum cottoned onto the name too, well she would living in Preston, would'nt she.  ha ha ha

After school in the dark nights I'd go round to Gr'Auntie May's and fill her coal buckets, then sit down with her by the fire while she told me wierd stories. She would light the gas-light on the wall which gave the room an eerie atmosphere, and I'd chomp on a big thick slice of toast....done on the fire .....and a big mug of tea.

 

To be continued........

Jun 23rd

Shopping Safely Online

By Mary B

I was very surprised to receive an email from a lady at Sainsbury’s Bank Money Matters Blog who wanted to share the attached.

At first I thought it was a scam!!

I hope you find this helpful.......  with thanks to Jodi at Sainsbury's ......   :)

 



Sainsbury’s Bank Visual Guide to Shopping Safely Online

 

Jun 20th

June.

By phillip J W

June seems to have been so very quiet on here - & yet I thought it was simply because I couldn't get on to say anything!  

Some time very early in the month I seemed to get myself locked out & have only just managed to get back in by changing my pass word.  

Technology has always managed to baffel me; usually because I posess a rather obscure logic, but having managed to sign-in again - as I say, no one apperes to be 'around to play.'  

Nice to know I can get back in though!

May 28th

The Happiness Fairy

By LJ E

I am the Happiness Fairy

have I called on you today?

I do my best but sometimes

dark clouds get in my way

my wings get very tired

beating oh so fast

and all this sadness hinders me

dark shadows it does cast

 

I am the Happiness Fairy

my work means oh so much

to help when I am needed

to give a magic touch

my travel takes me far and wide

I've flown so many miles

this world has so much sadness

it needs to have more smiles

 

I am the Happiness Fairy

if I haven't called on you

please be a little patient

I've such a lot to do

I'll be behind the darkest cloud

That fills your days with dread

my wings will beat a pathway

to ease your aching head

 

I am the Happiness Fairy

believe in me and say

"I will feel better very soon

there'll be a better day" 

my magic dust I'll sprinkle

to cover you with love

and as your heart begins to heal

I'll watch you from above......

 

(copyright LJE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 15th

Dementia Awareness Week

By Mary B

It seems that every week is an awareness week for something........

 

However this particular subject - dementia - is of particular concern to me, as I lead a local initiative to make our town dementia friendly. I know many of us have experience of this terrible affliction through family members.

 

Alzheimer's Society want us all to become more aware of the following facts and figures: 

 

       225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one person every three minutes 

     Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK live with a form of dementia. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia.     This will soar to two million people by 2051 

     Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 billion per year. This is the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia 

     Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them 

     Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 

     Alzheimer's Society supports people to live well with dementia today and funds research to find a cure for tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk  

   Anyone looking for confidential advice, information and support, can call Alzheimer’s Society’s National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22. You can also email enquiries to helpline@alzheimers.org.uk or visit alzheimers.org.uk

Alzheimer's Society report ‘Building Dementia Friendly Communities: A priority for everyone’ can be found here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/downloads/file/1916/building_dementia_friendly_communities_a_priority_for_everyone

 

 

May 4th

Hedgehog Awareness Week

By LJ E

 

 

Hedgehog Awareness Week 2017

By the British Hedgehog Preservation Society

Hedgehog DrinkingHedgehog Awareness Week takes place the 30th April - 6th May, and hoggy events are being prepared all around the country! Organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), the initiative is an annual event, which aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how we can help them.

This year’s focus is on the harm done to hedgehogs by strimmers and cutting machines. Every year they cause many terrible injuries or deaths and the BHPS is asking everyone to check their gardens carefully before using any machinery. As well as checking areas before cutting, there are other ways that we can help our hoggy friends.  We can:

• ensure there is hedgehog access in your garden –
  a 13cm x 13cm gap in boundary fences and walls
• move piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it
• keep netting at a safe height
• check compost heaps before digging the fork in
• stop or reduce the amount of pesticides and poisons
• cover drains or deep holes
• ensure there is an easy route out of ponds and pools if they fall in

They have produced water proof stickers that are being sent to councils, tool hire companies, grounds maintenance teams, etc free of charge on request (email info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk).  The stickers remind operatives to check areas for hedgehogs before using any machinery.  Once the group have received the stickers and sent the PHPS a picture of them in action, they will be added to their Hedgehog Heroes Roll of Honour!

BHPS Chief Executive, Fay Vass, said “We are asking people to pledge to do at least one positive thing for hedgehogs during the week.  We look forward to receiving pictures of the hedgehog hole or home you create, or from the event you organise!”

There are a number of different ways in which you can get involved with Hedgehog Awareness Week:

• Organise an event such as a cake sale, fun day, sponsored event, coffee morning or jumble sale. If you are organising an event please let BHPS know as soon as possible so that they can keep a comprehensive list of events across the country.

 • Contact your local council or tool hire shop and ask if they will use the free stickers on their machines.

• Display information in your local garden centres, schools, libraries, etc.  You could also post leaflets in your area letting people know how they can help hedgehogs (information and leaflets are available directly from the BHPS)

May 2nd

A Blog of little...

By phillip J W

...Joy but much teaching !

We had  built a timber frame outside our french window for a grape vine to grow on.

It has done well, but then we desided if we places a translusent roof on it it would amplify the warmth whilst keepig it a dry place to sit.

We bought the roofing - & thought...

And eventually last Saturday it was dry & windless & we gave it a go.   All essential cross-beams in place we had lunch;  then after a short digesting rest we began again.

I climbed my ladder & was just screwing in the first piece of the covering when the ladder slid in one direction - & I in the other.

My head met-up with the edge of a stone step & my hip & elbows encountered the sand stone paving... Very hard !  

Ambulance,  big strong paramedics, A & E.

then around 11.40pm I was discharged.

 

My good GP says I will take a while to feel better - & longer to mend, & at 71-years not to go climbing ladders !  I ache!

May 1st

May Day Ditty by Della Hodgson James

By Mary B

May day is coming

When all will be gay,

‘Twil be fun and frolic

All the live, long day.

Flowers in the green woods

In the orchard, too,

Leaflets are growing

Every thing so new.

 

May, May, May

May, May, May,

May, May, May

Is that all that I can say.

 

May day is coming

May day is here,

The very happiest day

Of all the glad new year.

 

Call me early, Mother

Call me early, pray.

For we must crown the King,

The King, and Queen of May.

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