Highlight of the last couple of nights was an evening with birding mates involving beer and a monster Chinese. Nothing else of note except I'm feeling happier than I have done for years.
Today is Drunk Birders piss up eve. By tradition this should involve consuming too much beer, eating hi fat foods followed by some birding in a semi drunken state. However as it is easy to wander around on Shetland half cut and go birding, we might have a problem creating the effect. That is unless we wander around Birstall looking in peoples gardens and climbing fences - hmm I wonder.
Quote of the day: Female contestant on Deal or no Deal "I have never had a big one in my box" narrrrrrrr
An evening out socialising and getting dunk on a Monday night - not clever.
Anyway it pissed it down today so being the weekend parent, that I now am, Beth and I went swimming. After swimming it was raining even harder so we went into Sheffield for a bit of culture.
The Art of Willard Wigan
This is an exhibition of microscopic art that is totally mind blowing (even though I'm not into art per say). Basically it's microscopic sculptors within the eyes of needles or on pin heads. As I had the Samsung NV3 about me I took the opportunity to do a spot of impromptu digiscoping. If you get the chance to go then go.
Christmas fancy dress party 2007 was a big let down.
Firstly I have a photo of a Fish pie made by Helen. This could be a serious contender for one of Kerrie's pies, though until I am back on Shetland to sample one (hint hint) we will not know.
The second pie of the week was a hand made Pork Pie from the Proper Pasty Company. It was quite nice although a little salty and would, had it not spent the afternoon repeating on me, have earned a decent 8/10. Instead I can only give it 4.
Final pie of the week was a stunning pair from Laura, Steak and Mushroom from the Denby Dale Pie Company. This was a quality pie (even when microwaved) in every way and scored the maximum 12 points. These pies are available from Waitrose and Sainsbury's and cost about three quid.
Weather's too crap to go birding so here's a picture from earlier in the year. Taken in the garden at my parents house. This is a real mean bugger that has a fondness for Collared Doves.
My weekend just got better I have been invited on a long weekend to Islay in late February by some very nice people :)
A diet of pies never hurt me
At last some bird action. Duncan Bye rang me at 1pm to tell me there was a Little Auk on Ulley Res' (made nationally famous by its dam wall threatening to burst during the great flood). Fortunately my ever supportive and part-time birding boss, John, offered to take me for it. Unfortunately on arriving by the bridge it became obvious that the little bugger had buggered off or been eaten by a Pike of which Ulley has plenty. On returning Mr Norman, who met up with us at Ulley, showed me a rather nice looking meat and tattie pie, from Morrison's, that he had been suppressing. This is the second time that Mr Norman has failed to A. provide me with a score and B. Not fetched me one (I think he's jealous that Kerrie is my main supplier).
A quick winge at the useless TW_TS at Rotherham Council who managed to thieve £70 out of my bank account. Despite me cancelling their direct debit the incompetent devious gits managed to set up another DD without my permission!!
Birthday wishes to the lovely Kerrie today. Happie Birthday.
A pretty uneventful day. Following a couple of emails from Helen I was asked the question Rabbit or Donkey. This had nothing to do with my sexual prowess which at the moment is non existent, but stemmed from a conversation about the dangling of carrots. Anyway after a great deal of consideration I came up with the following:
Hmm Rabbit or Donkey? Both have their advantages. Rabbits are always bonking and Donkeys are renowned for apparently being well endowed hence the phrase hung like a donkey! However they equally have their downsides too. Donkeys are stupid and smell and Rabbits like staring at car headlights (which is also stupid). So given the choice it’s a tricky one. It’s no good being a well endowed donkey if you stink of shit and are too stupid to know what to do with said appendage. I think I’ll opt for a rabbit, short lifespan but what a life providing you keep away from the headlights. Hold on a minute don’t rabbits eat their own shit? Oh well I suppose I could live with that after all that bonking
Also is it me or is this pastry derived rabbit (made by Helen) the scariest thing you've ever seen.
Blair Witch Bunny
According to the Times
The football chant "Who ate all the pies?" dates back more than 100 years, researchers have discovered. Sung to the tune of Knees Up Mother Brown, it was directed at Sheffield United's 24-stone goalkeeper William 'Fatty' Foulke by his own fans in 1894.
Highlight of the day was being invited down to Leicester for the first gathering of the Drunk Birders since Shetland. This will take place on the 1st December involving beer, curry and possibly high quality Melton Mowbray Pork Pie. I fully expect the Bog Ostrich to make a reappearance
Anyway that fan of beer, rugby league, the Pigs and pies John Hague has sent me a fine picture of his man breasts. Bizarrely they resemble two steak and tattie pies.
A couple of site visits this morning, to photograph some bits of road, resulted in a pair of Peregrines over Midhope Moors.
Spent this evening looking up train and ferry fares to the Northern Isles. Train £57, ferry £45. The only drawback being that it takes a full 24 hours to get up there!
On the pie front I have been promised a freebie from the Denby Dale Pie Company. Providing Laura doesn't eat it first I should be able to review it shortly.
Mr Norman demonstrates how to correctly eat a pie (though admittedly using a sandwich) whilst at the same time keeping all of your finger ends.
However more tempting was the invitation to a party apparently full of "very sexy ladies" Unfortunately the party was on Shetland and with parental duties, financial restraints and incredibly rough seas it was a non starter. How good could that have turned out Brunnich's on the list and a lost weekend in south mainland - we'll never know.
A Purple Sandpiper at RVCP, this morning, will hopefully still be there in the morning.
A Shepherd's Pie for tea (that's dinner to you Southern freaks) was delicious but sadly not a pie in the true sense.
Back in Scotland it's all happening here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7080759.stm
First meeting with a moderator today (though on my own) went okay but unless they're thinking of using Kofi Annan I'm not expecting miracles!!
On another note: The Sandringham Harrier Slaying
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "The bodies of the Hen Harriers have not been found and there is no forensic or ballistic evidence." CPS lawyer Andrew Baxter was quoted as saying "I am satisfied the police investigation has been thorough and there are no other areas of investigation which can be pursued."
Police had originally identified three suspects: Prince Harry, William Van Cutsem and David Clarke, a gamekeeper
Shame the Ginger tosser couldn't have used his firearm skills in Iraq. Don't suppose they'll still be investigating this one in ten years.
No birds were seen today except for the usual scabby town pigeons and no pies have been consumed for days (since the wonderful meat and tattie). I even thought about popping into Greggs but fortunately the queue of chavs outside deterred me.
Well by now I should have got Mourning Dove on my British list, but I haven't. However had I been interested in seeing it I could have offered Kris (billy no mates who comes from Sheffield and always advertisers for lifts on RBA) a lift, been up there Saturday, ticked it and probably back home now writing about how fantastic a bird it was. But by following the rules of the UK 4,000000 calories club and its commander in chief LaRGE Pie Gobbler I can tick it. Why? Because had I gone over the last two days I would have seen it. Also by choosing this option I have also added a carbon neutral tick to my list, number 484 thank you LaRGE.
Windy Corner (though it wasn't)
The evenings dilemma was should I go to the Gym or slob around watching SCD, drink wine and eat bacon butties. The latter won followed by a twelve hour kip, tiring thing that swimming.
Helen has sent me a clip from the Shetland Times advertising an Aberdeen band called Pie Shop.
Seems like another perfectly valid excuse for me to make another visit - not that I need one.
A barrage of solicitors letters, accusing me of just about everything except the holocaust, arrived on the mat this morning. Some birding therapy is much needed.
It would appear that I misunderstood Rob's text. He is in fact behind the bars of the Sumburgh Hotel along with Helen. I expect the hotels profits to plummet during the coming months.
Birthday Pie (Meat and Potato)
Henderson's. Essential Pie condiment (not available outside South Yorkshire)