My Diary ...

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  • Out with the old ...

    Published Date: 
    Tuesday, 1 January, 2019

    Another year passes by and, as usual, the human brain reflects on the year gone and makes plans for a fresh start in the new year coming. Looking back at my diary for 2018 does not make for inspiring reading! There are few posts and they are dominated by health issues, jigsaw puzzles and other people nature news. What an exciting life I lead! The problem is that Ann's health severely restricts what we can do; holidays and trips away from home like other people do are just not possible. We also have to be very wary about where we go walking as we have to remain safe. As a result, apart from our dining out a couple of times a week, Ann's afternoon out with her friend Anne and me and my bowls not much else happens.

    For 2019 it is likely to be more of the same with a petty fixed routine following the established pattern but I am hoping we can free up Mondays to give us two days, Monday and Thursday, for leisure time together walking and dining. Tuesday tends to be appointments and shopping and Wednesday we go our separate ways; Ann with Anne and me on my own somewhere. Friday is shopping for the weekend and bowls in the afternoon leaving the weekend when everywhere down here is busy for us to do the washing/ironing, housework and gardening. Routine is important when you have someone with no short term memory to contend with.


     

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  • Jigsaw: Highlanders

    Published Date: 
    Monday, 31 December, 2018
    Title Highlanders
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 10 Days
    Difficulty Difficult

    Probably one of the most difficult puzzles we have tackled so far. I am not sure all the pieces are in the right places even now! Ann really struggled with this one.


     

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  • Jigsaw: Tea with Grandma

    Published Date: 
    Friday, 21 December, 2018
    Title Tea with Grandma
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 8 Days
    Difficulty Fair

    Third time for this one, not the greatest subject matter but enjoyed doing it just the same.


     

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  • Jigsaw: Farmyard Companions

    Published Date: 
    Friday, 14 December, 2018
    Title Farmyard Companions
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 6 Days
    Difficulty Moderate

    The relentless poor weather means more jigsaw time; we went through this puzzle in just 6 days! A nice picture but not much colour for Ann to work with so I ended up doing most if this one.


     

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  • Jigsaw: Room With a View

    Published Date: 
    Friday, 7 December, 2018
    Title Room With a View
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 8 Days
    Difficulty Tricky

    A new puzzle and the first time we have done it. It seemed straight forward from the picture but all of the similar flowers actually made it mush trickier than we thought it would be. 


     

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  • Jigsaw: A Birds Eye View

    Published Date: 
    Sunday, 2 December, 2018
    Title A Bird's Eye View
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 8 Days
    Difficulty Interesting

    Number three down already as the stormy weather continue to contrive to keep us indoors most afternoons at the moment. I like this picture, it has something about it that I can relate to but I can't put my finger on exactly what! Relatively straight forward but still took eight days so not a push over although looking at it you would not think it was anything but easy. It had a missing piece which has been replaced but the new piece does not fit very well.


     

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  • Nature Diary: November 2018

    Published Date: 
    Friday, 30 November, 2018

    Weather-wise it was a month of two halves; the first two weeks were pleasant and more like September than November but then mid-month storm Callum came along and from there on the weather became much more unsettled and we had rain at last. The settled weather though made for a fairly quiet month for the bird watchers in Dorset.

    One of the significant factors was the number of cattle egret in the county with at least three large flocks; at Abbotsbury (37+ birds), at Stoborough near Wareham (17 birds) and at Waddock Cross near Moreton (12+ birds). There were other sightings too and one wonders why there are so many this year but it is too early to draw any conclusions I would have thought. Great white egret also continued to be reported with regulars at Lodmoor and Longham lakes but, again, there were other reports too so this is another once rare species being seen regularly in Dorset. The lesser yellowlegs continous to ply its trade at Lodmoor showing no real intention of setting up home elsewhere and it is now so settled the number of watchers reporting it has reduced considerably.  A juvenile whooper swan has teamed up with the local mute swans at Hamperston, near Longham lakes and shows little sign of trying to more of its own kind. As in most autumns there were a number of yellow-browed warbler sightings.

    Of the less regular special visitors, as is often the case in westerly gales, a number of scarce gulls made an appearance, mostly seen around Weymouth, especially in the car park at Radipole; glaucous gull, Franklin's gull, Kumlien's gull and little gull all being reported. Other rare visitors during November included a pallid swift on Portland for a couple of days and a dusky warbler was seen/heard on and off for a couple of weeks at the swannery at Abbotsbury. Snow bunting and Siberian chiffchaff were other notable records along with a late grey phalarope.

    Eight species of butterfly were still on the wing in November with a number of clouded yellows reported from coastal locations; the others were red admiral, speckled wood, brimstone, common blue, large white, small copper and small white. There was quite a lot of late interest in moths too with migrant species being of interest to several of the county's 'trappers'. Red-headed chestnut was a very good find and other immigrants included several oak rustic, delicate, gem, radford's flame shoulder, rusty dot pearl, olive-tree pearl, dark swordgrass and white-speck.

    At sea bottlenose dolphins and a harbour porpoise were seen.


     

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  • Jigsaw: Riverside Walk

    Published Date: 
    Tuesday, 20 November, 2018
    Title Riverside Walk
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 12 Days
    Difficulty Moderate

    With autumn in danger of turning in to winter no time was wasted between finishing Walkies and getting started on another. Ann is very good at getting pieces out of the box but she struggles to put them into place ... especially as she works almost totally on colour and shape means little to her. With a colourful, busy picture like this one it really presents her with a problem. She is also inclined to do bizarre things and I find myself redoing little bits of what has already been done once. Nevertheless, she seems to enjoy doing them and I am sure they are good for her and it is something we can do together so, for now, we press on. 


     

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  • Enough is enough

    Published Date: 
    Friday, 16 November, 2018

    Today I sent this email to the bowls club committee members:

    I need to clarify the position following my early departure from the last committee meeting to avoid any misunderstandings. I have resigned from the position of Club Chair as I am no longer physically or mentally able to continue. I should be playing short mat bowls for enjoyment and respite from my caring responsibilities at home but in the last six months or so, and certainly since my stroke in July, it has become a chore and being Club Chair has induced added stress which, given concerns over my own health, I can well do without.

    I think that I should provide an explanation of the primary reasons why I have resigned.

    Firstly, I find the environment of committee meetings now unbearable. Living with someone with no short term memory is both stressful and heartbreaking; I carry that with me when I am away from home as well as at home. Since my stroke I get very tired mentally and can find it difficult to concentrate, especially where a lot is happening at the same time. Factor in my hearing difficulty and hopefully you will see why I cannot cope with committee meetings in the way they are currently conducted. This is not to say that club committee meetings are wrong, it is to show why I cannot cope.

    Secondly, all my experience in corporate and charity trustee board meetings has taught me to see the ‘big picture’, to think strategically and to plan for the future rather dwell too much on the present. However. the role of a small club committee is, perhaps, more inclined towards looking after the day to day nuts and bolts of running the club. In this regard I am the wrong person to chair such a committee and someone with different experience and skills should take over. My kind of thinking has led me into continued conflict with some club members ever since I took over and this is a further indicator as to why I am the wrong person for the role.

    To expand on this second point a little I will comment on the latest instance of this conflict. We have recently recruited ten new members and I now see a vibrant club with three well supported sessions and with many members playing twice, even three times, a week. This says to me that we are successful in doing what the Club aims to do according to its constitution. All of my instincts tell me we should looking to build on that; to find ways of improving the bowling skills of our members and to find ways to accommodate even more members if the demand exists.

    I see new members as the ‘life-blood’ of the club and yet all I hear is that we have too many members now and we need to shut the doors. New members are potentially the league bowlers of the future, they are (hopefully) the Club officers and hands on practical people that will keep the Club running for years to come. Many Clubs would be thrilled to have the number of members and the vitality our Club has. We should always be open to new members but this does not seem to be the mood of
    the Club committee in general; we are more concerned with a short term issue over the Christmas dinner than the future health and prosperity of the Club we were elected to manage.

    This gulf in thinking just increases the tension between me and everyone else; I am the wrong person to Chair the Club, a square peg in a round hole. Just because no one else is keen on being Chair is not a justifiable reason for me to continue when I am so out of line with the wishes of my fellow committee members.


     

     

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  • Jigsaw: Walkies

    Published Date: 
    Thursday, 8 November, 2018
    Title Walkies
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 7 Days
    Difficulty Easy

    The clocks fall back, the weather worsens and opportunities for Ann to get out in the garden reduce and so time to get the jigsaws going again to stop Ann being bored and to try and keep her mind active. First out of the cupboard was this gentle warm-up, Walkies. This was the first puzzle we bought when we started out five years ago ad the third time we have done it but, given Ann loves all dogs, this was a pleasure to assemble again. The artist certainly understands dogs and the looks on their faces clearly shows that they are anticipating a walk any time now! Shame about the missing piece, a replacement ordered for next time round ...


     

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