fauna Fi | 05 Aug 2009
I’m apparently suffering from Posterior Vitreous Detachment – and that DOES NOT mean that a load of glass has fallen off my bum! It me eyes y’know…. Like the rest of me they are starting to suffer the ravages of time and getting a bit worn out.
Anyroadup – the result is I have spots before the eyes (floaters) and in one eye some bright flashing lights. Irritating and disorientating but not painful. The optician was great and after an hour of tests was able to reassure me that it wasn’t a detached retina – a pretty darn serious affliction.
A very exciting request dropped in my lap last week – the soon-to-be MEGA author Reif Larsen contacted me to ask if he could use a snippet of one of my films on a superb new website that will illustrate his soon-to-be-released book “The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet”. The website isn’t released yet but I’ll link to it when it is….
‘Here is a book that does the impossible: it combines Mark Twain, Thomas Pynchon, and Little Miss Sunshine. Good novels entertain; great ones come as a gift to the readers who are lucky enough to find them. This book is a treasure’
(From: The New York Observer) Here’s a fairytale: A 28-year-old Columbia M.F.A. student named Reif Larsen wrote a novel about a whimsical child from Montana who likes maps, and suddenly all kinds of famous editors in New York were calling his agent, Denise Shannon, and telling her they really wanted to publish it.
Norton offered to preempt with an advance in the neighborhood of $400,000 if Ms. Shannon took the book off the market and sold it to the publisher right then and there. The editorial director of Dial Press, an imprint of Random House’s Bantam Dell Doubleday group, offered to pay half a million for the same privilege.
Ms. Shannon said no to both and confidently took the book to auction. Within days, according to three sources, she’d sold North American rights for a sum just shy of $1 million to Ann Godoff at the Penguin Press, gravely disappointing editors at Random House, Viking, Riverhead and elsewhere. The book was also sold to publishers in Canada, Germany and Italy, and at press time, deals were being negotiated for the U.K. and the Netherlands. The book, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, is scheduled to come out this summer.
It is the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It is always poignant but more so for me this year because I found out last week (during on line research) that my Great Uncle John (my fathers Uncle) was killed in action on November 17th 1917 in Flanders, Belgium – so had been perhaps been involved in the disastrous and terrible Battle of Passchendaele. He was just 18 years old and a Lance Corporal. His name is apparently included in the lists on plaques at Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing
I have just watched Henry Allingham, aged 112, lay his own wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph. Incredibly moving. The only other two surviving veterans of WW1 also laid wreaths. You can’t imagine what they have experienced, what their thoughts might be.
Henry Allingham, 112, Harry Patch, 110 (his birthday today), and Bill Stone, 108, are representing the RAF, Army and Royal Navy respectively.
Speaking before the event, Mr Allingham – the world’s oldest World War I veteran and the UK’s oldest man – said he held it particularly dear.The veteran, who is partially deaf and nearly blind, said he would like to forget the horrors of a war he fought nine decades ago – but cannot.
“Well, it was a time, that I recall, I saw too many things I would like to forget but I will never forget them, I never can forget them,” he said.
I fell in a trench. There was a fella there. He must have been about our age. He was ripped shoulder to waist with shrapnel. I held his hand for the last 60 seconds of his life. He only said one word: ‘Mother’. I didn’t see her, but she was there. No doubt about it. He passed from this life into the next, and it felt as if I was in God’s presence. I’ve never got over it. You never forget it. Never. —Harry Patch, last survivor of Passchendaele, 12/07/2007
fauna Fi | 04 Aug 2008
fauna Fi | 18 Apr 2008
There are signs this morning of blackbirds starting to nest low in the honeysuckle in the front garden. Wonderful. They have missed the last year or two.
We moved the sink pond from the yard to the front garden. It was hard work coz its so big and heavy, but worth it. Its visible from the lounge now and you can hear the trickle of the water spout.
fauna Fi | 14 Apr 2008
As I stepped out of the front door this morning to go to work I saw the first 3 swallows of the year. Wonderful!
fauna Fi | 31 Mar 2008
I saw the first bumble bee of this spring in the churchyard yesterday early evening.
fauna Fi | 02 Mar 2008
Deb called on Friday afternoon and said she’d had a bad couple of weeks at work so she and James had booked a couple of nights at a B&B at Ullswater. We arranged to go out to the Drove for dinner with them. It was great to see them and Deb is looking very well in the first flush of marriage and early weeks of pregnancy. A really nice evening!
Determined to see the majestic spectacle of a huge flock of starlings near Gretna we went late in the afternoon, got some gen from Tourist Info and parked up. While not seeing the expected huge flocks of starlings we got the car well and truly stuck in the mud of a verge near Gretna. On first trying to reverse out I had the window open and got plastered with mud. Funny? Oh yes! After trying a picnic rug under the stuck wheel to no avail, we tried digging around it and putting piles of dry sticks in – again no luck. We eventually got rescued by a red-haired Knight in a not-so-shining Volvo.
We saw a few small pods of the birds and in the distance larger flocks but not what I’d hoped for. Hey ho.
fauna Fi | 16 Feb 2008
fauna Fi | 26 Oct 2007
This is great. Filmed in 1969 in the USA – predicting a computerised home. They weren’t too far off the mark!
I saw this news item on BBC website. A HUGE litter of 15 utterly gorgeous blue Great Dane pups. I’ve always fancied this breed – if only we had room for one.
We can’t spend all our time making preparations for the exciting move to us all living together in my house in a few weeks time, especially when I make a pigs-ear of filling gaps in plaster! Everyone’s gotta have some R&R. So, my brainwave was – IF it’s sunny on Sunday we’re going to Chester Zoo (a FINE idea over a fourth glass of wine after dinner on the Saturday night).
Hey presto – it WAS sunny. Miracle. So off we went. The weather got worse and worse each mile we drove south – storms and rain so bad that the M6 ground to a halt. Guilt set in, for what I assumed was going to be a fiasco day out, all my fault, making me want to disappear from the car. I could hardly bear to look up from the map. But – God apparently loves us (?!) and it cleared up as we arrived. A fabulous zoo. Our favourites were the elephants, a tiger (Ross saw him but we missed it during a loo break!), monkeys, free-flying bats (whoosh), and BEST of all – the leggy, graceful, gentle, utterly gorgeous giraffes.
For our film click here
Got the train thru the Yorkshire Dales to meet He in Sheffield for the weekend. Gorgeous journey until Leeds!
Ross was going to his cousin for the weekend so we dropped him off on Saturday and then headed to Bakewell. What a lovely town.
Saw a wonderful gnarly old tree that had a face-shape grown into the trunk, then we had hot chocolate and cake.
Spent most of the time at the river watching the nesting Coots and very laid back trout.
We also went to the 50th party of one of H’s work colleagues. Everyone really nice and friendly and a lot of fun. Got back early hours, but reasonably sober!?!