Last night I had the pleasure of seeing my good friend Celia sing in the Love Music Community Choir at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. The Choir is aimed at getting anyone of any ability up and enjoying singing, and they were marvellous! I don’t think I’ve ever heard a large choir sing, and it was a fantastic experience, a range of songs based on the music and artists that have played at the Usher Hall lately, so an eclectic mix, with songs from Joy Division, Scottish Folk Songs, and Mozart’s Lacrimosa. Challenging songs, but done wonderfully and with great love.
Today I took a train trip (DMU class 158, train fans) to a nearby town to pick up some hardware to re-hang the garden gate. Excitingly, the conductor’s ticket machine wasn’t working so I got a free trip, and spent the saved money on a really greasy bacon sandwich from outside B&Q.
As well as screws, T-hinges and a £2.50 packet of cress seeds, I also popped into Aldi and ASDA to pick up ingredients to make meals according to a really brilliant recipe website I’ve found, The Skint Foodie. My friend, who I got the link from, described a read through the site as “like punching Jamie Oliver in the face”. It’s just brilliantly written, accessible, entertaining and affordable food – absolutely perfect for my level of cookery, where I’m just really starting to understand how everything all works together.
Back to the exciting gate (I took a bus home, saving even more money) – the current gate is half-rotten, lying to one side and attached to the gate post by a single, rusty screw. We need the gate so the over-friendly dogs don’t get out to say hello to the postman, who currently delivers our post by tying it to a brick and throwing it over the fence.
I’ve never hung a gate before. It was very easy and satisfying. Next job is some painting, I don’t think that’s going to be as satisfying.
Had a look at the camera trap today, it had nearly 200 images in just over 5 days! Mostly grey squirrel and roe deer, but also a brief view of a fox and a male roe deer. Most lovely was nearly a hundred shots of a roe deer family, grazing and grooming each other:
Roe deer usually have twins, and are unusual in that they are the only even-toed ungulate to undertake delayed implantation, where after fertilisation, development of the egg is halted for nearly four months, until the conditions are better for pregnancy.
They are also solitary and territorial for most of the year, so the female here will probably be the same that we’ve seen on other occasions.
I found this recipe when I was trying to find more interesting things to do with a bowl of tuna & rice. It’s absolutely delicious, quick, and filling, and doesn’t require anything other than what I normally have in my cupboards.
I found a newt when I was clearing away some more stone and dirt from one of the old, rundown walls. It was cold but floppy, so not dead. I put him in a box in some sunshine while I tried to find out if waking a newt from hibernation will kill them.
As he slowly came back to life, I found that it doesn’t, hooray! Amphibian And Reptile Conservation suggest to put it back where you find it, or somewhere safe and frost-free. I released him next to one of the compost bins. Run free, little newt.
I have a cameratrap, which I put out in the garden and check on every now and then. So far: Deer, deer, mouse mouse, deer, cat, cat, squirrel.
Still holding out for the infamous Fife Leopard. There’s an album of images from the cameratrap here
Big spiders come run around looking for mates, it must be Autumn
Probably Tegenaria gigantea, the Society of Biology has a great spider recording program underway this year.