Sunday 30 July 2023

Bird people arrive


Large red damselfly

Greetings from the middle of summer. I am rather enjoying all of the rain and the greenness everywhere, it feels how it should be somehow.

I have been noticing that box hedging everywhere locally has been looking dreadful. I have some box in pots as well as in the ground and I can see that its days are numbered. Box moth is the problem. It's gone from a small area of damage to widescale destruction. A shame, but I'll just find something else to grow instead. 

The bin men are on strike around here at the moment so I am trying not to do too much pruning in the garden unless I can compost the stuff myself as the recycling centre has descended into chaos. The street bin chap has not been impressed as he is having to empty bins with nine bags of rubbish next to them, or stuffed with bottles so that he can't even lift the bag or, on one occasion, with actual concrete blocks in it. 

He is particularly cross because the recycling and household bin people are already paid a huge amount more than him and all they have to do is wheel the bin to the lorry and hook it up and not trudge across fields in the rain to a lone bin. I told him he should go on strike. 

There has been a knock-on effect with the roads leading to recycling centres completely clogged up and businesses losing money as they can no longer access them. One local operation has apparently lost thousands. 

The garden is absolutely full of birds at the moment eating all of the fruit. I am pretty much leaving them to it. Happy to share. Although it's a bit disappointing when the blackbirds pull off a blueberry, drop it and pick another one instead. Food waste! I have been picking them up and putting them on the bird table.

We have new neighbours and I am very excited to see that no only do they have actual plants, including herbs and lavender, (there hasn't been a single plant in the garden for years), they have a nest box, a bird bath and a bird table with food on it. Bird people! 

Cricket teams were back out yesterday after a damp couple of weeks. One local team put six first team players in a lower team, which caused rather a fuss. Honestly, it is all taken so seriously. I have seen grown men have lengthy temper tantrums on more than one occasion. Did you know that there's even scope for the home team's cricket tea provision to be rated and reported upon? And if the umpire makes a wrong call, oh my. It is NEVER forgotten.

I am wondering if I should get a Kindle. I don't really like reading hardbacks, especially if I want to take my book in a bag somewhere, plus sometimes the print is a bit small. I pulled my copy of Pride and Prejudice off of the shelf last night and put it back because the font just wasn't big enough. Any recommendations for which sort of Kindle is best? I don't need it to be all-singing, all-dancing, just easy on the eye if you know what I mean. And lightweight, but I am assuming that they are all lightweight. I would have loved one when I went travelling on my bicycle years ago. As it was, I had a single book with me (Anna Karenina) which I eked out over six months. Yes, it was a long time ago :) 

I hope all is good at your end and that you have the right amount of rain and a good book to read. CJ xx


  1. I have a Kobo Libra which I love. I choose it for the size (close to paperback size) and also so I can borrow ebooks from my library. I have heard you can't borrow from the library to Kindle ( at least in Australia). Being able to adjust the font size is fantastic. I find it hard to go back to paper books now.

  2. I too have a Kobo Libra, bought during lockdown as it was hard to read library books on my phone. I never thought I would love it as much as I do, but it is so easy to carry around. And I took at least 6 books on holiday all loaded on the Kobo.

  3. Hurrah for the Bird People; all that and plants too!
    I really want to hear more about your travels by bike; what an interesting life you have led.
    You're asking the wrong person when it comes to Kindles, I'm afraid. After all the grief I gave my other half when he acquired one, I don't feel that I can back down now! :O) I'm getting by so far on a bright reading light over my shoulder and varifocals! He used to look very smug when we went away and he just had one slim, lightweight thing to pack. He has since, however, lost 3 of them (yes, count them ...3!!) on various trains.
    Rating the cricket tea?! Sounds like biting the hand that feeds them! :O) xx

  4. Ask your local library if they do e-books and audio books. My local council library offers a service call Borrowbox which allows you to download 6 e-books 6 audio books at a time for 3 weeks for free. you can download the books onto anydevice which can take apps and you can sinc up to ten devices at any time. I have it on my PC, laptop and phone and I can't fault it except that you sometimes have to wait a short while for a really populat title to be available!

  5. I fell out with reading when I had younger children - I simply couldn't follow another plot! Now I want to return to reading I have the same issue as you. When the font is too small it feels like walking through treacle and because I wear my specs for sewing and editng all day, I jsut want to take my glasses off in the evening. Maybe one day reading will come back to me. Hurrah for bird people I say. Jo xxx

  6. Good news about the neighbours. Although not good about the bin men. I can imagine the chaos at the recycling centres.
    Husband is very partial to blueberries and was insensed when blackbirds ate his off the bush. Now he has the whole bush covered in netting Poor blackbirds don’t worry though cos I do share my loganberries with them.
    Not sure what advice to give about kindles. I use the kindle app on my iPad but I tend to only read ebooks when I’m on my travels. I do love a good book to hold. I also use the free ebooks from the library or wait until Amazon have them on special offer at 99p! I look forward to read what others advise. B x

  7. I bought my daughter a Paperwhite Kindle for her birthday earlier this year. She is very happy with it.

  8. Great hoorahs for the bird people, boo to rating the cricket tea. I was given a Kindle as a gift many years ago and didn't expect to enjoy it. I am now on my third (I wore them out) and they have improved greatly over that time. For me the great features are that you have control of the size of font so rereading classics is now a pleasure; you can have thousands of books in your Library in the Cloud (I fear I am approaching that number) and never need a bookcase; and you can search within any book - excellent when preparing for Book Group - as well as makes notes as you read.
    I made myself a promise when I started that if I read a book on Kindle and loved it, I would go to a real shop and buy a real copy. I'm proud to say I continue to do so.

  9. Hello and good for you, me too. Shame about the box hedging but there are plenty of alternatives.
    Lucky you with the birds, and the new bird friendly neighbours.
    I had a Kobo Mini for years but it died earlier this year and I haven't replaced it as yet. Didn't use it much as I still prefer buying second hand paperbacks and borrowing new hardbacks from the library.
    All okay here thanks, there's been plenty of rain and I've a few books to read. xx

  10. Strikes are becoming part of life. I just came back from a week in London, first overseas visit since 2019 and it was lovely to be “home”. Even though the trains were running they were delayed or cancelled so much so that I was worried about getting back into London. I’d gone to Fishbourne in Sussex to see archaeological finds there of a Roman Palace. I am reading a stunning book, it is called Weatherland by Alexandra Harris and it won the Guardian first book award. I have not got a Kindle, I love the feel of a book in my hand. Here I am waiting for my tomatoes to ripen and dreaming of toasted tomato sandwiches with mayo. Jean in Winnipeg

  11. I also have a Kobo, and I love it! I like that it's not part of the Amazon industrial complex, and it works perfectly with my library. However, I am not sure what the options are in the UK. I used to have a Kindle Paperwhite and it worked fine, but I really like having a slightly bigger screen. If you turn the font up large, the small screens only show a few sentences and it seems like you are forever flipping the pages. Yay for bird people! My neighbors have zero landscaping. I think they own a single tree.

  12. Hurray for the bird people! Good neighbours make all the difference. I have a Kindle but rarely use it because I am more of an audiobook person. Alistair has a Kindle, he reads it with maximum font size, about 20 words per page and loves it. You could find out with your local library what e-readers are compatible with their electronic books. Then you could borrow books just like normal paper books. Have a wonderful week xx

    1. I forgot to mention, if you have an iPad, this also works like a Kindle.

  13. Kindle changed my life. I’m on my second one, the first lasted ten years. I prefer paperwhite for being easy on the eyes. It really feels a lot like reading a book. You can adjust the font. It’s fine to go for a basic model. Spring for a really good cover though. I have a leather cover with a pull-put stand now and it’s miles more comfortable than the plastic box I got with the Kindle.

  14. I use my iPad for reading Kindle books.Pity I didn't use one years ago when I took a shoebox fill of novels on holiday but then again they weren't around then!
    Good news about yhe new neighbours.

  15. Probably a little late… I have a kindle white and love it. Must confess to originally being a book snob and just couldn’t understand the need. How could a gadget replace a book? Jump forward and I’m on my second and wouldn’t be without it. Perfect for travelling and also those wakeful times when putting a lamp on could lead to marital disharmony 🤣. Books will always have a place but knowing you can carry your library around wherever you venture is rather satisfying!

  16. A quick note about hoarding library books on your kindle. Turn off the WIFI and they stay available forever. I've never turned it on. Download and transfer via USB cord from computer. The app called LIbby hooks up with Amazon to access the library book. Then download. I have unread books from years ago that I haven't gotten to read. Works great for those 1000 page sagas that takes forever to read.

  17. I absolutely adore reading on my Kindle, great for my aging eyes, and for the sheer number of books you can take away with you. My only complaint is that not seeing the cover of the book every time I pick it up means that I find it much harder to remember the name and writer of what I have read (or indeed what I am reading. I’m a bit sad that I do like it so much. Also ebooks are getting dearer.