Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Something never before seen in our field

Not one, not two, but three Spovar - Curlews to the English speakers. (update: probably a Snipe, thanks to all who have helped!) We generally see one on the big field just above the little lake, walking sedately about the place, chatting to itself from time to time. We've never seen them nearer to home, but on the other hand, they might have been there all the time, every spring - just invisible against the tired grass of last year. But today the stood out magnificently against the fresh snow. We watched for ages and decided it was one very attractive female, and two competing males as there was a lot of flapping of wings in a fetching manner from one of the birds - and a lot of swooping in and being swiftly driven off again in the case of the other one. 

After quite a while, I saw two birds sitting very close together in the middle of the field, very very still. Tired out perhaps from some serious mating? They wandered off - almost hand in hand - down the field and disappeared into the undergrowth anyhow, so at least they won't get eaten up as easily as when they were sitting stunned in the middle of a lot of whiteness! Of the unsuccessful male there was not a sign. Nature, marvellous, mysterious, and very up close and personal.

Otherwise I have been translating some texts, one of which is the translation from hell itself. After two hours of concentrated effort all I had was a page of rubbish English with almost all the significant words in bold, and also, sadly, all still in Swedish. Very technical, very much a niche area of the forestry industry, and utterly outside my areas of expertise - and also completely resistant to the charms of Mrs Google, and various checking tools I use. What do you call the area beside the road that you stack your felled logs in? No, I don't know either. I was feeling a bit despondent, but then I re-read it and it wasn't that bad. And probably it can be fixed with a bit of help from the authors. At any rate, all the texts have now been rendered into a form of English, to be continued tomorrow.

It was a perfect day for working, the promised snow began falling gently - tourist snowflakes - but soon got into the stormier version with added wind. And it turned very wet, and drippy, and came down in vast quantities. When it eased and eventually stopped we took a breather. A very unpleasant, damp and claggy walk. I'd rather translate the text from hell to be honest! My legs have been so sore today, it is as damp as it ever gets here and it is not my favourite weather. Shins and feet have whined on a bit, but I made them walk about outside anyway, just to show them who's boss. As we ate our tea (vegetable soup made from some shockingly tired looking things from the bottom of the fridge) it started to rain. I rest my case. 

My posh felt pens, the ones I rejuvenated with meths a while ago, are now almost without pigment at all and I am about to order a new set off T'internet. I am enjoying the black and white drawing a lot, another house left my fingers today, this time it's Ruth's house. Tomorrow afternoon I have a board meeting for the Science Centre and I haven't read the papers... They will have to wait till morning when my brain will be bright and refreshed, unlike the rather stale state it's in now. I spent some time today gathering the members' suggestions for slogans for the first of May demonstration (of the animals) some really good ones came up on Facebook! "Go directly to a 6 hour working day, without passing Go!" There are now going to be 4 of us working on the window - I hope we can do it without quarrelling! Keith will film some of the preparations for use on Facebook. We are doing our best to make a complete non-event (cancelled demo) feel like an event.

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