Greg's Occasional News & Views

15 April 2018

Another wet, damp, dismal and dreary week, just for a change. The weather people say, though, that this coming week should be much better – here’s hoping.

Jackdaws (and crows generally) are very clever birds. I suspect that the one(s) which found themselves down our dining room fireplace learned never to attempt to build a nest on a chimney pot again, or at least not on our dining room chimney pot. What a shame that the humans who inhabit the place were not smart enough to do something about the chimney before the second batch of jackdaws made their way down.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

At last, the not-very-clever human (i.e., me) learned his lesson and Tuesday I spent a few happy moments teetering at the top of a ladder on the neighbour’s flat room balancing precariously while I affixed a bird cowl to the top of the chimney. This was the only chimney (of which we have eight) which was not already either blocked off or capped with a cowl of some description. Not surprising, therefore, that the jackdaws thought it would be a suitable nesting place. Alas, they will now have to go further afield to find an uncapped chimney – no worries, there are many in the village.

Penny shared a video to my Facebook timeline about how crows are as intelligent as a seven-year old. Not being as smart as a seven-year old myself however, I couldn’t work out how to share it here so instead here’s one on a similar theme from the BBC:

Thursday evening was the final Moreton Pinkney Film Night of the season. This time it was Saving Grace with Brenda Blethyn and Martin Clunes (amongst others). It’s a cute story about a widow who discovers that her recently deceased husband has mortgaged everything up to the hilt, she has inherited massive debts and the bank is ready to foreclose. With the help of her gardener, she decides to grow a significant quantity of marijuana to raise the funds she needs to save her home. We’d seen it before but it was still good fun with a number of very funny moments. And, of course, the fish and chips supper is hard to beat. Alas, no more Film Nights until September – I don’t know what we will do for entertainment on a Thursday evening through the summer.

We went off yesterday to Thenford Garden Open Day with our friend Vicky. Thenford is just down the road from us and is the home of Michael Heseltine, former Tory MP and Defence Minister. It was Heseltine who, in 1990, challenged Margaret Thatcher for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Although he fell short in his bid to become leader, he did deny Thatcher sufficient votes for her to secure a majority in the first ballot and the contest was ultimately won by John Major. For getting rid of Thatcher, at least, we should all be grateful.

Heseltine bought Thenford in 1976 and set about restoring and renovating the gardens which had largely been neglected since Victorian times. It’s only open to the public for a few days each year and it is absolutely splendid. And, for the first time in weeks, the weather was actually warm and sunny! 

Here’s hoping for some more decent weather . . .

Love to you all,



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