Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fortnight Ending 29 November 2015

It's been a crazy couple of weeks around here.

The good stuff was two birthdays, with my youngest two now both being officially a year older. Celebrations were pretty low key, but cake  (for one and chocolate mousse for the other ) is always good! There was also the end of year displays and prize giving at the gym - yet more cake! Miss 15 got to do some synchro with her best friend which pleased her. The friend will be in Miss 15's age group again next year (they are only together every second year) so they'll hopefully compete as a pair for the whole season.

Mr 18's team made the finals of their cricket championship. It's a two day game, with the second day scheduled for next weekend, weather permitting. It'll be his last game for this team. After the Christmas break he'll no longer be eligible for youth cricket so will need to find an adult team to join.

Mr 18 running in to bowl
Miss 15 and I ended up making a quick, last minute trip to see my Mum - down one afternoon, one day there and back the next afternoon. Apart from tiredness and some weakness on one side of her body she survived her first stroke relatively unscathed.  However, she has since suffered another stroke and is back in hospital as they conduct more tests and try and see what the underlying reason might be. Again apparently no lasting effects but we definitely hope there are no more.

We did manage a couple of very quick birding stops on the journey down- mainly just places where we were guaranteed to see something new for the year. Highlights were a toss up between a New Zealand Pipit (its a medium sized, fairly non-descript brown bird that we aren't very familiar with so being able to identify it without much difficulty was gratifying) and seeing a Yellow-Eyed Penguin come ashore. We've seen this before but this time we spotted the bird a fair distance from shore. It was porpoising and looked a lot like a dolphin except is was moving straight in to shore. Very cool.

It's been a year since I started my Classics Club challenge. So far I've read 24 classics and - after a last minute rush -  have posted reviews for 22 of them. I enjoy reading the classics more than I enjoy writing about them but I did hope to get up to date with the reviews by the time my anniversary rolled around. Didn't quite make it, but, in fairness, I only finished the last two books - Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice - in the last couple of weeks. I also finished the two MOOCs I enrolled in. Funnily enough I enjoyed the logic course more than the one on Hans Christian Andersen, which surprised me.

Over the weekend Miss 15 and I took part in the annual summer wader count at a local lake. Lots of walking in hot, windy conditions. Some parts of the lake were really dry but in other parts we were trudging through really goopy, sticky mud. And, after all that our section didn't reveal a large variety of birds, or anything unusual. The migrant species I was hoping to see was in the section next to ours! So we might have to go back this week. and try to track it down.

Miss 15 and  a fellow birder walking through a barren section of the lake bed. At other times of the year all this is under water.


  1. Oh no! I am so sorry to hear your mother has had another stroke!

    1. The doctors have just revised their diagnoses. Apparently neither or her two "strokes" were actually strokes after all. So my Mum remain in hospital while they perform a plethora of tests tryign to work out exactly what is going on.

    2. Oh how distressing. I'm so sorry. Having been through a brain tumor myself, oh the medical round of diagnosis can be very trying! I hope they have found some answers?

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