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Wiltshire Warrior Dragon

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About Wiltshire Warrior Dragon

  • Birthday 12/07/1950

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    near Salisbury
  • Interests
    sport (RL [obviously!], table tennis [as a player], ice hockey, GAA, shinty), choral music (especially the Anglican tradition), family history (in Shetland), bird-watching

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  1. Thanks for the quote, Futtocks, but I will treat it with a degree of suspicion. Perry pear trees do not begin to fruit particularly quickly, hence the old saying, "Plant pears for your heirs." So even significant planting would have struggled to provide enough fruit for the Babycham boom. My copy of the definitive Pears of Gloucestershire and Perry Pears of the Three Counties by Charles Martell is mostly a descriptive and illustrated list of all the known varieties, but it has a short introduction, which makes no mention of the apparent major tree planting of Showerings; if that had been significant, I would have thought it would be recalled. Also, i cannot remember any perry pear tree variety examples in the text being described as being part of an erstwhile Showerings orchard, but maybe they were.
  2. Ooh, careful, Futtocks! Us purists suspect that the juice milled from proper perry pears never wasn't greatly used in Shepton Mallet, where I think Babycham was manufactured. For one thing, Somerset is not really a perry pear growing area. I would suspect that pear concentrate from poor quality, left-over dessert and culinary pears was used, to the extent that pear juice was used at all! I also suspect that, back in the day when Babysham had a big following, the word 'perry' had no protection. I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't even now. (Come to that, I am not sure what is happening with all the food products that had some form of protection from imitation in the EU)
  3. A friend once told me that a local bit of doggerel was "Shipstone's 'Shippos' makes you sh*t like hippos!" You seem to be confirming the accuracy of this charming piece of poetry.
  4. In following the fortunes of Les Dracs, I find the loose use of 'cancel' and 'postpone' to be very confusing and hence irritating, especially when, as in at least one SL announcement, they are used as synonyms. They are not! The Dragons' website shows them as having four games still in the schedule. They are Salford, away, 2nd November; St Helens, home, 5th Nov; Hull KR, venue TBA, 9th Nov; and Huddersfield, venue TBA, 13th Nov. I think the Salford fixture may be a recent addition to that list. Managing to play three out of those four would get them to 15 games.
  5. Same down here in the New Forest. I didn't see very many at all last year, but in previous winters have seen some massive flocks. The biggest flock I ever saw was in my days working in Skipton. I had been to a meeting in North Lancashire and was going home to Long Preston, the village south of Settle. From Gisburn, I headed up the A682 and, for the entire seven mile journey to Long Preston, a flock of fieldfares, no doubt with redwing amongst them too, was moving at right-angles across the road I was on. There must have been thousands and thousands!
  6. A true sign that winter is on the way, Ullman. I mentioned in an earlier post the merits of being able to identify at least a few bird species by their call. Fieldfares are a case in point. That soft, chattering 'chuck-chuck-chuck-chuck' as they fly overhead is very distinctive and easy to recognise once you have it imprinted in your brain. here's a good link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b03k279n
  7. it's worth getting a bird box up well before the breeding season, so that birds get used to it. Some may even use it as a winter roost. That said, a couple of years ago, I was, I thought, woefully late in putting up a bird box, with the breeding season well under way. I was resigned to the idea that it would not be used until about eleven months later. However, to my delight and surprise, a pair of great titmice moved in within five days and raised a brood successfully. It's not been used since!
  8. I have seen one raid a blackbird's nest in our garden hedge in the breeding season. I tend to be quite sanguine about this. In a sense it is distressing, but so is the thought of magpie chicks starving to death. One is in danger of disliking all birds of prey. I keep my bird-feeders well filled, especially in winter, in the knowledge that I will almost certainly help more small birds to survive comparatively easily than will be lost to the local sparrowhawks who know to drop by with a good chance of picking up something tasty for lunch or tea. By human standards, nature can seem a bit brutal.
  9. I haven't seen any Gloucester Old Spots yet this year, but saw some a year or two ago down near Eyeworth Pond. A few weeks ago, I saw some really oddly marked sheep across at Penn Common, near Bramshaw. I came home and 'google-d' away. It turns out they were badger faced sheep, a breed of which I confess I had never even heard! Here is a link: https://www.badgerfacesheep.co.uk/
  10. I wouldn't bother trying to discourage them, Honor. At this time of year, birds are most concerned with safe places to roost. Yes, magpies can cause a degree of unrest amongst other birds, but nothing like, say, a passing sparrowhawk. I don't think they will have caused everything else to disappear. I don't think magpies hanging around would cause a blackbird to up sticks and move on. Sadly, if your blackbird wasn't too concerned about the feral cats that might just have been a fatally flawed bit of judgement on its part!
  11. I think I may have seen this group the other day, Shadow, as I drove down from the open New Forest heathland into your village, Nomansland. They were in that bit of woodland just before the village garage.
  12. You did! It's a bit hard to say, but it's probably a female as it doesn't appear to have any red on the back of its head, which would tell you it's a male.
  13. I would have thought you could use 'mule' in the Muffin sense of the word, HS. I regularly see a mule in the New Forest; what else can I call it. But I take your point...!
  14. To be honest, this thread looks like a re-run of parts of the one entitled "What does the season look like from here?", so I am not sure of the point of it. The rule about needing to play 15 games is not as clear cut as some above seem to think. Here is the link: https://www.rugby-league.com/article/57071/-betfred-super-league--competition-update I recommend reading it all closely to get the accurate picture which some of you currently seem to lack.
  15. Except for residents of Tasmania, for whom Bennett is the Bennett of the North! (With apologies for John Morton, writer of People like us, for borrowing and amending one of his lines)
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