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Wiltshire Warrior Dragon

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Everything posted by Wiltshire Warrior Dragon

  1. Thanks for the reminder, ckn - two of my favourites. Have you ever tried Aberdeen butteries (aka rowies)? A wonderful breakfast, comfort food (if not the healthiest ever created!)
  2. plenty of them ripening nicely in the New Forest, just now, MS.
  3. Oh yes. I was picking some only yesterday - delicious in a pie with apples!
  4. Thanks, as ever, ABK. It is good to have some positive ground news, somewhere! A detailed point, but I would have assumed that the contractors would have factored in a delaying factor for winter weather, so unless the next few months are abnormally grotty, if building is ahead of schedule now, I would expect it to still be so in the spring. I wonder if there is a penalty clause which will impact adversely on the contractor if they fall too far behind and handover the completed stadium is delayed.
  5. Ospreys still drifting through Hampshire pretty well daily, albeit in penny numbers. Quite a few hobby reports too. They are, of course, summer residents and breeders hereabouts. Now, I suspect, before they themselves head south over the channel, they are eagerly following the ever larger flocks of martins and swallows which are foregathering, particularly over inland water.
  6. Just listening on YouTube to some versions of the Catalonian anthem Els Segadors as I had not heard it before Saturday at Wembley. Incidentally, the Wembley performance - unaccompanied by a sextet of singers - is itself now on YouTube, but the sound quality is poor. The one by La Capella Reial is good.
  7. Many a true word spoken in jest, Oxford! I believe that the Miles Davis-recorded piece, Solea, written by the Canadian jazz pianist and composer, Gil Evans, is in the Phrygian mode.
  8. Currently, I am mostly listening to a CD of Wakefield Cathedral Choir singing Charles Woods' Short Communion Service in the Phrygian Mode. I have chosen it for my own church choir to sing, when we sing the eucharist service in Salisbury Cathedral on All Saints Day, the resident choir being on holiday for half-term. So, I thought I ought to know it, if I am to direct it!
  9. This is the time of year when many birds start to drift south towards Africa. If you live near a decent sized stretch of water, it's worth looking out for an osprey. A female, born in 2016 at Loch Fleet, near Dornoch, north of Inverness, has been at Romsey in Hampshire for the last few days, presumably stocking up before heading across the channel and, in due course, the Med.
  10. That's a bit worrying, DD. As public houses go, you're making it sound a bit bleak!
  11. Thanks, Derwent. It sounds interesting. I shall visit it with great expectations!
  12. As ever, Padge, the erudition that you bring to this thread is greatly appreciated, certainly by me - many thanks! Two immediate thoughts. The first is that there are often moans on here (and, it must be said with some justification) about the lack of planning any significant way ahead and the constant tinkering with competition structures. Your information suggests that this is perhaps the continuation of a grand old tradition! Second, I was intrigued to note, in the published fixture list, the practice of naming the home side second. This is, of course, the well established practice in North American sports, but perhaps was not new when adopted by them.
  13. This is the time of year when, with any luck, at dusk and in the night, you can hear or see a cockchafer beetle - a flying insect, called a 'maybug' in country parlance, and which makes an amazing, soft, droning noise as it approaches. (is this perhaps why German WW2 flying bombs were called 'doodlebugs', I wonder.) I have come across two in recent nights. Like many flying creatures they are attracted by light, so may crash into your windows, making a surprisingly loud noise for a small creature. That, however, is probably because they have strong casing on the wings, which looks like beautiful polished, grained wood. There legs are bright red. My favourite insect!
  14. Sadly, also much less common than, say 20 years ago, around the New Forest and the river valleys around Salisbury.
  15. Belatedly, Padge, many thanks for that fascinating insight into one form of Cornish hurling. For some reason, I hadn't spotted this contribution of yours before. I knew I had seen a reference, somewhere in the past, to the no-forward-pass rule in Cornish hurling, presumably made by somebody aware of the text you quote.
  16. If by falcons you mean birds of prey more generally, it's hard to beat the New Forest. I was dog walking at Acre Down (in the forest) a few years ago and met a man who had been birdwatching since dawn. In the six or so hours that had past, he had seen buzzard, honey buzzard, sparrowhawk, goshawk, peregrine, kestrel, hobby and red kite! All these, apart from the red kite, are quite longstanding species found in the New Forest. Goshawks nest regularly in small numbers, buzzards and sparrowhawks are resident all year round and honey buzzards are summer visitors to breed in small numbers. Hobbies - also summer migrants coming here to breed - are a heathland speciality, so the new forest is a good place to see them (and have a chance of doing so); seeing one hawking at speed for flying insects or small birds is a fantastic sight, which I have managed tow or three times in the forest or nearby. At first glance they can look like an overlarge swift. Red kites were very rare hereabouts twenty years ago, but seeing them everywhere is an increasingly common phenomenon, including drifting over larger urban centres like Salisbury and Winchester. Peregrines seen in the New Forest could be visiting to hunt, from nest sights in urban areas, or be nesting locally. Finally, at this time of year, if one remembers the most easily overlooked piece of advice for bird-watching - "birds fly, so look upwards!" - it is just possible that you might see an osprey on the closing stages of its spring migration from Africa to the English north and midlands, Wales or Scotland, as it crosses the New Forest or other parts of Hampshire and Wiltshire. Indeed, one was reported about three days ago passing over Mike McMeeken's home town.
  17. Just heard my first cuckoo, in the New Forest about an hour ago. Time to dust down the Frederick Delius CD, me thinks!
  18. I always enjoy your contributions on sporting history, Padge, and this is no exception; many thanks for it. A few points, related to text I have highlighted. Christina Hole, in English Custom and Usage, notes that "Shrove Tuesday was...the last opportunity for merry-making before Lent began, and was kept as a general holiday. Games and sports of every kind, cock-fighting and wrestling and the less reputable 'thrashing the hen' were the order of the day...Street football was, and still is, played in a number of places." She mentions Chester-Le-Street, Ashbourne, Atherstone, Sedgefield, Alnwick and Corfe Castle. She also mentions Cornish hurling (nothing like Irish hurling, by the way) at St Columb Major on Shrove Tuesday and at St Ives the day before (Quinquagesima Monday) I personally have seen the closing stages of the Ashbourne game and, as a child was driven through the streets of St Columb Major with all the shops boarded up in readiness for the hurling! Hole's book was first published during WWII. I think at some point in the year (possibly Shrove Tuesday, possibly not) there has been a tradition of playing football in the (very shallow!) river in the middle of Bourton-on-the-Water. For 'Ashburton', I think you mean 'Ashbourne'. I would not call the Worshipful Company of Brewers a trade association. They were - and are - one of the livery companies of the City of London. Yes, there was a trade association element to what they did, but more than that. Indeed, many of these livery companies nowadays have little direct connection with their trade, their main activity being their charitable work (which may or may not relate to their profession). The brewers, incidentally, rank 14th in order of precedence, out of 107 such bodies. Not all are old professions, by the way; the Worshipful Company of Information technologists (ranked 100th) demonstrate that! Because a livery company was, historically, a male-dominated group of like-minded/employed people, I would think 'fraternity' could equally refer to any such company. So, I am not persuaded that you can deduce that what is being referred to here is a sports (ie football) club; it might be, but might not! There is indeed a village of Caunton in Nottinghamshire; it is north-west of Newark-on-Trent, just off the road to Mansfield. As I said, Padge, great post and many thanks for it.
  19. When you think about it, a cathedral roof, tower or spire is a great place for peregrines - safe nesting site with minimal risk of disturbance (human or otherwise) and generous food supply (aka pigeons) on tap! At Salisbury Cathedral, the Dean & Chapter (ie the cathedral authorities) have had an arrangement for a couple of years or so, whereby visitors to the cathedral can watch a webcam of the nest, when it is in use. Of course, if you are lucky, you see them coming and going, as I did one summer's evening a few years ago as I left the cathedral where I had been with a visiting choir singing choral evensong.
  20. It is one of the great features of urban wildlife in the last twenty or so years how peregrines have come in from rural areas. I had a meeting this morning with officials from Wells Cathedral. Their Clerk of Works said he wished, like their diocesan neighbours, Salisbury Cathedral, they had resident peregrines to keep the pigeon population in check! Meanwhile, yesterday, walking in the New Forest, I heard a goshawk. This is one of, I think, three species of bird that I know I have heard in the wild, but not seen. The others are nightingale (both in this country and in France) and golden oriole (in France) Does anybody else keep ridiculous lists like this in their head?
  21. One is weasily recognisable, the other is stoatally different... ...I'll get my hat, coat, binoculars and leave!
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