This morning was one of those mornings which is full of promise - an azure sky , the sound of the church bells and a boiled egg for breakfast - oh and toast ! I decided we had to get out early and enjoy the spring sunshine so I cocooned Veronica in her fleecy wheelchair blanket and headed out up our village high street : past thatched,cream painted ,Devon cottages and Georgian red brick houses - some with curtains still drawn ; their occupants still dreaming of - who knows what . At the top end of the village we passed the rookery and already there were signs of nests being built - build high and it will be a fine summer is the local wisdom .From a not too distant copse came the incessant and urgent drumming of a woodpecker and from the hedge row came the distinctive call of a great tit proclaiming his territory - the bicycle pump bird we used to call it . The sun began to feel warm on my back , insinuating itself into my tired and aching body and giving me new energy and hope . Then above us came the plaintiff mewling of a young , solitary buzzard calling out for a mate .We stopped and I watched as he spread his mottled grey and brown wings to catch a thermal and wheel higher and higher leaving us all behind and looking down on the patchwork quilt of fields and valleys and rivers . How I envied his solitary freedom . We turned and looked into the banks where the first primroses are vying for attention with gloriously glossy yellow celandines .Back to the village - past the pub -the doors open and the smell of beer and the beginnings of sunday lunch wafting out into the street ; I looked up under the eaves of the cottages half expecting to see house martins rebuilding their muddy nests as the sun was so warm but of course it is much too early but I said this morning was full of promise and so it was .

26 Replies

  • good on yer georgepa perter jones queensland Australia psp sufferer

  • Thanks Peter - enjoy your break by the sea - tell us all about it and make us envious as we wait for our summer .

  • Here in Turkey our celandines have been out for over a month and wild violets have been spreading their scent since late December. Our next big event will be the citrus blossom which lasts a month from mid-March onward. At its peak the whole village smells of orange blossom, it is truly an annual miracle. And we have storks who nest on the electric poles just outside our house. The main nest is about 100 yards away but last year they also built an overspill nest on the pole right outside our window. Said nest now looks slightly precarious after this winter's storms and I have fingers crossed it will survive until they get back to repair it - they're due late March. Finally, and this really is eat your heart out territory, we expect a surfeit of nightingales from April onward. On the other side of our house and garden is a huge orange grove which has been totally neglected since the owner died some years ago, his heirs (apparently over 50 people) are fighting legal battles over his will, and the grove is now a veritable jungle of brambles and vines tangled over and around the orange trees. When we first moved here in 2004 we were woken at 1am by bird song and were initially baffled until the penny dropped and we realized it was nightingales. We have enjoyed their distinctive song each year since but last year the frequency and volume were incredible. Eventually the penny dropped again and we woke up to the fact that the jungle next door is now a nightingale sanctuary. So we have nightingale song wafting tunefully in from one side and rampant storks clacking away on the other. We are very lucky and we know it.

  • Oh Pattz that sounds wonderful - I have never heard a nightingale- don't suppose you have a spare room ? Georgepa

  • We have three.

  • Ooooh so tempting !


  • Thanks for that wonderful description Georgepa. I am eagerly awaiting the drumming of the woodpecker as it's hollow sound resonates around the woods opposite our house. I worked in a secondary school for 20 years. It is situated on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells bordered on one side by woodland. It has extensive grounds and all nearby gardens are large and mature. As I walked to my office one morning, a group of 11/12 year olds ran up to me calling "Miss, Miss, someone's shooting a machine gun". As I was trying to question this animated group, the woodpecker started drumming. "There it is Miss, they are shooting again". I told them what it was and some of them didn't believe me. They said nothing could tap that quickly. I told them to come to my office at break time, which they did, and I showed them the woodpecker on the internet. For the next few days, I was questioned by many children who had been told by members of the group what the noise was. They wanted to know if it was true. Our own children, and now our grandchildren, knew the sound of a woodpecker before they could speak. It never ceases to amaze me how little some children know about the world outside their door. OK, some may have never heard a woodpecker although it is a common sound in this area at certain times of the year, but in one class of 27 children, none of them knew what a parsnip was!

  • I bet they all remember that incident when they hear a woodpecker now. Lovely story, NannaB.

  • When our children were small we always had a nature table in the playroom . We were very lucky that there was an enthusiastic botanist who lived near us and at the weekends ran a nature club taking the children out into the fields and woods and teaching them all about the flora and fauna in a fun way . We all used to go with them badger watching and ponding . It was wonderful grounding and like you I am sad that so many children can't tell you the difference between a daffodil and a tulip let alone recognise species of birds . I have to say at this time of the year I still have the urge to collect frog spawn !

  • Georgepa, I always had a nature table as a child, our boys did also. The rodent skull one of them found is now in our china cabinet and the two sheep skulls found in the Black Mountains are in the garden. We have a couple of ponds in our garden, one the fish outgrew is now a wild life pond. Last year we had 36 pairs of frogs + single ones. In 1981 we had an extention built. After the foundations were dug it rained continuously for ages and the foundations became home to lots of frogs. Every morning I would go out in the rain and fish them out as there was no way they could climb the muddy sides. It was a never ending job so when my husband was at work I went to the local garden centre and bought a pond liner, dug a very rough hole and made a temporary pond which I put the rescued frogs in. Some stayed in their new home but others preferred the foundations. After the cement went in, several jumped into that and I fished them out and washed them under the tap. My neighbour, and the builders thought I was mad. The next morning I was very sad to see several frogs cemented in. When they arrive in the spring, the noise in the evening is amazing. My family still laugh at me as during the day, if I croak near the pond, I always get an answer. I just wish I knew what I was saying. Once one of the boys suggested I kiss one as it may turn into a prince. I told them I had and it had turned into the man I married, their father. Unfortunately I had to very quickly admit I had told a fib as the youngest became upset, thinking he was half frog.


  • hi george and pattz

    lovely description of the wildlife aroudn you - long may it continue 4 you both

    lol jill


  • We spent our afternoon at the Zoo! Sorry can't write like the others, but it was beautiful. They have just re-built the Gorilla house, so we had 32stone gorillas sitting on glass a couple of feet above our head. Incredible! Lots of the animals were active, otters were playing, lions roaring. Kept us both happy for several hours.

    Best part? I got in free as a carer,!!! S was using his walker. A brilliant new toy, it's a walker, then when he gets tired, converts into a wheelchair. Walking is a lot better, faster! So I am happier walking around, he tries for longer, as he knows the chair is always there, when he wants it. Win! Win!

    Lots of love


  • Wow Georgepa! You are good! Have you ever been published? I want to read you every day.

  • You are very kind former carer but I just write for my own relaxation .It calms me down at the end of often trying days and and if anyone else gleans a bit of pleasure well that's a bonus . I think it is great that other people are sharing their experiences - makes me feel part of one big family - very comforting . Georgepa

  • This my first post on this forum although I have been following it for some time and have really appreciated all the information and good advice since husband's diagnosis (2013).

    It was lovely to hear about Sunday morning in Devon as we have very recently moved from Devon to the South East and I am missing it very much. However we had a good Sunday too - took my husband to the National Portrait Gallery in London and met some friends for lunch there in the cafe. I thought those of you who are UK based and within reach of London might like to know that we found it very easy to get there and to get around with the wheelchair and blue badge for parking (disabled spaces very nearby). Sunday is a good day to drive into London and it is not at all scary if you have a sat nav to tell you which way to go. You don't have to pay the Congestion Charge at weekends (and don't pay it anyway if you get registered with Transport for London as a blue badge holder). The gallery was all accessible to wheelchair users via Orange Street entrance and various lifts and the staff were all very helpful. It was lovely to get out and about and London looked magnificent in the sunshine as we drove down the Embankment towards the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square. No thatched cottages and birdsong but beautiful in its own way.

    We had a good time although both of us very tired today - quiet day needed!


  • Yes you never really lose the affection you have for where you grew up. London was certainly very nice on Sunday but it can often be very grey and overcrowded! Where are you now?

  • we are in france near limoges==== it is very beautiful here too

  • where are you?

  • We are near Sevenoaks in Kent. Just getting used to it as we only moved here in November. It is nice though quite rural - lots of trees and birds in the garden.

  • buried in snow here with more on the way, I can't tell you how sweet it is to read of your beautiful springs. Thank you, Georgepa, for sharing so beautifully and inspiring such replies. I did manage to get an hour and a half skiing in the woods yesterday, so quiet with snow sifting down through the firs I kept stopping just to listen and breathe. Very cold! There were ravens croaking, but no other birds, until we were driving back to town and we saw a bald eagle soaring over some open water near a water fall.

    Orange blossoms and nightingales, celandine and primroses. In the same world. Amazing. Thanks all, love and peace, ec

  • Lovely easternceder I could almost hear the hiss of your skis over the powdery snow and the silence was music to my ears. As for the bald eagle well that puts buzzards into perspective . I think it's wonderful that we can all communicate from our different parts of the world - we all have stories to tell and I just love hearing everyone's different experiences of life despite the intrusion of PSP. Sharing is good .Georgepa

  • Yes, sharing is very good!

  • life to the fullest possible is a great motto for PSP people and you're doing that. Jimbo

You may also like...