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Diary 2010 January to April


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1 January 2010

We remembered to get up at midnight for all the New Year fireworks. I like to see them but I would rather save my 50ps for the boot fair!

As it was sunny we took a long walk. Here is Covet Wood which is on the edge of Poverest Recreation Ground. It is always full of singing birds. You can hear woodpeckers and their drilling noise echoes all around. We walked on to Orpington Priory Park where I checked up on the blackbird dinners on the bushes still plenty there for them!

This is the flower garden part, but it is looking rather empty now. I wonder what the gardeners do in the winter. I think they must be planning the flower beds very carefully and making little coloured drawings, because it is always full of lovely things every summer. This is an interesting little window in the very old Priory building, it is just my size!

5 January

I know it is going to be a good day when the sun is streaming in my window, it makes me want to jump out of bed. It was still cold and it has snowed again. We went down the road to put the shredded paper into the big recycling bins. I have to have some help because the flaps have very strong springs to make them close up again. Fortunately it was not windy!

6 January

I always like snow, but sometimes I prefer to stay indoors and admire it from my warm room! Look at these blackbird marks on my lawn. The blackbird seems to have suddenly turned round and gone back the other way.

11 January

A new rather large flat cushion has appeared under the computer desk, and Dino and I have been trying it out for snuggliness. Now I know what it's for feet warming! someone put a hot water bottle inside the cover and a blanket on top. I checked at the end of the day and the bottle was still quite warm! This would be a very good idea for our giant Ted Bed beanbag.

Dino likes these new slippers but his claws are not helping matters. He likes to keep them sharp so that he can climb around and never slip. I like the knitted snowflakes pattern, it would look really good on a winter snow hat. I have copied the pattern and put it on my Knitting page.

13 January

Birds in snowy garden  Bike tracks in snow
Here are the birds in my garden. When it is freezing weather, we always get the ice out of the bird baths and put warm water in. This bike tyre pattern shows that someone was brave enough to cycle through the snow up my road, but I am not sure whether that was a safe thing to do!

Yellow Teddy in Covet Wood at Poverest Recreation Ground  Brown Teddy with giant snowball at Poverest Recreation Ground
We went to Covet Wood at Poverest Recreation Ground where the snowy woods were very quiet. The only sound was the birds singing. I heard a woodpecker drilling, a blackbird, some magpies cackling and lots of little bird sounds.

What a wonderful giant snowball, it was about as big as ten of our beanbags. I think someone made it by rolling it along, because you can see the flat snow in the gap underneath. Brown Teddy was really glad that he came.

Giant snowball at Priory Park Orpington  Ducks in snow at Priory Park Orpington
We went on to Priory Park where we found more giant snowballs, but not quite so big. The ducks made me feel cold standing in the snow, but I don't think their feet need to be kept quite as warm as mine. Lots of people give them bread, but sometimes there is more than they can eat and the pigeons clear it all up.

15 January

Yellow Teddy watching car window switch being installed
This was really interesting. I watched the car window being mended with a new electric switch. Now we can open the window ourselves instead of waiting for the driver to do it from his side. I like seeing things mended because you can keep all your favourite things and sometimes make new ones.


Yellow Teddy with last bits of ice
This is the last of the snow and ice. The ice bits are from the pond, which we have to break and scrape off every day so that the water stays fresh with lots of oxygen for the fish. The fish all stay down the bottom when its frosty because it is warmer and safer down there.

23 January

Stone balls at Sevenoaks  Glass tower at Sevenoaks
We went on a shopping trip to Sevenoaks. I always like to have a look at these stone balls when I am there. I think they are there to stop cars parking on the edge of the pavement. I wish I could leapfrog over them but they are a bit too big for me. Dino thinks they might be made of hard sugar with chocolate inside but I have to tell him not to test them with his teeth! Just outside the town we always go past this little glass tower on top of a gatehouse. I think there might be a light inside, but it's difficult to see from the car. Whenever I see something interesting like this, I start thinking how useful it could be! I could look out at night and see all the lights of the town and watch the sun coming up in the morning. What a wonderful place to sit when it is snowing!

Cattle trough Sevenoaks Kent  Halfway House inn sign Sevenoaks Kent
I wish I could have seen this trough when all the cattle were drinking from it all those years ago, but I think I can hear them mooing! I wonder if they all lined up and waited patiently? Now the inn sign makes sense, because a Halfway House in the past was where people rested and changed their horses. People drank at the inn and horses drank from the trough.

29 January

Road diggers paint marks
They are digging up the roads where I live to put in new new water pipes. Before they start digging, the man in charge goes round to draw in where the old pipes are, using his coloured spray paints. I wonder if he needs someone to help him paint the lines?


Dino with rainbow on cape  Blue Parrot with rainbow on cape
Dino had the brilliant idea of putting his winter cape under the rainbow so that it could soak up all the colours. Blue Parrot came to watch, because he thinks everyone should have colourful things to wear. I couldn't really see any difference afterwards, but Dino said that the colours are hiding inside the fluffy material and he knows they are in there, because when a rainbow disappears it has to go somewhere! Well, I am glad he is happy about it, and I am sure it is now a lot warmer with the colours inside it.

5 February

Moss on brick wall  Mossy stone wth face  Mossy stone
Look at all this lovely moss on top of a wall. It always reminds of me a tiny forest of trees. When you look at a good map, all the trees follow the rivers because the ground is wet, and so I think this must be four rivers all together. This round stone set in concrete has a mossy top and bottom. I have drawn a Teddy face on the picture, so he has a green hat and green lacey collar. The original picture is still there for everyone else to have a go.

10 February

Yellow Teddy with reflection pattern on wall
I saw this beautiful pattern wobbling on the wall in the bedroom. It is a reflection from the top of a big plastic cake box. I am very glad the camera was handy and that Brown Teddy knows how to use it!

13 February

Yellow Teddy making smoothie  Dino finishing off smoothie
Getting this smoothie maker was an extremely good idea, and Dino and I were the first ones to use it. In our house it all gets eaten straight away, so we do not need the lid on the containers just yet. But we do need a spoon because it is very thick. This one was mango, pear and apple with a little bit of soya milk, but next time I am going to put some yogurt in instead. When I asked Dino what it was, he said, "All gone!"

15 February

Hoof print in grass
I have never seen a hoof print in my area before but here it is! Lots of rain had left the grass very soft and muddy. It must be a very calm horse because there is a lot of noisy traffic along this main road. I think that it why they went on the grass verge, away from the edge of the road.

19 February

Gravesend pylon  Gravesend swans
There are a lot of pylons in Gravesend and lots of riverside factories. The other side of town has lots of smart new houses for the people who work there. It is very nice to have the river to sit by during a lunch break from work. We always see these swans whenever we go there, and they know that people have sandwiches with them.

Yellow Teddy's car snack  Brown Teddy's car snack  The George and Dragon sign
We have our snack in the car, but not too much as it only takes half an hour to drive home. Bananas are very good because they don't need sandwich boxes and you can recycle the leftovers. Brown Teddy is drinking carrot juice with beetroot which makes it even sweeter.

I thought Dino would like this sign because he calls lots of his old dinosaur friends Dragons. We are not sure what The George is, but Dino thinks it may be someone who fed the dinosaurs, just like people feed the swans by the riverside, only the chunks have to be a lot bigger!

27 February

Monument in Chatham High Street, Kent - Roman eagle 50 AD  Monument in Chatham High Street, Kent - 1066 Battle of Hastings helmet
We went to Chatham. At the end of the High Street is a tall iron sculpture with lots of historical pictures on. They are not flat pictures but they stand out in relief. Blue Parrot was delighted with the one of the eagle at the top which is obviously exercising its wings. It is dated 50 AD which is when the Romans came to Britain and the eagle was their emblem. Further down I found this helmet and the date is 1066 which is the Battle of Hastings.

Jolly Caulkers inn sign Chatham Kent  Statue of Thomas Waghorn Chatham Kent
This Jolly Caulkers inn sign near the High Street is very interesting. As Chatham is on the river Thames, I think the inn is named after real people who worked there a very long time ago. The two men are the caulkers and you can just see their ropes of fibres that they hammer into the cracks between the planks to make them watertight. They have stopped for a rest, and I think it was probably very hard and thirsty work.

This is a statue of Thomas Waghorn in Railway Street in Chatham. He was born in 1800. He found a much shorter route for sending post between Great Britain and India so that letters only took 40 days instead of 3 months! I know he deserves a new hat for all his hard work, but putting the cone on is not a very safe thing to do at all!

Blue Parrot's bun snack  Water trough Rochester High Street Kent
We went on to Rochester. Parrot normally likes to peck at crumbs but the day was a bit cool so he had a whole bun to himself to keep his flying muscles going. He says he needs lots of energy so he can flap his wings very fast. We saw this water trough in Rochester High Street, it reminded me of the one in Sevenoaks. There are no horses or cattle now and these troughs always have flowers in nowadays.

Golden Lion inn sign Rochester High Street Kent  Lion and unicorn crest in Rochester High Street Kent
I took these pictures for Dino, who stayed at home today with his picture books. He likes statues and pictures of animals. He says the lions try to be fierce but dinosaurs never get frightened by them. He says if they growl, one look from a dinosaur will send these lions running.


1 March

Yellow Teddy counting the goldfish
This is my tour of inspection now that spring has started. The goldfish swim a lot more when the sun is shining on them, and you can see them all because the lilies have not started growing yet.

Yellow teddy with swelling apple tree buds  Yellow Teddy and yellow crocuses
The buds on my Royal Gala apple tree are swelling up. The crocuses are out the yellows are my favourite. I would definitely say that spring has begun and I am very glad about it.

2 March

Carpet rainbow
A cuddly furry rainbow on the bedroom carpet! It's that mirror with the slanting edges again that is making it. It is very hard work because I have to hurry upstairs for the camera, come down again slowly, and get the picture before the rainbow disappears.

7 March

bee hives 
These beehives were in a field next to the boot fair. It was a coldish day so I think the bees were probably all huddled together to keep warm. Or maybe the queen is asleep and will lay new eggs to make new bees in the spring. I wonder if they have any honey left after all that cold weather?


15 March

Scadbury Woodland marked tree  Scadbury Woodland fallen tree
This is Scadbury Woodland near Chislehurst. Some of the trees have marks on so that people can follow a route. This fallen tree is resting on the others. I don't think I would like to walk underneath it. Old tree trunks make good homes for lots of insects.

17 March

Yellow Teddy with apple tree stump  Nesting hole in apple tree stump
Here is the stump of our old apple tree. The robins are building a nest inside. I don't go too close, because I don't want to frighten them away, they might not come back. They don't mind as long as you walk straight past without stopping.

21 March

Yellow Teddy looking for shorthand  Shorthand and coloured pencils
Here I am helping to find some words for the other Shorthand Website. I had to find a lot of words that all had the same sound. When I find them I put bookmarks in the pages, because I have not yet learned how to write the marks properly. I chose all the coloured pencils and got them sharpened. I have been allowed to keep the page of writing and I will put it in my special folder. Mr Pitman must have worked very very hard to invent it all, because there are thousands of shorthand words in the dictionary!

28 March

Robin on ground  Robin in tree
Here is the robin who owns the nest in the tree stump. We were digging and he was helping to clear up the worms. Every now and then he flew up to his perch to sing. It is a warbly song with lots of little notes sung very quickly, and it tells any other robins that this garden and all the worms belong to him.


4 April

Yelow Teddy with Easter egg  Brown Teddy reading Easter egg ingredients
Thank you, Auntie Billy, for this wonderful Easter egg! It is a rattly one, I think it must have sweets inside. Teddy read the back of the box to see what it was made of. He said it's all right so long as you don't eat a big lot of it all at once.

Dino and Yellow Teddy with golden Easter egg  Blue Parrot pecking hole in Easter egg
Dino loves eggs and we spent some time admiring the lovely gold wrapping and the cardboard basket. Eventually we thought it was time to inspect the chocolate underneath the gold. Parrot pecked a hole in it and we found out what the rattles were chocolate beans. What a treasure egg!

Dino eating Easer egg chocolate  Brown Teddy counting chocolate beans
Dino got the biggest piece, but I am glad to say he did not eat it all at once. He spent a long time smelling it and nibbling at the sides. He says he can make it last all afternoon if he really tries. Brown Teddy counted the beans. If we all had our own colour of bean, then Blue Parrot would get the most because he is green and blue! This is a very happy chocolatey Easter!


8 April

Young Canada goose  Squirrel  Fluffy tree flowers
On a sunny day we like to visit Priory Park. If you stop walking, the young geese and squirrels think you have some food for them. Lots of people bring bread and peanuts so they do not need any more from us. These tree flowers look just like the squirrel's tail.

Circle of granite stones in Priory Park hedge garden
I like counting things but these stones in the middle of the hedged garden are just a bit too much. No only can you lose count, but going round in circles makes you dizzy. The best thing to do is to stand in the middle, as if you were standing at the centre of the world.

Ducks in shrubbery
Now we know why the female ducks are brown, so they can't been seen amongst the leaves and shadows. The drake is a lot more colourful but in the shadows their dark head is invisible as well.

9 April

Butterfly  Robin on solar butterfly
This butterfly not only posed for his photograph, but afterwards flew onto the hand holding the camera! They like warm places to sit, and I don't think he was checking the camera settings! Here's another butterfly, the plastic solar butterfly that lights up every night, with our friend the nesting robin waiting for crumbs. The crumbs have to be very small because he only has a tiny little beak.


10 April

Yellow Teddy at River Cray  Red triangle road sign in River Cray
I love rivers, especially the River Cray because it is completely clean and clear, and there are lots of paths and seats. This is the lower part that can take any extra rainwater that comes through. There is another slower upper part nearby and the two parts join together further downstream. These red marks look like goldfish in a pond, but it is really a red triangle road sign lying on the bottom.

Yellow Teddy at the big weir on River Cray  Brown Teddy and wooden bridge over River Cray
There are lots of weirs, and this one halfway along is very big and noisy. Further along there is a lovely wooden bridge. Brown Teddy likes to stand in the middle and watch the water go underneath. If you go over it, you get to some gardens and the upper part of the river where the ducks live.

Yellow Teddy finding ducks by River Cray  Big white duck
This is the upper part where the water flows very slowly. The ducks like sit and sleep under the trees and bushes. This white duck was not sure about us but we moved very slowly so it didn't swim away.

Duck island in River Cray 
The ducks have this wonderful island so they can be safe from cats and dogs. It would be a wonderful place to take a boat to for a picnic, except I think I can see a lot of nettles growing, so perhaps not!


15 April

Mistletoe in tree  Cut down tree with buds regrowing
I thought today would be a good day to look at different trees. This one is a bare tree full of mistletoe plants, which grow in cracks in the tree and get their water from the tree. The second one has been cut down but as long as there is a little bit left, the tree will grow again from buds in the bark. I like Never Give Up trees!

Broken tree trunk  Broken tree still flowering
Here is another tree that is Never Giving Up. The big branch is broken and lying on the ground, but just a tiny bit of it is still attached to the main tree, and the flowers at the other end are still coming out. I wonder if someone too heavy was trying to climb it?

Long alleyway looking down  Long alleyway looking down
There are quite a lot of these paths between houses and gardens where I live. This one is the very longest. The first picture is looking downhill and the second is looking uphill. I had a ride on the rucksack for this because it is far too long for me to walk. This would have been very interesting when we had all that snow a few months ago, but not very safe because it is on a hill.

19 April

Yellow Teddy buying the compost  Yellow Teddy with sunflower seeds in yogurt pots
Time to think about this year's sunflowers, which are going to be the biggest and best we have ever had. We went to the store and got some bags of compost. We are saving the yogurt pots for the seeds, and it is no problem eating all that yogurt because there are lots of willing helpers who can always manage to eat a second pot. Dino thinks he could eat all the yogurts in the fridge we believe him but we don't let him!


23 April

Dino with reflection pattern on carpet  Dino discovers cause of reflection pattern
A mysterious pattern on the carpet which Dino thought was a paint spill. It was the sun shining on a plastic box. What a relief!

24 April

Yellow Teddy Helter Skelter Fairground Mote Park Maidstone  Jumping Frame Fairground Mote Park Maidstone
A day out to Maidstone and Mote Park. There was a funfair being set up in the grassy field where the cars normally park. The helter skelter looks too dizzying for me. The jumping frame with the rubber ropes looks like fun, but not straight after dinner!

Maidstone Museum poster  Maidstone Museum  Maidstone Museum lion
Once Dino saw this sign, we had to go and find the museum. The outside has lots of lions, and inside we saw a model of a brontosaurus.

   Dinosaur badge and pendant from Maidstone Museum  Maidstone Museum wooden lion sign
Dino bought this lovely pin badge of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It seems some of the dinosaurs were not so friendly as our Dino, but then they did have to hunt for their dinner. The archaeopteryx pendant is a present for Parrot, because it was the first bird. I enjoyed seeing all the clothes from long ago. The bustle hoops were unbelievable, but ladies really did wear the big metal frames under their huge dresses. I am glad all that has gone out of fashion.

Curved corner window in Maidstone  Pine tree seed
Look at this amazing corner of a building. I haven't worked out why it is that shape, but next time I am in Maidstone I will have a closer look. This pine tree seed looks just like a big brown moth.

Mill Road weir  Mill Road weir going down hole
This waterfall goes under all the cars and buses on Mill Road and when it comes out the other side it goes down a hole. The roaring of the water is louder than the the traffic. It eventually joins the River Medway.

Dino with lunch Parrot with lunch
Dino is generally first to get the lids off the sandwich boxes, but salad is not quite what he is after. He likes the chunky buns because they fill him up. Parrot gets a peck at them before Dino finishes them off.

water manhole Mote Park Maidtone  Dino with mole hill
After lunch we walked round Mote Park. This manhole cover in the grass says water and I am wondering whether there is a raging torrent underneath, or perhaps it's just a little pipe. Dino was hoping to see a mole come out of the molehill, but they sleep during the day, and if they were awake they would definitely hear our footsteps and stay down their holes until we were gone.

Yellow Teddy with the Never Give Up tree in Mote Park Maidstone   Dino watching the water entering the lake in Mote Park Maidstone
I always check up on the Never Give Up tree that lost its top and is growing again. It's doing really well. Here is a stream that comes into the lake. There are lots of paw marks in the dried mud where dogs have run around. This is at the top end of the park, so it is very quiet here.

Plants growing on log  Parrot on the bridge Mote Park Maidstone
These plants are growing in the fallen log. One day the log will be gone and the plants will still be there. At the bridge parrot was looking for salmon leaping up the waterflow but he didn't see any, it's not that sort of river!

Brown Teddy at the waterfall Mote Park Maidstone  Picnic table in the water at Mote Park Maidstone
Brown Teddy found where the River Len flows into the park lake. It's only a small stream and waterfall but there are several others joining the lake, so all together they can fill it up. I don't think this table and seats are being flooded by the lake, I think someone moved it there without asking. Maybe they had hot feet?

Box at Mote Park Maidstone  Lovely front gardens near Mote Park Maidstone
We had a guessing game as to what is in this box in the car park. I think it is the electricity meter for the caf. Brown Teddy thinks it is the stop-cock for the water pipes. Dino thinks it is a stash of chocolate bars for people who have made the long walk all round the lake. Unfortunately we never did find out. People in Maidstone have very lovely front gardens and these ones are the best we have seen.

27 April

Mossy tree stump roots 
This is an old tree root stump in Scadbury Park woodland. The moss is growing down and I think it would make a very good place for a hedgehog to hibernate. I wonder if it was used last winter when we had all that snow? A hedgehog would need to put a lot of leaves in the doorway to stop the draughts getting in.




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