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Diary 2017 May


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1 May

Today we went to the Petts Wood May Fayre. On the left is the new May Queen, with pages and maids in green. She rode along in an open top car at the head of the parade, behind the drumming band. Behind them was the Orpington May Queen and her retinue.

There was a funfair in the car park. We got there early and later on it was packed with people.

Stalls everywhere with games, food and things to buy. The Orpington Beekeepers Association always bring their bees in a glass box, and lots of honey items to buy. The queen bee is the one at top left with a white dot. May Queen and Bee Queen!

What a great surprise, a display of dinosaurs in the village hall gardens. These baby dinosaurs are sitting in a cage, waiting for their turn to be taken around and greet the children.

We all had to shout for Dexter to come out from the tent. He is very big and lifelike. All the children were safely behind the rope barrier! He was very well behaved, but he did like to investigate various people in between following orders from the Dinosaur Wranglers in the orange coats. I hope they come back next year. You can see them on the Rent A Dinosaur website

Back home, I found the wood pigeon having a bath, which consists of: long soak, lean to the left with right wing up, lean to the right with left wing up, then ...

... a splash, a shake and a quick preen. I think the wing-ups are to get the rain under them, but this "puddle" is not a rain one. Now it's time for me to change the bathwater, as the other birds will be drinking it!


2 May

Dino was delighted with the photos and video of Dexter at the May Fayre. He insisted that I take a photo of him with his books, so it is clear who is the most intelligent and educated dinosaur in Orpington. He can't really compete in size with Dexter!

9 May

All the spring flowers were a whole month early, and daffodils came out at the end of February. This very late little lone daffodil is still out in the beginning of May and I think it will last another week. There are loads of bees on the cotoneaster bush. It is just behind he garden bench so you have to not mind them if you sit there. They are only interested in the flowers anyway, so they are no bother.

This is the shallow birdbath that the smaller birds like. We were sitting quietly in the greenhouse and zoomed in to get this photo of the robin having a good splash around.


12 May

Here are the kneeler pad "lily leaves" that we made for the winter when there are no real ones. Now the real ones beginning to grow. I have already removed some of the foam ones, and these others will come out later on.

The goldfish are all heading for the bits of bread. The quickest fish gets the biggest bit! Mostly they have the proper fish food pellets, and they like to poke around in the plants for other snacks. Sometimes they jump up to get a passing fly.

We went to the garden centre, where sometimes the plants don't look like plants!

14 May

This is the Kite Festival on Streatham Common in South London. The weather brightened up quite quickly and there was a good breeze blowing up the slope.

These floating characters are held up by a big kite further up in the sky.

These were my favourite, bird-like shapes with feathery bits fluttering on the two wings. The dragon's tail spins round.

I can't decide if it is a lobster, prawn or crayfish. This is definitely a big blue whale, with lots of sky to swim in.


16 May

This is a stand-off between the pigeon and the Woody. Woody had his bath, then stood on the edge and pigeon had a bit of a bath, then Woody got back in and pigeon had to wait. It went on for some time.

17 May


We went to Barking in North East London. This sculpture on the roundabout island is of fishing nets to commemorate Barking's fishing industry of the past. I don't know if the fish are caught, or are just swimming through and escaping!

We then went to Ilford, and this is the library-museum with a huge replica of a woolly mammoth skull. The displays were of costumes and this is a laundry room of long ago with washboard and mangle.

A schoolboy's cap and a girl's lace cap. I didn't really put the police uniform on!

Brown Teddy liked the wind-up gramophone best. Back in the high street, this pigeon had found a giant iced donut and was eating it very quickly and chasing off the other pigeons. He could not have eaten it all, as it is bigger than his tummy, so we assume the others got some in the end.


19 May

We have removed all the patches that were full of creeping buttercup plants, which are nice in the hedgerow out in the countryside, but not in our lawn. The turf strips make it all very easy and no lawn weed in sight, great! The robin came down to get the worms.

20 May

We went to Rickmansworth Festival which includes a canal festival. This is a miniature canal for children to play with.

Every boat was different. Further on, beside the funfair, someone was feeding the swans and geese, and lots of goslings.

It was quite big as there is so much room in the green areas around the canals and lakes. Lots of children had their photo taken with the Star Wars characters.

I liked this display of containers painted in canal art. The fire fighters were rowing very hard, to raise money for their charity.

We had several heavy downpours and I was tempted to get one of these umbrellas, because I like rain as well, but not so much when were are going round a fair. This is the Unrideable Horse, the body part spins round as the person tries to get from tail to head.

There were lots of different animals in the children's farm area.

This was the best bit, the crockery crash stall run by the Scouts. No prizes, you just pay for eight wooden balls and have a good old smash up of the china.


21 May

Today we are going to Stockwood Park in Luton. This is the gate just before Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames. Brown Teddy wanted to time the journey, because he likes to know when we are no longer under the river!

Stockwood Park is quite large with lots of interesting parts. The golf course was looking very green with all the rain, but the bunkers were full of water.

In the Discovery Centre grounds was a display of steam engines. We could smell the smoke and oil before we got through the gates.

At last I can see how they turn the big front wheels, with this giant chain on a spiral screw.

Some of the engines were quite small. This train took people on a very short ride and back again.

I like the big greenhouses here, they are full of interesting plants but you can't go in so you have to see it all through the panes. My favourite part is the Victorian walled garden with lots of box hedging.

Blue Parrot and Dino wanted to drink these, until they saw the dirt at the bottom! Dino said if the weather was a bit hotter, he could probably have a little paddle in it.

These are the climbing walls, and Brown Teddy and I had a go, with some help behind us to stop us falling down.

Dino's favourite part of the day was eating his piece of the sticky ginger cake. Blue Parrot's favourite was going over the QE2 Bridge at Dartford on the way home.


28 May

An inspection of the roses in the garden. This orangey one is about the favourite at the moment, but that could change when the others come out.

Afterwards we sat in the greenhouse and flicked out bits of bread to the birds. This sparrow was very bold and got quite a few bits.

29 May

My little stone circle is growing well, and eventually it will be all green. The lily leaves are fast covering the pond, and soon I will take out my temporary foam leaf shapes.

30 May

Woody has been sitting on the fence near the kitchen window lately. We can't do anything without him watching and waiting for his bit of bread.




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