Monday, 19 January 2009

Thieving squirrels and day of culture

I've been very busy doing my City and Guilds homework - and it's nearly all done now. I so love playing down in my studio - and I know I'm lucky being able to leave mess out - although it is now tidied. Forgot to take pictures, so those will have to wait until the next post, after class on Wednesday. Talk about leaving things to the last minute!
You may remember I mentioned that I had a deluxe Bird Feeding Station for Christmas. Well, I installed it down the bottom of the garden, near my shed, so I could watch it from the window. Great idea, except that I had bargained without the pesky squirrels. Twice I found the remains of the green plastic net bags that had once contained fat balls, and call me cynical, but somehow I don't think the average blue tit could chew through plastic netting. Anyway, I decided to re-locate the bird feeder nearer the house, as I figured that Mr Squirrel would be less likely to come right up the garden, and wouldn't have anywhere to leap from.
However, to be on the safe side, I bought a holder for the fat balls, took them out of the bags and put them straight in the holder, and then wired the top shut. I also bought half a coconut filled with fat and seeds which I hung up too.
I came out into the garden yesterday morning, to find string from the coconut chewed through, the knot of the string on the tray, and no sign of the coconut half. And you DEFINITELY can't tell me that the blue tits did that! I found the coconut shell further down the garden, it was completely empty and almost looked like it had been washed up. Fat little squirrel - hope he made himself sick!
Anyway, here's the posh bird feeder,
and here's the empty shell and the knot from the string.Had a trip up to London today with some painting friends - we went to the Royal Academy to see the Byzantium Exhibition. We met in a lovely little coffee shop in Picadilly - none of your Starbucks for us! We enjoyed the exhibition, and I did a few little sketches to inspire me later.
Came out of the exhibition, and I remembered that Stuart (ex-employee of Art Van Go) now works in the very exclusive chocolate shop along the road from the Royal Academy. I looked in the window and there he was, looking ultra smart. I popped in to say 'Hello' and as he had his back to the counter, I said "Excuse me, do you sell Smarties?" In spite of that, I wasn't ejected from the premises, and he did give me a couple of chocolates, probably in an effort to get rid of me. Thanks Stuart, they were delicious - but then they should be at those prices.
Came back out into Picadilly and saw this cab - isn't it pretty. Bet it still does u-turns without indicating though.

We walked up to Leicester Square and stopped for lunch at an Italian restaurant, then Bridget and Nicole went on to Covent Garden, and Jill and I (who are still having a frugal January) decided to give the shopping a miss and went to the British Museum instead. There was an exhibition of sculptor's drawings, so we decided to have a look at that. Bit of a mixture, but some things I liked and this was my favourite. Jill said I liked it just because it's pink. I'm not quite sure what it is, but it looks like a figure in a pink frock to me. Nice waist, shame about the face.

Right, I'm off now to get a DNA test on half a coconut shell.
PS Leyton lost 2-1 to Bristol on Saturday. Like you're interested.


  1. I've got a day planned to see the Byzantium exhibition - very excited now, it sounds good. Top marks for getting your homework done!

  2. Clive has been waging war against squirrels for a long time - to date it's squirrels 10, Clive 0. The last time I taught in the USA I brought him back a water cannon as extra munitions. I forgot about the suitcase Xrays so, needless to say, I had a little note to say they'd searched the case. I still had the cannon but it was no match for those squirrels.