Positive Thinking

I’ve been a Manchester girl my entire life (apart from the last two years we have lived here in Lincolnshire) – The story this week though, and the events that unfolded broke my heart – and I guess would have done where-ever it happened.

Manchester has a heart – but like any major city, it’s not perfect. I think that no matter where this atrocity had been committed, people would have turned out in droves to help – it’s the nature of people generally to rise to a crisis.  Should this have been Sheffield – it would have been Yorkshire stubbornness, rather than Manchester determination, so I don’t think it’s unique.

Having said that, I admired very much the grit of the people who helped strangers, gave lifts, and supplied food.

I worked in the city centre for many many years – our office got blown up by the IRA bomb –  Could not believe the devastation left behind. I was in town on 9/11 – attended St Anne’s Church in the centre afterwards, and again was amazed at the coming together of people.  We came together in solidarity for America – and the Manchester people came together again in solidarity for Monday night.

There are lots of rubbish things currently happening in the world, so I’ve made a list of things that have made me happy this year…. and it’s only May !

My beautiful daughter came home from Australia for a whole month (in fact she’s still here with her boyfriend)…..

I celebrated 35 years of marriage to my lovely hubby, it was our coral wedding anniversary this month.

We have much better friends than we probably deserve (me especially LOL)

We had a new fireplace built

The car passed its MOT

The camera did not pass its MOT – but it did get repaired despite the bill !!

We are relatively healthy, and relatively sane!  (That’s pretty relative though)

I was able to afford a new camera……

I finally found somewhere that could give me a good haircut.

Discovered that I could grow chilli successfully, and garlic, and beans……..

I rediscovered a cousin that I have not met up with for 30 years….. it was an amazing experience….

I visited Liverpool for the first time in an age, and met up with an old friend from work…

Found out that people like to dress up, and have their photos taken….  friends are far more enthusiastic about this than I care to think about – but it makes me smile when I do!

I’ve been asked to judge at lots of camera clubs around Lincolnshire – met lots of nice folks, and seen some amazing photographs and creations.

The sun is shining as I type, and I realise that I have a home, a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and a nice garden for the dogs to play in.

There’s wine too, and decadently,  gin in the kitchen.

Yes, there’s lots of horrid things in the world, so lets focus on the small things – and in the same breath say a prayer for all the folks who have lost loved ones this week….

I’ll end with a photo that makes me smile – Sanderlings skittering across the beach last week…..  Give us a smile – go on – you know you want to !

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Gannets At Bempton

This week, in a moment of enthusiasm – a group of us decided (on the last minute as usual) that we would hop off to Bempton to see how the Gannets were doing.  It’s about a two hour run up to the cliffs – and as we left, in light rain – it seemed that it would probably improve as the day went on.

We weren’t right – the rain continued steadily throughout the day, and at one point on the cliffs – it was raining hard, blowing a gale and the birds were shooting across the sky.  The light however was good, and despite everything we came away with good shots.

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The adult Gannets are large and bright white with black wingtips. They are distinctively shaped with a long neck and long pointed beak, long pointed tail, and long pointed wings. At sea they flap and then glide low over the water, often travelling in small groups.

They feed by flying high and circling before plunging into the sea. Breeding in significant numbers at only a few localities they are an Amber List species.  The numbers at Bempton are exceptionally high – and for the price of admittance to the cliffs, via the RSPB office (£4, or free for RSPB members) it is well worth the trip.  In addition to Gannets, there are a wide variety of other sea birds, including a large puffin population.

Bempton Cliffs - May 2017

It’s the start of the breeding season, and the Gannets are making sure that they have a partner.  The billing, and necking is frequent with birds constantly circling around, only to land again at the feet of their partners, sometimes bringing gifts of weed, or, in this case, we think, bright green paper strips.

Bempton Cliffs - May 2017

Where to see them

The biggest mainland breeding colony is at RSPB’s Bempton Cliffs.

There are two mainland colonies – at Bempton and Troup Head, Scotland. Also, big island colonies on St Kilda, the Northern Isles, and Bass Rock in Scotland and Grassholm in Wales. They can be seen offshore almost anywhere, especially when they migrate south between August and October.

When to see them

They arrive at their colonies from January onwards and leave between August and October. Non-breeding birds can be seen at any time around the coasts and the main migration period offshore is during the autumn.