Posts Tagged ‘young’

Over the past few nights we’ve been hearing a strange noise coming from the adjacent cemetery. We assumed it was a fox or fox cubs or possibly a weasel and our immediate thoughts were to the safety of our ducks. But since installing the electric fence, they’ve been as happy as ever and after receiving the punch like impact to my index finger, I knew the fence was doing its job.

Last night we decided to do some more investigation. There seemed to be two animals making the same sound, as if calling to each other. It sounded like a whistling screech. A quick search on google and youtube pin pointed what it was for us. It definitely wasn’t a mammal. I recorded the racket for compassion to any youtube clips. Turns out we have two young Long Eared Owls, hungrily calling out in the night sky for their next meal.

Long Eared Owls are one of few owl species in Ireland. They don’t actually have long ears, just tufts of feathers that look like them. I don’t know why we didn’t even think of an owl initially, especially since a night last week. We were sitting outside as it turned twilight and something caught our eyes flying through the trees and rapidly swung away into the back field. If we hadn’t of seen it, we wouldn’t have heard it! It was an adult owl and it stealthily swooped over our heads like an F-117 Nighthawk, ready to drop its payload. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen an owl out in the wild, and it’s beyond me why we didn’t think that it would have nearby chicks. The internet tells me they like to nest in large conifers. Well that’s what the graveyard has plenty of. I must say, I’m delighted we have another unique visitor to Woodhaven. Our list of wild animals is increasing all the time. I should probably mention that we have bats too. At dusk they take flight and zip, zig and zag across the navy blue sky, snatching at insects they’ve echoed on.

As an aside, my boss reported a strange noise in her back yard last night. It sounded like sawing wood and continued for an hour. I could tell you the whole story, but she never found out what it was and it didn’t seem as though a neighbour was doing some very late night carpentry. Google told us both that it was a Leopard or Panther. I wonder???

Image courtesy of Bird Watch Ireland


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WARNING: Moan and Rant in progress.

What an awful experience it is to go to Abercrombie and Fitch. My first time in one of their stores was in San Francisco a few years back. That’s when it was a pleasure to shop in. It was brightly lit and seemed like any other normal clothes store.

But on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, they have to be different. Or have they changed to this new dark cave, everywhere? It’s a pointless and stupid experience. My first visit was to browse for myself. After 10 minutes in the store I needed out. I couldn’t see a thing, not to mention even try and make out the colour of an item. I realise why most of the models wear next to nothing. It’s not that I’m jealous of their statuesque bodies (you’ve guessed it, I am), nope, it’s the heat in the store. Every other store on 5th avenue offers Air conditioning, a stop to shop and cool down.

My second visit was a necessity, since a friend asked me to pick up their brand of cologne. I thought I’d be able to grab and go. What a fool I was to think it would be that quick and simple.

I got the bottle and was directed downstairs to pay. I can see the marketing in that. Make me go further into the store so that I see more and possibly buy more. This didn’t irritate me.

It was the waiting in the queue to pay that made me irate. I waited for 15 minutes and there were only 3 people in front me. The sales assistants behind the tills danced and chatted, sang out loudly and screamed when a song came on that happened to be the ring tone on one of their phones. Annoyed, is a word that isn’t strong enough to describe how I was feeling. I really wanted to deck one of them. There were two in particular. Wretched, vile, plastic robots programmed to be happy. All completely fake and unnatural. A&F have succeeded in moving from clothing to people and designed people to be marketed as young and fun. If this hadn’t of bugged me, it was the process they used for packing your items. One person hovered around behind the people at the cash tills. After scanning an item, they’d throw it to the counter behind them. Then to be folded and placed in a bag by the hoverer.

Do you know what, I’m stopping right there. I’m getting angry again, just thinking about it.

NB: In case you are wondering why didn’t I say anything? I didn’t want to be told I was old and boring.

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The Joy of Disco. I saw this documentary posted on another blog here. It’s about, as the title suggests, The Joy of Disco. As interesting as it was, it got me thinking. Why do we dance? Why do people choose to ‘bust’ a move on the dance floor?

I guess there are a few reasons. It could be about a feeling of freedom and expression. Is it to fulfill some animal desires, to get a mate? Much like a bird-of-paradise, showing off its ritual dance moves, to lure a potential partner in? This is more likely. Dance. A weapon in our arsenal to capture a mate. Not that people need this weapon in their armory. Everyone has different artillery of conquest, I’m just saying Dance could be one of them. What if you have a mate? Do we dance to keep them?

What about people that can’t dance? I wouldn’t think they are stigmatised or ridiculed totally for having two left feet. In fact, if they know they can’t dance they usually end up better off from the observers point of view. The humorous side to their dance moves can attract suitors regardless.

I’m sure, the bumps and grinds thrown out by your uncle at a family wedding were his best moves in his youth but not now. People laugh. Is he looking for a partner or out to impress an existing one? That Macarena, come Time Warp, come Fox Trot, knows how to get peoples attentions. Richie kinda has two left feet but has an established formula for ripping up the rug. They are easy, simple gyrations that can look foolish but I actually can’t help but see them as cute and they make me laugh. I’m not alone on that one either. All I need do is, play Spanish Train on the iPod and he’s swinging to his own rhythm and getting down to the floor (literally).

I know! It’s not the typical song you’d hear for someone to dance to.

When I was a young whipper snapper, I’d be itching to get up first on the dance floor. I look back now and wonder did people talk about me or ridicule me behind my back. Back then I didn’t care and I’m sure there were a few on the sidelines but the majority admired that I had the courage to get up first. This fuelled my desire and confidence more. It gave me a social advantage, in that my peers viewed me as more confident. It gave them an excuse to start dancing too. Maybe to help attract a partner for themselves!

Now?! That has changed completely. It’s an utter turn around. I cringe after the night out that I decided to dance at all. Not to mention be the first up on the floor. I’d regret it and feel I shouldn’t have been dancing. I even tried that new move that the kids are doing today. Oh crap, I’m the uncle at the wedding. Now you get why I’m cringing.

Lets take this apart a bit and forget about the cringing. Lets see what the catalysts were. Alcohol – check! Good company – check! Encouragement – check! Support from others – Check! I guess it ultimately it comes down to one thing. Enjoyment! I enjoyed it. Why should I have feelings of regret? I was John Travolta. Or I hope I was. I’m going to make the first step (pun intended) to dance if I feel like dancing. No regrets. In fact, I danced with my Dyson yesterday evening. The music was playing loudly, so that I could hear it over the ‘aircraft taking off’, cyclonic mechanisms of the vacuum cleaner. There was no one else there, mind you. Putting this here will give Richie the license to use it against me and ensure I commit to this. This might be a mistake.

I just found this article. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/dec/15/research-why-people-dance Looks like I’m half right.

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