[Grainy photo of a
I know this isn't the greatest photo of all time. In my defense, I did take it from behind a dusty windowpane in an upstairs bedroom where I was crouched breathlessly lest I frighten it off.
There've long been barn owls living at my partner's parents' home in rural Norfolk, but I'd never seen any other type of owl there. I was surprised, therefore, to see this tawny owl (h/t to shapinglight for corrected identification) sitting on their lawn at dusk a couple of weeks ago. I worked out that it was watching a group of four partridges who were pecking through the pebbles in the drive, closer to the house. They seemed a rather optimistic target, given that the owl wasn't much bigger than they were.
The owl flew off and returned to the lawn several times whilst I watched, but never made a move on the partridges, who eventually moved onto the roof of the house and over to the other side.
However, it was definitely "unsupervised", as it was hanging out at a gritstone crag eating bilberries and watching the climbers.
It wouldn't quite let people touch it, but was otherwise very comfortable with humans and happy to let you get very close.
I took a lot of photos of it trying to get a shot of the tags on its legs, as I was worried it was someone's beloved pet and lost. But when I got home, I found out that the "report a found pigeon" websites (they exist, naturally) say in rather weary tones not to even bother unless the pigeon's been around for at least 48 hours; apparently they like to take pit stops.
( Cut for more pigeon )
This week's featured article is for Le Raj in Epsom, a fancy joint that's earned a spot in the Good Curry Guide. The takeaway prices are a bit lower but you'll have to come and get it yourself, as they don't deliver.
New to RGL but certainly not new to me is the Soldier's Return, the third best pub in Ickenham. It's changed a little since I was drinking cheap lager there in the '90s - the tie's changed from Courage to Greene King, and they've apparently got rid of the (really quite manky) carpet. Also new is Karachi Cuisine in Norbury, a child-friendly Pakistani restaurant that does an interesting-sounding traditional breakfast on weekends. Try the chickpeas!
Finally, the Michelin-starred Dabbous in Fitzrovia has shut. Apparently the team will be opening a new (hopefully less noisy) restaurant next year.
[Macro image of a great crested grebe sitting on its nest.]
I spotted this great crested grebe brooding on its nest in the canal at Westerdok in Amsterdam. I thought its nest was a remarkable construction: the usual twigs, but also bits of plastic rubbish, and finishing touches of hollyhock. I was also impressed by the two female mallard duck bodyguards who immediately rushed over when I started taking photos. They didn't quack, but eyed me up silently as they circled the nest at a careful distance.
We were staying on a barge nearby for three nights and I checked on the grebe morning and evening. I don't believe it stirred from the nest in that time, so hopefully soon there will be some freshly hatched urban grebes learning to navigate the Dutch canal system!
* Sharp white cheddar (mine came from CostCo, the Coastal stuff)
* Rosemary bread (mine came from Trader Joe's)
* Lemon curd (another thing from Trader Joe's)
* Butter (I did unsalted, the cheddar is plenty salty enough)
* Toaster Oven
* Frying pan and oven
* Lightly toast one side of the rosemary bread in the oven
* One one slice of rosemary bread, put a pile of chopped up white cheddar chunks on the toasted side. Put it back into the toaster oven until the cheese gets pretty melty.
* While that's going on, spread lemon curd on the other piece of bread, on the toasted side.
* Put a pat of butter in your frying pan and melt it
* Take your melted cheesy bread out of the toaster oven, put both pieces together so the cheese of one side is against the lemon curd of the other
* Put your sandwich into the pan, swish it around, flip it to the other side--this will make sure that both sides have butter as you pan toast.
* Toast both sides of your sandwich in the pan with the butter, flipping as necessary. When it's toasted to your liking, put it on a plate.
* Tada! Fancy grilled cheese.
I've added a thing to let us hide long blurbs on locale/category pages, since although it's good to have this info, it can end up pushing the lists of actual things in the locale quite a long way down the page.
To make this work, enclose your blurb like so:
<div class="blurb"> My very wordy essay on the history of Harefield. </div>
So the featured article this week is The Ferry House, E14 3DT, a pub on the Isle of Dogs, still very traditional though with fewer dartboards and less sticky carpet than that might usually entail. It's got Courage beer and Sunday roast, though.
One new article is Pivaz, in London-adjacent and Central Line-terminating Epping. It's a somewhat upmarket Turkish restaurant, with tasty breakfast options and attentive staff.
Our reported permanent closures are The Cricketers, a small pub in Croydon (just near the Lebanon Road tram stop), and Dirty Burger in Kentish Town, though it was never much more than an outhouse shack and I was a meat-eater the last time I went there, giving a sense of its long and storied existence (i.e. it's several years old).
Finally, we can report the reopening of Affogato, a Norbury coffee shop and cafe, so there's no reason now to cancel all your Norbury travel plans this summer.
What about you? Any forgotten games in that brain of yours? :)
I created this account as a back-up when there were rumours of livejournal being shut down. I still keep my journal over there, but when I asked for fun communities at DW a friend recommended this one.
The description looked perfect to me, I love the ordinary little beauties that are to be found in common nature everywhere. And now I got a place to share them. *sobs of happiness*
I'm in Germany, the North part of it. Have a random overgrown fence to go with my little introduction.
( Read more... )