Occasional readers of this blog may be aware of my phobia about snakes. I may have mentioned it a couple of times. So you may be interested to know I’ve had a close encounter of the dreaded slither kind, well almost. I forgot to mention in the last posting that as we were preparing to empty the pool I noticed what looked suspiciously like a snake lying on our slope bank down to the pool. Gulp. It was very still and I walked up gingerly to have a closer look, with a deadly garden hoe in hand… Continue reading

hoopoe – d’you know?

Picture the scene: old comb-over Robert Robinson, chairing the programme Call My Bluff, invites dear old dickey-bowed Frank Muir to identify the correct definition of the word ‘Hoopoe’. Is it, Frank, an old English word describing a rather uncomfortable disease afflicting the skin between the toes, or a word for an obscure tribe of native Americans found in the Dakotas who were sworn enemies of the Pawnee, or a type of hooch brewed by backwoodsmen in the tropical forests of N Australia which is so powerful it can cause teeth to drop out and for the Aussie male to be rendered incapable of any cultural appreciation whatsoever. Yes Frank, it is popular throughout Australia.

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