My weekend started on Thursday, with a train journey from Cambridge to Lydney, which was mostly uneventful apart from the fact it was standing room only to London. On a weekday afternoon. Most odd. Once arrived we spent a pleasant evening with Mike's parents, eating home made curry, opening rather belated Christmas presents all round, and putting the world to rights.
On Friday we started the morning watching the birds feeding through the french doors in the living room. With nuts, seeds, water and a fat ball on offer they get quite a selection of small birds and over the course of the day we saw:
- a greenfinch
- a rather reclusive goldfinch
- blue tits
- great tits
- at least one coal tit
- a long-tailed tit (unusual, apparently they're usually only seen in groups)
- a dunnock
- a pair of nuthatches
- a tree sparrow
- several robins
And away from the feeder we also saw pheasants, pigeons and lots of buzzards, including one which was only 12 or 15 feet away having just landed in a tree. This was later though: we finished the morning by fettling Mike's parent's bikes and taking them out for a ride. It was a nice ride all told, but the thing about Lydney and environs, especially when compared to Cambridge, is that there are *hills*. I ended up walking several stretches, and rather stressing out my lungs having pushed just a bit too hard in places, but it was a glorious day, and much of it was in lovely gently rolling countryside, or through the woods and it was all beautiful. Amusingly we also found some hills which were too steep going *down* - I was hanging onto the brakes for dear life, thinking that if I could actually *stop* I'd rather walk, and wondering what on earth I'd do if the cables broke. Which they didn't, so all was well. Probably around 8 miles in total I reckon anyway.
We had a quiet afternoon, including a nice nap, and then took Evan and Gina out for dinner in Lydney, to a chinese restaurant they'd not actually visited before. Which turned out to a) be pretty good and b) be celebrating the Chinese New Year, so we had a rather nice set meal. We couldn't stay for the lion dance though, as Mike and I were off to meet his friends in the pub.
To be continued...