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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who do you think....

On July 31st a comedy classic was first broadcast to the nation. Yes Dad's Army is 40 today. I'm sure all British readers know the story well but for those of you who don't....

Dad's Army was set during the second world war and was about a unit of the Home Guard. The Home Guard being set up of local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, usually owing to age. Because of the later fact it comprised several veterans of the British acting community.

This particular unit was led by the self appointed Captain Mainwaring the pompous local bank manager. The show was deemed quite controversial at the time as it poked gentle fun at the home guard.

The unit was based in the fictional Walmington-On-Sea so technically were on the front line.

To celebrate the anniversary BBC 2 will have a special Dad's Army night. The co-writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft will each select their favourite episode and they'll broadcast the film (not as good as the TV show but ok) and documentaries The Dad's Army story and one about Arthur Lowe who play Captain Mainwaring.

It'll be better than anything else on no doubt and Dad's Army is still one of the best sitcoms made.

The Theme

Curiously the BBC didn't like the original titles and hence we got the classic arrows.

The first ever episode (or part of it)

and perhaps the most famous clip "Don't tell him Pike."

Annoyingly I couldn't find my favourite sequence on you tube (the one where they discover that WWI conscientious objector Godfrey one the Military Medal for bravery).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It wasn't like this when I was at School

The Kampang Secondary School in Thailand has made international news. It now has three types of toilets, one for girls, one for boys and one for transsexuals (signposted with a half-man, half-woman figure in blue and red).

Headteacher, Sitisak Sumontha, estimates that in any year between 10% and 20% of his boys consider themselves to be transgender - boys who would rather be girls.

Can you imagine what the papers would say if that happened here?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Birds attack Church Spire

Given my love of churches and birds you won't be surprised to find me interested in this story.

Hundreds of Rose-Ringed Parakeets have attacked a church spire in South London. The spire is made of shingles and the birds have started pecking at the shingles.

John Tayleur (British Trust for Ornithologists) has suggested using noise and a bird of prey to scare the parakeets. He said he was surprised they were chewing shingles but they often ate mortar for the minerals it contains and because the grit helps them digest food.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A New Forest

The Woodland Trust have bought an 800 acre to grow the largest continuous native forest in England. The Trust has plans to plant 600,000 trees near St Albans in Hertfordshire.

Although there have been more forests created than lost in recent years the new forests have been mostly non-native conifer trees planted for commercial purposes.

The trust says the forest could shape within 12 years.

The trust also has plans to buy 250 acres near Colchester in Essex and 168 acres two miles from Durham city of centre.

This could be really could news, hopefully it'll provide habitat for lots of woodland birds.

To donate or find out more.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Birds and Butterflies

I am not built for heat! I'd like a nice bright sunny day with a temperature of a constant 72 and a nice light breeze.

Anyway I headed off to Hatfield Forest haven't been for AGES!!

Lots of youngsters about including....

Green Woodpecker!! A family party no less, Mum, Dad and junior.

I headed to the Lake to see if any of the star youngsters had made it. Finally saw both adult terns but no youngster....

Ducks chilling out.

Yes the Grebes have made it!


uh hang on what's that ? YES a fledge juvenile tern!

Large White

I also saw Garden Warlber, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat and family groups of Bullfinch

and on to Amwell

Another Gatekeeper


Young Blue Tit


A vole don't ask me what type. It was very shy and this was as good as I got.

Male Chaffinch

Red Admiral

Speckled Wood

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It was a tadge HOT!!

Well stayed over at Dad's last night and we went to Wimpole Hall. I've been before but you enjoy....

Blue Tailed Damselfly


First Darter of the year

"79 going on 170"

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Photos taken with a Tamron 18-250 not ideal for insects sorry about that.

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