Monday, 27 April 2009

Anyone know what duck this is ..? How cute are these!

At this time of year I become totally preoccupied with ducks, coots, grebes, geese, herons, kingfishers, cuckoos, penny wagtails, pigeons and finches. I'm really not that interested the remainder of the year but love to watch and listen to the courting and nesting rituals and the produce of this.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Coincidence or what?

In today's local paper .... it would appear to be a countrywide phenomena :-)) unless of course she decided to come south where the police often turn a blind eye to speeding! Looks like I was right and she is a 'boy racer' - she obviously had the scooter ' sooped up' ;-}

Friday, 24 April 2009

Dangerous times

I was nearly knocked down three times today whilst shopping! Not, as you may think, by a car but first by a mobility scooter being driven at a manic rate of knots by a very large lady. She came round the corner at the top of the street, which has a hill (Norfolk standards!) so to give her the benefit of the doubt, she may have been freewheeling but she must have been doing nearly 10 miles an hour ;-). I jumped out of the way just in time but turned round to see people flying off to left and right to get out of her way so I think she was just a boy racer at heart!

The second incident was as I carried on up the incline to be faced by a wheelchair being pushed very fast by an elderly man. The occupant was clinging on to the armrests for dear life so I think he might have been taken by surprise by the incline, which I am sure has got steeper over the years – I am certainly more out of puff when I reach the top than I used to be 10 years ago. I do hope he and his cargo reached the shops ok as I didn’t stop to look. I was quite traumatised by this time.

Carrying on a bit further up the road towards the bus station I came up behind a lady with a walking frame on wheels. She was travelling very slowing (probably exhausted after the hill) so I felt I was safe to overtake but as I did so she suddenly, without warning or signals, veered to the right – into my path. I just managed to stop in time but she continued to the crossing, oblivious to my plight.

I drove home very carefully!

Monday, 20 April 2009

There are two suggestions locally for ‘traffic calming’ measures which appealed to my imagination and I felt I must share with the world (or at least a couple of people).

One of them is potholes. The local radio station has had a Pothole Phone-In with people trying to outdo each other with the size of their pothole and I read that an Essex Parish Council is not repairing potholes for a year to see if this results in slowing down traffic and maybe to see how many cyclists they can dispose of! Or perhaps they are trying to find out ‘how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall’

I have to admit that my favourite idea for reducing traffic speed is chickens. We, in Norfolk, are famous for this idea – it has been monitored and statistics produced, so it must be feasible. The idea was first started many years ago on a south Norfolk roundabout and because of the favourable results, it is now to be introduced on other A road roundabouts in Norfolk and Suffolk. Some roundabouts are already perfect roosting areas but others may have to be landscaped into suitable chicken environments. A spokesman for the scheme said that “the chickens require very little maintenance and are practically self sufficient”.

It does beg the question, though, of whether someone would have to be appointed to collect the eggs each day (which would obviously be free range), and could be a good source of income for local Councils and possibly lead to reductions in Council Tax. However, the income would probably have to be offset against the cost of the egg collector.

There might be a worry that the chickens would breed too prolifically but there would probably be some ‘accidental’ culling by the very nature of their location.

It has been suggested that foxes may show a great interest in the chickens and measures would have to be taken to keep the fox population under control. Perhaps local fox hunting groups could be formed to control the roundabouts – the possibilities need some discussion (preferably in complete secrecy).

If it all works out well, chickens could be introduced on all roundabouts throughout the country and it is possible that the traffic calming effects could offset the number of collisions caused by drivers rubbernecking at the chickens.

Talking of ducks - and someone was somewhere, I snapped this duck showing complete indifference at the interesting spectacle of a swan floating on to the Broad on a large clump of land which had been dislodged by a hire boat. This island was inhabited at various times by coots and grebes before floating into someone's boat shed!