Monday, July 16, 2012

Hide and seek

On Saturday night we had a little visitor to our yarden. The baby seagull from nest number one.

After having a good look around it tried to fly out of the yarden but couldn't. It was still at the stage where it needed a long runway to take off.

It was so pitiful watching it trying to fly but only ending up a couple of feet off the ground.

We knew we couldn't leave it in the yarden as Maxi and Ruby, Sandra our neighbours new cats, like to play in our yarden, and they are known of chasing birds.

John ran round to the back of the house and opened both garage doors then very slowly opened the yarden door to allow the seagull to escape.

The seagull was having none of it and hid behind the yarden door. I tried to entice it out by throwing it some biscuits but it wasn't interested. His mum mustn't have weaned him off regurgitated fish and onto seagulls staple diet of fish and chips, sandwiches and ice-cream.....

John tried to persuade it to move by gently shaking an old shaggy mop close to it but instead of moving forward, the seagull moved sideways and went though a tiny gap between the garage wall and the shed. Wonderful !!!!!

We could hear it moving behind the shed but as the shed was pushed right up against the party wall, there was no way we could get at it. Because Bruce the Christmas tree and Eric the Hosta were on the other side of the shed, and in huge tubs, there was no way they could be moved or for the seagull to get out that way. It would have to come out the way it came in.

As it was getting late we decided to leave it for the night as the poor thing had been stressed out enough. We closed the dinning room curtains so the light wouldn't frighten it and hoped the cats didn't come and visit their playground.....

John knew that I wouldn't settle until it was safely out so began to think of ways the shed could be moved. I was mightily relieved when I opened the dining room curtains yesterday morning to see the baby seagull sitting on the kitchen door step. There were several dirty footprint marks on the dining room window so it had tried again to fly away.

Once again John ran round to the back of house and after opening the garage and the yarden doors, moved his car to the front of the house

The baby seagull slowly walked through the yarden door then out into the back lane. Whilst John was closing the garage door he notice mum and dad seagull gathered around their chick and started squawking. No doubt it was getting a right telling off for being out all night.....

The baby seagull seems to have recovered from his little adventure and is still exploring the roof tops and back lane, but mum and dad are keeping a very watchful eye on him now.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Home !!

Yes folks, we're home. This is the final Veranda View. Generally the bigger the location the worse the view. What you are seeing is the dock area to the west of Venice city centre.

The last night began with cocktails at 6pm with Kathy & Jim, our neighbours. We then enjoyed an excellent dinner with them and finally made a tour of the lounge and bar to say goodbye to the bartenders and the band.

We left the ship and 10 am and were in Marco Polo Airport 30 minutes later. It's a small airport and there were two cruise ships disembarking passengers. Ours was small but the other was HUGE, so the airport was crowded. And they don't let you check in until two hours before your flight. So we milled around for over an hour before heading to check-in, where the luggage belt stopped working. All we can say is thank goodness we took up the offer of business class flights. Fast track check-in makes life so much easier when you travel with a wheelchair.

Poor Wizzy, Marie’s wheelchair was festooned with five labels. A normal baggage label, a “transfer at terminal five” label, a priority label because we were business, a special assistance label and a large label that said “return to aircraft door”. You heard earlier how this worked at Barcelona. It nearly didn't at Heathrow, until the aircraft Captain, no less went rummaging in the hold, returning triumphantly with Wizzy.

The BA staff told us that they are dreading the Para-Olympics because Heathrow are so poor at getting wheelchairs out of aircraft. I also wish someone would train them in the right way to pick up a wheelchair without pulling it apart.

No matter we had Wizzy but had to dash because we were late leaving Venice, a knock on effect of early morning fog. We made the flight and when we got to Newcastle, there was Wizzy, waiting for us. Some airports get it right, in particular Newcastle and Barcelona, so why can't Heathrow.

Anyway, we arrived home at about 7pm, tired but in one piece, and with all our luggage. SO would be do it again. We've already paid the deposit ...