Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Pond life

 I haven't had much to report here the last few months, nor much inclination. It's been such a troubling, dispiriting time. Ukraine, of course, but also the death of Taylor Hawkins following so quickly on the heels of Mark Lanegan. I love drummers and I loved the Foo Fighters. I hope Dave Grohl and the rest of the band - not to mention Hawkins' family - have had the love and support they must need at this awful time.

On a more positive note, my wife and I went to see Simple Minds in Cardiff a couple of weeks ago. They were fantastic, anchored by the phenomenal drumming of Cherisse Odei. How she found the energy to keep going through two long sets of older and newer material was a thing of wonder. On a less positive note, we were almost the only people in the arena (besides vending staff) still wearing masks. I know a few were, but the vast majority didn't bother. And, unsurprisingly, we both came down with something horrible a couple of days later. It's not Covid, though, thank goodness. I've nearly lost my voice with a throat infection and have had to cancel a few online things this week, just to rest my vocal cords. (Cords not chords, as I originally wrote. Too much guitar theory).

Back onto more positive things - I've been delighted with a new development in my ponds. As regular readers may know, I created a couple of ponds three years ago. Frogs appeared at the end of year one, and then returned at the end of year two. This year I haven't seen the frogs yet (it may be that April has been just a little bit too cold) but I have had newts!

There are at least three, of which this one seems to be the biggest:



These really are fantastic creatures. I believe this is a smooth newt; one of the others is much paler and with less pronounced patterning but I presume the same species.

The newts may well have gobbled up a large quantity of frogspawn that was kindly donated to me a few weeks ago, (or the cold may have done for the spawn) but as of yesterday there were still one or two tadpoles swimming around so all may not be lost for the next generation of frogs. And I hope that with warmer evenings, I may get a glimpse of the frogs from the last two summers.

I'm thrilled with my ponds and the surprises they provide.


9 comments:

  1. I love Newts, sadly not something we get here in Australia! Apologies for hijacking the post, but have you seen Moonfall? There were strong correlations for me between the AI trying to wipe out man (with the AI being triggered by the organic/electronic presence) and the Inhibitors of the Revelation Space universe. In fact there were several elements of this movie that felt like I was watching the books come to life. Thoughts (if you have seen the movie)?

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    1. I've not seen it so can't really comment. I haven't seen much new cinema. I caught Dune on blu-ray but the last film I saw at the cinema was the new Bond.

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    2. What did you think of Dune - or want to hold back until Pt II lands?

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    3. I thought it was fantastic.

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  2. Get well. I’m currently battling CoVid even after being boosted. Lots of people in the US refuse to wear masks even though an Omicron variant is spreading in the DC metro area.

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  3. Apologies for also hijacking this post. I'll try to keep this brief. My 12yo daughter just finished the Revenger series and loved them. We've been playing tabletop RPGs during the lockdowns, and she has requested I set a campaign in the Congregation. I love the idea and am wondering: do you have a historical timeline for the Congregation? The RS universe is so well documented by fans, but I have been unable to find something similar for CS.

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  4. I apologize for adding to the hijacking, but am wondering if you would mind sharing a timeline/history of The Congregation. I have been running tabletop RPGs for my kids during the lockdowns, and they both (11 & 13) just finished the Revenger series and loved it. So much in fact that they want me to use the setting for our upcoming campaign. RS has an amazing Fandom wiki but I am unable to find anything equivalent for The Congregation. I know nothing about the publishing world, so it may not even be possible for you to share information like that. Please do respond, they'd both be thrilled even if the answer is no :)

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    1. I have some notes which I'll dig out and scan in. I'll put them in a separate post.

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  5. Good to hear from you! Sorry you’ve been feeling ill, but I’m envious that you got to see Simple Minds.

    I’m glad you enjoyed Dune—I also thought it was excellent.

    I’ve been reading through the stories in Belladonna Nights, and the opening paragraph of Different Seas struck me as particularly beautiful and memorable: ‘Twelve hours out from Valparaiso, Lilith saw her first and only Aurora Australis. Spokes of pastel color came wafting out of the south like the light spillage from some vast, silent carnival going over the horizon.’

    I’ve only recently started listening to 10cc’s later albums, and so I’ve been playing this song repeatedly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chRp13_B6XQ&ab_channel=10cc-Topic

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