Tuesday, 8 April 2014


Torrential rain ... and squirrels.        That just about sums up the last couple of days ..... it has been so dark and gloomy in the house we've had lights on most of the time.     We made a short journey to the local picture framer in Whitstable so I could order the mount for my gorilla drawing.   Unfortunately the colour mount I wanted wasn't in stock so he will have to order it in to (hopefully) arrive by the end of the week.     I could have gone further afield to another framer but I prefer to stick with our local people wherever possible as most small businesses are struggling these days and even little jobs like this can make a difference between staying afloat or not.

We braved the bad weather on Sunday and spent a pleasant few hours at the Holiday & Leisure Show which was staged at the Cruise Terminal 2, Dover Docks.  Chatted to lots of exhibitors and picked a stack of brochures - I think we've got a few ideas for day trips and short breaks but best of all I got to meet Mozart close up

This is Mozart:

He is a  7 year old European Eagle Owl (one of the largest owls in the World) and one of the 19 birds of prey which form the falconry section at Leeds Castle in Kent.       Handsome beastie isn't he?  (and his keeper was quite cute also)  LOL

Mozart was very unfazed by all the attention and posed beautifully for photos and allowed me to stroke him - the feathers are incredibly soft and I love those furry feet (although the talons are very nasty)

We took a quick tour of the frigate HMS Lancaster which was berthed at Cruise Terminal 2 for the weekend.
These little snippets were gleaned from the Royal Navy website:

All the ships in her class are named after Dukes, in her case, of course, the Duke of Lancaster – better known as Her Majesty the Queen. Queen Elizabeth is her sponsor and takes a keen interest in her deeds around the globe    Typically when on deployment, you’ll find HMS Lancaster either in the Caribbean drug-busting or east of Suez ensuring freedom of the seas.

We were very restricted as to where we could explore - not really surprising given the numbers of guns and ammunition on board ... and after all she is a Royal Navy warship and security has to be maintained even on 'Open Days'

The 'welcome party' ... not the best job on such a cold and wet day.

David 'playing'

But these guys are for real

some serious firepower on board

Not sure if this classed as lèse-majesté  -   to photograph the gun pointing at the Union Jack flag?  

despite the horrible weather we enjoyed our visit and are very proud of our armed forces personnel

I'm just wondering whether to point out the 'deliberate error' on their warning sign though - the signwriter was at last consistent and misspelled the word twice  LOL

and finally - back to squirrels.       The violence is escalating now - if you can't chew through the metal cage wires then the best bet is to either hurl the feeder on the floor and roll it round or simply swing the feeder and angle it so the seeds spill out.  

The more frustrated and angry the squirrel got, the funnier I found it ....

and another shorter one


Studio at the Farm said...

Wonderful post, Sue!!! Yes, Mozart [and his keeper] are very handsome. And the squirrel videos are hilarious! That is one determined little beastie :)
Thank you, Sue, this was such fun to read this morning!

Jo said...

Aaah, didn't David get to play with the big guns. At least it was a "live" ship. Even the decommissioned ships on the Medway always had something going on, generators and whatever. The battleship USS North Carolina was totally dead and therefore, in my opinion, somewhat boring.

You could be sued for cruelty to squirrels you know.

I wonder if Mike know Mozart. He knows a lot of people in falconry, etc. and has painted a lot of their birds.

Jan said...

Hehe on the squirrels - maybe you could borrow Mozart or invite the security detail from the Lancaster over for a little target practice!

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Kathryn.
Mozart has been added to my 'to draw' list ... I guess you're the same though - if we sat down to draw everything on our lists we'd be chained to the drawing board for decades.
The squirrels are very 'angry' at the moment ... I think they are probably feeding young so more desperate for food.

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jo.
I've had a few days of visiting buses, vintage cars, tractors and now boats so hopefully David has got it all out of his system now.
Can't complain though as he is coming with me to birmingham to deliver my pictures to the Gallery at the end of the month - and again to collect them (if not sold) 2 weeks later. Of course, Birmingham is famed for its curries these days so a nice curry meal is a bit of bribery.

I don't think I'm being cruel to squirrels at all - merely buying them lots of 'expensive' toys and gadgets to play with and destroy!

Sue Clinker said...

Wonderful ideas Jan ....
Now I'm torn between inviting Mozart (and his keeper) or the crew of HMS Lancaster - tough call ;-)

My Blogger layout doesn't enable me to respond to each of your comments as they're made - such a pain!

Jo said...

Never looked at the squirrel story from that side. Lots of toys eh?

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jo
Yep. They're such clever little bu**ers. They look forward to each new challenge we set them and ... really there is no such thing as a squirrel-proof feeder. Just a few delaying tactics along the way LOL

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

i figure if the squirrels really want the food, they can work for it :p it is funny tho because it does look like its just getting really frustrated at that feeder :p

love the owl pics :D I want one lol

Reflections From Life Art Blog said...

Hi Sue! Great post, hilarious squirrel video! Stubborn stinkers aren't they?

Mozart is very handsome. He is a European Eagle Owl? He looks just like a Great Horned Owl. They must look very much alike. You'd do a lovely portrait of Mozart I'm sure. I have a ref pic that I've saved for years of a Great Horned Owl I want to do some day.

~ Nancy