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London Eye 31.12.2010 London

Hi folks, thanks so much for dropping by. I trust you don’t mind that I brought you to my blog for a New Year message, but twitter doesn’t have sufficient space that I can convey what I would like to say. ūüôā

Firstly I would like to wish you all a very very happy, successful and wonderful year ahead, I truly hope that it fulfils any dreams, hopes, wishes and aspirations you have for 2011.

Then I would very much want to say a huge thank you for your friendship during 2010. Whether we’ve only just connected, or if you have been my ‘friend’ for a while now, I have enjoyed our brief communiques. You have brightened my days with your messages and brought a smile to my lips with your tweets and mentions, and on many occassions made me LOL and from time to time I have even ROFL!!! – Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. J M Barrie

Despite outward appearances I live a very secluded and limited life. My job is very isolating at times and the demands placed on me are great so your messages on #followfriday #traveltuesday or #justbecause you are thinking of me have been a lifeline to the real world.

I have gotten to know some folk a little better than others and we have learned a wee bit about each others lives – how fascinating it is to get these little glimpses into another world. I have travelled ‘virtually’ to far-flung corners of the world: Alaska, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, China, just about all the states of America, France, Italy, South Africa, The Whitsundays,¬†north of Scotland, closer to home in¬†London and many countries, fascinating glimpses¬†into your world, by reading your blogs, clicking on the links you’ve posted and just our general ‘chats’ have opened windows into the world that I may never have had otherwise.

I¬†took to twitter like a duck to water (excuse the not so very good pun) ūüôā twitter has opened up my world in ways I could never have imagined when I first started, and that is thanks to each of you; your tweets and comments, links and @mentions have brought the world to me. Facebook has been fun with messages and comments, status updates and links to photo albums – photos of your travels are most appreciated. I have enjoyed sharing my life in London, posting photos and writing arbitrary posts on my blog about¬†places I have explored and experiences I have had.

And now this year is at an end and we have 2011 to look forward to, so in closing I would once again like to say how very much I appreciate your friendship, your messages and tweets and although we are far apart in miles, we are close to heart in tweets, so in 2011 do stay in touch and lets continue to enjoy our friendships, I wish you all a good night and some marvellous days for the 365 we have of 2011…….and do remember…. according to the Mayans the world is due to end 2012 (????) so make the most of 2011……

hahahaha!! ūüôā have fun folks

True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and choice. Samuel Johnson

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Me! ūüôā

As a child of the dark ages, the current ‘fad’; Social Media,¬†as some folks call it, is a whole new ball-game to me, and boy am I having fun!¬†¬†¬†Bearing in mind it took me¬†till 2002¬†before I caved in and got¬†a mobile phone and about 6 months to figure out how to send an email… (tut tut, no need to be rude ūüôā )

Over the years I have slowly tested the waters and joined facebook, watched youtube videos (even started my own channel!!), uploaded photos to kodak, turned into an email then blogging ¬†junkie, ventured onto flickr¬†and finally after a kick in the butt (metaphorically) from my brother-in-law I learned to use google effectively.¬†¬† Now I am also a¬†google¬†addict ūüôā

In 2008….mmm¬†November I think it was, I volunteered to help a friend get her business off the ground.¬† One of the suggestions from her accountant was that she get onto twitter.¬† Since she was more of¬†a novice than me about the mysteries of the internet,¬†I volunteered to do it for her.¬† She introduced me to a person who was the¬†current ‘expert’ on twitter who would give me a few lessons!

After a few lessons on the ‘how to’…I got into the ‘what to’…..and as they say in the classics…I have never looked back.¬† Sadly the relationship did not last (long story not to be repeated), but I was hooked and without further ado¬†I set up my own twitter account and got tweeting….. @notjustagranny

I was born to ‘tweet’ ūüôā

Twitter has been one of the most amazing learning curves in my life (and I have had plenty and have plenty of curves)…. it is also the best way to meet, greet and chat to people from around the world.¬† I have met, had ‘tweet-ups’¬†and communicate with lovely¬†people from Australia, America, in the UK, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, India and Europe and Cape Town….even Russia!¬† I have had the pleasure of reading fabulous blogs by very talented people, especially travel blogs…..my favourites!¬† There are some truly fabulous places in this world of ours.

I know that facebook is meant to be ‘the’ place to be….I prefer twitter.¬† ¬†The timeline moves fast, you can engage in conversations that have an immediate response, your mailbox doesn’t get cluttered, there are hundreds of interesting links to follow (my downfall), and you can connect with new folks on recommendation of those you are already following…. I have gotten to know some terrific¬†people this way.¬† ¬†You also get immediate news and sometimes not so immediate news and there is a never ending supply of interesting articles and snippets of information to read.

Falling into the category ‘social media’, twitter has evolved from sending an update to friends to a full-on business tool.¬† An opportunity to share and learn information.¬† What has been interesting too are the debates about whether it is a good thing or not, to be taken seriously or just a fad.¬† As the ‘twitter angel’ for @newmediaangels it is my job to read links (to make sure they don’t lead to porn sites !!!)¬†before I retweet them …..have I learned a lot.

I have read articles from the likes of @jeffbullas and @mashable and @chrisbrogan and @problogger.¬† I have also read the debates from the CEO’s of large corporations who do not yet get it – Social Media.¬† And they are not alone.¬† There are a huge number of small businesses that want to get ‘onto’ twitter and expect to suddenly have 1million followers!!¬†¬† The buzz and hype has given folks the wrong perception and their expectations are way out of line. Many people think that you open a twitter account, post a few tweets and voila suddenly you have hundreds and thousands of followers!!!¬† A misconception if ever there was one. Like going to a party and expecting to suddenly have hundreds of friends!

As for me….I can’t live without twitter.¬† I get antsy in the mornings till I log on and get my ‘fix’. I find it incredibly diffficult to watch a link go by and not open it.¬† I could quite literally spend the whole day just chatting to folks and reading links.¬† I have ‘favourited’ hundreds of webpages (madness I know) with the faint hope that I will actually go back to them someday….hahaha.

I love nothing more than to open ‘hootsuite’ and see mentions from people who have thought of me and sent a message.¬† It’s fun, it’s funky and it’s the best invention yet…besides the internet!¬† It¬†is very educational….how else would I have known about #earthday or any of the other causes that whizz through my timeline.¬†

Long live twitter…… certainly my blue bird of happiness; long may it live to feed my addiction!

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As mentioned before in one of my posts, my sister sends me loads of funny emails and some of them are so funny I have to share with yourselves!¬† I received this one today and had a good giggle…….hope you enjoy it too.¬† I have no idea who the author is, but if you happen to read it (and you know who you are) …..your words have been shared ūüôā

This is for the over 50 generation.

I thought about the 30 year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a Blackberry that played music, took videos, pictures and communicated with Facebook and Twitter.

I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140  characters of space.

That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation.  I am not ready to live like this.  I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library.¬† I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth [it’s red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive.¬† I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife as everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me.¬† Seems I have to take my hearing aid out to use it and I got a little loud.

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time.¬† Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, “Re-calc-ul-ating”.¬† You would think that she could be nicer.¬† It was like she could barely tolerate me.¬† She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light.¬† Then when I would make a right turn instead, it was not good.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady; at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house.¬† We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven’t figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me.¬† They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store.¬† You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden “Paper or Plastic?” every time I check out just knocks me for a loop.¬† I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused but I never remember to take them in with me.

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, “Paper or Plastic?”¬† I just say, “Doesn’t matter to me. I am bi-sacksual.” Then it’s their turn to stare at me with a blank look.

I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, No, but I do toot a lot.”

pass this on to someone of the more senior generation if you think they will appreciate it ūüôā

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14.¬† Everyone on Twitter is looking for the next big thing or most interesting piece of content to link to.¬† Wouldn‚Äôt you rather be the big thing than merely another person pointing at it? –¬†via @jeffbullas

I have enjoyed and toyed with Twitter since I first signed up in December 2008, not expecting the journey to be so much fun and so transformational.

For the first few months I sent the occasional tweet, connected with a few friends and watched the stream pass by, at the time I often said “I don’t know what to say”.

Then suddenly¬†I started to really get into the swing of things, connecting with people from around the world, enjoying ‘chat’s, being as inventive as I could with my 140 character¬†‘tweets’.¬† I learned about #ff aka #followfriday, #traveltuesday and about #trending topics.

I spent hours following links and reading about places and finding out things I never knew existed.¬† In fact I have since become quite addicted….I could seriously live on twitter; all day!¬†¬† I often tell my daughter I was born to twitter! ūüôā and along the way I have ‘met’ some wonderful people, and consider them great online friends.

In March 2009 I started this blog inspired by the content, search engine optimisation, social media inspiration and evangelism provided by Hubspot.  I already had a blog which I started in November 2008, where I wrote about my travels and things that inspired me, although since starting this blog I have been very slack about keeping it up to date.

I then waded in a bit deeper and started to use tools and apps like TweetDeck and Bit.ly, Social Oomph, Hootsuite and Ping.fm to integrate with Twitter.¬† I started to¬†follow the ‘experts’, reading as much as possible on¬†what they call Social Media.

I have since become quite the ‘geek’ as my daughter puts it and have my favourites to follow eg @jeffbullas @chrisbrogan @mashable @marismith (facebook expert)¬†and @sethgodin (squidoo & tribes)¬†amongst others.¬† I have learned so much that my brain bursts with info; info¬†that pops out from time to time and amazes me that I know that stuff ūüôā

One of my favourite tweeters/bloggers to follow is @jeffbullas and I have gained invaluable knowledge from reading his posts, some of which are incredibly funny.¬† His blog posts are informative, useful and educational.¬† I read voraciously.¬† He also advocates the blog before twitter aspect of social media, so of course…I listened to the teacher….

…and¬†have subsequently become quite the blogger.¬†¬†I now have¬†5 blogs, some more active than others, and¬†6 twitter accounts.¬† I also run 3 facebook accounts!¬† How bizarre!¬† Consider this:¬† 10 years ago it was all I could do to send an email, and now just over 18 months later……..

I guess I have learned my lessons well; today to my absolute delight, I was asked by an online community in Richmond if they could feature my latest blog on Twickenham!!  Thanks to all my teachers.

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Hi James,

I just read your¬†website bio, wanted to reply and had more to say than twitter allows!¬†¬†¬† So, just to say that I loved your story and what a fabulous adventure you are on.¬† I am quite envious; my dream is to travel the UK and the world in a¬†VW campervan.¬† Shame you had such a bad experience with the movie industry…yeah, Hollywood – I can so imagine exactly what you’re talking about, it’s all so commerical.¬†¬† But brilliant that you have turned your¬†knowledge and skills to something that you are evidently passionate about.

I also watched the Griff Rhys-Jones programme you mentioned and quite agree; the UK is splendid.   I love this country with a passion and esp love London (I blog on http://www.3daysinlondon.info)    Originally from South Africa, I visited the UK in 2001 and never went back home, now very settled here.

I will be exploring your site more thoroughly once I have finished my current project and look forward to seeing the photos and to reading more about your journey across Australia.¬†¬† I have also developed a real enjoyment of photography in recent years; how could I not –¬†with all the fabulous places I have visited since living in the UK.

I am now following you on twitter via @notjustagranny. Have a great day

Regards, Cindy

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You may or may not know it yet, but I love twitter.¬† To me it is one of the best internet inventions ever….well besides the internet of course ūüôā

I’ve said before that I could quite happily spend the whole day on twitter; following links, retweeting quotes, chatting to¬†friends around the world, connecting with new friends I noticed mentioned by current friends, having a laugh at the jokes, responding to mentions, having a peek into someone else’s life: finding out¬†what they like, who they don’t like, what they think of Tiger Woods, who is visiting starbucks, who loves tea, who has been where, whose kids are on spring break, photo’s of gorgeous places, who is sitting on a carribean beach, what is happening 6,000 miles away, who is passionate about which cause, who supports those causes, who is selling what, and why, who writes poetry, whose baby has just been born, whose birthday it is, celebrating their achievements, who is passionate about their garden, who shares my interest in travel, which people lean towards religion and who doesn’t and much much more…….you know what I mean.

And this got me to thinking about the etiquette of twitter, about how it is we get to connect with the people behind the profiles and I wondered if twetiquette is the same as etiquette and do the same rules apply when we are relatively anonymous behind a computer screen as opposed to being face to face.

Etiquette (pronounced [,eti’ket]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word √©tiquette, signifying ticket (of admission, etc.) first appeared in English in 1750.

So if I understand that correctly; etiquette in simple terms is a code of behaviour within a social class or group.  How then is etiquette practised in the world of twitter.

In a normal social setting it is good etiquette to introduce yourself, to shake hands in greeting (or whatever the correct social norm would be in your any particular country), to engage in polite conversation, to enquire after someones health and if you feel comfortable in the environment you then engage further and enquire as to career or family ties, do they participate in a sport, what sort of music they enjoy and so through a repartee of conversation within the norm of a social setting you get to find out more about the person you are communicating with.

On twitter your introduction is your profile: you have an opportunity to introduce yourself.¬† I come along, I¬†have a look and if we speak the same language or like similar things we then ‘follow’ : we shake hands.

Next I post a tweet that I am about to go on holiday or I re-tweet an interesting link¬†you have posted¬†about travel tips or an exciting destination –¬†you respond and as we engage so we get to learn more about one another: conversation.

Then perhaps a friend comes along and we think the person we are with might like to meet them, so we introduce them: @mention the person and if possible we say why aka #ff or #followfriday

Sometimes over the course of time we find that the things they say aka ‘tweet’ are of no real interest, so we move on¬†:¬†unfollow

When we first meet a new person in a normal social settings we dont just jump in with the company’s latest advert : marketing links

And I dislike the idea of ‘automated’ following programmes¬†to build numbers : running down the street ‘shouting..be my friend’?!

So here is my idea of twetiquette:

Follow = I like you and think we may have things in common

Retweet your post = I find your post interesting and would like to share it with others

@mention you and comment on something you said previously = conversation

Click on a link you posted = taking an interest in what you have to say

Retweet the link = I think other people might also be interested

Retweet a comment you made eg a quote = repartee

#followfriday = I think youre a great person and would like to introduce you to my other friends

So, those are just some of my ideas!  What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Hello. I just finished reading a great article about the phenomenal rise in twitter users world wide.  It is interesting to note that more than 60% of users are from outside the US of A.

DYK? that India has 550billion mobile phone users; that the twitter website is available in 6 languages, and there are even twitter users in The Vatican and outer space!

Personally I love twitter.  I love that it is fast, I love the homefeeds although of course they sometimes move too fast.  I love that I can connect with people around the world in real time and have short bursts of conversation, find out whats happening and meet lovely people in the virtual world who are really real people.

One of the things I enjoy most about twitter are the very diverse and creative names that people come up with.  Sometimes it relates to what they do, or their philosophy in life, perhaps their beliefs and for some it is just a bit of fun.  It is amazing how many combinations the english language can come up with.

Many ppl pass on or re-tweet quotes and I love thinking about those quotes and what they mean to me before I RT them for others to enjoy.¬†¬† It amazes me just how many quotes there are in the world and the diverse backgrounds the ‘quotees’ come from.¬† (I’m not sure if¬†quotees is a word…if not… well now it is )

I enjoy the different applications that have sprung up around twitter and my particular favourite is hootsuite, possibly coz it is such a funky name.  I love the lists, makes it so much easier to find the ppl whose tweets you want to keep track of and also lets others know who you find most interesting; like @HelpSaveBees 

The follows are great fun too: like #ff or #followfriday where you get to mention ppl that you have had conversations with during the week, or ppl that you really appreciate and you get a chance to say thanks for retweeting my quotes or my links, or get to #shoutout your appreciation for their following or comments.   You get a chance to mention ppl who have impressed you with the content of their tweets or links, and say hello to friends.

Of course as Kenneth Wu will tell you; there is a dark side to twitter.¬† One of these would be the ppl who use twitter as a platform for abuse and rubbish content.¬† Fortunately you can just block such ppl.¬†¬† I had one bloke who was beginning to stalk me, sending really idiotic tweets….so boof bang…blocked!

I always tell my daughter that I was born to twitter.¬† I started my account @notjustagranny¬†just over a year ago and have never looked back. It’s fun, it’s funky and it’s really interesting.¬† I love the educational links that get posted and have learned more about the world through these links than I did before.¬† I could quite happily spend the whole day on twitter…….

I find it incredible how news gets posted around the world in the blink of an eye and you get to hear in real time about things and events that are happening on the other side of the world before you even hear it on the news……it’s like the 6 o’clock news is almost redundant.

I love that I can show my support for various causes and give a #shoutout when they have a particular campaign like @Socks4HappyPPL whose mission it is to supply a pair of socks to homeless kiddies in Mongolia. So for every pair of socks you buy they send a pair to Mongolia.  And we get to share and contribute to that.

It’s fun to see what people are getting up to, to be able to know what is being said in a seminar that you are unable to attend, to know who goes to #starbucks and who is jetting of somewhere nice.¬†¬† It’s great to share in the events of the world like #earthhour; to see photos that you may not have seen ever and to connect with people around the world for a great cause.

I have inserted the link to the article in question and hope you enjoy it too. click here

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I was reading a very interesting blog today from Jeff Bullas; 30 Things You Should Not Share on Social Media.

He mentions some seriously idiotic things that people post on facebook and following close behind on twitter.  They tend to forget that their posts are open to public viewing and all it takes is for someone to take offence or perhaps a work colleague to notice a detrimental comment and ooops you could lose your job, or at the least face disciplinary action.  I was aghast at some of the stuff people write about and call me naive or ignorant, but I did not think that people actually post pictures of themselves inebriated or comments on their bodily functions!

One of the replies on the blog from a reader commented that because of the apparently virtual anonimous space of our computers, the barriers of propriety are breaking down and things you would not dream of saying to someone’s face, are shared via the virtual world.¬†¬† Stories have a way of spreading and going viral as it is known today.¬†¬†¬†¬† I was thinking about the various items that Jeff mentioned on his blog and the power of social media for spreading the word so to speak.¬†¬† But what of the age old methods from the past: gossip.¬†¬† Gossip passed on becomes rumour, and no less damaging albeit on a smaller scale.¬†¬† Imagine my suprise then¬†when I opened my email box today to find this article from my sister:

“Once upon a time an old man spread rumours that his neighbour was a thief.¬†¬†¬† ¬†As a result, the young man was arrested.¬†¬†¬† ¬†Days later the young man was proven innocent.¬†¬†¬†¬† After being released he sued the old man for wrongly accusing him.

In court the old man told the Judge:¬†¬† ¬†“They were just comments, didn’t harm anyone.”¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The judge, before passing sentence on the case, told the old man: “Write all the things you said about him in a piece of paper.¬†¬†¬† ¬†Cut them up and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out. Tomorrow, come back to hear your sentence.”¬†

Next day, the judge told the old man: “Before receiving the sentence, you will have to go out and gather all the pieces of paper that you threw out yesterday.¬†¬†¬†¬† ” The old man said: “I can’t do that!¬†¬† ¬†The wind spread them and I won’t know where to find them.”

The judge then replied: “In the same way, simple comments may destroy the honour of a man to such an extent that one is not able to fix it. If you can’t speak well of someone, rather don’t say anything‚ÄĚ.”

Which brings me to the article from Jeff and the list; beware of what you say on public forums; if you can’t speak well of yourself or someone else, rather don’t say anything at all.

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What a lovely day today. I have so enjoyed connecting and chatting to friends around the world. I am so addicted to twitter and facebook and surfing the internet. I could do this all day.¬†¬† It never ceases to amaze me how much information is out there, I learn something new every day.¬† I love following the links that people post on their updates, and find out things I never knew.¬† It is great to have a virtual ‘chat’ with a friend who lives in the USA and to say goodnight to someone in Sweden, reply to posts on travel forums about places I’ve been and retweet inspiring quotes.

I joined a new travel site tonight and when I was filling in the names of the places I have travelled to in the last 9 years as well as the info on areas I have lived in and travelled to in SA, I am reminded of how many places I have been to!  How lucky I am to have had the opportunity to live in the UK.  From here it is so easy to go places in Europe and the USA, and as travelling is my passion of course the more the better.  I was pleasantly surprised to note just how many places I have been to, and frankly I cant even remember many of them (will have to check back on my diaries).   Filling in the destinations was great fun, and I enjoyed the memories of each trip as I noted them down.

It also served to remind me how lucky I am to have been introduced to World Ventures and how with the opportunities it provides, I will now be able to travel even more and get to visit all the places still on my wish list.  Of course my wish list is incredibly long and I would have to live another whole lifetime just to get to them all, but with this company at least I can be sure of visiting the most of them.

I started out writing this blog this morning, but got diverted and distracted as I usually do when I get onto twitter, and so the day has gone by.¬† So in the interest of time….. I will simply post the following as it was when I wrote it:

“as i write I am sitting overlooking the verandah, a perfect position to watch all the activity going on.¬† a¬†squirrel is nicking the bird seed (as usual), the blue tits are flitting back & forth and¬†I noticed just now that the great tits are nest building; how exciting!¬† The weather is mucky and we’ve had rain off and on since the early hours.¬†¬†¬†¬†I also noticed that the fox did’nt eat much of the food I left out¬†last night,¬†ignored my macaroni cheese and left it on the plate!!! how rude ūüôā¬†¬†¬† oooo a chaffinch has just landed; ahh they are so pretty and I don’t often see them in the mornings.¬† The magpie with it’s glorious shimmering blue & pink tail¬†feathers has been.¬†¬†¬†They always make me nervous they do, staring at me with one eye and head cocked.¬†¬† This verandah is a constant source of entertainment and I am so lucky to be able to watch the birds as they go about their business, although I have noticed that there are not as many birds as usual¬†in the garden this year.¬† With the warmer weather¬†there do appear to be a few more pairs flitting about in the trees in front of the house.¬† Noticeable because the trees are still bare, although I have to say that there are not as many birds this spring as usual.¬†¬†¬† I have seen a pair of robins, occassionally a third.¬† I have seen four blue tits, 2 great tits, 1/2 chaffinch, 2 sparrows, a number of magpies and of course plenty of pigeons (which I dislike intensely).¬†¬† We have had as many as 5 squirrels at a time on the verandah and they are incredibly greedy and great fun to watch. although I was absolutely dismayed to see one steal a chick from the magpie’s nest high in the tree.¬†¬†¬† The trees are starting to bud now and I noticed today¬†that the bush at the bottom of the garden is a blaze of yellow flowers.¬† Of course the whole world is a blaze of yellow with the fabulous daffodils that are blooming everywhere.¬†¬†They are quite my favourite flowers and brighten even the dullest¬†of days.¬† A sure sign of spring, they are lovely to behold.”¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

I was surfing the UK news tonight and noticed this article  which of course immediately caught my eye, most particularly because I had remarked earlier on that I had not seen many birds in the garden this year.

and now since it is actually tomorrow, I had better go to bed before the sun comes up ūüôā

Enjoy your day guys, wishing you a good one.

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