Diary – Gauntlet Part -2

Wednesday September 28th 2022

At 12.25 a call over the speaker system that the next show is about to start. We make our way back to the main viewing area with excitement.

This next viewing is a flying display or was it the meet and greet…Woo can’t quite remember now, which ever it was I was certainly captivated as the birds as they enter the viewing area

My head turning this way and that way…I’m making my self dizzy.

The thing with birds you never know when they will change direction, so when the owl swooped through the wooden benches it was definitely a wow moment.

I tried my best to capture a video, but the owl was far to quick for me to prepare and compose myself.

After the owl came the Red Legged Seriema, who had the loudest call ever as he tossed and shook the rubber snake trying to kill his prey.

Then we had more vultures.

Did you know that the Griffon Vulture holds the record for being the highest flying bird at over 30,000ft. Wow!

Then we had a very cute pole cat, whom we got to stroke. I must say his fur coat was very coarse! I imagines a silky soft fur, he was a little smelly too!

A display from the Bald Eagle after he had finished ripping a fish head to pieces.

Now I loves this guy pictured below, a very colourful, comical character indeed, he is a Bateleur Eagle, bateleur’ in french means ‘tightrope walker’, they get this name because of their distinctive aerial acrobatics.

Just so many birds of prey where brought out on display…Absolutely amazing!

Little did I know the best was yet to come.

The last show of the day was a truly amazing experience.

I have never experienced anything like it.

I found it quite overwhelming, but in a good way, as my eyes leaked with so much happiness…What a memory…Such a special moment…What a wonderful day!

I found this short video below on YouTube, gives you a little taste of the gauntlet.

One thing for sure, a trip to the Gauntlet is noisy and thrilling, you may even rub shoulders or have your head skimmed, by the feathered Gauntlet family.

It’s is just a truly amazing experience!

Diary – Gauntlet – Part 1

Tuesday September 27th 2022

On Thursday September 15th, Hubby and I had a lovely day out at the Gauntlet.

This lovely place was recommended to me by a fellow photographer

I didn’t really know what to expect as it was my first visit.

I tell you something if you are interested in bird of prey, you won’t be disappointed!

We arrived around 11am, had a quick walk around the lovely garden centre situated on the same car park…if truth be known I needed the loo and we could see the toilets where situated right at the entrance!

We then sat in the car eating our lunch and enjoying a flying display. It was the metal birds of the sky that was flying over and distracting us.

Looked like we was on the flight path to Manchester airport!

So we sat eating lunch, watching planes as they made their decent into Manchester Airport.

As we pack our picnic lunch away, a little Robin lands on the nearby fence. I was surprised to see any small birds around the birds of prey and vulture park.

We enter in to the reception area, where we are greeted by a lovely friendly young man, he explained everything about the park and also the times of the shows, good job hubby is with me, because I wouldn’t have remembered everything.

We walk around some of the caged birds, when an announcement comes over the speakers. “Make your way to the main viewing area, where the first show of the day will begin in 5 minutes”

Woo the excitement starts to build, I’m like a child in a sweet shop! Nearly skipping my way to the main viewing area.

We sit on the wooden benches patiently waiting for the show to begin, luckily for us it was a quiet day so not many visitors, which will make viewing so much better.

The first show is the Vultures.

One of the vultures sat on the bench right in front of us. What an experience to be so close to such a characterful bird.

I was in my element as he takes flight, landing here and there, picking up food from the floor. Then walking with a stoop as he wobbles around looking for more tasty treats.

The vulture was definitely not what I expected…He was so full of character.

The handler is explaining all about the vultures. Im not very good at retaining all the information, especially whilst I take photographs, I can’t multitask!

It’s one or the other and the urge to get as many photos as possible takes over, rather than using my listening skills.

So sorry not much information retained!

Only plenty of photos!

After the wonderful display from the vulture, we have 30 minutes to spare before the next show, time for a quick wander around.

Not only birds, a few other characters around.

We spotted some goats who where super friendly and made a beeline for the fence as soon as we approached, didn’t look that impressed when it was time for us to leave! I think they may have been expecting food!

As we wandered further into the Gauntlet, I was surprised that some of the birds wasn’t caged.

Wow! This makes it so much better to take photos. Getting a camera through wire fencing is not an easy task!

I shall end my blog here as it’s now time for the next show.

Watch out for tomorrows blog. Part 2 of The Gauntlet.

Diary – A New Walk

Monday 26th September 2022

Tuesday 13th September we found a different place to walk called Brock Valley

We didn’t do the whole walk, it would have been far too much for me. We just took things slowly, stopping along the way to let Toby have a play in the stream

Toby loves water! If you put the washing up bowl on the floor he would be in it!

We have to coax Toby out the water with a treat to carry on with our walk.

Walking on the riverbank, Hubby spotted a couple of little birds flitting across the water. I zoom in with my camera

It’s a couple of little Waggtails.

I think they where teasing me!

Landing then taking off at speed, darting over the water, stopping only for a short time before flying off, I had to be so quick!

Quick is not the best attribute I have now, however I did manage to capture a photo of the little fella.

We walk further down stream passing other dog walkers on the woodland trail, all which seemed friendly, nice smiley faces, a nod of the head or a good morning as we pass.

The dogs of course greet one another with a sniff and a waggy tail before being led away by their leads.

We pass bridges, man made tree swings.

Such a peaceful place, where the butterflies float gently passed

Birds can be heard high up in the tree tops as they serenade us with their beautiful song.

A quick glims of a Robin before he flew away into the hedgerow.

Hubby suggests we turn around as we had been walking for quite a while…I always forget, I have the same distance to walk again to get back to where I started.

As we look at our watches, we realise it’s nearly lunchtime, so decision made, we head off back towards the car.

A quick stop down by the river to have a quick cup of tea from our flask and also to let Toby have one last quick play.

Little did Toby know he was actually having a quick bath to wash his muddy paws before getting in the car!

Time to go…Well that was a lovely way to pass the morning.

Diary – Giving away my secrets!

Thursday 22nd September 2022

We all have those blank moments, when we are unsure of what we are doing.

We all loose our train of thought.

We all occasionally find it hard to find a word or even loose where we are in a conversation

For me my words are disappearing more and more now. I have more long pauses in conversations.

It’s that trying to explain something, that is becoming more difficult.

When I’m reading from rehearsed script, I seem to be fine, it’s the off the cuff conversation that I now find so difficult

The other day I was in conversation with my next door neighbour, he asked which way hubby travels to work. I started off explaining directions, then found myself getting so confused.

I didn’t realise I had given him the wrong directions until he questioned me.

Realising, I was in fact directing him to the park!

The park of course is one of my favourite places to visit. I wonder if thats why I gave him those directions? Who knows!

Trying to correct myself, I got into a bit of a muddle.

In the end I just said “ I don’t really think I’m the best person to ask” Trying to laugh it off.

Underneath I was feeling quite embarrassed, I couldn’t remember the names of landmarks, like the pub on the corner of the road or the roundabout or junction, or the road names. All the names had completely disappeared!

Dementia is an expert at taking things it’s a sneaky thief!

I find myself agreeing or nodding my head in conversations now.

I think it’s away of trying to cover up my lack of understanding.

If I look interested, I think people will assume I have understood or I know what they are talking about.

Not always the case!

I think I’m getting quite good at covering up and changing the subject!

Whoops I think I may have just given my secret away!

Diary – An afternoon in the craft room

Wednesday 21st September 2022

Back in my craft room today, not been in for a while.

I seem to have lost interest in so much over the last month or so.

I am constantly trying to find inspiration, I think we all get a little bogged down, doing the same things over and over.

I could do with a little excitement, a change.

I go into my craft room thinking of what I could make…Oh yes I have to make a card for a young gentleman whom will be 100 next week!

100 Wow!

I mess around thinking of what to put on the card and eventually come up with this

Then I decide to make some Christmas Cards. This year I thought I would do a few watercolour painted cards.

So I make a start on the small watercolour paintings.

I have enjoyed my little self and time has passed so quickly.

All I have to do now is to make them into cards, far too tired to carry on today. That job is definitely for another day.

Funny how crafting occupies your mind, time passes so quickly…Too quickly sometimes, as before I knew it, it was time for tea!

Diary – Back at the nature reserve

Tuesday 20th September 2022

I’m back at the nature reserve this morning. (Thursday 8th September) Yes, I have the car today! At the moment me and hubby are car sharing as hubby’s car is still in the garage…Car covid I think!

It was a bit of a cloudy start to the day, looks like rain could be heading our way. I’m not bothered as I’m in one my favourite places.

I think the ducks have missed me!

As soon as I am spotted they are straight out the pond!

I haven’t even completed my walk yet!

They should know I don’t feed them until I reach the trip trap bridge!

Not this morning!

It was so comical as they waddled along behind me, following my footsteps.

Happily quacking away.

What a greeting!

Eventually I make it to the trip trap bridge where not only have I a large following of ducks, but also a flock of seagulls flying around my head

All my feathered friends enjoying their breakfast.

I leave the pond and head off back towards the car.

Calmness is resumed!

I spot this little one nestled on top of the old stone wall, quietly watching the world.

I approach slowly to capture a photo, but as soon as I’m spotted he’s off.

Back at the car, Toby leaps in to the back of the car, he lies down with a thud. Waiting patiently while Im sorting myself out, putting my camera gear in the footwell of the car, he knows that when I’m sorted he will definitely get a treat before we set off for home.

Treat given, as he smacks his lips, a big lick of the tongue around his long black furry snout, off we go.

Just as I am driving out of the nature reserve towards the the lane, I see birds swooping around, I stop the car and sit watching…Oh no a pigeon is being terrorised by two hawks, well I think they are hawks.

I stop the car, pick my camera up from the footwell and watch the birds swooping and diving. Wow, they are moving far to fast for me to get a clear shot. Not brilliant trying to capture a shot through the car windscreen!

I slowly and quietly get out of the car, one of the hawks lands on the fence, click with my camera hoping I have captured.

The hawks have spotted me! Off they fly into the trees…Wow!

What an end to my walk.

Diary – Beach Walks

Thursday 15th September 2022

Over the last 5 days I have had my walking routine disrupted as hubby’s car has picked up a very serious car bug!

Definitely not firing on all cylinders!

Hubby is now having to use my car to be able to get to work every day, which means I cannot have my early mornings at the Nature Reserve.

This has resulted in me walking to the beach more.

Last Tuesday, I set off with Toby by my side and camera over my shoulder.

It was a cloudy morning, with sunny spells.

The clouds masking the sun made the air much cooler.

The beach was quiet, only the odd dog walker passing as we walk on the shoreline.

I click away with my camera to the background noise of the sea lapping the shore.

Such a calming sound, instantly relaxes.

I spot a conch shell, broken but interesting. I kneel on the sand and begin to take photos

I’m ok getting down…it’s the getting up that is not a pretty sight.

My hip doesn’t want to work, I use Toby as a prop to stabilise my movement…Poor Toby!

I spot a couple of birds which land just at the waters edge, now they have taken to darting around on the sand looking for food. Boy they are quick!

I spy another bird it’s a Tunstone camouflaged upon the rocks

A cormorant flys past, my reaction is a little slow to capture a good shot.

We sit on the beach.

There I just take in my surroundings, the noises, the smells, the views

What a view it is!

The vast open sea, I can just about see Wales to my left and the Lake District to my right.

It’s the sound of the sea that captivates me this morning.

A few shots of Mary’s Shell, then we leave in the direction of home.

Today I’m drawn to walk through Jubilee Gardens, I can see little birds flitting around, sparrows and goldfinches playing. They look like the are having a picnic, as they all burry their heads in the green damp dewy grass, picking at the seeds.

A man shouts across…” oy what you filming?”

Me – “ I’m not filming I’m taking photos”

Man – “ what you taking photos of there’s nothing there”

I did question myself as I start to walk away.

Me – “I can see lots of goldfinches and sparrows” ( secretly hoping they are around and I’m not seeing things)

Man – Well I can’t see anything!

I smile and walk on.

As soon as I get in the house I load up my photos.

See, I wasn’t seeing things!

The camera never lies 😊

Diary – Repercussions

Wednesday 14th September 2022

A family get together, or a couple of zoom calls in a day can have its repercussions.

So why do i keep on doing these things that give me the fuzzy woozy head ?


Because I want to carry on with my life as normal as I possibly can, for as long as I possibly can.

24 – 48 hours of fuzz is not a lot to deal with really.

Not when you are having such a good time with family.

Or even captured an audience of people, whilst delivering a talk.

I might not think so when the foggy fuzz is consuming my head.

The main thing is, the previous day I had very much enjoyed myself.

I was happily making memories.

I am ever hopeful that eventually there will be a better understanding of Early onset dementia.

Dementia Does Not Instantly Mean The End

I may not attend lots of zoom calls now, as my screen time does cause me issues. There is always other ways to reach people…Blogging, art, crafts or speaking to people in person.

We are all different in how we manage our disabilities, there is no right or wrong way.

Some will sit back, loosing interest in the world around them

Me …I’m the total opposite!

I’m trying to live the best possible life I can, by doing the things that I love…the things that give me a little boost, like nature, my camera and my crafts.

I’m always on the lookout for something to keep me going!

Diary – Let’s Bake!

Tuesday 13th September 2022

Saturday morning I always bake, it has become part of my Saturday routine now.

I do occasionally get a little fed up of baking the same things, but I do think following the recipes will keeps my brain going.

Baking now sometimes it’s not perfect, I do have a few mistakes, hiccups and disasters along the way.

Luckily, I have not set the house on fire yet!

The odd baking tray has been cremated, along with the biscuits!

Hey! I have made some great charcoal !

Last week one of my neighbours brought me some pears from his garden pear tree, so I made pear and apple crumble…Mmmm now that was good.

Yesterday my neighbour brought more…a whole lot more pears !

Time to have a go at Pear tart tatin. I have never made one before so anything can happen.

I start by getting all the ingredients ready and placing them on the work surface.

I have the recipe printed out and a pen handy to tick things off as I go along.

Let the baking begin!

For some unknown reason I got distracted in my recipe book and meringues and pastas de natta, jumped into my head, so I ended up making Meringues.

Meringues successful, can’t wait to eat one of those!

Next I thought I would have a go at pastel de natta, the Portuguese custard tart.

That bake didn’t go very well, disastrously really!

Smoke alarm going off!

Panic! Can’t stand the noise!

I wave the kitchen towel around frantically under the alarm to disperse smoke, hoping the alarm stops soon.


Mmmm not quite as I expected, a little burnt. I have no idea what has happened to the custard filling. It was more like a cake!

Then comes the Tart tatin.

Looks ok.

Proof will be in the eating!

One thing I know for sure is…I should only bake one thing at a time! Took far too much on, for my head to cope with today.

Did have a nice treat…

A piece of the tart tatin with ice cream.

Cake always makes things better 😋

Diary – Sad and so fuzzy

Monday 12th September 2022

I wake on Friday 9th September to the fuzz.

The feeling is like everything inside my head is all jangling about, feels a little like a pinball machine. The metal ball bearing rolling around, not quite connecting.

So hard to focus today

I go to the washing machine to load some laundry, once an easy task. Today so difficult.

I’m turning the dial trying to find the correct program, this is something that usually takes me seconds. Not this morning, it’s like owning a brand new washing machine, unsure of what each symbol on the dial means.

I select a program, fingers crossed, I hope for the best. Deep down I have a feeling it’s wrong…Too late now the machine is filling with water!

Oh they are only clothes!

In the kitchen I sit with a cup of tea looking out into the garden. I can see the garden mouse scurrying across the patio, hiding in between the plant pots. Such a cute little mouse!…Then again there is most probably more than one mouse!

I can hear Stephen Seagull calling from our rooftop, he can be so loud! Funny how his calls don’t bother me, in fact I love the sound.

Always reminds me of the seaside…Oh yes I live at the seaside!

I turn the tv on, all the TV channels are in respect of Queen Elizabeth whom died yesterday ( Thursday 8th September)

I watch for a short while, but then experience a deep wave of sadness.

I turn off the TV

I’m not being disrespectful, I’m just finding it all quite overwhelming.

Such feelings of sadness for a person I had never even met. Yet it’s like I knew her in a strange way.

After all she was the longest reigning monarch in British history, personally have never known anything else, along with hundreds of thousands other people.

The reaction to her death has been global. So when I turn on the tv, I can see the sadness, hear the sadness in peoples voices.

It’s such a sad, sad day!

When there is a death of a famous or prominent figure, the world is sad, we sighs a little but then we seem to move on.

This has felt totally different, the worlds reaction on Thursday evening was much more heartfelt, at times quite intense.

The outpouring of grief that is over flowing on social media sites and on tv is world wide…so much sadness.

Will the monarchy ever be the same again?

The poems the sketches that have been shared are just beautiful.

The Jubilee sketch will always stay with me, so I will end on a memory of Our Great Queen having fun with Paddington Bear