Dog Versus Robins

As the baby robins continue to grow, Agnes has taken a keen interest in their development, so much so that we’ve had to barricade her from the zen poo garden (or side yard) where the robins have taken up residence.

There are four babies in the nest, soft black fluffy bodies with giant gaping beaks constantly demanding food. The nest must be getting a little tight as the babies have grown in the past week.

Hard to see but there are two beaks

Poor Agnes is tormented by the adult robins who are extremely vocal in their dislike of her and stand on the fence shouting at her while she tilts her head and can’t understand why she isn’t welcome.

Another couple of weeks and we think they’ll be off!

A Clutch of Robins

We now have a nestful of small black baby robins with enormous beaks. Mr and Mrs Robin spend all day flying in and out of the window box feeding their offspring whilst looking more and more ragged.

While the babies don’t seem able to chirp yet, we do have a problem. 

Our badly-trained Welsh Terrier has taken quite an interest in the window box and has discovered the baby birds by standing on her back legs (something she can do for a long time). Combined with terrier curiosity and a lack of understanding that she can’t play with, eat or disturb them, we are trying to warn the dog off without disturbing the birds.

We’re quite keen for the babies to fly the nest now but that will bring its own challenges. I don’t fancy picking up baby robins learning to fly before the dog gets them… and so Agnes is banished to the house unless under strict supervision.

Nature. Not always convenient!

Terriers at large

Sunday morning and Agnes and I went to meet a girl with a dog, a Welsh Terrier that is!

We’d met during a visit to the Heath when we stumbled into a Welsh Terrier meet up and were suddenly surrounded by black and tan carbon copies of Agnes. 

It was a lovely day on the Heath, a family of swans with five cygnets paddled around on one of the ponds; there was a Whippet meet up with about fifty whippets all wearing flat caps and there were two Welsh Terriers, one decidedly better behaved than the other and suffice to say, the well-behaved one wasn’t ours!

Edward was a nice sedate terrier who trotted along calmly taking in his surroundings whilst Agnes was a nutcase running around like a maniac who couldn’t be caught. Chaos reigned!

Eventually I caught Agnes before she disappeared over the horizon and she was on the lead for the rest of the walk. 

We had a lot in common apart of the training of our dogs and so hopefully there’ll be more Welsh Terrier get-togethers in the future!


Back to Golborne Road

As the French house is looming on the horizon, we decided to go to Golborne Road at the top of Portobello Road in Notting Hill for a little pre-emptive brocanting.

Golborne Road has changed a little in the last few years and is starting to gentrify. There’s still a traditional market and food stalls, a Portuguese bakery and an old Pie and Mash shop but now interspersed with galleries, minimal Scandinavian food, upscaled furniture and vintage chandeliers.

We managed to find an old wooden cupboard perfect for towels and bedding which helps solve our storage problems. For £30 it was a bargain and after a lot of hefting and ultimately getting a taxi, we brought it home to sit in the hall while we decide whether to paint or polish it. I’m tempted to try out chalk paint and wax which may go horribly wrong but for £30 not a huge investment.

Decisions, decisions!


The new vet

After being muzzled during our last vet visit (me not the dog) it was time to find someone else. A referral is always important and when we received a wonderful recommendation for a nearby vet, we decided to go immediately as Agnes had been winking at us again.

We spent an hour in the vet’s office, the entire time consisting of Agnes being stroked and given treats in order to build her confidence. She is now very vet-shy after her last experience so it’s going to take a while.

We spent the weekend applying eye ointment by sneaking up behind the dog and with the combination of some pain relief, the Little Dog’s eye seemed much improved.

And the best news of all, no one was muzzled!

Friends in Town

It was a nice couple of days as we had friends from LA visiting overnight. 

We were busy catching up when we received a large envelope containing our mortgage offer from France. Another step forward! We now have a week to review everything and either accept or respond. Exciting stuff!

We spent the evening eating raw food at the rather good Nama restaurant in Notting Hill, it seems to be the best raw food restaurant in London which is conveniently only five minutes away from us. How lucky is that?!

Wipe Out!

It was a wet morning, I was cycling to work and I was turning right. Nothing out of the ordinary there, I do it every day.

Suddenly another cyclist overtook me on my right side and took me out. I was knocked off and dragged along the ground. Unable to stop or save myself, I heard myself shout and then I was lying on the road; wet, shaken and bruised.

We were both at fault and both running a red light on a bike path. I hadn’t signalled and he shouldn’t have overtaken me but I certainly came off worse!

In the end all was well. I got back on my bike and cycled the rest of the way to work slowly.

Given that I’ve been cycling for over two years and this is the first incident, I’ve done pretty well. Luckily I was wearing my helmet, luckily I was wearing several layers of clothes including a now very dirty high viz jacket and luckily it wasn’t a car.

Lesson learned.

Waiting Impatiently

It seems we’re waiting for things other than eggs to hatch. Plans are hatching but they’re incubating very slowly and we’re getting impatient!

We’ve been approved for the mortgage and insurance for La Maison Bourgeoise (so called as it’s on the Chemin de Bourge), everything is moving forward but we don’t have a completion date and so we’re in limbo.

Summer can’t be planned, finances are unknown and until we have a date, we don’t know if this dream will be a reality.

Waiting impatiently for news…


Mrs Robin

We have a little robin nesting in one of our window boxes.

It’s not perhaps the best location as there are magpies, squirrels and a small dog around but she’s made a nest under the leaves of a tired winter cyclamen and all that can be seen is a small brown feathered face and two little black eyes peeping out.

Every morning and evening Mrs Robin comes out, stretches her wings and flies off in search of food before quickly returning.

We haven’t seen the eggs yet. I don’t want to scare her away but hopefully in the next couple of weeks we’ll hear some tiny demanding babies from the window box. I can only hope they’ll be safe from prey.

We were about to replant the window boxes for spring but now we wait…

Celebrating Sunday

On Sunday there was nothing to celebrate so we just went back to the Prince Alfred and sat on the street enjoying a tiny bit of sunshine. Perhaps that was something to celebrate?!

There was a nice group of people, Agnes made new friends and we feel we’ve found our local.

I think I’d like to live in Little Venice but perhaps distance is a good thing!