Monthly Archives: November 2009

The pigeon (kapota) and the Holly Tree

JUST OUTSIDE my kitchen here in Oxford is a surpassing – perhaps egregious Holly Tree.

Obviously, in Oxford, the Ivy is involved.♦

The bounty of fruits has been pretty fab in Englandland this year, and my Holly Bush provided a surfeit of er berries, surpassed by spiky holly things.

So this Wood Pigeon has been snaffling the berries for the last two or three weeks – I have no idea what the berries taste like to the daft bird.

The daft bird has been surfeiting on the Holly Berries just an arm’s length away from certain death if I was as much of a carnivore as I pretend.

But she or he has been asset stripping the berries for several weeks. And that makes me think that either the Holly spikes aren’t enough to protect from fat Wood Pigeons, or the fat Wood Pigeon is really, really stupid.

The Wood Pigeon escapes me snapping him

JUST OUTSIDE my tiny back yard is a tremendous Holly Bush – it was redolent with berries, just in time for Yuletide.

When I go out there, this huge Wood Pigeon sits there avoiding the thorns and snaffling up the berries.

It doesn’t care about me, it cares not for the thorns on the Holly Bush. I could reach it with my good arm and cook it for Yule. Obviously I would not do that.

But every  time I try and snap it from above or from below, the Wood Pigeon gets in a terrible flap. Only in Oxford. The robins and the wrens here are tame. There’s Ivy out there, too.  ♦

I get IDed in Austin

LAST WEEK I was in Austin, Texas. Home to a million bats – not all of which are evil, it seems. The atria are fantastic!

So I get to Austin TX airport on my way to Dallas and decide I’ll have a burger and a beer at the bar just opposite my “gate”.

You cannot buy an alcoholic drink there without showing a picture ID. Heck, I’m old, but the guy on my right was about 75 and he had to show his photo ID too.

I foolishly thought that America didn’t have ID cards – we still don’t in the UK despite the efforts of the fascists. I don’t have a driving licence, I had a passport at the bar.  I have an NUJ (National Union of Journalists) photo ID. It’s recognised by the Metropolitan Police.

Maybe I should have flashed that. So much for freedom and justice.

Ashmolean opens tomorrow. North Parade refurbed

THE ASHMOLEAN museum opposite the Randolph Hotel opens tomorrow, I’m looking forward to browsing through it at my leisure.

See this piece on TGD, here.

If you’re in Oxford, check out the Pitt Rivers museum too – it’s full of strange strange things like poppets and shrunken heads.

No shrunken heads in North Parade, where I live.  But they have widened the pavements in a strange chicane sort of way. No, I don’t work for the Oxford Tourist Board.

They do their atria so well in the USA

SO FOR THE first time in must be 16 or 17 years ago, we find ourselves in Austin, Texas.

The last time here, it was with IBM and they still were waxing lyrical about OS/2, bless it.

This time it’s with AMD, and I’m esconced in the Hyatt Regency, which has an atrium to be admired, with lifts whizzing up and down on the inside like there’s no tomorrow.

There is a tomorrow. Here’s a view of the inside of the hotel. We’re not far from the bridge of a million bats but we haven’t got to see them yet.