Saturday, February 18, 2006


Originally uploaded by goforchris.
I may have seen an ostrich before - in a zoo, perhaps - but to see a whole herd (flock? I shall call them a peck till someone informs me of the correct collective noun) pecking away beside the state highway was something else! Today I also encountered the closest thing to midges outside Scotland - I think they were sandflies, and they were black instead of grey and stripey, but the effect was very similar and we left!

Today became very warm indeed, so I was glad when the six o'clock gusts of wind began. Apparently this is why they grow such excellent Pinot Noir here - the hot days and chilly nights. We walked past a vineyard today and were deeved by the noise coming from - we discovered - small speakers hidden among the vines: the most dreadful cacophony of chirrups, screams and the noise my dial-up modem used to make when trying to connect to the Internet!

We assumed that this was to scare off birds; it certainly drove us away. Think of this over your next glass!

And another thing: Cromwell on a Saturday afternoon makes Dunoon seem like the hub of the universe. Everything closes except for the supermarket. The streets are empty. You can't get a coffee after 4pm. I suppose what I'm comparing it with is a resort somewhere warm like Crete or Spain, where they'd have a siesta and then open up again. Here it's as if the Sabbath descends early. And there are adverts every 7 minutes on the TV -all three channels.

I'm enjoying my book!


  1. Sorry, but it seems to be a "herd" ! Did you eat some?

  2. Walter9:25 PM

    Tsk, tsk, Chris. But, I suppose no-one knows everything. Groups of ostriches are called different names in New Zealand or Scotland on the one hand and the U.S. on the other. Note the tiny brain-case, the voracious appetite, and the storied inability to take concerted effective action when most needed. Shouldn’t it be obvious that groups of ostriches are properly referenced as either parliaments or congresses, depending on where they are found?
    (Undeterred by bun's correct designation)

  3. Good one, Walter - you're wasted on EC, you know!