Saturday, January 30, 2021

It's a Bird World

 Dateline: Golden Beach, Florida

A gorgeous morning on the beach - chilly by Florida standards but who's complaining? In Cattaraugus County it's 19F and scattered snow showers. 
I ambled along picking up some pretty shells, looking at fishing boats on the horizon and then spied a typical Florida beach scene.

The hopeful heron was waiting for handouts - as they do.

He had no luck while I was watching but stuck around patiently,  completely ignored by the fisherman, for whom, no doubt, it was old news.

I think they call it coexistence.
Meanwhile, a few days ago, I heard raucous screeching and looked up.

To see a bunch of parakeets partying on the cable. That surprised me. I thought they were all in southern England.

It appears to be nesting season here and the cathedral ospreys are making themselves comfortable again on the conning tower - sorry, spire.

And the ibises continue to land where and when they want, in this case strutting along the pavement on Venice avenue.

I like the way they cluck contentedly to themselves, happy in their own world.
As to the question of who runs Florida. I can tell you it's the birds.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Wild Surfing Scenes

Dateline: Golden Beach, Venice, Florida

  Rewind to last weekend and a sunny but spectacularly blustery day. We had driven up to the jetty to watch a sailing race and got caught up in a queue of cars shuffling their way along. There was no sailing race - they would have been crazy to leave harbour - but the surfers were out and everyone wanted to see them. The sea was thundering over the end of the normally tranquil jetty.

And the surfers were like so many ants in the water. 

 There were kitesurfers

and even a daredevil windsurfer racing back and forth.

Ever hopeful, ever prepared, a perpetual eye on the marine forecast, they had no doubt come from far and wide, jumping into their campervans and identical black wetsuits and like an army of commandos converging on the tiny jetty car park where waves crashed against the (probably imported) rocks in a most un-Florida-like scene.

Word had got around - it wasn't California exactly but impressive for the Gulf Coast version  of Venice.

Afterwards the surfers hung wetsuits out to dry, swaying quaintly from a tree.

No doubt happy they'd seized the moment. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Moonlighting Lawyers

A funny thing happened the other day. You know those absurdities you get confronted with when you read a paper online? In amongst the real news, what there is of it, you get ads for all kinds of things like cures for constipation and nail fungus (what is it with nail fungus? It crops up everywhere.) Plus lurid doctored photos of celebrities with captions on the line of "You'll be amazed to see what she looks like now!" or alleged holiday snaps with, "This woman was taking a photo when this happened..." Of course they want you to click to feed your insatiable curiosity about what "this" was and then of course they've got you. I don't usually look very hard at the photos but this one caught my eye. The caption was "The most successful lawyers in Nokomis" - Nokomis being a town just to the north of us, here on the Florida Gulf Coast. 

  What a miracle. We all suspect we have doppelgangers. Well here were dead ringers for the Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) and his assistant Michael Carrick. Well, on closer inspection, the photo  actually was of Carrick and OGS, with their wives Lisa and Silje. So far as I know, none of them is a lawyer and I doubt any of them frequents Nokomis, Florida. The admen must have just dredged the internet to find a suitable photo. Do they know they've been rumbled?  Don't they know even Florida has Man United fans? The Glazers come from up the road in Tampa. The lads had better watch out. They'll soon be wielding calls about dodgy accident injuries from litigious Floridians. 
  There might be an explanation forthcoming if I click. Perhaps the foursome have day jobs after all.  Perhaps they are getting their undercover law degrees in the pic. But I am not going to click.

 While on the subject of the lads above. I can't resist appending the following: 

As I said to hubby, we probably have just 24 more hours to enjoy it.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Let's Be Grateful

 Pretty scenes at the jetty yesterday on a chilly January day by Florida standards. There was one diehard surfer in the water, paddling along in a wetsuit. The sky was like a design magazine, full of trendy grey and yellow. A few people who'd hoped to come to Florida for some winter sun were in denial, braving the elements in shorts and T-shirts.

But there are worse places we could be. Even if we still can't manage to get in line for vaccines, the places all being taken by Canadians - so my neighbours grumble. The governor having made the mistake of doing an Angela Merkel and virtually saying that anyone over a certain age is welcome to get a vaccine in Florida. I wondered why there were so many private jets landing at the airport at the weekend. The latest villains are the gamers who allegedly have faster internet connections (and faster wrist action) than normal people and are snapping up all the appointments. But we have to look on the bright side. How about a selection of good things about the present situation?
1) We are not in Washington DC. The sky has not fallen in. Our rubbish is being collected and we're getting our mail, even if it's three weeks late. And that includes Christmas cards so we can have an extended festive season.
2) My neighbours are so shocked at recent events that no one is even mentioning politics.
3) I Zoomed the other day with distant relatives I hadn't seen for 40 years. It was wonderful. If it wasn't for all the Covid business,  I probably wouldn't have done it. 
4) The days are getting longer. Allegedly.

5)  (Best of all) I can talk to myself while walking around the supermarket in my mask and no one notices. let's be grateful for what we can get.

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Football Test

 People in Britain used to talk about something called the "cricket test" (a controversial phrase coined back in the day by Conservative politician Norman Tebbit) suggesting that if you were an immigrant and supported your country of origin instead of England at cricket, you were deemed in some minds not to be really British. Well here we have the football test, as exemplified by hubby yesterday. The Buffalo Bills were playing a Florida team, the Miami Dolphins, in a match the significance of which was unclear to me but evidently extremely important. "Who are you going to support?" I asked him. He looked at me as if I was mad. "The Bills of course, what did you think?"  And he spent the afternoon deliriously thumping the air and screaming "Yessssssssss!!'  Observe the numbers below. The Bills earned 56 points! 56! Wow! Even I know that's one for the history books (The fish (sic) did get a few more later but the Bills still won magnificently.)

I'm happy for the Bills, who have some of the most loyal supporters in the country, who turn out to cheer them on in the most evil western New York snowstorms. They haven't had much good fortune over the years, though at least they were saved the ignominy of being sold to Canada. Now Bills fans can dare to hope that they might - just might, reach the Super Bowl. There are still some obstacles on the way but explaining them is above my pay grade.

So I can't blame hubby. I'm not about to start supporting the Tampa Bay Rowdies instead of the Red Devils either. Of course we're talking about proper football there. Those two sides are never likely to play each other.