Monday, January 18, 2021

Parakeets and Marcus Aurelius


After our rainy, miserable Saturday, we were rewarded with a beautiful sunny Sunday, with temperatures that seemed relatively comfortable for January (about 47º F, or 8º C). Olga and I took off for Hampstead Heath.

We had a nice walk, but it was very muddy. I even slipped and fell at one point -- fortunately I caught myself and managed to keep my clothes out of the mud. Olga was a little less energetic than usual so we did a slightly shorter loop around the woodsy areas of the north Heath, where all the squirrels live.
 

We saw a flock of green parakeets squawking in the trees. Olga lost her tennis ball as I was taking this picture -- like having slightly less energy, this seems to be a consequence of her age. She's just not as good at hanging on to things.


I stopped and sat under a tree for a moment to give us both a chance to rest. I was sitting on a root, so Olga, following my lead, sat on a root too!


On the way to and from the Heath, we always pass this curious apartment in Hampstead that is packed with books. They've been stacked up in this window for years -- all the years we've been walking there, I think -- with Marcus Aurelius's "Meditations" on top.

Once again, I was surprised by the number of people who were out and about. We're supposed to be locked down, but in Hampstead there were lines for coffee shops and food stands and the high street was pretty crowded. Olga and I kept our heads down and kept our distance as best we could.


Meanwhile, back home, Dave was pruning the roses in the garden. Even though we pruned them earlier in the season than usual, they had new growth already -- but only a tiny amount. Climate change!

38 comments:

  1. Olga sitting on the root reminded me of a video I saw this morning......a dog owner and a greyhound. The owner was limping along with one leg in plaster and using a stick.....the greyhound was hobbling on 3 legs beside him. Apparently he had spent over £300 on x rays etc. for the dog, but it turned out the dog was just copying him!

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    1. Ha! That's awesome! Dogs are so smart. They really do pay attention to what other members of the "pack" are doing.

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  2. It can be hard watching people (and yourself!) age, but the period is compressed with dogs and cats and it isn't great to watch a quick deterioration.
    I expect Marcus Aurelius's "Meditations" is a deliberate placement on the book pile, as people do in the background of their Zoom calls.

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    1. Yeah, it's sad to see Olga get older. She's always been so energetic. It's possible that Marcus is being displayed for prestige! It's definitely not my idea of fun reading.

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  3. Beautiful photos that all tell their own stories, as always! Sorry Olga hasn't been puppylike lately. I'm curious about that apartment, but I have a feeling I would NOT like to be inside.

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    1. LOL -- I agree. I bet it's a complete disaster in there.

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  4. Perhaps Olga is feeling depressed. Having tried and tried to catch squirrels, her lack of success would surely be a downer for anyone. She may need therapy.

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    1. Maybe we need to find her some old, slow squirrels so she can experience some success?

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  5. Olga is probably saying yes, I can get some rest too on a root. She look so cute sitting there. My fur babies is a copy cat from each other. I guess doing nothing is copying me. (lol)

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    1. Isn't that a cute picture? I couldn't believe it when she came and sat with me that same way.

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  6. Olga does look a little dejected at the loss of her ball.
    And I had no idea your garden was so large. Lucky you in the heart of London.

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    1. Yeah, we ARE lucky with the garden. It's much larger than most London gardens. Of course, we're just renting, so we'll have to give it up someday. :(

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  7. Olga sitting on a root like you is the sweetest thing.
    Bless her darling dog heart.

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  8. Sounds like a lovely day to be out if not a bit cool for my thin blood. The parakeets are cute up in the tree. Sweet Olga does looks like she thinks if sitting is good for you it's good for her too. The amount of people out and about is concerning. One of the members of my art challenge group was hospitalized this last weekend. He and his wife were exceptionally careful but they still got it. We've all been very worried about him. Last we heard, he should be moved out of ICU sometime today. Fingers crossed.

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    1. It's funny -- although it was 47º it didn't FEEL cold. In fact, some people were out in shorts! I think the sunshine made all the difference. I hope your friend is out of ICU and improving.

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  9. Love the photo of Olga sitting on the root. She is your furry companion in every way. So glad that you two got out there for a sunny-day walk.

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  10. The parakeets may not be native, but they do bring a splash of colour to this grey time of year.
    Good for you for keeping off the mud!

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    1. I actually really like the parakeets. Their noisy squawks add a lot of excitement to the wintry treetops!

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  11. I am envious of your sunshine. We have had quite a few gray days and I haven't gotten out for many walks. Not as much fun when I have to use the exercycle for my (almost) daily workout.
    I was surprised to see parakeets in the tree! Released pets? Or do they actually live in London? Thanks for the post!

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    1. The parakeets aren't native -- they escaped or were released here and have become feral. They're very well established, though, and can be seen in many parts of London.

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  12. I googled ring neck parakeets in London and discovered that there are thousands of them. They've been around many years. They're an amazingly adaptable bird. There is a good article at:

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jun/06/the-great-green-expansion-how-ring-necked-parakeets-took-over-london

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    1. Yeah, I've seen them all over the city. It is impressive how well they've managed to make themselves at home.

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  13. That photo of the books in the window reminds me of my bedside. I have three or four books there that get dusted (quarterly, as you know - ha!), but otherwise have not moved in a couple of years. Oops.

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    1. Ha! Well, there's something to be said for aspiration -- you obviously INTEND to read them at some point. :)

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  14. Have you seen the videos by Andrew Cotter and his dogs Olive and Mabel?
    I keep thinking how you and Olga could become stars - not just being our stars in the blogging world, I mean.
    Andrew Cotter is a BBC sports commentator (famous for his Wimbledon reporting) and since the virus scenario has turned his skills to commenting on his dogs and their activities. More here: https://youtu.be/Scx6e7pdceg

    Forgive me if you know all that already.

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    1. Yes! I have seen some Olive and Mabel videos. I didn't know Andrew Cotter was the person who made them or anything about his background, though. I probably have missed a trick with Olga, not making her more famous, but she'll have to be happy with my blog. :)

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  15. the confederate rose (not actually a rose but a mallow) has popped out a bit of new growth. I wasn't going to cut it back til next month but since we are having a spate of warm days I guess I'll do it this week. poor Olga. at least it was a tennis ball and not her kong. but oh yeah, you don't take it on you walks anymore.

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    1. Yeah, I've learned that hauling that Kong around is more trouble than it's worth!

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  16. I’ve always wanted the confidence to have an apartment window full of books
    Is so Hollywood

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    1. And the stereotype is that in Hollywood no one reads, so the window would just be for decoration -- with all the books untouched, like these!

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  17. Right On - Excellent Photo Of Olga Girl Sitting And Thinking - Be Well Brother Man

    Cheers

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    1. Thanks, T! She is deep in thought. At least as deep as she ever goes. LOL

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  18. How did you decide on Olga's name? It seems perfect for her.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. We considered many names before settling on Olga. It seemed like a good name because she was built like a stocky bruiser of a dog, and "Olga" just has that vibe. Like a Bulgarian weightlifter.

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    2. My son had a dog who resembled Olga. Her name was Stella, but we did not name her.

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