Bread And Cards


My contribution to garden maintenance this morning was to mow the patch of grass and to assist in the edge-trimming.

Doves and camellias

Later, Jackie continued with general planting and weeding. She chose not to disturb the trio of white doves nesting among glorious fallen camellia blooms.

Bread owl

Margery and Paul paid a visit, joined us for lunch, and produced payment for the cards sold at the exhibition. We also received an owl which reminded me of the first Margery Clarke Original we had been given. Margery is an excellent baker. The bird was a perfectly textured appropriately brown loaf, the feathers having been added by Paul.

Don’t we all, when cutting slices of an iced cake, avoid removing the decorations such as Santa on his sleigh? So it was when Jackie reached the beak. Sadly there was no way round it.

Our guests made the tour of the garden, being appreciative of the evolving developments. I was most impressed by Paul’s seemingly comprehensive knowledge of bird calls, especially of those we could not see.

This evening Jackie and I dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled onions, and pickled gherkins. We both drank Broadwood’s Folly English white wine.


  1. Such creative bread making! Being more of a bird listener than a bird watcher (my own ears are easier to carry than binoculars), especially of the unseen, I think I would have appreciated conversing with Paul about the calls and songs of birds. Can he mimic them also?

    1. Bread-making is great fun, like playing with plasticine which swells (the owl’s eyes went sleepy while cooking and had to be opened up to make them look like an awake owl!)
      Regrettably I can’t mimic any bird calls: would be a useful facility.
      Despite D’s impressed-ness [neologism?] my knowledge isn’t that comprehensive. Having learnt the common species, my ears are more tuned to noises that AREN’T part of that catalogue. As I explained to him today, learning them was very easy: site yourself at any bird haunt and (most significantly) stay still, and the birds you’ve inadvertently shooed away by arriving, forget your presence (goldfish-like recall, apparently) and come back within 10 minutes (pertinently, back down to their usual foraging levels). Thus you can SEE which bird is making which noise, making it easier to assimilate. Some of them would comfortably come within an arm’s length, though, at that proximity, they react to uncontrollable movements like one’s blink.
      About 10 – 12 species account for most of the song heard in an typical English woodland.

    1. We DID, though! Margery’s going to make Jackie a smaller one for permanent keeping. If you slow-/low-cook a baked loaf, you drive out the moisture, and they can be hung up as a decoration for (potentially) years, without suffering mould,etc.

  2. Wow – Lots to think about – I, also, am loathe to destroy the beautiful, no matter how delicious – but the bird call thing really got me – Thanks to Paul for the good way to learn calls – I, also know what I am used to – but when I hear something new I never know how to figure it out. How do you Google a sound? So – the sit still and wait is a good plan.

      1. I think Jodie’s issue (as is mine) is how you post a bird-call, or its mimicked sound, TO a search-engine for it work with. It’s fine if you know the name of the bird first, but they don’t hop around wearing sandwich-boards, or anything helpful like that.
        Becky’s app sounds a great idea, but recording birdsong is a tricky skill, and picking something unusual out of a background of other songs or sounds is something human ears can do, but microphones cannot. Example: starlings (great mimics) can ‘do’ car alarms, etc., but telling them apart from the electronic version takes a bit of training, which I bet BirdUp hasn’t been initiated into.

    1. I have an app on my mobile device that ‘listens’ to birdsong and then tells you what it is. It’s called BirdUp.

      1. I need to try that. Not sure how it would work with the sound of the traffic around here. I could use it when walking in the woods, though. Thanks so much for the tip.

  3. More owls – always good! Your well mown lawn is bigger than my tiny courtyard I think and the bird listening/watching lesson was invaluable! And I believe I am having my annual fish and chip dinner this evening πŸ™‚

  4. I love the owl. It was beautiful and also looked scrumptious. I used to be able to get cardinals to do call and response with me and mimic a meadow lark. Paul is right, though, you need to sit and identify by sight unless you have a bird whisperer with you who can ID.

    1. Well, who am I to comment… ?
      1-2-1, I reckon I could teach most people the common ones in about 30 mins. depending on the initiate’s capacity for remembering, and on the birds’ co-operation in actually appearing to ‘perform’.

      1. I’ve gone to the Cornell site to look up and listen to some bird songs and calls to see if they matched with the type of bird I thought I might be hearing.

  5. I absolutely love the owl loaf, looks delicious. The pictures are beautiful as usual. With the onset of summer am envying you as your garden won’t suffer as much as mine will. For now, it is almost as beautiful as yours though πŸ™‚

  6. I love the white doves nesting among glorious fallen camellia blooms. Beautifully done!
    The bread looks fun πŸ™‚

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