Weekly Chat (Non-Osprey), 20 December 2020


I'm sending best wishes to everyone. I know this is a hard end to a hard year. I hope you all find some peace and joy for the season.

Cardinal in the Snow
Shenandoah National Park
US National Park Service/N.Lewis
Photo labeled public domain (copyright free)

  • DIANE – I hope there is not too much snow around you (or over you).

    We have a lovely sunny spring (!) day. Next-doors had a mid-morning party (perhaps kid’s birthday?). OK, as our state permits 50 people at home but maybe not for long. The covid outbreak in Sydney beach suburbs worsens. The Greater Sydney area has increased restrictions and other states prevent travel unless people quarantine on arrival. Our state has re-introduced border checks, covid testing on days 1, 5 & 12 of the quarantine if from Greater Sydney. Those from Northern Beaches not permitted to enter at all. Snap, suddenly people’s χmas plans are destroyed, but it is the only way to beat this virus.

  • Books don't need batteries. (Nadine Gordimei)

    A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. (George R R Martin)

    Reading brings us unknown friends. (Honore de Balzac)

  • Evening all and thank you Diane for your usual and welcome cheery start to the weeks.  Do hope you're managing to hang in there and staying warm in your little house in the woods.

    PatO:  Surely you're allowed to cross Tier 'borders' to go to the shops for essentials?  Yes, I suspect the crows made off with the rat, which had me wondering if the little bird flew off or what....

    AQ: Oz seems to have such sensible approach re shutting down borders between states.  Don't know why we don't have that.   Oh well, nobody asked me.  Love all the sayings re books and so true.....

    Re the new UK lockdown, UK niece sent me a silly text that was doing the rounds saying "Can't wait for Tier 6, when they tell us we can't even look out the window."

    Shortest day of the year for folks in the Northern Hemisphere on Monday.  And the longest for AQ. Our weatherman is forecasting rain about 8 days hence.  Here's hoping....

    Neighbor baked some fabulous little rolls and some cookies and delivered them today. The rolls were still warm from the oven. Slapped butter on one and scarfed half of it right then, then finished that off and had another for dinner.   :-)

  • Good morning
    A disconcerting start to the day.Looked out of bedroom window to see all outside security lights on front and back even the one above the back door of the garage. Hoping it's just a cat.... House alarm system is active so I'm not unduly nervous. The joys of living alone - I'm not going outside until daylight appears just before 9 am !
  • Sorry, forgot to say Thank You to DIANE for starting us off.
  • Probably just an animal has set them off, Heather. They are sensitive to any movement.

    (By the way, we had another visit from the Sparrowhawk here yesterday - he/she sat on our bird table looking around. Later, my OH saw it again and then a Magpie appeared and saw it off!!)

    Good Morning everyone, and thank you to Diane for starting us off, and for the jolly bird, so pretty.
  • Good morning, everyone from a mild but watery-sunny Tier 4. Annette - I'm sure nobody would fine me for walking a few yards over the border to the shop ... the nearest shop of any sort in Tier 4 is about six miles away - we really are on the edge!

    Heather - Wonder if you were listening to a fascinating programme on World Service in the wee small hours about Beethoven and his medical conditions? Really interesting, and gave a completely new (to me at least) perspective on some of my favourite music.

    Hope everyone has a good Sunday. I shall sit through an online church service shortly, then if the rain keeps away - doesn't look very likely at the moment, with that iron-grey sky! - I go out and do a bit of lake-lapping. Then an online carol service on Facebook this evening - actually from my own church!
  • Celebrate the return of the light!

    When I started this week's thread, I forgot to give the Solstice times and dates:

    U.K.: 10:02 a.m. on Monday, 21 December. This time of year is the shortest day and the longest night. After Monday, the days will begin to be longer. 

    California: 2:02 a.m. during the night of Sunday/Monday, 21 December. This time of year is also the shortest day and the longest night.

    Adelaide, South Australia: the Summer Solstice is at 8:32 p.m. on your Monday, 21 December--your longest day and shortest night.


    I'm sure you've all read about the once-in-a-lifetime "Great Conjunction," when Jupiter and Saturn will align in the sky and appear to become one giant star! It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020. INFO HERE

  • PAT - yes, I heard it! I agree, it was very interesting. I knew about his deafness but not all the other ailments and yes, the interpretation of how much his mood etc affected his compositions.
  • DIANE Thanks for that link. I've had stuff coming into my FB page about the 'Star of Bethlehem' but hadn't investigated.