Sunday, December 11, 2005


beware the squirrels!
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up folks

Sorry it's been a while, but me and the missus (and Robin!) have been away for a lovely relaxing week in the Lake District, in the north of England. No mobile phones, no internet, just lots of relaxation and walking and good food. And now back in London and back to work tomorrow. Sigh...

Anyway, thought you might like this sign, which we saw just outside the village of Patterdale. The Lake District is one of the very few places left in England that still have red squirrels - as, sadly, their grey cousins have taken over. As Wikipedia puts it:-

"Although not thought to be under any threat worldwide, the Red Squirrel has drastically reduced in numbers in the United Kingdom. Under 200,000 individuals are thought to be left, approximately 70 to 75% of which are in Scotland. This population decrease is likely to be due to the introduction of the Eastern Grey Squirrel from North America as well as the loss and fragmentation of its native woodland habitat."

If that above stat is right, and most of them are in Scotland, then there are less than 50,000 of them in England - so naturally we have to look after them, hence the crossing! We saw two of the little cuties outside our cottage, so it seems to be working.

So, onto your 'off-topic' questions. At the moment, no, it doesn't look like we are going to the Winter Olympics. We were toying with it for a while, but now we've got my wife's 14 year old sister coming to stay with us in London for one of the two weeks, so it doesn't look like we'll make it. We will though, be going to the World Cup in Germany (the soccer tournament) so Robin will definitely be there.

As for pictures of Robin with Christmas trees and lights - yes, we go pretty big on that here too. I shall get onto it when I'm back in central London tomorrow...

Hope you're all well and that you've managed to get most of your Christmas shopping done.


Anonymous said...

That squirrel sign made me laugh! There is an albino squirrel on the university campus where I teach - it's always surprising to see it running up a tree. Can't wait to see Robin with the lights!

KJ in the USA

Anonymous said...

My favorite sign that I saw in the UK was a tank crossing one.

We have black squirrels where I'm from - definitely cute.