A wonderful weekend

August 8, 2009 at 10:48 am | Posted in Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments
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Last weekend was almost perfect … it would have been pretty much perfect if it wasn’t for the dratted hospital … but more of that later!

On Friday I went to stay with a friend on the north Norfolk coast and in the evening we went nightjar watching … or nightjar listening at least. It really was a magical experience – imagine standing in a woodland clearing, near dark, with no one else around (except my friend of course) and hearing something like this recording on the Natural Suffolk blog. And we didn’t just hear them – we saw the male and female, and heard the male’s ‘wing clapping’ display flight. I’m not a bird watcher, even if my friend is proud to be a ‘birder’ and refutes the fact that she’s a ‘twitcher’ although that’s highly debatable, but that was just an unforgettable experience. I have dismally failed to convince either my mother or hubby about how exciting this was … I’ve probably failed to convince you too, but if you have a listen to the recording you might get some feel for what it was like!

It was slightly more successful than our afternoon jaunt to search for black darter dragonflies. Apparently they’re common’s’muck in the area we went and my friend never fails to spot them … with the exception of this time, of course. Clearly they were all shouting ‘Penguin alert, Penguin alert’ and diving for cover in the reads … that’s hubby’s theory, anyway. We still had a very enjoyable walk though, and saw many other dragonflies and damselflies and a number of other interesting things that we totally failed to identify, not helped by the fact that I’d left my camera at my friend’s house so couldn’t take pictures to identify later!

Saturday morning was a rather more successful trip to Holme Dunes, where I took some photos of six spot burnet and common blue butterfly on sea holly that I’m rather pleased with. I’ll post a couple here.

Common Blue Butterfly on Sea Holly

Common Blue Butterfly on Sea Holly

Six-spot Burnet moth, Holme, Norfolk

Six-spot Burnet moth, Holme, Norfolk

Needless to say really, having just described several walks and quite a bit of standing around, the RA is behaving itself rather well … and continues to do so. This weekend the same friend is coming here to go ‘damselfly twitching’ locally to me, where the rare Scarce Emerald Damselfly (Lestes dryas)
can be found. (Interestingly (I think) it’s common as anything in the US and is known as the common spreadwing, but here it’s really quite rare.)

Scarce Emerald Damselfly, Lestes Dryas, The Brecks, Norfolk

Scarce Emerald Damselfly, Lestes Dryas, The Brecks, Norfolk

I know this is an RA blog and not a natural history blog, but I’m celebrating the lack of RA (and the sunshine of course) by indulging in a much more fun interest than my health! One RA related thing though – the aforementioned hospital annoyance. I got back home on Saturday evening to find a letter from them – your appointment <which had been booked since March 2009 incidentally> has been cancelled due to the fact that the health professional you were due to see will be on annual leave. It’s been moved from September 2009 to … wait for it, wait for it … March 2010!! I will be posting separately about this when I have the time! In the meantime I shall just say Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. And bloomin’ good job the RA’s OK right now!



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  1. Do those dragon flies fly backwards then (back darters?). We always go looking for them on the back woods walk at Holkham, were wonderful this year. Dragonflies generically, not back darters. I didn’t even know there were more than one kind! Very sorry to hear about the appointment. There’s been some similar on the NRAS forum, are you there? One poster said their trust was book-clearing for expected flu related meltdown once autumn comes. Rheumatology…huh?

  2. Hi Franky, Hope you had a good holiday! Lol! I meant ‘black darters’ but the L on my keyboard doesn’t work very well and I didn’t notice it hadn’t typed it! There are 52 species of dragonfly in the UK if you include migrants, so yes, lots more than one kind!! I haven’t been to Holkham this year – it’s a bit distant for me unless I go to stay with my friend up on the coast, but I do love it there.

    As to hospital not flu in this case – it’s that they used to have 4 nurse practitioners and suddenly they’re down to two – or two-and-a-bit. One’s drastically reduced her hours and the other’s gone off to specialise in JRA apparently. So we have a mad situation where the two nurse practitioners are supposed to see as many patients as the umpteen consultants and registrars! It’s a long story but it boils down to ‘bugger off unless you’re dying’.

  3. Sounds like a lovely weekend! Glad you enjoyed it and the RA behaved itself.

  4. I think everyone in my family is super into that watching so you convinced me. 🙂 I think the most beautiful things in the world are the things you find when you just spend some time outside. Oh, and the appointment cancelled for leave???? Until March 2010- that’s quite a break!

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