Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Another anniversary.


Some people euphemistically call this particular 'thing', an 'event'.
They did when I was in hospital, and when I came out. I couldn't understand it.

I refer, of course, to the heart attack I had 3 years ago to the day.

Scared the crap out of me, mainly after the paramedic had told me what had happened. It had happened in the middle of the night, and I thought it was just a bad case of feeling unwell. Very unwell. It didn't occur to me it was anything that serious, so I didn't ring the doctor until the morning.
I did a post about the events here, after I came back from hospital.

Now, time is a great thing. At first you're scared to do pretty much anything, or eat anything, but after a while you get to thinking, 'what the hell'.
Well I did, anyway.
My complete outlook on life has changed though.
I'd raced my way through the '60's, and surprisingly got this far. I wasn't going to let a cheese sandwich scare me.
I'm still off the cigarettes, but most of the other foods I'm enjoying again. And a drink. They say everything in moderation. Fine, if you're an oven.

I'm older, in the last 3 years. Not wiser, but I take the days as they come. I got made redundant a few months after the heart attack, and thinking about it, being made redundant was the best thing to happen. I don't work now; some days it's hard enough walking a rough terrain, or going uphill, after losing 40% of the heart.
But I get up when I want, and do what I want. Perfect. It's just I can't do some of the things as quickly as I used to, and some of the things I can't do at all.

I don't take all my tablets like I should do, even after having a bit of a scare walking up a hill in Wales a few months ago.
And I've got very cynical. Some would say a miserable old sod. A grumpy old man.
Yea, I'm happy with that description.
I prefer the company of animals. Birds especially. I've a few friends that I've met whilst swanning round the countries nature reserves, and on the internet; good friends. But I'm not one for big gatherings and social occasions.

I'm in a couple of local bird groups, and I can honestly say, I've yet to come across a more pompous, ignorant bunch of tossers. A few exceptions, but on the whole, nah.
But that's a whole new post.

The point of all this, is not to draw sympathy. Yea, there are a lot more people who are worse off than me. Like I said, I'm enjoying it all, (mostly), at the moment. There has been some real lows. I lost my cat one year, then I lost Jim last year. It gets lonely, sometimes, but for the most part, I'm having a great time.
And why not.
You never know if when you go to bed, you're gonna wake up again.

Right, some pictures. All the garden one's were taken through the back door glass.

The birds are having a real hard time at the moment, with all the snow and cold weather we're having. If you can put some food out for them where you are, please do. And water. Fresh, unfrozen water is as important as food. If you don't have a garden, put some food out in the street. They'll find it. And if you get strange looks from other folk, tell 'em to 'sod off.' Works for me.

Blackcap, male

Blackcap, female

Pied Wagtail. Only visits my garden when there is snow.


A couple more of them

 Doing Waxwing impressions with some rose hips


Mistle Thrush

 Pied Wagtail, again

Blackcap, female, again

And the last one, although by no means a perfect picture, it was one I was pleased to get. I'd planted some Teasel in the garden, specifically for Goldfinches.

 So good to see ones efforts work.

I hope all these wake up again in the morning; and yourselves.


  1. It doesn't seem like three years.
    Good of you to be so understanding of your fellow birders.
    Some days feeling old is a chore. I am never sure whether I would like to be twenty again.

  2. I for one am glad that you are still alive and kicking Keith. Your continued and tireless pursuit of all things nature, especially birds, is an inspiration to the rest of us. Just keep a steady pace and don't over do it. Don't go back on the cigarettes (I wont say fags because our US friends get the wrong idea.) {:))
    You right about enjoying life while you can though, as I have been to too many funerals of ex colleagues younger than myself. So hang in there.

  3. Wow as a bit of a late comer to your blog I never knew you went through all that, it's a true sign of your character Keith that you've carried on as normal (as much as possible)whilst others might have thrown the towel in. I look forward to the post about birding groups, I did one about "proper" birders and on the whole the majority get up and walk off, don't respond to my emails etc so becareful but it did teach me who was "alright" as they were the ones who don't run a mile when they see me :)
    Great images mate I love the one with the three Fieldfare on the ground, great low angle.
    p.s. No spam since your suggestion, thanks mate.

  4. That's some deep and poignant words there Keith, especially for a miserable, grumpy old sod !
    I don't know if congratulations is the right word? well done, maybe? but I guess if you've made it this far the best thing to do is to keep on doing what you've been doing and.... carry on enjoying yourself! ( a little less 'campanology' etc. perhaps!!).
    And, in any case, I hope you're going to hang around for a long time yet as I've enjoyed our wildlife watching days out together and I'm looking forward to many more to come.
    And another thing, if you're not around who's going to keep those grownups in check?
    All the best, mate....and stay safe!

    Great set of images btw. especially the Fieldfares pretending to be Waxwings...[;o)

  5. Thanks Adrian. Time flies when yer having fun. Fellow birders, hmmm, yes, I try to be understanding, but difficult at times. Keep warm.

    Cheers Roy, thanks for that.
    Yea, I don't miss the ciggys at all. It's just a shame that most of the things I like are supposed to be bad for me. At least I'll go out smiling. lol

    Thanks Doug, thanks for your comments. Yea, these grown up birders are a strange breed in general. Be interesting to see the response lol
    Glad the suggestion worked. :-)

    Yea, one of my lighter moments Trevor. lol
    Maybe some areas of my life need a little restraint; I'll try.
    Looking forward to next lot of trips when the weather is a bit more sensible.

  6. It really doesn''t seem like three years Keith! I still remember the shock I felt when I read about it. Sorry to hear you had a problem while in Wales, it always worries me that you push yourself too much sometimes. You really should take all your medication and as Trevor mentions go easy on the campanology ;-) I do completely understand the diet thing, I try to stick to the 'right' food but it is so boring and I can't keep to it completely! I absolutely understand the uncertainty bit as well having had another similar incident last year (I didn't mention it on the blog this time) to the one I had in 2011. Nothing on a par with your experience of course but even so, frightening and leaving a sense of insecurity! As for the 'social occasions' and preferring the company of wildlife, I'm completely with you there, but then I've always been like that. All the very, very best for the future Keith...the wildlife needs you (especially Doris, Robin and Crow)....and so do we!!

    Love the pictures. I usually have a snowy weather Pied Wagtail too but not so far this time. Have had Fieldfare, Brambling and Redwing though :-) Love the photo of the three Fieldfares and the ones with berries, also the 'classic' Goldfinch shot!

    Sorry the comment is so long, I do realise I waffle on too much...

  7. Your doing well Keith. And about drinking, well, I could drink 9 pints and now one pint, that pisses me off. Keep on birding Keith.

  8. Hi Keith,
    Glad you made it through, it must have been a concern at the time, but your philosophy of 'What the hell' seems about right to me! ;)
    Birding groups can be strange, I belong to a couple and some of the comments aimed at people leave a lot to be desired! Again, I leave people like that to their own devices. Some birders seem to forget that they once were new at this sort of thing and can be extremely rude at people who make mistakes. Birders bemoan about the youth and where are the new birders going to come from, but when Mr old git, or not so old in some cases, takes the mickey because you miss-identify something or is very condescending, it really is no wonder that birders get a label! Sometimes though, they are wrapped up in their own little world to realise that they are being rude!
    Enough of a rant! Great photos, love the Fieldfare and Redwing shots!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  9. Thanks Jan. I don't mind long comments :-)
    Yea, the Welsh thing came about because I thought I could still walk up hills like I used to do, pushing a wheelbarrow full of wood lol
    I envy you with the Brambling in the garden, although I've just had a Fieldfare drop in, till the Blackbird chased him off.

    Thanks Bob. I'm sure these drinking restrictions are sent to try our patience. lol

    Thank you John. Yea, I think some of the birders need to remember the first time they opened a bird book, and wondered what they were looking at. As for 'bird groups', I'm in a few, (at the moment), and they all seem to have the same problem; rude birders. lol

  10. Lovely images, Keith. I am in no position to comment about what you went through 3 years ago but I'm glad everything is almost back to normal for you. I agree with you - birding can do wonders sometimes.

  11. Getting old is not for the faint of heart! I, too, prefer the company found in the natural world to that of most people. The internet is just perfect for folks like us!

  12. Wonderful!!!
    Love the photos!
    And the birds are so cute!! :)

  13. Choy, thank you. Just watching the birds and other wildlife makes everything else worthwhile; at times lol

    Thanks Wilma. Couldn't agree more :-)

    Carla, thanks for stopping by, and commenting. :-)

  14. thank you, keith. this was a wonderful post. reminds us all to appreciate what each day brings. and i'm glad you're still here to share your 'grumpy old man'-ness and your beautiful photos.

  15. That's how I like you dear Keith !
    And like Charlie Daniels said : "If you don't like the way I'm livin'
    you just leave this
    long haired country boy alone" ;-))
    Hugs x

  16. Thanks Theresa. Good to be around still :-)

    Pescalune, thank you. A great quote, and thanks for the hug. x

  17. Great read Keith and well done on the three years, you have a good outlook on life. I wish i could get the Goldfinch to stay in my garden.


  18. Great post Keith, I like it when people say it as it is, lol! Enjoy nature to the full as you are doing, it's what you like best?

  19. Keith Im glad you are enjoying your retirement and doing great! I recall when you were going through all that, and I was so happy you came through so well. Im very happy you quit the smokes its the best thing you could have done for yourself and the other people nearby! GOOD FOR YOU!
    Maybe you need to adopt a new dog, I know there are MANY out there looking for good forever homes like yours~!
    I love that Fielfare flying up shot just awesome!!!

  20. Hi Keith...For me I have enjoyed getting to know you over the past few years, and I am happy your still kicking "you old bugger" ; )
    I have enjoyed your blogs from the beginning of my blogging, you are special person with a great love for nature, and preserving it!!
    So good for you with your making it day to day since your heart attack, I remember your times of having bad days !!!
    Your photos are awesome as they always are!!Those waxwing impressions are great!!
    Congratulation Hugs my friend, and on your blog birthday too!!

  21. Glad you are still enjoying life, a scary "event" to be sure. Nice that you now can take your time and do much as you please.
    A great series of pictures, thanks for sharing; oh and let someone else shovel the snow!

  22. Thanks Pete. It took me a while to get the Goldfinches to come, but now they are here every day. Lovely birds, but messy eaters lol

    Thanks Bob. Yea, I don't mince my words usually :-)

    Thanks Sondra. Yea, I really don't miss the smokes at all. I've thought a lot about getting another dog. Maybe one day :-)

    Grace, thank you. Yea, I still get a few rough days; but don't we all. A bit left in the tank yet, I think lol

    Thank you Gillian. Yea, the snow can wait :-)

  23. Blimey !!!!! Three years since you scared the crap out of all of us at work !!!!
    On the note of work , you never did any work when you were there anyway , so you cant be missing it ;-).

    Will have to get together for a photog afternoon soon .

    Also , if you fancy a couple of days away ? When caravan opens up for this season , we could go up and take a peek at Leighton Moss bird reserve ?
    There is a very good pub down the road, plus a good chinese or indian takeaway for food :-)


  24. Oooooo, Mark, how could you say that? I used to work hard. lol

    Trip to Leighton Moss sounds good. Up for that :-)

  25. We all have chronic health issues that we must come to terms with... I have too. It's a balancing act between doing everything and nothing the doctors say. I always feed my birds...

  26. Thanks Madge. Good to know lots of people are feeding our feathered friends. :-)

  27. Not known you for even a year yet, but I know there are many years of mischief in you yet!

  28. Catching up - how time flies. I would have said it was only a year since your 'event'.
    My mum always said - A little of what you fancy does you good.

    Cracking photos as always Keith.

    Keep taking the tablets. Some days I swear I rattle.

  29. Thanks John. Yea, I agree with what your mum used to say; trouble is I like it too much lol

  30. Congrats. on the anniversary, but sorry for the original 'event':( I echo many of your comments and love the photos. Especially the apples on the railings!! This time of year makes me so sorry for all wildlife out of doors, and also those who live on the streets. Good luck for the future.

  31. I'm glad that you're doing well since your "event." (but take all your meds!) Your beautiful photos are indicative of how much you're enjoy8ing yourself. I'm so glad you share. Stay healthy, Keith.

  32. sweffling, thank you for you kind words.
    Hopefully now the snow has gone, the birds and animals can get on with their lives better.

    Thanks Hilary. Glad you enjoy my efforts. :-)

  33. I remember that blog post well--the one from three years ago. Glad you're still here and finding joy in your photos. I'll lay off the advice and just hope you keep enjoying what you do. There's a lot to be said for that.

    I'm older too.

  34. Lovely shots, Keith. The Fieldfares are particularly nice to look at, as I've never really managed to photograph them myself. Had no idea you'd had a heart attack, so glad you seem to have made a pretty good recovery. I'm a 'grumpy old git' myself, so no shame in that!

  35. Thanks JoLynne. I'm not good at taking advice. lol
    It's pretty good at the moment. :-)

    Thanks Jeremy. Yea, getting older has some advantages lol

  36. I started to follow your posts long after your heart attack 3 years on and so many more to go. I too have gold finches on my niger seed holder they are a treat to behold. As usual delightful photos.

  37. Thank you cuby. Yea, the Goldfinches are beautiful birds.

  38. Great outlook on life mate and great pictures the thing is with most of us you dont know a good thing till its gone so make the ,most of what you have while you can. :)

  39. Cheers Scott. And do the things you want to do. :-)