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June 21st, 2003

Foxy lady

As PutneyCam shows, we live right next to the Waterloo to Reading main railway line. While it's a source of occasional noise and vibration, it also means that we live in a green corridor that stretches from the Wandle delta and the Thames out to the woodlands of Windsor, via several commons and parks.

I've remarked in the past on the area's bird life, and the wide variety of native and alien species we have in south-west London. However, the recent construction of our roof terrace has given us a new perspective on things - and revealed to us a new slice of large mammal life. Because now we can see over the railway spur and down on to the far side of the embankment, straight into what looked to be a fox's earth. It's easy to see several large tunnels in a grassy bank, surrounded by brambles and bushes, an ideal habitat for Britain's largest predator.

During the day it's still and quiet, no sign of life. But foxes are creatures of the evening and night, so as the sun set this evening I stood on the roof, looking across the railway trains carrying commuters to and from the City. Lifting my binoculars I hoped I'd be able to see some sign of life - that this wasn't an abandoned earth.

I was lucky.

Not only is it inhabited, it's home to quite a large family group. I watched three cubs tumbling in the grass, while a young adult wandered around, and what had to be the family's patriarch slept curled on a ledge above the entrances to the earth. The sun slowly drifted away, and the light left the bank.

It was good to see wildlife in the metropolis.

One for bugshaw: Teeny Tiny Pinball

An alternate view of London

London is a surprising city. Take a walk down a street and at each turn you'll see something new, or something that casts a familiar sight in a different light.

Thursday night I went on a boat trip down the Thames to celebrate O'Reilly's 25th anniversary. Despite Tim O'Reilly's transport hiccups and a late departure the journey was an interesting one, as the grey skies cleared and the river swell subsided (and we were plied with food and drink).

The sun slowly set, and the golden light of a midsummer evening made it impossible not to pull out the camera, and to try an capture some of the beauty of the light on the water and on the buildings...
an evening on the river - warning: contains largish imagesCollapse )

Vote early, vote often...

Apparently today's big scandal is last night's Big Brother voting. Not that I watch it, I hasten to add!

But perhaps we should be more worried about The Daily Mail's "European Referendum". The Guardian took a group of experienced election monitors around the "polling stations"...

It was 10 to three on Wednesday afternoon. I was feeling giddy from exercising my democratic right to vote. I'd already voted 21 times in the Daily Mail's referendum, and it wasn't even polling day yet.


Elson said: "I think the phrase 'totally flawed' comes to mind."

I asked him if he had ever pronounced an election "totally flawed" before.

"Only one," he said. "The 2001 Kyrgyzstan presidential elections."

(one for missfairchild I think!)