Thursday, 8 October 2009

Squirrels and Sand

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Angie


Photos are copyright of Maggie May

We started back at school following the summer holidays, on a Thursday and during the following week, there were two inset days that fell on the Thursday and Friday. This meant no school for the children and non for me on the first of the two days.
The childrens' dad had an offer of a few weeks work, so Granddad and I decided to take the girls to Weston Super Mare on the bus.


I think it must have seemed a long drawn out journey for them as they are used to going in the car everywhere much more quickly. However they were quite excited about going on the top deck of a bus and being able to see over all the hedge rows.
It was a beautiful day and we took a picnic and spent a long time making sand castles and paddling. The water was warm and shoals of little fish came into the very shallow water of the safe paddling area that has just been reconstructed for children. Within a short time seagulls began swooping down and eating the fish.


We made a lovely building and a moat but while we were eating lunch, some children jumped on it so this is all that was left, much to the annoyance of the girls.

The following day, I had to go into work for the first half of the day, for training. We asked Amber and Millie what they would like to do in the afternoon after I got back and they asked to go to Brandon Hill to feed the squirrels. This is a very lovely spot, high on a hill in Bristol. This beautiful part of the city is in the central area near the University and museum.
Granddad and I are obviously feeling our age when we climb up the very steep hills. Come to think of it, Bristol is all hills! Anyway, there are lots of seats to sit on while we catch our breath.


The squirrels were very tame and came out in threes and fours, taking the peanuts that we had brought, though this proved to be very difficult when the pigeons arrived. It was then a competition as to who could get a nut to a squirrel and not a pigeon.


This picture was very weird because the squirrel was shrieking in a very loud and strange voice. I had never come across that sound before, so whether it was a mating cry or a cry of anguish, I do not know. It was like a bad distress call. Maybe some reader would know?


At the time of the trip, Bristol had several dozen pianos left in unusual places around the city and this one was on a hill with a view for miles around, behind it. The girl who was playing fairly well gave permission for me to snap her from the back.
The pianos were part of a project to promote music and give ordinary folk a chance to play in public. In some areas one or two pianos had been vandalised but on the whole this was a very popular idea and most of them were left alone.
Of course the girls had to have a go too.






Photostory Friday is hosted by Cecily. Why not drop in and some some really good photo stories.

39 comments:

Maggie's garden said...

What an absolutely lovely day. Don't you just love when the universe changes things up a bit...so the unexpected can happen? The girls look like they had a blast on the piano!

Hilary said...

These photos are wonderful, Maggie. I love the piano idea though it's distressing (but not surprising) to think that some were vandalized. It's a great gesture though. So many people don't have the opportunity to lay their hands on a keyboard.

Ryanne said...

Great pictures! That piano idea is such a good idea. I am always playing around on the pianos at stores and things...and I cant play more than one or two songs with only the right hand...but there is something fun about playing the piano...at any skill level!

angie said...

Looks like a truly LOVEly, LOVELY day.

Emily said...

That piano idea is so neat. Great pictures.

lailani said...

Sounds like a wonderful time had. It is funny how some things in a setting are a given and not thought of as much as a treat, as that of the ordinary - I am thinking of the feeding of the squirrels. I had not thought of that (since they still all our pecans), but it sounded like fun! I love the thought of pianos scattered about!

Thumbelina said...

Wonderful photos Maggie! Those girls certainly get about and some entertainment from you. Never a dull moment!
I like the idea of the pianos. I'd play one of them! Wish they'd do that here.

Love the shots of the squirrel. Shame about the sandcastle. Some children are just spoilsports!

lakeviewer said...

I have never seen pianos scattered around, promoting playing and music making. What a great idea!

Glad to know I'm not the only one that needs to pause when climbing hills.

Chris said...

They left pianos all over the city? That is very cool -- I would have been all over that project!

Nessa said...

I think squirrels are so cute. I want a piano.

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

The piano thing?? huh??

I love the squirrels of course..
But.. the pianos OUTside is awesome!

Jeni said...

As always, very good pictures and a neat story as well to accompany them.
Now, as to the squirrel and the noise, I gotta confess that although many around here who know me think I am a bit squirrely and my son is frequently referred to as either simply "Squirrel" or, if he's pulled some kind of real goofus thing and been a real doofus, we might even refer to him as "Super Squirrel" however, I don't know diddly-squat about squirrels -the real kind that is and their noises!
Oh -and I don't know what keys I just hit but whatever it was, it shrunk my font drastically -like cut it about in half in size to what it was. Man, I hate when I manage to do things like that and haven't clue 1 about what I may have touched! ARRGH!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Sounds like you had a couple of great days with the girls. The piano idea is kinda cool. The squirrel shots are fun too.

Granny on the Web said...

Sounds like 'proper' childhood fun! I love the idea of sandcastles and little fishes... how many children get to enjoy that these days?

Love Granny

Ayak said...

What a truly lovely day...and beautiful pics!

Suburbia said...

The noise that a squirrel makes is one of annoyance I think. In a previous flat that we owned, there were lots living in the woods behind. We often heard the weird noise and wondered if it was a bird, but eventually worked it out.

Fab pictures, I must take my two to Weston, my mum used to take me there when I was little, just the two of us.

I missed all the pianos in Bristol, what a great idea?

latree said...

how cute...

forgive me. I don't think you think it's funny but I do. squirrels and Sand and beach, directly brought my brain to Sandy, Spongebob Squarepants's friend...

I love the piano everywhere. But is it okay to put a piano outdoor?

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Gosh, I love the idea of piano's in the city, that's fabulous. Being a pianist myself I would just love to sit down and play to a whole city!!

CJ xx

jinksy said...

Can't help but feel sorry for the pianos left out in all weather, but nice idea to get people playing...

Mickle in NZ said...

What a wonderful time you've both had with the girls. These are the special times that will stay in their memories.

We don't have squirrels here. I saw my first "live" one in Wimbledon back in March 1988. We then went on a Womble hunt on the common and even found what we considered to be a Womble hole.

Leah said...

I've got to tell my son about the pianos. That is so cool!

kaye said...

those are some great squirrel shots. And how about that sand castle. I bet that was tons of fun. I've never seen piano's left outside like that. so unusual. Fluctuating weather really affects the soundboard. I’m making children’s books today. If you want to wander down my road I’m home.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Lovely phots Maggie.
I'm surprised you like squirrels so much after all your rats - after all are not suirrels rats with bushy tales? LOL

Great day out with the Grandchildren.

cheshire wife said...

Some children are spiteful - jumping on your grand daughters' sand castle. I hope that they were not too upset about it.

The Green Stone Woman said...

Maggie, your squirrels in England are much braver than out squirrels here. I never see any and I've never fed a squirrel here a peanut, though I'd love to. I'm glad you manage to have such a good time with your granddaughters. They must keep you on your toes. I don't know if I would have the energy for it. It does keep you young, I suppose. Can you tell that my grandson lives far away and that I'm not used to grandkids? I hardly would know what to do with them.

Sharon said...

That is an unusual, but interesting way of getting music to people. I never thought of pianos outside like that!

Sounds like a lovely time!

Sandi McBride said...

I know they loved the bus trip with you two...who wouldn't? Of course the pics of the squirrel caught my eye...and my heart!
Sandi

Brian Miller said...

i love squirrels. they areso mischievious and playful. we have quite a few in the back yard that like to toss acorns down around our heads.

the pianos around town are pretty cool as well. that someone could be inspired and just sit down to play...much fun. hope you have a great weekend!

MarmiteToasty said...

I remember days on the beach going by bus :)..... and Im old and still remember, so the little girls will keep that memory a lifetime to...

gotta love squirrels...... and how strange all the pianos LOL

x

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Maggie, These photos are simply fantastic!! I love the shots of the sea, sandcastles...seems almost straight out of a Mary Cassatt painting...And those squirrels? Fascinating! How do you get such wonderful close-ups??? They are simply fabulous!!! I, too, love the idea of pianos placed around the city! It's a terrible shame that some have vandalized, and spoiled it for others. So frustrating! So glad you had such a lovely day!! You deserve such lovely days everyday!!! ~Janine XO

SandyCarlson said...

Your photos of this colossally wonderful day are great. Must be nice to hop on a bus and not have to worry about the drive or the car. Those girls are blessed!

Lena said...

My dad would have loved playing that piano with such a beautiful view to boot. Looked like such a joyful day - despite the seagulls (me no like them!).

Lolli said...

I still can't get over the pianos scattered around! Looks like you had a great day!

Daryl said...

Fun stuff .. over from Hilary's Post of the Week to say hi

ds said...

Leaving pianos around the city is an inspired idea! Hope that poor squirrel was not in distress (and I'm sorry about the sand castle--no fair!)Thank you for the kind words you left on my blog this morning. Congratulations on your POTW!

TSannie said...

There's a city in the US that did the piano thing as well. I watched a documentary on it and it was really fun seeing how people reacted to them.

I can certain understand why Hilary chose this post to include in POTW!

Thumbelina said...

Congratulations on your POTW mention!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I love the idea of the pianos sitting here and there. Maybe somebody needs to invent an indestructible piano for such purposes. Congrats on POTW.

Cheffie-Mom said...

The piano idea is wonderful!! My son, Kyle plays the piano. I will show him this post. Congrats on the POTW Award!! Hugs!!