Mrs L offered me some of her hand cream, but I'd smell like a boutique. Does hand cream for men exist? I didn't know, but I do now. The kind lady from Belgian Waffling is a Beauty Products expert, as well as being a secret Gull afficionado - the two do not often go hand in hand. She tends to go for the more lipsticky, deep soak, black eye paint stuff, but was pleased to be able to pass on a recommendation for something called Norwegian Formula. It apparently contains Norwegian children, which explains the price. I have forked out £3.69 for a miniscule tube of this stuff, and though I'm not intending to become a part-time hand balm commentator, so far it is truly excellent, and a tiny tiny amount has brought life back to my tortured skin. I am going to keep putting it on, if I remember, and see what happens after a week. Then I might move on to my knees, which are also quite sore because 89% of my day is spent crawling around the floor picking things up.
Three pieces of news since the last post. One most excellent, one pretty excellent, one not so excellent.
First the excellent: The Police have arrested two men in Forest Gate (1/2 mile south of Alexandra Lake) on suspicion of something having to do with poison. Breaching pesticide control rules, that was it. Eh? Is that some kind of legal euphemism for poisoning wildlife and a dog? I don't actually understand what is happening here, or how they found them. The test results on the birds are not back yet, so presumably that means they can't be charged with poisoning them, so perhaps this is a lesser charge until they can be slapped with the actual killing of birds. A bit like charging someone with posession of a firearm as well as shooting someone with it, or something?
The mildly excellent: The good ship ECO 1 is back in full working order with a new brake light and screen-wash squirter, and passed the MOT first time despite "chassis and body mounts in advance corroded state", whatever that means. Hopefully it doesn't mean that next time I apply the brakes the top of the car will just slide gracefully off the bottom with considerable forward momentum. This rates as only mildly excellent because it cost me £370, and took all day.
The not-so-excellent: I'm in The Sun today. Me, and Danni from Coventry. She's on page 3, and I'm on page 36, in case you were wondering. There is quite a large picture of her for some reason, but thankfully there is no picture of me at all. Almost unbelievably, the bird deaths on the Flats have made it to the red-top gutter press. I'm a birdwatcher this time, and I think "the whole thing is horrible" apparently. Which it is, so full marks to Rupert Murdoch for some gritty journalism.
What else? Well the Pheasant this morning was pretty exciting! I didn't see it, and all of a sudden it exploded from under my feet and flew off. I nearly jumped out of my skin, and it would have taken more than extract of Norwegian children to sort that out! I had no idea it was still there, as I had only seen it the once on Feb 9th. Amazing that it can go unnoticed in an area as disturbed as Wanstead Flats.
Oh yes, and no Wheatears, for the 129th day in a row (this is true, I checked....) We went to the playground on the Flats today, and the route over there just happens to pass through some suitable habitat, but there was nothing doing. I had the camera just in case, but was forced to point it at the girls and some Tufted Ducks instead. In the continuing pursuit I'm meeting Tim on the Flats tomorrow morning at first light. The winds have changed over today, and there is now a more southerly bias which should see stuff arrive, though whether Wanstead gets any of it is another matter. Rainham had the first Little Ringed Plovers today, and Crossness got a Wheatear, so I live in hope.
So does she