Wednesday, June 09, 2010


When I got up this morning, I thought I felt ok, but it didnít take long, and I was feeling punk again.† I couldnít even finish my ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast.† I ended up saving half of it for my lunch.† I got chilled, but it was only 64 degrees in here, so maybe that isnít so surprising.† I bundled up with two layers all over, and then I went out in the sun and walked a little to the local park.† I sat in the sun and when I warmed up, I felt a lot better.


Rather than just sit around the flat all day and be bored, I decided to go visit the London Wetland Centre, a place I had heard of and wanted to see.† I thought I might be able to take some bird pictures, too.† I felt up to that, so I took along the other half of my sandwich, a little cheese, a little chicken, and a large cookie, and I headed out.† It meant taking the tube to the Embankment station, changing to a different line, and then going another 9 stops to Hammersmith.† At Hammersmith, I needed to catch a bus to the Wetlands Centre.† It all went smoothly, and I got there about 11, I think.


It is a very nice place.† They have done a good job of creating an environment for birds.† There were groups of school children there, but it was otherwise very uncrowded.† I wandered around and I took pictures.† I saw a Jay, which is a bird I have only seen a couple of times before, but I wasnít able to get a decent picture of it.† I took a picture of some kids ďpond dippingĒ, which is a popular thing for kids to do over here.† I gather than they see what they can find in the way of plants and animals.† I also took a picture of a three story hide, the Peacock Tower.† It has an elevator!† I wouldnít have expected a bird hide to have an elevator, but I guess in these days of accessibility, it isnít that surprising.† I appreciated not having to walk up the stairs, though.


One of the Centreís staff was up there, and she told me that there was a male Ruddy Duck over on the other side of the reserve.† The Ruddy Duck is a North American duck that has gotten a foothold over here, but they are trying to wipe it out by shooting them, because it interbreeds with a Spanish duck species that is threatened.† The staff woman said that there had been two of them, a male and a female, but they hadnít seen the female for several weeks.† She could be nesting, which would really get the Ruddy Duck vigilantes out in force.† Anyway, the point is that I had not seen a Ruddy Duck on the trip.† So, I walked on over to the other side and looked for it.† At first I didnít see it, but eventually I did.† I see Ruddy Ducks all the time in California, but not over here.† So, I actually added a species to my trip list today, bringing me to a total of 167 species for the trip, of which about 117 of them are lifers.


In addition to the ponds and lakes for the wild birds, they have a collection of waterfowl at the Centre, too.† I took some pictures of captive exotic birds, and I have labeled them ďcollectionĒ in Photos27.


I didnít feel very good all day long, but I wasnít really feeling terrible either.† It would kind of come in waves.† I have decided that the problem is stomach related.† The waves that come are waves of nausea, and they donít get too bad (yet) before they recede.† I am worse after I eat.† I have eaten very little today as a result.† My body temperature control is off, too, and I get hot or cold very easily.


It was a long trip back to my flat, partly because one of the underground trains I was on kept stopping, because of congestion caused by an earlier problem of some sort.† It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get back, with the bus and the two trains.† I was hot on the trains, and when I am hot, I feel worse.† I endured it.† I am probably making it sound worse than it is.† Iím hoping that I can get some good sleep tonight and feel better in the morning.† I suspect that my stomach is just very upset from my deteriorating diet of the last week or so.† Drinking every night hasnít helped it at all, either, I am sure.† Tonight I am not going to drink.


So, I have processed my pictures from today, and I will put up the last Photos album, Photos27 in a little while, along with this.


I have a taxi ordered for 10:30 AM, to take me to the airport.† There is no way I am going to struggle with all my luggage using any other option.† My flight doesnít leave until 3:10 PM, so I will have lots of time at the airport.† Then another 9 hours plus on the plane, and then home again, home again.† I am ready to be home, especially when I am not feeling well.† It will be an endurance test tomorrow, and I will see how I can stand up to it.† Maybe I will feel all better in the morning, who knows?


So, this might be my last Ramblings of the trip, unless I have adventures on the way home.† Or, maybe I will decide to finish it off with one last one, once I get home, just to bring closure to the whole trip.† We will see.† I donít feel good enough to reflect on the trip tonight, so maybe that would be another reason for one more installment when I get home.


Tomorrow the airplane gamesÖ