Thursday, 21 July 2011

The equalities of cream

Cream is cream right? The colour? I have been blissfully crocheting edges to the granny squares in Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in a lovely buttery cream.....mmmm. But it is not ALL THE SAME. Today as I stitched it was obvious that some creams are more creamy than others. It was such a blow. I have no idea what the buttery cream is called because I have only the labels of the new colder, whiter cream left. I am not going to unpick the thing, there is no time. I have no more of the nice cream left, so ordered something online tonight which just might be it. If so, I am safe. If not I will schlep all over to get it and at the same time thank my lucky stars that most of the squares are done.

Note to self...keep one label with colour and lot number.
Note to will still be a lovely blankie and there won't be another like it!

Thought you might like to see the look of glee on a certain cat's face now that he is back in the conservatory and the bird has GONE!

And then there is this. Thanks to the op shop. A feather filled cushion. It has a cream back with blue red and yellow stripes. Great colours for another blanket idea.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Back on the baby blanket

after many interruptions and days when only one square got done. Sewing some granny squares together tonight. I am in two minds about whether to take it away on holiday with us. It is only a week and there is lots to see and do. I may sneak some squares into my suitcase though, just in case! Lots of sewing in ends still to do.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

1 8 3 9

This is where we took the bird tonight. A fantastic drive through evening summer sun and an amazing haven for all sorts of animals. Our bird was given the number 1839 and it will be grouped with about four other pigeons of similar age and eventually released into the wild. We can call them in a few weeks to get an update! The owner said that it was very lucky that the wound had not become infected, but they would put the baby on a course of antibiotics, just in case. He showed us some of the other babies, thrushes, finches, swallows and pigeons of all sizes. It was a great place.
We left a donation, in this age of austerity, it has to be hard to run a sanctuary like that.

The girls are on the green now, playing with friends. So English, and so good to see. Not enough kids 'play' outside.


Up with the dawn to ponder. Worry, more like it. It is horrible when things are not blissful on the domestic front. Today we part with the bird and that will be sad. Sadder still is that being a teen is such a rotten period of life, when you are actually a teen! (If the truth be told, it is hard for the parents too sometimes....).

If only I could take all ours through the bumpy bits that hurt and anger and cause angst, but unless they do it themselves, they will not grow.
The sun is shining at least, so time to have a potter around the garden with Bosley (who will be delighted to see the back of this bird).

This photo is from Animal Planet, just love it.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Animal rescue

We have found someone to take the pigeon and it will be hard to let go. Em does the most amazing job with it and it does seem happy. Still, it is wild and will need to return to the wild, so tomorrow night we are taking it to Crowborough where it will be well looked after.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Wales, Wiltshire, Glouscetershire and home

We abandoned our brood this weekend to travel to Wales for a 50th birthday party. En route we stopped in Gloustershire to have lunch with friends from Hong Kong. We then drove on B roads to Wales to the Glenmorgan area. It was beautiful country and it was exciting to be seeing some of Wales, other than Angelsey where we caught the ferry to Ireland last year. We stayed in a hotel/golf club and the party was at the local rugby club. Have to admit, I do love to go away with Big J. So nice to dress up and drink champagne and just hang out together.

Today we have coffee with the birthday boy and his family before heading back. We dropped in to Wootton Bassett, a pretty little town known all too well as the place where the bodies of young men and women who die in battle are repatriated.

Home after that, with the British Open Golf Championship on the radio. Big J was there on Friday, lucky for him. The weather for the rest of the competition has been horrendous.

Home to the girls and the boy and the bird, who has learned to feed thanks to Em. She is using an icing syringe and so far so good. It peeps and cries when it sees fingers and is really quite sweet. A neighbour recently lost her budgie, so we are now using its cage. Not ideal, but given that Bosley is very keen to investigate the new creature further, probably a good idea.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Pigeon update

The baby pigeon survived the night and this morning Em and I fed it after trawling through various pigeon rescue websites. It had peas and some shredded wheat! We fed it tiny bit by tiny bit and it did not reject the food. It also had a dribble of water and then it walked a few very wobbly paces around the table. The wound has dried up a lot, but is very deep and I think has gone through to organ level. All we can do it keep it quiet, clean and fed and the rest is not in our hands. This is what it looked like at breakfast.
I nipped home late morning and Adam and I fed it again, this time corn kernels. Again it ate, but it is hard to judge how much is good. It has a balloon like crop in the front of its neck which fills as it feeds. Gently feeling this to see how 'full' it is supposed to be the indication.
Tonight, the girls and some of their friends came to watch and help with feeding. Big J and I are away this weekend and they need to know how to do it. They did brilliantly. Here is proof!
We also now have phone numbers for a couple of animal rescue centres so we can maybe get help, and/or hand it over to their care when we go away next week.

REALLY keeping my fingers crossed that it survives now. Names are being bandied about!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Messing with nature

On the drive home tonight I saw a magpie pecking repeatedly at a live baby wood pigeon. It was on the other side of the road on which I was travelling and I could not stop. I must admit, my heart was low thinking about it, defenceless, but I accept that even a magpie must eat. However, this time it was too much to bear and I raced (witin the speed limit) around the one way system in town again to see if it was still alive. It was and I picked it up as carefully as I could and put it in the car. It has severe wounds in its back and what looks like a crack on its beak. I suspect it will not last the night, but it is in a basket, lined with paper and covered over. Em researched what to do and the suggestion was a dark quiet place. It is the best we can do, and better our conservatory than a bloody death on the side of the road.
I feel worried about it and part of me thinks that interfering with nature does not always help. But here it stays until it dies or recovers and we can let it go. The local vet will not help, they do not want pigeons brought in....

Photo courtesy of the BBC

It really is not the prettiest of birds and ours is less so with its wounds.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Green fingers

Han-solo is loving her work experience and has been offered real work! I visited her today to see her pushing a wheel barrow stacked with banana plants to put out on display. I was told that they love her there and that she is fantastic. How proud can a mum get? She has just thrown herself into the work, loves being active and has suddenly started sprouting plant names!

As it is a nursery, plants tend to be cheaper and I found some lily and nerine bowdenii bulbs going for 50p a bag in a trolley at the door. I also saw and fell in love with a blue tortoise. I have always wanted a tortoise and we seriously considered taking one on a few years ago, but decided against it. This gorgeous thing was on a shelf looking abandoned, boxless, but working.

He will live beside my bed and glow at night. I am not sure how BJ will feel, but he does get the tortoise/frog thing.

Here he is, off

and on, although I am sure a picture taken in the dark would be a lot better!
Thanks to Han-solo, I got the bulbs for nothing as well, so it has been a very nice morning.

On my way home I saw all the kids from school on the playing fields, today is Sports Day. Parents are welcome, but it seems not many go and Em declined my offer to come and bring her some lunch. It is blustery and threatening rain, but by the sound of the cheering and yelling, it looks as if they are having a good day.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Butterflies, bulbs, berries and baking

This lovely was on the uninhabited bird box on the fence this morning, opening and folding its wings in the warm air. Both Em and I got shots before it flew away over the butterfly bush. It was a Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta

Time in the garden this afternoon to plant some herbs that travelled back with me from Ellignies to be here. A discovery of a dozen tulip bulbs in a pot given to me by a friend was very pleasing. They are now beneath the cherry tree. Some irises have been moved and some lifted to go to the gardens of people at work. Love them as I do, they love the soil here and have more than flourished.

Then time was spent searching for a recipe for the gorgeous red currents that also made the Channel crossing with me.

They were turned into this

and the comments are 'yum'!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Back from Belgium

We talked, walked, ate, crocheted, cooked and had a lovely time. It was restful and nice to see friends of old. BJ did a wonderful job here with the girls and Adam. Great to be back and feeling quite mellow.

Monday, 4 July 2011

A day off

started with fresh plunger coffee and a haircut on the patio. Then a quick trip to town for Euros and other goods. Han solo is doing her work experience at Dove's Barn Nursery so we rode there on the bikes to see how long her 'commute' will take. Tough going for me. The saddle was so low I could barely peddle, so we popped into the bike shop to have it lifted. MUCH BETTER. It is a flat 2 miles to the nursery along a busy road and down hill all the way. Admittedly the gradient is tiny, but the return trip was a bit hard. Still, this old bird puffed and panted all the way up our road with no stops and felt very fit and light at the top!!
But really happy news is that today Em moved to the UPPER SCHOOL, a new campus, new subjects (for GCSEs) and new friends to meet and make. She and her sister are on the same campus now...we are very proud.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Close to home

Continuing to have a low key weekend. Lots of laundry out in the sun, some ironing done and some sewing in of ends. Feel a bit apprehensive that the baby's blanket will not be ready before the baby is....More than half the squares are done, but only a few blocked.
Em has done the colour layout for me and I love it. This will make the job easier.
I am off work this week, and the thought is bliss. Tomorrow is time at home and some pampering and then on Tuesday I am off to BELGIUM to stay with Francoise for the rest of the week. A good place to relax and to crochet, so maybe the worries are premature.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Slow days

BJ asked me what I wanted to do this weekend. The answer is as little as possible. To potter around the garden and the house. To hang out with the girls and him and Adam, when he is around. So after a very lazy start this Saturday morning, I am in my swiss spotted cotton pajamas on the patio drinking freshly plunged espresso and blogging.
I note with glee that a pot of mimulus
has gone to seed, which provides a fab excuse to remove it and add something bright in its place. The baby celariac is ready for potting on and when that is done, I will scoot (slowly) to Gill's and give her her promised share.
The only other thing I would like is for the girls to start planning the layout for the baby granny squares so that I can start sewing as I go. I am a little daunted by the prospect of sewing more than 100 together at the end of the project and their numbers are growing fast.
Enjoy your day.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Wedding Bells

(Photo courtesy of not on the high street)
Brother has just called to tell us he and his lovely fiance are going to tie the knot just before baby arrives. It is wonderful news, two family events to take place very soon and which we can be part of. After years and years of living in a different country to all of my family, I find real joy in being able to pick up the phone and chat to my brother, or meet him in London for a drink or meal. His fiance is a bit like a daughter to me....and a sister to my girls, who adore her. I am very happy.