Tag Archives: garden

Sunday Once More

Sunday has come round with its usual reliability and I have just checked back on the week’s output. I’m not impressed. I have become irregular and have been using Julia’s photographs to cover up my deficiencies.

If you’re paying attention you might have noticed I’ve done it again with today’s pictures of a bear in the garden.

We had a reasonable weekend, with a massive queue on the A1, roadworks on the Cambridge road (it feels like there have been roadworks on the Cambridge road all my life), and then more roadworks…

During all that time, including on hour queued on the A1, we didn’t see a single man working. They just set up the roadworks, put up the speed limit signs and then abandon them, regardless of the disruption it causes to everyone else. It’s a bit like being a politician – you make a mess, you walk away. At no time do you have to consider your fellow man.

We were well on target to arrive in Stowmarket when we hit the first set of roadworks (I was using the satnav to keep track of the time) and we eventually arrived an hour and a half late.

It was a good party, but I won’t say what it was for, as my sister-in-law isn’t happy about reaching 50.

Later, at the hotel, we found they had laid on a group of swearing drunks for us outside the main door, all smoking whilst wearing smeared makeup and the remains of their wedding finery. It was very kind of them, and didn’t cost extra, but it’s not really my sort of thing.

I’ll leave details of breakfast for later.

Bear with seed packet from Kew

Bear with seed packet from Kew

 

Some Guest Photos

Julia managed some decent shots in the Mencap garden this week – I particularly like the one in the featured image, a parent Great Tit shoving food into a permanently open mouth. As a parent I find that image strikes a chord.

She took some video of Blue Tit parents flying in and out of a box, but it won’t load. However she did get a shot of the other Great Tits in the garden. Three broods, all doing well.

The other Great Tit nest

The other Great Tit nest

 

Bins, boxes and barbecues

We only sold four lots over the weekend. Two of them sold on Saturday afternoon, after the Post Office closed, so we packed them before we left. Two sold on Sunday. Then, as we looked at the small pile of post someone bought another lot.

Five parcels.

I think we might have to postpone plans to buy a new box of teabags.

Meanwhile, I just had a phone call from Malta. Apparently the weather was great at East Midland Airport, glorious over France, lovely over the Alps, grey over Italy and murky in Malta.

It’s a lovely evening in Nottingham. Nice and bright and warm and I didn’t need to queue up, sit on an aeroplane or defy nature to get here. I just sat on a chair.

It’s also, according to the photograph Julia just sent, dark in Malta. You’ll have to take my word for it as I’m struggling to download the photo. It seems to have plenty of water and reflected lights in it so I’m sure you’ll love it if I manage to download it.

Julia left me a packet of Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells. It was waiting for me when I returned home and helped ease the pain of parting. Unfortunately I can’t provide you with a picture of that either. I suppose I ought to be ashamed of myself.

I had ham sandwiches for lunch. I also had ham sandwiches for tea. At the moment I’m debating having ham sandwiches for supper. I like ham sandwiches, and cooking for one keeps the shopping simpler. I’m considering what to buy for tomorrow. If I buy a piece of gammon I can cook it and use it to make ham sandwiches for the next few days.

So far I’ve only used white cobs and Branston pickle. I have multi-seed bread and a choice of mustard or tomato relish available, so I’ve barely scraped the surface of the variety of choices available in the world of ham sandwiches.

I may even consider salad.

If ham sandwiches start to lose their appeal, and I don’t see why they would, I have a reserve stock of cheese.

It’s fairly clear from this that the difference between a normal man and a recluse with a ham fixation is only a few hours. That, I suppose, is why it’s good for men to get married.

Today’s pictures are some I took in the Mencap garden last week. The theme is recycled waste bins, boxes and barbcues. That gives me an idea for a title…

 

 

Mornings, Magpies and Medals

Today I took some brighter pictures of the garden, including one of a Great Tit eating what appeared to be a caterpillar. You’ll have to take my word for that as it spent most of its time refusing to face me.

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Great Tit at Mencap Gardens

When the Great Tits eat caterpillars. I feel that Spring is not far behind. Julia later saw a group of Long Tailed Tits on the feeders, though they flew away as she turned the camera on. They do that. Several Magpies took it in turns to contort their way into the fat ball feeder, but they also declined to pose for photographs.

Birds can be very annoying at times.

It was brighter today than it had been yesterday.

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No light, no water, but we do have a heater in the cabin

The work routine is beginning to develop nicely – taking Julia to work and the driving back round the ring road to idle away my days. I went through the medal stock today, including medal-mounting accessories, foreign medals and ribbons. That took me all morning, as there was a lot of chaos to tame, and a lot of bits and pieces.

Fortunately, nothing is beyond the capabilities of a man with time on his hands and a selection of plastic bags.

 

 

 

Flowers in the Frost

It was a bit cold this morning – minus 3.5 degrees C according to my car. With a bit of a breeze and the proximity of the River Trent it felt even colder. I started taking photos and twenty minutes later, when my hands could no longer feel the button, I called it a day and sat in the car with the heater on. Julia continued her inspection, declared the garden closed for the day and started ringing round to reorganise things.

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Frozen solid and minus three and a half degrees, though the moles are still active

I think it’s fair to say that they enjoyed themselves more in the main building than they would have done in the garden.

 

There was still plenty to see, though it was mostly droopy and covered in frost crystals. I tried to get some sun into the pictures but it was a bit low in the sky, and concealed behind trees.

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A cold-looking garden gnome

The poppies, meanwhile, are standing up to the cold weather better than the real flowers.

 

From there I dropped Julia at the main building and went to the jewellers to get a safety chain fitted to one of her Christmas presents. I will say no more…

I managed to do some shopping before my return home and a session of writing Christmas cards and blogging before starting to cook tea.

This is the street, complete with frozen snow. Despite the forecast of higher temperatures I fear it may last a week or more, and continue to be a hazard underfoot.

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A wintry scene

A Grumpy Newt

Julia came home with a picture of a newt today – she’s been looking for one all year. This one turned up as they were clearing a heap of rubbish. The heap had been there since before she took over at the garden, in case you are wondering. It was, it seems, a more attractive berth than the various newt habitats that they have built around the garden.

The newt was not, she says, particularly glad to see them.

I can understand that. You’re all wrapped up and snug in preparation for a long winter snooze then somebody comes and rips your roof off. In similar circumstances I’d be pretty hacked off too.

They tucked it in and put all the stuff back on the heap. They can finish that particular job in Spring.

The picture is a bit blurred, but it’s taken a long time to get it so I’m going to use it anyway.

Paint, Autumn Colour and Upcycling

Despite my desire to do something different I’ve drifted back to the garden. The pictures are taken and the temptation to use them is too great to resist. The top picture shows part of the bookshelf. They will not be short of reading material, though they may short of light to read by. Despite being near both a school and a lamp post the gardens have no power, which could be a problem as time goes on. It seems that as the winter progresses, the number of attendees falls.

At least the broken window won’t be a problem, though it did cost £70 to fix it in the end. We weren’t able to dismantle it ourselves to fit the new glass so we had to call the professionals in.

Painting is going well, with multi-coloured panels (depending on available paint) cheering the place up. The stationery trays (which were fruit boxes last week when Julia got them from the grocer on the market) were painted using the same system. I wonder if I should tick “upcycling” as a category, or if that might be a bit too grand to describe painting three boxes with left over paint.

Note the cake stand. Julia found it in a school bag that had been dumped in the school skip, with other lost property. She has an affinity for cake stands, and we have several at home, though we rarely use them, as we aren’t that sophisticated. And I’d rather just cut it and eat it instead of showing it of on a double-decker plate.

The library shelves are looking fuller now, with a number of the titles looking familiar. I’m sure I used to have copies of those books, I think, before I realise…

I may go for “upcycling”, considering the planter is a re-used litter bin striped with bits of window blind.