Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2009....

And I hope to;

-See more birds and wildlife

-Keep a tidy house

-Read more

-Do more quilting

-Paint more (no not the walls!)

-Listen to others more

-Be more thoughtful

-Be more hospitable

I clearly won't manage this but it's fun to try!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

New bins!

Well look what Father Christmas bought me! They feel so much lighter than my old metal ones...and the glass is clean! I can't wait to get out and try them but I have been on nights over Christmas so as yet haven't really used them apart from in the garden but I'm off now until Monday so I'll give it a go tomorrow.
I don't know if it's just easier to keep the fruit and veg outside as it's so cold at the moment but thought this looked festive outside the door of one of the cottages at Middlebere farm near Corfe Castle.

This is taken from Middlebere looking along the channel at Middlebere.


Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Sun sets over the harbour

Today has been mostly grey and dull but late this afternoon my daughter and I took Wrecks the dog and walked alongside Poole Harbour and the sky cleared to reveal this lovely sunset.
An Egret just standing in the shallow water as the light kept changing.

I never tire of this walk and the view, I never intend to take more pictures but I always do! So have a Happy Christmas, take time out to see the outside world if you can and enjoy this special time.


Monday, 22 December 2008

Was it really an Osprey?

I went for a walk this morning and saw a large bird of prey, looking through the binoculars I am sure it was an Osprey but thought they have all left now for Africa. I know these are not good pictures as my point and shoot cannot zoom in far but I have zoomed in and still can't think what else it could be, it is right in the middle of the picture on the ground. I think the second photo is the slightly better one and it is just to the left of the tree in the centre.
The park I saw it in is right next to the harbour, so that would be right, I'm sure you locals recognise it. I saw it fly and again I think osprey. My daughter was with me and she says she saw it on top of a high lamp post alongside the main road which runs next to this place about 2 days ago but she had no idea what it was....she's not really into birding!
On a less exotic note I saw a lovely nuthatch, many Robins, Great tits and Magpies.
If any of you birders can give me any clues I would be grateful.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

A walk though the Park

I left the bike at home the other day and walked to work, through the park on a misty day. these shots were taken at lunchtime and you can see how hazy it was. I was beginning to think I would not see any bird life so thought these might be as near as I got!
Then this fellow glided past with a sort of disdainful look about him.

This little fellow could be saying "but I'm not a Canada Goose, so you can feed me"
I once heard a story from a friend who is a local policeman that they used to send the newest rookiest policeman off overnight to count the ducks in Poole Park, they would look under bushes and spend the whole night counting ducks and Canada Geese! They were told it was so that if there were too many there could be a duck cull....it wasn't true of course! This was about 25 years ago and I'm sure it doesn't happen now but it does conjure up a great picture!


These are something of a rare breed now, there are not to many red telephone boxes left now in the UK, they are grey glass boxes now and very dull they are too.
Not a great birding day, unfortunately I didn't leave myself time to just stand and look and you don't see much when you just keep walking. Do look at Quicksilvers blog to do the bird challenge over the holiday.
I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself, on my first day off I went down with laryngitis, spent 2 days in bed and now have absolutley no voice! This appears to be a happy situation for my family but I'm stroppy because we were going to a carol service today and I can't speak let alone sing! I shall still go but just in a listening capacity. Don't worry if you read this and you work with me, I intend to be OK very soon! So this is my communication channel at the moment apart from meaningful looks to the family...Hey Ho, Happy Christmas!



Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Nigella I am NOT!!

I watched Nigella's Christmas programme after work last night, she wafted around her kitchen, licking her fingers and looking every inch the 'Domestic Goddess', her kitchen sparkled with twinkly lights and it looked warm and cosy. Tomorrow, I thought, I will get up and make the mince pies!

I read some of the lovely blogs around and marvel at the amazing stuff they produce and get inspired....


However, I didn't meet Nigella's standard really...for a start it was cold as I had the back door open because I was making pastry and a good cook once told me to always make pastry with the back door open to keep it cool.

I switched the radio on and Radio 2 obligingly played Christmas music to keep me in the Christmas Spirit, I started off listening to Terry Wogan and was still there right through Ken Bruce and into Jeremy Vine's programme (for those of you outside the UK thats about 3-4 hours).

There was so much flour around that it looks like a snow scene in the kitchen and Wrecks the dog has turned into a Chow! I always say my daughter doesn't cook, she explodes...well that's me today!
The mincemeat I had made a few weeks ago was to be frank ,dry and would have held shelves up on the wall it was so tacky...why didn't I buy it?




The whiteish pies in this picture have crumble topping on them, they are for puddings. Nigella said she couldn't understand why anyone would go shopping when there is so much pleasure in cooking at home...at the moment shopping sounds quite attractive...or going to work (that was a joke Lindsay!!!)

Well I'm off to buy a few edible pies from Waitrose..see you!

p.s. My best friend has just popped in and done a road test on the pies, I say she's my "best" friend because she's close enough to always be honest and tell me if they are rubbish! She says they are OK but she doesn't fancy the crumble topped ones!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Carols by Candlelight

This evening we went to St. Mary's Longfleet Poole for their candlelit carol service, it was really lovely and the choir was superb. They get so crowded that we had to get there about half an hour before it started to get a seat and they are repeating the service two more times to let everyone come who wants to be there.
It was the real start of Christmas for me, I really am not too interested in the shops at this time of year as it seems all materialism and the real reason for Christmas is not in the town center, the birth of Jesus is not even in the shop window displays any more ( with the exception of that wonderful toy shop in Salisbury, The Entertainer).
The choir sang like angels and I confess I came out with their Christmas CD ( materialism!). During one song, 'Breath of Heaven' it made the hairs on my neck stand up it was so beautiful with one lady's lone voice singing as if she were Mary, mother of Jesus. The choir is not a traditional Church choir but more like you see on that TV programme about the choirs competing against each other.
We met lots of friends at the service even though this is not our regular Church and how lovely it is to meet with old friends who we haven't seen for a while.
My boys are coming home at the end of the week and I'm more excited about that than Christmas day! I shall be working a night shift on Christmas Eve...so guess who will be seeing Santa fly through the sky first!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Memories

This is a quilt I have been making for about 5 years...it's one of those ones that keeps getting put away until another day! It's for my daughter and is made up of clothes she has worn or have memories for her. I'm hoping to put a plain line around the square of crazy patchwork and the edge of the log cabin to make it a little less busy. It includes
-a bit of her bridesmaids dress
-her Grandmothers wedding dress (1945 )
-her Brownie uniform
-her school ties x 2
-signatures of her Grandparents, some of them no longer with us.
-favourite dresses
-her blazer and school badge
-some of her Nanny's lacework
-swimming badges
-cross stitch she has made
-a batik tie she made at school
-the dress she was dedicated in
even her nappy pin on her first blanket!
etc....

Each of the little squares in the log cabin centers should also mean something to her. I am busy putting the layers together now with buttons, some of which are from her clothes. It is almost entirely hand made and to be honest I just want it finished now. I'm hoping to give it to her on Christmas day!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Winter walk across Purbeck

This was one big bull...he doesn't look huge in this picture but his neck was massive! Glad there was a string of barbed wire between him and me, although he seemed quite placid.
This was the stunning view towards Corfe Castle late this afternoon, the photo doesn't do it justice but the mist lying around the castle looked amazing. You can just about pick out the castle shape in the middle. It was -1 when we left there at 4.45pm, so fairly chilly.

Hartland Moor at sunset and the mist was running through like ribbons across the landscape. Lots of deer about, a Hen Harrier hunting for food too. We walked down to the hide at Middlebere and watched a Spoonbill come flying in looking like a Pterodactyl in a prehistoric scene. Herons and Egrets and a Peregrine Falcon too.


This wonderful bull was a big beast and was leaning over the fence as the farmer was busy getting some silage up on his trailer to supplement his food rations. Every time he exhaled this lovely warm breath showed in the cold air. I did get a very close picture as you can see in the first picture and nearly managed to pat his snout but he shyed away from me then!



Just another view across Hartland Moor. Two hours walking across here can blow all the cobwebs away and make you feel so much better. Then home to tea in front of the fire, what more could you ask for?




Thursday, 4 December 2008

Christmas Shops

To Salisbury today, we go there every year to mooch around the shops and go to Pizza Hut for lunch! We know how to live!!!! Some of the shops are so prettily dressed, the bakery above was wonderful
Forever England, a great shop which I could have spent a fortune on, thankfully the Chancellor of the Exchequer was with me so not too much money left the purse.

The quilt in the window was nice and very inspiring, in fact the whole place was inspiring.
On the way home there was a beautiful sunset which I tried to capture on paper as we hurtled along in the car, as a sketch with a hope of getting it down in watercolour sometime....I have handbags stuffed with these sketches that I rarely get around to doing!


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Advent fairy and the Tidy fairy

I made these years ago and to be honest if I made them now they would be very different but they have become part of Christmas and any suggestion I make to change them is met with a solid wall of protest. Even though they are all really too old for this they still want them and two of the youngsters won't get the goodies until they are home they weekend before Christmas.
This is my daughters and is the first one I made, about 23 years ago, it did have little metal rings onto which we hung ribbons and as you took them off every day the christmas story unfolded. As you may see they left rust marks on it so I removed them.

This is a real hotch potch, it started off as a wall hanging and sort of evolved into this! This is the one I would most like to change.
Still, the advent fairy still flies every night even though two of the recepients are not here...as does the tidy fairy, who for many years has left a tiny sweet on the pillow of a tidy room!