Thursday, 31 December 2009

One of the nice things about the New Year is starting a new bird list! I have filled the feeders up, bought a new ground feeder ready to go out in the morning, just now as it is dusk I saw a Thrush in the garden which I haven't seen for ages.
Resolutions? Oh the usual...Keep the house tidy, Get fit, Get thin, cook from scratch, be frugal...yawn,yawn,yawn!
On second thoughts I'll just watch the birds and get on with living!
Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

112 different birds seen in 2009!

I decided to record the birds I have seen in 2009. My aim was to see 100 different birds but I managed to see 112, probably helped by a holiday in the Outer Hebrides where I saw loads! I will delete the bird list on the side bar on 1st January so that I can start a new list for 2010.

Arctic Skua (Outer Hebrides)
Arctic Tern (Outer Hebrides)
Avocet (Middlebere)
Barn Owl (Hammoon)
Bewick Swan (Slimbridge)
Black Guillimot
Black Headed Gull
Black Throated Diver
Blackbird (Garden)
Blackcap (Garden )
Blue Tit (Garden )
Brent Goose
Buzzard (Near Upton)
Canada Goose (Poole Park)
Chiff Chaff
Coal Tit (Garden)
Collared Dove
Common Gull
Common Sandpiper
Common Tern
Cuckoo (Morden)
Dunnock (Garden )
Feral Pigeon
Fieldfare (Shropshire)
Gannet (Isle of Harris)
Goldcrest -Garden
Goldfinch (Hartland Moor)
Great black Backed Gull
Great Crested Grebe
Great Northern Diver
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit (Garden)
Green Woodpecker (Horsted Keynes Churchyard)
Grey Heron
Grey Wagtail
Greylag Goose
Herring Gull
Hooded Crow (Scotland)
House Sparrow (Garden)
Kingfisher (River Stour, Eyebridge)
Lapwing (Middlebere)
Little Egret (Middlebere)
Little Stint
Long tailed Tit (Garden)
Magpie (Garden)
Marsh Tit (Bulbarrow)
Meadow Pipit
Mute Swan
Osprey (Middlebere)
Oystercatcher (Poole harbour)
pied Wagtail
Puffin ( Outer Hebrides)
Red Breasted Merganser
Red Kite (Wales)
Red throated Diver
Redwing (Seaview point, Poole)
Ring Necked Parakeet (near London from a coach window!)
Ring Plover (Ullapool)
Robin (Garden)
Rock Dove
Rock Pipit
Shelduck (Middlebere)
Song Thrush
Spoonbill (Middlebere)
Spotted Flycatcher (Ringstead)
Starlings (Garden)
Stock Dove
Tufted Duck
Turnstone (Baiter)
Wood Pigeon (Garden)
Wren (Garden)

We walked down to a hide today at Middlebere, didn't have too long to spend there but we saw Lapwings, Egret, a lone Avocet, Shelduck and a huge flock of Geese.
I have seen only 14 different birds in the garden, this is disappointing as the numbers get less every year despite me feeding them and having a 'bird friendly garden'. On looking back through my old bird lists I can see that in the 1980's we had 23 different types in the garden, we have lost Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Woodpeckers, Ring collared doves, Warblers, Thrush and Greenfinches. Such a shame. I think alot of it is caused by people who move in to the road and immediately cut down trees, lay concrete and cover their gardens in decking....probably as a result of the quick fix gardening programmes that were so popular a few years back! One family moved in a few years ago and the very first day had two mature trees felled!
I think the answer will be to move out of this area, hopefully to somewhere with good habitat. That's my grump over for today!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

It must be getting close to Christmas....we've had the ward 'do'

Made and sent the cards Decorated the house, inside and
Sung carols in the rain in the streets near our Church, given out mince pies and chocolate to the locals and ended up singing to the punters in the local pub! X factor here we come!

Got my uniform all pressed and ready for work on Christmas Day
and added a new bit to the uniform...just for the day!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a very special time. xxx

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

At Mothers quilt is finished and just in time for Christmas! I'm very relieved to have got it done as I have had alot of sewing machine problems and had to borrow Mum's machine to make it! I hand quilted it and just finished slip stitching the edge this week. Look at the blue sky behind it!
I'm a little worried that it's too bright for her, she likes soft pastel colours but at least one of the colours is in her curtains. Look who's trying to pretend he made the quilt by posing next to it!
Oh yes, it's "Wrecks the dog!"

Made lots of mincemeat...none of it has made it into mince pies yet!
Last week I went to meet up with some other nurses from the palliative care unit where we work ( we call it TLC which stands for Tena Lady Club....I'll let you work out why we call it that!) for a coffee and a cake in a local garden center and saw this upsidedown Christmas tree as a table decoration....weird but nice!
Bought myself this book the other day! Ha ha ha!!! It hasn't worked yet!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Winter walking and foraging and stopping the comments for now

No pictures today, just the written word.
Awoke this morning to find 3 extra people in the house, I knew my son's girlfriend was staying here but didn't know my other son had bought 2 friends home after a party last night! Padded downstairs this morning to find strange young man in the kitchen looking for cereal and a bowl to put it in! Hey Ho...I wouldn't have it any other way and the noise, fun and laughter over breakfast was so fun!
Walking out in the cold open spaces of the Dorset countryside this afternoon looking for Holly and Ivy and evergreens to decorate the dressers with. After driving around through the Tarrant villages and on to Blandford we found some lovely Holly with berries near Bloxworth. Careful not to take too much from one bush and left plenty for the birds to eat. The sun set giving us a late winter show of orange and pale grey sky with bright blue in between.
Then home to a warm house and time to use the greenery to decorate the mantle shelf and over the dressers and above the pictures and mirrors.
Lovely, I've earned my tea tonight and just made some Cranberry and white chocolate biscuits from the Nigella Christmas book, and the house is full again so they won't last long!
I have made the decision to turn off the comments in 2 days time and just enjoy the writing and recording stuff that are of interest to me. I will of course still look at other peoples blogs and leave a comment here and there, especially those who I have 'talked to' for a long time. I am even thinking that I may stop using facebook too, one of my son's (he is nearly 18) refuses to go on facebook and believes it destroys real interaction with friends and I have to say I agree with him!
Anyway, please continue to look at the blog if it interests you, but have no pressure to comment! I will review how I feel in the new year and will decide then if to continue without comments. I will leave the comments on for two days to let people have their say!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The tree is for the chop!!!and a SWEET/Choc quiz

Hooray...The ugly cone/tree in our town is coming down on Tuesday and a real one is to be put up in it's place!(See the previous two posts if you don't know what this is about) People have complained and started facebook groups in protest, it's been on the news and in the daily papers....for once our town is on the map....for all the wrong reasons! The cone has been vandalised but as you pass it you hear everyone talking about it so it's become well known.

My daughter is entering a quiz about names of sweets and chocs using these clues but we are stuck on the last if you can help??!!!!!

ie. High Class thoroughfare =Quality Street
Now your turn! (in italic are solved now, thanks)
Mother's local= Mars bar
Frankie Vaughan wanted it= Moonlight
Good children get these= Treats
Gem orchard= Opal fruits
Capital granite=Edinburgh Rock
Noisy insect= Humbug
One who wanders=Minstrel
Not the RAF pills=
County pot-pourri=
Sugary Golden Virginia= ?Sweet cigarettes
I have had this week as a holiday from work and spent it preparing for Christmas and just enjoying having the time to be me again.
A nice but blustery walk along the seafront at nearby Swanage.
Redecorating the lounge (if you scroll down to my previous post you will see the 'before picture' when it was raspberry pink!)It's only a small lounge so only took three days to do.

A walk in the wintry countryside, cold but fun above Kingcombe near Dorchester, too wet to walk far in the light of the recent rain we have had. We were on the way home from Taunton in Somerset where my sewing machine has had to go in for another repair job, we just stopped to admire the winter trees.

To Church to see the children doing their nativity play, with all it's hiccups and children forgetting their lines but all the more lovely for that.
A walk to the next town to do a bit of shopping, it took me one and a half hours to walk there.
Delia has to be part of Christmas, mincemeat and Christmas cake, mince pies and pudding.
My kitchen smells wonderful this morning as I have left this bowl overnight with the dried fruit soaking in oranges and lemon and waiting to have a good dollop of brandy added later. The other bowl is the Christmas cake fruit soaking in brandy.
All the plates on the dressers have been taken off and replaced with Christmas china and glass, tablecloths changed to red and white, tea towels to red ones, tea cosy's to christmassy designs so hopefully the place will be less cluttered with decorations but still different. Most of the plates are from charity shops and I had a real job to find one with the Christmas story on it instead of Father Christmas and robins and trees! I eventually found one ( middle top row) it's not great because the faces are a bit twee and it's quite pink...but better than nothing!
So Christmas is coming...but I'm still making paper decorations so not finished yet!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

It seems I am not the only one to think that the tree in our town is a poor show! on my last blog I put a photo I had taken of it.....and now the Daily papers have seen it too! All for 'Health & Safety', the council are worried someone might trip over a guy rope and sue them! The world has gone mad and we have become a 'nanny state'. People never used to think of suing other folk for an accident, you took it as part of life. My son's have always been very adventurous, in fact one of them went out to an island in a boat the night before last and spent the night sleeping in the undergrowth with a friend, they climbed trees, got freezing cold, wet and filthy dirty but they had an adventure and his memories will stay for ever . Life is a risk and it will be very boring of we are mollycoddled so much we can't enjoy it.

The Christmas windows are appearing, ahhhh.

A friend from work played Mrs Beaver in the play "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"in a local Church. Isn't that a good costume? I hope she doesn't mind appearing on here....but you wouldn't recognise her! It was a really good show and I really enjoyed it.

Lastly, this is our tiny lounge today...but I have a holiday this week so I will be painting it, putting new curtains up, new light fitting and new carpet in, so goodbye to the raspberry pink and cream and hello to.........wait and see!

Monday, 23 November 2009

A finished quilt and an amazing co-incidence!

I sat indoors this morning while the rain pounded on the windows and sewed round the last bit of binding on this strippy quilt...feet up on the table with the quilt on my lap. When the rain stopped I ran out to the garden to take a picture while it was dry! I need a record of this one as I want to sell it to try and raise some funds to help my daughter pay for a trip she wants to go on next August to Calcutta to work with the street children there.

I think it would do for a child maybe, it's a bit on the bright side for some people maybe! It's virtually all done by hand, pieced and quilted by hand, just used the machine to join the blocks and sew the binding on.
After the rain had stopped I walked Wrecks the dog, down through the woods which were criss crossed with little channels made by the heavy rain that we have had over the past few days, the autumn storms are upon us. As I walked I could hear the sound of chain saw's where people were cutting up trees that had come down and making branches safe. Thankfully all we have suffered is a bit of fence damage, we have been lucky, in Cumbria they have had flood water in their homes.
This old grainy photo was taken in the early 70's of a house I lived in with my parents in a village about 70 miles away from where I now live and my parents have long since moved on. The amazing thing is that my son and his girlfriend were invited to dinner with one of her colleagues last week and was this house! How amazing is that! It was wonderful to hear how it looks now, we moved in when I was 12 when the house was brand new in 1969....I can hear all your brain cells working now to work my age out!
This is our towns poor effort of a Christmas tree this year, it's really a bit dull I think. I think they should plant a real tree in the middle of the square and let it grow and decorate it every year, I'm sure it would be cheaper in the long run and certainly would be more attractive to look at. Sorry...bit of a moan there!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

November break in Wales.

We have just spent a lovely long weekend in the cottage called Lliety again in North Wales, tiny and cosy and very quiet. We had some family stuff to do up in Snowdonia and some family visiting too.
In the evenings we lit the fire...I don't know why I didn't take a picture when it was lit! Plenty of time to finish quilting a strippy quilt and finish an embroidery of a lavender field...I will take some pictures of them soon.

The light over the reedbed in the Conwy RSPB reserve, actually a storm was on the way but we managed to hide in a bird hide from the rain before hurtling back to the safety of the visitor centre and a nice warm cup of tea.

The little church at Beddgelert, the countryside looks so different at this time of year but every bit as beautiful as it was in the summer.

Walk by the River Glaslyn and you will feel renewed and at peace. Hardly any walkers or tourists about......heavenly!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

A quilt in the making and leaf people

This is the start of a quilt top that I am making for my Mother for Christmas this year. She has asked for another quilt as they have moved into a flat this year and the colours are greenish/blue in their new bedroom. She hasn't seen the fabrics I have chosen and wants it to be a surprise on Christmas day ( luckily she doesn't look on blogs and doesn't know I blog so it should be a secret).
The idea for this top came from a Kaffe Fassett book I bought a few weeks ago and I have used a few Rowan fabric in it too. The fabric with lace bobbins on it is to denote my Mums love of lace making and the fairies because she loves them too!

These little leaf people are an idea from someones else's blog ( if anyone has seen something similar please let me know so that I can credit them for their work). Unfortunately I don't remember whose it was. Anyway I went for a walk and picked up the leaves to make these little aren't they!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Pretty Pumpkins

I'm not a great fan of Halloween or pumpkins and we ignore it in our home, but this afternoon we went for a walk at Kingston Lacey and in a little dell in the garden we came across these pumpkins and gourds which had been laid out along the edges of the path. They were cleverly and attractively positioned, gourds were hanging from the trees, pumpkins by the paths, looking all the more pretty because of the autumnal shades of the leaves lying about.Oranges in 'nests' in the woodland floor, with gourds on the ground behind them.I love this pumpkin!This was growing in a container near the tea room ..... we declined their lovely cakes because we knew that at home there was a birthday cake...for my husbands birthday today.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Born again naturalist......even Spiders!!

I picked this little book up in a charity shop and have been inspired to look at my garden differently. Now I know alot of you who read this are ahead of me here, but I am guilty of noticing the fancy stuff (birds, mammals, dragonfly's, butterfly's) in the garden but ignoring the less glamorous stuff (beetles, spiders,bugs). I know that without them the creatures higher in the food chain wouldn't be here, but I do ignore them....well not any more! I have decided to try to record everything in the garden for the next year and see what I find, it was interesting to read that the so called "wildlife-friendly" plants are just as good as other stuff...have a read of this website about the BUGS projectof gardens in Sheffield. So, I'm off to find a notebook......

Now anyone who knows me knows that this is a brave photo! I don't do spiders! In fact on night shift a couple of weeks ago another nurse and I found a HUGE one in the ward, neither of us like them so we shut the door to the empty room and even thought about running sellotape along the bottom of the door so it wouldn't come out! Debra and I really shouldn't work together on nights at this time of year as neither of us can remove them!

The ivy was humming with bee's yesterday filling up on a good pre winter feast. Painted Lady butterfly's and Red Admirals filling up too. My husband hates the ivy and would tear it out tomorrow but I plead with him to leave it!
In the evening my daughter and I went to walk the dog and watched this amazing really was this colour!

Monday, 12 October 2009

What came home with me from the Knitting & Stitching show..and what's this insect?

Does anyone know what this little insect is? It was on our car yesterday and I can't remember what it is although I have seen one before I'm sure.

As promised here are the bits I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show last week..........Rowan fabric, I've got 2 quilts to make, one for my mother for Christmas, she has asked for another lap quilt, and one for our Pastor and his wife who are expecting their first baby in January.

More wool than you would know what to do with! I just bought this one but could have got really carried away.

A Rowandean kit of a lavender field, it doesn't look very colourful in the picture but I saw one made up at the show and it was very bright. My friend bought two kits!

Some scraps that I don't know what I will use them for yet but probably to embellish a landscape patchwork.
This is really good silk waste which will embellish a sea scene I think
A book to inspire me, I love Sally Holman's stuff anyway.

There is no special reason to buy a Kaffe Fassett book...but I can't resist his stuff.
That should be enough to keep me busy over the winter months!