Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A nice relaxing sort of a day

I could get used to having M at home. 

It reminds me of the time five years ago when he was knocked off his bike (not nice- several days in hospital and a 4 hour operation to rebuild and pin together a smashed-up elbow after a man in a car put him under his bonnet), and he needed a month at home to recover. As luck would have it the weather was stunning then too (it turned out to be the entirety of our summer) and one day we'd had a late lunch and one of those small beer bottles each and fallen asleep in the garden. 

We were woken up by a policeman who'd come to take Ms statement. 

Lord only knows what he thought, the pair of us flat out fast asleep in the middle of the afternoon with empty beer bottles littering the grass at our feet.
It was probably made worse by the fact I leapt up swearing that I was late for school and rushed off like a man woman leaving M to deal with the policeman.

We still giggle about it now.


Anyway, we're enjoying a relaxing and peaceful week of pottering. Today we went to Salisbury where M bought a suit from a nice man who had no eyebrows and I got some light-weight walking boots in the sale. After that we cycled along a disused railway track and came out in Stockbridge, a lovely cattle-drovers town where the Empress Matilda once fled from King Stephen after escaping from Winchester in the 11th C and fought a pitched battle on the water meadows (I still cherish hopes of finding ancient artifacts from said battle in the stream that crosses the meadows which haven't changed much since that time). The River Test flows through, under and around Stockbridge and you can sit on a bench by the road and eat an ice cream and watch the trout flicking their tails against the current in the river.

Later, having collected L from school and dragged him out for a nice walk down the lane with the newly shorn Ted (translated, this means Teddy and I walked together while L stalked half a mile ahead of us plugged into his ipod in the typical stance of a teenager ie head down, shoulders hunched, silent as the grave, his long hair and scowling face making an old lady who was leaving her house at the time peer suspiciously at him as if she thought he might burgle the place the second she left), I returned to find M ensconced in the kitchen.

"I am cooking supper tonight!" he announced. "You are Not To Do A Thing." He brandished his cooking bible at me. "Prepare yourself for an intense experience with a hot sticky rub."
"Are you sure that's a cookery book?" I asked suspiciously.
"Yes, yes." He waved at me impatiently. "Be gone from the kitchen woman," he instructed.

Only too pleased to take him at his word I collected the camera and went off in search of beetles and other interesting people in the garden. For some unaccountable reason known only to themselves our local beetle population has decided that the chicken's water refill bucket is their preferred destination of choice this week. We've been pulling soggy beetles out of it all week (M learnt the hard way that it's best to not do this when inside the chicken run, otherwise the girls eat the beetles.)

Anyway, they didn't let me down. I found this splendid variety of a Cardinal Beetle bobbing about on the water. By means of a thank you for the rescue he agreed to pose for the camera (how on earth did I manage before macro??)...


After that I wandered up to the pond and discovered the latest resident had moved in....


 
So far there is only one pond skater and he is rather shy. He likes the lily pads though- he hops up on them and sunbathes. I think he is rather sweet.

It was whilst I was sitting on the bench admiring him that I became aware of a strange scratching chewing buzzing noise coming from the clinic behind me. Looking round I discovered a whole bunch of bumblebees prising their way in and out under the roof. As I watched, an enormous one suddenly detached itself from the others and plummeted buzzing to the grass at my feet. With the camera still set to macro I managed to get some snaps but it was only when I enlarged them that I realised it was in fact two bees. I'm assuming that's a queen mating.


Rather excited at what my half hour in the garden had produced I rushed back to the kitchen to tell M, forgetting that you can't talk to him while he is cooking, so I made some meringues instead until he felt able to spare an eye and a quarter of his brain to look at my photos. While I was meringueing (trying hard to keep out of the red-faced chef's way) I saw the Blackbird's Child standing beneath the feeder with her pa, she was demanding in a very peremptory manner to be fed, even though she is  clearly a big girl now and perfectly capable of feeding herself....

 
 Also the Blue Tit's Child who was balanced precariously on the badminton net...


Supper was still not ready by the time the meringues were finished so I sneaked off with a glass of wine and a book. Half an hour later and the chef called that his masterpiece was in the final stages of preparation and was ready to be served....


Homemade Curry and Homemade Bombay Potatoes and Spinach From The Garden, 
and all the spices and everything!

Bloomin Marvellous.

And to finish...


The very appropriately named Pecan Yum Yums.
 
Happy Days!

CT x

 

18 comments:

  1. Yum indeed. What a lovely sounding day.

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  2. What a lovely day you had! The baby bird photos are precious, and your dinner looks fabulous. I so enjoy reading your blog :)

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    1. Thanks Dara, that's very kind of you. Glad you enjoy it :-)

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  3. My idea of heaven CT. Supper looks great, and I love the impromptu photos of all your garden creatures.

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  4. I love your stories. Your food look delicious and your macro photos are fantastic!
    Sarah x

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    1. We've been lucky with the weather so far, but it can't be long before macro photos in the rain...!

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  5. Sounds absolutely perfect!

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  6. HI CT Lovely reading all your ramblings and then see what photos you find as you nip out to your garden. Wonderful shots of young birds and then then that wonderful meal cooked for you. Yummy! Margaret

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    1. Hi Margaret. Thanks :-) Hoping the good weather lasts the week out but I have my doubts!

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  7. Sounds like a lovely day and what a scrumptious meal :) Love your macro shots!

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    1. A really super day RR. The macro is getting a good work out after a year of being ignored!

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  8. What a wonderfully active garden you have! Dying to get a pond in, some lovely macro shots and great bee spot!

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    1. Hi Tom :-)
      The pond has been one of the best things we've done in the garden, you should defo put one in if you're thinking about it. Ours is only 1m x 2m approx but the amount of interesting creatures it's produced in a relatively short space of time has been amazing.

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  9. Great shot of the Cardinal beetle, they look almost exotic! Sounds like a great day, and yum yums are my favourite pastry ever!! Naughty but SO nice :)

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    1. Ah, a fellow yum yum aficionado! The beetles do look exotic you're quite right :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x