Monday, 8 September 2014

The Great British Paint-Off, A Hedgehog Comes Visiting, And Some Horsing Around Occurs.....

We are mid-way through the renovation of our sitting room. The painting is done and the carpet (which prompted the painting) arrives tomorrow. This has set me in a flap about whether all three sofas should return to the room or whether we should ditch one in favour of a big, new, squishy, comfy armchair. Having had a quick squiz on the internet I am dithering because armchairs aren't cheap, are they? Added to this is the feeling that as our bottoms have barely dented the sofa (it being only two years old) it would be a bit self-indulgent to change it for something new.

I'm not going to reveal which colour I went for on the walls until I can show you the new room in its entirety, but suffice to say the choice was helped greatly by your comments and we all chose it independently of one another by viewing the stripes on the walls, which is pleasing.

The whole house has born the brunt of this re-do of a room with bits and bobs of furniture seeking temporary homes all over the place; L is wedged up against the old walnut bureau in the study and has to climb through an obstacle course that would test the resolve of the steeliest SAS man in order to get to his computer, and the dogs are currently sheltering two sofas in their room. They are not normally allowed on one sofa, so they think Christmas has come early. Poppy is being surprisingly circumspect about the whole affair and feigns indifference to the presence of said sofas, which can only mean she knows full well what would happen if M were to catch her on one and is getting on them at night when he's safely asleep and can't see her.

I suspect this because her look-out post for when her people are out of the house is the back of the sofa by the window. I know this because I saw her little face peering out as I cycled past the house for the umpteenth time yesterday trying to clock up five miles and keep going on up the hill without falling off or passing out.

Here she is pretending to be demure while J lies on the sofa reading. I thought they made a sweet pair...


In other news, I am ecstatic because after eight years of waiting, we finally have a hedgehog in the garden. 

The dogs alerted me to her presence by screaming. 

This was because Teddy had tried to pick her up and cut his mouth. This despite having had his first hedgehog experience only last month when he tried picking up one he found in Kent with much the same result. I'm afraid Teddy never learns. A few years ago, he was hugely excited to find a toad in the garden and couldn't resist licking it. The resulting toxins made him froth at the mouth and be very sick indeed for several hours. I thought 'well, that was a hard lesson, but clearly one he needed to learn, and he'll not lick a toad again in a hurry.' And then barely a fortnight later he found another one and did exactly the same thing again....and made himself very ill....again.

Both hedgies were fine (as was Ted, if slightly ashamed later (when he'd calmed down) by his display of girly squeaking. It prompted much sniggering from Pop who is as tough as old boots and never squeaks at anything). I remained outside for what felt like ages to make sure the latest hoggy was OK and was relieved when she eventually un-balled herself and bimbled off down the path snuffling all the way. She was entirely unconcerned by my presence and came very close to me. It Was Magic.

Changing subjects again: Ma currently has a yard full of horses. She is lending some grazing to her buddy Ange and consequently has a grand total of five horses at home, her two plus Ange's three. Ma asked me to go over last week to give some healing to Tiny, who at 17hh is appropriately named (a hand is approx 4 inches and the measurement is taken from the ground to the highest point on the horse's back called the withers). Poor boy has arthritis, a kissing spine and various other skeletal problems, although you'd never know it if you saw him in the field- he is an absolute darling, a gentle giant who loves nothing more than to be cuddled and fussed over. He also hares about the field in such a way that makes me doubt the V.E.T.s prognosis, a feeling his owner shares. Here he is with ma trying to put his headcollar on.....


And somewhat inquisitive about the camera...


All the horses are suffering with flies at the moment....


Hence the fancy head gear...


Blaze was very happy for ma to put his fly mask on. He is another gentle giant...



Fizz (below) is a Highland mare who ran wild for the first four years of her life up in the Scottish Highlands. She is related to some of the Queen's horses. She is a poppet, a very gentle mare....


I bought Coco (below) for a pound four years ago from the lady who rescued him from the meat man. I was looking for a pony for L and I knew Coco wasn't right for him so I initially said no, then I woke up at 4am the next morning with him standing right in front of me and I knew I had to go back and get him. He is a darling, quite a nervous pony because of all his experiences, but he is very loving. Ma and L share ownership of him and L takes him polos and gets licked half to death as a result whenever he sees him. 
Coco was in a pretty bad way when we got him home, his feet were in terrible condition and he had an infected tooth that hung out of his mouth by several inches so he couldn't eat or drink properly. It had to be removed in the end. He hadn't been fed properly for months and he was riddled with worms, but four years on and TLC and proper care have worked wonders and he's now a fit, healthy, happy pony who wants for nothing and is completely adored (and spoiled) by ma....


He seems to be quite enjoying all the company in his fields, judging from the sniffathon that was going on....


I'll leave you with some shots taken with the new camera. The zoom on it is amazing. I'm looking forward to doing some bird photography with it over the winter when all the inverts go to sleep.....

Great Tit

Female Sparrow

Large White

Common Darter and Friend (Flesh Fly)

Small Tort

Small Tort

Everlasting Sweetpeas (still going strong so they are well named)

Male Chaffinch and a Blue Tit

Calendula

Red Admiral

Robin
Happy Days!

Hope you're all well?

CT :-)

27 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see your new room revealed! Coco looks so well cared for, I'm so glad you went back for him. Sarah x

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    1. I am getting Quite Excited about it too, Sarah. We've been putting off the new carpet for six years, so we're both waiting with baited breath until we can sit in that room tomorrow evening and revel in the lack of stains! Coco has repaid us a thousand times over for giving him a home- he is such a sweet boy x

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  2. Poor Teddy, some dogs just don't learn do they! Your photos are brilliant, what camera did you get because I'd love to get myself a good one, one day, so I can get better clearer photos :o)

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    1. I love Teddy to bits, but he really doesn't learn :-)

      I upgraded from my old Bridge Camera, the Panasomic Lumix (FZ45) to the latest-but-one model, which is the FZ200. The zoom is much improved (to get the same quality on a DSLR you would need to fork out about 2 grand as opposed to £360 for this one) but it's come at the expense of the macro, which still works but isn't so good for moth pictures, because you get the shadow of the camera on it as you can't zoom in using the lens. The pic quality it amazing though. I am really pleased with it so far and will just keep using the old one for the moth close-ups when I need to. I was standing quite a long way away from the birds in the pics in this post and was amazed at the detail it picked up. x

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    2. Thanks for the info on the camera.. I'm keeping a log of ones people use so I can choose one for myself.. it's always good to get recommendations. x

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  3. I think J is pretending to read, as well.

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    1. That's remarkably perspicacious of you. She said the book wasn't up to previous Miss Jones installments....

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    2. Damn - that's another word I have to look up. I come here to relax.

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    3. Oh well, tomorrow will doubtless be all about carpets and paint. Hard to think of interesting long words for those.....pile and tone is about as good as it gets.

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  4. I need to redecorate SO badly. You've inspired me to get on with it.

    FANTASTIC hedgehog news. Never had one up here sadly. xxx

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    1. Painting is one of those things that I dread, but am always really glad once we've done it :-)

      And as for the hoggy....soooo pleased. I can't tell you how often I've looked outside hoping to see one. Had more or less given up! x

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  5. Damn I was going to ask about the camera first...great shots with it me dear.

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  6. Oh go for the big comfy chair....you know it makes sense....

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    1. I would LOVE a huge comfy chair....it's justifying it that's the problemo :-)

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  7. That's great news about the hedgehogs, they are wonderful creatures. Love the zoom images from the new camera, I love my FZ72 as it is capable of most jobs, but have not really tried out the macro settings yet, how lovely to have a new toy!

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    1. I remember your hedgehog box from last winter. I was so overjoyed to see this one. Just hope she stays around and Ted learns to leave her be!
      Your pics always look great. I really must get myself booked on a course to get the most out of this new one.

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  8. As you know, we have just had new carpet laid and its lovley. But.....I have just removed a picure from the wall to hang another and it has left a mark that I cannot remove, sods law means that it looks as though we will now have to redecorate, not good with new carpet.
    I love coco's face, it looks wise, sorrowful and lived in.
    Your new camera is brilliant.
    Briony
    x

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    1. They are here at the moment laying the new one. It's been such a long time coming I feel I should go in their with a blind fold for the ta dah! moment :-)

      Pain about your wall. x

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  9. Great post, we too are in the middle of decorating, basically I'm changing the whole house..! Going through the big "M" as you do at 50..really odd I've started nest building (sorry gents but the lady's should know what I mean)
    Great news on the Hog, not sure if ours is still visiting..
    And the camera is taking very good photo, quite impressed, I have a bridge camera, great for popping in your bag and off you go.. Love the shot of the Robin.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Oh I do sympathise- one of my best buddies has just come out the other side. I only noticed because she's stopped taking her fan everywhere with her :-)
      Bridge cameras are great little inventions aren't they? xx

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  10. Great news about the hedgehog - we used to get them regularly here but haven't seen one for years. I think its due to all the garden fences that have gone up :( We've left a hedgehog hole in ours but not much use if no-one else does :(

    The new camera takes some lovely photos.

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    1. Ours squeezed beneath the fence under the hedge and bimbled off towards the lake. There is loads of space here so she doesn't have to run the dog gauntlet if she doesn't want to. I was so pleased to see her. Fingers crossed yours is still about. Frustrating if neighbours won't keep small holes in their fences too.

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  11. That's so neat that you had a hedgehog. When I was visiting my friends in Kent a few years ago they said they had the occasional hedgehog, and every evening we would go out with a flashlight (torch) and look for one. We never did see one though. As for your dogs not learning their lessons, when I was little I had a dog that would go fight with the porcupines and come back with a snout full of quills. Over and over and over again!

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    1. I haven't seen a hegdie in the wild for years so I was ridiculously excited! Crikey, porcupine quills in a tender nose sounds very painful. They are funny about not getting the lesson aren't they? :-)

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  12. I love horses so nice to see them figure in your post. Great news about the hedgehog and all the other critters look good!

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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