Sunday, 23 November 2014

Garden Birds and Dinner Party Goodies

The dinner party was excellent- lovely, funny friends, nice food and about five hours of laughter. My cheeks were aching when I went to bed but thankfully no hangover this morning.


Homemade Rose Petal Shortbreads:



Berry & Vanilla Cheesecake:


The Grannies and Grandpas are coming to supper next weekend and I think I might make the cheesecake again as it went down so well last night that there is only the tiniest slice left for me and M tonight :o)

When we got back from checking the sheep in the rain this morning the Sparrow Flock were all back in the garden. 

 
I have extended the Bird Banquet and I think that's what's bringing everyone back. They've now got a menu that is a lot better in terms of the number of choices it boasts than a hotel we recently went to. The other hanger, which I didn't take a pic of, has peanuts, mixed seeds and coconut halves to add to the nyger seed and fat balls in the one below. At this time of year the birds need to build up their fat stores as well as stock up on carbs for the day ahead, so fat balls and peanuts are a useful addition to your garden repertoire....

 
Also present in fits and starts was the Coal Tit. It's a welcome return as I haven't seen him/ her since the Spring. The white stripe at the back of the head is the key diagnostic that distinguishes this little birds from other members of the tit family (and I now fully expect to get lots of weird search results turning up...)



The Nuthatch pair were also about....


I think you might have seen me.....


There were also Blackbirds....


Jackdaws looking wintry in a Gothic sort of way in the oaks that surround the house....


An awful lot of colourful but tiny Bluetits....



 
And a fat pige fluffed up against the damp in the oak nearest the house....


It's a good time of year for birds. Most of them have been away in the woods and fields since late summer and I love seeing them all back, especially as the inverts have all disappeared. While out checking the sheep this morning a small fat vole ran in front of me across the path and into the grass. I rather suspect voles are short sighted, or just not that bothered about people as I often see them pottering around.

Well, short and sweet today as I have my first Sunday Job of Chief Have You Done Your Homework Yet? Monitor starting any minute (which generally involves sub-roles as No, I Am Not Doing It For You and Well, You Should Have Done It Earlier If You're Tired) before the next one as Chief Supper Maker, and then the one after that of Chief School Uniform Ironer, which comes before Chief Shoe Polisher but after Chief Have You Packed Your School Bag Properly? That one leads directly on to Chief Have You Charged Up Your Surface And What About Your Mobile? and is often followed by Chief I've No Idea Where The Earphones For Your Ipod Touch Are, Probably Somewhere In The Pit Of Doom That Is Your Bedroom.  
Chief You're Old Enough To Run Your Own Bath (which can go on for Quite Some Time and usually ends up with Chief I Am Not Doing It For You!) comes next, swiftly followed by Chief Have You Brushed Your Teeth Yet? After that it's generally time for Chief Don't You Think You'd Better Go To Bed Now Because It's School In The Morning And I Need To Leave On Time Tomorrow.

In the midst of all of that is my ongoing job as Chief Taking Poppy Outside For A Wee So She Doesn't Pee On The Carpet, not to mention Chief Fire Layer and Chief Pack Lunch Maker.

I've also just been given a Brand New Role as Chief Summoning Ingredients Out Of Thin Air, having been advised by L on our way back from Winchester this afternoon at 4.11 (which is precisely 11 minutes after all the shops have shut) that he's making lemon tart in school tomorrow and 'you do have all the ingredients right, mum?
Fortunately for him, I know the spell to conjure shortcrust pastry, a lemon, sugar, cream and eggs out of thin air because I've had to do it several hundred times before. 

All these things are reasons why I am sitting here at 5pm with a glass of rioja in one hand and a slice of cold pizza in the other, because Lord Knows when I will get the chance to sit down, have supper, drink wine and watch Strictly. At this rate it will be tomorrow. Do most children drive their mothers to despair, or is it just mine?
 
Hope you've all had a Luverly Weekend,

CT x
 

20 comments:

  1. The Blue tit photos are lovely, you could be describing my life with my son.. At 17yrs still has to be told to brush his teeth or he would forget !
    Getting him to bed for collage....I've given up !
    Amanda xx

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  2. Laugh out loud post today. From my experience all children drive their Mothers round the bend with impossible tasks. It eases eventually that's all I can say.

    Jean x

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  3. I was told Friday after school that there was an assignment due Monday and all the information for it was still at school. I think he does it on purpose so he won't have homework over the week-end.

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  4. I think children are the same all over! Noe you got some great shots of your birds at the feeders.
    Love the round fat ball feeder.

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    1. I think they are too :o) Glad you enjoyed the bird pics.

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  5. It sounds as though the dinner party was wonderful! I hope that all your chief duties went well and were not as required as you feared!! xx

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    1. Chief duties pretty much as expected :o) xx

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  6. It must be all children quite possibly just the male ones! Mine has cooking tomorrow, despite repeated asking what they are making & being told 'we haven't been given a recipe, how many times do I have to tell you' I am expecting a 'where are my ingredients' request in the morning.

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    1. That rings bells here too Jo! Glad it's not just me.... :o)

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  7. I think all children are the same :( Although have to say my daughter was always very well organised unlike my son!! In fact, now they are in their twenties you could still say the same!!

    Love the round fat ball container - have been thinking of buying one of those as the one I use only contains about 5 fat balls and, after sunflower hearts, fat balls are the most popular bird food :)

    Lovely shots of the blue tit :)

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    1. Our daughter is also uber organised and the lads are hopeless in comparison. But then J is also a bit dreamy in ways L isn't so I guess it's swings and roundabouts :o)

      I'm going to look up your post from last year with the xmas pud canon ball because I think I'm going to get one- blogging is great for picking up tips from one another! x

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  8. Why you are just a stones throw across the great pond from me - I could drop in for tea and devour a piece of that berry cheesecake . Love the bird shots. Our winter birds are visiting our feeders too and a few squirrels.

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    1. You'd be very welcome :o) You should post some pics of your bird visitors.

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  9. I think the whole world knows how my kids drive me to distraction. They ramped it up this weekend. I almost kicked the eldest out.
    I am enjoying the return of the birds to the garden. My dilemma is that if I ever put food out for the birds, the crows and rooks steal it all, and the little birds get frightened off.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Yes, you are my soul mate on the children pushing buttons score!
      Tough call re feeding the birds. We had same thing with starlings earlier this year. I know they are rare but even I got fed up with 7 or 8 turning up, guzzling all the food and buggering off again within half an hour! No one else dared show their beaks :o)

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  10. Think how good it all is for the soul! I like your response of early rioja and cold pizza. That's class.

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    1. That's a good way to view life, Elizabeth :o) I must be storing up Brownie points, or maybe just paying off debts for the way I drove my own mother to distraction when I was little! x

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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