Monday, 2 February 2015

Weekend Round-Up: Butterflies, Cake, Croquet & Quilts

It's been a very busy weekend here.

I had Sheep Duty on Sat. All the girls and Walter the wether (castrated) came running to see me because they are hungry.




Then in the afternoon all M's family arrived. We had a pub supper out on Saturday and a roast at my in laws on Sunday. M was driving and I drank too much Nice Red Wine without realising and paid for it with one of those hangovers that creeps slowly over you and gets worse as the day goes on. The sort where you wake up feeling fine and by supper feel like death warmed up. 

This just about sums up the feeling:

Displaying

L took his book to read in the pub then entertained us all by wrapping himself in my vast orange scarf and dancing about. No inhibitions, that boy :o)

M's family all play extremely competitive croquet at all times of the year and the arctic temperatures of the weekend did nothing to put them off. First they played at our house on Sat afternoon, then they played at my in law's on Sunday morning. They came back utterly frozen and chattering away animatedly about who'd fouled who and how the ground was playing. Honestly, if it were an Olympic sport they'd all be vying to be on the team.

The game as they play it can get quite Quite Aggressive. Forget any fond imaginings you might be nurturing about sunlit tea with the vicar on the lawn accompanied by the gentle thunk of mallets and the delicate oohs of watching ladies dressed in high-collared Edwardian lace. Family loyalty or letting the kids win goes completely out the window. L and I do not understand the lures or vices of the game and therefore we do not play. That way we also avoid the bitter tussles, name-calling and ruthless tactics that inevitably ensue.

We were let loose en mass for the first time on my sis in law's boyfriend this weekend, who bravely opted in to the game. He has an enormous black dog called Agnes, whom by brother in law insisted on calling Angus, and who matches my bro in laws equally ginormous dog Digby. Poppy would just about come up to their knees if she stood on her back legs and tried very hard to be tall. I have to say he coped with us all very well, considering what a mad and raucous bunch we are when we all get together. Hopefully we didn't scare him off :o)

Ma's dogs came to stay Sat night so there were four canines at home. Peaceful and quiet it wasn't. Poppy and Dylan spent the entire time bundling with enviable inexhaustible energy while Dougal hid under the table and Ted lay on his bed staring at the wall or at me, plainly willing the whole thing to just be over. Dougal gets Rather Worried about Poppy so we had to separate them. We didn't get home till after midnight from the pub so when we let all the dogs out for a pee they went completely mad chasing each other and leaping about, especially on M....


To calm my nerves, the next morning I made a Rather Nice Cake from a recipe posted by Selma here. I'm not good at following recipes and I tweaked this one a bit. Instead of the Cardamoms she recommended I added mixed spice and sultanas. It's a doughy cake that you make a bit like swiss roll, cut into sections and arrange in a tin and bake. De-Lish-Us....



I've started work on another quilt, this one is for me and is a roses and very soft very pale blue polka dots affair. It took ages to work out the colour for the border and in the end I settled on white. The back will also be roses, although a different type of fabric to the front. I'm quite hooked on quilt making and have a few others in the pipe line, including a wolf print summer sheet for L, if I can find the fabric.



Signs Of Spring are showing themselves. The woodpeckers have started drilling. The Green Woodpecker was having a Fine Old Time yesterday looking for ants. Apols for the quality of the shots, they are a bugger to photograph as per most woodies and this one was tucked behind the willow tree. I was taking the pics from an upstairs window hoping he wouldn't see me....





And look who I found sitting on the wall this morning when we went to do the school run.....



Mrs Brimstone, out in -2 temperatures. What on earth does she think she is doing? I have had a word....

Well, my law essay beckons, the joys of the British Judiciary System are in store for me today (that and washing the towels), so I'll leave you with a pic of the Hyacinth who is currently cheering my kitchen and the Hounds staring avidly at the birds in the garden, and wish you all a Good Day....





CT :o)


28 comments:

  1. Enjoyed this post. Loved the Woodpecker and dog shots and I hope you had a string word with mrs Brimstone for being out in those temperatures!

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    1. Many thanks Margaret :o) Lord knows what Mrs Brimstone was doing emerging on one of the coldest mornings of the year!

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  2. Lovely post CT, the picture in my head of a blood stained croquet lawn just won't go ;) Love the pics of the Green Woodpecker, don't they feed upon ants? and the hounds look desperate to be out chasing birds. Also noticed that your just one shy of your hundredth follower, though I'm not surprised as yours is one of the blogs that I love to read. Have a good day yourself m'dear.

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    1. That mental croquet picture isn't too far off the mark John- you should hear F and M when they play together! L and I stay safe indoors :o)
      Yup, ants for Green woodies and thank you re follower centenary, very kind :o)

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  3. Rather Nice Cake looks VERY nice, and I would love to take a piece with my tea whilst reading - why are Woodpeckers so skittish? I think you did very well to get these shots. The quilt looks so fresh and lovely - I'm currently practicing with printing inks for fabric for mine.... Want to cuddle those two little sweets, so neatly sitting on the mat.

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    1. It was dead easy to make, although I didn't cook it quite long enough I think. All woodies seem to be nervy birds, I find them hard to photograph well. I am VERY excited about your printing your own fabric- you must do a blog post when you do, I will be fascinated (and tempted to try it here!). Doggies both now fast asleep, having been out to bark at the pigeons earlier :o)

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  4. What an amazing day to have being on sheep duty, I hope the head has improved by now. Love the photos of the wood pecker and your adorable dogs, not forgetting your mouthwatering cake.

    Good luck with the essay.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  5. Sounds like you all had a fab time. I do like family get together's! Gosh you really have caught the quilting bug, this crafting is extremely addictive. Thanks for your comment on my last post x

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    1. Me too, lots of laughter was had by all. I am looking forward to seeing Harry's completed quilt in due course :o) Been thinking of you- hope all's OK. xx

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  6. I'm laughing about the croquet, you are wise to sit it out. The cake looks wonderful, I could eat a piece now in fact. It sounds like a great weekend, the elephant photo made me laugh. I always though if I had a dog I would call him Digby. Digby Dog, it sounds just right. Commiserations on having to tackle the British Judiciary System, I've done my share of law essays and I feel your pain. CJ xx

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    1. Thanks, CJ :o) A lovely, busy, family weekend and now we have snow here to put the icing on the cake! xx

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  7. Any game is played with huge competitiveness in my family. My Dad wouldn't let us kids win anything, and I have upheld the tradition as best I can. The cake looks lush. I may have to pay a visit to Selma and write the recipie down.
    Leanne xx

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    1. They can tell if you go easy on them and ours hate it: play for real! They used to shout. Now they're enormous teenagers it's hard winning even when you try your hardest! xx

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  8. You cake temptress! I'm so hungry now. You also make croquet sound like fun, I have only ever seen it played never joined in -I don't think it is much of a spectator sport. Good luck with that essay.

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    1. The cake had exactly that effect on me when I saw it on Selma's blog :o) I agree, watching croquet is very boring, but then I find playing it very dull too! x

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  9. It's great that you have so many interests and hobbies to keep you going through the winter months, whether indoors or outdoors ones. I bet you don't suffer from SAD syndrome! The quilt looks very pretty and I love the woody pics. Also the painting of Poppy in the previous post is wonderful. xx

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  10. Oh and the cake looked yummy! :-) xx

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    1. Thanks my friend. It was rather moreish :o) xx

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  11. The doggies look as though they were enjoying M's company a lot! Not sure if M was enjoying theirs so much! The pics of the green woodpecker are brilliant! They are hard little wotsits to get a pic of aren't they. Don't stand still for long. The poor brimstone must be a very confused soul. I hope she went home after you chatted! xx

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    1. I couldn't believe that little flutter! She sat there all day, and d'you know what? She's still there today. In all that snow. I suspect she's gone back into hibernation. Will keep an eye on her... :o) xx

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  12. Loved the elephant photo. Laughed out loud. That's me after a night if drinking too. Your cake looks wonderful. Like the idea of the sultanas. I might try that next too x

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    1. That ellie just summed it all up perfectly! The sultanas worked well, juicy and squidgy :o) xx

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  13. Woodpeckers have been drumming here too - probably Greater Spotted, which visit the garden. No Greens here, though I've seen them in Dinefwr Park, 10 miles away. I have seen Blackbirds and Robins facing up to one-another, and a Magpie carrying twigs!!

    AMAZING to have a fresh butterfly so early - hope she survives. Brimstones are very rare in these parts - no Alder Buckthorn for them.

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    1. Brimstones are expanding their range Northwards so you might start to see them.

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  14. Are any of the sheep expecting/ Tavi would have loved to have joined all the westies and Poppy too! Amazing seeing the Brimstone and woodpecker! Sarah x

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    1. No lambs this year but I believe there may be plans afoot for the future. Tavi would have fitted in perfectly with the weekend Westie-Fest :o) xx

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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