Monday, 27 July 2015

Rainy Days, Sunny Days

It's been a mixed bag, weather-wise.

More often than not it has been raining...


The garden is glad and the pond people are all glad, but the pigs aren't so chuffed...


The Bean Tree is also pleased, because the rain shows it off Very Well Indeed making its green shine...

 
Half-way through Sunday (wet day), M and I announced a visit to the local Brickworks Museum. This was greeted (as you'd expect) with Boundless Joy And Enthusiasm by the one child in the house at the time, who then spent the next half hour finding every reason under the sun why he shouldn't go. Honestly, he has the kind of linguistic skills that wouldn't be out of place in a courtroom. I am thinking of hiring him out to show would-be barristers how it's done. Worn down, I surrendered, and M and I went on our own, and had a Thoroughly Lovely Time (and a piece of coffee and walnut cake washed down with hot choccy afterwards).

Who knew bricks were so interesting?






I did think at one point we might not escape with our lives when M made the mistake of asking the lovely old chap who was manning the museum why some bricks are yellow and others red. We were the only visitors and half an hour later even the old boy's eyes had glazed over as he painstakingly explained every step of the process. I had to walk away because I got a fit of the giggles at the look of constipation on M's face. He won't make that mistake again in a hurry :o)

It was still raining when we got home to discover L in exactly the same position we'd left him three hours previously, slouched in a chair in front of the computer with his feet up on the wall (which explains the previously unsolved mystery of why that wall and no other is so filthy).

I declared my intention of sewing, because the patchwork that was to be a bag had decided to turn itself into a small quilt for cool evenings on the sofa and was calling to me.

As you can see, my Sewing Area is the Epitome of Neatness And Order....


The new quilt is a rag-tag-and-bobtail affair, made from off cuts from old pieces of fabric that were too small to be used for anything else (as per the origins of patchwork) so it has cost me virtually nothing to make (cue High Smugness) and at the same time has shrunk my admittedly large fabric stash which is now reasonably respectable (and has room for more again now :o) ).



 It took me hours to cut all the fiddly little squares (380!)...



Ive finished it today and am Pretty Chuffed with the results...



I have got ahead of the game by washing all L's school stuff, including PE kit (which has lasted three years- the shorts that were like a sack on him are now hot pants. It is probably time to get some more). I have also got him a new school bag and some new walking boots today. The walking boots required a small mortgage which gave me palpitations until I tried them on, realised they were a) extremely comfortable and b) will fit me when he grows out of them next week. I baulked at getting school trousers because his ankles will be out of them in six weeks judging from the way he's shooting up.

Harmony has returned to Dog World in the form of games of Tug of War round the sofa with the pheasants as the rope...


And in the rare moments when the sun has popped out the garden has provided enough drama to out-do a soap opera (well, nearly). There was a Near Miss when this hoverfly was so busy nectaring on the buddleia that he almost didn't see Marjory (our resident crab spider- I give them names to make them less scary) poised to pounce... Luckily he noticed her in time and disaster was averted. I don't feel too bad for her- only yesterday she caught a waspy-type thing which I assumed would keep her going for ages, but I can't find it anywhere so I wonder if she's stuffed it down her tummy already? No wonder she is so round. Crab spiders are interesting things- they have the ability to alter their colour to fit their background. Perhaps Marjory is colour blind?



The flutters continue to visit in good numbers. This Comma lives in the tree at the bottom of the garden and regularly glides over the top of my head. I often wonder if it's an attempt to ooosh me away.





Spot the Brimstone

I am Very Intrigued by this bee. I've seen several of them this week and need to get off my backside and go and find out what species they are (unless any of you can save me the trouble?) *UPDATE* thanks to Ragged Robin for letting me know this is a Leaf Cutter Bee, which is fab because I've been wanting to see one for ages!



I also found ten baby fish in the fish pond today, which was a surprise. I hoiked three out by mistake when I was removing weeds and had to return them to the pond. Their parents are ginger but all the babies are brown. Do they lighten with age I wonder?

Poppy found the whole experience fascinating, and then took herself off for a rest on the table afterwards. Sshh, don't tell M because we're already in trouble for snuggling on the sofa watching Humans together last night. I hid her under a blanket and she played dead so we thought we'd got away with it, but Apparently Not. I have been told if I want to cuddle the dogs at night from now on I have to do so on the floor :o(


There are still blooms in the garden, although now it has a distinctly back-end of summer feel to it. Perhaps I need to go and get some new things to brighten the place up a bit?

Hyssop grown from seed this spring- the bees are loving it

Calendula, self sown from last summer

Wild Carrot in the wild flower turn patch.
There are also lots of insects about when the sun shines and the apples are growing Like Topsy...





I'm hoping to get Bop tomorrow (or possibly Weds). Will let you all know...

Hope all are well?

CT :o)

31 comments:

  1. Hi CT, lovely to check in on you, the dogs, the butterflies, the flowers and Bop. Such great pictures and as always I love the commentary of all that is going on around you. And the beautiful quilting... I just want to know how you find time for it all? Flossy and I send hugs to you, Poppy and Teddy, xxx L and F

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    1. Hey Lily and Flossy :o)

      We were thinking about you at weekend as I noticed on her calender it was Flossy's birthday- hope she had a lovely day. Send her belated birthday wishes from us.

      Hope you're both well. Everyone's fine here xx

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    2. We were all mesmerised by a crab spider last year. It staked out a white cosmos flower and caught two or three bees. It seemed to suck the innards out, the shell was left behind afterwards, and it took a couple of days over each one. Love the quilt, it's brilliant, and how fantastic that it's all made from bits in your stash. The Indian bean tree is lovely, there are a couple round here and we always get excited when we see them. I'm laughing about your son and the brickworks museum. Things are going the same way in this house. The eldest has been allowed to sit out of a couple of outings here, and now thinks that (at 11) he never needs to go anywhere he doesn't fancy. I walked (partway) up Snowdon yesterday (in the rain) in his cast off walking boots, and very comfy they were too. He now has bigger feet than me. Good luck with Bop, I shall look forward to hearing about him. CJ xx

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    3. Ah, that would explain what she did with the waspy-type thing. I wondered when you'd start being inducted into the Teenage View Of The World. Sounds like a gentle intro so far. He's obviously easing you in gently :o)

      I bet Snowdon was lovely. I hope the weather is behaving for you and it's lovely to hear from you- I was expecting Holiday Radio Silence xx

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    4. Teenage boys are hideous creatures and should be banished! Mine only comes out of his lair to feed. He grunts, rather than speaks and has declined to come on our jaunts to INTERESTING PLACES! He also grows overnight and his arms and legs are growing faster than the rest of him. He looks like a daddy long legs. This I have gleaned from then glimpses of him I get and woe betide me if I look at him for more than ten seconds at a time! Now I just look wistfully at photos of him when he was a sweet biddable chubby faced seven year old and sigh!

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  2. Fantastic quilt!! I think it is beautiful!!!! Good to see that T & P are both enjoying the pheasant now! xx p.s. I do come to see your blog for things other than T & P it is just that I love them both so much! xx

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    1. Thanks me dear. T and P send you love and snuggles (safe at the moment because there is no mud around!) xx

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  3. You may just have discovered an albino crab spider 'Albusaraneusmarjory'...veeeeeeeery rare!
    Jane x

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    1. I shall enter that into the Scientific History Books :o) Hope you're feeling relatively comfortable? xx

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  4. A throughly wonderful post and I really enjoyed reading about all that you, your husband and the dogs have got up to Love the butterfly adn flower shots and sad to think tht summer is nearly over adnit has not even started over here in N.I. You quilt is gorgeous. I would nothave the patience to do that.

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    1. Many thanks, Margaret. It hasn't been much of a summer really, has it? x

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  5. Lovely post. I could hear the garden sighing with relief on Friday and Sunday. Yesterday was sunny and there were commas fluttering around me and baby frogs galore as I cut back alchemilla mollis and pulled pond weed. Lots and lots of ants too despite regular winter visits from the local Green woodpecker, he aerates the lawn too. I would say the bee was a buff-tailed bumble bee, but that is far too usual. My daughter always used to wear my son's very quickly outgrown and not worn very often walking boots and once she'd worn them for all of the DofE expeditions they were fit for nothing. And it is a lovely quilt and no doubt essential on these chilly summer evenings. I brought a crochet blanket downstairs at the weekend!

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    1. It's been lovely having some rain I agree. Sounds like life abounds in your garden :o) The quilt has been finished just in time- I almost need a fire at night at the mo! x

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  6. Super quilt - it really does look very pretty :) The brickworks museum sounds interesting - its always nice to find little local museums although I too have learnt the hard way not to ask questions!!!

    I must look out more for crab spiders in our garden. Not sure about the bee - could it be a leaf cutter?? I need a new bee id book (I think RC Lewington is bringing one out soon and I will find it hard to resist although not sure how I am going to get round the delivery problem with ever present husband :( ) He suddenly cottoned on that the Matthew Oates book was a new purchase :( The book is brilliant by the way I am really enjoying it :)

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    1. It does look like a leaf-cutter bee and that makes perfect sense as I've been finding their disc shapes in leaves all over the place during the last 10 days. Thank you so much! Mystery solved :o)

      Did I tell you I met Matthew Oates at Knepp forest when we went PE hunting at the start of the month? And also Neil Hulme busy baiting puddles with fish paste! I'm glad you're enjoying the book.

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    2. Distinctly backendish is how the farmer describes the weather here and we have not done our haymaking yet. I am worried but he seems to be taking it in his stride saying he has always got it eventually and this year will not be any different.

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    3. I love the Farmer's expression. What a pain about the hay. You need an Indian Summer, eh?

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  7. Nice post, I would like the brick place as well, did think the first photo was bars of soap at first ! You've made soap ?
    I have been getting crafty due to the rain and quite enjoyed my self.
    Amanda xx

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    1. I got as far as getting a soap making book.... One day I will try it :o) xx

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  8. hahahahaha you can only cuddle the wee Gud Dugs on the floor ?
    wahahahahahahahahahaahaha !

    cheers, parsnip

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  9. Interesting post CT, that poor pigeon too lol.

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    1. Thanks Ian. The pigeons weren't too chuffed with the rain, poor things.

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  10. Seeing a fair few commas about at the moment, but they are refusing to be photographed, blast their eyes.

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    1. There are some lovely fresh ones around.

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  11. Your quilt is just sooooo BEAUTIFUL. I would love to be able to do that - now, you see, if we lived closer I could be a great buddy and assist you on outdoor adventures. ha,ha My Jack has not yet been up on outdoor table, but has snuggled with me in MY chair to watch a show or read. Jack actually laid sideways on her bed and watched "Marley and Me" on snowy afternoon. She actually watched it?? I was super fascinated just watching her, watching the movie. I am still giggling about the Museum explanation and I would love to wander that one, but, perhaps not ask a question.....but then, us Canadians are known for our darn politeness, so I probably would have just stood there and waited for end. ha,ha Have a wonderful day my dear and thank you for your wonderful posts.

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    1. Aww, thanks :o) If we lived nearer I'd make one for you to keep you toasty during The Canadian Snows :o)

      Pops watches TV too. She also lies on her side with her eyes open watching the screen. I sometimes wonder what she makes of it!

      M is extremely polite too, and stayed for the entire explanation, despite my stifled giggles :o)

      Hope all's well with you and yours xx

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  12. Love the quilt CT. I'm not a fan of spiders normally but I do like Marjory, she looks friendly, (I wish they all looked like her) :-)

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    1. Marjory doesn't worry me unduly either, which is not like me at all :o) x

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  13. Hey CT,
    Just having a catch up with you. Loved this post. I'm still on a high after seeing my first leafcutter bee at Tintagel. Your quilt is rather lovely. I do admire the way you just get on with it. As for that spider; I am going to inspect every flower in the garden tomorrow, because I want one too.
    Leanne xx

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    1. I've missed you my friend :o) Leaf cutters bees there's something about them, eh? 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