It’s been a busy two weeks… Saturday, Jul 2 2016 

Tired of climbing a ladder to cut back ivy on this gable end,done twice a year,I decided to strip it all off & rethink the planting at the base.

This took a week to do,some areas pulled off easily in huge mats of ivy,others lower down needed a saw, hammer & chisel to release the thick roots,boy do they grip.Fortunately even after 26 years,the stone work is fine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh what have I started !

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thick ivy roots.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It isn’t the work that’s exhausting it’s the clearing away & dragging all debris over to my bonfire area in the orchard..

Eventually ,all done & look I found the 2 wood corbels of the fireplace,I had no idea they came right through the 3ft thick walls.Surprising after 26 years under damp ivy they’re still rock hard .

At least now some pointing can be done unhindered.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Almost done,much better.Cleaner & tidier. I shall replant the base where I’ve cut down all the Arum lilies ,some will get planted elsewhere & a climbing rose placed at the back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next I’ve been experimenting with cement/concrete. I need to upgrade all my paths,so I set about trying to find the best pattern or mould for stepping stones.I’ve used cake moulds,cardboard boxes & even an old frying pan….so far !

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Having expected disasters,I couldn’t believe how easy this craft is.The hardest part is lifting the bag of ‘beton’ from the car !!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just a test

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This the very first stone, impressed with a shortbread tin,but not hard enough.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not sure what I shall do with these little hearts .:-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This will become a step for my studio ….once out of the cardboard box !

I Got Him…Her !! Thursday, Jun 16 2016 

Of course this little visitor arrived after the children had left which is a shame,but never the less a thrill for me to see this little treasure.

Those who’ve read my blog know that for the past 5 years I’ve been trying to get a photo of a red squirrel,first spotted scurrying past the conservatory around this time of year,just before the cherries ripen.

Obviously not the same one but sightings have occurred on & off over the years,but not once last year. So, imagine my delight when clear Squirrel damage was evident last week-end,seen here, small half eaten cones & the new shoots bitten off my damaged Italian Cyprus.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Half eaten fir cones/nuts & nipped tree shoots

I spent the next day watching the ground, the tree to see if branches were moving, then decided to take this photo, as I did so I felt bits falling on my back indicating activity in the tree . From then it was a case of not cat & mouse but squirrel & me…..these little mites are like lightning & move at such a speed there’s no time to adjust camera settings etc.

 I put out some walnuts out to see if they would tempt squirrel onto the ground.

Finally the next day walking towards the area I saw this.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Middle of the Step.

I shot inside grabbed the camera & took this next photo from inside the house.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I cannot believe how tiny it is,surely just weaned or is there a family here ?

Of course this all takes place when the grass needs cutting & a mole has surfaced right near this spot !

So there we have it ,there are confident red squirrels in this area,I always wondered why they were not here, but after owning the house for 26 years, with multiple shrubs & trees bearing berries & oaks,beech,walnut,chestnut,hazelnut,many fruit trees,conifers & broadleaf trees,this has to be paradise for them,maybe until now the trees were not mature enough for them ?

Hopefully now the word is out & they will stay.Even during a poor Beech-mast year there’s always other foods available.

Funny thing is, I was so close to taking down this damaged tree during the winter,whilst healthy & growing I couldn’t understand why it had bald patches, maybe this is why ?

Oh & as yet, the walnuts are untouched.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Squirrel up on left.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


 

Up-Cycling… Tuesday, Jun 7 2016 

Another half term has been & gone, we had fun.The eldest child did his revision & of course played his mobile to death.
We did however fire up the metal detector & went in search of an old porthole which was attached to a door…given to me for a back garden door.
I had dumped it in my bonfire area approximately 15 years ago as it was never used,slowly it rotted away outside & I eventually moved it into the old orchard.

Subsequent garden prunings & chopping’s were piled onto it over the years & bonfires lit etc.

This year I came across an old lock & door handle as I cleared the whole area & so was reminded of said door.

Within minutes of sweeping, the machine indicated metal just below the surface,we dug down & bingo the porthole was found.seen here after a good wash & now soaking in vinegar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next we had to decide what to do with it, so off Mai & I went to the local Depot Vente where we found a little round table. It was cheap ply with a lino top,but best were the sturdy metal legs…needed for such a heavy glass top, which after testing has proved to be bronze !

We stripped & trimmed with my jigsaw & then knocked out the old corroded screws & presto,here is the result.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I happened to have the green glass on something else but prefer it on this table, all I have to do now is decide where to put it ! :-))

I say Hello…You say Goodbye… Monday, Jun 6 2016 

Hello to my favourite bloggers,like Tweet,Cropper,Hawthorn,Foxy,Squid,Plum,Lao,John Mackie,Roger,Dynamo,all of whom were always polite in their replies.

In view of the DT’s decision I felt one needed closure on a pastime that consumed such a large part of my early internet life.

Fun,laughter,tears.

I had much admiration for those who had the courage to confide their troubles here.

We were like a family,until those who were unable to manage personal problems allowed their frustration to spill over into comments which changed the site completely.

I wish everyone well & can assure them ,there IS life outside MyT,funnier & deeper than the shallowness of latter day MyT.

My regret is that the DT chose to close just before the Referendum……yet if #Brexit wins it would reduce blogging material by a considerable margin.

So I’m posting this here for those who haven’t seen it,how anyone would want to Remain after watching it is a mystery to me.

The Cherry Tree… Sunday, Mar 13 2016 

We had a constant 24 hour storm last Wednesday,very scary it was too. Some gusts were around force 11 I believe,at one stage I did get worried but saw no damage occurring until late in the day when I looked out from the snug window & glimpsed,through other shrubs, what I thought was a pile of green leaves at the far end of the driveway.Odd I thought.

Further inspection revealed this:😦

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At first I thought wow,how lucky is that,that my car which had been parked there a day earlier  was no longer or that the friend who visits usually about this time of year for a week & always parks there & would now be flattened !

My relief was followed by the immediate thought maybe now I can get all the ivy off & the cherries will still come as the roots are still in the ground,this followed immediately by  the thought how the hell am I going to be able to dispose of the tree itself without paying 100’s to get it cut up ?

Also being an optimist I realised that the nearby roses would now get more light & I, a typical gardener saw an opportunity to choose,buy & plant a new tree of my choice !

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As if I’m not way behind with all work in the garden ,after two months of rain I’ve done absolutely nothing……….so here is another setback.Sigh….

Hey ho, thank goodness I have the time, tools & a chain saw !

Back From The City of Spires……. Monday, Jan 4 2016 

Prague,what a stunningly beautiful city !
I was last there in the late 70’s when it was still under communist rule,so you can imagine the changes I saw on arrival this Christmas.
P1000118
I remembered the sweep of the river & all the bridges,but not the architecture of so many amazing buildings which just go on & on street after street & at night so beautiful.

Prague

Prague


IMG_0588

Once again I was so lucky with my travelling companions,approximately 50/50 split of men & women,all nice like minded people,with a great sense of humour !

IMG_0534 (1)

We did all the usual things, two of us we even went to a chocolate museum & learnt about growing,fermenting & the making of chocolate,it’s an amazing complex process.We enjoyed the demo on how chocolates, with fillings, are made & of course the samples.:-)

I managed to muster interest to go to a ballet,where we saw Swan lake,I’m glad we went , others enjoyed it,but for me who saw the Kirov last year in St Petersburg , comparisons were inevitable.

As is my habit I had to buy something typical of the country visited,this time naturally, it was 2 pieces of glass,but also this amazing Ammonite.

IMG_0401

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s the size of a tea plate, at present I’m waiting for a fossil stand on which to display it I was thrilled when I bought it but the surprise on my return, when light hits it, was seeing glowing garnet red colours on the reverse, ….making the appearance appear  lively, as though breathing !

To think this is not a man made piece of art but a natural piece formed millions of years ago is difficult to comprehend.

Having now done some research I believe it to be from Madagascar.

 

 

 

 

 

I think the biggest surprise of the whole trip,was the broad minded easy going Czechs,the relaxed freedom in the city,with thousands of people milling around day & night,the buzz of the place,people of all ages, street music,entertainment,eating & drinking in Wenceslas,yet we saw 2 policemen only,so surprised some were taking photos of them.

My fear of press reports on Brits using Prague for hen & stag nights was quelled. We saw no drunks,loud or bad behaviour,not a mosque in sight……I heard the horror hooter once only throughout the week, it was just wonderful.

A definite indicator as to how far England has strayed from good sober enjoyment/behaviour & freedom…………

A visit is a must.

Thanks & credit to John [Lee ] for top two photos.His pics are far better than mine.:-)

August; The Fruity Season…. Monday, Aug 31 2015 

Here we are again at the end of another summer & the Swallows preparing to leave.

I’ve enjoyed it & have had more visitors than usual,but generally a lazy time with no projects underway.

With visitors gone, my son has just returned from a family holiday in Croatia & my daughters children have returned from a month in South Africa-it feels as though all is being gathered in !

I’ve had a brilliant crop of all fruits this year, the red currants, blueberries & plums have been enjoyed with the surplus now in the deep freeze to enjoy during the winter.

IMG_0298

Likewise the Blackberry season has just got underway so when rain permits I’m picking & freezing them & also today made Crab Apple jelly….successfully, it actually set !

This year too,unlike last year when there were none,the Cox’s apple tree is heavily laden with fruit so I can’t wait to get my teeth stuck into a really crisp apple,how I wish there was a fool proof way to store them through the winter.

Next up will be the walnuts, though I’m not so sure they are going to be that plentiful this year although the hazelnuts are everywhere…..which will no doubt please the squirrels,which disappointingly I’ve not seen hide nor hair of this year.

IMG_0313

During the summer I’ve acquired a new friend,I call her Pud-cat, she won’t let me get any nearer than about 12ft,but she turns up & just watches me work,never tries to enter the house & not that interested in food. She was heavily pregnant last winter when I first saw her, but then she disappeared until the summer.

Unusually,she has beautiful blue eyes.

IMG_0293

It’s time like this I truly wonder if I could ever give all this up & leave the property ?

Next Page »

The Muslim Issue

"Muhammad was once a refugee taken in by the Jewish City of Medina. Within 5-years, he had driven out, executed, or enslaved every jew there."

The Last Refuge

Rag Tag Bunch of Conservative Misfits - Contact Info: TheLastRefuge@reagan.com

Guido Fawkes

Parliamentary plots and conspiracy

9to5Mac

Apple iPhone, Mac and iPad News Breaking All Day

CutterLight

living well off the beaten path

Beetles In The Bush

Experiences and reflections of a Missouri entomologist

The Muslim Issue

"Muhammad was once a refugee taken in by the Jewish City of Medina. Within 5-years, he had driven out, executed, or enslaved every jew there."

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,597 other followers