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Tuesday April 6, 2021

Meeting at Wisley

UsAtWisleyS.jpg

We finally got together after over a year - on a crisp sunny day, half way between our homes. Above was towards the end of our walks - somewhat windblown and pretty cold (but nothing could spoil it). You can see that prior to that we found some sheltered spots for our (multiple) tea breaks.

MeAtWisley.jpg

Posted on April 6, 2021 at 5:26 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Sunday April 4, 2021

Winter Pots at Easter

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My "rescued" tray of plants from a local DIY store called Winter Ice.
Below - a reminder of how they were 4 months ago. Full marks for all different plant varieties: primrose, daisy, pansy and viola (dianthus with one tiny flower so far).

WinterIce.jpg

Posted on April 4, 2021 at 12:12 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Tuesday March 30, 2021

The other end of the Hogsmill

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We met up again as the day was predicted to be another sunny one - offset by dire warnings about the weather prospects over the Easter weekend. We walked to the little pond along part of the river which was cleaned up with help from the National Lottery. The wild flowers are lovely - celandines, wood anemones, and these periwinkles. Rob introduced me to the three-cornered leek (triangular stem) which I'd never heard of and is delicate and beautiful - but smells of onions. [Probably some sort of metaphor for life but I can't think of it].

ThreeCorneredLeek.jpg

On the way, there were some scrubland bushes full of house sparrows. These are sufficiently rare these days to be worth having a proper look at (and taking a photo).

HouseSparrow.jpg

We went along the river walk and crossed the A3 (subway), viewing a nest hole Rob had spotted some days before...

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..and we were suddenly surrounded by these impossibly cute tits which stayed by us for ages, but were too nippy to get any perfect photos.

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We came back on the other side of the river and were suddenly faced with a dead end. So being intrepid - whilst at the same time realising it was not a really sensible thing to do - we went through a very large gap in the fencing and made our way through a relatively wild environment - I have to say in our defence that we were not the first and followed a pretty distinct trail. After walking through some tall grasses, we found Rob's jumper to be covered in extremely tenacious seed heads, reminding me of the Burry Man.

However, eventually, and fairly predictably, we ended up in a private area with a padlocked gate barring our way on to the A3 side. I was a bit unwilling to go all the way back in order to cross back to the sanctioned side of the river - although we had mentally prepared to do so - but luckily we found we could exit across a private driveway (hardly any trespass at all...) and out onto a residential road. From there it was easy to find our way back.
It wasn't until we were back at our cars that we discovered that I was also a Burry Woman.

BurryMe.jpg

Posted on March 30, 2021 at 11:44 AM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Tuesday March 9, 2021

One day in March...

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We are allowed to meet for a walk and it's the only sunny day expected for a week (and it is indeed lovely). So we went to search for the little chap above, as he had been see in the vicinity of the pond which is where we started out. No joy - we met a photographer who had settled in there to wait.
We then walked for a couple of hours up the river, and on our return at lunchtime - joy. We watched (and photographed) him fishing and perching for about half an hour - and he was still at it when we finally left.

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We saw quite a lot of other interesting birds in our travels including a kestrel (below), nuthatch, grey wagtail, multiple tits, parrots, various geese, cormorant, jays, moorhens, coots, tufties - and a couple of well fed rats...

KestrelHogsmill.jpg

[A ranger told us that on their relatively small reserve they have over 50 recorded bird species].

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This is my photo (as opposed to Rob's with his fancy camera) of the Kingfisher. The bird itself is absolutely dead centre on the branch overhanging the water - I guess you'll have to take my word for it...

KingfisherPond.jpg

Posted on March 9, 2021 at 3:07 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Thursday February 18, 2021

Fungus

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"Bracket" is about as far as I can get in the identification. There are several contenders but when you know nothing about a subject it's easy to be misled by pictures (Rainbow? Blushing?). I think clues might be in the time of year (now) as well as the tree on which it's growing - which I did not observe closely at the time. I'm guessing it's not rare (but very pretty).

BracketFungus2.jpg


Some candidates - all looking very pretty:

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TrametesHirsuta.jpg

LenzitesBetulinus.jpg

Posted on February 18, 2021 at 1:37 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Sunday January 24, 2021

No grit here...

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Someone's car slid for quite a distance down our road, (including over the pavement), deftly avoiding people and parked cars, and finally coming to rest in our fence ....

Posted on January 24, 2021 at 1:36 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Thursday January 14, 2021

3000 Things... complete

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Victory is ours - Christmas project completed.
What to do now? Why - on to Mike Wilks letter "A" of course...


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Our Christmas project - a Waddingtons 3000 piece jigsaw purchased long ago for just such a time as this.
Mike Wilks stunningly detailed picture "Sleepy Shopkeeper" featuring all things starting with the letter "S". [Including his own signature "Wike Milks" - - no? - a spoonerism].

Posted on January 14, 2021 at 7:19 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Friday January 1, 2021

Gazing out to sea

FolkestoneStatue.jpg

This seemed to me the "right" image to start this year. Mostly it's because this figure is solitary, contemplating a shrouded horizon. I can see that it might convey a poignant sadness - but that's not the view I want to suggest. Far from that idea, Gormley's figures are said to stand on the shores, not for ever sadly waiting or hoping, but gazing out to sea with a silent expectation.
It conveys to me a peaceful stillness - a calm interlude - some kind of contented solitude.

This public art sculpture by Antony Gormley is sited at Folkestone's Harbour Arm.

Posted on January 1, 2021 at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Wednesday December 30, 2020

3000 Things to Do at Home

SJigsawBeginning.jpg

Our Christmas project - a Waddingtons 3000 piece jigsaw purchased long ago for just such a time as this.
Mike Wilks stunningly detailed picture "Sleepy Shopkeeper" featuring all things starting with the letter "S". [Including his own signature "Wike Milks" - - no? - a spoonerism].

Posted on December 30, 2020 at 10:11 AM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Tuesday December 29, 2020

Leftovers en Croûte

LeftoversEnCroute.jpg

Posted on December 29, 2020 at 8:20 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Friday December 25, 2020

A rather strange Christmas Day

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But we kept up the traditions nonetheless... paper hats were donned after the cracker pulling...

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[I notice I have this in the category "days out" but after this year's experiences I rather think "Days In" would be more apt.]

Posted on December 25, 2020 at 3:14 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Thursday November 5, 2020

Vision Realised

MothersNeedlecase.jpg

This is another example of "because I can".
Above is a sewing-needle case I made for my Mother when I was about 6 years old. We were offered different ready-cut felt shapes to decorate and sew together with blanket stitch. It seems I even then had a leaning towards the "Grand Project" - and visualised something covered in gold and sequins - probably like the palace at Versaillle in my minds eye (or would have been if indeed I had ever heard of it). I seem to remember my teacher taking a dim view of (and preventing) my taking all the gold sequins I felt were essential.
Surprisingly, (to me), the case was much used, and I inherited it - and (again, surprisingly) have continued to use it. The last sequin fell off recently, much of the stitched edging had worn away, and it was in a very dirty and altogether sorry state. So I thought I would do my own "Repair Shop" renovation, (necessitating strong emotions and tearfulness, while showing myself the excessive appreciation I deserve - all in the privacy of my own house).

I carefully removed what was left of the worn stitching (some was still OK), washed and dried the outer felt, and replaced the crumbled inner cardboard, before carefully restitching it all together, following the pin holes of my original work. I had to buy sequins (not a stock item for me - and hard to obtain at a reasonable price in the right size, quantity, and colour), and replace the embroidery where it had worn away.
I can't say if the result is as it was: the overall size is slightly smaller (slight felt shrinkage with washing), but I did use all the evidence to put the decorations back where they were originally.

Of course, this entry would be more interesting with a "before" picture as well as the "after" but as it is you'll have to use your imagination.

Posted on November 5, 2020 at 9:12 AM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Friday October 30, 2020

Kaffe Lecture

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Today I attended a Kaffe web lecture sponsored by the Cotton Patch - part of the remote delivery offerings "Beyond the Festival of Quilts".
I thought he was terrific, covering many of his design interests, (quilting, knitting, needlepoint, pottery, mosaic) exhibited through commissions, his own house, his collections from around the world - and perhaps more surprisingly: jigsaws.
Many thanks to him, and to the Cotton Patch for supporting this endeavour.

Posted on October 30, 2020 at 3:38 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Friday July 17, 2020

A Walk on the Common

GateKeeper.jpg

Rob came over for a walk - best described in pictures - it was a lovely day.

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He was delighted by the nesting skylarks, though they proved tricky to capture from a distance on camera.

Skylark.jpg

Heron.jpg

This was my highlight of a discovery - a plant I had neither noticed nor heard of before. It was pretty obvious among the other "dandelion" type plants as it had relatively huge clocks - and on close examination, any remaining flower heads were firmly closed up, illustrating its name "Jack Go to Bed at Noon" since they apparently only open in the morning sun. [I would say, I went out subsequently in early morning sun but the flowers never opened for me... but the clocks really are lovely - I tried to grow a seed at home but an enterprising bird plucked it out and ate it - I have my suspicions...].

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Despite my ignorance, it's famous enough to have its own flower fairy.

Jack-Go-To-Bed-at-Noon-Fairy.jpg

I'll be asleep by noon!
Though bedtime comes so soon,
I'm busy too.
Twelve puffs!--and then from sight
I shut my flowers tight;
Only by morning light
They're seen by you.
Then, on some day of sun,
They'll open wide, each one,
As something new!
Shepherd, who minds his flock,
Calls it a Shepherd's Clock,
Though it can't say "tick-tock"
As others do!

Finally, we returned, and sat socially distanced in the garden eating lunch, and watching "the workers" painting the exterior of the house.

PaintingTheHouse.jpg

Posted on July 17, 2020 at 9:04 AM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Sunday July 12, 2020

Rockery

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I toured the local nurseries (limited opening) looking for rockery plants - but found virtually none. However, the few scruffy plants I did find were massively discounted and soon felt better when installed in their new homes.
Small beginnings.

[Lockdown has had a big impact on nurseries, even though they have been able to open to some degree (given that they are often outdoors), and despite there being a great domestic demand as "stay at home" people work on their gardens (if they are lucky enough to have them). However the supply chain has been totally disrupted; cancellations of the big RHS shows had led (frustratingly) to masses of plants available at the wrong time and unable to be sold.]

Posted on July 12, 2020 at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Thursday June 18, 2020

The day today...

tnursday.jpg

Slight snag.
no "h" available at Hobbycraft.

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Wednesday June 17, 2020

The day today...

wednesday.jpg

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Tuesday June 16, 2020

The day today...

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Monday June 15, 2020

The day today...

monday.jpg

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Sunday June 14, 2020

The day today...

sunday.jpg

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Saturday June 13, 2020

The day today...

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Friday June 12, 2020

So what day IS it?

I'm making my own "days of the week" pin-up board.
[Because I can...]

friday.jpg

Posted on June 12, 2020 at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Thursday June 4, 2020

Beekeeping for beginners

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A delightful and unexpected gift from Tony and Cathy - we have a Sherlock Holmes interest in common so he thought this was the best thing for retirement. (And he was right).

Posted on June 4, 2020 at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Day Three

What day is it again?

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Wednesday June 3, 2020

Day Two

Sandwich Sudoku from Saturday's Guardian completed.

Sandwich30-05-2020.jpg

Posted on June 3, 2020 at 8:42 AM | Comments (0) Leave a comment

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Tuesday June 2, 2020

Retirement: Day One

Dressed for Socially Distanced lunch with sister.
Champagne and ice cream.

Car gone; laptop gone; authorisations removed; phone line discontinued.

Posted on June 2, 2020 at 2:37 PM | Comments (0) Leave a comment