Sunday 30 January 2011


Photos Copyright: Maggie May

I recently wrote about a walk round the allotments.
They are not normally open to the public and usually there are locked gates on all allotments and only genuine tenants get a key.
On that occasion though, there was a function for the public to attend because of the celebration of Wassailing.
Although I am not a bit interested in the Wassailing ceremonies, I do appreciate that there is a communal orchard there and in the autumn the produce is sold off towards the maintenance etc. On this occasion, there was a cake stall. I am all for small communities getting together to support this kind of activity.
There was also some Morris Dancing which my son, Sam, usually takes part in. However he is struggling with back and ankle problems at the moment so he likes to attend these functions but doesn't aways feel up to taking part.
I am, at present, making a green rag jacket for Amber, who has passed the one I made for her last year on to her younger sister, Millie because it is a bit tight. The new one is going to be a much bigger size.

While I was at the allotments, I took a photo of these teasels and the catkins.
There doesn't seem to be much going on in my own garden, but on closer examination, I see snowdrops peeping through.
Some of my shrubs have been severely damaged by the bad winter and only time will tell whether that damage will be permanent. I feel it is never a good idea to chop things up without giving them a chance to recover.
I keep having to remind myself that there are at least two months left that we could have more snow and severe frost. Heres hoping that Spring weather is really on the way.
This weekend was The RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch.
Although I watched for the required hour, only three house sparrows and a wood pigeon came to my garden. At one time my garden was teeming with birds.
Have other people noticed a decline in garden birds?

Wednesday 26 January 2011

The Right Height For Children

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

I expect some of you who used to visit my son, Sam's blog, will be wondering why he has gone one year and 27 days with out producing a new post. Well, he has now revealed why there was a gap. Maybe you would like to look him up again at The Mighty Sam.

Obviously, my granddaughters spend a good deal of time with Harry and me. There are little traces of their existence all over the house. Small gloves left on the backs of the dining room chairs. Various bags of school equipment left all over the house.
I wonder why the chairs are so often used to hang these little bags of sports gear and ballet things, not forgetting swimming stuff. These hanging places seem to be just the right height for the girls to reach their belongings.
Every now and then, I have a good tidy up and there are wails of protest and much searching at the last minute before school.
One day, maybe I will be able to persuade Sam to put up some low level pegs in the hall.
It is on one of those endless lists of *to do* jobs.
I am hoping they will not have started work before it all gets done. Assuming I am still around!
In the meantime, the pegs we do have, are on overload.
Any suggestions?

Saturday 22 January 2011

Chicken Nesbitt Comes To Stay

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

It all began with a comment that I left on Mrs Nesbitt's Space. I can't even remember exactly what it was, except to say that I enjoyed going over to her place because I live in the city and I haven't room for hens.
In other words, it is good to be able to get in touch with rural life.

Well, next thing I knew, I received a letter from a chicken! Can you imagine the surprise I got, to receive a letter from a chicken!
She had invited herself to stay and was packing her case. The cheeky thing.
After a few days, I was rudely awakened by the postman who apologised for getting me up (because he could see that I was still in my dressing gown.) Silly man, didn't he realise that I had been up for a while because I had rabbits to feed? My granddaughters were here too and were able to join in all the excitement. The parcel was huge and I had thought that Chicken Nesbitt was going to be very small. However, it turned out that she was almost as large as my dwarf rabbits.

She seemed very hungry when she got here after all that travelling and I thought I would give her access to the rabbit hay in their run.
The shock of this sent Lily running for cover in her card board box and you can see her white nose and fur sticking out of the doorway. Both rabbits were a bit unsure of Chicken Nesbitt.

Chicken Nesbitt scared my rabbits. You could say that both rabbits went a bit chicken (Sorry about that.)

It didn't take long for Ash to start to make friends and he gave Chicken N a kiss. Now it was her turn to feel uneasy.

A few moments later, Lily came over to investigate too and Chicken Nesbitt started to cry. I think she realised that she was in definite danger of being eaten.
So being the kind person that I am, I quickly removed the chicken from harm and she felt so much safer looking at the rabbits from the other side of the bars.

All three animals now came and fed together and there was a much happier atmosphere.

However, Chicken N was still a bit frightened of her nose being nibbled, so she climbed up onto the window ledge that looked out onto the garden. She liked that and she is also able to look down onto the rabbits and laugh because they can't get to her through the netting at the top of their run and she is nice and warm and dry and can steal the rabbit food when they aren't looking.
I might add that my husband is very concerned because Mrs Nesbitt sent me a book on keeping chickens! Isn't this sort of how the rabbit ownership got started? An impulsive thing that came out of the blue? Yes, he is very worried.
I am going to read it but.........

Anyway, thank you very much Mrs Nesbitt for sending your chicken. She is happy here and doesn't want to come home. Hope you don't mind.

Thursday 20 January 2011

The Allotments

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

At first sight, I thought this was just an ordinary signpost but when I looked behind it I noticed the tiny insect house.
Recently, I happened to be near some allotments and I thought there were some very interesting things there. I usually take my camera wherever I go so used the opportunity to take photos.
There isn't much going on in my garden. In fact it looks quite dreary and lifeless at the moment. The allotment seemed much more exciting.

These beehives look interesting. I'm not sure whether there are any occupants hibernating or not. A queen perhaps?
I was not going to look.

This little fire was being used as a place to make toast. There was a group of people nearby.

The fencing made quite a good photo, I thought and I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a home to lots of creatures hibernating underneath.

However, this is perhaps, a little home to something covered with prickles.
Maybe Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
Hope you enjoyed my little stroll.

Saturday 15 January 2011

The Missing Glass Panel

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

From the time we moved into this late Victorian house when our children were very young, Harry and I have lived with the plain glass panel on the side of the porch door. It is obvious that it was a replacement of a broken stained glass one.
We did vaguely wish it hadn't been broken and we did try second hand glass shops to see if there were any spare ones for sale, to no avail.
We got used to the look and didn't seem to worry about it or notice how odd it must look to other people.

You might remember that Paula made this lovely cross out of stained glass, held together with lead last Easter when I wasn't well.
I was really pleased with it.
I see her in our Church regularly and she came round quite a bit when I was in and out of chemo, never knowing quite what I would be like from one day to the next. Some days we went out walking when I was getting stronger.

I was really pleased when she offered to make me a side panel to match the other one but I did think it was rather ambitious and wondered if she would change her mind when it sunk in just how fiddly it would be.
No......... I was wrong, patterns were made and glass ordered.
Paula popped over one evening straight from night school and showed me how she was fitting it all in together.
When she explained how it was being done and each piece individually cut, it made me realise that this task was not for the faint hearted.
It was like fitting a jigsaw together and no two pieces were exactly the same size.
The glass has been matched up to the best of our ability but obviously will not be a perfect match. How could it be, with some of the glass over a hundred years old and some really modern? I think it will look much better than the plain glass panel though.

Paula is making the complete window in three sections and then they will be fitted into the frame with special metal ties.
My son, being a carpenter, will be able to fit it in place.
We will then have to think of some way to prevent it getting broken again.
Haven't I got a clever friend and aren't I lucky?

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Are You A Zombie Chicken?

I have been awarded a Zombie Chicken award by my brother, Eddie Bluelights. Not sure whether he thinks I'm a chicken, a zombie or both!
In order to qualify for this honourable award, I have to answer several questions.
So here we go.

1. What came first - the chicken or the egg?
The chicken! Well it stands to reason that an egg can't just appear. The chicken was probably made by God in the first instance. So thats an end to it.

2. Which facet of blogging do you enjoy most?
a) Writing
b) Visiting
c) Commenting

a) Writing.
I like visiting and commenting too, but the writing comes first. Sometimes I feel I will explode if I don't write.
Not silly stuff like this, though. You can tell I'm low on ideas at the moment to have undertaken to do this in the first place. Sorry brother.

3. Runner beans - do they really grow clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere - or is this a load of tosh, they grow either way wherever they are?

They please themselves how and where they grow. I think gravity pulls them down no matter which hemisphere they grow in.

4. What attracts you most to the opposite gender?
a) A good sense of humour
b) He/She is loaded with dosh
c) He/She is romantic
d) He/She has a fast sports car like a Corvette
e) Good looks
f) Neither - please specify

f) I suppose different things in different people.

I'm not looking!

5. What New Year's resolution did you make?

Look at my last post and you will see.

I am supposed to pass this award on to other people. However, you will realise that I am a kind person and will not inflict this on anybody. However, everyone who comments on my blog is worthy of the award, so please help yourselves. I am not suggesting that you are a chicken or a zombie for one minute.
Maybe someone could come up with the explanation of what a chicken zombie is!
(I've led a sheltered life!)

Saturday 8 January 2011

New Years Resolutions

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I have been thinking about New Years Resolutions.

It was so easy last year to make one. I decided I would write an entry in my diary (by hand) every day and I was able to keep to it all through the year. I don't mean just a few lines, either, but a full page. I have got used to doing this now and I am naturally going to continue with it.
No, this time, I have to chose something more difficult.
I am fed up with my weight. I'm not grossly overweight but a stone or two would make a big difference! (That does sound grossly overweight, doesn't it?)
As well as vowing to lose weight, I am going to try and go for a brisk walk every day. This might mean that I have to go out early morning or early evening. I don't care. I will have to try to fit in the time to do it.
It would be very easy to blame chemotherapy for the start of my weight gain. I did get cravings for certain foods and I have continued with this way beyond the end of the treatment. So now I have nothing and no one to blame except myself.
I have made it public now so I have to get on with it!
What New Years Resolutions have you made?

Tuesday 4 January 2011

The Other Side Of The Door

Photo Copyright:Maggie May

The door of the new year has now been opened and we are getting on with life in 2011.
The Christmas decorations have been taken down and things are slowly getting back to normal.
My daughter is now back home on the east coast and the house seems very quiet.
She rang to say that Rick, who is autistic, was moaning to her that he was homesick.
"What do you mean?" She said, "You are home."
"I miss everyone in Bristol." He replied.
Once they all got over their illnesses, the cousins played very well together in the attic and only emerged when they got hungry.

This morning, I was rather taken back when I saw what they had done up there. The whole room had been rearranged with bedding spread all over the place and they'd made it into little dens.
Oh well...... they did enjoy it.
Its back to school tomorrow for Amber and Millie, in fact Rick and Dean went back today. Its After School Club for me too.

Lily, the rabbit has made a remarkable recovery. I have had to dismantle the small part of the pen she was cooped up in. I thought she might try to injure herself in her quest to jump out. So even though I was advised not to put the two rabbits together, I decided to go with my instincts and my knowledge of my rabbits personalities, and leave them together permanently.
Well, Ash so far, hasn't pulled out her stitches and they seemed so pleased to snuggle together again. It is a joy to watch them.
In fact Lily has been bouncing about in sheer delight. I am sure she has recovered far more quickly because she was part of a bonded pair.
Lets hope the vet was just playing on the side of caution and that I won't live to regret it because the stitches are not due to come out until next week.