Sunday, 13 March 2011

"It is the first mild day of March..."

IT is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before
The redbreast sings from the tall larch
That stands beside our door.
(From To My Sister:  William Wordsworth)
A very Happy Sunday to you all!

It’s been a simply beautiful day here. After a miserable, drizzly start, the sun came out at around 11am and has been shining his little head off all day.

Have you had a good weekend? I’m feeling quite upbeat for a Sunday evening! Usually the Sunday evening blues are beginning to set in around now as thoughts of Monday morning and the evils of work begin to muscle in on my equilibrium. I’m lucky enough to have tomorrow off though so I have a day’s respite at least from those feelings that I’m being wrenched away from my man, my kids and my home! Needs must though when the devil holds yer purse strings eh?

I had Friday off too so it’s been a lovely long weekend. Sometimes I just need to ‘be’ here at home, just pottering around. I was pleased that my holiday request was granted. On Friday I did some much needed tidying up around the house and then did some baking - just cos I could!! My daughter had requested that I bake brownies so those were the first ones to be done. Second on the menu were some simple little fairy cakes. I think everyone has their own fave recipe - mine is 2 eggs, 125g each of butter, SR flour and castor sugar, plus a few drops of vanilla essence. They’re lovely and light and very moreish. Incidentally - since WHEN did fairy cakes evolve into cupcakes? And WHY? Lol


And a special one for my man cos he’s wayyyy too Punk to eat your usual common or garden fairy cakes don‘t you know!! *Snigger!*

Last night we entertained my brother and my very soon to be sister-in-law. As is usual when we get together we had such a giggle. Just at random stuff but nevertheless I woke up this morning with my ribs aching from laughing. We had home made lasagne (which cost probably four times as much as a ready made frozen one would have done!)  but even though I say so myself, it was really good and there’s still enough left for two good portions for tomorrow too. We had that with some salad leaves, vine tomatoes with red onion, balsamic vinegar and olive oil and served with garlic focaccia. There were warm brownies, fresh fruit and cream for pud. Well for my other half and my brother at least; we girlies declined as we were stuffed to the gills! Unusually, we didn’t partake in much booze. My sis-in-law to be had fallen down the stairs earlier that evening and was very sore and wobbly, and my brother was under the weather with an ear infection too so it was plenty of coffee all ‘round! Shows you don’t have to drink copious amounts of alcohol to have a good time - (although I know it helps sometimes)!!

Today was spent outside tidying the garden and making the most of the Spring sunshine. We let the hens out of their run for the first time today as we were going to be out there with them, and they had the time of their lives after making the first tentative steps to freedom.  The 'builder's bum' in the background is my son on... ahem.... 'litter' patrol!

This was taken just as they discovered that the gate had actually been left open for them.  I'm sure I could hear a clucky "Wahayyyy" as they all trooped out.

They made a bee line for the borders and soon settled down to some heavy duty scratching around  in the gravel.  Oi!! Mind me aqueligias girls!!

I asked them all to pose for their first outing to be properly documented for prosperity.  This was their collective response. ~~~~~~~~~> 


Oh my goodness I have never seen so many ladybirds as I have done today.   They were literally EVERYWHERE!  Not just in ones and twos - but in great clusters!  We first noticed a couple on the alchemilla which had died down over winter.  I had raked some of the leaves form the top of the dead wood and look what was nestling inside! 

 A ladybird rave!!!

And here: 
Vegetation wasn't the only place to sunbathe though - how funny!!  You can even faintly see yet another little cluster of them in the clump of cranesbill on the ground.  Wonder what folklore significance there is to having an influx of LBs?  From what I've read it's a herald of a good harvest!  Bloomin long way off though!  We'll have to wait to find out!

Betty helpfully decided that she would assist Charlie (my other half, not Charlie-cat) (Yup - gets mightly confusing around here at times!) to tidy up the shed.  Thank goodness he got to the straw before she did as he may have had to tidy up for a little longer than he anticipated.  We think she was looking for somewhere to sit as very shortly afterwards she took herself off back into the nesting box and quietly laid an egg! 

Hattie and Leia were having none of that hard work malarkey however.  They took themselves off to a patch of bare earth and rolled and "cuck-cucked" quietly to themselves in the sunshine.  Don't blame them - it was Sunday after all!

Another wonderful sight today was that of no less than FOUR buzzards wheeling and calling in the clear blue sky above us.  We usually see two of them quite regularly but never four together.  One of them flew quite low over the house a little later on, low enough so that we could see the underside of his wing span.  Thankfully the chooks were safely locked back in their pen by this stage!

So in the (very short) intervals in which I was able to tear myself away from nature watching and chicken observation, I actually did manage to do some work!  One of my ornamental grasses has now been pruned vigorously, the ice plants have had the woody flower stems removed now that the new growth has appeared and the seed heads have been utilised during the winter by various insects and birds. The pots have been emptied and the spent compost and waste plant matter have gone into the compost bin.  Annoyingly however I had to stop as I ran out of space both in my compost bin and in the Council collected green wheelie bin which is full to the brim!  Hopefully it will be emptied this weekend however, so that will allow me to finish that little project.  We should be having some top soil delivered for the raised bed very soon so it will be all systems go with the veggie planting.  Can't wait!

OO! Can I just say a humungous THANK YOU and welcome to our bloggie followers!  There are 14 of you now ! So pleased!

Behind bars once again.  It's an outrage!!

Edited to add:  Note to self.  Do not blog past 11pm at night as you are most likely to type a complete load of twaddle with zillions of spelling and grammatical errors.  And make yourself look like a right tit.  Sigh.

Mostly corrected now!!  I think I need new glasses!!! ;)


  1. That anarchy fairy cake is the coolest thing ever! xxx

  2. How cool to have chickens. With all the brambles and weeds, I was wondering about fostering a couple of sheep! :-D

  3. Sounds like a great weekend Kim. I LOVE your chucks, they're little characters aren't they?
    I love ladybirds too, wish we'd got so many...looks like between the chucks and the ladybirds you're not going to get too much trouble with aphids this year!

  4. Oooo sounds like a wonderful weekend! I went quite "blah" at the beginning and didn't do anything so I am more than a bit envious of yours!!

    mmmmm... lasagna.....

    (yes, out of all that wonderful post, I am stuck on the lasagna-lol!!!!!)

  5. opps-let me clarify..I went "blah" at the beginning of my weekend (not your post) and my weekend ended up, as you said once before: absolute PantS!

  6. LMAO!! Calling Ravens (so sorry I don't know your name) you make me giggle!! I'm sorry you had a rubbish weekend. xxx

    Hi Rose - yes they're very entertaining! Wish I'd got them years ago. Ex-hubs wasn't keen tho. So I got rid of him!! lol

    Hi Kath! aww yes you should! they'd clear the garden for you in no time!

    Hey Vix! yup - anarchy cupcakes - they could catch on!! ;)

  7. Please do feel free to call me meggs. Glad I can make you giggle; my heart just pours out for you when you write about work (seriously) so if I can get you a chuckle here and there hooray!

    Anarchy Cupcakes, now there is a name for a band-especially a "girl band!!!!"

    I did forget to mention I just loved and laughed at the chicken rear photo!


Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...