Saturday, March 31, 2012

Time for a blue rinse?

I had a really nice day today, despite the freezing temperatures......after a quick walk with Milo, the dog who avoids water and mud - strange lad,  I headed back to the luke warm house.  Apart from an encounter with a hyper active miniature Schnauzer, he was very well behaved.  

After a quick breakfast, although ocean white fish kibble, with warm water smelling like an explosion in a 'Scampi fries' factory, is enough to put anyone off their cereal, I hoovered up the copious amounts of dog hair.  I now have enough to fill a sizeable cushion. Available on my selling blog soon!! ;0) 

I popped into Scats Countrywide and got yet more compost and a couple of packets of seeds! *Will forget to mention the offer on Cadbury's Mini eggs* 

...all planted up in my old yoghurt pots! 

By lunchtime, it was time to take Milo on his afternoon 'long' walk.  This turned into a 2 hour epic, but was great fun.  The Herta frankfurters cut into small bits kept him very interested in coming back when called.    His interest in horses is slowly waining, as he no longer gives them the 'Medusa' stare when he sees them in the field next door.  Although I am sure he still isn't too keen.  On the way home, he met Archie the giant retriever and wanted to play!  He was like a puppy bounding around and had a great time. 

When we got home, my dear Postman had left a note to say 'parcel in barbeque'!!  He sneaks around the back and hides parcels in my garden.....a bit like Father Christmas, but in a tight polo shirt which barely covers his tummy and a pair of shorts no matter what the weather.  

I ordered these watering thingymabobs so that I could put some pots in the courtyard garden.  I have no water supply out there and these looked perfect.  Just screw on a plastic bottle filled with water and away you go!!  Am experimenting with a climbing rose I planted earlier in the week, if that works, then I'll put a few large pots out there.  Just need to drink even more diet coke for the bottles now. 

One final picture of the other raised bed.  Ready with hazel rods for the runner beans and sweet peas.  I need to sort out the watering system as soon as my Brother moves the outside tap, but the hoses are nearly in place.

I have also signed up for a crochet class. I know, I know, will my addictions never end!??   The local craft centre, which is 30 seconds away, offer classes for £6, so I thought 'why not'??  I have been inspired by the granny square blanket craze that is sweeping the country.  I want one!  £6 doesn't seem too bad to me as I am the only one on the course.  There is the price of crochet hook, which is made by a Ecuadorean blind goat, that hobbles on 3 legs and has 11 kids to support.  I do like to support Fair Trade items.  And the wool.  Natural fibres, of course at £5 a ball, but several other accessories I am sure I will need.  Sensible shoes and a poncho maybe? I am going to be skint aren't I??

Right, time for bed.  The fire is dying down and Milo is already asleep under my bed.

C x x x

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A bleary eyed post..

Let me start off by saying sorry.  I was up at 3.30 this morning, so spelling mistakes & poor grammar a-plenty in this post!! 

Been a horrible week, but it is over work wise now.  I have 4 days off and not due back until 6pm on Monday!! 

Let's start with the shopping trip with Jase to Ikea!  My much loved and ancient blue and white checked bedding finally wore out.  I really don't know how long I have had it, but it is my comforting, lovely cosy bedding that is snuggly.  It has been lovingly re-sewn in the past, but it so thin now that I couldn't save it.  It will be used in a sewing project for sure, as it is lovely.  Am thinking patchwork quilt or two?  

I have this new bedding now that will become 'old faithful' one day I'm sure.

Have been on the look out for a bistro style table and chairs for the back garden for a while now.  Couldn't resist this set from Ikea for £35!  Bargain!

It was a friend's birthday and I couldn't post a picture of the pressie I made her, just in case she saw it!  I can now!  2 'pukka' pads and a cover!  She is an obsessive list writer (unlike me - Pinnochio nose growing longer) so thought this would come in handy. 

The weather was lovely last week, so I took to the road and visited Long Acres garden centre in Bagshot!  A mighty drive from here, but they had the pre fab raised beds I wanted!  Having dug out the clematis (and moved the barrel that Milo liked to sit in), here is the new bed in situ.  

...and with Milo proofing........

Plus a second smaller bed near the chicken run - 

The twiggy edging is just there as a temporary measure to prevent Terrier-based-digging-up-of-veggie seedlings when planted.  One more bed to get and then I can get the gravel for the rest of the garden.  A ton of gravel to shift will be fun. 

Got excited with the warm weather and bought some seeds.  The first of many packets no doubt. 

On a roll, so decided to paint the shed as my Brother had removed the old rotten wood and felt and re-roofed it.  Iris blue is very fetching don't ya think?  Just the top to do in white with gloss (I hate gloss paint) and then it'll look really smart. 

Onto Milo the wonder dog.  After 8 weeks of a near perfect dog, he has turned in a terror.  It started by him spraying on my bed (yes, the new bedding)! and then biting a friend who visited.  No rhyme or reason for it, but really wasn't happy him coming into the house.  I wasn't happy about it either. A few days later a pregnant friend came over and Milo bit her!!  She has a massive bruise on her leg, but luckily he didn't break the skin.  A week of antibiotics though just in case.  I was so upset.  I called a few local dog training classes and explained.  None of them do individual training, but all mentioned a lady called Pauline.  I called and she is now booked for the 5th of April.

She gave me lots of tips over the phone, so have started training already.  He is not allowed anywhere near the front door unless I let him.  The kitchen door is always closed so he can't get to the front.  He is also kept out of the lounge when I am not here, so he doesn't get on the sofa to look out of the window (he never gets on the furniture when I am here).  I decide who I allow in the house, not him.  Already, just a few days, he is better with regard to barking at everyone who walks past.  We will get there.........I just had awful visions of having to take him back.  Not that I am giving up easily.  I cannot imagine life without the cute little man!

He is so adorable when he is with me and at Mum's.  Still in shock at the way he went for my friends.  Just wish the dog trainer could fit me in quicker.  She says it can be sorted with lots of work.  Work I am fully prepared to do!  Milo the wonder dog (MWD) will be at Bramble Cottage for a very long time hopefully!

C x x x

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The boy has found his voice....

....I am not referring to my West end debut.   Although, one day perhaps.  I am talking about Milo the wonder dog who, for the first 4 weeks, didn't bark.  He had a little op last week to remove some, erm, unsightly dangly bits from between his legs and has since become a barking hound!  If anyone walks past the window, he barks whilst sprinting to the door, with all the ferociousness of a grapefruit.  He tries to howl if he can get there in time.  Training is needed.

Today wasn't a promising start.  Grey and foggy with drizzly rain, but it soon brightened up to a glorious day!   I picked up Milo last night and he soon settled back into Bramble Cottage routine again.  Woke up at 7 this morning!  I have one day off and could have done with a lie in.  Anyway, Milo was raring to go, so was walked by 8.30, which was just in time to get home for a Lady who was coming over to pick up my 2 old eglu runs.  Deal done and I have reclaimed more of my garden.

I spent a couple of hours hacking away at the old honeysuckle that dominated the garden.  You know the drill, a job you wish you had never started?  6 tub trugs later, I was done!  The plan is to remove the very sturdy trellis and relocate it to cover the oil tank.  I can then put a large raised bed in between the oil tank and water butt.  I have a pear tree ready to plant against the fence and will put another climbing plant in, to hide the ugly tank.

When pulling out the old honeysuckle, I found loads of ladybirds.  Having destroyed their home, I thought it fitting to give something back.  I'm good like that.  So I fashioned some insect homes from the dried bits and hung them around the garden.  Very rustic.  Will not be making them to sell...

It seems my earlier post about plentiful eggs was a bit premature.  Pru laid two eggs in 3 days, so I thought we were off to a good start.  She must have read my blog and snubbed me, as she hasn't laid since!!  Agnes and Cornelia started squatting a few days ago (which to non hen owners, means they will soon start laying) and today I was rewarded with a lovely Cornelia egg!  My egg skelter is not looking that full, with only 3 eggs since the 2nd of November.  One egg a month from 4 hens isn't bad is it?  Fret not Waitrose, my custom is good for a while yet.

Milo likes sitting next to the run and supervising the 'non' laying........

.....and the rest of my garden looking dreadful.  Give it time.  I need a couple of raised beds and a truck load of gravel and it'll look great.  (A couple of burly workmen might help too). 


One job I have finished in Jase's niece's baby quilt!  I started with 3" squares and soon regretted it.  Obviously 5-6" squares would have been easier and quicker.

Rather chuffed with the finished result!  It is only small, but then she is only a baby!  Will look great in her buggy! 

Have to dash now.  That is it, my one day off and back on for 5 days from tomorrow.  Athens and back.  My least favourite trip.  Ever.  I know what will happen.  Tomorrow will most certainly contain a row with the ground staff in Athens not allowing me off the aircraft for a ciggie.  How often to I have to explain that I simply cannot operate back with the general public without at least 1 ciggie to soothe my nerves?

C x x