Friday, 29 April 2016

Nature ... In Tooth and Claw ...

I came out of the bathroom and staring right at me was a Sparrowhawk, sitting on the landing windowsill (outside, not inside).  The ivy which covers the front of the house is a good nesting spot for Sparrows and the Sparrowhawk knows this and does a daily flypast looking for his breakfast.  On this day though he must have felt lazy and just sat and waited for his breakfast to come to him.

I dared not move to get my camera in case I scared him off so I called downstairs to my husband to come and look.  Eventually he heard me and luckily the bird was still sitting there.  He crawled under the window on his hands and knees (my husband, not the bird) to fetch his camera from the bedroom, then he peeped round the door frame and took a shot (with the camera, not a gun).

Just look at that golden, perfectly round, eye - and the sharp point on that beak - deadly, I would say.

Another strange incident happened early one morning whilst we were still abed.  My husband was woken by strange noises outside, he cautiously drew the curtains back a little to see what was going on - and there were two crows fighting on next doors' flat roof - was it real fighting or some sort of mating ritual?  You can see all the scrape and feather marks in the frost.

There's never a dull moment round here!


Friday, 15 April 2016

I Wish Every Day Was Wednesday ...

You know, I really love this time of year - even when, like today, it is pouring with rain, the sky is positively gloomy, and you wonder what on earth you are going to do with yourself all day.  Some days are still chilly; some days are showery; but other days - like Wednesday - are glorious days.  Days where you can get outside in the garden all day in just a T-shirt;  the sun shines, warm but not too hot; a slight breeze; the garden glistens and welcomes.  Then after a full day of pottering, evening comes with a light rain, but you don't mind too much, because, that too, is welcome.  Seeds have been sown; plants re-potted and the garden is bursting into life; the borders are filling out and plans made.

And when I haven't been out in the garden, I have been reading; reading like a demon; three books a week - my goodness, that's a lot of reading, but the need to escape sometimes is overwhelming; and literature is as good a way as any.  The two things that make me happiest - gardening and reading, and I have been indulging in both to my hearts content.


"The beautiful spring came, and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also" ~ Harriet Ann Jacobs


Friday, 8 April 2016

Of Buds and Blossom and Buckets ...

There is nowhere in the house that you can get any peace and quiet.  The blowers and de-humidifiers have been installed.  They are so noisy that I seem to have a constant headache.  The television and recorder have fungus growing inside them after their soaking and wont work properly.  The de-humidifiers are drawing over two pints of water a day  into buckets - not sure how long the process will take till the buckets remain empty - only time will tell.

But I am fed up with moaning about our situation so I will show you some pictures of the garden where everything is fresh and clean and green.  Where leaves are unfurling and blossom is sprinkled on the damson and pear trees and tulips are starting to open and daffodils are flowering their heads off.

Goldfinches have returned to the feeders, blue tits are nesting in the boxes and a wren has been busily building a complicated bowl with a tiny hole in the top trying to attract a mate with his artistry.  Still slightly chilly and showery outdoors but I have the French doors open while I write in my journal listening to the birdsong which is preferable to the constant noise of machinery behind closed doors.

Just a thought about how kind people are - I found a pot of violas and a card on the doorstep from a lady who lives at the other end of the village who had belatedly heard of our plight.  There have been offers of accommodation and furniture and of course all you lovely people in Blogland who have been so kind with your comments.  A great big thank you to all who visit here - I feel quite guilty that I haven't been visiting your blogs for a while - but my heart just isn't in it at the moment - I hope you understand.


Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Nightmare Continues ...

The men in black arrive.  Black work trousers, black fleeces, woolly black hats pulled down to their eyebrows - the asbestos removal specialists.  Yes, our problems have only just begun, asbestos was found in the ceiling - this has slowed down the renovation process till it is all removed and before the driers can be installed.  The ceiling is being removed as I write; not just the  ceiling that was damaged but the other half of the room too.  As I said - the nightmare continues. 

Outside the sky is still blue, the daffodils are still blooming, the blackbird continues to wake me at dawn, but it hardly registers.  I am not the sort of person to rant and rave and throw my hands to the heavens - I hold it all in and quietly seethe, like a kettle on the boil that whistles and demands attention, till the lid blows off.  Remaining cheerful is hard, when your home, which should be a sanctuary, is being torn down around you.  Writing it down helps ease the pressure but it doesn't really solve any problems - we are just living day to day waiting for the next step in the long journey to recovery - the estimated time is now some six weeks hence - if the time spent already is anything to go by I won't be holding my breath.

The men have gone after a lot of banging and hammering the ceiling and coving has been removed leaving exposed wires and beams - it took them five hours, they have left the floor spotless with no dust or debris - good workmen who just got on with the job efficiently.  The driers come in on Tuesday.  It is like a summers day today - thank goodness for a garden to escape to and leave the turmoil behind just for a little while.