Saturday, May 4, 2013

May madness

The vest has come off!

And I have my first heat rash of the year - Yahoo!

If May was a colour it would have to be blue.  My favourite month and my favourite colour.

Bluebells, Forget-me-nots and juicy Grape Hyacinth in the garden

I am poised, waiting to make my annual trip to the woods to see the carpet of bluebells.  You have to judge the timing just right though.  They are out in our garden so probably not quite out under the canopy of trees.  Maybe another week yet....  

I'm making the most of the gorgeous weather as I know that this is summer, not July or August (when it will probably pour with rain).  Ha, I'm not going to fall for that one!  

I have decided that we get so few sunny days that I am only going to clean the house if either:

a. It rains
b. My mother is coming to visit

The filthy windows, fur balls and two inch thick dust can wait.  

Instead, I'm running around like a headless chicken weeding, weeding, weeding.  Weeding until it's dark, weeding until I can't stand up, weeding until my lower legs go numb.  

We have devised a new method of weeding for us middle aged bungalow girls with short attention spans - it's called 'Speedy Weeding'.  You do half an hour, then do something else, then another half an hour.

Bungalow bake-off. 

 Soda bread v Quick Chocolate Fudge Cake

They were delicious (phew, I have my mojo back).  Soda bread wasn't bad either.  Home-made ginger biscuits this weekend.

This week we have been mostly driving around the countryside with the trailer hooked on the back of the truck, picking up things that other people don't want (there's a word for people like that).

Last Saturday we drove miles to a kind friend's house to pick up a wheelbarrow and admire their unusual collection of creatures.  Amongst other things, guinea pigs, ferrets, a very shy, grumpy owl and best of all two Great Bustards!

These strange prehistoric looking birds have been extinct in the UK since the mid 19th Century and are gradually being reintroduced.  It made my day having the chance to see these very proud looking birds with distinguishing whiskers.   

Today we drove (again with beloved trailer) to relieve another kind friend of a plum tree. 'Welsh Bill' next door is cutting it up in to logs with his chain saw as I type this - what a nice man.

What with dragging a neighbour's superfluous compost bin through the village, my colleagues driving their grass clippings to work for me (we have too many 'browns' in our 5 compost heaps and not enough 'greens'), I'm beginning to feel like people must feel sorry for us!  

One night on the way back from the pub (and under cover of darkness) we stopped to pick up a shelving unit that said 'free to good home' only to find the next morning that it had one leg shorter than the others!

It's been lots of birds this week:

- Saw a Lapwing today standing on the side of the main road looking a bit lost.  I thought these were waders?  He was a long way from any water.

- There are several woodpeckers in the village who like to hammer away on the top of the telegraph poles only to disappear every time I get the camera out.

I've been studying shadows, light and trees this week on my many walks with poochy.

I am that strange woman, rummaging about amongst the verges with a camera, scribbling in notebooks and muttering to herself....

This beautiful tree was overhanging a cottage garden.

I have Magnolia envy.

Big Dog and I enjoyed our little mini-adventure yesterday morning.  

We were off by 8.30am before the clouds had time to gather.  

Me, trying to be clever - bit wonky!

This is the view from the top of the hill (we have lots of hills).  All I could hear was the distant rumble of guns on Salisbury Plain, lambs bleating, the funny ratchet noise of pheasants, crows cawing and bees buzzing.

Big Dog enjoying the sun

At the top of the hill we walked through a field past - could it be a water tank?  Look at that sky!

Then through the middle of a farm with views for miles in all directions and down through another field towards a tiny footpath which becomes very overgrown in the summer.

A Spindle Tree.  Very common on chalk.

No shortage of that!

We stopped to admire the view, spot the bungalow in the distance and frown at the cause of my Hay-fever (the yellow Rapeseed) emerging on the horizon. 

Just as we were descending and disappearing in to the hollow I saw a cute little wriggly stoat with a black tipped tail.  I watched it for ages.  After a while I looked behind me for Big Dog....

Big Dog had done her Houdini trick

She did catch up with me eventually, out of breath (and licking her lips).

Field Maple

When we were nearly home I spied a Peacock butterfly feeding on the nettles by the side of the lane and this little man sat on the telephone wire.  The males have a rust coloured throat.


Home for coffee and shortbread then an afternoon (speedy) weeding.  


  1. Sounds like your having way too much fun. your photo's are fantastic. Are you sure the legs of the shelving unit were different sizes, or was it the alcohol playing tricks on you. Can't wait to try ginger biscuits Tuesday night. Enjoy the sun while it lasts.

  2. Sorry forgot to ask, was it a string vest?

  3. Ha ha, very funny. We'll bring some ginger biccies with us Tuesday if you are good. Had one earlier warm out of the oven, was v yummy.