Monday 28 June 2021

The spirit of resistance


The moth is fancy isn't he? The biggest boy found him in the middle of a busy concrete path at the wetlands place where he would almost certainly have been trampled had we not moved him. He was very well camouflaged as well, so it was a good spot. I googled him after and found out that he is a puss moth. Look at those eyebrows! Well, okay, maybe they're not actually eyebrows, but they're pretty impressive. And that beautiful furry body and stripey legs. Moths really are exquisite aren't they, but not often seen.

Nothing of note going on around here except the usual taxiing of people to cricket and even a late season football match on Sunday (four-two defeat, we won't dwell on it). I have been really busy but trying to use little pockets of time to do the odd bit of garden tidying and decluttering. Chipping away at things, tiny step by tiny step. 

The dog and I had a harrowing experience on our morning walk yesterday. A couple were coming towards us with a big dog and a little dog. Bertie flattened himself to the ground as he does, so that everyone know he is no trouble and not to be woofed at. I rubbed his head, just in case he was thinking of jumping up and barking, which he also does, just in case anyone is thinking that he is to be messed with (he gets a lot of crossed signals) when suddenly he froze and glared at the small dog that was coming along behind. I turned round to see what was so fascinating about it, and, horror of horrors, IT WAS A CAT. ON A WALK. The temerity of it! We were not amused. We've seen this type of thing before and we didn't approve of it then and we don't approve of it now. Walking about the place, bold as brass. Bertie believes they should know their place, which is at the top of a very high wall, and they should stay there.

This one was really friendly and inquisitive and heading sweetly towards us in a sort 'Hello, let's be friends' way. Bertie was momentarily lost for words, but I could feel the rage building and luckily managed to scoop him up and away just before it reached us. I could feel him shaking as I rescued us and beat a fast retreat up to the common where he lost no time in telling his dog chums all about it.

The whole dog/cat animosity thing is very real around here. Sometimes I open the door and there's one right outside and it all goes very badly for a moment. I can't imagine how a dog and a cat could live peaceably together, although I have heard tell of such things. Maybe if the cat lived there first it might work. 

Anyway, not something that I shall be trying. I am very fond of guinea pigs (they're the BEST), all squeaky and happy to see you and convivial and loving a crowd, but even that seems a bridge too far. The dog gets exercised over an interloping fly. It is all HIS TERRITORY and only his pack are allowed. There is a guinea pig rescue lady near here and I would so love to help out, but sadly the mad barking would not be right for piggies. Or for me. So Bertie will remain king of all he surveys. Isn't it brilliant how pets train you so that they get exactly what they want. I detect the same spirit of determination in the urchins as well. Between them, they have worn me down so I put up barely any resistance to anything any more. Must try harder. 

Monday 21 June 2021

Deeply ashamed


I'm enjoying the foxgloves in the garden at the moment. I sowed apricot and white ones, having in mind some sort of tasteful pastel drift of loveliness, but I have ended up with at least fifty per cent bright pink. That happens to me quite a lot with seeds.

The sweet peas have been a bit of surprise as well. I was going for all sorts of bright colours, but the first ones to flower have been an almost-white hint-of-mauve concoction. The marguerite (penultimate photo) was a divine pale pink when I bought it. Those flowers passed, then a new flush came along that were much brighter. That happens to me as well. I feel that they must do something to the flowers to lighten them (lack of light?), but then it passes and the plant reverts to its more natural colour.

Anyway, I have flowers, and that's good enough. The garden needs loads of work, but I just haven't had much time, far too much work on at the moment, so it is having to wait. I did manage to pop some plants into the wildlife pond, which the dog has been very pleased about as pulling plants out of the pond is one of his very best pastimes.

I am trying to use every little spare moment efficiently at present, so that stuff does get done, even if it is slow going. I had an odd five minutes the other evening so I tidied a kitchen drawer that was getting a bit stuffed full of clutter. That drawer, if you know what I mean. The one where odd plugs and cables and bank cards and string and odd shoe laces and five pencil sharpeners and the rubber things for holding bikes onto the bike rack are kept and that I can never remember where they are when I need them and only ever when I am tidying the drawer or going deep into it to find some other odd missing thing.

Anyway, all this to confess a deeply shameful thing. Bearing in mind I try to be a bit green and eco-friendly when I can, it turns out I have been stockpiling AA batteries and I now have enough to power the whole street for a week. I think it must be a leftover reaction to when the children were small and they had all sorts of ghastly plastic things that flashed and made noises and they were forever asking for batteries.

So now whenever I see them reduced I think, ooh, good, batteries are on offer, I'll just pick up a pack of eight. I am sorry to say I counted them and I have fifty-four. FIFTY-FOUR. Honestly, what is wrong with me? I have racked my brains to think of something I use that actually takes AA batteries and there is nothing. My little voice recorder for interviews takes AAA batteries, but the only thing I have that takes AA batteries is a tiny string of lights on a wire that I get out in the depths of winter and use very sparingly because, well, because it uses batteries. Prepare to see many arty photos featuring miniature fairy lights.

I am now resolving (again..?) to be much more controlled about absolutely everything and not just randomly buy stuff on some sort of mad whim. Anything shameful in your drawers I should know about? xx

Sunday 13 June 2021

Agriculturally correct


I have purloined a functional camera from the eldest and after much fiddling to change all the bizarre setting (he went through a phase of shooting everything in Super Vivid) I am just about managing to take some photos with normal colouring in them. No doubt I will be told off for shoving the camera in my bag before too long though.

We are all about the cricket here of course. The season for children is short and very intense. The matches for the older two are all over the place, miles away, down hot stretches of congested motorway. And work is rather flattening me at the moment. The eldest has had some lifts to cricket. Lots of the team are in farming and he said he doesn't always know how to respond when they are seemingly quite excited about the sale of a cow or some such thing. I have suggested he listen to an episode of the Archers from time to time. It's where I got practically all of my quite extensive farming knowledge. It's agriculturally correct you know. I'm almost certain I could deliver a lamb or get a cow in the crush now.

I have spent the odd minute staring into the depths of the wildlife pond this week. While it might not look very inspiring to an outsider, I am loving it. It's really a hub for the wildlife. I have a couple of little plants at the edges now and some new oxygenating weed and a submerged plant in the middle alongside the waterlily. All natives except the lily. There is something very tranquil about staring at water, even if it is a bit on the green side. 

On the subject of tranquil, I am wondering if I should take up meditating. So many people seem to swear by it. I need calm and clarity and focus. And a few more hours in the day. Do I even have time to meditate? I suspect it is not something to be rushed, which is my main modus operandi. But maybe that means I particularly need it and it will transform my life. The bottom line is I have rather too much work on and I probably should have said no to some stuff, but I didn't. Just in case, you know. So now I am rather suffering for it. But, lesson learned and all that.

Meantime, I am neglecting the garden and feeding the children very fast things and racing the dog round on his walks at top speed, although he always does his best to make me stop and smell the flowers, or mostly another dog's bottom to be honest.

There are a couple of really lovely flowers on my dog walk that I want to know what they are. I am working up the courage to take my camera along and photograph them so that one of you can identify them, but I will look rather obvious when I'm doing it, so I need to wait for a brave and fearless day. And a day when the dog is in the mood for a hasty retreat. 

Hope all is well at your end and that you're enjoying the sunshine. CJ xx