Wednesday 20 July 2022

Mr Beaky


Scenes from the garden. It's so dry out there, although by some miracle next-door's grass is a deep green and growing beautifully. I am compiling a list of environmental crimes. Complete destruction of the back lane habitat. Mouse poisoning. Unreasonable grass. He is rather opposed to anything wild or living I fear. It is very much an empty shoebox garden with just grass, not a single other plant. I am working up to having a polite conversation about it all.

Around the neighbourhood we are losing at least a dozen big ash trees to ash die back. The felling notices say that although there will be replanting, it will be done somewhere else. Disappointing, because some of the trees are in big open green spaces, which will then be big empty green spaces. 

I don't mean to be all doom and gloom though. On this side of the garden fence there are all sorts of bees and butterflies and birds and in the other next door garden it is delightfully wild.

I have had the back door open a lot. I was eating my breakfast the other day while reading and something wandered into the room, strolled around and disappeared off again. I saw it out of the corner of my eye while I was engrossed and it took a good thirty seconds for me to realise that it wasn't the dog (he was out on a walk). By the time I'd leapt up and gone to investigate, it had disappeared. I finally spotted it - a cat, sashaying back up the garden path, cool as you please. Very good job the dog wasn't at home. 

Today has felt expensive. Food, petrol, locksmith (dodgy garage door), clothes for urchins and a head torch for the eldest who is going away and says that he thinks he will have to be active after dark. One of those days when outgoings far exceed incomings. Plus, someone is making very free with my organic cacao, which to my mind is a little luxury, to be had sparingly. 

I sent the middle boy out to pick the cherries, like in the olden days when time off of school was so that urchins could help with the harvest. I asked him if he felt a huge amount of homesteader satisfaction in putting provisions by for the winter. I think he was struggling to feel it to be honest. Supermarkets have ruined that sort of thing I fear.

I have been decluttering a little. I took an old hand puppet toy called Mr Beaky (think Emu, only with a shorter neck) to the recycling centre shop when the littlest boy wasn't around - most of this sort of toy removal has to be conducted stealthily or it will all be 'rescued' back again. 

At the recycling centre they have a portacabin where they hang out and all around it they have decorated with garden ornaments such as gnomes and pigs and things. Just as you drive up the slope to arrive, there is a big pole. When I went with the biggest boy, the first thing we saw was Mr Beaky perched right on top of the pole. I really must remember no to go there with the littlest boy for the foreseeable future or I shall be in all manner of trouble. I shall probably have to buy him back as well. Sigh. I had been so surreptitious in sneaking him out.

Hope everyone is cool and calm and collected out there. CJ xx


  1. Hilarious about Mr. Beaky! Decluttering definitely has to be done on the sly. Many's the time I've been rumbled trying to sneak something out to the charity shop; timing is everything ......... and also not having the decluttered item stuck atop of a pole for all to see! :O)
    I'm having to dig deep to channel my 'homesteader satisfaction' at the moment. The courgettes are running away with me - we had courgette and tarragon soup for lunch, marrow curry for dinner, and I've still got another 6 in the fridge, not to mention all those getting bigger by the day. I've only got 2 plants!
    Good luck with the neighbourly discussion! xx

  2. I can imagine your face and thoughts as you spied Mr Beeky up that pole. Hate it when trees are cut down for whatever reason. We lost three poplars a few years back and the area doesn’t feel the same at all. They replaced it with a buhdlia bush. Sadly I rarely see butterflies on it. Your garden sounds wonderful and I’m very envious of your cherry tree. We are yet to decide on another fruit tree in the garden. A cherry sounds wonderful although I suspect our blackbirds would scoff the lot. Hope you keep cool and calm with all those uni purchases. I’m thinking of you. B x

  3. I did laugh about Mr Beaky sat atop the pole, I can just imagine your littlest's face if he'd have seen him. I have no homesteader vibes at all this year after leaving my apple, plum and cherry trees at my old house, and even my blueberry bushes were rehomed with Eleanor. I didn't start any tomatoes off, nor plant any potato tubers, I've got nothing at all to harvest this year. Oh well, we've got a new garden to plan and there's always next year.

  4. It sounds like your neighbour puts a water sprinkler on at night. Shame about the ash trees, and that the replacements will be planted elsewhere. I thought that you were going to say that the cat was a fox. Good to see the pictures of Bertie, who I guess has been really feeling the heat in his furry coat.
    Thanks, I've mostly been okay but glad that the hot weather didn't last long. xx

  5. Too funny about Mr. Beaky! I also have to declutter on the sly, and then stay away from the thrift shop for awhile, since it is fairly small and tends to set things out right away. I had a moment of panic once when I saw a beloved toy for sale - but then I figured out that it was a duplicate from someone else, and ours was still safe at home. Lovely garden photos and I had a chuckle at the idea of a cat just wandering in, taking a look around and then departing.

  6. Your garden is looking lovely at the moment. I agree with you on how everything not only feels, but in reality is more expensive these days. Hope you are having a nice, cool weekend. It's very hot where live, so we are spending it indoors.

  7. I hope Bertie was OK in the heatwave. or was it less hot in your region? Watch that your green space doesn't end up as new housing! Green lawns have definitely been watered! I hate to see large gardens just lawned - it's such a waste. I think of what I would do given a huge garden.

  8. Always love your ramblings (sorry that sounds rude!) but I love your writing style.

  9. I love the cat just walking in your house to have a look around. I am not working this week but have ordered school supplies, uniforms, continuing education, it has been expensive! Take care.

  10. Good luck with that polite conversation! Oh, you had me laughing out loud re Mr Beaky!