Friday, 29 February 2008

Leap Day

Today is the day that happens once every four years. 28 years ago it was the day my second daughter wasn't born - she waited another 3 days, and ended up well overdue. Still, that's not today's story.

This is a special kind of day, an in-between day, possibly a day to make decisions to affect the next four years. A day of hope.

Yesterday I caught up on my visiting for ABC Wednesday, and I dropped in on Diana. She intends to spend the next 12 weeks exercising and losing weight, and like a fool I said I'd join her!

I've battled overweight most of my life. Two years ago I joined an on-line weight-loss organisation, and eventually reached my target weight. Then came Christmas and typical overeating, and since then I've lost it completely. So tomorrow morning I shall weigh myself, and start exercising - gently!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Catching Up On Yesterday

Yesterday I started to write this post, but I was so tired that I made a mess of everything. So tonight I'm trying again.

This award was given me some time ago by Siani, and it's taken me until now to acknowledge it. Thank you Siani for your continuing kindness to me.
Now it's time for me to share this nice little award with some other people.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

ABC Wednesday - F

Today's ABC Wednesday features the letter F. There are so many F-words (no, I don't mean that word!) that it was hard to choose. I thought Friends, Fur, Feathers, Flowers ..... Too many words! Then I finally decided - F is for


Fences vary so much, but they all have one thing in common. They mark boundaries.
This Fence is at the end of our road - a strong, fairly new Fence that just stops!

This second Fence is a very different type, alongside the lane where I normally walk Badger, my old dog. Rather tumble-down, but still a boundary.

If you like the idea of ABC Wednesday, visit Mrs Nesbit for the rules, or click on the logo at the top of this post.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Two Years Ago.

Today we've had more wind. Badger looks sleek and slim with the wind blowing into her face, but it's a different story on the way home with the wind blowing from her rear. She tends to run a bit sideways, and she looks like a hairy haystack. I put off her walk as long as I could, and we managed to get out and back between squalls.

Two years ago now we had an unusual (for us) amount of snow, and I enjoyed myself photographing everything I could. This is one of my favourite shots.

Here in Ireland we use a lot of peat as fuel - this is known as Turf. The turf in the above picture had become very wet, so I left it out in the air to dry. You can see the result.

Maybe I shouldn't complain about today's weather after all.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Odd Shots On Monday

I am so late with this today! I've been out all day, and I've only just sat at my computer. I took this towards the end of April one year.

The tree is a silver birch, split into two equally sized trunks. Between the two, well above the ground, is a little pocket of soil and moss. If you look very carefully at this you might be able to make out the tiny sycamore seedling growing in the grass there. I wonder how big it will grow, and what the resulting tree combination will look like.

Visit Katney to join the fun.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Spring Comes!

We've had lovely weather most of the day, and i found mature catkins on the local Alder trees. Spring hasn't fully arrived yet, but it's on the way!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Saturday PhotoHunt - Wooden

This Week's theme for the Saturday PhotoHunt is Wooden. I love wood. I love good wooden furniture. I love the smell of newly worked wood. I love wooden ornaments, wooden bowls, wooden toys, even wooden jewellery. Choosing from everything was hard. I finally decided to go with this.

My spinning-wheel.

There is - naturally! - a story behind this. I am Welsh. I was born near the end of the Second World War. My father was a meteorologist with the Royal Air Force and stationed in England, and my mother was with him. So almost by accident I was born in England.
When I was old enough to go to school I was told I talked "funny" (Welsh accent picked up from my parents.)
Fast-forward a bit, and we were back in Wales with my grandfather. In school I talked with a "twang".
It's possible that the above left me with a desire to be recognised as Welsh. I know I was interested in Welsh history and culture. There was a decorative brass plate on the wall featuring a lady in Welsh costume standing by a spinning wheel. I wanted one, and I wanted to spin.

Fast-forward quite a long way. 1990 saw us, as a family, living on an Irish island. We rented our cottage from a local man. His wife was from Wales - and she was a spinster.
Brief digression - spinster now means an unmarried woman. It used to mean the eldest daughter of the house who had the duty of spinning the yarn for the clothing - she was the spinster until she married and went to her husband's home.
Anyhow, this lady could spin, and she taught me.

Yes, the Welsh woman had to come to Ireland to learn spinning from another Welsh woman. Life can be strange.

This spinning-wheel is of Irish design. The main difference between this and the Welsh design is the footman which joins the crank to the treadle. This is is made of cord. In the Welsh wheel this is a wooden rod, which makes for slightly easier use.
You can see the cord footman here (click to enlarge!) although the photo's fuzzy again I'm afraid.

Well that's my wooden post . If you fancy joining in the PhotoHunt fun, visit tnchick who started it all.


Thursday, 21 February 2008

Beating The Blues!

Yesterday's weather was not good. Windy but mostly dry early on, but then the rain and gloom set in. Today is still windy, and mostly wet. I'm in serious need of cheering up.
With that in mind I thought I'd post some cheerful pictures, just to remind myself. I took these photos a few days ago . These are crocuses in my garden (before the wind and thrashing rain flattened them. I know they'll recover, but they're looking rather sad at the moment.)
This second photo is a bit fuzzy, but the colours are bright and sunny.

At least there's always the hebe. An evergreen shrub, this always has a few flowers whatever the weather or time of year, and these flowers have a sweet but almost sharp scent. I love it.

So that's me - a bit happier now I'm looking at these pictures. I hope you all feel good this morning (or whatever time of day it is with you!)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

ABC Wednesday - E

It's ABC Wednesday again, and this week is letter E.

E is for


The above picture shows a collection of the exercise equipment currently gathering dust in my room (all except the Slendertone, which does get used every day). I am supposed to be exercising to help improve my weight and general fitness. At the moment I have absolutely no desire at all to improve anything.

So there!

Maybe when the weather gets a bit warmer . . . . .

For information on ABC Wednesday, go here.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Archie's Golden Sky Dragon

Anyone who visits here has to realise that I'm DOD (Demented Over Dragons). I really could not resist this photo, which Archie has kindly allowed me to reproduce here (his photo, his copyright!). To see his original, just click here.

I love it. I wish that dragon would come round here.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Odd Shots On Monday

Here I am again, back with a new logo for Odd Shots On Monday (click for the rules).
This new logo was put together by David McMahon over at Authorblog for Katney who started this meme.

The idea is to post odd shots that don't really fit easily into categories, and we're only allowed to post one shot each week. I've a huge collection of shots that would fall into this category, but I'm afraid they might be a bit too odd for anyone to recognise!

So I'm going for this one (which is surely odd enough!) I love shadows and reflections, and I shoot them whenever I can. As I normally only have my camera-phone with me, many of the shots end up rather poor quality, but I think this one is fit to share.

The fences on this estate are made of vertical strips of wood. At this time of year the sun, even at mid-day, stays low in the sky, making long shadows. I like the way the sun-stripes cross the lines of these blocks.

Have a good Monday.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

A Perfect Day.

Today's weather is lovely; cold but bright and sunny, a real change from yesterday's dullness. While walking old Badger (who failed to find her favourite puddle as the weather's dry) I found the tips of some moss decorated with frost.
This patch of mossy grass was still in shadow, so although it would have been perfect to see the sun on the frost (before it melted!) I couldn't wait long enough. If you click on the picture it gets much bigger, and you can see the patterns more easily.
I also saw new leaves just opening on the wild rose in the hedge. Spring is coming closer!

And, several hours later, this is the last of the sunset. It's been a perfect day!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Saturday PhotoHunt - Free

Today's theme for the Saturday PhotoHunt is FREE. Being the kind of frugal (read miserly!) person that I am, I immediately thought of special offers. You know the kind of thing - free sample, so much extra free, buy one get one free - all the labels that gladden my heart when I'm shopping for essentials. So here's my first offering.Fat balls to feed the wild birds.
We have a load of garden visitors at this time of year, all keen to sample what's on offer. These fat balls are very popular, so I was thrilled to find this offer. The picture only shows three packs because the fourth is already in use!
I remove the balls from their net bags and serve them in a feeder, ever since discovering small birds with damaged or missing feet. I was told they get caught in the mesh, which is too strong to break and ends up cutting them. That really upset me, and now I always remove the bags.

The second shot shows the only birds to co-operate with my desire for a shot illustrating free. Naturally, the birds are starlings. These birds travel in flocks, and descend like the biblical locusts. They approve of the Birdy Bistro (thanks Damama t for that title!) They are flying from our one remaining small patch of grass to reach the food. Flying free whenever they wish.

If you feel like joining the Hunt, visit tnchick for details, or click on the logo at the top. Happy Hunting!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Quiz - Purely For Fun.

I found this quiz through my new friend Autumn's place. I love looking at quizzes, even if I take no further action. Then I saw the word "Dragon" - I just couldn't resist!

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

ABC Wednesday - D

D is for Dresser!
I grew up loving these Dressers. They were beautiful, not just useful. Some of my better-off friends had them in their homes, and I always wanted one.
Some years ago I saw this in a local second-hand furniture shop, and I stood and stared. And stared. And stared. I loved it so much.
My husband and my still-at-home son put their heads together, and bought me an early birthday present. WOW! Now it's MINE!!!

On my Dresser you will see many decorative and important - to me - items, mostly things my family have given me over the years.



And, of course,


So that's my entry for this week's ABC Wednesday. To join the fun, visit Mrsnesbitsplace.
Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Yet More Awards!

I've been given more awards by Siani. This is award No 1.

I'm really flattered that my blog is considered (at least by Siani!) as excellent.
I'd like to pass this on to three other blogs, all different but excellent, and well worth a visit.

This award no.2 was created by Siani herself, and I feel particularly honoured to be one of the first recipients of the Cool Cat Award!

Odd Shots On Monday

Yippee! I'm in at the start of something that could become Famous! I'm sure that all of you have odd shots - funny things, things taken from odd angles, unusual happenings, shots that just don't fit into recognised categories. This is where you can showcase them.

Right, this is mine for this week. We're only allowed one photo, which was hard for me - I probably use too many words, as well as too many pictures - but my offering is below.

I took this at our local harbour. A trawler was in dry-dock, and I walked quite close. I don't know exactly what this is (could be something for casting the nets over the stern) but I liked the shapes. I took two others from different angles - but I'm only allowed ONE!

So there it is, my first entry in the first ever Odd Shots On Monday meme.

Feel like joining in? All the details are on Katney's Kaboodle, together with the neat logo. Have fun!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Saturday PhotoHunt - Heavy

Today's theme for the Saturday PhotoHunt is HEAVY. Some time ago I could have done a self-portrait, maybe on the bathroom scales, but not now. Now I'm slim(ish) so it wouldn't work.

So I've gone back to work done late last summer.

We have a poorly-drained garden that turns to mud at every opportunity. Cutting the grass is a nightmare, as our (electric!) mower doesn't work well under water for some reason! Before the worst of the winter rains could begin we decided to make our long desired alterations to keep our feet as dry as possible. The first picture shows concrete blocks being carried from the delivery point at the front to an area inside the gate. They will eventually form the floor of a work shed and greenhouse. Those blocks were heavy!
The next two show the delivery of a tonne of pebbles. The delivery lorry found the load heavy.

And here's the last heavy barrow load being wheeled into position.

If you feel like joining the fun visit tnchick for details. Happy Hunting.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

ABC Wednesday - C

Today's ABC Wednesday is the letter C. Many options. Cat? No. I posted cats yesterday.

Pretty Cactus flower? Maybe.
It is very pretty, after all.

No, I think I'll tell the story of my first Calf-baby, the one that had my horrible children calling me the old mother Cow!

This calf was rejected by her mother, and nearly starved. We kept goats at that time and had some barn-space available, so the calf moved in. She was the first calf born in May that year, so that became her name. She spent the nights and any bad weather under shelter, but came out for fresh air whenever possible. Here she is, a small white lump, curled up in the shelter of rocks and boxes. You'll have to look close to see her!Here she is talking to our lead nanny-goat, Annie.

And meeting her peer-group for the first time.
She grew to be a strong Cow who had several Calves of her own. She always considered our garden to be her home, and spent a lot of time trying to get in. Here she is on a rise just outside our fence, resting, with her second calf hiding behind her.
A happy ending for a once-rejected Calf, who grew into a strong Cow, and a good mother to her own Calves.

If you feel like joining the fun, visit MrsNesbit for instructions.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Café Cat

My poor husband suffers greatly. The cats have decided that he is the provider of food. They decided this, of course, because he's kind enough to notice them whenever they think they may be slightly hungry. I, on the other hand, make them wait until I'm ready. I'm cruel.

This is a picture of him providing breakfast for his owners. Rinli couldn't decide on which particular dish he'd prefer, so he's being offered a choice.

Finally he accepted suitable sustenance, and started to eat. Badger, in her usual tidy manner, hung around to clear up any mess.
Sweet friendly animals.

Monday, 4 February 2008


I'm truly honoured to have been given this award a second time, this time by Seev. It's very warming to know that people feel so kindly towards me. Because of this, I want to spread the kindness. I'm passing this award on to five new friends, whose blogs I've only recently discovered but which I like very much. If you don't know them, they're worth a look.

So this award goes to:

Dirty Knees of Weeders Digest and On the Wild Side
Katney of Katney's Kaboodle
Kerri of a little piece of me
MM of Wanting to be Here
VP of Veg Plotting

And thank you so much Seeve!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Saturday PhotoHunt - Narrow

The theme for today's PhotoHunt is Narrow. I'm late posting as I had an appointment this morning with my hairdresser. While I was in town I took some "Narrow" photos. The first one is the very narrow entrance to the straight road out of town. Although it widens, the opening is limited by the buildings on either side. It was fine in the days of donkey-carts, but ...
This second photo shows that some lorries have found this turn narrow - just look at those scrape marks! Crossing here can be difficult when large vehicles are turning!!!
This is a narrow red doorway with narrow stairs inside. My hairdresser works at the top of these stairs.
My last photo shows those same stairs from just outside the hairdresser's door - looking downwards. Narrow!

If you feel like joining the fun, visit tnchick. Happy hunting!