Monday, 22 February 2010

The Big Garden Birdwatch

Don’t get me wrong, we dutifully completed our big garden birdwatch on Saturday 30th January but yesterday was a little different. We were quite disappointed with our species list and numbers on the day of the true RSPB survey and were a little upset when we submitted them online that they did not reflect the true variety that we get in the garden. Yesterday made up for all that.
Granted, it was not a normal day as somewhere between 5am and 9am (when we were in the land of nod) we had four inches of snow. Lovely big fluffy snowflakes were falling when we got out of bed and the world was white. I had my first cup of tea and before I had had a second I had guilted myself into plodding out to the garage, finding the birdfood and filling all the feeders to the brim, as well as liberally scattering some on the snow. It was definitely worth it.
We had many visitors, but the most exciting of which didn’t want my seed – they were more intent on the thousands of berries in the cotoneaster jungle at the top of the garden.

My photos do not do them justice as it was my first time playing with the new lens on the camera.

Our total species list for the day was:

  • Fieldfares x lots and lots – approximately 20
  • Song Thrush x 3
  • Blackbirds x 5
  • Robins x 3
  • Great tit
  • Blue tit
  • Mrs Bullfinch
  • Sparrows x 5
  • Woodpigeons x 2
  • Starlings x at least 17
  • and a Magpie

Thursday, 1 October 2009


This year I have achieved something that I never have before…I have succeeded in growing home grown veg. Having always lived in rented accommodation, it meant that we had to try to grow crops in pots or surreptitiously between other people’s roses – without much success. Earlier this year when we were still living in our tiny rented house I sowed some lettuces, and then some carrots in pots. Not even huge terracotta allotmenteer type pots, but big plastic summer bedding type pots that you expect to get petunias in.
I have promised several people the photos to prove that it can be done, so here we are – better late than never…

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Well, so much for those good intentions! All of those wonderful posts, all of those excellent thoughts about letting the family keep up with my whereabouts – all of the interesting things that we have been doing. Sorry.
Well, I cannot change the past. I have, however, promised someone that I will write a post on something specific so that they can see some photos. So, over the next couple of days there is a chance that you might catch up with some of my life since June!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Silverstone 2009

We spent the weekend at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone. Neither Mark nor I had seen a Grand Prix ‘live’ before so it was a new experience. Added to which a Brit is currently leading the Championship; it was all set to be a great weekend. It didn’t disappoint, even though Button didn’t win.
The sun shone (and I got sunburnt – for the second time in a month!) the sky was blue and the racing was great. The first thing that we realised was how amazingly loud the cars were. You think they are loud on the TV – but ‘up close and personal’ they are deafening. The television cannot capture how loud and powerful they are – no matter how far you turn up the volume!
We also found out how difficult it is to take photos of the fastest cars in the world…

Button started the race in 6th, unfortunately by the end of the first lap he was down in ninth – not so good

Hamilton spent most of the time racing the Renaults

At the pit stops (we think) Webber overtook Barrichello into second. Barrichello then ended up racing with Rosberg and Massa

All too soon the race was over and the marshals were reclaiming the track

The race results

The Winner, Sebastian Vettel, listening to his National Anthem
We both had a brilliant time and may well go again, but I am thinking Spa…

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Suz and Phil’s Wedding

On the twenty-third of May my best friend got married. I was one of her bridesmaids (strictly the Matron-of-Honour as I am already married), and the whole experience was fantastic! It goes without saying that the bride looked beautiful, and even the blokes spruced up rather well!

It was an amazing day for a wedding and they had picked a wonderful setting. The sun shone, the sky was blue and all was perfect with the world (well, nearly, I did get awfully sunburnt!).

As you can see by the photos, the theme of the day was pink, very pink.

The service was held at the Charnwood Hotel and this was followed by a coach trip to the reception venue – Clumber Park (a National Trust property). The venue was beautiful and very romantic; I think the water (with added swans) made it look very tranquil.

First, the photos were taken…

Then we moved into the big marquee for afternoon tea…

Even the cake fitted the theme of the day perfectly – both pink and romantic...

The smallest guest (again matching the theme you notice)...

Then came the evening do – the Hog Roast and the first dance.

I can honestly say that an amazing day was had by all – thank you and good luck for the future to Suz and Phil!

Monday, 8 June 2009


I apologise for the lack of communication, but it has been a rather busy fortnight in our household. First, I was working nights, second, my best friend got married (more on that later), third, I am revising for a big exam on the 16th of this month, fourth, they started to pull my ward apart last week (more on that later too) and finally, we both travelled down to Cardiff this weekend so that I could go on a revision course! If that wasn’t enough, I start nights again tonight!
All this equates to a lack of blog postings, and for that I am sorry. I can only hope that I can make it up to you with some great wedding pictures in the not-too-distant future.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Having read a recent post on my sister’s blog (Helen at Home), I have realised that I am suffering from two distinct separate diseases (oops, tautology alert!). She wrote a wonderful post about their garden and included a mention of their cat - William. I then realised how much I miss having feline company, and have actually been suffering from Cat Deprivation Syndrome (CDS) for the last twelve years. This is because I have always lived in rented accommodation where pets are banned.
This got me thinking about the fact that I have also been suffering from GDS - Garden Deprivation Syndrome for an equal amount of time. The latter is a very serious disease as it leads to all sorts of problems including:

  • Being very restricted on the plants you can grow
  • By far the most serious one; of having to grow all of your favourite plants in containers, and having to move entire truckloads of them when you move house!
  • Not being able to plant a hedge
  • Having hundreds of unused packets of seeds stored systematically in a shoebox and deteriorating year by year
  • Not having a lawn to sit on in summer - even a bumpy one full of daisies
  • Not being able to put up nest boxes for bird and bats and bees
  • Owning mounds and mounds of gardening magazines to help combat the frustration
  • Not being able to host a BBQ or garden party
  • Being jealous of the entire family!

(The photo is of my Mum’s garden in the height of summer)

We may have found a cure for this second disease (maybe even the first - but Mark has to agree to us getting two kittens first), in that the new house happens to come with a garden! Not a very big garden mind, but my first bit of soil. I can actually put plants in the ground - I even quiver at the thought. Watch this space for garden postings when we have actually moved...