Friday, 29 June 2007

Do I ever learn?

Our first fruits have appeared!! Wonder how long it'll take for them to turn red? Last year we grew them outside and they were attacked by red spider mites. This year I'm playing safe and Tomato Plant is safe and molly coddled on our kitchen window sill.

Tomatoes have appeared!!

Junior and I swapped bedrooms the other week. If you visit my home then you'll understand that this is a major upheaval......clothes, shoes (ha...should have named my daughter Imelda!!), handbags, makeup, art stuff, Tracy Beaker stuff in transit....sigh.... So, for the last couple of weeks we have sort of being doing things gradually... there being stuff in "limbo" about the house (ok, not tidied away). Anyway, with the arrival of the kitties, Junior has decided that she does, after all, like her old bedroom and can she have it back? Ok. I am happy 'cos this means I can have my double bed back (wouldn't fit in her room). Well, the move back is done... it's bliss!! My space is staying my space from now on. I'm knackered.

Guess who wants to come out and play?

So, just as we have stuff all over the place, kittens racing round, pooches downstairs behind the dog gate busting a gut to get upstairs and see what's going on, Syd hopping around the garden and stopping off to dig his escape routes, I get a phone call from Son no 1. He asks what the situation is like here with respect to flooding, etc 'cos he and girlfriend want to come up for the weekend. Talk about timing. He seems pretty miffed when I ask "are you kidding me?" which I get, lips a quivering, don't I want to see him? I explain that I would love to see him but, in view of the atrocious weather of late that I'd rather he came up when the weather is better. Last thing I want is for PC Plod to knock on the door and tell me that they've found him bobbing about in his little Ford Fiesta in the middle of a field somewhere!!

So, we watch the weather and..five hours later, miraculously, it's sunny and lovely here. He's going to land here at 11pm. I have the aloe vera ready for that red hooter!!

In between all this we do attempt maths. We also did some geography..about lakes and flood plains...and some acetate art which we've put on the kitchen window and, if I say so myself, does look quite cool.

Acetate window art

Mandy and Yvonne will know why we've done this!

As for the garden fence...well, I've been wanting to paint it for ages to smarten it up. A nice bluebell know...the Groundforce blue colour! It would match our nice grey slabs and decking. Trouble is, the neighbours have got their side painted this manky green colour and I would hate for the blue to "run" to their side. If you look out of the bedroom window at the rear of the house then all the fences you see are either this manky green or that unimaginative crappy brown. Oooooooh, dare I? Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, 28 June 2007


Hope everyone is safe, with all this flooding. Hope the animals are ok, too.

Son no 1 rang me today, to let me know that he had arrived back ok from Greece. Bless his little cotton socks...he luvs his mummy!!

Anyway, I enquires about his tan. His back has peeled, apparently...but his nose isn't's not as big as mine (the nose) he quickly points out. We shall see......he's coming up this weekend. I have the aloe vera gel at the ready!! Lol!!

So today, the kittens have discovered that they have legs....and they can run!! They are currently being "climatised" in the back bedroom. Problem is... every time we go in to see if they are ok (which is about every ten minutes) they zoom out of the room with gusto, exploring the rest of the first floor rooms. They have definite characters. Olive is the most personable one of the lot...outgoing, friendly..a proper cutie-pie. She gives high 5's. Megan is much the same, except a little more reserved. She likes her sleep. She has the odd speck of white fur on her front paws. Popeye is a typical male...bulldozing, playfighting , stubborn, likes his food. Should have called him Salem. Junior is still besotted. Spending money has gone on kitten goodies. She's a good "mum". I feel a big cat project coming!!

We went to our allotment meeting tonight. Guest speaker gave info about composting and waste management. She was very nice, friendly and informative. Compost is best if you compost 50% greens (kitchen peelings, etc) and 50% browns (straw, twigs, CARDBOARD). Did you know that if you soak rhubarb leaves and save the liqour, it can be effective as a spray against aphids? Don't spray it on veg, though. It's got some sort of poison in, but it's okay on stuff you won't eat. We sat next to a lady who had an allotment the next village down who explained that she had discovered grass snakes in her compost bins! WHAT!!!! how cool.... and she does this lunar planting, too. Might try that although she reckons it's all a bit buggered up 'cos of global warming. More reasons to do our bit for the environment then!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Water everywhere

Had to go see my mother, who is poorly yesterday..and what a day to have to travel! Flood day. Took six hours for the journey there and back. Travelled through Derby centre and the river was scarily high, the ring road was under water with most of the fields flooded en route. Was sad to see cattle and horses stranded in these fields, wondering what the hell was happening. Hope their owners have been out and made sure that they are ok and fed, etc. There was one poignant sight where there were about ten horses, including a mare and her very young foal , huddled together at the top end of their field.....the rest of the land was flooded. Hope they are ok.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Got it wrong

More piccies of the cuties. Had a look "under the bonnet" and we have two girls and a boy. Olive is still Olive, Popeye is himself but Seeker is now Megan!
Popeye getting some shut eye!

Olive chilling out

The Gang

Megan and Olive

When you google "how to sex a kitten" you'd choke on your tea as to what comes up, so to speak!

Monday, 25 June 2007

New Additions

My brother arrived this evening. He's a bit of a matchmaker on the sly...set me up with ex and my sis with her other half. Bro is a Mr Happy Go Lucky type...Mr Nice Guy..never a bad word about anyone type of fella. He knows I don't want setting up again 'cos the true love thing doesn't exist for me..I just always get it wrong... so he tends to bring me pets and associated stuff nowadays, 'cos he knows that animals are my big love. I give him practical things like food, clothes and towels. lol!! He did bring me a generator the other week..and some huge speakers on wheels, the odd bottle of wine, a butchers know...stuff that a girl wouldn't necessarily buy for herself! lol

Anyway, we were expecting him today for the delivery of a cat kennel that he's made for us, so shy cat can chill out in it in the garden if she is too stressed to come into the house. The cats were another pressie from him years ago!

So, cat kennel comes into the house....along with some occupants.....three little kittens! We now have Popeye, Olive and Seeker. Olive is the tri coloured kitten, Popeye and Seeker are black! They are tucked up in the back bedroom with all manner of cat luxuries and they're so tiny....about the size of a little jacket spud. Spook, our other cat, looks positively huge at the side of them. She's got the bag on a bit, with these new arrivals. The dogs want to know what's going on, 'cos we've kept them away... budgies are talking tactics and Syd will probably just want to hump them!! Junior, needless to say, is in love and totally besotted. Can just imagine what Mother will say!!!


Sunday, 24 June 2007


It's raining, again. Actually, it's bogging it down. It usually rains when I do the washing, so blame me!! Also, I bought an outdoor patio parasol to replace the ikea one that got wrecked by the winds in the faint hope of getting our patio to look something like....appropriate and funky. There's me thinking we'll have all this sunshine and we have the rain instead. blah! At least it kills off the red spider mites, pesky little things.

So, rainy day activity-wise.....Junior has gone into card making mode. She's churning them out at a rate of knots...and some are pretty darned good. No more hastily made cards...we have a ready made supply to pick from now.

We also made some window stickers and they are cool, too.

I won ten quid on the national lottery!! woo hoo Should go towards a new cat flap:O) Hope Bobby doesn't end up wearing this one as a necklace too!! Maybe I should buy us some waders instead, in view of the weather lately?

We went up to the allotment yesterday to plant some more veg and I must say that the stuff we've put in already is growing mighty fine, except the courgettes and sweetcorn...they look a bit bedraggled. We managed to plant three runner bean plants around a wigwam on the big allotment aswell but got rained off of course and also very mudded up. I keep getting nagged to put weedkiller on this plot but I'm not happy with that, so am doing my best to get it tamed naturally. Weeds are just flowers in the wrong place, aren't they? I actually like most weeds and If I could think of a use for dock plants in particular then I'd make a fortune. lol Glyphosate. That's what some of the other allotmenteers keep telling me to put on. It neutralises once it hits the soil and you can, apparently, plant veg and stuff within two weeks and it will not harm you when you come to eat the stuff. Dunno...the chemicals must go somewhere..they can't just vanish! Anyway, I'm determined to be organic, so if anyone has any bright ideas how I tame the plot? I've got a few old rugs on and some weed suppresant cover for now. The thing is, I don't want one of those regimented, functional allotments. I want one that has different rooms for different fruit, veg and flowers, maybe a pond, the odd scarecrow, a wild bit for the creatures, bunting around the fence to make it homely.... not just a massive ploughed field like some of the weedkilling blokes have! Anyway, we came back home looking like human gloops, had a bath and got changed and now we have colds:O( Junior was happy, though, 'cos we got back in time for Doctor Who.

My brother is coming down today. He's built us a cat kennel for the garden so the shy cat can chill out in peace. It's on castors, apparently and so I think I may further customise it and decorate externally. I know, I've been looking at too many craft blogs. I ought to get my arse into gear and start up a little shop/business myself. Mmm, wonder if big bro would make me a little studio? That would be so cool. Shall have to share with the budgies and clutter in the little bedroom until then!!

Friday, 22 June 2007


Had my mum over last weekend. She stayed Friday till Sunday. She lives three exits and a bus ride down the motorway away from us. We don't have a working car at the mo, so it's public transport for us. This means twenty quid in fares and a five hour round trip. So, we get more time together, obviously, if she stays over. This is her first visit in ages as we sort of fell out. Mother is one of these people who doesn't really understand home edding, or approve of it really - 'cos she doesn't want to/can't understand it - and is just a, ahem, stick in the mud. I think lots of home edders get this off family.

Anyway, I went on a mega cleaning up spree due to the impending royal visit (Kim and Aggie would have been well pleased). Mother is a minimalist (white walls and no dust) and I am an eco-friendly home edder, so there is no chance of me going down that route even if I wanted to. So, I have organised clutter.

Everything is hunky dory, all mega cobwebs hoovered away by the time we get Mother here (we went on the aforesaid public transport to bring her here as she would no doubt get lost making her way to hill billy land via the three buses required for this trip! We were all sorted and settled. Friday night...all cosy. I ask if she minds watching Junior while I nip up to the allotment to sort out some bits. (gives them a bit of Gran and Grandkid time together) "Yes, it's fine, you go" she says. She and Junior were all cosied up on the sofa awaiting the next instalment of Create and Craft, nibbles and orange juice at the ready.

Thirty minutes later, I gets back and find Junior rolling around, chuckling away and Mother with "that look", tut tutting, pointing towards the kitchen. With a heavy sigh and a "what now?" muttered under my breath I waddle over and peek in and find that my hedonistic pooches were erm, yes, bonking!!! And smiling!! Just my luck, innit? The weekend my Mother picks to stay is the one where both female pooches are on mega heat. It didn't stop at that, either. If it had been just me and Junior then I would have left the pooches to it but, no......I had to separate them as "it's not a nice thing for a kid to see" according to Mother. Well, anything for a quiet life, or so I thought. So, females in one room, male dog in another and off we all go to bed. Ten minutes later the whining starts....gets louder and louder..with the odd "shut up" in between. Well, actually, lots of "shut ups". Do they stop? Nah. Within half an hour Bobby dog was in full pelt...howling away at earplug volume. Mother and Junior didn't hear this due to their heads hitting pillow and then being out for the count. I am, however, still catching up on my sleep.

By the way, Bobby dog has been snipped, so there will be no patter of tiny paws, etc.

Bobby Dog and Cilla Black........THE CULPRITS!!!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Raining Frogs.

Well, you need a canoe to get down our garden, thanks to the torrential downpours. Resident frog is not so shy nowadays and is hopefully munching on the Bakers Complete-fed snails who live it up here! lol. We did a project on the whole frogspawn, tadpole, frog cycle. Even sank in a little washing up bowl so frog and co feel at home.

Our frog with pesky snail!!

Our frog

We went on a visit to see the oldest cave artwork in England at Creswell Craggs. Pretty cool. Don't think I would have liked being a "cave person"....not with all those wild animals eyeing us up for lunch!! We were coached by our guides on the art of spear throwing (we would have starved!!) and other survivial techniques like starting a fire (would have frozen!!). We enjoyed it. You don't always realise that such awesome places can actually be in this country.

Creswell Crags - caveman country!

Hard hat and torch at the ready..those caves were eerie!!

Spear hunter

Trying to get a spark going

Wouldn't fancy having one of these for a pet....think of the poo run!!

Syd has been romping around, digging up the borders, burrowing and is, thus, still trying to escape to next door's (where they have a few Jessica rabbits;O) He's definitely one carrot short of a bunch - or just plain crazy..bunny with a death wish, etc - 'cos he tried to hump the dogs yesterday! The cats were off like a shot when they saw that. lol He whizzes around the garden most of the day and gives me the runaround when I try and get him back into his hutch.

Junior has been busy. We left the library yesterday armed with many, many books and she's working her way through those- Origami, Scooby Doo cookery (!) and a human body parts book...I got a "eeeewww" when we looked at that one. I'll save the solar system, volcanoes and map reading stuff for next week, then. We got the Shrek the Third storybook yesterday, too. She just curled up in her favourite armchair and started reading it.

Home ed meeting was ok. It's held in such a nice place with lots of room for the kids.

Son no 1 is now on some idyllic Greek island. He texted me to let me know he and other half had landed ok and that it's 34 degrees out there! Bet he comes back with a red nose - not the Comic Relief type either!! (family joke - we are blessed with big hooters and he's inherited his somehow, although he's denying it!)

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

I'm Back!!

Been having an altercation with our ISP and we are currently "un-interneted". God, I HATE red tape!! lol!!

So, down to the library it is for updates, etc. Unfortunately, I can't upload any piccies until we're back in the land of the internetting. Still, with all the spare time I've had, got all me veg and stuff planted and weeded on the allotment.

Am sat here in the library, typing away, burping away (forget where I am and, boy, is it embarassing!!)

On the Junior front....she's now a whizz on the pogo stick, likes maths a little more, we've swapped bedrooms - so imagine all the stuff we have all over the place due to that little antic!! Clothes and shoes...say no more!

Must go, as we're now on a mission to get the internet back on at home!! You'd never believe how hard it is to partake in things when you won't give in and have a debit card or direct debits!!

Why don't they have loos in libraries? internet time cut short by Junior's bladder!! lol!