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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

You’d have to be a hard hearted sort not to love a donkey wouldn’t you? With their woofly noses and long soft ears, not to mention their gentle dispositions they are a study in patience. For last Christmas we adopted three from the donkey sanctuary here on the sunny Isle – Daisy, Dylan and Doris and under instruction from Father Christmas they are duty bound to visit. Often.

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The Urchins do like a donkey (thankfully) and like the café even more for endless chocolate cake and drinks so it’s a popular choice for a visit. And they have little Shetland ponies too…

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It’s a grand spot, free to get in to and it’s got miles of muddy paths and space to run and test your wellies out in!

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Great fun and then time to repair to the café for the aforementioned cake..

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By the way and just in case you didn’t know, if you close your eyes then food tastes better. I leave you with Miss Phoenix demonstrating same…

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Ah the logic of the three year old!

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No I’m not dead. I haven’t been hiding and I have no excuses for my 3 month long absence here apart from working, learning lines and seeing quite a bit of the small people.

It’s funny when you write for a living (which I now do), because writing for yourself becomes a bit of a bus man’s holiday. Every  time I’ve sat down to write on here I find that I can’t quite be bothered. Which is silly and not good.

So here I am. Back again at the kitchen table pounding away on the laptop with the broken screen so that any instructions at the top are completely obscured by a huge black smudge. This makes for interesting guessing as to where those instructions might be and for some super swearing when it all goes horribly wrong! But anyway…

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It’s still winter, not that it seems to have been terribly wintry – more rain than you can shake a  rain stick at, howling gales and general wetness all round. The garden is trashed and there’s no hope of anything happening out there till things brighten up a bit but I’ve been ordering seeds and thinking about where things might go from the comfort of indoors. I’ve got some cut flower seed from Higgledy Garden – Cornflowers, Chrysanths and the exotically named Eschschlzia which I hope to fill many vases with over the summer…..And of course, I have my seed source Dave from the golf club who has given me, as always, French Marigolds, Lupins and chillies. So a few to be going on with.

In other news, the small people have been much in evidence, especially the smallest one who now comes to keep me company on a Friday if I’ve not got anything on – at 7 months he’s a dab hand at admin and invoices :0)

All of the urchins and an extra one – Finn (our other grandson) were with us for Christmas Day (yes I know it’s nearly February but hey, I’m a bit tardy at the mo’) which, as you can imagine was not a quiet affair!! Guess which child likes having her photo taken the most..!

So that’s pretty much where we’re at. The new year began with a bang and then a month of sobriety, staying in and watching too much tv. What does the year hold? Who knows, but if it’s even half as good as 2015 was then I’ll be happy at that. It’s started well so long may that continue.

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I do so love the spring. And the autumn actually too. They are the natural beginning and natural winding up of the outdoor year in the garden and the countryside and they make me feel optimistic on one hand and ready to hibernate on the other.

It was a lovely weekend here on the sunny Isle and having got all my tedious chores out of the way, it seemed a good time to have a look at the back of the seed packets and see what could be started.

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I have been reminded by a small person that she like to help so I only potted up the most pressing – some climbing beans, broad beans, sweet peas and summer savoury. TG made me a cold frame from an old box and some glass which is now full of salad in trays but which needed to be thoroughly checked out by Madam Rainbow in advance

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She was enjoying the sunshine too and so loves it when there’s someone in the garden that she can stalk keep company!

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It’s looking very yellow outside with all the primroses and daffs out

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It was just what I needed after feeling below par for much of last week (there are so many bugs going around!) and getting some bits and pieces planted always makes me feel happy. Spring in my garden and in a spring my step!

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There comes a time in a young man’s life when his thoughts must turn to his apparel. There is no certain age for this and indeed there are some young men who never quite get the hang of what is cool and what is not.

Not so the Smallest Baby Boy who pitched up on Saturday looking every inch the cool dude…

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In fact he was a dude so cool that the sunglasses stayed on in one way or another all day

During lunch

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And races

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And making daisy chains with Pops

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Turning Madam into the Spring Princess

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He was loath to remove them for any reason at all. I feel a sartorial boy coming on in the future.

In other news EVERYTHING has finally begun to emerge in the greenhouse and to date there are beans both runner and broad, tomatoes of two different varieties, spinach, broccoli, garlic, chillies, basil, courgettes and of course the obligatory sunflowers. I’m wondering if the veg patch is going to be big enough for it all as there are already potatoes, herbs, rhubarb, red currants and artichokes on the go……watch this greenfingered space! Elsewhere there is finally colour apart from the Primroses and Daffs

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These are my Mother’s favourites and were grown from some bulbs that she gave me a couple of Christmases ago

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They have withstood all the awful cold weather and are enjoying a bit of sunshine at last and are so delicate and perfect. It makes your heart glad to see that the Winter is finally behind us and we can look forward to sunnier days and warmth on our faces.

Apart from all of that, I have nothing more to impart Dear Reader except to show you the following. Madam and her bunny cakes. Well it was Easter after all…..

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Well Dear Reader this has been a bit of a time. Truth be told it’s been a bit of a 4 months actually. But as with all things, there is light in amongst the darkness.

Spring is here (despite the horrid day outside today) and with the Spring comes new and positive things. We are to be a Grandmother again at the end of the Summer (note to self: buy bigger car / house / sanity). The Child has had his first university offer which comes after a long period of angst and makes me want to burst with pride and TG and I will embark on a new and very exciting project on Friday (which is currently shrouded under the national secrets act) which we are very much looking forward to – but more of that later.

So in amongst the grief and darkness there is very definite light, new beginnings and new life. Life has a way of healing us in ways that we are not always aware of and our hearts mend slowly but surely. There is much to look forward to and for that I am thankful.

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Somewhere within the mad lives that most of us lead with jobs, families and all sorts of other things to think about, it’s nice to get back to basics.

I can remember these from when I was a child walking the lanes counting the seemingly endless time and plan I to blow a few with the SBG at the weekend (there are plenty about) to give her the same memories.

They bring back memories of Irish country lanes, of endless Summer days, of making hay and walks through the fields. We had no computers or video games and television was strictly limited but there were books, there was music and there was, above all, the countryside.

My brothers and I made camps and castles, played football and hide and seek, tennis and tag. In the Spring we picked jars full of flowers from the hedges, in Summer we planted spuds for the farmer and in the Autumn picked tons of blackberries for Mum who made them into jelly and pies.

In amongst the mayhem of life, every now and then, it’s good to stop and appreciate the simplicity of the ordinary. It reminds us of the simple pleasures on offer all around when we open our eyes and look. Simplicity Dear Reader. Because less is always more.

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I have nothing, Dear Reader, of any great consequence to tell you. Now, this is a bit of a worry really because when I read back over some of my past posts, I seemed to have quite a lot to say on quite a few different subjects, but now it seems there is nothing much to say about anything.

Having thought about this for a bit I have come to the following conclusions:

A. I have become a boring cow too busy to think about anything much – or

B. My hermit like existence since the enforced separation of TG and I has taken over….and I’ve got quite used to it.

Now, Dear Reader, neither of these situations is ideal particularly Option B (Option A is somewhat unavoidable) because that could well be leading to the slippery slope of wanting to stay in bed all day and do nothingdom. However, I need to shake myself out of this ennui because TG will be returning in a few weeks time and I don’t want to be feeling like this then. So I am resolved to do the following:

GET OUT MORE.

On this lovely Isle of ours there is plenty to do and see. There are friends to contact and be sociable with and there are small people to spoil. On the home front there is Spring cleaning (boring but cathartic when it’s done), new cushions for my revamped sitting room to be finished and a red velvet sofa to order (finally). And outside there is the endless Forth Bridge that is the garden which, with the good weather that we’ve been having has burst forth into bloom. There are two lots of long weekends coming up and the ACL and I are cooking for friends on Easter Sunday as we do every year and on the following Sunday I and my good friend and thesp Mrs G are performing two one act plays for a charity do in Shanklin (I REALLY must learn those lines..). We attended a rehearsal for the finale of this ghastly gala yesterday having not learned the words to ‘All that Jazz’ and discovering on arrival that we are expected to do actions to the song as well. Thankfully we have managed to wangle  a space right at the back where we are confident that no one will notice that we don’t know the words very well and aren’t entirely sure of the actions…..as long as no one sits in the balcony!

So that’s about it Dear Reader. I can give you no opinion on the state of the universe, politics, football, the Grand Prix or any other current affairs. Instead I leave you with some pictures taken in the garden yesterday. It has been transformed from a sea of yellow to a coat of many colours and very nice it looks too. I’ll leave them with you to maybe brighten your day a bit.




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There may still be frost on the leaves

But there are some definite signs that Spring is on it’s way

We may be turning the Winter corner Dear Reader……

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This is Amber the chicken. She is orange (obviously), fat and at times unbelievably stupid – I know I should be hugely insulted but hey, how many of you out there have a chicken named after you, orange, fat, stupid or otherwise? She (or her sister Clarissa) managed to squish the new born chicks that the ACL was trying to nurture not once but twice and so to that end the ACL, or rather her husband  Harley Man, has purchased an egg incubator to see whether they’ll have more success…watch this space for cute fluffy chicks, fingers crossed.

I was thinking about baby chicks which led me to think about Easter, which in turn led me to remembering school assignments which centered around ‘things I like best’ themes (it’s a long way from Yarmouth to Newport at stupid o’clock in the morning) – and so on that basis in a Spring stylee here goes:

The Spring bulbs pushing their way through the soil and becoming a splash of much needed colour in a still very bare garden – the snowdrops, hellebores, daffodils and then later bluebells carpeting the copse at the bottom of the garden. The primroses that I have unearthed from their Winter slumbers buried beneath the debris of the Autumn and which are now yellow and pretty.

The million birds that live in my garden and seem to get up at 4 in the morning busily nesting – since the demise of the cat they are around in abundance unlike last year when they abandoned me in the face of a prowling and very naughty ginger nutter. They swoop and flutter all day singing as though their very lives depend on it and it’s a joy to listen to.

Blue skies and enough warmth in the sunshine to make you feel that Spring might just have arrived. Friends are digging gardens, planting seeds and making vegetable growing plans and it feels like the very long and cold Winter that we had might finally be over and we are coming out of hibernation.

And randomly and therefore in no particular order, newly cut and neat hedges, bright polyanthus in the shops, bunches of daffodils and tulips, 4 days off (ish) at Easter to look forward to, lighter evenings, the clocks going forwards, putting my Winter coat away, planting the vast quantity of seeds that I seem to have acquired, feeling the need to lose some of the Winter blubber (I succumbed to a chocolate brioche this morning…) in order to look lithe and lovely marginally thinner by Summer because those layers of clothing will all too soon be gone, getting some colour in my pale Winter cheeks, apple blossom and seeing Mrs Wren teach her babies to fly (she lined them all up on the pergola and pushed them off one by one last year).

I feel more positive as Spring is here and there is the promise of Summer in the offing. I feel energised and enthusiastic. Long may it last!

P.S. Happy Paddy’s Day!!

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