Friday, 24 June 2011

Murder on the Balcony!

They were almost ready to leave home. The family had been trying to encourage them to move out.
And then the door to their home seemed to have been widened despite working so hard to reduce it when they’d all returned in the spring… and two little bodies were huddled together on the balcony, dead, and we wondered what could have happened.

The following evening, watching from the front door, the adults had at last returned home and were watching from their doorway. The next moment in swoops a noisy neighbour who grabs an adult by the scruff of the neck and throws it out! It would seem the culprit had been found and there was rivalry and murder on our balcony!

We don’t know whether the swallows will start another brood, but they have set to work on a new nest a couple of feet from the old one. And I don’t think the house sparrows will ever be cute again!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Rain altered plans

I’ve little to report from my corner of Wiltshire, busy but not blog-inspiring.

The village fete was a great fundraiser but not quite the party it usually is – apparently the first time it had rained on the night in 30 years! Since then I’ve been sorting leftovers and thanking helpers and trying to make headway in the house- and garden-tidying stakes: both somewhat neglected in favour of fete business, and I had friends coming to supper on the patio on Saturday evening.
I like planning ‘proper’ food. It’s not that I don’t make from scratch for the family, it’s that they all have their own particular likes and dislikes so that the variety of cooking required (or that I can be bothered with) is dull… I like thinking about what’s in season, what I can serve for free from the allotment, and what will go together nicely without anyone feeling hungry or over-stuffed at the end of the evening. Cooking for the family is also seasonal, but by the time Youngest's objected to vegetables, Husband to lack of joined up meat and Eldest to sauce that isn't ketchup....
We went with Plan B since, as last weekend, it rained. We ate indoors surrounded by still dripping flowers retrieved from the garden. It was fun!

So, in the absence of words I bring you highlights from My Garden:

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Visit London!

Now what shall we tell I’m Crayon to do in London when she’s only over for a week?
She’s staying in Grosvenor Square, which sounds pretty posh to me, and on the doorstep of everything. (She’s already in the country so it may well be too late, but she may check in!)

If you can run to a show of some sort I’m sure you ought to see something. I don’t think it matters whether it’s theatre, ballet, opera or a concert, but see something you should! London will offer you food from pretty much anywhere in the world so you must make sure to eat something specifically local even if it’s only a full English breakfast; or perhaps a cream tea, given the time of year.
And walk the streets! Take a tube certainly, because they’re unique, but just connecting places and people-watching on foot is fun. (And you probably need a ride in a black cab just so you can say you have been in one.) At least one of the parks: Regent’s to see roses or the zoo – or the open air theatre is a great outing if there’s something on when you visit. Or Hampstead Heath perhaps; it’s further out but the views from the top of Parliament Hill are terrific and it’s lovely to wander around. You could combine it with a trip to Camden Lock to look at the market which I wrote about in an earlier post.
I always love Covent Garden: heaving with tourists, but buzzing with interesting shops, street entertainers and eateries.
At least one art gallery too. Depends whether you like art as to which one! I prefer a museum myself: the Victoria and Albert, as it happens, because I love the costumes. When I was a student I spent hours wandering around looking at the furniture and judging everything on whether or not I’d give it houseroom. But the National Gallery can be ticked off at the same time as Trafalgar Square, Horse Guard’s, Parliament, Admiralty Arch, Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard. I think they’re essential and traditional! (I'm rather hoping you may have managed the Trooping of the Colour today.) You’ll be exhausted, but you can walk between all of those easily.

I love London. I lived in Woolwich for a couple of years (twice) with my parents, and then in Highbury, Islington, as a student at the London College of Fashion. My parents now live in their own home in south east London (they might tell you it used to be Kent). They reckoned it was a good place to settle as we’d always want to visit Town: they were right! I still get a buzz from central London despite my love of my present, rural life.

It may well be too late for I’m Crayon, but I rather enjoyed thinking about what to tell her. Hope she had fun!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Half-term treats

Deepest Dorset

Flowery garden, Dorset

 Flowery garden, by my pond


And it’s still not finished!
But the classes have, so I'm on my own until September...