Friday, 31 December 2010

End of year: calendar review

(move to 31st December)

January: 6 days
February: 9
March: 16
April: 20
May: 24
June: 22
July: 11
August: 14
September: 14
October: 13
November: 8
December: 2

Total: 159
which is less than 50% of available days so why was everyone regularly moaning that I was "always" outside :}>

With grateful thanks to the Loweswater Puffins for their lovely calendar, and much appreciation that I received the 2011 edition so I can continue recording my Green Dot Days.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

December green dots

It was starting to look as if December would come and go without a single opportunity to work outside. If it were not that we have a new family member joining us on Monday and have been needing to get outside since early November to make some of the fencing secure then the whole month might have passed without a single "green dot" on the calendar.

Fortunately a break in the weather (and the fact that we were fast running out of time) allowed us to spend Wednesday and Thursday in the garden.

The main problem was the paddock fencing around the bottom corner of the garden, uneven ground means that the gap between the bottom rail and the soil varies from 2" to 12". Fortunately a roll of chicken wire and nail gun which fires staples has solved that issue, but not without some cost to Management's hands which have suffered somewhat after two days of bending and cutting wire, and folding & twisting cut ends to make them safe.

Given that this Small Hairy Person isn't going to be in the garden unsupervised or out of my sight for some considerable time to come, Management was heard to mutter darkly that I might be going a little over the top - this could have had something to do with the fact that at the time he was dealing with blood pouring down one of his fingers.

The chicken wire can't be seen from a distance and I suspect is unlikely ever to be removed, even when Little Chap is big enough that he couldn't get through the fence if he wanted to. Over time I can tidy up, dig in and bury the bottom fold of wire.

Never did manage to have a bonfire before Christmas to get rid of all that timber . . .

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Whilst on the subject of quilts

Both quilts for James' children were finished ahead of time and safely with Daddy awaiting delivery by Santa.

Behind the scenes I worked hard in order that they were completed when James popped in to see us on Monday 13th.

As I had kept quiet about my activities he wasn't expecting to see any finished items and for once was slightly lost for words - (ha ha ha ha, sorry m'dear!)

Lack of time and being realistic about the fact that the quilts will be snuggle rugs/tents/goodness knows what for a 4 year old and a 6 month baby meant I finished the bindings by machine instead of my usual invisible hand-stitching but Management and James have assured me that this is NOT detrimental to the final effect.

Actually, the finished quilts were fantastic, am very pleased with how they came out; Merlin worked brilliantly and I am somewhat relieved to find that after months away from the longarm I haven't completely lost my touch!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Quilty Christmas

A very quiet Christmas Day at Bag End. No fellwalking this year so Management read a book and putzed around online whilst I turned a nice flat piece of quilted fabric into a three-dimensional cover for the puppy's cage.

Management is still breathing and walking around undamaged after looking at the finished article* and commenting "very nice but you know you could have achieved the same effect with a couple of towels".

A lovely supper and some rubbish on TV - pretty decent Christmas really!

* not quite finished - want to put a couple of ties/tabs on the edges

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A sneak peak

A coffee-break preview of what I am working on:

Joan should recognise the backing fabric - one of the very special purchases we made together in St Louis (I knew if I kept it long enough I would find exactly the right project to use it on!)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Out and about

90% of Lake Bassenthwaite is frozen

So is much of Derwentwater

A slightly unusual view of the boathouse

Oh heck, proof that Management walks on water ...

A lovely shoreline walk to Friar's Crag followed by an excellent lunch at Peter Sidwell's place (thanks Lyn!)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Lunar Eclipse ~and~ Solstice Sunrise

(picture laden post!)
I wonder what early man would have made of this? A full lunar eclipse, utterly beautiful but sadly I only got a couple of shots before the earth's rotation meant the church behind the house was completely in the way :{<

( I was by the middle gate next to the house looking back into the Coppice, hence the birch twigs obscuring things!)

Crosscanonby or one of the other beaches on the Solway Firth would have been the place to be today, but I'm not driving in these temperatures in the dark!

Getting up early wasn't just about taking pictures, it was wonderful to witness this and thanks to Management who happened to notice something online otherwise I would have blissfully slept through it. I wouldn't, however, have slept through this:

An hour or so later, Solstice Sunrise which today happens at 08.37 - half an hour later than the south coast but it took another ¼ hour before the sun peeped over the Whiteside ridge.

You think I'm mad? Our postman is on a bet at the Sorting Office - apparently last man standing wins respect - there isn't even money involved in this sartorial lunacy.

It is no warmer outside:

We're off to Carlisle to collect M's car which has been for a service and to do some garden-related shopping. Thank Crunchy for my new silk glove liners, a treat from Management on Saturday, worn inside thick mittens.

Monday, 20 December 2010


Unfortunately laughing at the current temperature and thinking of tropical beaches has no effect whatsoever.

Pity it's not a Boggart. Management's Heartwood Creek nativity set looks nice though!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

It needs a quilt, don't you think?

Don't you think this needs a quilt? Not just the obvious ones inside, but a cover outside to help create more of a sense of 'den'. A nice wholecloth would do the trick, interestingly shaped to fit the top and two sides.

Yes, it is a very large crate for what will be a fairly small puppy but our intention is that this will permanently be his bed and 'safe place' and a 38" cage is the size recommended by Yvonne as appropriate for a full-grown Beardie. In the short-term there is room to have his bed at one end and some paper at the other to deal with accidents if he needs to pee in the night and I don't hear him wanting to go out.

Major sense of humour failure

If I type what I said this morning the blog will get deleted for obscenity. Looking out of the utility window whilst preparing bird food first thing I knew there was something wrong with the paddock fencing which goes around the corner of the garden but I couldn't work out what it was.

It didn't take long to realise the problem was the attention of some miserable b*st*ard after dark last night, probably on their way back from a pub. It would have taken a considerable amount of strength to rip this stuff - it's reinforced and of reasonable quality.

It's not the end of the world, no-one was hurt, nothing was nicked, whoever it was didn't come into the garden and I have put the netting mostly back into place with cable ties. Management and I planned to do a fair amount of work to this fence over the holidays to ensure that our new Puppy cannot escape through it or under it but that's not the point. We've reported it to the Police not with any expectation of ever knowing who did it, but in case there were other incidents the same night. Let's just hope I never find the culprit, Management knows I would have no hesitation in punching them very hard in the face, regardless of how big they are.