Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tell it like it is

The hedgehog

At dead of dayfall the spiky rustler comes.
Stout and fussy, the pincushiony foodnapper.
Darkles down ditches,
Grubbling gardenwards.
A midnight rifler through black bin bags,
The scurrying spinysnorter sniffles and scuffles,

Then, gutfully, he porkles back
Across the slugslimed street,
Till, fearstruck by a blinding roar,
He bristleballs.
And is splattened.

Why did the pricklepig cross the road?

by Sara-Louise Holland (11yrs)

ARGHH! Why, why, why did he have to cross the road? I love hedgehogs!
Kids ‘tell it like it is’ as l well know. Not half an hour ago l asked my four year old what he thought of his Auntie being pregnant and he answered,
“No comment ~ it’s none of our business but you can ask me in the morning if you like.”
Where did that come from?

Incidentally the Hedgehog is the UK’s top ten garden creature.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Awesome Auntie

My son, Daniel is heading out on holiday to Spain in a couple of weeks. At the last minute he had been let down by a Californian clothing company who would not ship to Scotland. My sister who lives in Brisbane, Australia went out shopping and in one day was able to pick up all the things he needed. Daniel and l were going to pay for this but Awesome Auntie refused and she is posting the stuff pronto ~ just in time for packing. xxx

That's what Aunts are made of

Arms bearing gifts, smiles that lift
Seeker of fun, warm as the sun
Valued wee sis, someone to miss
Birthday well-wisher, big ice cream disher...

That's what Aunts are made of

Hugs filled with heart, a fan from the start
Secrets to share, laughs to spare
Words of praise, generous ways
Grown-up best friend, love never ends...

That's what Aunts are made of

By Teri Harrison

Earthquake catastrophe

I can’t stop thinking about the earthquake in Indonesia ~ 4,600 dead so far! The quake, measuring 6.3, struck on Saturday morning shattering thousands of homes and lives.
Death – homelessness - overcrowded hospitals - searches for survivors - threat of a volcanic eruption, makeshift shelters - their needs are enormous.
Haven’t these people been through enough?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Watery Wellies

Went for a lovely stroll with my husband and son this evening ~ lovely weather and calm waters. Sam could not resist going for a paddle, however he didn’t realize that he had gone a bit too deep resulting in soaked feet. It was quite funny when we got up to the promenade and he had to empty his wellies out, but thankfully he ‘splodged’ home without his socks quite happily and even sang too. What a trooper!

Monday, May 22, 2006


I read somewhere yesterday that 2006 is the ‘Year of the Blog’.
Personally l’m not surprised by this as most of my family are online and quite active in the ‘blogosphere’. Irony is that now we seem to know more about each other than ever before!
Personally l think blogging has many good points as well as also being a creative outlet for tinkering around with graphics.
Who would have imagined 20 years ago you could sit in your own room and share thoughts and events with people from almost any part of the globe.
Of all the IT innovations the ‘blog’ has virtues. People are actually sitting down and being creative with language – something l thought was a dying art with texting as its death knell. People have become diarists – recording their lives and feelings unashamedly. They read the writings of others – contribute to others work and learn of other peoples experiences. Gardens, holidays, birthdays, poetry – you name it and it gets blogged up – and if it is sometimes a bit self-indulgent – so what – the feel good factor is worth it. It’s a really good place – a public refuge - to moan and shout about work, relationships, failures, frustrations and the downright dross aspects of life.
Somehow there is a feeling of satisfaction from airing your life in public – a sense of belonging to something more than our own four walls. Good therapy even if we are fast becoming nosy parkers on an industrial scale. Me - I’m off to iron the new lace curtains I’ve had made for my screen.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sunshine after the rain

Blast those Bugs!

Every year l am plagued with them ~ thousands of tiny aggravating Aphids! They cover my Roses, Geraniums, Euphorbia etc., and so, once again l am getting ready to fight back (the ‘all natural’ way of course).
l have heard that planting Marigolds nearby the roses will attract the Aphids away, however in my garden Marigolds don’t last ~ a feast for the slugs instead which is another ongoing battle ~ don’t ask about last years Delphiniums!
I have heard that there are homemade solutions using ingredients like washing up liquid, vinegar and garlic, so that’s what l am going to try ~ a little worried however that it will be a matter of spraying every single day.
Perhaps l shall buy in some Ladybirds to populate the garden but they’re a bit expensive. The use of neem oil is only a once a week dose but it’s hard to get my hands on the stuff where l live, and so off l go in search of the perfect solution.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Reign in your kids!

I have used a reign/harness on all three of my children and they are certainly non-the worse for it. I have had a few not so nice looks and comments over the years but on the whole most people could see the sense in using them. I did try a wrist harness on my four year old months back and found myself in a shop for a few seconds trailing the cord ~ Sam had wriggled out of it and was browsing around ~ arrgh! Imagine if that had happened near a busy high street!
I have heard the argument, that it is ‘inhumane’ to use this apparatus on a child but would only agree with that if there were any detrimental affects upon a child’s psyche ~ personally my mother used the harness on me 30+ years ago and apart from my consistent night terrors and mutterings of “can l go now?’, I’m fine. Smile. With the harness your toddler can feel independent ~ they are finally out of the pram and getting exercise too!
The point of these reigns are not to pull, hurt, embarrass or restrict your children in any way but to keep them safe from harm. There are more things that could go wrong without the harness. Only a few pounds and worth every penny ~ children are too precious.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Boiler Troubles

Cold water instead of hot ~ that’s it in a nutshell! Turned the temp. control button up to full this morning in the hopes of a bath but it only gave me a few ungracious splutters of lukewarm. Oh well l thought, once l get in it will come up a little more ~ to only 3 inches! My bath scene was like a film remake of a floundering fish at the bottom of a bucket ~ much flipping and flapping ~ thank goodness l was alone. No matter which way l turned l could hardly rinse off and was still so lathered up afterwards that l had to blindly grope for the shower head in order to rinse! I should have just taken a shower in the first place but l really miss having a good soak. I must give the boiler guy a shout.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Esther & Betty

…and in the sweetness of friendship let there be
laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds
its morning and is refreshed.
...Kahlil Gibran

For two women who have shown me how friendship should really be ~ how lucky they are ~ a friendship already spanning 45+ years!

...did Sam wish for a dog?

Meet Alvin, my youngest sister's dog ~ now he's cute but l'd be worried for him in our busy home ~ serious issues with my oldest son's feet ~ size 13!
Perhaps it is time for Sam to get his own wee dog. We had Callum, a fantastic Border Collie but he was extremely active and needed lots of walking. I like dad's Border Terrier ~ great personality and needs less exercise, hmm.. My brother is the dog expert so shall ask him.

Dandelion Wishes

While taking a quiet stroll in the garden my little son followed behind me. His whispered words caught my imagination and l had to turn around.
“I wish… l wish…. l wish.. l had a dog.”
Sammy had been collecting dandelions that had set to seed- oops l thought but had to smile, especially when l saw that he was blowing on them for wishes to come true.
He truly believed ~ oh to be four again and make dandelion wishes! I wish life were so simple.
Interestingly l drink the occasional dandelion herbal tea. You have to watch out though because if you drink too many cups be prepared to visit the ladies often ~ the saying, ‘pee the bed’ is not so far fetched.
The globe shape of a dandelion in seed is called the ‘dandelion clock’. When younger l used to count the amount of puffs it would take to rid the clock of its seeds ~ this number supposedly would tell me what time of day it was.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Garden of Dreams

Trebah gardens are located in Mawnan Smith, Cornwall ~ certainly worth the visit if you are in the vicinity! Trebah is Celtic for ‘The House on the Bay’ and can be dated back to 1086 ~ recorded in the Doomsday Book.

If you have ever seen the film, Saving Private Ryan or have heard of the D-Day assault landings on Omaha Beach in Normandy then you should know that it was from this beach area at Trebah that the 29th US Infantry Division embarked. I sat down by the water and could not help but think of all those brave young men ~ every one of them some ‘mother’s son’. How sad war is ~ old men sending young men to die.

The garden is truly amazing, full of many sub- tropical plants, which you would not normally find in Britain. The scents and textures seem to transport you into other worlds. The garden incorporates many Architectural plants that burst through the ground with strong shape and presence. I loved it.
My only regret was that we were not there to see the many Hydrangeas in full bloom.

Even teachers have birthdays!

Two very special men in my life, my husband and brother, have birthday celebrations this week. G and J are hard working men who share a love of music and the outdoors. I am very proud of them both.
Now will you start on that new driveway or do l need to... do it myself?
Quote: A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't.
Just kidding. xxx

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

For my lovely wee nephew & his mum

Sometimes we need a booster
to chase the blues away
'n so I hope this message
will brighten up your day

This teddybear I'm sending
with arms outstretched to you
comes with love and laughter
to last the whole day through

He's cuddly and inviting
is sure to bring a smile
delivered in your mailbox
from across the miles

Put to rest your worries
let nothing get you down
this special teddy greeting
should turn that frown around

by Rose Marie Streeter
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