Wednesday, 29 February 2012


I should have a few photos edited tomorrow - and a new header for March! Where does time go?

In the mean time, a quick snippet of one of our robins, with some bird song.

We're seeing a lot of a pair of chaffinches at the moment, with the male in bright plumage -  but the weather is so grey and overcast that it's hard to get a good photo.

Favourite cards for February:

I used gold acrylic paint in the first one, and loved the brushed-metal look that it gave.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Books and books - and more books

Sorry for the long gap - the weather outside hasn't been conducive to much photography, and I've been feeling a bit under the weather too. I thought that I'd better post a few photos from a recent SCS photo challenge just to keep something ticking over here... No prizes for guessing what the challenge was!

Part of my cookery book collection! All three of my various editions of The Joy of Cooking are there - the one rebound with wallpaper is the most-used. Recipes of All Nations, if I recall correctly, is the book that started Elizabeth David on her culinary journeys.

I have no idea at all how this Irish bible came to be in the family. I do know some O'Briens and asked if they knew anything about the Charlotte in the inscription. She was born in 1845, and in 1849 her father was transported to Tasmania (I wasn't told why). He had returned to Ireland by 1863 when he gave her the Bible. The curious thing is that they weren't an Irish speaking family, but they would have been very supportive of Douglas Hyde and his work towards reviving the Irish language (use of which had been severely suppressed by the British). The same Charlotte O'Brien must have been in Canada at some stage, because she was involved in setting up hostels there for emigrant women.

(For non-Irish readers - until about the middle of the 20th century the Irish language used a slightly different alphabet, as shown below).

A long-time Peanuts fan I was delighted when Fantagraphics started issuing the Complete Peanuts. It's a 12 1/2 year project with two issues a year - they're now over halfway. I think it will fill more than one shelf when it's complete. The box are indexed which can make it easier to find certain favourite strips, but unfortunately the indexes (yes, the language nerd in me, see following photo,  had to go and check if indexes was as valid as indices :D), aren't as comprehensive as they could be.

Our language/reference shelf. It has just had Origins of the Specious added to it, part of a buy with an gift voucher. As all my other English usage books are written by English writers and grammarians, it's very interesting reading one by an American with a corresponding transatlantic flavour.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


It's so lovely having the brighter mornings and longer evenings. I got up just in time to see a wonderful red glow in the sky this morning and snapped these two photos. I'm only sorry I can't also share the two swans flying overhead as I walked out to the bus stop about twenty minutes later. And just think, only one other person there took the time to notice them!

Not a long enough evening for DH who is outside working on his motorbike with a friend! The job took longer than anticipated, and a dinner that was primarily leftovers to start with now has to be expanded to feed three. Bit late to start on some naan bread, I think I'd better go and do a few poppadoms!!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Farmleigh in the Frost - Flora

More photos from Thursday morning... An onion set in the walled garden, and the hedge in front of the vegetable area.

A big difference from back in July when the duckling were napping on this trunk!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Farmleigh in the Frost - Birds

I didn't bother getting up early to go shopping yesterday as I'd have had to de-ice the car in a major way. But mid morning it had cleared in the sunshine and I took a trip to the park after collection a parcel from Amazon at the sorting office.
It was funny, because while the ground around Quarry Lake was quite frosty (picture with the moorhen), the lake there wasn't frozen at all. On the other hand, the lake in Farmleigh was almost totally frozen over and the ducks were reduced to a very small amount of open space just in front of the café.
No photos of them, but I saw more chaffinches than I think I've ever seen together before.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Hot off the Needles

Very hot! V's birthday is tomorrow, and because the only flower pots I had were 1 1/2" bigger than the pattern (from one of Jean Greenhowe's booklets), I had to scale everything up. Scaling up the little cactus was easy, and goodness, and smaller and it would have been even more fiddly to turn the arms inside out and stuff them. But I miscalculated on the pot cover and had to go back and start it again without much time to spare. I also wasn't sure that several straws, even nested inside each other, would be strong enough for the stick, so I used an old, blunt, wooden knitting needle trimmed to size.

I'd hoped to have edited some photos from the park and Farmleigh this morning, but the day just disappeared. Instead, here are a couple of my favourite cards from January.