About Me

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Typical Piscean, dreamer, story teller in the tradition of my country, I love to write. I'm not sure that I'm any good at it, but getting the words down has its reward.

28 April 2009

I have been tagged by Frances!

So, I have been tagged by Frances, and here goes!
Current Obsession? Getting my new dishwasher plumbed in

Whats for dinner? Pork Chops, Mushy Peas and creamed potato

Last thing I bought? Don't get me started! A dishwasher, five weeks ago and have spent last five weeks washing delph and mentally beheading the item who said he would come and plumb it in. Allegedly he is due tomorrow!

Listening to Back Street Boy's "I like it that way" [dishwashing that is!]

Favourite holiday spots, Tralee, Tralee, Tralee, oh and Tralee, also Galway, anywhere in Ireland, all of England, Hawaii, San Fransisco, Italy [have to be dragged out of Rome and Siena] and did I mention Tralee, Co Kerry? Land of Tir n'Óg [see J Exmoor's list]

Reading E F Benson's Mapp & Lucia at present, YD gave me dvd set of the series - and as Maxwell Smart used to say to 99 "...and loving it!"

Portly [!] Idiocyncratic [OH said leave out the cyncratic and finish with t, HUH! Honest, Piscean [to the bone]

Do I talk to myself? ----arrah! sure who else would listen to me if I didn't!

Guilty pleasure...hmmm, have to think about that one...garlic chips [french fries]

Who makes me laugh til I weep? OH, some of the comments he comes out with are so 'dry' but apt that I have to sit down in weakness when he starts me laughing.

First Spring thing? The clock going back and the first daffodils, buds appearing...

Planning to travel to...Tralee, Co Kerry...I need a spiritual break this year.

Best thing ate/drank? Glass of merlot last night while indulging a good long gossip with a pal

Flower of the moment; The purple tulips I planted last autumn have come up and they are fabulous!

Favourite film? With Frances on this one, Thin Man, Marx Bros, Bas Rathbone, any of the old Black & Whites, ultimate favourite? Casablanca...play it again Sam!

Care to share some wisdom?
There are no problems only answers, you just have to take time out for a few minutes and look for the solution. [Terry Reilly R.I.P 2.4.1986 friend of mine]

Would you rather walk, run or ride?
Walk, anytime, but since I got my new car...hmmm!

So that's that - I am now tagging Snailbeachshepardess, Blossom Cottage, Cait, Lampworkbeader, Celtic Heart, Fennie, Elizabethm, Pipany, Un Peu Loufoque and @themill...if I have double tagged anybody, my apologies.

20 April 2009

Sunshine in my Garden makes me happy

I am probably going to be accused of being fox-obsessed, but these mornings it is very hard not to be. Since my last blog, there has been an increase in Vulpes vulpes' activity in the garden. On Saturday night, the outside light came on around midnight, just as I was trailing off to bed, exhausted from a day preparing for the morrow's lunch for twelve family members. It was the Silver Vixen, plump and well cared for, and why wouldn't she be. The word recycling in this household includes fox; well, leftovers are thrown out, and chicken bones are always very welcome. It has a knock on effect, according to my neighbour. Apparently since OH and I moved back here, his Buff Orpingtons, Silky Bantam [the one that thinks it is a cat] and two Rhode Island's are nowhere near as traumatised by the sight of a Silver Fox slavering over their shed, drooling as she mentally concocts such delicacies as Poulet avec Feathers, or whatever.

Sunday morning I opened the dining room curtains to watch her wend her way to her den, which I have my eye on, with a large rat gripped firmly in her jaws. She's earning her living then! Yesterday afternoon, the inlaws, outlaws and attendant offspring sat 'round the dining room table. Suddenly little Odhrán gave a shout - Mam, look, it's a, it's a...fox, he squeaked. Instant rush of city dwelling members of the family to the window, instant disappearance of fox who had been sunning herself on the rocks, in this instance it was the Bracken fox. By dusk, those who had lingered on, otherwise known as those without offspring, or whose offspring have fled the nest, were enjoying a glass of Chardonnay, watching the sun set over Dublin Bay when the neighbourhood Barn Owl swooped up and over the dining room roof.

"My God" cried Trish, "what the hell was that?",
"Oh!, just the garden Barn Owl" said YD casually.
"You have a Barn Owl in the Garden? For real?" squawked Mags, always one to squawk in amazement according to Therese her sibling - these two do NOT get on, and, as I nodded my head in assent, it suddenly hit me that this was "AN EPISODE" in Mags' life as a former neighbour liked to term such moments.

I have never taken the wildlife in the garden for granted; be it the Badger, Barn Owl, Fox, or on occasion when the grass tussocks have been trimmed and there is something resembling a lawn, the rabbits. The cry of the curlew over the hill, the swoop of swallow like a squadron of Spitfire pilots, chasing the tasty morsel of fly and gnat - the lower they fly the worse the weather next day will be. That was a belief firmly held by my Mother, and she was seldom proved wrong.

When we were children, in the summer, we were always fascinated how she, and next doors Mum always knew that we wouldn't be disporting ourselves on the local beach the following day; we were sure they knew magic, was it the seaweed they both had hanging outside from the gutter? Damp and rain would follow the next day, crispy dry and sunny days ahead? No, years later when I had ED and YD Mum let me into her secret, it was the flight of the swallows. High for good weather, soaring on thermals because that's where the fly was, low to the ground for wet, and it never failed.

Back to work today after two weeks hols for Easter; this was the break I had been waiting for - and, needless to remark, the best laid plans of mice, men and IE went seriously astray. This morning I lugged myself out of the bed at seven, staggered into the kitchen, now resplendent with new linoleum on the floor, cream painted units, and a new fridge instead of dark brown wooden cabinetry, and dark brown wood effect linoleum on the floor of last year, and pulled up the blind. There, calmly walking across the lawn were seven magpies. Sauntering casually, pecking holes in OH's beautifully mown velvety lawn, I envied them, oh not the lawn pecking, but being able to stay in the fresh air, and not be stuck in an office. Still and all, we are lucky, the Boss gave us an early evening off as things were still quiet after the recess, and I headed home thanking God for the longer days. After a quick bite to eat [we'll be on leftovers for the next three days with all the dieting fads of yesterday] it was out to the garden in wellies, and some rockery restoration for me.

I have an ambition. It is to restore the rockery my Dad created six months before he died. Nasturtiums were his favourite and I have planted the seeds for their homecoming. Thanks to wonderful pictures of Auricula's at a certain venue lately, I have become attracted to these pretty and long lasting lovelies. Pink and Orange grace the place - they are a joy to behold and brighten up otherwise dull areas.

And so to bed; to be awakened in the morning by the Great Tit's call of "didja, didja" and the Bullfinches as they work their way around the apple blossom; the tree is old and this year I think the harvest will be poor, the blossoms are disappearing at a great rate. I am so up to date with my housework, I am ahead of the posse on the laundry and I am reeling in shock at the thought that, tomorrow I shall be a lady of leisure. Now, let me think...relax in garden and weed a bit? Shopping trip for a few little bits and bobs for the house? Lie in? Read a book? Oh God! the possibilities are endless and it seems like months since I have had time to do such things. Blog? Definitely!

16 April 2009

Rainy days and lazy thoughts

It is April, and it is the month when life is beginning to unfurl. Last week there were hardly any leaves on the Elderberry and on the Cherry Blossom trees, this week the Cock and Hen Bullfinches are taking it in turn to - as I like to put it - prune the buds off the trees. Despite their depradations it would appear that this will be a fecund year for elderberries, [lovely Autumn jellies to come], and masses of confetti like blooms spread over the lawn. I can hear OH now, already bemoaning the "mess" on his velvet lawns, newly mown with pride. Amazing what a new lawn mower can achieve.

E.D and I were having a cuppa in the dining room last week on Good Friday when across the garden flew what, at first, I took to be a Sparrowhawk, but under closer inspection before she turned to land, turned out to be a Cuckoo. The first sighting in years, in my childhood they were prolific, April airs abounded with their gleeful call, boasting how they had ousted chicks from nests and installed their own eggs. Many's the Dunnock Mother that had to have psychiatric attention when the eggs hatched and to her horror the never closed beak of her newborn demanded more and more food, and grew to three times her size. She, naturally, in line with the Motherhood rules, blamed it on His side...she always knew her Mother-in-Law was a cuckoo! Mme Cuckoo this time was off to evict nests in next door's gorse.

March has been a busy month, cutting fire breaks, carefully checking each 12' high gorse bush [it has been a long time since the last fire] to ensure that there were no residents of this gorse tenement. Unfortunately, the local council have not been so diligent, and have used a JCB to cut a swathe across some local heathland. As a result we are overrun with residents seeking housing. The population of the three neighbouring gardens has grown tenfold, recession hits more than one walk of life it seems.

Jenny Wren was disgruntled at first when we started on the tussocks of grass wherein she used to drop down, seeking whatever grubs that lurked among them, but with the cleared ground has come an easier harvest and she has stopped her "tsk-tsk-tsking". Portly woodpigeons, like wealthy bankers, ponderously plod across the velvet lawn, and the Magpies have been nipping dead pieces of ivy twig to build their nests, planning permission granted or not, building in the bird world is not at a standstill. Last years outcast has survived the winter, albeit with pinky hued feathers rather than his siblings pristine white; they appear to have either accepted him or are too busy nest building to bother with him.

Maybe they admire his tenacity. There is something sad though in the way he has built a haphazard nest in the blue cedar, twigs awry, and no female will entertain his amorous advances. He sits in the evenings at the peak of the tree muttering to himself, and answers me when I say "what's afoot Mag?". I get "no, no, upty, der, der, der" in return...as soon as the Oxford Dictionary of Magpie monotone conversation comes out I shall buy a copy and we shall have heavy discourse on life, and the pursuit of a mate.

The Silver and her daughter The Bracken foxes are busy. Silver has cubs I think. There is heavy duty work going on bringing home leftover chicken carcases, I have long ago abandoned putting such into dustbins, it is annoying to have bin lids clanging in the wee hours, so I leave them out at the end of the garden. Afterall, it is recycling after a fashion. They keep the vermin down. A morsel of mouse makes an appetiser for a chicken meal.

The old mangy dog fox is back. He is not the fine fellow who courted the Silver in the Autumn but rather a sickly specimen with ragged coat, dull and unkempt, his brush is gone - in place of a fine outstanding brush his resembles a blade of grass with the seed removed. He sits high on the hill amongst the uncut gorse and watches for whatever it is he watches. I have called the relevant people to come and try to capture him; he is a health hazard to his clan and to all domestic dogs and cats. I am informed that if I could tell them what time he will be around they will send someone up, have you met a fox lately who sticks rigidly to a timetable? No, nor me either.

All I can hope for is that he will go away again, he arrives for a couple of weeks every year and then disappears. I suspect TB, he crosses the garden in broad daylight and stands looking at the house. It is as if thinking is too much of a burden for his brain to bear. Half of me is hugely sympathetic, the other half is afraid of what damage he might do and how his illness might impinge on my beautiful Silver and Bracken vixens. Those ladies of lush coats [cubs have not taken their toll on a harassed Mum yet]. Mme Pounce visited for Easter week end and to her disgust was quarantined for her own good. I didn't need any dictionary to understand that language!

The Siskins have arrived, as have the Swallows. Easter weather was crisp but sunny and wonderful in sheltered spots. Beneath the blue Cedar violets and anenomies and grape hyacinths abound. Red tulips grace the lawn amidst the daffodils who are fast coming to the end of their reign for this Spring.

Work continues apace on my Father's rockery which we re-discovered after cutting down Lawsonii which had grown right up to the kitchen window. The kitchen is now a haven of bright sunrays, a makeover with paint which we had to hand from the old house, and new lino on the floor. If kitchen's could preen, this poor, sad and neglected lady would positively dance like a peacock.

I stood looking down the garden on Easter Monday and wondered what Mum would have made of all the changes, hoping she would be proud and pleased. The biggest is yet to come, an extension to house a family sized kitchen and an extra bedroom. I may have inherited over a year ago, but she still reigns and for that I am thankful.

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