Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Owls and Miss Pussycat!

Well the last thing I expected to be doing today whilst hurrying through town to get some train tickets was meeting two birds of prey! They were on a visit up town from Furness Owls, a charity petting zoo and owl sanctuary.

I'd actually been mulling over the idea of a bird of prey day, perhaps for when it's my next birthday, for a while now but was concerned about how I'd react, as I've mentioned previously I have a thing about birds feet which can really scare me.

But here I am holding, yes holding, a massive owl called Oscar. He is a five year old Eagle Owl and he was very big and quite heavy and just look at his feet! I averted having a 'do' over the feet by simply not looking at them, problem solved. Please note the piece of lettuce on my jumper, this was from high speed sandwich scoffing upon approach to the birds, I'm glad Oscar didn't spot it or there could have been a total flap disaster!

Inside the garden centre was a Caribbean Screaching Owl called Olly. He was so cute and stood just seven inches tall. Olly had a bit of a grump on though, perhaps he was a bit miffed about missing out on all the lovely sunshine that Oscar was basking in.

It's funny that I ended up writing about these two, as on the way to work I spotted my first ducklings of the year and thought that would be todays blog. It's not the best picture but here they are, not sure why one of them was still bright yellow but they were all equally cute and swam along busily like little wind up bath toys.

I always like to make a note of such events, even if it's just a mental note. Just like lady bird spotting it usually marks a change, small things that are all part of the big things x

Friday, 23 April 2010

The adventures of Joey the wonder cat....

Over recent weeks Joey has got more and more confident expanding his terratory. He's been living at Oakbank just over a year now and had never experienced fields, lanes and cars before. Today I took Myrtle for her mad half hour in the field and Joey followed us!

I had to coax him through the hedge and he trotted along the allotments (they are a fenced off section of the field) Here he comes, meowing all the way.

...and here he is in the field. Cats generally don't like wide open spaces but Joeydoesn't like missing out on stuff, especially where Myrtle is concerned (and vice versa). Doesn't he look lovely and glossy in the sunshine.

Myrtle wasn't too interested in the cat walk as Joey didn't want to leg it around the field with her so she found herself a good stick to gnaw on.

Joey found himself a patch of grass which needed chewing and rolling on. He was really relaxed and it was so nice to see him exploring more.

Myrtle and I continued on to the river after a while, Joey wasn't for walking across the field and after we'd got a few steps away he decided to run home with his tail fluffed up, just to add some drama to his arrival home in front of the other moggs.
Myrtle and I found a brilliant beetle on a branch, we named him George (after St George and The Beatle) he was so blue and looked like he was made from metal.

Joey has to have the final say on a post all about his escapades, by deciding to sleep on the mantlepiece when we got home. I like the way his fluffy tummy overhangs the edge of the mantlepiece. Never underestimate a cat, eccentric through and through.

Where's George?

Today is St Georges day and I felt it shouldn't go unmentioned as this was once a great celebration in England, our equivelant of St Patricks day in Ireland and Burns night in Scotland. Except somewhere along the way it's lost it's meaning and isn't as well celebrated as perhaps it should be. Driving through town today I did see bunting outside a couple of shops but not really the mass celebration I'd hoped for. Maybe there will be some more things happening over the weekend. Some towns are holding street fairs and reinactments of the dragon being slayed. I'll keep you posted if I spot anything.

In the mean time here's a lovely crochet dragon I found made by Lucy Ravenscar. Cute! She makes all sorts of wonderful crochet creatures, blogs and is happy to share her patterns with her readers.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sunny Sunday

This weekend was so sunny and lovely we invited some of our friends round to enjoy a good old chin wag over drinks and some good grub.

Joy is expecting a baby around the same time as me, hence her cup of tea here. Mr B and the Melville-Inghams enjoyed a cool glass of champagne beer while we caught up on life and soaked up the warm evening sun.

Myrtle was confined to the lounge as our garden gate is in need of a repair, plus she's trouble where champagne glasses are concerned. As you can see here she quite enjoyed squeezing her head out of the window ear wigging conversations. She is the nosiest girl ever!

I made a delicious moussaka, with mixed salad and flat breads (there's a Greek theme there) and funnily enough the theme (sort of) continued with the arrival of the Melville-Inghams amazing pudding, cheesecake (the first cheesecake recipe dates back to ancient Greece) cupcakes!

Oh my they were good, really good. Fortunately Joy and I got two each, one for the bump you see. Mr B had two too, just because he really likes cake.

Toot Toot!

Whilst Mr B was at work on Sunday I spotted this beautiful car parked at the supermarket, it even has a
co-ordinating parking space in blue and lemon. Isn't it dinky! I would love to drive a vintage car, they have so much style and character compared to what's on the roads today. Just imagine all the lovely day trips this one has been on.

Drive you say? Yes I forgot, but this now seems an appropriate time, to tell you that I passed my driving test, it was a couple of weeks back now but I didn't like to say at the time, only just got used to it now really. Toot toodle pip!

Cat politics

With the election coming up I thought I'd tell you about our local cat politics as it's a far more interesting tale than the broken promises and hollow policies splashed all over the news at the moment. Here four cats are involved in a daily saga of friendship, food and fighting at Oakbank. Let me explain...

Here's our cat, Joey, soaking up some sun on the front room window sill, isn't he a handsome mogg? He's still the new kit on the block as he's only been here a year.

This is Robert (from next door but one) soaking up some sun on our kitchen window sill, he loves company so is often hanging around the garden letting out one of his prolonged meows, boy he can hold a note!

Joey and Robert get on ok, they are very similar in temperament, though Joey is probably a bit more of a mummys boy. Since the weather's been nicer they have been seeing a bit more of each other and this weekend had two kisses and a nice fur shedding roll together. Ahhh.

This is Tilly, she lives next door and is a really old, croaky, friendly girl. Tilly and Robert have been friends for years and they often have tea at each others houses.

Joey doesn't like Tilly much, I think he's more a 'one friend' kind of cat and also prefers being around other boys to girls. It's a shame because she is lovely and it could all be so harmonious in cat land if he'd just stop hissing at her. Here is Joey stalking her behind a pile of dead grass, he thinks no one can see him.

There it is in a nutshell, the cats of Oakbank. Oh no wait I forgot, there is a really nasty fluffy cat next door but one (the other way) called Ginge who beats the other cats up, especially Joey. No pictures of him though, apart from on the mogs noticeboard, on a wanted poster. I think they are slowly forming an alliance against Ginge. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 8 April 2010


Mr B and I have made a good start on the baby, or 'the bean' as it's also known, room. It's our smaller bedroom, which had been my sewing room so firstly we'd had to get shelves up in the larger spare room for all my fabrics, trims and threads to live on. Done. So beans room is now stripped of it's woodchip (that stuff should be banned) filled, sanded and ready to paper.

My mum had kept my cot, now 33 years old, so we spent some time sanding, washing and priming it ready to paint. Here it is, isn't it wonderful!

I fancy painting it in something vibrant and retro, perhaps tomatoey orange or leafy green? I'll keep you posted. Myrtle watched on, assuming this is all being done for her benefit no doubt.

Youngsters rooms should be fun and expressive, rather than passive cocoons of beigeness.With this in mind we are painting Moomin designs on the walls. We both love the colours used in Tove Janssons illustrations and her references to nature, her stories are so creative. I like the fact that she was an artist who wrote. It gives a unique edge to her story telling where she ultimately demonstrates how the fear of the unknown (floods, comets and frosts) is conquered by the love and support of the Moomin family and their friends.

Some may see the tales as dark but I see them as real and reassuring.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Neat neat stitches

You may remember me showing you what Karen made me for Christmas? Well she has now joined the world of blogging so as to keep us up to speed on what her little fingers have been crafting. Follow her neat neat stitches at My Mum Taught Me to Sew.

I wonder what's in this cute gift box she's holding? Probably lots of incredibly tiny things.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Butties up!

I went to Knit Natter Stitch Chatter last night for the first time in about 3 weeks, I've been feeling so tired by about 6pm it's been very difficult to do anything in the evenings, especially thinking creatively. However I think the light nights are already having a positive effect and I'm so glad that I went.

It was a reasonable turn out considering it's our Easter holidays. Sharon had already made up lots of crochet sections out of the wools I'd picked out, she's experimenting with a hexagonal sections as opposed to her usual squares and having played around on the computer with the various pattern options had come up with a whole host of exciting baby blanket designs. I've left it to her to decide which one she makes them up into, they all looked great to me.

Frances was on with a roman blind for her bedroom, made from this lovely Harlequin fabric. I have a real thing about greens so might have to get some of this myself.

Other members were knitting away- Mitzy was using some super soft wool, which Ann so aptly described as being 'really sheepy' as it was the exact colour and texture of one, from a gigantic ball which she was using as a cushion at the same time, how resourceful!

Than at about 9.30 the landlady kindly made us a big plate of sandwiches! Here they are, as you can see we were quick to tuck in.

What a nice gesture. It's such a lovely friendly pub, I'm so glad I chose it as our venue and must remember not to have such a big tea before going next week in case the butties are a regular :)


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