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An itinerant observer and thinker about life in general, sharing some moments of wandering and wonderment.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012


  Well you learn something every day. All I had intended to do for a post tonight was a photograph of a rather stunning looking plant that grows in the garden here ...
It's a member of the Asparagaceae family! 
It's known mainly as Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) but is also known by other names such as ... Knee Holly, Box Holly,Jew's Myrtle, Sweet Broom and Pettigree. 
This spiky, tough leaved leaved plant was once used by butchers to scrub their chopping boards clean. Now that I knew, but decided to google it and came up with loads of info on it's medicinal properties ... the early Greeks used it as a tonic. It is still used today for its medicinal qualities. Google it yourself and I think you will be amazed at what you come up with, it makes quite fascinating reading, though it doesn't mention the fact that it produces it's red berries in time for Christmas so makes and ideal festive decoration!
So there you go, another thing learned today!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


  Today was grey and overcast but amazingly mild, even Dad who normally feels the slightest change in temp, was feeling warmer and much more active today. Hooray!
I was surprised to see the lady birds out adventuring under grey skies after a rainy night
and, due to some stylish, broken pot usage, these sempervivums, seem to be pouring out ...
as if to say ..."Hooray, spring is on its way." Certainly the weather is warm for this time of year and ... predicted to get even warmer yet. But ... this drought ridden, mainly arable area desperately needs much more rain if it is to survive the seasons ahead this year.

Also, the sheep and cattle farmers are already being hit badly by this new Schmallenberg virus, (thought to be spread by midges from Europe),It could, as lambing continues bring a full and devastating effect of this (as yet not scientifically understood pathogen) spreads. I think we have more sad news yet to come as farmers (already struggling) have a real battle on their hands with so few ways of protecting against it. As yet, unresearched in depth there is no vaccine to prevent it and no magical cure to reduce the huge numbers of flock  infected by it. The sight of newborns with with such abnormal dreects is aweful!
So far my homeland seems to have escaped, but hill lambing isn't due yet. We shall see.
To end on a happier note ...
These wonderful, winter aconites have been blooming for weeks now.

Monday, 27 February 2012


Winter, it seems has, at least for now started to hand over to spring leaving the dead and defunct behind
as the weather warms up and new growth sprouts and flowers all over the place. Certainly here after the white carpet of snow had melted and the sun warmed the soil   things really started to shoot up, but ... it may surprise you to know that when I arrived on Christmas Day, these were already in flower, they just look stronger and happier now.

These primroses however have come up amongst the tiny snowdrops in the last few days. Tiny leaves in the moss, produced two large flowers that quite surprised me as I did my morning walk about the garden with dogs in tow, with me clicking and them looking at me quizzically, as if to say "You're mad!" Three against one, they're right of course ... I am. 
So much so that on Saturday during half time, I whizzed up to the garage to get much needed milk and a few other things, when on the way back in the sunset, this caught my eye, so I just had to stop and get the camera out. I promised you windmills, so here you go ... how about this one ... much nicer looking than a wind turbine and ... still grinds flour!
Well, that is on days when there is enough wind to get the old sails rotating that is.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


Well, what can I say after our amazing, win in the last few minutes of that close game today, except ... >-<(-:<

Three in a row for Wales!!! The triple crown well deserved.
Let's see if we can go all the way this year? Fingers crossed and missing everyone at home.

Friday, 24 February 2012


  Well, this milder weather these last few days has seen some amazing changes in the garden, the masses of snow drops here are just a wonderful sight and ... the many daffodil varieties are really coming into flower and I will be able to have a few indoors for the RBS match tomorrow. They should also make a grand display for St Davids Day. Yesterday, I also saw a peacock butterfly & a yellow brimstone which really surprised me. 
 It has been so warm that I've been poddling about in the garden, tiding up some of winters debris and burning the old dried stalks and twigs, acorns etc having a good old wood smokey burn and the mad mutt just loving the chance These last few days there have been hundreds of ladybirds coming out to sunbathe <<<
like this trio warming their backs on a winter dried lavender head, all the bushes were covered with them and they also seemed to love warming their undersides on sun warmed wood and iron objects.
The dogs also enjoyed being out in the garden sniffing all the warm grass smells and racing round like spring is sprung loonies!

Ffin has a small golden, flirty admirer and by evening they were both tired out ...

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


This morning, being bin day, I went out to sort the rubbish bags out and when I opened the  big dustbin, I noticed what looked like little plastic snowflakes and ... a hole in one of the kitchen bin bags. "Hmmm." thinks I, "Rodent activity." Well when I pulled out all the white bags to go in the black sack, there at the bottom of the bin was ... a wee, timorous beastie,
It was so camera shy, it took me several shots to get the photograph I wanted, but the bright eyed little critter was rewarded with it's release into the wilds of ... next doors garden! I was amazed the size of the leap this tiny creature made from the bin area, through the dividing hedge. If, this year has Olympics for mice, well it would be a possible gold medalist!And for those who think I am soft in the head, it's very late ... time for bed!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Well ... some time ago I mentioned that we have lots of windmills here 
  spot the windmill! Honest it is there, just well camouflaged  by wintery trees.
I promise there will be more interesting photo's of those in the future.
Today I took the mad mutt and one of Dad's friends who is staying for a couple of days
down along a track through the vast expanse of fenland to the dyke
where, Ffin normally swims but it was a bit late in the day for taking back a very wet dog!
The rushes here look so biscuit pale now but as the spring greening starts the whole area will take on a different mantle and be teeming with life getting all chirpy and very matey.
No spectacular sunset today, here a sunset is a 360 degree affair and seems to last ages but late this afternoon the metal of the gate and the tall pylon attracted my attention ...
just one of the many that march across this area of the fens in a huge, view intrusive line that spoils the view  with all the overhead lines strung out for miles as far as the eye can see. But on their own they are rather amazing structures and to think what they carry in the way of electricity to so homes and businesses is really quite awesome. 

The hedgerows, what there are of them are sparse. Long stripped of their berries by the snow starved birds. That is all except for this rather avian or is it an alien ... rather peculiar creature.
Quite what it is I'm not sure but I will leave you to make up your own mind as to what it is.

Monday, 20 February 2012


Ha! bet you didn't expect one of these did you?
Very ponderous pond life and one wonders what this creature is contemplating ... maybe global warming and the fact that so many spring flowers are out early this year. The daffs will be putting on a grand display by St David's Day (1st of March) there are snowdrops in abundance in the garden here as well as the dainty winter aconites, some of the polyanthus have been out since Christmas 
 and especially noticeable now that the snow has gone and the wet grass in warmer sun has sprung surprises like these dainty crocus in the lawn.
The fat frog isn't the only onlooker to these new little blooms in the garden ...
when this place was a working farm, there were real pigs here and chickens once roamed where the crocus are growing. Only the other day, the daughter of the previous owners came over to see this farm house that she left 36 years ago, so I found out what life was like as a working farmers daughter and when there was arable land belonging to it.
It is now just garden with a large vegetable patch but some of the orchard trees survive.
Now the pigs are lichen covered and as for the tummy hugging frog, well I leave it up to you to have a guess what it might be saying if it could talk. More as and when I get time.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


 Well folks, the snow has all but gone here, thanks to raised temperatures and with the help of a little rain. So ... not much worth taking the camera out for so phots wise I am still stuck in the snow of a mere few days ago when the weather  was cold, and sunny with blue skies and the conditions were just picture perfect and so I was in my element.
I took loads of phots of the local church, but you know me ... it's often the unusual that catches my eye like this strand of ivy growing up an old grave stone 
Whilst near the beautiful old church I wandered around looking for more unusual views that pleased the eye, like this one of trees caught in the sunlight ... the effect on me was just magical, (though it has to be said, I waited for a gap between the cars to get the right shot). But patience pays it's dividends and a slow walk about the crystaline churchyard, touched my celtis soul ...
but, as I wandered around the churchyard, I looked across to the trees that I pass almost daily. They intrigue me and are so skeletally elegant at this time of year that  I have been waiting for the right time to photograph them. Well ... I finally had my chance and managed, after several positions to capture this graceful lady .... isn't she lovely.
And so that's all for now until I next get chance to update things from the fenland flats.

Monday, 13 February 2012


Well a busy weekend and for some the rugby was cancelled due to snow on pitches  ...
however at least there was one happy person in this house, in front of a large log fire, watching the leeks beat the thistles ... even the mad mutt seemed to be watching the final score ... Wales getting ready to play England at Twickeneham in two weeks time!!

Earlier in the afternoon out in the garden as the snow here had begun to slowly melt revealing delicate snowdrops in bloom as they have been for some weeks now, but against the snow they looked just wonderful. The heavily loaded crab apple tree, hung with frost crystals, was being stripped by at laest 30 hungry birds, desperate for food
Today ... all this had melted, though there is some slushy snow left on the ground but the forecast is for warmer weather ahead which will bring the daffodils into bud, they are everywhere here in the garden, so by St Davids Day there should be a grand display of all sorts of varieties. 
Dad feeling much better and whizzing about on his zimmer frame like a pro! He had a few old friends visit today and phone calls so was quite tired but happy when I finally got him settled into his new downstairs bedroom. So ... from me too, I shall close the door on today and zzzz'zzz.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


  The great news is that Dad is back from the hospice, he arrived early evening in an ambulance (the day before yesterday)  just as the snow started and he has had to settle in to an adapted home with his bedroom now downstairs and loads of medical "appliances" put in place since he's been away. But ... he's settled in O.K and looks much better for his rest and very professional care in Arthur Rank House which is just a brille place, so I've got a lot to live up to care wise, but we're getting there. Lots for me to learn, that's for sure. But I'm adapting to this new way of how the days go and we laugh a lot together.
    The snow and then freezing fog last night has turned the Fens into quite a magical place and I've taken loads of photo's, too many to share with you now but for a few that I like ...
sometimes the smallest details are those which catch my eye in a way that the larger view does just not intrigue me as much ... but today was just magical, lots of silly things attracted my eye in the garden here ...
like these two watering cans hung on the garden wall ... though I doubt they will be pouring water for a while ... because it is so bitterly cold, but worth the frozen fingers to capture these few moments that delight the eye ...

whilst these deep night temperatures that drop so low  continue ... Brrr ... but to you leave you all with a warming image that came at the and of a long and bitterly cold day, a lovely, fen sunset, which tonight was a sheer delight as the snow turned rose gold in the glow. A lovely way to end a day when I took loads of snowscape photo's with cold fingers
it looks a lot warmer than it was in reality, but at least it gladdens the soul with peace.

Monday, 6 February 2012


Well ... it seems snow on holly is a wee bitty late for the festive season long gone ...
but the garden here is looking lovely, at least ... where the three dogs haven't been having lots of fun and ploughed it all up with their paws. They have loved the big adventure and are eager to get out, only to come back in with little white snow balls all over their bellies.
The long legged one doesn't have the same low slung problem and just wants to be out all day and can't understand why I have other things to do these days ...
like take photo's through old window panes and ... went to visit Dad who looks relaxed and feeling better after all the pampering he's had and he is looking forward to getting home and reuniting with the three mad mutts and getting to see the plant blooming in the garden. Fingers crossed ... by the weekend!! It will be good to see him safely back home.
So ... all for now, will try to keep this up & let you all know how we go.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


  Hi folks, apologies for so long no blog waffle but on Jan 6th Dad was diagnosed as having very advanced prostate cancer and since then he has been back and forth to hospital like a pin pong ball having x-rays, CT scans, test etc all of which just showed how advanced it was. Up until then he had no signs and was originally diagnosed with something more curable. Sadly the news is not good, but ... there is still some hope that with the treatment he is getting he may be with us a while longer.
He went into a hospice last Tuesday, which is a really lovely, peaceful, yet also happy place (strange as that may seem) and the staff are just brilliant as is his Doctor. He is getting very much pampered and well looked after and we are hoping that he will be home by the weekend, but first the Occupational Therapist is coming out here on Tuesday to do a home assessment so that any aids he needs can be put in place to make life at home easier for him.
  Meanwhile, I am caring for his two gorgeous and fun miniature dacshunds (both rescues) who my collie Ffin gets on really well with and generally looking after the house and answering phones, tidying up ready for his homecoming etc, etc. Soooo .... I've been kind of busy, hence no Dafad footprints across the blog.
   Haven't quite worked out how to get phots up on the blog as this is a strange computer unlike mine at home (where it is snowing lots) but will try and get my head around that prob soon. It also snowed here about 10 inches last night so we woke yo a whit fenland world this morning. The dogs raced around like loonies having lots of fun, I lit big log fire and watched the rugby. Wales 23 ... Ireland 21 ... so that was me happy for the rest of the day!!
   Anyways ... will make sure I make time to keep things going on this here waffle spot.
Thanks to all those who keep checking to see if I am still wandering about ... I am and as time allows have fen thing to share with you all. Hey we even have lots of windmills here!
Wherever you are in warm places or snow scapes ... take care.