Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Tuesday 31 March 2009

Easter Bonnet Parade.

Today the children had their Easter Bonnet parade. It always used to be a competition but it was impossible to judge as so many hats are made by adults so this year it was a creme egg for everyone.

There was a great variety of bonnets, hats, caps and creations for all the proud parents and grandparents to see.

I know that gulls are a pest but these 2 in the supermarket, trying to take eat an empty cake box in the supermarket car park, had such lovely clean lines I had to take some photos.

Those buzzards wait until I slow down and then ... take off.

The hens also wait around looking for some more scraps. The daffodils in the garden are looking pretty good at the moment.

Monday 30 March 2009

Those Pesky Buzzards.

It was so hard to wake up this morning. Every cell in my body was screaming 'It's only 5.00' and I couldn't even open my eyes till 6.30. I think it'll be an early night tonight. There was a pretty sunrise this morning but not special enough to have me running up the hill before I was fully awake.
School was fine apart from having staff meetings at lunchtime as well as after school because a book rep was coming to see us. Actually the books were very good and fitted in well with the phonics scheme we are using but they are not cheap.
On my way home the buzzards were teasing me again. They always seem to perch on the one telegraph pole on the bend in the road where it would be dangerous to stop and when they're on the other poles they wait until I slow down to take a photo, (driving while trying to look into the camera and focus is not to be recommended), and then they fly off.

Sunday 29 March 2009

Sunshine !

It's been a day of sunshine and amazing blue skies. I stopped at Burridge to take this photo on my way back from town this morning, I'll admit I didn't notice the buzzard soaring overhead at the time. I've been to this farm a couple of times to get work done on my first landrover. It's one of those ultra tidy places where even the wood pile was incredibly tidy. Some people are like that ... I'm not.

On the top of the hill just before Ashelford Corner.

Looking out towards Exmoor from the top of the drive.

With such glorious weather I had to spend the afternoon gardening. Every year I plan to have the whole garden weed free before the spring growth starts, and every year that doesn't happen. The clocks went forward this morning so perhaps I can fit in a little gardening each evening or at least do more on the weekends.

Linas was home for the weekend but went back to Plymouth this afternoon. He has various plans for after he finishes his IT degree this summer but we'll have to wait and seen which plans work out.

The afternoon sun created the right conditions for interesting reflections on the pond .

This is the white variety of skunk cabbage. Most of the plants in and around this pond are white, yellow or orange though there is a blue and white water iris as well as the white ones just because I couldn't resist buying it.

Here is another of my videos, apologies for the poor quality but I'm only just getting to grips with the video option on my camera. I was trying to show some of the views I see every day on my way to work. Having started life right by the sea in Cornwall and then having to live for over 20 years in London, it lifts my spirits being able to get a glimpse of the sea every day.

This evening we watched the second episode of Number One Detective Agency on BBC 1. It's well worth watching and is also available on BBCiplayer on the internet.

Saturday 28 March 2009

Community Gardening.

Congratulations to Kate, (Vytas' fiancee). She is currently doing her Masters at Leicester University and she has just been accepted to do her PhD (something to do with genes/ insects) there once she has done her Masters.

Although it was Saturday today we were conscripted (volunteered) to help at school with a community gardening day. We've had a large grant from the lottery fund to develop our environmental area. Today was the final main work day finishing off the (fenced) pond, spiral paths and willow tunnels and story area. About 60 adults and kids turned up and half-way through the day we stopped for bacon/sausage sandwiches and tea in the school hall. I think this collection of wellies tells the whole story.

We cleared turf, loosened soil and added smelly compost before planting 2 types of willow and weaving/tying them together to make this tunnel which spirals round to the central story area. The children are just going to love this.

I left before the final push in the afternoon but all the paths were going to be covered with wood chips ( a large pile of which can be seen in the first photo.)

I decided to drive home by a longer route going down Zig-Zag, a series of sharp bends down into a steep valley. I was hoping to get some good photos of a field/garden behind a cottage that is covered with primroses at this time of year.

I managed to find a place to park nearby and was greeted by these friendly sheep.

It's a bit early yet but when the primroses are at their best the whole hillside is covered with the yellow flowers.

Looking back up towards Zig-Zag.

Friday 27 March 2009

Travelling Hen.

Some people carry dogs in their cars. I drive around with a chicken on the front seat. This was one of my ex-battery hens returning home after a day in school. No more pet visits but it has been fun for the children.
Lots of heavy showers today , I'm sure there was hail in the rain that soaked me first thing this morning. The rain clouds do make for dramatic skyscapes, this one was on my journey home tonight.

Thursday 26 March 2009

Curly Whiskers.

I woke this morning to the sound of rain lashing against the windows and the wind rushing through the trees. Just the sort of morning to snuggle under the duvet and let the sound of the weather lull you back to sleep. But it wasn't to be - 6.30 and out of bed as usual, yuk. Peter and Romas had the luxury of a lie-in as Romas was going to the recording studios and didn't need to be there till 10.00. It rained on and off all day with the children losing some of their playtimes because of the rain.

Our first per visitor today was this large rabbit called Blossom, (it's her companion that bites), but she would probably have legged it if she had been put on the carpet as she is quite a lively rabbit. She is a Rex rabbit which is why she has curly whiskers and an extra thick soft coat.

The bearded dragon, coral snake and gecko were interesting and the children that wanted to got a chance to stroke them. Some of the children were a little wary.Tomorrow I'll be bringing in one of my ex-battery hens.

The sun came out on my way home and I thought it was time to take some photos of one of the magnolia trees that are on my way home. If I leave it any longer we'll be back to grey skies or the wind will have blown all the blossom off. There are about 7 of these trees in gardens on my way home. Somebody must have been swapping seedlings or cuttings some time back.

I also spotted this shrub, japonica ?, over a wall when I stopped to take photos.

I travel along this lane every day on my way to work. It is just behind Pilton Abbey so may have been in use for 1,000 years. I once scraped the side of my landrover on the pillar on the right hand side when I was squeezing through in a rush thinking that a large lorry was reversing at me.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Prudence The Cat.

Our pet visitor for today was a 19 year old cat. Prudence wasn't in the happiest of moods, (lots of tail swishing), but eventually she consented to to wander round the circle of children and made them all laugh by deciding to jump up on my nice soft chair. The child that owns the rabbit, (tomorrow's visitor), has already said that it bites so I don't think I'll have it wandering around the children, and as for the corn snake!....... one of my colleagues was working in another school where they had a visit from a (different) corn snake which bit a child and wouldn't let go.
The morning started chilly and grey but by the time I drove home the sun was shinning in a bright blue sky. The winds are getting stronger and are quite cold but it is so nice to see the sun. The hedgerows are starting to fill with flowers. At the moment it is the pale yellow primroses and the brighter yellow celandines. It should only be a week or so before the buds break on all the beech hedges turning them from dusty brown to sparkling lime green.

Roll on spring !

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Ultra Cute Puppies.

It's been a fun day today. First of the pet visits was a pair of gerbils. They were left to spend the day in the classroom, (I wired the cage door shut in case of accidents).
They were the inspiration for this playdough model. Their presence was soon overshadowed by .........

.... three adorable five week old springer spaniel puppies. They were so gorgeous, so soft and cuddly, they just made my heart melt. This little one that I was holding kept snuggling up and snuffling, I had to keep reminding myself to let the children have a stroke and ask questions. For some reason we had an awful lot of visitors to our class this morning.
Tomorrow our visitor is a cat and we've the offer of a visit from a bearded dragon and a corn snake for Thursday.

This was the birdsong in the garden this morning before I set off for work. I'm just getting used to using the video setting on my camera so it's not very good . I think the ticking noise must be something to do with the camera, or more probably my watch which I wear on my right wrist!

Monday 23 March 2009

Worn Out Already.

We've lost the glorious sunshine and are back to grey skies and even a little rain this evening. There was a pretty sunset in muted pinks and purples.
The working week started calmly enough but by the end of the afternoon I was feeling frazzled again. Normally I'm quite laid back but there seemed to be a spate of things being broken by the children, children being unkind and generally extra noisy. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.

On the brighter side here are some of the garden flowers in yesterday's sunshine.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Mothering Sunday.

It's Mothering Sunday and I was woken this morning with a handmade card/menu for a 2 course breakfast, all courtesy of Romas, and he washed my car. Mind you it's taken 18 years of training to get to this point. Boys are not good at this sort of thing. Usually it's out of sight, out of mind. I sometimes feel that I am seen as 'She who moans all the time about mess and damage.' Vytas did send me an e-card this afternoon . Thanks boys.
After church Peter and I took advantage of the last of the sunshine, (forecast is for lots of rain - soon), and went for one of our favourite walks around Morte Point. We also took some sandwiches, (smoked salmon for me), and a flask of coffee.

It was overcast as we set out but soon cleared to lovely blue skies.

We managed to see one seal who was lazily floating in the sea and watching the walkers up on the cliff path.

Back on the hillside this female stonechat stayed calmly on a bramble so that I could get a reaonable close-up.

Gorse flowers all year round but the whole hillside is covered with the brash golden flowers at the moment.

I love the gnarled stems of gorse, no wonder Peter Jackson used them to create Fangorn Forest.

Back in Mortehoe this front garden was completely filled with daffodils.
I've just discovered that blogger has a new facility that allows you to upload video clips direct without going through youtube so this is a trial effort of a short clip I made when we stopped for lunch. If it works expect plenty more.