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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Half way through

How on earth can we be half way through the year already?  It was the Summer Solstice last Friday (nearly a week ago!) and it always makes me a little melancholy to think that the long light nights will be getting a little shorter every day.

After a busy day on Monday, I took myself outside to sit on the grass and listen to the birdsong for a short while.  It's not something I often do in the early evening; I usually feel that I need to clear off all my jobs for the day before sitting down, but small daughter was chatting to a friend on her phone and everybody else was out so I decided to break with convention for once!

Accompanying me was a bottle of Fentiman's Dandelion and Burdock (I "forgot" that nobody else liked it when I bought it for a picnic over the weekend 😀) and a bowl of oven chips and hash browns (because we'd run out of chips) as I just fancied them.  "A bit of what you fancy does you good every now and again," my Nan used to say.  I don't drink much pop these days but D&B was always my favourite when I was younger, along with the bright green American cream soda (why was it green?!) and Creamola Foam (which I seem to remember we could only buy in Scotland) - I shudder now to think of what was in those!



I shared this picture on Instagram and along with lots of comments about how D&B was a firm favourite for other people too, I discovered that you can get an alcoholic version made by Hoopers, and there are lots of other drinks that I "need" to try out too!  That's my summer beverages sorted!

Whilst on the subject of the garden, I shared some pictures in this post of a Something that's been digging in my raised bed.  I've had lots of advice on this (thank you for all your comments) and the general consensus is that Mr (or Mrs - or the whole family) Rat have moved in and this is not a Good Thing.  I filled the holes in to see what would happen and nothing did for a few days - but then this ...




It looks like there's a small dog down there, never mind a rat!  I'm assuming that it's a field rat (or rats) as we do see those from time to time, but what a big hole it's made!  I'm reluctant to put down traps just yet but I've been Googling and apparently rats don't like change so I'm going to try digging the space over to try to make them feel less welcome (ants are the same, by the way).  I'll let you know how I get on!

There's more positive progress in the flower borders.  They've got terribly overgrown and I have couch grass in them which is a real pain (and yes, I do know that it's entirely my own fault for not keeping on top of it).  



I've made a start on digging it out which is going to be a slow job, but as part of the process I've discovered that the border is a lot bigger than I remember!  Plenty of space for new plants - and I've got plenty of those sitting in pots outside the greenhouse!  I could just do with it stopping raining again now ...



Oh, before I move onto something else, I want to show you this.  This pretty flower is an Antirrhinum or Snapdragon ...



Have you ever seen one roar?  

Roar?

Well, of course dragons roar!

You hold the back of the flower very carefully just underneath the head of the flower ...


and then squeeze gently.  The Snapdragon opens it's mouth and roars!  


Well, OK, you have to make the "roar" sound yourself (and do check that there aren't any bees inside before you go squeezing the flowers), but it's something that's amused me from being very small and my girls loved it too 😀.  

There's a bumble bee nest in our shed at the moment.  No photos, I'm keeping well away but obviously I'm collecting all the wildlife in my garden! 

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my post about my Don't You Want Me Socks.  I'm glad you like them - and it's made me laugh to think about how many of us are walking around with that song stuck in our heads now! 

In other sock news, I'm making slow progress on these socks ...



I am enjoying knitting them, but plain socks seem to take so much longer!  I mentioned this on Instagram too and it seems like I'm not the only one who thinks this.  The good news is that I've counted my rounds and I'm up to the heel flap now so a colour change will be a welcome distraction.  I'm sure it would all be going a lot faster if I wasn't knitting about 6 other pairs at the same time!  I posted one commission pair off yesterday (I can't tell you yet where they've gone but I will do) and I'm doing well with the other pairs too, so this poor sock might get a bit more attention very soon.

Coming up this weekend, I'm going to be posting the Yarndale Sock Line sock request.  Can you believe that it's been a year already?  If you're not familiar with Yarndale and the Sock Line, you can catch up here but I'll be telling you all about it on Saturday.  Here are just some of last year's socks on display.



Finally, in a moment of unsurpassed incompetence, I have managed to delete all of the email address for the newsletter subscriptions.  I still have no idea how I have done this - I highlighted all of the people who had unsubscribed, intending to tidy up the database, and the next thing I know, everything has irretrievably disappeared.  It's the final straw for me and Mailchimp at the moment - I've not found it the easiest system to manage and it has repeatedly cancelled mailings on me so I've updated the far simpler Feedburner list that I have and I'm going to use that for now instead.  If you were on the Mailchimp list (you can check by looking at the bottom of the last email they sent you about Winwick Mum), then I'm very sorry, but you'll need to re-subscribe if you want to get the email updates about blog posts.  

The mailing list form is over in the right hand side bar and I've checked it this morning so it is working.  Anybody who would like email updates of when the blog posts are published is welcome to sign up; I don't use your email address for anything other than blog updates so you will never get any spam from me.

Right then, I think that's it for now - I'll be back on Saturday to tell you all about the Yarndale socks, so have a lovely rest of the week for now! xx


5 comments:

  1. it's good to have me time. We had ratsin our garden, they came through from next door, I tried digging over the holes, but they came back. Look at your garden, rats need food and water, we removed our bird feeders for a while and cleared any standing water. We are rat free at this moment. I will make a pair of socks for your sockalong, it will be my 1st year of taking part.

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  2. Hi Christine, Sorry that it appears that my thoughts on the dug outs was correct. They tend to dig out a big hole in order to escape quickly and I now know that there is never just the one.... Although ours have now thankfully vacated and gone. The worst time is when they harvest the fields as they scatter and then have to find somewhere to burrow down for a while. They always say you're only 100 yards from a long tail don't they which is fine we all have to live after all but I just rather they go in the other direction from garden and back onto the fields. I have just completed the first pair of my Yarndale socks and the second pair is now underway so this year I will be able to send the off in plenty of time rather than the last minute.com that I was last year. Its hard to believe we're at this point in the year again already but they do say as you get older the years go quicker don't they.

    Mitzi

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  3. Oooh! You've made me hanker for some dandelion and burdock. It was always my favourite pop. And I remember making snapdragons roar when I was a little girl. I must plant some, now the cordyline has gone, I've got space to fill. Nearly time for the Yarndale sockline - where does the time go? Need to get knitting! xx

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  4. At least you know what the problem is with the holes in the garden, all the best with sorting it now. My husband is always saying we've got couch grass, he's often digging away in the borders. The annoying thing is how it grows amongst everything else, our whole border will need digging again. Cx

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  5. Dandelion and burdock was my favourite too.
    Looking forward to hearing what Yarndale is x

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