The Intrepid Explorer

Now that we have a secure garden, Shai the ancient cat (she’s 17!) can be an outdoor kitty for the first time in her life. She isn’t interested in chasing birds but she loves wandering around and exploring the new parts of her little world.

We picked up some pallets earlier in the week so raised flowerbed building is underway. At the moment, there’s a large pile of earth next to the lawn and Shai was very excited to climb around on it.

Seeing her all happy and kittenish again, even at her age, always makes me smile.

Garden progress and feathered friends

It’s been a while since I’ve done a garden update so it felt like time.

Our back garden is still very much a work in progress as a lot of the heavier work is on hold until my husband is 100% healed from surgery. We now have  a gate, thanks to a local coffee wholesaler who was giving away pallets and a lovely person on Gumtree who was giving away wood from an old fence on her property that had blown down. We even have enough of the fence wood left to make a start to the raised flower beds soon, once we get the stakes we need to anchor everything to.

The main reason we’re using reclaimed materials where possible is cost, but it’s also really nice to turn something that would otherwise be thrown away into something beautiful and useful. The downside is having to keep checking Gumtree for relevant adverts and then having to be able to go and pick things up in our tiny car with very little notice, but it’s only a minor inconvenience and it’s making us very resourceful.

The only thing we aren’t making from reclaimed materials is the shed that should be arriving over the next couple of weeks.  It was supposed to be here last week but there was a delay with the supplier. We will have to assemble the shed when it gets here (thankfully it’ll arrive pre-dipped so the wood doesn’t need treated until next year) but we’ve already got the base prepared so the 5x3ft space in the corner is ready and waiting.

It’s all part of the adventure though and the birds don’t care that the garden is only half finished.

This is Boss Pigeon, the supervisor. She (I think she’s a she anyway) hangs out under the bird feeder to grab any seeds that the smaller birds drop. We keep a small bowl of water on the patio so the cat can have a drink when she’s outside and Boss Pigeon seems to have some sort of authority when it comes to letting other birds get at the water when the cat isn’t about (not that our ancient cat has any interest in chasing birds). I watched a delightful stand-off between Boss Pigeon and a brazen magpie the other day. The magpie was eventually permitted to access the water, but only for a minute.

This little cutie is one of many. I’m not sure what kind of bird it is, but there’s a group of them that visit the feeder regularly throughout the day and have dirt-baths in the soil we’ve got piled up for the flower beds. They’re a bit more nervous about people than Boss Pigeon so it hasn’t been easy getting clear photos of them as they tend to scarper as soon as there’s movement anywhere near the back door. We were blessed with a really sunny day earlier in the week so I lay outside on an airbed soaking up some sun and the tiny birds tolerated my presence enough to visit the feeder even though I was only a few feet away, as long as I stayed still.

My head is a bit all over the place at the moment after the sad news of a friend’s recent death, so part of coping with that has involved reminding myself as much as possible of all the good things in the world. I had planned to have already made headway into Patreon research, outlining Car Thieves for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo and finalising Stone Flowers Grow In Cold Places so I can set it aside until I’m ready to publish, but I haven’t been in a place to do anything that complex.

I treated myself to a new notebook and pens because I’ve been really missing bullet journaling as a creative outlet since using a diary-style planner, so I’m going to spend the rest of the evening setting that up and ease back into work next week.

I hope your weekend is going well. If you’re spending time with loved ones, give them an extra tight hug ❤

Under The Sun

We were blessed with warm sunny days last weekend so I spent Saturday afternoon lounging in the garden, reading, drinking tea and taking photos of beautiful plants. We have plans to make raised beds to grow some fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers but some of the things that were already here when we moved in are really lovely and will either be kept where they are or moved to a different spot so they can stay and keep growing.

I’m not sure what the red berries or the little white flowers are. My awareness of plants at least extends to recognising daisies and even though I know some people think of them as weeds, I think they’re beautiful and I’m happy to have them growing on our lawn.


Details of our ridiculously over-designed bathroom.

Bird Food, Berries and Bare Branches

I could have added another ‘b’ in to the title – birthday! Yep, today I completed another journey around the sun and while I half expected thirty-six to somehow feel noticeably different from thirty-five, it really doesn’t. I’ve decided that until I stop getting asked for ID when buying alcohol, I’m still young. That’s how it works, right?

Bird Food, Berries and Bare Branches 01

A few weeks ago I mentioned in passing that I would love to get a bird feeder for the garden. I’d completely forgotten about it until my husband gave me this lovely birthday present! The gift itself is gorgeous and I can’t wait until the birds realise it’s there and I get to watch them (and hopefully take pictures of them) munching on nuts and seeds, but the most beautiful thing is knowing that D remembered that one little thing I said and did something so sweet because of it.

Bird Food, Berries and Bare Branches 02

I’m totally in love with these berries growing through the trellis. I’m not sure what the tree is but one of the things I’d like to do next year is to learn more about plants and how to identify them, so this will be my starting point. We have all sorts of plans for that part of the garden – including hopefully growing some of our own fruit and vegetables – but the tree with the berries and the little holly bush next to it will definitely be staying.

Bird Food, Berries and Bare Branches 03

When we moved in back in August, this tree (which I think is a silver birch) was covered in leaves. Now it’s in its winter guise with bare branches blowing in the breeze – a reminder that nature is wonderful all year round.

My parents arrive tomorrow for a few days so I’m busy giving everything a last big clean and tidy before the holidays start for real. Once that’s done, I’m going to spend the evening doing some major pampering until D gets home from work and we can snuggle up for a late night birthday dinner, damiana tea and a film.

Wishing you all a blessed and joyful Yule, or whatever you celebrate at this time of year!

❤ Tanya