Patio Building

Of course as soon as you plan to build a patio ( or buy sunbeds) the rain just doesn't stop.  Digger was booked last week but it was just to wet for it, so today we are having another go, when I say 'we' I mean Alistair.  The digger was supposed to be delivered on Saturday but has been sitting at somebody else's house all weekend with nobody realising that it had been delivered to the wrong house - you wonder why the people who's house it was didn't question why a digger was sat outside their house all that time.  Anyway by the time it had been collected this morning and then brought to ours it was gone 11am and lots of digging had already been done by hand.  Alistair has a friend helping him and my role seems to consist of telling them that they are doing a 'grand' job each time I pass them.

Kiki has been keeping them company but Lucca wanted to stay inside in the warmth. I will show the progression of said patio over the coming days.

 And so it begins   

And so it begins


 Tea and Biscuits for the workers

Tea and Biscuits for the workers

The Wild Horses

Yesterday we had a visit from the vet for the animals annual vaccinations.  Lucca is terrible in the truck ( which we bought specially for them, as they can't both fit in a car) and gets anxious and reacts from both ends which makes it rather a messy business on the whole.  With them being so big and Boudicca our rescue cat being so psycho it is worth paying for a house visit as to make everything as least stressful as possible.  I had locked the cat flap so there was no chance of escape and the dogs gave them an overwhelming welcome as they do with visitors, leaving everybody covered in a layer of white fluffy hair as they are moulting - they calmed down after the initial welcome and totally calmed down after the kennel cough squirt up the nose, and decided that maybe visitors aren't that much fun.

Achilles our Spanish laid back cat couldn't care less about things but Boudicca the rescue cat is something else.  She completely flipped, tried to force herself through the pet gate, attacked Alistair then ran to the locked cat flap and got her paw stuck in the non-swinging flap and that iswhere she had her injection.  Released from said flap and avoiding Alistair's spilled blood on the utility floor she was delighted to gain her freedom and get as far away from us as possible.  She appeared later on in the day trying to make up for her actions and giving Alistair lots of attention, obviously this cat has got a conscience after all.  Alistair is sporting some fantastic scratch marks on hand and head and seems to have forgiven her for now or till the next time she kills something.  The vet and assistant had travelled to us over the Longmynd where we used to live and we talked about the wild horses that live there, this made think about them as I was going through some photographs later in the day and came across these.  I should be posting photographs of the dogs and cats after this story but these horses are so special so I couldn't resist.

Alliums and Wisteria

The flowers on these are with us for such a short time but the colours are my favourite and from the brightness of the alliums to the ghostly romanticism of the wisteria.  The wisteria covers my studio and as you can see the top windows really need cutting back but I keep stopping Alistair from doing it as I love how it looks at present after a winter of bare stone ( lovely in itself of course).  Rain is due tomorrow and this morning I had every intention of rising at dawn and getting outside for shooting some of the flowers in the garden that are looking stunning at the moment - maybe at dusk I will take a walk around, but I always love the light of a new day and that freshness that surrounds you.  

At present I am drinking bottles of water to which I add a tablespoon of aloe vera juice, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice - as Ibelieve it helps with inflammation and it certainly seems more refreshing than just plain water.

A dirty job but somebody has to do it ....

Thankfully this time it wasn't me... It is usually me who dons the waders and steps out into the unknown, but this time Alistair was keen to get in there and clear the weed out - which is incredibly heavy and full of squirmy things. Any newts found get gently placed back into the pond (Alistair says some were as big as crocodiles but then he is prone to exaggeration!). Don't tell anyone about our newts in case the heavy mob from the EU descend and want to know how many we have and are they all accounted for! And while they're here they will no doubt want to check on the bats, one of which Alistair found under the bed a few weeks ago (Boudicca the killer cat had got it). That cat has got to go. We put a collar with bell on her but she has managed to remove that, no doubt while climbing trees looking for nests - I just can bear her murderous ways anymore. Alistair did ring the cat rescue centre where she came from originally but they are full at present, most probably with other killer cats.

Anyway the pond is looking better and the organic nematode things that I put in seem to have cleared the algae bloom and hopefully the bit of rain we had yesterday has flushed through some fresh water from the stream.  The film below was taken on Sunday when we had a family BBQ, the first of the year. We have used the summer house for the first time which involved us having to stock it and get things moved up to that part of the garden; it's quite a trek and we were pleased and relieved when the younger members of the family cleared the plates and dishes with several trips back down to the house. Next time it should be plain sailing. 

So much to do in the garden and if you have watched the film below you will see that we have been overwhelmed with dandelion wishes/seeds, which have blown in from the neighbouring fields. We are going to have a serious dandelion problem at some point!

 Kiki watching Alistair

Kiki watching Alistair