Thursday 28 May 2009

when a blog friend comes to stay

Ginny and her two lovely girls have been staying with me here in Cornwall for the first part of half-term. You would think I'd have lots of photographs documenting these fun-filled days, but shamefully I didn't take a single photo until they were about to get in the car to go home. We were far too busy chatting, laughing, eating and drinking, dog walking and just enjoying spending some unhurried time together. Crochet and knitting remained untouched, craft books were poured over and discussed, and Walter was stroked to his heart's content.

Ginny spoiled me with some beautiful lavender birds she'd made, seen here decorating my garden.

I love the fabric choices and their stringy legs.

And string. How can a string-lover like me fail to get excited about the addition of not one but two new balls to add to my supplies? Thank you Ginny!

We also went and spent a day with Pipany and Dave, Lucy and Isabella. The dreary damp weather did not deter us. We were relegated to an inside picnic, the delicious homemade food mostly cooked by Dave's fair hand. Many cups of tea and chocolate brownies stretched into the afternoon admist more chatter and laughter, and squeals of excitement from the younger girls. Pipany's lovely garden was admired and Walter wet himself with fright at the sight of the cats (he's a bit of a wuss, my boy). And then we were fed all over again with delicious homemade pasta and bolognaise, and veggie lasagne. A veritable feast!

It still astounds me that I have made such wonderful friends through blogging - friendships that really touch my heart. Thank you, Ginny and Pip, I feel very blessed.

Thursday 21 May 2009

it went like this...

7.30 this morning
I pull in to a local car park, open the boot of my car and start to unload all my recycling, tossing it into the various appropriate bins. Walter is lying in the boot, watching.
A road sweeper is picking up litter nearby.
"Morning" I say, "lovely day isn't it? Sunshine at last."
He saunters over.
We exchange a few pleasantries, and then I continue to sort my recycling.

He walks over to Walter and starts stroking him, and then he says:
"You're a lucky boy aren't you? Bet you're about to go for a lovely walk."
I smile.
"Actually, I'm just about to take him to the vet to have his balls chopped off."
The man pauses.
There's an audible intake of breath.
And his hands move involuntarily, in a protective fashion.
He mutters his commiserations to Walter, and then we laugh, and go our separate ways.

Walter's fine. And it seems he has a new fan club at the vets too.

Sunday 17 May 2009

old friends

I'm a girl who lives in jeans. They're my uniform, day in, day out, and fortunately for me that's ok for work too. And the more ancient they are, the more comfortable they are. Old friends really. I've lost track of how many pairs I have, but I have noticed that most of them are worn at the knees and need some attention. Not that I'm against the torn look, but just not on every pair.

My old Bernina has a darning option, which is perfect for sewing over the ripped and worn bits of denim and strengthening them, in a relatively discreet way.

If the denim's really thin I put a small patch on the inside to make the repair a little more substantial.

So...more life in these old jeans yet...and several more pairs to repair too. It helps to pay attention while you're sewing - a momentary minute of mind wandering and I neatly sewed right through my finger nail, with the broken needle coming out of my fingertip. Ouch!

Thursday 14 May 2009

nature walk

Last sunday I joined some friends for a nature walk around the cliffs and woodland of the Lamorna Valley. Apart from learning a little more about the flora and fauna of my local landscape, there was an ulterior motive. In September my friend Peggy is cycling from London to Paris in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care. The nature walk was one of the events organized by my friend Kate to boost the fundraising. Cycling to Paris in three days, a distance of 200 miles, is no mean feat (I know, I've completed this ride twice....but it was about twenty years ago - in my younger and fitter days!) Peggy is training hard, and blogging as she goes - any encouraging comments are very welcome.

The nature walk was led by Brian, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the wildlife and flowers that adorn the rugged cliffs and sheltered valley. The sun shone, the sky was blue, the weather was balmy, and the sea was enticing the boats out around Tater Dhu lighthouse.

We paused for a while at Carn Barges before meandering back along the coast path to Lamorna Cove.

I love the way the wildflowers hug the cliffs - my favourite is undoubtedly thrift, which looks even more beautiful when the sea is sparkling in the background.

I can now also identify bladder campion, which grows prolifically along the coastal path.

There were also occasional clumps of sea campion, whilst the yellow kidney vetch seemed to be everywhere.

We paused for ice cream in Lamorna Cove, before heading back up the valley through the woods, bluebells stretched out as far as the eye could see. This walk was a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) and it was a real joy to walk with someone who was so willing to share their abundant knowledge. Thank you, Brian.

(If anyone would like to make a donation to Cornish Hospice Care, and support Peggy's ride, this is the link to Just Giving)

Monday 11 May 2009

reasons to be cheerful

:: Walter has made a complete recovery! Thanks so much for all your lovely messages and hugs for the two of us - they've helped me get through a tense few days. I was a basket case on friday! It seems that Waltz was extremely weak after what seemed like a very mild upset tummy, and lacked the strength even to stand up. Fortunately it wasn't a serious hip problem (hip dysplasia, for those with doggy knowledge), or spine for that matter, which we were suspecting. He's now his usual cheeky, smiley, energetic self. And I'm so happy, but feel a bit wrung out.

:: yesterday I went on a wonderful nature walk along the cliff tops - more on that soon.

:: a parcel arrived from Amazon (spent my birthday vouchers), with plenty to distract me over the weekend. The joy of new additions to the book pile!

:: a blustery day today - perfect for blowing out the cobwebs and re-energising.

:: pink skies tonight....shepherds' delight!

Friday 8 May 2009

thinking of walter

I had plans for another type of post, but am completely distracted with worry over Walter. Yesterday he had a mildly upset tummy but was otherwise fine. Last night he couldn't stand up, all strength completely gone from his hind legs, although once I helped him to stand he could walk, albeit a little stiffly. The same this morning. So I rushed him off to the vet - at the moment we can't find anything obviously wrong, and he's been given anti-inflammatories. There is a possibility it might be serious, but we just have to wait and see. He's up and about quite happily now, the drugs doing their job.

So please send healing and positive thoughts to my dear sweet boy, and keep everything crossed that this is nothing more than Walter inadvertently overdoing it while playing on the beach.

Monday 4 May 2009

treating myself

Seduced by this post I treated myself to some handmade soaps from Oakmoss. When I came home on friday a little parcel was waiting for me - delicious smells wafting from within. Inside, beautifully wrapped soaps and a little extra gift too.

Amber has a talent for blending essential oils, which she adds to her soaps. The results are delicately fragranced creamy soaps in generous sized bars.

I'm extremely fussy about what I use on my skin, and don't buy any commercially-made products, so to please me is no mean feat! Amber also sent some lovely soya wax (non toxic, unlike paraffin wax) essential oil blend tea lights, and a little linen bag of bath salts, along with a sweet handmade thank you card.

All packaged with great attention to detail, and simplicity. I love brown paper and linen string! And I feel thoroughly spoiled, too. Thanks so much, Amber!

So go on, check out Amber's etsy shop, and spoil yourself too!