Thursday, February 26, 2009

26 February: Visitors

This morning, just after 7.30, I was at the sink, washing the cat's bowl when I noticed a movement in the garden.

It looked exactly like the little bird that had been in the buddleia the previous evening, which we had taken to be a wren - tiny bird darting about looking for insects.

But then it came right up onto the paving and perched in the potted oak tree - a second one darted down from the clematis - too pale to be a wren, and the movement not quite right. A stripe on the head - but not a coal tit - a yellow stripe. Two goldcrests!!!

I have found a picture -

I know it's goldfinches that are a charm, but these little creatures were truly charming.

Monday, February 23, 2009

23 February: 2 seasons in 2 weeks

Ten days ago we were struggling through snow, today the garden has not only these -

but also these -

and even this!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

21 February: Hamsterley coatless

At the third attempt, we made it to the forest. The first time, we forgot something, and had to go back, which was just as well, because the second time we set out, the car broke down at the top of the street!

Anyway, after the RAC had towed it away for the pump that was replaced a couple of weeks ago to be done right (we hope) this time, we took my little car, and actually got there.

Glorious sunshine when we arrived, though the wind got up and brought cloud across later. We started off on a different path from usual, made some interesting choices at junctions, and went off-path a few times. There are still plenty of places we haven't yet seen, and you can't really get lost - anyway we had both map and GPS.

Just as we were starting to feel hungry, we found a seat at a major track junction, where we munched on home-made bread rolls and fruit.

A bit later on we followed this stream down the hillside -

to the bigger stream. There was a lot of water coming off the moors above the forest and down the hillsides, and at the ford 2 mountain bikers were just about to cross. Neither of them made it with dry feet, but they did clean their bikes a bit!

The footbridge a few hundred yards further on was our preferred option, beyond this little waterfall-y bit, then we explored another path that was new to us, before returning to more familiar tracks.

As usual, there were few people about in the further parts of the forest, but there were lots of families nearer the car park. A good day to be out and about; the jacket, magic overtrousers, woolly hat and mittens, all stayed in my smart new daybag; a long-sleeved T-shirt and a good wool jersey were all that was required (yes, trousers as well!).

Heavens, at this rate, I may need to look for my shorts next month!

Friday, February 20, 2009

20 February: Durham hatless

How pleasant to be able to walk about without a woolly hat, scarf and gloves!

After a meeting in Durham today, I walked back to the car. Deciding against the riverbank path, I went up South Street for the first time in (possibly) years. As the trees are leafless, the cathedral is visible from the road.

Actually, I think I like the woodland bit better than the cathedral bit.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

12 February: Still no snow photos

Happy (significant) Birthday, DD!

Just when it had thawed a bit yesterday, today it snowed constantly all day. DH, extremely glad he didn't have to go out, spent the day moving bits of furniture round, and setting up his hi-fi system in his new playroom study.

And for our tea we had comfort food - chips with our omelette, and then a tin of fruit cocktail. Do you remember when a tin of fruit cocktail was a touch of luxury?

And here are a couple of photos as a reminder that sometimes the sun shines warmly and the flowers bloom:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

10 February: No snow photos

Well, I haven't had a minute.

It's not that life has gone into slow motion; more that now there's two of us doing not very much, it seems to take twice as long! (And getting at the computer during the day is now half as likely.)

And all this snow doesn't help. Living above the snow-line as we do, the street in front of the house has been thick with ice for what seems like weeks - in the shadow of the houses it takes ages to melt. The main roads, of course, are clear, but local pavements are still treacherous, and as a visit to A & E is unappealing any foray out of the house has to be carefully negotiated.

In fact I am thoroughly fed up with the snow and ice hampering everything we want to do, and would be most grateful if it would just go away.

Monday, February 02, 2009

2 February: 2 Pensioners

DH has now finished work, and we have been busy all weekend with making a start on re-organising the house. As I have a room for all my fibre stuff, it's only fair that he should have a room to potter about in as well. And there are only the 2 of us in this 4-bedroomed house.

And so there has been much moving about of furniture, clothes, junk, papers, and general stuff, of which we seem to have a huge amount. Some of it has been moved to the tip, and there's a big stack of stuff to go to charity shops.

This morning we woke to snow again, but of course nobody had to struggle through it to get to work [ :) ], so after a second cup of coffee we did some more sorting out of old papers, and some re-constructing of old photo albums.

Knitting continues, and the current project is well advanced, and a photo has been taken for its Ravelry project page. The recently spun wool/silk batt is slowly becoming a top-down raglan cardigan, following Barbara Walker's recipe.

And a few pairs of old hand-knitted socks have been tossed onto the "out" pile, so there's a bit of space in the sock drawer. And we all know nature hates empty space.