Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It never rains but it pours! Episode # 1

Last weekend we embarked on a new project and not one that we really imagined we would be doing. I think I mentioned earlier in the year that Embee painted the railings around our little balcony at the rear of our house. Once he'd finished painting I then cleaned the decking, in doing this I noticed that some of the supports were beginning to rot and had some wood worm. At first we thought it was just the exterior pieces of wood that could easily be replaced. However once these were removed we realised that we would need to lift some of the decking and check further. I expect you've guessed by now that we eventually discovered, it was not a simple task. The current decking, which is solid mahogany, had been so well laid (by Embee) it could not be easily removed without damage, so the whole lot had to come up and everything is being replaced.
The quality of the new decking is nothing like as superior as the old and I'm not sure that I will really like it. I've been trying to remember just how long it has been down but it's certainly not the 20 yrs Embee thought it would last. I remember him saying it would see us out- well he got that wrong! The start of the task.Not looking good!Out with the old, even the good stuff.Some things are best done sitting down. and on Sunday evening you are left with a gaping hole.

Of course I then decided that we should clean and repaint the walls, and I know it will not be seen but it will certainly tidy it up nicely. Yesterday I scrubbed the walls with bleach to get rid of the mould and Embee has given them a couple of coats of masonary paint and they look so much better, despite the rainstorms we had last night.

I meant to take a picture this evening but forgot. All the old wood is being recycled to a pal of Embee's who is using it to fuel his wood burner so that's good.

The timber decking needs to fully dry out before I can treat it and with thunderstorms every night I have no idea how long this will take.

Next stage is the fix the supports...so to be continued.

2007 & 2008: No Archives

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun Monday # 122 Handbags

Sorry I'm so late in posting this it was almost finished but I to go and collect my grandson and his girlfriend, who had been to see the Banksy Exhibition. Then it was time to cook dinner. I then got sidetracked by a few games of the Murray tennis match. Embee then told me the grandson intended to borrow a pair of his shorts until he went into town and bought a pair tomorrow. This was not going to happen so off we went to the local supermarket and found a pair of shorts for Dillon. Then I just had to watch the remainder of the Murray match which he just managed to win in the 5th set. What a relief!

Now to this weeks challenge:

The Church Lady wants to see a photo of our purse (here we call it a handbag) and she wants us to describe what's inside. She asks:
Do you carry everything but the kitchen sink? Or, do you prefer to go light and carry only the necessities, such as your money and cell phone. For the men who would like to participate, post a photo of your wallet and describe what's in your wallet.

I have a very cheap little bag that I use for holidays and I haven't swapped it after my trip to to China and here it is.
As to the content I just tipped everything out and took a photo.
What can you see! Let me help:

Camera, phone, purse, wallet and cheque book, note paper, pen, sun glasses, keys, bag hook, wipes, tissues, toilet paper, sewing kit, plasters, tooth picks, sun screen, mouth freshener, paracetamol, gaviscon tablets, fold up shopping bag, comb and compact mirror.
All very boring stuff- no make up I've become allergic to many things so have given up except for moisturiser.
It's pretty similar to a previous post (about things I don't leave home without) except I have a different camera and phone.

Related post:
Fun Monday-39

That's me done I know some of you have already visited so thank you for dropping by in case you don't manage to get back. I'll be over to visit as soon as I can to see what everyone else is carrying in their purses.

No Archives

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Breakfast outside

Today was the first time that I have taken my breakfast outside, it was a perfect morning, not too hot and the birds were singing. I knew I had to make the most of it as I had a very busy day ahead of me, but that's for another post!

2007 + 2008: No archives

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Loganberry Jam

Today I picked a couple of pounds of loganberries (from our garden) and on the spur of the moment decided to make some jam. Where does one go to get a recipe...why google of course and I was spoiled for choice. They were all very similar so I opted for one that came from 'Old Australian Food Recipes' mainly because it was so simple.

Loganberry Jam:


1 1b. loganberries,
1 1b. sugar (I used a few ounces less sugar as I didn't want it too sweet)

Pick berries over, removing any stalks, weigh, then wash very gently, place in preserving pan, crushing a few to draw sufficient juice before cooking, bring slowly to boil and cook 10 to 15 minutes, add sugar, boil rapidly till a little will set when tested on a saucer, pour into hot jars and seal.

I did actually over cook it because I was chatting to my daughter on the phone but it still tasted just fine to me.

2008: Postcard from the Algarve
2007: I'm off on holiday today + Witty Wednesday-11

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Friday, June 26, 2009

My new acquisition....

Look what I have just acquired, it may not look much but it is a very useful portable table. I rang and placed an order for this and a few other items from Lakeland yesterday afternoon. I could not believe my eye when I got up this morning and found a package leaning up against the inside of my back gates.

I knew what it was immediately-it had been delivered by Parcel Force and clearly I didn't hear the bell although something did wake me up around 7am. The gates, are quite high, and were locked so the delivery guy must have had pretty long arms or a step ladder to have got the package in the position I found it!
Anyway I'm very impressed with the quick service, especially as I was quoted about 5 days for delivery. Now I wonder when the other items will arrive!

I have already put the table to good use as you can see.

2007: A pigeon came calling

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

What will I be when I grow up?

This is one of the little monsters who have been eating our vegetables. They clearly think our few precious plants are a gourmet meal. I'm not up on my butterflies but I think it is probably going to be a Cabbage White...that's if it lives that long, which is unlikely!

2007: Fun Monday-22 Bookshelves

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Witty Wednesday # 101

I would like to state the jokes are not meant to offend anyone and nor is the language so I'm apologising in advance.

Daffy forwarded me these:


Englishman v Frenchman:

An Englishman is having breakfast, in Paris , one morning (coffee, croissants, bread, butter and jam) when a Frenchman, chewing bubble-gum, sits down next to him. The Englishman ignores the Frenchman who, nevertheless, starts a conversation.

Frenchman: 'You English folk eat the whole bread??'

Englishman (in a bad mood): 'Of course.'

Frenchman: (after blowing a huge bubble) 'We don't. In France , we only eat what's inside. The crusts we collect in a container, recycle it, transform them into croissants and sell them to England .' The Frenchman has a smirk on his face.

The Englishman listens in silence.

The Frenchman persists: 'Do you eat jam with the bread??'

Englishman: 'Of Course.'

Frenchman: (cracking his bubble-gum between his teeth and chuckling).

'We don't. In France we eat fresh fruit for breakfast, then we put all the peels, seeds, and leftovers in containers, recycle them, transform them into jam, and sell the jam to England.'

After a moment of silence, The Englishman then asks: 'Do you have sex in France?'

Frenchman: 'Why of course we do', he says with a big smirk.

Englishman: 'And what do you do with the condoms once you've used them?'

Frenchman: 'We throw them away, of course'

Englishman: 'We don't. In England, we put them in a container, recycle them, melt them down into bubble-gum, and sell them to France.'
From Embee (not sure if I've used this one before!):

The hair cut:

One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he
asked about his bill and the barber replies, 'I cannot accept money
from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was
pleased and left the shop.

When the barber goes to open his shop the next morning there is a
'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door..

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his
bill, the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm
doing community service this week.' The cop is happy and leaves the

The next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a 'thank
you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later that day, a college professor comes in for a haircut, and when
he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept
money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The professor
is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber opens his shop, there is a 'thank
you' card and a dozen different books, such as 'How to Improve
Your Business' and 'Becoming More Successful.'

Then, a Member of Parliament comes in for a haircut , and when he goes
to pay his bill the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from
you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Member of Parliament
is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen
Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between
the citizens of our country and the Members of Parliament
This made me chuckle:

Have a good day, we are having some exceptionally hot weather at the moment so it feels like summer is here at last.

2007: Few words needed

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

China #9 View from The Jin Mao Tower

To get a bird's eye view you need to take the elevater to the top of The Jin Mao Tower
Looking from the top of this across to the top of the Shanghai World Financial Centre makes it look very close. Now don't you think it resembles 'a giant bottle opener'! The original design was for a 'circle' but there was a very good reason why the Chinese wouldn't approve of that design (link will explain if you are interest).
Once you get to the the viewing area you can walk around but there is no outside viewing gallery so all the pictures are taken through glass. Oriental Pearl TV Tower
It was quite hazy and the colour variation on different cameras is quite marked (not sure I altered mine for the better).This last picture is the view looking down to the ground floor from the centre of the tower.It made me feel a bit wobbly looking down there!

2008: Fun Monday-72 My wardrobe re-visited
2007: Meme

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Fun Monday # 120 Food Glorious Food

Our hostess this week is Margaret and she wants to talk about food; what could be better a topic close to my heart! She says:

If you could choose one “main course” item and one dessert item that would, just for you, contain zero calories for the rest of your life (or zero cholesterol, zero points, or whatever your most important dietary measure is)…what would you choose? Post a pic of your chosen items if you like, or just make us drool with a description!

Now all the food I like is very calorific so this would be the perfect answer to my dietary requirements.....choosing just one dish has been really difficult so I'm going with a traditional English roast beef dinnerthen again does that beat home made fish and chips....not sure!!
I have used these collages before so some of you may remember them.

As for dessert well I guess it will be ice cream and I've chosen just two flavours of
Chocolate and Mint Choc Chip

Sadly I can feel my waist expanding as I write; I know I will be drooling when I come visiting but it's lovely to dream.

2007: Greetings from the Dordogne

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice on Father's Day

Today a lot of people celebrated the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge by watching the sun rise. I did take a peep out of my window just after 5am this morning but it was quite cloudy so I couldn't actually take a picture of the sunrise.
I always look forward to the longest day when it will stay light until around 10pm. It would be lovely to be able to sit outside and watch the sun go down but I have to say it's actually not that warm today and the sun is not even showing itself at the moment. I don't know about you but I get to this time of the year and feel that we haven't yet had that much good weather, I'm sure we were promised a heatwave this year!!!!!

Embee was delighted to get this little anecdotal book and some diabetic mint truffles from Beccy he's just said:
"I will have to have a choc to stave off my hunger" OK I can take a hint and as it's Father's Day I'll let it pass.

I was practising with my photoshop elements this morning after taking a picture of this Himalayan Honeysuckle which is looking very pretty at the moment.

Wishing all Fathers a very Happy Day.

2008: No Archive
2007: My Mate + Summer Solstice

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Marley and Me and Dillon makes Three!

Ages ago I sent away for a free little Marley and at the same time I was able to buy the larger one for just £3 which is very reasonable. I suddenly remembered last Wednesday that it was over a month since I placed the order and I hadn't received it. Would you believe it was delivered that day!
It is my intention to put the small one into my shoe box collection (for Romanian children) and the larger one was going to a Christmas appeal for soft toys for Women's Refuges. However now I've seen how cute it is I'm thinking do I want to part with it. I know, come the time, I will happily hand it over. However, in the mean time I can enjoy having a dog about the house again!

Last night my mobile phone rang at 11pm. I rarely get any calls on my mobile in the daytime let alone late at night. It was lucky I was still downstairs or I might have missed the call from my eldest grandson. He was ringing to see if he could come and stay again for a few days (I think with girlfriend). He is very eager to see the "Banksy Exhibition" at Bristol Museum and he'll away when his mum and younger siblings come in August. Although I realise he's not really coming to see us, I'm delighted that we'll get to see him for a few days at the end of the month.
Now I'll have to start planning a menu so Dillon if you see this let me know what meals you fancy!

No Archive 2008
2007: Witty Wednesday-10

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Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm confused!!

My mother has her repeat prescription delivered from the pharmacy attached to the surgery. Yesterday when they were delivered, one item was missing and when my mother rang to find out the reason the answer left her puzzled.
Apparently the person she spoke to did not speak very good English, now as my mother is somewhat deaf you can imagine this is not a good combination. She often gets the wrong end of the stick so when she said that she had been told not to worry but just take an extra one of her other heart tablets, I really thought she's got that wrong. She said that she had only spoken to a relief pharmacist, that convinced me there must have been some misunderstanding. I offered to go to the surgery and find out what was happening, but as she still has a weeks supply it didn't seem that urgent.

I confess I thought no more about it but when I returned from running errands this morning, my mother greeted me with..."I've rung the pharmacy and spoken to someone else, who said yes they were stopping those tablets but to finish using the current packet"
My mother said she asked if she didn't need them why had she been prescribed them for years and the person couldn't answer this question. This seems really odd so I think that we will have to taking another trip to the doctor to get some answers...after all is it now the pharmacy who decide what medication a patient need or has the GP changed the medication without telling my mother; has she been wrongly prescribed for years; or has my mother just misunderstood...your guess is as good as mine but I think we need some sort of explanation. So next task is getting an appointment with the doctor and you know how difficult that is!!!

2008: Portugal here we come
2007: Meme Eight Random Facts

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

China # 8 Pandas at Chengdu

You cannot go to China and not visit the pandas just outside the city of Chengdu, at the Breeding and Research Centre. Everyone loves these cuddly looking animals and as they are endangered it was lovely to see the breeding programme is so successful.
There were a lot of young panda's in the reserve and it was possible, for a large sum of money, to be able to touch them, albeit with gloves to protect the animals from infection (not something I felt that comfortable about as it was a bit like exploiting the animals).

I'm not really sure what this slide show will be like; it looks good on the laptop, however, I often find once I've reduced size and uploaded the quality is lost. I'm still waiting for other people to send photos so I might have some more to show you later. In the mean time I hope you will enjoy these pictures.

2008: Witty Wednesday-54
2007: Fun Monday-21 What hangs on my wall

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Witty Wednesday # 100

I can't believe I've managed to produce a 100 of these....what do you think time for a change!?

The first laugh this week is from a plurk friend 'down under'. Rantz has even set up a blog Plurkfiends for plurkers.


A Priest was being honoured at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner.

However, the politician was delayed, so the Priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:
'I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here.I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, taken illegal drugs, and gave VD to his sister. I was appalled.
But as the days went on I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.'...

Just as the Priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk:

'I'll never forget the first day our parish Priest arrived,' said the politician. 'In fact, I had the honour of being the first person to go to him for confession.'
Moral : Never, Never, Never Be Late
These I saw over at Merle's Third Try and she was happy for me to pass them on.

Gotta Love Little Boys:

Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of tampons and proceeded to the checkout counter.
The man at the counter asked the older boy, "Son, how old are you?"
The boy replied, "Eight."
The man continued, "Do you know what these are for?"
The boy replied, "No exactly, but they aren't for me. They are for him. He's my brother and he is four. We saw on TV that if you use these, you would be able to swim, play tennis and ride a bike. Right now, he can't do none of those.

A man appeared before St. Peter at the pearly gates. "Have you ever done anything
during your lifetime on earth of particular merit?" St Peter asked.

"Well, I can think of one thing," the man offered.

"On a trip to the Black Hills of Dakota, I came upon a gang of bikers, who were
threatening a young woman. I directed them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't listen.

So I went up to the largest and most heavily tattooed biker and smacked him on the head
kicked his bike over, ripped off his nose ring and threw it on the ground. "I yelled,
"Now Back off.""

St Peter was very impressed. "When did this happen?" he asked.
"Couple of minutes ago."

Have a Happy Day

2008: Trying to stop Thieves
2007: Father's Day

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's growing in my garden!

I'm sure everyone will recognise these flowers but in case you don't............these are now growing well.
...Wonder how long it will take before they are ready to harvest!

2008: Fun Monday-71 My Walls
2007: What kind of wine are you

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Fun Monday # 119 What happened on my birthday!

Now Lil Mouse has come up with an interesting topic for this week...she says:

Obviously, knowing all of you bloggers out there, you broke the mold the day you were born, but what else happened? Did anything funny, serious, or sad occur on the same day in history that you were born, a birth, death or a sports record set? I suggest this site (not the American one, if you check out this one and then check out the American one, you’ll know why, it’s not very blogger friendly). List one or two, or if you find nothing of interest, check out another date (your mom’s birthday, your anniversary, until you find something you like).

I was really looking forward to discovering all the events that happened on the actual day I was born (Jan 25 ****). However, it clearly wasn't a memorable day as nothing happened, it was during the war so no sports events, no one famous died and the only birth I found was Anita Pallenberg who was born in Rome.

Does any one remember her? She was often in the media during the 60's and apart from being a model and actress (she was in Barbarella) her real claim to fame is that she got up close and very very friendly with The Rolling Stones. She spent twelve years with Keith Richards I won't go into all the details, but she was very interested in the occult and became a drug addict. Rather sad really....

Now this is where I'm going to cheat a little because I remembered a couple of years ago I did a Meme based on this very topic so I'm going to re-use some of that post for some historical facts that happened on my birthday:

1. Three Events that occurred that day:
-1791- The British Parliament passes the Constitutional Act of 1791 and splits the old province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada

-1881 - Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company. (where would us bloggers be if this hadn't happened)

-1919 - The League of Nations is founded. ( this was followed by the United Nations after 2nd world war)

2. Two important Birth days.
-1759 - Robert Burns, Scottish poet (d. 1796) (well I had to choose this one)

-1882 - Virginia Woolf, English writer (d. 1941) (probably most people have heard of this lady)

3. One Death.
-1981 - Adele Astaire, American dancer (b. 1897) (I loved Fred Astaire films [I was a frustrated dancer in those days]) and didn't realise his older sister was a dancer)
Quite a few things happened in this year:
# January 25 – Four former Labour cabinet ministers (Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, William Rodgers and David Owen) issue the Limehouse Declaration, leading to the formation of the Social Democratic Party.
# – Chiang Ching ('Madame Mao') is sentenced to death in the People's Republic of China.
# – Super Bowl XV: The Oakland Raiders defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

4. A Holiday or Observance.
- Burns Night - Burns suppers are held in many parts of the world around this date. (Originated in Scotland)

-St. Dwynwen's Day - Welsh celebration of love Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen. (I enjoyed these legends)

So that's me done why don't you call in on Lil Mouse to see what others have found.

2008: New Discovery
2007: Well I never!!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Race for Life-Bristol 2009

Today I am supporting Race for Life-Bristol, which is a fund raiser for cancer research, and I would like you all to wish me luck.

This will be my third year of participating in this event. I know many people who have been touched by cancer, sadly some did not survive, others are still fighting and some have fought and won.

I'm not a runner I just walk around the the 5K course, which is on the Bristol Downs, as briskly as I can. I'm doing it alone again this year as my friend, Tina, who was planning take part has had to withdraw.
The weather forecast is good and that's always a help, thousands of people take part and there is a great atmosphere. I'll take my camera so I might get some pictures to share.
I completed the course in just under an hour, (55 mins to be precise), which is slower than last year, but I'm happy with that. The feet are a bit sore but my knee and hip coped remarkably well. It was a perfect day for walking and the event was well supported.
Last year Embee was waiting near the finish but no sign of him this year. When I rang he was so surprised I'd finished and it took as long for him to collect me as it did to walk the course. I didn't stop to take any photos, but Embee snapped this when we got home.

Race for Life 2008
Race for Life 2007

Thanks to all my family for their support. XXX

2008: What your fridge says about you
2007: A Tortoise Tale

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Award and Meme

Now with this lovely award from Hannah comes a little task:

I have to tell you about

Five Obsessions.......I don't really have obsessions however.....

1 I think my family would say I was obsessive about blogging and plurking.....is that one or two!!!

2 Embee says I'm obsessive about my daughters and grandchildren-well they are very important to me.

3 I love my camera and nearly always carry it with me....I would hate to miss a good blog photo!!!!

4 I do like my hair to be reasonably tidy although if you could see it now you might not agree!

5 I do the quick crossword in the daily mail every day and I enjoy playing bookworm online.

These are not very exciting or revealing obsessions, probably just normal things that most of you can relate to!!!

and Five hates........

1 I detest junk mail, spam emails and spam blog comments

2 I also hate cold calling telephone calls and coming home to messages on the answerphone from companies trying to get you to call back. I sometimes shout at the phone!!

3 I get really fed up when Embee will not tidy away his clean laundry..... he prefers to leave it in a huge pile!!

4 I am frustrated that my knee and hip pain restrict some activities, however I'm doing the 'Race for Life' tomorrow so I try not to let it stop me doing things that are important.

5 I hate that I only have to look at a cake or chocolate to gain a few pounds

Well that's it.....and now pass this on to five friends. This is the part I find difficult because I have many more than five friends and I do know a lot of people aren't that keen on being tagged.
So what I'm going to do is name 5 people but not actually tell them so if they read this post and decide to take up the challenge that is fine or they can creep away and pretend they didn't see it.

Lil Mouse"

Thank you Hannah I did my best.

2008: What are we growing
2007: Witty Wednesday-9 Frog, drunk

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Schools out!

This is my niece's daughter who came to visit last week. She is 16 and has just finished her GCSE exams and has now left school. She has the summer ahead of her before she commences a childcare course, in September, at a local college. She is a very determined young lady and I wish her lots of success.

2008: What has Beccy been doing lately & Drift Racer Game
2007: Fruit Bread

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seagulls are everywhere

Remember when I was in the garden earlier in the week waiting for Tog to lay eggs. Well I decided to throw out some lemon cake for the birds, at first I put it on a tray near the house to see if I could attract any to get some pictures. After a couple of hours I just tipped the crumbled cake onto the lawn. This brought a flock of seagulls and not the little birds that I really hoped to attract. However, because I was in the garden they sat on the roof and watched me. I felt their beady eyes on me willing me to leave them to their feast. Some took off and circled overhead and eventually this one got fed up and flew off in disgust.

Of course as soon as I went in they were all over the cake like a swarm of locusts and it was gone before I could get a picture.

2008: Witty Wednesday-53 New Wine
2007: Fun Monday-20 My Kitchen

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