Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

To All My Lovely Friends, Family And Followers


NGC 2070 Tarantula (by mylotian)
Goodbye to the old!

Bring in the new!

Happy New Year!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Surrey Parakeets

The Surrey Parakeets

Here in Surrey (and around other areas of London) we have a huge flock of rose ring-necked parakeets. They appear to be nesting along the River Thames and the nearby parks and can be seen and heard most days in my garden. There are thought to be around 50,000 birds nearby nesting mainly in the poplar trees at a local rugby club.

The origin of them is disputed but the most popular theory is that they escaped from Shepperton Studios nearby during the making of the film The African Queen in 1951. Apparently over twenty birds vanished from the set and it is thought that this is how the flock originated locally.

I love these birds and particularly their loud shrieking but many do not. There is now a movement by DEFRA to cull the birds by shooting or poison as they appear to be responsible for the gradual decline of native species because they are competing for the same food source..

Eating fir berries
On the bird feeder
In the winter trees
In the garden
"Here's looking at you, kid"
Hampton Court next?

Surveying Surrey

                                PARAKEET PIE

Recipe By     :  Mrs Beeton
Serving Size  :  12
Category      : Poultry      

Amount  Measure       Ingredient
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   12                    Parakeets *
    6                    Thin slices of lean beef
    4                    Rashers of bacon
    3                    Hard-boiled eggs
   1/2   ts            Finely chopped parsley
   1/4   ts            Dried parsley
                          Finely grated lemon peel
                          Salt ; pepper
                          Puff pastry


* Parakeets are a small, long-tailed tropical parrot.


 Method: Prepare the birds, and truss them like a quail
   or any other small bird. Line a pie-dish with the
   beef, over it place 6 of the parakeets, intersperse
   slices of egg, parsley and lemon-rind, dredge lightly
   with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Cover
   with the bacon cut into strips, lay the rest of the
   birds on the top, intersperse slices of egg, season
   with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parsley and
   lemon-rind as before; three-quarter fill the dish with
   cold water, cover with puff-pastry, and bake in a quick
   Time: About 2-1/2 hours.

   Sufficient: About 12 persons
   From Mrs. Beeton’s "All About Cookery", Ward, Lock and Co, Ltd;
   Date unknown.

Rose-Ringed Parakeet Information

Species:Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri
Description: A large bright green parakeet, with a red bill, males have a pink and black ring round their neck
Native range: Sub-sahran Africa and the Indian Sub-continent

Diet:Generalist herbivores eating fruit, nuts, buds, leaves, blossom...
Habitat: Woodland, parks, gardens
Breeding: Male and female monogomous pairs, breeding maturity at age 3, clutch size of 3-4
Life expectancy: Reported to live up to 30 years in captivity

Nests: Cavities in trees, old woodpecker holes

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Good Morning

Good Morning

Morning has broken ...

Get up!

Come on !

Get up!

Now for breakfast ...

Yummy ...

Yummy ...
Yummy ...

Waiting for the fairies to load the dishwasher?
Packed lunches

Off to work ...

Goodbye ...

Goodbye ...
Goodbye Mr Whizz Kid ...
Me ? I'm off to the shops to buy more food ...

There is so much to do today ...


This is how each morning begins but from now on all will change in our household - The Devil Child has moved into his own flat (and taken the girlfriend and his entire entourage with him). This was the last of my four (***five - explain this one later) to move out and I am not sure now just what I will do with my time. Life will be so very different from now on.

The positives are many:

No more school fees.
No more uni fees.
Food still in the fridge.
Money still in my wallet.
Knowing just how many for breakfast/lunch/dinner.
No wet towels on the floor.
Less noise.
Less cooking,washing and ironing.
Family and friends to stay and knowing there is still a bed for them.
Family and friends to eat and knowing there is still food for them.
Being able to sleep uninterupted by late comers.

I have yet to work out the negatives!

As all my special family and friends live nearby I shall still see lots of them anyway so there will be no chance to miss anyone.  Mr Whizz Kid and I just might get to have some money and more fun!

***Adopted a homeless street boy of sixteen (he is now a charming twenty-seven year old young man who now lives elsewhere with his partner). He is probably the success story of my life!

Thanks for being a Mum xx

Wednesday, 28 December 2011



So that is another Christmas over! Now to get on with some real life!

I was lucky enough to receive some gorgeous presents from family and friends and just a few were to do with my crafting hobby: a lovely huge self sealing Fiskars board and some new Fiskars rotary cutters and a lovely stack of Japanese fat quarters. I shall really enjoy using these.

They are all so beautiful!

Even more exciting news is that now Christmas is over I am going to be getting a whole new sewing room all to myself as Mr Whizz Kid is moving his stuff out of his dressing room into a larger room just vacated by The Devil Child. My little corner (pic below) has now outgrown its space and is spreading to all corners of the room and so (joy of joys) I shall now be able to make as much mess as I like, leave it, and then just shut the door in my new room!

My present little craft corner

Trying to decide on my priorities is difficult - my friend today says an ironing board is the first essential (I hate ironing) and I guess she is right but it was not even on my list although it certainly should be.  My list looks like this so far ...

Good lighting
Good view of the garden
Large flat area for cutting
New sewing machine !
Comfortable chair
Radio (for radio 4)
Wall TV
Lots of drawers
Lots of shelves
'Set' for photos
Wall board
Display wall
Book shelves
Day bed ??

All this in a rather small bedroom!  Do tell me what you think is the most important and colour suggestions would also be most welcome. 


Wow! That really was a long post.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

This has become ...


And this

Flowers have arrived

More flowers have arrived

The kitchen is full of poinsettas

And even more poinsettas

The parcels are all sent
Letters and cards all sent

The vegetables are all prepared

The cup cakes are ready

The turkey is prepared

The sweets are all made

The mince pies are all baked

The cake is ready

The salads are all prepared

The fruit is all ready

Presents are wrapped

11 Christmas Presents & Christmas Gift Box no70404
More presents are wrapped

The drinks are all chilled

The stockings are all filled

Time to relax

To One And All

I want to wish you all a wonderful time with your friends and family.

This last year has been so traumatic for me and I want all my blogland friends to know just how much I have appreciated all the comments, emails, gifts and good wishes sent my way. I particularly want to thank Hadley at Flying Blind, Benta at Slikstitches, and Lindsey at Linen and Purple for their encouragement and support and sticking around during my long illness. Thank you also to the many 'lurkers' (especially in Hersham - do join my blog or comment - we live so close - Merry Christmas especially to you!)