I managed to stay up until midnight, although the
others were falling asleep. I couldn't possibly miss all the fireworks,
and when the bangs and noise started, Brown Teddy, Dino and Blue Parrot
were all awake again. It took twenty minutes for the noise to die down,
and then we all fell asleep straight away.
I took some film but the fireworks were too far
away, although the film had a good soundtrack of whizzes and bangs.
Next morning was bright and sunny, which is a very pleasant way to start
a New Year. Here is the first dawn of 2013.
We took a walk to the shops via the river. After
all the rain, this outlet was gushing fast, and it reminded me of Town
Lock in Tonbridge that we visited just after Christmas.
My pond has netting all round, but the blackbird
was able to land on this weedy corner to have a private bath, and I
expect he also found a few worms and slugs in the folds of the pond
liner. I think he was attracted by the bubbles coming from the filter
We took all the Christmas decorations down. I enjoyed bursting the
balloons, and it is a very quick way to clear up. I put everything back
in their special boxes. Lots of the decorations go into large document
boxes, so nothing gets squashed. The tinsel goes into zipped bags. They
are all now in the back of the wardrobe, but we still have the lights
around the living room to brighten the grey days.
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I was glad we were able to go to the first boot
sale of this year. It was gloomy and very misty, but not too cold. The
huge pylons were disappearing into the low cloud. There were lots of
stalls and we spent about an hour going round. I don't think I would
want to be a stall holder, as you cannot keep very warm if you are not
I was glad to get back home in the warm. We made a new giant cushion out
a huge piece of velvety material and two small cushion pads put
together. I think purple is my favourite colour at the moment and so now
we have two places to choose from when we want to lounge about - the
purple cushion and our red beanbag. Dino was delighted to find these
mint chocolates left over from Christmas. There was
enough for everyone to have several, and Dino double-checked the paper
bags to make sure he had not missed a spare one.
We left all the forks in the grass while we cleared out the shed, so now
I have a traditional photo of robin on handle, although it is a bit
blurred. I think the camera decided that the broom handle was the
subject and focussed on that. The robin was waiting for a few crumbs to
fly out of the kitchen window. I am going to put the fork back in nearer
the kitchen window and get a better picture of him. It might make a good
Christmas card next year!
At last we have got our Hotties to replace the old
rubber hot water bottles. They are a lot safer and very quick to do in
the microwave. We are going to make our own covers, so the cost was half
what it would have been!
There seemed to be more gulls than ducks on Priory Pond and this one is
standing on a post in the water. They are not as brave as the ducks and
they don't swim towards people but they are quick to snatch bits of
bread where they can.
We put our new robin box in the shed a day or two ago and were
astonished to find the robin coming and going with leaves and bits of
twigs. I think January is far too early but they are probably eager to
take possession of the property. In the second photo he had a large
amount of dry leaves and couldn't get it through the gap and so had to
fly away with it again. When we looked inside, they are nesting in the
same wire basket that they used last year and have ignored the wooden
nestbox that is a little lower down. We are going to have a webcam
inside the shed this time and I will be putting it in soon.
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Today is an indoors day as it is getting rather chilly. We sewed some
elastic into this winter hat to make it stay on and the owner was very
pleased to have warm ears at last. We had to cut a hole and then sew it
up again. I like counting and measuring so I helped out by pinning the
sample knitted square and measuring the stitches.
The first dusting of snow has covered my solar sunflower, turning it
into a big snowflake. This is just the weather for hot apple pieces
microwaved to make them soft. That pip could be our next tree but I am
not going to wait ten years before I find out if the apples it has are
It is a very long time since we had a thrush in the garden and I was
very glad he didn't fly away before I got the photo. The robin doesn't
fly away as he knows that crumbs may appear at any moment.
This primrose has been flowering since November. The garden is covered
in snowdust and looks quite tidy now that the muddy paths are white.
This parasol base looks much better with the patterns shown up in white.
I like it when the snow settles, and I think there is going to be a lot
This icicle on the birdbath is not bath water, but fresh snow falling on
the warmish stone and then dripping off and freezing again. When I see
all these bird prints I feel that they have been looking around for food
and not found any. I always go out and sweep a patch to put the bits of
bread on and then they come back for it.
I am drawing the designs for the mittens and someone had made this one
up already. This pattern can be knitted without having to look at the
chart, so it is quick to do. This is my favourite ball of knitting yarn,
rainbow random, and I can't wait to see it made into something. It needs
dark wool around it to make the colours look really bright.
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The snow is even thicker now. No birds or animals have crossed the lawn
The blackbird has been poking around under the bushes near the kitchen
window, coming out for bits of bread and taking it back into the bush.
There are also fallen berries right at the back that have not been
covered by the snow.
Here are some nearby fields covered in snow. Sometimes they are misty
and almost invisible but all this snow really makes them stand out.
All this snow looks quite delicious but it is not! The snow from this
tree will be plopping into the pond, either when it gets too thick, or a
bird lands on it, or it starts to thaw. I am glad someone volunteered to
sweep out the birdbath and put some fresh warm water in.
Here is the bread patch. The blackbirds and robins know exactly where to
come for breakfast, dinner and tea when it is snowy. On my walk, I saw
this shovelling sign. It was not a reminder to clear the path for the
postman, but left over from some roadworks now buried under the snow.
Down by the river this blackbird was digging into the mud, flinging
leaves everywhere. The crow was sitting quite still, probably deciding
where the best place for snacks might be.
Back in my garden, I noticed these marks in the snow. I think a
blackbird has jumped through the deep snow and then taken off, with his
longest wing feathers hitting the snow and making the stripes.
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Another cold day for staying indoors. The computer needed a new fan, as
the existing one was making a lot of noise and the machine was cutting
out at inconvenient moments. Luckily I save all my work regularly as I
go along. Dino helped by blowing out some of the dust. I handed over the
parts and made sure the screws didn't get lost. The new fan was
We took some leftover bread to the park and threw it all in at once, so
everyone got a chance to get some at the same time. Walking back we saw
these strange squares of ice. No-one clears this path, so it must be
that the repaired patches are colder than the surrounding asphalt.
When I went to take a picture of this magpie in the bath, he flew away.
But he kept on coming back, so I got quite a few pictures in the end. I
hid behind the kitchen curtain and just pointed the camera round the
side. Later on I thought there were a load of starlings on the telegraph
pole but they were making a different lighter tweeting sound, not as
noisy as starlings. These are waxwings which I have never seen before.
Eventually they all flew away together. I think this little flock was on
its migration and stopped in just the right place for my photo!
The snow is now melted and the fish are coming up again. This is the
very last bit of snow. it is really a pile of thick ice from where we
have been clearing the pond so it doesn't really count as leftover snow.
The seagulls in the park like to line up on the bridge railings. We
crept up with the camera to see how close we could get. They all
hesitated because they thought bread might be on offer but only for a
Here is my movable webcam, tied to the tripod with masking tape and
elastic bands. It makes whizzing noise each time it starts up, so I
cannot use it in the shed to watch the robin's nest. But I can point it
at the lawn to see if the birds are eating the bread or having a bath.
Sometimes I get up long before everyone else and look round the
curtains. Here is the dawn with thick grey clouds and a streak lit up by
the dawn sun. I like to guess what the weather will be so that I can
plan my day. This looks like a good one with sunny skies to come.
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