Wow! Bluetit

Over the weekend I watched this bluetit fly in and out of the nesting box on my garage wall so, while my dinner was cooking this evening, I thought I would try and capture it on photo. My patience was rewarded when I saw it land on the clothes line. ‘Don’t press too soon,’ I told myself and waited for a second. Lo and behold, I did it on the second attempt!  I’m so proud, I can’t explain, not only that I’ve photographed it, but that it should choose my garden in which to nest.bluetit 001

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People often ask me where I glean inspiration for my books. The idea for my latest novel, The Peacock Bottle, a dual timeline set (as usual) in Victorian times,  came from an exciting occurrence when I was about eleven years old. I found a glass perfume bottle, complete with stopper, in the garden of the house we lived in at the time, in West Clandon near Guildford-the same house that had me praying on the journey home from boarding school that my parents had not moved and forgotten to tell me. Well, it was the fifth house I had lived in! A hint of perfume still lingered in the bottle. I kept it for years in my treasure box that I used to take to boarding school with me, and I would love to know what happened to it, so I could use it when I attend book fayres. Unfortunately, as with all my other treasures, it probably got left behind when I married.

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Summer house


Almost finished. Just the stone path down the side to finish off, and the lawn to patch where the rockery stones and ornaments were stored while I waited for the builders to do their stuff.

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bluetit 001

I’m so upset! My bluetits have gone. This morning he landed on the clothes line as usual before going into the nestbox but, instead of entering it, he flew to it but then flew back to the line and scarpered. This happened many times and I haven’t seen him at all this afternoon.


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My summer house

Almost finished. Just need a new patio and the garden tidying up.cabin complete 001

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Update on my garden project. The base is down. (It is straight. I’m just a rubbish photographer.) Now to await the delivery date for the cabin to arrive and be assembled. base 001

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My garden project

i have always wanted a conservatory, but there isn’t room on my back and it faces east  – or wherever the sun rises – so there is no sun near the back door after 11 0’clock. I decided to transform the outhouse attached to the side of the house into a garden room. That would have been too expensive though. I finally decided on a summer house at the bottom of the garden. The problem was the pond. The fish all disappeared a year or two ago, so all that was left were newts.

Hubby and oldest son helped me remove the 20-year old wadge of iris/water lily/marsh marigolds whose roots had fused together over the years, but I have far done most of the rest myself.

Two weeks after starting my project this is a picture of some of the stones – there are 2 more piles besides these – that I removed from around the pond  and the rockery beside it, as well as a pile of bricks I dug out. These I have been bashing with a sledge hammer to make hardcore while I have a rest from filling in the hole.

The concrete base is being laid on Tuesday. Will post another photo when it looks a bit neater.


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Car insurance

My car insurance is up for renewal and all the insurance brokers and their grannies are after me. A lovely lady rang me and was asking me questions at ten to the dozen, so fast I could barely understand her. After each and every one she would say, ‘Okay, cool, lovely, no problem.’ I have a low threshold of noises that go on and on, and voices that go on and on, and could feel myself becoming more and more irritated. Eventually, I had to say something and ask her to stop saying it. She managed most of the time, but occasionally fell back into her usual patter. Poor girl. She was supposed to ring me back with the quotes, but didn’t. I wonder why!

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Starlings update

Further to my post last September about the starlings in the tree next door. Well, their home has been chopped down. The tree is no longer a tree, just a few stumps. Those poor starlings. Where did they roost last night? Hopefully they found another warm place to rest their weary wings.

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Wow and double wow. It was snowing gently this morning so I checked through my kitchen window for thrushes in my back garden, as they only ever seem to come when it snows, for some reason. No thrushes, but in the apple tree I saw three robins. Wow, I thought. I’ve never seen three robins sitting amicably without fighting. There they sat, their colourful red breasts facing the weak winter sun, as if they were sunbathing. Every now and again one would come to the feeders and they would change places, like a ballet. Then, lo and behold, I couldn’t believe my eyes when another one appeared, Oh, dear, I thought. Now, there’ll be trouble. But no. All four of them sat there, at each corner of the tree and then three flew onto the feeding station at once, all onto different seed containers. My camera was in the front room and I knew that as soon as I went to fetch it, they would disappear.I ran for it and when I returned, wow, they were still there. But guess what? The battery was dead!

A blackbird disturbed them eventually, and they flew away. Thrilled that I had seen such a sight, because everyone says robins are territorial and don’t suffer invaders gladly, I  made a cup of tea. When I looked out again, they were back. All four of them. I stood and watched them for several minutes until they departed once more.

I may not have proof that I saw them, but it was certainly a sight to behold and made my day.

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