Monday, February 24, 2014

C is for…….

….. Crochet

Decision time again. Here are some more elements from the Jane Crowfoot crochet club last year. I decided I didn't want to make the blanket and instead have opted to use the different pieces in my own way. You can read my thoughts about it in this post.

The first thing I made was this chair back (and here) and I said back then I'd make a mat for the piano. I think the small triangles, seen just above the wider turquoise and blue one in the photo, will make a good border and I like the idea of them forming a star shape (perhaps). So I shall have to replicate the central motif in the blanket but using a slightly different palette (omitting the yellow ochre) and based on one of the shall round shapes on the right of the photo which are edged in bright blue and dark blue.

I love playing around with shapes and colours so I'll be starting that tomorrow morning.

….. Colours

There's lot's of yellow, so welcome at this time of year, to lift our spirits and remind us that the sun is still with us even though it's been in hiding a lot of late.

The first dandelion
Miniature daffodils
Corylopsis pauciflora just starting to flower

Primroses by the hedge in the front garden
It isn't just flowers providing the colour. This Carex look wonderful in the dull light
This phormuim looks stunning when the sun catches its gold-edged leaves
But there are plenty of other colours about in the garden and I've had to omit some things or I'll never get this finished!

Our beautiful native Speedwell - yes, some wildflowers are most welcome in our garden 
Bergenia - aka Elephant's Ears because of its large leaves 
Red stems of Cornus Siberica 
The yellow stems of Cornus Flavimea
Deep burgundy of this stunning hellebore which is still in a pot waiting for the ground to dry up a bit
Jolly red berries on a laurel bush
Chaeonomeles japonica in a pot by the house
One of the Cardoons I grew from seed last year. I can't wait to see it flower this year.


There's so much to do in the garden at this time of year and it's been made difficult because the ground is so saturated that I'm trying not to tread on the beds too much for fear of compacting the soil. We're on heavy clay which takes ages to warm up in the Spring.

On Saturday the sun shone and so I cut back the grasses and other stems in the gravel garden.

Good material for the compost heap
The stems of Joe Pye Weed - they're a bit tough so I need to break them down a bit to help speed up the composting process 
Gorgeous seedhead

….. Caterpillars and cocoons

These 2 caterpillars were uncovered when I was weeding a border so were tucked back under the earth. Lots of moths/insects overwinter underground and emerge when the temperature rises.

This moth cocoon is well disguised on the frame of the kitchen window.

I watched the one below being made in August last year by the caterpillar of a Large White butterfly. It's under the guttering on the garage and I really hope I get to see her emerge. I must put the photos of the cocoon being made on here too as it was fascinating.

….. Cross-country running

There just hasn't been enough of it this winter as so many of my favourite routes have been submerged and even the bits that weren't under water were just too muddy to run through safely.

Last weekend I ran 10 miles on Saturday and 20 miles on Sunday. Thankfully the weather was kind to me on both days although the wind was rather strong on Sunday. 

My mileage so far this year now stands at 351 miles - not too shabby hey?! I'm sticking to my running streak and have run a minimum of 5k every day, usually more. My first couple of marathons are just over 4 weeks away so I need to maintain the intensity of my training whilst trying desperately not to get injured.

….. Car park

Here is the aptly named 'overflow car park' at Bodiam Castle. It's been flooded twice and the water doesn't seem to want to go away!

….. Church

The Church of St Giles in Bodiam was looking pretty when I ran past a few days ago. It's such a shame that the door has to be padlocked to stop people stealing things from inside.

….. Cat (and a very special one at that)

Tinker is still with us but the lump on his shoulder now extends under his front leg and he is getting unsteady on his feet. Poor little chap.

We continue to have our morning walk around the front garden which of course isn't complete without a drink from the dipping pond.

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