Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A Happy New Year

From all of us

to all of you -

Wishing everyone a heartfelt, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

It looks like "growing your own" is an even better idea this year.

Happy Gardening everyone in 2009!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Ginger's Christmas

Kitty had a Christmas present today.

Well, it is 12 whole days of Christmas, so presents can come at any time!

He had a look, and thought, hmmm...

Then he went for it.

Oh, yes. Catnip flavoured fun.

It hasn't stopped him going for the sofa in terms of a scratching post, but we're not too bothered about it. Kitty rules. I think he went for the sofa arm just to prove that this is his kingdom.

Mostly he comes in and sleeps, be it during the day, or overnight. Eats, of course.

I have altered the "special bowl" and taken away the flip-up mechanism; thankfully that came away easily. If you have a cat that is good at this, I would love to know. Step on the pedal, get your food, step away without freaking out.

I also altered the bowl itself for the lid to stand much more upright, and not be like a little kitty Sword of Damocles hanging over his ginger head while he tries to eat. Works much better now, and at least keeps his food fresh. I actually broke it in the process, meaning that I broke off some of the plastic that was making it hover too much, and now it just stands open nicely when I choose it to.

He's happy, I'm happy.

Happy Kitty Christmas!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

The 11 Days of Christmas

That is what I have, between Christmas Day and back-to-work at my lovely job on 5th January 2009. Eleven days of me, my husband, my house and my garden. To do what I want! Mostly, so far, that has involved cooking, but then it would, wouldn't it?

And by the way, a Happy Christmas to one and all. I hope yours was lovely.

There is so much to do back there. Yes, it's the fallow season but in the few weekends before Christmas, when it was dry, I managed to turn this

into this. A start.

I did some weeding and cutting in the left border

but the herb border needs some serious TLC.

I have also discovered that Rocket (or Arugula, I think it is called Stateside) is very much a winter green. We have had frosts and rain, but still this plucky leaf, that I planted in the autumn, is thriving.

So I have picked a large bunch, currently refreshing in my sink. I shall pack it up and indeed use it over the next week or so. And I shall leave that pretty bunch for further picking! Yum.

The weather, for the time of year, is fair and fine. Cold, yes, but I think I spoke of "cold" being a relative term - for those of you in the Midwest of the States, my family included, I send you warm hugs, because it really is cold. 0 degrees Farenheit is cold. I don't think I can even translate that to Celsius, knowing only that it might, just might get to 1 or 2 below 0 Celsius here. To me it feels very cold, but there is a sharp easterly wind at the moment. I had to wear gloves today (shock!). Over in Chicago, it is much, much colder.

Still, I think it means, if you garden there, you don't suffer from snails and slugs the way we do (witness that gorgeous Hosta in my parents garden).

Here's to some good gardening over the next week of work-less-ness!

Sunday, 21 December 2008


It's Winter.

From this day forward, the time turns around and the days get longer - if you can imagine such a thing!

Some of you are snow bound - some of you are expecting snow - us here in London, we have very temperate weather. It's going to get "colder" as Christmas approaches.

"Cold" is a relative term for me, being from the upper Midwest - "cold" to me means ridiculous, unfathomable, like zero degrees, with a wind chill well below that. And I'm talking Farenheit.

Here in London, it might actually sneak down to the freezing point (zero celsius, 32 farenheit). Maybe. Or else we'll just hover in the lower 40's.

That's cold, here.

Always remember, in the words of one of the greatest poets; "if winter comes, can spring be far behind?"

Happy Winter Solstice.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Questionable idea

Well, I received something in the post today that I had ordered a few weeks ago, called a "Cat Flip".

In the interests of cat food hygiene, and to stop my kitchen (it can even permeate the flat) smelling like cat food, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought perhaps this would also save me throwing away dish after dish of cat food that sits there all day, hardly touched, and is nasty by the time I return home from work, or when he (Ginger boy) comes back in from prowling around outside, or when he gets up from his (all day) nap ... the list is endless and I have thrown away mounds of cat food by now.

Also, I am a complete sucker for gadgets like this.

This is the idea:

That's my foot, obviously, and not the cat's. It says on the box, "Cats quickly master the pedal action that flips the lid open and closed".

Oh yeah?

Or maybe, how about, cat doesn't master the flip action, the lid snaps shut and you have one freaked out and pissed off cat?

Ginger has not taken to it yet, and I have resorted to this

A packet of spaghetti to prop it open - I started with a potato there on the pedal, but that seemed to put him off, even though what food is in there is a favourite, so I looked for something long and flat.

I'm so tired of throwing away cat food.

Even Big Ginger (a regular visitor now) gave it a try - and he is one jumpy, shy little critter.

I know, it's hard to tell them apart, but I can.

They had a little conflab and a big old "meow" at me, like, "what do you think this is?"

Then they decided to scarper.

Ginger is of course back now - in and out, in and out when he can (when I'm here and the kitchen door is open - it's very temperate this evening), and now he's sitting at the table with me doing his kitty ablutions.

I bet if I put some bits of roast chicken, or beef, in the bowl they'd be on to it in no time. Those lucky kitties!

Still, the verdict is out on this one, and we'll see if it is consigned to the back of cupboard ...

It also says on the box, "can quickly separate the three sections" - I have a feeling I'll be doing that a lot!

In the meantime, I hope that you are enjoying the music - I found the Playlist function on Bren's blog (did I mention this before?) and in keeping with the season I have added my, possibly, two favourite Christmas songs of all time. Happy Holidays and all that!