Thursday, 31 March 2011

Progress...

This will be my last 'dog' post for a while...I promise! But I wanted to show you these pictures. Above you can see that Charlie is relaxing into his new home fairly well! He looks like a woolly lamb here I think! Such a handsome boy!

As you know, it hasn't been easy introducing a 'brother' to Alice. She's still very possessive - not over possessions or food, thank goodness. But over us, and our attention (which she has had more or less exclusively ever since she was 8 weeks old! Not surprising then...) We are combatting this by bombarding her with love...showing her that life isn't worse with Charlie in it! That it may even be better! She's taking some convincing, but we are, 3 weeks on, making progress. For example, I can now prepare their food and feed them in the same room (separate areas...but I think that's sensible for most dogs anyway, just in case!) This is a big step, because previously Alice would 'warn' Charlie off & give lots of 'alarm barks' when I was getting it ready. This meant feeding Charlie outside, which wasn't ideal. But fingers crossed, it's ok now.

And then, this morning, I came into the sitting room to find this scene....
and had to share it with you! Ok, they are at different ends...but they are sharing the same sofa!! Alice is the little doughnut shaped curl at the top of the picture.

It's going to take more, much more, time and patience. But I know we'll get there eventually and there'll come a time when she can't remember a time without him!

Happy Thursday, I hope you're having a lovely day xoxo

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sweet Violets...

As promised...those gorgeous wild violets. I love them so much - stunning colour and a wonderful smell too, so delicate...
Patches of them were literally everywhere I looked..

I hope you can see some of them here...glowing in the scrubby grass of the hillside. Such an unexpected surprise. Beauty is everywhere if you look!

Happy Tuesday xoxo

Monday, 28 March 2011

A Spring walk with Alice

This lovely wood sorrel was just one of the delights that I found on my beautiful walk with Alice yesterday. We've been blessed with the most gorgeous warm sunny weather over the past few days - although rain is forecast for later in the week. We spent a lot of the past weekend in the garden, making the most of the good conditions and making some changes out there! But I still found time to walk my little girl.

We've made the discovery that Charlie doesn't seem to have ever taken a proper walk before (we think he was just left to roam his previous garden) which means that not only does he not know how to walk on the lead but he also freaks when he sees another dog while outside - unfortunately, this also includes Alice! We are teaching him, but it takes a while with a 5 year old dog. So it's separate walks for the time being. They are getting on fine inside though - a few little jealous grumbles from Alice occasionally, but almost there. I think that, despite herself, she does like to have another dog around!

Anyway....back to that walk. I did take some pictures of the amazing wild violets we saw...they were everywhere in great purple clumps. But for some reason, they are taking an age to download. So I'll just post what I have, and hope to update later.
No leaves on the trees just yet...but the buds are all there. It was sunny, believe it or not - but very hazy too...

I love this chalky path through the trees...so does Alice!

I can see the golf course way down the hill...it's where my Mum plays, and sometimes if she's down there we wave! She can spot the little white blob that is Alice from there!

We cut through the wood on the way back for a change of scene...the carpet of green made up for the lack of leaves on the trees!

Can you see the big striped bumble bee in the centre? His wings were vibrating which makes him a little difficult to spot straight away...I saw many of these yesterday (in the garden too) I think they're the kind that make nests in little holes. The buzzing was very loud from this fat and furry chap!

It was a beautiful walk. When we got home, Paul and Charlie had been for a good long training outing too...so both dogs were tired and happy and we could get on with our day.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend too....xoxo

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Charlie & new beginnings ...

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I'm sorry that I haven't posted for a few days..we are computerless right now & so i'm using my phone to update this! It's an amazing gadget but takes so long to type with the itty bitty key board! Still, here I am..and here at last is our  Charlie!
.It's been a rough ride at times..Alice has been an only dog for 3 years & is struggling terribly with jealousy
..Charlie is 5 years old & isn't about to take her snarling lying down! There have been moments this week whem i'd have happily sold the house to have Cesar Millan drop round to help!! But it's very slowly getting better.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

He'll be comin' round the mountain...

Paul is home later this morning. He's been away on his annual skiing break in Saalbach, Austria. Every year, he and 3 friends (all boys!) get away to the mountains for a few days of quality skiing and relaxation...they've stayed in the same hotel for about 20 years, so know it all very well.

While Paul is an excellent skier...whizzing down the black runs in his sleek outfit & Raybans...I just don't get it! I've been 3 times - once with him, twice with school (!) and have drawn the conclusion that while I love the snow and the sunshine, I'll leave the sliding down mountains on flat bits of fibreglass to my beloved husband! It, frankly, terrifies me!
As you can see , they need some more snowfall in Saalbach! But the blue skies don't bode well for that...

Beautiful though! I can't wait for him to be home...all tanned and healthy! He'll be able to meet our new addition for the first time too. I can proudly announce that our little Alice has a new brother...Charlie came to live with us on Sunday! He's another wire fox, almost 5 years old...

But that's for my next post! Until then...Happy Wednesday. I hope you have wonderful day xoxox

Sunday, 6 March 2011

My March Garden..

Things are really moving in the garden now...the brilliant green spikes in the back of the bed here are Paul's beloved day lilies. The change from last month is incredible..
I think it's a result of lots of rain combined with a good few days (including today) of sunshine. While the temperatures aren't really what I'd call warm yet (hovering around 8c) and the wind is bitter, the days are so much longer now...and when the sun does shine, there's some power in it...

The hydrangeas won't be long now..

And the roses that I pruned so assiduously a few weeks ago are springing into life - a few weeks ago they looked like a lot of dry brown twigs!

The 'bird tree' (I don't know what it is!) is sprouting emerald foliage, which the blackbirds, robins and bluetits love to perch in..

soon little button heart that hangs there will be completely hidden....
I've been weeding every fine day...soon it will be time to sweep the path and plant some new perennials - once the threat of frost is past...

But for now it's still a bit chilly to be out there too much!

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend! xoxo


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The night I wasn't at The Oscars...

Today, March 1st, is St David's Day. If you are Welsh, this makes it a special day. If you are English, like me, it's an excuse to post a photo of the first daffodil to bloom in our garden! I took this at 8am this morning...beautiful thing! It's actually a miniature tete-a-tete...

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony took place on Sunday night...or in the early hours of Monday morning here. For as long as I can remember, I've stayed up all night to watch the Oscars live. Esther & I used to watch it together...now we are 10 hours apart, we use our weekly chat to dissect each outfit and award, as it's broadcast in Australia in it's entirety on Monday night...

I used to be able to watch it at home as it was traditionally broadcast on the BBC. These were the best years. Wrapped in a duvet, in my pyjamas, fortified with tea and the odd chocolate bar I would bathe in the glamour of Hollywood.
Then Sky TV bought the rights. For those of you that don't know, this is a satellite subscription company. We don't have satellite tv. So it became much more difficult. For the past few years, I've driven to my parent's farm at 11pm, said goodnight to them and set myself up in their study (where the little tv is) to watch before letting myself out at 5am and driving home. The dogs are always so bewildered as they look up at me through the night from their cosy beds!
This year, it just felt like too much trouble to go over there...I was tired anyway and  knew I had such a busy baking day to come that driving home the 15 miles at 5am was a horrible thought! So I arranged to watch at our good friend David's house. His garden backs onto ours (we wave!) Paul has spare keys to his house at the office (we keep lots of our friends spare keys there as they're always locking themselves out!) so it was decided that I'd use these to let myself in at 1am. David went to bed, leaving the TV all set on the right channel (with the sound turned down) so I wouldn't need to fiddle with the remote. He also left an electric heater on for me as the central heating would be off, so I wouldn't be cold (nice friend!)
Paul kissed me goodnight at 10.30, shaking his head & chuckling as he always does...he hates award shows & thinks I'm quite deranged to spend the night watching one. I was tired and debated whether to take a short nap....but I decided that I'd feel worse having slept for 2 hours and woken up than if I stayed awake to begin with. So I forced through the fatigue until 1am. Then I got ready. Brushed my teeth, put on an extra cosy sweater and woolly socks. Gathered a favourite plaid blanket to wrap in, plus an apple & a chocolate bar for snacks. Said goodnight to Alice, picked up house keys & David's keys and let myself quietly out of the front door.
The night was so dark and quiet...nothing seemed to stir as I crept around the church square and into the next street. I walked up the steps to David's front door...it looked so warm and inviting in there! Through the open blinds I could see the reflection of the TV flickering, the side lamps pooling their golden light, the heater warming the air. This was it! My favourite night of the year...would King Colin lift the statuette? What would Nicole, Halle & Cate be wearing...how was Natalie's bump looking? All these thoughts and more coursed through my brain as I put the key in the lock of the door. Only to find that....IT WAS THE WRONG KEY!!! I tried 4 times, as I couldn't quite believe it. But there was no mistake. There was no way I could wake Dave at 1.15am. So, after pushing an explanatory note through the letterbox, I did the only thing I could and went home to bed!
The last thing I saw, from my bathroom window at 1.30, were the flickering, tantalising images of the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony across the silent gardens, playing to no one in David's front room. We don't even have a telescope!
And I woke, tired from losing 4 hours sleep, yesterday morning to the news that Colin Firth had indeed won the Oscar. And me not there to see it!
Next year, I've decided to be IN the USA to watch, live and at a decent time!!

I'll leave you with another image of Spring that I took in the churchyard this morning....crocuses, like jewels in the grass. They cheered me up no end! Happy Tuesday xoxo