Sunday, March 30, 2008

Book Tag

Ok, Carlotta. Here we go.

1) The nearest book to me is Torchwood - Border Princes by Dan Abnett.

2) Page 123, third sentence is...

'After what's happened today, I want to share that secret with you.'

3) Next five sentences...

'I believe it's only fair.
"Need to know?" Gwen asked.
Jack nodded."Exactly that. Today has shown me I'm not omniscient."
"I could have told you that." muttered Owen. "And if I'd had to, that would have proved the point, kind of, wouldn't it?"
Jack refused to be baited.

I tag Nettie, Smerk, Shawna, Tru and Thundy. Sorry, ladies! ;-)

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

More Lolrats

lolrta, Julius/mug

lolrat, Cicero/head

As you can see, the boys have been their usual troublesome selves lately.

Julius roams the whole room, scrambling up and down the furniture. He likes to steal things and run away with them, usually food-type things but often stuff like pens and cigarettes too.
He outdid himself yesterday, while trying to jump from the top of the fireplace to the dining table. He slipped, and ended up sliding down the table leg like a fireman, head first. He's such an idiot sometimes!

Cicero still doesn't jump down to the floor, probably because he has what we think are cataracts in one eye - he seems to be completely blind on that side. We assume that he's too scared to jump down because he can't tell how far it is. He likes to sit snuggled on people's shoulders, and particularly likes sleeping tucked under the computer monitor, where it's warm.

On the whole, they're good boys, and I love when I come in from work and they're jumping up at the bars to say hello.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Dinosaurs Have Been Fighting In My Garden

Well, maybe not, but that's rather how it looks at the moment. Our friend Iain is a landscape gardener, and when we moved in he promised to help us sort the garden. On Sunday, he and his brother Al came round to start work on the garden. The plan was to take up the broken slabs from the area that we're keeping slabbed, and to replace them with undamaged ones.
Now, you'd think that the old slabs would be laid on a firm base of gravel or suchlike, but not here. The people who had this place before us were the laziest load of bastards on Earth! There's slabs, gravel, plastic, more slabs, wonky ground...
I think that the layers keep going down, eventually becoming the roof of a Morlock village. Either that or it has to be a strong enough layer to stop the demons getting out.
On the other hand, Flora thinks that eventually one of the layers just has to be gold, or that the weight of all those slabs will have created diamonds.

The end of the garden currently looks like this...

garden work 7

garden work 8

We're going to build a fence across the bottom of the garden (with help from another friend or two) next weekend, so we need to leave space to dig the postholes. That means that we can't relay the slabs yet, so Al and Iain are going to come back in a couple of weeks.

I decided to move some of the gravel to make an area where we could dump the broken bits of slab, and jokingly said, "You know, if I find slabs under the gravel too, I'm going to be hunting whoever did it!". I started digging, stopped, and called "You're not going to bloody believe this..."
There's gravel, plastic, slabs, then goodness knows what else under there.
We're gonna need a bigger skip...

Knowing how much Flora likes sharp things, I (possibly foolishly) gave her a pair of secateurs and asked her to start demolishing the dead evergreen, since we were planning on taking out all three of them anyway.
She set to it with glee.

garden work 1

Chris posing with the 'topiary'.

garden work 2

It was fun to do, as you can tell by the two grinning loons here...

garden work 5

We were on such a roll that we decided to carry on and take out the second of the trees in the gravel...

garden work 6

and the third one...

garden work 9

The garden looks so much bigger without those trees.

Oh, and we found these caterpillars. I have no idea what they'll turn into.


Finally, in surprise news, Flora barely managed to injure herself at all, although she did nearly take my eye out by waving an uprooted tree about...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Garden Plans

Ok, anyone who has no interest in gardens, look away now...
Now I've got my new camera (Yay! :-D) I've taken photos of the garden as it currently is. I've also done a couple of diagrams in Paint to try and explain my plans.
So, the front garden.

This is it seen from the pavement.
Front garden before 1

This is the front of the lawn. You can see the lovely rockery edging which we discovered when the grass died down in the winter. (And the line of rocks that runs across the lawn at the point where the height changes a bit.)
Front garden before 4

We're keeping the little conifers round the lawn.
Front garden before 5

I'm not completely sure what to do with this bed. I'll keep the cotoneaster that's already there, and I think that a fairly big shrub might be good just inside the gate, to conceal the diagonal fence supports.
Front garden before 6

Right, so here's my plans for it.
Garden plan - front

I want to put miniature rose bushes between the trees along the wall, crocuses on the lawn just above the rockery edging, and quite flat plants between the rest of the trees. I'm thinking forget-me-nots and primroses, but I don't know what else.

Under the window, I was considering planting tulips and irises against the wall, and something smaller in front of them.

Right, the back garden.
Back garden before 5

Back garden before 3

Back garden before 2

Back garden before 1

As you can see, it's in a bit of a state. Fortunately, a friend of ours is good at building fences and is going to help us with that, and another friend is a landscape gardener who volunteered to help with relaying slabs and so on.

Here's my plan for the back.
Garden plan - back

We're keeping the two palm-type trees but taking out the three big evergreens. At least one of them is fairly dead already. It was somewhat like that when we moved in, but I don't think having an excited, half-dressed two-year-old climbing in it helped...
The bed at the top of the plan is going to be somewhat Oriental. I want to plant dwarf bamboo, ferns, sea holly, plants that have a restful sort of feel.
The rockery is going to have a Scottish Highlands sort of feel. I want to plant heathers and a miniature broom, but I'm not sure what else. I'm going to plant a rowan tree next to it, and the bulged-out bed next to that is going to be sown with meadow seed mix, with maybe some extra meadowy flowers such as poppies and cornflowers. The idea is to make a peaceful wild little corner. I'll plant bulbs in the grass round the rowan too.
I think the rest of the lower flowerbed will be bigger, brighter things. Since we're keeping the palms, I think it would be nice to have some colourful things in that bed, such as fuschias and freesias, and other things that I haven't thought about yet.

On the decking, we're putting trellis on the fence, and planting climbers in troughs underneath. We're also thinking about putting baskets screwed to the wall, as it can get so windy that hanging baskets probably wouldn't be hanging for long! Chris really wants a zen garden - one of the things with sand and stones to arrange. I said I'd build one for him, so that's going to sit on the decking next to the oriental-style bed.

Now that I have a camera again, there's going to be plenty of photos of the (hopeful) progress. :)

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I Has New Camera!

The title of the post says it all, really. I'm a very happy bunny.