Sunday, 23 July 2017

the philosopher agrees to travel





have been busy in the garden, amongst many other chores have tackled the hazel shrubs out back and end up  with a useful collection of hazelwood sticks, I love their smooth, shiny bark; they also look very sophisticated as they stand so straight, proud almost

solidago, bullet thistle, soapwort and hibiscus

I felt it was time for a present to you, my dear followers, whether you comment regularly or not doesn't matter, as long as you do so now, then we'll know you want to participate in the tombola; entries open till next Sunday 30 July; I will then write down your names on snippets of paper, throw them all into one of my hats, shuffle and shake, close my eyes & pick one at random....


'the philosopher' contemplating the world as it unfolds before him, before us all, withholding judgement, eating a fresh plum from time to time; after careful deliberations, weighing the pros & cons , he has agreed to be given away, he feels it's a great opportunity to see more of the world and perhaps even experience it more hands-on; he is quite the cerebral type and not one for getting his hands dirty, so maybe now he might do just that. 'If nothing else, it'll be my adventure' he explains to me

He won't take up too much of your space, he's reasonably clean, not a picky eater, has a tendancy to wander off on his walk-about-musings, a lousy sense of direction so it might take him a while to arrive...other than that, important to know he likes his sleep and will only wake up to coffee; a friendly character who enjoys intelligent conversation, he will be missed, however we will be happy once we know he's going somewhere he's welcome



my poster for the nearby campsite, inviting folks over to come and visit the studio



the eldest is experimenting with smoking wood pigeon breasts in this contraption, he's using the old plum tree wood, from  the one we had to chop down earlier this year as it was dying, useful now; much like the hazelsticks in the picture below: support for the dahlia that had survived the snail onslaught and barely managed to stay upright after the bindweed had been dragging it earthwards





happy Django in the water a couple of days ago when the weather was really hot and sunny



there they were again 
these orange insects enjoying their annual orgy on the common hogweed, they were at it all over these plants in particular, fascinating


our niece recently gave birth to a second son, time for a small gift for the young family




dogs, a hare, dreaming bird and a tree-of-life, on it's way to Texas

Sunday, 2 July 2017

birds & beasts in the garden

a dead shrew; picked him up yesterday, a rainy Saturday morning, that's why he's all wet; notice the tiny hands and feet, those tiny nails! all so absolutely perfect

there are many dead shrews these days, on our regular Sunday morning* walk we saw 4 dead ones lying on the path into the woods; I have not carried them all back home, hoping they will serve as food for others.

Is it the rain I wonder, do they wander to far from their homes and get caught off guard in the rain, cooling so fast they die from hypothermia? Who would know the answers to these questions?

Once we returned with the poor critter the Dwelling inhabitants soon organised a small wake was organised in an old lantern, he doesn't have to be alone on his journey to wherever it is shrews go once their hearts stop beating
 * D and I always go for a walk together with Django on Sunday mornings

the Sun decided to show it's face this afternoon, so I pottered about for a bit in the front garden, pulling 'weeds' and moving back and forth in quite the disorganised way I seem to do most of my gardening.

I heard a voice, more of a croak in fact :
"hey, you, gardening person, could you do me a favour please?"

I looked around, up and down but couldn't figure out where the croak came from

"Over here, to your left, I mean right, yes here"
Aha, now that I looked up and then to my right a bit I did see the meditating frog half hidden in his green sanctuary

"I'm sorry, what was that? " I asked

"Whilst you are so busy with your shears, could you cut away some of the foliage that's blocking my view and keeping the sun from shining on my good friend the garden gnome here?"

"Ah, yes I see what you mean" I replied

"Thank goodness for that! Now hurry along then, snip snip....quick as you like then"

And so I cut back all of the offending foliage, letting sun and light in once more; the meditating frog and his good friend, the garden gnome are now able to bask in the sun and enjoy the view of the garden


Sunday, 25 June 2017

a bit of fun on a summer sunday's afternoon


 we have been enjoying gloriously hot weather, although if I'm honest some have enjoyed it more than others; I for one love the heat and Django does not seem to mind, we go swimming together in the river the Linge, not pictured here; I don't join him as he dives into the vliet, as it is too difficult to clamber up back onto dry land for the likes of me
I was inspired by Grace's black and white necklace and the way it was draped around a plastic crow's neck over in her post messages, so I went and made one for GhostBird, at his specific request; here he is showing off 

he already had a blue one, which as actually a broken bracelet, but hey he adores it, he quite likes trinkets and dressing up


I liked the result so much I made one for self


at long last mended eldest's torn jeans, such a satisfying job, once it's done!

table cleared of clutter and moved about a bit, still not quite certain where it will go; I like how the different objects left markings, such as the heart shape.....


....which manifested itself after removing this tin; I'm guessing I placed the dead bird in it about a year ago; it is completely dessicated and no longer smells, it is now stuck to the tin: a beautiful object 

meet my new potato friends
the lengths food will go to these days not to be eaten: they have grown arms, legs and one of them even has a head! the wrinkly one in the back is posing as a mouse, knowing full well I don't eat mice (not that I don't eat meat, mind you, 'cos I do, it's just that mice tend not to have enough meat, so it's not worth the effort)
and thus the black-faced sheep has company on the kitchen windowsill
they look like they are enjoying themselves


if I didn't know better  it would seem they are waving at us and inviting us to join them


Sunday, 11 June 2017

birds stars trees and a new book






this one's not dead either, although you couldn't tell by the look of him (her?) he's not tweeting or anything, not a whisper to be heard. I checked to see if he was breathing, the answer is yes
that's something at least

perhaps he's overcome by today's heavy heat and napping during until it's cool enough to be up and about



now there are stars and fruits and blossoms and the two birds are happy; they are exchanging chitchat and the latest gossip concerning matters in the BirdHut....you know how these things go: who's dating who? are there any break-ups.....who gets to sleep where? what's the latest in the new Customer Service Dept? do they get a lot of business or is everybody outdoors enjoying the sun?


whilst visiting my parents down south I treated myself to this wonderful book, bought in an amazing bookshop situated in a church (not my favourite bookshop in Maastricht but a close second!) I also ordered Salter's Light Years in the Tribune, which does happen to be my favourite bookshop in Holland - I'm visiting the old folks yet again next weekend as my mum's celebrating her 84th birthday









Thursday, 8 June 2017

tell tale signs


 'I'm not dead' he says

Nope, you're not I think to myself, or I wouldn't have heard you

'I'm just lying here, looking up at the sky as it appears through the tree branches'

'What at?' I ask

'Nothing in particular, simply gazing and pondering, letting thoughts drift' he replies

'Pondering what exactly?'

'The state of things'

'Oh my, that sounds Big; what have you concluded?'

'They are in a Muddle'

'How so, and who are they?'

'All of us and well, there seems to be a lot of confusion nowadays'

'You don't say....'

'I do' the bird on his back tweets

'And......?'

'Just that; loads to examine these days, hence the lying about on one's back looking up'

'Ah, kind of makes sense; I guess you'll be doing that for quite some time then'

'I agree that will probably be the case'




 - the pondering bird lost a feather, so I sewed it onto the back of his small pillow -


'we would very much appreciate some extra stars! could you please add them onto our tree? pleeeeaaase and thank you sooooooo much Saskia'
I am onto it, will post a pic asap



- back -



breezy bird
standing firm
amidst the turmoil,

we had quite the Summer storm yesterday
he's still here
nice to know he is


- back -



if I have seemed 'off' for a while now, it's because reorganisation in the office is afoot; in March we were informed almost the entire customer service dept. is to be outsourced, through a so-called transfer of undertaking, meaning we don't lose our jobs but are offered the option to work for the new employer, or you can resign, losing all rights to any kind of unemployment benefit; today we finally heard where the new business is situated; it entails at least an hour's drive to this new office in the morning and at least an hour's drive back home in the evening, if all goes well, some of us have to travel even further, whereas they used to come on their bikes! (so much for saving the planet).......an hour may not seem such a big deal, but traffic in the Netherlands is notorious and basically the entire country is one big traffic jam during rush hour; we were strictly forbidden to talk about this publicly and so I could not share what was occupying my mind, even today we were kindly requested to keep schtum until D-Day, which has now been postponed to 1 October (1 September was the original date) however we have kept silent long enough and I doubt anyone in the firm reads my blog, so there it is - out in the open so to speak







beginnings.....