Friday, 30 July 2010

Ash- Tray

Photo Copyright: Maggie May.

I will leave you with a recent picture of Ash using his tray, with apologies to all those who aren't fond of rabbits, except in a pie. He hardly ever makes a mistake now regarding *wees*.
Although (at 4 months) he is still dwarf sized..... his ears are not like a Netherland dwarf at all! He looks like an ordinary bunny! However..... we love him to bits!

I am taking a short break and hope to visit your blogs again quite soon. I miss you all when I can't get to read all your news.
Until then.......

Monday, 26 July 2010

Ten Minutes Sitting In My Garden

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I am sitting at the bottom of my garden on the first day of the school holidays taking notes on a pad.
The African Lilies (Agapanthus) are doing well this year. 10 heads of flowers. They like to be pot bound and this year they are well and truly wedged into an earthen ware pot that looks too small for them.
I usually protect them with fleece during the Winter but last year I didn't as I was feeling the effects of chemo and didn't even know if I would be alive in the Summer. It really didn't seem important. However, in spite of us having one of the harshest winters in living memory, the plant has thrived like never before. I will never bother to wrap it again.
These South African lilies must be hardier than they look.

As I said before...... I am sitting in the garden and listening to the sounds around me.
I can hear a clock chime the hour from a building nearby. I can hear traffic noises from the road close by. Something behind me is being unloaded from a van and there are thumps and crashes.
My shed is creaking in the warmth of the sun. There are crows in the tree behind me, calling out to each other. One of next door's cats is creeping about in the honeysuckle hedge waiting for me to go, so that he can sneak into my garden.
A piano is being played by a child and more children are playing and calling out in a garden nearby to my left.
Seagulls fly overhead squawking and shrieking as they go.
Now and then an aircraft roars overhead making quite a noise. We seem to be under a regular flight path here, though the planes are high up.

Another consignment of things are delivered to a business near by and doors slam and boxes thump. Men exchange greetings and instructions.
There seems to be a wailing/howling sound coming from somewhere on my right. It comes and goes sporadically.
Indian music comes from a radio in the far distance, as some workmen do repairs.
Bees buzz about my head, visiting what is left of the Ceanothus flowers near where I sit. Although the flowers seem to be dead, the bees and hover flies are still attracted to something or other. I know not what.
Swifts fly overhead, calling as they go. I love that sound of Summer.

I live in a city house with a small city garden. I like living here. I get used to the sounds. Anyone living here would know that it wasn't like living in the country. If it was peace and quiet that was wanted then you wouldn't choose to live here.
Next door's cat has now braved coming over and is drinking from my watering can.

Ah......... I forgot to mention my wind chimes......
There is a gentle breeze and the sounds come and go, but they are in tune!
Nothing has been said since the last onslaught over a week ago, but I might be premature in thinking this.
This morning an official looking man with a clip board knocked on my door and said he was from the Council.
"Oh," I said, "It must be about the wind chimes."
He looked at me as though I had gone stark raving mad. "No," He said, "Its about loft insulation. Didn't you get the letter?"

Friday, 23 July 2010

Hidden In A Tree

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

There is something in this tree that shouldn't be there and at first it isn't noticeable.
The photos were taken during the winter time, on one of my walks in the local park between chemo sessions.
It took my granddaughters to bring this to my attention.

Zooming in I saw the unusual thing.

What is it though?

Now it is quite plain to see but how did it get up into the tree in the first place?

Sunday, 18 July 2010

The Cutter's Revenge

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Those readers who have been following the saga of the wind chimes that were cut down maliciously, by an irate neighbour might wonder what the latest episode is.
In the above photo you may remember that two of the chimes on the tree, were chopped down by a pair of long handled cutters being poked through the shrub, early one morning. Unfortunately for the cutter, we witnessed the act. I just repaired the larger chime, hung it nearer to the house and rehung the smallest in the tree.

This action, brought a torrent of abuse and threats in the street to my family and frightened our youngest granddaughter. It came quite unexpectedly and continued throughout the coming fortnight on several occasions. It involved bullying and screaming and ranting.
Because our family have been bullied by this person before, when we were forced to alter something on our property that this person didn't like and because we were bullied and verbally abused on that occasion too, I decided to stand firm this time, realising that once you give in to a bully, then you are opening yourself up to further abuse on another occasion. This is in fact what happened.

The first thing I did was to find out if the chimes were annoying other people and the answer so far has been no.
I then decided to tie up the large chime at night time and on windy days. However, the abuse continued. The person wanted it down. Nothing less would do.

We have received a letter from the council about the complaint, but when I rang back to explain to the very kind man, the exact situation, he told me to leave things for now as they are and murmured *one rule for them and another for me.*
You see, this person plays a musical instrument sometimes very late at night and and also some other very loud things that go on from time to time that I cannot for obvious reasons write exactly what they are, for the sake of anonymity.
I don't know what the decibels of the screaming at us in the street are, but I should imagine its louder and more annoying than a wind chime.
So at the moment, I am hoping the situation will calm down. I have been through a lot over the last six months and have come out a stronger person. Lets hope this doesn't become the one straw that breaks the camel's back.
I have found myself looking in Estate Agent shop windows much more than usual though.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Just A Lily Pool?

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

At first glance, this just looked like a fairly ordinary ornamental lily pool, fairly pleasing to the eye, but on close inspection there was something there that caught my attention.

I zoomed in and saw these tiny little ducklings enjoying the sunshine in The Winter Gardens at Weston Super Mare.

Their mum was grubbing about in the border, looking for worms.
Then I noticed the ramp that someone had placed in the pool for the ducklings to climb out of the water.

I hope this little brood manages to survive the aggressive seagulls that circle all around them.
I will go back as soon as I can and see how they are getting on.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Bear With A Wish

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

This is the bear that Amber saved up for months to buy. It was bought in The Bear Factory and has a little heart inside with her wish in it.
If only all our wishes could be met by buying a bear. It would make things so much easier. I would wish for a peaceful environment to live in.

One of the good things that has happened over the last two weeks, is that I am now going back to the After School Club twice a week.
I have been off sick for about six months and one little six year old, a real character, said to me, *Where the heck have you been?*
I felt as though I'd been on the tiles or misbehaving in some way, however, it did provide me with a chuckle.
The children were quite interested in my hair and when I explained that I had to take strong medicine to help make me better but that it made me lose my hair, one 7 year old said, *Oh, I know what that illness is called. It is called cancer and my uncle died of it.*
Children tell things how it often is.
I don't feel I have the energy to work longer hours, at present and come home very tired but it is a challenge to me.

I am used to children having tantrums, though my own grandchildren and the children at school do not have them very often these days (if at all.) However, one thing that I learned was not to reward them by giving in to their demands while they are having a tantrum. It is best to ignore this kind of behaviour and reward children when they do something that you can praise them for.
What I am not qualified to do though, is handle a grown up having a tantrum and demanding things that they want.
All my instincts and child training tells me that I should handle this by using the same principle.

Once you give in to bullying from a grown up....... there is no end to the demands they will make.
As usual, I am always pleased to read your comments and realise that you may well disagree with me.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The Secret Cutter

Photo copyright: Maggie May

Following the post I wrote about chimes, several people have told me they like the sound and no one has said that they find them annoying. My friend was very generous to buy me the above set and she had been invited round to our house and we had been out in the garden and she was thrilled that I liked them as much as she did.

I was startled last Sunday morning by a terrible crashing noise on my garden path and as I was near the window, I actually witnessed the new chimes falling to the ground. When I got outside within a few seconds to investigate, there was the sound of running feet and a back door slammed shut. There had been a shadowy figure that I glimpsed through chinks behind the fence.
The large chimes were on the path and had been cut through on all four strings where they were attached to a hook, which was still hanging on the branch where it had been situated. Nearby was a smaller set of chimes and these had been chopped from the branch near a seat where I often sit with a book. On closer inspection I realised that the large set must have been cut with long handled choppers which were poked through my tree. My garden is surrounded by 6 foot walls. The shrub that they were hanging on is very tall and dense but there was a smallish gap just above the larger chimes where they had been severed. This is where the cutter must have poked the shears. The distance was about 3 feet.
Fancy doing that in broad day light.

Its not as though we live in a really quiet place. We are surrounded by traffic noises and at the back it is quite heavy at times. There is the sound of a yapping dog, a piano playing, radios sometimes blaring and quite often there have been construction workers with hammers and drills. Well all these things might be irritating but they are all part and parcel of living in a fairly busy city area.
Give and take, I always say.

If someone had come and politely told me they were upset, then I would have probably taken the larger chime down. However because of the sneaky, malicious way that it was cut....... I repaired it and have hung it nearer to my house. I know that it is possible to buy 20ft loppers so I hope they will remain safe!
In the mean time I have been called an *evil, autistic woman.* Not quite sure why I was called autistic. A bit of an insult to autistic people, I think.

Why are people so intolerant of each other these days?
How would others handle this situation?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

A Little Grass

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I have started growing garden grass on the window sills. I really do mean ordinary grass from seed. The kind you sow a garden lawn with. I had thought that having a garden free of a lawn would save me a lot of hard work........ mowing seemed like a real chore and for years I have thought my patios, pebbles and gravel have suited me so well as my garden is very small and easy to maintain apart from occasional pruning. I wish I could say that the above picture was taken in my garden.... but it wasn't. I took the picture when I went out into the country recently. As I now have a rabbit to feed and I know that he loves grass. I never thought I would see the day when I was positively encouraging grass to grow in pots and borders as well as dandelion leaves and flowers.
Ash adores dandelion flowers and I cannot provide enough. He soon polishes off the newly grown grass shoots. My rabbit book tells me that I shouldn't pick any from hedgerows or road sides, so I will have to find something else for him to eat. According to the book he shouldn't eat lettuce either. That was a bit of a surprise really.

I never did get that Spring Cleaning done that I intended to do in my last post. I had said that I was going to start immediately after I had written it, but it wasn't meant to be because a friend called unexpectedly and that was so much better than the cleaning and by the time she left, the urge had gone. I have started cleaning little corners though and moving little piles around the house. It does look a trifle better but still needs an in depth clean eventually.
Tomorrow is another day.

I am also pleased to say that my facial hair has not grown back after drastically shaving it off. The stubble has gone. That was strange, wasn't it?