Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Lego Exhibition

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Not long ago I posted about a trip to The Great Western Train Museum in Swindon and I mentioned that my grandsons particularly wanted to go there because of an exhibition of Lego taking place over the weekend.
They are both mad about Lego as well as the Steam Engines.

The girls also like Lego, so they were particularly interested and as I said before, we all ended up going to see it.
There were some complicated and busy scenes that were too big to snap in their entirety. However these pictures will give you a taste of what was exhibited.

This was part of a very busy station that went on for several yards and had people buzzing around, making it hard to take photos at all.

This was part of a Roman Chariot race that also took up a massive amount of space and attracted lots of attention.
As for me....... I preferred the flowers.

My grandsons are coming again this afternoon to spend the weekend with us. The girls will also be staying over for a few nights, so once again I am going to be very busy and might not have time to blog.
There are also two rabbits to train....... but that is another story that will have to wait.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

English Weather

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Just lately, the weather in our part of England has been very unpredictable.
The heating was put on last week as it went very cold.
Yesterday it was raining cats and dogs.
Now it is sunny and quite pleasant but there is a coldish wind outside. Beautiful weather for a walk as long as you are well wrapped up.
Inside our house, it is a bit hot with the heating on.
Seems to be an in between time.

Today Harry and I walked through some open ground that is called a Common and this is for everyone to use.
However, just on the other side of these trees, there is a plan to build dozens of dwelling places..... houses, flats etc.
There are partitions to sign against the use of this space for yet more homes. I know there is a shortage of affordable housing, but do we really have to lose all our green open spaces? And will they really be affordable? I doubt it some how.
Whatever happens, I really hope these trees will not be cut down.

Whichever way you look at it, these two rabbits are definitely bonding.
Ash doesn't bother much with the rest of his cage now, but prefers to sit next to Lily.
Lily is just as bad and doesn't often leave Ash's side.
She has learnt to pee in her tray now and in time will learn to do her little poos there too. This seems to be difficult for her to grasp at the moment, but I am glad about the wees because that is more tricky to clean up.
Harry and I carried them to the settee today and set them side by side because they seemed to be getting on so well with each other in their cages. Lily stayed put, but Ash realised that he was free and his main interest was to get behind the settee which I didn't think was a good idea at all. Lily was forgotten about.
Things are going well, so far though, as its very early days.
I will continue to keep them apart, except for little excursions.
Watch this space.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Lily and Ash

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Not so long ago my little rabbit Ash, had a generously sized play pen.
However, he now has to manage with a much smaller space for a couple of weeks or so.

All because of Lily, his little companion to be.
She is in a smaller space still.
I have been assured by the breeder that this is the correct way to go, so with excitement and some trepidation about the difficulties of rabbit bonding, I brought Ash his new baby *sister*.
Lily doesn't seem phased by anything and compared to how Ash was when he was a baby, she is not the slightest bit skittish.

So when I put them in their separate compartments for the first time, they turned their backs on each other.
Lily didn't think there was a big deal to the meeting, though Ash sniffed her rear end but seemed quite friendly in a nervous kind of way.

After a while they began to ignore each other and just get on with life.
At one stage they did kiss through the bars though, so I guess they are going to bond.
Watch this space as I hope to get some pictures of them grooming each other.
Sorry, all you folks who don't like rabbits except in a meal, just bear with me and I might return to normal, (whatever that is).

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sitting Round My Table

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I don't know what it is about my back room that makes everyone want to stay in there when they visit me.
I have very comfortable seating in the front room and the decorations there are pleasing and its quiet and peaceful.

My back room, on the other hand is badly in need of being redecorated and the carpets need to be replaced as they have seen better days. I have a rabbit run in that room, as well as a cage.
In the centre of this room is a round table that seems to be the dumping ground for any old leaflets and papers that come through the doors as well as things that the children bring back from school. All waiting to be sorted.
I try to get rid of the clutters regularly, but as fast as I do so, another load of things come in from my son, the girls or the school.
It is a bit frustrating at times as I was a much tidier person once upon a time when things were put in their place.
It never ceases to amaze me that most people actually choose to sit round this table amongst the general clutter.

One such friend is Audrey.
I first met Audrey when my youngest granddaugher Millie and Audrey's youngest daughter Jade, started to bond together in Nursery school.
They were attracted to each other very quickly and that did seem to help them both to settle down and enjoy life there, every afternoon, five days a week.
Amber had already been through a Reception class and had picked up English fairly well, though at first she hadn't been able to express herself easily and used to think that others could understand her Japanese.

I think Audrey must have moved to Bristol from another region around that time and she was just one of several mothers that I chatted to in the playground.
My family lived with me for almost a year when they came back from Japan, so that I was involved in the school run (and seeing the children when I was at work in the same school at lunch times) right from the beginning.
Eventually, the girls started seeing each other out of school and that was when Amber first began to notice Nadine (the oldest of Audrey's children) and they all seemed to get on very well together. Nadine is a year or so older than Amber, so she is really looked up to by my grandchildren.

Audrey is the friend who looked after my house and rabbit when we went away in the summer. She says that she will be willing to do it again even though we are adding another bunny to our household soon. She is not over the top with rabbits and I think she can take them or leave them, but isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and clean out their trays and she even got a nip on the arm once from Ash for her trouble. That was in the days before he calmed down after being neutered.
It is really good to have someone like this who can be trusted with the house keys and precious pets.

Audrey made my day recently, when she sat round my table one morning, feeling quite sad about something or other, but after a cuppa and a long chat, she said, "Oh I do love sitting round your table like this..... you make me laugh!"
That is quite a compliment, don't you think?
So maybe I shouldn't worry so much about the heaps of junk everywhere because in the end, it is people that matter most......... and of course, rabbits.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Duck Pond

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Not that long ago, Harry and I had just finished lunch when the phone rang. It was our eldest granddaughter, Amber. "Would you like to come to feed the ducks with us?" She asked.
After enquiring which ducks and where, it was arranged that they would pick me up in an hour or so. Granddad wanted a quiet afternoon by himself.
When Sam and the girls arrived, they realised that they had forgotten the bread so we took some of Granddad's best wholemeal and off we went.

After a twenty minute drive, we arrived in a large sort of wasteland area with lots of paths that twisted in different directions. The duck pond was a place they had frequented before and we eventually stumbled upon it by taking one of those paths.

The ducks soon made short work of Granddad's bread and then the novelty wore off.
However, we had noticed blackberry bushes on the way down to the pond and we planned to pick some of the fat juicy ones. Unfortunately, they were situated in hard to reach places and Sam managed to get his legs torn.
We only had a flimsy polythene bag that the bread had been brought in and that started to split under the weight of the berries.
We had to be really careful not to lose the fruit that had caused me to snag my trousers on top of scratching Sam's leg. We'd spent a long time picking them so they seemed too precious to lose in the brambles.

It was suggested that I make a blackberry and apple crumble for them when we got home. The apples were pulled from an overhanging tree on the walk to the car.
It only took an hour to make and bake the crumble, which was delicious.

Although I hadn't expected to bake that afternoon or provide the ducks' bread, or go out anywhere for that matter....... I really was pleased that Amber had suggested taking me.
Sometimes, it is the ordinary little things in life that provide the most pleasure.
What little things do you enjoy doing most?

Can any one identify the plant in the top picture? It is obviously a weed and was quite prolific on the wasteland near the duckpond. It looked very pretty.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Chosen One

Photo copyright : Maggie May

I knew that the little rabbit in the picture below was the one that I really had taken a fancy to.
I picked it out of 4 photos of babies (all from the same litter) on the web site of the breeder where I bought Ash.
She had told me that there were two boys and two girls, so I was hoping that the one I really secretly liked more than the others was a doe and not a buck.
I would have loved any of them as they all were so cute, but seeing as I was the first to reserve one out of that litter, I thought I could afford to be picky and indulge myself.

I had rung round rescue centres before contacting the breeder to see if I could find a suitable dwarf rabbit to be a companion to Ash, my existing bunny. However, there were no dwarf ones available and the whole object was to get them to bond and live together in the same quarters, so I obviously was not going to bring home a huge rabbit that would toss Ash around like a football.

My son took me over to see the babies on Friday morning and I was amazed to see how much my little rabbit had grown from the original photo. Fortunately this little rabbit was a doe, so I gave her a long cuddle and paid my deposit.
Lily will be ready in two weeks to come home with me. Then the fun will begin..... getting the two rabbits to bond.

I thought you would all like to know that my husband, Harry's chemo has now been postponed for at least 3 months, possibly longer, because his recent blood tests have turned out to be unexpectedly satisfactory.
We feel it is definitely answered prayer and we will enjoy the extra time that we have been given.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Our New Baby

How about this one?

Or maybe that one?

These are just two of the baby rabbits in a litter of four that is six weeks old, and one of them is mine!
They are not ready to leave their mother yet for another 2 weeks. I will be going to view them in person soon and choose a female (doe) so that Ash will have a companion.
We have already named her Lily.
However, we won't be able to put her in with him yet, as she will be too tiny and probably scared of him (the bouncing teenager) and I don't want him tossing her about like a football. So..... I will keep her in a separate part of his run for a couple of weeks until they are completely used to each other.
That is the way to go.
Am I mad or what?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Great Western Museum

Photo copyright: Maggie May

As I said in my last post, my daughter came to visit with the grandsons at the weekend as she had promised to take the boys to a special exhibition at the Great Western Museum in Swindon.
When my son knew she was going to do this, he decided to take the girls too. So of course, that meant a trip for me.
It was a very rainy day, so it seemed to be a good idea to go to a museum and stay in the dry.

It is about an hours journey, but when we got there, we found that it took almost as long to park the 2 cars. That really was a very bad experience and was not thought out properly. Just not enough space for so many people and everyone was getting so irate trying to find a parking space.

No, I wasn't lying on a track! There was a stairwell that let us walk under this train.

The steam engines were huge and mighty and reminded me of how I used to ride on them when I was a young child, because that was all there was then. They were extremely noisy and probably dirty, but they were always exciting to travel on.
When a steam train thundered into a railway station every one would know about it. As a child they seemed very scary...... like dragons spewing out smoke and steam and needing to be fed continuously with coal.

It was fun walking underneath the engine and being able to see all the workings below.
The children had a very good time and I found it fascinating too, even though it was my second visit there so I knew what to expect.
It was like going back in time, for me.

When we got home, it was still raining.

Friday, 1 October 2010

What To Do On A Wet Day

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

What can anyone do on a wet day?
What can anyone do on a wet weekend, come to that? I don't think the outlook is very good.
The garden is soaking and slugs and snails seem to be laughing at me through the window. I cannot be bothered to get soaking wet and collect them up. In any case, what do you do with them when they are caught? My son, Sam, throws them into salt water, I cannot bring myself to do that.
I used to throw them over the back wall, but since the new flats have been built close by, that is not a good idea. The gesture might be taken the wrong way.

Today, Sam was going to the massive store a few miles away and offered to take me. You know the one I mean..... You get in there and can never find your way out. Everything is written in a Scandinavian language. I'm not sure if I should be mentioning the name but just in case I shouldn't, it just begins with the ninth letter of our alphabet.
I love going to this store as some of their things are really lovely, while other things are not. I was moaning to Sam the other day that I never get to go there any more and he has been asking me to accompany him every other day because he is making major alterations in his house and goes there a lot.
So off we set and I was only going to look. This store must must have employed a psychologist who knew exactly what music would lull you into wanting everything in sight. Well it does seem to work because I always buy something whether I need it or not. I think it is the colours that appeal as well as the music.
Today I bought a blaska, 2 rationells and a janso.
Which in English is a boring dustpan and brush, 2 recycling baskets and a tiny lamp ( that was in a sale.)
However, we stayed there for ages looking round at the lovely kitchen, bathroom and bedroom arrangements and I swear that this store makes me quite dissatisfied with everything I own and I am really not normally that materialistic.

My daughter, Deb, is coming for the weekend just to stay one night, to make it possible to take the boys to The Swindon Steam Train Museum. It would be normally too long a journey for them to travel there and back in one day. Sam is interested in taking the girls too, so it seems that I am also going, as he can bring me back when he leaves. When Deb leaves the museum she will head for home in the other direction.
So it won't really matter if it rains or not for us, this weekend. We will be indoors.

Little rabbit, Ash seems back to normal now after his operation and does seem to be calming down and is more friendly. I have extended his run slightly so that he has more room. Very soon he will have taken over the dining room. Sorry all you folk who are astounded by a rabbit living in a dining area. However, that is the way it is, and he doesn't smell or anything.
I think that if he was in a hutch in the garden, he wouldn't be getting much company on a wet day like today because I wouldn't be getting wet every few moments to go and see to him. Mind you, it is lovely to be able to get my hair wet and not have to bother about styling it. There is a definite tendency for it to wave these days and it was straight as a poker before.
Life does have its compensations.

Anyway, have a good weekend. I wonder what you will all be doing?