Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Sunshine and Snow

Hello there! I hope you all had a happy Easter / bank holiday. Here in the UK, restrictions have been eased to allow groups of up to 6 people from 2 households to meet outside. Consequently, Good Friday saw us driving to London to see L and J, in person, for the first time since early September. I was very happy!

I did have a moment's doubt en route, when I asked R what on earth we would find to talk about as we have hardly been anywhere or done anything for months. Luckily, they had acquired 2 house rabbits recently (we did try to put them off!), so Arthur and Luna provided the entertainment. L had been looking for sofas on Gumtree, when she happened to spot the advert asking if anyone could give 2 bunnies a new home. Their owners were moving into a flat without a garden and didn't fancy having house rabbits (very wise!), so L and J adopted them. They have a hutch and run on the roof terrace for good weather but spend the rest of the time hopping around the flat. They are both adorable - much smaller than Hamish, who looks like a were-rabbit by comparison. 

The roof terrace was a little bracing, but we got to admire the new cast iron railings. The old wooden ones that were there when they moved in needed to be replaced. One of the slats detached and, rather worryingly, fell into the garden of the flat below. Hopefully, the new bars mean that there's no longer a risk of re-enacting the Patrick Troughton scene from 'The Omen'!

We enjoyed a picnic lunch and then ordered a takeaway for dinner. It was just wonderful to see them again after so long. :O)

Easter Sunday saw us doing a circular walk starting in Oakley. I was taking it slowly as I had managed to put my back out that morning sowing some mangetout seeds - well, strictly speaking, I was lifting the bag of compost, but the seed scenario sounds more amusing! Matters weren't helped when we arrived at our starting point near Oakley church. We had just put our walking boots on, when an elderly gentleman came around the church in his mobility scooter. One of the wheels got caught in a rut and out of the corner of my eye I saw him toppling slowly sideways into the road. Between us, we managed to stop the traffic and lift him back into the scooter. I did it without thinking and my back didn't thank me! Luckily, he wasn't hurt, just a little shaken, and his wife arrived to escort him safely home. I really did think that those scooters were more stable.

After the drama, the walk was beautiful with glorious sunshine. It was so hot that at one point I was wishing that I had thought to take sun cream. By comparison, Easter Monday and today we have had snow!  

All Saints Church, where Jane Austen's father was rector before moving to nearby Steventon:

Deane House, where Jane met her love, Tom LeFroy:

Other photos from my camera this month:

Great Bedwyn Walk:

Emu or rhea?
Wilton Windmill, constructed in 1821:
Very visible mending. I think I may need a new pair! Please excuse the general grime - I had been kneeling down in the veggie patch planting potatoes!
Propagation Station:
Fergus, taking up his annual lady attracting position!
My ceramics classes have restarted, meaning a weekly Covid test:
Walking along the Ridgeway:
One of the great joys of lockdown for me has been 'Grayson's Art Club' on Friday evenings. Hosted by Grayson Perry and his wife, Philippa, each week has a theme and members of the public are invited to submit their works of art, some of which are then chosen to be put into a lockdown exhibition. I find it a wonderfully calming programme and was inspired to take up my tapestry again after watching Philippa complete a Nurture Nature one. Mine is made from car boot sale fabric and threads picked up at a charity shop a few years ago. It may be a while before I have a cushion!
Mma Ramotswe's Lemon and Condensed Milk Biscuits. Nestle have introduced a vegan condensed milk. As R has very fond memories of eating condensed milk from a spoon when he was little, we had to try it. My advice, if you're vegan, don't bother. It was a weird colour and nothing at all like he remembered - being overly sweet and without the characteristic taste. Having a tin of the stuff to get rid of, I dug out my Mma Ramotswe recipe book (based on the character created by Alexander McCall Smith) that L bought me years ago when we enjoyed the books together. The biscuits were remarkably nice - the lemon masking the weird condensed milk taste nicely!

The lovely CJ from Above the River very kindly sent me some baby Pilea peperomioides. They arrived through the post unscathed and are now getting established in L's old room. I may have squeaked with excitement this week on noticing some new leaves emerging. Thank you again CJ!
Trying to catch a rainbow. It looked better in real life!
Socks made using some yarn that I bought at the American Museum in Bath a while ago:
When we saw L at the weekend, she lent me last month's book from her book club. I put aside Jane Austen's 'Persuasion' to start on it and am thoroughly enjoying it so far:
Casting on for a Boxy Sweater made out of leftover balls of yarn. There are rather a lot of stitches and I was worried that I may have twisted them whilst joining in the round, thereby creating a mobius strip. Luckily, all was well!

Well, that's all for this month. Anything exciting happening at your end? I'm happy to live vicariously!

Toodle pip for now. x