Wednesday, 26 June 2013

More Garden Goodness

As my social schedule continues to be ridiculous (although, thankfully, I don't expect it to go on much longer. I can't cope.), my home time seems suddenly extremely limited. But, I have stolen a few minutes here and there to spend a bit of time with my plants.

I repotted my indoor plants:

The pots are really cute. They were £3 each from Matalan. I have also gained an aloe vera plant, courtesy of my Mother, whose original plant had sprouted babies.

I weeded the front garden:

Doesn't look amazing, but much better than it was!

And then this evening I transplanted some petunias into these sad looking things on my wall...

And after planting:

Things are starting to look a little better. I also transplanted the snail that was living on one of the planters. He went to live in the big patch of weeds at the end of the garden.

I bought a grow bag and planted two pumpkin plants... grown from the seeds from the pumpkin I carved last Halloween.

The patio is a bit messy from my watering efforts. I need to get one of those sprinkler attachment thingys for the end of my watering can. You'll be pleased to know my original three plants are more or less surviving.

A rose has randomly bloomed.

And below, my ingenious efforts to prop the fence up. I think I need a new fence panel. Sigh. Also, check out my amazing mowing efforts. I have yet to invest in a strimmer.

I think this is all I will be able to manage this summer. Vati was right when he told me to concentrate on keeping things under control this year, and to make things pretty next year. Lord knows how people manage to raise children, I can just about manage to keep a few plants alive.

Happy summer, and happy gardening!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Things That No One Tells You

Running a house is hard! Like, literally, coordinating everything and cleaning and still having time to relax? HARD! I appreciate my Mother SO much more... What a fantastic job she does. I lived away from home whilst I was at University, but there were more of us then to keep up with the house jobs, and to be honest, we didn't clean all that often.

So I thought I'd make a list of all the things I've discovered/rediscovered/never really appreciated:

  • Plants will literally wilt overnight if you don't water them
  • Plants will come back to life if you do water them
  • One person still makes a lot of mess
  • Mowing the lawn is exhausting
  • Grass grows too fast
  • Weeds grow too fast
  • Windows don't stay clean
  • Food shopping takes a lot longer than you anticipate
  • It is hard to summon the energy required to empty the bins
  • After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is clean, BUT YOU MUST
  • Washing up is a continuous cycle
  • There is no one else to make tea :-(
  • Having a lump of cheese is not a suitable breakfast
  • Dust will cling to every surface
  • I need a place to store receipts

In other news, I'm really tired, but, school is out for summer! Hooray! Farewell children, see you in September! I went and stayed with some friends this weekend and spent some money... I bought these really cute little owl salt and pepper shakers. I don't actually have any salt or pepper, but at least now I have the shakers.

I'm off to go and water the plants, put the bins out and mow the lawn. Oh, and my fence has fallen down so I need to find a way to prop it up. I feel an ingenious idea brewing...

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

What's Happening?

Has anyone else found that, once they bought a house (or moved out), that their social life went bananas? I have been really busy recently! Here's some of the good stuff that's been happening:

  • I have completed my PGCE! That's a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Well, I'm waiting to hear if I've passed, but all the work is done and submitted and gone.
  • My friend at work had a housewarming party last weekend. I drank a lot of Pimms, was rubbish on the inflatable gladiator duelling thingy, and ate lots of smores.
  • Girl nights with the work girls... Lots of movies and Chinese and chocolates.
  • Grandparentals visiting the house and bringing cake.
  • Watching wakeboarding and drinking cider.
  • Afternoon tea and visits with friends.
  • Summer term finishes next week.
  • Barbecues with the parentals and long dog walks.
  • Zoo trips with work.
  • Actual sunshine.

Of course, the not-so-great stuff includes the fact that my life seems to have become one long cycle of washing dishes and bedding and clothes and struggling to keep the bathroom clean and the carpets vaccuumed and I still haven't found any green curtains. But, who cares, I'm living in my own house! Yay!

Oh, and I finished Life of Pi. You might think that a book about a boy on a boat for several months would be boring. You would be right.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Bird Feeder Success!!

A week after installing my bird feeder into my garden, I have success! I was previously feeling blue that I hadn't seen a single bird in the garden all week long (although, to be fair, the weather was pretty grim and rainy and cold, so I don't really blame the birds for not venturing out) and then today, I was just going to hang my washing out on the line in the garden, when I stopped. There was a bird at my bird feeder! A juvenile starling.

I might've squealed a little bit and quickly gone to get my camera and change the lens. And it was still there! And then a little lady sparrow came and joined the feeding fun.

I eventually ended up with Mr and Mrs Sparrow and 11 starlings in the garden - mostly brown juveniles but also a few adults. Very happy!!!

These are actually taken with a new 55-300mm lens I bought myself as a treat. When I was over at my parents' house last week I actually sat for almost an hour and counted 10 bird species in their garden. Nothing overly exciting but it gave me a chance to play with my new lens.

And, of course, obligatory photo of my boy.

So handsome.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Rediscovering A Love of Reading

As a child/young adult, I was a prolific reader. Any spare second I had, I would pick up one of the four books I was in the middle of to read just another page, or paragraph, or sentence. This is the girl who went to Australia for 10 weeks with 15Kg of luggage, and 2Kg of that was books.

But recently... I have read nothing. And I mean... for the last two or three years. Or if I have read something, it would be something I have already read hundreds of times, and then it would only be a few of my favourite pages (yeah, I'm totally referring to Harry Potter).

I think this is due to a few reasons... I had lots of work to do for work. Planning lessons, marking papers, other paperwork to wade through. And I'm often awake into the small hours completing these. People, value your teachers! Plus, I would watch random TV in bed that really I did not need to watch and did nothing to enrich my life.

Now I've got my own house. On my own. And I set some rules. Absolutely no work to take place in the bedroom, and no TV in the bedroom. So do you know what I've been doing when I get into bed? Reading!! Only for about 15 minutes before I go to sleep, but oh em gee is it amazing. 

I finished Dan Brown's Inferno in about a week and a half. Let's be honest, it was no Da Vinci Code, but it was still entertaining. And it sparked in me the desire to read MORE.

I've now started Life of Pi. I like it because it's about animals, but at the moment it's not gripping me too much. I'm on about 20%, according to my Kindle. I also haven't seen the movie, so I don't really know what happens in the story.

It's very refreshing to read something without knowing what's going to happen. And, do you know what? I love reading!!! So I want suggestions!! What shall I read next? I'm not particularly a chick-lit kind of person, but I do want to broaden my horizons. What has been your favourite book of recent times?