Sunday, 21 June 2015


We went to the allotment yesterday.  The broad beans needed harvesting - those that had been left by the zillions of blackfly.  We brought home some chard and rhubarb too.

I spotted a ladybird on some nearby potato plants, I wish there were enough of them to eat the pests!

The allotment next door isn't being worked, and is full of long grass and wildflowers.

The kids did some digging, chopping, watering.  Meg found a feather.  Rob weeded and sorted.

The girls and I checked Rob's wildlife pond.  It's looking great, and we saw some tiny creatures in the water.

Today I worked (yay! Loving my new job), Betsy and Meg went to a party, Rob and Fred trimmed the hedge.  More snail fun today too.  They really love snails!  They dabbed some paint on the shells, so they can find them again.

Friday, 19 June 2015

A flurry of wild, and oh no! Monopoly!

Just after I wrote yesterday's blog, I took the rubbish out and saw a toad making its way across the garden.  We've been here 7 years, and it's the first toad we've seen.

I called Rob and the kids out to have a look, and took some really rubbish photos (I was a bit over-excited!).

After a few minutes, it decided we weren't too much of a threat and walked to the woodpile next to the shed.

Rob's new bat detector arrived yesterday, and he went out for an experimental wander as night fell.  He's delighted with it, and he identified a couple of bat species.  As it's almost midsummer it was very late, and the kids were in bed.  It will be perfect in a few weeks.

Today Meg and I strung popcorn on some string thread, and hung it up on the tree next to the hedge.  The hedge is home to dozens of house sparrows.  

In other news, Fred asked to play Monopoly today.  Oh, how I squirmed!  I did not want to play. Not at all!  But we played, and it was kind of fun.  He won, with only a little bending of the rules. I'm not looking forward to Betsy wanting to join in.  One of them will lose.  And it's such a long game that it's difficult to say, 'oh dear, never mind, we'll play again now'.  Fred and I played from 11 till 3.15, with a break for lunch!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Pet snails and water fights

I got the paddling pool out today.  That plus the trampoline take up the whole garden!

I made some sponge water bombs, using this youtube tutorial:

I chucked some water pistols and the sponge bombs in the paddling pool, and the kids had a water fight.

While they were in the garden, Fred and Betsy found a snail that they adopted as a pet.

They made a habitat, and will keep it for a couple of days.  They've named it Turismo (Betsy wanted Gismo, Fred wanted Turbo, so they came up with a blended name!).

Later there were lots of neighbours available to play with.  Kids in and out - Fred to Jarvis's, Teddy here, joined by Jeanie for a while, then new friend Jake came over, and Betsy and Meg went to his house.

In between comings and goings, and laundry, and deliveries, I noticed a magnificent spider web outside the front door.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Busy days

The daily blog effort slipped a little!  We were out all day Monday, and I worked Monday night, and then were out again all day Tuesday.  All I wanted to do yesterday evening was watch Game of Thrones and eat pizza!

So, catch up time.  Monday was the monthly meet at the Thames Valley Adventure Playground. As it was warm this time, I took swimming gear so they could go in the splash area.

Meg and Betsy did a series of puppets shows for me.

Fred spent ages in the bike area with Billy, and in the soft play room.

On the 30 Days Wild front, Betsy rescued a bug from the path and put it in the bushes.  We all admired a tiny translucent fly on my arm.  It was about the same size as a greenfly.

Yesterday Rob took the day off and we went to Chessington World of Adventures.  I'd worked the evening before, and got home at midnight.  I was up at 6.30am, making popcorn and packed lunches!

It was worth the early start though.  We left at 7.45, and arrived just before 10.  Then it was ride after ride.  Bubbleworks, Scorpian Express, pirate ship, spinning boats, carousel, monkey swingers, the Cobra, bumper cars, Vampire. 

We stopped for lunch to watch the sealion show (not that great, and over pretty quickly), and had an ice cream break later in the afternoon.

We got back at 7.30, exhausted!

A very welcome home-based day today.  And a bit of a catch up of 30 Days Wild activities (we missed yesterday, too busy with rides!).

The caterpillars are transforming into chrysalids.  It's interesting how much faster they are then the moth caterpillar we looked after.

This morning one was a chrysalis.  I think by tomorrow they all will have changed.

Rosie the cat was very interested!

I took a great photo of her today.  She was resting on the sheepskin rug - she loves it - and she looked almost invisible.  I called the kids over to see the camouflage cat.

Betsy and Meg made a fruity picnic. They took everything out by themselves, and set it all up.

After lunch we walked to town - I needed to post a couple of things, and wanted to get some blank cards and some bits and bobs to make sponge water bombs.

On the way, we smelt some beautifully fragrant roses.  Just gorgeous.

The canal sparkled in the sunshine.

Betsy and Meg made Father's Day cards when we got back.  They did some printing, using corks and fingerprints.  They look great!  Fred said he preferred to buy one, so we'll go to the shop together on Saturday.

The kids played in the garden, and Meg was delighted to see her bean plant is flowering.  Betsy is happy with how her oak tree is growing too.

When Betsy and Fred were playing upstairs, they saw ducklings on the canal.  We went out to have a look.  So cute!

Now Fred and Betsy are on the trampoline (they've been playing an elaborate imaginative game for a couple of hours now), and Meg has come back from Teddy's house. She's relaxing on the sofa under a quilt watching her new favourite programme (H20 Mermaid Adventures.  She's seen episode 1 about 4 times today!).