Monday, September 22, 2008

Partner and I went blackberrying yesterday. It was an absolutely beautiful day and I fear it may be the last of the sunshine we get for a while. Seeing as it is now past equinox and this is after all a very soggy island in general, I don't expect to see the sun again until about April. I think we picked about a liter of berries which are now in the fridge. I wanted to make jam but I don't know if it will happen. Partner thinks we ought to freeze them. I remember picking some with my gramma several years ago. I made about six quarts of jam. There are tons more blackberries where she lives than where I live. Actually I should say they are tons bigger there than here.

Have I mentioned I'm studying towards a bachelor's degree in IT and mathematics? My first three courses start at the end of this month and the beginning of the next. I'm slightly worried I've gone a bit overboard as I'm keeping my full-time job (though cutting back a little on hours). I've been working on the math revision for a few weeks now. I learned all this back in high school but this was a long time ago. Some of it I remember. Some of it I need a little reminding. Some of it I completely have no clue.

I took the above self portrait of me in my office having a study break today. See how long my hair has grown. My mother-in-law made my cardigan and I love it. And behind me is the arch of Sacajawea (my yellow phaelanopsis orchid)'s flower stalk in the window, above a map of the world. My study break is only lasting as long as it takes to write this post. Alas, it is now over.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This is me going for a walk with the dog at the old colliery.

It is definitely fall. I had some blackberries but didn't eat the bright red berries.

This is the dog rolling in something extremely smelly and right into the pond while I try to take a picture of a water lily.

The water lily.

Was it worth taking the dog home and giving her a bath, just to get that picture? Well, it was worth it to get the one of her falling straight into the pond with her legs up in the air.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Partner and I went to the dog races the other night. A group from his work met there and we had dinner and watched the greyhounds run. It was seedy and morally questionable, but a lot of fun, to tell the truth. I gambled £15 and came away with about £18. Partner also started with £15 but I think he ended up with about £3.50. I would like to adopt a greyhound. We've seen a few at the local dog home, and I've always been tempted. They are such nice doggies.

Our local hedgehog made an appearance tonight. Partner says he saw it a few weeks ago, but tonight I witnessed it myself. Beauty got a little frisky in playing with it and it gave her a complimentary lip piercing. Silly dog ought to know better. I haven't seen it all summer long; I thought it'd moved on to dog-free pastures. I hope it sticks around. I've been stepping on lots of snails lately and Partner's been squishing the slugs. I'd rather the hedgehog ate them.

We've been eating tons of runner beans from the garden, and the cherry tomatoes are producing modestly. I might make zucchini bread tomorrow. Our zucchinis are pretty good. They are kind of a staple vegetable, going into pretty much anything we cook. The carrots and beets have had a pretty good run. There are still some left, though I admit they are small and probably won't get much bigger. I will probably plant more of them next year. And I found A Huge Mushroom growing in the lawn the other day. I took a picture but I left the camera downstairs and am too lazy to go get it right now. I didn't eat the mushroom as that sort of behavior can kill you. But I admired it from a distance.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The caterpillars in the garden have literally eaten all the nasturtiums we have. There is nothing left but a lot of forlorn empty stalks. These pictures were taken about two weeks ago when there were still bits of leaves left. I don't think that orange one is the butterfly that comes from that caterpillar, though. I think it's a cabbage white caterpillar. Partner and I witnessed one such white butterfly laying eggs on some of the leaves. Now however, the caterpillars are searching for suitable accommodation for cocoons/chrysalises/whatever it is they metamorphose inside.

I have been thinking about putting in personalized labels in my handmade clothing. Embroidered, of course. I've been itching to get out the embroidery thread. The last time I embroidered was ages and ages ago: a little gold fire lizard on a background of pink flowers. I made it into a tiny bag which now holds my collection of buttons. Meager collection, I should say. I need more buttons. But then I suppose if I got more I'd need a bigger bag. That would give me an excuse to embroider something else. Maybe I'll do something like this passionflower below. It has lovely colors. Our archway is dripping with them and they've grown so far down we have to play limbo in order to reach the back garden.