Two Black Cats

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A swan building her nest at Conkers. Posted by Picasa

A visit to Conkers with 5, 16 year-old girls, for K's birthday party. Here is a very small part of a very large Adventure Assault Course. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 28, 2006

Arty Being Adorable!

Mom said she'd plant cat grass - I wonder if this is it?

What a magnificent tail! Posted by Picasa

Check out the Friday Ark at The Modulator

and The Carnival of the Cats on Sunday.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


We've been tagged by Beau and Angelica's Fur Days

Here are a few of our favourite words or phrases:

  • "Chattering" - the noise that our cats make when watching the birds through the windows.

  • "Having a mad half-hour" - when Velvet goes berserk round the ground floor, chasing anything and nothing and skidding on the polished floors.

  • "Sandpaper Kisses" - from a poem but I saw it at The Monsters: Knightly, Lizzie & Firenze

  • "Grass Eating Monster" and "Skinny Cutting Monster" from The Calico Girls
  • Update

    A busy couple of days. On Tuesday afternoon the sun came out and I spent about 3/4 hour weeding the front garden. It looks much nicer now. See pic below.

    Wednesday was K's birthday - she seemed to like all her presents - especially the score for The Mikado which is going to be her school's Opera production next year. She went out in the evening with a group of friends to see a local production of Yeoman of the Guard - so a very musical birthday.

    I got out into the back garden on Wed afternoon and managed to do some jobs from my list. I potted on about 12 tomato plants (still about 6 in reserve), and planted out the broad beans (about 12), 2 pea plants, all the rocket and pak choi seedlings, and planted some more peas in the ground.

    I also planted the lupin and achillea behind the pond for some height and colour. Most of the remaining seedlings are now in the outdoor mini-greenhouse to harden off.

    Today I've had some good news with an offer of 5 days invigilation later in the year for the Institute of Chartered Accountants for Scotland, and I managed to read a whole maths unit and do the assessment question (which is usually about 5 days work). And it is really sunny today which makes a lot of difference.

    A lovely flower arrangement which my parents sent K for her birthday. Posted by Picasa

    The solar-powered pond fountain showing that is really was sunny today. Posted by Picasa

    3 types of tomato plants potted on into 3 inch pots. Posted by Picasa

    Rocket and Pak Choi seedlings transplanted - the grapefruit skin is to deter/collect slugs - plus a beer trap at the front as well. Posted by Picasa

    Broad beans and 2 pea plants transplanted, and some new pea seeds sown. Posted by Picasa

    A very pretty damson tree in bloom. Posted by Picasa

    My little front garden - newly weeded on Monday afternoon  Posted by Picasa

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    We love it when mom chooses the cream duvet cover - we contrast so well. Posted by Picasa

    Arty cleaning his paw. Posted by Picasa

    Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    This week.

    It's a busy time of year here. I mark Maths SATS papers (that is year 9 - age 14 in the UK). I have received the training materials and will be going to the marker's training meeting on 6th May. I know that for most teachers marking is a chore, but I actually enjoy the challenge of getting this right. It covers a vast range of abilities - so includes deciphering bad handwriting, trying to fathom just what the pupil was trying to say or do, to quite high level maths for that age.

    I will also be going into the school where I used to teach to discuss the training materials with an ex-colleague. This will be interesting but also quite strange. I will update that next week.

    In the garden there is loads to do.

  • 1. Broad beans and courgettes need planting out (they are hardened off).

  • 2. Tomatoes need pricking out.

  • 3. I need to plant some more peas - only 2 germinated and a slug/snail got on of them!

  • 4. The morning glories are trying to escape - so need to be hardened off and then planted out. I'll probably plant some more seeds directly into the ground as well.

  • 5. The veg plot needs some weeding, and the first few potato shoots earthed up.

  • 6. The lefthandside border needs some serious attention - overgrown in places - and I'm not sure if the Clematis Montana is alive or not.

  • 7. The front garden is looking really nice but needs weeding before it gets out of hand.

  • And of course there is maths to do (although I am well ahead) and housework to do! And tomorrow is daughter K's 16th birthday!!

    This is one of Velvet's favourite pastimes - watching the fish, frogs and newts in the pond. (and yes he has fallen in - several times!) Posted by Picasa

    Helebore in flower. Posted by Picasa

    Beautiful water buttercup (I think). Posted by Picasa

    Angelica - very pretty - does anyone have any ideas for using it? Posted by Picasa

    Fennel shoots. Posted by Picasa

    Broad beans and courgettes ready for planting out. Posted by Picasa

    Radish seedlings. Posted by Picasa

    Sunday, April 23, 2006

    Hey - Velvet is really famous!

    Hey - all readers - go here and read Velvet's famous interview.

    Thanks Lawrence and Frisky

    Sorry that blogging has been light this week!

    We have been on holiday for the Easter week in the NE of England, staying at a lovely little village called Seahouses. This is our 3rd year here - and our 10th visit.

    Now - don't get any ideas to join us - it is hostile, bleak, unfriendly, and devoid of culture. So just don't come here! ok!

    (actually it is lovely and bleak, and the locals are friendly - although Newcastle accent is difficult at times - we just don't want too many other visitors).

    The pics below show a small part of our week's visit.

    I will catch up with the cats and garden during this week.

    A beautiful sunset from our apartment. Posted by Picasa

    The harbour entrance at low tide. Posted by Picasa

    The view from our apartment at low tide - with gorgeous a sky. Posted by Picasa

    Our apartment in Seahouses - large square window on the right. Posted by Picasa

    Wow! a gorgeous day on the beach - and no one else! Posted by Picasa

    A lovely grey seal on the Farne Islands (there are thousands!) Posted by Picasa