Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring has well and truly sprung

What a glorious day we've had today, and it's lovely that we have another hour of daylight at night. I was late getting my dinner, too busy chatting with people when I took Rocky out this afternoon. We paid a visit to Graham and his dog Lady, the two dogs had a great time romping in the garden. I have discovered that Rocky likes playing fetch, with squeaky toys. He was so excited to run and fetch them back, his little tail was wagging frantically. Graham very kindly gave us two toys to keep, I think we will be playing that game quite a lot from now on. He also had an extra walk today, it was such a nice morning that I took him out straight after breakfast as well. 
Big disaster though, my retractable dog lead has broken. I opened it up to see if I could mend it, alas the spring has broken in two places. I don't think I can get a spare from anywhere. I will go back to the shop and look for one the same, to get the address of the company which makes them. They might send me a new spring if I ask them. I can't really claim a new lead as I've had it for some time, and it's had a lot of use.
I had an idea to buy a windbreak to take camping with me. But me being too mean to cough up the cash, I thought I would try and make one. Remember the wrecked tents that I pulled out of the wood? Well I removed the poles from them, thought they might come in handy for something. They are in sections, with elastic threaded through them to make them collapsible.
I very carefully cut the elastic, in between section 2 and 3, and tied a bead to the end of it to stop it disappearing up the inside. Then I taped the end up. I did this three times to give me three pieces, each with two sections. I bought a plastic tarpaulin for £1, from guess where, yep, the Pound Shop, ha ha. I turned the hem over at each end and stitched it with the machine, then folded it in half and made another line of stitching up the middle so I could push a pole through.  
And here it is, my home made windbreak. It's not very long but it will give a bit of shelter next to the tent, and it folds down quite small, so easy to carry around.
Oh, and this is a clump of daffodils in my back garden quite close to the back door.
And there seems to be a lot of ladybirds around at the moment. In fact there are millions of them they are everywhere.  
This is a photo I took yesterday on my bike ride. Isn't it a pretty cottage. It's in a lovely village called Appleby, not far from Broughton, which isn't far from Brigg. It's a small village, a few houses, a church, but no shops. Every year it holds a very popular Summer Fair. People come from the surrounding villages to support it.  
Just before I go, I'll leave you with this money saving tip. You know how you like to nibble something when you're out, and usually pop in a shop for a choc bar, or one of those oaty bars, well this is what I do. To stop me from dipping in my purse for a treat, I have a small plastic screw top bottle from one of those yogurty drinks, which I bought dead cheap because I would never buy them otherwise.
Wash and dry it, and I fill it with sultanas. Very handy for shaking a few out in your hand and popping them in your mouth. Fights off the hunger pangs in between meals, and gives you a nice sweet taste. You can put any dried berries in that you like, I choose sultanas because they are the cheapest, apart from dried mixed peel, and I don't like that.    
Toodle pip.


  1. I was working in the garden today and also noticed loads of ladybirds - got to be a good sign, hopefully they'll eat the green and blackfly this year, I don't like using insecticides.
    Well you must be physic ! I have four of those tiny bottles too, I washed them and took off the labels - I thought I'd wait for inspiration to strike as to what to use them for, I didn't want to throw them away,now you've given me the answer - thanks.

  2. Been there with the dog lead. Broken spring is the end of the road. I have one with just a frayed chord I'm looking replace. Now where can I get the chord, and how can I join it... ? Always end up having to buy a new one!

  3. p.s. Lots of ladybirds means lots of aphids!

  4. I use those disposable bottles to freeze to take with me when I go out, keeping something cold. What kind of roof composition is on that house? It looks surreal and pretty.Is a Pound Shop like our Dollar Store?

  5. The cottage is beautiful, thatching is an art.
    I make our own trail mix,dried fruit,pop in some nuts and voila a healthy snack to go. Rocky must start to wag his tail the minute he sees you!
    Jane x

  6. Our retractable dog leads are as old as the dogs ( 13 and 14 years!) and still going strong. I hope yours can be replaces or mended. They are a brilliant invention.

    What a pretty thatched cottage.

  7. Lovely cottage, doesn't look real does it? The only trouble with eating dried fruit, it makes you ........... !

  8. Re: dried fruit and nuts-we got some brilliant reductions at Julian Graves over the weekend. 4 x 1kg bags of mixed fruit at £1 each, plus 500g bags of mixed 'natural' nuts (I'd like to see the 'unnatural' ones!) for about £1.50.
    JG Is well worth a visit towards the end of the month!

  9. Wow, everything is looking very "springy". Was reading that temperature was already over 20degrees! It's getting colder here...down to 9 degrees today.

  10. I love your wind break, you clever girl! glad little rocky is enjoying life, he sounds like my 2, they love to fetch toys. His life would be very different without his Aunty Ilona.

  11. MQ - try freecycle for a new lead/s
    That's the first place I go to now before I buy anything new - always worth a go.
    This week I got some lovely almost new curtains - thick ones, which have been put away for next winter, and a rice cooker last week.
    I also offer stuff by the way - I don't just take !

  12. You are so inventive Ilona, I wonder what your will make next time? The ladybirds are here too - all seven spot though, I wonder where the others are?

  13. We have lots of ladybirds too and I have seen a fair few wasps already.

  14. Mal&#39'sAllotment - no need to worry about there being too many aphids - there'll be plenty of ladybirds to gobble them up - take a look at MQ's picture - they're up to naughties already !!
    ooh Matron .........

  15. I love your windbreak MQ, very smart. Those proper ones you get at the beach are super heavy because the rods are like broom handles, yours sounds much lighter and transportable.
    x x x


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