An explanation of the title of this blog...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

May I bring to your attention...

Rachel Pantechnicon? I first heard her on Radio 4's Poetry Please programme, reading Elf Shelf, and I emailed her to ask if her poems were available on paper. She replied, and sent me a copy of her work. At that time, her website was in an embryonic state, but it is now partly functioning, and some of her work is available there to read or listen to. Go and have a giggle...I am particularly drawn to her works on the coccyx, as mine is in a pretty mangled state, and I wish I had taken her mother's advice...
By the way, Rachel is the alter ego of poet Russel Thompson.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gather ye almonds while...

...the sun doesn't shine, because it is hot, dirty dusty work! We spread a big cloth beneath the tree and then attacked it with long poles, rattling the branches to make the almonds fall off. Each cloth full was emptied into a wheelbarrow, and as the rattling continued, I started the job of separating the nuts from their partly dried husks. There was a good measure of leaves and twigs in each barrow-load, not to mention thousands of insects. Spiders of every shape size and colour climbed up the sides of the barrow to make their escape, as did stink bugs and ladybirds of varying hue. The ants use the almond tree as their main source of supply at this time of the year, as it exudes sweet sticky resin, so there was a fair number of them too.

This was the biggest thing to climb out! She sat on the edge of the barrow for about 15 minutes, looking this way and that at all the food running around, but didn't make the effort to catch anything.

As you can see, her abdomen is quite swollen. She is probably ready to lay eggs, so I moved her to the Hoya that climbs around the patio doors of the apartment. It is sheltered from the weather there, and a good place to leave her egg case. I love the flowers of the Hoya. They look as if they are made of pink fuzzy felt. Mine has finished flowering, so the link is to another site.

There were three barrows of nuts/twigs/leaves, and each barrowfull yielded a 25 kilo paint bucket of nuts. Any that escaped falling on the cloth got raked up, and were added to the discard pile, as were the many that were reluctant to leave the husk. Husking is hard enough on the fingers without adding broken nails to the tally! The nuts are now sitting in a wheelbarrow waiting for a hot windy day, when they will be spread out to dry off a little before storing. The cloud and rain of the last couple of days has made the work more comfortable, but if the nuts are stored damp, they will grow mouldy and spoil. Kept dry, they will keep edible for years. I just wish there was an easy way to crack and shell them more than a handful at a time!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The sub-heading says it all...

....the boring life of two wrinklies...For the past week I've only been as far as the post office and the supermarkets, and spent my time divided between stitching postcards, knitting socks and blog-hopping around the "fibre artist" world. Everyone seems to know everyone else! What do they say? Something about 6 degrees of connection?

There is a new bird on the Bus. You can see a picture of him on the other blog. He has decided that he is a herd bird, and his mission in life is to keep Barmpot's beetles in order on top of the monitor.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Swiss National Day

The first of August and the flag is flying! The last few years we have spent the day in Switzerland, but this year we are giving it a miss. We celebrated with Thomy Senf, Schabziger cheese, boiled potatoes and bratw├╝rst....and a very unSwiss Sangria!