Thursday, 24 May 2012

Listen to the worms.

It has been stunningly hot these last few days as if May has finally given up pretending to be March and rewarded us with a timely heatwave. The garden is gorgeous, even the overgrown areas home to nettles and too much comfrey are a springy green source of wonder. Time for some gardening. We have been sorting out the compost heap. When I say we, the lad does all the actual work and I have the laborious job of taking pictures. His reward? An introduction to the joy of listening to the worms and their assorted slimy friends.They are a noisy bunch, the beasties who turn food into compost. If you listen closely, but not too close, you can hear them moving and munching. The heap seethes and crackles like a frying pan full of sausages. I love it, it is one of the things in the garden that makes me very happy.

Good friends for the garden.

The good weather has been bringing us out into the garden at mealtimes too.  When it is warm, I'm less inclined towards a proper dinner and more more likely to fancy cold snacky food. There has been a lot of bread and vegetables, I made some fine hummus with chickpeas and half an avocado, as well as the yellow pepper triumph below.  Tasty things for us and treats for the worms. 

Cat is too hot to be bothered trying to steal food.

Some interesting discussion has appeared online about how truthful each blogger's representation of their life is. There appears to be a growing sense that while posting all the positives is a perfectly fine thing to do,  it can make other bloggers feel under pressure as if they couldn't possibly compete with how wonderful every one else's lives appear to be.  The response can be found here - with links to many other blogs.  I love the honesty of those taking part and it got me thinking about my photographs and how selective they are. Obviously I want to take the most picturesque images but at the same time it could lead people to think that things Chez Mog are a little more Homes and Gardens than they really are. So, in the interests of honesty and frankly because it makes me laugh, every now and then I'm going to show you the other side of an image that I've chosen for the blog, what lies behind the carefully composed frame.

Hummus - the pretty picture.
Today I've chosen the hummus.  The proper blog image and the bigger picture. I was sitting in the middle of a washing line full of sheets and clothes, the lad's smelly trainers were airing on what is laughingly referred to as the patio and there are bins and pots all over the place.  Now you can see why I crop!


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Time Passes.

Stripe Study in its natural habitat - the study.

The kitchen is still a work in progress but as we nipped off to London in the middle of the DIY and added new plans to the initial ( simple and fast ) plan, that's only to be expected.  Things are looking up though, the flooring has gone. The kitchen had been covered in carpet tiles the texture of pot scourers in a particularly rotten shade of brown. The tiles were there when I moved in about fourteen years ago and I hated them on sight. The hatred was mutual, I swear the only thing keeping these horrors on the floor was spite. Spite and the spills of a million dinners. Whoever thought that carpet in a kitchen was a good idea? Certainly no-one who lives with a cat who likes to drag his food out of the bowl and kill it all over again.

With this sense of colour I really should be banned from any decorating choices.

So, the removal of the stupidest floor covering in the world is a joy to behold.  No more hoovering up the debris of my baking escapades and no more stamping tiles back into position after Magnus' natty little claws have dislodged them in a post-prandial frenzy. At the moment the floor is wearing a  few crumpled newspapers and bit of half sawn timber. If I tell you that it is a vast improvement on the tiles, you'll get an idea of how awful they were.

These worktops will never be so clean again.

As Dylan Thomas once said:  Time passes. Listen. Time passes.

Some plates and a couple of bannetons.

Time has indeed passed and it is all over bar the flooring. The cupboard doors have returned to their rightful places and the newly painted shelves are looking spic and span and not a little Scandanavian with the white crockery piled on top. We have been eating our dinners in comfort and drinking our morning coffee in company with the birds who look in on us from from the silver birch in the garden. We're on the first floor and it is a very tall tree.
In all of the excitement I forgot to mention that I've been knitting. Along with many others, I've been hooked by Veera Malimaki's simple but stunning designs and I knitted a Stripe Study Shawl in between snoozing and being on cup of tea duty in the kitchen. I love it even though some of the yarn ( dated 1941 ) gave off an ominous smell of mothballs after washing. The smell has gone thankfully,  and my shawl is gorgeous.

This is the big tree. I'm very fond of him.