Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Meet the Pod-Pets!

Hello there! Hope your day has been wonderful. Thanks for dropping in to see me again.

Mine has been so-so. It was back to work for the first time in twelve weeks today for me. I was absolutely dreading walking into the office but as is usually the case, it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. I only worked until lunchtime but it was actually ok to get back in the swing of things. I shall reserve judgment for a while yet though!

Anyway - yesterday I promised you an introduction to the Peapods Pets didn't I?

We currently have three cats and a guinea pig. Here they are - in no particular order!!

"If I pretend to be asleep she'll go away...."
This is Minstrel, aka Minnie, Minnie-moodle or Min-pin. She’s a sassy lassy with a swagger which is the envy of all the other lady cats in the neighbourhood. She has the cutest pink snub-nose, long dark eyelashes which give the impression that she’s wearing eyeliner - and if a cat ever had a pout - then she has one!! Her cute little face belies the fact that she is in fact a ruthless huntress. It’s a regular occurrence to see her stalking down the garden path with either a long tail swishing from her jaws indicating the demise of some small rodent- or fluttery wings flapping on either side of her nose which confirms that she has caught yet another butterfly!
Excuse me!! Those 'were' my ornamental grasses!!
She has the loudest mew for a cat so small and woe betide anyone who ignores her demands for food the second she clatters through the cat flap first thing in the morning, and again not a minute past 10pm in the evening if you please!
"Mum.... Muuuuum!  I was here first!!"

This is her brother, Charlie. Aka Charlie-Mouse, Mouse-ling or, I regret to admit it, more often that not he‘s addressed as…”you little git! He’s a little imp - no foodstuff is safe from his scrutiny; he’s forever jumping up on the work tops and on top of the cooker to try to snaffle things from the grill pan.

Charlie is the most timid cat I’ve ever known. He’s scared of his own shadow - and, would you believe it - mice! Really! He leaps away from the poor dazed creatures that Minnie deposits in front of him like he’s been scalded!

He has the longest whiskers and the softest fur - and hardly any voice at all! It’s almost like his voice broke in his prepubescent years - and stayed that way! On the rare occasion he decides to become vocal about something the only sound you can hear is a rather ineffectual “me-eh”. Poor little man! I think Minnie got his share of the voice box!

Now then. Let me introduce you to Cassie. Cassie is unrelated to the others and was actually my brother’s cat. When she was about 12 months old we had cause to foster her for “just a couple of weeks please Kim”.
Evil Edna!!!

Yeah right. That was five years ago!! She arrived in style in her posh cat travelling cage - and made for the most demanding house guest ever. For weeks she was a hissing, spitting ball of fury. A growly, furry harridan who detested the other two cats with a passion they could only have dreamt about. She hasn’t changed much! Five years on and she still barely tolerates Minnie and Charlie, never missing an opportunity to whack them around the back of the head as they pass her by. She loves a cuddle (when the other cats aren’t watching), but it has to be on her terms. She has a purr louder than the engine of a small Harley Davidson.and, despite her feisty temperament, actually purrs on a very regular basis.

Her favourite activities are sleeping. And… erm… sleeping. She wakes occasionally to growl in a threatening manner at the other two if she senses that they’re daring to venture too close. Or us humans, in fact!!   She snuffles like a hedgehog when she eats. She leans against you when she requires your most urgent attention and can break the land speed record for running from the window ledge outside the kitchen to the window ledge outside the lounge if there is a remote possibility that you are about to let her in. You always know when she’s … (er, performed her ablutions shall we say) as she scats around like a mad thing for about five minutes afterwards!

I could go on at length about this firesome, fearsome red head but there’s someone else who needs an introduction.

"What's going on out here then?"

Say hello to Daisy! Isn’t she the cutest? Her stage name is Daisy Rainbow and she was my son’s birthday present some 4 years ago!

She’s such a little sweetie and is very vocal. She burbles away in that lovely liquid guinea pig squeaky speak as soon as she can hear that you’re around. She adores dandelion leaves and eats them at a rate of knots. I do worry about her though. She’s a good age for a guinea pig and although she’s fit and well, I have to admit to holding my breath every morning when I remove her cage cover, until she squeaks her greeting and I know that she’s ok.

Little Bright Eyes!

Well that’s our little pet family for the present time at least.

Very shortly (hopefully within the next couple of months or so) we shall be looking to obtain three or four chickens - and I’m hankering soooo much for a little doggie of my own. Another case of watch this space I feel!!

See you soon I hope


Kim xx

Monday, 30 August 2010

Bank Holiday Whitterings - and a Puzzle!

Hello lovely people. How has your day been?

It’s been a gorgeous one here in the Black Country, beginning with absolutely crystal clear, cloudless blue skies very early on. We sat in the garden with our coffee, revelling in the gentle early morning warmth of a very autumnal sunshine.

Work continued apace on the raised bed and by mid-morning it was all in place and we were able to treat the wood.

Here it is in all it’s glory - up on some blocks at the moment to dry out and awaiting a bottom layer of gravel for drainage, compost and eventually the top soil. Whoop whoop!!


Is it sad to be so excited about a few planks of wood?! Yup. Thought so!! Our next project will be to build a chicken coop in readiness for some new feathery lodgers!

Moving swiftly on…

Now then. I was given two tomato plants a couple of months ago. One of them is producing clusters of lovely cherry -sized plum tomatoes which are ripening by the day. The other, which I was advised was a fruit with an unusual deep purple colour - isn‘t doing quite so well.

Oh it’s all big and green and bushy and tall and healthy and all that … but it’s behaving a very un-tomato like manner

For a start, its flowers look like this:-

And now…. It’s doing this:-

They almost look like green Chinese lanterns don’t they?

In fact - I don’t think it’s a tomato plant at all. It doesn’t smell remotely tomatoe-y, it’s leaves don’t look tomatoe-y . So what is it? Answers on a post card please - or failing that… on a blog comment!! All suggestions very gratefully received!

In other news, food gifts received yesterday comprised:-

A bag full of cooking apples from DDBF’s tree ….


A selection of allotment produce (apart from the carrots!)  from my parent’s lotty!

Nice eh?!

This afternoon we popped to pick some Victoria plums at a local fruit farm. The trees have been kept at shoulder height to enable easy picking. There was certainly a bumper harvest! The little trees were absolutely LOADED with fruit. So much so that the boughs were actually breaking from the weight. It was heartbreaking to see so much produce going to waste. Pounds and pounds of perfectly good fruit lay at the base of the trees just waiting to rot away - I just wanted to gather it all up and squirrel it away! Trouble is - I’d already picked a carrier bag full and could not really warrant actually buying any more.

After 12 weeks sick leave, I’m going back to work tomorrow for the first time. I don’t mind telling you that I’m dreading it. I’m off to think happy thoughts and gaze at these gorgeous cloud photos I took yesterday evening.

Tomorrow I’m going to introduce you to our little menagerie. You can’t wait can you?!

See you soon!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Of Autumnal Offerings and Vagabonds ...

Hello my Pretties

Thanks for dropping by. How has the weather been in your neck of the woods? Today we had a bit of a respite from all the rain and the sun made an, albeit brief, appearance before being mugged by a marauding pack of rain clouds earlier this evening.

Our day was spent quietly; just pottering around in the garden and making a start on the raised beds. We’re* making them out of used scaffolding planks which are very sturdy and highly unlikely to rot for a good long time - and of course doing our bit for recycling resources and all! One large green point to Peapods!!


*When I say “we” I do actually mean ‘he who is handy with power tools and bits of wood”. I do of course provide invaluable and highly important assistance by way of passing the occasional screw to ’he who is handy with power tools and bits of wood” and making helpful and encouraging comments.

Although it’s a little late in the season for planting much, then at least we can get them ready and filled in time for early next year. I already have some compost which has been rotting down for a good while now and to my delight has turned into the ‘black gold’ that even Monty Don would be proud of!! I shall share some photographs of the work in progress with you very shortly.

My daughter and her boyfriend picked these   <<~~~~    for me today to add to the ones in my freezer. I hadn’t ‘quite’ enough to make a decent quantity of bramble jelly, but these should add to the stockpile quite nicely! Thank you both!

There is a chill-some tang in the air - can you feel it? Autumn is well and truly on its way and I’m sooo looking forward to greeting it with open arms. The late afternoon sunshine is taking on a more golden glow, it seems, and it’s heat is not quite so fierce. I’m waiting with baited breath to see if we have the Indian Summer we sometimes get in September.

I’ve always felt a huge affinity with Autumn. Both my son and I were born in September so it’s a celebratory time all ‘round, but for me it’s also tinged with a sense of something - hmmm… intangible is the only way I can describe it!!

When I was younger (well - y’know - younger than I am now which actually isn’t THAT old. Not really. Not if you say it really quickly!), each Christmas I would receive a copy of “The Fireside Book of David Hope”. This was a little hardback annual of poetry which contained a mixture of old favourites and also lesser known poems. The lovely thing about it was that it was beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned paintings which complimented the poetry perfectly. (There is a reason for this digression - bear with me!)

One of the poems which has stayed with me for all of those years and featured in one of those little books, was ”A Vagabond Song” written by Bliss Carman, an American Poet.

I’m not sure what it was that drew me to it, but it always made me feel a little wistful and put me in mind of a train of traditional gypsy vardos winding their way down a country lane, wisps of grey wood smoke curling upwards in the distance. I shall admit to always having had a daft romantic notion that I had some gypsy blood in me somewhere in my heritage, and this was the reason that I felt a little unsettled at this time of the year.

This is the poem - and although it makes reference to the month of October, I still feel that odd, slightly wistful feeling when I read it, even now ….

A Vagabond Song
Bliss Carman

THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood— Touch of manner, hint of mood;

And my heart is like a rhyme,

With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry

Of bugles going by.

And my lonely spirit thrills

To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;

We must rise and follow her,

When from every hill of flame

She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

Well my asters aren’t frosty as yet (!) but it’s an evocative poem don’t you think? The siren song of Autumn which stirs something deep within.  Or maybe I'm just a vagabond...

Goodnight Blogging Friends. xx


Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Well hello!!
If you've dropped in to my blog by accident then a very warm welcome to you!  I've secured all of the exits so that you can't escape - well I have to have someone to listen to my whitterings don't I?!  Otherwise I shall be a very lonely blogger!!

I began this blog quite a while ago with all good intentions, unfortunately life got in the way as soon as I'd set it up and it quickly became neglected.
So I think I've now beaten 'life' into submission, I've rescued my little blog from it's high, dusty shelf, removed the cobwebs, given it a lick of paint - and apart from the flippin' title not sitting correctly on the prettyful title bar which I can't work out how to sort yet - Peapod Ponderings is ready to face the world once again!
The door is flung open to welcome all visitors (mind the wet paint now!!) - just in time for my favourite season too!! Autumn!
Yum!! I feel that it's only fair to warn you that there is very likely to be mucho sighing and swooning from the Peapods camp once Mother Nature opens her paintbox and begins to apply her brushstrokes to the trees!
Well now.

I had a wondrous day yesterday.  I met Mommy Pod in town and we spend a lovely few hours browsing charity shops and looking for bargains.  I did quite well really.

I espied these beautiful little green glass sundae dishes hiding up on a shelf - as there were only five of them I'm guessing that the original set comprised half a dozen, but for £1.75 for all five of the little treasures then I couldn't leave them there could I?  Anyway - being "one sundae dish short of a set" seems quite fitting to the Peapod ethos - so home with me they came!

Wilkinsons still have some sale items dotted around the store and I was happy to find this lovely lantern for £3.00.  It's quite a large one and will be perfect for the garden now that the evenings are drawing in a little.  I do love having candle lanterns in the garden.
Oo!! And I got some bath mats - noodly (is that a word?) chenille ones for just £3.00 each too.  I'm not going to put them in the bathroom tho.  Oooh no.  I'm going to be all anarchic and use them as bedside rugs.  Something to wriggle our toes in upon awaking from one's slumbers. 
I also bought a new duvet cover - Oh dear.... I just cannot resist bed linen.  I never spend silly amounts on one set - I probably never spend more than £15.00 on a king size.   I did think that  this was a bit scrummy so I treated myself to it as a payday treat.
What made you smile yesterday?
Here are mine, in no particular order:-
  • My early morning phone call from my lovely man when he got in from his night shift.  We speak on the phone about 6 times each day (yes I KNOW that might seem excessive but our relationship is only four months old!!! lol) but that first early morning one is always special for some reason.

  • Buying breakfast (2 coffees, 2 bacon rolls) for Mum and I in Wetherspoons and paying the princely sum of just £3.00!!!

  • My daughter's GCSE results which she was sooo worried and stressed about.  Thankfully she got the grades she needed to get into college next month so she's a happy girl and so is her (slightly relieved) Mum!
  • Hearing the song "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira blasting out as a ring tone in the PDSA shop and looking up to see a woman of at least 75 years old sheepishly fishing a very smart looking mobile phone out from her shopping trolley!
I think I've whittered enough for one post don't you?!! 
In the words of Arnie... "I'll be back"
Have a wonderful day x

Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...