Sunday, January 31, 2010

Creative Day Out

It's been a crafty weekend. Yesterday my 8-year-old son, Sam, represented his cub pack at a crafting competition in Macclesfield and had a lovely time. And today I went to the Stitch and Creative Crafts show at the Greater Manchester Exhibition Centre with my sister Lindsey and her friend Caroline. Amongst other things I bought some books which have filled me with inspiration for crafty things to do.

Friday, January 29, 2010

January Moon

It's a full moon tonight. I saw it in an almost clear sky, with just a few fluffy clouds close to the moon. The moon illuminated their edges and they seemed to glow pale blue. I love it when it looks like that. It seems very magical. I remember a children's TV series when I was a child about a garden in which statues came to life at night, and the young hero befriended Greek nymphs and godesses and so on. The moon tonight reminded me of that for some reason.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Caught One!

I got one! Since enabling comment moderation I have allowed about five or six comments and blocked one spam comment. Zapping spam feels good!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Comment Moderation

I don't know about you but I am getting sick of Asian comment spam. So I have sadly enabled comment moderation. I'll check at least once a day and get your comments up as fast as possible. Sorry about this. :(


A few years ago I decided I would like to be able to identify the common birds in my neighbourhood. With the help of my sister Stephanie and a couple of good bird books I gradually achieved my aim. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Quite quickly the mass of similar little brown birds separated themselves out into sparrows, chaffinches, blue tits, great tits and a wide variety of other species. I could even identify male from female in many cases, and juvenile from adult.

It was well worth the investment of time and effort. Whenever I catch a glimpse of a familiar species I smile to myself. And the "hang on, what was that?" moments are a thrill, followed by the hunt to see the same bird again, gather enough information to try to identify it, followed by frantic riffling through the bird books to confirm the id.

I have no wish to see every bird species in the world, or Europe or even Britain. I wouldn't go chasing off somewhere because some rare species had been spotted, or stay in a cold bird hide with a flask of tea and soggy sandwiches. That's part of the fun of birdwatching for some people, but my own goal is clearly defined - I just want to know the birds in my local patch.

So why do I bring this up today? I spotted a seasonal visitor today, the redwing. It's a species of thrush, like the blackbird and songthrush and mistlethrush that stay year-round. But the Redwing is more colourful than these dowdy birds, with its dandy eyestripe and vivid red patch under its wings. It's quite shy and although I am sure it comes to the area every year I don't always manage to spot it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cupcakes and Punk Rock

It is my daughter Eleanor's birthday party tonight. She was 10 on Friday. We spent the day making and decorating cupcakes, chopping fruit for the punchbowl, and planning the music.

I think the cupcakes are adorable. So cute and pretty. Whilst I was washing up I asked Eleanor to write out a playlist for the CDs she wanted during the party. Her list read:
  • Siouxie and the Banshees
  • Blondie
  • Pink
  • Kiss
She may still like baking with mummy but my daughter is growing up. I'm so proud of her.