Saturday, 5 May 2012

En Suite Progress and Spring

The en suite has got to a point where we will be moving in soon, but it still has a few niggling things to be finished so I am not yet going to show the finished product, instead in true English fashion I will discuss the weather.
Stormy Weather
Spring is slow coming this year and the blossom we usually can count on following one behind the other are quite often several weeks apart this year.  The amount of rain we have had is spectacular with floods all around the country, but we still do not have enough to refill all the reservoirs and aquifers, so we may still have a hosepipe ban in summer.  
One problem we have here in the UK is that traditionally it rains a lot, so we are geared up to try and get rid of the surplus as quickly as possible, with little need to build long term storage.  When we have a drought this works against us since when it does rain, much of the water simply runs away and the reservoirs and aquifers run out quite quickly.  Although it is over thirty years since a similar drought, long term planning is needed to adapt to the changing weather we seem to be experiencing.

Rain streaking past the illuminated cobweb hanging on a street lamp
It is the May Bank holiday this weekend and the temperatures are still like early April.  Once upon a time, May Day was celebrated on the first of May, but in recent times this has been altered to the first Monday in May, so that it creates a long weekend.   Once maidens danced around the Maypole on the first of May, no matter what day it fell upon and a fair was held, but those days are long gone and now we just have a mad rush to get away for a short break, clogging the motorways and airports.
Meanwhile back home, spring has produced a little clump of bluebells and other blossom in our garden, whilst May blossom lines the country lanes and suburban avenues with white and pink blooms.  But it is still too cold to sit out of doors and the heavy rain has knocked all the earlier blossoms off the flowering shrubs and bushes.   
Our own blubells
 We are being visited by bird families, juvenile and senior birds feeding together where the fledglings are old enough to leave the nest but still want to be fed by their parents.  Some humans I know are like that.
Robin junior and Robin senior feeding together. Adult robins will not allow another adult into their territory, only their own chicks, and then only for a while.
We have had a pair of great tits nesting in a nest box in the garden and I have been trying to get pictures of them feeding, but they never stay still long enough and the best pictures I have obtained are mostly hidden in foliage, they are annoyingly elusive. 

If you look closely you can just see the adult entering the box - a case of now you see him now you don't

You can just make out an adult Bluetit feeding its chick through the foliage
These are not the birds living in the next box in our garden, they are Great tits
 Another bit of excitement arose at the end of the week, when a neighbour arranged to have a tree that overhangs our front drive cut down.  Since more of it was on our side of the garden wall, the tree surgeon had to work from within our garden and we had to move our cars from the drive to give him enough space to work. 
Not much left on the tree, it is all in our front drive
It is a shame such a mature tree had to go but it was beginning to destroy their garden wall.  To be perfectly honest, it had always been a bit of a nuisance to us.   Being a member of the eucalyptus family, it was an evergreen and it shed leaves and twigs all year round, with occasional strips of bark which then blew around the front garden causing litter everywhere.  As well as that, pigeons would often perch in the branches over our cars and on flying off would lighten their load as they took off, leaving a number of cleaning jobs for us on the roofs of our cars.
So that is it for today, I will keep you in suspense about the Snafu house en suite refurbishment, but it is looking good despite some disasters that slowed down the work, but which have all been overcome.  I will tell more next time, watch this space.


  1. Reminds me of the old postcard joke: Weather here. Wish you were lovely.

    Those birds look like blue tits to me but it's hard to tell with so little visible.

    See here:

  2. MorningAJ thanks for that, you are quite right, they are bluetits. A great tit's head is black down ot the eye level, blue tits have a white strip above the eyes and a blue crown. My only excuse is that there is too much going on here to spend a lot of time sorting pictures. PS I have updated the post

  3. My goodness, snafu -- you have had a lot going on!

    Everything here is green, green green - so wonderful for the eyes and the soul!

    DOTH is doing well, and considering she can only use one arm effectively, she is keeping us very busy spring cleaning. Plus I am the designated driver for all things, so it seems we are in the car more than the house these days. I'll be glad when she gets back to work!