Saturday 31 December 2011

31.12. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you! Tonight I have been blogging for exactly one year! When I signed up for this blog, New Year’s Eve one year ago, I wasn’t so sure I was going to have much to write about….hmmm, well, I guess I had, since this is post number 120! And I wasn’t sure anyone was going to read what I wrote, if I ever got around to write anything at all – guess I didn’t have to worry about that either, my 120 posts have been read over 5.400 times!

Thursday 29 December 2011

29.12. Gingerbread photos

Christmas Day was a mild 14 degrees here in London, in sharp contrast to last year when we had snow and minus degrees for weeks. The mild weather has continued the last few days and today it was 12 degrees in my garden, not that different to some of the days we had in July! I had a stroll in my garden today, but with the grey, muggy weather we had today it was not a day for taking photographs. I will wait until we get a nice sunny day, and then I will share with you how far my crocuses has come :-)

Saturday 24 December 2011

24.12. Merry Christmas!

Are you celebrating Christmas tomorrow? Or are you celebrating tonight? Around the world, Christmas is celebrated in many different ways and at different times. I live in London, UK, and here, Christmas celebration takes place at 25th December, Christmas Day. I guess we all know the story why we have celebrated Christmas the last 1700 years or so, in one form or another, but it takes place in very different forms on different dates around the world. And in fact, Christmas as we know it is an amalgamation of many different celebrations which people in Europe have celebrated for thousands of years, long before the Bible was written.

Friday 23 December 2011

23.12. Christmas Honey Cake

London was cloaked in rain filled clouds today, it was a chilly 8 degrees and the wind was going straight through all my 5 layers of clothes when I went to the hospital for my weekly blood test. So, typical December weather for London then! No gardening for me today either, although I did deadhead my pansies and pinks in my window boxes in my front garden, that counts for a bit of gardening, doesn’t it? At least they are still flowering! I have done my last bit of preparation for Christmas today, baked my honey cake, and I wanted to share my recipe with you as this is a wonderful cake – easy to make, suitable all year round, but especially for this time of year with all the lovely spices it contains. I have posted the recipe before, but that was a long time ago, so here it comes again, my absolute favourite cake, and the most asked after in my family :-)

Thursday 22 December 2011

22.12. Letter to British Gas

Hi everybody, I received a letter from the Managing Director of British Gas Tuesday this week, not a personal letter exactly, it was more like a general information letter that British Gas regularly sends out, but this one had a somewhat different tone than usual. In the letter British Gas commits to have an ‘Honest Conversation’ with their customers and they also encourage their customers to email them feedback to their new approach – their honest conversation! I must admit I have been thinking about writing to British Gas for a long time, and this feels like a good opportunity, but the things I am experiencing I am sure I am not alone with, so I thought I should make my feedback an open letter to British Gas, here on my blog, with a copy via email to them. My apologies to all my overseas readers who might feel that this particular topic doesn’t apply to them, please read on for a while; this isn’t as much about British Gas in particular as it is about financial hardship and what gas and electricity companies can do to ease the burden on their customers in times like these. Maybe this applies to where you live too?

Wednesday 21 December 2011

21.12. Christmas ice lantern

Not many days to Christmas now, have you got everything sorted? Christmas is a rather low-key thing in my house these days, but I do like to light up these darkest days of the year and make the Christmas period a bit special both indoors and outdoors. I made a couple of ice-lanterns the other day, and I thought I would share with you how to make these very easy, decorative lanterns as this is something you can do in minutes and freeze overnight. The result is pretty spectacular :-)

Friday 16 December 2011

16.12. Ice cream heaven!

We have had a lot of rain lately, and I have not been out in the garden for a good few days. Sitting down tonight to write a post I decided to share a recipe with you instead of writing about my garden for a change, as I really haven’t got any big news to come with in regards to my garden, it is after all December and I live in London! My recipe tonight is for homemade ice cream. I thought I would share the recipe with you, as this is not an ordinary ice cream. You don’t need an ice cream maker, and it doesn’t need to be stirred whilst freezing. You just make it and bung it in the freezer and forget about it until you want to eat it. Easy as that!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

14.12. The Norwegian spruce

Living in London, UK, I often hear at this time of year about the famous Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, often referred to as “the tree given by the people in Norway to the people in London”. As a Norwegian, knowing the story behind the Christmas tree, I thought I would use the opportunity to tell who the gift is from, and why, since I don’t think that’s something widely known here in the UK, and certainly not around the rest of the world.

The Christmas tree is a gift from the citizens of Oslo to the citizens of London, not from the whole of Norway, and that’s actually a bit of a difference – Oslo is the capital of Norway and has a population of just over 600.000 people, Norway in total has almost 5 mill people. But it is the story behind the Christmas tree that makes this an interesting piece of history.

Monday 12 December 2011

12.12. Pretty Bella Rosella

It is calm before the storm here in London today, literarily, as the weather forecast for the rest of the week is for strong winds and lots of rain. The West Country bears the brunt of the stormy weather as usual, and there are flood warnings for many places, but here in London we are normally spared winter floods. Today it was glorious winter sunshine and a great day for a bit of gardening, although a chilly biting wind gave warnings of what to come for the next few days.

On my usual stroll around the garden I always have my camera with me, recording what is flowering and what’s looking particularly nice at any given time. I have made my garden so that I have always something flowering, even in the darkest, coldest part of the winter, and a lot of my plants are evergreen, giving the garden a green dot here and there whilst waiting for shrubs to put leaves back on and herbaceous plants to come up again. And every now and then my garden gives me a nice and unexpected surprise…

Sunday 11 December 2011

10.12. New neighbours again

I am getting new neighbours again, I have just been told that the family next door is moving out next week. I have a somewhat special relationship with their garden, so it is with a mix of anticipation and trepidation I now wait for them to move out and someone else to move in. Let me explain…

I live in a typical terraced London street, with tiny houses with tiny rooms and tiny back gardens, and where privacy is something you can only dream of, inside and outside. For many years the next door neighbour to my right was a single man a couple of years older than me. He was not well, and the last few years he didn’t cope very well on his own and lived mostly at his mother’s house. I don’t think he was very much into gardening before he became ill, and it was surely not a priority to him the last 5-6 years. The result was that his garden became very overgrown and looked terrible. Having just a low fence between us meant that whenever I was in my garden, I could also see his garden and the state of it. And my neighbour to the left has been even worse, using their garden as a rubbish tip and letting all sorts of weeds grow head high.

Thursday 8 December 2011

08.12. Garden pics cavalcade

Britain has experience an atrocious weather the last 24 hours, with winds up to 165 miles per hour, 50 000 people without power, roads and schools closed, fallen trees, buildings and cars damaged. Winter has certainly arrived to our shores. Here in London we are as usual somewhat sheltered against the worst of the weather, but we have felt the wind here too! I had a stroll in my garden today, but I made it a quick one as the wind was so cold I just could not bear it.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

6.12. Gorgeous Phalaenopsis

It is a chilly 8 degrees outside and winter has finally arrived in London. No sign of snow yet and we have yet to see any frost on the ground so the start of this December has certainly been very different to last year. I couldn’t be happier though, walking with crutches on snow is very difficult unless you have special ice attachments on them, and even then it is a tricky and dangerous thing just going outside the front door. I would be very pleased if this winter became one of those where we didn’t see any snow at all :-)

Sunday 4 December 2011

04.12. Gingerbread Houses

Hello, it’s the first Sunday in December! Ohhh, you already knew, well, to me it actually came as a bit of a surprise that it’s exactly 3 weeks till Christmas Day today, but that’s because my weeks are flying past me faster than I can keep up with at the moment. I have spent the week-end printing out the rest of my Christmas cards and I have ‘glitter-glue’ decorated and written about half of them. Both overseas parcels and Christmas cards are off to the post office later in the week, and that’s my Christmas shopping done :-)

Wednesday 30 November 2011

30.11. My Tabby Cat

This month my cat is 10 years old, and as I wrote yesterday, I thought I should mark that with writing a bit about cats in general and of course my cat in particular. I had this great intention of making another movie of him, and having a photo session outside in the garden in glorious autumn sunshine…ehh, but the sunshine hasn’t really appeared, it’s been pouring down today too, and a lot of other things have happened the last 10 days as I wrote about yesterday, so I am afraid the movie will have to wait. But I did take some photos of my cat last night in my ‘studio’ (read bedroom), although not under optimal light conditions, but he looks so sweet so I am posting some of the photos anyway. If you haven’t seen the videos I have made already of my cat, please have a look at his page on my web-site, you can FIND MY CAT'S WEB PAGE HERE.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

29.11. Happy 10th Birthday Cat!

I had planned to make a film and take some photos of my cat last week, in celebration of his 10th birthday, hopefully outside in glorious sunshine in my garden….but as with all best laid plans; sometimes other things just happens and plans have to be rearranged. The last 10 days have been incredibly stressful here, starting with someone crashing into my car during the night while it was parked. Lots of phone calls to leasing company, police, insurance company, back to the police because the leasing company said I needed a ‘damage self report’, something the police then said they didn’t think I needed. New phone call to the insurance company who wasn’t really interested in taking the claim at all, in their opinion the damage didn’t cause the car to be un-driveable so why make an insurance claim…ehhh…it’s not my car, it’s a leasing car, when I return it, the leasing company will force me to make a claim anyway. New round of phone calls. I have got as far as to establish that I have to pay the excess, since I can’t find the perpetrator. Lousy bastard, just driving off! But I haven’t had the car at the garage yet. I will get a courtesy car while they repair it, but they could not guaranty an automatic car, so I am dragging my feet a bit about calling the garage for an appointment, as I am dreading driving around in a manual car, haven’t done that in 12 years!

Monday 21 November 2011

21.11. Autumn web-site photos

Seems like we have reached the end of the nice autumn weather; today it was a very typical November London weather with 11 degrees, a chilly wind and dense fog. We have had this weather for the last couple of days, with disruption to both roads and all major airports so I suppose everything is back to normal then! I am happy as long as we don’t get any snow, and there is no snow in sight yet, in fact, the temperatures are staying well above 10 degrees the whole coming week and not much below during the night, so I guess so far we aren’t going to get any of the extreme winter weather we had the last 2 winters.

Friday 18 November 2011

18.11. Crocuses emerging

Hello, it’s been yet another glorious day in my garden, with lovely sunshine and 17 degrees in the early afternoon. There isn’t an awful lot to do in my garden at this time of year, so a bit of tidying up, picking up dead leaves and cutting off herbaceous plants as they die off is just about it. And taking photos of course. There are always something flowering in my garden, even in the darkest part of the winter, so I can always find something to take pictures of :-)

Tuesday 15 November 2011

15.11. Christmas Cards 2011

Most of my family and friends live abroad, and the last day for posting parcels to reach them in time for Christmas is 12th December. Yesterday it was 4 weeks left, and I know how quickly those weeks fly by, so I have spent the last few days making this year’s Christmas cards. I still have a few presents to buy, but most of them are already bought, I usually start in September so I can spread the cost over several months.

Sunday 13 November 2011

13.11. Incredible weather

It was 19 degrees mid-day in my garden today! A lovely day for doing a bit of tidying up and preparing the garden for the coming winter. As usual I took a few photos and will share them here with you.

Thursday 10 November 2011

10.11. Almost Christmas??

The amazing autumn weather is continuing here in London; I was at my local hospital yesterday to take a blood test and some people were walking around in shorts and T-shirts! Now that would have been taking it a bit far as for myself concerned, but I am still wearing the same jacket I have been wearing all summer when going out and my winter coat hasn’t been out of my wardrobe since late February….and it’s only just over 6 weeks till Christmas!

Saturday 5 November 2011

05.11. Post number 100!

Hello and welcome to post number 100! When I started this blog in early January this year, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able and interested enough to continue writing to the end of that month, let alone the rest of the year. And here I am, in November, writing post number one hundred. I find it strangely addictive and it certainly means a lot to me to see the visitor numbers steadily go up and up. I mean, that’s why I am spending all this time making the posts; so that people out there can look at the photos and videos and read my words :-)

Friday 4 November 2011

04.11. Pretty fuchsias

It is still nice and mild here in London, what a difference from last year! By this time last year we had already had snow and many nights with frost. The obligatory November rain has arrived though, so this week I haven’t been doing much gardening, but my garden really needed that rain so I don’t mind that much.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

01.11. Female Quotes

Here comes the third and final part of my collection of quotes, at least for now, part one and two was yesterday and the day before. Every now and then, we tend to look for quotable quotes to fill in the gaps and to make up for the lack of appropriate words to express our thoughts. Quotes also allow us to convey wisdom, add a little credibility, and often a bit of humour in our day. I promised you quotes by women and although female quotes are not as plentiful as quotes by men; there are many available. Unfortunately, many of them are neither funny, wise nor clever, just stupid or degrading. I don’t know whether that says something about women in general or just something about those people who have collected those quotes. Anyway, in-between the silly ones there are many gems; you just have to sift through them! I hope you like my collection.

Monday 31 October 2011

31.10. Pooh Bear Quotes

In my search for quotes on the Internet, I have often come across Winnie the Pooh quotes, adorable little sayings that make you nod and think “Well said, coming from a bear”. Also affectionately known as Pooh or Pooh Bear, he's probably the most famous bear in the world known to millions around the world. Pooh is created by A.A Milne and named after a toy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne. Pooh's friends which include other popular characters such as Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga and Roo were also based on Christopher's stuffed animals.

Sunday 30 October 2011

30.10. Computing Quotes

I promised you more quotes earlier this month, and I have spent many evenings the last week online, searching for the best ones. I have found so many that I have decided to divide them into 3 different posts, as they are too many for one post. Tonight you are getting some priceless computing quotes and some about Facebook, definitely contemporary quotes and for all of you who still are in the dark about Facebook, my apologies in advance; you won’t get the jokes. Perhaps about time you sign up….you might just as well give in, the rest of us have already had to…

Saturday 29 October 2011

29.10. Loropetalum chinense

It’s been a lovely day in my garden today; 18-19 degrees and sunshine, although there was a sharp wind at times which made taking close-up photographs of flowers a bit of a challenge – standing and waiting for the wind to ease so I could take photos right at the correct moment, just to find that as I pressed the button there was another blow of wind which pushed the flower out of focus. Thank goodness for digital cameras, it doesn’t cost anything extra if you have to retake, however many times it take :-)

Monday 24 October 2011

24.10. Confused plants

The British weird and unusual weather continues, we had a few days with well below 10 degrees during daytime, but now we are back to almost 20 degrees. It has been nice and sunny for many days lately and I can’t remember last time we had any substantial amount of rain so I have had to water my garden quite often the last month.

Thursday 20 October 2011

20.10. Garden is improving

Hello again, just a quick update from my garden tonight, as things are slowly progressing. The log-rolls are ready stained and in the ground, finally, but no gravel yet. I want to finish all the planting first as I keep dragging soil with me from my boots onto the path whenever I go in and out of the beds. Besides, the gravel and also the bark I need to mulch around the plants are quite expensive so I need to save up for it before I go off to B&Q; it is amazing how much things add up to when you go to a place like that to just have ‘a few things’ !

Saturday 15 October 2011

15.10. Quotes of Wisdom

I have written two posts earlier this year about famous quotes and I can see from the visitor statistics that these two posts are frequently visited. I regularly look around for new quotes and collect them in a folder on my computer, you never know when a quote from a famous person could come in handy, so tonight I thought I would make another post about wise words and sayings.

Friday 14 October 2011

14.10. Log-rolls arrival

The whiff of summer we had two weeks ago is well and truly gone and the autumn has arrived. It has been a nice warm day today, but it gets really chilly in the late afternoon and working in the garden at this time of the year means layers of clothes and half mittens for me.

Sunday 9 October 2011

09.10. Revamp of my garden

I have had a nice, long day outside in my garden today, doing what I enjoy most; pottering about in my garden planting and taking photographs. I have quite a few photos for you tonight, both of plants in flower right now, and the progress of my big revamp of the garden. Did you read my post from earlier this week, where I wrote about last week’s amazing weather? It culminated with a temperature record last Saturday, and although the record was only 29.9 degrees, in my garden I recorded 31 degrees – a week ago. Yesterday it was 14 degrees in my garden. FOURTEEN!! But today the sun was shining and we were back again in someone’s ‘good book’ and got 22 degrees in the afternoon. That’s quite a difference in one day, from 14 to 22, but I am not complaining when the difference goes the right way :-)

Saturday 8 October 2011

08.10 Silly job titles, UK

I haven’t gone off on a rant lately but tonight I am feeling the need :-) I have been thinking about writing a post about silly job titles in the UK for a while, as this is one of my pet hate and I as a foreigner have been watching this growing trend here in the UK with a mix of amusement and horror. When I moved to London 12 years ago, I got a bit bewildered by all the fancy job titles people seemed to have here. Just about anyone I got in touch with in the beginning was called officer this and officer that. Now, I am not unfamiliar with the term officer; my father was an officer in the army, and I spent my childhood and part of my teens in various garrisons together with my siblings and my parents. We moved often, as army people do, and we used to live in the officer’s accommodation together with the other officer families. So I knew very well what an officer was when I left Norway and moved to the UK – I thought.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

04.10. Hurricane and snow!

The mini heat-wave we had last week is well and truly over, but when I went to the hospital today I got a glimpse of the headlines of today’s newspapers, and they all wrote the same; about this coming week-end’s weather. If you don’t live in the UK, the following might come as a joke to you, but believe me, this is no joke, it is supposedly true, according to one newspaper: Britain will be feeling the cold as the unseasonable autumn temperatures drop by 18 degrees in just days and the tail-end of Hurricane Ophelia batters Scotland and the North of England. In the South, widespread frost will have the weekend's beach-goers wrapping up in scarves while storms and even snow lash the North!

Saturday 1 October 2011

01.10. October heat record!

OK, so now it’s official; we broke the temperature record today! The record has been broken for the highest temperature recorded in October in England - now at 29.9C. It was set at 14:42 BST in Gravesend, Kent, beating the previous record of 29.4C recorded on 1 October 1985, in the small town of March, Cambridgeshire. Temperatures in England topped those in Athens, Los Angeles and Barcelona today. In my garden however, it was 31 degrees at 3 pm today, making it a rather hot and sticky environment for my planned gardening.

Friday 30 September 2011

30.09. September heat wave

Last day of September today, it’s almost unbelievable, as I have been in my garden for most of the day and it was 30 degrees out there in the afternoon!  We are experiencing some very unusual warm weather at the moment, not that it hasn’t been warm in September before; it has - and it is quite common with a spell of warm weather sometime in September, but not 30 degrees, and not for such a long period as we have had now.

Monday 26 September 2011

26.09. Amazing weather

Some great things are happening in my garden! Well, they aren’t happening all by themselves, I am the one doing the stuff, but it’s beginning to look great, if you know what I mean! I have been meaning to do a big redesign of the beds in my garden, and after a whole summer of practically no gardening at all due to my recent operation, I am just itching to get started. It is a bit too soon after my operation to do anything major work, but with all the good weather we have had lately, I just could not help myself, I just had to give it a go :-)

Sunday 18 September 2011

18.09. The front garden

Hi, Sunday again and another week has gone, I didn’t intend for this to become a weekly blog, but the days are flying past me faster than I can catch up so this blog writing will have to be as and when these days. According to the weather forecast, the whole week-end was supposed to be a wash-out, and I didn’t think I was going to get to see my garden at all, but they got it wrong again; this time for the better :-)

Sunday 11 September 2011

11.09. Pruning Hydrangeas

Hello, I am still around, just haven’t been here for a while! I just realised I haven’t written on my blog since 1st September, and today it’s the 11th….not sure where all the days have gone, but I have done a lot of things since last time, more about that a bit later. Today we have had a whiff of summer, with 23 degrees and nice sunshine most of the day. It is just calm before the storm, literarily, as the whole of UK is expected an unusual windy weather tomorrow, especially northern England and Scotland. Autumn is definitely here!

Thursday 1 September 2011

01.09. Awful summer!

OK, so it’s official, it isn’t my imagination; it has been an awful summer! The statistics are ready and the cold facts (sorry for the pun, couldn’t resist!) are as follows: it was the coolest July since 2000 and with several chilly nights, in terms of minimum temperature it was the coldest July across the UK since 1980. August was even worse, the coolest August since 1993, with 25% more rain than average. I moved to London summer 1999, a so-called barbecue summer, with wall-to-wall sunshine from June to September and 25-32 degrees most of July and August. I thought that was how the weather was in London in the summer. How wrong I was! With 18-20 degrees and overcast most of August and rain half of the days this summer, we had better days in March! Last time we had a really good summer was in 2005. That’s a very long time ago…

Monday 29 August 2011

29.08. My cat and a throw

Hello, how are you? Are you enjoying the last week of summer? Or are you wondering where on earth the summer has gone – again?! An average temperature of 20 degrees in London in August is…pathetic! No other word for it. I have my heating on every evening, in August! The winter will feel very long when last time we had 3 days in a row or longer with higher temperature than 25 degrees was back in May!! We can still have some great days in September, but it’s not really the same, the sun doesn’t take the same way and it doesn’t feel like summer, even if daytime temperatures can reach quite high in the middle of the day, in the sunshine, if you can find any sunshine, and if it isn’t too windy….well, I’m not too fussy after this summer, as long as it doesn’t rain much in September, I’ll be happy…although, as I am writing this, late August Bank Holiday Monday evening, it is 9 degrees outside. NINE!! Ugh.

Sunday 28 August 2011

28.08. Under the stars

Hello again, tonight I got some quite spectacular photos for you, no plants or flowers in sight, promise :-) You see, every August Bank Holiday, Newham Council has a 4 days event in my local park called ‘Under The Stars’, and the 4th  day, the Sunday – today, the event is rounded up with an amazing classical concert by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. So first we have to endure an evening with modern jazz, on the Thursday, and then on the Friday evening it is different kinds of Asian music, Saturday the theme can vary, this year it was ‘Newham Rocks You’…but I think they had dug up some really old rockers…perhaps a bit too old ones, they didn’t rock me, what I heard of it anyway.

Sunday 21 August 2011

21.08. Achantus spinosa

Hello, here are the rest of the pictures from my garden that I took yesterday, there were just too many to put in yesterday’s post so I had to split them over two days. Yesterday I concentrated on the summer flowering Hellebore that is lighting up the end bed of my garden at the moment; today I have photos of a rather more peculiar plant – Acanthus spinosus.

Saturday 20 August 2011

20.08. Hellebores in flower

A miracle has happened in my garden again! One of my Helleborus orientalis is flowering again! It might not sound like such a miracle to you, but firstly; hellebores are winter flowering plants and in the UK usually flowers from late December to March. Secondly, my unusual, summer flowering hellebore has already flowered this summer! It started producing flowers in mid July, and if you have a look at my post from 1st August you will see the flowers from the first stalk – and that’s what this plant usually produce; one stalk with 5-8 flowers…that is if it flowers in the summer at all, it doesn’t do that every year.

Thursday 18 August 2011

18.08. Chicken Korma

Hello again, first of all, sorry for being off the net for such a long time! My recovery from the hip replacement operation is going very slowly and I just haven’t had the energy to sit down and write. Besides that, I haven’t had much to write about lately – as the weather has been pretty grim and I’ve hardly been out in my garden the last 10 days – hence no garden photos today. Yes, I know it’s August, and supposed to be the summer month of the year, but someone has messed up, again – and we have ended up with all the rain we didn’t get last winter. Ehhh…I would have preferred to have the rain back in February, thank you very much!

Saturday 6 August 2011

06.08. Another garden movie

I have been filming in my garden again; this is the third movie I have made from my garden this year and I think I will continue doing this for a while. The differences between the seasons are so immense and although I take pictures every month, the movies are a much better way of documenting the horticulture events and sometimes miracles in my garden.

Thursday 4 August 2011

04.08. The Prophet's Mosque

I have just seen an interesting series of programs from BBC2 which I recorded over the last few weeks, but only watched the last few days. The title of the series was ‘The Life of Muhammad’ and the three-part series, presented by Rageh Omaar, charted the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Apart from being very interesting history and important background facts, the programs were also beautifully filmed in a part of the world where I have never been and where I will never be able to visit.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

02.08. Another Bonsai

Today has been another warm day, it passed 30 degrees this afternoon, but we had no sun the whole day….imagine how hot it could have been if we had got full sun :-) I spent the day in the garden, pottering about, doing a bit here and a bit there; everywhere I turn there are jobs to be done, after 6 weeks of practically doing no gardening at all. But I did one thing today which I have wanted to do for a while; taking care of the Bonsai trees.

Monday 1 August 2011

01.08. A grey squirrel

It was 32 degrees in my garden this afternoon, for someone like me who is always cold and wearing a cardigan all year round it was lovely! I even ditched my cardigan today :-) But I still haven’t worn a short sleeved shirt or jumper this year, so I don’t really know how hot it would have to be before I would swap my roll neck jumper for something lighter…anyway, we are promised more nice weather for a few more days so I am just enjoying it while we have it. I promised you more photos yesterday, and here are some from my garden taken over the week-end.

Viewing Blog Movies

Do the movies on YouTube and elsewhere on the Internet 
play ‘catch-up’ all the time when you try to watch them? 
Or do you have to view them in the lowest quality to be 
able to view them at all? There are several ways to work 
around a slow Internet connection, but here is one way
to watch the movies in high quality.

Sunday 31 July 2011

31.07. Last day of July

Hello! It seems like my promise of getting back to writing again has been hard to keep, it is the last day of July and this will be only the third post this month. But my recovery from the hip replacement operation last month is going slower than I was hoping for, and I just haven’t got the energy to do much at all. I have been taking a few photos over the week-end though, and I thought I would share them with you over the next few days.

Saturday 23 July 2011

23.07. Norway attacks

By now, most people around the world with access to a television will have heard about the twin attacks on Norway. I have received a number of emails and SMS yesterday and today with sympathy declarations and questions whether my relatives are safe. Living here in London, Norway and Norwegian politics seems very distant most of the time, and in the 12 years I have regarded London as my home, I have only been back to Norway to visit family on 3 occasions – the last time in 2006. But when a catastrophe like this happens, I think any person living abroad feel closer to their home country than ever, regardless of how many years they have been away. Although many things have probably changed since I emigrated, I have the last 24 hours got confirmed over and over again that one thing has not changed since I left; the Norwegian open society.

Saturday 16 July 2011

16.07. I'm back!

Hi, I’m back! Have you been looking for me? Wondered if I was ever going to write here again? Well, I must admit at some point I was wondering myself if I was ever going to get back behind my laptop. If you are one of my regular readers you will perhaps remember that I have been off to hospital to have a hip replacement operation. That was almost 4 weeks ago and I am now slowly recovering at home. Things didn’t go exactly according to plan; when do they ever (!!), but I am not going to bore you with too many details about the excessive bleeding I had the second week after the operation, the two trips to the A&E by ambulance after coming home due to the excessive bleeding and an operation wound that stayed open for three weeks after the operation… well, to sum it up; it’s been stressful and I am exhausted and not doing much else than staying in bed still. Although, yesterday, being 27 degrees and sunny, I did manage to go out in my garden and take a few photos, which I haven’t done for a whole month, so that gave me a kick up my backside to write a bit so I could post my photos.

Saturday 18 June 2011

18.06. Blogging break

Hello, this will be my last post in a while; I am off to the hospital on Monday to have a hip replacement operation. When I heard that it would be late June before I would get the operation I thought to myself; Oh, no, that’s going to be impossible with my garden, how am I going to take care of it while recovering? And all the watering I sometimes do during the summer? Well, I say ‘sometimes’, because it really varies, as the amount of rain we get here can really vary a lot. The last 3 months we have hardly got a drop of rain over the whole of South-East England, and several counties have declared drought already, although London have yet to do so. But the last 2 weeks it has rained almost every day, sometimes really bucketing down, and I haven’t watered my garden at all. You know, it really evens out over time usually…what doesn’t come down one month usually comes next month…so I suppose it’s just good timing if we get showers for the next few weeks then ;-) But watering is just one part of gardening and the rest will have to be just so so, like deadheading and keeping up with the pests etc…I guess the lily beetles will have a right feast the next month! But most of the lilies have finished flowering, only the Lilium regale are left and they are flowering right now, and when they are gone the lily beetles are welcome to have the remaining leaves and stalks!

Wednesday 15 June 2011

15.06. Hip replacement

Hello, I have been mentioning lately my upcoming hip operation, and that I would write a bit about it in a post this week so I guess I just got to get on with it :-) I am so busy preparing for my operation though; the last 2 days I have, with the help from my son, turned my house upside down. Most of my sofa is now upstairs in my bedroom, apart from the corner section which doesn’t go up the stairs because it is too big. My coffee table and the living room chair is also upstairs, whilst my king size bed and night stand is downstairs in my living room! As I said; my house is turned upside down, all in preparation for me coming home after the operation. Because I live in a Victorian house with extremely steep stairs, climbing those stairs every evening and getting down again every morning, plus going down and up if I needed the toilet during the night to get to my downstairs bathroom is just out of the question. I therefore decided to move my bed downstairs. When I had my first hip operation in 2007 I thought I would be able to manage the stairs by the time I got home from the hospital, but it was such a frightening ordeal that this time I am making it very simple by not needing to go upstairs at all.

Friday 10 June 2011

10.06. New neighbours

Hello, Friday already, don’t really know where the week has gone, except that I have been very busy. I did intend to write here both yesterday and the day before, but I was too knackered to even sit down with my laptop, let alone produce anything half interesting…but tonight I have some photos for you at least. As you may know if you have visited my blog before, my big project for the last 4 months has been creating a garden next door. I did it first of all because I was so fed up looking at the jungle of weeds that grew higher and higher. And secondly to get rid of the foxes that thought that garden was an excellent place to hang out with their friends…and nip over to my garden on a daily basis to dig up my flowerbeds…ugh, I have had some really bad experiences with the family of foxes that congregated on my lawn for weeks as if they owned my garden. Only when I got really close to them did they jump over the fence back to next door. Not scared at all, just at a rather leisurely pace, as if to say ‘I can hardly be bothered doing this but since you are coming right up to me I will saunter off.’ Luckily, my plan has worked; since tidying up the garden, I haven’t seen or heard a fox at all :-)

Monday 6 June 2011

06.06. Homemade ice cream

Last Saturday I spent making ice cream, homemade ice cream – 10 litres of homemade ice cream! Actually, it wasn’t such a big job as it might sound, I did it in two batches, and each batch took only just over 30 minutes to make. So what do I need 10 litres of ice cream for? It’s actually not for me, it is for my son; it is a present for his 25th birthday which is on Friday, but don’t tell him – it’s supposed to be a surprise :-)

Thursday 2 June 2011

02.06. Red is the colour

Summer is back! After a short spell of cold windy weather we are now promised a long warm period. Today we reached 27 degrees in my garden and I have been outside most of the day. OK, so more warm weather means more watering the garden, but I am willing to accept that, I really enjoy leaving my cardigan on the coat hook :-)

Tuesday 31 May 2011

31.05. Last day of spring

Hello, last day of May today, can you believe it? Tomorrow the spring is over and summer begins….well according to the calendar at least…although we are promised a new wave of nice warm weather so the last few days of icy cold winds can just go somewhere else :-) We have had a few hours of rain the last week, but it just amounts to so little, so very little I am afraid. I dread to think what my water bill is going to be if this is to continue, however, I must admit I would rather pay a bit extra for watering the garden and enjoy a nice spring and summer, than having a wash-out like the last few years! If I could choose, I mean, which I of course can’t, but you know what I mean!

Monday 30 May 2011

30.05. Filming next door

Hello, just a short post today, another movie from my garden. This time I have also filmed the new garden next door, as I am finally finished with planting there. The film was done yesterday, on a blustery day with very little sunshine – it looks colder than it actually was. The film starts in my garden, then moves over to the garden next door and ends back in my garden. You can view this film in HD if you have a good enough download speed, click on settings and choose 720p and also try to view in full screen. If that gets interrupted try a lower setting or view in the small frame. If you get any annoying ads, just click the X inside the ad and it will disappear. The music is a bit quiet, that’s YouTube’s fault, not mine….not sure what to do about that except asking my viewers to turn up their speakers! If you wonder what you are hearing; it’s Clair de Lune by Debussy.

Saturday 28 May 2011

28.05. Job done!

Yes, the job is done! I have finished the garden next door! Well, finished as in planted the last plant and painted the last panel, but the job is barely started of course, now I need to take care of the garden too :-) But that is a rather different kind of job and a more relaxing job too. At least if we can get an evenly spread out amount of rain the next 3 months. We have had a bit of rain the last week, but it amounts to so little, when it is just a drizzle for a couple of hours.

Sunday 22 May 2011

22.05. Peonies galore

Hello, some photos from my garden for you :-)
First a series of photos of a plant I had actually given up ever seeing again in flower…had actually planned to dig it up this autumn if it didn’t flower this year either as I was fed up waiting for something that never happened…and lo and behold, it is now flowering!

Friday 20 May 2011

20.05. My Garden in May

Hello, I thought I had posted my shortest post yesterday, but here is an even shorter post! Well, at least in terms of words, but I hope the video I have made of my garden can make up for the lack of written material. The video is very long, sorry about that! But honestly, I have already cut away two third of what I filmed, and it pains me, every minute I have to delete, my garden looks so lovely right now I want to show you everything!

Wednesday 18 May 2011

18.05. New fence!

Hi, just a short update for you, I am so busy! I have a few pictures for you though, so I thought I should post them at least, so you can keep up with what’s happening these days.

Friday 13 May 2011

13.05. Rhododendrons

I have spent the day in Lewisham, helping a friend of mine with his garden, so I haven’t done any planting in my garden today, or my gardens to be precise! But tomorrow’s another day :-) I did however take some photos today before leaving, so I thought I would share them with you today.

Thursday 12 May 2011

11.05. The new garden

Just a short update today, I have spent the last few days in my gardens – mainly in my new garden. I got the delivery of gravel, compost and bark Monday, which I have been eagerly waiting for, and now I have spread the compost in the beds and laid the weed liner.

Monday 9 May 2011

09.05. Delivery from B&Q

Hello, sorry for not making an appearance here for a while, between hospital visits and working in my gardens it has been difficult to sit down and write something. But today I have some nice photos for you, so I thought I ought to make a new posting. The last few days I have mainly spent making a border for the central bed in my garden. It has never had the wooden border the rest of the garden has, the border which now is pretty rotten here and there and due a replacement. The central bed has bark mulch just like the rest of the garden, and without a proper border it has been difficult to keep the bark inside the bed area. When I decided to replace all the borders with logrolls it was therefore a good place to start with the central bed.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

04.05. Plants for my gardens

It’s been another great day for gardening! I have finally got the money transfer from the house owner next door, so now there is gravel, bark and compost for the new garden ordered. It will be delivered next Monday, and after all of it is spread where it is supposed to go, the fun part of this project starts: the planting!

Saturday 30 April 2011

30.04. A new lily

It’s the last day in April! Where did last month go?? I have no idea, except I know I used a lot of it in my new garden, and some of it in the 3 different hospitals I regularly go to, and I also spent a lot of last month in bed – as usual – but apart from that, I think the month has gone very quickly. I past a milestone last week, writing my post number 50 :-) and after 4 months of blogging I am pleased to say I think I will continue with this...I enjoy making these blogs, I hope you enjoy reading them!

Friday 29 April 2011

29.04. Meditation for pain

Hello, how are you? You know, sometimes I wonder who you are; my visitors....although I do know a few of you. I know my Mum, who checks my blog every morning to see if I have written anything; hi Mum!...and I also know a few other of my visitors, who are spread around in Britain and in Norway. But the rest of you I don’t know who are, even though I know most of you live in Germany, USA, Britain, France and Norway. I try to imagine who you are though, what you might be interested in hearing about, what kind of pictures to put on the posts etc. That’s why this blog so far has been a mix of things I do and make plus some posts in between with a more of a philosophical theme, trying to cater for a wide audience, but still keeping within a kind of a theme. There are many things you won’t find won’t find anything related to sports, ever. And nothing to do with computer gaming. And there are a whole lot of other things too you won’t find here I suppose. But you will continue to find things related to creativity, photography, art and crafts and gardening, but I though perhaps

Tuesday 26 April 2011

26.04. Red lily beetles

The heat wave is over, for now, and we are back to normal temperatures for the time of year. It’s quite a difference in just two days; from 28 degrees on Sunday to 17 degrees was chilly out there today! I did, however, brave the chill, put my usual garden-cardigan on and spent a couple of hours in my gardens.

Saturday 23 April 2011

23.04. My gardens

Today has been another glorious day, I know I keep repeating myself – but honestly, it was 28 degrees at 3 pm! I have got quite a lot done today, mostly in my new garden next door, with staining the log rolls for the second bed, a slow process which has to be repeated several times after the logrolls are in the ground to make them last as long as possible.

Friday 22 April 2011

22.04. Sizzling hot April day

Hello! Is it nice weather in your part of the world at the moment? If you live in the UK, especially in the South East, you probably have been enjoying the same glorious weather as I have the last few weeks, if you live somewhere else and have been expecting great weather, but haven’t seen any lately; now you know where all the good, warm weather has ended up! The news here has been filled with reports about people who booked their holiday for Easter for going abroad, people who booked it months ago, when we had the coldest winter in 100 years. Now they are calling back home to family and friends in the UK, complaining that the weather is better back here than where they are on holiday, in Southern Spain, Turkey and other Mediterranean countries! Well, we certainly were due some good weather, I just hope we won’t get all in one go, like we did last year in June. It was great for about 3 weeks, and that was it. I wouldn’t mind having this weather until late October :-) Only minor issue is the cost of all the water I have to pay for, to water my garden, but that is a minor issue, because in this warm weather I don’t need much gas for heating, so I save a lot there.

Monday 18 April 2011

18.04. More Bonsai

Hello, did you read my post yesterday about my Bonsai tree? When I was researching on the Internet trying to find out why all the leaves were falling off, and whether I was doing all the things I could to treat it right, I saw an article about how you could make your own Bonsai trees. The article claimed that in principle, any tree or bush could be turned into a Bonsai tree, if you restricted its growth and pruned it correctly. That might be almost true, but there are trees and bushes that would never do well being treated like this; they would just become too stressed. I got of course very fascinated by this article, and being the kind of person I am, I just had to have a go!! So today I have made a Bonsai garden :-)

Sunday 17 April 2011

17.04. Bonsai disaster

When I had breakfast this morning, two elderly women stopped outside my house and started admiring the flowers in the window baskets on the wall of the front garden. They talked to each other and smiled and stood and pointed and gesticulated and one of the women leaned over and started talking to and smiling towards the plants. I couldn’t hear what she said, but I could hear her voice, even though the windows were shut...I live in a Victorian house, I can hear the footsteps of people walking past on the pavement! Anyway, I am all for being nice to your plants, but her behaviour was pretty peculiar. I have blinds in front of my windows, no net curtains; I can’t stand net curtains, so during the day the blinds are down but open so the light can flood in – that gives a bit of privacy, but people can still look in if they really want to. After dark I close the blinds and it blocks everything out. OK, back to these two elderly women. I got up from the sofa and walked to the window, taking care not to get too close as I

Saturday 16 April 2011

16.04. Stepanotis in flower

There’s been a small miracle in my bedroom lately. No, no...not that kind of miracle, I haven’t finally got myself a boyfriend; no, this is more in the region of a horticultural miracle – that’s probably the only kind of miracles you can expect at my humble abode :-) Let me explain....Many years ago I bought a houseplant called Stephanotis floribunda, you might know it as Madagascar jasmine, not to be confused with the many types of ordinary Jasmine you can have both in your garden and as houseplants. Other names for this houseplant are Waxflower, Hawaiian Wedding Flower, Stephanotis jasminoides and Marsdenia floribunda. In warmer climate this plant grows outdoors and can be a 3-4 metre tall climber, in our part of the world it is kept as a houseplant and mainly cherished for its highly scented flowers. Back to my purchase from 2004...I just had to try to grow it outdoors...yes, I know, pretty mad when all instructions say it has to be kept frost-free, but we had had many winters in a row without any frost by then so I thought I would give it a try. I re-potted the Stepanotis in a large pot and let it grow quite big during the summer and autumn, so it perhaps would have a chance of surviving. And it did survive...until March the following year! That’s when we got a few nights with well below minus, and most of the plant was dead next morning. See, it almost survived the winter! Well, I cut off the few pieces that were OK, put them in water and let them root, and then potted them on later.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

13.04. Meet Ayla the AR

I saw an interview with a writer on the telly here the other day, a writer named Jean M. Auel. She is most famous for a series of novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. She has just published her sixth book in this series and the interview was about this new book. Her first book in the series called ‘Earth’s Children’ came out as early as 1980, and I read it a few years later when it had been translated into Norwegian. You might have heard about it, the first book was called ‘The Clan of the Cave Bear’ and was filmed with Daryl Hannah as Ayla. The next couple of books came out at regular intervals, number 2 in 1982, number 3 in 1985, number 4 in 1990...and then there was a long wait for the next book. I thought I had missed the book launch, or perhaps because I had moved to Britain maybe these books weren’t as popular here as they were in Norway. But finally, in 2002, book number 5 was released, and I read this one in English. I have to tell you these books are not exactly small things you tuck into your pocket on the tube...they are huge! And so is book number 6 too, just published, 9 years after number 5 and long awaited :-) The book is 660 pages and just as much a brick as all the other ones, but I bet that when I get to the last page I will feel exactly the same way as with all the other books in the series; wishing that there were many more pages still!

Tuesday 12 April 2011

12.04. Action for Happiness

Wherever you are in the world right now, reading this post, I bet your daily news are filled with reports of war in the North-African countries, earthquakes, radioactive pollution and countries in serious financial destitution. Isn’t it depressing?? Well, only if you let it depress you. There is very little you and I can do about any of these issues, unless you happen to be David Cameron or any of the other prime ministers around the world. Of course it could be possible that David Cameron reads my blog....hmmm, fascinating thought...anything is possible...but not very likely I must admit, so to all the rest of you, don’t get too upset if you can’t fix the world; try to fix the things you are able to on a more homely level – that’s probably going to make you much more happy. The following words are very true, even if they are nicked from a theologian (named Reinhold Niebuhr).

Sunday 10 April 2011

10.04. Garden news

It’s been a glorious day today, with 24 degrees and nice sunshine. I have done absolutely no gardening, just lounged about and been lazy :-) I did take some photos earlier today though, and I managed to take a new photo for my profile too – something I had planned to do for a long time. My garden has new things happening almost every day at this time of year, and I try to take a walk and look properly every day to not miss out anything. But I was really surprised when I discovered today that one of my trees was in flower!

Saturday 9 April 2011

09.04. Cats in ads

Hello, would you like to see a really cool ad? It has been going on TV here in the UK for a while, but you might not have seen it, or maybe you are a visitor from a different part of the world and therefore haven’t had a chance to see it? Or perhaps you just don’t watch a lot of TV...or perhaps you have seen it before, but if you have I am sure you found it so hilarious that you would like to see it again, forward the link to your friends and possibly come back here some other day just to see it one more time? Yeahh, I think so :-) Oh, and by the way, all the films here can be watched in full screen view (the button in the lower right corner of the movie), and if you get any annoying ads, just click the x inside the ad and it will go away. Here it is, enjoy!

Friday 8 April 2011

08.04. The week gone?

Oooops, where did this week go?! Last time I sat down to write here was last Sunday, and I have barely been on my computer all week! I have been to the hospital 3 days this week, the third day today, and today I went to see the physiotherapist. That 30 minutes visit took me almost 6 hours, between hospital transports from home in to Central London and back again through the Friday rush traffic, but there was also waiting here and waiting there so when everything is added up it took 5 hours and 50 minutes from when I left home till I was back again. much wasted time I could have spent sitting in my garden enjoying the sunshine. After a day like that I am no good for anything really, but I thought I should try to get a few words down here at least.

Sunday 3 April 2011

03.04. Finished next door!

Hi, I had actually decided not to write anything today, have a break and just watch TV – being Mother’s day and all :-) But, having been outside in the gardens most of the day, and taken several good photos, I really couldn’t miss the opportunity to show you what I have, here is a short post after all!

Saturday 2 April 2011

02.04. Honey Cake

Hi, how are you today? I made a promise yesterday that today’s post was going to be about something edible, with a subsequent recipe. As you probably have guessed from the title, the recipe is for a honey cake, one of my old favourites, and one I have baked many times. My father is very fond of this one too, unfortunately my parents live in Sothern Spain and I live in London, UK so I can’t just pop over to them with a cake now and then! But fortunately we have reasonably prices for sending small parcels, less than 2 kg, within Europe, so a couple of weeks ago I sent off 2 honey cakes with Southern Spain as the destination :-) I am pleased to report that the cakes have reached their destination without anyone en route feeling tempted to nick them...I suppose mobile phones might be more tempting to nick among the postal staff, but I am sure that in every warehouse these two parcels were stored, the staff could smell the cloves and the ginger coming from the parcels! By the way, mobile phones are no longer legal to send via British Royal Mail...precisely because so many “got lost in the post”, i.e. got nicked by the staff after having been X-rayed and the parcel content was revealed. The answer to the problem by Royal Mail has been to ban all mobile phones in ordinary parcels. Perishable food is also banned, but I don’t consider a cake perishable, obviously Royal Mail didn’t either, since they let them through the rigorous custom security check. Anyway, here is the recipe:

Friday 1 April 2011

01.04. Three months' visitors

Hi there, 1st April today, 3 whole months of this year already gone – no April fool this one, it really is April already! I honestly can’t understand how the days can fly past so quickly; when I was younger I always thought I had plenty of time to do everything I wanted to do – whenever I wanted to, even back when I was still working. Now I don’t seem to get done even half of the things I’d really like to do, never mind all the other things :-) But one thing I have kept up with these 3 months is my blog, although as I suspected...the pace I set out at in January was far too ambitious. But 8 posts in February and 9 posts in March are not too bad either – I think that’s probably a more realistic level for the future.

Thursday 31 March 2011

31.03. Desiderata

Hello, it is the last day of this month and I am in a bit of a philosophical mood. I could make a post about the weather and the lack of rain we have experienced the last month, but having in mind how much I have talked about the weather lately I probably shouldn’t. Or, I could talk about my garden; I never grow tired about that topic! But...I thought I should spare you that tonight, just for tonight. What I have in mind is actually to talk about a poem. A poem! No, I haven’t gone mad, for those of you that know me and now wonder whether something really hard has struck my head today I can assure you that I am perfectly fine, safe and sound. I know I am not exactly famous for being a poetry lover....rather the opposite perhaps, but sometimes I read things that are said so well that I just have to keep it for....well, for a rainy day, for example? It didn’t rain today, wish it did, but I am going to share a well written kind of a poem with you, since I am in this philosophical mood tonight.

Saturday 26 March 2011

26.03. More rain please!

Hi, you know back in January, when I was complaining that it was raining and raining and never seemed to stop? Well...ehhh, I could do with a bit of rain now, like right now, as today! My garden is so dry at the moment, I actually had to drag the garden hose out and water the whole garden! In March! I know we will get some rainy days in April, we always do, but my garden couldn’t wait for that, there isn’t forecasted any rain until next Saturday, a week from today, and that’s only showers so might not amount to much after all. I pay for every litre of water I use, so I would of course much rather have the free stuff from above – and also, the free rain water doesn’t involve any work so I prefer it for that reason too :-)

Tuesday 22 March 2011

22.03. At Royal London

Hi, I hope you have had a good, interesting and productive day! I have had another time consuming day at the hospital, and yes, I am going to start this post with a bit of moaning today :-) I spend quite a lot of days per year at different hospitals around London, and quite often I think about how many hours I just waste waiting around doing nothing, when I could have been home wrapped up in bed or doing something useful. Take today for example, when I had an appointment for an endoscopy exam of my bladder – something I had been told was going to be very quick. This was my schedule:

Monday 21 March 2011

21.03. More clearing up

Hello, hope you haven’t been here too often the last week looking for a new post from me; I have had a very busy week and just haven’t had time to write anything. But here I am, back with an update :-) One of the things I have done the last week is to continue with clearing out the garden next door. I have filled up 15 large plastic bags with ivy, brambles and bluebells so far! The bluebells are the hardest to remove, as they have deep, large bulbs that have to be dug up. Simply removing the foliage won’t be enough, they will just come up again next year. 

Saturday 12 March 2011

12.03. The big clear-up

It’s been a lovely day today with a nice temperature and sunny intervals. I decided to get started on my new project; the garden next door. It’s going to take some time just to get the garden cleared and free of all debris, so that’s the first job on the list. But my first task today

Tuesday 8 March 2011

08.03. Next door garden

Hello, guess what, I got a phone call today from the owner of the house next door, and she gave me the thumbs-up for taking over the garden :-) It’s been an eyesore for years, so whatever’s being done to it will be an improvement; I just want a bigger garden to play with so I am really happy, even if it is next door! She asked if I needed some money for plants, which I had not expected at all, so I promptly asked for compost, bark, pea gravel and stain for the garden fence. She said yes to all of it, will get it delivered over the week-end..and would I like £50 for some plants too?!  It sounds like an excellent start to what I hope will be a

Monday 7 March 2011

07.03. My Cat

Hello again. Today was a really nice day with wall to wall sunshine and 14 degrees in the shade. In the sun it must have been considerably more as I was in my garden for several hours without a coat for the first time this year. My cat joined me as usual, he has his spot on the garden table where he can lie and keep and eye on everything going on, but today he was too restless to sleep as the pigeons have started their flying lessons for the chicks! None of the chicks has had any take-offs so far, not as I could see at least, but the parents keep flying between the roof and the tall tree in my garden to show the chicks how it’s done. In the next couple of days the chicks will be encouraged to do their first lift off and head for the tree, which they won’t manage; they never do, it’s just a too long a stretch, so they end up on the

Saturday 5 March 2011

05.03. More famous quotes

Hi, I thought I would share some more quotes with you today, I haven’t done that for a while. I collect quotes and aphorisms I find and write them down for later use, and I especially like those where the person who said it can be added to the saying; it makes the quote so much more meaningful. Sometimes I use the quotes I find on the greeting cards I make, you can see them on my web-site and download as many as you like for free, as long as the cards are not copied or downloaded for commercial use. Feel free to print and give the cards away, you can FIND THE GREETING CARDS HERE :-) I haven’t got any good photos to go with today’s topic, but since I already have mentioned my greeting cards I thought I would spread a few of them

Friday 4 March 2011

04.03. Filming my garden

It was a beautiful day today, with wall to wall sunshine and although the temperature never crept over 10 degrees, I had a great couple of hours outside in the garden. I made a short video with my camera; I don’t have a video recorder so this is made just with my ordinary camera. Apologies in advance for the shaky bits, I was walking whilst filming, as the zoom is not great at all – as you will see. I intended to give you an impression of what my garden looks

Monday 28 February 2011

28.02. Camellia and daffodil

Hello, I thought I should give you an update about my garden again, I am eagerly patrolling every day to make sure not to miss any important events there :-) Yesterday I found the first camellia open! It is the really important sign of spring and a milestone every year. Some years the daffodils open before the camellia, other years the camellia opens long before the daffodils; I think that air temperature is more important here than ground temperature and a potential frost in the ground. Mind you, some years we don’t even have frost in the ground the whole winter...not this winter though, from mid November to mid January we had frost in

Sunday 27 February 2011

27.02. Tall, short or spot on?

I was at my pharmacy the other day and struck up a conversation with someone there, and I happened to mention someone they knew. They said; yes, she works at so and so, she is the quite tall one, right? That made me think, as I have never thought of her as tall, but then again; everything is relative, right :-) I never think of myself as tall either, and I am 5’9” ...I think of everyone else around me as short! I come from Norway originally, and I am not particularly tall there, in fact I know personally several women in Norway who are taller than me, but when I moved to London I happened to end up in the East End of London where the majority of the people originally are Asian and therefore of a considerably shorter stature than

Thursday 24 February 2011

24.02. Enjoying my garden

I haven't posted anything here for sooo long! If you have been visiting every day, wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to then my apologies; I just haven’t had the time and energy to write anything lately. I have had a lot of hospital visits in between my usual medical problems, so I am afraid writing on my blog came last on the priority list. And it probably will in the future too, but don’t give up just because I skip a week or even longer, I will be back here on my blog as promised :-)

Tuesday 15 February 2011

15.02. Black grass

The builders have moved in! Well, not exactly moved in with me, but the house next door is to be totally renovated and they have just started the process. The builders have been here on and off for the last 10 days, but they seem to only work for an hour or two and then it’s quiet the rest of the day. Unfortunately it seems like they prefer to work in the early mornings... Yesterday morning I woke up at 8:30 with a power drill going off at such a loud noise I just couldn’t sleep through it. At 9 o’clock this morning I had two men chatting to each other whilst hammering on the roof of the extension next door, only 2 feet from my open bedroom window! I closed the window, but it did not make much difference. Fortunately they didn’t

Wednesday 9 February 2011

09.02. Radical pruning

It’s been a lovely weather yesterday and today; 14 degrees this afternoon :-) I have spent both days in the garden trying to get some more jobs done. Today I tackled another job I have dreaded doing for a long time...Have a look at this photo of my garden from today, apart from being rather empty in the beds, as one can expect at this time of year, there are also quite a few evergreen plants dotted around, so that there is “something green” at all times.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

02.02. My cat went missing

Hi, I promised you a few days ago that I would tell you the story about when my cat went missing, so here it is: my cat was born in November 2001 and I got him from a charity together with his sister who unfortunately disappeared in early 2004. My cat was castrated when he was quite young, so his instincts for roaming and fighting disappeared along with other behavioural problems associated with non-castrated cats. He has always been a very loving cat and has never been away from home more than half a day, usually only a few hours at the time. I have a cat flap in my back door, and he is free to come and go as he wants to, day and night. He always calls me when he arrives through the cat flap – as to say “I’m home,

Tuesday 1 February 2011

01.02. Visitor statistics

Hello to you, whoever you are; either a brand new visitor to my blog, or someone who has been here regularly the last month :-) My blog has been up and running for exactly one month. Yeahh! And I said for years I would never get a blog because A: I didn’t think my English was good enough to write for strangers and B: I didn’t think I had enough things to say to make regular posts. Well, I can’t really judge the first one, if I know I have made a mistake, I correct it, it’s the mistakes I don’t know I have made that makes it through to my posts! You might sit here on a daily basis and be really annoyed about my grammar...or maybe not, perhaps you think it doesn’t really matter, it’s OK, as long as you understand the meaning...whatever you think; I decided to throw the perfectionist overboard for a while and give it a go! I haven’t had any complaints about my English so far, so perhaps it’s “passable”?

Monday 31 January 2011

31.01. Letter from Iraq

I got an email late last night that I thought I would share with you, as a follow up on my post from last Friday regarding scams. The email couldn’t have come at a better time, since I promised to write more about scams and hoaxes. This email is a new twist on the Nigerian scam, but has better grammar (less spelling errors!) and is more contemporary I suppose...well, you can see for yourself, I am copying the whole lot here below:

Sunday 30 January 2011

30.01. Dregea pruning

Hi, I thought I would give you an update on how my garden is coming along. Considering it’s still January, it’s quite a lot happening out there! Yesterday I finally got started on pruning the dreaded Dregea sinesis, the plants that cover the arch in the middle of the garden. If you have read my previous posts you will know that it is the one thing every year that I really am not looking forward to do...for several reasons; one being that the plant emits a sticky sap when you prune the branches that itch when it hits bare skin, and the sap is also nearly impossible to get out of your hair. The sap is meant to go down into the roots in the winter and leave the plant dormant until the spring, but my plants never read that book, they are full

Friday 28 January 2011

28.01. Microsoft scam

Have you heard about the Nigerian Scam? Or maybe you have heard it as the Nigerian Letter or the 419 fraud? Or what about the Nigerian bank scam or Nigerian money offer? Anyone with an Internet access is probably nodding now! All these scams are modern versions based on much older scams, like the Spanish Prisoner and the Black Money scam. The modern 419 scam originated in the early 1980s as the oil-based Nigerian economy declined. Unemployed university students first used this scam as a means of manipulating business visitors interested in shady deals in the Nigerian oil sector before targeting businessmen in the west, and later the wider population. Scammers in the early 1990s targeted companies, sending scam messages via letter, fax, or Telex. The spread of e-mail and easy access to e-mail-harvesting software significantly lowered the cost of sending scam letters by using the

Tuesday 25 January 2011

25.01. Full moon

Someone sent me an email the other day saying a belated Happy New Year and went on to say “hope you had a great holiday!” What holiday? Have I had a holiday? Oh, the Christmas holiday we were all supposed to have had, that’s what she meant. You see, people who work tend to say things like that; have a nice Christmas holiday or Easter holiday....or just... have a nice week-end, for that matter. I know it’s just a matter of speaking for most people, and for them it is days off work and important time with their friends and family. But for me and a lot of people in my situation there is no difference at all between weekdays and week-ends. And there is no holiday at Christmas or Easter; the days are spent exactly the same way as the rest of the year. Sometimes I think about this, when a complete stranger at the till in Asda or some other supermarked has just greeted me ‘Have a nice week-end’ when I paid for my different life is when you no longer work, no longer take part in what most people will consider ‘normal life’. Hmm...this was today’s piece of philosophical

Sunday 23 January 2011

23.01. Bonsai

I promised you some news about the foxes in my garden, forgot to tell you about it yesterday so here it comes: last Friday the owner of the house next door came round to do an inspection together with a building contractor; the whole house next door is going to be renovated and they were going through the list of what needs to be done inside as well as outside. I was outside in my garden and couldn’t help overhearing their conversation so I asked which one of them were the owner of the house; the woman confirmed it was her and I told her about the foxes and how they have taken over the whole garden there, partly because her tenant is not

Saturday 22 January 2011

22.01. Tree pruning

I didn’t get outside to do any gardening today, it’s been one of those days where every time I decided to go outside it started to rain again. Finally I gave up and whizzed my vacuum cleaner around the house instead. Probably more sensible, since I can’t remember last time I did it...I think it must have been in the middle of December but I’m not you probably understand, my vacuum cleaner is not exactly in action every week in my house! I did

Friday 21 January 2011

21.01. Busy week

Hi, I haven’t had time to write for a few days, it’s been a very busy week with two hospital appointments this week and one appointment last Friday. It’s made me realise how much time I spend on all these hospital visits; not the actual time in with the doctor, because that might be just 20-30 minutes, but everything else can take up most of the day. Some of the hospitals I go to I can drive my own car, door to door, which is a great time saver, but the hospitals I go to in Central London I no longer am able to go to by public transport, so I need to go by hospital transport. It’s not possible to drive by own car to Central London, as parking is impossible, and anyway, for some reason, disabled parking permits are not recognised in Central London, the only city in Europe where the Blue Badge is disregarded! And even though

Sunday 16 January 2011

16.01. Early arrivals

I have been outside in my garden today too; it’s been a mix of all sorts of weather – even a bit of sunshine, but the rain kept away...only just, I did have a light drizzle a few times. I had a good look around today, to see what’s emerging, and I think most things are fairly early this year, despite the cold period we have had. That’s not necessarily an advantage, as we might very well have another cold spell or two, and small shoots or early flowers might get ruined by the frost. But they do look lovely when they emerge, these early arrivals often bear flowers before the leaves emerge, so the plant can concentrate on only one thing at the time. It is stressful for them doing this at this time of the year you know! Both plants I found in flower today are like that, flowers before leaves, here is the first one, a lovely scented Viburnum

Saturday 15 January 2011

15.01. It's not raining!

It’s not raining today! Yeah! Well, small things make me happy :-) I have been outside in my garden for over 2 hours today, clearing up mostly, and I have managed to get almost half of the long beds done. I have taken out dead twigs and leaves from last year’s plants, and thrown away all the other strange things I find in my flower beds. Today I found: 4 vertebrae of different sizes from an animal that can only be a cow or something of similar dimension...don’t ask me how the cow got in my garden...I assume it didn’t climb over and die here, I haven’t found any other I guess I have to blame those bloody foxes again, for dragging their dinner into my garden. Somewhere in the neighbourhood, someone is either feeding the foxes or being rather casual with their rubbish. I also found two cable ties, something I find quite often in my garden; usually the ones made of metal, but today they were black plastic. It is the birds that bring them into the garden, they use them to build

Friday 14 January 2011

14.01. Still raining

It’s been raining and raining and raining for what seems like forever. I get so fed up with this weather, and it’s going to rain the whole day today too, but tomorrow it seems like we are going to get a small let-up during the day. I can’t wait to get out in my garden and do a bit of clearing up. I got quite a few plans for things that need to be done by the time most of the plants start to wake up for the spring, it is just so much easier to do things when the beds are almost empty and I don’t risk stepping on small plants emerging out of the ground. However, all this rain has made the ground pretty saturated, and any kind of digging is rather heavy work! Speaking of rain, it is quite common to have a lot of rain in the beginning of the year here in London, so it’s not as if we have any unusual weather, just me being fed up....but sometimes we do get more days in a row with this than normal. Have a look at this 10 day forecast I have saved from January 2010, it is a screen print, no cheating. Pretty depressing

Wednesday 12 January 2011

12.01. Famous quotes

Hello again, I have had a couple of days off, but I am back today. “I'm pleased to report that I had no problems this week. I only had issues, opportunities, challenges and valuable learning experiences.” Well, quite appropriate words with regards to my week, but unfortunately, the words are not mine; I found them on the internet some years ago. I can’t tell you who said them originally; the quote was without a name. I often come across quotes and elegantly put sentences, and I try to copy them down in a document for later use, especially those where I can find an author. Some of them end up on my greeting cards, as short quotes can be quite suitable for things like that. But I do like to use quotes where I know for sure who said them,

Sunday 9 January 2011

09.01. Packing up Christmas

I decided to put away the Christmas decoration today; it’s something I always put off for as long as I can, usually until someone makes a comment about the fact that I still have my Christmas decoration up...and then I reluctantly put it away. But it’s only 9th January today, so I’m not that bad this year, I have been known to keep it until last Sunday in January :-) On the other hand, I am not one of those who drag the Christmas decoration down from the loft in October and has the whole house wrapped in flashing lights with a nodding Santa outside the front door. No, my decoration is a bit more subtle than that, and nothing comes out until

Saturday 8 January 2011

08.01. Garden stroll

I had a brief stroll in my garden today, brief because despite the bleak sunshine it was rather chilly. I was curious to see the state of my garden, after barely having seen it for snow for weeks, and also not being outside much because of the low temperatures. In normal winters, i.e. winters where the temperature is between 5-10 degrees most of the time; I will be outside in my garden most days when it doesn’t rain, at least for an hour or so. It will be too cold to sit down of course, but I will usually be taking some photos, tidy up a bit and generally

Friday 7 January 2011

07.01. Foxes

The foxes have been very active outside my house during the night  this week. Being a typical owl myself, I can’t help hearing them when I sit late at night at my computer. Their bloodcurdling howls are the stuff of nightmares and if you have 3 or 4 foxes roaming your neighbouring streets at the same time, it can sound really eerie at times. If you have never heard the sound of the foxes, here’s a sound bite for you, just press the play button. (If you

Thursday 6 January 2011

06.01. Frosty conditions

Last month was the coldest December documented for the UK since nationwide records began 100 years ago, the UK Met Office has confirmed. However, the first analysis released of global temperatures shows 2010 was one of the warmest years on record. How mad is that? Well, OK, I know that the UK is just a poky little island in a corner of Europe, and people here don’t even consider themselves living in Europe...but that’s an entirely different matter, and could be a topic for a whole post on it’s own...but what I am trying to say is that I realise that on a global scale, UK, or even Europe is not a big part of the World. But still, you might say, it’s here we’re living, and when the weather is behaving like an unruly child, it’s us that gets affected. I am used to cold temperatures and wintery conditions; being from Norway originally, I have shuffled more snow than I care to remember – and one of many reasons why I

Wednesday 5 January 2011

05.01. Half full or half empty

Do you know the expression “Are you a glass half full person or a glass half empty person?” I can still remember when my grandfather explained this expression to me and my younger sister and brother – I must have been about 8 or 9 years old at that time. The expression really appealed to my already rapidly growing practical sense back then, and I have referred to it many times over the years. It’s an expression one can hear used in many different circumstances, and I heard it just yesterday on the BBC1 TV series ‘Silent Witness’. It made me decide to use it as a topic for today’s post. So, what are you? Is your glass half full, or half empty? Of course, you might say like Bill Cosby is supposed to have said; “it depends on whether you're pouring, or drinking...!” Me, I consider myself a half full person, and for people who knows me and knows what has happened to me over the years, that might sound like a contradiction, but perhaps having a reasonable positive outlook in life is what’s keeping

Tuesday 4 January 2011

04.01. A creative day

I am constantly doing things I don't know how to do, that's how I learn how to do them. That's how I have learned to do most things I am doing these days, at least anything involving a microchip - which would be most of the electronic equipments in my house. No, this is not going to be a follow-up of yesterday's post about gadgets, I am just reflecting on what I have been doing today...I have done something I didn’t know how to do; I wanted to embed a slideshow of photos into a post here, and when I started out I had no idea of how to do that, didn’t even know if it was possible, and it has taken me quite a few hours to first sort out a suitable slideshow...for which there are hundreds and hundreds of on the Internet, most of them require a fee of some sort, but a few are completely free of charge. I found one eventually which I downloaded the template for, found some suitable photos on my computer, made the slideshow...and then I got to the difficult bit: how to embed the slideshow into this

Monday 3 January 2011

03.01. Gadgets

Did you see the news yesterday about the fault on some iPhones, a glitch that stops its alarm clock going off, leaving many people oversleeping on the first two days of the New Year? It made me start thinking on how dependent we are of all sorts of gadgets today. Well, I am anyway, are you? I do use my phone as an alarm clock, but I still have an old fashion alarm clock too – an electric one though, with battery back-up. Mind you, my phone is probably not

Sunday 2 January 2011

02.01. First of January....done

I blinked a couple of times, and suddenly 2010 was gone. How did that happen? Did the same thing happen to you? I wonder how many hours there are in a year...let me see...well, I mean hours available to do things, any kind of things. Considering I no longer work, I should have quite a few available, shouldn't I? Somehow it doesn't fee that way. So let me see if I can get this right, I wasn't an A student in math, but I wasn't too bat either. So let's do this per week first: there are 7 days with 24 hours, so that's 168 hours in a week. I sleep for around 9 hours every night so let's knock off 63 hours straight away...I can be quite inventive in my dreams, but I have yet to produce anything useful during my I am left with 105 hours per week. I eat 4 times a day; eating and food preparation all together is about...well, it depends really how inventive I am in the kitchen and for how long I sit down when I have a meal, but 3 hours give or take per day, is probably not a bad estimate, all in all. So that's another 21 hours off and I'm left with 84 hours a week to spend. That's exactly...TWELVE HOURS per day.

Saturday 1 January 2011

01.01. Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to my brand spanking new blog. And, hey, Happy New Year to you! Did you have any New Year resolutions? Nope? Neither did I, but I did promise myself to finally get started on a personal blog, something I have wanted to get myself for a long time; so her it is: MY BLOG. Awfully long, white empty space...but I suppose I will soon fill it up with all the exciting things that go on in my life... Not! Well, it’s not as if the Internet hasn’t been filled with rants from my corner already, I do have an 11 year old web-site which I regularly update with snippets of things that occupy my mind at the moment, especially on my garden section. But a whole blog, just for myself – well, that’s a new thing to me. I do hope this blog can eventually develop into a bit of a conversation with my visitors, so please leave a comment if