Sunday, April 17, 2011

The guilt! The guilt!

If this were a story I was analysing in English class, I would have underlined several parts and written "foreshadowing" in huge letters at the margin.

This morning, The Limey and I finally decided to start tending the completely neglected garden. The first thing we wanted to do is cut down the overgrown shrubs and small trees in the planting beds next to the house.

We went out into the lovely day and I remarked, "Just look at this: warmth and sunshine and birdsong, for the love of kittens. Crazy."

We cut down a skeletal, half-dead shrub. The Limey wise-cracked, "I'm uncomfortable with this wholesale habitat destruction." The birds continued chirping.

Next, we cut down a couple of evergreen topiary-type trees. The Limey put out a hand to move a branch away from a third, and saw this.

I feel absolutely awful. We hadn't actually touched the tree the nest is in, but we have cut down the bushes around it. It's not totally exposed because the nest is on the side of the tree facing a fence. But still. We propped up one of the cut-down trees near it, to provide some cover and hiding place, but obviously didn't want to prop it up directly against the nest tree.

We hustled the cat, and ourselves, inside and have been watching to see if the parents come back to the nest. Oh, I feel terrible. We've agreed next spring we'll put up some birdboxes to make up for this. If the babies aren't there (or worse, are there, but dead!) when we check on them later, I don't know what I will do.

Update: We have seen both parents flying to and from the nest with food. Whew!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am loving Apartment Therapy's Small Cool competition. I love looking through the entrants' pictures. I love that these living spaces are small and yet people have beautifully and thoughtfully decorated them; sometimes, it seems, putting in more effort than those living in larger houses. Most of all, I love how the people are happy to live in their artfully crafted small spaces. I know lots of people think bigger is better, but these pictures show that some places are definitely greater than their parts.

I went to Wonderwool...

...and forgot to take a camera.

Suffice it to say: yarn stalls in a hanger-size space. Nearly passed out from the fumes, but amazingly did not buy very much yarn. One skein of cashmere laceweight from Chopped Tomatoes, a dyer I'd never heard of before. But I loved her colours- I'll try to get a picture of the skein I bought. I also got a skein of Jeni's new high-twist Scrumptious to play with- I have an idea for a new pattern collection...if I can get my ass into gear.

I found that the stalls I was really drawn to this time were the textile ones. Woven blankets, woolen trousers, cotton skirts...all gorgeous. Lots of local Welsh representation here and all just beautiful. I was especially taken with the clothes at the Llynfi stall and picked up their card. Turns out they have an open studio weekend at the end of May, when I may be going to the Hay Festival, so will be in the area!

Had lots of fun. The person who offered me a ride from Bristol turned out to be Rosee, deputy editor at The Knitter, so we had lots to talk about- designing, the UK knitting scene, magazines, oh, everything! Which was great, because it turns out, what with getting from Oxford to Bristol, then Bristol to Builth Wells, I spent way more time travelling on Saturday than actually being at Wonderwool.

Monday, April 04, 2011

A new bit of Wales

Due a confluence of several events, I'm off to Wonderwool on Saturday! The Limey not being home and a very kind offer of a ride from a random stranger on t'interwebs (yay Ravelry! and don't worry, I've totally blog-stalked her to make sure she's not a homocidal maniac) mean I will see a bit of Wales I've never seen before.

(I've only ever gone to Wales for the Hay Literature Festival, which means I've spent quite a few days around the Brecon Beacons, but nowhere else in the country.)

Please, please say hi if you are around and see me- otherwise, I may be too shy and overcome by yarn fumes to remember to be social and speak to people!