Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Garden visitors

The Christmas before last, I asked for a bird feeding station from Santa, who duly obliged.  We placed it centrally, for optimal viewing, and waited for visitors.  It took a while.  Was it too exposed? we wondered.  And, indeed, one day we were surprised by a swooping sparrow-hawk,  so we may have been right.

However, "If you build it, they will come," is one of my husband's favourite movie quotes.  And so it proves.  Especially if you invest heavily in sunflower hearts and niger seeds.

Long-tailed tits
We have regular resident birds: robin, wren, blackbird, bluetit.  Daily visitors include pigeon, collared dove, starling, magpie, chaffinch, sparrow, great tit.  And now, regularly, we have a flock of long-tailed tits, three goldfinches and a pair of siskins.  Occasionally, we see a pair of blackcaps.  None of these is particularly rare, of course, but they are a joy to watch, especially the goldfinches.  The one thing we miss is a thrush, although we used to have one feeding on the garden snails.

Bedroom furniture - Our redecoration meant we became reacquainted with the items we take for granted in our room.  This first image shows the new mirror we have added, above the chaise longue.  I made the throw some years ago from fabric samples showing the colour range in tweedy upholstery.  I love these pale muted colours.  Also in this shot is a faux-bamboo bedroom chair hand-painted by my husband - and a row of his shoes!

Next, this is my dressing table.  It is an old treadle sewing machine table, from which the machine had already been removed. I stripped down its water damaged surface.   My husband showed me how to apply real veneer to the top - it came as iron-on strips.  Then he explained how to French Polish and left me to it.  After many coats, amazingly, it worked a treat.  However, I used regular varnish on the drawers and carcase, and I cannot see any difference.  The mirror, I have described before - made by my husdand with burr elm fronts to the drawers.

This week, to a fascinating event at Sutton Hoo.  Dr Sam Newton runs day-schools, sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of the ship burial, the stunning grave goods and the culture of the Wuffings.  My friend had booked this event and we sat enthralled as he strummed a replica lyre and chanted in Old English.  It took us both back to the first year of university, where Anglo-Saxon and the study of "Beowulf" was a compulsory course.  But the spectacular artistry of the garnet-inlaid buckles and clasps was inspiring.  Why is it that I am seeing Fairisle mittens?



Mary Lou said...

I thought Fair Isle mittens right away. Knitters must think alike!

Metropolitan Rebecca said...

I am reading a new (American) book recommended by a librarian friend and must give it a shout-out here, since it deals with archaeology and Arthurian artifacts: _Finding Camlann_, by Sean Pidgeon. No knitting yet, but the Oxford setting is a compensation.

Anonymous said...

I am very envious of the birds in your garden ..... far more than we have!