Little Things

Last time I posted I was feeling rather glum as I had been limiting myself to essential trips and then Wales went into National Lockdown just as I would have been able to go out again! At least ours was only two and a half weeks whereas England has just started a four week one. I can go out on Tuesday! And I will – I have an appointment to have my hair cut and plan to do some other errands whilst in town.

After writing that last post I decided I needed to get things in perspective. I am not ill, frightened or hungry. I have plenty of friends and can email or message them. So I took myself off to one of my favourite spots for a good talking to! It is in the woods I rent from my neighbour. There is a small clearing next to the stream and on the hill above it a huge Oak tree which most have been part of a hedge once upon a time as there is a noticeable bank running down the hill to the stream – an old field boundary. The stream chatters away as it rushes to the sea and the tree stands majestic and solid. Both have seen it all before; pestilence, famines, wars (I am told that the Home Guard trained by shooting across the stream into the hillside opposite during World War 2) as well as good things like the farms thriving, children playing, lovers meeting. I tell them my worries and grumbles and I can almost hear them telling me to stop whingeing!

But (isn’t there always a but!) the path from my garden into the woods had become overgrown with brambles so I had to take a pair of secateurs with me and cut them back. As I did so I uncovered a tiny nest – I assume a wren’s. Two tiny birds did all that work to build a home and raise their chicks. They don’t care who wins the American election, who gets Covid 19, whether I am happy or sad. They just get on with their lives and do what their instincts tell them.

The cup is just 2.5 inches (6.5cm) across and beautifully woven

I realised that I needed to stop fretting about things I can’t change and focus on the little things that bring me joy. So as well as that nest…

I finished a jumper for the collection at Studio 3. This is plainer than I usually do and to the pattern they provide. That makes 5 I have done for them to different designs. I have enough yarn in my stash for at least one more which I will try to get done before the end of the year. A group of refugees have recently been moved to a disused army base not far from here causing quite a lot of controversy – some protesters unhappy with the decision especially as it all happened suddenly with very little consultation, and some people organising to try to help and support them. What must it be like to be dumped in the middle of nowhere with hardly any resources in the middle of lockdown? I know my jumpers will go to a different group but if knitting helps people worse off than me I will knit!

A couple of days ago I found this little fellow in the car port. I have seen newts in the garden before but it is nice to know they are still around. Once I had taken the photograph I moved him to a safer spot. I know there is a lot more wildlife here than I know about – they keep well hidden. What a priviledge to share my space with so many other creatures.

I was weeding the bank next to the deck and found these dahlias. They were facing away from the house and as I hadn’t staked them were hanging down below behind their pot. They have taken a battering in the wind and rain but add a splash of colour to the kitchen table. I have never succeeded with dahlias before but will definitely grow them next year to brighten up the Autumn (and next year I will stake them!)

I also came across what, at first sight, looked to be a HUGE toad but turned out to be my son’s drone. Over a year ago he was here and playing with it (He’s moved on from the radio controlled car he had as a child!) and it got caught in the big Ash tree next to the deck. We tried all sorts of things to get it down but to no avail. It must have eventually blown down and landed under some self-seeded raspberry canes where it hid. Finding it reminded me of spending time with him, his 3 small foster children and my daughter, who took the opportunity of lift to come with them. That brought a big grin to my face!

What is making you smile at the moment?

21 thoughts on “Little Things

  1. Michelle November 6, 2020 / 12:45 pm

    I really enjoy reading your thoughts Sue, thanks for sharing 🙂 PS Fergus had a long time stuck-in-an-oak-tree frisbee blown down in recent storms too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales November 7, 2020 / 10:56 am

      Thank you Michelle! The drone may actually have blown down ages ago – it was well hidden under the raspberries and as you know my garden is not tidied as often as perhaps it should be!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tialys November 6, 2020 / 1:08 pm

    I will be swapping lizards for newts soon. The new house has two garden ponds, one quite large, and apparently lots of wildlife use it.
    I know it’s not ‘trendy’ but I love dahlias. Some of the varieties you can get are absolutely beautiful, big and blowsy and full of character. Enough to cheer anybody up. I will be on a mission to plant some.
    We had a wren’s next in our lean to shed earlier this year – they really are a wonder aren’t they?
    I’m glad you’re feeling better and envy you your hairdresser’s appointment. Enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Going Batty in Wales November 7, 2020 / 10:57 am

      I hope your move is going smoothly. It must be very odd preparing to move to a house which I imagine you have seen only on video and pictures. I am very lucky to live where I do and I don’t care if dahlias are out of fashion – sometimes big brash flowers are just what I want!


  3. carolee November 6, 2020 / 1:41 pm

    I’m enjoying the bright early morning sunshine through the living room windows (which clearly need washing desperately!) a hot cup of Oolong tea, and the prospect of 71 degrees F today while I finish planting the LAST of the bulbs! And it’s Friday, so it’s Zoom Happy Hour with two good friends this evening. And yes, we want it to be OVER…the Election, the virus, restrictions, the worries, and 2020! Our robins don’t stay in winter, in fact very few songbirds stay so we really look forward to their songs come spring. I’m thinking more dahlias next year, too, even though mine were frozen and dug two weeks ago. They do provide lots of late color.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales November 7, 2020 / 11:00 am

      You work so hard in your garden Carolee I am not surprised that housework like cleaning windows takes a back seat. After I finished the post yesterday I spotted some crocus bulbs just starting to poke through – another happy making sight!


  4. Laurie Graves November 6, 2020 / 4:17 pm

    Yes, lovely to focus on the good things in life. Wonderful jumper (or sweater, as we would call it here.) As for me…I am as jumpy as drops of water on a hot cast-iron pan. Phew! What an election. Plan to have ice cream for lunch and do some outside work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales November 7, 2020 / 11:03 am

      I rather suspect from what I read and hear that if Trump loses he will fight tooth and nail to hang on to power claiming all sorts of dirty tricks and using quite a few himself! It could be some time before all this is over. Enjoy your ice cream and anything else that keeps you sane and happy.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Laurie Graves November 7, 2020 / 2:20 pm

        Many thanks! I’ve gone from cautiously optimistic to moderately hopeful. But you’re right about Trump. He will not concede gracefully, but in the end he will have no choice but to leave if the last few states go in Biden’s favor, which is what is expected.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. anne54 November 6, 2020 / 9:04 pm

    I loved reading this post, celebrating the small things in your life. It is so easy to get caught up in the worry of the large things that we have no control over. Your bird’s nest is such a dear, wee thing ~ I hope the occupants raised a healthy brood in it! Very close to me there is a wetlands area. It was transformed from a mucky drain through an old factory site when they developed the area for housing. Gradually it has become a haven for birds, making my walks there even more enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales November 7, 2020 / 11:04 am

      Thank you Anne. One thing I miss about living here is being able to walk by the sea without having to drive a way first. Your wetland sounds lovely – there is something about water which I really like.


    • Going Batty in Wales November 7, 2020 / 11:05 am

      It is isn’t it! Glad you liked the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. DawnGillDesigns November 7, 2020 / 8:47 am

    that’s the most beautiful of nests, isn’t it? And I have newt envy 😉 Thank you for sharing these moments of joy and #CheeryUppy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales November 7, 2020 / 11:07 am

      You are welcome Dawn! I feel very lucky to have newts and other small things in my garden and try to keep plenty of wild areas for them to hide in – an excellent excuse of course for not being a diligent and tidy gardener!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The Snail of Happiness November 8, 2020 / 6:17 pm

    Your dahlias make me think of my dad – when we were young he grew a bed of dahlias every year – I have no idea why, but he obviously loved them (although I’m pretty sure my mum didn’t!).
    Anyway, what is making me smile today is seeing a flock of long-tailed tits in the garden. They are such delightful birds and they don’t appear very often, but I love it when they do.
    I too an using yarn for charity – currently making a warm woolly blanket. Keep up the good work and keep smiling. Hopefully I will see you soon.


    • Going Batty in Wales November 9, 2020 / 10:14 am

      I’m glad I triggered a memory for you. I haven’t seen a long tailed tit for ages – I think the cats might be deterring them! I’ll email about meeting up.


  8. Helen November 8, 2020 / 6:47 pm

    Don’t be so hard on yourself for being unhappy at lockdown. After all, your ‘negative’ emotions led to you sorting out the brambles…

    How lovely to have newts. I do hope some amphibians will grace my garden soon – or rather I will spot them, as like you say, there are surely creatures well-hidden.

    When I read about the refugees being housed as they are, I was shocked. Thank goodness they are people like you who act with kindness.


    • Going Batty in Wales November 9, 2020 / 10:18 am

      Thank you Helen. I have lots of toads in the garden but the newts are either fewer or shyer.

      There are so many mixed up ideas about refugees – when we, or others from Europe or America, move abroad because the climate is nicer / house prices cheaper / for work we are applauded but when people from from other parts of the world do the same thing they are migrants and criticised. If they are genuinely refugees there is even more reason to welcome them and treat them well.


      • Helen November 9, 2020 / 10:23 am

        I used to work for a voluntary organisation that tried to help journalists promote a better image of refugees in the Press. And I’ve lived in several countries myself – because I couldn’t get a job in my profession here!The way some British people behave around the issue is quite shameful, I feel.


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