Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Horses and Horticulture

I’ve been rubbish recently. Rubbish at writing here, and, if I’m being honest, rubbish at getting anything done whatsoever. I’m still in a lot of pain with my back injury, which justifies some of the laziness, but definitely not all of it. I’m still not doing full days in the office, and I seem to have got into the habit of coming home and lying on the sofa. And that’s it. For the rest of the day.
This isn’t helping with the generally rubbish feeling about being stuck at home for most of three months, so the past few days I’ve been trying to make a bit more of an effort. I’ve done some baking, including these cheese and sweetcorn scones – they were very good but aren’t brilliant after the first day, so  you just have to eat them all immediately. Not a huge hardship. I also made a batch of pizza dough for dinner Sunday night – our little routine is that I make the dough (with the dough hooks on my stand mixer – I don’t even need to get my hands dirty, I love it so much), and City Boy takes responsibility for the toppings and baking, with strict instructions NOT TO OVERLOAD THE PIZZA. Failure on my behalf to mention this in the past has resulted in a nice thin base that doesn’t cook properly below 2 inches of topping.
I even dragged the sewing machine out to alter a few bits of clothing, but after I turned a dress into a too-short t-shirt (say that quickly ten times) and the machine chewed up the hem of a pleated jersey dress I decided that I was pushing my luck and put it away again. Instead I turned to some soothing, non-taxing knitting – adding a section to a garter stitch blanket that I’ve had in a drawer for a couple of years. Once I’m finished with this bit it marks the half-way point, so I may have a blanket by 2013.
I’ve just found out that I’m going to be having a little bit of surgery on my spine next week, so I need to get some good books and some knitting planned for both whilst I’m in hospital for a few days and the recuperation period at home. I need to get everything ready in advance, as I won’t be able to pop to the shops for a circular needle in the right length or an extra ball of yarn. I’ve got a wedding coming up in August, and I have a new dress to wear, but I’m thinking I’ll need some kind of wrap or shrug for the evening. I’m a little bit apprehensive about the surgery, but this should sort out my problem, so it’s good news and I’m feeling positive about it.
City Boy managed to get me out of the house on Sunday to watch the showjumping phase of a pentathlon in the picturesque setting of Greenwich Park. It was a lovely afternoon, even if the staff on the door were mean and wouldn’t let me take my coffee in, and City Boy treated me to a lovely pub supper in Greenwich after.

Despite my general apathy, I have managed to motivate myself to potter in the garden. As we have a little courtyard style garden, pretty much everything is grown in pots, so keeping up with the watering is essential. I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve been enjoying the garden this year – I never pictured myself as particularly green fingered. In fact, I may be enjoying it too much – I recently had a conversation in my sleep with a bemused City Boy that went something like this:
Me: You can’t do that, you haven’t got any canes
City Boy: huh?
Me: The canes, where are the canes?
City Boy: umm...I think you’re sleeping. I don’t understand what you’re talking about.
Me (getting exasperated): For God’s sake! The canes.  For the tomato plants. Where are they?
City Boy: Right.....
Me (waking up and getting completely confused about what I’m so desperate to explain): Never mind, I’ll explain later.
And back to sleep. City Boy claims he knew immediately I was talking in my sleep because it was the first time he’s known me to raise my head from the pillow as soon as the alarm goes off. Cheeky bugger. Clearly I need to do something a bit more exciting if I’m dreaming about tomato plants. I am however very excited about the appearance of my first courgette flower this week – stay peeled for exciting times at The Littlest House.

Friday, 1 July 2011

A birthday at the Littlest House

Disclaimer: This post is unashamedly and entirely about my cat. If you’re not interested in cats then you’ll probably want to go and read something else. Google ‘mother-in-law email’ if you haven’t already read it – it’s hilarious.
Our little Mia Cat turned one on the 21st June – I’d marked it on the calendar. I didn’t think she’d insist on celebrating, but City Boy, without any prompting by me, bought a fish cake* for her on his way back from work. What a big softy – I have no hope of having unspoiled children with this man.
*A cake made of fish that is, not a cake that looks like a fish. It even had parsley sauce, but she didn’t seem overly concerned by the green bits.

She’s kept us amused this last year, this funny, naughty little goblin cat who loves to play under dripping water, who occasionally and arbitrarily refuses to eat unless she’s hand fed the food from her bowl and who demonstrates her love for us by leaving earthworms on our pillow.

She chirps when she jumps like a squeaky toy and she sings to the pigeons. She purrs ecstatically when she’s allowed her to tangle her face and paws in my hair and growls when strangers knock on the door.

She steals toys from children and would watch videos of birds on youtube all day if permitted.

She’s never once bitten or scratched a person, even in play, and is so gentle and kind that even the vet has remarked on her sweet disposition. Yet, upon spying any strange cat she turns into a spitting, hissing devil-cat and has chased tom cats twice her size out of the garden.

Happy belated birthday little Mia Cat. I’m pretty sure that your one birthday wish would be to get rid of the annoying stripy cat who persists in hanging around, and I’m sorry we couldn’t do anything about that for you. You’re pretty much stuck with him I’m afraid.