Thanks too for your suggestions as to how we get shot of the pigeons that have been redecorating the garden fences. Still chuckling at some of them
I'm happy to report though that they must have got wind of Marg's suggestion and my subsequent conversations with Whipsnade Wildlife Park, and have decided to rest elsewhere for fear of something mightier than them visiting the garden!
I left it a couple of days before venturing out with my paintbrush to paint over the abstract markings on the woodwork, but my hard work has paid off and not a poop on panel in sight
My reasons for trying to tidy the garden were not entirely selfish as we had planned to have a barbeque for Colin's birthday on the Sunday, but the forecast was awful and so we ditched that idea and met up with all the children for a pizza instead.
After Colin's amazing catalogue of cakes that he's made for me over the past few years, I suggested I make him something different from the usual Genoa fruit cake he likes, and so he asked for a victoria sponge instead…
8 eggs and 6 hours later I produced this (photo top left), which he loved! I think I've mentioned he's a musician, plays theguitar and writes the most fab music too, so I tried to copy his beloved bass guitar (I would have gone for the accoustic, but too many strings!).
It was too large to put on a conventional cake board so I used a solid glass shelf from the china cabinet… first time he lifted it to put in the car you could see him thinking 'bloomin' heavy sponge cake'… :)
But to go back to the BBQ, I don't know about you but I have a very small garden shed, which for nine months of the year is so full of stuff you can barely get in it. I only ever venture there to procure 'The Igloo' for the cats to travel in. When we had that glorious weekend. we decided to take out all the garden furniture and also the BBQ in the hope that we could actually enjoy the outdoors.
Imagine my horror when having moved dustsheets, hosepipes, lawnfood, edging shears and a wasps' nest, I found this! (see photo top left). What on eartth could have made holes this large in a pretty tough plastic-coated cover? Should it be put on the electoral roll??
As I was standing there, pondering these and other questions, it dawned on me that whatever had made the holes was probably watching me – at ankle level – and waiting to pounce! I tell you, I shot out of the shed at a rate of knotts straight into the washing line, where my boil wash bra was hanging, ready to wrap itself around my head like a boa constrictor! It may seem funny now, but I can assure you it took several glasses of Pimms to lower my heart rate…
You would think that with both Willows and Dodge in the locale that we'd be safe from groundsheet graunching creatures but similarly to Una's cat and the pigeons in her garden, they are completely ineffectual.
The same could not be said for Tracey's cat Zak (pictured throughout) who apparently keeps her garden bird free and, as she wrote on my blog a couple of weeks back, he bears more than a passing resemblance to my Dodge.
He's also been her constant companion during a protracted period of medical treatment and is her hero – and rightly so. I leave you with an animal-related quote I heard uttered by a delightfully well bred woman whose stately home was open to the public."We had such a nightmare. Chicken was shut in the kitchen for 24 hours. Roosted all over our brand new coffee maker… I nearly died…" And I thought I had problems!
Love Ali xx