Day 357 – 23rd December – Christmas Cards

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I have a number of friends across the world where I don’t have a physical address I can send a card. I therefore decided to create an e-card that I could send, and dug out a photo I had taken earlier in the year when there was snow on the ground. I chose this image for a number of reasons. Firstly its got snow on it, but also you can see that it is still snowing. While white Christmas’ in the UK are rare, snow and Christmas always go together on cards. The second reason I chose this photo is for the image of the footprints and the play that I can make on the more famous footprints in the sand message story that is told in churches. (I’ll let you look it up if you don’t know it). For me its a nice way of having the Christian message of Christmas on the e-card.

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Day 353 – December 19th – Early Starters

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I had a bit of a clear out in the gardne, removing some dead plants and cutting back some of this year’s growth on plants that need it. It’s been so mild that my spring bulbs, mainly daffodils, are starting to come through already, three months early. In repect of the colour in the garden I don’t mind at all, but my concern is what might happen to the plants if there is a sudden cold snap like at the start of this year, it could cause real damage to the bulbs while they are active rather than dormant. There’s nothing I can do but just hope.

Day 349 – 15th December – Patio Clearance

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The weather is still quite mild but I decided that it was a good time to finally move all the less hardy plants from the patio and walls into the greenhouse before they do get caught by a cold stint. Also crammed into the greenhouse were the water plants from the water features that need to avoid being in frozen water. They will now stay here for a few months and I’ll top up the water every now and again, though at this time of year they don’t need much.

Day 345 – 11th December – Complete!

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With the bad weather that the winter season brings I have more time inside and have completed my first big jigsaw of the season. Given this was a second hand one there was always the possible problem that it may not have all the pieces. The word complete on the box may provide some confidence but I have learnt from experience that could be an old reference and for those who have read earlier posts, I even know that the picture on the front of a second hand jigsaw might not mean anything. It was a relief that this had all the pieces and great satisfaction in being able to put the final piece into place and view the whole thing.

Day 344 – 10th December – Hanging on the Telephone

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Today I got my phoneline back. I still have a landline, which I apprecaite that not everyone uses, as I get a good deal on calls to other landlines. However for the last few days it’s not been working. It had started crackling when we had some bad weather recently and proceeded to get worse as time went on. In the end it just stopped working properly. I could call the phone but upon answering it died straight away. I had a look outside and noticed that the cable protecting the line into the house had been knawed at, probably by some of the local urban foxes. They had managed to totally break through the outer casing leaving it exposed to the elements. Thankfully my phone provider repairs this sort of issue free of charge and the line is now crystal clear.

Day 342 – 8th December – Two Birds A Eating

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Apologies for the poor quality photo, I had to zoom in on my phone and didn’t have time to get the big camera our that would have provided a better zoom.

Having restocked some of the bird feeders I had guests more or less straight away with a couple of Thrushes stocking up from the fat balls and suet cake. The one of the fat ball is easier to spot, but there is also one hanging onto the right hand side of the suet cake feeder. It just blends into the background too easily, especially when zoomed in. I was reminded to make sure the feeders were stocked up well as it’s not good for the birds to exhert energy getting to the feeders and not having enough there to replenish and stock up for a while, so as a request, if you’re reading this and have bird feeders in the garden, please keep them stocked up for the sake of the birds this winter.

Day 333 – November 29th – A bolt from the internet

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One of my jobs earlier in the year was to do a minor work on the patio doors to ensure that they shut propperly for the winter with all the locking points connecting to create a proper seal from the elements outside. With that successul the next thing I want to do is to replace what is called the slave lock on one of the doors. The original one had suffered as a result of the weather being able to sneak in. While it does still work, it’s very stiff to use, often needing a screwdriver to act as a lever to help raise the bolt. Therefore, so that I can freely open both patio doors I’ve purchased a replacement lock. A few measurements and a bit of internet searching and I had found what I needed. I won’t fit it to next year as there’s no need to now, but it will be nice not to wonder if I really want to have both doors open in what I hope will be another nice summer.