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Diary 2009 September to December


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5 September 2009

Mote Park daffodil field  Riverside sculpture Maidstone
We went to Maidstone. This looks like just a lot of grass, but underneath there are thousands of daffodil bulbs, and right now they are hard at work making the little flower buds ready for next spring. I am definitely coming back to see them next year. This sculpture was near the river and Dino says it is a hard boiled egg wrapped in elastic bands to stop the yolk falling out. Well spotted, Dino, but you must not try to eat it!

Maidstone pigeons doing line dancing
These pigeons are all in a row, they seem to be doing line dancing! Take your partners, pidgies!! Left foot in, left foot out oops, no, I think that's the Okey Cokey!

Brown Teddy with stripey prunus tree in Mote Park  Propped up tree in Archbishop's Palace gardens Maidstone
Brown Teddy was delighted with this tree trunk, in all his favourite shades of brown. You really have to see it to believe it is real! Look at this ancient tree, propped up with a piece of wood. I wonder how old it is? It is in the Archbishop's Palace gardens and I am glad someone is taking care of the trees.


12 September

Robin by the compost bins
Today we dug out the compost bins. They were full of new soil, which we put around the garden. I am going to let the rain wash the soil down and then I will collect up the sticks and twigs and put them back in the bins. Our friend the robin was watching us the whole time, and singing quietly to himself. He found a lot of things to eat, so he will put on some weight to see him through the winter.

When we find snails eating our favourite plants, we put them in the bins where they can eat the waste. The insects and worms in the bins chew up the plant bits, so everyone gets a feed. And last of all, our plants get a feed from the new soil. Nothing gets wasted. And after all that definitely bath-time!

18 September

Pyracantha berries for the birds  Acorns
I am very glad to report that the birds in Orpington will be well fed this winter. I have been on some quite long walks and there are loads of berry bushes everywhere. The birds only eat what they need and so their berries last all the winter. There seems to be more acorns around than the squirrels can eat and they will probably bury some. Sometimes I find little oak trees growing in my garden, from acorns that the squirrels have buried. I think acorns should be called oak-corns!

19 September

Yellow Teddy with the growing Conference pear
I think the biggest pear has gained several centimetres in length (compare with 29 August). We can all share this one, if we get hold of it before it falls on its own. The tree is not very big yet, so well done, tree!


25 September

Blue parrot paying for the petrol  Yellow Teddy at the sandy beach at Folkestone
Day out to Folkestone. Blue Parrot is handing over the petrol money and I am glad to say that he eventually let go of it! Folkestone has a stony beach and a big harbour, and here is the sandy beach on the east side of the harbour. This is good sand for writing your name very big.

Teddy about to climb the steps to the shops 
All the shops are at the top of the cliff front. Steps are good for getting fit as long as you don't run. Sometimes I ride on the backpack because I don't want to waste any sea-side minutes!

Shells in the sand  Seagull footprints  Old rope on a boat
We walked down the steps onto the harbour sand. You can see where the water has been swirling around the shells. The seagull must have flown down and then stood still, because the footprints are not a walking pattern. Dino loved this old rope on a boat, it looks just like a plaited bread stick but the smell was very different!

Steps down to the sea  Sea with rocks
Down these steps looked very interesting. I got right face to face with the sea, and I am glad it was a nice calm day. If it was stormy I would never have gone down the steps! It smelled of salt and seaweed.

Dino looking for fossils in the rocks  Painted big container
Dino looking for fossils again, but he did not find any this time. Someone has painted this big container with sea animal pictures. What a good idea! I hope the person gets lots of invitations to do more.

Statue of B.O.B. the Squadron Dog at Battle of Britain Memorial site Folkestone  Battle Of Britain memorial site emblem
Just outside Folkestone we visited the Battle Of Britain memorial site and I really liked this statue of B.O.B. the Squadron Dog. Brown Teddy was the first to work out why the name has dots in it! The dog looks very well-behaved and friendly. Parrot asked for a picture of this emblem because of the flying eagle who is doing what the Latin words are saying "Per ardua ad astra" "Through hard work to the stars". Parrot says walking is harder work than flying well it is for him!

Blue Parrot admiring the view from the cliffs

Here is the view from the cliffs (well away from the edge!) and down below you can just see the railway line.


12 October

Greenwich Observatory Meridian clock  Greenwich Observatory Meridian measurements for inch, foot and yard
We went to visit Greenwich Park in London. Here are the Greenwich Clock, and the Measurements Plaque which shows how long an inch, foot and yard are. I just love measuring things!

Greenwich Observatory time ball  Dino sitting in tree fork
Here is the time ball on top of Greenwich Observatory. At five to one, it goes to the top, and at one o'clock it slides down again. Hundreds of years ago everyone in London set their watches by it, because it is on top of a hill and can be seen from a long way away. Dino likes trees that have sitting places, but I think he really wanted to climb it!

Blue Parrot hiding in wall creeper  Brown Teddy hiding in wall creeper
Blue Parrot and Brown Teddy played hiding in the creeper plant on the park wall. Because it is autumn the leaves were going all sorts of bright colours, so it was very difficult to spot Parrot until he let out a squawk. We only found Brown Teddy when he made a rustling noise with the leaves.


23 October

Town Lock, Tonbridge  Lock gate at Tonbridge
We went to Tonbridge. This is Town Lock and the orange floats are there to stop boats going over the weir. If the river floods, the big gate comes down to make sure the water comes through more slowly. You can see a movie of this lock in flood on our YouTube.

No Fishing sign at Town Lock, Tonbridge  Swans at Tonbridge
Brown Teddy likes signs that have pictures. If the words are too hard, the picture tells you what to do or what not to do! We had some spare biscuits for the swans. They swam right up to us because they know that people throw food for them. I stood back a bit because they are bigger than me!

30 October

Ferry ships road sign
We drove to Chatham and Rochester. Brown Teddy liked this road sign because the pictures tell the story. A picture is quicker than reading lots of words. The ships look like little presents, with interesting things inside. I wonder who draws the road sign pictures?

We walked over Rochester Bridge to Strood and, yes, there are lions on the other side as well! We also found a ram, and a column with a lion on top.

The bridge is all held together with huge iron rivets. Dino thought they were gobstoppers (big sweets) and he also found a lot of other carvings of food - chocolate mint leaves with lollipops, and two lots of fruit. Dino has very good eyes and he always notices things like that!


1 November

Yellow Teddy checking the Met Office weatherchart  Yellow Teddy looking at rain out of the window
I could hear a lot of wind and rain when I woke up. Look at all that rain on the Met Office weather chart! A lot of it is falling on my garden! The rain water butts are going to be full. The blue bit in the second picture is not a lake! It is the lid of the bike box, all dry inside. I had to shut the window quickly as the rain was blowing in my face. This is a good day to read books sitting by the window and I will really enjoy watching the wind.

7 November

Seagulls in Mote Park Maidstone  Birds' berries in Mote Park Maidstone
These seagulls in Mote Park in Maidstone are all trying to eat the same piece of bread! What a noise! This is not good manners at all. The Mote blackbirds have got lots of berries to eat through the winter, and I hope they don't try to have them all at once. I think they fly around until they see a tree with red dots on it. I am glad I saw this tree because now I shall not worry about them when it snows.

8 November

Almost last leaf about to blow away  Rocket fireworks
Brown Teddy wanted this picture of an almost-last-leaf in the park about to blow away. I like fresh air but I was glad to get home where it is a lot warmer. People are having their fireworks on different days and it is mostly rockets. I like the ones that make singing sounds. I always find a lot of rocket sticks on the ground the next day.

Misty spider webs in grass
Misty days means you can see what the spiders have been doing. This one has been working very hard, but how did he know which way to go next?


12 November

Dawn sun  Moon at dawn    Dawn with lights
I have been getting up really early to see what I was missing and here it is lights from the sun, the moon and street lamps. You can tell a good dawn sky coming because the bedroom curtains all glow round the edges. The second moon is 23 minutes after the first one. This is all very well if I go to bed earlier, otherwise I might fall asleep in the day and miss some good things there as well!

Rain on the window  Yellow Teddy reading dictionary
We had some sunshine but the rain has settled in this afternoon, so I am helping people with their computer work. I volunteered to find some words that begin with ST. The dictionary is bigger than me! I have my notepad at the ready because I do not want to find something and then lose it again! Brown Teddy says STRAWBERRY is a good ST word for a rainy day.

Dino making porridge with frozen blackberries  Dino has eaten porridge made with frozen blackberries
The mention of food woke up Dino from his nap, and he has gone downstairs to see if there are still some blackberries in the freezer. Frozen blackberries are very good to put in our porridge. The microwave cooks the porridge and melts the blackberries all at the same time, and it all goes pink. Dino did not need any help in finishing the bowl, but I think he may need some help cleaning the little seeds out of his teeth!

Movie of singing rocket fireworks
Well, whatever next! Even though it was raining, someone let off some of those singing rocket fireworks that I said I liked in my 8 November diary entry. We grabbed the camera quickly and were just in time. I think they look like sparkling fiery goldfish swimming in a black pond, as they are exactly the same shape as my real goldfish. There are goldfish called Comets that have long tails, maybe these are fiery Comets!


15 November

Moss on red brick wall
I really like this moss on top of a brick wall. It is near one of the River Cray waterfalls. It looks like a lot of big oak trees on a red landscape, and I can imagine seeing little horses and sheep walking around on the ground!

25 November

Drain cover Christmas Star  Water pond in tree roots
Dino found this Christmas Star on a drain cover. The dots round it look like rays of light and I am going to copy it when I do my Christmas paintings. Look at this water in the roots of a tree, I think the birds are glad when the find little ponds like this. I wonder if there are any more little ponds up in the branches? Only the birds know!

2 December

Yellow Teddy at rainy window  Yellow Teddy with Priory Park ducks Orpington
The heavy rain woke me up this morning. My clock said getting up time, and it was still very gloomy outside. Eventually the sun came out and we went to Priory Park in Orpington. The geese and ducks thought our camera was a bag of bread! Sorry, ducks!

Yellow Teddy looking through hollow log in Poverest Recreation Ground  Yellow Teddy admiring football mural on sports hut in Poverest Recreation Ground
We went on to Poverest Recreation Ground. There were some tree trunks that had been cut down and left lying around, and this one is hollow all the way through. Look at this lovely painting of a football crowd on the side of the sports hut. I like colourful paintings, and this one is big enough for everyone to enjoy all at the same time. The goalie is flying through the air to catch the ball and I think the ball is going very fast!

Yellow Teddy looking at rainclouds in Poverest Recreation Round  Yellow Teddy with Christmas lights
I really like big open spaces and all the fresh air. There were lots of rainclouds but the sun kept shining through. It started raining again as we walked home. I got out the box of Christmas lights and put some up to brighten up the evening. I always feel happy when I see coloured lights and it doesn't matter how much it rains or gets cold.


6 December

Yellow Teddy at the secret boggy pond in Poverest Recreation Ground  Brown Teddy looking into the hollow log at Poverest Recreation Ground
I found this secret boggy pond in Poverest Recreation Ground. I think it is only there in the winter. Brown Teddy came with me so I could show him the hollow tree trunks. The ivy-covered one is quite good because the leaves make a little door for the creatures inside, and the rain can't get in.

7 December

Blue Parrot at the weir on the River Cray at Orpington  Yellow Teddy watching the computer being repaired
Blue Parrot saw some tiddlers in the River Cray, but I think he was hoping to find some of them leaping up the waterfall like salmon! Back home Mr Webmaster repaired the computer with new parts. I am allowed to watch but not to touch. There was a lot of fluff and dust.

10 December

Yellow Teddy with teddy bear glass Christmas decorations  Yellow Teddy putting the hooks in for the Christmas lights
We enjoyed getting the Christmas decorations out. Look at these glass teddy decorations that I found, I am holding one very, very carefully! They have a sort of sandy coating to look like teddy fur and they have shiny green waistcoats and red bow ties. It was my job to put in the little hooks in the woodwork so that the lights can be draped around the doors.

Brown Teddy with a boxo full of bell Christmas decorations  Blue Parrot checking the robins and greenery Christmas decorations
Brown Teddy's job is to arrange all the decorations in the best places. He likes to make sure the different colours are spread around. His favourite is this box full of bells. Blue Parrot flew up to check the arrangement of greenery and cotton-wool robins on top of the mirror.

Dino with his box of Christmas bows  Blue Parrot putting the angel on top of the Christmas tree
Dino likes a rummage and he's quite safe with his box of ribbon bows. He saves them every year and they go on the big tree to make it more sparkly. I let him put them into all the spaces in the middle of the branches and if there are still some big spaces he pushes some tinsel in as well. When he has finished, then we put on the other things. Last of all Blue Parrot put the angel on top.


16 December

The first snow of the winter is coming down, which is very unusual as normally we don't get any until January. Someone is making extra warm fleecy hats and the leftover material is being made into scarf-hoods for us Teddies. When you make your own hats, you can make them bigger so that they do not squash your ears. I hope they are finished soon!

I had to move some plant pots out of the frost and it was a bit muddy covering up all the little worms that were underneath. I put some leaves over them and then a flower pot over the leaves, so they will not get too cold.

18 December

Night time snow  Snowy garden
I had a peek out very early to see how much snow had come but I soon got back into bed. It was a bit difficult getting back to sleep. What a nice surprise! My garden is looking very tidy now. The netting round the pond looks like a white wall. There are a few little puddles so the birds will be able to get a drink.


19 December

Canada geese footprints in snow, Priory Park, Orpington  Rocks in snow, Priory Park, Orpington
Another very cold day. No new snow but yesterday's snow melted a bit then froze a bit. We decided to stay in and help finish sewing the winter hats. We especially asked for some pictures of Priory Park in Orpington. Here are the footprints of the Canada geese, I don't think their feet feel very much cold. Dino was delighted with the photo of the rocks, or as he prefers to describe it "pieces of Christmas cake with icing all round."  I don't fancy eating icing that people have walked all over!

Snow slide, Priory Park, Orpington  Snowy birdbath
Someone had some sliding fun in the park, I hope they didn't crash at the bottom. Did they go home to warm toasted sandwiches and a hot drink? Even in this weather birds sometimes have a bath! They only get the outside feathers wet and then they find a warm chimney to dry out. It keeps their feathers fluffy which keeps them extra warm.

21 December

Chiselling ice out of the birdbath  Robin in the snow
This is what happens when we forget to empty the birdbaths on a frosty night. The ice has to be chiselled out in the morning. I normally watch from the warm kitchen window. Quite often the birds come down as soon as the fresh water is in. Here is our robin who always comes to see what is going on when people are doing things in the garden, even in the snow. He likes it when someone moves a pot because he finds dinners underneath them.

23 December

Yellow Teddy checking the goldfish in the frozen pond  Brown Teddy and the pots with snowy hats
Aren't these capes wonderful! They keep the snowflakes off our necks and backs as well, especially when it suddenly falls off the trees. The fish were lurking at the bottom of the pond, where the underground soil keeps the water ever so slightly warmer. Brown Teddy was delighted that the pots at the end of the garden all had hats as well, but they are very cold hats.


24 December

Yellow Teddy checking under the Christmas tree  Christmas lights
A last check under the Christmas tree before bedtime. We leave the lights on as long as possible on Christmas Eve, but they have to go off eventually because they shine through the curtains and make it look like daylight. The first one up in the morning will put them back on again.

25 December

Yellow Teddy with pile of presents  Putting the battery into the pedometer
I just love Christmas Day! Brown Teddy chose which present to open next, I read the labels, and Dino helped tear the paper, even when it didn't need any help! This little pedometer from Auntie Freda is a very good idea, because it counts the footsteps and I really love counting things. Here we are putting the battery in the back.

Yellow Teddy with the new Ipod  Dino checking the wrapping paper for missed presents
Wow, this is a good one, an Ipod for all my pictures and music, and I can use the back to check my face is clean and practise my smile! Dino checked the pile of wrapping paper several times in case anything got missed in the excitement. He made a lot of rustling noise, it sounded like a snow avalanche!

Yellow Teddy with his bowl of Christmas pudding mince pie and custard  Someone feeding Dino his pudding and mince pie
This helping of Christmas pudding is bigger than me, I think just a couple of bites of each bit will be enough, well maybe three bites of the custard. Dino can eat on his own but it goes down faster with some help, so he was happy (and cleaner) with that! If people can't finish their plateful, Dino is always ready to help them eat it, he's such a kind dinosaur.

Yellow Teddy reading Rupert Bear Annual  Brown Teddy reading Rupert Bear Annual
Brown Teddy and I took turns reading the new Rupert Bear Annual. My favourite is the story of the goldfish-shaped kite, because it looks just like our goldfish, especially the ones with the long wavy tails. Brown Teddy's favourite is Tiger Lily because she is always so friendly and there are lots of interesting things in her Chinese house.


26 December

Dino with the Stollen cake  Blue parrot guarding the fish shaped nibbles
Dino was not really eating the Marzipan Stollen cake, he was just measuring it with his jaws at least that was his story, which I think is true because the wrapping is still on! Blue Parrot spent a lot of time guarding these fish-shaped nibbles and every time I looked the pile had gone down a bit. I am not surprised as they were very tasty.

27 December

Yellow Teddy playing with the Ipod  Brown Teddy with the Singing Christmas Ball  
The snow is all gone now, but as it was cold and windy today, we stayed indoors. We always pull the beanbag a bit nearer the radiator when the wind is whistling through the telephone lines outside. I have worked out how to get my pictures onto the Ipod and I have been going over some of our outings when the weather was warm and sunny. This is a picture of Dino admiring the scenery from the top of Blue Bell Hill near Rochester. I am lying on my favourite winter blanket.

Here is Brown Teddy with the Singing Christmas Ball from Auntie Freda. We all really enjoyed the music so we will be keeping this toy out for quite a while, even when the other decorations are put away. It will cheer us up on the cold January days.

29 December

Yellow Teddy measuring green wellies  Yellow Teddy measuring blue wellies
The freezing nights made that last lot of snow very slippery. Someone slipped twice in their cheap boots with not enough tread pattern underneath. We put them in the dustbin and then went to the Garden Centre for some really good quality wellington boots. I am measuring the tread which is about 1 centimetre. That's about 10 times what the cheap boots had! These blue ankle wellies are 10cm deep inside so they will be good for muddy boot fairs. There has been a lot of very cold rain but when the snow returns, we are all ready for it now.



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