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Diary 2013 January


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1 January

Yellow Teddy looking out of window at midnight
I managed to stay up until midnight, although the others were falling asleep. I couldn't possibly miss all the fireworks, and when the bangs and noise started, Brown Teddy, Dino and Blue Parrot were all awake again. It took twenty minutes for the noise to die down, and then we all fell asleep straight away.

Fireworks 1  Fireworks 2  Fireworks 3
I took some film but the fireworks were too far away, although the film had a good soundtrack of whizzes and bangs.

Yellow Teddy at dawn  First dawn of New Year
Next morning was bright and sunny, which is a very pleasant way to start a New Year. Here is the first dawn of 2013.

2 January

Yellow Teddy at River Cray outlet  River Cray outlet gushing
We took a walk to the shops via the river. After all the rain, this outlet was gushing fast, and it reminded me of Town Lock in Tonbridge that we visited just after Christmas.

3 January

Blackbird having bath in pond
My pond has netting all round, but the blackbird was able to land on this weedy corner to have a private bath, and I expect he also found a few worms and slugs in the folds of the pond liner. I think he was attracted by the bubbles coming from the filter outlet.

4 January

Yellow Teddy bursting balloons   Yellow Teddy with burst balloons
We took all the Christmas decorations down. I enjoyed bursting the balloons, and it is a very quick way to clear up. I put everything back in their special boxes. Lots of the decorations go into large document boxes, so nothing gets squashed. The tinsel goes into zipped bags. They are all now in the back of the wardrobe, but we still have the lights around the living room to brighten the grey days.


6 January

Misty boot sale
I was glad we were able to go to the first boot sale of this year. It was gloomy and very misty, but not too cold. The huge pylons were disappearing into the low cloud. There were lots of stalls and we spent about an hour going round. I don't think I would want to be a stall holder, as you cannot keep very warm if you are not walking about.

Yellow Teddy sewing new giant cushion  Dino with chocolate mints
I was glad to get back home in the warm. We made a new giant cushion out a huge piece of velvety material and two small cushion pads put together. I think purple is my favourite colour at the moment and so now we have two places to choose from when we want to lounge about - the purple cushion and our red beanbag. Dino was delighted to find these mint chocolates left over from Christmas. There was enough for everyone to have several, and Dino double-checked the paper bags to make sure he had not missed a spare one.

7 January

Robin on fork handle
We left all the forks in the grass while we cleared out the shed, so now I have a traditional photo of robin on handle, although it is a bit blurred. I think the camera decided that the broom handle was the subject and focussed on that. The robin was waiting for a few crumbs to fly out of the kitchen window. I am going to put the fork back in nearer the kitchen window and get a better picture of him. It might make a good Christmas card next year!

8 January

At last we have got our Hotties to replace the old rubber hot water bottles. They are a lot safer and very quick to do in the microwave. We are going to make our own covers, so the cost was half what it would have been!

9 January

Gull on post  Gull on water
There seemed to be more gulls than ducks on Priory Pond and this one is standing on a post in the water. They are not as brave as the ducks and they don't swim towards people but they are quick to snatch bits of bread where they can.

Robin emerging from shed  Robin with leaves
We put our new robin box in the shed a day or two ago and were astonished to find the robin coming and going with leaves and bits of twigs. I think January is far too early but they are probably eager to take possession of the property. In the second photo he had a large amount of dry leaves and couldn't get it through the gap and so had to fly away with it again. When we looked inside, they are nesting in the same wire basket that they used last year and have ignored the wooden nestbox that is a little lower down. We are going to have a webcam inside the shed this time and I will be putting it in soon.


12 January

Yellow Teddy sewin up a hat  Measuring knitting stitches
Today is an indoors day as it is getting rather chilly. We sewed some elastic into this winter hat to make it stay on and the owner was very pleased to have warm ears at last. We had to cut a hole and then sew it up again. I like counting and measuring so I helped out by pinning the sample knitted square and measuring the stitches.

14 January

Yellow Teddy with solar flower looking like a snowflake  Bowl of apple pieces
The first dusting of snow has covered my solar sunflower, turning it into a big snowflake. This is just the weather for hot apple pieces microwaved to make them soft. That pip could be our next tree but I am not going to wait ten years before I find out if the apples it has are worth eating!

16 January

Thrush  Robin
It is a very long time since we had a thrush in the garden and I was very glad he didn't fly away before I got the photo. The robin doesn't fly away as he knows that crumbs may appear at any moment.

18 January

Snowdust on primrose  Snowdust on garden paths  Snowdust on parasol base
This primrose has been flowering since November. The garden is covered in snowdust and looks quite tidy now that the muddy paths are white. This parasol base looks much better with the patterns shown up in white.

Yellow Teddy viewing snowy garden
I like it when the snow settles, and I think there is going to be a lot more coming.

19 January

Icicles on birdbath  Bird footprints in snow on lawn
This icicle on the birdbath is not bath water, but fresh snow falling on the warmish stone and then dripping off and freezing again. When I see all these bird prints I feel that they have been looking around for food and not found any. I always go out and sweep a patch to put the bits of bread on and then they come back for it.

Coloured knitting pattern  Rainbow random knitting yarn
I am drawing the designs for the mittens and someone had made this one up already. This pattern can be knitted without having to look at the chart, so it is quick to do. This is my favourite ball of knitting yarn, rainbow random, and I can't wait to see it made into something. It needs dark wool around it to make the colours look really bright.


20 January

Snowy garden
The snow is even thicker now. No birds or animals have crossed the lawn yet.

Blackbird under bushes  Blackbird under bushes with bread
The blackbird has been poking around under the bushes near the kitchen window, coming out for bits of bread and taking it back into the bush. There are also fallen berries right at the back that have not been covered by the snow.

21 January

Snowy fields
Here are some nearby fields covered in snow. Sometimes they are misty and almost invisible but all this snow really makes them stand out.

Snow-laden branches  Filling the birdbath
All this snow looks quite delicious but it is not! The snow from this tree will be plopping into the pond, either when it gets too thick, or a bird lands on it, or it starts to thaw. I am glad someone volunteered to sweep out the birdbath and put some fresh warm water in.

Yellow Teddy with bird bread  Shovelling road sign
Here is the bread patch. The blackbirds and robins know exactly where to come for breakfast, dinner and tea when it is snowy. On my walk, I saw this shovelling sign. It was not a reminder to clear the path for the postman, but left over from some roadworks now buried under the snow.

Blackbird in snowy mud  Crow
Down by the river this blackbird was digging into the mud, flinging leaves everywhere. The crow was sitting quite still, probably deciding where the best place for snacks might be.

Flight marks in snow
Back in my garden, I noticed these marks in the snow. I think a blackbird has jumped through the deep snow and then taken off, with his longest wing feathers hitting the snow and making the stripes.


24 January

Dino helping repair computer   Yellow Teddy helping repair computer
Another cold day for staying indoors. The computer needed a new fan, as the existing one was making a lot of noise and the machine was cutting out at inconvenient moments. Luckily I save all my work regularly as I go along. Dino helped by blowing out some of the dust. I handed over the parts and made sure the screws didn't get lost. The new fan was wonderfully quiet.

25 January

Park ducks  Squares of ice on path 
We took some leftover bread to the park and threw it all in at once, so everyone got a chance to get some at the same time. Walking back we saw these strange squares of ice. No-one clears this path, so it must be that the repaired patches are colder than the surrounding asphalt.

26 January

Magpie in birdbath  Waxwings on telephone line
When I went to take a picture of this magpie in the bath, he flew away. But he kept on coming back, so I got quite a few pictures in the end. I hid behind the kitchen curtain and just pointed the camera round the side. Later on I thought there were a load of starlings on the telegraph pole but they were making a different lighter tweeting sound, not as noisy as starlings. These are waxwings which I have never seen before. Eventually they all flew away together. I think this little flock was on its migration and stopped in just the right place for  my photo!

27 January

Yellow Teddy and fish in pond  Yellow Teddy with last bit of snow
The snow is now melted and the fish are coming up again. This is the very last bit of snow. it is really a pile of thick ice from where we have been clearing the pond so it doesn't really count as leftover snow.

29 January

Seagulls in park
The seagulls in the park like to line up on the bridge railings. We crept up with the camera to see how close we could get. They all hesitated because they thought bread might be on offer but only for a little while.

Movable webcam  Webcam shot
Here is my movable webcam, tied to the tripod with masking tape and elastic bands. It makes whizzing noise each time it starts up, so I cannot use it in the shed to watch the robin's nest. But I can point it at the lawn to see if the birds are eating the bread or having a bath.

30 January

Dawn sky with silver streak
Sometimes I get up long before everyone else and look round the curtains. Here is the dawn with thick grey clouds and a streak lit up by the dawn sun. I like to guess what the weather will be so that I can plan my day. This looks like a good one with sunny skies to come.



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