Time does indeed fly – slowly, quickly, steadily and I have been making the most of it this past month.
First up, let me introduce you to the newest addition to our home:
This is Marmelade: no, not a spelling mistake. Her name is pronounced “marm-uh-lay-the”, which is Danish for jam or, umm, orange marmalade. That’s DH’s influence at play! She is semi-feral and we had been feeding her for a couple of months with a view to domesticating her over the summer. We realized she was having difficulty squeezing between the wall and the gate in the middle of June and thought she was either fat (unlikely) or pregnant (highly likely). We decided to trap her so she could have her kittens in safety. With the help of a local charity, who loaned a cat trap, we caught her – I have never before seen a cat so angry – all teeth and claws is no exaggeration. Anyway, after a quick visit to the vet, we got her back home and into our guest bedroom/bathroom. The vet thought we had a 4-5 weeks before she gave birth so we concentrated on feeding her up and developing trust between us. However, she gave birth on 4 July, just 2 weeks after her arrival. She produced 3 kittens, which is normal for feral cats, but one died. We named him Ginger and buried him in the garden.
Because we did not want to distress her by constantly looking in on her, we set up a couple of cameras so we could (a) see a live feed and (b) capture photographs every 30 seconds to review what went on while we were away. This did a lot to allay our fears as new ‘parents’ and allow Marmelade to exhibit her normal behaviour.
Marmelade has kept the kittens in the nest for the last 4 weeks, but yesterday we saw this:
Aren’t they just adorable! No names as yet because we don’t know their sex. The one outside the nest also managed to climb up on top of it, although his descent was less than elegant!
Given that we moved to the countryside, the flies have been a nuisance in the kitchen – urgh! I bought a couple of electric fly killers: basically a unit with a blue light and a square of sticky card on the back. These were OK and caught the smaller flies and some moths, but 3 blue bottles were persistent and managed to dodge the modern version of the fly tape. A friend at work suggested getting some venus fly traps. I thought it a genius idea and so we marched off to the garden centre and bought two venus fly traps and a pitcher plant. Problem now solved! If any do dodge all the modern technology and nature’s own pest controllers and I have to kill one or two with a flick of a tea towel kept expressly for that purpose, they get fed to these guys!
They are beautiful!
As many of you know, it’s been a tad hot in the UK (and pretty much elsewhere in the world, for that matter) so we have spent a lot of time in the garden. As it’s only a rental property, I have tried hard not to fall in love with it, but I rather think that ship has sailed! I have had a wonderful time reading in the shade of the apple tree. Yes, I know the book is lightweight but it was the only fiction book I had to hand as the Kindle was dead. This is also the book I read to Marmelade while lying on the floor as part of the getting to know you process.
George had also been enjoying the hot weather and has a delightful version of corpse pose to cool off:
Now to the stitchy news. In amongst all the lovely weather, Watch was out on the stand. I managed to finish off back-filling and correcting where I went wrong last time (see the previous post) and got to the end of the second row. I am now officially two-thirds of the way through – yay! Here are the progress pictures for the month of July:
I will work on lovely, cooling, Watergarden for August.
I hope you are all having a lovely Summer. See you next month!