Three Things Thursday: 12 October 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, ethical coffee. Every two weeks I receive a (completely biodegradable) package of coffee. Our postie loves delivering it because it fills his van with a wonderful aroma, and I love drinking it and reading about the producers that it comes from. The company who sell it, Roasting House,  is able to support small-scale coffee growers because it’s a club not a shop, so they don’t have to guarantee large stocks. This is the latest; just read what they say about the project…

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Coffee or Cocaine?

 

Second, more socialising. Last Saturday we attended a Tweet-up (meet-up for people who know each other through Twitter) of Welsh smallholders. Yes, I know we don’t exactly have a smallholding, but we have the ethos. These get-togethers are always good – great food, lovely company and the opportunity to see someone else’s set up.

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Smallholders’ Tweet-up (c) Philippa Pickworth

 

Third, sitting on a parcel. This made me smile because it was so silly. I had a parcel to send to the USA yesterday. I packed it very carefully, but I wasn’t sure that it would be quite thin enough to go as a ‘large letter’ rather than a ‘small parcel’. Since the difference is about £5, it’s quite an important distinction and it was dimensions not weight that was critical. So, I drove to the Post Office whilst sitting on the parcel… and it worked! Sometimes there is a simple solution.

So, that’s what’s making me happy this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 4 October 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, feathers. However many times I see a chicken moult and regrow her feathers, I never fail to be amazed that such beautiful complex things can emerge from bare skin. Here is Tiffany’s latest crop coming through:

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Growing well

Second, old friends. I spent last weekend with three of the ladies I went to university with. We all did the same BSc course – Environmental Science – and next year will be the 30th anniversary of our graduation. We spent most of the weekend eating, drinking and talking – it was fab.

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it may have been grey, but we managed a walk on Sunday (c) Katie Medcalf

Third, a parcel. This is a late addition because it was only just delivered (#3 was going to be big cotton handkerchiefs, because I have a cold, but this made me smile more). I helped to crowdfund a book recently… and today’s parcel contained the book and extra goodies…

So, that’s what’s making me happy this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 28 September 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, an evening of indulgence. In my work in progress post yesterday I mentioned my sudden need for fingerless mittens. As the rain fell and the wind howled last night, I settled down with an audiobook, a glass of wine and got busy with my crochet hook. Before the end of the evening I’d finished my mittens. I’m not sure that the yarn is something I would have bought, but it will certainly keep my hands cosy and I do like the colours… and I woke up to sunshine this morning, so I won’t need them at least for today.

Second, baby carnivores. I’m really delighted to have had a some success with producing new carnivorous plants. The seeds of pitcher plants require cold treatment before they will germinate and they don’t grow quickly, but it’s very satisfying once they do. Here is one of my babies:

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Sarracenia hybrid

Third, winter food. This year I’m hoping to harvest at least a few things from the limery. There should be some citrus fruits (lemons and limes) and I’ve got some pots of lettuce growing well. Although winter isn’t a time when we crave lots of salad, it will be lovely to have fresh lettuce leaves available as well as the stronger oriental leaves that are often the mainstay of winter salads.

So, that’s what’s making me happy this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 21 September 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, African butterflies. Whilst I was away over the weekend, I noticed one of the ladies wearing a beautiful hair slide and I couldn’t resist asking her about it. And, thus, I was introduced the African butterfly – a grip that actually grips, even my very fine straight hair. The are “made in the Gauteng region of South Africa and are fairly traded. The company provides employment, skills, training and sustainable work for many people in a region with high levels of poverty and unemployment” (web site here)… so I couldn’t resist ordering a few as soon as I returned home.

Second, Sea slugs. For ages I have been thinking about sea slugs and what interesting creatures they are visually. I’d really like to have a go at recreating them in fibre(crochet? felt?), but what I wanted was a book with lots of pictures (somehow browsing the internet just isn’t the same for me). It was a bit too specialist for our county library, so I’ve bought myself Nudibranchs of the World… I could be some time…

Third, a roof. Hair grips and nudibranchs are frivolous and fun, but what’s really important in life is being safe, warm and dry. As the rain hammers down, I can look out of the window and be grateful that I don’t have to be out in it. So many people round the world are not so lucky – those affected by floods, earthquakes and hurricanes, those who are displaced and far away from home. Perhaps we should all take a moment to consider how fortunate we are not to be affected by such problems… and then maybe we should do something to help…

So, that’s what’s making me happy (and very grateful) this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 14 September 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

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Roo will be featuring in Sue’s blog

First, new blogs. Two dear friends – both of whom I originally met on-line, but both of whom I now know ‘in the flesh’ – have recently launched blogs. Sue, is writing at Going Batty in Wales about her life, land and dogs Roo and Orchid. She has a very slow internet connection, but fingers crossed she will manage to post despite this challenge. Kt (who guest blogged here a while ago about her Creative Dying project) is charting her achievements following a recent diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) at Today I Can Blog. She is living with severe health challenges, so fingers crossed she will be able to write about her achievements and find support online in our lovely blogging community. Both of them are new WordPress bloggers and I’m looking forward to reading their posts.

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an unlikely place to find an old friend

Second, an old friend. In the box of old photos I wrote about the other day, I came across a picture of a friend who I hadn’t seen for many years. We each had a little flat in a house on the seafront in Aberystwyth when we were studying for our PhDs – there we drank gallons of tea and talked for hours. When we were done, we went our separate ways – she to work in the BBC archives in Reading and me to work for the local wildlife trust here in west Wales. We kept in touch, but somehow it slipped and finally we lost contact. And then I saw the picture and decided to try again… and there she was on Twitter! A quick message and we are back in touch. I got a long email from her this morning and feel incredibly emotional reading it – it brought back so many great memories.

2017-09-14Third, anticipation. This Saturday is the grand, final get-together of the Sixty Million Trebles project. On Saturday, in Birmingham, a large number of the ladies who have contributed to the project will be meeting for the first and last time (at least as a group). The final number of trebles created will be announced (will we have reached the magic figure of 60,000,000?), there will be representatives of Hand in Hand for Syria present and we will celebrate what we have, collectively, achieved. I’m so looking forward to the event. I’m going tomorrow (Friday) and staying overnight with a few others, so we’ll also have a sociable evening in advance. I’m sure I’m going to be telling you all about it next week…

So, that’s what’s making me happy this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 7 September 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, visiting a friend. On Tuesday I went to visit Sue, who lives about an hour away and who I met as a result of blogging. We had a lovely day, chatting and setting up her new blog (more on this when she’s properly up and running). She has these words of inspiration in her kitchen:IMGP4028 (2)

Second, the harvest. The garden and limery continue to yield their bounty. And, after a few days of rain, the courgettes were huge!

Third, still alive. We have had a poorly dog over the past month, but I’m happy to say that after a couple of weeks of antibiotics, liver support tablets, multi-vitamins and a change to a low fat diet, Max seems to be somewhat better. He’s an old boy, so he won’t be with us for too much longer, but at least he’s eating well and happy now… even though he is doing a very good Eeyore impersonation in the photos.

So, that’s what’s making me happy this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 31 August 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

Yesterday was Mr Snail’s birthday, so we had a day out, which included lots of things to make us smile:

First, brunch at Wright’s Food Emporium. We’ve wanted to visit this interesting little eatery ever since the folks at our local farm shop recommended it. The food is all freshly prepared and it is delicious. Mr Snail had bubble and squeak with a poached egg on the top and I had French toast with bacon and maple syrup. Both were delicious. We had thought that we might follow up with cake (they have lots), but we were both too full. Another visit specifically for cake is in order, I think.

Second, stitched fungi. We visited the National Botanic Garden of Wales and were really taken by these panels created by the Stitching Botanicals group.

Third, sinuous water. Not exactly The Serpentine, but this lovely water feature runs down the main drive at the botanic gardens, swirling into a fountain at the bottom. I really like the sinuous path that it follows, although it’s quite difficult to photograph effectively.

So, that’s what’s making me happy this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 24 August 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, cabinets complete. After a slight issue with the cornice, the shelves are now completed, the cookery books back in the kitchen and the cupboards are being filled. I never thought that a kitchen cabinet could be such a thing of beauty.

Second, bread and butter. I have recently been reading about the processed food industry (more on this in a later post) and, as a result, I’m very grateful that we have the opportunity to make most of our own food from scratch and buy good-quality ingredients. We know exactly what’s in the bread that Mr Snail makes and our butter is just butter (milk and a little salt).

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simple, but delicious

 

Third, nasturtiums. Some years ago I sowed nasturtium seeds in the garden and I’ve never had to do so again. I know the flowers are rather blousy, but I do love to see them every year (and they look beautiful in salads too).

So, that’s what’s making me happy today. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 17 August 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, a new mug. To raise money to help Syrian refugees, participants in the Sixty Million Trebles project were invited to submit a photograph of one of their blankets or squares to be included on a mug that would be sold within the group. I sent a picture and waited to see if it would be included… and I’m delighted to say that it’s in the top middle above the logo… here’s my mug (from various angles) and a picture of the original square (although not the same picture as on the mug):

Second, all the courgettes. Tomorrow’s task is to make them into a big vat of soup for freezing.

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and I haven’t harvested any today yet

 

Third, this

There’s a tiny bit of finishing required at the top, and there was slight delay in installation because the magnetic catches didn’t arrive when they were supposed to, but it’s all ready to be used now – hurrah!

So, what’s making you happy this week?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 10 August 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness. This week, it’s all about the future…

Happy memories of past holidays – looking forward to making more

First, holiday planning. I’m currently in the process of sorting out some trips away over the next nine months (I do like to plan ahead), including a holiday to Scotland next year that will involve seeing another blog-writing friend who I’ve never managed to meet in person before. The trip is also going to include a visit to New Lanark – a place I’ve wanted to go for several years. Although the planning is time-consuming, the anticipation is really making me smile.

Soon there will be shelves here

Second, getting organised. Tim is due to arrive tomorrow to install the shelves above the new cabinets in the kitchen. This will mean that all the cookery books can come out of my work room, and I can clear my work table of all the sewing things that have accumulated there because their shelf-space is otherwise occupied. It will be good to be able to use my sewing machines again… especially looking at my  (lack of) progress on the sewing-related items on my 17 for 2017 list. I’ve alrerady started filling the new cupboards in the kitchen, but I can’t really get them sorted out and everything in its new home until all the work is complete.

Looking forward to seeing these two soon

Third, meeting people. Over the next six weeks I have all sorts of get-togethers arranged, from a birthday tea party on Saturday, to teaching a friend to use WordPress; from a family lunch to a big Sixty Million Trebles meet-up in Birmingham in September; not to mention a training course with some smallholder friends and my monthly shared lunch with some of my permaculture pals. Writing this, I realise that all these events involve food in one form or another, so I’m doubly happy.

I know that I should enjoy the present (and I do), but it’s lovely to have so many good things to look forward to. Do you have any plans that are making you smile this week?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

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