Sunday, 24 August 2014

Birds, Mice, Flowers & a Challenge.

Sitting on the patio having a cup of tea after lunch today we saw a little cheeky mouse snacking on the dropped seeds from the bird feeders....

There it is just behind the robin.

'You can't see me'

'Oops...have I been spotted?'

'Looks like it!  I better skedaddle off home!'

Lovely young Dunnock

Our Robin is growing up!

The roses on the patio are looking gorgeous

This one in particular has the most gorgeous scent.  I can smell even when inside the lounge sometimes.

Magnificent!  My roses bring us great pleasure.

Down by the pond our new resident frog is making him/herself right at home.

Hiding under a rock...

I have done some baking this weekend.

One of our favourites, Matamata Apple Shortcake - already eaten - made from some of the windfall apples.

Today I made Raspberry Blondies.


150g white chocolate broken up
100g white chocolate finely chopped
200g unsalted butter, diced
3 large eggs
150g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
150g fresh raspberries


Place broken chocolate and butter in heat proof bowl, set the bowl over a pan of steaming water and melt gently, stirring frequently. Remove bowl from the pan and set aside.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat throughly until mousse-like texture.

Whisk in the chocolate mixture.

Sift the flower and baking powder directly onto the mixture and fold in. Scatter the fresh raspberries over the top.

Bake at 180 C /350 F, for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out almost clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin before cutting and removing. Store in an airtight container and eat within two days.

Brownie tin 13 1/2 inches x 8 inches x 1 inch perfect size.

Of course several slices of that have gone already as well!

I have been really cold these last couple of weeks and decided it was time to put the duvet back on the bed - it seems summer is over.

I also put a different quilt on top and have washed the other quilt which is currently hanging on the line drying.

I have set myself a new challenge - to De-Clutter 20 things a day for 20 days.  It is okay if I do more, but I want to try to get rid of at least 20 things each day.

I started with this basket which has been sitting in my bedroom for too long full of 'stuff'.

most of it was able to be thrown, some in the charity bags, some in the rubbish and some paper recycling.  Other things were put away in their proper place.

I have also been clearing my clothes again.  I did a blitz at the beginning of the summer, and had the coat hangers the 'wrong way round' so I could determine what I actually wear and what I don't by putting them the right way round when I have worn something.  Needless to say I have quite a few items that may well be making their way out as well.

Today's items are:

9 Bras - mostly all new that I have never worn and never will.
2 pairs of jeans
3 t shirts
2 shorts
1 slip
1 brand new pair of underwear that I won't wear
2 camisoles

4 books
1 video
2 magazines

3 soft toys.

Total:  30 items!

Not bad going for the first day.

Anyone else want to join me in a similar challenge?


  1. Well done on the 20 items idea. I am trying to clear some stuff out too but I doubt if I will be able to get rid of 20 items a day as I have already cleared so much and I must have some clothes left to wear! Love the roses - I want one to grow by the front door can you recommend one that wouldn't grow too tall like the hollyhock has done but that would like a sunny south facing position? Dear little mouse hope he got home safely!

    1. It doesn't have to be 20 items - you can set your own limit...I was originally going to do 10, but changed it. Anything counts, big or small :-)

      Do you like any particular colour, do you want scented or not? I will have a think and let you know.

  2. What lovely photos, especially love the roses!! And the cute little mouse. I have done the decluttering over the past year or so and continue to keep a box in my laundry room for thrift store donations. Making it visible encourages me to put stuff in it right away.

  3. I loved the mice photos.

    I've been in a clearing out mode for several years and what puzzles me is how I can dispose of car fuels (I have a big estate car!) of stuff and still have so much. It seems to arrive as fast as it goes. Mind you one of the things about not having lived through a winter for so many years I got rid of about 25 or 30 of my roll necks earlier this year. I'm sure I'll manage with 10 next winter.

  4. I can't say I'm too fond of mice ... I guess they're kind of cute ... when they're outside!!!!


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