Sunday, 6 January 2013

Early bird gets the worm...

Up early this morning to do a few jobs around the house and then I am volunteering in my local woodland. We have some really lovely woods just up the road from us and there is a little group you can join that volunteers once a month to carry out tasks like litter picking, coppicing and path maintenance. Today I am helping to 'lay' a hedge to encourage wildlife.

So up nice and early for a hearty breakfast of porridge and banana and a strong cup of coffee rather than my usual tea.

I like to feed the birds and get much pleasure in doing so but I am surrounded by two sets of two kittens on each side of me so have not been doing it so much lately.

There are a few places where I have bird feeders and so far the kittens have not sussed these out. I want to continue feeding the birds but wonder if I am being cruel by encouraging them into the garden when there are always cats lurking behind the bushes.

I decided that there are always cats around, I mean as well as my own cat (who is old and grumpy and not much interested in hunting) there are at least a dozen homes with cats along my street.

So as long as I site the feeding stations in a place that allows birds to see a cat coming and close enough to higher trees for cover I think I'll continue. The little feathered ones need feeding now more than ever when there isn't much else available in the wild.

It got me thinking to about wildlife and how I could help.

I created two mini ponds in the garden last year that were quickly occupied by frogs, toads and newts which was lovely.

I want to build a bee house. A ladybird house and an insect hotel.

I don't like to use chemicals and therefore the more insects I encourage into the garden the better.

Nothing like watching a ladybird munch through the aphids on your roses.

I'm not very good at DIY by any means but am shocked at the prices of 'insect homes' online and in shops so will make my own.

I wish I had opted to take woodwork when I was at school as I might then have at least a general idea of where to start...

This year I decided I wanted to learn more about practical things such as DIY and basic carpentry.

My buzz word for 2013 is LEARNING.

Or leaning against the shed once I have battered and bruised and hammered myself to it probably...

So here are 12 things I want to learn/make/do this year.


 1) Build an insect house. source
2) Make some lawn sofas somewhere in the garden because they are awesome.
3) Build a birdhouse.

4) Make more treats for the birds. There is a nice tutorial at but I have made these with pinecones which work just as well.



5)Learn French.

6) Learn some tasty veggie Thai dishes.

7) Learn how to make homemade herbal remedies.


8) Start doing Yoga.
9) Learn how to build a brick path.

10) Make a coldframe with the stained glass panels I got from Freecycle.

11) Learn how to do lino printing. I think I would really enjoy this. This image is from a site I find all sorts of inspiration from at


12) Drink more herbal tea.

Hope the New Year is treating you all well.


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