28 June 2012

in the garden with tit

I know you'll all have been wondering how Tit is doing... well now you can see. He's growing everyday, you literally notice the changes in just a few hours. His (we still don't know the sex) chest and tummy are now covered in real feathers, just little ones but the real deal, silky and smooth. His bum is also looking very pretty with little brown tinged feathers poking out. He gave me a real scare before the weekend as he gobbled a strip of duct tape. I panicked called the vet and emailed various duck experts, no one seemed concerned and thought he'd just pass it. Well I'm still not sure if the tape is out or not, but Tit seems absolutely fine. He spent lots of time in the garden hanging out with us over the weekend and loved getting his beak muddy and splashing about. His new home is arriving tomorrow, so he should be in there by the weekend if the weather stays mild. 

The garden is so pretty at the moment, flowers everywhere - I love them all, even the rogue weeds that aren't meant to be there! We've been busy in the veg patch, not growing, just making beds and weeding, just had two big bags delivered one of bark chippings for the paths and one of a local tonic to top up the beds.  

Finally another glimpse of me, I'm trying to get over my camera shyness - I'm not sure if you'll ever get more than a glimpse!

27 June 2012


This weekend felt like a success. You know the kind were everything is just kind of nice? No grumpiness, no stress, just good food, good fun and some jobs done. We didn't need to venture far, just a little way in the car. We gathered some tasty ingredients, some nice toot, some plants and some food for Tit. Everything we needed for a relaxed weekend at home, cooking, gardening, eating, and enjoying the company of one another, a cat and a duck.

sweeter kind - Alice Jemima

I've been listening to this today. She has such a sweet voice. 

21 June 2012

precious time

I'm working from home today, which means along with my 'work' work I get to do a few chores such as catching up on the washing. I'm so grateful for these days working at home and the precious extra time I get here, rather than sitting on a train, without it I'm not sure how I'd cope.

The sign on the door is particularly important now, it's on our spare room where Tit is living at present. Half an hour ago I heard a crash and rushed to see what had happened. Tit had got himself out of his brooding box! He was running round the spare room like a maniac. I've just been making it safe in there for him, moving things out of reach and putting old sheets down to protect the floor. He'll have to have free run in there until I think of a better idea or his new house arrives (which I ordered yesterday from here).

19 June 2012

6 random images from the weekend

1&2. Pelargonium Ardens, isn't it the most beautiful flower? So strong and bold yet so dainty and fine. If I were a flower I'd like to be this one, though I think it's probably far too refined for me. We bought it recently at Parsonage House, Helions Bumpstead, where the garden was open for NGS a few weeks back. I think it's quite a rare flower, apparently very hard to propagate I feel quite honored to be it's carer and hope we can keep it happy. 

3. We visited Kettle's Yard, in Cambridge on Sunday, where there was an exhibition of Alfred Wallis' ships and boats. They were rather beautiful, I loved this image above of a ship sailing past an orchard. There was another I loved of a ship climbing a very steep wave, unfortunately there wasn't a postcard available. I recommend a visit - really inspirational, his limited colour palette an inspiration in itself. I came away with a desire to have a little paint myself - something I haven't done for years. The exhibition is on until 8 July. We'd wanted to look round the house as well - it's an absolute must see, but it wasn't open until the afternoon and we had things to do, so another time for that.

4. We visited more NGS gardens this weekend. I snapped this image in one. The colours were so bright and strong, such a contrast to Alfred's paintings above - but I don't find these bright colours garish, just vibrant and passionate. It's these brights that I'm trying to fill our own garden with.

5. Three pebbles from my desk, I love these and just thought I'd share them - for no reason other than they make me happy. Part of me would like to paint on them, part of me not. I've lots of pebbles. Whenever we go to the beach I seem to come home with a few in my pocket! Do you do that? I'm sure I'm not alone. I store them in tins after a while as they get too dusty sitting about. I knew a lady once who had placed her collection around her garden, when she moved house she collected them all up and took them with her - too many memories attached.

6. Finally D captured a nice shot of our little Tit, with food round his mouth. He's getting so big now, really a nice size - more cuddly! I don't worry about hurting him with my big hands now, plus he's easier to catch - more to grab hold of!

18 June 2012

13 days old - and me

For those that follow me on Instagram (nicekindofblue) or Twitter these images are old news - sorry! For those that don't here's a little catch up of the past week with Tit. Tit is 13 days old today! So I guess this is the start of the teens, little bald patches have appeared on the top of Tit's wings to make way for grown up feathers. I sense Tit isn't going to be quite so pretty soon! Tit's totally adorable though, when I enter the room he's excited to see me and makes cute little chirping noises. He loves to follow D and I around, he lets us hold him, sits on our hands, relaxes and enjoys a snuggle, he's equally happy sitting on a lap - in just the same way a cat would. But Tit's favourite resting place is up on my shoulder, he likes to see what's going on! I'm covered in scratches where he clambers up there - I'd not realised or thought about whether ducks had little claws before. He comes out in the garden for a little wander with us, he came onto our bed (along with lots of towels to catch the mess) on Sunday morning - He really loved that. He eats chick crumb and has treats of lettuce and tomato which he absolutely loves. He has a little splash in the bath once or twice a day too. He's very good at cleaning himself but makes a huge amount of mess and will poop on anything given the chance! He really is the cutest little chap. I'm calling him 'he' - we've no idea. Apparently his voice will change in a few weeks and we'll know then if Tit's a boy or a girl. 

And me - you've probably noticed I'm incredibly camera shy and till now haven't posted a picture of my face. Well I was reading Elisabeth Dunker's blog Fine Little Day and her post about faces. I love to see the person whose blogging - I like to put a face to the name. So I thought I really should share myself with you - be brave and show my face! OK I know it's not a full on portrait, but that's me up there with Tit - Hello! 

14 June 2012

hiding in the light

I woke this morning to sunshine pouring through the windows, the forecast says it won't last so popped out with the camera to capture a few of the beautiful flowers that have been bursting open while I've been hiding indoors from the cold and the wet. The postman caught me and posed like a muscle man, it was hilarious I don't know why I didn't take a picture to share, I must have been in shock! 

If you've been following my Instagram snaps you'll see that little Tit is growing by the day, he's such a cutie, though doesn't 'alf make a mess! I'll try and get some decent shots to post here for you. Or you could take a look over at Instagram I'm 'nicekindofblue' as you might have guessed! I can't believe I was so slow to get the Instagram thing - I love it, it's so much fun and so easy. 

I've also decided to have another bash at Twitter, so you'll find me there too - yep I'm 'nicekindofblue', I'm getting the hang of it slowly. Let me know if your there too, I'm hopeless at finding people!

11 June 2012

grey day

What a grey day. Grey, cold, and wet. Is it really June? I even found myself wearing grey - grey socks, grey trousers, grey top, grey jumper and grey earrings. Maybe tomorrow I should dress a little brighter and see if I can influence the weather!

9 June 2012

28 days later

This isn't a post about the movie (though I could probably write one, given the nightmares it gave me). This is the story of how we came to be parents - to a little duck! 

Back in April we found a couple of duck eggs had been laid in our garden, they weren't in a nest, just plonked on the lawn, not together, but seemingly randomly dropped. We live near a river, it runs right through our neighbours garden, so we occasionally see a duck or two, our garden has no boundaries as such, no fence, or wall, so they merrily breeze in and out as they wish. Thus it wasn't a great shock to find a couple of eggs. We picked them up and bought them indoors, we thought about eating them for breakfast, but instead we Googled how to make a homemade incubator (see here) and read up on how to hatch and raise ducklings. 

Over the next few days we collected the materials we'd need. A large polystyrene box (from an aquarium supplier), wire mesh, various light bulbs, a piece of glass to make a window, and a digital thermometer with humidity readings, a bowl with sponge and some duct tape. We followed the instructions and made ourselves an incubator. 

On the 8th May we placed the eggs inside, the box sat in the corner of our bedroom emitting a constant glow, we did our best to keep the temperature constant, and turned the eggs 3 times a day (just as the mother duck would had she been sitting on them). After about 10 days we shone a torch to see if there was any sign of life. It was very hard to see, we really had no idea. We continued to turn the eggs and monitor the temperature. I held very little hope of any hatch, the temperature was hard to control, the weather changed dramatically from one week to the next. We gradually stopped turning the eggs (partly following instructions, partly as we'd kind of lost hope). Then on Monday night as we slunk into bed we heard a cheap-cheap sound. We looked in the box - nothing. Probably coming from outside we thought and fell asleep. Tuesday morning we could still hear cheap-cheap, it was coming from an egg, though no sign of a duckling or even a crack in an egg. We headed off to the shops to buy a feeder and water container as well as some crumb, should we need it. We worried about the humidity, it wasn't really high enough, we feared the duckling wouldn't be able to get out and we'd have to intervene. We worried too much, we returned home to find a little duckling waiting for us. 

We spent the day peering through that little window watching our little baby. Is it a he or a she? We've no idea. It's name is Tit, it's adorable. As day one passed Tit's downey coat began to dry and Tit started to look cute and fluffy. That evening we moved Tit to a cardboard box with lamp for heat (see here). Tit is part of our little family now, we worry about Mr Mouse and are keeping them well apart, at least until Tit is fully grown, though possibly forever - I don't trust Mr Mouse when it comes to smaller living things.  Tit eats lots, duckling crumb, lettuce, and tomato so far. Tit also make a lot of mess and we've had to invest in more towels as bedding. Tit is learning to swim in a paint tray, though spends most of swimming lessons cleaning and preening - not a bad thing! So that's the story of Tit. 28 days from a tasty egg to a perfectly formed little duck with perfectly formed features, a little bill with tiny nostrils, big webbed feet with tiny toenails and beady little eyes. It's simply amazing, I'm astonished and totally in awe of nature. 

P.S. Nothing came of the other egg.

8 June 2012

♦ jubilee weekend

We joined in the Jubilee celebrations taking place in our village. Though the weather had put a dampener on the whole idea of a big lunch out on the playing fields, with fancy dress contests and cricket matches. Instead we were forced inside the village hall to celebrate. It was all very old fashioned and British, but rather nice and we met some lovely people, though most were more than double our own ages! They knew a thing or two about the village and we had a jolly time getting to know them and hearing stories of their pasts. Everyone had made food and though we sat on tables in small groups the food was shared around so we got to try lots of different dishes, making it quite a hefty feast and that was before any of the little cakes and scones appeared. 

We also had a day out in the car to Norwich and back. We took in a disappointing car boot sale on route and stopped off in Wymondham, which had the most magnificent church. We actually seemed to spend most of the day in the car and very little time actually in Norwich, but we did see this incredible living wall. Later that evening we walked to our nearest hill and saw our beacon lit, and the best bit was seeing other beacons lit in the distance, connecting us with other villages and ultimately the whole country - which I thought was rather nice. 

The last day of the long weekend was filled with the arrival of a little duck - that's a whole other story.

a walk with mouse

Last week when it wasn't so cold, wet and miserable we were able to go for an evening stroll. Mr Mouse decided to tag along with us (something he likes to do, but I find a little worrying) so we thought we'd head over the road to the churchyard with him. That way we could wear him out, send him home and continue our stroll - which is exactly what we did.

6 June 2012


Despite the wonderful new camera (I promise to stop going on about it soon) I'm still snapping away on my phone. I can't take the new camera everywhere, it's just too big. So I've decided to have a little dabble on Instagram. I'll be posting my everyday phone snaps there from now on, you can find me there under the same name 'nicekindofblue'. I've already found some familiar faces and a few of you have even found me - so I feel quite at home! 

Below are just a few of my instagram snaps from last week and the weekend. There was lots of excitement at ours over the weekend, mostly in the form of the new arrival in the bottom picture, but that's a whole other post, so you'll hear more about him soon.