Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Yah boo to the party poopers.

I don't have a great deal to report tonight so I will post a video that I took on Saturday at the flyball competition. The Furry Tales team where we go is in the blue on the far side. I'm afraid it isn't a very good video and doesn't show much but I would like to see any of you make a video any better when you're trying to do it with the camera in one hand and Tess in the other! Anyway if you turn the sound up you will get a feel for the excitement if nothing else.

I was sorry to read that those who tried to view the BBC iPlayer was stopped from doing so because they don't live in the UK. I find that sort of thing really annoying. Here we have this great joiner of communities called the interenet and the full benefit of it is being spoilt by greedy narrow minded party poopers. Buying an ebook online is a nightmare, I was trying to buy a particular book a while back and if it wasn't one thing it was another stopping me from buying it. In the end I was able to download it from Amazon and read it on the Kindle app on my laptop. But don't go thinking that Amazon are all singing and dancing hero's because they aren't. The HP Touchpad is advertised as having a Kindle app which would be brilliant if it weren't for the fact that it's only available in the USA, so what is that all about? If these companies would quit complaining about the noise and joined the party they might find they enjoy the experience a bit more, is there any wonder that people turn to sites like Piratebay? At times it's the only place you can turn to, at least if you get something from there and it doens't work you haven't wasted a load of money. Not that I use Piratebay or suggest that you do of course .

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Remember the old rose?

Today was the first day of Autumn for me. I changed on to my Autumn working hours which are from 8:30 instead of 8:00 to 5:00 instead of 5:30 so that means I work an hour less than summer time.

I don't know if you can remember but in July I cut down an old rose by the potting shed door that had all it's growth and flowers high up on the side of the potting shed. I had tried over the years to encourage it to put out new growth from the base but it didn't want to so this prompted me to cut it right down almost to ground level. Well I have good news, new growth has now appeared in abundance - see the picture below.

If you want to see what it looked like before the drastic pruning click [here].

 Gail asked how I calm Tess after she gets excited. I have to confess that short of putting her under a cushion and sitting on her I've had little success in controling her excitement. Usually after flyball she is ready for a lie down she does however have loads of energy and whilst I can make her lie down and stay for a certain amount of time she doesn't relax and is looking for any excuse to move and do something. She is strong willed and will try and get away with things like for instance she knows perfectly well how to walk to heel but she will try it on with you in the hope you will let her run free. The other problem is that whereas Tommy has always been with me therefore the rules have always been consistant so he know what he can and can't get away with, Tess has three handlers some of whom let her get away with more than others do which is unfair on her. This is not to say that she is badly behaved, I think she is pretty good for a puppy but we definately need to watch her or she will rule the roost and that will be no good for man nor beast.

Did anyone try the link to the TV show that I posted as I would be interested to know if it worked for you okay. If so I can look out for things that might interest you in the future.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Drax flyball competition.

Last Saturday Fallon and I went to the flyball competition at Drax. As it was a doggy day out we decided to take the other two dogs as well as Tess, both of which were much better behaved than Tess, not that she was the only naughty dog there. There was one dog that ran down and retrieved the ball and came back with it but forgot to stop when it caught up with it's handler and ran clean out of the enclosure and spend the next few minutes avoiding capture by running round a log pile. I must say that for the amount of dogs there and all the hyper activity there was no fighting or bad tempers on display. I was talking to one lady who has a collie the same age as Tess and she was of the same opinion as me that it's better for them to learn obedience first and then go on to flyball. After the visit on Saturday I do now know for sure that as it stands at the moment I don't have the confidence to do flyball. There isn't anything really hard about it that practise can't cure and I can't put a finger on what it is about it that I'm uneasy about, maybe I'm just not a team sort of person and I've always gone about things in a quiet manner and have never been one for the lime light. Anyway I will continue to go while Fallon wants to do so as I like the dogs and the people at the club are good people, talking of which, Keith, or rather his dog Angus achieved his gold award on Saturday which means he has acquired over 15.000 points which I was so pleased about as Angus is a great dog, my sort of dog and I get on well with Keith too so I wanted to see that.

Some shots of the dogs watching the action.
Taken by Fallon. 

 Tommy was very calm throughout in spite
of all the chaos, I was very proud of him.
Tess bustin to get in on the action.
I know some of you who read my blog are interested in British stately homes so when I was watching a TV show earlier today I thought I would see if there was a way to share it with you as I thought it was quite interesting and probably not something that is available to people in other countries. Anyway if you click [HERE] you should find yourself transported to the BBC iPlayer from where I think anyone can view the program although I don't know how long it's available for so if you are intereested then don't wait to long and if you're really in to it I noticed there is an option to download the show to your computer to view on Windows Media Player which will presumably means you will then have it to view whenever you wish.

Going shopping.

Today is a public holiday here in England so me and Vicki are going to B&Q to look at bathroom suites for for the upgrade to our house.

-- Sent from my HP TouchPad

Friday, 26 August 2011

Tess has her first house bound day.

Today Tess spent her first full day indoors on account of the weather, it has hardly stopped raining for a minute so now everything has had a good soaking.

I've spent most of the day in the potting shed stringing onions, repotting plants and taking cuttings which is root alright will be some of next years plants for the conservatory and gardens. Mainly these were of Geraniums, Pelargoniums Begonias and Fuchsias.

We need a new gas fire for our house that we are upgrading and Vicki found one today that has been reduced from £700 to £350 and that includes all the surrounds so even though it wasn't what we originally had in mind I think we will have it as it is a good saving to make and it's not like we are going to be living there ourselves.

Tomorrow it is the flyball competition that I mentioned the other day. Tess is to young to enter yet even if she was good enough but as it's only 30 miles away I think I will take her along just to see how things are and also cheer Angus on.

What do you do on a day like this?

People often ask what I do on a day like this. Well one of the jobs you can do on a day like this is to take some cuttings of your favourite Geraniums. I grow quite a few varieties so I have plenty to keep me busy for today. Please note how I am already working on next summers garden.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre



Strung and hung.

Typical Autumn weather today so so confined myself to the potting shed stringing the onions.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre



Thursday, 25 August 2011

Some welcome rain.

During the night we had quite an amount of rain, in fact the only substantial amount since February although having said that if we have any amount of warm weather it will soon dry up as the ground is parched. I don't often bother with weather forecasts so it was quite by chance that I took the pictures below last night whilst walking the dogs. I was going to show how dry it is and the effect it is having on the sugar beet crop but I think the rain last night will have done it a power of good.



Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A Busy Weekend.

I haven't been able to do any blogging over the weekend as we have been bus what with one things and another. On Saturday morning me Fallon and Tess went to flyball, Tess did very well at fetching the ball so Alison decided to try running her with another dog who is also a beginner. It didn't work out quite how it should as Tess watched the other dog fetch the ball and instead of running down to fetch her own ball went after the ball that the other dog just fetched but it was just a bit of a trial thing so there was no real problem with it. The good thing was that she wasn't bothered by the other dog being there so we can work on the ball problem. This Saturday the team are at a competition so there is no practice but we I think we will take Tess over to see how they get on and it will give us and her an idea what to expect. One of the dogs who is called Angus is hoping to get his 15,000 points during the competition so everyone her their fingers crossed for him and his owner Keith.

After we got back from Flyball practice I decided to cut the conifer hedge around our garden here at home. I've had enough of cutting hedges but I thought I would get it done as it was in desperate need of a trim. I always find it twice as hard to do anything in my own garden than I do at work. Anyway that took all afternoon but it's done now for another year.

On Sunday me and Vicki went down Nottingham way to my uncle and aunts diamond wedding anniversary. We had to leave here just after 11 and didn't get back much before 10 in the evening as we went back to their house for a while after the dinner at the hotel.

I didn't get chance to post anything last night because after work we had to go down to our own house in Derbyshire for a meeting with the builders who are going to be upgrading the house. It was just a matter of agreeing what they were actually going to be doing and deciding on a few things like tiles and where things were to go in the kitchen. We took Tommy with us for a run out as he likes to go for a ride in the car. He also gave the place the once over and approved the proposed alterations so that's good. Afterwards we went to my parents house for dinner, they only live a just a couple of miles up the road.

So that's about it really, I'm just off to take Tess for a walk now, I can't afford to mess around on an evening anymore as the nights are starting to draw in, you can soon end up in the dark if you don't get a move on after dinner.

Checking out the blanket weed.

I've had the deputy head gardener with me this morning, here you can see her checking out the blanket weed problem.

-- Sent from my HP TouchPad

Friday, 19 August 2011

Playing flyball in the garden.

Last week I said I would try and take a video of Tess practising flyball in the garden at home so I took one tonight for you to see.


As you can see Tommy likes to have a go and can do it albeit at a more leisurely pace. I noticed that on occasion when Tess was forced off course she made a point of cutting back in to go between the posts which I think must be something that will bode well for the future. I will just point out for those that don't know that a proper flyball course has four jumps but my garden isn't big enough so we just make do with two which are set the right distance apart, also we don't have a box so I set the ball on a plant pot. Just in case you are wondering, Tommys job is to stay and watch. When we first started he would chase after Tess and cause mayhem so I had to get him a job to do which is to just stand and let Tess get the ball and then later he gets to have a go by himself.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Guilty looks.

Tonight we took Tess to be wormed and weighed, she now weighs in at 11.80 kilos so her growth rate seems to have slowed a bit which is happen just as well given that there was a danger of her catching Tommy up in size the rate she was growing.


Vicki took some dead plants out of a planter the other day so the following day Tess decided to empty the compost out as well, all over the garden path. So Vicki swept it up and put it back in the planter last night and then this lunch time Tess went and emptied it again so now Fallon has put it back in the planter, I'm now waiting to see if Tess empties it again tomorrow after spending this afternoon alone in the naughty corner - the kitchen. I have to laugh though because she gives the game away before you even see what she has done because she looks so guilty. When she gets that look on her face you just have to do a sweep of the area to see what she did. If she didn't look so guilty you wouldn't even know she did anything half the time.


Today at work I cleared up all the hedge cuttings which always seems to be a bigger job that it looks on the surface. I did trim a few other shrubs in passing - don't stand still to long when I have the hedge cutter in my hands or you will get a hair cut! Anyway all that mess had to be cleaned up as well so it all took a bit longer than I planned.


Talking of hair cuts I did a bit of trimming on Tommy's tail today, not with the hedge cutter though. He's terrible at getting brushed, I usually end up doing several tours of the garden while brushing him as he just won't stand still which leads to him getting big lumps of matted hair on his tail so every now and then when he is having a lie down in the garden a sneak up behind him and give him a quick trim.

Naughty dog.

Tess is in serious trouble after she just dug up the exact same plants as yesterday.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The last of the hedges cut.

Those who read my mobile blog will know that these past two days have been spent clipping the two big conifer hedges that form part of the memorial gardens. Below are the pictures taken before during and after clipping. All that is left to do now is to clear up the mess. I'm glad the job is finished as it's quite a task with them being so tall but at least they look good when freshly clipped so all the effort it worthwhile. That's all the hedge cutting finished for this year.
Before
During, clipped as far as I can from ground level.
After
You will probably notice how poor the grass is looking, this is due mainly to the lack of rain this summer. We had a drop one night last week but you wouldn't know it now and so today I am back to watering. I don't water the grass at all, just mainly the flower borders, wall borders and containers which dry out quickly .

A job with a view.

Looking across the sheep's field from the top of the hedge that I'm cutting.

-- Sent from my HP TouchPad

So far.

So far I have the bottom three quarters of both hedges clipped so today I will try and get the tops done.

-- Sent from my HP TouchPad

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Lost and found.

I lost a bit off the end of the hedge cutter and by some miracle I found not only the bit but the screw that holds the bit on.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre



Hedge cutting.

Today I am trimming the conifer hedges that surround the memorial gardens which is quite job due to the height of them.

-- Sent from my HP TouchPad

Feeding time.

Because of the dry summer there is no grass for the sheep so I am having to feed hay already, this is a job that doesn't usually start until late October.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre



Monday, 15 August 2011

Mortgage increase.

Some of you may remember that back in May we put our house up for sale and planned on buying another place to rent as a holiday cottage click HERE Well the way it's turned out we have decided that because of the situation with the housing market at the moment it will be better to hang on to the place we have and just continue to rent it out but before we can do that we need to do some renovation work on it as it's got pretty run down so today we went to see about getting an increase on our mortgage so that we can carry out the upgrades to the property. Everything seems to be fine with that and we now need to get something sorted out with a builder with a view to getting the work done, we will obviously be taking it off the market now too.


At work today I made the first picking of the plums, I picked just over three kilo's which I will take to the hall in the morning.

Plums hanging on the tree.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Tess has a new handler.

I took daughter Fallon with me to flyball today and I have to say she is much better at running Tess than I am. I had the first go with her but I struggle to get her hyped up with me having a quiet and calm personality. A raised voice to me is over excitement and for flyball it seems the more you shout the more the dogs like it. I think perhaps that is why I get on so well with Tommy because the last thing he likes is people getting over excited so I'm beginning to learn that it's quite important to have a dog that matches your personality. Anyway when Fallon took over Tess was going at it like a house on fire and continued until she ran out of steam and Alison (the captain) called Time. I think after today's showing if Fallon doesn't continue with it then neither will I because I think I will just be wasting everyones time because it's not just a matter of learning how to do it I think it's a personality thing as well and I am what I am - quiet! If Fallon continues to work with Tess then I will of course go with her, after all I am quite good at carrying the jumps and all the other stuff that goes with it and I like to watch the dogs. Tess was more improved again both in the actual running and also within her surroundings, she just needs to mix with the other dogs better as she is still quite nervous of them for some reason. She likes to run up and sniff them but as soon as they turn round and sniff her she is off.

If you look in my sidebar I have put a link to Vicki's blog, I've also moved her blog because when I first set it up for her I just included it in my account with my other blogs but since I did away with them her blog has got a bit lost so I've transfered all her posts to a new blog and she now has her own account. I know some of you liked to read her posts so hopefully you will be able to find them again now - if you lost them.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Which to learn first?

Hello everyone, it's the weekend again already so for me and Tess that means flyball again at 9:30 tomorrow. I wouldn't say that I'm excited about it but I do feel a little more enthusiastic than last week. It's not that I don't like the flyball or the people or doing something with Tess but sometimes when she does something she shouldn't around the home I get to thinking that maybe I should be concentrating on her obedience and manners before learning fun and games. I guess I need to try and find the time to teach her both. Anyway we are continuing to have short sessions with the plant pot in the garden, I will make a video some time and post it on here so you can see the homework we have been set.

This morning I picked a load of fruit and veg for the dowager house. There is no sign of the family coming to visit this summer so far so I am taking what I can to the dowager house rather than see it go to waste and they seem to appreciate it so that's worth the hard work it took to grow it.

Below are Potatoes, Beetroot, French Beans, Broad Beans, Courgettes, Aubergines, Figs, Grapes, Tomatoes and Apricots so that should see them over the weekend nicely.
This afternoon me and the head gardener have been transplanting in to six packs the winter pansies, we have put then on the trolley outside the potting shed as there is no need for them to be indoors. I still have a few more to do but I ran out of time and compost so they will have to wait until Monday. I think the head gardener looks quite pleased with progress.
Well I hope you have a good weekend, apart from Flyball I'm not really expecting to be doing very much as Vicki has to work all weekend.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Wentworth Castle Gardens.

Last Sunday afternoon me and Vicki went to Wentworth Castle Gardens, we hadn't been there before and whilst it was okay for a one off visit I can't say I will be rushing back there again in a hurry as there are far better gardens than these although it is fair to say that they are in the process of working on improving them. For me there was a lack of flowers and other plants of interest, although having said that I've been to other gardens that lacked flowers but there were other things of interest, even just being super tidy and neat can be an attraction but these gardens were lacking all these things. Anyway here are some pictures of what flowers there were to be seen.



These borders were set out in a circle but I stitched three pictures together and it's come out a sort of different shape but I'm sure you will get the picture.
Tomorrow I will show you some of the structures from the gardens.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Aubergines and Melons

Tonight I am going to show you a couple of things I have growing in the greenhouses, the first of which are the Aubergines or egg plants as I think they are sometimes called. These see to be doing very well this year the result being I have more than I know what to do with.


The next is the Melon which are a particular favourite of the gentleman to the big house so I have plenty of these growing. The one you see in the picture is the most advanced. The reason for it being in the net bag is to support it as it grows, the bag is tied to the wire, if this weren't done there is a chance of it being pulled off by it's own weight before it's ready to eat although as you may be able to tell the bag isn't actually supporting it at the moment but it will do in time.
This afternoon I had Tess in the garden with me for a while as I dead headed the Dahlia's and I think she got stung by a wasp on the foot. I saw her under the Mulberry tree which tends to be a magnet for wasps and with the wind today there are a lot of berries blown off on to the ground and I think she must have troden on one so I will have to watch her more closely in the future.

Dead heading the Dahlia's.

This afternoon me and the deputy head gardener, who I think has just been stung by a wasp, are dead heading all the Dahlia's which all looking bright and cheerful even on a day such as this.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre



Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Flyball update.

Last Saturday I took Tess along to flyball practice again and as it was Vicki's Saturday off from the shop she was able to come with us which was good. Tess was much more relaxed than the previous week and so seemed to enjoy it more. Before we got finished she was jumping all four jumps, picking the ball of the practice ramp and returning  to me with it. There was netting down the sides of the jumps so there wasn't really much chance for her to miss out the jumps but she seemed happy enough jumping them anyway so maybe the netting wasn't really needed. I'm not sure if they put up the netting for her or whether it was there for some of the other dogs as one or two of them don't seem too fussy which way they return with the ball. I think for a puppy Tess does well and she can't even compete in the beginners until she is a year old so there is plenty of time for her to learn to concentrate on the job at hand.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Structures from Brodsworth Hall.

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend.

Tonight I am going to show you the rest of the pictures from Brodsworth Hall.

The fountain in the formal flower garden.
On top of the hill to the left is the gazebo
and to the right is what they call an eye catcher,
which is a structure that serves no other purpose than the name suggests.
Here you can see the eye catcher again
one of the things that I like though is the ivy covered post and chain fence.


The Laburnum covered arch leading to the formal flower garden.
This is the target house which they used to use during games of achery.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Garden visit.

Today we are going to visit these gardens, we haven't been before so it should be interesting to see what they are like. I believe they're newly renovated.

http://www.wentworthcastle.org/view.asp?id=145

-- Sent from my HP TouchPad

Friday, 5 August 2011

Flowers from Brodsworth.

Last night I showed you some of the views to be seen within the gardens of Brodsworth Hall, tonight I'm going to show you a few of the flowers.

Echinacea
 Agapanthus
Clematis
You tell me!
Day Lily
These next few are obviously not flowers but I think are as good as if not better.
These first rose hips remind me of little squids.
Rosa Pimpinellifolia
This one stood out from the rest because 
of it's greyish foliage and masses of hips.

Look what I can do dad.

This morning while I was having breakfast someone broke into the bathroom and ransacked the place.

-- Sent from my HP TouchPad

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Brodsworth Hall.

Last Sunday we visited Brodsworth Hall gardens which is not far from here and although not very big there is quite a lot to keep you interested. You can also take a tour round the house if you want but we didn't on this occasion. Anyway here are some of the pictures I took.
This is the front entrance to the hall.
To the left side of the main entrance there is a pleasant
 view up to the gazebo type building on top of the hill.
This is looking across the croquet lawns toward the formal gardens, there were no croquet players this day, just some kids rearranging the hoops and doing so seemingly with the blessing of the adult in charge!
The colourful formal bedding garden as modeled by Vicki and my parents.
This is the view looking back from the gazebo.
Another view from the gazebo but looking in
the direction of the archery house.
This is the rose garden with flower beds around the outside.
Looking back towards the gazebo over a sunken garden.
Looking through the trees to the formal bedding garden.
I hope you like the pictures and if you want to find out more about Brodsworth Hall here are a couple of links Brodsworth Hall and Youtube pictures