Thursday, 6 October 2022

Muddy Meanderings and an Octopus Sucker Bath Mat

Continued from ... When Worlds Collide and a Pair of Striped Tights

 "STOP HER!!!" I shrieked screeched yelled, mindful of The Very Mistress's observation about my apparent tendency to 'scream like a girl'.
 "Who are you shrieking at?" the aforementioned Very Mistress enquired.  Well, her be-tighted legs appeared to as they hung from the bUbble Haze™, anyway.
 "Yes" said Dinahmow as she used her wand to lift up the edge of the drape that was covering me.  "I'm hardly likely to stop Ms Scarlet as I helped her to leave, and Mistress MJ is just a pair of stripy legs."
 "Well, maybe Beaky could?"  My blood suddenly ran cold and I looked around wildly.  "Where is that dratted bird, anyway?"
 "Oh, he flew off.  But don't worry, I'm sure he'll be waiting for you when you get home!"  If it was possible for legs to grin evilly, The Very Mistress's legs did so.
 "Hmmph!  I'm sure" I said as I threw off the drapes and got to my feet, kicking aside a muddy Wellington boot that Ms Scarlet must have used to trudge across her swamp lawn.  "So, where did you send Ms Scarlet, Dinah?"
 "Oh, up Jon's back passage."
 "Award winning back passage" The Very Mistress's legs corrected.
 "Yes, award winning back passage" Dinah said.
 "Right.  Then that's where we'll go.  I just hope we'll all fit?
 "Up Jon's back passage?" The Very Mistress snorted.  "There'll be room to spare!  Besides, I'm not going."
 "What?  Why not?"
 "Because I'm not getting paid enough, nothing's been disinfected, and the longer I spend here the more chance there is of someone mentioning the C word."
 "The C word?  But you have no qualms about saying cu-"

Friday, 30 September 2022

"Go Up Against Fanny Unprepared and She'll Eat You Alive!"*

 This is not the continuation of When Worlds Collide and a Pair of Striped Tights - I might pop that up at the weekend.  At some point.  Maybe?

 No, this is the third quarter's worth of stuff I've read, watched and listened to.

 Strap in!

Read

∘  Some more of Little, Big, by John Crowley - No, I still haven't finished it.  I'm convinced pages, nay, entire chapters get added when I'm not looking!

∘  A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (A Monk and Robot Book, vol. 2), by Becky Chambers - Just lovely and warm and thoughtful and wonderful.  A tonic for these trying times.

∘  The Guncle, by Steven Rowley - as recommended by The Very Mistress.

It did cheer me up, and it has replaced Bridget Jones' Diary

Re-Read

∘  Beyond Uhura, Nichelle Nichols - The great lady's 1994 biography (more from her later).


Watched

∘  Ghosts, S4 (BBC iPlayer) - Best thing on TV (even better than Star Trek)!  This clever, funny, heartwarming - and also quite sad in some places - sitcom about a young couple sharing a house with a load of bickering, but mostly well-meaning ghosts, has cemented itself in my heart since I discovered it at the start of this year.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Over the Cusp and Addressing the List

 
 "Oof!"  I struggled to extricate myself from the surprisingly prickly rose bush I'd fallen into following a - some would say unnecessarily dramatic - flinch due to a passing sparrow (which had since alighted on the fence and was looking at me with an expression of curiosity).  "Oh, it wasn't Beaky after all.  Where has that dratted bird got to?!"
 
 It had been unnervingly quiet here recently.  Beaky, my terrifying - and extremely annoying - blackbird familiar, had seemingly vanished from the expansive grounds of Hexenhäusli Device, but my survival instinct had yet to dial itself down.  Brushing the muck and bits of rose bush off myself, and sucking on a couple of thorn-inflicted scratches, I headed across the paysho and into my gingerbread mansion to see if the postman postwoman had been.

 "Oh, it's just another cease-and-desist letter from RHS Rosemoor.  They've obviously got the wrong person as I've never even been to-  Hang on..."  But this one contained something that the other three hadn't: a still image seemingly taken from a security camera video - and it didn't paint a pretty picture.  Lurking amongst the azaleas was a witch.  Or, more accurately, someone dressed as a witch.  And rather craply, too, with a parsnip for a nose, and an old measuring funnel for a hat.  "That's not me!  My nose doesn't look like that!"
Well, depending on the light...
Oh, shut up!
 I squinted at the photo for some time until, eventually, I relented with a 'hummmph!' and grudgingly went to fetch my reading glasses in order to make out the details.
 "Aha!" (No, not that one) "Got you!"

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Enough Moping - Time For Gardening!

While I dried off, this stone spiral 'happened'

 After a week of moping and mourning, this weekend's wet and blustery turn was rather a let down.  So, instead of dwelling on that and before we get to the gardening bit, here are some photos taken last weekend when I ventured down to the beach for a swim.


My sea swim spot

: : :

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Saturday, 3 September 2022

Nine For A Kiss - AKA: Arse & Artichokes

 I had quite a few titles in mind for this post, and couldn't decide between the magpie rhyme reference and the title of Gordy Ramsbottom's Delilah-baiting cook book (thank you, Ms Scarlet) so I went with both.  The runner up was "Smile You Twat" from, well, scroll down and you'll see.
This Mischief of Magpies delights in clattering over the roof of Hexenhäusli Device and its neighbours, making an incessant racket as these photos from 29th August illustrate!
 
A litle later that morning I went up to the allotment to see what needed picking:

Sunday, 28 August 2022

The Elusive Flotation DeVice



 
 Before rushing out in a 'must-get-pictures-of-paths' related panic yesterday, I popped down to the beach for a swim and to see if I could summon my aquatic alter ego, Flotation DeVice, for Mistress Maddie 
 Quite why Maddie wants to get acquainted with a pallid, gangly Cloverfield-like seamonster is beyond me, but each to their own. 
 Anyway, although FDV did put in an appearance, they ruined it with their squinting-in-the-sun/frowning Sam-the-Eagle face, fortunately!

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Cloud Mouth

 Under threat of a Sideboard Invasion if I don't make an appearance before Friday, here I am!  (Although, I'm not convinced that the invasion won't go ahead anyway...) 

 I don't have much to say for myselves, so may I present a selection of photographs depicting some of what I have been up to this month: 

From the 3rd . . .

This huge cloud-with-a-mouth loomed over the garden, but moved on when I hid under the trees pointed out that my sister (who lives down the road) has more meat on her bones than me.
 

From the 13th . . .

I popped down to the beach for an early morning swim - the first of the season!
(I had to brighten this photo considerably in order to make it resemble how the beach really looked - Camera didn't like being pointed at the sun, I suppose...)

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Happy Birthday Jon!

 I had my hose out watering the fuchsias when look who leapt out all wet and surly.  Yes, Tom Daley!  Quite what he was doing in the undergrowth, I don't know?  Anyway, I haven't got time to deal with him now, so perhaps one of you can get him out from under my feet?  Jon, I know it's an imposition - and on your birthday too - but would you mind?


Tom Daley via Fabulous Magazine/Pyramid International

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Highlights and Horrors of Hexenhäusli Device Gardens

 Hello!  I thought I'd better pop in as it's been a couple of weeks since I last surfaced.  I don't have very much to say for myself, but I do have some photos from the gardens here at Hexenhäusli Device.  

 Above is the second showing from that Hippeastrum in last month's Of Hawkmoths and Drag Queen Knock-Offs (you can see the first set of blooms in the photo below). 

 To the right, the first little 'pineapples' of my Pineapple Lilies (Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy') sprouted earlier this month. 

 And below, rocketing up in front of the jasmine, clematis, and permanent pea (everlasting sweet pea), is a double white hollyhock (sourced from Delargo Seeds back in 2021).  I sowed it and its many siblings last year (along with some other seeds - as seen here), and while most found their way to a border at the side of the house and flowered that year, this one was a spare that I tucked in beneath the trellis next to the paysho.  It didn't seem to do very well then, but it was obviously establishing itself ready for this year.

This was taken on 2nd July.
The hollyhock is now even taller at just over three metres (that's nearly 10 feet)

Sunday, 17 July 2022

A Garden Photos Event Announcement (massive, misshapen phallus not pictured)

 As promised last month, this is another official reminder to continue photographing your greenery (or, for some of you, to start, even) in preparation for... 

 

The House of

I N F O M A N I A C

Garden Photos Event 2022

 

... in November.

 Whether you have expansive rolling grounds, a tight back passage, or a precariously perched pot plant, get snapping to show off the results of your greenfingers (or brown thumbs) - we want to see it all!  No Brugmansia too big, no Soleirolia too small - anything goes.  And please include a brief - or verbose - caption/blurb with each photo/set-of-photos, ideally something that amongst other things (gardening tales, tips & observations, who your veiny, purple love cabbage reminds you of, for example) states what the plant is, because I'm not Jon (The Official Plant Spotter of Blogdom) and I don't want to do any more research than I have to!

I thought I'd use these photos I took...
 As well as photos of your current garden/courtyard/balcony/window box/pot plant/salad drawer, thanks to Dinah, this year's event will also include a 'Greenery of Gardens Past' exhibit.  To take part, please send in a photo or two of a previous garden that you tended, or a prized specimen that may no longer be with you (don't worry: this blog can support sepia toned and/or black & white photos - engravings and stone tablets are out, though).  It would be great to see how your garden has changed over the years, or if you've moved house, what your previous garden(s) looked like and what you grew.  For the old hands at this, if you can find something that hasn't featured in a Garden Photos Event before, even better! 

... up at the allotment yesterday morning...
 Finally, Terrifying Triffidery is still a thing so, just like last year and the year before, please include a photo of a monstrous or weird specimen for the Hallowe'en GPE prelude.  Or, if you don't have something like a corpse flower or a massive, misshapen phallus arum hanging around, a plant taken from an odd angle/closeup/while drunk will do just as well.

 Photos should be emailed to me by Saturday 29th October - my blog gmail address is in my Blogger Profile (there look, on the right at the top of the sideboard).  Or, if you have my personal hotmail address, use that instead.

... to illustrate this post.
 For any of The Very Mistress's old guard Bitches, or any lurkers or only occasional/sporadic visitors here who would like to take part - please do!  If you're not sure what this is all about, please click on my Infomaniac Garden Photos Event page (at the top of this blog) for info & a little history, and for links to previous years' gardens.  Oh, and don't worry if you haven't ever commented here before, and don't concern yourselves with not knowing who we are/us not knowing who you are - the more the merrier!  If you have any questions, thoughts or ideas, please leave them in the comments and I'll do my best not to ignore them.

 And remember: The Garden Photos Event is NOT a contest!  We're not looking for perfection and there'll be no judging - we just want to see how your garden grows, and maybe swap a few tips.

Happy Gardening!

Sunday, 10 July 2022

Sea Cows at Sunset


 Had I been a minute or two earlier, and that annoying cloud bank not been there, last night's sunset is something like what you would have seen at the end of last month's Summer Solstice.  Although, preferably without the sea cows...


Saturday, 9 July 2022

A Frisson Amongst the Flora


 Thursday was quite a day.  For me, anyway.  After a delightful swim with* an aesthetically pleasing young man - and the last fifteen minutes with a lane to myself which meant I could lark about underwater - amongst other things, I paid a quick visit (along with The Mother) to Felbrigg Hall walled garden.  Whilst there I experienced something I'd almost forgotten existed.  More on that in a bit - first, let's look at some photos of the garden.

: : :

Oh!  Before I forget, here's Sophie Ellis-Bextor's latest, "Hypnotized"

(x @Wuh Oh, whoever that is?)

 Anyway, carry on!

: : :

Norfolk has long been one of the sunniest and driest counties in England, and with the increasing temperatures of late, the gardens at Felbrigg have been planted with what would once have been unsuitable specimens.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

"Oh, no! Fanny's exposed!"*

 Well, that's the second quarter of the year almost done and dusted - where is it going in such a hurry??  So, as is now traditional, here's what I've been reading and watching since the last update:

Read

∘  The rest of Typeset in the Future, by Dave Addey  (from Star Trek: The Motion Picture onwards - last seen here, and presented on the right by my little Box Fox, Rutherford, from Star Trek: Lower Decks)

∘  And I'm still reading Little, Big, by John Crowley (I'm just over halfway through, now.  I bought it on Kindle and thought it must be thousands of pages long as it's taking so long to get through, but I've just checked and it's 'only' 564 pages...) 


Watched

∘  Call Me By Your Name (Netflix)  - This reminded me of parts of my own teenage years.  Not that I was a cool, self-assured teen (far from it, in fact) who had a dalliance with an older man in Italy, unfortunately.  The fly on Timothée Chalamet's shirt right at the end stole the show, though.

∘  Cobalt Blue (Netflix) - My gods the artist lodger (played by Prateik Babbar) is handsome!

∘  Star Trek: Picard (Amazon Prime) - S2, eps 5-7 then I gave up on this incoherant mess, leaving eps 8-10 unwatched.  I should have known after the crushing disappointment of season one.

∘  A Monster Calls (BBC iPlayer) - Enchanting and sad.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Of Hawkmoths and Drag Queen Knock-Offs

 First things first, the leading photo in this post is to address the disappointment of no actual sunset in yesterday's Summer Solstice post.  Poor Mr Tonking was so looking forward to it, so I hope this Big Gay Sunset (thank you, Jon) from out of my pit nest boudoir window on the 19th will suffice?

Now, on to the titular moths and knock-offs, also from the 19th:

This hummingbird hawkmoth (and friend/partner) was drinking nectar from the last of the Jasmine flowers.

This was the best shot I could get as they were zipping around so quickly.
There are some better photos back in 2020 and 2015.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

I get up at four in the morning so you don't have to!

 Yes, the longest day is here, and didn't it come around quickly!?  Where is the year going? 

 Anyway, as I'm working today, rather than miss out on the extra few seconds of daytime because I'm stuck in front of a laptop, I thought I'd capture the day so I can experience it tomorrow instead (I have the day off!).  Of course, if any of you, the delightful Blogorati, wish to make use of this day after it's occurred too, then help yourselves!

 This is part one.  I'll post part two tonight, soon after it happens.

Late!  (And it's not because Camera's clock is six minutes fast...)

Ah. There you are!

Sunday, 19 June 2022

White Cliffs of Over(strand)

Uh, oh...  This doesn't seem right?

 On Thursday, knowing that the temperatures on Friday were going to hit at least 30° and therefore any outside venturing then would result in heatstroke, and crisping of skin followed by complete desiccation, I slapped on some sunscreen, stepped outside and sloped off down to the beach to get some fresh air and have a paddle.

 
 
 Only it didn't quite go according to plan...

A sudden embiggening of the landscape alerted me to the fact that I had inadvertantly happened upon the Lilliputian Cusp interface again, promptly becoming debigulated.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Things That Can Fly...

Can you guess what it is yet?

 As I don't have anything else to post about, here are some photos of flying things that would otherwise languish on my hard drive.  While the cow below may be able to jump over the moon, I'm not convinced that it can actually fly.  Fortunately, there's a pheasant in the lower right corner which meant I can include this photo (it was taken at the beginning of June while I was cat-stting at my sister, Inexcuseable's house while she was away - as were the following three photos).

Moo!  Yes, I love being disturbed at 6:15 in the morning by a cow trying to eat from a bird feeder.

Friday, 10 June 2022

Creatures From the Black Lagoon* - And a Load of Tits

 
 While having a little break by the pond, I thought I'd try and take a few photos of some of the creatures that dwell within.  The frog tadpoles are quite big now, and have started to grow legs as you can see above. 
 They'll come in handy for certain spells... 
 We'll see about that!  And most of the young water boatmen (Greater waterboatman {Notonecta glauca} above and below) will leave the pond and fly to other bodies of water later in the summer.


This dragonfly nymph seemed to be attempting to get out of the pond...

Thursday, 9 June 2022

A Paddle At Last!



 I've got to prepare for an invasion - I suspect The Little Witch and Vom Smallhäusen will appear any moment now - so, as I have just finished sorting out the photos I took on this morning's drift along the beach, I thought I'd pop the least boring up here for you to peruse while I'm battening down the hatches etc.  Besides, I haven't furnished you with beach pics for quite some time, so this will be a nice(?) change from Triffids and such (although there are some triffids here).

 I shall return once normality has descended upon Hexenhäusli Device once more...

Sunday, 5 June 2022

To Hoe, Or Not To Hoe?

 Not to hoe, obviously.  I don't ride hoes as I don't want to be mistaken for a warlock (although I do wear hoodies).  Warlocks tend to be vain and self-aggrandising, and a little bit dim fortunately, otherwise - if they stopped thinking about themselves for a mere micromip - they could cause a lot more bother than they already do.

 Anyway, enough about those hoes, let's have a look at how the allotment is doing, shall we?  If you make it all the way to the end, I'll treat you to a couple of hoes, and there may even be a bit of a rake!

14th May

In the fruit cage are some horrible redcurrants.  They're so sour and pointless - I hate them!  Despite pretty much ignoring them, they just keep growing and cropping, growing and cropping.  Bah!

Behind the currants is a cherry tree and a row of raspberries

Young greengages

Friday, 3 June 2022

Not More Hats of Dame Barbara Cartland?!?

 Would you excuse me, please.  I'm just navigating from one disaster to another.  Having finally got to grips with The Great Comment Catastrophe, I now find myself without a suitable hat for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.  I've already missed nearly two days of it because Liz threatened to revoke my Royal Garden Party invitation if I didn't attend at least one day out the four suitably attired.

 I've resorted to trawling through Dame Barbara Cartland's photo album* looking for inspiration because I couldn't find a thing I liked in her Collectors' Edition brochure...

You'll probably need to click then right-click and open in a new window to see this properly

 I quite like her witch's hat, but that's probably because it's very similar to my day-to-day wear.  However, I think I'm going to go for the swimming cap (although I may dispense with one of the masts and its array of sails). 

 Now I just need to get measured up.  Does anyone know if the Infomaniac House of Beauty is open today?

 

* More of the Pink Dame's photo album can be found here.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Damselflies Doing It!

 Aaaaarrrrgh!  I'm having the devil of a time trying to comment both here and on any other Blogger blog.  Blogger tells me I'm either not signed in (clearly I am as I've managed to post this!), or 'There has been an error.  Please try later."  Oh, shit off!

 I wonder if this is the same problem that Melanie was having last month?

 Wordpress blogs don't seem to be affected though, as I've just commented successfully at Ms Scarlet's...

 As I can't be arsed to deal with this nonsense right now (too hot!), here are some photos from my earlier escapades around the pond:

Common Blue Damselfly (Enellagma Cyathigerum) on a Primula leaf

Damselflies Doing It!!!  And right in front of me too...

If you don't sort yourself out, Google/Blogger, this could be you...

::

EDIT: 23.05.2022 19:09 - I thought it Blogger had sorted itself out, but after four comments, I got the dreaded "Failed to publish comment.  Please try again later" message.  [sad face]


 I'm not ignoring you, I promise!

EDIT: 23.05.2022 19:14 - It worked once more then decided that was enough.  Grrrrrrr....