Animals


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We’ve had some lovely days out during my Hb’s time off work!

There have been visits to parks, woods, the seaside, gardens, mountains and canal tow paths.

We’ve played in mazes and with sun dials (I liked the human one best), we’ve looked down on the city from on high and over the sea towards Scotland, we’ve walked through trees, up mountains, beside rivers and canals and the sea. We’ve had lovely meals out, picnics and ice creams, there has been sunshine and showers but most of all we’ve taken time to smell the roses (and other flowers too)!

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sun dial Collage

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black mountain flora Collage

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bangor castle Collage

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bangor castle 2 Collage

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I wish it could be summer all the time!!! :)

Photos taken at ~ Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne, Co Antrim : Black Mountain, Belfast, Co Antrim : Newry Canal Tow Path, Co Armagh : Groomsport, Co Down : Bangor Castle Walled Garden, Bangor, Co Down : Clare Glen, Tandragee, Co Armagh

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I love delphiniums, with their little pretend bees!

Do you know I hesitated about doing another post about my garden and my rabbits as I thought I may be boring you all but I decided this is what I am all about, especially at this time of year, so more flowers and bunnies it is!!

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These poppies are so beautiful. I just wish they would last a little longer.

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This little rose will soon being climbing in through my bedroom window.

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I’ve had a few books delivered in the post these last few weeks, along with yarn possibly the happiest mail one can get!

Top of the pile is a lovely new Japanese crochet book, oh I do love these pretty Japanese craft books! I buy all of mine here.

Next book down is the very beautiful Sarah Midda’s, South of France, now I have only recently discovered this gorgeous book which is amazing considering how much I love this part of the world. It is full of the prettiest little watercolour illustrations which just capture the Cote d’Azur.

If you love all things Beatrix Potter and gardening then you will love Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. This is the one I’m reading just as I drift off to sleep at night!

The next book in my pile is by my lovely blog friend Helen. As I’m sure most of you know already Helen’s beautiful blog is so inspiring and every time I visit I want to make a quilt, I do feel that somewhere inside me there is a quilt!! Helen’s Pretty Patchwork Gifts is full of all sorts of deliciousness.

The last book on my table, Mollie Makes Crochet, is full of all sorts of things that I want to make, if I can manage to find the time!!!

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When I’m not outside reading or gardening I’m bunny making, I do like to spend as much of my time out of doors at this time of year.

These two girls are Minnie and Norah and they will be listed in my Etsy shop along with all the other ‘June Girls’ next Monday 30th June.

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This is my afternoon crochet spot, the picnic table at the top of the garden is good for sun in the morning then the patio outside my greenhouse is good for lunch and then I move here for the late afternoon sunshine!

I’m a bit like the cats moving around the garden after the sun.

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And this handsome boy knows all about that! If you need any advice on relaxation speak to R.J.!

Just before I go, the bunnies and I are entered into Hand Made in the UK’s Crafter of the Month over on Facebook. If any of you who are on Facebook would like to give me a little vote (if you think I deserve it, that is) you can do so here, you just have to leave a comment. Thanks to all of you who have already done so, I really do appreciate it. I really don’t expect to win but I’ll give it a go.

Thank you all so much for you lovely comments on my last post and for dropping in here today, wishing you all a happy week! :)

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I’m still catching up with everything since returning from France, the garden, the house, my bunnies, blogging!!!

So today’s post is a mix of all sorts, I’m just going through my photos to bring my blog up to date.

Garden first!

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The lupins and foxgloves are all in full bloom now…..love them!

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I actually spent quite a bit of time outside in the garden today, its never a chore though, always a pleasure.

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On the crafting side of things I’ve started my ‘June Girls’. This month the theme is a festival of flowers so I’ve got all my floral fabric out for skirt making, this time I’m naming them after the female members of my family tree!
So far I’ve made, from above left, Isabella, Anne and Ella.

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I’ve also started another crochet blanket (as if I haven’t enough blankets on the go), I actually began this when on holiday but I haven’t had the time to look at it since returning home. It is a lovely little pattern though.

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This pretty giveaway package was waiting for me when I returned home for holidays, the beautiful tea towel is from my lovely blogging friend Robin, thank you so much Robin I love it!

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Right that’s all from me for now!

Time for me and Lily to catch up on something else now, well me anyway, Lily has decided she’ll just chill! :)

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It has been a weekend of two parts and I don’t just mean the weather, the less said about it the better!

The Giro d’Italia has visited our wee country and my Hb being a keen cyclist has been in his element. After the Opening Ceremony on Thursday a time trial was held through the streets of Belfast City on Friday evening and then yesterday the cyclists headed to the north coast and then back to the city in a stage of over 200 km. Today they head off to Dublin before they return to Italy.

The really good thing about Saturday was that the cyclists went through the town of Antrim where very fortunately for me, Garden Show, Ireland was being held as well, so I too got to be in my element.

We watched the race and then headed into Antrim Castle Gardens to see the garden show.

I should warn you that there are a lot of flower photos ahead!!!

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Can you tell that I enjoyed myself! I loved the growers pavilion the displays were amazing and most of the plants in the displays were for sale. I bought one of those pretty little orange plants in the photo above, it’s a Geum, Princess Juliana, the colour is so beautiful, it really stood out in the display.

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There were some beautiful show gardens too with lovely planting.

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And all kinds of quirky little displays.

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It wasn’t just about plants and flowers either!

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Now as I mentioned at the beginning of this post (which seems a long time ago now) we have had a taste of Italy here this weekend and I don’t just mean the Italian ice cream I had yesterday afternoon!

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Here are all the cyclists (almost 200 of them) from all over the world cycling through Antrim yesterday. There has been a tremendous buzz about the Giro d’Italia coming here and almost everything has been turned pink, the colour of the winners jersey (maglia rosa).

Of course the garden show had to get in on the act too!

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So something for everyone this weekend!

Enjoy the new week ahead and thanks as always for visiting! :)

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This is Slieve Croob, the highest peak of the Dromara Hills in County Down and the source of the River Lagan which starts there as a little spring and then makes it’s 40 mile journey mostly along the border of County Down and County Antrim to Belfast where it flows into the sea at Belfast Lough.

On one of our days out this week my Hb and I decided to take a walk up Slieve Croob to once again (we’ve been before) find the source of the Lagan and to enjoy the wonderful view from the top.

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This is as far as you get on four wheels from this point onwards it’s on foot.

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Lots of mums and babies on the way up!

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There’s always a little black one, isn’t there! :)

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And here we are at the top!!

Now where does the River Lagan start??

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Is it this little spring?

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Or maybe this one?

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This is a good one, maybe this is it!!

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Truth is I’m not sure which one is the actual start of the river but they all seem to make their way to this channel which is most definitely the beginnings of the River Lagan.

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You can the river channel zig-zag it’s way down the valley on the start of its journey.

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Being up Slieve Croob is not just about finding the start of the river though, the views are stunning! On the day we were up last week it was a bit hazy, so my photos are not as clear as I would have liked them to be. On a really clear day you can see the whole of the County Down coast from Belfast right down to the Mountains of Mourne.

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This view is looking south towards the Mountains of Mourne, the peak on the left is Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland’s highest peak, I’ve been up there too and the view from there isn’t at all as good as it is from Slieve Croob.

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This is looking out towards the centre of the province and towards Lough Neagh, which can’t really be seen very clearly at all because of the haze. I live over there!!!

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This view is looking out over Belfast, where the river eventually ends up!

We were also up the mountains in the distance in this photo this week too but we were in the cloud for most of the time and the photos weren’t great but we plan to go back there on a lovely sunny clear day in the summer because the view over the city is amazing.

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More woolly friends on the way down again!

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And evidence that they were there, in case we didn’t spot them!!!

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So a lovely day out, good exercise, lungs full of fresh air and wonderful views even though we’re still not quite sure where the River Lagan actually starts! :)

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It has been such a beautiful day here today, what a way to welcome April.

It’s a day like this that makes you appreciate the little things in life.

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Like sweet pea seedlings shooting up in a very warm greenhouse.

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Little plants waiting to be potted up.

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A pair of buzzards circling and calling out, high above my garden.

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Blooming flowering currant.

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Almost blooming cherry blossom.

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Lily catching a few rays.

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Freshly baked wheaten bread.

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A blue sky through the ‘almost blossom’.

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Daffodils everywhere!

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Wrapping up springtime bunnies for their journey to their new homes.

Take time to enjoy the little things….happy Tuesday and happy April!!! :)

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As most of you know by now, animals are very close to my heart, they touch a part of me that nothing else can. I support a few animals charities one of which is The Donkey Sanctuary, an organisation which does amazing work to protect these gentle, beautiful creatures.

Up until yesterday we had never visited our local shelter, The Donkey Sanctuary, Belfast, but yesterday morning as the sun was shining my husband decided he would take the day off work and we would pay them a little visit.

What an amazing place, spotlessly clean and tidy with 17 very happy little donkeys. This shelter is very different to most though as they use the rescued donkeys in an assisted therapy centre for children with special needs. They have a fantastic indoor area where the children can ride and interact with the donkeys with quite remarkable results. There are also therapy rooms and play areas for the children to enjoy too.

I think its wonderful that these lovely animals who themselves have had difficult lives before being rescued can help children who have challenges in life too.

The sanctuary can take up to 20 donkeys and those that are suitable for this kind of work are brought to them from the main shelter at Devon. It does break my heart to hear the cruelty that these animals have suffered, one thing that struck me when talking to the amazing lady who runs the shelter is that donkeys can only support 7 stone in weight which rules out most adults, there are quite a lot of them carrying weights a lot heavier than that! Some are left hungry, some are beaten, some left in pain with overgrown hooves, just horrendous cruelty.

Thank goodness there are places like this.

When we arrived the donkeys had just been put out for a run while their yard was being cleaned, they were having such fun chasing each other and playing with one another, just pure joy!

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It was such an enjoyable visit and such a very worthwhile cause!!!

www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk
www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/contact/belfast

Thanks for dropping by, happy Tuesday! :)

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Peruvian lilies on the table.

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A sleeping Polly.

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Millionaire shortbread in the cake tin.

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A new girl called Juliet.

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Pretty primula in the kitchen.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, thanks for your ‘visits’ this week and welcome to the new visitors too!

It’s my boys birthday tomorrow, sadly he won’t be home from Berlin to celebrate with us but hopefully he’ll be home next month and we’ll celebrate then!
Happy birthday son!!!

Happy weekend! :)

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Well the weather didn’t turn out too bad today in this neck of the woods anyway! I was expecting to be under three feet of snow after listening to the weather forecast yesterday, if you are under three feet of snow… sorry, but I am glad its not me!

I did a bit of tidying in the garden yesterday, lifting some bedding that I knew would never survive frost and cutting back a few plants, I do hate removing plants that are still in bloom though. So my cosmos are still in situ and still blooming, how long for, well I don’t know, the weather forecast for tonight doesn’t sound too good either but hopefully its wrong too!

This morning we had what could only be described as a bit of sloppy snow which disappeared as soon as it hit the ground, afterwards the sun came out and I went outside to take some photos, it was chilly but bright.

Still lots of colour out there!!!

Nov Garden Collage

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Happy Tuesday from me and today’s gardening assisitant…..Jess! :)

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If someone asked me what my least favourite month of the year was, I would say November, it always conjures up images of damp, grey, dismal days.

However I have to say that this year it has got off to an amazing start! The sun was shining into my greenhouse this morning making it look like a summer’s day.

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If November continues to produce skies like this one it is definitely going up in my estimation.

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The flowers are loving it too!

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Every week when I go my greengrocers, I almost always like to come home with a little plant or two or like this morning, three!

I think they’re going to look lovely together in a little pot at my front door.

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You can always be sure of an assistant when in the garden, this morning it was the lovely Lily!

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The beginning of November has also been brightened by some happy mail!

The pretty little pincushion arrived today all the way from Australia from a lovely lady who is now Pixie’s mum! Thank you so much Elizabeth, I love it!

The new Orla Kiely book has also arrived, I’m so looking forward to reading it!

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I’m also cracking on with the Christmas bunny making as well which keeps me busy in the evenings because no matter how lovely the days are my goodness it gets dark early now the clocks have changed.

So fingers crossed that November continues in the manner in which it has started.

Happy weekend my friends, thanks as always for visiting, I really appreciate it! :)

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