Once again our weather forecasters got it right and we were treated to some pretty heavy storms over the weekend, though not as severe as we had been led to expect. But when we got up on Sunday we discovered that the overnight rain had been laden with desert sand again. The little tiled table by my outside sink was a mess.
And this was the bowl of water I keep for the cats, just by the back door. I had only cleaned it out and refilled it the day before!
Fortunately they have drinking bowls indoors as well. We bought a new one for Arwen this week as she is still jumping in the bath and waiting for us to turn the taps on. So I decided she either likes her water fresh and running, or else, as I suspect, her eyesight is failing and the running water makes enough noise to help her locate it. So when I spotted this fountain this week I thought it would be perfect for her.
She investigated it at once, and now drinks happily from one or other of the water spouts. It makes enough noise to attract her attention but not so much that it disturbs me when I am working down here. Its other advantage is that it is ceramic, so apart from the pump, all the parts can go in the dish washer.
One evening Chris called me to see a little visitor in the front garden. It was this not-so-little caterpillar, with a very distinctive yellow and black striped head, and an orange horn on its rear end.
It reared its head when I approached with the camera, but considering the evening was drawing in, I managed to get a couple of good photos.
I have tried to identify it, and I am sure it is a hawk moth caterpillar, but there are so many different ones, and so far I have been unable to discover exactly which one this is.
I had another happy, squishy parcel this week. It was the big ball of shade changing wool that I am taking on holiday for a smaller project while I am away. We will see how much I can achieve in two weeks before I show it.
This morning I went to a coffee morning at a friends house, to raise money for our church funds. She holds one each Spring and one in the Autumn and they are usually well attended. There were stalls selling stitched and knitted items, jewelry, books, plants and bric-a-brac. When we had finished browsing and buying, we sat outside in the sun to chat, and to draw the raffle. After an uncertain start earlier, it was really hot out there. It was good to catch up with friends who we only see once or twice a year.
Just behind us there was a beautiful bed of flowering shrubs. Her roses are still beautiful, and even her geraniums still have flowers on. Her house is only a half-hour drive from us, but she is much higher than us, and her plants always seem to be a month or so behind us. My roses have almost finished, though there was a sudden rush of new buds after the rain.
On Wednesday night I was busy writing Christmas cards for all my friends and family in UK. Last night I wrote a family newsletter to go in some of them, so now they are all sealed and addressed and ready for me to buy stamps for, when I arrive in UK next week, and then I will leave them with my son to post later in the month. I am really happy to know that is done.
And now I will finish with a little story, but first let me introduce Poppy Pig. Mum and I both had a love of poppies. I bought Poppy for her many years ago, and of course she loved her. Sadly she passed away over twenty years ago, so Poppy came back to me and has had a place on one of my shelves ever since.
The little brown pig who stands with her is something that I made some fifty years ago at teacher training college. I had little confidence in my ability as a crafter in those days, having been told all through school that I was useless!! But we were charged with the task of finding some clay and making something with it. So I cycled to a place near Bosham Harbour and dug up some red clay from the road side. I took it back to the college where I shaped and glazed it, and it was then fired. He also stood on mum's shelves until he came back home to me.
This morning I was talking to some friends about pottery and they said they had recently visited an elderly potter in Albox who still uses the old traditional methods. (He is now on my list of places and people to visit). He told them this story about the origin of the 'piggy bank'. Back in the days when many folk lived on isolated plots, they would take some clay from the ground, hollow it out and fashion a shape vaguely resembling a pig. All year members of the family would put any change they could spare into the pig, and at the end of the year it was broken open and the money used to buy a pig which would be fattened up to feed all the family for the next year. I don't know whether that is true, but it seems quite likely. A nice little story anyway.
And now I am getting ready for the final choir practice before our trip to London. I still can't believe I am going to be singing in the Royal Albert Hall next Saturday. So this time next week I will be just about arriving at our hotel in London and writing a blog will be the last thing on my mind. So I am afraid I will be absent for not just next week, but possibly the two following Fridays as well. I return here on Saturday 15th November. I will have my phone and tablet with me so I will try to pop in and visit you, but I am not very good at using them for anything as complicated as writing a blog post, so I will save up my news for when I get back.
So I will now link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and I'll be back when I can.