Stop Press! Chicken scandal!

We attended the local parish AGM last night because we wanted to know more about the village where we live. I have to admit it was like being in a strange new world because there were reports from the footpaths officer, etc. What really amused me was the heated debate about the cockerels which were on the allotments – this must have gone on for a good 15 minutes. It was announced that at the weekend the number of cockerels would be reduced to 3 – is it terrible of me that the first thought that I had was “Chicken for lunch on Sunday..”? There was even a 51 signature petition raised by one of the allotment holders who wanted to save the chickens but the allotment by-laws clearly say no cockerels. It was only because one of the previous councillors had bent the by-law and kept a cockerel on the allotment that the precedent was set. Scandalous!

I’m a completely intrigued by the whole thing. It is like living in an episode of the Archers. I liken us to Debbie – the city slicker wanting to change things on Home Farm (Lucky that I can laugh at myself really)! I was quite amused when the WI lady phoned back and was quite shocked because I wasn’t the person she thought would ring (e.g. I was a bit young). We were probably the youngest people at the village AGM yesterday so interesting times ahead!

Anyway, here are some photos I took of Chilham Village Hall last Sunday when we visited an Antiques Fair. Chilham is supposed to the prettiest village in England and has a castle which isn’t often open to the public. I’m hoping for a trip there on one of the days when it is open in the summer.



We are not big antiques hunters, we just like looking at old stuff! I managed to buy some old buttons (that reminds me – I should take some pics soon). It turned out all the expensive fancy stuff was in the front hall and we found the cheap interesting stuff in the back hall. My buttons were only £2 – bargain! I can also recommend the bacon sarnies in Doffy’s Cafe.

Just before March is over – here is a picture of Badger and his white bits…
He hasn’t been to my office for a nap recently. I think he is a library cat as he is always heading that way when I see him.

A last ditch attempt to celebrate blue, grey and white..

Only a couple of days left of the blue, grey and white months for Project Spectrum so some quick photos.

Blue and white houses in a row in Canterbury.

Blue flowers in the Dane John Gardens.

Blue grey sky.

Sky at home.

The blue sky in the Dane John.

Perdita in a blue box.

pao in a blue sweater! (I’m really scrapping the barrel 🙂 but you do get a bonus Merlin and Ophelia in the photo)

White houses in the Dane John.

White flower.

White statuette in the Dane John.

White donkey at Badger’s Hill Farm.

Oops, grey seems to be underrepresented…

The strangest thing has happened since we moved. We’ve had more visitors than we’ve had in about a year in the old house so we’ve been incredibly busy which is great! If I knew that was what it would take to get people to come round, we would have moved before 🙂 So we’ve been super busy but that is great so if you haven’t been yet, keep on coming! It has been weird as I’ve just been so busy at home and at work it has been hard to catch up with everyone but I’m managing slowly now we finally have an internet connection! Just need some spare time!

The 24 Effect

George had to have a gift for his birthday so I bought him 24 series 1 on DVD.

We are now just about to start 3pm-4pm.

Only 9 hours to go. I wonder how much more of this I can get done from 3pm to midnight?

I blame Chris.

The cardi is the Eloise cardigan in Noro Kochoran colour 17. It is supposed to be done in Blossom but I just love these colours more and it was an early Easter gift from pao 🙂

pao now wants me to buy him series 2 for us to watch over the Easter weekend.

I’m a little dozy today as our clocks went forward yesterday and I’m still a bit confused. My body didn’t like getting up what it thought was an hour earlier this morning so protested hence we got to work a little later than intended 🙂

Happy Birthday to you both, Mrs B and Nan!

Happy Birthday, George!

George is one today!

(in case you are wondering, George is pao’s shiny new cornea) 🙂

I am so thankful to that person who ticked yes to donating their cornea. It is such a precious gift and such an amazing one too. It has completely changed pao’s life.

Best Friend FOs


I can’t believe we’ve been in our new house a whole month today – first mortgage payment today. Only 359 to go! I have been doing a tiny bit of knitting but I can proudly present my first Littlebourne FO. Well, really they are a Canterbury/Littlebourne FO because I’d started them when we still lived in our old house and only finished the majority of the second here. They are knitted using a pattern from the Apple Laine website called Apple Harvest in the Best Friends colourway.

I have started on my next project though which is a pink bear for pao’s goddaughter who is four next month. It is like knitting with real Muppet!

I did start a pair of Jaywalkers using B-Marie from Scout’s Swag Club – a gorgeous grey, black and white combination but they seemed quite big so I’ve ripped those out and I’ll be having a thinking about smaller needles or decreasing the size a bit. I thought they would be very Project Spectrumesque but I really only have about a week and a half of March left. I’m still catching up a bit so knitting hasn’t been on the top of my list as we’ve had an onslaught of unpacking, cleaning etc. Last weekend, I had a mini-panic because the library recalled a book which the packers had packed somewhere so we had to look through boxes which we don’t have anywhere to unpack to because our cheap bookshelves fell apart upon attempts to move them them out of the old house and we’ve yet to acquire some new ones.

Littlebourne snapshots

Only time for a few snapshots today. This is the village where we live – click for bigger pictures!

The village sign.

Littlebourne’s water mill.

The Nailbourne River.

The church gate.

More photos soon!

Geek alert

Be warned: serious geekiness ahead!

I was really priveleged to have the opportunity to attend an open lecture by James Gosling who is the inventor of the Java programming language which made up a core part of the MSc in Computer Science which I took a few years ago.

It was interesting to hear the passion behind something which I’d spent hours puzzling over and manipulating and to hear about how Java has permeated into lots of different areas of our daily lives. Apparently, Java was originally called Oak but the lawyers insisted on a change of name as there were already 12 programming languages called Oak. The developers had to come up with a list of alternative names and Java was number 4 on that list so that dispels one of the urban myths!

I felt a bit sad as I left the lecture theatre as I realised that since graduating, I really haven’t programmed since then. Most of my work is user support based so I really don’t have the opportunity to use my programming skills in my professional life. I also wonder a bit if my brain cells are eroding a bit too. Could I be stagnating a bit?

I did think about posting a bit of code I could remember but woefully I cannot even remember how to print a line of text : public static void println …. but what comes next! I threw out all my MSc notes just before I moved so I can’t look at those but I’ll have to dig out a text book!

Tonight I’m going to a lecture by Dr David Starkey on the Church and crown from Henry VIII to the Glorious Revolution!

Old and New 3

This was the best room in our old house 🙂 We’d spent 18 months or so without a bathroom to get to this blissful tiny blue room. I loved it because it was double aspect and had the most light in the house. It wasn’t the most relaxing room though because it could get a bit cold.

Here is our very swish new shower 🙂 It is a struggle to get out of it in the morning as there is lots of space around it and the water pressure is great!

The cats are settling in really well. Perdita loves the carpet as you can see and it is great to see her playing. She didn’t play much in the old house and it is lovely to see her charging about like a mad thing playing with some tiny mice. I haven’t seen them quite so relaxed before which is really nice 🙂

I confess I was a little worried that they would start climbing the walls – the net effect has been that they are just really happy to see us.

I have some knitting progress to report – some FOs even but they will have to be on display tomorrow as they are at home unphotographed. I’ve not been doing a lot of Project Spectrum stuff this month but I vow to do more for next month’s colours!

Old and New 2

It used to be quite a free-for-all, a stretch or you starve sort of affair.

Can’t you see, we’re hungry?

Now it is a more dignified rush to the door instead. It is nice to make sandwiches without Phoebe’s persistent meow and attempts to scale the counter for a morsel of whatever it happens to be for lunch 🙂

It very much like living in a zoo though with so much glass. The puss cats have windows on all four sides of their room so once it starts to warm up a lot more, we’ll be letting them out as far as the kitchen.

Old and New

The annoying thing about not having internet access is that I can’t keep up with blogs and blogging. And the bad news is that the phone coming can’t take the marker off the line until 14th March. I can then ring my ISP on 15th March to make an appointment for them to come and put a marker on the line. Sigh.

Anyway, just sneaking in a quick one now whilst no one is looking.

This is what we used to see when we opened the bedroom curtains.

(ooer someone’s upgraded my wordpress installation – thanks pao :))

If I open the window and look to my left, I see this instead now.

In case you were missing them, here is Merlin looking cute. The cats are taking really well to the new house so we’re very pleased for them. They are really enjoying basking in the sunshine and lying on the carpet.

I have so many blogs to catch up on – I can’t wait to get the broadband up and going again. I was off sick for four days last week so this is the first time I have been online in a week! Still a little dizzy at the moment so am thinking about seeing the doctor tomorrow. We’ve managed to book a holiday but not sadly not to the US though – we’ve decided that if it is going to be a more expensive time then we’d go in late summer/autumn so we can see the leaves and have the benefit of nicer weather. Also it gives us a chance to regroup a bit after the shock of having to buy lots of new curtains, light fittings etc as the woman who sold us the house very helpfully took all of the existing ones with her. We have a couple of bare wires hanging out the walls in places. pao and I are having trouble deciding on lounge curtains still so we’ve narrowed it down to two patterns – now just got to decide. We’ve found a good deal on an apartment in Herceg Novi in Montenegro so in about six weeks we’ll be off! I’m really looking forward to our US trip though as Eileen has been such a great help in finding us unusual places to stay in the St Paul 🙂