Happy New Year!

A grey start to 2018.

Happy New Year everyone! We're already into the second day of 2018 and, here at least, it's off to a fairly quiet start. The weather is abysmal: grey, heavy clouds and pouring rain (which, as I write this, is turning into snow), and I gather we're awaiting the arrival of Storm Eleanor later this evening. All the fallen snow has virtually disappeared (I don't know if you can make out some remaining spots in the top centre / left of the picture): just a few days ago it was stunning. Here's what it looked like on Boxing Day:

As for today, I don't have many pictures to share for the new month: it's pouring down and looks so miserable so what I thought might be fun is for tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday I might take some pictures of all my house plants. Until then, here's one cheery picture: my hyacinth has started to flower!

Next, the hens - Meg is doing so very well at the minute. All her new feathers are in and her comb has grown back to it's full size and is nice and red again. Clover and Bess are also very well and putting weight on, and I do think Ruby's almost finished growing her new feathers. She's still missing feathers on her wings and is looking a bit miserable but I know she's almost finished. They're wisely staying out of the rain and sitting in front of the heater: this is the only picture I could get of them today:

From the back to the front: Ruby, Meg, Bess, and Clover.

Finally, the budgies - they're all well too and Snow is settling in very well. There's been a few skirmishes (for which Pepys was to blame) but they're all pretty harmonious. Snow's slightly tamer and even stood on my finger for the first time on New Year's Eve (it's not yet been repeated), but I can see she's a good budgie and much calmer than Pepys, who believe it or not appears to be sharpening her beak on her branch. Here's a picture of them all in their cage (it's so dark here they've not really ventured out much as yet):

Snow at the stop, Bram bottom left, Pepys back right.

Now, as it's new year I'm thinking of some bookish plans and my main one is not not let my to-be-reviewed pile get out of control as I did several times last year! Once I had eleven or twelve books piled up next to me and it was very irritating. Today I have just two: yesterday I read a novella, The Swindler by Francisco de Quevedo, and The Would-Be Gentleman by Moliére. I'm also in the early part of Vis and Rāmin by Fakhruddin As'ad Gurgani, which I'm really enjoying. I would like to get ahead with my 2018 challenges this month: I'm also keen on reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, The Temptation of St. Anthony by Gustave Flaubert, and Idylls of the King by Alfred, Lord Tennyson if I can. Because with Adam's TBR Pile Challenge one can't change the titles I feel I need to capitalise on my enthusiasm with the titles and try and read as many as I can! I would love it if I'd read five before the month is out then start looking at the other challenges!

Apart from that I have the usual resolutions and plans: spring cleaning, finally decorate the hallway, and spend time in the garden as usual (I'm missing it, I've barely been out since the end of October). I'm very much looking forward to seeing the bulbs come up. The irises have already come up and I'm eagerly awaiting the daffodils, snowdrops, and crocuses. And, as ever, I'd like to take lots of pictures! My plan is to participate in as many Wordless Wednesdays as I can, and I'll start tomorrow with some house plants.

So, I do think all this will keep me very busy! Let me now take the opportunity to wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! 


  1. lovely pictures; the girls look happy... i hope everything else has regularized itself...

    1. Not yet, but we've found someone who does at least travel up here. Not got a hold of him yet, however!

    2. i'm relieved; i've been wondering...

    3. Thanks :) Still trying to get a hold of him... It's a tricky time, he may be away...

  2. Glad the birds are coping with winter ok. I am looking forward to some reading challenges this year. Helps to stay focused.🐧🐧🐧

    1. It does indeed. I think I floundered a bit last year when I'd finished my challenges :)


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