Enjoying nature … cheaper than therapy!

Hey, how YOU doin?

I’ve now entered my second month of writing my blog and exploring WordPress (which I am really enjoying) and it’s like a whole new world has opened up to me. A world where I am learning so many interesting things, reading so many fascinating blogs covering a multitude of subjects, and where I feel I have already made some real connections with others. So yes, it does feel as though a whole new whole has been revealed to me, one which I had no idea even existed. Brillo!

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And all of the above happened without me even leaving the comfort of my own desk – except to let my dogs (Mrs Temple-Savage and Philip) out for a wee – and at this time of year it’s just a bit too chilly for their liking so they are out and then back fairly quickly.

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Mrs Temple-Savage (aged nine) and Philip (aged five) aren’t related in any way but, as you can see, they are inseparable and Philip, on the left, can become quite distressed if he is away from her for even the shortest time (a visit to the vet for example). They do everything together and often sleep together in the above position where he is literally cuddling her.

Seeing how they communicate, and their genuine love and affection for one another, was yet another factor in me deciding to become a pesco-vegetarian (adding only seafood to a mainly plant based diet), not that I used to eat dogs of course, but this is just my personal preference and the conclusion I have reached.

Animals are way more intelligent and sentient than many people give them credit for and I pray that I will see all species granted vastly increased rights during my lifetime.

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My little companions and I, and our friends, have very much enjoyed our summer this year and although it was rather too hot at times we spent quite a lot of time in the garden especially in the early evenings.

Since we are living in a city we only have a small courtyard garden but it’s plenty big enough to enjoy and to entertain. All the trees and bushes are discreetly draped in fairy lights which sounds kitsch I know, but they look so pretty in the evening making it a really nice peaceful place to sit and relax and mull over the events of the day, or to catch up with friends.

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We have a brick built barbecue and a lovely little fire pit sitting on a pile of carefully broken slabs which my friend Alistair cleverly constructed in such a way that the occasional stray mouse can find sanctuary away from my two terriers, both of which have a very high prey instinct.

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Right in the centre of the above picture you can see what I think is a rather magnificent display of red hot pokers – these are of great sentimental value to me as they came, as small cuttings, from my fathers’ garden just after he passed away. The birdbath at the bottom of the garden on the right was made for me by my father many years ago and is therefore so precious to me.

These are all surrounded by Scottish pebbles chosen for two rather specific reasons. Firstly because my dogs occasionally charge around a bit and therefore I wanted pebbles specifically with soft round edges to protect their feet and, secondly because when it rains their natural colours shine through and they just look so beautiful on even the dullest of days.

And at the bottom of the garden is a beautiful lime tree which I planted as a sapling about ten years ago and this provides quite a lot of privacy from being overlooked. In front of this is a generous size garden table which I use to feed the birds and a grey squirrel who visits occasionally.

Having left nuts, seeds, bread, suet and fruit out for the last decade this table now attracts on a daily basis a family of sixteen pigeons, four ring-necked doves, miscellaneous robins and sparrows who also nest in the garden, and half a dozen great tits, as well as a male and female blackbird and two magpies who usually visit weekly.

Great tits naturally reside in woodland areas but they have apparently adapted to city living now in parks and gardens, and I live next door to a park so maybe they nest there and just visit my garden to enjoy a little banquet as I try to make the food as delicious and varied as possible to appeal to all tastes.

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I think these gorgeous little birds look quite exotic and I read that they are admired for their intelligence as well as their beauty, and are also known to problem solve and achieve success by intelligence rather than trial and error. It’s these tiny birds which used to take the tops off milk bottles to reach the cream in the days of delivered milk left on doorsteps. And they have also been known to use tools such as a pine needle¬†for extracting larvae that’s hiding in the crevice of a tree.

We also have visits from a hedgehog or two, and even a fox sometimes – it’s amazing that there is just so much going on in my little city garden, day and night. Wonderful!

Please do feed and water the birds if you are able this winter – your kindness could be the difference between life and death for these little creatures and in turn will bring you much happiness.

Thankyou so much,

Elizabeth x