Tuesday, 30 June 2009

English Civil War Cannon Ball found at Soggibottom

The cannon ball often sits forgotten by the fireplace.
On Sunday I relived the story of finding it by a wall in the garden, a few feet away opposite our back door.
I happened to be digging around in the same place this afternoon.
Nothing but the odd bug... no treasure (no weeds either).
OK, so I fib there are if you take off your sunglasses and really look.

When I unearthed this I had my hands deep into the base of the old wall and couldn't see what I was pulling out.
Skull was my first thought if I am honest. That was a fleeting thought because it is so heavy. I needed two hands to hold it.
We think it an English Civil War cannon ball because of the age of the cottage.
But if anyone knows differently we would love to hear from you.

This post is really for Charlie, Mel and Malcolm........ thanks for your great company on Sunday guys. Love to see old friends. We had such a good time we forgot to take any photo's for the blog.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Bird, Bee and Bugs

Last years bird nesting box, THE BEE BOX and we have a new BUG BOX.

The bug box was made in the same way as the bee box except it has four sides and holes for the bugs to go through.
In this case the holes are in the shape of an S for Soggibottom. It also has a lift up lid so we could renew the bug material inside. Wood shavings, dried leaves.

The bees are far too quick for us to catch them on camera going in and out of the bee box, but they have found it already. Placing it in the shelter of honeysuckle must help.

Our vegetable garden.

Picking is now in full flow if you can see the beer bottle, they aren't all mine.
Some of them might be, BUT NOT ALL!

If you can remember back in the Spring when "someone" had the great idea to spray paint the fence because it would be quicker than a paint brush
Mr Mud.......also sprayed the plants, the pond, next doors car that was parked behind the fence at the time and Amie. A green Cavalier is not a pretty sight.

The plants have all grown back and it has all recovered.
Our neighbours were very good about their car. Thankfully it washed off.
Amie cleaned up after a few days.

He is forgiven and we love the new blue.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Forever and just one more day

I always have a big problem saying goodbye to my four legged friends.

I suppose I hope that every time the decision has to be made it gets easier than the time before.
It never ever does get easier, no matter how hard I try..............

All the silly things we blog here on the Soggibottom blog, there is nothing more important to us than all our four legged friends who live here. They are always part of the cottage, no matter how small.............
In this case small cat, huge personality.................

She is on the blog for the last time.
Our Sneaky cat sitting in her usual place, on her bean bag, watching Mew warming the other side of herself by the fire two weeks ago.

I blogged a few weeks ago about how I love my dog..... love my cat x x x (cat's) x x x

Hey guys can I ask you although I have posted this......don't comment this time.

Loads more posts next week..........and I will try and find something we can all smile about.......

Michele/ Midge/ Mum and cottage keeper x x x

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Life is just a beach really

There is a lot to do on a beach in June, especially if the weather is hot, hot, hot.

The sky a very clear deep blue and the waves beat gently.

You can sit under an umbrella, they have more uses than just on rainy days.

You can collect stones.

Sit back under the shade with a drink..

Counting the stone collection.

Or just make a fuss of someone special.......................

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Open door

What do you see as you come through the door ................?

Normally this, although you might see Amie, Frank or Mew..................

Monday, 22 June 2009

Give away felted bear

"name the bear"

I have decided to end name the bear slightly early.

We are really busy over the next few weeks and I want to send the little guys out.

I made two.

Rosey and Jackie they are all yours.

For all the shy guys out there who didn't want to name him,

better luck next time.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

She's back!

Becca arrived home this morning.

Really pleased.........................................................x x x

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Mooching around Stonehenge

No matter what time of year you go past Stonehenge, there is always someone mooching around.
Tomorrow morning at Summer Solstice there won't be a blade of grass to be seen for the amount of people on the plain.

It's also Father's Day...........Happy Father's Day to all Dads


Why do they always seem to taste better when you go and pick your own veggies?

Friday, 19 June 2009

Date and Walnut Cake/Pecan nut and sausage on the floor

Want a cake recipe?

This is a really nice cake for Summer tea in the garden. The one in the pic might, just might have had a minute or five too long in the oven. But it is still a nice recipe.
So I don't get moaned at about Metric/Imperial and American measures. Take your choice as they are in all three.

Before I forget......Most of my blue and white plates reside with Sparkybrand.
Mark how many of my blue plates have you still got?
Sorry........I'm being mislead...............

Metric and Imperial

150g/60z margarine
75g/30z Castor sugar
3 tablespoons clear honey...........I used Devon honey from all the Devon bees we have been trying to help.
3 beaten eggs
175g/7oz self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
grated rind of half a lemon
75g/30z stoned and chopped dates
40g/1 1/2oz halved walnuts....... I didn't have any so used Pecan nuts.


3/4 cup margarine
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons clear honey
3 beaten eggs
1 3/4 cups of self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/3 cup walnut halves ..........or Pecan nuts!!!!!!

Grease a 20cm/8 inch square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with greaseproof (waxed) paper.
Cream the margarine, sugar and honey together until light and fluffy. OR USE SOMETHING WITH WHIZZ..........that's electric........
Beat in the eggs one at a time, following each with a spoonful of flour.
Sift the remaining flour with the cinnamon and fold into the mixture, followed by the lemon rind and dates.
Turn into the prepared tin, level the top and cover with the nuts.

Bake in a moderately hot oven (190C/375F, Gas Mark 5) for 40 to 45 minutes
( this is the point you need to get a shaun the sheep timer and make sure when he shouts you take notice)
or until well risen and firm to the touch.

Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
For a deeper cake use an 18cm/ 7 inch square tin and increase the cooking time by 10 to 15 minutes (I used a round tin).

The last word from Amie Soto Blossom.

"I wasn't allowed any cake, I had to make do with this piece of tatty sausage".

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Amie's walk along Slapton Ley

Wrong way Amie.
That's the way back..............
slightly overwhelmed by all the fuss the kids on their school trip had given her.

The ley side.

Beach side with the road between the two.

Amie at Slapton Ley, South Devon

Another favorite haunt of Amie ( apart from sitting in the front seat of the car to get the best view) is Slapton Ley. The sea often closes the road in Winter. The last time there was a storm in 2001 it swept the road away. The present road connecting Torcross to Dartmouth has a life span of 30 years...........unless there is another storm. All the road will be reclaimed by the sea.

Great dog walking beach. Although Amie is looking towards Dartmouth, we were going the other way.
If you think her ears have shrunk, she went to auntie Meloney, her hairclipper last week. Pays to keep cool, and look cool!

Towards Torcross, fish and chips and ice cream.

She had a great walk....and ice cream and fish.....no chips.
Mew has her paw out...... it's the do not disturb sign.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

14 miles to Dartmoor and a foal by the road

The foal was asleep until we passed by and disturbed it. It never went on the road, it went back to it's mum. The wonder of Dartmoor is that you never know what is around the corner wandering aimlessly in the middle of the road.

Dartmoor National park is going to have to come up with a better idea of slowing the traffic down. The signs of Take Moor Care just don't work. It would be such a shame to fence the beauty of the moor.
Is there an answer?

I have just fallen off my soap box!

14 miles to Dartmoor

Amie always has to get into the picture. Here she is (just) on her way up to Haytor on Saturday afternoon. She might be getting on slightly but she's always game for a walk, even if this one seemed to be vertical.

Just a bunch of old stones really.

There are somethings you would rather not come across, this is our only British poisonous snake.
An Adder, as he was dozing blissfully in the sun best that he wasn't disturbed. He had his beady eye's on Amie who was on a lead at the time. I didn't take the photograph by the way. I put as much distance as I could between me and the snake.

Ponies beside the road on Dartmoor.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Free plans and instructions. How to build a Bee Box

Tenon saw or electric jig saw.
Set square with m.m. ruler.
Drill, either hand or electric.
2 drill bits, 3mm and either a 5mm or 6mm.
Countersink bit (optional)
X head screwdriver or attachment for your electric drill.
16 x 30mm and 3 x 40mm, 6 gauge, X head screws.
Wood glue.
120mm x 18mm pine board.
30mm x 18mm x 240mm pine strip.
Enough bamboo canes to make about 70 pieces x 120mm long.

I had the wood in "the shed" spare from a previous job. To buy a length of pine board,
120mm x 18mm x 2.1 mts, is about £4.50p from most DIY stores, this is enough to make
2 Bee Boxes.
All the measurements are contained in the blog photographs, as well as where to drill the holes.
After assembling the box, cut the bamboo to length, and with the 6mm drill bit, drill out the
centers. I held each piece in my hand and ran the drill bit through the middle, if you are somewhat wary of maybe drilling a hole in your hand, then hold each piece in a pair of pliers.
Put a dab of wood glue at one end of each piece of bamboo, and stick it to the back of the
The finished box can be left unpainted, but ours is blue, as this seems to attract the bees.
Use the 3 x 40mm screws to mount the box in a sunny, but sheltered spot.

All measurements are in m.m. if, like me, you were brought up with feet and inches and £.S.D.
please feel free to convert. Cost for a bee box is around £3.00 plus your time.
You will receive as payment, the eternal gratitude of quite a few bees!!!

Instructions all from the cottage carpenter.........Tony.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

A garden is a fragile place

Back to bees.....

Bees are in rapid decline, as I mentioned in the last post, so many I find that are dead or dying.
I won't count the one I found this afternoon in a water bucket, trying to do the dog paddle
(resuced and left to dry out).

The varroa mite has been the main cause of the loss of our bees.
It's a parasitic external mite that feeds off the bees, making it responsible for the death of many bee colonies. They also transmit viruses among the colony.
Some pesticides are also regarded as one of the main causes of the decline in bees also climate change. Wetter summers and mild winters.

Bees are clever little workers. They are the ultimate GREEN MACHINE foraging from plant to plant, picking up pollen and transferring it from one flower to another. Without this many plants, flowers and fruits wouldn't exist.

The Soggibottom garden wouldn't exist.
The little guy on the poppy........ is very welcome to be there.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Look after the bees

I've noticed this year we have more dead or dying bees in our garden.
We plant lots of flowers in the garden that they love, it helps to feed them.
Californian poppies, thyme's and flowering herbs, wallflowers and sunflowers.
Even in the veggie garden we have flowers, the more bees we have, the better our veggies are as they help to pollinate the veggie flowers. WE NEED BEES.................

Finding foxgloves on a Devon hill this morning made me think Soggibottom has got to have bee boxes as well as bird houses. A bee needs somewhere to hibernate in the Winter. I'm not good at woodwork, but I know someone in the cottage that is. Excellent in fact.

Tony has promised to make some bee boxes and we will blog how to make them.
Lucky for you out there........his instructions are always better and clearer than mine.

I added the spider as I thought the art that went into making this big guy was very clever. I really don't mind spiders, maybe not this big............

Saturday, 6 June 2009

65th D-Day Anniversary

A British 2nd World War Valentine Tank.

If I should die, think only this of me.
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be,
in that rich earth a richer dust concealed.
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware.
Gave, once her flowers to love, her ways to roam.
A body of England's breathing English air.
Washed by the rivers, blessed by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away.
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less.
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England gives.
Her sights and sounds, dreams happy as her day.
And laughter, learnt of friends, and gentleness.
In hearts a peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Counting Plums and Roses

Such beautiful weather brings out our roses in the garden.

Unfortunately its been so hot they aren't lasting.

The plum tree on the other hand is doing really well. One of us "not me", counts the plums .....really he does....... except this year there are too many to worry about.

O.k. I used to count the roses I'll admit it..................