#The100DayProject: day 6

day-6

And it’s raining again. And I’m feeling run down. And I have a thousand and one things on my todo list*. So long walks are simply not happening today. I’ve had a couple of goes at getting photos of the neighbour’s magnolia blossom; took one I was almost happy with, but not quite, maybe it’ll be third time lucky… We’ll have to make do with a small carpet (a rug?) of very wet flowers that might be violets instead.

*This may be a slight exaggeration, but that’s what it feels like.

day 6/100 — #100daysofleavingthehousewithacamera – #the100dayproject

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#The100DayProject: day 5

day5-100

I did go out for a walk this afternoon and I did take a few photos while I was out, but my favourite picture of the day was taken in our garden this morning. It wasn’t raining — for a change — so I tidied up the planters before the weeds got too enthused by the recent sunshine and warm weather, and that’s when I noticed how nicely weathered our owl was becoming.

day 5/100 — #100daysofleavingthehousewithacamera – #the100dayproject

#The100DayProject: day 4

Fuchsia spring

This photo makes me happy. I was starting to worry that my fuchsia wasn’t going to recover after the miserable winter it has been through, but when I checked it today I spotted these tiny green leaves appearing.

day 4/100 — #100daysofleavingthehousewithacamera – #the100dayproject

#The100DayProject: day 3

DSC00003

We had sunshine! It’s been so grey, cold and wet this year that “sunshine” was even trending on Twitter in the UK. I wasn’t sure I’d get out much past the front door today as I was stuck in waiting for deliveries; luckily they all turned up while it was still light so I got to appreciate these colourful flower boxes that someone had hung on the railings by the river Wandle.

day 3/100 — #100daysofleavingthehousewithacamera – #the100dayproject

#The100DayProject: day 2

day 2-100

I didn’t give up immediately and I wasn’t even put off by the weather. I did try to time going out to avoid the worst of the showers, but the nature of April weather in England meant it was almost inevitable that I would get caught in one. Which I did. I can’t really complain though — I wouldn’t have caught these raindrops in a puddle otherwise.

day 2/100 — #100daysofleavingthehousewithacamera – #the100dayproject

One hundred days of…

Fencing

While idly catching up with my blog feeds the other day I came across a mention of the 100 day project. It’s now in its fifth year, but somehow it has completely passed me by.

I did think about joining in, but, with only a couple of days to go before the start date, I was hard pushed to come up with a project that fitted the brief. I am very eclectic when it comes to my art: I love to try different things and different styles and the idea of committing to one thing every day for one hundred days seemed like a losing prospect. The 30 day colouring challenges are enough of a commitment.

So, nice idea I thought, but no, I’ll give it a pass this time. And anyway, I don’t need another excuse to not leave the house…

Brain: Why not make it one hundred days of leaving the house?
Me: That’s not an art project.
Brain: It could be.
Me: …
Brain: It could be if you took your camera out with you.
Me: …
Brain: You know, the actual camera, not the one on your phone.
Me: …
Brain: You’d only have to take one photo.
Me: But…
Brain: And if you’re feeling ill or the weather’s awful, you could just step outside the door, that would count.
Me: Hmm…

And that’s how I seem to have decided to do #100daysofleavingthehousewithacamera in the almost certain knowledge that it will not happen every day, but I’ll give it a go. At least I did manage to get out on day one 🙂

day 1/100 — #100daysofleavingthehousewithacamera – #the100dayproject

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December

Quorra RIP

At the start of this week we had to make the decision to say goodbye to Quorra. She’d been slowing down over the last few months — losing weight and starting to look like an old rat — but when she went off her food over the weekend we knew it was time.

When I found a small lump on her ribs at the start of last year we never thought that we would have anywhere near this long left with her. The Galastop kept that lump under control the whole time and, while there may well have been some secondary internal tumours affecting her health at the end, it was old age that caught up with her. She made it to the very respectable age of two and a half; outliving her sister Yori by nine months.

When she joined us she didn’t have any really distinctive personality traits. She wasn’t a jumper or a climber or a biter or a hider; she was just a sweet little ratty (who roaned out her grey and black baby colouring in just a couple of weeks!). And then she got the ear infection which left her with an adorable head tilt and the ability to go round corners like no other rat. Suddenly she was the rat who could escape onto the top of the cage in the blink of an eye, and did so at every opportunity. She took a liking to spiralling her way down my t-shirt, from which vantage point she would often lick my face (going through a phase of sticking her tongue up my nose which was just a bit disturbing) and if she wasn’t licking, she’d be chewing on the neck of the t-shirt.

She grew old gracefully, tolerating the newcomers and putting them in their place with a good power grooming when needed. I will miss that sweet, tilty face.

Meet the Rats: Molly and Ivy

threesome

The loss of Rommie left us with just one rat for the first time ever, so we had to find some friends for Quorra; she was only alone for a few days, but she obviously wasn’t happy. Having said that, I’m not convinced she was always particularly impressed by the presence of two lively youngsters either. The two newcomers are Molly and Ivy, named after characters in the Dresden Files books.

And once again I managed to forget exactly how energetic young ratties are; a situation that was made worse by having to look after them by myself for the first week as my other half was away visiting family. Molly was particularly trying as she would attempt to use me as a jumping off point to absolutely anywhere else she thought she might be able to reach. Ivy just didn’t want to be picked up and was quick enough to avoid it much of the time.

Molly is a wonderfully sleek mismarked black Berkshire. She has the cutest little white feet and belly and a tiny dot of white on the top of her head. Luckily she has grown out of her initial habit of trying to leap off in random directions; now she is happy to just run around at full speed, including in the wheel at five in the morning…

Ivy doesn’t really fit into any of the markings categories; she has black from her nose to her shoulders and the rest of her, including her chin and throat, is white with a couple of stray spots of black. She is decidedly skittish, twitching at most noises (especially crinkly plastic) and is not keen on being held. That’s not to say she’s scared of people — she will happily come up for food and will let you stroke her — she just doesn’t want the interaction to go on for too long; she would much rather find a comfy spot to hide in. She loves her food and is destined to be another “fat rat”.

 

Rommie RIP

At the start of July last year, a few weeks after the unexpected loss of Yori, we had to say goodbye to Rommie. She was the second-longest-lived of all our ratties, making it to the grand old age of two years and eight months.

At some point, we’re not sure when as it was probably masked by Yori’s propensity for bleeding randomly, Rommie started to have a small amount of blood in her urine. We never found the cause of it, neither antibiotics nor steroids cured the underlying problem, and she was too old to even consider exploratory surgery, so we lived with it. Just another side effect of getting old. And as with all ratties who don’t succumb to a specific medical problem, she got older, she lost weight, and eventually started to look like life wasn’t fun any more. And that’s the point at which you make the decision to stop before life becomes painful.

Rommie was one of the prettiest ratties, with a lovely splotchy tummy to match her splotchy back. She loved her food and turned into a bit of a squishy fat rat (though never excessively so), and would even put up with the indignity of having her tummy scritched as long as there was food to distract her.