Monday, 22 March 2010

Shopping Surprise

Shopping with Best Beloved is a rare and unusual event. There is a party on the horizon -a retirement party for one of his colleagues, with a '60s/70's theme. Well, of course, neither of us has anything (that fits) left from those dim and distant days. So shopping we went. I will continue that theme when I can upload some photos. Anyway, just after parking, we passed a charity shop...with this in the window....->

I couldn't believe my eyes. We rushed in, and it really was for sale. There was a small problem- the little thing that joins the treadle bar to the wheel drive was broken. B.B shook his head, and said ' No problem'. So, I quickly paid, and we bore it away. We continued our shopping, and were very successful, both of us getting more or less what we had in mind.
Once home, B.B. did a little magic, and got the wheel working. It is an Ashford traditional spinning wheel, with a leather joint, which is what had broken. All of this was a week ago. Saturday, I went to a meeting of the Somerset Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, at Hatch Beachamp. This amazing, friendly and knowledgeable group of people, were very quick to offer help and advice. I was shown the details which help to date this wheel to about 1970. Apparently, it is in excellent condition for it's age. I now have to do a service on it, to get it up and running. One of the ladies ( I really can't remember everyone's names -there were about forty people there) showed Jacquie and me how to do a little spinning. Another kindly lent me a 'how to' video.
Back in the late 1970s, I had intended to learn to spin, but I never got around to it. Well, here I am, with a wheel, and lots of help and advice. I may get there in the end.

Lovely Jacquie has fitted me up with an Apple i-pod shuffle. Not only that, she has shown me how to download pod-casts, and how to fill, and change the content of the shuffle. What could be better than knitting? Well, how about Knitting, AND listening to someone talking about knitting! Thanks, Jac!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The sound of Bees working

The first essential task of the day, even before breakfast, is to take Poppy for a walk. So, off we went, bright and early. Our first walk takes us along the back of the bee hives, and under the overhanging Hazel trees. At first, I couldn't make out the sound. Then it dawned on me - a constant gentle hum. Quite loud. The sound of many bees, collecting pollen in the warm sunshine.

(I'm afraid the picture is a bit bleached - it was VERY bright. If you click on the photo to enlarge, you will see three bees, each with pollen on their back legs.)
After that, I noticed bees foraging everywhere. On the Crocus, On the Snowdrops, the winter honeysuckle. The best bit, was that all of the hives were showing busy activity.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Beekeeping groundwork.

Hurrah, the weather is improving. The appearance of the sun, and lack of rain, has enticed the Bees out. All six hives have had lots of activity going on, these last two days.

That has prompted Best Beloved, and me, into checking all the bee-keeping equiptment, and having a major spring clean of same. When it gets warmer, we will do a spring clean of the hives. That will require at least five freshly waxed-up frames, and one brood box, per hive. Keeping the hives as clean as possible, helps to reduce the chance of disease. So all the hard work will pay off quite quickly.
It is a joyful thing, to see Bees working the flowers for pollen, again.