Sunday, 17 May 2015

A Cete of Badgers

This week....

:: We celebrated Angus's sixth birthday.


:: I learnt the collective noun for a group of badgers.


:: I made a delighted boy a badger t-shirt (and my mum was thrilled to find that blue jumper in M&S.)


:: I baked two cakes, one to be eaten after school with family and a McDonald's Happy Meal...


...and one Badgery one for the party at the weekened.



* * * 

And in other, non-badger related news, I also:

:: Picked bluebells from my sister's garden.


:: Learnt the difference between native and Spanish bluebells (these are Spanish)


:: Continue to be displeased with the mantel arrangement I've been faffing with. Everything about it is wrong and unbalanced and I don't know why. (I later moved the pussy willow stems and that helped a bit, but still, it's traumatic.)


:: Discovered that still warm off-cuts of cake with buttercream sandwiched between them are delicious, and everything I thought a whoopie pie (remember those?) would be but wasn't.



:: Saw a bird from the kitchen window, photographed it (sorry, not much zoom on my camera) and then looked it up in a book! A first for me. Suddenly we are all very interested in birds, all four of us. I think it's a goldfinch and I know you'll all correct me if I'm wrong.


:: Failed to cut the grass and admired the daisies instead. Why are we so obsessed with neat lawns in this country? Why are daisies and dandelions all over the grass considered a gardening failure?


:: Got excited about these rhododendron buds in the garden and wondered what colour they'll be.


:: Enjoyed John's banana ice cream, his first experiment with the ice cream maker he got for Christmas.


:: Also enjoyed using this old Tala ice cream scoop I recently liberated from my Grandad's kitchen drawer. Nice handle.


:: Had a lovely morning in Arundel with Sara. There are pretty buildings everywhere you look in that picturesque town.


:: Started a new book, The Year Of Living Danishly. It's very good, very funny.


Also, how lovely is that pink gerbera? 

I am looking forward to an early night and slightly less hectic week ahead. 



74 comments:

  1. Yep. It's a goldfinch :)

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  2. You did so well with the badger birthday celebrations. That cake will be talked about for years to come, I'm sure. And I so agree on the daisies and dandelions. My grandad is waging a war against them! I think they're so pretty x

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  3. Wow, what a badgery birthday he had. He looks so cute, what a happy little boy. I wouldn't cut those daisies either. The grass would be up to my knees. :)

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  4. That badger cake is wonderful! He is just so cute. Looks like his birthday was marvelous!! I love the gerbera, they are a favorite of mine. I also agree about flowers in the yard - I regularly comment, "The yard looks beautiful, guess that means it's going to be cut soon". Actually, I do the same with my husband's hair, haha! Just as soon as like it, I know it will be driving him nuts and he'll go in for a haircut!!

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  5. A belated happy birthday to Angus! I loved all the badgery things particularly the toys lined up in bed :-) Your cake is amazing. x

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  6. Happy Birthday from Oz, Angus. Hope he had a lovely day. You sound so contented there in your new home and I'm sure we'll see lots of arrangements on the new mantel, from time to time. I don't mind daisies in my lawn, but dandelions tend to take over here, so best get them out fast. I bought an ice cream maker just before we left WG, but haven't used it here, but will definitely give it a try when we get back home. I think I'll be like you and more settled once we've moved. Have a great week and take care.

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  7. Love the badger cake!!! Mmm, home made ice cream... can't get more delicious than that, I think.
    Not sure what's wrong with the arrangement on the mantel, but I know what you mean about not being happy with it. Sometimes something bugs us and we can't really put a finger on it.
    The goldfinch is so pretty!

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  8. I love that photo of Angus with his cake! And I agree, lawns shouldn't have to be painted on. I'm planning to cover ours with wildflower seeds and see what happens.
    I'd love an ice cream machine. So many gorgeous recipes to try...
    Have a lovely week.
    S x

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  9. Happy Birthday Angus, hope you had a great day Sweetheart! Maybe it's not what's on the mantle that's unbalanced, the chimmney breast is sloped, perhaps that's what making you feel that way? I'm not sure, but I'm sure you will get used to the dimensions :) xxx

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  10. Looks like Angus had a great birthday full of badger fun. Love the ceramic birds on your mantel and that ice cream looks yummy. Hope you have a nice, less busy week! X

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  11. Angus looked so happy on his big day. Loved his badger cake!
    Jacqui xx

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  12. Goodness, Angus is getting so big! Looks like the birthday was a sucess and just another lovely post. I remember learning the difference between bluebells too, but now I forget. Aren't ours smaller an?

    S x

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  13. Angus looks a very happy Birthday boy! I am glad he got all the badger things he wanted. I hope you get to like your new mantle! I think it is a matter of getting used to the new shape, it is quite different from your old one. Wishing you a stress free week Gillian. x

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  14. Happy Belated Badger Birthday to your gorgeous boy!
    My husband and I have 'the lawn disagreement' he like it neat i like it as nature intends ..... we will NEVER agree!
    love all your pics and wishing you a lovely calm new week x
    love Jooles x x x

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  15. Lovely photos as always, loved the badgers-in-bed, but it is the book on the 'last' photo which caught my eye ... now ordered from Amazon!

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  16. Love the badger-related pictures :-) ! I think you may start a hype on blogger, suddenly I'm interested in badgers and am looking for them everywhere :-)))) !
    As for the lawns, I agree with you : what is wrong with dandelions, buttercupflowers (don't know if that is the correct English word, they are the yellow thingies that grow in every lawn), and small daisies ? Even more, I even wánt them on my lawn, they bring colour to an otherwise very dull and green surface !!

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  17. I hope Angus had a wonderful birthday. There was also a birthday on our house. Little L received a jellycat badger! That cake looks fantastic. I think I will need to up my game cake wise next year. X

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  18. Brilliant cake. P has that duvet set but her bed is populated by a pack of foxes.

    I think you mantle looks fabulous.

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  19. The badger cake is an absolute triumph, well done you. I love the t-shirt as well, honestly you're a top mum. I hope Angus had a good birthday, six is such a fantastic age, I have it on very good authority. It is indeed a goldfinch. In reply to your comment on my last post (sorry, I couldn't work out how to email it back temporarily, it's one of those mornings), the Drops Lima is lovely. I just bought one ball to start with to test it out, and so far I'm very impressed. Hence enough for a small blanket. CJ xx

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  20. Happy birthday to you little man! I love gerbera too!!!! Have a nice week! :))

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  21. Thank you for enlightening us re group of badgers (I didn't know). Gorgeous photo of Angus; fab cake; yes, it's a goldfinch (I used to work for the RSPB and absorbed a lot of bird info by osmosis!). If I may make a suggestion re your mantlepiece – I was 'taught' that like objects should be grouped together, so perhaps all vases together might work? You've a darned good eye, though, and it looks pretty good as is. Have a super week. Sam x

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  22. A cete of badgers - who knew? Love the badgery birthday. That gerbera looks fantastic against the blue wall and the banana ice cream sounds delicious. I really must dig out our ice cream maker - it got put to the back of a cupboard when the freezer became too full to house the base bit - I really miss it. Your mantel looks good to me as it is and yup, that's definitely a goldfinch. Just off to look up the difference between native and Spanish bluebells! Have a great week. xx

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  23. I love all the badger stuff, your t-shirt and cake are brilliant!! We have a soft puppet toy badger and my son loves playing with it too. It is very cute... I've never seen a real badger...., though! Wish you a relaxing week...things have been rather hectic around here also and I just need a bit of peace....hopefully from Wednesday onwards..... Pati x

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  24. Looks like badger heave at your house for Angus!
    Great cake by the way, well done.
    Love daisies on a lawn and I will never not want to see them there.
    I have that book on my wish list, glad you are enjoying it, always good to hear feedback about something you think you may like too.
    Lisa x

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  25. I'm glad you managed to find what you needed for the badger theme! Yes, your bird is a goldfinch. I can highly recommend Matt Sewell's birdy books if you're getting interested in your garden birds (see this post - http://roachling.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-year-in-books-february.html )

    I like a wild lawn too.. we get plantain, bugle, self heal, buttercups, birdsfoot trefoil and the usual dandies and daisies growing in ours. Dave and I love it but as it's not really our garden, it's a battle to keep the mowing down! I did manage to negotiate a no mow patch though :)

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    1. I have his Songbirds book - it's brilliant, we use it loads. X

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  26. Sounds like quite a fabulous week, really love the badger obsession, what a cool little chap you have. Hope this week is as lovely for you all too.

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  27. It looks like one little boy had a fabulous birthday. Happy week to you,
    Meredith

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  28. My daughter would have gone mad for the badger cake and shirts.

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  29. What a lovely birthday! I gave up on the perfect lawn when the badgers arrived. Now if it is greenish and flattish I'm happy and I love the tapestry effect wild flowers (not weeds) give a lawn. Every year I think about buying an ice cream maker as I make loads of ice cream during the strawberry season. It really is the best way to preserve strawberries for future enjoyment when you're harvesting a kilo or two a day for the 10 days the season lasts. Short but very sweet. I'm sure the mantel will just evolve naturally over time in your creative hands. Have a good week.

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  30. A busy but fun time. Your badger cake looks wonderful!

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  31. I have my eye on the book you're reading; may have to just get on and treat myself! Love your happy birthday boy pictures; we've had a happy birthday girl here and it's an exciting time when you're small, isn't it? :-) xx

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  32. Hey Gillian,
    Angus looks like he had a lot of fun. Olly loves a Happy Meal too. I get to eat the fries, so I'm happy too! I think you did yourself proud on the badger front. I do love that he is into this particular animal. How did it start? I remember seeing a badger gambolling up the hill on the back road to Penzance. They are quite big. It was a very moving experience.
    Leanne xx

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    1. We've never seen a real live badger sadly but he's been learning about nocturnal animals at school and it's spiralled from there. X

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  33. Happy Birthday Angus!! Yes, that's a goldfinch, aren't they just so gorgeous. Oh yew, I remember the whoopie pie disappointment. After reading several Amish books where they were mentioned they were such a disappointment, neither a cookie or a cake! x

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  34. What great pictures! I hope Angus had a great birthday, I love the badger theme :) Have a good week! x

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  35. so much loveliness in one post, and I admire all of the different badgers you have created! I hope you enjoy your well-earned early night, and that there is perhaps some left-over cake to enjoy with your book xx

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  36. Interesting - that looks nothing like the goldfinches we have here in the US! Ours are a bright sunflower yellow color with black markings (the male). The female is a more subdued olive color. Thanks for teaching us a new word - have to remember that for Scrabble!

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    1. When I Googled goldfinches I was surprised at how different the US and British birds are! X

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  37. Love the photo of your son - such a happy filled face! What a find - the badger jumper! Great looking cake
    Caz xx

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  38. Impressive badger cake! A suggestion for the traumatic mantel - how about a couple of small shelves in random places above it to give different heights to things - random and asymmetrical enough that the extra imbalance would give an overall sense of balance? If that makes any kind of sense...! Just a thought :)

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  39. Happy birthday Angus!!! Lovely photos thanks for sharing ooh am liking the sound of banana ice cream if John would like to share the recipe lol xx

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  40. wonderful badgery birthdayness.

    we always leave a big patch of the lawn that we don't cut. I need to keep at least some of the daisies to see everyday x

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  41. Looks like a busy week! I hope all the birthday celebrations went well. I'm rather fond of daisies in my lawn too! And I mow round the cowslips! :) Have a good week. x

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  42. Great badger birthday pics! You are a super mom 😊! Enjoy your less hectic week!

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  43. Lovely happy post, thank you Gillian and Angus for sharing! Love all the badgers. Xx

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  44. Beautiful words and pictures! Belated Birthday wishes to Badger Boy ;-) xx

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  45. Happy birthday to Angus! Looks like you made his birthday a wonderful day (with lots of badgers)!

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

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  46. Such a lovely post, I like daisies too, there really is a big fuss over neat lawns but I'd much rather sit and look at daisies than mow!x

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  47. It's a badger sett. Love you blog by the way!

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    1. I thought a sett was a badgers den or home, rather than a collective noun for a group of badgers? Happy to be corrected though, I'm no expert!

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  48. Happy 6th Birthday to Angus!! He looks so cute, and very happy! Your bowl of ice cream looks yummy. I could go for that right now on this hot day!

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  49. Gillian, I stand corrected. Cete and Sett. That'll teach me to read your blog correctly in future. At least I've learned something new today. Best wishes.

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  50. Angus's face, what a picture ... one excited and happy six year old, I love it.

    Re. your mantle, you may have tried this already, but something visually strong to the right, past or just maybe level with the angled upright (you might need to move your hanging further along the wall for this to work), a gap, and then a group of things to the left, might help to compensate for the chimney breasts two converging verticals.

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    1. Oops, meant to include the suggestion of taller to the right, shorter on the left, and on the left keep within the line of the chimney breast. It is an awkward shape to balance isn't it.

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  51. Loved this post Gillian, so much badger gloriousness - and oh, I so get you on the shelf trauma ! Have a good week, Kate xx

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  52. Fab photo's! Lots of badgeriness too (yes, I thnk that is a word...) First birthday celebration in your new house, another step towards it feeling like home, though it looks very homey already! The pink gerbera against the blue wall- perfection! X

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  53. A cete of badgers? Really? How wonderful to know the collective noun for badgers!
    And I really enjoyed reading all of your post. You have done so much this week!

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  54. Happy Birthday Angus! Great badger gifts too. Loving seeing corners of your home. My girls would be in heaven if our lawn had daisies in it - shame its more bare earth than lush green! well done on capturing the bird...I don't seem to catch them in time! Have a lovely week x

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  55. Happy Birthday Angus! Great badger gifts too. Loving seeing corners of your home. My girls would be in heaven if our lawn had daisies in it - shame its more bare earth than lush green! well done on capturing the bird...I don't seem to catch them in time! Have a lovely week x

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  56. Happy Birthday badger boy! The mantle? I think it is the vase at each end that is tipping it over the edge?? Jo x

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  57. Just a PS, Gillian, to say that A Year of Living Danishly has arrived ... and I'm loving it! I'd not have known about this book had I not seen it on your bedside table!
    Margaret P

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    1. Oh good! I'm two chapters in and enjoying it very much so far. Nice balance between facts and humour.

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  58. Oh, that looks like a very happy birthday, just what you'd wish for every child. Cake offcuts are so tasty. Have you tried crumbling the bits of cake, toasting the crumbs in the oven and then serving as an ice cream topping?

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    1. No, never, but I will now! Thank you!

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  59. I absolutely adore the amount of badger-stuff in this post - so great that you went all in! Happy birthday to your very happy 6 year old :-)

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  60. I am just catching up but this looks like an excellent birthday. Maccy D's is always a favourite in this house, not for me but for my daughter. We used to take car loads of children out bowling or some other activity for her birthday, get happy meals and then come home for cake. Can't beat it, and there's minimal mess!
    The RSPB do a handy little bird book with good pictures. We have books in the house, car and caravan for bird identification. I saw a Marsh tit recently, which I've not seen before. It was very exciting.
    Excellent cake and T-shirt by the way!

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  61. Loving all the badger things in this post!the cake is fantastic and it looks like Angus had a super birthday. I know what you mean about whoopie pies...my husband bought me a beautiful recipe book but I wasn't inspired to make a single whoopie pie from it after tasting one at work and being disappointed!
    Marianne x

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  62. Lovely to see all the badgers. Great cake!

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  63. Well done on creating the badger cake and finding other badger related gifts. The bird is definitely a goldfinch - stunning birds. xx

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  64. Well done on that amazing badger cake and the T shirt too! At least no one will be wearing the same!
    I've added a new book onto my reading list, thanks for the recommendation!
    Have a lovely half term. xx

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  65. Happy belated birthday to Angus! The badger cake is brilliant! xx

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  66. I looked up on the internet the collective noun for badgers and it gives three: cete, which you have, plus colony of badgers or a clan of badgers. You learn something every day!
    Margaret P

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  67. Happy birthday to Angus! And how awesome is your badger cake? You're a genius! x

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