We've had so many robins, which are normally very territorial, diving into our bird feeders for suet pellets and sunflower seeds. They wait for us in the morning to fill the feeder. They will even come up to the kitchen window and look in if we are running late. Then they practically fly on top of us as we come out with the goodies. I will miss the English robin when we move to Colorado.
Welcome! Here you can read about the happenings of Our little trio. We currently live in a small village in England in the Surrey countryside, not too far from London. I also split my time at our home in Colorado. Dear hubby and son take no responsibility for the contents below, which are purely my ramblings. I'm sure they sometimes hide their heads at some of the things I share or say! But I know you all enjoy the gossip. As a teawife, it is my duty to watch and listen and be a supportive friend, and a loving mum and wife. I should post more often, but sticking my nose into everyone's business keeps me busy! Kathy the teawife
Saturday, May 18, 2013
As the pages of the calendar are turned, the flowers of the seasons also change here in Surrey, England. Snowdrops in January, crocus in February, narcissus in March, daffodils in April, and bluebells in May.
When hubby and I walked in Norbury Woods two weeks ago, we didn't know if there would be any bluebells because it has been so chilly, gray and wet. We were gleeful when we approached the meadow, where the bluebells usually bloom, and saw the blanket of blue!
In addition, March and April are the lambing seasons, and it is wonderful to see the new lambs in the fields. By May, these lambs are a little braver and curious. There are fields along the Norbury Woods and we enjoyed seeing mum sheep with their offspring.
Living in a land that changes with the season makes each walk in Norbury Woods a treat and mystery: what will we see today? Here are some photos that hubby and I took on our early May stroll.
If you like our photos, I invite you to 'like' my Teawife Facebook page, where I post even more photos! In particular, you can see more photos of our stroll in my Facebook album.
Our five-year expat experience in Surrey, England, is coming to an end in about six weeks when we relocate back to the US. I'll then be posting photos from Colorado and other places that we travel. Dear son will be returning to the UK to go to university in October. Hubby will be traveling a lot to Russia. So who knows what kind of photos you will be seeing from us. We hope you enjoy sharing our journeys.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I've crossed the 'big ole pond,' from our Hillside home in England to our lakehouse in Colorado. Although Easter is just around the corner and it's officially spring, I was surprised that we had a snow storm and about 8 inches of the white stuff. Looking out yesterday morning on the expanse of white on our lawn, I saw a magnificent black fox run across the property. Unfortunately, it was too quick for me to grab my camera. This morning, after the snow had stopped, I decided to walk down to the nearby golf course to snap some shots of the snow-capped mountains. As it turned out, they were well-hidden behind the mist and clouds; only the foothills were showing. As I was snapping some photos, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. It was the gorgeous black fox with its thick rich winter coat.
He didn't look too pleased to see me, and he dashed across the golf course. Too bad I didn't have the zoom lens, instead of the wind angle; but I still very lucky to capture this rare encounter.
The snowy conditions also were also encouraging the birds to grab some grub at our neighbors' feeder, which they have attached to their upstairs balcony. The red-breasted house finch is especially pretty!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013
We keep seed and suet feeders in our back garden in England. We attract a wide range of birds, including Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Parrots (Ring-Necked Parakeets), Starlings, Pigeons, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Long-Tail Tits, Robins, Nuthatches, and more!
Here is a little stop-motion movie I made of a Blue Tit visiting our feeders today.
The only caveat is not going to the auction house to check out the merchandise beforehand. Looking carefully at the images online can be misleading. Sometimes, you can end up with a sensational buy and high-quality pieces, and other times you can come away with buyer's remorse and a less-than-desirable piece. Both things happened to me this week when I participated in the latest Crow's Auction, which is just up the road from me in Dorking.
We would have loved the teapot to go with the set, but I think it would be a rare find, indeed. I scope out the pottery very carefully before the auction, and I am pretty particular about what I want. I don't usually have a lot of competition on bidding for pottery (a sad state of affairs for the remaining pottery manufacturers in England). However, I found I was bidding against some other keen collector (or trade vendor) with this set, and I had to pay £42. However, once you check out ebay, and discover one teacup with one saucer in this pattern for $200 in the US, you know that you have a great find! I do think it is unfortunate that pottery in England isn't valued as highly as it currently is in the United States or Asia. After so many companies have exported manufacturing to Asia or have shut their doors here in England, I know one day that we all will regret their extinction.
A few months back, I had another spectacular purchase of a Wedgwood Columbia Powder Ruby part tea set (along with a Paragon Holyrood part tea set) for a mere £22. The lot contained the most luscious teapot and two adorable teacups with saucers (sadly, I've already managed to break one of the tea cups :-(. I am a strong believer in using these items after buying them, and there is a risk of breakage. However, I won't be able to enjoy the pieces from the grave! I later found the Columbia Powder Ruby teapot being sold online in the US for $500. Okay, so I use the teapot less frequently than I did when I first acquired it from the auction!
The Columbia edge of the Wedgwood pottery features a motif of mythical beasts that face each other and the style is available in several color combinations. I still have not been able to ascertain the age of my acquisition except to find that the Powder Ruby began production in 1920 and was discontinued in 1999.
Whenever I see some of the prices of these pottery pieces sold at replacement online sites, I always hesitate, take a deep breath, and question using my finds. But my hubby Niall and I seem to be of like minds on this, and we've decided to enjoy the subtle pleasures of part-taking in a tea experience punctuated by these exquisite pieces of history and culture.
This morning, we used our Birmingham silver teaspoons and our silver plated Victorian tipping teapot (one of my first antique purchases), and we 'broke in' (sorry :-) our 'new' Aynsley teacups, which probably hold about 4 ounces of liquid. They are smaller than our modern day teacups, and that reflects how our current culture seems obsessed with 'more is better' instead of pausing to enjoy the art of conversation and ceremony. The tipping teapot, with its stand and wick burner, can keep the tea warm through a luxurious long breakfast. Each time we refilled our tiny teacups, the tea was piping hot.
I hope you find your special time today, too, to slow down and enjoy gentle conversation and companions.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
One advantage of having jet leg and getting up early is the ability to catch dawn rise over our lake. During the winter, there are some amazing colors that merge and morph and change over Buckingham Lake, around 6:15 to 6:45. Each day is a little different. And, you can also so the lights and colors dance on the ice on the lake. Here are a variety of photos taken on the morning of December 13th. Enjoy!